What Value Do Other Teams Place on Dodger Prospects?

So yesterday the Cubs acquired Justin Wilson and Alex Avila from the Tigers for Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Parades and a PTBNL. Candelario is the #92 MLB prospect, but Parades is the guy the Tigers really wanted. Baseball insiders think Parades has a chance to be a special SS.  The Cubs needed a catcher like Avilia so this fills two spots for them.  The Dodgers had no need for Avilia, so the Cubs won out. The Cubs now have ZERO of the TOP 100 MLB Prospects while the Dodgers have six… count ’em 6!

So, one might think that the Dodgers would have no problem putting together a deal for Darvish or Gray or even Britton, but there are a couple of factors you need to consider first before you decide if that is true.

  1. Just like FAZ was steadfast in not trading Seager, Pederson, Urias, Bellinger and Stewart in the past couple of years (those were the players teams were asking for) in the past two years, they are steadfast in not trading Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler, and those are the two players Texas is seeking… probably Oakland too.
  2. You have to consider how other teams value Dodger prospects.  Even Ray Charles can see that Alex Verdugo has the potential to be “Tony Gwynn-esque.”  Will he?  Only time will tell, but he has “batting champion” written all over him.  Walker Buehler can be an Ace – Think Zack Greinke when you think of him.  It’s easy for us as fans to say, “Just offer Texas Alvarez and Calhoun” but maybe the Rangers do not value flame-throwing pitchers with control problems who have regressed, or players with steel mitts and tree-trunk legs.

Certain teams have certain needs – trades are not made just because a prospect is ranked higher than another prospect.  I think lots of teams would take a chance on Yadier Alvarez, but they do not value him as a top prospect.  To get Chris Sale, the Red Sox had to give up the #1 MLB prospect and the #12 MLB prospect among other things.  To get Quintana, the Cubs had to give up the #7 MLB prospect and to get Wilson and Avila they had to give up their last Top 100 prospect and another younger prospect who could be the centerpiece of the deal.  We have no idea what the Dodgers would have given up.

I would think the Dodgers could put together a package of Alvarez, Calhoun, White, Diaz and Smith to get Gray or Alvarez, but who knows how Texas or Oakland values those players?  I do think Britton or Reed or Hand is a possibility but to get Darvish or Gray, it is going to take Verdugo and/or Buehler and I don’t think Friedman will trade either one.

I loved what Grant Brisbee (thanks to Bluto) wrote about starting pitching yesterday:

The Giants’ starting pitchers threw three quality starts against the Dodgers this weekend. Each one of them pitched into the seventh inning. Over the last two games, they combined for 14 innings and two runs allowed.

They lost every game. They will lose more games before the season is over. Dozens of them. And while maybe none of them will be as miserable as the three this weekend, they’ll be pretty miserable.

How does that San Fran starting pitching that was held up as a model for the Dodgers look right about now?

Clayton Kershaw looked extremely healthy yesterday – he was firing that ball and getting full extension in his windup and follow through.  He will be back this week – BOOK IT!  If the Dodgers could get a starter without giving up Verdugo or Buehler, I’m all in, but I doubt that will happen.  When the Cubs got Chapman last year, it cost them the #3 Top Prospect.  What will Britton cost? I’m not sure we should pay that kind of price. In the meantime, I’ll just chilling until the trade deadline.

What do you wanna’ bet that some teams are hot after Ryu?

Do the Dodgers really need another starter?



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 121 Comments

  1. Mark, good post, it comes back to that question you asked, what is a World Championship worth? That #3 prospect traded helped the Cubs win a World Series, it’s a tough call, hypothetically, would I trade Verdugo and Buehler if it meant winning the World Series this year? Yes. No risk, no reward. It’s a tough call, glad I’m not FAZ right now.

    1. Actually, would you trade Verdugo and Buehler if it meant just GETTING to the World Series?

      1. This is how a lot of GMs think. I think it’s flawed, and Friedman, I believe, looks more long term. Someone I think at the other site made a good observation, that the Red Sox are successful with this short term approach: they try for a WS in a narrow window, then tear it all down and start over, hoping to create another window in a few years.
        So far the Dodgers have shown success in getting to the playoffs year after year without a tear down. FAZ does not do anything that compromises success in future years to marginally increase the odds this year. That’s not his philosophy.

