Dodgers: Dodgers Way Mailbag Questions Answered
Every other week or so, Dodgers Way is going to answer mailbag questions from the fans. To participate all you have to do is ask a question and include the hashtag #DodgersWay in your tweet or comment on the mailbag facebook post.
On the previous Dodgers Way mailbag, Jacob Rudner answered a couple of questions about the impact Walker Buehler could have on the 2018 season and a question about the Dodgers rotation depth. In this mailbag, there are questions about the Dodgers payroll, potential free agent targets, and a suggestion about Nick Castellanos.
Which 2019 FA’s do we target and ultimately sign next yr? There will be a few future HOF’ers in their prime available. What happens to Friedman/Zaidi if we don’t win the WS in 18′ or sign one of these future HOF’ers in 2019? – @DodgerBlueNYC
There is a ton of free agent talent available next off-season and I expect the Dodgers to land at least one major impact player. I don’t think they’ll go bonkers but I can see them signing a second baseman or outfielder. I think the Dodgers will have some interest in Brian Dozier, Bryce Harper, and perhaps another outfielder like AJ Pollock or Andrew McCutchen. A lot will depend on how the 2018 season goes. The Dodgers also have a ton of versatility so if Chris Taylor moves to second base after 2018 then that would rule out Dozier. If he sticks in the outfield and someone emerges from the pack in left field, then I fully expect a run at Dozier for second base. The only positions we can rule out for sure are shortstop, third base, and first base.
As for the second part of the question, I do not think the front office will be judged based off of who they sign or fail to sign. Ultimately it comes down to winning a World Series, so if the Dodgers win the World Series in 2018, then they could whiff on every free agent next off-season and not be in any jeopardy of losing their jobs.
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Ok, I may get twitter killed for this, but I saw today that Nick Castellanos is being shopped by Detroit. Any chance of moving Turner to 2nd and picking up a young 3B with a good bat? Maybe somehow work Kemp into that deal. – @scottvl71
Scott, my first suggestion is to run and hide as fast as you can before the Dodger tweeters come to find you. Joking aside, I think we should put to bed the idea of shifting Justin Turner to second base. Second is a position that is very hard on the knees, and Turner simply cannot take that kind of torque on his knees anymore. He is also a very good third baseman, so there is no point in moving him from there. For the future, Corey Seager will likely shift to third base.
What is the Dodgers’ current payroll through today and after the 2018 season? – Marco Gomez
The Dodgers have about 131 million dollars committed for the 2019 season although that number will drop once Clayton Kershaw opts out of his deal which is seemingly inevitable barring a major injury. Next season is basically free game for the Dodgers as long as they stay under the luxury tax threshold for the duration of the 2018 season.
For this season it is estimated that the Dodgers are about 17 million dollars under the luxury tax threshold. Keep in mind this number will shrink if certain players reach incentives and increase their salary for the 2018 season. Realistically, the Dodgers can probably spend about 5-7 million more dollars while not getting into danger of exceeding the luxury tax threshold for 2018.
Will the Dodgers go after a right-handed pitcher? – Manuel Casillas
I am taking it that you mean a right-handed starting pitcher and at the moment I don’t see the Dodgers signing another right-handed starter to any contract of significant value like a Darvish or Arrieta. While the Dodgers rotation is filled with lefties, you can basically put Kershaw into his own category since he gets everyone out, and that leaves three other left-handed starters in the projected rotation. Guys like Walker Buehler and Brock Stewart could force their way into the rotation if there is an injury in spring training.
Next: Will Puig's 2018 season be even better than 2017?
If things go bad whether it is due to performance or injury, then I do expect the Dodgers to go after a starting pitcher at the non-waiver trade deadline. If they do indeed chase a trade candidate then they would probably aim for a right-handed starting pitcher to balance out the rotation. So at the moment, I don’t see the Dodgers pursuing another right-handed starter but we all know how things could change as we get into the regular season.