Friedman Doesn’t Blink!

The FAZ-bashing had already started after the Trade Deadline came and went, and all the Dodgers had done was acquire two left-handed relievers, who at first blush, looked like they might be qualified to be batting practice pitchers.  On the MLB channel the bashing had started: “If not now, when?”  Then, it was announced that the Dodgers had acquired Yu Darvish, and the FAZ-Bashers crawled back into their holes.

Here’s what we know:

  • The Dodgers traded outfielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrick Clementia to the Reds for lefty Tony Cingrani. Cingrani has not been good since his rookie year in 2013 when he went 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. There are lots of reasons why this may have happened, but he has a live arm – he can dial it up to 96-98 MPH at times, but he needs another pitch.  He’s under team control until after 2020, so he is a project… who could pay off sooner… or later.
  • Next, the Dodgers traded RHP Angel German and infielder Oneil Cruz for Tony Watson. Watson has been a lock-down left-hander in the past but has been less than stellar this year. He has been asked to close at times the past two years and I think that’s not his forte.  In 2014 and 2015, he was s set-up guy who had ERA’s under 2.00 both years.  The Dodgers gave up nothing valuable for him.  Maybe Honeycutt can fix him, but if not, oh well.
  • Next, the Dodgers traded Willie Calhoun (their #4 prospect), along with A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis  to the Rangers for Yu DarvishAlexy and Davis could become solid players, but FAZ dealt from their surplus.  The Rangers asked for Buehler, then Alvarez… and Verdugo, but Friedman stared them down and did not blink!  I was not a fan of Darvish, but I am happy with what the Dodgers traded, and Darvish should slot nicely between Kershaw and Wood, or Hill.  Look for McCarthy to go on waivers next week… and there might be takers! Darvish should prove to be a good two month – I mean, three month – rental.

Overall, Andrew Friedman stayed true to his roots and did not overpay.  He dealt from depth and gave up the following Dodger Prospects: #4, #17, #21 and #27.  They could all be very good players, but the key is:  none will be missed as the depth is incredible.  He gave up just one of out Top 15 Prospects and while they are just “prospects,” a stockpile of prospects always yields a little more than a small pile.

Wipe the slate clean on Cingrani and Watson.  They are starting anew in LA with Rick “The Master” Honeycutt!  I would bet he will turn one of them around… maybe both.  It’s not an accident that the Dodgers ERA is the best in baseball… by quite a margin.   Here’s what should not be lost on any of us:  Last year, the Cubs had to get a closer – they did not have one.  This year, they had to get another starter – and starters are still a problem for them.  The Dodgers, with the best record in baseball and the most depth did not HAVE to do anything.  They could have won without doing a thing.  But they just got even better.

Boxout beat me to the punch, but this tells you all you need to know about Cingrani (From Reds Reporter):

For Cingrani and the Reds, it’s a somewhat bittersweet separation after what began as a lightning bolt of a career beginning. As a starter back in 2013, Cingrani held the single best K/9 of any National League pitcher who threw at least 100 innings that season, ranking 2nd in all of baseball in that category behind only Yu Darvish. However, high pitch counts, the inability to throw anything other than a fastball, and persistent shoulder injuries derailed his early success, and by 2015 his days as a starter were completely over.

Freeman and O’Brien are being designated as we speak and SVS is gone.  Paredes will like go back to OKC to make room on the roster.  I see no way that Darvish re-signs with LA – he’s a hired gun and that’s OK – Do him like the Cubs did Chapman – pitch him until his arm falls off (JK).  I will continue to follow the prospects we gave up and I especially wish Willie Calhoun success! If I were them, I would call him up right about now.

Here’s the Dodgers’ Press Release on Darvish:


LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish from the Rangers in exchange for minor leaguers Willie Calhoun, Brandon Davis and AJ Alexy.

Darvish, who turns 31 on Aug. 16, has gone 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA in 122 career starts in five big league seasons with the Rangers from 2012-17, earning All-Star selections in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Since making his MLB debut in 2012, Darvish leads the American League in opponents’ batting average (.218) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.04), while ranking among the league’s best in ERA (7th), strikeouts (960, 7th) and WHIP (1.18, 10th).

