1 contract extension the Dodgers should make soon and 1 to avoid
By Eric Treuden
The Los Angeles Dodgers should extend Julio Urías as soon as possible.
Urías, 26, is only a few years removed from being dangerously close to earning a "bust" label from Dodgers fans. He had shown boatloads of promise as a 19-year-old in 2016, but failed to stay healthy on a consistent basis up until essentially the 2021 season (though his 2020 postseason in relief was much appreciated).
In that year, he broke out in a big way, winning 20 games and posting a 2.96 ERA in a full 32-start season. He finished seventh in the NL Cy Young Award voting and suddenly had re-established himself as one of the more promising left-handers in the game.
In 2022, he followed up the performance from the year prior with an even better season. In 31 starts, he went 17-7 with a 2.16 ERA and 194 ERA+, both enough to lead all National League pitchers. This time, he finished third in the Cy Young voting and even earned himself some MVP votes.
What makes Urías such an obvious extension candidate is the fact that he's still so young. It's truly insane to think that this year will be his eighth in the league and he's still only 26 years of age. There's a real sense here that his dominance on the mound is only just beginning.
Add in the fact that he is set to become a free agent at season's end, and you have a young stud that needs a long-term deal. Money will not be an issue for this Dodgers club (yes, even with Shohei Ohtani waiting). It's just going to come down to how badly the team wants Urías to be their answer atop the rotation once a player like Clayton Kershaw chooses to hang up his cleats.