After being eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers offseason loomed with multiple free agents and players eligible for salary arbitration. Although it didn’t seem likely, Dan Haren and Brian Wilson could have added to the group of free agents had they declined their respective player options.
Of the Dodgers’ free agents, Hanley Ramirez has certainly grabbed the majority of the headlines. Ramirez unsurprisingly rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer and reportedly has drawn interest from the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox, among others.
As for the players who are eligible for salary arbitration, it includes Dee Gordon, who was one of 26 players to qualify for the group of Super Twos, according to Austin Laymance of MLB.com:
The group is headlined by Mets closer Jenrry Mejia, Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera, Angels pitcher Garrett Richards, Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, Astros slugger Chris Carter, A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson and Yankees pitcher David Phelps.
One noticeable change in Gordon’s path to potential free agency is he can now go through arbitration a total of four times instead of the customary three. Including Gordon, the Dodgers have a total of seven players who are arbitration-eligible: Darwin Barney, Roger Bernadina, Drew Butera, A.J. Ellis, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.
Based on their play in 2014, it can be presumed Gordon, Jansen and Turner are priorities for the Dodgers to re-sign. Gordon played his way to his first career All-Star Game while solidifying second base, Jansen is the team’s undisputed closer and Turner was a jack of all trades.
Gordon appeared in a career-high 148 games and hit .289 with an MLB-best 64 stolen bases and 12 triples.
Clayton Kershaw has voiced his desire that Ellis be brought back, but it could be impacted by the Dodgers’ rumored interest in Russell Martin. Conceivably, there’s room for both Ellis and Martin being that a backup catcher is needed.
If that were the direction the Dodgers were to head in, it may impact Butera as Tim Federowicz is also in the organization; additionally, both catchers are out of options.
Barney provided a steady glove for the Dodgers after he was traded for in July, but the Dodgers have an abundance of infielders that could grow as Alex Guerrero can’t be optioned to the Minors without his consent. The Dodgers have until Dec. 2 to tender contracts.