Now that the offseason is upon us, we have a clearer picture of where the Dodgers are at and what they need for 2023. We break it all down on today’s Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast, including a look at the team payroll and pending roster decisions.
Free agency began Sunday morning, with Trea Turner and Clayton Kershaw among the ten Dodgers now on the open market. That leaves the 40-man roster at 36 players to open the offseason, including 19 pitchers and 17 position players.
Decisions on four more of those players will come by Thursday, with club options on Justin Turner, Hanser Alberto, Danny Duffy, and Jimmy Nelson.
As it stands, the Dodgers have seven players under contract for 2023, plus a dozen more eligible for salary arbitration. Those 19 players, plus a few assumptions built-in for player benefits and minor league salaries, total roughly $176.7 million, including arbitration salary estimates from MLB Trade Rumors. $18.1 million of that is assumed for Cody Bellinger, who is arbitration-eligible but also a prime non-tender candidate, as our Michael Elizondo articulated last week.
The Dodgers paid $32.65 million in luxury tax in 2021, and are on target for roughly $29.4 million in tax this season per the Associated Press. The first tax threshold for 2023 is $233 million, which isn’t necessarily an upper limit, but still provides ample room for improvements the Dodgers need, like more starting pitching and a shortstop.
Also discussed on this episode were Stan Kasten’s comments to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, including, “Earlier in the last decade, we had a wave of young guys who were going to be real contributors … 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.”
Consider the offseason stage set.
Episode link (time: 24:07)