Though Seager and Taylor are now officially on the free-agent market and can choose to sign with any team, the Dodgers will remain aggressive in trying to retain them this winter. However, by rejecting the qualifying offer, the Dodgers will now get a compensation round Draft pick if Taylor or Seager ultimately sign elsewhere.
For Seager, rejecting the qualifying offer was simply a formality. The 27-year-old star shortstop is one of the premier free agents in this year’s market. He will receive significantly more money and guaranteed years than the $18.4 million qualifying offer. The Dodgers, to no surprise, are involved in the bidding war, one that could get into the $300 million mark. The Yankees, who have been open about their needs at shortstop, are also reportedly in the mix for Seager.
Texas, St. Louis and other teams that miss out on Carlos Correa will also be in the mix for Seager.
If the Dodgers lose Seager, the immediate move would be to slide Trea Turner to shortstop. Turner played second base once traded to the Dodgers in July, but by most metrics, he grades out to be a better defender at short than Seager. If Seager signs elsewhere, the pressure falls on the Dodgers to sign Turner to an extension as he enters the last year of his current deal in 2022.
If Seager returns to the Dodgers, he will be their shortstop. There’s been speculation that Seager would move to third base, but both president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Seager’s agent, Scott Boras, made it clear that Seager views himself as a shortstop, at least for the first few years of his new contract.
“Those are things we’d have to figure out and work through,” Friedman said. “We have Trea, who is a really good Major League shortstop, and Corey is a really good Major League shortstop. There’s a lot to work through, and we have the benefit of time.”
Regardless of what position Seager plays, losing him would be a monumental blow to the Dodgers’ lineup. Seager is one of the best-hitting shortstops in the Majors. That was on full display during the Dodgers’ World Series run in 2020 as Seager secured NL Championship Series and World Series MVP honors.
As for Taylor, his decision to reject the qualifying offer required a lot of thinking. Taylor was invaluable for the Dodgers in 2021. He became a first-time All-Star and hit a team-high four homers in the postseason. But because of that success, Taylor’s value is as high as it’s ever been. He’s expected to get a multi-year deal with a large annual salary.
With the Dodgers looking to bring back most of their 12 key free agents, retaining Taylor could be tricky for Los Angeles. The utility man is drawing interest from the Red Sox, Cardinals, Rangers, Giants, Marlins and others, according to sources. The Dodgers are also in the mix.