Dodgers: Offseason Officially Begins


While the Dodgers’ offseason started a few weeks ago, the Royals’ World Series victory means that the MLB offseason now officially begins.

The offseason kicked off this morning when the Miami Marlins announced the hiring of former Dodger manager Don Mattingly to a four-year contract. In his 7:00 A.M. PST press conference, Mattingly said that while he signed for four years, he was planning on being around for at least 10. Mattingly becomes the 15th manager in Marlins history, which is not great for a franchise younger than I am (first season was 1993). Rene Lachemann and Fredi Gonzalez are the only Marlin managers in franchise history to begin their fourth years managing the squad, but neither of them finished out the season.

Another interesting note from Mattingly’s presser is that he hinted at Dodger bench coach Tim Wallach possible joining him on Miami’s bench. The presser was more vague for the most part, but he said “I think Tim Wallach is going to come with me to be the bench coach”. Wallach is expected to be a candidate for the Dodger coaching vacancy and seems to be a fan-favorite candidate. I’ve always liked Wallach as a bench coach, but if the Dodgers are trying to make changes I’m not quite sure how much different Wallach would be from Mattingly.

Mattingly also received a kind reminder that he’s not in LA anymore, as shortly after the press conference, MLB.Com’s Joe Frisario tweeted that the Marlins would not pursue any of the top free agent starters like Zack Greinke and David Price.

Speaking of Greinke,


This is what the next week looks like in baseball. The top one might be the most important, as Wednesday is the deadline for Greinke to officially opt out of the final three years of his current contract and become a free agent. It seems logical that he would, as even though he’s set to earn $78 million over the next three years, he would probably command more than that in the open market. Factor in that he just had his first kid last year, and my speculation says that he might want a longer deal so he can have some long-term security. Either way, expect the Dodgers to go hard to keep him, as he’s become something of a fan favorite in LA and he’s a damn good pitcher that should age well.


Eric Stephen’s tweet also showed that Friday will be a busy day, as it will signify both the qualifying offer deadline and the end of the “FA quiet period”, which is just another way of saying the beginning of free agency.

The Dodgers have three players eligible for qualifying offers (four if Greinke does opt out). Greinke will absolutely receive one, Howie Kendrick and Brett Anderson will each probably receive one, and it would be shocking if Jimmy Rollins received one. No player has ever accepted a qualifying offer before, which is a one year deal at the average of the top-125 contracts in baseball (1YR/$15.8 million this year), and if a player declines and signs with another team, the previous team receives a comp pick in between the first and second rounds of next years’ amateur draft while the team that signs them loses a pick (often a first round pick, unless it’s top-10).

Jul 18, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) at bat against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Every free agent is eligible for a QO as long as they were on one team for the final year of their contract. Players that changed teams before becoming a free agent, such as David Price and Yoenis Cespedes, cannot receive a QO and a team signing them does not face penalties.

9:00 PM PST (midnight EST) marks the beginning of free agency. While the whole “playing baseball” aspect of baseball is undeniably great, THIS is where a lot of excitement happens for a team with deep pockets and a super creative front office. This years’ free agent class is stacked with pitching, which is probably the Dodgers’ biggest hole moving into next season. There are a couple older second basemen available (Kendrick, Ben Zobrist), and it’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers bring one of them in or platoon Enrique Hernandez and Jose Peraza. Players will change teams. A ton of moves will probably be announced while we’re all sleeping. Waking up to transaction notifications is the weird baseball writers’ version of a kid waking up on Christmas morning. I feel Corey Seager is the ONLY player that’s completely safe. I doubt they move Clayton Kershaw, but for the right price who knows (Carlos Correa/Jose Altuve/Dallas Keuchel+Houston takes all salaries?).

With a coaching vacancy, tons of money being freed up and a lot of decisions to made, this promises to be a highly entertaining offseason. So far, this front office has done a decent job of improving the current team (despite failing to add a dependable third starter), but the Dodgers look extremely deep for the next few years, and somehow they bought at the trade deadline and still came out with a better farm system.

If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that this front office has kept their moves extremely quiet. Most teams have leaks and a ton of rumors, but for the past year most of the moves the Dodgers have made have seemingly come out of nowhere. Love it or hate it, this offseason is going to be fun.

Next: Dodgers Scariest Offseason Scenarios