ANDREW FRIEDMAN and HIS 3-YEAR PLAN

Make no mistake…this IS Andrew Friedman’s team.  This is not to take anything away from the immense talents of Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes, Alex Anthopoulos, Gabe Kapler, or Billy Gasparino.  They help put Friedman’s vision into motion.  The Dodgers caught a lot of flak from fans because of the high FO cost.  But these are all outstanding baseball people, and why is it a problem having superior FO talent?  It doesn’t distract from the player budget, so why should anyone care what the cost is.  Just another reason to bitch about Andrew Friedman because they do not agree with how Friedman builds a team.

But the funny thing is, Friedman has done this before.  He had a vision as to how to build a TEAM, not of individuals, but as a cohesive unit with young talent and cagey vets.  In 2006 when he took over the GM reins of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from Chuck LaMar (sorry but they were the Devil Rays in 2006), the first thing he did was to hire HIS manager…Joe Maddon.  He hired a manger who could put into practice what Friedman envisioned.  Contrary to the Friedman bashers, he did not dictate what the lineups should be.  Did he discuss trends with Maddon?  Absolutely.  Why is that a problem?  But if you watch how he manages the Cubs, it really is not all that different than how he managed the Rays.  Different batting lineups/different lead-off guys/a lot of platoons/multiple positions (check to see the number of positions Kris Bryant played last year, or Zobrist, or Baez).  Maddon loves multiple options.  Did Friedman dictate to Joe what he should do, or did Friedman hire a manager who believes as he does?  Theo and Jed are anything but micro-managers.  He was not allowed to do the same thing with the Dodgers in 2015, so he waited a year, and signed a Joe Maddon like clone in Doc Roberts; someone who believes in how Friedman builds a team.

Friedman inherited a 67-95 team and promptly followed that 2005 season with a 61-101 (2006), and 66-96 (2007) season.  Not much difference, but much had been done to change the direction, so that the 2008 team had a 97-65 record, won the AL pennant, and was in the WS.  The Dodgers record in 2014 was 94-68 with a 1st place finish in the NL West.  Friedman’s first year in 2015, the team was 92-70 and winners of the NL West again.  In 2016, same NL West finish but with a 91-71 record.  Again, not much of a difference in the record, but so much was done to help change the direction, including the rebuilding of a depleted farm system.  The minors had stars (Pederson/Seager/Bellinger/Urias/JDL), but the overall organizational farm system was depleted.  They did not get to the WS, but they were certainly in a position to.  No matter how you slice it, Friedman’s moves got the Dodgers to NLCS Game 6 with the best pitcher on the planet going for the good guys, and Kershaw just did not close it out.  This is Friedman’s fault? His job was to get the players to get to that point, and then it was up to the players to bring it home.

So how did he go about building this 2008 WS team?  On 01-14-06, Friedman completed a trade with the Dodgers that brought Edwin Jackson to the Rays for Danys Baez and Lance Carter.  I guess he was getting the better in trades even back then.  In June 2006, he acquired JP Howell from the Royals for Fernando Cortez and Joey Gathright.  Something about building a bullpen?  Also in June, Friedman completed another trade with the Dodgers, acquiring Dionner Navarro, Jae Weong Seo, and Justin Ruggiano for Toby Hall and Mark Hendrickson.  In the WS year of 2008, Navarro delivered a solid slash line of .295/.349/.407/.757 and played a solid catcher.  In July 2006, he acquired Ben Zobrist & Mitch Talbot from the Astros for Aubrey Huff.  He acquired Ben Zobrist before he was Ben Zobrist.  He loves multi-dimensional players.  Justin Ruggiano later went on to become the key player in perhaps the very first player shift.  In the 2008 WS, Joe Maddon moved Ruggiano from RF to right behind 2nd base to become a 5th infielder.  I am sure that Friedman did not tell Maddon to do this, but I am just as sure that it was discussed, and like other situations, Maddon and Friedman probably saw eye to eye with it.

