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The 2021 Dodgers promise to look a lot like the 2020 World Series champions

By Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

ARLINGTON, Texas — The final chapter has been completed. A saga 32 years in the making has finally drawn to an end.

The Los Angeles Dodgers World Series title Tuesday night closed the book on a championship chase that lasted for more than three decades. The next volume of their story is where the intrigue now lays.

On Tuesday night, the Dodgers hadn't begun thinking that far ahead. They wanted to savor the moment, appreciate this year's team on their climatic day.

"I've been on some great teams, but this team was really, really special," Clayton Kershaw said. "All the way through. Every faction of our team. Offense, defense, starters, bullpen, there have been so many amazing people, talent, guys that play their roles so well."

He added, "This is the best team I've ever been a part of. We won the World Series. Best team I've ever been on."

It's possible the next few years might be the same way, with most of the team's championship core seemingly cemented in place.

 

Consider the Dodgers' contracts: Of the nine starters in the team's Game 6 lineup Tuesday, Justin Turner is the lone free agent this winter, joining Kike Hernandez and Joc Pederson as the only three position players on the World Series roster now with expired contracts.

Corey Seager and Chris Taylor are signed through 2021. Everyone else is tied to the Dodgers through at least 2022, with Mookie Betts (2032), Will Smith (2026), Cody Bellinger (2024) locked down even longer.

The team's entire starting rotation not only will be back next season, but should get a boost from the return of David Price after he opted out this year. The bullpen could lose free agents Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, Alex Wood and Jake McGee — the first three of whom pitched important innings in the Dodgers' final two World Series wins — but the team also discovered dependable young arms such as Brusdar Graterol and Victor Gonzalez this October.

Several more young players appear to be on the verge of a big league breakthrough. Infielder Gavin Lux and catcher Keibert Ruiz chipped in during the Dodgers' 43-17 regular season. Promising 22-year-old pitcher Josiah Gray spent the summer developing at the team's alternate training site. And even with Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Edwin Rios now considered full-time MLB players, the Dodgers' farm system was ranked No. 11 in the majors by MLB Pipeline

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