Dodgers Lined Up for Loaded 2018 Free Agent Class

Two sayings have pretty much guided me for most of my life:

“Without change, progress is impossible.”

“Change made for the sake of change is almost always as damaging as standing idly by.”

When you think about it, the two sayings fairly well summarize the Dodgers’ offseason. They shook up their immediate future in hopes to line themselves up for a 2018 free agent class that blows away anything away we’ve ever seen in terms of level of talent potentially available to sign anywhere.

ICYMI: Teams Have Called About Outfielders’ Availability

On one hand, the Dodgers could easily have brought back Zack Greinke and contended at least for the next couple years in the same fashion they have recently behind him and Clayton Kershaw. The equation is good enough to almost guarantee a playoff spot, but ask any Dodgers fan, and they’ll tell you that isn’t enough.

In this case, the change (Greinke walking), while obviously not ideal, might be shakeup necessary to free up more fruitful spending for years to come. But was it change for the sake of change? The honest answer is we simply won’t know until we see how the contract plays out for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A better analogy for the second saying would be the signings if the Dodgers just started throwing money around as a brash reaction to Greinke’s departure. Yes, the Dodgers have resources to spend on just about anyone, but it would also preclude their activity down the road, when better bang for their buck is available.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says the free agent class could change baseball, and it’s hard to argue.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The free agent Class of 2018, as it stands, is a collection of players so good it seems impossible one market could absorb them all at once. Both MVPs from this season, Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson, will hit free agency after the 2018 season. So can the greatest pitcher of this generation, Clayton Kershaw, along with the current American League Cy Young winner (Dallas Keuchel), two of the finest arms in the big leagues (Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey) and the pitcher who just signed the biggest-money contract ever for a pitcher (David Price).

Like Kershaw and Price, Jason Heyward in 2018 can opt out of the deal he agreed to Friday for $185 million. Don’t like him in the outfield? Andrew McCutchen and Adam Jones will be available. Prefer an infielder? Manny Machado will be there and, like Harper and Fernandez, will be just 26 years old. If Heyward gets multiple $200 million offers at 26, three years from now, with revenues growing by nearly $1 billion a year, Harper, Machado and Fernandez may get a billion combined themselves.

Okay, that’s just ridiculous. Those weren’t typos. Passan meant to spell billion with a “b”. And the crazy part: Passan continued listing names for three other paragraphs. It’s well-worth your time to study up. You can bet your bottom dollar Andrew Friedman and the rest of his team his.

As it stands right now, if Kershaw opts out of his contract (he will), the Dodgers will have just $3.5 million on the books. Again, not a typo. That would quickly change if they started handing out mega deals this offseason, though.

Change for the sake of change.

So, while it’s obviously frustrating to look at the team the Dodgers might field next season, and I completely understand that perspective, fans also have to understand how vital financial flexibility will be that winter.

Watching Grienke pitch for the Diamondbacks in those hideous new uniforms will undoubtedly suck. A long-term outlook built around the names Passan mentioned in his article, however, does not.

NEXT: Zack Greinke Talks About Leaving Los Angeles

Staff Writer

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  1. First of all, someone has to do a better job of editing. The mistakes really take away from the writing.
    Secondly, I doubt half those guys make it to free agency. Teams will lock up many of them before they ever make it to the open market.

  2. Let’s face it Th Dodger’s won’t sign any of then ,and will probably let Kershaw walk,for the sake of cutting payroll , These Dodger front office weasels are content  just to be romantically involved with potential free agents, rather than signing them !

  3. As a 39 year Dodger fan, and lifelong Ohioan, I can smell the BS from 2,000 miles away! The last two summers before the trading deadline, and these Winter meetings, ‘big’ things were expected out of upper management. Hell, they even CREATED a new position to MAKE these deals. Now we’re being told to sacrifice until 2018, when all this talent will be available. BS, I’ll believe it when I see it. This ‘GROUP’ running the Dodgers has been all talk and no action…….

  4. Anthony I to call for the BS flag. What part of Atlanta West do you not understand? Kasten was hired and is implementing Atlanta West. That means spending on the Minor Organization and International Signings. Grabbing every Draft Choice possible. He has promised Guggenheim to make them huge payback on their investment. They only care about the fan base in that they have to entice us enough to continue to show up at the Stadium and buy gear. Period They do not give a rat about the fan base.
    They will do enough to compete. So they can point at the fact they are trying so they can keep the fan base coming and watching.
    Look at Atlanta in the Kasten years. Very few if any free agent deals. All the Atlanta team did was make money and that is what will happen here. Remember Atlanta in all those years of being competitive only won one WS. After coming close they never would pay the bill for a huge deal to get them over the top. It was and is all about MONEY>
    And I agree with Giant Killer most of these guys are not going to reach Free Agency. The salaries are getting to the point they will begin to flatten out as they are unsustainable. IMHO.

  5. I agree tmaxster.  And how did that work out for Atlanta? Where do the Dodgers get these guys to shill for them. Tyre told what to write and we swallow it. How exactly are we better than 2,3, or 4 years ago? I’ve forgotten.pitching is still horrible, outfield is a mess and we’re hanging our hats on the same prospects we had 3 years ago.

  6. Exactly, Look we have Kershaw, Ryu Iwakuma,McCarthy and Wood under contract for a few years. Anderson for this year. The Dodgers have according to scouting reports Holmes, Stripling, DeLeon, Cotton, Alvarez and Urias all as possible very good to top prospects. How many can you use? Last I checked you can only start about 5 right, sure you want a couple in case of injury but how many?  Evaluate who you believe has the most upside and trade the rest. You hear it all the time. The curse of potential. Say you decide to keep Urias, DeLeon and Cotton well you have a couple of Plus prospects that hopefully can net you a great pitcher NOW. Or a 3rd baseman or an Outfielder once you clear out the other guys.
    The Dodgers now are constantly stockpiling top draft picks and will have 3-5 this next draft. Plus Buehler is supposed to be very good once he recovers from Tommy John. And I did not even mention a couple of other pitchers in the Minor League Channel that are very intriguing So trade some already. My first Dodger game was as a kid. My Father brought me to a game at the Coliseum in 1958. Still have the autographed baseball. Been a Dodger fan ever since. 
    We need to win NOW. It has been 27 years,,,,
    These Nerd Boys act like they are playing Fantasy Baseball with all their Waver Wire moves and putting people on and off the 40 man roster. What a crock. This is serious quit fooling around. Last year they pick up Heisey, he is terrible they drop him and then they pick him up again?? That’s what we need another Outfielder. Jeez. 
    This year they pick up some kid named Fields 5’10” and no power and plays the OF. REALLY give us a break. Idiot Front Office Boys…
    As of right now I would say the Nationals, Cubs, & DBacks are substantially better than we are. We would be second tier with Cards, Pirates, Mets, and Giants. Not a good place to be.

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