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Dodgers 2022 offseason roster breakdown

How LA looks heading into the offseason

Trea Turner is a free agent. Justin Turner has a club option worth $16 million for 2023. Will either or both be back with the Dodgers next season?
Trea Turner is a free agent. Justin Turner has a club option worth $16 million for 2023. Will either or both be back with the Dodgers next season?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers season is over far earlier than they planned, which catapults them into the winter much sooner than most years. Here’s a look at where the roster stands at the beginning of offseason.

At the moment, the Dodgers have 47 players* on the 40-man roster, including folks on the 60-day injured list. Players on the 60-day IL don’t need to be removed — at which time they would count against the 40-man roster — until the fifth day after the World Series, by which time all the free agents will already be off the roster.

Free agents (10)

Tyler Anderson
Joey Gallo
Andrew Heaney
Tommy Kahnle
Clayton Kershaw
Craig Kimbrel
Chris Martin
Kevin Pillar
David Price
Trea Turner

These players will be free agents at 6 a.m. PT the day after the World Series ends, so between November 2-6.

Turner is the headliner here, among the top prizes this winter on MLB’s free agent market. He’s a lock to get a qualifying offer from the Dodgers, which this year is a one-year, $19.65-million contract, per the Associated Press.

Qualifying offers must be made by teams by 2 p.m. PT on the fifth day following the end of the World Series, and players have until November 15 at 1 p.m. PT to accept or decline the offer. Given the World Series schedule.

Should a player who declined a qualifying offer sign elsewhere, the Dodgers, a competitive balance tax payor, would receive a draft pick after the fourth round as compensation.

Anderson is coming off a career year and could cash in this offseason, and could receive a qualifying offer. Kershaw, too, though his scenario is a little different. The Dodgers didn’t extend the qualifying offer last season to Kershaw out of respect and to not accelerate the timing of his decision.

The choice for Kershaw this offseason remains the same as last year, whether he wants to continue pitching or stay home with his four kids. The best-of-both-worlds scenario would involve pitching for the hometown Rangers, but they are not a competitive team, so it’s essentially, for 2023 at least, return to the Dodgers or retire.

As Kershaw said multiple times during the season, and repeated after the NLDS loss in San Diego, as of now he plans to play next year but reserves the right to change his mind.

Martin doesn’t yet have the required six years of major league service time for free agency, but worked into his contract last winter with the Cubs that he’d be a free agent at the end of the season.

Options (4)

Player Pos 2023 age Option type Option salary Buyout
Player Pos 2023 age Option type Option salary Buyout
Justin Turner 3B 38 Team $16,000,000 $2,000,000
Hanser Alberto 2B/3B/SS 30 Team $2,000,000 $250,000
Danny Duffy LHP 34 Team $7,000,000 $0
Jimmy Nelson RHP 34 Team $1,100,000 $0

By rule, options must be exercised or declined by the fifth day following the World Series.

Turner had a resurgent second half, hitting .349/.419/.549 since June 30. On the season he started nearly as many games at designated hitter (61) as third base (66), and turns 38 in November.

The Dodgers also had club options on Blake Treinen, Max Muncy, and Daniel Hudson for 2023, but during the season signed them all to extensions, so they fall into a different category.

Under contract (7)

Player Pos 2023 age Service time 2022 salary 2023 salary signed through
Player Pos 2023 age Service time 2022 salary 2023 salary signed through
Daniel Hudson RHP 36 12.106 $6,000,000 $6,500,000 2023*
Max Muncy 2B/3B/1B 32 6.027 $11,500,000 $13,500,000 2023*
Blake Treinen RHP 35 8.065 $9,000,000 $8,000,000 2023*
Austin Barnes C 33 6.098 $2,600,000 $3,500,000 2024*
Chris Taylor IF/OF 32 7.037 $15,000,000 $15,000,000 2025*
Freddie Freeman 1B 33 12.033 $27,000,000 $27,000,000 2027
Mookie Betts OF 30 8.070 $22,500,000 $25,000,000 2032
*club option

The seven contracts above total $90.5 million in 2023 salary.

*The list does not include Trevor Bauer, who was suspended 324 games under MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy on April 29. Bauer has a $32-million salary in 2023, but as of now remains suspended through the end of that contract. He’s currently appealing the suspension, and any sort of reduction could put him back on the Dodgers payroll. But for now, he’s not, and while suspended he remains on the restricted list and off the 40-man roster.

