The Los Angeles Dodgers are coming off of an incredibly disappointing 111-win season in which the team could only muster one win in the playoffs. With all of the resources at the team’s disposal, there’s bound to be some kind of change for LA this offseason.
Andrew Friedman and Co. certainly have the means to make changes since there’s a laundry list of free agents coming off the books this season. Of that group, there are only a handful of important free agents the team must bring back.
So which of these free agents will actually return to put on the Dodger blue, and which are going to say goodbye to Chavez Ravine — and where will they be heading? With the offseason officially underway, let’s take a crack at predicting where each Dodgers free agent will sign, in order of importance.
Five Dodgers free agents did not qualify for this list: Trevor Bauer, who has a player option (obvious reasons why he isn’t included); Danny Duffy and Kevin Pillar for not having real roles in 2022; Hanser Alberto and Jimmy Nelson, as their club options were already denied; and David Price, because it’s likely he retires (and also has no real role on this roster).
Predicting the fate of each Dodgers free agent this offseason
Joey Gallo: Signs with Cincinnati Reds
It would be shocking to see Joey Gallo return to the Dodgers as the low-risk flier didn’t really amount to anything in LA. He didn’t even get a postseason at-bat! Gallo’s best fit seems to be a small-market team in a prominent hitter-friendly park that will pay him 20% over market value on a one-year deal.
Expect Gallo to sign with a team like the Cincinnati Reds where he can play every day and try to up his value for the next offseason.
Craig Kimbrel: Signs with Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Kimbrel was not great in Los Angeles but his stuff still plays on paper. His 2022 numbers were not as outwardly bad as other relievers in the sport. The Dodgers certainly won’t bring him back this offseason, though. He could land with a division rival as a result.
Arizona swung and missed with Mark Melancon, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them try to poach another rival closer at a cheap cost. Kimbrel is still a better option for the ninth inning than fellow former Dodger Reyes Moronta.