Nothing is as Constant as Change

As we await to find out who the Dodgers play in the first round of the playoffs, I think it’s appropriate that we look ahead and see what types of changes could be on the horizon for the Dodgers in 2018.

Changes in Players

Of course, we do know that Andre Ethier’s contract us up and unless he wants to sign a “Chase Utley” type contract, his Dodgers career is likely over.  I do not think it is outside the realm of probability he will do that, especially if (The Big Dodger in the Sky forbid) the Dodgers do not win the World Series.  He may want another chance to be part of that. I do think that Chase Utley’s time with the Dodgers is over, but I thought that last year too.  Could he opt in for another season?  I really don’t think so, but who knows?  Only Chase and the Dodgers have a clue..

Adrian Gonzalez’ back is not going to just magically get better, and facing his last year under contract, it’s likely he will need surgery on his back and does he want to do that?  I still think the Dodgers try and sign him to a long-term personal services contract which is a little tricky.  He would have to announce his retirement and then the Dodgers could extend that deal.  The MLBPA won’t want him to just walk away.

Scott Kazmir may be done as well.  If the Dodgers have the contract insured they may try and cut ties.  Among the pitchers, Brandon McCarthy will likely be back to pitch his final year as the trade market for him is nearly nothing.  I really could see him part of the bullpen next year.  Ryu and Meada have significant trade value and could be part of a deal, as could Joc Pederson.  The Dodgers have Andrew Toles due back next Spring and he has shown a lot of promise, but nothing is a given.

What the Dodgers need is another “middle-of-the-order” hitter, like Giancarlo Stanton and make no mistake about it, Mark Walter is not afraid to take on big cash obligations if he gets back a valuable product.  Stanton is a valuable product. Of course, that would come at significant cost.  A player that Andrew Friedman has been loathe to trade (Alex Verdugo) would likely have to be part of that deal.  The Dodgers might have to part with Buehler in that trade too, but could possibly use quantity over quality if they included players like Diaz, Alvarez, Oaks, Barlow, May or Santana in the deal.  There are a lot of moving parts to this, including whether the Marlins take back any salary for 2018 (like Kaz and McCarthy – trading them frees up salary space next year, if Gonzo doesn’t come off the books).

We know that the Dodgers have several players knocking on the door, like Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler, Kyle Farmer, Edwin Rios and several others.  Chris Taylor wasn’t even on the radar this time last year.  So, should they get a Giancarlo Stanton or should they just “Trust The Process” of promotion from within? Has Yasiel Puig really evolved and matured, and more importantly, can he evolve into more next year?  I have no clue – he is talented beyond belief… and he is a knucklehead!

Yasmani Grandal will be a fre agent after 2018 and has considerable value.  Austin Barnes and Kyle Farmer can hold down the Catching Position until Kiebert “Kay Bear” Ruiz arrives in 2019.  Grandal could bring back some good prospects or trade for some particular need. There are lots of options and lots to be decided!

Changes in Managing, Coaching & Front Office

The Dodgers are going to lose some people in managing, coaching and the front office – that’s a given.  It could be quite a few:  Kapler, Anthropoulos, Byrnes, Zaidi, Geren, Lombard, Castro, Carr and Gasparino could be recruited to higher positions with other teams.  It’s inevitable that it will happen!  Several of their minor league managers and coaches will be recruited, including Pedro Mega, Shawn Wooten, Bill Haselman, Matt Herges, Jay Gibbons, Drew Saylor and Kip Wills.  Some will not be there next season.  When you are successful, other teams want what you have.  It’s just the way it goes.

