Dodgers 2023 Roster: Designated Hitters, Relievers and Other Veteran Additions

While there could conceivably be a few surprises in store later in the winter, all indications are that the Los Angeles Dodgers might be taking a stab at staying under the luxury tax threshold for the 2023 season.

The return of veteran lefty Clayton Kershaw has been the most significant signing of the offseason, although there was a bit of excitement with the recent additions of pitcher Noah Syndergaard and designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

Five years ago, the signings of either Syndergaard or Martinez may have been big news, but with both reportedly set to earn $10 million next year, it’s more of a minimal risk gamble for the Dodgers with hopes that either can recapture their previous All-Star form.

Last season was the first year that Martinez appeared exclusively as a designated hitter, so there’s a good chance the 35-year-old righty hitter might fill the same type of role in Los Angeles, especially with Justin Turner not returning and since the club has a whole host of able-bodied outfielders from a defensive standpoint, which we all know is vital to the team’s philosophy.

Martinez joins former teammate Mookie Betts and old hitting instructor Robert Van Scoyoc, who was instrumental in helping the slugger rediscover his swing in the 2013-14 offseason.

The team has agreed to an entire slew of minor league contracts so far this winter, which doesn’t directly affect the major league payroll. Two of those headliners were 33-year-old Jason Heyward, who could end up being last year’s version of Kevin Pillar, and 33-year-old lefty reliever Adam Kolarek, who appeared in 46 games for the Dodgers during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Speaking of the bullpen, it’s actually rounding out quite nicely, even if veteran Shelby Miller doesn’t contribute as much as many fans hope. The good news is that righty veteran Daniel Hudson could be ready for spring training, adding a potential reliable presence to an already formidable crew of Evan Phillips, Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson.

It seems like we mention it every week, but it appears that the team is basing its budget off of what could happen if Trevor Bauer is reinstated, and the Dodgers get back on the hook for his salary. Many pundits feel this scenario is entirely possible, including Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

“The Dodgers, fearing they might owe tens of millions in salary and luxury-tax penalties if an arbitrator reduces or overturns Trevor Bauer’s two-year suspension, are proceeding with caution this offseason,” Rosenthal wrote. “They are not unwilling to spend amid the Bauer uncertainty, as evidenced by their addition of Freddie Freeman last March and recent bid for Justin Verlander. But club officials view the roster as deep enough for them to pursue free agents in their usual manner — at their price.”

Bauer would be owed $32 million from the Dodgers next year if his suspension is reduced. If the arbitration panel upholds the MLB ruling, we could see a major addition at some point rather than the fringe additions that have come lately, such as Yonny Hernandez, J.P. Feyereisen, James Jones and others.

3 thoughts on “Dodgers 2023 Roster: Designated Hitters, Relievers and Other Veteran Additions

  1. Anybody here up for putting Conforto in left field?

    Mookie – RF
    Lux – SS
    Freddie – 1B
    Will – C
    Max – 3B/2B
    JDM – DH
    Conforto – LF
    Vargas – 2B/3B
    Outman/Trayce – CF

    Bench: Barnes, CT3, Outman/Trace, Busch/Amaya

  2. You know, he actually has a pretty decent obp. But his power numbers are just a little over half of what they were in 2019. Last season his obp was .344, and that’s the lowest it’s been in the last five seasons. In 2020 it was .412, lifetime .356. He played for 12.5 mil last season, so he probably is still in that neck of the woods. I would have said no at first, but after looking at his numbers, I would be okay with it. It wouldn’t be very sexy but it probably would work.

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