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Dodgers 2020 offseason roster breakdown

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A detailed look at the 40-man roster of the defending World Series champs

MLB: World Series-Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure if you remember this from the other day, but the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series. It was kind of a big deal.

But after all the celebrating, there is work to be done this offseason. Procedurally, some of it was already done Wednesday morning, when seven Dodgers became free agents, including four players — Justin Turner, Pedro Baez, Joc Pederson, and Kiké Hernández — who were with the team for at least six seasons.

Here’s a breakdown of the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, which includes 34 players, now that these seven are now technically on the open market.

Free agents (7)

Pedro Baez
Kiké Hernández
Jake McGee
Joc Pederson
Blake Treinen
Justin Turner
Alex Wood

The qualifying offer is a one-year contract at the average of the top 125 salaries in MLB, which this year works out to $18.9 million, per the Associated Press. Players who have already received a qualifying offer in previous years cannot receive another. Justin Turner declined a qualifying offer from the Dodgers in 2016 before ultimately signing a four-year, $64 million contract that just expired Wednesday morning. I would bet a lot of money that the Dodgers will not make a qualifying offer to any of their other free agents.

Options (1)

Jimmy Nelson had back surgery on July 7 and didn’t pitch for the Dodgers this year. The Dodgers hold a $2 million club option for the 31-year-old right-hander for the 2021 season, with a $500,000 buyout.

Under contract (8)

Player Service time 2020 salary* 2021 salary Signed through
Player Service time 2020 salary* 2021 salary Signed through
Clayton Kershaw 12.105 $31,000,000 $31,000,000 2021
Kenley Jansen 10.073 $18,000,000 $20,000,000 2021
Joe Kelly 8.029 $8,500,000 $8,500,000 2021
Chris Taylor 5.037 $5,600,000 $7,800,000 2021
A.J. Pollock 8.052 $12,000,000 $15,000,000 2022#
Max Muncy 4.027 $5,500,000 $7,500,000 2022^
David Price 10.164 $32,000,000 $32,000,000 2022
Mookie Betts 6.070 $27,000,000 $22,500,000 2032
*2020 salary is for a full 162-game season #Pollock can opt out after 2021 with 433 PA; he has a $10m player option for 2023 with $5m buyout | ^Muncy has a $13m club option for 2023 with $1.5m buyout

The Red Sox are paying half of David Price’s $32 million salary for both remaining seasons on his contract.

Accounting for the money from Boston, these eight players under contract will be paid $128.3 million by the Dodgers for 2021. They count for roughly $123.25 million against the competitive balance tax, the threshold for which increases to $210 million in 2021.

Not included is Yaisel Sierra, who is due $7.5 million in 2021 in the final season of his contract, but is not on the 40-man roster. His salary does not count toward the competitive balance tax.

Arbitration eligible (7)

Player Service time Options (used) 2020 salary* 2021 estimate
Player Service time Options (used) 2020 salary* 2021 estimate
Corey Seager 5.032 3 (none) $7,600,000 $11,566,666
Austin Barnes 4.098 0 ('15-16, '19) $1,100,000 $1,466,666
Scott Alexander 4.039 1 (2016, 2020) $875,000 $1,066,666
Cody Bellinger 3.160 3 (none) $11,500,000 $13,500,000
Julio Urías 3.117 1 (2016-17) $1,000,000 $2,100,000
Dylan Floro 3.053 1 (2016-17) $593,500 $1,000,000
Walker Buehler 2.168 2 (2018) $603,500 $2,566,666
2021 estimates using MLB Trade Rumors projections

For salary arbitration estimates, I used Matt Swartz’s projections at MLB Trade Rumors, specifically an average of the three models he used to account for the oddness of this season.

Walker Buehler is a Super Two, among the top 22% of players with at least two but not three years of service time. That means he gets four arbitration years instead of three, since he’s just four days shy of three full seasons of service time.

The rest of the 40-man roster consists of players with under three years of service time.

Team control (18)

Player Service time Options (used) 2020 salary*
Player Service time Options (used) 2020 salary*
Adam Kolarek 2.111 2 (2017) $583,500
Caleb Ferguson 2.093 2 (2019) $583,500
Terrance Gore 2.013 0 (2015-17) unknown
Dennis Santana 1.105 1 (2018-19) $573,500
Matt Beaty 1.104 2 (2019) $573,500
Will Smith 1.090 3 (none) $573,500
Dustin May 1.059 3 (none) $573,500
Edwin Ríos 1.043 2 (2019) $566,000
Brusdar Graterol 1.029 3 (none) $566,000
Tony Gonsolin 0.152 1 (2019-20) $566,000
Victor Gonzalez 0.128 2 (2020) $563,500
Gavin Lux 0.114 2 (2020) $566,000
Josh Sborz 0.113 1 (2019-20) unknown
Mitch White 0.025 2 (2020) $563,500
Keibert Ruiz 0.022 1 (2019-20) $563,500
Zach McKinstry 0.017 2 (2020) $563,500
Luke Raley 0.000 2 (2020) $563,500
D.J. Peters 0.000 2 (2020) $563,500
Players with 0-3 years of service time *2020 salary is for full 162-game season

Matt Beaty was optioned for the final 17 days of the season, and Dennis Santana for the last 16 days. Both fell short of 20 days on optional assignment, so they didn’t use an option year in 2020.

The 2021 minimum salary will depend on how the Consumer Price Index this October compares to October 2019. Figure a small raise from the $563,500 minimum salary this season.

Important dates

November 1: The deadline to make qualifying offers to free agents is 2 p.m. PT on Sunday.

November 1: Also the end of the “quiet period” of free agency. Before 2p.m. PT on Sunday, no free agent can sign a deal with a new team, though they can re-up with their old team before then.

November 11: The deadline for players to accept or decline the qualifying offer.

November 20: Deadline to set rosters for the Rule 5 Draft. Possible Dodgers prospects to be added to the 40-man roster include pitchers Gerardo Carrillo, Andre Jackson, and Brett de Geus, the first two of which were in the 60-man player pool during the 2020 season. Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs went into more detail about potential 40-man roster crunches for the Dodgers (and every team) back in August.

December 2: The deadline to tender contracts to players. This usually affects players eligible for salary arbitration more than others. Last year the Dodgers non-tendered Yimi Garcia, making him a free agent.

January 15: Salary arbitration exchange deadline