Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Bullpen Salary Already Up Near $40 Million for 2021

It’s been a long time since the Dodgers have had a highly paid bullpen. But the combination of guys that they currently have out there is a reminder that Los Angeles can spread the money around in hopes of finding the right pieces. 

As of now, there are realistically at least 12 guys looking to compete for a spot in the Dodgers bullpen. Tommy Kahnle and Caleb Ferguson are both recovering from Tommy John surgery, so don’t include them in that number. 

After the signing of Blake Treinen, the Dodgers bullpen is now worth right around $45 million, and that’s not counting the pre-arbitration guys that will get paid league minimum. That figure is much different than in years past, given that Andrew Friedman typically prefers cheap reclamation projects to fill out his bullpen. 

And that’s not to say that Friedman hasn’t found those deals during this offseason. The trade for Corey Knebel and the signings of Kahnle, Brandon Morrow, and Jimmy Nelson could certainly be characterized that way. But this year is no doubt different for the Dodgers bullpen. 

Related: Predictions That Hernandez Will Return to the Dodgers 

In looking at their payroll, the Dodgers do seem to have three tiers of relievers. The first tier can be summarized by the contract of Kenley Jansen, set to be paid $20 million in the 2021 season. The second tier is the Joe Kelly/Blake Treinen/Corey Knebel tier, set to make a combined $21+ million.

The final tier for the Dodger bullpen is basically just everyone else. Tommy Kahnle will be paid just over $1 million for 2021 despite likely not playing, with Scott Alexander and Dylan Floro making about the same. Everyone else is set to make around league minimum or somewhere in between.

So what does that tell us? Well, the fact that Friedman has been so willing to spread the money around outside of Jansen tells us that he’s looking to protect his starting rotation and bolster the pen where he can. Who knows how many innings the starters will get to throw this year, especially mixing in David Price who took the 2020 season off. 

Whatever the case, the Dodgers will have plenty of arms ready to go for the new year. 

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Dodgers: Tommy Kahnle Hoping to Pitch in 2021 After Tommy John Surgery


  1. What you really mean is Jansen and Kelly will make 29,000,000 in the last year of their contract

    1. Yep. We should should trade both of them in a salary dump for prospects, if anyone will them. Jansen can’t close anymore, and Kelly can’t find home plate with a map.

  2. Well, if analytics are taking over and you don’t want to face batters the third time around, no one makes it through six innings so really four or five will be the rule. Thus, you need a good bullpen. Also if you want to go with the younger pitchers and some older ones as do the Dodgers, length is what you might not get most of the time. So the Dodgers are betting on the bullpen. But with other needs including a right handed hitter it seems less and less likely that the Dodgers will sign another front line starter. Maybe they can trade for one as it seems like some previously unavailable prospects might be available. But probably not.

  3. Actually at this point it’s time for Dodgers to look at getting a RHB or 2. Turner and Hernandez are both FA’S that should be replaced with other RHB instead of inserting more LHB on roster. So if not Turner or Kike then some others who may be available.

  4. I think they’re going with McKinstry and Taylor as the utility guys (provided Lux takes the next step).

    Any right handed bat will come in the form of a 3B signing…

  5. Liam Hendricks is no longer an option (writing this at 8:40 PM PST on Monday Jan 11).

    Four year deal $54 million guaranteed. Option year as well. Like the AAV; not the length…

  6. Yep, nearly $29 million of that is sunk costs in under performing assets that will come off the books before the end of the year. Without any big moves, the Dodgers will go back to the old days of a whole bunch of cheap arms trying to get outs. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but even in the old days we had a hammer for the last few outs. Right now, for $40 million, we don’t seem to have that.

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