Utilityman Chris Taylor will reject the Dodgers’ one-year, $18.4MM qualifying offer and test the open market, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (Twitter link). The Meister Sports Management client will presumably set out in search of a multi-year pact, be it with the Dodgers or another club.
That’s not at all surprising, since Taylor should be in plenty of demand. Even with draft pick compensation attached, MLBTR placed the 31-year-old sixteenth on this offseason’s list of top free agents, projecting him to land a four-year deal worth $64MM. Taylor’s ability to play essentially any non-catcher position on the diamond should make him a highly coveted player, with teams seeing him as a potential solution for weaknesses on their current roster at various positions.
While Taylor’s best known for his defensive versatility, he pairs that with strong work at the plate. The right-handed hitter strikes out a fair amount, but he also draws walks and hits for power at high clips despite spending his past few years in one of the game’s more pitcher-friendly home parks. By measure of wRC+, Taylor has been an above-average bat in each of the past five seasons. He slowed down in the second half of the 2021 campaign, but Taylor was scorching hot during the postseason to hit free agency on a high note.
If Taylor doesn’t re-sign with the Dodgers, they’ll stand to receive a compensatory draft choice. As a team that exceeded the luxury tax threshold in 2021, they’ll only add a pick after the end of the fourth round. Teams that sign Taylor (or any other qualified free agent), will surrender draft and potentially international signing bonus capital, with the extent of the forfeiture dependent on the signing club’s market size. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes broke down which picks each team would forfeit last month.