As the season has ended abruptly there are going to be cases of players that would be better off leaving the Dodgers. I did a similar article last year. This isn’t necessarily about benefiting the Dodgers but looking out for the players’ best interest first and foremost. The Dodgers have a lot of depth both at the major league level and all the way thought the minor leagues. For some, a new opportunity could greatly benefit a player.
First up, Kenley will not opt out of his contract. He would not come close to getting 2/$38M on the open market. A combination of his performance and playoff usage indicates that he is on the outs with the Dodgers. My guess is that he will not be the closer for the Dodgers in 2020 and that will be a source of frustration for him. After the 2020 season he will also be able to veto a trade.
Now — for the good of everybody — is the time to trade Kenley. Either it will be for another large contract and/or will be a trade where money is thrown in by the Dodgers to get some prospects. Look at the Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp trade to the Reds as an example.
Kenley Jansen has the body language of a closer who was just brought on the field down 7-3 in the top of the 10th after watching his team surrender a 3-1 lead in the 8th.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 10, 2019
I included Ross last year. He’s a player who just seems to be held back by the Dodgers. They won’t make him a starter so he bounces back and forth between starting and relieving. I think he can be a very good starting pitcher if given the chance. He could be a bargain for some team as his projected arbitration number is $2.3M. Stripling deserves a chance to make his mark in his career with another team if the Dodgers won’t let him.
Julio is one of the top starting pitching candidates for the Dodgers but the 2019 season was awful for him. Yes, he had his innings limit but the domestic violence issue during the season means he’s no longer that “golden prospect.” I think he’ll end up staying with the Dodgers in 2020 but I don’t believe he is untouchable anymore. I could see him benefiting from a change of scenery as it is hoped he does not repeat any of the domestic violence issues.
This Julio Urias slider was FILTHY pic.twitter.com/0xTHp0gNOz
— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) April 2, 2019
With the Dodgers only using Barnes for 6 plate appearances in September, the writing seems to be on the wall. Barnes seems to have fallen off the radar for the Dodgers. Believe it or not, he will be 30 years old next season and he will get around $1.3M in arbitration. With Will Smith being the starter and Keibert Ruiz coming soon, Barnes will not get much playing time. Nobody would benefit for a change of scenery more than Barnes.
Some would say that Kiké has had more than enough chances to become a starter. I am not so sure. Has he ever been given more than a two month trial as a starter? The Dodgers have brought in other second basemen to be starters and have given them much longer leashes. He will be 29 years old in 2020 and is going to make around $5.5M from arbitration. He will be a free agent after the 2020 season. The best way for Hernandez to make the most money in free agency is to play every day. Will the Dodgers give him one more chance to do that? If not, then they should consider trading him or signing him to a 3 year contract for about $18M.
¡KIKE "CLUTCH" HERNÁNDEZ! ?? @kikehndez
TREMENDO cuadrangular del nuestro en los playoffs! ?
También dominando en la defensa con una tremenda atrada. ?
?: MLB pic.twitter.com/HURqK1OdNP
— Béisbol de Puerto Rico (@beisboldepr) October 10, 2019
Seager had a nice bounce back season after missing 2018 with two major surgeries. I include him here because he is two years away from free agency, his agent is Scott Boras and his salary demands for a long-term contract could be prohibitive. We also don’t know if the Dodgers want to have him shift positions. His approach as the plate also seems to be directly opposite of what the Dodgers preach to their hitters. MLB Trade Rumors has Seager making $7.1M next season but I’m guessing it will be close to $10M. I hope that Seager is a Dodger for life but I can see him being better off with a team that suits his style as a ball player. If the Dodgers were to get full value in a trade for Seager, having two years before free agency would be the best scenario.
Corey Seager was scorching in September. He finished 2019 with 44 doubles, tied for the NL lead with NLDS opponent Anthony Rendon. #Dodgers–#Nats should be an AWESOME series. Buehler vs Corbin Thursday in Game 1. https://t.co/IbjfJoZk7K #postseason pic.twitter.com/Qy9dxuu8sc
— Stephen Nelson (@StephenNelson) October 3, 2019
I never totally understood the Pollock signing and his first year was a mixed bag. He had some decent numbers (.266/.327/.468 (AVG/OBP/SLG)) but missed over two months of the season with injuries. I see the projected outfield as having Joc Pederson and a platoon mate in LF, Cody Bellinger in CF and Alex Verdugo in RF. The only spot I see for Pollock is as the right-handed platoon mate for Pederson. I believe his contract is moveable and that he still has value. It is probably good for both parties to move on.
I included Joc in my article last year. This year it is with a different tone as I like the improvements Joc made this season. Pederson is now just one year away from free agency and he should get around $9M from arbitration this season for his age 28 season. If I were the Dodgers I’d offer him a 3 year/$30M contract. If he takes it, excellent. If not, it is much better to get some quality for him in a trade before they get nothing for him.
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) October 10, 2019
All of the players mentioned above can be key players for the Dodgers in 2020. However, a change of scenery might help these players either blossom or re-establish themselves. All players have a relatively short period of time to cash in on all of their hard work and success. The players who haven’t gotten paid to their potential, I want to see get paid. The players who have been derailed, I want to see them get a chance to get back to their former selves. Most importantly, players that have not been given a full shot at fulfilling their potential, deserve that chance.