The Los Angeles Dodgers lost two star players prior to the lockout, with Max Scherzer heading to the New York Mets and Corey Seager signing with the Texas Rangers.
The Dodgers reportedly attempted to agree to terms on a contract extension with Seager prior to the 2021 season and were said to have offered an eight-year deal worth $250 million. Seager didn’t have interest in signing during Spring Training and went on to receive a more lucrative deal with the Rangers.
L.A. was in the mix to re-sign both Seager and Scherzer, but lost out on right-hander after refusing to guarantee a third year in his contract.
Although president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the team would be aggressive trying to retain Seager, they did not come close to matching the Rangers’ offer, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
Ultimately, they weren’t close to meeting the Rangers’ extravagant offer of $325 million over 10 years, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The Dodgers’ original offer of $250 million would had an average annual value of $31.25 million, which is close to the $32 million AAV Seager received from the Rangers. However, California state income taxes lower the total value of the deal significantly compared to Texas.
Players do need to pay taxes to states where they play road games, but the American League West has three teams in their division that play in states that do not charge income tax, while every state a National League West team plays in charges income tax.
To replace Seager in the lineup, the Dodgers could look to Freddie Freeman and they have already shown interest in the superstar, but most believe he will ultimately return to the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers also reportedly checked in on Carlos Correa, but that is a move that would likely end up making a large portion of the fanbase upset due to his part in the Houston Astros’ 2017 cheating scandal.
L.A. is also expected to move Trea Turner back to shortstop and he is on the final year of his deal, so they should begin to explore an extension for him after the lockout ends.
Seager recruiting Kershaw to Rangers
The Rangers have been speculated as a potential landing spot for free agent Clayton Kershaw, and Seager admitted he has been in contact with his former teammate about continuing to play together.
It was previously reported Kershaw’s decision in free agency would be between re-signing with the Dodgers, joining his hometown Rangers, or retiring.
Kershaw has regularly stated his appreciation for the Dodgers annually being a World Series contender, but some believe the allure of playing near his home and making matters easier for his family could be enough to take the three-time Cy Young Award winner to Texas.
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