There has been a lot of conversation in the blogosphere about player opting out of existing contracts. The three most readily discussed are Carlos Rodón, Xander Bogaerts, and Carlos Correa. Rodón and Bogaerts are both Scott Boras clients which makes it difficult to believe that AF will make a play for either. I cannot remember AF negotiating with Boras for one of his client’s and getting that player to sign with LAD.
At the right price (a price I am sure Boras will not agree is right) either or both players would be welcome additions to the LAD family. They COULD be positions of need depending on current LAD free agents.
Bogaerts can opt out of three years and $60MM. It is almost a slam dunk for him to opt out. I think Boras will wait to see what Turner signs for and then use that as the starting point.
Rodón can opt out of one year $22.5MM. Can he move into multiyear guaranteed 9 figure salary territory. Luis Castillo set the bar, and I am sure that Boras will do his best to exceed that barrier.
Correa has two years and $70.2MM remaining that he can opt out. I only mention this because there will be teams that may want to explore Corey Seager type contracts for Correa. I just hope and pray it is not LAD. There is no room in the Dodger clubhouse for cheaters, much less unapologetic cheaters.
But there are others who seem fairly certain to opt out of their contracts for larger paydays.
Future HOF RHSPs Jacob deGrom (1 year $33.5MM) and Justin Verlander (1 year $25MM) will be looking for Max Scherzer type contracts. Do they Dodgers look to bite here? I am guessing that is a hard no for AF.
Two other pitchers that maybe the Dodgers will take a look at. One is a back of the rotation starter and one is a potential lock down reliever (not closer).
- Taijuan Walker $6MM player option – $3MM buyout.
- Robert Suarez $5MM player option – $1MM buyout.
Walker should be able to easily surpass $3.0MM in a FA contract. Walker is three years younger than is FA RHSP Chris Bassitt, two NYM pitchers who figure to get some attention.
Suarez was a closer in Japan and has had a very good 2nd half in 2022. Since May 23, the 31 year old SDP RHRP has thrown 26.0 IP with a 1.38 ERA. He has inherited 9 runners, and only 1 has scored. He has 33 strikeouts against 12 walks, and has allowed 0 HRs. He is not going to get closer years or money, but he could get Joe Kelly years but at less than Kelly’s $8MM AAV. With the number of pitchers in the Dodgers paddocks, do they contemplate a pitcher at that level. The Dodgers will not have a reliever with more than a one year guaranty, so a 2-3 year deal will not be that onerous. As an aside, I really like this guy. I hope he opts out and signs with LAD.
Then there is the one that intrigues me the most. Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado can opt out of his final five years and $144MM. Arenado has proven that he is not a Coors Field product with his MVP level 2022 season. Freddie Freeman received a six year $162MM deal with the Dodgers, some of which is deferred making it more of a $148MM deal. Some are speculating that he could command 6 years in the Anthony Rendon $35MM AAV range for $210MM. Arenado grew up a LAD fan, but has loved his time in St. Louis and if he does decide to opt out will give the Cardinals every opportunity to re-sign him.
If the Dodgers decide to go with Lux at SS, do they replace Trea Turner’s bat with Arenado? No, it is not a position of need, but neither was Freddie. Do you turn down an opportunity to bring in a quality bat and GG like Arenado? Of course it is a long shot, but so was Freddie.
Other player options that look from the not very likely to opt out scenario to no way in H*** do they opt out.
- Anthony Rizzo – 1 year $16MM
- Jurickson Profar – 1 year $8.5MM, $1MM buyout
- Jake Odorizzi – 1 year $12.5mm, $6.25MM buyout
- Chris Sale – 2 years $55MM
- Eric Hosmer – 3 years $39MM
- Jorge Soler – 2 years $24MM
- AJ Pollock – 1 year $11MM
- Jonathan Schoop – 1 year $7.5MM
- Charlie Blackmon – 1 year $12MM
- Nick Martinez – 3 years $19.5MM, $1.5MM buyout
- Andrew Chafin – 1 year $6.5MM
There are going to be a number of FA discussions in the off season, and some of those will be as a result of some of the above players deciding to bet on themselves and opt out of guaranteed deals.
I know Bogaerts and Rodón have received some interest from LAD fans and some fans not so much interest. Are their any others that you would like to see opt out and for LAD to pursue?
MiLB Game Summary
Salt Lake Bees (LAA) 1 vs OKC Dodgers 3
This is the game many LAD fans were looking forward to with Tony Gonsolin making a rehab assignment. He was scheduled to go 2.0 innings, and he pitched 2.0 scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit, and struck out 2. He threw 27 pitches (17 strikes). If he comes out of this outing feeling good, he will be activated on October 2 or 3 against the Rockies for his final tune-up. Doc has already said that Tony will only go 4.0 IP in the NLDS. 5 pitchers followed and completed 7 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 7 Ks. Keegan Curtis pitched 2.1 innings, gave up the run, but got the win.
.@Dodgers righty Tony Gonsolin was 💪 in his first rehab start for the @okc_dodgers:
27 pitches, 17 strikes pic.twitter.com/BINNBSrbaS
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 28, 2022
OKC outhit Salt Lake 7 hits to 6, so neither team had a prolific offense. Jason Martin went 2-3 with a double (25). Omar Estévez hit his 3rd HR while Edwin Rios hit his 17th double. Ryan Noda stole his 20th base of the year.
