Seven Dodgers become free agents a day after winning the World Series
Major League Baseball’s business side doesn’t stop for anything — not even World Series celebrations.
Hours after the Dodgers won their first championship since 1988, the players’ union announced that 147 players, including seven Dodgers, were declared free agents Wednesday. More free agents are expected to hit the market when options are declined and contracts are not tendered around the majors.
Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernández, Alex Wood, Blake Treinen, Pedro Báez and Jake McGee are part of the first wave.
Turner, 35, is a free agent after seven seasons with the Dodgers, which culminated with a bizarre twist in the team’s World Series Game 6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. MLB ordered that the third baseman be removed from the game in the seventh inning after a positive coronavirus test was confirmed. Turner left the dugout and missed the Dodgers’ trophy presentation but returned to the field to celebrate with the team.
A drought is over, the heavens have opened, and all over Los Angeles it’s raining blue. The Dodgers are World Series champions for the first time since 1988.
The Dodgers signed Turner to a minor league contract before the 2014 season. Turner, a Southland native, emerged as a franchise cornerstone and clubhouse leader. He became a fan favorite and entrenched himself in the community. Turner signed a four-year, $64-million contract in December 2016.
In seven seasons, he batted. 302 with 116 home runs and an .886 on-base-plus-slugging percentage across 796 games. He made the All-Star team in 2017 and finished in the top 10 in most-valuable-player voting twice. His Dodgers career, however, may have ended in surreal controversy.
Pederson, who made $7.750 million in his last year of arbitration, is a free agent after the Dodgers nearly traded him to the Angels in February. He remained a Dodger when Angels owner Arte Moreno nixed the deal at the last second. Pederson struggled during the shortened season — he batted .190 with a .681 OPS — but delivered in the playoffs again. The outfielder hit .382 with two home runs and a .991 OPS in 37 plate appearances.
Like Pederson, Hernández has a knack for stepping up in October. The veteran utilityman belted three home runs in Game 5 of the 2017 National League Championship Series. This year, he batted .308 with two home runs in the NLCS after batting .230 during the regular season. He made $5.9 million in his last year of arbitration.
Complete coverage of the Dodgers winning their first World Series championship since 1988 after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 World Series.
Pitchers Wood and Treinen are free agents again after signing one-year deals last winter.
Wood, who was paid $4 million this year, returned to the organization after spending 2019 with Cincinnati. A shoulder injury sabotaged his season — he spent five weeks on the injured list and returned as a reliever — but he contributed two perfect innings out of the bullpen in Tuesday’s title-clinching win.
Treinen, who was paid $10 million, was one of manager Dave Roberts’ most reliable relievers. He posted a 3.86 earned-run average in 27 games this season before recording scoreless outings in eight of 11 postseason appearances. He earned his first playoff save in Game 5 of the World Series.
Báez, who was paid $4 million in his last year of arbitration, is a free agent after compiling a 3.03 ERA in 356 innings and some heartache in seven seasons with the Dodgers. The 32-year-old right-hander has been one of Roberts’ most trusted relievers and was once again in the playoffs, though he gave up two home runs in the Dodgers’ Game 4 loss to the Rays.
McGee, a left-handed reliever whose three-year, $27-million deal expired, joined the club at the end of summer camp after he was released by Colorado. Throwing almost exclusively fastballs, he posted a 2.66 ERA in 24 games this season. He allowed one run in 2-2/3 innings across four postseason appearances. The Dodgers declined a $9-million team option for next year and the Rockies are responsible for paying him a $2-million buyout.
The Dodgers are World Series champions. Celebrate their historic season with “Blue Heaven,” a collector’s book chronicling their 2020 season.
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