The Dodgers have an agreement in place to bring free agent utility player Chris Taylor back to Los Angeles, per a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Wednesday. ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report that the two sides were moving toward a deal. The term and financial details of the agreement still have not yet been reported.
Free-agent superutilityman Chris Taylor and the Dodgers are in agreement, pending a physical, according to a major-league source.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2021
Taylor, 31, is one of the top multi-position players in the game, and retaining him is a big win for the Dodgers after they lost Max Scherzer and Corey Seager to free agency. Taylor made his first All-Star team in 2021, posting a .254/.344/.438 slash line with 20 homers, 73 RBI, and 13 stolen bases. He hit a walk-off homer in the NL Wild Card game to send the Dodgers to the NLDS, and he posted a ridiculous .476/.542/1.048 slash line with three homers in the NLCS.
There are a couple developments that could cause Turner to open 2022 in a more stable role than he’s had in the past. First baseman Max Muncy may begin the season on the injured list, which could cause Cody Bellinger to move to first base and Taylor to start the season as the Dodgers’ everyday center fielder (or Gavin Lux to play center field with Taylor at second base). Unless Muncy is healthy enough to begin the season as a DH, Justin Turner may be the Dodgers’ most logical designated hitter option if the universal DH is instituted in 2022, so Taylor could also see more time at third base next season.
Taylor, who had a 2.6 rWAR in 2022, has played every position except pitcher, catcher, and first base in the majors and played all six of those positions in 2021.