Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts regularly praised Chris Taylor throughout the season and highlighted his importance on a team full of All-Stars.
The 31-year-old utility man was named to his first All-Star team and hit .254/.344/.438 with 20 home runs, a 113 wRC+ and 3.1 WAR. Taylor’s overall statistics were brought down by a rough second half in which he played through a lingering neck injury.
Taylor hit just .223/.290/.419 in the season’s final 61 games, but his bat has come back alive in the postseason. Taylor slugged a walk-off home run in the Wild Card Game and put together a record-setting performance in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
“C.T.’s been amazing. All year he’s just been a grinder, man. He just is a baller,” Mookie Betts said. “It doesn’t matter how he’s feeling, he’s going to go and play no matter if he’s hurt, anything. So C.T.’s obviously someone that is kind of like an unsung hero.
“Everybody needs a C.T. on their team.”
While Taylor is a very good hitter, what really helps him stand out is defensive versatility. He started 61 games in center field, 46 at second base, 30 in left field, 23 at shortstop, 11 at third base, and eight in right field.
Now, he will be relied upon as the Dodgers’ primary third baseman because Justin Turner suffering a Grade 2 hamstring strain that ended his postseason.
Taylor is set to become a free agent after the season and he is likely going to be one of the more popular names on the market because of his rare skillset to play anywhere on the field at a high level with a great bat.
Dodgers reportedly considered Taylor contract extension
The Dodgers reportedly mulled signing Taylor to a contract extension during the season, so there is interest from the club to keep him around.
A deal for Taylor would likely look similar to the deal Ben Zobrist signed in 2015 that was a four-year contract worth $56 million. However, Taylor might be able to get five or six years, as Zobrist was a few years older at the time.
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