LA Dodgers should pause contract extension talks with Walker Buehler
There are sure to be some Dodgers fans who wonder why Walker Buehler's name would even come up in a conversation about contract extensions. After all, Buehler hasn't even set foot on a major league mound this season.
Yes, Buehler is currently on the IL following Tommy John surgery. But the right-hander has targeted a September return and hopes to be available for the postseason. Seeing as how Buehler underwent the procedure in August of last year, his timeline would seem rather bold.
But pushing all that aside and focusing on the contract aspect of things, a "lost" season is the perfect opportunity for LA to capitalize on Buehler's extension. With the right-hander coming off an injury, the Dodgers front office could make the argument that they're taking a bigger risk but be able to offer Buehler less money which could end up being a team-friendly deal.
But again, with Ohtani getting ready to hit the free agent market and the Dodgers primed to pounce, it seems rather irresponsible to start spending money on risky commodities right now.
Furthermore, Buehler is under team control through the 2024 season. LA's best bet is to let Buehler rehab appropriately and show that he's back to full strength next season. Seeing as how Buehler is unlikely to pitch this season, he's not going to really increase his value very much and will be on trial in his contract year next campaign.