He continued to make changes in 2007.  He signed veteran slugger Carlos Pena who spent most of 2006 in the minor leagues.  He did finish the year with the Red Sox, but was not re-signed by them.  Instead, Friedman took a chance on him and Pena proceeded to hit .282/.411/.627/1.037, with 46 HR and 121 RBI and won Comeback Player of the Year.  He also won the Silver Slugger award and placed 9th in the MVP vote. Pena followed up a great 2007 with a 2008 season fashioning a slash line of .247/.377/.494/.871 with 31 HRs and 102 RBI’s.  Friedman needed a SS, so the Cincinnati Reds SOLD Brendan Harris to the Rays on 01-02-2007.  Harris went on to bat a very credible .286/.343/.434/.777 with 12 HRs and 59 RBI’s.  On 12/15/06, Friedman went international and signed Akinori Iwamura for three years.  Iwamura went on to have a solid three years for Tampa Bay, and was very much a cohesive component to the 2008 WS team.  Mid year 2007 deals included a Grant Balfour trade from the Brewers for Seth McClung, and Dan Wheeler from the Astros for Ty Wigginton.  Two very key bullpen pieces.  Balfour re-signed for 2008 and both relievers were instrumental with the 2008 WS team.  Balfour had a solid 1.54 ERA in 58.1 innings (51 games) with 4 saves, while Wheeler compiled 13 saves in 66.1 innings (70 games) and a 3.12 ERA.

Now it was time for the finishing touches for 2008.  These were a little more bold and included some big names but not for overpays.  It also included moves that finished up a rebuilt bullpen.  On 11/30/07 Friedman acquired Troy Percival who went on to record 28 saves in 2008. On 2/6/08 he signed Trever Miller to a one year deal.  He may have been more Chris Hatcher like, but he appeared in 68 games and served a role.  J.P. Howell went on to pitch in 64 games including 89.1 innings with a solid 2.22 ERA.  On 12/14/07, Friedman signed veteran slugger Cliff Floyd (35) to a one year contract.  Floyd proceeded to hit .268/.349/.455/.804 with 11 HRs.  On February 6, 2008 the veteran signings continued with Eric Hinske, who batted .247/.333/.445/.798 and 20 HRs.  On 4/22/08, Friedman put some finishing touches on his OF with a trade with the Brewers for Gabe Gross for Josh Butler.  But all of these moves were preceded by what may have been the most important cog(s), and perhaps the biggest trade with the most scrutiny.  On 11/28/07, Friedman orchestrated a trade with the Twins acquiring SS Jason Bartlett and pitchers Matt Garza & Eduardo Morlan.  Bartlett anchored that infield that later included 2006 1st round draft choice (Friedman’s 1st), Evan Longoria.  2008 was Matt Garza’s first full year as a starter.  He started 30 games, including 184.2 innings and a 3.70ERA.  Who did Friedman trade?  2004 1st overall draft choice Delmon Young; 2002 2nd round pick (43rd overall) OF Jason Pridie; and the 2007 SS Brendan Harris.  Was Garza the solid mid-rotation guy, and was Bartlett the glue that molded it all together?  They got to the WS.  Some thought of it as an overpay at the time, but it sure worked out in 2008.

Is he building the 2017 Dodgers to be that WS team after his 3rd year again?  The 2017 Dodgers seem to be built in the same fashion.  A few bold moves but necessary because of the financial constraints (Kemp) and lack of quality positions at the ML level (catcher – Grandal); some questionable pitching signings (questionable to some) that allowed the team to stay away from the $90M to $217M pitchers, but allowed the team to compete allowing the farm to continue to develop so that they would be in a position to bring depth to the ML team; veteran signings and trades (Rollins/Utley), allowing Seager to continue to develop and then be mentored by two near HOF middle infielders; and of course the need for players to fill roles at or near the ML level (Kike’/Hatcher/Barnes/Kendrick) for a player deemed replaceable (Gordon).  Finding the unheralded gems (Wood/Taylor/Toles/Dayton/Liberatore/Fields/Morrow/Avilan).  Not all of the moves proved to be good, but none really hurt the team, and most served a purpose.  Okay Mat Latos was a brain freeze.  Now the WS is really in sight, and we shall see what the next two weeks bring.  But whatever moves are made or are not made, it will be because of Andrew Friedman’s vision and knowledge of the players and their abilities to play and to be a part of a TEAM.  Farhan Zaidi is a more than capable GM who understands and can manage Friedman’s vision.  Will the Dodgers get to the WS?  They have to play the games.  But I do believe that Friedman will put the Dodgers in a position to succeed, and then it will be up to the players. Yes, this is Andrew Friedman’s team, and I am one Dodger fan that appreciates what Andrew Friedman has done for my DODGERS.

