Is it possible Andrew Friedman and the Los Angeles Dodgers have learned from their mistakes over the years? Though the organization's run since 2013 has been admirable, there's still a lot left to be desired, and much of it has to do with what might be a stale approach.
One of Friedman's practices that has undoubtedly held the Dodgers back is his micro-spending on injured/depreciated assets that rarely ever came through for LA. Those contracts add up and have eventually prevented the Dodgers from spending a larger sum of money in a smarter manner.
We've lobbied against this for quite a while and our protest could finally witness the desired result. If this subject didn't frustrate us to no end, we'd go back and add up all the money that was wasted on injured/recovering/washed up relievers since 2020.
If we're to believe Dodgers insider JP Hoornstra's insight (subscription required) about what's to come in the offseason, then we can perhaps celebrate prematurely knowing the Dodgers are going to free up some much needed money by finally cutting the cord on injured relievers that largely did not work out in LA.
We'll believe it when we see it, but start prepping your goodbyes for Blake Treinen, Daniel Hudson and Alex Reyes once the World Series concludes.
Dodgers may finally cut the cord on experiment with countless injured relievers
Blake Treinen made $8 million in 2023. He pitched zero innings. Daniel Hudson made $6.5 million in 2023. He pitched three innings. Alex Reyes made $1.1 million in 2023. He pitched zero innings. That's $15.6 million, good enough to keep Cody Bellinger in LA for one more season under his final year of arbitration eligibility.
This all could've been avoided, too. The Dodgers guaranteed the salaries of Treinen and Hudson after their shoulder and knee injuries -- serious ones that left a lot of uncertainty -- for the 2023 season when they could've simply waited until the offseason to figure it out. Signing Reyes would've been acceptable had they not employed a ton of other oft-injured players, but it's more of a disturbing trend rather than a worthwhile risk.
Treinen, Hudson and Reyes have team options for the 2024 season, totaling $17.5 million. Treinen is entering his age-36 season. Hudson his age-37 season. Reyes his age-29 season (after not having pitched since 2021). These options need to be declined and the Dodgers need to spend this money elsewhere after their 2023 formula sputtered into another early postseason exit.
The bullpen might've ended up rebounding admirably, but it was among the worst in baseball during the first half. A team like the Dodgers should almost never possess an area of their roster that's "the worst" in MLB at any point in time, especially with all of the resources at their disposal.
Even worse, it's hard to buy into these micro purchases that add up to an alarming number as the team continues to pass on top-tier free agents while letting their own star players walk out the door without a convincing conversation to remain in Dodger Blue.
This can -- and should be -- the end of whatever this disastrous trial period was.