3 risks Dodgers can still take to upgrade their bullpen

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Zack Britton, LHP

If former Yankees lefty stalwart Zack Britton's asking price never comes down (he's rumored to be seeking $9 million), then the Dodgers' money would be better spent elsewhere, especially if their starting point is already over the luxury tax threshold.

But if Britton decides to reevaluate things entering spring training and the regular season, the Dodgers would be as typical a landing spot as any for the two-time All-Star (only two times? really?).

Like every name on this list, though ... boom or bust. At the age of 35, Britton is likely the riskiest proposition we're entertaining here.

Last year, Britton tried to end his career in the Bronx by racing back from bone chips in the elbow, trying an experimental variation on Tommy John surgery involving some sort of bone tape (?) to get back by the stretch run. When he showed up in September, he was greatly diminished. His trademark control was gone. He walked six men in three games, only recording two outs in the process. His season ended when the elbow barked once more, putting a negative cherry on top of a horrific stretch.

After a full offseason of rest and rehabilitation, Britton is once again ready to tackle a seventh-inning role on a contender. The backslide for the lefty actually began in 2021, though, when his troublesome elbow kicked in, leading to a 5.89 ERA and a demand of Aaron Boone to be used in fewer save situations.

Will Britton be able to harken back to his 2019-20 self (1.91, 1.89 ERAs)? Will he be willing to try to come back at a slight discount? The Dodgers have long been the preferred landing spot for forgotten relievers, and those relievers don't typically have Britton's pedigree. Worth a shot, at two-thirds of his current monetary request.

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