        1. That is flawed thinking. Trading Verdugo and Buehler guarantee NOTHING!!
          dodgerpatch is correct, “What it really amounts to is a cost versus benefit analysis”. Cubs had a HUGE need for a closer last year, that made Chapman more valuable to them, than say us. And we always got to remember Chapman’s line in Game 7 of the W.S. 1.1 innings pitched, 3 hits, 2 ERs.
          All that being said, LHRP is a pretty big need for us. Fortunately, the two best ones, Hand and Britton are still available.

  2. A healthy Britten is a temptation.
    2017 Contract Status:
    • Signed thru 2017
    • 1 yr/$11.4M (17)
    • Arb Eligible: 2018 • Free Agent: 2019

    1. To get Chapman, the Cubs had to give up their top prospect last year (#3 Torres). Would you give up Buehler?

      1. Mark

        Theo has made the right moves, to help his teams win the World Series, so it does worry me, that our front office, hasn’t made a move.

        We do need a leftie arm for the bullpen, but a dominate arm that gets both lefties and righties out, would be even better.

        1. MJ,

          Theo’s teams tanked for 3 or 4 years to get all those picks, while we are winning 5 NL West Titles in a row and still building a deep farm system.

          We are the best team in baseball, by far.

          I would not give up much. Theo had to – they were a .500 team at the break!

      2. Mark

        Chapman was looked at, as the ultimate closer, because he was almost a sure thing.

        And that is why he cost so much.

        These other relievers can’t be that much.

        I know Britton is up there in that class, but he has had injury issues, so his price shouldn’t be as high.

      3. Chapman wasn’t coming off of an arm injury like Britton. The Cubs admitted they overpayed as well. Britton won’t cost as much as Chapman. If the Dodgers could acquire Darvish the Orioles need for starting pitching can be helped greatly by the Dodgers without including Buehler. Tillman, Gausman, Bundy, Jiminez, Miley. Is there a worse looking rotation.

        1. Texas still thinks they have a chance this year and as such might think about taking Ryu and McCarthy and hope to re-sign Yu this winter. I don’t know what else is needed to make that trade but hopefully it doesn’t include Verdugo, Buehler, or Alvarez.
          Kershaw, Darvish, Wood, Hill, Stewart/Maeda

      4. No. The Dodgers do not have a hole to fill big enough to trade Alvarez or Buehler. I would not be bothered if Verdugo were traded for Britten because as good as he might be, the Dodgers have enough outfield depth to give him up.
        Toles might beat out Verdugo next year for the LF job. Peters will be ready when Puig reaches free agency. Kindal could ready to take on CF in 2019.

  3. I don’t even think Darvish is worth a Calhoun. He is a pure rental. It’s understood that the Rangers want to re-sign him, and it’s understood that Darvish wants to stay with the Rangers. What it really amounts to in this cost versus benefit analysis is if he’s a significant upgrade over McCarthy, Maeda or Ryu for that #4 spot for the playoffs. I’m not entirely sure how much better he is than those options.

    For the Rangers, this is all a hedge. They understand that if Yu leaves, they don’t even get a first round comp pick because of the changes to the CBA. If they try to re-sign and things fall through, at least they got a better package.

    Teams looking to trade for Yu probably realize this and can use it as leverage. The Dodgers need to stay firm and not offer much more than the value of that compensation pick, or see what the other teams offer if they can and either nudge the offer a little higher, or just walk away. I’m not giving any of the top four for that guy.

    Is Austin Barnes a chip? We talk about prospects, but he’s very valuable. He could start as catcher on most any team, he’s young and cheap. I like him with the Dodgers, and he’s now the de facto utility guy with Taylor ensconced in left, but with Farmer now on the roster, …maybe.

      1. He’s 31 years old. No way I would sign him. He’s on the down side of his career!

        With a healthy Kershaw, Wood, Hill, McCarthy, Maeda and Ryu along with Stewart, maybe Buehler, Morrow, Baez and Jansen we are the best pitching staff in baseball.

        1. Mark

          I am not big on Darvish, but he is not necessarily going to resign with the Rangers, like Dodger patch said.

          He wants to see what he can get on the open market.

          But we do need another arm, for the bullpen!

        2. Mark

          I think we definitely need another leftie, for the pen.

          And I don’t trust Baez in the post season, because he hasn’t been good in the post season, in the last three years.

  4. Mark: “Certain teams have certain needs – trades are not made just because a prospect is ranked higher than another prospect”.
    VERY TRUE. Teams also have their own scouting departments which rank the prospects, and I am sure, quite differently than the published information.
    I tend to think the Rangers highly covet 21 yr old Alvarez a “flame-throwing pitcher with control problems”. I think the reason we don’t have Darvish already is that the Dodgers do also.