Salary arbitration (12)

Player Pos 2023 age Service time Options (used) 2022 salary 2023 estimate
Player Pos 2023 age Service time Options (used) 2022 salary 2023 estimate
Cody Bellinger OF 27 5.160 3 (none) $17,000,000 $18,100,000
Julio Urías SP 26 5.117 1 (2016-17) $8,000,000 $13,700,000
Walker Buehler SP 28 4.168 2 (2018) $7,250,000 $8,100,000
Caleb Ferguson LHP 26 4.088 2 (2019) $762,500 $1,100,000
Yency Almonte RHP 29 3.143 0 (2017-19) $1,500,000 $1,000,000
Will Smith C 28 3.090 3 (none) $730,000 $5,200,000
Dustin May SP 25 3.059 3 (none) $730,000 $1,400,000
Trayce Thompson OF 32 3.010 0 (2014-15,'17) unknown $1,700,000
Edwin Ríos DH/3B 29 3.003 1 (2019,2022) $730,000 $1,400,000
Brusdar Graterol RHP 24 2.167 2 (2021) $720,000 $1,200,000
Tony Gonsolin SP 29 2.152 1 (2019-20) $720,000 $3,500,000
Evan Phillips RHP 28 2.136 0 (2018-20) $720,000 $1,400,000
2023 estimates courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors

Twelve players eligible for salary arbitration is a ton. The 2023 estimates are courtesy of Matt Swartz and Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors. Should all of these players return at those estimated amounts, that’s another $57.8 million added to the payroll.

Cody Bellinger seems like an obvious non-tender candidate, after a second year in a row as one of the worst hitters in baseball. But unlike 2021, Bellinger was fully healthy in 2022 and hit just .210/.265/.389 with an 83 wRC+. The deadline to tender 2023 contracts for players on the 40-man roster is November 18 at 5 p.m. PT.

I wonder if the Dodgers work out some sort of a multi-year deal with Walker Buehler, who had Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair in August. He’s unlikely to pitch in 2023, unless it’s in some sort of reduced role in September, and that’s if all goes well. He still has two year of arbitration remaining, so perhaps a contract can be worked out to cover at least those two seasons.

The wild ride of Trayce Thompson, who after getting placed on waivers by the Dodgers in 2018 played for eight different organizations before returning this June on a minor league trade, produced a resurgent half-season with Los Angeles, hitting .268/.364/.537 with a 153 wRC+. Heading into his age-32 season, Thompson is eligible for arbitration for the first time, having just reached three years of service time.

Of note, Caleb Ferguson was optioned for a total of 16 days in 2022, falling shy of the 20-day requirement to exhaust an option year. So he still has two option years remaining.

Players with 0-3 years service time (14)

Player Pos 2023 age Service time Options (used) 2022 salary
Player Pos 2023 age Service time Options (used) 2022 salary
Gavin Lux 2B/LF 25 2.114 2 (2020) $720,000
Victor González LHP 27 2.103 1 (2020-21) $720,000
Alex Vesia LHP 27 2.103 2 (2021) $720,000
Phil Bickford RHP 27 1.134 0 (2020-22) unknown
Justin Bruihl LHP 26 0.146 2 (2022) $710,000
Beau Burrows RHP 26 0.081 1 (2020-21) unknown
Miguel Vargas 3B/LF/DH 23 0.041 2 (2022) $700,000
Andre Jackson RHP 27 0.039 1 (2021-22) unknown
Michael Grove RHP 26 0.031 2 (2022) $700,000
Ryan Pepiot RHP 25 0.022 2 (2022) $700,000
James Outman OF 26 0.006 2 (2022) $700,000
Jake Amaya SS 24 0.001 2 (2022) $700,000
Jorbit Vivas IF 22 0.000 2 (2022) $700,000
Eddys Leonard IF 22 0.000 2 (2022) $700,000

Per the new collective bargaining agreement, the minimum salary in the majors in 2023 is $720,000, up from $700,000 this year.

If all the club options get declined, the Dodgers will head into the offseason with 33 players on the 40-man roster.

Another date to watch this offseason is November 15 at 3 p.m. PT, when teams must set their rosters in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft. That means prospects like Diego Cartaya, Michael Busch, Andy Pages, and likely a few others will need to be added to the 40-man roster.