Dodgers' Updated Starting Lineup, Payroll After Chris Taylor's Reported $60M Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 21: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers waves as he leaves the field after a three homerun night to lead the Dodgers 11-2 over the Atlanta Braves during game five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost multiple notable pieces this offseason, but they reportedly kept one Wednesday.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers and Chris Taylor agreed to a four-year, $60 million contract that features a fifth-year option that could drive the value up to $73 million.

That contract will be added to a 2022 payroll that checks in as the third-highest total in the league for the upcoming season at just under $200 million, per Spotrac. Only the New York Mets and New York Yankees are higher as of Wednesday.

Here is a look at what the starting lineup could look like across the diamond for the Dodgers after bringing Taylor back:

  • C: Will Smith
  • 1B: Max Muncy
  • 2B: Chris Taylor
  • 3B: Justin Turner
  • SS: Trea Turner
  • RF: Mookie Betts
  • CF: Cody Bellinger
  • LF: AJ Pollock

The Dodgers lost pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Corey Seager in free agency, so keeping the versatile Taylor gives them something to feel good about heading into the first work stoppage since the 1994-95 season.

That versatility is one of the first things that jumps out about the 31-year-old.

He has played second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions at different times in a career that started with the Seattle Mariners before the Dodgers acquired him via trade during the 2016 campaign.

His ability to play so many different spots allows Los Angeles to mix and match its lineup depending on the opposing pitcher and keeps him in the lineup on a near-daily basis.

Taylor is coming off his first All-Star campaign when he slashed .254/.344/.438 with 20 home runs, 73 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

While there are bigger names in a lineup that also features Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Trea Turner and Justin Turner, that type of production surely convinced the National League West team to bring him back.

His past clutch performances helped, too.

Taylor was the 2017 NLCS MVP and helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series. His tendency to come through in the biggest moments was on full display in the past postseason when he launched a walk-off homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card Game and blasted three long balls in a Game 5 win over the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

The Dodgers would love to see even more of that in the 2022 playoffs if they can live up to their lofty expectations.