On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that their All-Star shortstop, Corey Seager, will undergo Tommy John surgery and will be out for the rest of the 2018 season.
Seager’s impact on the team since his 2015 September call-up has been evident. In 355 games over four seasons, Seager has tallied: 86 doubles, 54 home runs, 179 RBI, all will maintaining an overall .302 BA and .372 OBP. Since becoming the full-time shortstop in 2016, he’s racked up the most WAR at the position and ranks fifth overall among all position players. He’s been selected to two All Star Games and was the unmaious 2016 NL Rookie of the Year.
Moving forward without Seager is a huge blow to the NL West favorites.
Already in a slow start to the season (12-16 record after the first month), the Dodgers will look to different alternatives to soften the blow of losing Seager. Manager Dave Roberts has already mentioned that Chris Taylor will take over the everyday role of shortstop.
Roberts stated that he prefers moving Taylor from center field over Kiké Hernandez, who has both outfield and shortstop experience, because of Taylor’s success against right-handed pitching in comparison to Hernandez. (MLB.com)
With Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner already on the disabled list, Hernandez will keep his role in second base and the outfield.
General manager, Farhan Zaidi, as well expressed his feelings over losing Seager but feels “good about the lineup we can field on an everyday basis.” (MLB.com)
“We’re not as talented without Corey in there, but we’re going to have to adopt an approach of the whole being greater than the sum of parts. That’s what made us so good last year.”
Zaidi didn’t throw away the possibility of making a trade either. He said, “We might have had a certain threshold for a trade and might be more motivated now.” (MLB.com)
One possibility of a trade could be Baltimore Orioles’ superstar shortstop, Manny Machado. Baltimore is one season away from Machado testing free agency. With a current team taht is struggling, they could be willing to trade their superstar for high-end prospects.
This trade has its pros and cons. Machado comes to any team as a rental. He’s already stated that if a team acquires him, it does not give them any help when it comes to his future.
In the offseason, the Dodgers front office made moves precisely for the purpose of putting their payroll under the luxury tax. They were potentially making themselves available for the big-name free agency that will include Machado and Bryce Harper. There’s also the fact that ace Clayton Kershaw will likely opt out of his deal.
Baltimore wouldn’t sell cheap. The Dodgers would most likely have to give up their top prospects such as Walker Buehler and/or Alex Verdugo, and Machado’s remaining salary could prevent the Dodgers from making other necessary moves this season, such as pitchers that could boost a currently struggling staff.
In previous seasons, when it came to trades the front office were very adamant about not trading their top prospects. The Dodgers have been linked to many superstars in recent years but the front office didn’t budge with top prospects Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Julio Urías.
Machado would definitely fill the void left by Seager and put the Dodgers right back to the top of World Series contenders.
However if the Dodger’s deem that this trade for Machado is too unrealistic. There’s still other options.
Other options of trade possibilities include Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers or Adeiny Hechavarria of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Those options would be more defensive than offensive and could motivate the front office to get better pitching. They wouldn’t feel so pressured to use Buehler so soon, could help the struggling bullpen, and have backup in case injuries come about.
Yes, the Dodgers were able to take down the Chicago Cubs minus Seager in the NLCS; however, in a short series, it’s easier to handle the loss. Charlie Culberson’s performance in that series would not be expected in a longer term.
But in the 2017 season, the Dodgers were 93-42 in games Seager started and 11-16 without him.
The Dodgers are celebrating their 60th season in Los Angeles, and they haven’t won a World Series in the second half of that tenure. The fans and organization alike are desperate for a title, and time will tell how desperate the front office gets.