 

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 75 Comments

    1. This was a good question, and I wanted to give it a thoughtful response. I would change the order slightly, but the top ten is a good list. I might have a 10a and 10b and include Keibert Ruiz with Will Smith. They are both top notch prospects. Smith is a plus plus defender, while Ruiz is probably just plus. Smith’s arm and release are undeniable. He has ML catcher skills right now. He needs to keep improving his hitting. It is unfortunate to have his hand break at this time of year. I would have liked to have seen him at AA.
      .
      Walker Buehler is clearly the #1 prospect. I said it last year…his command of his four plus pitches is Chris Sale like. He does not need the comparative pressure, but I doubt that he would back away from it. He is a top of the rotation caliber pitcher, and will join the rotation sometime next year. It looks very real that he could get a ML shot this year as a reliever down the stretch.
      .
      Alex Verdugo is 21 year old with outstanding eye hand coordination. He has a tremendous eye for pitch selection and location. He lacks HR power. He should develop into a lower double digit HR player, but it is that eye and OBP that will get him on the ML field very soon. Last year in AA, he had 529 PA, a slash line of .273/.336/.407/.743. He had 44 walks and 67 strikeouts. This year before today’s game (he did go 0-3), in 359 PA his slash line is .339/.409/.456/.865. His walks are already at 37, but he has struck out only 32 times. That is less than a 9% clip. His BABIP will not deviate a lot from his BA because he gets bat to ball so often, so there are many who think his numbers are inflated because as he gets to the ML some of those batted balls will be outs. That is when he should probably go for a little more swing with the intent to get the ball in the air. I think he would learn a lot from someone like Justin Turner. He may K more, but he will increase his power numbers.
      .
      Alvarez has to be rated this high if for no other reason than his arm is unquestionable. Where my doubts are is his maturity and desire. 21 year olds with his stuff should be dominating AA. Yadier is not dominating A+. I think why is a legit question. This is where Grant Holmes really stalled last year as well. And for the same apparent reason, lack of development in his command. In my mind, that is hard work vs skill. Alvarez is 2 months older than Verdugo, so it is not like he is being purposely held back. Buehler got the promotion all the way to AAA and was not rated as high in the beginning. He probably should have been, and I believe the Dodgers did rate him higher. He is still very young and very raw. I hope his maturity grows to the level of his arm. If it does, Alvarez could be back at #1.
      .
      I would probably move Stewart up to #3 because he has a much higher floor. But I believe Top Ten lists are based on how high their ceilings are.
      .
      I am very glad to see Dennis Santana rated this high on this list. He is rated higher on other mid-season top 10-20-30 lists as well. I picked Dennis pre-season to be closely monitored. He has gone under the radar for the last couple of years, but all he has done is produce wherever he goes. He is also 21 at A+, but is performing better without the same tools as Alvarez. He is not an Ace or a #2. He is a converted SS and has two plus pitches. If he is to continue as a starter, he is going to need to improve the command of his two plus pitches (fastball/slider), and to develop his change. If not, he could be a fast rising bullpen arm. He has 22 walks and 92 strikeouts in 85.2 innings this year. As a starter, he is an innings eater. If he changes to the pen, he could go harder for a shorter period, and his strike out rate can rise. He is worth following. He will not be flying under the radar much longer.
      .
      Yusniel Diaz is someone I continue to follow. He is also 21 and is having his 2nd quality year at A+. I hope he gets the promotion to AA this year so he can get a taste.
      .
      Jeren Kendall had a great start to his career (3 for 3, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBIs). His #8 slot will be higher come next Spring. He should make several MLB top 100 lists. With his speed, arm, overall defense, and power potential, it is hard to not see him in LA by 2019. He is ML ready in the field and on the bases. He is being favorably compared to Jacoby Ellsbury and Johnny Damon. He needs to cut down his strikeouts, but if he does, he should skyrocket through the organization. He could very well move as fast as the Astros’ Alex Bregman and the Cubs’ Ian Happ.
      .
      10 in a row. Another sterling Kershaw performance. 103 pitches…just about right.

