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Monday, January 24, 2022

The Dodgers lost Max Scherzer to the Mets; Corey Seeger could be next to vacation

As the off-season began with the prospect of a labor dispute over the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he would treat it as a normal offseason until it was.

That point came over the weekend.

When the CBA ends Wednesday, with the prospect of a lockout freezing rosters, MLB teams, on a free-agent buying spree, shell out half a billion dollars in new signings. Billionaire Steve Cohen (who almost bought the Dodgers from Frank McCourt in 2012) put his checkbook where he has a Twitter account, with the New York Mets being the biggest spenders, free agents Max Schaezer, Eduardo Escobar, Starling Marte and Mark Canha. Put signature on. $250 million.

Scherzer was the biggest expense. He agreed to a three-year, $130 million deal that makes the 37-year-old, three-time Cy Young Award winner the highest-paid player (by annual average salary) in baseball history. The Mets had to dig deep into Cohen’s pockets to beat the Dodgers, Angels, San Francisco Giants and others.

Blaming left-hander Steven Matz for turning down the Mets and angering Cohen, fueling a spending spree that is projected to propel the Mets past the Dodgers for the highest payroll in baseball next season – Whenever that season may come.

More deals are expected on Cyber ​​Monday as teams try to beat the anticipated shutdown by signing players and completing them in physical time to make those contracts official. That could mean more trouble for the Dodgers along with Corey Seeger and Chris Taylor, one of the most lucrative free agents on the hot market.

Like Scherzer, Seeger is represented by Uber-agent Scott Boras (who also got Marcus Semien a $175 million deal with Rangers). Boras is believed to have inspired Seeger to find a home before the lockdown came.

He could be back at home with the Dodgers in Los Angeles or deep in the heart of Texas with the Rangers who have been second only to the Mets in their aggression over the past few days. Rangers have also signed right-hander John Gray and outfielder Cole Calhoun and are reportedly ready to put Semien at second base if they can land one of the elite free-agent shortstops.

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“Seiger clearly means a lot to us looking back,” Friedman said recently on MLB Network. “And I think we have a very performative track record with people we know well and have been with us. We will be aggressive to try to keep up.

“That being said, we also have a lot of other talented players and a whole lot of payroll to watch and manage. He’s a great player. He’s going to get a good contract – well – and time will tell. How does one play?

The Dodgers have positioned themselves to absorb Caesar’s potential losses. Acquired with Scherzer in July, Tree Turner played second base in his first three months with the Dodgers, but could go back to his natural position at shortstop with Gavin Lux, then the incumbent at second base.

However, it will be more difficult to absorb Scherzer’s loss.

In 11 regular seasons starting with the Dodgers, Scherzer went 7–0 with a 1.98 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. In the postseason, however, Scherzer “swept my arm” and could not start Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, when the Dodgers were looking to survive in the postseason.

His departure adds to the emphasis on the Dodgers’ No. 1 offseason project – rebuilding an early rotation that disbanded them last season.

Free-agent left-hander Andrew Heaney is the only addition so far to a group that also includes Walker Buehler, Julio Urius and Tony Gonsolin, with Clayton Kershaw a free agent, the role of David Price uncertain and Tommy John before August. Dustin May’s return from surgery is unlikely. ,

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