The 2017 All-Star has gone 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts this year, while limiting opponents to a .225 batting average with a 1.17 WHIP and averaging better than a strikeout per inning with 148 Ks against just 45 walks in 137.0 innings. Darvish has pitched well on the road with a 2.49 ERA (18 ER/65.0 IP) in 10 starts and received the third-fewest run support of any American League pitcher (3.42 RSA).

Darvish was originally signed by the Rangers on Jan. 18, 2012 following seven seasons pitching in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Calhoun, 22, was rated by as the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect and batted .298 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI in 99 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City this year en route to the Pacific Coast League All-Star selection. The infielder batted .283 with 61 homers and 203 RBI in 304 games in three minor league seasons in the Dodger organization after being selected in the fourth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Davis, 20, combined to hit .241 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 94 games with Single-A Great Lakes and Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this year. The shortstop has a .243 career batting average with 15 homers and 109 RBI in 233 games over three minor league seasons after being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Lakewood High School.

Alexy, 19, is 2-6 with a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts with Single-A Great Lakes this year and has a 3-6 career record with a 3.81 ERA in 26 career games (22 starts) in two minor league seasons in the Dodger organization. The right-handed pitcher was originally selected in the 11th round of the 2016 draft.

To create room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated infielder/outfielder Mike Freeman for assignment. Freeman appeared in four games with the Dodgers this year, going 0-for-5, after being claimed off waivers from the Mariners on May 26, 2017.

OK, I’m gonna chill:

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 46 Comments

  1. In a way, I beat you to the punch. On the previous thread I said that “I recall liking Cingrani in the past, but that was a while ago. Not sure what he’s done lately. Need to bring myself up to date.” I do remember him having very good stuff in games I saw him against the Dodgers, but that was several years ago.

    I absolutely agree with your take Mark. From all that I’ve read, Willie Calhoun needs to be a DH, which wasn’t going to happen in LA unless the DH comes to the NL. And since Texas is a hitters haven, there is a good chance that he prospers there. Although, I do note that his average has apparently been dropping lately, since it’s down to .283 from the last time I looked, when it was at .310.

    When I went to Baseball Reference to look-up Tony Watson I noticed what you alluded to above. His problems over the past couple of years may well be related to the fact that he went from setup to closer. Maybe he’s better suited for the 6th, 7th or 8th inning.

    Regarding Cingrani, I wonder if he has any options left.

    I was very happy to hear that the Dodgers held onto Alvarez. He may well have regressed since last year, but let’s not forget that he’s only 21. Sometimes you have to take a step backward in order to take two steps forward.

    Somebody mentioned in this thread or in the previous one that Alex Verdugo was no Cory Seager (or something to that effect). Maybe so. However, except for the power, their minor league numbers were pretty similar. Also, in his first full season at AAA, Seager hit .278, and Verdugo is currently hitting .326. Verdugo will likely never have Seager’s power (especially since I believe that with added maturity Seager could potentially hit 30-40 bombs annually), but he conceivably could hit for a higher average, with good extra base power, and maybe 15-20 HRs as he matures. In any case, I like the idea of having both of them. In fact, if Verdugo lives up to his potential, he might well displace Seager in the 2nd spot in the order, allowing Cory to drop down to 3 or 4.

    Whatever happens, I expect to be very happy that the Dodgers have both of them.

    1. Good post!
      Cingrani has two options after this year.
      I’m really looking forward to seeing what Verdugo has, THIS YEAR!!
      FAZ kicked ass today, in my opinion. They handled the LHRP in the FAZ way. Lots of options. Dodgers have time to make sure they all have what they need to succeed/peak in the playoffs. My money says, some will be ready and step-up! And what a rotation!!
      Brad Hand, Mr. you can mediocre until you are not.
      2014, 4.38 ERA
      2015, 5.30 ERA
      2016, 2.92 ERA
      2017, 2.00 ERA
      This is shaping up as a potentially historic season. Something to tell the grandkids about in thirty, forty years.

