Checking in on the Dodger Roster
With the winter meeting over, thought it would be prudent to check in on the roster and see where we stand. Below is the 41 man roster, one player will need to go when Joe Kelly is officially added to the 40 man roster. That player will come from the second tier of projected minor league players from 2019. Probably one of Adam McCreery/Yimi Garcia/Josh Sborz.
The Dodgers have 28 projected major league players for 25 spots but only one catcher is on the projected major league roster so whoever they get to team with Barnes is going to be added to the roster putting it at 29. Barring a trade, that leaves four players who will need to start the season in the minors
Right now the Dodgers have a glut of starting pitchers and outfielders. In a best-case scenario, they move Matt Kemp to free salary and a roster space, but that still leaves them with many more moves to make.
With the trade winds still blowing many moves can still be made, but if nothing happens between now and March 1st I would expect the following players to start 2019 in the minors.
Julio Urias, Caleb Ferguson, Alex Verdugo, and Dylan Floro.
Urias will probably be managed in 2019 much as Walker Buehler was in 2018. Caleb was the Dodgers best left-handed relief pitcher in the 2nd half, but at just 21, he could still be a future starter and it doesn’t take much imagination seeing him start the year in the AAA rotation. Alex Verdugo is simply stuck. Even if Matt Kemp goes, that doesn’t free up a spot for Verdugo since Kemp was the right-hand platoon partner for Joc Pederson.
There is a reason why in just about every trade scenario the same two names keep showing up. Yasiel Puig and Alex Verdugo. If Puig gets traded the Dodgers free up some money and Verdugo can slot into his spot in RF. If Alex Verdugo gets traded the Dodgers will be trading their top position prospect but hopefully filling out the major league roster with either a catcher, a 2nd baseman, or an upgrade to the rotation.
When I say an upgrade to the rotation, it would have to be an arm like Cory Kluber or Thor because the rotation is brilliant at the top with Buehler/Kershaw and solid in the middle with anyone of Hill/Maeda/Ryu/Wood/Stripling plus eventually Urias/Ferguson/Santana.