Year after year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the most active teams during the winter, which is why we wanted to make some Dodgers offseason predictions for 2023.
The early free agent contract projections for the MLB hot stove have the Dodgers spending plenty of money on high-priced free agents.
Of course, the Dodgers also figure to target some of the top players on the trade market.
Dodgers offseason predictions 2023
But what are the Dodgers’ offseason needs for the 2023 season and who are the Dodgers’ free agent targets going to be? Time will only tell the answers to these questions. But with a busy offseason expected for Los Angeles once again, we thought we’d try making some Dodgers offseason predictions for 2023.
Dodgers sign Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa to the Dodgers may not be the most likely scenario at the start of the offseason, but that doesn’t mean things won’t turn out that way. The Dodgers could just as easily re-sign Trea Turner to fill their void at shortstop. There’s also a chance that Los Angeles pursue Dansby Swanson or Xander Bogaerts.
However, it’s Correa who checks all of the boxes the Dodgers want in their shortstop of the future.
For starters, Correa is younger than both Turner and Bogaerts. He’s also less reliant on his speed than Turner and Swanson, so it might take him a little longer for his skills to diminish. Correa is also sound defensively after winning both the Gold Glove and Platinum Glove in 2021.
He also brings a wealth of playoff experience with him, which is exactly what the Dodgers want after failing to reach the World Series in back-to-back seasons. After failing to win a championship with Turner at shortstop in two attempts, it makes sense for them to move on and make a strong push to sign Correa this winter.
Dodgers trade Cody Bellinger
Frankly, it might be time for the Dodgers and Bellinger to part ways, even though he has just one year left until free agency. He’s become a shell of himself since winning MVP honors in 2019.
This past season, Bellinger hit just .210 with an OPS of .654 despite mashing 19 home runs.
With his past track record, Bellinger should have at least some value on the trade market for Los Angeles to get something decent for him. Naturally, trading Bellinger would create a vacancy in the Los Angeles outfield. But the Dodgers should be able to find a more natural center fielder in free agency or via trade to replace Bellinger while giving him a fresh start somewhere else.
Dodgers sign Justin Verlander
By no means are the Dodgers starved for pitching, especially with Clayton Kershaw likely to return. But Los Angeles is very much in championship-or-bust mode, which means shopping at the top of the free-agent market.
We know the Dodgers have no problem spending money on impact players they think can help deliver a championship.
Verlander surely fits that description, and the Dodgers will be able to sign him to a one or two-year deal. If Verlander is comfortable leaving Houston after winning a championship with the Astros and is fine going to the highest bidder, the Dodgers are a likely destination for him, especially since the Dodgers know they probably won’t have Walker Buehler at all in 2023, making Verlander a high-priced temporary replacement at the top of the rotation.
Dodgers move on From Justin Turner
It will truly be the end of an era when Turner is no longer suiting up in Dodger blue. But it looks like that time is upon us.
Turner has spent nine seasons in Los Angeles, helping the Dodgers win eight division titles, three pennants, and one world championship. However, the Dodgers declined his $16 million option for the 2023 season and it just doesn’t make sense to re-sign him, even at a more reasonable salary.
Turner’s best days are long behind him. The 2022 season was the first time during his tenure in Los Angeles that his OPS was under .800. Despite setting a new career-high with 36 doubles, Turner hit just 13 home runs. With his declining speed and defensive skills, he’s no longer making the same positive impact he did a few years ago. Even if it creates a little uncertainty for the Dodgers at third base, it’s questionable whether the Dodgers can win a championship with Turner being an everyday player.
Dodgers trade for Rafael Devers and Chris Sale
The boldest of our Dodgers offseason predictions for 2023 is a blockbuster trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox. Of course, this won’t be the first time these teams have collaborated on a major trade after working out a deal for Mookie Betts in 2020.
They will pull off a similar blockbuster this year with Devers being sent to Los Angeles to fill the void left by Turner at third base, giving the Dodgers a top-notch offensive player at third while giving them a year to figure out what to do with prospect Miguel Vargas.
Surely, the Red Sox must recognize that they need to do a little rebuilding, and with Devers unlikely to sign an extension before hitting free agency next winter, they know it’s time to trade him.
At the same time, they’ll include Sale in the trade as a way to get his contract off the books. Despite struggling with injuries in recent years, the Dodgers will view Sale as a potential piece in the championship puzzle if he can stay healthy. It’s a risk that they’ll be willing to make in pursuit of a title. Of course, Sale will have to approve the trade to Los Angeles. But there’s no reason why he wouldn’t want to join the Dodgers and help them win a World Series.