Cubs: Imagine the Dodgers’ lineup with Kris Bryant replacing Justin Turner
Fresh off a World Series title, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be looking to add a right-handed bat to their lineup for the 2021 season. It appears as if the Dodgers are set to part ways with 36-year-old third baseman Justin Turner who is currently a free agent. Having just won a championship, Los Angeles fits the category of taking a one-year risk and gambling on a Kris Bryant trade.
Given the uncertainty around shortstop Corey Seager, who’s set to hit the free agent market following the 2021 season, the Dodgers will need to plug up a few holes on the left side of the infield if they plan on making another World Series run in the next few years.
Regardless of his poor 2020 campaign, Bryant is still considered a star in the baseball world, and nobody loves big name talent more than the Dodgers. Considering this is the cheapest price-tag on Bryant at this point in his career, Los Angeles would have a big advantage in negotiation talks with the Cubs.
The Dodgers have young power-arms at the big-league level in Julio Urias (24), Walker Buehler (26), Dustin May (23) , and Brusdar Graterol (22). Given they would still like to compete for a championship, moving one of their prize pitchers would certainly be a risk on the part of LA. Sure it may not seem likely at first glance, but the way I see it, if the Dodgers play it safe there is no telling all of their young pitchers continue to perform at a high-level for the remainder of their careers.
The situation is similar to the one of the Cubs keeping all of their core position players after they won the World Series in 2016. As we know, their values have diminished drastically, and now the team is left scrambling as they figure out their next move. I’m not sure the Dodgers see it the same way, but if they do, I would imagine they view at least one of their young pitchers expendable, if it means acquiring the talent to fix a weak spot on their roster.
If the Dodgers choose to play it safe and go after Bryant, the Cubs would be left settling for less than what I think the slugger is worth in a trade with this team. If that’s the case, I say on to the next bidder.