Dodgers rumor roundup: Liam Hendriks, Marcus Semien, plus MiLB signings

Marcus Semien. (Via)

It’s been a relatively quiet offseason around the game, and the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are no exception. Aside from the Corey Knebel trade and a few minor-league signings, they haven’t done much.

So, here are some of the latest rumors involving the Dodgers.

Liam Hendriks

“Among the teams that have pursued the 32-year-old: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays. Hendriks has been the best closer in baseball by a healthy margin the past two seasons, and his desire for a four-year deal at a strong annual value is understandable, especially with the next-best options — Blake Treinen, Alex Colome, Trevor Rosenthal and Brad Hand — not the same caliber. The Dodgers would give Hendriks the best shot at a title.”

Courtesy of Jeff Passan of ESPN. Hendriks is a guy I identified as being a great fit for the Dodgers’ bullpen earlier this offseason. With some uncertainty surrounding who might close for the Dodgers next season (and beyond), Hendriks could end up being a wise investment. We know Andrew Friedman doesn’t usually throw multiple years and multiple millions of dollars at relievers — just Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly (and Treinen, in terms of money), to date — but both of them are off the books after the 2021 season, so it wouldn’t be as surprising to see the Dodgers pull the trigger on Hendriks.

Marcus Semien

“One name to keep an eye on in the coming days, sources say, is Marcus Semien, the shortstop who followed his third-place showing in the 2019 AL MVP race with an underwhelming 2020. Although the 30-year-old Semien is unlikely to command the kind of deal that will take him deep into his 30s, one executive said he appreciates Semien for his steadiness, versatility, makeup and, yes, price point. What he meant: Semien isn’t going to cost nine figures like the shortstops in the mega-class of 2021-22. Some teams are already preparing for the shortstopalooza of next offseason, which, barring extensions, will feature Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Trevor Story — five All-Stars, all of whom will hit free agency at 28 or younger. Among the teams that could find themselves in play: the Dodgers, Mets, Blue Jays, Phillies, Astros, Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers.”

The DJ LeMahieu rumors are still out there, and earlier this week, I looked at why he might be so attractive to the Dodgers, but the Yankees are making him their top priority. If that’s the case, it’s going to be a bit harder to sign him if Justin Turner were to leave in free agency.

Passan lays out a decent case for all the teams listed above, and the Dodgers are interesting. Semien began his career with the White Sox as a utility-type player before settling in as a shortstop with the A’s. He came over in the Jeff Samardzija trade in 2014. With the A’s, Semien improved so much defensively that he became a viable shortstop. But he wouldn’t be coming in to play shortstop. I suspect if he were to come in, it’d be in the same vein as LeMahieu — a 2B/3B situation, with the ability to play shortstop. He’s not going to displace Seager at short, but he would also give the Dodgers some insurance if Seager ends up leaving after the 2021 season.

Another issue with Semien is he’s had just one good offensive season. His 2019 campaign saw him hit .285/.369/.522 with 33 home runs and a 137 wRC+. He accumulated a 7.6 WAR and finished third in AL MVP voting. Before that, he had never topped 98 wRC+, and he produced just a 91 wRC+ in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. It’s hard to put a ton of stock into 2020 numbers, but it was more reminiscent of his entire career, rather than the 2019 outlier. He could command a 3-4 year deal worth $12-15 million annually. He’d be a risky signing, but if the Dodgers were to land him, you have to think they feel he’s closer to the 2019 version of himself rather than the rest of his career.

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The Dodgers have also added a couple players on minor-league deals in recent days.

This move had to be made by Ned Colletti. Tim Federowicz — the centerpiece of the Trayvon Robinson trade (good lord) — is back with the Dodgers. I suspect he’ll do some mentoring of Keibert Ruiz with Oklahoma City.

The Dodgers also signed Andrew Schwaab, a sidearming righty.

The Dodgers don’t have a ton of sidearmers, so he’ll give (Triple-A) hitters a different look.

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Apropos of nothing…

https://twitter.com/JDodgersLA/status/1339334863069958145

Find the lie.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.