The Super Bowl is over, so you know what that means. It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!
Pitchers and catchers are still slated to report to spring training on February 18th, just 10 short days from today. Talks are reportedly still ongoing, but as of now, the season will start on time and not have any Covid related delays. Things, of course, could change at any time.
There are not only questions surrounding baseball in general, but also specifically around the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Friday, free agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer announced on his YouTube page that he had decided to sign with the Dodgers. His contract is for three years and $107 million. He will reportedly be paid $40 million for the first season, $45M for the second season, and $17M for the third. He can opt out after either the first or second season.
His reported signing has led to some questions, especially since the news has not been officially announced by the club as of this writing.
First, the Dodgers 40-man roster sits at 40 players, so space will need to be made for Bauer’s arrival. One could assume that a player would be designated for assignment; but since there has not been a peep about the signing from the Dodgers’ front office, fans are wondering if there isn’t something more in the works.
If the Dodgers are planning to sign that needed right-handed power bat, they also are going to need to clear a roster spot for that player. And, since the Dodgers would now be way over the luxury tax threshold, they might also be looking to move a player or two to relive some of their monetary liabilities.
A trade may very well be coming in the next few days. That leads to the second question—will the Dodgers trade one of their current starting pitchers?
The Dodgers starting rotation now seemingly stands at seven. Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, and Bauer round out the top four. Julio Urías, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin make up the rest. What are the Dodgers planning on doing with them all?
While Price has stated that he very much intends to pitch this season after opting out of last season, that still is not definitive. Urías was used mostly in relief throughout the playoffs, but would like to return to the starting rotation. The could leave May and Gonsolin starting the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Having too many starters is not always a bad thing, because as we know, a starting rotation never makes it all the way through the year being completely healthy. If May and Gonsolin have to start the season again at Triple A, they could end up being back with the big club quickly.
But, what if one of the starters is used to acquire the right-handed power bat? Rumors have been swirling for the last week or so that the Dodgers are open to trading Price. Yet to pitch a meaningful game for the Dodgers, Price is still owed $64 million of his $217 million contract, half of which will be paid by the Boston Red Sox. Moving Price could clear up some salary space for Bauer and that other bat.
It is slightly curious as to why the club has not said a word about the Bauer deal, but an announcement should be coming soon, most likely in conjunction with an announcement of a trade or another signing. On Sunday, Dennis discussed the Dodgers’ current financial situation and whether the Bauer signing would affect the Dodgers’ ability to re-sign Justin Turner.
It remains to be seen what the club does (I’m starting to feel like a broken record here) but as we are nearing the start of spring training pretty quickly, we should know soon the plan that President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has in mind for the team.