Tim Federowicz was signed by the Dodgers to a minor league contract. Interesting part about this is that maybe the Dodgers are planning to move one of their back up catchers and they need Tim to be ready to fill in on an as needed basis.
Dave Roberts was interviewed on MLB TV and he confirmed to have spoken to Justin Turner before Corey Seager’s wedding but he also confirmed that the offseason never came up in their short conversation. Dave Roberts also stated that he almost wanted this offseason to last longer so he can continue to enjoy life as a champion. He mentioned that he is normally anxious to get the season started but this time he was actually still enjoying the offseason and Dodger fans know exactly how he feels.
Andrew Friedman confirmed again in an interview with Alanna Rizzo that they are still in the hunt for a big right handed bat. In the same interview he also mentioned that the front office was stepping back for now to give Justin Turner the opportunity to shop around the league for a 3 year contract to see what was out there for him. This passive approach makes it seem like there is not too much urgency in signing Turner. It does seem like they are players but only once Turner receives an offer. The Dodgers might become players by stepping in to match any offer Turner might receive. It is a pretty brutal business play to pull off on someone like Turner to give him the freedom to explore other options knowing that teams are going to be frugal in this uncertain time.
One more interesting conversation that happened outside of Dodger baseball is that DJ Lemahieu and the Yankees are 25 million dollars apart in negotiation talks. The Yankees are offering about 75 million. There are a ton of dots that connect here for the Dodgers. DJ Lemahieu could be that big right handed bat that the Dodgers are looking for. Bringing Lemahieu for the 5 years at 100 million that he is asking for sounds like a frontline option. Follow me:By signing DJ, you get a two time hitting champion who can play second base. It sort of throws a roadblock for Gavin Lux, but it leaves third base open for the Dodgers to re-sign Turner at 30 million for 3 years or not sign Turner and just use a rotation of Edwin Rios and Chris Taylor. Lemahieu takes the spot of Turner (if he is not brought back) in the line up as the right handed bat as he also hits for average. Also, you find more playing time for Rios and Taylor (lefty hitter/ righty hitter). Getting DJ for 5 years essentially gives him the 20 million allotted to Justin Turner in 2020. It definitely seems like the more economical play when compared to signing a premier player like Nolan Arenado via trade. When comparing Arenado with Lemahieu it is easy to say that historically, Nolan is the superior player. Nolan has a career average of .293 with 235 HR’s, 1206 RBI’s, and 8 gold gloves at third base. DJ has a career average of .305 with only 88 HR’s, and 478 RBI’s. Nolan is also 3 years younger. So the question is “Do the Dodgers step in and take DJ from the Yankees?” Keep in mind that it will be at 50% less than what they could get Arenado for. Or.. do they slash some salary and possibly lose some young controllable talent and take on that 199Million contract left for Arenado via trade? Or do they stand pat and make no moves? Both players were teammates in Colorado, so there is the possibility that some of these numbers are inflated due to the home field hitting advantages of the thinner air. The Dodgers could actually afford to go either way. The Arenado deal presents more of a headache over the other because it involves a meeting of the minds between 3 parties: Dodgers, Rockies, and Nolan/Boras. All parties should be willing to make the trade in order for the trade to happen and it could also involve the Dodgers sacrificing a young arm. Dealing with DJ Lemahieu is the meeting of the minds between 2 parties: Dodgers and Lemahieu since he is a free agent. The Dodgers do not have to worry about sacrificing any young players. I still believe that Nolan is worth the headache because a salary dump here and there helps the Dodgers balance their expenditures so they could redirect more of that salary towards the 199Million owed to Nolan. For the Dodgers to be players, they need to step in at 80 Million for 4 years. This essentially beats the Yankee offer by 5 million. The Dodgers can front load the contract to pay DJ a signing bonus of 20 million, and split the remaining 60 million by 4 evenly so that their expense for that big right bat ends up being 15 million per year. At 15 million per year, the Dodgers have a lot of room to sign Seager, next year’s big name hitting free agency and I sure hope Friedman doesn’t take the passive approach. In reality, Seager should be extended now so they do not have to deal with the possibility of him leaving next year. If he does not agree to the extension, the Dodgers will have a better indication of what moves need to be made in expectation of his departure. Making such a move with such a player will make the front office a popular bunch for such a popular player. If he passes on the extension offer, fans will be more understanding if he leaves. However, none of this has happened and that is why I titled this piece, “Quiet week in Dodger Baseball”.