Should Dodgers Try to Extend Julio Urias?

Aside from bringing back veteran utility infielder Miguel Rojas, not much has happened on the Los Angeles Dodgers player personnel front since the team officially bounced Trevor Bauer from the roster last week.

Although the club is on the hook for the approximately $22.5 million of Bauer’s 2022 salary, all indications are that the team will attempt to stay under the luxury tax threshold for the upcoming season. A move last week that somewhat affected the budget was an agreement on a one-year, $14.25 million deal with starter Julio Urias, allowing the 26-year-old lefty to avoid the arbitration process in his final season before free agency.

We really haven’t heard anything concrete regarding serious extension talks between the Dodgers and the Mexican native, which you might consider surprising depending on how you look at it. Nevertheless, with Clayton Kershaw on the downside of one of the MLB’s most prolific careers, and Walker Buehler having to sit out the upcoming year due to UCL surgery, there’s no question that Urias will play the role of Dodgers Ace for 2023, at least for the early part of the season.

Urias has been nothing but stellar since recovering from a serious shoulder surgery procedure that saw him miss the entirety of the 2018 season. Even though he surprisingly has never made an All-Star team, he ended up finishing in the Top 10 Cy Young Award voting the last two campaigns, including a third-place finish last year.

Although Urias has been an iron man as far as the Dodgers’ starting standards go — 185-2/3 innings in 2021 and 175 innings in 2022 — it was his lack of innings pitched that saw him finish behind Max Fried and winner Sandy Alcantara in the CYA voting last season.

Regardless, last year was undoubtedly the best campaign of Urias’s career, having produced a 0.960 WHIP and an NL-leading 2.16 ERA and a 194 ERA+ over 31 starts.

A few seasons back, it looked like the game was beginning to steer away from a traditional five-man rotation where each guy would throw his heart out each night. However, the Dodgers have been one of the few who have stuck with the traditional starting pitching concept, even though Los Angeles pitchers are seemingly throwing fewer innings as each year passes by.

In 2022, Urias averaged 5.65 innings pitched per game over his 31 starts.

The upcoming season has one of those feelings that the daily lineup at the end of the regular season might be a bit different than the batting order we see at the beginning of the year. Accordingly, the starting rotation could have a similar fate. However, it’s tough to imagine any pitcher on the current roster replacing Urias as an ace if he pitches anything like he did over the past two years.

If Urias ends up staying healthy and contending for another Cy Young, he could end up with a ridiculously high contract next year, especially if he hits the free agent market at a still very young age of 27.

Dodgers Roster: Early Thoughts on 2023 Payroll

Just like every other typical offseason, the question of how much money the Los Angeles Dodgers are willing to invest in team payroll is at the top of the conversation list for many fans.

Last year, once the smoke settled on the season, the Dodgers ended up spending $270.8 million total on payroll, which led the entire majors, according to Spotrac. The general thought among many fans was that despite the team’s early exit from the playoffs, it might have been the most talented group of players the team had in recent decades, at least from an offensive perspective.

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Updates on Justin Turner, Estimated 2021 Luxury Tax Payroll

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(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

With only a handful of days remaining before players start filing into the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, there’s mainly one thing on the minds of Dodgers fans—whether the team will re-sign veteran third baseman Justin Turner.

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Does Trevor Bauer Signing Affect Justin Turner’s Potential Return to Dodgers?

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(Associated Press photo)

As the days leading up to the beginning of spring training dwindle, two huge things stay fresh in the minds of Dodgers fans—the recent signing of righty pitcher Trevor Bauer and the prospective return of veteran third baseman Justin Turner.

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Will Dodgers Exceed 2021 Luxury Tax Threshold?

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Undeniably, the biggest question surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers a few weeks before spring training is how the team will decide to handle the third base spot, at least to begin the season.

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Will Dodgers Pursue Bryce Harper in 2018?

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On Saturday, the Dodgers announced that they had traded four players to the Braves in exchange for Matt Kemp. It was a rare trade that worked for both sides, in that both teams got the salary dump they were looking for, plus the Braves got some players that can be useful to them in 2018 and beyond. Yesterday we touched on what it meant to the players that were traded and where it left the roster. But what does it mean for the Dodgers going forward?

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Los Angeles Dodgers 2017-18 Offseason Primer

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(Mandatory Credit: Jesse Rieser)

With most of the dust now having settled on the 2017 World Series, some fans of the Dodgers have decided to take a brief hiatus from their beloved club to regroup, while others continue to scour the web in search of all the up-to-date news and developments. Yet for the Los Angeles front office crew, the work never stops, as the offseason is a time when many missing links are filled in terms of the player roster and even the coaching staff.

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There’s More Behind the Dodgers’ World Series Run than Just a Hefty Payroll

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So much is made of the Dodgers‘ payroll, and how they should be the best team in baseball, because they paid for it. This is a fair assessment, but it’s also so much more than that.

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