Another small-scale extension that might burn the Dodgers is the one that was given to Austin Barnes last offseason. But the Dodgers are probably better off eating $3.5 million (if they can't find a trade partner) to find a better backup option.
Barnes is signed through 2024, but being Clayton Kershaw's good buddy will only get you so far when you're sporting a .124 average, .145 slugging percentage, and 0 OPS+ in 40 games. Nobody expected his offense to be this bad, but Barnes was always well below average. He was never a contributor with his bat. The Dodgers never really needed to spend to keep him, especially with Will Smith in the fold and a glut of catching prospects waiting in the wings. We're not sure why this was their decision.
The case could be made that Barnes' very infrequent playing time isn't helping him, but such is the life as a backup catcher. It's the job. And for Barnes to be no better than anybody out there (besides hitters that are somehow sporting negative OPS+ marks) is a telltale sign that the end of his time in LA should be coming to an end. He's been with the organization since 2015 and has logged one acceptable season, as well as a portion of a season in 2020.
If the Dodgers don't fix this very obvious and catastrophic roster deficiency, then it's worth questioning what dirt Barnes may have on the organization.