It’s on Kenta Maeda. Kenta signed an incentive-laden contract with the Dodgers before the 2016 season. It’s a very “team-friendly” contract that pays for performance. I’ll spare you all the details, but the more games Kenta starts and the more innings he pitches earns him some very significant bonuses. That’s how Kenta makes his money and his agent gets a percentage of that money. Do you follow where I am going with this?
Kenta won 16 games in his first year and pitched over 175 innings with a 3.48 ERA. This year has been a little rough but he has pitched every well at times. Nine times, he has pitched 4 or 5 innings this season and on three occasions he has pitched 7 or 8 innings, including last night. Even with Brandon McCarthy on the DL, the Dodgers still have plenty of pitchers and if Kenta does not stay in the rotation it is going to cost him some big time dollars.
I’m sure he is all about winning, but it’s also about the money (isn’t it always?) and his agent gets a slice of that as well. I have not heard that he has complained (except that he was not happy to have to go to the bullpen), but it only stands to reason that he is either going to have to be in the rotation or traded. I think his trade value is pretty high… especially after last night. Whatever his problems were, he seems to have conquered them. So, that begs the question: What should the Dodgers do?
Personally, I do not think they need another arm, especially after Rich Hill’s last outing. I realize there are some health issues on the starting staff, but the Dodgers could easily trade a starter and not miss a beat. Other teams are looking for starters and trading a starter who is doing well before the trade deadline could net a very nice return. That starter would likely be Maeda… or Ryu. My preference is Ryu, although Ryu will not be as appealing as Maeda to most teams. Maeda is also one of the few right-handed starters for the Dodgers so, my preference would be to trade Ryu.
There are a few weeks before this needs to be decided. I’m sure FAZ would like to keep all the starters they can, but I believe it is a potentially explosive situation to leave Maeda in the bullpen. That could cost him millions of dollars and his agent will argue that he bargained in good faith when he signed the incentive-laden deal. Last night, it became clear that Kenta Maeda has to stay in the rotation. How this plays out remains to be seen.
The Dodgers have Scott Barlow, Trevor Oaks and Brock Stewart – any one of them could step into the 5th starter’s role, if needed. Would someone overpay for Ryu? If he can pitch well for the next few weeks, they just might. However, it is true that you can never have too many starting pitchers. Would you trade Ryu or Maeda? If a couple of prospects were included (Calhoun?) could the Dodgers get a Big Power Bat? Stay tuned….
Ryu goes tonight.
By the way, do you really think McCarthy or Maeda would accept an assignment to the DL if they weren’t really hurt? I think not. I also heard that McCarthy was limping noticeably earlier this week. Just my two cents…
- Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reports Dave Roberts said this about Julio Urias’ surgery: “...all I know is in seeing the [email] thread from Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache, he’s a lot more optimistic than he was when he was first going to do the surgery.” Now we wait-Probably almost two years! The Dodger absolutely will not rush him. There is no need.
- It was good to see Joc Pederson hit a HR without swinging out of his shoes. Now, if Joc can learn to go the other way to drive in a run, like Cody did when he drove in the Dodgers first run last night, he will be very dangerous.
- The play Kike made last night on his knees was my Play of The Year! Wow! He has an arm – that is very hard to do.
- Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA has a nice draft tracker. Check it out HERE. The Dodgers top 3 picks still have not signed. I have no clue of the status…
- Might as well read THIS MINOR LEAGUE REPORT. No need to duplicate it here. Craig does a nice job.