How might the Dodgers look next season?

first_imgAustin Barnes (27): $540,000In his first full season in the big leagues, Barnes earned the trust of Manager Dave Roberts for his handling of the pitching staff and consistent quality of his at-bats. By playoff time, he was the Dodgers’ primary catcher.Kyle Farmer (27): $535,000Farmer made himself a viable third catcher by learning to play other positions in Triple-A (second, first and third base).Yasmani Grandal (28): $5.5 million (arbitration eligible)Grandal is in his final arbitration year and was looking forward to the riches of free agency after 2018. But his status tumbled badly with a second-half slump and his MLB-high passed ball total. Video: What went wrong for the Dodgers in Game 7?INFIELDERSCody Bellinger (22): $535,000Bellinger arrived sooner than expected and now ranks as one of the top young sluggers in baseball with a bright future.Charlie Culberson (28): $550,000Culberson spent most of the 2017 season as a popular teammate and solid influence at Triple-A. He has value as a versatile bench player.Logan Forsythe (30): $5.75 millionThe Dodgers hold a $9 million option that they will almost certainly exercise. After an injury-riddled season, he emerged as a plus-defender and difficult out in the postseason – just what they expected when they traded for him last winter.Adrian Gonzalez (35): $21.5 millionThe expensive veteran is the Dodgers’ biggest offseason dilemma. His recurring back problems and Bellinger’s emergence have left the Dodgers with no use for Gonzalez going forward. But those back problems and his contract mean they are stuck with him for 2018.Corey Seager (23): $575,000The 2016 NL Rookie of the Year avoided any sophomore slump. But his nagging late-season injuries – to his elbow and back – are reason for concern. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Seager might not be too big to play shortstop. But the position’s physical demands might be a problem.Justin Turner (32): $12 millionThe best $1 million investment of the Guggenheim ownership, Turner is a leader in the clubhouse and an All-Star on the field. Re-signing him to a four-year, $64 million deal was one of the critical moves last winter that led to this year’s World Series.Chase Utley (38): $2 millionThe Dodgers bought a clubhouse culture when they re-signed Utley each of the past two winters. With that established, Utley (who will turn 39 in December) might have to choose between retirement or a low-money minor-league deal to make another team’s roster next spring.OUTFIELDERSAndre Ethier (35): $17.5 millionAfter two seasons gutted by injury, Ethier might have played his last game in a Dodgers uniform. The Dodgers will use the $2.5 million buyout to avoid a $17.5 million salary in 2018 – though they could re-sign him at a lower salary.Curtis Granderson (36): $15 millionThe August trade acquisition from the Mets is best forgotten. Granderson will be a free agent.Franklin Gutierrez (34): $2.6 millionThe Dodgers gambled a one-year $2.6 million contract that Gutierrez would be a lefty-killing option in left field. It was a bad gamble.Joc Pederson (25): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)Pederson regressed offensively and defensively so badly that he had dropped completely out of the Dodgers’ plans – until he burst back to life with three home runs in the World Series.Yasiel Puig (26): $6.5 millionA year ago, Puig’s future with the Dodgers was very much in doubt. But he surged back to relevance in 2017 with Gold Glove-caliber defense and career-highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (74) while showing more plate discipline than anyone thought possible. Puig is sure to be motivated in 2018, the final year of his original seven-year, $42 million contract.Trayce Thompson (26): $535,000Thompson lost his place in the Dodgers’ outfield mix this year and has a long way to go to get back into it for 2018.Andrew Toles (25): $540,000The Dodgers remain very high on Toles. But the 2017 season was lost to a torn ACL and he might not return until well into 2018.Alex Verdugo (21): $535,000The Dodgers’ top position-player prospect, Verdugo made an underwhelming first impression as a September call-up.Chris Taylor (27): $535,000One of the most surprising stories of the 2017 season, Taylor went from “a fringy 4-A player” – Roberts’ description – to a crucial piece of the Dodgers’ core group, remaking his swing and learning to play center field.Kiké Hernandez (26): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)The kind of multi-position player craved by new-age roster-builders, Hernandez has niche value as a right-handed offensive weapon against left-handed pitching.LEFT-HANDED PITCHERSLuis Avilan (28): $1.5 million (arbitration eligible)Serviceable lefty reliever came down with a bad shoulder on the eve of the postseason but