      1. Actually, I don’t think Cingrani has two option years left. He has two arbitration years left.

        1. Yes, that is correct. Should have said arb years, but really just meant two years of control after this year.

    2. I was wondering the same thing about Cingrani and whether or not he had options left.

  2. This is what I said previously, Darvish for Calhoun and two other lower minor league players. We needed to keep Beuhler and Verdugo. Darvish is a rental. Calhoun was blocked. FAZ will not sign Darvish for next year. He wants to win it this year. Next year Beuhler will replace Darvish. Beuhler is younger, controllable and maybe better. Pretty good plan. I think Texas wanted more, but took the best deal. Calhoun will do well and I will root for him.

  3. Yuengalingadingdong. I’ve felt like a boot-legger hauling that beer back for friends. I’ve got friends coming in from Indy this weekend bringing me a couple of cases. Darvish’s stuff is still nasty. The NL hasn’ t seen him, and we will all be happy they traded Tree Trunks Calhoun for some insurance. I for one wish Willie the best, I believe he will be a hitter. Despite my view on his defensive abilities I hope he does well for Texas. After watching his defensive workouts for two days at Spring Training I was more alarmed with his lack of arm strength than any of his other defensive shortcomings.

    I wish they could have gotten Hand. It sounded like they were asking for prospects who were NOT in the top 100 prospects, but asking for quite a few. I don’t mind missing out on Britton. I agree with Mark’s assesment of Friedman and Zaidi. Not getting Britton was more about the O’s owner than the Dodgers not getting it done. The O’s screwed up in my opinion and I get the Dodgers not overpaying for a guy who may need a TJ in the near future. I do wonder if if the Darvish deal getting done sooner may have led to a different lefty. My friend who’s a Reds fan had told me that the Dodgers scouts and been following the Reds the last week and I told him it was probably Cingrani. Not my first choice by any means but SVS needed a change of scenery. Like Mark said, I have to believe either Watson or Cingrani will work. Plus we have Morrow and I do like Dayton if he can ever get back to last year’s form. The Dodgers need to be a little more strategic how they use Avilan.

    McCarthy, Maeda, Ryu, Stewart all deserving 5th men in the rotation. Stewart can go to the pen or AAA until Sept 1st. Baltimore should have been beating down the door for either McCarthy or Maeda. Both upgrades to the crap they are putting on the bump every day. Two guys who could help at reasonable prices in the future too. McCarthy makes something close to $10 million next year with a club option for 2019. We all know Maeda has 6 more years at $3 million a year plus incentives left. I agree that McCarthy will be put on revocable waivers this week.

    The Nats, Cubs, Dbags, and Rockies all made moves to improve themselves for the post-season. The Dodgers could not sit idle and be content with where they are now. We won’t be playing the Braves, Twins, and Vagiants in the playoffs.

    1. Hawkeye:
      Your last paragraph intrigued me and this question is open to all. Off all the teams in the NL going to the PS(as presently stands) which clubs made the best trades? Please rate them 1-5.

      1. Hmm, tough to rate but the Cubs added Quintana and the LHRP that many on here wanted as well as a backup catcher. Washington didn’t get one great closer but have picked up three guys who have closed to fill their biggest weakness. Although I wouldn’t trust Madsen in the playoffs as far as I could thrown him. Nats also picked up Howie. Dbags picking up JD Martinez who is a lefty masher to face our 3 lefties was a great pickup for them. Neshek and Lucroy both good pickups for Colorado. Lucroy is having a down year, but just a year ago he was an All-Star quality catcher. The Dodgers address the LHRP with depth not really a dominant lefty. I will go:
        1. Dodgers
        2. Cubs
        3. Dbags
        4. Rockies
        5. Nats

        Tough to rank, the Cubs may have filled their needs the best, but I think Darvish is the biggest pickup on paper at least. You could say Dbags because they got JD so cheap. Rockies upgraded but didn’t overdo it for a Wild Card game. They were smart shoppers. The Nats improved but with 3 guys who aren’t going to dominate over a 7 game series and I don’t trust Strasburg to be there when they need him.

    2. Hawkeye

      You are the one that insisted we needed Darvish, and the front office agreed with what you said!

      I bet you were so excited when you heard the news!

      I feel much better now too!

