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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Matt Gage

Gage came over in the trade that sent Caleb Ferguson to the Yankees, but his arrival was almost immediately overshadowed by Ryan Brasier's re-signing with the Dodgers. This isn't particularly surprising; Gage has been a farmhand for a number of different organizations since 2014 and didn't get a shot at the major leagues until 2022, when he impressed over 13 innings for Toronto. It wasn't enough to save him from a DFA, though, which kicked him over to Houston, who gave him the ball a few more times in the majors before DFA'ing him to make room for Josh Hader this offseason. The Yankees grabbed him, but less than a week later, he was traded to the Dodgers.

He's pitched four innings in spring training so far, posting a 4.50 ERA. It's better than Hudson, Crismatt, Grove, or Varland over more innings, but it still might not be enough to earn him one of those last few 26-man spots. He'd certainly fit into the Dodgers reclamation mold and could surprise by breaking out of camp, but with an MiLB option remaining, he could also be another easy send-down.

Miguel Vargas

Vargas' future has seemed to be in danger since the beginning of camp, when the team announced their intention to move him into left field, but things got even more precarious when the Dodgers re-signed Kiké Hernández to occupy a bench spot. That would give the Dodgers Hernández, Miguel Rojas, Chris Taylor, and Austin Barnes on the bench; adding Vargas would mean having to subtract a bullpen arm, which would make the competition there even more fierce.

He's looked pretty good over seven spring training games, batting .278/.350/.556 and making a couple of nice grabs in left, but he's facing the challenge of justifying not only his presence on the bench but the absence of a bullpen arm. It seems most likely that Vargas will start the season in the minors and be an easy choice to call up in the event of injury, but he hasn't been cut yet, so he's still fighting to make it to Opening Day.