3 players the Dodgers should keep and 3 they should trade

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Evan Phillips

Phillips also had an outstanding 2023 season out of the Dodgers bullpen and is, similar to Graterol, under team control through 2026. Unlike Graterol, however, who will be looking to prove his 2023 showing wasn't a fluke, Phillips is one year ahead of the curve. His breakout came in 2022, his first full season with the Dodgers after they picked him up on waivers from the Rays in August 2021. He pitched 63 innings for a 1.14 ERA and closed nine games.

In 2023, he continued to dominate and was moved into a more frequent closer role, finishing off 36 of the 62 games he appeared in for a 2.05 ERA. This earned him a $2.7 million salary hike going into 2024, which will probably be reflected on the field by the Dodgers leaning on him even more heavily in closing scenarios. Although they did express interest in Josh Hader before he signed with the Astros and Phillips doesn't have the same history of excellence behind him, Phillips was always the Dodgers' best option. He's proven that he can be consistent and the team won't have to pay him free agent money (especially not the kind Hader will be making over the next five years) in order to keep him. The Dodgers are best served pairing Phillips with potential elite closers moving forward, not replacing him. He provides too much surplus value.

Caleb Ferguson

Ferguson isn't quite on the same level as Graterol and Phillips, but he has been a relatively consistent presence for the Dodgers bullpen since 2018. He's certainly exceeded expectations as a 38th round draft pick for LA in 2014 who made his debut in 2018 and has been able to turn out a few 40-60 inning seasons ever since. ERA-wise, his best year was 2022, but he only managed to pitch 34 2/3 innings as he was coming off of Tommy John. The Dodgers leaned on him more in 2023, when he pitched 34 2/3 innings for a 3.43 ERA.

Sell high? Not quite; the Dodgers need to retain all the proven bullpen talent they can get.

He'll be making $2.4 million in 2024, up from $1.1 million, which he and the team agreed on to avoid arbitration in his last arb-eligible year. With only one year of team control left and his ability to perform at a decent level, the Dodgers should keep him through the year and let him go in free agency at the end of the season if they want to upgrade. He's worked in a few different capacities for the team -- sometimes as an opener, sometimes as clean-up, mostly as a middle-innings eater -- and having a stable, known quantity in the bullpen is always a good thing.