This is Now Andrew Friedman’s Team

The Dodgers were ranked #14 in Organizational Ratings in 2014.  In 2015, Andrew Friedman was hired and they climbed to #3 and in 2016 they were #1.  Now, they are rated #4 by BA.  Of course, the FAZ-O-PHOBES will try and say that Colletti’s Front Office was largely responsible and that Friedman did not deserve the credit and then they say “Look, they traded away 4 pitchers and are now #4.  Friedman is an idiot!”  In the interest of keeping you from being branded a dummy if you believe that, I would like to point out a few things:

  1. 22 of the Top 30 Dodgers Prospects were acquired by Friedman;
  2. The Dodgers had more rookies come to the majors in 2016 than any other team;
  3. When a farm system is loaded, you are forced to trade some prospects for players who can help now:  Hill and Forsythe.  Four PROSPECTS netted the Dodgers those two players;
  4. When the Cubs graduated all of their players in 2016, they went from the #1 Organization to #20;
  5. When the Dodgers graduated all of their players in 2016, they dropped from #1 to #4 EVEN AFTER TRADING AWAY FOUR TOP PROSPECTS;
  6. The Dodgers currently have 10 or 11 starters, what do you want – 14 or 15?
  7. At some point you have to move some arms and BTW, we will see what they all become, won’t we?
  8. Will the Dodgers keep signing old, injury-prone pitchers?  If it makes sense, hell yes!  However, most of those were just bridges to the youngsters.  My 8 year-old granddaughter gets the concept, but some 60 and 70 year-old Dodger fans can’t grasp it!

Some people ask if the Dodgers will ever spend big money of free agents.  I must respectfully say that is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.  Why wouldn’t they? They have the deepest pockets and they have the largest payroll.  Two of their top highest paid players are making over $60 million (Ethier and Gonzo) and last year they accounted for less than 2.0 WAR.  So, when that $60 mil drops off the books, they can invest it in real producing assets instead of two “over-the-hill” players and I do not mean to be disrespectful to Andre or Adrian but both are on the decline.

Yesterday, one of you sent me some quotes from another website and asked what I thought. I won’t publish the quotes, but thanks for thinking about me anyway. It’s the thought that counts! I probably know who wrote each one.  So predictable and so myopic.  When I read it, it sounded like the Dodgers went 62-100 last year and are picked for the cellar again this year and their farm system is ranked 30th. Circular fiction.  It makes me feel sad that people are so miserable, but I have moved on and don’t look back. I wish them all nothing but the best.

Rants & Raves

  • Richard Justice of MLB.com is effusive in his praise of the Dodgers.  He’s also one of my favorite MLB writers.. not just because he wrote good things about the Dodgers.
  • Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider wrote about Brandon McCarthy’s progress.  It really good!
  • Dodgers 1B Ike Davis has left camp to join Team Israel for the WBC. Rob Segedin will leave to join the Italian team on Sunday, while Enrique Hernandez (Puerto Rico), Sergio Romo (Mexico), Alex Verdugo (Mexico) and Adrian Gonzalez (Mexico) all will leave next Monday.
  • Kazmir will likely start Wednesday.  Ryu is close too!

ESPN INSIDER picks Julio Urias as a Breakout Player for 2017:

The Dodgers have been very careful with Urias, limiting him to just over 120 innings last season in the minor and major leagues combined. This year, they are expected to increase his innings to the 150-160 range without a definitive cap and keep an open mind for the postseason, as they did last year. Urias got off to a slow start in 2016, going 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his first eight starts. However, he put it all together in the second half and ended up 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his last 10 appearances (seven starts). Urias’ mid-90s fastball has great movement, and he throws his slider, curveball and changeup almost as often, with the ability to add and subtract velocity on all of them. He has one of the best pickoff moves in baseball and is a tremendous fielding pitcher with really quick feet, hands and wrists. He should be the one pitching Game 2 of the playoffs after Clayton Kershaw come October.

It is Still Early

On the way home tonight, I was listening to MLB. Radio and Mark Melancon was on. Other than the fact he is a Giant, he seems like a remarkable human being.  He was talking about how all pitchers are different – some just want to work on one thing.  Others are just trying to develop a pitch or establish a pitch.  He warned not to read too much into anything good… or bad early in Spring Training.  He’s 100% right.  Most guys can’t do what Kershaw can do.  Just because Josh Fields has a 108.00 ERA does not mean a thing this early.

Today’s Music

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 25 Comments

  1. At some point most arguments are settled with scoreboard. FAZ’ evaluation is no exception. Meanwhile, we get to watch what seems like will be a very entertaining team.

  2. Yeah it’s Friedman’s team now. A check review of the 40 man roster shows about 25 guys being acquired by FAZ, that’s 60%, or 30% per year turnover. Is that about normal turnover for a MLB team?