    1. And this is where I disagree with Mark and AC. I think you two are too quick to throw Alvarez in every trade scenario. The Dodger farm system has shown it can turn players around, and he just has too much natural ability and potential to give up for something short term.

      1. This front office has shown they can develop players with the best of them. There is no reason to believe that would stop if they dipped into their system for some impact players like Darvish or Britton. Saying you wouldn’t trade a player who’s arm is too weak to turn a DP at an appropriate skill level is crazy. Someone tell me where Tree Trunks Calhoun is going to play if the Dodgers don’t trade Verdugo. The Dodgers value defense and he doesn’t have the range or arm to play LF or 2B.

          1. Very true. Just found the statement ridiculous. Toles, Calhoun, Verdugo, Diaz, Peters, Kendall, Heredia. You develop this type of depth to not only help the big club directly but also indirectly through trades. Alex Verdugo is no Cory Seager. I would prefer not to move him but I can’t see him as completely untouchable. The guy has hit like 3 legitimate HR’s in a hitters league. Could he be Tony Gwynn? Maybe, but with the depth the Dodgers have he isn’t untradeable.

        1. I gotta believe, Fire Hydrant Body Calhoun, is our biggest trade chip this deadline, maybe along with Diaz because of our outfield depth on the farm. Calhoun is available, in my opinion, because of dodgerpatch’s, cost benefit analysis. Calhoun is more valuable to AL clubs than NL clubs because of the DH. Not to say Alvarez/Verdugo wouldn’t be available in the “right” deal, but the return would have to be huge.
          What’s huge? Maybe Gray with his two years of control after this year and a LHRP, but depends on the scouting/medical reports.

  5. They are now saying that we are in on the Ranger’s leftie reliever Alex Claudio, who is under team control until 2021.

    He has very good stats against lefties.

    1. Looks great!! Maybe just maybe, these FAZ guys know their stuff better than us.
      Enjoy the ride and never forget, 74 and 31. It has a wonderful ring to it. I will be sharing the joy with some Midget fans today. Oh Boy!!!

  6. MJ,

    I changed the name back, but I have no idea why it just did that. That name is not your user name and it does not appear to be on this end. You may want to check your profile. Or log-out and log back in.

      1. Didn’t realize that was you MJ, don’t worry, my stalking days are over, besides I already forgot your name Mrs. Obama.

  7. Only a very few prospects are going to be stars. Figuring out which prospects are going to be stars is where front offices make their money. For every Cory Seager is a Joel Guzman. (For those who don’t remember Guzman, he was the Dodgers’ top-rated prospect and a big power hitting shortstop. He hit .232 with a .638 OPS in 62 PA with the Dodgers and Rays in 2006/07 and flamed out.) So – some here claim to have a crystal ball and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Buehler will be a star and that Alex Verdugo is the 2nd coming of Tony Gwynn. Those who believe that are apparently better than the scouts who have less foreknowledge than that.

    I get the importance of hanging on to top prospects but also know that chances such as those possessed by the Dodgers this year don’t come along all that often. While I am not sold on the likes of Darvish and would not willingly overpay for his services for the next 2 months, the Dodgers need a shutdown lefty for the ‘pen and it would be a shame if the team didn’t do all that it needs to do to have the best chance to get to and win the Series after a 30 year absence. (The longest in franchise history, BTW.)

    All of those who think that the Dodgers should hold on to all of their prospects because they’ll all be stars and are all better than other teams’ prospects don’t know their history. I am sure that the Braintrust will hold on to their top prospects but if this year’s team doesn’t make the series and the team doesn’t make a move to get them there, the players on the roster will be disappointed (as will most of their fans).

    At some point, you just have to go for it. If this isn’t the season to do it, then when will it be?

    1. #1 – I was never high on Guzman (but do admit to being high on Andy LaRoche);

      #2 – I am high on both Verdugo and Buehler, but I can’t predict greatness for either one. With Buehler, the only thing that can stop him is health and Verdugo has a world of potential, but you never know.

      Still, their ceiling is too high for me to trade. Alvarez has a high ceiling, but also a low bottom. Calhoun is a challenge, but is an amazing hitter. Over the past two years, I did not want them to trade De Leon, Urias, Seager or Bellinger. I think I was right 75% of the time there.