    1. The Tigers deserve to suck. This was an absolute steal for the DBacks. The Tigers got
      .
      3B/SS Dawel Lugo – 22 (DBacks #4) – Rated above Average in Arm only (60)- Below average in power and run Overall average at 50.
      .
      SS – Sergio Alcantara – 21 (DBacks #15) – 70 arm and 60 Field. Power at 20 and overall at 45.
      .
      SS/2B – Jose King – 18 (Not in top 30) – DBacks AZL.
      .
      The DBacks farm is poor, and this will hardly hurt them, and it certainly will not help the Tigers. I cannot believe that they did not at least get Socrates Brito. Him alone would have been better. I have to believe that the Dodgers did not want to mess with chemistry because they could have beat this deal all day long. Or Rivero and McCutcheon are being discussed.

      1. I still don’t believe the Pirates will deal Rivero but that would be nice. However, I only want Cutch as a LF option. His unhappiness with that could disturb chemistry more than JD. JD hitting 5th instead of Logan was appealing to me at the right price.

  1. Interesting trade for AZ. They get better. It’ll make things more fun! Now it’s our turn .

    1. I liked one reply on the trade I read. “Good for the DBacks. Now they will lose by only 8 games.”

  2. Gotta say – am surprised and upset that the Dodgers didn’t make more of an effort to secure the services of JD Martinez for the stretch run. The D-backs gave up little to get him. The fact that the Dodgers don’t have him to improve the lineup is only part of the pain – that fact that the Snakes do have him makes it worse.

    1. AZ is playing for the Wild Card. They don’t have enough depth to do anything else.

      The D-Bags have no TOP 100 Prospects, so theoretically the Dodgers could have beaten the offer, BUT (BIG BUT) what was Detroit asking of the Dodgers? Maybe the Tigers were asking for Verdugo and Alvarez and FAZ said no. Sometimes we find out later – sometimes we don’t!

      But maybe it was just team chemistry and FAZ did not want to risk it.

      On the other hand, maybe they are focused on another deal.

    2. Rick

      I thought of you, as soon as I saw that trade, and when I heard the evaluation, about the prospects the Tigers gave up, to get JD.

      I have always liked that JD is not just a pull hitter, he has good power, to the right side.

        1. Hawkeye

          I figured that, but I was just glad that you we’re with your family, having a good time!

          I wish we would have scored more runs for you, and your son yesterday, but I figured you guys probably loved watching Kershaw pitch, since you were sitting behind, the back stop.

  3. Nice piece AC. Guess you touched on it with the mention of Kapler and Gasparino, but, while I’m impressed generally across the board with what Friedman has done (in spite of a few trade players that didn’t work out at all), I’m most impressed for the long run that he completly worked over the player development operation and the scouting department. The Dodgers have been bad in those departments for a long time and were living on a former glorious reputation in those areas. It takes a little time but nice to see the results of a company wide revamp coming to pass.
    .
    I’m plenty happy to have JDM go to the Dbacks and not LA. I doubt we get him for the light haul AZ got him for. There is still no way I take him for Mark’s trade, straight up for Puig, and I’m sure I don’t want to give up multiple top prospects either. I think there are better fish to fry and believe that the FO is warming up the grill now.

    1. Gabe Kapler is special. He was the favorite for the Manager position, but Doc blew every one away in his interview, and he is obviously backing it up. Gabe was disappointed, but he is extremely loyal to Andrew Friedman and has taken to Player Development extremely well. They both have vision and brilliant minds. Gabe brings the on field experience that Andrew needs for player development purposes. It is a great pairing.

  4. Also, you all need to remember that just because I suggest a trade, that doesn’t mean I would do it. It’s to start the conversation. Soooo…. would you trade Walker Buehler, Yadier Alvarez and Alex Verdugo to St. Louis for Carlos Martinez? Then, would you trade Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda, Brandon Morrow and Willie Calhoun to the Orioles for Zach Britton and Brad Brach?

    1. I know that is true and almost always applies in your case. Just that in this instance on an earlier thread I said I would keep Puig in right field and wouldn’t trade for JDM. And you said, in response, you would take 6 months of rental of JDM for 2-1/2 years of Puig straight up in a trade. So you weren’t actually proposing a trade your were stating what you would do.
      .
      Either way, no issue. As I have to admit, that in the right deal I would be perfectly happy to trade Puig as well. For me, it is about trying to make the team better. I just lack your vision and that is a large part of what I enjoy about your posts. I recall you calling to move Gonzales when it was sacreligous to do so (at a time it may have been able to be done and not be hung with the cost) and an early call to trade Puig when he looked like competition for Mike Trout. Visonary, as are many of your posts.
      .
      Your 1st trade proposal above: No trade; your 2nd proposal: Yes, I might do that, but may incorrectly be higher on Morrow than deserved and so I would try to fit in a substitute of suitable ilk.