      Having Darvish gives us four starting pitchers, that can pitch well in the post season, and we never had that before!

      And like you said with Darvish, Kershaw won’t have to come back and pitch on short rest, like he has in the past.

      I think the front office did a great job, and I agree with everyone that one or both of these lefties, will make the team stronger.

      You know both of these relievers will really want to do their best!

      And I should say Bobby was big on Darvish too!

      1. It should be a nice place to assimilate for YU. I was pretty dejected an about to leave the house when I saw your post. It made my day. I trust Honey, Yaz and company to work out whatever kinks are in Yu’s game right now.

        1. Hawkeye

          I was feeling really down, before I heard this too.

          You were the first person that came to my mind, when I heard this.

  4. Wee Willie Tree Trunks, Davis, and Alexy were three underdog minor leaguers I root for. I wish them well.

    Doc will easily fix Darvish’s pitch tipping.

    Watson just might be our lockdown seventh/eighth inning Loogy specialist. You have to think FAZ believes he can “fix” him.

    As a bonus, my friends who are Giants fans are ticked we got Darvish.

    Nobody wants to face a playoff rotation of Kershaw, Darvish, Wood, and Hill. Throw in a bullpen of Kenley, Ryu, Maeda, Baez, and Stripling and opponents won’t score much.

    When do we get AC’s analysis?

    1. He went out of state to a wedding and I heard the Border Patrol of the New Republic of California may have detained him on the way back.

      1. You may be right. I am stuck in Seattle in the middle of a five hour delay looking to go to eight hours. But good day for the good guys.

        1. AC

          You have been missed!

          There was a cute article in the LA Times today about our win last night, and it was about Farmer too.

          You should take a look at it.

          You probably already knew that Woods and Farmer, were roommates in college.

          The Times lets anyone see their articles now, even people without a subscription, to the Times.

  5. The NL contenders got better. I think they improved more than we did, but we didn’t have that far to go to improve. I don’t think the bullpen got better because it was good before. Who goes down to AAA? I say Avilan. Maybe one of the guys we just got. Darvish will fill in the rotation, but who gets bumped? Ryu?Stewart?Maeda? Will they stay with 6 man rotation? With Kershaw out it’s an easier problem.

  6. Typical FAZ moves, nothing earth shaking(because we didn’t have too, the other contenders did have to upgrade}, the usual around the margins and hang on to the young bucks that will help us in the years to come. I like what they did today. Most uneducated Dodger fans want to make a splash trade just to make a splash. Got to read between lines on what these guys do. This is why we are where we are at this year and years to come. They will not sacrifice the upcoming core of guys for a rental or the big time contract for an aging starter. They want to win MULITPLE rings, like the Giants with a core of guys year after year. It is paying off this year, but I tell you what, if you think this year is good, just wait for the next few seasons, it’s going to be off the hook.

    1. You nailed it Roger, that is exactly what they are doing.

      They don’t have to blow it up and re-load!

  7. Darvish was possibly the best starter available for the next 3 months. Sure, Gray may be better over the next 2 seasons, but he was unattainable for what the Dodgers were willing to offer. A post-season rotation of Kershaw, Wood, Darvish and Hill (in some order) will be better than anyone else’s as long as everyone is healthy. Having one of the dingy 3 (Maeda, McCarthy and Ryu) as #5 with the other 2 available to plug holes gives the Dodgers the best rotation down the stretch as well.

    I don’t know that Watson/Cingrani solve the late inning lefty issue. We will have to see if Watson has what it takes. i expect Cingrani to spend the next 30 days in the minors working things out.

    They kept most of the best prospects and are going for it now. I have no complaints. Now, we just have to see how things play out.

  8. I like the trade.
    Looking objectively at Yu’s career stats, they look like a #3 or #4 pitcher to me.
    The Dodgers needed a righty that was more reliable than McCarthy and they got one.
    #1 Kershaw
    #2 Wood
    #3 Hill
    #4 Darvish
    #5 one from Ryu, Maeda, McCarthy, Stewart
    That is a very good rotation

  9. I understand that it doesn’t seem as if Kershaw will be out for long, but I wonder if the Dodgers want to rush him back, or if they prefer to put a longer leash on him. Maybe he could return in the next couple of weeks, but I don’t see why that’s necessary. If the Dodgers can get him back into the rotation at the beginning of September, I think that leaves plenty of time for him to find a groove going into the postseason. If anything, giving him a little extra time to get back into full swing will keep him fresh going into the postseason.

