A Look at Several Possible Non-Tender Candidates

(Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

With the offseason seemingly moving along at a very swift pace, Monday presents another deadline when the front office crew of the Dodgers will need to make a few decisions as far as player contracts go.

The Dodgers have 12 total players who are arbitration eligible this year, and December 2 at 8:00 PM Eastern time is the deadline to tender all these players a contract for 2020.

Right off the top, two players stand out as being on the bubble—lefty reliever Scott Alexander and right-handed reliever Yimi Garcia.

Neither player made the 2019 NLDS roster. The 30-year-old Alexander was fighting a few injuries for the second half of 2019, with his primary ailment being some apparent ligament damage in his forearm. Nerve trouble in his thumb compounded his injuries which saw him spend a total of 114 days on the injured list.

On August 2, Alexander was moved to the 60-day IL to make room for Dustin May, virtually ending his season.

When he was healthy last year, he appeared in 28 games and threw 17-1/3 innings, producing a 3.63 ERA alongside nine strikeouts and seven walks.

Alexander has always been known as a ground-ball machine, but he was skipper Dave Robherts’ LOOGY of choice before the arrival of southpaw Adam Kolarek. With the new rules surrounding the minimum batters a reliever must face along with the presence of Kolarek, there could be a chance the Dodgers decide to pass on Alexander.

The native of Santa Rosa earned $575,000 last season. Spotrac has him projected at $1 million for 2020.

Garcia fought an uphill battle from the beginning of spring training, as the righty had no options remaining on his contract, meaning that he needed to hold a spot on the team’s 25-man roster all season—a feat which he accomplished until the playoffs arrived.

In all, the 29-year-old Garcia made 64 appearances—often in low-leverage situations—posting a 3.61 ERA with 66 punchouts over 62-1/3 innings. A few of his peripherals were very interesting, however. Specifically, his WHIP was 0.886 and his FIP was 5.19, as made evident for his propensity to surrender the long ball.

Yimi gave up 15 total homers last year, which was first on the team among all relievers. Ross Stripling was second with 11 and Kenley Jansen was third with nine.

Garcia has always been heralded for his superior spin rate, but his lack of consistent command has forever been his biggest downfall. Depending on whether the management team of the Dodgers envisions some of the youngsters as starters, relievers or both (May, Tony Gonsolin and Caleb Ferguson, for example) space could be at a premium for pitchers.

Last year, Garcia earned $710,000. Spotrac has his 2020 projected salary at $1.1 million.

One final player who could be close to the bubble is catcher Austin Barnes, especially if the team plans to find another backstop to pair with Will Smith.

In 2019, Barnes hit just .203/.293/.340 in 75 games after slashing .205/.329/.290 over 100 appearances in 2018. Perhaps the worst part of his stats was that 18 of 23 runners were successful stealing bases while he was on duty behind the plate.

I’ve gone on record as saying that I think Barnes will backup Smith to begin the 2020 season, while the team keeps a close eye on Keibert Ruiz at Triple-A OKC to get a feel for the 21-year-old switch-hitter’s big league arrival time.

Barnes earned $451,000 last season and is projected to make $1.3 million in 2020.

The other nine players facing potential arbitration this year are Stripling, Joc Pederson, Pedro Baez, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Julio Urias.

Looking ahead, one other thing to keep in mind is that the Dodgers would need to make a few roster adjustments if they decide to participate in the major league portion of this year’s Rule 5 draft, which falls on December 12—the final day of the 2019 Winter Meetings.

As it stands now, the club’s 40-man roster is full.


31 thoughts on “A Look at Several Possible Non-Tender Candidates

  1. Do we think AF has interest in Treinen? The A’s certainly won’t want to pay him 8 mil after the year he just had. I’m sure they’ll try to find a trade by Monday rather than just non-tender him. No clue what teams might offer. How about if we put a couple of the guys you just mentioned (maybe Yimi and Alexander or Chargois) into a trade for Treinen? It’s a gamble because he might have another year like his 2019 but we could save around 2 mil by moving a couple of the pitchers I mentioned and the A’s might be willing to keep them on their roster.
    By the way Dennis (or anyone else), where’s a good site to check on remaining player options?


      1. Thanks Dennis. I think you’ve mentioned them before but I forgot about them. They have some good stuff there.


      2. Barnes, Yimi, Chargois, Sadler and White all showing with 0.
        I thought that Alexander had 2 remaining options when we got him in January of 2018 and I thought he was optioned in both 2018 and 2019 so that would mean he was down to 0 but Roster Resource shows him with 2. I assume they’re right and I’m wrong. Maybe he just spent a lot of time on the DL and not in OKC.


  2. Get rid of them all….the Bear has spoken…..this is the kind of lame statement AF makes that drives me bonkers, we are HOPEFUL of doing something significant through free agency or trade. Hopeful? With the talent in the system, you can get pretty much what you need anytime, and you have 40 plus million to spend, and you are only hopeful? New story out says that the Indians are not targeting Seager in a trade for Lindor…their real target, Gavin Lux.


