The Los Angeles Dodgers are making a move no one saw coming ahead of the 2023 season. They signed right-hander Alex Reyes, 29, to a one-year deal. It’s a one-year, $1.1 million deal with a team option for 2024. As you can see from the option, this was a pretty big deal.
Considering the Dodgers’ overall team payroll, $1.1 million isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s Reyes’ situation that has gotten the most attention. Reyes hadn’t played a single major league game in 2022. This was due to a number of elbow and other injuries. But the Dodgers took a gamble by signing Reyes despite the uncertainty. “The Dodgers are playing the lottery again,” everyone said.
Reyes had the potential to hit the jackpot. After making his major league debut with St. Louis in 2016, Reyes was performing well after being moved to the bullpen entirely. After posting a 3.20 ERA in 15 games in 2020, he went 10-8 with a 3.24 ERA and 29 saves in 69 games in 2021, earning an All-Star nod. Despite his injury history, he was more than capable of holding his own in the bullpen if healthy.
However, the Dodgers’ venture was a complete failure. Reyes, who was still rehabbing at the time of signing, underwent shoulder surgery in June and missed the 2023 season entirely. He’s not expected to return until midway through the 2024 season. The Dodgers were hoping to hit the jackpot, but ended up throwing $1.5 billion down the drain. They opted not to exercise his $3 million team option for 2024. Instead, they paid him a $100,000 buyout and ended the relationship. In total, the team lost $1.2 million.
The Dodgers got a bargain on a player who had been struggling with injuries year after year. But like Reyes, there are also failures. There’s a reason why the Dodgers, who aren’t strapped for cash, had to take this strategy in free agency ahead of the 2023 season. Shohei Ohtani is the biggest name in the 2023-2024 free agent market. The Dodgers wanted to reset the luxury tax threshold and free up team payroll to sign Ohtani, who was expected to cost an astronomical amount of money, so they were limited in their big signings, and Reyes was one of the meat and potatoes that came out of that situation. 캡틴토토 주소
Now, a year later, the Dodgers are still the favorites to land Ohtani. Despite the fact that Ohtani underwent season-ending elbow surgery, the Dodgers are believed to be among the many teams waiting in the wings. While estimates vary by outlet, the general consensus is that the total will be in excess of $500 million. That’s a name that dominates the major league free agent market.
The Dodgers are also trying to empty their payroll as much as possible. They didn’t offer J.D. Martinez a qualifying offer, which would have been around $20.3 million, even though he had a great year. Martinez’s age is a factor, but so is his position. Ohtani has been a starter and designated hitter, and Martinez is a designated hitter, so there is overlap. Martinez could play the outfield, but the outfield is already stacked with Mookie Betts and others. With so much interest in Ohtani, Martinez is bound to take a backseat.
The Dodgers’ stance on living legend and franchise player Clayton Kershaw is nuanced. The Dodgers signed Kershaw to a one-year, $20 million deal heading into this season. They had a plan in place to acquire Kershaw after the season, and relatively quickly put to rest rumors of retirement and a move to his hometown team, Texas. This year, however, the response hasn’t been as warm as it was last year. Kershaw’s shoulder surgery is an issue, but the Dodgers are also expected to make a run at Ohtani.
The Dodgers cleared a lot of payroll. Their mandatory guaranteed salary for next year is $108.8 million, which ranks 17th in the league. Aside from Mookie Betts ($30 million) and Freddie Freeman ($27 million), they don’t have any big-name players. Only three players make more than $10 million, including those two and Chris Taylor ($13 million). The groundwork has been laid to get Ohtani. Ohtani would likely see the Dodgers as one of the teams that best fits his mantra of being a team that can win.