      1. Puig’s play in the 8th is a reminder why he HAS to stay in RF for us. He deserves serious gold glove consideration this year.

  5. Jeren Kendall made his professional debut today in Ogden (College Rookie League). All he has done in the first 4 innings is go 3-3 with 2 RBI (so far). Ogden has a lot of bats. It should not take long before Jeren gets moved to Great Lakes. I see fast riser written all over him.

    1. Obviously a great start. Very awesome. My concern about Jeren has been pitch recognition and authority of the strike zone. Which I fear may not show up until he reaches higher levels and more elite pitching.
      .
      I’m hoping I’m wrong or that those are correctable issues (if they actually exist) through the Dodgers new excellent player development system. If so, he is an absolute steal in the draft and will be a future CF star in the bigs.

    2. I read somewhere (I forget where), that yes Kendall does strike out a lot. But so does George Springer, and he does everything else really well.

      We may have gotten really really lucky with him falling to us!

      1. I posted this to Watford in his question to me above, but I thought I would repeat it here.
        .
        Jeren Kendall had a great start to his career (3 for 3, 2 runs scored, and 2 RBIs). His #8 slot (Top Ten slot) will be higher come next Spring. He should make several MLB top 100 lists. With his speed, arm, overall defense, and power potential, it is hard to not see him in LA by 2019. He is ML ready in the field and on the bases. He is being favorably compared to Jacoby Ellsbury and Johnny Damon. He needs to cut down his strikeouts, but if he does, he should skyrocket through the organization. He could very well move as fast as the Astros’ Alex Bregman and the Cubs’ Ian Happ.
        .
        I loved Alex Bregman at LSU, but I knew the Dodgers had no chance to get him (he went #2 overall), and I followed him all the way until he was called up last summer to stay. It took Happ a little longer, but it looks like both are in the ML for the long term.
        .
        Great comment and comparison with George Springer. The Dodgers do not seem to care about strikeouts as much. They will gladly give up some K’s for the perceived power. Every other tool is ML ready.

  6. Giants 30 games back. Many people once saying Bruce Bochy the best manager in the business. I guess he must of gotten tired of hearing that just a little over one year ago and did something about it. I was tired of hearing that the first time I heard it.

    1. Now the Dodgers need 4 or 4 WS championships in the next 5 years to put the lid on the Giant fans.

    2. This is not a reflection on Bochy. This is on the Giants front office who have not bought into the new paradigm of how to build a team. Guggs and Company identified that Dinosaurs like Colletti could no longer succeed in the modern era. The Giants will be mired in the back of the division until they get rid of old school Brian Sabean.

      Ken Rosenthal touches on this in his Facebook page:
      https://www.facebook.com/kenrosenthalsports/
      He talks about the Yankees, Dodgers, Orioles and D-Bags in his last 4 or 5 posts. Interesting stuff.

      Right about now, FAZ is looking pretty smart and the D-Bags are still the D-Bags…

      1. Mark

        I meant to tell you this when I first came on here, today.

        When I used just ladodgertalk, to try to get over here, it wouldn’t allow me, to get through, only these funny numbers showed up at the top of the page.

  7. “Guggs and Company identified that Dinosaurs like Colletti could no longer succeed in the modern era” – Mark.
    .
    Couldn’t agree more. The Dodgers would have remained in long-term-suckage without the company wide revamp. In my mind they would have left us with only average and luck to live on. Even the ’88 WS team was lucky not only to win the WS but just to get there. And look how long we have been waiting to get back to a WS.
    .
    Now we have hope, with a real chance at it, every year, of having a good team. And even greater hope that really good baseball players will continue to arrive year after year. All of this leading to competitive teams and a chance to win big every year. That’s what Happy Baseball is all about.

  8. A lot of information to digest here. Thanks for all the research. If I remember half of this information I will be lucky. If these farm kids are coming up in the next 2-3 years, Joc and Puig better improve.

    Taylor looks good in the outfield, but second is where I think he will end up. He has good speed. He singled, stole second with ease, and came home on a single. All we needed.

