Dodgers Team News

Dodgers: Columnist Argues Team Needs To Be All-In During Mookie and Freddie’s Prime

There have been rumblings from the Dodgers — first from president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, and then from CEO Stan Kasten — that L.A. might embark on somewhat of a youth movement in 2023. Los Angeles has consistently had one of the top farm systems in baseball along with a sustained record of excellence at the big-league level, and the thinking is they could let some of those young players get experience in the majors to set them up for the future, which would also allow them to get below the luxury tax in 2023 and reset the escalating penalties that come with being a repeat o-spender.

Los Angeles Times writer Dylan Hernandez was on AM570 last week making the case that now would be the wrong time to go with a youth movement.

“My only issue with this is when I look at Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, they’re in the best part of their careers probably within top 10 best players in MLB right now. They’re on the other side of 30. the number of years you have with them playing like they are is diminishing. Maybe two more years of them playing at this level? Maybe this is the year you kind of push in. My guess is that they will probably wait until July to make these determinations. But there is a risk you strike out then. So I say you go for it now.”

Hernandez makes a decent point that L.A. should go for it while Mookie and Freddie are in their primes. I suspect, though, that the Dodgers don’t necessarily agree with Dylan on the short duration of those primes, which could play into their thinking. By getting under the luxury tax in 2023, they would reset their penalties and hopefully identify a few MLB-ready talents to form the next wave of young stars, giving themselves more financial flexibility to supplement the team in free agency down the road if/when Freeman and Betts need more help.

It’s important to remember we’re not talking about a fire sale here. We’re talking about L.A. dropping down to, like, third or fourth in the league in payroll for a year. The Dodgers would be favorites in the NL West next year even if they did nothing else this offseason, and they won’t do nothing. They’re in a position to “go for it” and get below the luxury tax, if they so choose.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

One Comment

  1. It’s been obvious since they let TA go for nothing that all this Judge, Verlander, Correa, Xander etc talk was bs. They are resetting the cbt, see what kids are ready, no closer, going cheap this year. Make a run at Ohtani next year. Problem is if things don’t work out the Angels may be a better team by then.

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