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LA Dodgers on December 14 – And Where To Go From Here

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


Starting Rotation:

  • 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.




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Dodgers or the Giants? I do not think LA is even considering Rodon. Not with him wanting 7 years.


Giants and Padres are nipping at the Dodgers heels, or is it now the other way around?

Jacob Burch

Padres have more than caught us on paper. Giants are still a step behind.


If Bauer is reinstated, they absolutely have to have him in the rotation.


I think you’re right Bear. Correa in SF, Bogaerts in San Diego and Bauer in LA. Crap.

Friedman. CBT. 111 wins and beaten easily by a team that got better. I couldn’t sleep and I get up to this. I don’t feel so good.


Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your insight and detail. I always read Mark’s column and now I have two I read daily. Thanks.

Jacob Burch

Who is Mark?


LADT It is his blog,


I’m curious about a few things here that are difficult for me to get a handle on:

  1. Does Friedman have any inside information on the Bauer suspension being lifted or reduced? The way Man Fred and MLB are handling this feels to be done with the definition of extreme prejudice. Bauer may or may not (I’m leaning not) deserve this but Dodgers most certainly don’t. I believe his contract has $35 million payroll hit and a $15 million buyout. Player option and a buyout?
  1. what are Bauer’s projections for ‘23?

Depends on how many women are on the jury.


SO far none of this has come before a jury.




Well said. Write that to the commissioner’s office and add my name to it.

What about projections? Fangraphs has some decent numbers but obviously no innings pitched.

Jacob Burch

This trade is hilarious. Friedman literally acquiring a guy coming off major surgery. He just doesn’t care what the popular is, does he?


I hope not.


Typical AF trade, but read about the guys upside. He has a very low walk rate. Most were surprised the Rays DFA’d him. He is an arm for 24 and maybe late this season.

Jacob Burch

Don’t get me wrong. I love the process. Arbitrage-like. But how often do these deals help us? Duffy, Hamels, Kahnle, etc. Sometimes we get too cute.


What is “too cute” about any of those trades?

Jacob Burch

How many championships have they helped us win?

Jacob Burch

Treinen extension too. We just love handing money to injured players.


ah, this type of reasoning.

so the Astros deals are not cute, but everyone else’s moves from last year were.

Jacob Burch

ah, this type of commenter

yes, you win

i give up

our previous trades for injured players have resulted in great success, other than trea turner–whom some say choked when it counted.

joking or not?


Not all were trades. Kahnle and Hamels were signed as free agents. How many draft picks have actually been significant in any pennant run? How many rookies actually made any impact in a World Championship? Not all signings work. Neither does every trade for a star player. And the way the game is structured today, just getting there is not all that easy. And just because you do get there, then the chips have to fall correctly, and the players need to play at a high level. They should have won in 17. But we know the Astro’s pretty well knew what was coming at least in game 5 which was very pivotable. Not all injured players are going to come back as good or better than they were. This trade costs them nothing and gives them three years of control over a very good pitcher. I do not see your bitch at all.

Singing the Blue

Difference between those three guys you mention and JPF is that he has 3 years of control remaining (3 1/2 if he makes it back after the All Star break this year).


Depth. low risk high reward. Kahnle at least gave them some games. If Duffy or Hamels had been healthy who knows. It is the way AF operates. After 7 years running the team fans should understand his methods already.

Singing the Blue

I agree that this is a great trade, Jeff. It seems as though AF may be having the team take a sabbatical in 2023 and plans to come back in 2024 with both guns blazing.

After we sign Ohtani next winter, we’ll be able to add Buehler, Treinen and Feyereisen to the 2024 roster. Then we bring back Julio, having traded for Reynolds at the deadline, and we win 120 games and sweep through the playoffs undefeated.

By the way Belge has one difference from the other 86 RHP you mentioned. He throws with his left hand.  😎 


Great trade? Maybe. Both players are expected to be pitching in MLB about the same time. We’ll see.

I’m fine with moves like this but admittedly I’m far more interested in now. The Padres and giants are gearing up to dethrone us. What are we going to do to see that it doesn’t happen?


I didn’t say it wasn’t a “great trade” Jeff. The article I read said both those pitchers are likely to make it to the show at about the same time – in ‘24. We won’t know til then if it’s a great trade or not. I sure hope it works. Belge, 6’5” 225 pounds allegedly has some nasty stuff (K rate over 33%). If it can be controlled, he could be valuable. Tampa is known for developing pitching so this could work out for both teams. Could.

Rob Schelling

Not that it matters, but Belge is actually a lefty.


Briefly at 86 and then back up to 87. So close.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bumsrap

Great post.

I think it’s been reported that a Bauer decision (from MLB arbitrator, not the other stuff) is coming mid-January at the latest.

Sam Oyed

I hope you’re right. I first heard November, then December. As of right now; Month 7; Dodgers held hostage.


We shat in our bed; we should have to sleep in it.

Jacob Burch



By signing a player with kinky sex practices? Unless it’s illegal it’s nobody’s business.

I’m with Jeff on this. At first I was pissed at Bauer but the longer this goes on the more I’m getting pissed at the Commissioners office. They allow cheating to go unpunished but they are willing to severely punish both an individual player and a flagship organization for unproven accusations by a female Padre fan? Bullsh*t. Indict or back the F off. And do it now, not in mid January.


Bauer is to pitching as a new drug is to treating a health issue. It comes with warnings of side effects.

Singing the Blue

No one has come up with an answer to my question of how long Bauer would have to opt in or opt out if allowed to play this year.

My guess is that he would take about 10 minutes to opt in but I’d still like to know exactly how long he would have.


No one on the outside is sure, probably before spring training. The case has to be settled before anything can even be discussed.


Isn’t he guaranteed $35 million here? Why would he opt out? Is there anyone else, rich franchises only, that would give him multiple years at this time?

Singing the Blue

If I understand his contract terms correctly, he’s owed 32 million if he opts in, but the Dodgers pay him a 15 million buyout if he opts out. So, basically, he’d have to know someone would give him more than 17 million in order for it to make sense to opt out.

That ain’t happenin’.


At least he gets that much respect.


A true Viking! Best mullet on the planet.


Syndergaard one year 13.5 mil with incentives.


Prior is gonna love this guy.

Fred Vogel
Singing the Blue

Excellent! We have a Syndergaard-Correa rivalry to go along with the Bauer-Machado rivalry.

Gonna be an interesting 2023.


I would rather be one of the pitchers in a pitcher / hitter rivalry.


AROD was considered a better shortstop. Jeter was a winner but I don’t think he was the best defensive shortstop in any given year which is what a Gold Glove suggests. A great defensive player has to put up decent offense though to win that defensive award.

Sam Oyed

Who has the best hair, May or Syndergaard?

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