I like to take a periodic look at the LAD roster as it is constructed at the time. There has not been much of a change, and I do not expect there to be a huge change going forward. I am anxious to be surprised and wrong by that comment. I have added Jason Heyward and Shelby Miller, as both are expected to make the team out of ST as it is presently constructed.
- C – Will Smith – 2 Options
- 1B – Freddie Freeman
- 2B – Chris Taylor
- SS – Gavin Lux – 2 Options
- 3B – Miguel Vargas – 2 Options
- LF – Trayce Thompson/James Outman – 2 Options
- CF – James Outman/Trayce Thompson
- RF – Mookie Betts
- DH – Max Muncy
- C – Austin Barnes
- 2B/DH – Michael Busch – 3 Options
- Infield – Jacob Amaya – 2 Options
- OF – Jason Heyward
- Julio Urías
- Clayton Kershaw
- Tony Gonsolin – 1 Option
- Dustin May – 3 Options
- Ryan Pepiot – 2 Options
- Yency Almonte – 0 Options
- Caleb Ferguson – 2 Options
- Victor González – 2 Options
- Brusdar Graterol – 2 Options
- Daniel Hudson –
- Shelby Miller –
- Evan Phillips – 0 Options
- Alex Vesia – 2 Options
Starting Depth on 40 man:
- Michael Grove – 2 Options
- Andre Jackson – 1 Option
Reliever Depth on 40 man:
- Phil Bickford – 0 Options
- Justin Bruihl – 2 Options
- Jake Reed – 1 Options
If the Dodgers do not intend on losing Phil Bickford, they are either going to need to trade him or replace someone with options on the 26 man roster. Bickford has zero options remaining and will need to be DFA’d if he is not part of the 26 man roster at any time during the season.
Position Player Depth on 40 Man:
- Diego Cartaya
- Eddys Leonard
- Jorbit Vivas
- Andy Pages
- Jonny DeLuca
60 Day IL:
- Walker Buehler
- Blake Treinen
The Dodgers have 37 on the 40 man roster. I am speculating that Jason Heyward will get one of those spots. I am also becoming more convinced that AF does have an inkling about the outcome on the Trevor Bauer dilemma, and my guess is that he expects that Bauer will be reinstated for 2023, and that $34MM AAV will be added to the pool.
I know that it is way too early, but after losing Ryan Noda, Jose Hernandez, and Gus Varland, I do think the Dodgers have to look at who is coming up next winter for the Rule 5 draft. I continue to semi-joke about the 87 RHP the Dodgers have, and that there is no possible way they can keep and use them all. There are 8 RHSP that could conceivably be selected.
Rule 5 Eligible – 2023
- RHSP – Bobby Miller – AAA
- RHSP – Gavin Stone – AAA
- RHSP – Landon Knack – AAA
- RHSP – Nick Frasso – AA
- RHSP – Kyle Hurt – AA
- RHSP – Kendall Williams – AA
- RHSP – Edgardo Henriquez – TJ IL
- RHSP – Carlos Duran (2nd year eligible) – TJ IL
Miller and Stone will be activated onto the 40 man at some point this year, so they will come off the list. There are three other RHSP (Nick Nastrini, Emmet Sheehan, and Peter Heubeck) and two LHSP (Maddux Bruns and Ronan Kopp) on the 30 top prospect list that are not yet eligible. And if you add Pepiot, Grove, and Jackson, that makes14 RHP in the immediate pipeline. Perhaps the problem is that the Dodgers cannot afford to lose Pepiot, Miller, and Stone, and the other MLB teams are not overly impressed with the other RHP. You are not going to convince Cleveland to trade Shane Bieber or even Amed Rosario by packaging Nick Frasso, Kyle Hurt, Kendall Williams, and Maddux Bruns. Too many fans believe you can get an elite pitcher/player by packaging 4-5-6 marginal prospects whose chance of succeeding in MLB are remote.
It is clear that the LAD prospect strength is their RHP. I cannot presume which pitcher would be of interest to any other team. I never thought that Gus Varland was a pitcher with any kind of demand, and yet Milwaukee picked him up in the Rule 5 draft. But it is also clear, that the team cannot fit all of them onto the roster in the next couple of seasons.
One other developmental strategy that has befuddled me through the AF years is the relative slow pace the vast majority of prospects move through the system. Gavin Lux just turned 25, and he figures to be the second youngest player on the 26 man roster to break ST. The youngest? Miguel Vargas who is 23.
7 of my projected 13 position players on the 26 man roster are over 30. Thus the mantra of wanting to get younger and more athletic. Thus far, it does not seem to be working. Shelby Miller is 32 and Jason Heyward is 33.
Compare this to the Atlanta Braves, and how they push their prospects through:
- Ozzie Albies – 20 as a rookie – 26 in 2023 – 2 time AS
- Ronald Acuña Jr. – 20 as a rookie – 25 in 2023 – 3 time AS – ROY
- Michael Harris – 21 as a rookie – 22 in 2023 – ROY
- Vaughn Grissom – 21 as a rookie – 22 in 2023
- Austin Riley – 22 as a rookie – 26 in 2023 – 1 time AS
- Spencer Strider – 23 as a rookie – 24 in 2023 – #2 ROY
- Max Fried – 23 as a rookie – 29 in 2023 – 1 time AS
- William Contreras – 23 as a rookie – 25 in 2023 – 1 time AS
5 of the above have been All Stars; 2 have been ROY with one #2, and multiple SS and GG awards. Atlanta chose Matt Olson over Freddie Freeman (probably not by original design), but gained 4.5 years. Now they have acquired another sub 30 regular, catcher Sean Murphy, who will be 28 in 2023. The cost was in part one of the above youngsters, catcher/DH William Contreras.
Atlanta is loaded with pitching prospects. Not elite pitching after losing Kyle Muller in the Murphy trade, but good pitching depth all the same. They still need a new LF, or hope that Eddie Rosario finds that old magic again. They did trade for Sam Hilliard, but he is more of a defensive OF. They are a very young team and because of all the extensions, are controlled for years out. Max Fried is the outlier, and he has been rumored to be potentially traded. Extremely doubtful since Atlanta is in a win now mode, but it does give insight as to how the Braves wish to construct their roster.