Dodgers’ extension for Blake Treinen was huge mistake after injury update

Thomas Carannante
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 19: Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 19, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 19: Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 19, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Yet another multi-year contract or extension for an injured reliever that’s not going to work out for the Los Angeles Dodgers. When will this trend stop? The Dodgers threw away millions the last couple of seasons with Tommy Kahnle, Danny Duffy and Jimmy Nelson.

This time, they tried it with Blake Treinen, who suffered a shoulder injury just three games into the 2022 season and didn’t return until September. That “return” featured two games before he was forced out of action again with the same injury.

That put another contract extension in jeopardy. Treinen, who had a team option for the 2023 season, had his deal re-worked by the Dodgers in late May while he was injured (and refusing to undergo recommended surgery, instead opting for rehab).

The Dodgers guaranteed his salary for 2023 and tacked on another team option for 2024. Seemed somewhat shrewd at the time, assuming Treinen was going to follow the proper medical advice, but he didn’t, and now the Dodgers are here.

The burly right-hander is likely going to need surgery this offseason, which is expected to knock him out for most or all of next year. More guaranteed money down the drain.

The Dodgers are in danger of losing Blake Treinen for most of the 2023 season

Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes spoke to reporters at the GM meetings and relayed the hard truth that the two sides were “still working through treatment possibilities.” But then Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reported surgery was likely and that it’d be a 10-month recovery period for Treinen.

If he misses all or most of the 2023 season, the Dodgers will be without arguably their most valuable reliever once again and take an $8 million hit to the CBT. The silver lining is that they know this information early in the offseason, so they can make the necessary adjustments and pivots, but it adds another important move to the docket that’s already full of them.

The Dodgers admittedly have the financial flexibility to absorb a hit like this, but far too many times have they fallen into the trap of paying what they deem a “low” or “cost-effective” price for a high-risk, high-reward situation.

Injuries haven’t been on the Dodgers’ side for the last two years, so maybe it’s best to take this out of the front office approach and go with the less perilous options moving forward.

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