Over the next few months, the Dodgers will have to make a lot of difficult roster decisions. They completed a few minor transactions on Tuesday by refusing the club options for Jimmy Nelson, Danny Duffy, and Hanser Alberto, so releasing them all as free agents.
The Dodgers will have to make some more significant decisions over the coming days and weeks, particularly in regard to three of its longest-tenured players, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Clayton Kershaw.
Let’s examine the situation with all those three parties and how the Dodgers’ offseason as a whole will be impacted by their choices.
Dodgers’ option for Justin Turner
The Dodgers’ first significant action this summer will be to decide Turner’s future. As of Tuesday, Turner’s $16 million club option for the next season was still up for discussion, according to the president of pitching coach Andrew Friedman.
Turner will probably spend the majority of his work as the team’s designated hitter if he returns for the 2019 season, which seems quite likely. At third base, Max Muncy and Miguel Vargas will have numerous opportunities. The Dodgers will also make it a priority to give Vargas more opportunities to bat this year.
Contract with Cody Bellinger
After earning $17 million in 2022, Bellinger is still eligible for arbitration for one more season. Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP and 2017 NL Rookie of the Year has struggled at the plate each of the previous two seasons, and the Dodgers have the option of not re-signing him, which would leave him a free agent.
We still have a lot of faith in Belli’s talent, and we saw directly how diligently he worked all season, according to Friedman. “Obviously, he’ll be the first to admit that it fell short of his own expectations. And right now, I’m sure he’s working with our [hitting] players and doing everything he can to position himself to be a major force for us in the upcoming season. However, there is still time to figure out how everything seems.
The qualifying offer from Clayton Kershaw
The Dodgers must also decide on Thursday whether to issue Kershaw a qualifying offer, which, in the event that he accepts it, becomes a one-year contract. In order to allow Kershaw more time to consider his choices, the Dodgers decided not to extend him a qualifying offer during the previous offseason.
When Kershaw is donning a Dodgers uniform, everything “just feels more right in the universe,” according to Friedman. That is simply how it falls with us. But we have the utmost regard for what he and Ellen are going through. It’s unquestionably a top priority for us, and we’re hoping he’ll join us in Glendale.
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