Glasnow now 'somewhere I've wanted to be my entire life'

December 18th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- Entering the offseason expecting to be traded, couldn’t have envisioned a better outcome than ending up on his “dream team.”

After five and a half seasons with the Rays, Glasnow was dealt to the Dodgers along with teammate Manuel Margot. It’s a homecoming for Glasnow, who will remain in his native Southern California for the next five seasons after agreeing to a $136.5 million contract extension, something he referred to as the “best possible scenario.”

“It's somewhere I’ve wanted to be my entire life, you know?” Glasnow said during an introductory Zoom call with the press on Monday. “There was a short list of teams that I wanted to go to, and the Dodgers were on it. And they were very bullish on trying to get me, and I really appreciated the fact that they thought so highly of me. And I get to go home, and I have all my family there, and it just seemed like a no-brainer to me.”

The Dodgers acquiring Glasnow was always contingent upon him agreeing to work out a contract extension, given the caliber of talent they were sending back to Tampa Bay in Ryan Pepiot and Jonny DeLuca. Fortunately for L.A., Glasnow was amenable, even though that meant not being able to test the free-agency waters following the conclusion of the 2024 season.

“I think there's two ways to look at it -- there could be a potential downside from not signing something and a potential upside,” Glasnow said. “And I think for me, it was plenty of money. I'm super happy with the money, and it's somewhere I'm super happy to be. So I guess I was never super interested in trying to get as much as I possibly could. But it's just worked out really well for me.”

Due to an extensive injury history, Glasnow has crossed the 100-inning threshold just twice in his eight-year career. That history includes a left oblique strain that sidelined him for two months at the start of last season. It also includes right elbow trouble, which began in 2019 and ultimately required Tommy John surgery in August of ’21. But both Glasnow and the Dodgers feel the elbow is no longer a concern, especially given recent advancements in the procedure involving a synthetic collagen band to provide extra structural support.

Above all, Glasnow has noticed a significant improvement in how his body feels, noting that the difference between now and before the surgery is “night and day.”

“A lot of it is more about betting on how he's feeling, how good of an athlete he is, and our performance and medical group feeling like he's in a good position to kind of take off,” general manager Brandon Gomes said. “... I think it's years of building a base and having an understanding of what it is to take down a full workload. And from all of our conversations and betting on Tyler, the person and competitor, we felt very good about it.”

Growing up in Santa Clarita, Calif., Glasnow would go to Dodger games as often as he could. Shawn Green was a childhood favorite, and when Glasnow was a bit older, he came to admire Clayton Kershaw.

Now, Glasnow gets to call Dodger Stadium home. He has one career appearance there, a relief outing with the Pirates in 2018 during which he faced five batters and did not record an out. He’s quite aware of how special it is to get to make his first professional start at his childhood ballpark in a Dodger uniform.

“When I was a kid, I used to go to the games, and I remember sitting in the stands and looking at the players in the dugout and just having overwhelming jealousy of, like, ‘I have to go to school tomorrow, and you guys get to play baseball,’” Glasnow said. “The fact that it's come full circle … it definitely gives me the butterflies. So I'm extremely excited to finally go and get my first start at home as a Dodger.”