"Money is the mother’s milk of politics' ' is a phrase attributed to former 1960’s Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse Unrugh. Had Unrugh been talking about baseball he might have substituted young controllable talent for money!
Since the Dodgers this year have wanted to offer opportunities for some of their young players, the Dodgers did not participate in signing any long term free agents This is not a surprise Andrew Friedman is not a fan of long term contracts for either free agents or home grown talent.
A Lot of the young talent the Dodgers are trying to add to their roster maybe pitching. However, a wonderful baseball cliche is young pitching will break your heart every time. Will Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pieport, be ready this year or will they fall short.
Still the Dodgers are blessed with talented pitching, a soon to be Hall of Fame veteran pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a great pitcher Walker Buehler who just turned 30, but he will be out most of 2023 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and a young homegrown pitcher who in my mind is ready to lead the staff.
Julio Urias at 26 is the young pitcher who is ready to lead the staff. Some say Urias is an elite talent; he was on the mound when the Dodgers closed out the Rays for the 2020 World Series.
The problem for the Dodgers is 2023 is the last year the Dodgers have control over Urias. His agent is Scot Boras who usually takes his clients to the open market. So the dilemma for Andrew Friedman, is there a way to sign Urias long term, especially since he is only 26. Also is Andrew Friedman willing to step out of his comfort zone and sign Urias to a contract similar to the one Clayton Kershaw signed in 2014, buying out 1 year of his arbitration-and making it a 7 year contract for 215 million.
Most MLB analysts believe Julio Urias will sign a 1 year contract worth about 13 million dollars. Erick Stephen at True Blue LA did an excellent analysis of how most of the comps lead you to this figure.
However, based on real market conditions Urias is actually worth about 22 million dollars based on analysis done by Sportac.
Andrew Friedman has said when it comes to elite talent you sometimes must over pay, even over pay till it hurts. Julio Urias is a homegrown Dodger pitcher, who offers the Dodgers a consistent draw at the gate, and is the elite young pitcher to succeed Clayton Kershaw.
It is time for the Dodgers to offer Dodger fans a surprise and find a way to convince Scott Boras not to take Urias to market and have him sign a 6-7 year contract in the range of 25-30 million dollars a year. If they can’t do it this year, some other team will do so next year.