For the record I think moving Corey Seager would be a big mistake. However Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds have been showing interest and have contacted the Dodgers about Corey Seager. I have no idea how much juice these rumors have, but I would doubt the Dodgers trade Seager this winter. Yet there is a possibility the Dodgers move him next winter. We have heard rumblings this offseason that the Dodgers were considering trading Seager. Maybe there is a bit of truth to these rumors?
If the Dodgers were to trade Seager, I think it would be dependent on two things. The first would be that Seager has two years left of arbitration and after that will be eligible for free agency. We all know that Andrew Friedman is cheap and rarely participates in free agency. The Dodgers may not sign him and you would figure Seager would leave to go after his first big MLB pay day.
The now small market operated Dodgers wouldn’t care because they have top prospect Gavin Lux. Although I think Seager is a better hitter than Lux. As I discussed in a previous article, Lux looks like more of a top of the order contact hitter. Seager has more power, at least equal on-base skills and is basically a more productive hitter. We won’t know if this evaluation is true until we see Lux perform in 2020. I could be wrong, but this is what I say based on Lux’s first taste of MLB action last season.
Seager still had a strong season despite missing time due to injuries. Seager recovered from Tommy John surgery rather slowly before finally getting hot and seemed to get his timing back in the middle of the season. Overall Seager slashed .272/.336/.483 with 19 home runs 87 runs batted in and a league leading 44 doubles in 2019. Seager’s 2019 campaign was about 15% better than league average offensively. On average throughout his career, he’s been about 25% better than the league average hitter.
If the Dodgers moved him this winter it would predicate on the Dodgers going after and signing Josh Donaldson. If this were to happen, I would assume Donaldson would play third base, Justin Turner would shift across the diamond to first and Lux would slide over to shortstop. That would leave Max Muncy open to play second and or mix and match with Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez or someone else.
But if this becomes reality, who would the Dodgers want in a potential Seager deal with the Reds? I think any deal with the Reds would need to involve one reliever and two top prospects, and possibly one other MLB ready pitcher. The Reds are trying to claw their way back to relevancy and I am sure they would be delighted to upgrade the shortstop position from Freddy Galvis to Corey Seager. So what could a hypothetical deal between the two clubs look like? I like Michael Lorenzen.
Lorenzen is a two-way player. He’s an effective late-inning right handed reliever that can hit and play the outfield. The Dodgers wouldn’t need his hitting abilities, just his skills as a pitcher. Lorenzen notched 83.1 frames in 2019 while posting a 2.92 ERA and punching out 85 hitters and limiting hitters to 7.3 hits per nine. He’s been solid and durable. But the Dodgers also need a starting pitcher.
Perhaps Sonny Gray or Anthony DeSclafani could be involved in a potential swap? Gray had a nice rebound year in 2019 by striking out 205 and posting a 2.87 ERA over 175.1 innings pitched. Descalfini could be ready to break out.
If the Dodgers wanted just a haul of prospects maybe they could ask for a couple of the Red’s top prospects. For example Young infielder Jonathan India could be an enticing piece. Or perhaps first round pick, left hander Nick Lodolo would be someone that would pique the Dodger’s interest?
I don’t know who the Dodgers would want in return or who the Reds would make available. I’m throwing out possible names. I do think this could be something that could happen with Seager quickly approaching free agency. And you all know how Friedman handles free agency.