Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
While the Los Angeles Dodgers figure to be at the forefront of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes during free agency, starting pitching and filling out their bench is also a priority this offseason.
In total, the Dodgers have 16 free agents, which includes position players Kiké Hernández, Jason Heyward, Jake Marisnick, David Peralta, Amed Rosario and Kolten Wong.
Among external options, the Dodgers reportedly have interest in signing Teoscar Hernández, according to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
One name on the Dodgers’ radar: Teoscar Hernández.
They could use a corner OF and they’ve shown interest. Hernández was a 2021 All-Star and has at least 22 HR in each full season since becoming a regular in 2018. He slashed .258/.305/.435 in 160 games for Seattle in 2023.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) November 9, 2023
Hernández is coming off somewhat of a down season with the Seattle Mariners in which he batted .258/.305/.435 with 29 doubles, 26 home runs, 93 RBI, a 106 OPS+, .317 wOBA and 105 wRC+ over 160 games.
Prior to that, Hernández had three consecutive seasons with at least an .807 on-base plus slugging percentage and 130 wRC+. The stretch included winning a Silver Slugger Award in back-to-back seasons and earning a selection to the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.
Even with some of his regression this year, the 31-year-old hit .287/.307/.511 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI across 150 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. That long has been somewhat of a weak point for the Dodgers that they’ve looked to address at the trade deadline.
This past season it amounted to completing separate deals for Kiké Hernández and Rosario.
Dodgers bench outlook
Teoscar Hernández has primarily played right field throughout his career but is capable of manning all three outfield positions. He conceivably could be slotted into right field for the Dodgers when facing a left-handed starter as that would allow for Mookie Betts to play second base.
That became a strategy the Dodgers often relied on when matched up against a right-hander, as it afforded Heyward an opportunity to start in right field.
As it currently stands, the Dodgers bench only has Austin Barnes and potentially Chris Taylor if he’s not utilized as a starter in left field.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!