The Los Angeles Dodgers have seemingly been in the market for starting pitching, a shortstop and center fielder this offseason but largely completed under-the-radar acquisitions.
The Dodgers did re-sign Clayton Kershaw early into free agency, and since then have added Shelby Miller and Noah Syndergaard. L.A. additionally completed trades for J.P. Feyereisen and Yonny Hernández, though the former will likely be out until at least the middle of the 2023 season, and the latter figures to be Minor League depth.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers held varying levels of interest in Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner, but saw each sign with another club.
The Dodgers have now made a noteworthy splash by signing J.D. Martinez to a one-year, $10 million contract, according to Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) December 17, 2022
Martinez signing with the Dodgers reunites him with Mookie Betts and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc. Martinez previously worked with Van Scoyoc on an individual basis and has become among the sport’s top designated hitters.
Martinez experienced some regression this past season but earned a second consecutive and fifth overall All-Star Game selection, and batted .274/.341/.448 with 43 doubles, 16 home runs and 62 RBI.
The Dodgers have held longstanding interest in Martinez, dating back to his time with the Detroit Tigers.
Notably, the Boston Red Sox did not extend a qualifying offer to Martinez for the 2023 season.
Does J.D. Martinez rule out Dodgers re-signing Justin Turner?
With the signing of Martinez, the Dodgers have seemingly locked themselves into having a single player for the DH spot in their lineup. Such an approach is vastly different from how they’ve operated since the universal DH was implemented.
Signing Martinez could potentially signal the end of Justin Turner’s tenure with the Dodgers. He was supplanted from a role as their starting third baseman to split time at DH.
However, the Dodgers could also move Max Muncy to second base and keep Turner at third. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts already indicated the team was open to relying on Gavin Lux at shortstop.
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