Are the Rangers the Biggest Threat For the Dodgers in the Free Agent Market?

The Dodgers are going into the offseason with the luxury tax threshold looming over them. Their biggest threat might be coming from Texas instead of New York.

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The story has long been told the Kershaw would like to go back home to finish his career. His home in Dallas is just a short car ride away from Arlington where the Texas Rangers play. Of course his history with the Dodgers might make it hard for him to leave but people will understand if family comes first.

There’s also the question of whether the Dodgers want to offer the type of money that Kershaw will want. The Dodgers did not extend a qualifying offer to Kershaw at the end of the season which raised some eyebrows. Andrew Friedman, Dodgers General Manager, stated that they passed on the offer out of respect for Kershaw.

Texas has the advantage on paper to sign Kershaw

Either way, it seems as though the Dodgers are not likely to offer Kershaw a yearly salary of $18.45 million. It’s the smart thing to do if you’re the Dodgers right now. Kershaw ended the season with an injury so there’s some concern there. He has also missed significant time over the last few seasons.

The Rangers probably won’t mind so much since they are coming in with big pockets. The Dodgers have to be careful since they are flirting with the luxury tax threshold, at least until a suspension to Bauer is announced. The Dodgers currently have about $30 million to utilize if they want to stay below the threshold which doesn’t give them much wiggle room.

Everything is bigger in Texas, even their wallets

The Rangers on the other side have roughly $140 million they can spend before they hit the threshold… Of course this doesn’t mean that they are going to use up all $140 million. Realistically the Rangers can easily spend another $100 million. That can easily include a contract for Kershaw at $18 – $20 million for the next 2 – 4 years.

Not saying that Kershaw would immediately take that. Some teams have shown that they’re willing to overpay to bolster their staff anyway that they can. However, even if they sign Kershaw which seems like the best fit for the Rangers at the moment, they still would have about $120 million that they could spend.

The Rangers will likely be in on Chris Taylor and Corey Seager too

Then you get into the likes of Chris Taylor and Corey Seager. Chris Taylor is likely going to get a deal around $15 – $18 million a year for about 3 to 5 years. The Rangers have reportedly shown some interest in him but so have the Giants and quite a few other teams. Given his utility defense and great bat, all teams are likely to be in on him.

Corey Seager would be the dark horse that they’re after. Corey Seager is reportedly the top priority for the Yankees and their deep pockets. It will be tough for the Dodgers to match anything that the Yankees offer and even less likely to sign him if the Rangers pursue him as well.

There’s no place like… Texas?

All of these free agents have a very real chance of ending up in Texas. They have the money and Texas has always been appealing to some. If they are hoping to be competitive in the free agent market, then they will have to start signing players quick. Showing that you’re building a great team is an enticing bonus that a lot of players take seriously.

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