Nothing is as constant as change, and things will change – I guarantee it… and it will probably be something we have never thought about! In the meantime, enjoy the Wild Card Game.  I don’t care who the Dodgers play – Colorado or Arizona.  The Dodgers have a losing record against both teams this year.  Don’t forget that they were 1-10 or 1-11 against the Mets during the regular season in 1988… and that turned out reasonably good! Vin Scully with the call:


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 49 Comments

  1. One change for sure (or as certain I can be without direct confirmation from FAZ), is that Bob Geren is the huuuuuuge favorite for the Mets manager position. Sandy Alderson loves Geren. Doc has relied, and learned, quite a bit from Geren, and he will be missed. I first met Geren when he was manager of the Sacramento River Cats. I had field level season tickets and talked with him more than a handful of times. He is extremely knowledgeable. Nobody can succeed as the A’s manager. It is a revolving door from players and managers. If he gets the Mets job, he will be closer to his 2 sons who play for the Princeton Tigers (smart and athletic). It will be interesting to see who will replace Bob.

    1. Does that open up a spot for Hasselman? Or would they want more experience? Seems like Herges is being groomed to take over for Honey. I seem to remember Honey signing a short-term deal when they showed Donnie the door.

      1. Hawkeye

        I think I heard or read, that Honeycutt, was suppose to have an administration type of job, in the near future.

      2. Bill Haselman might be a good choice. He does have ML experience as a bullpen and 1st base coach. More importantly, he ended his career as a Red Sox farm hand at Pawtucket, where he shared catching duties with my son. He has managed the Great Lakes Loons, RC Quakes, and OKC Dodgers, so he is familiar with a lot of the young Dodgers with the big club, as well as those who may be on their way. I think he would be good for Doc.
        Yes, Herges is being groomed to be Honey’s successor. I think Honey will have the opportunity to call his own field retirement date. Herges has been the pitching coach for 3 of the Dodgers minor league affiliates. Like Haselman he is familiar with a lot of the young Dodgers, and those on their way.

  2. Does Orel have any interest in taking Honey’s position if Honey retires? What are the chances the Dodgers sign Otani for next season? Orel was in Japan checking him out a few months ago.

    1. I wouldn’t be opposed to Orel taking over, especially if he has an in with Otani.

      I wonder if they would consider Utley for bench coach, assuming his playing days are over. The guy flat out knows baseball and how to play it the right way.

  3. I think I read somewhere that David Price’s best friend, Dennis Eckersley, was going to be doing some Dodger games during the playoffs. My question is WHY? He hasn’t seen an NL game since Gibson limped around the bases in ’88. I hope I read that wrong.

    1. Rudy

      TBS is suppose to be the one doing the games from the National League, and unfortunately, that means we will have to listen to Ron Darling, again!

      1. No, the Cubs game on Friday is done by Darling. The Dodgers get the Brewers announcer or you can choose to stream the Dodgers announcers and synch to your DVR like I do rather than listen to announcers that annoy me. But then again Steiner annoys me too. The Brewers TV guy wasn’t bad when i listened to their broadcast during the regular season.

  4. Just watched the Gibson HR above, and the hairs on the back of my neck still stand up whenever I see it.
    The commentary from Vin, or rather lack of it, is perfect.

    From Doc’s comments yesterday I think Baez gets a seat in the Bullpen.

  5. Agree with AC about Bob Geren. He was a great manager for Sacramento but didn’t get along with the huge ego of Billy Beane (like Art Howe and many others).

    I would be surprised if Ethier was invited back but I guess you never know. Utley has been valued not only for his play (which is mostly so-so at this point of his career) but his influence on young infielders and others in the clubhouse. Andre has never been known as a great clubhouse guy and I doubt that that would be a reason to retain him. He is mostly a pinch-hitter at this point and the Dodgers seem to value a flexible roster – Ethier is one-dimensional.

    Gonzalez looks to be done and at the very least the Dodgers don’t need anyone keeping Bellinger off of 1B. If he’s healthy he’s mostly a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers – one who can’t run and costs $21MM per year.

    It would make more sense to bring Utley back as a part-time player who can play 3 positions and can still run.

    The Dodgers have numerous pitchers who can’t really be counted on (my well known pet peeve) – McCarthy, Ryu, Maeda, Kazmir, etc. If the Dodgers can retire Kazmir, great. I see them keeping Maeda who’s contract is too good to get rid of, and Hill. If there is a way to part company with McCarthy and Ryu I would be in favor but it’s going to be hard to do that unless it’s part of some larger deal.

