Los Angeles' ace Julio Urias could be playing his last season for the Dodgers, and he led the team to an Opening Day win on Thursday night, earning top marks from retired Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin in the process.
“The closest thing to Fernando is Julio Urias,” Jarrin said, according to LA Times' Bill Shaikin. “No question about it.”
Urias free agency
Urias is eligible for free agency after this season, and Jarrin explained how difficult it would be to lose such a beloved figure not only in the clubhouse, but in the Los Angeles community.
“The reaction of the community would be negative, really, because they love him,” Jarrin said. “It would be bad if he leaves the Dodgers…For the team. For the community. For him, because even though I am sure he loves the Dodgers, business is business.”
Urias was phenomenal for the Dodgers last season, leading the National League in earned-run average at a sparkling 2.16. He won 20 games the year before in 2021, and threw the final pitch as LA won the World Series in 2020, the team's first title in 32 years.
The 27-year-old is a huge part of the fabric of the entire organization, and will be due for quite the payout next offseason, especially since it seems he just gets better with age.
Dodgers' goal is to re-sign
“Julio has been a big part of our past success, and we look forward to him being a big part of what we accomplish this year as well,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Thursday, per LA Times. “Obviously, we are all focused on 2023 right now, but our hope is that Julio is wearing Dodger blue for many years to come.”
Urias gave up just two runs over six innings, earning the win as the Dodgers routed the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-2.
“It’s an unforgettable experience,” Urias said after the game about wearing the Dodgers uniform.
“Something like that with a team like this, the history the team has, and all the people that have done this before. It was just something really special to me, and obviously being able to send the fans home with the victory is a blessing.”