Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten publicly backed manager Dave Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman — which isn’t really much of a surprise — in an interview with Bill Plaschke at the Los Angeles Times.
Kasten was careful not to explicitly set a payroll limit for 2023, but did intimate a few runways could be open for young players to receive more playing time. From Plaschke:
“Earlier in the last decade, we had a wave of young guys who were going to be real contributors,” Kasten told the Los Angeles Times this past week. “We think we are now on the precipice of the next wave of young guys. We need to make room to allow that to happen.”
Miguel Vargas is chief among them, after tearing up Triple-A at age 22, then debuting in the majors and making the playoff roster, though he didn’t play in the NLDS. James Outman worked his way onto the radar with a strong 2022, including an incredible four-game major league debut. 2019 draftee Michael Busch will need to be added to the 40-man roster this month to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Starting pitchers Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone, neither of whom are on the 40-man roster (yet), figure to see time in the majors at some point next year.
How the Dodgers fit them into the 2023 roster will depend somewhat on the offseason moves they make. At the moment they have 36 players on the 40-man roster, but also have four club options to decide on by Thursday, most notably whether Justin Turner will be back for $16 million next year or get a $2-million buyout on his way to free agency.
We’ll break down the Dodgers payroll for 2023 later this week, but in the meantime I looked at the roster and competitive balance tax implications on Monday morning’s Leading Off podcast.
- Ten Dodgers became free agents on Sunday morning, the official start of the offseason. In all, 131 major league players entered free agency. The MLB Players Association has the full list.
- For all the relevant offseason dates regarding roster construction — non-tender deadline, Rule 5 Draft, arbitration exchange date, etc — Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com has you covered.
- Max Muncy and his wife Kellie announced they are expecting their second child, a boy due in May 2023.