Even with the scheduled start of 2021 Spring Training now less than a month away, the Los Angeles Dodgers still have plenty of work to do this offseason.
The club’s primary focus thus far has been on improving the bullpen, bringing in the likes of Corey Knebel and Brandon Morrow while also re-signing Blake Treinen and Jimmy Nelson. L.A. wants to keep adding to the group and reportedly has strong interest in former San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates, who is believed to be nearing a decision.
The Dodgers must also address a glaring hole at third base that was created by Justin Turner reaching free agency. The two sides presumably want to extend their relationship, but to this point haven’t been able to find common ground on the length of a new contract.
L.A. has begun formulating contingency plans if Turner signs with another team. Atop their list of external options was DJ LeMahieu, who is now off the board after agreeing to a six-year contract to stay with the New York Yankees.
Another free agent the Dodgers could pursue is Oakland Athletics free agent Marcus Semien, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
But the team has compiled a list of infield alternatives, including free agent Marcus Semien.
Semien, 30, is coming off a down 2020 season in which he hit .220/.305/.374 with nine doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBI over 236 plate appearances (53 games).
However, a potential signing could be worthwhile as Semien is only two years removed from a monster 2019 campaign in which he batted .285/.369/.522 with 43 doubles, 33 home runs and 92 RBI en route to a third-place finish in American League MVP voting.
Semien exclusively played shortstop for the Athletics in each of the past six seasons, but previously saw time at second base and third base as a member of the Chicago White Sox during the 2013-14 seasons.
If signed, Semien could fill the Dodgers’ void at third base this season, and then possibly move back to shortstop the following year should Corey Seager depart in free agency. Should L.A. re-sign Turner and still look to add Semien, he could become an option at second base or fill a utility role.
Nationals, Blue Jays among teams showing interest in Turner
In addition to the Dodgers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Washington Nationals reportedly have expressed interest in signing Turner. Toronto has a need at third base, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wants to play the position this year.
As for the Nationals, they aren’t exactly set at the hot corner either. Carter Kieboom started 30 games as a rookie, but the Nationals also relied on Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Harrison.
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