In what seems like odd timing due to his current arm issues, right-handed reliever Blake Treinen has been extended by the Dodgers. While he was already essentially under team control through 2023 due to a club option for $8 million, the Dodgers have now picked that option up and have added a conditional option for 2024.
Treinen is currently on the 60-day DL with shoulder issues, so the option for 2024 likely hinges on his health.
His value on the field is obvious. Since signing with the Dodgers in 2020, he has put up an impressive 2.50 ERA and 2.98 FIP in 101 innings, including regaining his elite form in a dominant 2021 campaign. If he’s healthy, a lot of the question marks at the back of the pen disappear and he’ll be given the highest leverage innings and usually succeed.
So the upside for the Dodgers is it potentially gets the team another year of an elite reliever on the cheap given the market. The downside is that it sure seems like this happened because both sides are very worried about his health this year. This sure seems like a way for the team to ensure they get at least a year more out of him one way or the other while Treinen just gets to lock down guaranteed money.
While it’s hard to talk definitively about this deal without knowing the complete terms, it sounds like barring Treinen needing major surgery that costs him over a year, the Dodgers have done well. They’re unlikely to be able to get a reliever with Treinen’s upside for the price they’ll be paying over the next two years anyway, so the extension is really just a quality bit of insurance.