Dodgers: Trio of Relievers Among Non-Tender Candidates
The Dodgers are facing a Friday deadline to tender or non-tender each of their ten arbitration eligible players. Among the ten there are three candidates who could be non-tendered.
The deadline to tender or non-tender arbitration-eligible players is Friday and those ten players for the Dodgers are Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Alex Wood, Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Pedro Baez, and Corey Seager, Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani, and Yimi Garcia. The last three relievers are the three who are most likely to be non-tendered among the group.
The three all have two things in common, they all throw hard, and they all were plagued by injuries in 2018. Yimi Garcia has been injury riddled since 2016 and he missed all of the 2017 season and came back this year to pitch 22 innings with the Dodgers. While Yimi’s velocity was back up into the mid 90’s, the results were not as he posted a 5.64 ERA and allowed an opponent’s average over .300.
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Garcia pitched fourteen innings for the OKC Dodgers and didn’t find much success there as he allowed a .281 average and posted an ERA over four. The Dodgers may decide to cut ties with Garcia or bring him back on team friendly deal to see if his live arm comes back to life. With the Dodgers unlikely to make a big reliever signing it could be worth a gamble.
Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields were both key figures in the Dodgers’ 2017 bullpen and World Series run, but both were limited by injuries this past season. Cingrani was acquired mid-season in 2017 and posted a 2.79 ERA with the Dodgers while becoming one of the club’s reliable lefty specialists. In 2018, Cingrani posted a 4.76 ERA although he only allowed a .221 average and struck out 14 batters per nine innings.
Josh Fields is a similar story to Cingrani in that he was acquired in an underrated move from the Astros in 2016. Last season Fields was one of the Dodgers’ better relievers as he pitched to a 2.84 ERA and held opponent’s to a .194 batting average. He had another effective season in 2018 in the times he was able to take the mound.
Of the three relievers who are the most likely to be non-tendered, Cingrani and Fields should both be tendered contracts. Both will be given very reasonable salaries in arbitration especially with the going rate of the reliever market nowadays. Even with Caleb Ferguson likely to remain in a relief role, Cingrani could good to keep around as a LOOGY. Fields is also a capable reliever who could have a bounce-back season like Pedro Baez did and emerge as an 8th inning option.