If you have not heard by now, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays are facing off in the World Series. That said, there are a handful of reasons as to why the SF Giants might be watching closely.
The SF Giants are said to be prioritizing a left-handed bat and starting pitching depth this offseason, and a number of soon-to-be free agents on the Dodgers and Rays could fit those needs.
On an unrelated note, I am happy that the Rays and Dodgers are facing off in the World Series. After all, their rivalry spans generations, so it’s good that the two heated rivals are competing on baseball’s biggest stage.
Now that I have that out of the way, let’s change gears.
The Dodgers have a handful of key free agents this offseason. While they took care of star Mookie Betts earlier this year, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Wood, Justin Turner, and Blake Treinen will all see their contracts expire.
From that bunch, Turner will be the highest priority for the Dodgers to re-sign. I do not think he will go elsewhere considering that he continues to be a solid producer as he posted a 135 OPS+ in 175 plate appearances in 2020.
It is very easy to envision Los Angeles letting the remaining four free agents walk, especially Pederson, who they tried to trade to the Los Angeles Angels last offseason.
The Dodgers may want to retain Hernandez as he has carved out a niche role against left-handed hurlers while playing all around the field, whereas Wood and Treinen have pitched their way out of favor in Los Angeles.
On the other side of the matchup, Charlie Morton will be a free agent if the Rays buy out his option for 2021. Morton has produced a 3.33 ERA (2.92 FIP) in 42 starts since joining Tampa Bay before the 2019 season, but the Rays do not normally spend big on free agents.
Morton was one exception, but will they be willing to spend $15 million next year on a pitcher entering his age-37 season? That remains to be seen. They may accept the option, but with the sole purpose of shopping him on the trade market.