Aside from Corey Seager, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ most important free agent from a position player standpoint is Chris Taylor. The super utilityman saw time at six different positions this year and hit an overall .254/.344/.438 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and 73 RBI in 148 games.
Taylor turned his success into a first career All-Star Game selection and continued swinging a hot bat in the postseason, as evidenced by his .351 batting average across 11 games over three series.
The 31-year-old now is in position to sign a lucrative contract this offseason, with the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies among the many teams to express interest.
At the start of free agency, the expectation was that Taylor would fetch three-year offers, and perhaps even a fourth year, which is the same length of contract Ben Zobrist signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2015.
Due to the competition for his services, Taylor may ultimately exceed that and receive five-year contract offers from interested clubs, as David Vassegh recently mentioned on SportsNet LA:
“At the end of the season I heard his market was starting at about four years and $60 million, similar to what Ben Zobrist got when he signed with the Cubs from the Rays. I’m hearing now with the competition for Taylor’s services, it could go as high as $75 million for five years.”
With more teams placing an emphasis on versatility when constructing their roster, it isn’t surprising that Taylor has been one of the most popular free agents.
He has been key to the Dodgers’ positional flexibility, and after losing Kiké Hernandez in free agency last year, presumably is at the top of the club’s priorities. Particularly with Seager agreeing to a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Taylor remaining with the organization also would appear to carry some meaning. “It’s been a lot of fun playing with these guys,” he said after the National League Championship Series. “I’ve loved every minute of it. Definitely disappointed, but it’s been a joy to be part of this team.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I can say is I’ve loved every minute I’ve been a Dodger. I have no idea what’s going to happen this offseason, but the last five seasons I’ve been here, it’s been amazing. I’m so thankful I’ve had the opportunity to play for the Dodgers.”
Dodgers would receive draft compensation if Taylor signs elsewhere
If Taylor signs elsewhere, the Dodgers would receive a compensation pick after the fourth round in next year’s MLB Draft. That’s because Taylor was extended the $18.4 million qualifying offer for the 2022 season, which he declined.
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