    I get a little upset with Grandal’s pitch location. He calls for too many high pitches. Last night on the last batter he called for two high pitches. The batter fouled both off, but it scared me. The batter’s timing was perfect, he just got under them. I like changing the batter’s sight, but too many high pitches for me.

    Does Jansen have another pitch? He threw two pitches last night that looked like sinkers to me. He threw the first one at the knees and it went down. I said where did that come from. Nobody is going to hit that pitch. On the last pitch he threw it again for the strike out. Maybe I am just seeing things.

    1. Idahoal

      Kenley throws a slider, and I think that was the last pitch, he struck the last hitter out with.

  9. Great essay and thread and as we have come to expect AlwaysComplete!
    .
    Friedman is definitely a man with a plan. It just keeps getting better.
    .
    Jeren Kendall sounds like the latest potential super star on the farm. I really enjoy watching these guys building the Juggernaut.
    .
    What are they going to do here at the deadline? Trade target prices seem down this year. Although the Yankees gave up a top 100 prospect and others to get their haul. Maybe FAZ is saving the best for last.

    1. Speaking of prospects. We might see this guy tonight.
      .
      The White Sox announced following tonight’s blockbuster trade that they will promote minor league infielder Yoan Moncada to the Majors tomorrow. Acquired in the team’s offseason trade of Chris Sale, Moncada is widely regarded as one of the game’s top overall prospects and ranks as MLB’s No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus.
      .
      Looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about.

      1. I remember harping over and over again that I wanted the Dodgers to go all out on signing Moncada. I thought he would have been in the majors by now so I was wrong there. The Dodgers tried to talk Moncada into waiting until July to sign so they would have more flexibility with international signings.
        .
        When FAZ signed Alvarez and a few other Cubans by not exceeding their international spending limit on Moncada before July of 201X, I thought they were probably right in not going after Moncada but now, if Alvarez doesn’t pan out, maybe it was me that was right.
        .
        Although, FAZ would have been bidding against Boston so who knows if they would have signed Moncada.

  10. It seems the wide opinion of most is that Colletti would of traded all the top prospects though that’s not been his past MO. I’m not saying he’d of done a better job than the current helmsmen but I find it easy to see he would of done a far better job than most are willing to credit him with the resources made available by the new ownership. Colletti did an outstanding job with far less to work with as he dieted on the sins of McCourt. If Colletti is a dinosaur then FAZ would be all the wiser to seek such for his team…..just look at which Dodgers went to the ASG. Then and now ain’t far different that I stand nearly alone standing up for Ned.

    1. Ned gets a bad rap, his hands were tied most of the time and he had no freedom or mandate to overhaul the scouting and player development side. He did misfire big time on Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt but was applauded and extended for ‘The Trade’ and still has an office somewhere in Dodger Stadium. He did hold on to most of the best prospects at a time when everyone wanted them.

    2. Quas, it’s hard to compare FAZ and Colletti because they did their thing under two totally different ownerships. FAZ is building from the foundation that Colletti left them. Badmouthing Collettii does not make FAZ better. FAZ are doing well enough that they and others don’t need to distract by pointing a finger at a predecessor. Now if they were failing and were dropping in fan approval they could resort to blaming others, but I think they are better than that.

      1. Quas, I was agreeing with you but after I read what I wrote, it read like I wasn’t. Sorry about that.

  11. So I’m sitting here reading away at the good stuff LADT provides… AC’s write ups are knowledgeable and insightful and meld well the better part of the contributors…
    But then I read ” I’m plenty happy to have JDM go to the Dbacks and not LA”…
    This is living breathing example of the opiod epidemic that faces the US or at least those areas that believe America is getting Greater Again…
    Yep I’d surely hate to pencil in that middle of the lineup for the next couple years…Yikes

  12. Why don’t we ponder the putting of an ‘untouchable’ tag on a player…
    As a front office we have to consider each trade and it’s long term(?) merit…
    I have Beuhler and perhaps Verdugo with the handle and the rest being fair game in that we can talk till the cows come in…
    What do you think AC???
    P.S. Anxious to see what Moncada has… Any rumors on the Japanese two way superstar???

  13. Excellent post. I would say no to Mark’s first trade idea and yes to the second (Baltimore would say no) but that eats into our starting depth. Who fills out the rotation? Kershaw, Wood, Hill, ?, ?. Can we depend on Ryu? Does Stewart move to the rotation? Call up Masterson who isn’t currently on the 40-man? That would be a lot of pressure to put on Buehler IMO.

  14. AC

    Another good piece of the many pieces, that you have already contributed, to this blog!

    I don’t think the team will be complacent with this big lead, but I still think this is a good time for the team to practice getting the runners over, and trying to get hits, to get the runs home.

    Because this is a big weakness with the team, and it may be important to have a productive offense, in the post season, against good pitching.

    In the game last night, after the first inning, the team once again had trouble getting runs home, even though they had runners on base, all night long!

    And they were not facing top pitching last night, so they are going to have to do better with runners in scoring position, if they want to go farther into the post season this year, if we make it.

    And I don’t think the Nats and the Astros, have this big of a issue, in getting runners home, without hitting a HR, like the Dodgers do.

    And that is because both the Nats and the Astros, have four starters in their line ups, that are not only hitting for a high average, these same players, also have, outstanding OPS’S too!

    And we already know that the Nats, have good starting pitching, so not to many of our players will be able to hit one out, against the Nat’s, good pitching, so they need to find other ways, to get runs home.

    And remember, we didn’t necessarily knock the Nats out, to easily last year, that series went to the last game of that series.

    And in games like we have in the post season, the small moves, and the small things, can be the reason one team wins, and the reason, one team goes home!

    1. MJ, the team is winning as built. We need to be careful how to make the team better because the change might not be make the team better. It is one thing to change a team that is not doing well and another thing to change a team that is winning, and winning consistently.

      1. Bum

        I do have mixed emotions about team doing something other, then what got them here, but this is a glaring issue, and most good teams, should be able to do these things.

        And since we are in a situation where we have a big lead, and there are still a lot of games to be played, why not try to get a little better, after all, Roberts wants the team to do the same thing, that I have been talking about.

      2. Bum

        If you didn’t tape the game and had to watch the game in full, you would feel almost as frustrated, as our players were, when they were not able to get those runners home, last night!

        1. I watched the whole game live as it started at 8:10 EST. The White Sox pitchers did great. Rarely do you see Turner striking out multiple times in a game and look bad doing it. I give credit to the pitchers on both teams.

  15. The DBacks needed bullpen help, but were having trouble hitting LHP. JD is a rental for them, their budget is stretched with Greinke, they need to retain Lamb (1st year arb) and Pollock (final year arb) and have Goldy to extend soon ($25 M next 2 years) The fact they felt they needed to make this move is telling, they need help keeping up and want to at least get the WC this year.

    The Yankees are in a dogfight so I can see wanting to make a move, their division is wide open and may yield both WC’s. The Chisox are in full rebuild and not much is off the table over there. See something you like? Make us an offer! The Pirates could be in the same boat and perhaps the Marlins. This should get interesting and we would all prefer controlled assets to rentals as long as the cost is reasonable.

  16. Great read above. I am hoping however that we can pick up a few pieces for the stretch run. This is the exciting time of the year for baseball fans to dream of picking up players.

  17. Peter
    I agree with the untouchable tag on Beuhler and Verdugo. The untouchable tag should be placed on Smith or Ruiz and maybe both. You just cannot have enough good catching prospects. They both sound awfully good to me.

    1. 2019 could see Smith as the Dodger catcher along with Barnes. Grandal will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

  18. The Dbags see Kershaw, Wood, Hill, Lester, Quintana all in their way come playoff time.

  19. Another good win, with Kershaw taking his turn to carry the team over the line.
    I’ve been giving the upcoming Trade Deadline a good deal of thought.
    Certainly in my living memory, this is as good a team and therefore potentially as good a chance as we have had to finally win a WS again.
    We have had a great first half, and therefore expectations are high.
    I think many thought 2018 might be the year, but here we are on an unbelievable run.
    The team is playing as exactly that – A Team. Do we want to mess with the “Chemistry”? It appears not.

    However, it’s my view that watching the games play out, there is one glaring hole in the squad – a LH high leverage 8th innings guy. I know this because every time things get tight, Doc turns to Kenley for a 4 out save (or more in the playoffs!).
    I think if you asked the senior players they would tell FAZ to go out and get the best available pitcher to fill that obvious hole. I don’t see any player being upset if it means winning a ring.
    The more I think about it, the more certain I am that FAZ will strike.
    Me, if I had to give up Verdugo or Alvarez then Rivero makes most sense because of the control until 21.
    Him & Kenley would form a formidable 8/9 innings partnership for years to come.
    It would be totally possible to let Verdugo go and sign JDM in the winter due to his impending FA status.
    We definitely need another BP arm, and having a start & team like we have currently, it would be foolish not to address our one obvious area of need.
    It always hurts to trade away players that may be good in the future, but on this occasion I really think we need to bite the bullet.

