Curious about just what the Dodgers' bullpen will look like once Opening Day comes on Monday, April 6? Well, join the club, because it's anyone's guess.
Eric Stephen over at True Blue LA has been analyzing this during Spring Training, and he recently put together this handy bullpen flowchart to help track just who's out of options and who's not.
It's an interesting read, as there are a bunch of veterans fighting to get into the mix once the games count for real. With news that Brandon League will be joining Kenley Jansen on the DL come April 6, that opens up yet another spot for someone.
If you're a newcomer to what a player having "options" is all about, think of it as a way to prevent clubs from constantly sending people up and down whenever they feel like it. For young players, they have more "options" since they are, in fact, young and don't have many years in the Majors. Older veterans will likely be out of "options."
If you no longer have that magic word, "options," then you can't be sent back down to the Minors. You either make the big league club, or you can be released to sign with another team. Often you will also see veterans accepting Minor League deals, but with clauses in the contracts that they must be called up by a certain date, or they will receive their release to sign elsewhere.
Got all of that?
There's a bunch of fancy language that explains it even further, but that's the best I can come up with to sum it all up. So, Andrew Friedman will certainly be busy making decisions both before the regular season begins, and when Jansen is ready to come off the DL. In other words, it's a never ending process.