still figures into next year’s bullpen.Tony Cingrani (28): $1.825 million (arbitration eligible)The lowest-profiled of the Dodgers’ three trade-deadline acquisitions, Cingrani pitched well as a lefty specialist down the stretch.Grant Dayton (29): $540,000 (arbitration eligible)Tommy John surgery will likely sideline Dayton for all of 2018.Rich Hill (37): $12 millionThe Dodgers’ recent pitching investments have not paid great dividends (Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy). Hill’s three-year, $48 million contract signed last winter is looking good so far.Scott Kazmir (33): $16 millionKazmir didn’t throw a pitch for the Dodgers in 2017 and probably won’t in 2018 either, the final year of his three-year, $48 million contract.Clayton Kershaw (29): $33 millionThe 2018 season could be a pivotal one for the Dodgers’ ace. His seven-year, $215 million contract has three years and $98 million remaining but he can opt out after 2018. What would a third consecutive year with back problems do to that plan?Adam Liberatore (30): $535,000Elbow injuries have plagued Liberatore since the middle of 2016.Edward Paredes (31): $535,000Paredes, who was first signed to a pro contract by Seattle in 2005, made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in September.Hyun-Jin Ryu (30): $7 millionThe left-hander returned after two years lost to shoulder and elbow surgeries and pitched well at times in 2017. He is owed $7 million in 2018, the final year of his six-year, $36 million deal.Tony Watson (32): $5.6 millionAcquired from Pittsburgh at the trade deadline, Watson became an important part of the Dodgers’ bullpen. He is a free agent.Julio Urias (21): $535,000One of the top pitching prospects in baseball, Urias had shoulder surgery in June and will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2018 season.Alex Wood (26): $2.8 million (arbitration eligible)Can we stop asking about moving him to the bullpen? The young left-hander was outstanding for most of 2017 and was the Dodgers’ best pitcher in the World Series (one run, one hit in 7-2/3 innings). Write him into the 2018 rotation – in ink.RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERSPedro Baez (29): $550,000 (arbitration eligible)Roberts’ most reliable setup man for the first four months of the season, Baez pitched his way into oblivion down the stretch. His confidence took a big hit and Baez will head into spring training needing to re-establish himself.Walker Buehler (23): $535,000One of the most exciting pitching prospects in baseball, the 2015 first-round pick will have a chance to pitch his way into the Dodgers’ 2018 rotation.Yu Darvish (31): $11 millionEven before his costly flop in the World Series, the Dodgers were unlikely to enter the bidding to retain Darvish, whose asking price on the free-agent market will be well north of $100 million. Now? It’s goodbye to Yu.Josh Fields (32): $1.105 million (arbitration eligible)Roberts’ circle of trust narrowed as the postseason progressed and Fields was not in it. He will have to re-establish himself next spring.Yimi Garcia (27): $555,000 (arbitration eligible)Garcia spent 2017 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He could be a wild card in the bullpen sweepstakes next spring.Kenley Jansen (30): $10 millionJansen proved vulnerable in the World Series but still ranks as the best closer in the National League and a rock around which the Dodgers’ bullpen will be built for the duration of the five-year, $80 million deal he signed last winter.Kenta Maeda (31): $3 millionMaeda was a revelation as a righty-killing reliever in the postseason. But the Dodgers still see him as a starter.Brandon McCarthy (34): $10 millionThe oft-injured veteran starter enters the final year of his contract with no clear place in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.Brandon Morrow (33): $1.25 millionThe best $100,000 the Dodgers spent last season was the retention bonus they gave Morrow to stay in Triple-A awaiting his early-season call-up. They will have to spend more to keep him now that he’s a free agent.Brock Stewart (26): $537,500A talented but still developing starter, Stewart could be ready to break out – of course, the same could have been said last spring as well.Ross Stripling (27): $540,000A top starting prospect in the Dodgers’ depleted system a few years ago, Stripling now seems to have found a place in the bullpen. One day after coming up a game short in the World Series, is it too soon to turn our attention to how the Dodgers will look next season?Who’s a free agent, who has a contract option and who is eligible for arbitration? Here’s a position-by-position look at the status of the players who made up the 2017 roster.Ages in parentheses, followed by their 2017 salaries (not pro-rated):CATCHERScenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more