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Dodgers 2023 offseason roster breakdown

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The Dodgers hold a club option on Max Muncy in 2024, and J.D. Martinez is a free agent this offseason.
The Dodgers hold a club option on Max Muncy in 2024, and J.D. Martinez is a free agent this offseason.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The playoffs are still going but the Dodgers are not, their season ended with a sweep by the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. That means it’s time to look at where the roster stands at the start of the offseason.

The Dodgers currently have 53 players on the 40-man roster, which sounds like an oxymoron. But it just means the Dodgers have 12 players on the 60-day injured list plus Julio Urías on the restricted list, none of whom count against the 40-man roster limit.

Players on the 60-day injured list don’t need to be returned to the roster until the fifth day following the World Series, by which there will likely be room left to add them back.

The morning after the World Series ends, at 6 a.m. PT — which would be from November 1-5, depending on how long the Fall Classic lasts — these dozen Dodgers will be free agents.

Free agents (12)

Clayton Kershaw
J.D. Martinez
Amed Rosario
Jason Heyward
David Peralta
Kiké Hernández
Ryan Brasier
Shelby Miller
Kolten Wong
Jake Marisnick
Jimmy Nelson
Julio Urías

Urías would have been the one free agent sure to receive a qualifying offer — a one-year deal worth $20.325 million, up from $19.65 million last year — but now Urías is persona non grata after his arrest and current MLB investigation under the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.

J.D. Martinez might have hit his way into a qualifying offer. Even though injured list stints for back tightness plus groin and hamstring tightness limited the designated hitter to only 113 games, Martinez still drove in 103 runs while hitting .271/.321/.572 with a 135 wRC+ and 33 home runs.

Clayton Kershaw plans to take his time to decide his future after a shoulder injury sidelined him for six weeks and limited him in the two months after he returned.

Options (6)

Player Pos 2024 age Option type Option salary Buyout
Player Pos 2024 age Option type Option salary Buyout
Lance Lynn SP 37 Club $18,000,000 $1,000,000
Max Muncy 3B 33 Club $14,000,000 $0
Joe Kelly RHP 36 Club $9,500,000 $1,000,000
Daniel Hudson RHP 37 Club $6,500,000 $0
Alex Reyes RHP 29 Club $3,000,000 $100,000
Blake Treinen RHP 36 Club $1,000,000* $0
*Treinen’s option amount is estimated

Per the MLB collective bargaining agreement, all option decisions must be decided by the fifth day after the World Series (which this year will be between November 1-5, depending on when the series ends).

Muncy’s option seems by far the most likely to be exercised. Part of a contract extension signed in August 2022, Muncy’s club option for 2024 started with a base salary of $10 million, but he added $4 million to that by achieving all of his performance incentives with at least 550 plate appearances (he had 579 PA).

This season was such a nightmare for the Dodgers finding starting pitchers to consistently fill innings, and lilliputian short starts in the postseason hastened their October ouster. Lance Lynn provided a salve, eating regular season innings after getting acquired at the trade deadline, but also was among the starter implosions in the NLDS. This is a long way of saying $18 million feels like a lot of money for peace of mind, and after a 5.73 season ERA and 44 home runs by Lynn, how much peace would he actually provide?

Joe Kelly returned to Los Angeles from the White Sox in the same trade with Lynn.

Alex Reyes didn’t pitch all year and had a second shoulder surgery in June, and he isn’t expected back until mid-2024.

Daniel Hudson worked his way back to the mound from one knee surgery, only to injure his other knee after only three games back.

Blake Treinen had shoulder surgery to repair his labrum and rotator cuff last November, and was limited to three minor league rehab games in August before getting shut down. I’m not sure of the exact amount of Treinen’s option — it’s between $1 million and $7 million, and Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic reported the base salary “will likely come in on the lowest range of his option” — but the right-hander has been limited to only five major league innings over the last two years.

Under contract (6)

Player Pos 2024 age Service time 2023 salary 2024 salary Signed through
Player Pos 2024 age Service time 2023 salary 2024 salary Signed through
Mookie Betts RF/2B 31 9.070 $25,000,000 $30,000,000 2032
Freddie Freeman 1B 34 13.033 $27,000,000 $27,000,000 2027
Tony Gonsolin SP 30 3.152 $3,250,000 $5,400,000 2024^
Chris Taylor IF/OF 33 8.037 $13,000,000 $13,000,000 2025*
Miguel Rojas SS 35 9.043 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 2024*
Austin Barnes C 34 7.098 $3,500,000 $3,500,000 2024
^Gonsolin still has two more years of salary arbitration eligibility after 2024 *club option

These six contracts total $83.9 million, with a competitive balance tax payroll number of about $79.65 million.

Tony Gonsolin will miss all of the 2024 season after Tommy John surgery. He’ll earn $5.4 million in the second season of a two-year contract signed last January. Gonsolin will still be eligible for salary arbitration in 2025 and 2026 before qualifying for free agency.

