The Los Angeles Dodgers will be operating on a semi-budget in 2020-21 free agency, and they can’t afford to make these financial mistakes.
Theoretically, the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have a little money to spend in free agency this year — and might be using a good chunk of it to retain one of their own in Justin Turner.
But it’s fair for Dodgers fans to be hesitant about doling out too much money to any one party this winter before the team’s most important needs are taken care of. After all, Andrew Friedman has already hinted that the team’s top free agents might want to seek employment elsewhere, and has Corey Seager to take care of prior to next offseason.
Well, either Seager or, say, Francisco Lindor. Either way.
With less capital to work with this offseason but a still-aggressive mentality in the wake of finally capturing that elusive World Series ring, the Dodgers are going to be the National League favorite no matter what they do or do not do this winter.
But in order to keep payroll flexibility in place for an all-important, shortstop-filled offseason next year, the Dodgers can’t afford to make these mistakes or pounce on some imperfect fits too early.
3. Overpaying to Keep Blake Treinen
The Dodgers can’t let sentimentality get in the way of their potential bullpen plans.
Blake Treinen proved himself to be a phenomenal bounce-back bargain signing last offseason, even filling in as an occasional closer in the most tense moments of the 2020 postseason.
If he’s willing to return at a similar rate, then of course the Dodgers should entertain it. LA experienced the best of his bowling ball sinker in ’20, and he’s a solid fit as both an eighth-inning guy and an eventual replacement for Kenley Jansen, the worst-kept secret in the National League.
We’re not sure what the relief market is going to look like this offseason, but the early signs are offensive players are in trouble (why’s Eddie Rosario being cut?!) and pitchers are being taken care of (Drew Smyly?!) — with the obvious caveat that Brad Hand’s release was Indians-created malpractice.
Essentially, if Treinen ends up being part of a stagnant market and you can secure his services for two years and $20 million (a doubling up of the most recent contract he signed), then by all means, go for it. But if the bidding reaches three years, you already know you can import Hand for a single season at under $10 million.
And the Dodgers should probably just do that instead.