Dodgers surprise fans and re-sign potential non-tender candidate

Adam Weinrib
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Scott Alexander #75 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Scott Alexander #75 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers are bringing back lefty Scott Alexander, something you probably didn’t see coming on non-tender day.

Sure, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in neither a monetary crunch nor a 40-man roster predicament right about now.

But at some point, adjustments and slices are going to have to be made, and we were not alone in theorizing that lefty Scott Alexander would be among the casualties once maneuvers had to be completed.

After all, Alexander — who’s been steady since arriving in LA as an underrated target prior to 2018 — didn’t appear on any postseason roster in 2020 after being optioned in early September.

Against all odds, though, Alexander has found himself back for ’20 on non-tender deadline day, and his new $1 million deal even comes with the kind of guarantees not normally ascribed to arbitration-eligible players.

Alexander’s 2020 season was yet another solid one, featuring a 2.92 ERA in an admittedly tiny 12.1-inning sample.

His value, however, has decreased significantly in the era of the three-batter minimum, a rule that apparently has no intention of going anywhere. As a low-strikeout lefty specialist, Alexander isn’t exactly a coveted commodity for 2021 and beyond in the same way he was when he arrived in Hollywood.

Career, righties bat .257 off Alexander with eight homers, a .342 OBP and a .710 OPS. Against lefties? Those totals predictably dip significantly (.237/.309/.321/.630 with just four homers).

That didn’t get in the way of Alexander getting a full $1 million guarantee prior to entering the arbitration process, a long and grueling conversation in which his contributions would’ve been picked apart.

We’re a bit confused, simply because cutting Alexander loose felt like an easy way to keep things uncomplicated.

However, $1 million is $1 million. If the Dodgers intend on treating that total like pocket change while the rest of baseball scraps in the dirt over their financial losses, we wouldn’t hate that.

We’ll see if the team is willing to eat such a cash sum if Alexander struggles or needs to be jettisoned for a major addition.

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