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The Dodgers Should Consider Blake Treinen

The A’s can’t seem to afford him.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 28: Relief pitcher Blake Treinen #39 of the Oakland Athletics throws in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

It looks like the A’s cannot afford to keep Blake Treinen and probably won’t offer him a contract before the deadline of December 2. Treinen, who was elite in 2018 but struggled in 2019 is projected to get $7.8M by MLB Trade Rumors in arbitration. The Dodgers have question marks at the closer spot with Kenley Jansen trending downwards over the last two seasons. It’s risky but I’d like to see the Dodgers make a run at Treinen. This article will look at some options regarding trying to get Treinen.

The way the rules work is that the A’s must offer Treinen a contract by December 2nd that will obligate them to go through arbitration. If they don’t tender him a contract then he becomes a free agent. The A’s are way over their projected budget and will end up not offering some players contracts.

Why Blake Treinen?

The answer is pretty simple, 2018. In that season he pitched in 68 games with 38 saves. In 80.1innings he only gave up 46 hits with 100 strikeouts and 21 walks. His 2019 was rough and injury-filled which shows the volatility of relief pitchers. All relief pitchers are inherently risky.

Option 1: Trade For Him And Go Through Arbitration

The Dodgers have about $40M available before they touch the luxury tax. Considering the A’s would not receive anything for Treinen if they non-tender him, the Dodgers could trade one of their blocked prospects. The Dodgers are loaded with 11 right handed starters in their top 30 prospects. It really will need to be someone who is close to Major League ready but cannot be one of the upper echelon prospects.

By going this route the Dodgers would probably need to pay Treinen $7-8M for the season. Given some of the free agent reliever options this might not be terribley expensive for someone with such a high upside. He did end the season on the disabled list with a back issue but was improving in his performance before getting hurt.

Option 2: Trade For Him And Try To Negotiate A Contract

Another option would be to execute a trade for Treinen but to not go through the arbitration process with him. They would negotiate a contract before the December 2nd deadline that would be quite a bit lower than the $7-8M but would have health related incentives. If they can’t agree on a contract then the Dodgers would non-tender him. It’s very risky but if the Dodgers feel like trying to keep costs down then this risky approach could be the answer.

Option 3: Wait For Him To Be Non-Tendered

The two above options would help ensure the Dodgers were to have a better chance to acquire Treinen. If he ends up getting non-tendered then all the teams would be able to try and sign him. He might want to be a closer but the Dodgers cannot guarantee that spot for him. There is also the possibility that some team will overpay to sign Treinen. This option is the toughest one to secure him.

Analysis

Like I stated earlier, relievers are risky. With Treinen, the commitment would be for one year and he is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.The Dodgers could provide an excellent opportunity for him to re-establish himself before he hits free agency. With Kenley Jansen having a lot to prove in 2020, Treinen would help provide some insurance for the closer position. Given that the Dodgers might be able to get an excellent closer option for 2020 for around $8M, I’d like to see it happen.

With $40M available for the Dodgers to spend, making a play at Blake Treinen makes some sense. We don’t know the approach for the Dodgers in the off-season. If they do go after one of the $30M plus type players then going after Treinen might be too expensive. Their history says they’ll go after some lower cost options and that’s where Treinen makes sense.

The best case scenario is that the Dodgers can get Blake Treinen for a good deal and Kenley Jansen rebounds. That would help to make the bullpen a real strength and one that Dave Roberts can trust.

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

2 Comments

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  1. Sounds like a great idea. It’s not a huge amount of money for a potential closer. He was great in 2018.

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