January 8, 2020 at 11:40 am
After Dodgers President Stan Kasten spoke to Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke over the weekend about the luxury tax many fans are wondering what exactly the Dodgers can do to go over the $208 million threshold. Andy McCullough wrote an article with a few ways the Dodgers could do this.
You can find McCullough’s article here. Below you can find highlights from the article and who he thinks the Dodgers could end up with.
Let us know who you’d like to see the Dodgers go after!
Brad Hand, LHP, Cleveland Indians ($7.6 million salary in 2020, $10 million team option for 2021)
Cleveland displayed a willingness to diminish an organizational strength in order to fortify a weakness when they traded Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati last summer. A few months later, in shipping Corey Kluber to Texas, the Indians showed their zeal for slashing money off their payroll. A three-time All-Star, Hand could add left-handed balance to the Dodgers bullpen. He struck out 13.2 batters per nine innings in 2019. And Cleveland has shown an ability to rebuild pitching staffs while shedding established stars. They received relief prospect Emmanuel Clase in the Kluber trade; they could also bottle up lightning with rookie James Karinchak, who struck out 42 batters in 17.1 Triple-A innings last season. The Dodgers are overflowing with outfielders, in both the majors and the minors, who could shore up one of Cleveland’s deficiencies.
Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets (projected $9.5 million salary in 2020, eligible for fourth year of arbitration in 2021)
Syndergaard demonstrated he could complete a full season without injury in 2019. Now he must again demonstrate the ability that captivated the industry in 2015 and 2016. He still possesses the sort of weapons that tantalize teams — even when they don’t subdue opposing hitters. The Mets have fielded offers for Syndergaard for years, and the asking price has been considered exorbitant. It figures to decrease as his salary rises and his years of team control shrink. The Mets also signed a pair of starting pitchers, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, to a rotation that already included four members. If Syndergaard doesn’t fit, the Dodgers could pivot to Marcus Stroman, who will be a free agent next winter.
Ken Giles, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays ($8.5 million salary in 2020)
The Dodgers discussed Giles with Toronto last summer, but Giles underwent an MRI on his right elbow and received a cortisone shot only a few days shy of the trade deadline, which clouded his value as the Blue Jays fielded offers. Toronto came close to completing a trade with the Yankees, but the Yankees backed out too late for Giles to be sent elsewhere, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported. Giles was less dominant after the injury, but still struck out 12.5 batters per nine innings with a 2.50 ERA. The Blue Jays intend to compete in 2020. In the American League East, though, they still profile as the fourth-best team. Giles will be a free agent this offseason, but wields enough talent to potentially provide a reasonable return.
Charlie Morton, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays ($15 million salary in 2020, $15 million vesting option for 2021)
The caveats for this one are crucial. The Rays need to fall out of the race. At 36, Morton must maintain the quality he has shown since 2017. And Tampa Bay also must be willing to move Morton, who signed with the Rays in part because of their proximity to his home in Bradenton, Fla. If those stars align, Morton checks all the requisite boxes for the Dodgers. He would slot into the rotation alongside Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. He has thrived in data-rich environments in Tampa Bay and Houston. He has not buckled beneath the weight of playoff pressure.
You may notice that all of these players are pitchers. That is because the position players who fit for the Dodgers are the players the team has spent most of the winter discussing. Which brings us to . . .
The Usual Suspects (Betts, Lindor and more)
You don’t need to forecast into the summer to know the Dodgers have interest in Betts and Lindor. They have already divulged as much this winter. If Betts and Lindor aren’t moved before the season starts, the Dodgers could resume negotiations a few months later — when both players are closer to free agency and the potential suitors might be more desperate in their offers.
If either shortstop Corey Seager or third baseman Justin Turner misses extended time with an injury, the Dodgers could look into Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien will become a free agent after 2020.
Another wrinkle worth considering; The Dodgers are not enamored with the idea of absorbing David Price’s contract as part of a package involving Betts, according to people familiar with the situation. But what about Chris Sale? If Sale shows that his elbow issues are behind him, he might form a more attractive pairing with Betts, if Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom decides he should dump salary this season.
All information in italics is from The Athletic article written by Andy McCullough which you can find here
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