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Dodgers Still in on Brad Hand Even After Signing Blake Treinen

The Dodgers might not be done, looking at a potential huge arm to add.



The Dodgers made a huge splash late on Tuesday night by adding an impact arm to their bullpen. It wasn’t Liam Hendriks, but rather Blake Treinen that they chose to give a new deal to. With Treinen ready to come back, most in baseball felt that they were done adding to their relief core. 

But hold that thought for just a minute, because the Dodgers might not be done. Jon Heyman later reported that Los Angeles could be looking to add another big arm, or at least maintaining interest in one. Heyman reports that Brad Hand is still on their radar and that adding him would create a lethal bullpen. 

Realistically, the Dodgers probably won’t add another big name to their bullpen. The combination of Treinen, Victor Gonzalez, Brusdar Graterol, and Corey Knebel could be enough to supplement Kenley Jansen. And one of the minor league signings (think Jimmy Nelson/Brandon Morrow) is sure to work out on some level. 

Related: Chris Archer Throws at Dodgers Practice Facility

Not to mention that the Dodgers will be just short of $5 million from exceeding the luxury tax threshold once Treinen’s deal goes through. while they haven’t said that they absolutely will not go over that mark, there is reason to believe they would like to avoid it. 

Andrew Friedman could be looking at dumping salary somewhere else, but there aren’t many options to do so. The only guy that they could realistically move with a decent-sized contract would be Joe Kelly, who will earn just north of $8 million in 2021. The Dodgers could try to unload some money, but it seems more likely that they would either try to stay under the tax threshold with the guys that they have or just go over it.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Re-signing Treinen is a a good move, but far from a “big splash.” The Dodgers clearly lost faith in Jansen last year. Is Graterol the answer? We don’t know. Re: the luxury tax, they have to go over at this point, because they can’t roll out such a left-handed hitting lineup in 2021.

  2. Agreed, rainbirdmuse, and they’ll be under the cap in 2022. So, a one-year tax penalty of $8-10 million for another trophy? Yeah, Friedman will do that. Sign Hand (need another top lefty!) and go get that big, right-handed bat!!

  3. “Supplement Jansen”? I don’t want to supplement Jansen as a closer. I want to replace him. How many blown saves in critical situations will it take to convince people that Jansen’s time is up? I agree that Kelley could be unloaded to free up salary. So could Price. In fact Jansen could be traded to someone who still thinks he has something. If the overall effect of these three salary dumps could net us a Hand or Hendriks as well as a RHB, without incurring the luxury tax, I’d do it in a heartbeat. In fact this seems like one of those rare years where you consider willingly incurring the luxury tax because you just won a world series and are primed to win another one. It’s not like the Dodgers haven’t incurred the luxury tax before, but there is added penalties for consecutive years, so you want to avoid stringing years together like the Yankees. On the other hand, the Dodgers are suffering financially like everyone else in the new fanless sports era. I guess it comes down to how much you want to win it all. Again. Personally, I’d rather drop some deadwood from the pitching staff to bring in some reliable performers. I like Treinen as a set up guy. We still need a closer. Graterol will grow into that role. But will he be there by the 2021 postseason? Do you make Urias your postseason closer? Or do you lean on some other starter that moves to the bullpen in the postseason? Or do you just go out and get someone who has been doing it reliably for years?

    • It’s a rich man’s problem for us. Graterol will probably be ready by 2022. Corey Knebel was an all star closer just a 2-3 years ago, and could replace him. Victor Gonzalez, if he’s not used as a bridge, could get some chances to save games, and we also have Treinen now. Khnale will be ready in 2022, and will give us another option. Besides Kenley, we have, right now, 4 options at closer, and in 2022, it stays the same, as Knebel and Kenley are F/A. The dodgers should just overkill at this point and sign Brad Hand-who will be cheaper than Liam Hendriks-and trade for a right-handed bat-preferably Kris Bryant or a Luis Castillo/Eugenio Suarez trade package.

      • John Michael I agree. I think Hand or Hendricks, and RHB and we are singing a song! Only thing better than that would be to dump Prices contract or Pollock.

  4. I’m liking these bullpen moves. We can’t afford to sign a number 2 starter right now because of luxury tax and contracts like Price and Pollock. If we can stack our pen on short-term deals we can cover our starters going limited innings. KC played that philosophy to a fiddle in there WS run. Hendricks or Hand would be money with Jansen, Graterol, Kneble, Treninen, Kelly , and others. That is nasty allows a lot less stress for starters, and more rest for Kersh!

  5. There are interesting options, but nothing that is a slam dunk. If a pitcher can’t be counted on to be a part of a close playoff series game or WS game, then the spot should be held by a youngster by a young player to get experience. I don’t feel that Kelly or Jansen should be a part of a high leverage situation in the playoffs. Mop up, maybe situational at best if the game is in question. Trade Kelly and Jansen and eat how much ever of the contract we have to, within reason. Maybe 1/2 each? That would give us about 11M in room.
    That should be enough to get Hand, if we choose to. (His stats indicate a decline, I think that explains a lot of the reason nobody picked him up on waivers, they may know more than us.)
    Next Option: Hendricks. With the space we have, along with the hypothetical room created with trades of Jansen and Kelly, we should have enough to pick him up without going over the luxury tax. (Assumes we don’t sign Turner or anyone else of note.) But he isn’t young, and wants 4 years. I don’t thing 3 is a good idea, much less 4 years. So that isn’t perfect.
    Final Options: Trades. We have to give up young talent to get anyone of note. That can hurt us in future. But might be the best route. But with closers, experienced is expensive. Young is unproven and costs prospects. I’m starting to thing we have our opening day bullpen, with a mid season addition most likley.

    • I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, but I think it’s a smart way to play are cards competitively, and from a value stand point. We can sign bullpen guys to short-term deals. I would love Bauer but 5-6 year deal a la Gerrit Cole with the Yankees this year. Not realistic. DJ maybe but again we are going pay him a short-term deal 2-3 years 80 mil vs 5 years 125 mil.

  6. Does Friedman already know that Price is going to opt out for 2021? And, does that money roll to the following year and come off the books for 2021?

    That might be what’s driving all this…

  7. We still need a closer! How are we complete w/o a closer! Kenley Is done. Graterol for all his 99 mph can’t strike anyone out. Make Urias the one or get Hand or Hendricks. A great team with no closer is cutting corners in the worst place.

  8. The idea of building a super pen is a good one in that the Padres have doubled down on elite starting pitching. However as many have stated the Financials get in the way. Kasten has said the Dodgers with the Pandemic running amuck in CA are calculating they will be one of the last states to open up to fans in the stands. This seriously impacts their revenue as the Dodgers routinely lead the league in attendance and concession revenue. How much are the Dodgers willing to lose in 2021?
    Pollock performed well in 2020 and is one of our only RH bats so he is untouchable unless he is traded for a couple of RH bats.
    I really like Suarez as he is a good 3rd baseman and solid RH bat plus he is under a long term contract.
    The Dodgers have some recognized talent in Vargas and Hoese that are 3rd basemen on the Farm Teams. That will effect what they decide to do long term. The talent in the Minors and Turner’s history of injury should make any Team hesitate to give him more than a couple of year incentive laden-contract.

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