Some Los Angeles Dodgers fans are more than likely frustrated with the team's lack of movement on the contract extension front with star pitcher Julio Urías, who will hit free agency after the 2023 campaign.
This presents a massive problem for LA, too. Clayton Kershaw will also be a free agent, and it's unclear if he'll re-sign, defect to the Texas Rangers to be closer to home, or retire altogether. Walker Buehler, who is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, will enter a contract year in 2024 in what will be his first full season since the elbow procedure.
Then you have Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Ryan Pepiot as the supporting cast. Not bad ... but not great. Certainly not a playoff-contending rotation, even if you add someone like Shohei Ohtani.
Speaking of Ohtani, LA fans figured the delay in getting Urías under contract was a result of the Dodgers seemingly saving their money for the two-way star next offseason. They didn't dip below the luxury tax threshold in 2023 and once again face a number of franchise-altering roster moves come November, which obviously present a set of difficult obstacles.
But if you ask president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, that doesn't seem to be the case. He wants you to direct your questions to Urías' agent, Scott Boras.
Is Scott Boras preventing a Dodgers-Julio Urías contract extension?
It's unclear if the Dodgers have made any offers, but the discourse has certainly been quiet on both sides. Urías didn't seem to want to address it prior to his first Spring Training start, and now Friedman is doing his best to deflect.
After winning the ERA title in 2022 and leading the NL in wins in 2021, Urías has emerged as possibly the second-most valuable upcoming free agent behind Ohtani. The left-hander will be heading into his age-27 season come 2024, which will help him earn an even lengthier contract because he'll be hitting free agency at an earlier time than the usual crop.
We've previously projected this future contract could be somewhere in between a seven-year, $168 million pact or an eight-year, $216 million agreement. It obviously depends how Urías performs in 2023.
And that's what Boras is likely banking on, which explains Friedman's comments. His clients rarely ever agree to contract extensions and usually wait until free agency to cash out, since the market competition is much greater (we've seen the prices rise exponentially, especially over the last few years).
That presents a problem, though, because the Dodgers will already have their hands full if they're going to be one of the top suitors for Ohtani. Bidding wars for Ohtani and Urías at the same time just might not be feasible.