Will The Los Angeles Dodgers Land A Top Free Agent?

Will The Los Angeles Dodgers Land A Top Free Agent?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The L.A. Dodgers, as always, are expected to be interesting bidders in Major League Baseball’s offseason free agency market. But what do you get for a team that won 100 games in the regular season but got themselves waxed three-nil in the opening series of the postseason by a team that had won just 84 games?  A reservation at a meditation retreat, perhaps?

Smarminess aside, the Dodgers have always been willing to reload regardless of their many previous disappointments. But scoring a total of six runs in those three postseason defeats to the Arizona Diamondbacks might have the Dodgers thinking about some offense – despite scoring 906 runs in the regular season.

BetCalifornia.com sized up the Dodgers’ situation, analyzed the baseball free agent market, and developed hypothetical odds - odds you wouldn't find on California betting apps - of Los Angeles landing one or more of the top FAs. Unlike the NFL where free agency is a land rush for talent, baseball’s free agency has a more languid pace so, it will be a while before the results are in.

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Dodgers Free Agent Odds

Free Agent Odds Percentage
Shohei Otani, DH-P +100 50.0%
Matt Chapman, 3B +160 38.5%
J.D. Martinez, DH* +250 28.6%
Yoshinobu Yamamoto, P** +350 22.2%
Other -175 63.6%
* Was on Dodgers’ roster in 2023. **Played in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2023. Career 70-29.

Dodgers Offseason Decisions

The Dodgers have some soul-searching to do. Arizona, despite a tepid regular season, captured the NL pennant. The World Series winner, the Texas Rangers,  had an okay 90-72 season, qualified as a Wild Card, and took out the 101-win Baltimore Orioles on their way to the World Championship. All of which has the baseball intelligentsia wondering whether it’s even advisable to build a team that can win 100 or so games when 90 victories (or as the D-backs proved, even 84)  can get you to the threshold of a World Series title.

Such ruminations are pertinent because this offseason will likely yield the most expensive free agent sweepstakes of all time as the amazing Shohei Ohtani hits the free agent market with a Powerball-sized contract waiting for him. Speculation on Ohtani’s prospective deal floats in the stratosphere of $350 million to $700 million, depending on contract length.

If the Dodgers decide to play in that ultra-expensive sandbox, they probably have the treasure chest to do it. As it stands, Ohtani, coming off an elbow procedure, will be more hitter than pitcher next season, which is OK for the Dodgers – remember those six runs in their three postseason losses.

Among the list are a couple of surprises. One could be the return of comeback kid first baseman-outfield Cody Bellinger, who had a strong season in 2023 with the Chicago Cubs. The other would be the re-signing (in the event they don’t get Ohtani) of designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who had 33 home runs in just 113 games last season.  

So here are the Dodgers’  hypothetical odds of landing some of the top available free agents.  Percentages do not total 100% because signing one player doesn’t preclude signing another. The odds and percentages are a team’s chances of signing a player among the 30 MLB teams.

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Bill Ordine
Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist & Opinion Columnist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetCalifornia.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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