LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - The Los Angeles Dodgers are bringing back one of their key pieces in utilityman Chris Taylor.
Taylor was one of the Dodger's most sought after former players turned free agent this offseason, thank especially to his versatility on the diamond. Taylor can play virtually every position with the exception of first base and catcher.
The financial deals of the term were not yet readily available at the time of the first reports, according to both Jeff Passan of ESPN and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Later reports, again via Rosenthal, indicated that the deal is for four years, and $60 million. There is a fifth-year option that could make the deal worth an additional $13 million - bringing the grand total to $73 million for the man often referred to by fans as CT3.
He continued on to say that money wasn't a driving factor in negotiations for Taylor, he wanted to stay in Los Angeles.
Taylor did however receive a qualifying offer from the Dodgers following the end of the 2021 season, which he denied to test the free agent market.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated third baseman Sheldon Neuse on Wednesday. They acquired Neuse from the Oakland Athletics heading into the 2021 season, he spent most of the year with the Dodgers AAA-Affiliate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, but in his time in the big leagues (33 games), he hit .182 with three home runs and four RBIs.
In 2021, Taylor split time between six different positions on the field: centerfield (61 games), second base (46), left field (30), shortstop (23), third base (11) and right field (8), often fielding multiple positions within the same game.
Taylor figures to slot in a platoon role at second base with Gavin Lux, after the Dodgers lost shortstop Corey Seager to the Texas Rangers in free agency. Trea Turner, who the team acquired at the trade deadline last season will likely transition back to his natural position at shortstop, leaving second base back up for grabs.
He was one of the most consistent hitters on the team in 2021, earning his first All-Star berth. He hit twenty home runs and drove in 73 runs while adding 13 stolen bases - good for first on the Dodgers roster. His slash line sat at a very respectable .254/.344/.438.
Taylor's greatest moments this year came in October, as Los Angeles fans have grown accustomed to during his time with the Boys in Blue. Taylor hit a walk-off two-run home run off of Alex Reyes of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card game, sending the Dodgers to the National League Division Series.
After the Dodgers sent the San Francisco Giants home, they advanced to the National League Championship Series, where Taylor would hit .476 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He had ten hits and three stolen bases over the six games against the Atlanta Braves. His Game 5 performance will go down in the baseball lore, as he would lead an 11-run onslaught for the Dodgers - hitting three home runs and driving in six. He is the first player in Major League history to have three homers in a postseason elimination game.
Taylor was also awarded the 2017 National League Championship MVP in a five-game series against the Chicago Cubs - where he hit .316 with two home runs, three RBIs and one triple - adding five walks for a .458 on-base percentage.
He was also, of course, on the World Series Championship team in 2020.
Taylor was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. He would break into the bigs in 2014 and 2015 in small capacities before getting traded to the Dodgers in 2016.
They acquired CT3, now 31, from the Mariners for pitcher Zach Lee, who hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2017, making only four appearances in two short MLB tenures. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto would go on to call that deal "the worst I've ever made," according to The Seattle Times.
Since then, Taylor has become a fan favorite in Los Angeles, playing nearly every game for the Dodgers over the last five years.
Over his career, Taylor has hit 79 homers and driven in 309 runs. His career WAR is 15.1.
The move is good news in a week that has been anything but that for the Dodgers franchise, as they lost superstar pitcher Max Scherzer and longtime shortstop Corey Seager to free agency on Monday.
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