Dodgers Linked to 3-Time All-Star Projected to Sign $400 Million Deal

Andrew Friedman

Getty Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman could continue to add premier free agents in the near future.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to have a historically-fearsome batting order in 2024, with three former MVPs in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Shohei Ohtani leading things off.

Looking past next season, Zachary Rymer of Bleacher Report linked the Dodgers to another top bat in all of MLB, making the case for the team to sign Juan Soto after he becomes a free agent for 2025.

“Come next winter, the Dodgers should be in the market for a corner outfielder,” Rymer noted. “Soto has liked hitting at Dodger Stadium to the tune of a career .947 OPS. And if he wants to go to a place where he knows he can win, well, the Dodgers would represent his best possible bet.”

Juan Soto Would Give the Los Angeles Dodgers an Embarrassment of Riches

After heading from the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees in an offseason trade, Soto is among the favorites to win the AL MVP next season. In six big-league seasons, he has a career .284/.421/.524 slash line, making him one of the best on-base hitters of his generation.

He agreed on a record-setting $31 million contract with the Yankees to avoid arbitration, and is projected to earn a 12-year, $408 million deal after the season. Virtually every contender will seek to sign him, assuming he plays up to expectations in 2024, and Rymer noted that the New York Mets, Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs are all more likely destinations than the Dodgers.

“Even for a team with the Dodgers’ resources, having four players on $300 million contracts would be a bit much,” per Rymer. “And though they broke the mold to sign Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the team’s previous M.O. under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was to be more risk-averse toward free agency.”

Even still, it’s hard to count the Dodgers out on any premier free agent in the near future, particularly after the team has shown a willingness to shell out more than $1 billion to field a contender.

“If the Yankees are baseball’s Evil Empire, then the Dodgers are its Borg Collective,” Rymer added. “All they do is assimilate and destroy, as they’ve won close to 100 more games than any other team since 2013 and are riding the wave of a $1 billion offseason into 2024.”

If the team upgrades from outfielders Teoscar Hernández or Jason Heyward, both of whom are signed only for 2024, Soto would mark a significant leap. In eight MLB seasons, Hernández has slashed .261/.316/.486, while Heyward has a .258/.339/.410 mark across 14 seasons. 

Soto is so good, he would likely push Freeman out of the top-three in the Dodgers batting order.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Biggest Need for 2025

Projecting the Dodgers’ needs, if you can say there really are any, a premier infielder might be higher on the priority list than an outfielder — particularly as Ohtani could be giving the outfield a try soon. Though the team recently signed super-utility infielder Kiké Hernandez, they had been tied to a potential “upgrade” at shortstop for much of the offseason. 

Before 2024’s trade deadline or perhaps during the next offseason, the Dodgers may seek to bolster their superstar status at that position. Even that, however, shouldn’t totally rule out a play to add Soto to the “Borg Collective” as well.

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