The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen suffered a major blow in late June when Daniel Hudson suffered a game-ending torn ACL. His season ended there and then, and the groans in Craig Kimbrel’s direction only got louder.
It was even worse news for Hudson, who agreed to a one-year deal with a team option just a few months ago. However, it turns out that when you’re in Los Angeles and things like this happen, the organization is more than happy to take over another year and run things backwards.
They did it with Blake Treinen after a shoulder injury in April was expected to keep him out for months (and possibly the entire season). They did it with Max Muncie, who was one of the most disappointing players in baseball during the first four months of the season as he recovered from a partially torn UCL.
Both players will now be in Los Angeles through 2023 with a team option through 2024. Now the same goes for Hudson. The Dodgers picked up a $6.5 million option on Thursday and attached the option for next year.
Run it back! It seemed like a long time ago that the Dodgers front office would have too many tough decisions to make this offseason when it came to contract options. Now their outlook for 2023 is much less bleak.
The Dodgers picked up Daniel Hudson’s option and settled on the 2024 option
Back in April, Hudson, Muncy, Treinen, Justin Turner, Danny Duffy, Hanser Alberto, Jimmy Nelson and Cody Bellinger all had question marks surrounding their contracts.
Now Hudson, Muncie and Treinen are taken care of, Turner’s situation is resolving itself as he continues to heat up, Duffy is as good as gone, Alberto has made himself a permanent member of the club, and Nelson will likely return due to the low cost. Bellinger is the only real concern as the Dodgers have to determine if they will offer him his final ~$20M contract.
Still, the fact of the matter is that the Dodgers are ahead of their 2023 roster, with some of those situations playing out their own way, and Andrew Friedman was smart enough to get ahead of it.
With Kimbrel likely gone, the guaranteed return of Treinen and Hudson, despite the injuries that have consumed them in 2022, provides a semblance of stability for a bullpen that badly needs it. Evan Phillips came on, which was incredible, while Alex Vecia became an asset, but other than that, there’s a lack of clarity on guys like Phil Bickford, Yancey Almonte and Brusdar Graterol. Not to mention that David Price and Tommy Kahnle will become free agents and likely won’t return.
Oh yeah, and remember that trade for Chris Martin at the deadline? It can be managed until 2023. So Treinen, Hudson, Martin, Phillips and Vecia are all but guaranteed to be on board next year.
Just so many registry problems gone. The Dodgers can now focus on keeping Treu Turner and finding one high-priced reliever to join this impressive cast.
Friedman & Co. make it look so easy, and that’s why Los Angeles has had so much success avoiding the main drama in the headlines.