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Dodgers' Friedman/Gomes Roberts Discusses Kershaw, Bellinger and Turner

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The Dodgers were baseball’s best team during the regular season, setting a record 111 games. They beat the next closest team, the Astros, by five games, and finished ten times ahead of everyone else in the National League.

That didn’t translate to postseason success, however, as Los Angeles dropped three-quarters of the Divisional Series to divisional rivals, the Padres. Entering the offseason sooner than they might have hoped, Andrew Friedman, head of baseball operations, and Brandon Gomes, general manager, met with reporters this afternoon (links via Jack Harris of the LA Times and Fabian Ardaya of the Athletic).

Executives predictably expressed disappointment with the early postseason exit, and Friedman suggested his tenure in baseball operations was the most painful series loss. Yet he quickly downplayed the need for sweeping organizational changes, pointing to the volatility inherent in a short playoff streak. While Friedman credits the Padres for outstripping the Dodgers during the Division Series, he noted that the lack of situational hits that plagued LA at the end of the season is something that tends to go up and down over the course of a year.

Friedman confirmed that up to that point the team did not require any drastic overhauls, previous reports manager Dave Roberts would be returning for an eighth season. “I feel like Dave and his team of coaches have done an incredible job leading this team to 111 wins in the regular season.“said Friedman, the captain’s”one hundred%“Return to your role in 2023.”I don’t think there is a need for a switch that is turned off later in these (playoff) games, or a different sound for the players. This is my personal belief.

Friedman added that Roberts does not expect any changes in the coaching staff, implying that everyone will be offered a chance to return. Each off-season teams risk seeing a coach leave to take on a more influential role at another club. Reserve coach Bob Geren and first principal coach Clayton McCullough, for example, received some managerial attention last winter and are likely to show up again in calls this off-season.

Returning to the casting staff, Friedman and Gomes touched on a few key decisions they had to make early in the season. Los Angeles will see the franchise icon Clayton Kershaw Shoot free agency for the second winter in a row. Last season, the Dodgers surprisingly chose not to make Kershaw an elimination offer. Friedman later clarified that the Dodgers did not want to pressure the future Hall of Famer to decide whether to return within the 10-day period allotted to qualified free agents. Kershaw didn’t make a decision until after the lockout, and eventually re-signed at Spring Training with a one-year $17 million guarantee.

Since Kershaw did not receive a qualifying offer last winter, he was again eligible for an offer. Friedman did not explicitly exclude the QO this time, but strongly implied that they would be opposed again. “As I said last year, I think we’re going to give him time to take time for it and get his head together with (his wife) Ellen and figure out what makes the most sense for his family, to do it.‘ said the Dodger president. Friedman told him ‘strong hopeKershaw chose to return for season 16 in Los Angeles

This year’s qualifying bid is set at $19.65 Million. That’s a very reasonable price to pay for the three-time Cy Young winner who is among the best starters in the game by odds. Kershaw played a £2.28 ERA in 126 1/3 innings last season, beating an above-average 27.8% of the opponents against an elite 4.7% walk rate. He lost roughly a month to hip and back injuries, but he didn’t seem to feel any side effects from the forearm discomfort that cut the 2021 season short.

Kershaw has stated several times in recent weeks that she tends to pursue her career at the moment. Immediately after the loss of the series, he told reporters:From now on, I can say that I will play againHe added that spending some time with his family early in the off-season has the potential to change his mind, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kershaw took the free agency process slower than most players. Last winter’s decision seemed to be to return to Los Angeles, join his hometown Rangers, or retire. It looks like a similar story this winter, with both the Dodgers and Rangers sure to have great interest in signing him. (Other teams would of course seek it out if Kershaw expanded his geographic range, but that would be pretty surprising).

While the ball is primarily in Kershaw’s court when it comes to whether he will return to Dodger Stadium, it’s up to the team to decide how to proceed in the 2019 NL MVP. Cody Bellinger. Bellinger is eligible for arbitration for the last time this winter, and MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz predicts a salary of $18.1 million when a contract is awarded. Just Juan Soto It has a higher arbitration projection, which is a testament to Bellinger’s early career achievements. Those who earn high salaries early in their careers and the arbitration system are designed so that salaries are almost always increased from year to year.

However, Bellinger’s offensive production has evaporated over the past few seasons. 47-homer followed the MVP campaign with a slightly above average performance (.239/.333/.455) in 2020. While this looked like a potential drop in an abnormal season, it has seen a continued sharp decline. plate. Bellinger hit the plate at .165/.240/.302 more than 350 times last year. He rebounded a bit last season, but his .210/.265/.389 streak in the 550-plate match was still noticeably worse than average.

Among the 172 hitters who have played with more than 800 plates in the last two seasons, Bellinger is in last place with .256 percent of the base. The .355 slowdown mark is in the last tenth. Bellinger’s 7.7% walking rate and 27.1% hitting percentage are each worse than average, and his hard contact rate dropped markedly from the 2019 peak. These long struggles seem to point to Bellinger not being tendered for such a large salary, but he was a strong plus outside of the hitter box. He shifted 14 bases in 17 tries last season and is rated as an overall above-average baserunner. More importantly, he’s been checked as a plus defensive midfielder throughout his career, including an above-average +5 run from Statcast this season.

Neither Friedman nor Gomes made a definitive statement on the possibility of non-tender, but Gomes generally praised Bellinger’s overall value. “He made some really successful moves during the particular season.“said the GM.”I think elite defense continued to be there, and we still think it was the (offensive) upside. So those are the discussions we’re going to move forward as we look at what 2023 looks like.

Friedman offered a similar sentiment when asked about the club’s $16 million option for a third baseman. Justin Turner. Friedman called Turner”a big part of our successhowever, he noted that the front desk needed more time to consider important listing decisions. Turner seemed poised for a $2 million buyout with a .256/.330/.403 showing in the first half of the season, but he sent an excellent .319/.386/ making this a tough call to the front desk. There are .503 lines from the All-Star Break.

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