The Dodgers have money coming off the books, so they should take care of these three studs.
Everyone’s riding high in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are World Series champions for the first time since 1988 and the front office really doesn’t have a whole lot of work to do this offseason. In fact, they’re clearing about $50 million in payroll as a number of players (ones they will probably let walk) hit free agency and they’ll have nearly $28 million more come off the books after 2021 when Kenley Jansen and Chris Taylor see their deals expire.
Andrew Friedman needs to prioritize signing or trading for a third baseman as well as some relievers, but perhaps more importantly, he needs to keep his stars content. There are a few players heading into contract years or those who are about to be stuck in the arbitration process, and often times it’s best to avoid those headaches by handing out contract extensions.
We’re not saying the front office needs to exert all of its energy in taking care of these deals, but they should be on the docket in addition to the other roster needs. Here are three players the Dodgers should work to extend before the 2021 season begins.
3. Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw is a Dodger for life.
Clayton Kershaw‘s three-year, $93 million extension he signed after the 2018 season will expire after 2021, and it’s probably best the Dodgers reward their veteran ace after he helped propel them to a World Series victories. He kept the Rays in check and earned wins in Games 1 and 5 of the Fall Classic after getting Ws against the Brewers and Padres in the WC and NLDS.
His lone poor start against the Braves in the NLCS as he was enduring back issues was the only blemish on his resume this postseason.
On top of that, Kershaw has once again been atop the league throughout the duration of this extension. Since the start of 2019 (playoffs included), the left-hander is 26-9 with a 2.93 ERA and 293 strikeouts across 46 games (44 starts). He needs to be the veteran presence that continues to put forth dominant outings while leading a stable of young arms that include Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin.
We suggest a four-year, $88 million contract to keep the left-hander a Dodger for life. That’ll keep him in town through his age-37 season, and you have to expect he’ll still be giving you quality outings by then given his style of pitching. He deserves to be among the highest-paid arms in the game even though injures have held him back a bit since 2016.