While the New York Yankees re-signed Aaron Judge and New York Mets inked Justin Verlander, it has been a quiet offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers. There has been no shortage of speculation in reference to the Dodgers' lack of spending. Luxury tux concerns have been well-documented for the team. Other reports suggest that LA is saving up for a Shohei Ohtani free agency pursuit next offseason. However, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal recently reported that Trevor Bauer's uncertainty may be playing a role in the Dodgers' MLB free agency outlook.
Trevor Bauer and the Dodgers are currently waiting for an appeal decision on the former Cy Young award winner. Bauer, who was suspended last year, appealed MLB's decision but has yet to receive a verdict. Rosenthal shared that Los Angeles won't have to pay him anything if his appeal falls through. However, the Dodgers would have potential luxury tax issues if Bauer wins his appeal.
“If the suspension is overturned or reduced, the Dodgers as a third-time luxury-tax offender would be assessed penalties on top of his salary,” Rosenthal wrote in his article for The Athletic. “As noted by the Los Angeles Times, the team’s total payout could exceed $100 million.”
The Dodgers' primary outside signing up to this point has been Shelby Miller. Miller, a former All-Star, isn't a bad pitcher by any means. But the Dodgers are an organization more than capable of making a massive splash in free agency. But their Trevor Bauer uncertainty is forcing them to pay extra attention to the payroll. Both Bauer and the Dodgers are hopeful that a verdict will be reached as soon as possible on his appeal.