Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After consecutive years of being eliminated in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are facing one of their most important offseasons to date.
The club has 35 players under team control for the 2024 season and 16 who are currently free agents. That leaves five open spots to add players in free agency, via the trade market and to protect prospects from being eligible in the Rule 5 Draft.
This means the Dodgers are going to need to release some players off their 40-man or make some trades to clear out spots.
The Dodgers entered the offseason with major needs in their starting rotation and outfield, along with having their sights set on Shohei Ohtani, and possibly Yoshinobu Yamamoto as well.
As it stands, the club only has five healthy starting pitchers under team control: Ryan Yarbrough, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan and Gavin Stone.
Walker Buehler is also under contract and is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training, but he has not thrown a pitch at the Major League level since June 10, 2022.
With a thin group of young players and health questions, the Dodgers need to add a few starters, along with someone to pitch at the top of their rotation.
If Clayton Kershaw returns, which may not be the case anyway, he is hopeful to get back on the mound during the summer months of 2024 at the earliest after undergoing shoulder surgery.
In addition, James Outman is the Dodgers’ only pure outfielder with extensive Major League experience on the roster. Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor are both expected to see time in the infield, which leaves the need for at least one starting outfielder, if not two, depending on how much Betts plays second base.
The expected return of Gavin Lux should provide a boost to their infield, but they still need to address whether Max Muncy is going to play third base and who will be at second base. That may also relate to who is the Dodgers’ designated hitter in 2024, which is an open position on their roster.
Dodgers under contract/team control (35)
Guaranteed contracts (8)
Starting pitcher: Tony Gonsolin
Relief pitcher: Blake Treinen
Catcher: Austin Barnes
Infielders: Max Muncy, Miguel Rojas
Infielders/Outfielders: Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor
Arbitration eligible (12)
Starting pitchers: Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Ryan Yarbrough
Relief pitchers: Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Caleb Ferguson, Yency Almonte, J.P. Feyereisen, Victor Gonzalez, Alex Vesia
Catcher: Will Smith
Infielder: Gavin Lux
Starting pitchers: Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan, Gavin Stone
Relief pitchers: Michael Grove, Bryan Hudson, Kyle Hurt, Gus Varland
Catchers: Diego Cartaya
Infielders: Michael Busch, Miguel Vargas, Jorbit Vivas
Outfielders: James Outman, Jonny DeLuca, Andy Pages
Dodgers free agents (16)
Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urías, Lance Lynn
Relief pitchers: Ryan Brasier, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Daniel Hudson, Jimmy Nelson, Alex Reyes
Infielders: Amed Rosario, Kolten Wong
Outfielders: Jason Heyward, David Peralta, Jake Marisnick
Infielders/Outfielders: Kiké Hernández
Designated hitter: J.D. Martinez
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