L.A. Dodgers 2021 Preview

Updated: Mar 3

Welcome to the final month before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! The beginning of March begins the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!

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LA Dodgers

Last Year, Record:43-17 finished first in the NL West and went on to win the World Series.

Record x2.7: 116.1-45.9

Vegas Projected: 101.5, I am taking the over on the Dodgers and projecting the club to win 105 games.


Impact Departures:

INF Kiki Hernandez(FA), RHP Pedro Baez(FA), LF Joc Pederson(FA), LHP Alex Wood(FA), RHP Brett de Geus(Rule 5), RHP Jordan Sheffield(Rule 5)

Traded Away:

RHP Josh Sborz, RHP Dylan Floro, LHP Adam Kolarek, OF Cody Thomas


Key Arrivals

Free Agent Signings:

-RHP TREVOR BAUER- The reigning NL Cy Young award winner. The deal is for three seasons, $102mil guaranteed, with an opt-out after 2021 and 2022. He will make $40mil in 2021, $45mil in 2022. The deal does establish a new highest AAV among pitchers. In 2020 he pitched to a 1.73ERA, 2.94SIERA, 36%K rate. As part of the signing, the Dodgers will forfeit their 2nd highest draft pick and $500k in international pool money. The Reds will gain a pick at the end of the first round.

-The LA Dodgers got their man back. 3B Justin Turner re-signed with the Dodgers on a 2yr $34mil deal, with a team option of $14mil for a 3rd year.

-RHRP Blake Treinen- The Dodgers got 25.2IP with a 3.86ERA and a 20.6% strikeout rate, and a 64% groundball rate in 2020 while being an excellent high leverage situation pitcher.

-RHRP Tommy Kahnle- Kahnle is unlikely to pitch in 2021 as he underwent Tommy John surgery back in early August.

Via Trade:

RHP Corey Knebel from the Brewers for a PTBNL or Cash. Knebel struggled after coming back from TJ to post a 6.08ERA 15-8K-BB Ratio in 13.1IP. Between 2017-18 for the Brewers, he had a 2.54ERA/2.74FIP with 55sv over 131.1IP.

INF Sheldon Neuse- The 26yo Neuse is a primary 3B and can also play 2B and has a pair of minor league options. He debuted in 2019, hitting a .250/.295/.304 slash over 61PA.

RHP Gus Varland- The 24yo Varland has 64.1IP in the MiLB level. With 26.1IP at the A level in 2019 with a 2.39ERA/4.00FIP.

RHP Jhan Zambrano- The 19yo Zambrano tossed 60IP with a 2.55ERA and 52:16 K-BB in the DSL in 2019.

LHP Alex Vesia- Vesia made his MLB debut in 2020, giving up 9ER, 7H, 7BB, 5K in 4.1IP. Vesia is only 24yo and carries a 1.62ERA in 100IP in the minors.

Key NRI:

RHRP Brandon Morrow- Morrow revived his career with the Dodgers in 2017 pitched to a 2.06ERA/1.55IP over 43.2IP. Morrow hasn't pitched since Jul. 15, 2018, due to injuries. The 36yo vet will look to get back into form and give the Dodgers a quality piece in pen.

INF Matt Davidson- Davidson, now 29yo, posted a .163/.264/.395 with 3HR over 47PA. He Also pitched in 3.1IP with 2ER.

1B/OF Rangel Ravelo- The 28yo hit .189/.250/.351 in 84PA with the Cardinals between the 2019-20 seasons. However, the track record at the AAA level he owns a .293/.369/.452 over 1652PA

INF Elliot Soto- The 31yo owns a .272/.346/.389 slash line over 1323PA at the AAA level.

LHP Enny Romero- With the Rays, Nationals, Pirates, and Royals, Romero owns a 5.12 ERA/4.30 FIP with a 23.4 percent strikeout rate, 11.1 percent walk rate, and 40.5 groundball rate for his career 146IP.

NRI:

RHP Jimmy Nelson, RHP Brock Stewart, LHP James Pazos. C Tim Federowicz is a few names with previous MLB service.

RHp Josiah Gray, RHP Michael Grove, LHp Mike Kickham, LHP Landon Knack, RHP Jose Martinez, LHP Bobby Miller, LHP Robinson Ortiz, RHP Ryan Pepiot, RHP Nick Robertson, LHP Gus Varland, RHP Kendall Williams, C Stevie Berman, C Hunter Feduccia, INF Jacy Amaya, INF Andy Burns, INF Michael Busch, INF Omar Estevez, INF Kody Hoese, INF Devin Mann, INF Rangel Ravelo, INF Elliot Soto, INF Miguel Vargas, OF James Outman, OF Andy Pages.

