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Dodgers News: LA Has Cleared Over $100 Million Off The Books; What’s Next For This Team?

The Dodgers’ non-tender of Cody Bellinger only adds to the list of pending free agents for the team, but now the club has plenty of money to work with this offseason. After cutting Bellinger, LA’s estimated payroll is at $168.7 million for next season, having freed up over $100 million from last season’s payroll.

Now the question looming is what can the front office do with all that money?

First, Clayton Kershaw will still need to be paid (his reported contract has not been officially announced). Plus, the team has interest in bringing back veteran third baseman Justin Turner, which will add to that 2023 payroll. And the team could still consider making a serious push to bring Trea Turner back.

Trea should be the top priority as it’s clear the production all over the field he was able to find won’t be so easily replicated. Perhaps the Dodgers are also opening conversations with bringing in Carlos Correa to replace Trea in the likelihood of him leaving.

The front office has indicated a willingness to lean on younger, cheaper talent from the farm system in 2023, at least on the field. But there is still a glaring need for help on the pitching side of the ledger.

The Dodgers can be inclined to throw some pitching help into the mix with many linking Justin Verlander to the ball club. Verlander is coming off his third career Cy Young award and will surely command big time money, but with the numbers so far it’s surely something the Dodgers can afford.

Of course, a possible pipe dream for many fans remains Aaron Judge coming through. This of course means there’s no way Trea comes back on a big contract and it can shift Mookie Betts to centerfield until they find someone to solidify the position.

Bringing Judge will of course move the needle, but this may not be the move the Dodgers are looking for when there are other bigger positions of need.

As usual, the spotlight will be shined brightly on LA this offseason as everyone waits in anticipation for Andrew Friedman’s next big splash.

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9 Comments

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  1. Hopefully Dodgers utilize this freed up payroll to fill positions of need mentioned above here. As of right now those farm hands mentioned still do NOT make this team post season worthy.

  2. Right now you need a power hitting outfielder, there are two or three available, you have to get one of them , Judge would be nice.. You have two ready for prime time outfielders in the minors , they should have been brought up at the start of last season, not signing outside ( experienced has beens ) and they should have played the whole season to get precious experience, i’m sure they both could have hit .200 at least. Smith can loose 10 lbs and play 3rd base he’ll hit .270 for sure. And he’ll be your backup catcher. Bring up the wizz bang catcher from the minors and let him start. Then trade Barnes .Keep Muncy on the bench or at second. Put last year’s second baseman at shortstop. You also have 2-3 minor league pitchers who are decent and available as starters or bullpen guys, they would be happy to sign either way. This team really needs a shot of vitamin-y “youth mineral” . Now all Mr. Friedman has to do is find another “front line ” starter…

  3. The team has a history of bypassing the rookies for vets on the downside of their career. Remember Mark Belanger?

  4. The Dodgers probably will not sign Judge. They will be able to fill the shortstop role and add another starting pitcher probably thru a trade. The center field situation might be a little more of a challenge. I hope that a player is not “forced” to play another position in which he is not as familiar (Mookie Betts in center). I have a hunch that Friedman has a plan.

  5. Six starting pitchers at AAA each of whom may be able to contribute to the starting rotation sometime in 2023 or at least by 2024: Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan, Michael Grove, Andre Jackson. There may be more at AA. But none should be counted on as part of the 5 starters to begin the year in April. Heaney may be the 5th starter in April, or maybe try to sign Rodon. Outman and Trace Thompson and Chris Taylor for left field and center field. Vargas, Lux, Michael Busch, Freddie as the infield, with Chris Taylor as the back-up. Kevin Pillar when there is an injury. Cartaya not until 2025. Keep under the CBT for 2023 and sign Ohtani after the 2023 season. Pages in the outfield in 2024.

  6. Stop with the Judge talk, it would be the ultimate buy high mistake. You would pay for the record year which he will never repeat. How many 6’7” outfielders have played the game well into their 30’s? They need pitching and to replace the 100 runs scored and 100 RBI’s Trea produced. The outfield should be a blend of the young guys, Mookie, CT3, and Trace. Muncy at 3, Lux SS, Amaya or CT3 at 2, FF at 1, will at catcher. The defense will be worse with pitching the primary reason, as will the offense losing Trea’s numbers. I don’t understand why they don’t make an offer to Trea and to pitchers for reduced salary in 23 to reset the cbt and make it up over the next 3 years on a 4 year deals.

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