The Los Angeles Dodgers went to a free agency last season to face the prospect of a major turnover on the roster. While they lost the likes of Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly and Corey Seeger, among others, the Dodgers re-signed Clayton Kershaw and added Freddy Freeman.
Signing Freeman on a six-year contract was a huge boon for the Dodgers as his left racket helped make up for Seager’s loss. Freeman joined a star-studded group of center players and raised the lofty expectations of the Dodgers.
It’s a position the organization has been in over the past few years, one of which has included winning a world championship amid one of the most memorable seasons in MLB history.
When discussing the expectations and expectations the Dodgers have been facing recently, Kershaw said the team welcomes those and understands that they can’t rely solely on the names on their talent roster, via Bob Nightingale of USA Today:
Three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw said, “You can’t assume that because we have nine of the best players in the game every day, that we’re going to win. We have to come together as a team. …” Obviously expectations are higher now, but that’s what We want it.”
The drop models heading into the 2022 regular season had the Dodgers winning more than 100 games and producing the highest running total of any team. Even with some players getting off to a slow start, the lineup showed its ability for different stretches.
Kershaw also made his turn before entering the 10-day hit list last month for right SI arthritis as he went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA through five starts.
The Dodgers make MLB history
By signing with Freeman, the Dodgers have four former MVPs on their roster. They are only the fifth team in MLB history to boast such talent at one time.
Freeman, the 2020 NBA Most Valuable Player, joins Cody Bellinger (2019 NL MVP), Mookie Betts (2018 American League MVP), and Kershaw (2014 NL MVP) as the award-winning Dodgers.
The Dodgers also achieved this feat last season when they signed future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols once he was released by the L.A. Angels. No team has five or more former players on the Top Players list.
The Dodgers can claim to be the only team to have four MVP winners on their roster in consecutive seasons.
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