    The only thing the Dodgers are playing for now is the best record in baseball, that would give them home advantage in the World Series, if they get there. Right now they are 5.5 games ahead of the Astros, 5 in the loss column. If they continue to play good baseball, the Astros will have a hard time catching them. That is just one more reason not to rush Kershaw back. In this case, I think discretion is the better part of valor.

  10. Not sure how some know that Darvish won’t be resigned, IMO the Dodgers and Darvish don’t know how it all turns out either. Hill was supposed to be a rental too but wanted to return and it was mutual. For that matter how do they know Forsythe won’t be brought back on his team option? If Verdugo can handle CF in Sept it could open up Joc to being traded, notice I said could. If some of the crystal balls are so clear please tell me now who to bet to win the Super Bowl this season so I can make some real $$. The chance to sign Otani is real and the Dodgers just became the front runners.

    1. Darvish will likely get Stupid money. He’s a fireballer who will start losing velocity soon. He will also likely get a $150 million deal. No to Greinke and No to Darvish. He will be 32 next year and Buehler is at the ready, then Urias, Santana, White and others. That’s not the way Friedman does things. There is no need to pay that with the pipeline we have. You want young starter, not older ones. Hill was cheap ($48 million for a top starter is cheap) and he’s not a fireballer.

      I like Verdugo, but he does not have the speed to play CF. He can play it at AAA, but not on the major league level. He can play LF or RF though. He has an excellent arm. I have never been a Joc fan, but he shows me just enough at times to want to keep him.

      Toles will be back next year and Peters is at least 2 years away. Rios could learn to play LF? I am still not sold on Puig, but he’s a dang good #8 hitter and he plays a mean RF. FAZ has lots of options. If I had to guess, this would be my lineup next year:

      1. Verdugo LF
      2. Seager SS
      3. Turner 3B
      4. Bellinger 1B (write that in for the next 12 years)
      5. Taylor 2B
      6. Grandal C
      7. Pederson CF
      8. Puig RF

      Bench: Kike, Barnes, Farmer, Toles, Gonzo

      Oh, on the Super Bowl, bet on Belichick!

      1. You are probably right about most of the above, but can’t make any $$ betting on the Pats, they are the favorites. I believe it depends on what Darvish wants and Hill was 36, no long track record and injury issues. I think Buehler MAY be ready next year, we will know more very soon.

        I do think this vaults the Dodgers into favorites for the WS, can’t make any $$ there either!

  11. Mark,

    I used to teach math, so I am pretty confident that 2+3 =5. Yet, when I put in the 3 before posting, the site asked for a CAPTCHA, and would not let me proceed. I did this several times. Finally, I solved the problem by copying my post, left LADodgerTalk, and then returned to the site and pasted the comments that I copied, entered the required number, and was allowed to post my comments. Just thought you should know about the glitch.

  12. The trades should be appreciated by the players and if nothing else, make them feel that the team owner stepped up and believes in this year’s team. That is motivating.

    1. Listening to the radio it sounds like the Dodgers players were ecstatic when they found out.

  13. Agon and Either taking batting practice. Hatcher on rehab assignment. Avilan is out of options. What is going to happen? Still a lot of decisions to make.

  14. The upcoming roster moves will be interesting because Cingrani, Watson, and Avilan are all out of options. I’m guessing Paredes, Ravin, and Fields go to the minors unless Stewart goes down instead of Fields when Darvish is activated. Hopefully, Hatcher is on a long, long rehab assignment and not back until September 1st.

  15. I’m looking forward in seeing Calhoun’s major league at bats!

    I hope the Rangers bring him right up, like Mark said!

  16. It’s almost a little overkill, the best team in baseball getting Darvish. It’s like, deja vu (Warriors getting Durant)
    Putting Ice Cream, Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and Chocolate Syrup on your Double Chocolate Cookie

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