Someone asked yesterday if I questioned some of the trades or methods of FAZ (Andrew Friedman and company) and I must admit that from the get go, I have been on the same page as they have. I knew they were not going to sign any big name free agents to long term deals. It just did not make sense and it has never made sense. I have been totally on board with that philosophy. I did criticize Ned a lot – he started on the wrong foot by going after Jason Schmidt. Then there was Fatty Jones and a few others. Ned did some good things however – Urias, Jansen, Kershaw, Turner, Seager, Puig and Bellinger are all from Ned’s tenure.
I can’t argue with his decision to sign Matt Kemp to a big deal, other than everyone knew he was a clubhouse cancer, but signing Ethier was felony stupid as was The Trade. I feel bad for A-Gon – everyone wants to go out like Big Poppy, but it appears that he will serve out his tenure as an expensive pinch hitter and clubhouse presence. I do think he can be a Lenny Harris-esque pinch hitter. At least there is that.
Carl Crawfish comes off the books at the end of the year as does Andre Ethier and Adrian comes off at the end of 2018. However, this year the Dodgers are paying Crawfish, Gonzo and Ethier nearly $65 million for just about ZERO production. Not many teams can withstand that! At the end of 2018, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado become free agents. I believe the Dodgers have ZERO interest in Harper. Machado is an entirely different story. Manny is a Hall-of-Famer in waiting and I believe the Dodgers have their sights on him. He will be 26 when he is a free agent and can likely expect to get a 8 to 10 year deal in the vicinity of $35 million a year. The Dodgers and Yankees are the teams who can afford it.
Bryce Harper is LH and on a team that is heavily LH, he is out of the running. Machado can play 3B or maybe move to 2B. I have no doubt he would be excellent at 2B as well and Turner would have two more years. Looking forward, I see Toles as the CF – I just do not see continual growth in Joc Pederson.
- Toles CF
- Seager SS
- Machado 2B
- Bellinger 1B
- Turner 3B
- Puig RF
- Verdugo LF
- Smith C
The Cubs and the Dodgers both have 16 wins, but if you think the Dodgers hitters suck, look at the Cubs (other than Bryant at .322):
- Schwarber – .193
- Rizzo – .235
- Zobrist – .233
- Russell – .241
- Heyward – .253 (and that’s good for him)
- Contreras – .225
- Baez – .250
Kyle Hendricks has a 3.51 ERA. Jake Arrieta has a 4.63 ERA and diminished velocity. John Lackey has a 5.14 ERA and Jon Lester is at 3.67 and lest I forget, Brett Anderson is sitting pretty at 6.23… and yet some of you still think the Dodger’s starting pitching depth is fiction. The Dodgers are #1 in the league in pitching, so just give it a rest already! What FAZ has done is create massive depth and IT HAS WORKED! You are barking up the wrong tree! The Cubs are going to have to trade some prospects for more pitching… and they have several really good ones.
I know that Roberts thinks hitting Grandal at Cleanup will help him get going, but Cody needs to slide into the #4 spot. He is undaunted by it and Yasmani needs to hit 8th for a while. I took a lot of flack by saying Bellinger was ready now, but I just knew it – like I knew it with Corey. One thing I disagreed with FAZ about was trading for Jimmy Rollins. I believe Corey would have been just fine at SS instead of Rollins. That was a mistake…
This Bellinger kid is absolutely the real deal. Yes, the league will adjust and so will he… just like Corey! Maybe this will help Yasiel.
Minor League Highlight (and Lowlights)
- Trayce Thompson finally broke out with a triple while going 3-4. That’s good to see.
- Tim Shibuya was promoted to AAA and promptly gave up 14 hits in 2.2 innings (how do you even do that?), while allowing 13 ER. Yikes!
- Willie Calhoun hit his 3rd jack.
- Josh Sborz went 5 and allowed just 1 hit in AA.
- Dennis Santana went 5 and allowed 4 hits and 1 run at RC. His ERA sits at 1.26. He will be in Tulsa soon.
- Spitzbarth got his 6th save – 0.66 ERA – he’s headed the same place.
- Gavin Lux is struggling at GL – hitting .133.
- Dustin May isn’t – 5 IP, 3 H, 5 K’s.