As the Los Angeles Dodgers prepare to lose shortstop Trea Turner to MLB free agency, the perennial World Series contender is reportedly narrowing down its list of potential replacements.
Los Angeles could make a run at one of the top MLB free agents, offering a deal to make either Xander Bogaerts or Carlos Correa one of the highest paid players in MLB. However, the desire to add another front-line pitcher could push Los Angeles in another direction.
The issue for the Dodgers is how quickly the talent pool drops off after the top options. All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson is an attractive alternative, but he might prefer to remain closer to home and any contract must start at above $100 million. After that, the free-agent candidates become Jose Iglesias and Elvis Andrus.
Los Angeles could look toward its farm system, with No. 10 prospect Eddys Leonard a potential option. Ultimately, though, the front office is likely prioritizing a trade with one specific target seemingly being a focus for the team.
According to Juan Toribio of MLB.com, the Dodgers have long expressed interest in Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames. While the Brewers’ willingness to deal its star infielder is unknown, Adames is believed to be one of the Dodgers’ top targets this offseason.
Why Willy Adames fits the Los Angeles Dodgers
Whether or not the Brewers are willing to keep Adames could be determined by contract negotiations. The 27-year-old recently told MLB.com that he had some conversations with the front office about a long-term deal. While his agent is handling all negotiations and Adames loves it in Milwaukee, the potential cost might compel ownership to push for a trade.
- Willy Adames stats (2022): .238/.298/.458, 31 home runs, 4.7 fWAR
While Adames had one of the lowest batting averages among shortstops in 2022, he remains one of the best players at his position. The right-handed hitter ranked sixth in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (4.7) and finished ninth in Defensive Runs Saved (9), ahead of Turner (-1), Correa (3) and Bogaerts (4).
The Dodgers are also attempting to be more effective with their spending in the years ahead. Considering Adames is arbitration-eligible through 2024, he becomes an even more attractive option for Los Angeles.
At a time when the Brewers are selling off impact pieces, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the club decides to field offers for Adames. The moment that happens, the Dodgers could be one of the most aggressive teams to pursue him.