The Los Angeles Dodgers just won the World Series, but they already have to deal with offseason turnover.
Despite just capturing their first World Series title in 32 years, there are a lot of questions and distractions surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers.
We have free agency beginning Sunday at 5 p.m.. We have Justin Turner’s COVID-19 situation that has him under investigation by Major League Baseball. Kevin Cash’s decision to remove Blake Snell pretty much stole all the World Series headlines.
And it’s already time for the Dodgers’ front office to get back to work. With organizations across the league looking to save as much money as possible in the midst of the global pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon, you have to think LA will be exercising some financial constraint after giving Mookie Betts that monster extension and inheriting David Price’s contract from the Boston Red Sox.
The good news is that the Dodgers have a tremendous core, so losing a few guys this offseason to save money probably won’t hurt them. Team president Andrew Friedman will just have to get creative, that’s all.
Here are three players who won’t be back in LA come 2021.
3. Pedro Baez
Pedro Baez sealed his fate with the Dodgers after a poor World Series.
The Dodgers will see Pedro Baez hit free agency after the right-hander completed his third year of arbitration eligibility with the team in 2020. He was set to earn $4 million before the pandemic, so one can assume he’ll be looking for more than that in free agency, and the Dodgers probably shouldn’t be paying up to keep him.
Though Baez’s stats suggest he’s been a very good option for LA since his career began in 2014, it’s clear he doesn’t have the “stuff” and fans are not all that comfortable when he enters the game. Though he owns a 3.03 ERA in 355 career games, his velocity on his fastball has declined. He was throwing 97 between 2015-2017 and is now down to 94, which has forced him to become overly reliant on his changeup, which he’s thrown nearly 1/3 of the time over the past two seasons.
It’s clear he’s regressing and the Dodgers don’t need more of that in a bullpen that already features Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly. Perhaps they can justify keeping Baez at a good price, but we’re sure fans would rather see a bit of a shakeup among the relief corps.