    1. A friend of mine with whom I went to college is pretty close with a couple execs in the Cleveland front office. Told me they would possibly settle for Lux, Dustin May and Keibert Ruiz, but anything less probably wouldn’t be worth their time. And that’s just for Lindor. I’m not kidding.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d feel guilty taking advantage of them like that. I think we should add Buehler, Verdugo and Bellinger to even it out a little. Whether or not your friend is correct, it would be ridiculous for the Indians to trade Lindor other than for a real haul and it would be ridiculous for anyone to give them a real haul for only 2 years of Lindor. Therefore: probably no trade.


      2. Exactly. Four-time All-Star, two silver sluggers and two gold gloves. Hit 30+ homers three consecutive seasons and stole more than 20 bases over the last two. And he bats from both sides of the plate. Aside from Buehler and Bellinger, there’s a chance most of those guys we mentioned will never become All-Stars. That’s their line of thinking, anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We owe a lot of money to players over the age of 31.

        Those 3 players for Lindor is, in my opinion, absurd. Lux looks like another Seager. May has #2 potential and Ruiz is the third best catching prospect in baseball. Lindor is good but as I mentioned before, he put up 4.7 WAR in 654 plate appearances. An injured Seager put up 4 WAR in 541 plate appearances. Granted, Lindor was better the year before, age 24, but we are seeing a lot players peak younger. If what Dennis’ friend says is true Cleveland is acting like Lindor is Anthony Rendon. Lindor was 43rd in WAR this year and is a free agent after ‘21. By that time he will be 28 and likely not to put up what he did ‘17 and ‘18. If it’s me I tell Cleveland to call back when they get realistic about their demands.


      4. Seager had his best year at age 22. He’s been banged up quite a bit since then. If he can stay on the field he can put up 5+ WAR again. I wonder where his head is at this off season. He’s still arb eligible, on the same FA path as Lindor, so for him to cash in on free agency he’s got 2 seasons to prove he’s not injury prone. I look forward to a productive year from him.


      5. I believe you. Most teams are going to ask for the Dodgers best in trade. The only time they can’t do that is at the deadline, they pretty much have to get the best deal they can. But I knew the Seager for Lindor thing was not going to work.


      6. That is one I would make also. But the 3 for one and all 3 of the players our top ranked prospects? I better be getting more than a 2 year rental in Lindor back.


      7. I think my views on Friedman are more middle-of-the-road. I guess the thing I dislike most about him is when he insists that each player should be able to handle every single position on the field defensively.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well he does love versatile players, but if you have a real star quality player like Belli, he should be playing one position the entire year. Not moving all over the place. Continuity is more important than versatility. Seager at this point in his career is a SS. Period. I can see them moving Turner to first if they were to sign a 3rd baseman like say Donaldson, more realistic than them getting Rendon. But JT only has one year left on his deal, his range has diminished and he is more prone to injury the last couple of years. I get the middle of the road stuff. I guess my point is that this guy was supposed to come in here and all of a sudden they were a championship team. Has not happened, and he talks out of the side of his mouth so often. He says they are going to do something, and they never do. At least not so far.,


      9. Friedman is a real wordmaster but I’m not sure you can show me where you’ve ever caught him in an outright lie. He says he is going after high value players. He never says he is going to sign them (or trade for them). Basically he says he plans to go after difference makers but he has limits as to what he will spend (money or prospect wise). You may think he should just go out and get someone no matter what it costs and you may disagree with his ultimate actions, but I don’t think he’s ever made a promise he hasn’t kept. And why is that? Because he never really promises anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Ya hit the nail on the head Jeff. He talks out of the side of his mouth. Believe me, I do not think he should break the bank. But he can sign quality players without doing that. He let Atlanta just waltz in and get a reliever they have coveted, Smith. He is late to the dance many times, and that is what is so infuriating about the guy. Scoop says it is early, well it isn’t too early for the competition. Get off of your ass AF and do something constructive for once.


      11. I don’t see the Indians doing Lindor for Lux straight up but if I’m AF I wouldn’t do it either. We’ve got Seager and I expect him to be better next year than in 2019. Why get rid of Lux who could be a great asset for years to replace a shortstop we already have and we only get Lindor for two years (they would never give us time to extend him before a trade). I am also not in favor of moving Seager to third. He doesn’t want to play third at this stage of his career and I am not at all certain that he’ll be a great third baseman anyway.


  3. I don’t understand Dennis why we would give up the farm for Lindor????? is Seager such a dog can’t hit can field please leave Seager alone and let him have a healthy 2020 and hit 295 with 25 hrs & 85 rbi’s and play 150 games with 9 errors. Again


      1. Doesn’t mean they still won’t trade him but that would be very unlikely until he shows in ST that he’s fully recovered. In the meanwhile he still has two option years remaining so I think this was probably a good signing at under 1 mil.


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