The Los Angeles Dodgers sure made a splash on Wednesday night, securing the services of slugging free agent Freddie Freeman to play first base.
They signed him for the next six years, for a total cost of $162 million.
The sixth year that the Dodgers gave him and the Atlanta Braves refused to include was the tie-breaker.
Now, Los Angeles has arguably the best lineup in the major leagues.
In fact, it may the best lineup each one of us has seen in a while.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is extremely impressed by his offense.
“Dave Roberts: It’s as good a lineup as I’ve ever seen,” he said, according to Bob Nightengale.
Dave Roberts: It’s as good a lineup as I’ve ever seen
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 17, 2022
Will Smith (no, not that one) is the starting catcher, with Freeman at first, Max Muncy at second, Trea Turner at shortstop, and Justin Turner at third.
Chris Taylor would be in left field, Cody Bellinger in center, and Mookie Betts in right field, with AJ Pollock available to be the designated hitter.
Taylor can also play second, sending Muncy to DH duties if necessary.
Top prospect Gavin Lux remains an alternative for the middle infield, too.
Talent And Versatility From Top To Bottom
It’s a really impressive unit, full of player with high-OBPs and lots of home run potential.
In nearly 20 years covering baseball, not sure I’ve seen a better lineup than the one the Dodgers will use this season. In some order, it’s going to be Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollock.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 17, 2022
Roberts has speed, power, contact, and several guys who can take walks, all available to him.
He can mix and match, too.
If Bellinger somehow returns to his MVP form, this lineup could be historically good.
The best we can remember is probably the 2019 Houston Astros.
The Dodgers lineup for this year is impressive. Here’s how it compares to the 2019 Astros. For the Dodgers, I’m showing the players’ actual 2021 FanGraphs WAR (fWAR) and their 2022 projected fWAR.
The 2019 Astros lineup had 35.5 fWAR vs 33.3 projected fWAR for the 2022 Dodgers. pic.twitter.com/5U5hZII678
— Tony Adams (@adams_at) March 17, 2022
That team had Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, and other stars.
If we are speaking about this year only, the Toronto Blue Jays look explosive, too.
The Dodgers’ 2022 version, however, could trump both.