    No to Stanton and his $295MM contract.

    I think that JD Martinez would look very good in Dodger Blue patrolling LF – it’s going to cost 5/$125 or thereabouts to get it done but it’s still lots cheaper than Stanton’s contract. Another top of the rotation starter would be nice too.

    I noticed that Mark didn’t mention Forsythe as one who might be gone next year – he didn’t do too much to help this year and didn’t live up to his contract.

    Next year’s Dodgers WILL be different – and may be better than this year’s version.

      1. He did not get along with Brian Fuentes who has since apologized. He does not have a Doc Roberts personality. He is more of a Bud Black personality.

    1. 1. I concur with your assessment on Dre. He is one of my Dodger favorites (and has been since the trade), but right now he is nothing more than a LF PH. With Toles and Verdugo as potential LF candidates both being LH, I do not see how he even gets an Utley level contract. If he continues his career, I am guessing that he will end up in the AL as a DH on a team that plays on grass.
      2. I think it is harsh to place Ryu and Maeda in with McCarthy and Kazmir. Kazmir is not going to retire, so he will probably get the Carl Crawford walking papers. I see no way he finds himself on the 40 man next year. I have been hanging onto my support for McCarthy, but I am losing that quickly. Ryu and Maeda will be on some team’s rotation next year. Neither one can pitch in Colorado or Arizona, but neither can a lot of other pitchers.
      3. I see no chance of the Dodgers getting Stanton. They have luxury tax concerns, and Kershaw’s ability to opt out in a year is obviously going to be a consideration.
      4. J. D. Martinez is certainly a player they will want to look at, but not at 5 years $125M. They got JT on a four year deal with an AAV of $16M. JT is 2 years 9 months older and JD, but JT’s WAR (Baseball Reference) in 2017 was 5.7 and JD’s was 4.2. A good portion of the difference is because JT would be a GG 3rd baseman except for Nolan Arenado. Defense does count. For the last three years only a handful of corner OF have signed multi-year FA contracts (I count 7 with 4 or more years.)
      Heyward 8 years $184M
      Upton 6 years $132.75M
      Desmond 5 years $70M
      Cespedes 4 years $110M
      Gordon 4 years $72M
      Reddick 4 years $52M
      Markakis 4 years $44M
      If Upton opts out, it will be between Upton and JD to set the market rate for 2017/2018 FA OF. Carlos Gonzalez will be the only other corner OF to get a multi-year contract. Lorenzo Cain will be the only other OF worth a multi-year contract. Upton’s AAV is $22.125M for four more years. He says he will opt out, but I do not see him getting a better deal from an AAV standpoint. Maybe he just wants more guaranteed $$.
      5. Forsythe did live up to his contract. He may not have lived up to people’s expectations, but with a contract amount of $5.75M and a WAR of 1.7, he lived up to his contract. If he replicates a 1.7 WAR for 2018, he will earn his option. Whether the Dodgers want to exercise his option is another question.

      1. From my perspective I was only putting Ryu and Maeda with those guys when looking at who has value. Kazmir none. I think McCarthy should have value. So should Ryu and Maeda. Considering Ryu’s health issues and the low amount guaranteed on Maeda’s deal for six year, I would think Maeda has more value in a trade than Ryu.

        1. totally concur about Maeda’s value.
          JD Martinez is a dreadful, dreadful defender. I wonder if that should be considered.
          Forsythe’s option is pretty reasonable. I think he returns with the hopes that he returns to his prior 2017 form.

  6. Rick – I wonder if FAZ could use hindsight and revisit the TD, knowing now the almighty slump of September was going to happen, they might do things differently – namely do a deal for JDM?

    I think it’s likely they would…

  7. Just a few points!

    If we end up facing the Rockies, Kershaw better be ready, not to let the Rockies get to him!

    Because Kershaw hasn’t been happy with the Rockies, messing with his routine, the last two times, that Kershaw has faced them.

