Now that the World Series is over, the free agency period for Major League Baseball begins on Saturday night. At 9 p.m. PDT, the MLB Players Association will release the list of free agents and potential free agents. For the first four days MLB teams can re-sign their own free agents, then beginning Wednesday night, November 2, at 9 p.m. PDT, teams may begin to sign free agents from other teams.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have 10 free agents this offseason. Catcher Rod Barajas is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to be a Type B free agent, which could yield a supplemental draft pick in between the first and second round should the Dodgers offer arbitration to Barajas and he declines. The other nine free agents will net no compensation: pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda, Mike MacDougal and Vicente Padilla; and infielders Casey Blake, Jamey Carroll, Aaron Miles, and Juan Rivera.
The Dodgers payroll projects to roughly $103 million in 2012, but that's with a starting pitching staff that includes Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, and not much else. The Dodgers want Kuroda back though he may return to Japan, but the Dodgers figure to spend some money on starting pitching.
With the team currently in bankruptcy and the ownership situation in disarray, it's impossible to know what kind of budget the Dodgers have for next year. While a big ticket free agent like Prince Fielder might seem far fetched, the Dodgers will to be in the market for a hitter of some sort.
How creative general manager Ned Colletti will have to be remains to be seen. Last year, Colletti's creativity resulted in Lilly ($33 million), Juan Uribe ($21 million) and Matt Guerrier ($12 million) getting three-year contracts. The Dodgers need much better than that this offseason.
For a complete Dodgers roster breakdown, be sure to visit True Blue LA.