In case you don’t know, FAZ stands for Friedman, Anthopoulos and Zaidi – the three-headed monster (or braintrust) that ultimately makes the Dodgers deals. I have never been a great fan of sabermetrics, nor am I a fan of platoons, but FAZ is a huge fan of platoon splits… and I know why. I get it – it just doesn’t mean I like it. As most of you know, I have been a supporter of FAZ and their methods, so much so that I have been under intense fire by some fans until it became obvious they had no argument. The Dodgers could have just as easily went to the World Series last year with a different break or two, but that’s baseball.
But now we hear that FAZ has signed Franklin Gutierrez and Chase Utley, whose combined ages are 109. This is after they have already acquired Darin Ruf and Brett Eibner, and have Trayce Thompson, Scott Van Slyke, Andrew Toles, Andre Ethier, Kike Hernandez and Chris Taylor on the roster. What the hell are these guys thinking? I’ll tell you what they are thinking – Way Ahead is what they are thinking. No one is going to admit to this, but FAZ (along with Guggs and Company) would like to cut payroll. In fact, they would like to cut $40 to $50 million off of their payroll to minimize the luxury tax they will have to pay.
Mind you – they don’t HAVE cut payroll, but they NEED to cut payroll. There is a huge difference.
So, they go out and sign more veteran player to contracts for more money… how does that help? It helps in the fact that the Dodgers now have a Plan B. The Dodgers could potentially take $50 -$60 million dollars off of payroll by trading a combination of Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood, Willie Calhoun, Kike Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, and Chase De Jong for prospects. Now, it won’t be one deal and it won’t be now, but injuries happen. Depending upon the circumstances, a team may need an Adrian Gonzalez or Andre Ethier (he will waive his no-trade deal in the right situation) or pitching, and the Dodgers have an abundance of both.
If Gonzo is traded, I think it’s likely Chase Utley could end up at 1B in a platoon with Darin Ruf or SVS… and I think their combined production could rival that of Gonzo… and let’s not forget, Cody Bellinger is waiting in the wings. This is not out of disrespect for A-Gon. He is a great guy – it’s just a numbers game and if the Dodgers could cut $30-$50 million in payroll to avoid the luxury tax, they would. Adrian is on the downhill side (slide) of his career and while the team would miss his leadership, his bat could be replaced. The same is true with Ethier.
It’s possible you could see straight platoons at 1B, LF and RF.
- 1B – Ruf and Utley
- LF – Gutierrez and Toles
- RF – Puig and Ethier (unless he is traded)
Ruf and Gutierrez hit LH pitchers well. I have no idea how this will shake out, but I am sure FAZ is trying to dump payroll and it will be hard – very hard. However, if the dominos fall right, it can be done.This is going to be a very interesting season.
Romo has yet to be added to the roster. He will when Yimi Garcia is moved to the 60-man. Who comes off the make room for Utley and Gutizrrez? I say Eibner and Segedin, although they could move Thompson and Ryu or McCarthy to the 60 Day DL. We shall see.
Today’s photo is of Tommy and Matt Kemp’s dad, Carl.
It seems to me that there are more non-roster invitees all across baseball than ever before. ESPN has the full list and it includes former Dodgers all over the place:
- Brandon League (Royals)
- Chris Withrow (Royals)
- Bud Norris (Angels)
- Ryan Lavarnway (A’s)
- Andrew Lambo (A’s)
- James Loney (Rangers)
- Allen Webster (Rangers)
- Rubby De La Rosa (D-Backs)
- Javy Guerra (Marlins)
- Ivan De Jesus, Jr. (Brewers)
- Josh Lindblom (Pirates)
- Jimmy Rollins (Giants)
- Michael Morse (Giants)
- Tim Federowicz (Giants)
- Jose Dominguez (Giants)
- Bryan Morris (Giants)
I guess this falls under the category of the more crap you throw against a wall, the better the chance some of it will stick!