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Julio Urías Pending Free Agency and Other Dodger Thoughts

I am through with the medical tests, and I should learn the outcome in the next 2 weeks.  The Doctors say that there does not appear to be anything for me to worry about, so I will not.  Now back to Baseball.

Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Josh Hader, and Drew Pomerantz are all free agents after this year.  And with Manny Machado probably opting out, that is $93.7MM in real contract and $84.1MM AAV  They may try to re-sign Hader.  I think they are better off letting Machado walk, moving Tatis Jr. back to SS and Bogaerts to 3B.  There will be some arbitration increases, predominantly for Juan Soto, but nothing too difficult to navigate except for Soto.

Most believe that the Pads will go all out for Ohtani.  But I do not believe they will stop there.  I believe they will do a SIGNIFICANT OVERPAY for Julio Urías.  San Diego is not shy about overpaying (See Bogaerts and Judge/Trea Turner offers).  Nothing would make that crazy ass fan base more rabid than to steal away Urías from the Dodgers.

I believe there is a real threat of Julio Urías pitching opening day for San Diego in 2024.



Something tells me that the Dodgers were embarrassed last year.  Embarrassed or pissed, makes no difference.  I think this year they will be playing with extra incentive.  I think they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.  There have been more player Dodger Stadium workouts this year than in any year I can remember.


Gavin Lux putting on 15 pounds of muscle and still working on his speed and range…every day.  Will the reward be a solid All Star level play at SS?  That is why they play the games.


Miguel Vargas has seemingly been working out at Dodger Stadium at 2B all winter.  Getting Chris Woodward to work with Vargas at 2B is a huge plus.  Will Vargas turn into a passable or better than passable defensive 2B.  I believe in his bat projections.  Miggy should be one of three top NL ROY potentials, with Corbin Carroll and Kodai Senga.  Kodai Senga with 11 years in NPB?  Remember, Hideo Nomo won ROY in 1995 after five years in NPB.


Max Muncy phasing out his revised 2022 swing to get back to the more comfortable pre-injury swing.  Having a full Winter to get in baseball playing shape, something he could not do last Winter.  Phasing out his “fix it swing” from last year:

“I’m trying to phase it out,” Muncy said. “Now that I’ve had a full offseason getting stronger and getting healthy, the past couple weeks that I’ve been starting my swing I’m doing no step back. I’m trying to make sure that I’m very cognizant of what my body is doing. I’m checking the film on it and trying to make sure I’m working downhill. It’s something that I don’t like the extra movement in the timing aspect of it, so I would like to not have to do it. But I know it’s there if I need it.”

Muncy believes that his Winter workouts, and being healthy, will make for a representative year of the All Star Max Muncy.  He had this to offer in an interview with Doug McKain:

“I really feel like one of the most important parts of being a player is the offseason. I feel like that’s where you make your most gains, and you’re able to get the most endurance for the season. And the two worst years I’ve had, last year obviously coming off the injury, but I wasn’t able to work out at all in the offseason. And then in 20, I had a really good offseason, and then we had the Covid thing, and so then it was like, well here’s three months where you’re doing a workout in the backyard, which didn’t really amount to anything. So my two worst years have come off years where I haven’t really been able to get my offseason workouts in, so I feel like that’s one of the most integral parts of being a player, is getting after it in the offseason.”

I look for Max Muncy to have one of his 30 HR and .850+ OPS seasons, and I look for the Dodgers to pick up his 2024 option.  He wants to retire as a Dodger.  Then again so did JT.


Matt Olson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, Sean Murphy, and Spencer Strider.  What do they have in common?  I mean other than being members of the Atlanta Braves.   They have all signed long term deals before their free agency platform seasons. Most were pre-arbitration deals that went through multiple free agency years, while two they acquired via trade with Oakland were in their arbitration years.

This is the new contract strategy of Alex Anthopoulos.

  • Matt Olson – $168MM for 8 years, with a $20MM club option (2030)
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. – $100MM for 8 years with two $17MM club options (2027 and 2028).
  • Austin Riley – $212MM for 10 years with a $20MM club option (2033)
  • Ozzie Albies – $35MM for 7 years with two $7MM club options (2026 and 2027)
  • Michael Harris II – $72MM for 8 years with two club options: $15MM (2031) and $20MM (2032)
  • Sean Murphy – $73MM for 6 years, with a $15MM club option (2029)
  • Spencer Strider – $75MM for 6 years with a $22MM club option (2029)

Missing from that list is Max Fried who has two arbitration years remaining.  He has submitted a $15MM 2023 salary vs Atlanta’s $13.5MM.

Atlanta has never exceeded the CBT threshold.  They are projected to surpass it this year if Fried wins his arbitration.  They have never made any comment indicating that they will not surpass the threshold.  So I would not expect Fried to be moved for salary saving purposes.  They are still a favored NL pennant contender, so Fried will be needed.

What does this have anything to do with the Dodgers?  Will Smith is a perfect extension candidate, and there are multiple comps for the both the Dodgers and Smith’s agent to ponder.

