Dodgers payroll suggests they could plan for massive retooling
Two offseason ago, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill left the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year it was Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Alex Wood, Jake McGee and Pedro Baez. This year there have already been Corey Seager, Max Scherzer and Corey Knebel… with Clayton Kershaw still floating in the lockout waters and the closest Kenley Jansen is expected to leave.
Are we seeing a trend as we move closer to what could be a franchise-altering offseason after 2022?
They apparently weren’t close to bidding for Seager or Scherzer and purposely let a number of valuable depth pieces go last year. Kershaw is a free agent for the first time in his Hall of Fame career.
It all sounds shocking, but when you consider the next offseason the Dodgers might be willing to let things unfold and not overtake anyone (well, other than Trevor Bauer for some reason, even if it was a short – forward contract).
Is a major Dodgers re-tool coming after the 2022 season?
Los Angeles is still embroiled in a few encouraging offseason rumors, namely the draw for Freddie Freeman and Carlos Rodón, with looser speculation linking them to Carlos Correa, but any lockdown buzz is heresy until transactions are authorized again.
And with another potential exodus of players a year from now, is it possible that the Dodgers are considering a major re-tool and be ready to let fate decide this coming season? Here is who could be absent next November:
- AJ Pollock (team option)
- Max Muncy (team option)
- Justin Turner (team option)
- Blake Treinen (team option)
- Austin barnes
- Trea turner
- David Price
Then you have the complicated case of Cody Bellinger’s final year of officiating. will it be extended? No call for tenders if it is not performing in 2022? Julio Urías will be in the same boat, but he will have many free will contenders if he is not extended. Complicated decisions never stop.
Maybe there’s a reason the Dodgers wouldn’t go more than two years for Scherzer or eight for Seager. Could we also read in that Trea Turner hasn’t been extended yet? Or that Kershaw is still a free agent? Or that manager Dave Roberts still doesn’t have a job? Of the Dodgers’ $ 282 million payroll in 2021, $ 250 million went to veteran players, and with Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor the only ones guaranteed to stay on board beyond next season outside of the Obvious guys eligible for arbitration (Walker Buehler, Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, Julio Urías and a few others), there’s a good chance that this list will be quite different over the course of the year.
If you want to hope that doesn’t happen, however, it’s that the 2023 free agent class isn’t great, so it might be too risky for LA to part with so much talent when it isn’t. there isn’t equal or better value out there.