While there has been some notable activity in MLB free agency this winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to become involved. After winning the National League West for a seventh consecutive season but failing to win the World Series, the Dodgers are expected to be one of the more active teams this winter.
They have been connected to the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, among others, and recently re-signed Austin Barnes and Scott Alexander to one-year contracts to avoid arbitration with both players.
That overlapped with the Dodgers tendering contracts to Pedro Baez, Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor and Julio Urias. Yimi Garcia was non-tendered and immediately became a free agent.
Alexander was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $1 million in salary next season. While he agreed for less, Alexander’s contract is fully guaranteed, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
Can confirm the Dodgers have avoided arbitration with Scott Alexander, who’s looking to rebound from injuries in 2020. I’m told his contract is fully guaranteed, unlike most contracts for arb-eligible players.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) December 2, 2019
Alexander was expected to be a key part of the Dodgers bullpen in 2019 but saw his season derailed by injuries. In 28 appearances, he went 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA, 5.06 FIP and 1.39 WHIP with nine strikeouts and seven walks in 17.1 innings.
The left-hander first went on the injured list on June 11 due to left forearm inflammation. He then hurt his thumb while working to recover from the forearm issue, which was caused by a nerve issue in his arm that forced him to eventually go season-ending nerve decompression surgery in September.
After his disappointing 2019 season, Alexander was a candidate to be non-tendered before Monday’s deadline. He is still under club control until 2023, so it is not surprising that the organization prioritized keeping him.
One thing to keep an eye on in 2020 is that a three-batter rule will go into effect for relievers, so Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will no longer be able to utilize Alexander as a true lefty specialist that comes in to face one or two hitters.
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