The World Series ended on Wednesday night in Phoenix, which means Thursday morning is the official start of the Major League Baseball offseason. As of 6 a.m. PT on today, November 2, a dozen Dodgers are among the scores of free agents across the sport.
J.D. Martinez could cash in after signing a one-year, $10-million deal last December with the Dodgers, hitting .271/.321/.572 with 33 home runs, a 135 wRC+, and 103 RBI in 113 games. Other position-player free agents on the team are Jason Heyward, David Peralta, Kiké Hernández, Amed Rosario, Kolten Wong, and Jake Marisnick.
This group of position players accounted for 25.8 percent of the Dodgers plate appearances during the regular season, and combined to start 10 times during the NLDS.
Dodgers free agents in the 2023-24 offseason
Clayton Kershaw leads the group of Dodgers pitching free agents, along with relievers Ryan Brasier, Shelby Miller, and Jimmy Nelson.
Julio Urías, who has been on administrative leave since September 6 and is under MLB investigation under the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, is also a free agent, marking the end of a Dodgers tenure that began with his signing as an amateur in August 2012.
This is the third year in a row Kershaw reached free agency. Last season his decision to return to the Dodgers came within five days of the offseason, with his deal finalized a month later. This year, after dealing with a left shoulder injury that sidelined him for six weeks and hampered his final two-plus months of the season, Kershaw told reporters at Chase Field in Phoenix during the National League Division Series that he plans to take more time to make his 2024 decision.
“I think he and Ellen are going to take some time right now and assess,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of Kershaw on October 7. “The ball is squarely in their court.”
If history is any guide, don’t expect the Dodgers to extend a qualifying offer to Kershaw, something they eschewed in each of the last two offseasons, preferring not to rush his decision.
If any Dodgers free agent might receive a qualifying offer — which this year is $20.325 million on a one-year deal — it might be Martinez, but even that is an iffy proposition heading into his age-36 season.
Five of the 12 free agents did not begin this season with the Dodgers. Hernández and Rosario were acquired in separate deals at the trade deadline, while Brasier, Marisnick, and Wong signed on after getting released or outrighted elsewhere.
The Dodgers effectively have 39 players on the 40-man roster at the moment. But that includes six players currently in limbo with club options for 2024. That group of Max Muncy, Daniel Hudson, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Blake Treinen, and Alex Reyes will know their fates by Monday, November 6.