OKC will play their final game of the year on Wednesday 11:05 AM PT. Jon Duplantier will get the starting assignment for the Dodgers.
I have interest in ALL of them.
You know who I don’t have interest in? Kimbrel.
One story I read today said that the Dodgers are not really the favorites to sign Turner. I tend to believe that. I also believe that Gavin Lux is not a MLB SS. But he is the closest thing to one the Dodgers have and they will probably give him the position if they cannot bring back Trea. The only free agent pitcher I would pursue is deGrom if he does opt out of his deal. No on Correa. JD Martinez does peak my interest as a great RH DH option. I think JT comes back for one more shot as does Kersh. Kimbrel will most likely be gone, but he will most definitely be on the playoff roster. His performance last night not withstanding, that loss was on the offense, 1-17 RISP and 14 runners left on base, and shoddy defense early and late in the game.
I think I would prefer Lux make a career out of being an All Star second basemen for the next 8 years. I’ve also seen enough of him to know he CAN play shortstop but not the way he did in high school. I can’t help but believe the Dodgers will be in play for, and secure, a free agent shortstop.
Walker Buehler. 2 TJs. Not available until ‘24. Free agent in ‘25. He’ll be 30 that year. Replacing an ace is no easy thing. But it needs to be addressed.
Trea’s career playoff line 39 games 179 PAs
.228 .274 .287 .561
You could pursue deGrom but I don’t see any way that Cohen lets him leave NY. And since he’s already stated he wants to stay with the Mets, I wouldn’t expect to see him in Dodger blue anytime soon.
Martinez has not had a very good year and he’s exclusively a DH these days. With JT, Max, Will Smith and even Vargas possibly spending time there next year, where does that leave room for JDM?
JMO, but I think Kimbrel will be definitely gone (not most likely, definitely) and I would say the odds are 50-50 at best that he’s on the post season roster. The fact that the offense had more to do with last night’s loss than Kimbrel doesn’t change the fact that he is a total coin flip every time he’s in a game. You absolutely have no idea what you’re going to get out of him. Give me Almonte or VGon and dfa Kimbrel, since he won’t be back next year. Now, let’s see which of our opinions Andrew follows. 🙂
AF called me last night after the game and asked me what I would do. I gave him my answer with solid supporting evidence which he accepted and will follow. BUT he told me not to say what they will do until they have had time to speak with the players before they make out and submit their NLDS roster.😍😍
Well, I do doubt they even get close to signing any of those guys. I happen to like JD Martinez, and I know he is not having a great year in Boston but consider the weak assed lineup he has around him. Betts, Turner and Freeman, all benefit from the fact that they have pretty good hitters in front or behind them. Smith is no .300 hitter, but he is a solid RBI and power threat. I think JT coming back is very much up in the air. I have not seen enough of Vargas to even think he will crack the starting lineup. I have seen enough of Lux playing SS to think that the throws from SS are definitely a mental block for him. Hell, his throws from second are as much an adventure as his throws from SS. Thinking V-Gone is going to come off of the IL and be effective is wishful thinking in my mind. Guys has not pitched in a competitive MLB game for a long time.
Hard to know what strength we will be at starting our run in October. We are bruised and battered in our pitching staff. None of our starters are powerful 7 innings guys. And that would be less concerning if our bullpen was at full strength. It most certainly isn’t. But, Gonsolin, May and Price might be out there. Damm. That could be several 6-9 innings taken care of. That would be cool.
One way I would try to fix Lux’s lazy throwing mechanics. Have him pitch live batting practice. This is how you throw a ball. You stand straight up, separate, and throw overhand fastballs down the middle. I’ve done that before with 14 year olds and it worked. I think it would work for him too.
That had to be fun for the hitters in batting practice.
It’s remarkably easy to throw a ball overhand as hard as you can and hit a glove chest high 60’ feet away. It’s called playing catch, and anybody that’s played this game has done exactly that before every game. Long catch is exactly that from 100’ or more. Throwing batting practice gets you to focus on accuracy. Lux has this habit of sidearming his throw with half or three quarters effort. Looks cool, but it’s a bad habit. You’re not Pat Mahomes. Stop with that sidearm sh*t. Again, get over your feet and throw overhand.
Yency Almonte has been activated and Phil Bickford has been placed on the IL with right shoulder fatigue.
I’m not thrilled giving Justin and Max one more year before the Dodgers look for longer term replacements. One of them would be insurance for Vargas at third. Too much insurance with both plus Taylor.
I’d rather put Bogaerts at third than Arenaldo. He’s younger.
Carrera cheated. We are what we do. Can I forgive him? I would hope so. He is a character and his teammates have liked him. He’s good. What does he have to say to be forgiven? What does he have to do to be forgiven? Or is it a forgive and wish him well playing MLB on any of the 29 other teams?
What does it say about us if we can’t forgive him? I typically say well that happened and move on with whatever happened in my back window. I don’t feel a need to forgive Carrera. That was yesterday. I would have to believe he was remorseful and fully habilitated to put him in my front window.
He was following orders. Who knows, maybe these guys are actually dumb enough to not realize what they did was cheating. It was just a different way of stealing signs, which has been going on in baseball since Abner was a minnow. The league didn’t really punish anybody for doing it, just like they didn’t stop players from juicing. If there are no repercussions, why wouldn’t you just go ahead and do it?
Just a lovely and great conversation about how great and amazing the Dodgers are and have been on this podcast: