4 Dodgers facing uncertain futures heading into 2022 season

Thomas Carannante
DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 23: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Justin Turner #10 as he heads to the dugout after hitting a 2 RBI home run against the Colorado Rockies in the tenth inning at Coors Field on September 23, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 23: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Justin Turner #10 as he heads to the dugout after hitting a 2 RBI home run against the Colorado Rockies in the tenth inning at Coors Field on September 23, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

2. Max Muncy

What a run it’s been for Max Muncy, who signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers back in 2017 after the Oakland Athletics cut him loose. He was rewarded with a three-year, $26 million extension prior to the 2020 season and has been a revelation. In fact, he was arguably the team MVP in 2021 before going down with an elbow injury in the final game of the regular season.

Speaking of which … last month we learned, after assuming it wasn’t that bad, that Muncy had suffered a partially torn UCL in that first base collision and his elbow hasn’t be healing as quickly as anticipated. What if that affects his 2022 campaign? Would the Dodgers be inclined to reject his $13 million team option for 2023 if the injury holds him back next year?

What if they sign Freddie Freeman, shift Muncy over to second base for one final season, and then figure out a new plan for 2023 with a better middle infield? His buyout is only $1.5 million, so it’s definitely doable.

Then again, $13 million for Muncy, even when he’s not performing to the best of his abilities, is a bargain. Perhaps the Dodgers keep him on board for 2023 assuming there’s a universal DH or if they’re unable to land Freeman and still need a first baseman. Again, a lot of moving parts here, but the Freeman rumors coupled with Muncy’s concerning injury hardly make him a roster lock for 2023.

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