  8. You cannot really say Alvarez has regressed. He has just advanced beyond his skills. I do not think FAZ has given up on him yet. They realize different players advance at different speeds. At the least they’re looking to get back their $$$ investment. Command of the zone would put Alvarez right back up there in the rankings. Coming from Cuba and not being on familiar ground effects these young foreign players more than the domestics. I haven’t seen or heard anything that makes me think FAZ has decided Alvarez a lost cause or a mistake. Guess it’ll all be clear to me sometime in the near (or far) future.

  9. 50% actually unless my math is really bad. Both Urias and De Leon could end up very good MLB pitchers… but right now they’re definitely not. My math can’t be that bad since I can figure out those math questions you have now to post here.

  10. I would never trade Beuhler. Verdugo I may because of the outfielders we have and in the system. I would trade Calhoun because he is blocked. Ryu looked really good last night. He had the same stat line as Bum.. I think we need a LHRP. Three more hours to go.

  11. Not ready to give Alvarez away because at this point in his development he is very much like a young Sandy K who struggled with his command too. It usually comes with time and repeatition.


    I can’t remember a team that has more interchangeable parts than this one. And they all seem to play their positions well.

    Taylor—2b, lf, cf, 3b
    Seager—ss, 3b
    Turner—3b, 2b(?)
    Bellinger—1b, lf, cf, rf
    Forsythe—2b, 3b
    Barnes—c, 2b, of
    Puig—rf, cf
    Utley– 2b,3b,1b
    Pederson—cf, could play other OF
    Farmer—c, and I read he plays other positions too

    You can probably add other positions that I have overlooked. It appears that versatility is high on the list of preferred attributes if you are going to be a Dodger

    1. Campy:
      All you say is true as far as defense but sometimes I wonder if playing out of your original position may, in fact, take a toll on the offensive part. I did check out a few players(not all) and found this out:
      Bellinger : 1B- .305 BA: 1.094 OPS LF-.207 BA; .706 OPS
      Forsythe : 2B-.315 BA; .835 OPS 3B-.126 BA;.453 OPS
      Taylor : LF -368 BA; 1.043 OPS CF- 262 BA;.714 OPS

      Does not include last night’s game

      1. Very interesting, I wonder if that is true of the other players, surely Doc knows if it is. I agree with you in that I prefer a set lineup where you know what position you are going to be in every time out. It seems to me to be more settling, but who can argue agains the success they are having?

      2. Richie

        I hope the Dodgers winning like they have, have helped you get through your days, a little easier, then you were!

        Take care!

        1. MJ:
          Thank you for your concern and compassion. It’s been very hard to actually function you feel like your heart and soul and your very existence for being has been ripped out of your body. However one saving grace is this blog of Mark’s. I have visited it everyday and have kept up current events.
          I may not be posting as much as I did in the past but soon, very soon, I hope to be posting again like before and I’d to thank Mark for giving me his E-Mail address but I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my personal issues on what should be and is strictly a baseball blog.

  12. Well here we wait.
    My up to the minute predictions for whats going to happen. No particular order.

    1. Darvish and Claudio. The rental and nice LHRP should be the cheapest in prospects and fits with 2018 money.
    2. Gray and Coulombe. AlwaysCompete’s special! Nice pickups if you HAVE to trade Verdugo or Alvarez because a trade headlined by Calhoun aint getting it done. Also a 2018 luxury tax dream.
    3. Hand. He is everything we want and as close to a W.S. guarantee we can get. Shouldn’t require Verdugo/Alvarez, in my opinion.
    4. Britton. Don’t see it. High prospect cost, health risk and too expensive in 2018, therefore really only a 2017 rental. Cost/Benefit rule doesn’t work.
    Buehler isn’t available!!!

      1. He’s had a terrible year. Hopefully, he will run it around but hardly the dominant lefty needed at this point. Maybe Meh would be better

  13. I don’t want to see the FO overpay for Britton or Hand but if we think Grant Dayton, Avilan, Paredes et al can be dominant in the post season, we will be dissapointed. FO needs to add, at minimum, a LHRP.

