I am not altogether sure how MLB calculated Trevor Bauer’s 2022 AAV, but they have completed their review of the payroll and have reported that the Dodgers’ 2022 AAV payroll was $293.3MM, or $63.3MM in excess of the CBT threshold. Because they were a second time violator of the cap (sorry, threshold), they incurred a larger tax than did NYM. The Dodgers tax was $32.4MM. Total payroll and tax combined for 2022 was $325.7MM.
In addition to the tax, because they exceeded the threshold by more than $40MM, their first round pick has been dropped ten spots from 26 to 36. Ahh, Trevor Bauer, the gift that keeps on giving.
We continue to read that LAD is looking to get under the CBT threshold for 2023. Depending on who generates the AAV calculation for the Dodgers, LAD is anywhere from $2.7MM (Cot’s) to $4.9MM (Roster Resource and Spotrac) in excess of the threshold. That is before the Tony Gonsolin contract is agreed to and any incentive bonuses that will be earned.
In order to slip under the threshold, the team has VERY FEW options. After removing all of the silly options, we are left with perhaps three:
- Chris Taylor – $45MM remaining commitment (3 years). $41MM salary and $4MM club option buyout (2026). $12MM option
- Max Muncy – $13.5MM remaining commitment (1 year). $10MM to $14MM club option for 2024, with no buyout.
- Blake Treinen – $8MM remaining commitment (1 year). $8MM club option in 2024 with no buyout.
IMO, this is likelihood of the order of the options , IF (BIG IF), the Dodgers want to stay under the threshold for 2023. I am not convinced one way or the other. The Dodgers have nine potential free agents after 2023 that have in excess of $109MM in 2023 salaries. Of course there are some high level free agents including, Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw. Almost every other one is replaceable. Some may even be re-signed. And Kershaw may retire.
The question comes down to, is the farm system as good as they are hyped? Or will they have to go get more high priced free agents. Is Shohei Ohtani on their radar?
But next year is next year. For 2023 the pitchers and catchers are due to report to Camelback four weeks from yesterday, with the full squad due four weeks from Monday.
While the team proudly boasts versatility in their lineups, I am simple minded so I will pick one player at each position, knowing that any player can start any game and can play multiple positions.
C – Will Smith (R)
1B – Freddie Freeman (L)
2B – Gavin Lux (L)
3B – Max Muncy (L)
SS – Miguel Rojas (R)
LF – Miguel Vargas (R)
CF – Trayce Thompson (R)
RF – Mookie Betts (R)
DH – JD Martinez (R)
Bench – Austin Barnes (R), James Outman (L), Chris Taylor (R), Michael Busch (L)
Jason Heyward can push either Outman or Busch back to OKC. But he is not yet on the 40 man, so I need to exclude him here. But yes, I do think he makes the 26-man roster out of ST.
I know Badger and others have mentioned it, but I too prefer set positions. I was more than fine when the Dodgers trotted out Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey every game. Unless they were injured, Reggie Smith was in RF, Rick Monday in CF, and Dusty Baker in LF. There was no discussion of moving them around the field.
I recognize that the strategy in roster construction has changed and versatility is now the keystone of said construction, at least for the Dodgers. I recognize it, but I do not have to like it (and I do not). It seems to work in the regular season, but something doesn’t quite work in the post season.
The pitching will be fluid throughout the year in both the starting pitchers and the bullpen. As it stands now, here is the starting rotation for OKC:
- Ryan Pepiot
- Gavin Stone
- Bobby Miller
- Michael Grove
- Andre Jackson
- Landon Knack
- Nick Frasso
- Nick Nastrini
- River Ryan
- Emmet Sheehan
- John Rooney
- Lael Lockhart
- Kyle Hurt
- Kendall Williams
That is a lot of pitching at AA or above. And that does not count the bullpen.
No SS, CF, 3B in the pipeline, unless you count Bradley Zimmer and Steven Duggar. But are they really better than James Outman and Trayce Thompson? But IMO there is more than enough pitching to get something done for the other positions if they want to. That is question, isn’t it? Do they want to make any changes?
Until then, let’s start the countdown.
T minus 27 days until pitchers and catchers report to ST (February 16).
T minus 31 days until remaining squad reports to ST (February 20).
T minus 36 days until first spring training game against Milwaukee (February 25).
T minus 69 days until first game of the 2023 season (March 30).