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Dodgers recently met with free agents Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon

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Dodgers officials recently met pitcher Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon, two of the best free agents on the market, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Both players are customers of Scott Boras and have spent their entire career with the Washington Nationals, the team that beat the Dodgers from the National League Division Series in October on their way to winning the World Series.

The Dodgers have not entered a cop without a marquee more than Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen re-sign since Andrew Friedman was hired five years ago to lead the front office. That doesn't mean they haven't pursued any. The Dodgers have made offers to prominent players, only to be outbid by other teams. Last winter they met Bryce Harper and the outfielder presented an alternative for the short term. He chose to sign a $ 330 million 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

To lure Rendon or Strasburg, they probably need a more aggressive approach. The Nationals offered Rendon a seven-year deal worth $ 210 million to $ 215 million before the end of the season, according to the Washington Post, which apparently laid the foundation for its services. The Texas Rangers, who are expected to spend lavishly this winter, reportedly met Rendon. Other clubs will make their fields.

A bidding war may bring Rendon's price closer to the eight-year-old $ 260 million contract extension, fellow third baseman Nolan Arenado, of the Colorado Rockies in February.

While Arenado has set the standard for the position in the last half decade, 29-year-old Rendon has become one of the best third basemen in the majors in the last three seasons and comes out of his best year in helping the Nationals lead to a championship.

The native native hit .319 with 34 home runs and a 1,010 on-base-plus-slugging percentage while playing third base on an elite level during the regular season. He led the majors with 126 runs batted in, was called an All-Star for the first time and finished third in the National League MVP vote. He hit .328 with five home runs, eight doubles and 21 RBI's in the play-offs.

Signing of Rendon would bring Turner, the sitting third baseman of the Dodgers, to first or second base. Turner is open to change.

Washington National's third baseman Anthony Rendon waits on deck against the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series in October.

(Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

Strasburg opted for his contract with Washington with four years and $ 100 million left on days after he was named World Series MVP. The 31-year-old right-handed went 18-6 with a 3.32 earned run-average and 251 strikeouts in 209 innings during the regular season. He was even better in the play-offs and became the first pitcher to go 5-0 in an & # 39; postseason & # 39; while compiling an ERA of 1.98 with 47 strikeouts and four walks in 36 1/3 innings.

Strasburg and Gerrit Cole form the top of starting pitchers on the free-agent market. The Dodgers come forward to check in at least with Cole, another Boras customer, fresh from a dominant season in which he defeated an ERA of 2.50 and a leader 326 strikeouts. Cole is two years younger than Strasburg and costs more. The Dodgers currently have two holes in their starting rotation, with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill hitting a free agency, although Friedman has said that Julio Urías is expected to participate in the rotation next season.

In addition to re-signing Ryu, other starting pitching options on the free-agent market include Zack Wheeler, Dallas Keuchel, Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels and Kevin Gausman, who did not have a contract from the Cincinnati Reds before Monday's deadline. got. Wheeler has already been offered a $ 100 million contract, according to the Athletic. Ryu is looking for a deal of three or four years after second place in the NL Cy Young race for the Dodgers. Gausman could be used as a reliever.

The trade market still offers a pool of possibilities. The Dodgers explore them all as they did in the past. Whether the results are different this winter remains to be seen.

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