      1. Yes, In have several changes to make, but I have my webmaster up to his neck in projects on my other websites right now. We have 10-12 other sites – I’ll get to it. Keep reminding me.

  3. I would have liked to see Blanton signed to that contract, he would have come in handy. No sweat, One thing we know is that FAZ knows how to put together a bullpen.

  4. “Some people ask if the Dodgers will ever spend big money of free agents. ” – While I agree with the sentiment of this Mark, you were a bit guilty this off-season of saying the Dodgers weren’t going to spend to retain our free-agents.

    1. I wasn’t a BIT guilty.

      I was VERY guilty.

      I really did not think they would re-sign Jansen or Turner.

      Of course, I expected Turner to get a contract similar to Jansen, but yes, I was wrong (write it down -first time ever 😉 )

  5. The Rockies must have some secret sauce in developing hitters. Guys just keep coming up and hitting in the big leagues right away. I like that they can beat the giants. To split the season series with them is a good result.

    1. Look at their splits – Nolan Arenado is not a TOP 15 offensive 3B on the road!

      I call it Coorsflation

  6. Urias vs the Rockies today. The first couple of innings should be interesting. It looks like the Rockies have the regulars in the starting lineup.

  7. Oh no, what will we do without Joey Pancakes? He had a great season, but I will bet that he regresses back closer to the pitcher he had been. One that gives up a lot of HR’s. The guy is 36 years old. The front-office got a bargain out of him last year, but was does it tell you when the guy couldn’t even get a contract from anyone in baseball not just the Dodgers. He wound up with $4 million and $3 million of it is deferred.

    1. When the Dodgers signed Blanton last year, I applauded the signing and certain people eviscerated me for it. Now these same people are complaining that FAZ failed to sign him. Ha!

      The Dodgers have lots of arms. As bad as we think BAEZ is, his ERA was barely over 3 and if they teach him to hurry up, I think he can be a light’s out reliever.

      Hatcher? I think his confidence is shot… never to be re-gained. He has the arm but not the wherewithal.

    2. Hawkeye

      It is hot and humid in the summer time, in Washington DC.

      It is a lot harder, to pitch there in the summer, then in LA.

  8. You know we live in some unusual and crazy economic times in baseball, when relatively successful Joe Blanton signs a $4 million dollar contract; mostly unsuccessful Jesse Chavez gets $5.75 million; mostly unsuccessful J.P. Howell gets $3.0 million; and Brett Anderson gets $3.5 million. Meanwhile we sign Romo for $3 million.

    I

  9. There is no doubt that this is Andrew Friedman’s team, but the organization still has some lingering fingerprints of Logan White. Billy Gasparino is a very well thought of Amateur Scouting Director, but I am a Logan White fan, and the Padres will benefit from his expertise.
    .
    I hope Jharel Cotton has a great career with the A’s, but he was not going to with the Dodgers. In the eyes of the baseball people, he was already passed by with Stewart and Stripling and quite possibly Oaks. De Jong and Sborz were also making up ground. Grant Holmes was already regressing in the eyes of the baseball people, including MLB.com. For 2016, he played as a 20 year old, and was rated #68 in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. For 2017, he will be a 21 year old, and is rated #85. Holmes dropped 17 spots in what should be the prime of his prospect status. Careers for top prospects should not get stalled in High A. .
    .
    At the same time as Holmes was regressing, Yadier Alveraz rose 43 spots from #92 to #49, and Walker Buehler was included at #93 with only 5 professional IP. Of course I am biased, but I think this time next year, both Alveraz and Buehler could be top 20 overall MLB, and with Bellinger in top 5 if not #1. Holmes will need to pitch well to stay in the top 100, and he may. I hope he does.
    .
    I am not sure that the Dodgers were convinced that Frankie Montas would stay healthy enough to be a big contributor. If he is healthy, he should be in the A’s bullpen this year. Rich Hill is the legit #2 that LAD needed both in 2016 and 2017 (less so for 2018/19). It is irrelevant how many games he pitched for LA in 2016, because the primary reason for the trade for was Hill to be there in October (and he was). If Kershaw pulls through in Game 6, maybe Rich Hill is a hero in Game 7. We will never know, but he was right where FAZ thought he would be when they made the trade. Sometimes the players need to be held accountable; including Clayton Kershaw (who would be the first to agree).
    .
    As good as JDL might become, the Dodgers project to be a much better team in 2017 and 2018 with Logan Forsythe. Buehler and Alveraz will more than make up for the loss of JDL.
    .
    As far as spending on FA, I look at it a little differently. I think FAZ will spend big to retain their players as they did with Jansen/Turner/Hill, and as they did offer an overpay for Greinke. I think it is more likely that FAZ will try to tie up their core youngsters with long term contracts. I think they will overpay for a Kershaw extension. He should be a Dodger for life. I think it is less likely that they will pursue Bryce Harper/Johnny Cueto/David Price/Josh Donaldson types, but I do think it is possible that they would pursue Manny Machado but not at $300M (as some have projected). Do what it takes to make trades (or sign) for positions of need, but push for them at the minor league level; like Ian Happ. As much as we look at MLB as a game, it is a business, and parameters do need to be recognized.