    1. Watford

      I was surprised that the Dbacks were able to get Martinez, because I thought they didn’t have the prospects, to make that deal.

      But they didn’t have to give up to much to get Martinez, and it looks like the Nats didn’t have to give up to much, either.

      I agree with you, we do need to get another dominate arm for the bullpen, and preferably, it should be a leftie.

      From looking at these other trades, the market doesn’t look too bad, so it shouldn’t cost us to much, to get another arm, for the bullpen.

      And it is a given, that any team is going to ask for to much, that is their job to do.

      But that doesn’t mean that we have to give up to much, the Nats and Dbacks, sure didn’t give up to much.

      Just think what another dominate arm would do, to shorten the game.

      And if we got another dominate arm to serve as our set up guy, that would top what the Cubs did, when they went out, and got Chapman last year!

      Because we already have Kenley in the ninth.

      I don’t feel totally comfortable with Baez being our set up guy, especially in the post season, because he is not that good, when he comes into games, when runners are already on base.

      And he has already lost his confidence twice this year, and because of that, Roberts had to go out to the mound, to try to give Baez, the confidence.

      And the results were mixed, at best.

  20. The 2019 Dodger outfield could have any three of the following: Pederson, Puig, Kendall, Verdugo, Peters. To protect this year’s outstanding year, I wouldn’t want to see the Dodgers trade Puig or Pederson for a pitcher. They could trade Verdugo or Peters for someone like Rivera without hurting this year’s team.
    .
    That would leave Pederson, Puig, Kendall, Peters for the 2019 outfield. Puig might be a free agent by then or a year away. If so, maybe the Dodgers could bring up a 21 year old, Verdugo, and include Puig in the trade for Rivera. Not saying I would do that, but obviously, I have thought it.
    .
    To keep this machine going, FAZ has to project the lineup at least 3 years out.

      1. Grinch

        I agree Toles not only has the speed that Joc and Verdugo don’t possess, he also has been able to hit for a good average, and has much more pop, then anyone ever thought.

        Because he hit more HRs, in his first year, starting with the team, at the begining of the season, then Joc did, in his first year.

  21. I agree with all of you about going after Rivero. If not Rivero, then a good left hander in the pen. The one player we can trade is Calhoun. He is blocked anyway at second base. We have Toles coming back next year. I know these other teams did not pay as much as I thought they would. However, I cannot believe the Dodgers are going to get anything cheaply. I really believe FAZ knows which players he must keep and which players he can let go. There is enough talent in the farm system for us to get a good relief pitcher. It is going to hurt to make a trade. Get er done FAZ.

  22. The answer to the LHRP is simple: Ryu. Come playoff time he will be the X factor in the long relief situation. I would like to see him audition more for that job when he is healthy. He can be as good as anyone available. NO BIG TRADES.

  23. Meanwhile, let’s all congratulate Corey Seager on passing Rafael Furcal and becoming the all time LA Dodger shortstop leader in home runs with………….44

    And here I thought Izturis led all of our SS’s!!

  24. Notes on the team:
    `
    Melvin Jimenez was promoted to the @greatlakesloons. He’s 17. Hype.
    `
    Liberatore is still rehabbing in AZ, several weeks away at best.
    `
    Dayton expected to be activated for this weekend.
    `
    Ryu starts Monday.
    `
    Bluto speculation: maybe Kershaw onto the DL next?
    `
    Rosenthal reports:
    The Dodgers would like to add an impact left-handed reliever (Hand, Britton, Justin Wilson) but “[are] wary of overpaying for 15-20 innings of a pitcher who will have zero impact on them winning the division.”

    1. Also this:
      The Dodgers are promoting pitching prospects Mitch White and Dennis Santana to AA Tulsa, per a source.

  25. Newly acquired J Martinez left in the 4th inning with a left hand contusion. He was 0-2 with 2 K’s. We didn’t need him anyway. We have Chris Taylor who is younger faster cheaper more controlable and plays more positions. He should be our lead off hitter for this season and beyond.

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