Team Options, 40-Man Roster Spots and Early Rule 5 Thoughts

Although many speculate a slow winter until the league’s collective bargaining agreement is resolved, there are a few important dates approaching that will have an impact on team rosters across the MLB.

Here are some of the critical dates to remember:

  • Sunday, November 7 marks the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to eligible free agents, and the Dodgers should have several of them, including players like Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Chris Taylor. Max Scherzer and Kenley Jansen are ineligible for a QO because they have received one previously.
  • The general managers meetings, usually a gateway to the ever-popular winter meetings, will begin on November 9 in Carlsbad.
  • November 17 is the deadline for the aforementioned players to accept a QO.
  • December 1 both marks the non-tender deadline and the official end of the current collective bargaining agreement.
  • The winter meetings begin on December 6. Some view this date as the official beginning of the winter hot stove. The annual Rule 5 draft will be held on the final day, December 9.
  • January 14 is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures.

On the Dodgers’ front, the team announced on Saturday it wouldn’t exercise its 2022 team option on righty reliver Joe Kelly, ending a three-year relationship.

Kelly injured his biceps as an opener in Game 5 of the 2021 NLCS against the Braves, but all indications show he should be fine for 2022 Opening Day.

In 48 appearances this year, Kelly had a 2.86 ERA in 44 innings with two saves, 13 holds and struck out 2.75% of the batters he faced. He appeared to hit his stride during the tail-end of the regular season and was one of the team’s most reliable relievers in the playoffs.

Even though the Dodgers bought out Kelly’s $12 million option, there is still a chance he could return to the team. The 33-year-old Anaheim native received $4 million for the buyout.

On Friday, the Dodgers outrighted southpaw reliever Scott Alexander, who had been part of the organization for four years after being acquired in a trade with the Royals before the 2018 season, essentially creating another free roster spot.

In his time with the Dodgers, Alexander made 132 appearances, logging a 3.49 ERA, a 1.306 WHIP and a 4.25 FIP with 82 strikeouts and 47 walks over an even 111 innings of work.

As it stands, there’s a handful of openings on the team’s 40-man roster, even when players like Edwin Rios, Caleb Ferguson, Garrett Cleavinger and Tommy Kahnle are reinstated in the next few days.

A few players who could be moved to the club’s 40-man over the coming weeks for Rule 5 protection include pitcher Michael Grove and infielder Jacob Amaya.

7 thoughts on “Team Options, 40-Man Roster Spots and Early Rule 5 Thoughts

  1. QO deadline is in 2 hours. We’ve heard about the offer to Seager but nothing yet on CK or CT3.
    If AF isn’t prepared to pay Kershaw 18 mil for next year, that’s pretty ominous.

    Taylor is a flip of the coin. I’m sure he doesn’t want to pay him 18 mil next year but that might cut down his market some and let us sign him a little easier on a multi year contract.

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    1. Forgot to say that I think Taylor would reject a QO because he should be able to do a lot better than that on a multi year contract, either with us or someone else.

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      1. Usually, there’s about 4 or 5 Rule 5 guys worth protecting, but aside from Amaya, I really don’t see any. Grove had some upside at one point, but his 2021 season was quite disappointing. Makes you wonder why Kershaw didn’t receive a QO.

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      2. How about Eddys Leonard? He may be more likely to have a decent MLB career than Amaya. Only 20 but I think he’s been signed long enough ago that he would qualify.

        And, I may be mistaken but I think Grove came on quite strong at the end of the year, although maybe not enough to clear a spot for him.

        No QO for Kersh. That strikes me as being concerning.

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  2. Agree Dennis. We now know there’s not much on the farm to protect. Kersh is a bit of a puzzle. Don’t think he is worth anywhere near 18 mil for half a season. Probably not worth 18 mil for a full season. He’s not going anywhere right now until, his health is is determined, and then only to Texas or LA. If hd wants to go home it won’t be because of the money, and if he stays in la it also won’t be because if the money. He probably understands that his big paydays are over and will settle where he us comfortable.

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  3. I am not surprised the Dodgers did not offer the QO to Kershaw. His back problems on top of his arm issues have stopped him from having full seasons for several years. Taylor might think about taking the offer and waiting a year to let all the top infielder’s sign such as Seager, Baez. Story etc. A quick year at 18 million makes a player get very confident of their retirement.
    Grove came on strong last year. No one knows what the Dodger brain trust thinks of Grove or Amaya’s potential if they keep them out of the Rule 5 draft that will tell us something. Minor League pitching the Dodgers have Jackson, White, Pepiot, Miller, Grove, and others that will be competing for a roster spot in 2022. I like Pepiot but I think Miller may come out of the minors next year as the new young phenom. Miller has 4 pitches with movement and has learned control. Miller will turn 23 next April and Pepiot will be 24 whenever they play baseball next year. Jackson is turning 25 next May although as a converted position player he does not have the mileage on his arm that many do at that age.
    Vargas will be 22 before the season starts. I am hoping we see him next year in some capacity.

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