The Athletic just did an outstanding article on what a Will Smith’s extension would look like.  Very few catchers have gotten off to a better start to their career than has Will.  fWAR totals in pre-arbitration years:

  • Buster Posey – 15.8
  • Russell Martin – 15.8
  • Brian McCann – 14.9
  • Will Smith – 14.8
  • Sean Murphy – 13.4
  • Yasmani Grandal – 12.8
  • Joe Maurer – 10.4
  • Willson Contreras – 8.3
  • Salvador Perez – 7.1

The most recent and probably most pertinent comp would be Sean Murphy.  Murphy and Smith were both in their year 1 arbitration in 2023.  Murphy got a 6 year extension for a guaranteed $73MM and a club option for a 7th year at $15MM with no buyout.

The Athletic projects that a fair market extension would be 6 years for $84MM with a club option for a 7th year for $17.5MM and a $2MM buyout.  That would be $86MM guaranteed or $13MM more than Murphy. Based on Smith’s better fWAR, $13MM is a fair increase over Murphy.  For those of you who have a subscription to The Athletic, I heartily recommend the article.

That is $14.333 AAV for a projected Smith extension.  Willson Contreras just signed a 5 year deal for a guaranteed $87.5MM or $17.5MM AAV.  Will Smith want to wait until his FA to try and outdo Contreras, or could Smith be convinced that $86MM guarantee is a sweet enough deal.  Are the Dodgers open to a fair market extension for one of their prized “kids”?  Is 6 years too much?




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I hope we beat some ass this year. I was embarrassed too.


I concur. I was not embarrassed, Been watching the game too long to assume anything; Just simply reminded me of the meltdown in 2019. If the Dodgers were embarrassed, then so were the Braves and Mets. The Mets lost to the Pads and the Braves were beaten by a 80 something win team.


I think you are spot on about the chip on their shoulder. I think fans are underestimating the desire of guys like Thompson and Heyward. Both of whom in my opinion are going to be a huge part of the Dodger plan. I think moving Geren from bench coach to field coordinator was a move designed to get some fresh views on the bench. Geren may have even requested the move, who knows. Padres want to beat the Dodgers so badly they are capable of any move. But they are running out of assets in the minors. They have traded some of their better prospects. And while their bullpen and offense are pretty formidable, their starting pitching past the big three is questionable. I think Urias is gone simply because Boras is his agent. Scott does not play well with others.

Singing the Blue

Glad to hear your doc said things look good so far. Waiting for test results is never fun.

Totally agree on the possibility of Julio winding up in SD. They will certainly go after him hard.

Just a thought but if Smith thinks the Dodgers future will probably involve Cartaya doing a lot of catching, he might not be anxious to sign an extension. Might prefer to go somewhere that will allow him to catch most of the time rather than spending a lot of time at DH or 3B.


I am not very optimistic about resigning Urias after this season. Should have extended him 2 or 3 years ago for 6 or 7 years.


Hi Jeff, glad you are doing OK. Hope everything works out for you.

I did not mean to give Urias an extension 6 or 7 years ago. I meant to give him an extension 2 or 3 years ago for 5-7 years.


Takes two to tango.


I hope Smith and Dodgers can agree on an extension. I would like for him to mimic Buster Posey’s career.

It is interesting to see the pay comparison between the best third basemen and the best catchers. Shredder says Smith is the second best catcher and yet his AAV for extension purposes is $13.5MM. Arenado, Machado, Devers to name a few make more than three times that amount.

Now that Vargas is projected to be a second baseman there seems to be a void long term at third base. If Smith were able to defend third or even better be a plus defender at third and Cartaya or Rushing continue to move toward the Majors, I don’t know why Smith would not be in the picture long range for third.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bumsrap

the Dodgers did not believe in him as a 3B enough to keep Ruiz.

or, was it that they didn’t think enough of Ruiz to make him catcher?

Not disagreeing but the Dodgers needed a catcher so why would they have given Smith the Vargas treatment to help him become a 3rd baseman?

I’mgood with Smith behind the plate/DH for the next 5+ years with Rushing or Cartaya as backup/DH and trading Cartaya/Rushing for a 3rd baseman.


A few days ago I shared a thought that the Giants would be the team that signed Machado if he opted out after this year and that the Padres would then move Bogaarts to third and Tatis back to short. I also ventured to say that the Padres would trade Soto and then go after Ohtani.

I hadn’t thought about the Padres going after Urias. Although I think Urias fully appreciates how the Dodgers took care of him and Boras has said that himself, if the Padres overpaid it would be very hard for Urias to stay with the Dodgers even if he really wanted to do so.

I think the Angels will also go hard for Urias.

Singing the Blue

I would agree that the Angels and Padres will probably be our main competitors for re-signing Julio.

With absolutely no facts to back up my opinion, I have come to the conclusion that he would like to be playing in a west coast city that would keep him fairly close to his family in Mexico.

Actually Arizona and Texas would qualify also so that would add the D’backs, Rangers and Astros to the mix, with the D’backs probably not being willing/able to spend that kind of money and the Astros possibly not needing a starter badly enough to pay that much. Now we’re down to LAD/LAA/SD/Tex.


Knack will be AA ace.

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