6 Dodgers players fighting for their futures ahead of 2024 season

Spring is still important to these Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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The Dodgers went through their first round of roster cuts earlier this week, slimming down competition for a few remaining bullpen and bench spots significantly. The 11 players who were optioned back to the minors or sent to minor league camp were mostly unsurprising, so it begs the question of who'll get the boot next, and whether such a move could actually catch us off guard.

Most of the competition is in the bullpen, but there's also one player who will have to work even harder to justify his presence on the bench. With only two weeks to go before the Seoul Series, competition is undoubtedly heating up dramatically for a few of these players.

6 Dodgers players fighting for their futures ahead of 2024 season

Michael Grove/Gus Varland

Grove, Varland, and Gavin Stone found themselves in similar positions going into spring training. All three were coming off less-than-ideal 2023 seasons, having effectively been edged out of the rotation conversation by free agent signings, and are fighting for the last few spots in a bullpen that's also seen a lot of improvement this offseason. Stone has fared well so far in spring, while Grove and Varland have struggled significantly.

Both had 6.00-ish ERAs last season (though Grove pitched 69 innings and Varland pitched 20 1/3), and they have an 11.57 and 9.82 ERAs in spring training over 4 2/3 and 3 2/3 innings respectively. Grove might still have the edge because he was a serviceable enough starter for 12 games last year while also having the proven flexibility of a swingman, but both should definitely be worried about NRIs like Daniel Hudson and TJ McFarland creeping up to steal Opening Day roster spots.

Both still have at least two minor-league options, so the Dodgers wouldn't have to hesitate in cutting them ahead of Opening Day. There are still two weeks to go before Seoul, but that doesn't leave an abundance of time for Grove and Varland to shape up.