Dodgers Rumors: Left-Handed Hitter Among Areas Of Focus

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the offseason with numerous needs, but so far they have mostly remained quiet while losing multiple key free agents.

The Dodgers re-signed Clayton Kershaw and agreed to terms with Shelby Miller to bolster their bullpen. But they have also seen Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Tommy Kahnle and Chris Martin join new organizations.

L.A. has reportedly checked in on some of the top free agents, including Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts and Justin Verlander, but all have since agreed to deals. Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson remain available, but word is the Dodgers will not pursue the former.

It’s more likely the Dodgers don’t make a splash this offseason as they attempt to stay under the luxury tax threshold for 2023. But one thing they would like to add is a left-handed hitter, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

They are also seeking a left-handed bat, sources told The Athletic.

The two clearest positions the Dodgers can upgrade are at shortstop and in center field, which manager Dave Roberts indicated is a top priority for the club.

They have already checked in on Tampa Bay Rays free agent Kevin Kiemaier, a left-handed hitting center fielder who plays elite defense, but his bat leaves a lot to be desired. The top free-agent center fielder remaining was the left-handed hitting Brandon Nimmo, who is the type of player the Dodgers would target, but he had a robust market of interested teams before re-signing with the New York Mets on an eight-year, $162 million contract..

If L.A. chooses to just add an outfielder rather than a center fielder, they could pick from a group that includes Joey Gallo, Andrew Benintendi, David Peralta and Michael Confroto. Of that group, Conforto presents the highest upside and would likely be looking for a one-year deal to regain some of his value, but he missed the entire 2022 season due to shoulder surgery.

There are not many quality left-handed hitting shortstops around the league, but the Dodgers’ comfort using Gavin Lux at the position means they can also sign a second baseman or third baseman. Still, if they desire a left-handed hitting infielder they may be better off trading for one as the free agent market is beginning to lack quality options.

The top available lefty free agent infielders include Matt Carpenter, Adam Frazier, and Rougned Odor. Still, if they desire a left-handed hitting infielder, they would have been better off keeping Edwin Ríos rather than non-tendering him, which makes an outfielder the most likely outcome.

Dodgers interested in Andrew McCutchen

The Dodgers and Rays are among the teams with interest in Andrew McCutchen, who spent this past season with the Milwaukee Brewers, batting .237/.316/.384 with 25 doubles, 17 home runs and 69 RBI over 134 games.

The former All-Star center fielder has primarily played left field since getting traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates but still has elite speed, but it’s unlikely he would play center field more than an occasional start here and there.

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