    1. Nice analysis of the prospects the Dodgers have traded away. I also have questions about Montas’ ability to stay healthy and Holmes’ long-term viability as a prospect. I suspect that Cotton had been surpassed on the organizational depth chart as well. I think that the Braintrust had decided to “go for it” this year and needed a 2B and so traded from a surplus of right-handed minor leaguers to get Forsyth. I still think that they gave up too much for 6 starts from Hill in 2016 and 2 bad months from a left-handed outfielder that they didn’t need anyway, but none of the 3 prospects may turn out to be anything. I am fine with giving up DeLeon to get Forsyth.

      I’m also sure that they traded from surplus because they have guys like Alvarez and Buehler coming up.

      I’m not as sure as you are about Hill. He is not likely to pitch over 150 innings this year or next I would frankly be surprised if he was able to throw that many. If the past few year have shown us anything it is that injury-prone pitchers cannot be counted on – see Kazmir, McCarthy and Anderson.

      1. I agree with you on Hill’s expectations for 2017. I do not think Hill will throw more than 150 IP. I am hopeful/wishful that he will have 25 starts with an average of 6 IP. I would expect the same for Urias. But it is the quality of those 25 starts that I believe will be helpful to the team. That is 7-8 spot starts from Stewart/Stripling/Wood/De Jong for both Hill and Urias. Maeda had 32 GS with 176 IP in 2016. He says he has bulked up to be able to go longer. Why would I discount that? Admittedly, I may be naive. I think the FO would love to see him duplicate the 2016 starts but be able to pull out another 16 IP for an average of 6. That certainly seems realistic IMO.
        .
        I do not project Hill to be a #2 in 2018 or 2019. I would expect him to be a #4 in 2018, and spot starter/reliever in 2019. I am okay with that.
        .
        Where I believe I differ from most, is I believe in Scott Kazmir. I liked the FA signing last year. With the dearth of quality SP in the 2016-17 FA market, I thought that he would be a realistic opt out possibility. After two years out of baseball, Kaz had 158 IP in 2013, followed by 190 in 2014, and 183 in 2015. He is not going to give you Samardzija or Leake IP, but he should at least show the same peripherals. I would expect that Kaz will give 30-32 GS and be around 180IP and a 3.8 to 4.0 ERA. He is a #5 SP. What more could anyone expect?
        .
        I wish I could be, but I am not as optimistic about McCarthy or Ryu. Maybe FAZ can put a package together with McCarthy to Pittsburgh and try to get Tony Watson. I keep reading that he is available. I think McCarthy could be another Ray Searage project. Who knows, maybe he could work wonders on Chris Hatcher. I think Hatcher has a good arm, but he will never produce for LA. I think he is a reincarnation of Jonathan Broxton who went south for the Dodgers, and could never get it back. If the Dodgers can get 50 IP out of Ryu, I think they would be satisfied. I am thinking Carlos Frias/Mike Bolsinger spot start/long relief. Maybe on the upside a Ricky Nolasco 2nd half 2013.
        .
        The Dodgers SP are not built like the 2016 Cubs or the 2016 Giants. They will have 10+ SP. Whether we prefer 5 SP at 200IP is irrelevant for this team. It is not going to happen, and it is by design. That is how they are built. We can bemoan how the game has changed, but the Dodgers are projected for 95+ wins even while considering the lack of 200 IP SP. I do not care how they get to the playoffs, just as long as they do. After that, let Lady Luck be on our side this year.

        1. When you have this kind of depth, you do not have to have a bunch of 200 inning pitchers.

          Really, the Giants and the Cubs could easily have the injury bug hit them this year. Almost all pitchers experience some form of injury soon or later or sooner and later!
          _
          History does not always repeat itself. When healthy, Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all very good pitchers. Sometimes the odds catch up all at once.

  10. Just saw on MLB Gameday that O’Koyea Dickson hit a home run with a man aboard. Brought a smile to my face. Atta boy O’Koyea!

    1. I have not been fortunate to have the personal experience that you have had with O’Koyea, but he is one of my top minor league favorites, and someone I have cheered for since his Chattanooga days. I hope he gets his shot this year.

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