Dodgers Way Quick Hits: Trade, Freese, Grandal, Kershaw
The Dodgers offseason has officially begun and the front office will be just as busy as they were during the regular season. For two straights season, the Dodgers have been second place finishers and this offseason, it looks like the Dodgers will make the changes they need to.
The Dodgers made their first trade of the offseason in a move that saw minor league pitcher, Manny Bañuelos shipped off to the White Sox system in exchange for High-A infielder, Justin Yurchak. Bañuelos, a former top prospect in the Yankees system made 31 appearances for the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2018. Of the 31 appearances, 18 were starts accumulating 108.2 innings in which he had a 3.73 ERA and 127 strikeouts. His effectiveness in Triple-A could very land him on the White Sox roster in 2019. Yurchak, the return for Bañuelos, spent 2018 in Low-A where he hit .256 with a single home run and 36 RBIs. Yurchak is 22-years old.
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- The Dodgers reached an agreement with veteran infielder, David Freese. The two sides agreed on a buyout on Freese’s previous contract which earned Freese $500,000. After the buyout, the Dodgers re-inked Freese for one more season at $4.5 million. The Dodgers not only add a veteran to replace Chase Utley but in Freese, they get a serviceable bat. Freese played 113 games in 2018 where he hit .298 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI’s. He finished the season with a 126 OPS+ and a 206 OPS+ after his trade to Los Angeles in late August.
- The Dodgers will extend a qualifying offer to catcher, Yasmani Grandal worth $17.9 million. Grandal, an impending free agent, had a great offensive regular season while he continued to struggle defensively. Come the postseason, Grandal seemed to shut everything down going just 4-29 with a single home run which he hit in the NLDS. With a qualifying offer on the table, there will be a lot to consider for the soon to be 30-year old catcher and you can read more about that decision here.
- Clayton Kershaw’s deadline to sign is rapidly approaching. Today at 1 PM PT, Kershaw and the Dodgers will have to reach some sort of conclusion regarding Kershaw’s future. The options for Kershaw are: pick up his option for two years and $65 million, decline his option and test the market or sign an extension with Los Angeles. Ken Rosenthal has suggested both sides are optimistic that an agreement will be reached between the two sides as both groups are interested in remaining together.