  14. If you want to see which metrics may matter most to the Dodgers, look at exit velocity.

    Lowest EVs

    1. Hill
    2. Watson
    6. McCarthy
    8. Maeda
    9. Wood
    11. Kershaw

      1. I’ve got a friend who’s a Reds fan laughing his ass off. He gives up 3.5 Dingers per nine.

        1. Tell him this.
          Oddly, Cingrani has struggled badly against same-handed hitters, allowing six long balls from just 43 lefties he has squared off against. That figures to balance back out somewhat, though, as he has limited lefty hitters to a .218/.305/.407 slash over his career (including this year’s ugly results).
          Assuming those issues can be brought under control, Cingrani will add a power arm to the L.A. pen. He carries a 12.4% swinging-strike rate and is averaging a healthy 94.6 mph with his fastball.

    1. Well, I said they had ten minutes left.
      Options, Options, Options!!
      Watson, Cingrani, Avilan, Dayton, Paredes, RYU, Liberatore (maybe), Ysla
      Two months to fine tune the options. May the best men win!!

        1. Cingrani will be checking into the “Hotel FAZ” and getting a thorough examination from the development department over the next couple days. Don’t underestimate them. They have already turned a bunch of flotsam into the # 1 bullpen in baseball.
          I accept the results of FAZ’s Cost/Benefit analysis this deadline.

          1. Boxout

            That is what I thought.

            Maybe they saw something in Cingrani, that they could fix, or he just had one bad game.

            The EVs that Bluto posted, explains Watson.

  15. Haven’t heard who we traded, but safe to say Buehler, Alvarez and Verdugo are still Dodgers.

    1. And remember Darvish has not been pitching in a pitcher’s park, like Dodger stadium, so his numbers should be better.

    1. I liked SVS a lot, but he wasn’t going to get any PT with Bellinger, AGON, CT3 and Kike contributing like they have been this year. Also, if Verdugo is the next impact Dodger rookie to debut, he would earn some PT in the corner outfield as well so I’m happy SVS can go to a club where he will start and get to play a lot.

  16. Van Slyke sent for Cingrani.
    RHP Angel German and INF Oneil Cruz for Watson. German had some issues, but great size and arm strength. I really loved Cruz’ size and power, but was a real projection.

  17. No sooner do I post, only to look up to read that most of my questions were answered.

    1. Watson is a rental. Cigriani a couple more years, and he is cheap. No doubt now, they are getting out of luxury tax next year.

  18. I think Darvish will get recharged with the team fever that’ Dodgers have. I’m certain his homeland loves this as Dodgers are their favorite.
    I also have a feeling Kershaw’s injury was by design playing possum just so he gets stressed less in the coming dog days. It’s been the same for him all season with the exception of one complete game………..Okay, my mind is going.

      1. Dodgers should give Maeda’s translator, Will Ireton, a raise as he might need to translate for a small pitching staff.

      1. SVS was on the 40 man, Gutierrez can go to the 60 day DL, so could Hatcher,

        25 man send down Paredes, Ravin and Farmer or someone like Avilan to the DL. Fields also has an option. Not sure the status of Ysla.

  19. Darvish may not be a rental, as the Dodgers could sign him to a back loaded contract which would enhance their chances of signing Otani, as would keeping Maeda. Rich Hill was a rental too and wanted to return, as will Darvish once he gets acclimated to LA and it’s huge following in Japan and locally.

    Crawford, Ethier and Guerrero drop off next year, when the team tries to get out of luxury tax territory. But Ryu, McCarthy (team friendly 2019 option) Kazmir, Forsythe and AGon are in the final year of team control and several have value to be traded for cap relief. I don’t believe the posting fee counts against the cap and Otani could be back loaded as well. Imagine this rotation:

    with Maeda, Buehler, Stewart in the wings
    and Ryu, McCarthy and Kazmir as surplus pieces.
    Perhaps some could go to the pen with Stripling.

    1. Forsythe has only an option for next year (2018), and there’s not a chance in Hell the Dodgers pick it up.

    2. I don’t think “back loading” solves the luxury tax problem. I believe for luxury tax purposes, they will take the average per season cost, ignoring what the contract says they are paying for each individual season.
      In my opinion, Darvish will only be resigned if he wants to agree to a bargain price and we can trade Gonzalez and Kazmir with prospects in a salary dump.

  20. FAZ earned their money. I’m not sure how we can complain now. Darvish/Hand is perfect day. If Watson can return to form it’s a very good day with Cingrani as a wild card.

    There may be an unhappy pitcher or two in the dugout now but Darvish is the perfect fit for him too. A manager who speaks Japanese, Maeda in the dugout, goes from a bad pitch framer to the best, and from a bandbox to Dodger Stadium.

  21. Interesting article on our new reliever, Cingrani.
    I liked this part.
    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.


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