Dodgers Free Agency: LA Features 6 Players in Top-50 Free Agent List
Six 2022 Dodgers, including three All-Stars, are among Keith Law’s Top 50 free agents in his latest list at The Athletic.
We’re less than a week away from the end of the World Series, and once that’s over, it’s officially Hot Stove season. Keith Law of The Athletic got that kicked off with his list of “The top 50 MLB free agents of 2022-23,” and there were several Dodgers on the list.
2. Trea Turner
Law lists Trea as his number-two free agent, just behind fellow shortstop Carlos Correa (and just ahead of another shortstop, Dansby Swanson). As Law notes, Trea’s 2022 season was a small step back from his 2021, but he remains an elite athlete and hitter.
Turner changed his approach this year, chasing out of the zone more often than he had in any previous season, going after pitches below the zone and down and away while whiffing on them over 70 percent of the time he offered. It’s a shocking switch from someone who didn’t chase much in previous years, and while it’s probably not a permanent issue, it’s also not something you’d want to see when you’re about to give a player eight years and nine figures. He’s still an 80 runner and a solid-average defender at shortstop, and he was a plus defender at second in his brief time there after the midseason trade that sent him to L.A. a year ago, so there’s every reason to think he’ll stay at short for at least another 4-5 years.
Law projects Turner as being worth around $30 million per year over six to eight years.
17. Tyler Anderson
Anderson posted his best performance this year at age 32 … . He did so by employing just one simple trick that you won’t believe: He stopped giving up hard contact! More pitchers should try this.
Pretty accurate assessment of Anderson’s year. Law projects Anderson’s value at $35-40 million over three years.
21. Clayton Kershaw
Law writes more words about Kershaw than about most of the others on this list, but it can be summarized pretty simply with one sentence:
Kershaw pitched about as well as ever when he did take the ball in 2022, but as has been the story for him since his incredible run from 2011-15 ended, he missed more time due to injury and didn’t work as much in each start as he used to.
Law projects Kershaw at one year and $25 million, possibly with a vesting option based on innings pitched.
38. Justin Turner
Law praises JT for aging better than he expected, but the outlook still isn’t very rosy.
Everything’s trending down at this point, from his overall output to his contact quality, but because he doesn’t whiff or chase that much, he’s still reasonably productive, and he’s still able to catch up to good velocity. He’s definitely lost a step in the field and on the bases, so there’s more concern about his defense at third going forward than his bat. As a DH who can play 30-40 games in the field, he could be a nice 2-win investment for someone on a one-year, $10-12 million deal.
39. Joey Gallo
Law acknowledges that Gallo has been terrible the last year and a half, and he digs into why:
So more swings, plus a higher whiff rate, and then more chasing … it’s a recipe for failure. Someone has to see this and think they can help him regain the patience that made him a unicorn among hitters, and hope they can find the 2.5-4 WAR player that he was in every full season from 2017 through 2021.
47. Andrew Heaney
As Law notes, Heaney had an outstanding whiff rate this year, but when hitters did make contact, they hit it harder than against almost any other pitcher. He was also significantly worse against righties than against lefties, which isn’t uncommon in general but makes him unlikely to be a top starter.
He’s dominant enough against left-handed batters to pitch until he’s 40 in relief, but I don’t know if he can be more than a fifth starter if he’s going to give up homers to right-handers at this rate.
There are also three former Dodgers among Law’s honorable mentions: Joc Pederson, Zack Greinke, and Kenley Jansen.