The Winter Meetings begin on Monday in San Diego, and — to some surprise — the Dodgers have already been linked to some prominent free agents.
Did ya get all that? Let’s recap.
The Dodgers have been linked to him the most of any free agent thus far. He might be willing to take a shorter deal (i.e., shorter than seven years), which could play into the Dodgers’ hands. Perhaps a 5- or 6-year deal at $35-40 million annually would be enough to get him to commit. I feel that if the Dodgers end up signing one of the big three, it’ll be sooner rather than later, and Rendon seems the most likely.
A fantastic postseason run led to his opting out of the remaining four years and $100 million on his contract, and he’s going to best that easily this winter. The favorites are still probably the Nationals, but it’s interesting that the Dodgers have taken the time to meet with him already. Of course, he and Rendon have the same agent (Scott Boras), so it may not be that surprising.
He’s the big prize this winter, and I’ve already said as much I want the Dodgers to sign him. They’ll get a meeting with him sometime soon, but the competition for his services will be stiff, with the Angels and Yankees promising to be in on him.
I wrote about him last week, while Cody wrote about him a few weeks ago. He’d be a nice consolation prize to the Dodgers (or any team) that doesn’t land Rendon. But with the Rangers and Phillies looking to make a splash, the Dodgers will have to make a legitimately competitive offer to have a shot at him.
Here’s a new name we’ve not heard yet. Gausman, 28, has been pretty mediocre over the course of his career (4.30 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 14.6 K-BB%), but he has always been talented. The Dodgers’ 6th-round pick in 2010 (he didn’t sign), Gausman has been mostly a fastball-splitter guy in his career — even more so in the last two seasons. The fact that he has effectively ditched his slider means relief work could be in his future. He made 14 relief appearances with the Reds last season and pitched to a 3.10 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 26.8 K-BB% and allowed a .283 wOBA. There’s some potential there, if he’s willing to give up starting.
The seemingly annual Pederson trade rumor is already upon us. It seems the White Sox are interested in his services. They had a deal lined up for him last winter, but it was contingent on the Dodgers signing Bryce Harper, which obviously did not happen. If the Dodgers are “willing to listen to trade offers on several of their high-priced players,” Pederson would fit that description. He’s projected to make $8.5 million via arbitration and if the Dodgers have their sights set on adding more than one big free agent (or trade acquisition), offloading Pederson’s salary could be a key to making that happen.
Like the vast majority of rumors, the chance of any of these happening is slim. However, it’s nice to hear folks linking the Dodgers to the big names in free agency. We’ll see if things pick up next week at the Winter Meetings.