Back in late June, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen took a massive hit when Daniel Hudson suffered a torn ACL after following through on a pitch. His season ended right then and there, and the groans in Craig Kimbrel’s direction only grew louder.
It was even worse news for Hudson, though, who had agreed to a one-year deal with a team option just months prior. Turns out, though, when you’re in LA and these situations happen, the organization is more than happy to tack on another year and run it all back.
They did it with Blake Treinen after his shoulder injury in April was expected to keep him out for months (and possibly the entire season). They did it with Max Muncy, who was one of the most disappointing players in baseball for the first four months of the season as he recovered from a partially-torn UCL.
Both players will now be in LA through 2023 with a team option for 2024. And now, same goes for Hudson. The Dodgers picked up his $6.5 million option on Thursday and tacked on an option for the following year.
Run it back! Once upon a time, it appeared as if the Dodgers’ front office would have far too many difficult decisions to make this offseason when it came to contract options. Now, their 2023 outlook is a lot less stressful.
The Dodgers have picked up Daniel Hudson’s option and tacked on a 2024 option
Back in April, all of Hudson, Muncy, Treinen, Justin Turner, Danny Duffy, Hanser Alberto, Jimmy Nelson and Cody Bellinger had question marks surrounding their contract situations.
Now, Hudson, Muncy and Treinen are taken care of, Turner’s situation is resolving itself as he continues to heat up, Duffy is as good as gone, Alberto made himself a clubhouse fixture, and Nelson will likely be back because of his low cost. Bellinger is the only real concern, as the Dodgers need to determine if they’ll tender him one last contract in the ~$20 million range.
Nonetheless, the point here is that the Dodgers got ahead on constructing their 2023 roster with some of these situations playing themselves out the way they did, and Andrew Friedman was shrewd enough to get ahead of it.
With Kimbrel likely gone, the guaranteed returns of Treinen and Hudson, despite the injuries that have consumed them in 2022, provide a semblance of stability for a bullpen that badly needs it. Evan Phillips has emerged, which has been incredible, while Alex Vesia has made himself an asset, but beyond that there’s a lack of clarity concerning guys like Phil Bickford, Yency Almonte and Brusdar Graterol. Not to mention, David Price and Tommy Kahnle will become free agents and probably won’t return.
Oh yeah, and remember that trade for Chris Martin at the deadline? He’s controllable through 2023. So there’s Treinen, Hudson, Martin, Phillips and Vesia already guaranteed to be on board for next year.
Just like that, much of the roster concern has disappeared. Now the Dodgers can focus on retaining Trea Turner and finding one high-priced lockdown reliever to join this impressive cast.
Friedman and Co. make it look so easy, and this is exactly why LA’s had so much success while avoiding a brunt of the drama in the headlines.