The Dodgers hold club options in 2025 on both Miguel Rojas ($5 million, or $1 million buyout) and Austin Barnes ($3.5 million, no buyout).

Salary arbitration (13)

Player Pos 2024 age Service time Options (used) 2023 salary 2024 estimate
Player Pos 2024 age Service time Options (used) 2023 salary 2024 estimate
Walker Buehler SP 29 5.168 n/a $8,025,000 $8,030,000
Ryan Yarbrough LHP 32 5.117 n/a $3,000,000 $3,800,000
Caleb Ferguson LHP 27 5.093 n/a $1,100,000 $2,300,000
Yency Almonte RHP 30 4.143 0 (2017-19) $1,500,000 $1,900,000
Will Smith C 29 4.090 3 (none) $5,250,000 $9,300,000
Dustin May SP 26 4.059 3 (none) $1,675,000 $2,400,000
Brusdar Graterol RHP 25 3.167 2 (2021) $1,225,000 $2,500,000
Wander Suero RHP 32 3.144 1 ('18,'21) unknown $900,000
Evan Phillips RHP 29 3.136 0 (2018-20) $1,300,000 $3,400,000
Gavin Lux SS 26 3.114 2 (2020) $750,000 $1,100,000
J.P. Feyereisen RHP 31 3.108 2 (2020) $750,000 $1,000,000
Alex Vesia LHP 28 3.078 1 ('21,'23) $750,000 $1,200,000
Victor González LHP 28 3.058 0 ('20-21,'23) unknown $1,000,000
2024 estimates from MLB Trade Rumors

The 2024 salary arbitration projections come from Anthony Franco and Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors, based on the model built by Matt Swartz.

Walker Buehler and Gavin Lux are expected to be major contributors after missing all of 2023. Lux is arbitration-eligible for the first time.

Dustin May had flexor tendon surgery in his right elbow in July and isn’t expected back until at least midseason in 2024.

Wander Suero was optioned for a total of 15 days in 2023, five days shy of the required 20 days to use up an option year, so he has one option year remaining.

Will Smith has the highest salary arbitration projection at $9.3 million, after making $5.25 million this season in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

If all 13 of these players are retained at the MLBTR arbitration estimates, that adds $38.83 million to the Dodgers payroll, making 19 players at $122.7 million, with a CBT payroll number at roughly $118.5 million.

The first competitive balance tax threshold for 2024 is $237 million. As a tax payer for each of 2021, 2022, and 2023, the Dodgers tax rate starts at 50 percent for the first $20 million over should they exceed the competitive balance tax threshold again in 2024.

Player with 0-3 years service time (16)

Player Pos 2024 age Service time Options (used)
Player Pos 2024 age Service time Options (used)
Michael Grove RHP 27 1.031 2 (2022)
Tyler Cyr LHP 31 1.010 3 (none)
James Outman CF 27 1.006 2 (2022)
Ryan Pepiot SP 26 1.005 1 (2022-23)
Miguel Vargas IF/OF 24 0.142 1 (2022-23)
Bobby Miller SP 25 0.132 3 (none)
Gus Varland RHP 27 0.102 3 (none)
Jonny DeLuca OF 25 0.085 2 (2023)
Emmet Sheehan SP 24 0.080 2 (2023)
Michael Busch IF/DH 26 0.045 2 (2023)
Gavin Stone SP 25 0.034 2 (2023)
Kyle Hurt SP 25 0.020 3 (none)
Bryan Hudson LHP 27 0.017 2 (2023)
Andy Pages OF 23 0.000 2 (2023)
Jorbit Vivas 2B 23 0.000 1 (2022-23)
Diego Cartaya C 22 0.000 2 (2023)

The minimum major league salary in 2024 is $740,000, up from $720,000 in 2023.

Kyle Hurt was optioned on September 13, one day after striking out three in two perfect innings in his major league debut. That left only 19 days in the season, so he didn’t get to the 20 days required to use up an option year.

Michael Grove was optioned for a total of nine days in 2023, and also didn’t use up an option year.

With the players under contract, eligible for salary arbitration, and the players with between zero and three years of major league service time, the Dodgers will start the offseason with 35 players on the 40-man roster, plus any players whose club options are exercised.

Important offseason dates

  • November 1-5, 6 a.m. PT: Free agency
    the morning after the final game of the World Series
  • November 5-9, 2 p.m.: Deadline for clubs to make qualifying offers
    5th day after the final game of the World Series
  • November 14, 1 p.m.: Deadline for players to accept qualifying offer
  • November 14, 3 p.m.: Deadline for teams to file reserve lists
    i.e. adding prospects to 40-man rosters
  • November 17: Deadline to tender contracts for players on 40-man roster
  • December 3-6: Winter meetings in Nashville
  • December 6: Rule 5 Draft