Dodgers Remain in an Enviable Position with Their Roster

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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: A general overview of Dodger Stadium from the upper seats behind home plate is seen in Game Four of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: A general overview of Dodger Stadium from the upper seats behind home plate is seen in Game Four of the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers haven’t gone out and hit a home run move this off-season but even if they don’t add a star, the Dodgers remain in an enviable position that many teams would love to be in.

The Dodgers’ front office has received plenty of criticism this off-season with most of that criticism coming from their own fan base.  With Manny Machado and Bryce Harper still waiting to sign somewhere the masses are calling for Harper to be a Dodger.  It doesn’t help that Harper reportedly would love to play for the Dodgers.

With Andrew Friedman at the helm, you can never rule out anything so there is still a chance he could sign Harper but the overall consensus remains that the Dodgers are not going to break the bank over a long period of time for Bryce.  In a sport where nothing is given, and Mike Trout and Bryce Harper cannot even lead their clubs out of the first round, the addition of a superstar would guarantee nothing, although it should help.

While many may make jokes such as Buffalo Bill references to the Dodgers, there are 27 other teams in baseball that would leave to be in the Dodgers’ position, with the two teams that beat them in the World Series being the two exceptions.  Outside of Homer Bailey’s contract that the Dodgers took on and will end with a buyout of five million in 2020, there is not a single bad contract on the MLB roster.

Almost every single player the Dodgers are going to count on offensively in 2019 is under thirty-years-old.  The two exceptions are Justin Turner and David Freese who are two clutch veterans that are showing no signs of slowing down.  The two biggest offensive stars for the Dodgers in Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger will start the season at 23 and 24 years old.

The Dodgers’ ace in the making Walker Buehler is twenty-four years old and there is still Julio Urias who even after a lost year is just twenty-two years old.  The Dodgers may have some pitchers on the downsides of their career like Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill, but both are still very effective and the club is stocked with young pitchers like Caleb Ferguson, Dennis Santana, Dustin May, and others.

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Set to join the youthful Dodger team in the near future are the two top catching prospects in the organization, Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz.  Ruiz is one of the best prospects in baseball and could be the next big player to come out of the Dodgers’ farm system.  Their farm system remains one of the ten best in baseball despite seeing players like Seager, Bellinger, Buehler, and others graduate in recent seasons.

The Dodgers will also see over forty million dollars freed off their payroll after the 2019 season with Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu among the biggest salaries clearing the books.  That freed up money will allow Andrew Friedman to upgrade the Dodgers at positions of need while staying flexible with payroll to extend some of the younger core who will be reaching free agency in the coming years.

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While the Dodgers are most likely staying under the luxury tax line in 2019, it’s not being cheap, it’s being smart with a roster that is one of the most talented and versatile in the game.  The Dodgers will still have a top-five payroll and they will have money to upgrade in the season if injuries or down seasons occur.  Even without adding a superstar the Dodgers remain a team that plenty of other clubs wish they were; youthful, cost-controlled, and a World Series contender.

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