Tendered Contracts:

LHP Scott Alexander, C Austin Barnes, CF Cody Bellinger, RHP Dylan Floro, SP Julio Urias, SP Walker Buehler, SS Corey Seager

Claims:

RHP Gerardo Carrillo, RHP Andre Jackson, RHP Edwin Uceta, OF Zach Reks.

Returning from IL:

He isn't returning from injury, but SP David Price is returning to the field after opting-out of the 2020 season.

OUT OF OPTIONS:

C Austin Barnes

Prospect Watch

-The Rookie I got my eye on is C Keibert Ruiz. The Austin Barnes/Wil Smith combo doesn't give a ton of hope for Ruiz getting a shot at the roster in 2021.

-I am also keeping tabs on LF with no Pederson or Kiki. Look for DJ Peters to get a shot out in LF with AJ Pollock and Chris Taylor.

-I am also incredibly interested to see how P Dustin May does, building off a somewhat disappointing 2020 debut season.

-I am also interested to see how Gavin Lux continues to develop at 2B. He has a great glove; the bat has yet to come around.

Fantasy Impact Players

OF Mookie Betts, OF Cody Bellinger, 2B Gavin Lux, SS Corey Seager, 3B Justin Turner, SP Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, David Price, Julio Urias, RP Kenley Jansen

Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:

The Dodgers have an interesting 2021 off-season ahead of them. It's championship or bust for the Dodgers.

-SP Trevor Bauer carries a $35.3mil player option for the 2022 season. If the Dodgers can repeat, and Bauer builds his value to could opt-in or out. If he has a down season, then look for Bauer to stay put.

-Clayton Kershaw feels he has plenty left in the tank. Look for the Dodgers to keep their Legend in town.

-Kenley Jansen is in the last season of his deal. He will be 34yo come season's end. Jansen will have a robust market and could end up being too pricey for the Dodgers to retain their long-time great closer.

-Corey Seager- Boy, would the Dodgers love to keep him in town. Seager will headline the mega-class of Short Stops next offseason as he will be entering his age 2l8 season. The Marcus Semien deal of $18mil set's the stage for fellow SS this season.

-AJ Pollock carries a 13mil player option, RP Joe Kelley carries a 12mil club option.

-Chris Taylor and Corey Knebel are a couple of other notable names.

Storylines to follow

-14yr vet and Future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw is entering the final season of his 3yr $93mil deal. Kershaw is still only 33yo the possibility stands for another short-term big-money deal. "I'll just say, I don't know," Kershaw told Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. "I have no idea. I do know that I still love it, and I have a blast." The Dodgers and Kershaw haven't spoken about an extension, and he said the following on wanting a new deal "I don't know. Honestly, I wish I had an answer." The left-hander said his goals are simply to earn "my teammates' respect, and I just want to pitch well as long as I can. So all that other stuff will take care of itself."

-After opting out of the 2020 season, the 35yo Price is primed to get back on the field and fill in the fourth spot in the Dodgers' rotation in 2021. The career 3.31ERA/3.35FIP and the fact that Price is a future Hall of Famer proves he will bounce back even more potent than ever.

-The NRI to watch is Brandon Morrow revived his career with the Dodgers in 2017 pitched to a 2.06ERA/1.55IP over 43.2IP. Morrow hasn't pitched in the MLB since July 15th, 2018, due to a series of injuries. He did it once with the Dodgers; why not do it again?

Bold Predictions

-The boldest prediction anyone can make for the Dodgers is they have the MVP in Mookie Betts, Cy Young winner between Kershaw, Buehler, and Bauer, and they are a lock to repeat as World Series Champs. I know, hottest take on the market.

-I honestly think that Walker Buehler is just barely getting started in the MLB. He was a 1st round pick for a reason. The 2019 season was only a glimpse at the upside. Buehler has yet to show us what he can do genuinely. 2019 was great with 14W, 3.26ERA/3.01FIP, and the All-star nod. However, give me 2021 with a better offense, better rotation, and great pen behind him. I think Buehler could have a better season than both Bauer and Kershaw.

Fact Check

The Dodgers have had several nicknames throughout their history, including Grays, Bridegrooms, Ward's Wonders, Foutz's Fillies, Superbas, Robins, the Flock, and Dem Bums.

The tallest person to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers was 6-foot-9 pitcher Mark Hendrickson, who pitched in 57 games with the team from 2006-07. The shortest was 5-6 utility player Chad Fonville, who played in 200 games with them from 1995-97.

The youngest player in Dodgers history was Tommy Brown, who was 16 years, 173 days old when he made his debut in 1944. The youngest LA Dodger was Willie Crawford, who was 18 years, nine days old when he debuted on Sept. 16, 1964. The oldest was Hoyt Wilhelm, who was 49 years, 349 days old when he last pitched for them on Jul. 10, 1972.

Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed reviewing the winners as much as I have. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.

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