Which Dodgers Have Contract Option For 2024 Season

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers face an important offseason after another loss in the National League Division Series to a team they were heavily-favored against.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman called it an “organizational failure” for the second straight season, but no major changes are expected to come to their front office or coaching staff.

Instead, the Dodgers will look to upgrade their roster and solve their glaring issues that led to their downfall in the postseason, which included poor starting pitching and a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position.

Friedman put more blame on the offense for their NLDS elimination, but still added the Dodgers will focus heavily on starting pitching with only Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone and Ryan Yarbrough as their healthy starters under team control. Walker Buehler is also expected to return from Tommy John surgery at the start of 2024.

But before the offseason really begins, the Dodgers have multiple contract options to decide on. Teams must make their decisions on options within five days of the conclusion of the world series.

An option is a potential contract extension that was previously negotiated into the last contract that has the ability to make the player a free agent or keep them under team control. There are four types of options: a club option, a mutual option, a player option and a vesting option.

A club option gives the team the full ability to keep the player or make them a free agent, while a player option gives the athlete the power to stay with the team or test free agency. A mutual option takes both parties to agree, or else the player will become a free agent.

Club options also generally come with a buyout cost to make the player a free agent. For example, in 2022 the Dodgers declined Justin Turner’s $16 million options and instead paid him the $2 million buyout to make him a free agent.

A vesting option is one that is based on stats a player had during the previous season or the course of their contract. They are typically based on plate appearances, games played, innings or games finished.

The Dodgers have six players with contract options for the 2024 season, and all of them are club options, giving the organization the full power to extend the contract for a year under the previously agreed terms or make the player a free agent.

Dodgers contract options for 2024 season

Lance Lynn

The Dodgers hold an $18 million club option on Lance Lynn with a buyout cost of $1 million.

After Lynn showed some flashes of potential after the Dodgers acquired him from the Chicago White Sox, he regressed back to being one of the worst starters in Major League Baseball.

The 36-year-old finished the season throwing 183.2 innings with a 5.73 ERA, 5.53 FIP, 23.6% strikeout rate and 8.3% walk rate over 32 starts. His final start came in NLDS Game 3 where he allowed four home runs in the third inning before being removed.

It’s all but a guarantee the Dodgers decline Lynn’s option and pay him the $1 million buyout to make him a free agent.

Max Muncy

The Dodgers have a $14 million club option on Max Muncy with no buyout cost. The option was previously worth $10 million, but his contract contained escalators based on his total plate appearances in 2023 that raised it $4 million.

Muncy had a rebound season in 2023, hitting .212/.333/.475 with 36 home runs, 95 runs scored, 105 RBI, a 118 wRC+ and 2.9 WAR. His defense at third base was poor, but the free agent options at the hot corner are pretty slim.

It’s likely the Dodgers pick up Muncy’s option to keep him under contract for one more season as he provides more value than his contract is worth. However, they could still decide to trade the 33-year-old if they feel he no longer fits on their roster, which is a better path than declining the option.

Joe Kelly

The Dodgers’ option over Joe Kelly is worth $9.5 million with a $1 million buyout.

The 35-year-old was an effective reliever for the club after being acquired along with Lynn, but he also dealt with multiple injuries in the season. Kelly finished the year with a 4.12 ERA but a stellar 2.72 FIP while striking out 35.7% of hitters and walking 10.7% in 39.1 innngs.

It’s likely the Dodgers decline Kelly’s option based on the dollar amount of nearly $10 million for a non-closing reliever, but they should still be interested in working on a new, lower-value contract with him.

Blake Treinen

The Dodgers have a contract option on Blake Treinen worth $7 million with no buyout. The total is based on the time he missed in 2022 and 2023.

Although he was one of the Dodgers’ best relievers when healthy, the 35-year-old missed the entire 2023 season and pitched only five innings in 2022. Treinen began a rehab assignment at the end of the 2023 season but was shut down with shoulder soreness.

The Dodgers are unlikely to pick up Treinen’s option, but he could still return to the organization on a Minor League contract or low-cost one-year Major League deal.

Daniel Hudson

The Dodgers’ option on Daniel Hudson is worth $6.5 million with no buyout.

Hudson was proving to be one of the club’s most effective relievers in 2022 before tearing his ACL. He was able to return in 2023 but threw just three innings before spraining his MCL and missing the rest of the year.

It would be surprising if the Dodgers pick up the option on the 36-year-old, who may be looking to retire. If he wants to keep pitching, he should receive a contract similar to Treinen.

Alex Reyes

The Dodgers hold a $3 million option with no buyout on Alex Reyes after signing him to a one-year deal prior to the 2023 season. The deal also included incentives to increase the value of the option for 2024, but he did not throw a single pitch.

The once highly-touted prospect has a lot of talent, but he hasn’t pitched at the Major League level since 2021 due to injuries. The Dodgers were hopeful he would return in 2023, but he underwent shoulder surgery in June that ended his season.

At just $3 million, it wouldn’t be totally surprising if they exercise his option to keep the 29-year-old around for another season, but it’s more likely he ends up entering free agency. The decision could be based on what the team knows about his medical information.

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