    And since it seems like what the Rockies did, seemed to work, I don’t see the Rockies changing a thing, if we play them!

    I think Goldy might be dealing with something, much like Corey has had to deal with.

    Because Goldy didn’t hit much at all in September, and infact, Goldy’s numbers in September, were much like Granderson’s numbers were, in August, and that is so unlike Goldy!

    Remember when they had Goldie sit out one of those games, in the last series we played the Dbacks, at Dodger Stadium?

    Maybe Goldy’s elbow, is more serious, then the Dbacks let on!

    Unbelievable, JD hit in 68 runs, for the Dbacks this year!

    But like everyone here already knows, baseball can be funny, and streaks are fleeting, so maybe JD’s streak, is about to slow down.

    Because this is a whole new season for anyone, that is on a team, that is going to the post season!

    So we might see some new stars in this next new season, because everything, and everyone, in this new season, starts out fresh!

    So even the most obscure players can make their mark, and in fact, there has been more then a few obscure players, that have done just that!

  8. I’m sure FAZ was watching Chapman last night with regrets of letting him slip through their fingers. Before I hear the flak on that ask yourselves if you’re more satisfied with Baez as Jansen’s set up man. I think Baez is going to do fairly well this post season, but I believe Chapman is quite a bit better.

    1. Chapman is a domestic abuser.
      I don’t think anyone in the administration regrets anything with regard to him.

          1. I know Chapman is a hothead and that he let his woman push the right buttons to do the wrong thing in turning him into a lunatic. That can happen to ANY man.He just has to come across the right woman for that job. We are all potential lunatics any shrink will confirm that. Now did it bleed down into game? Did it do harm to his teams teammates since? Judging from the cheers of the crowd and the fact the Yankees are advancing still, I’d say his domestic issues only was harmful to Dodgers as it was a factor that gave a different team a better bargain in obtaining him. So you must feel Baez is better than Chapman.
            I get the gist you don’t care for anything I have to say. I’m more than cool with that. And you were right that I’m not completely savvy on Verdugo’s potential poison level. But I had more than just a feeling about his attitude which goes substantiated by others here and by the franchise hiring trainers to work on such issues of his. I used the word ‘yet’ in my post, which I thought indicated I don’t see Verdugo as a lost cause. So I will continue to post whatever which way I see things wrongly or rightly, popular or not. Oh, and that’s whether or not you are cool with that.

          2. I have no idea what you are talking about with regard to Verdugo and poison.
            All I know about Chapman is this:
            According to the police he choked his girlfriend then right after the argument fired eight bullets into his garage.
            If you are willing to write that off as something that can happen with ANY MAN, I’m a little terrified about the people you’ve been hanging out with. But that’s your judgement, and that’s fine. I’m just offering mine…

  9. Change is a constant but one would hope it will be progressive change and not regressive. I for one prefer progress to regression in all aspects of revision. Going backwards is for losers.

    1. As far as taking on any huge gigantic contracts I’d prefer to wait for Trout to be free and pay him the big bucks. If you’re gonna hope, hope BIG. Trout in my opinion is the best in MLB. Currently for sure and maybe all time. I’d rather have Harper than Stanton. Just my opinion though.

  10. The goal before the Bryce Harper/Manny Machado free agent class is to get under the luxury tax threshold.
    That’s nigh impossible by getting Stanton’s contract.
    Come on.

    1. Stanton has 10 years and 285 million left on his deal. An avg of $28.5 million per year. They can only re-set the luxury tax if they shed a contract or two in that deal. The Marlins know that they’re either going to have to send some money with the deal or take back a contract or two. Ideally, from the Dodgers viewpoint, that person is Gonzalez. First, let’s forget about Adrian magically retiring and letting the Dodgers off the hook even for the mythological job as ambassador to the Latino community. If you read about Prince Fielder’s deal or anyone else who’s career is cut short, they don’t officially retire. They just sit at home and collect their paycheck like Carl Crawford. He’s getting $21 million all next season. No way he retires for some sort of deal where that money is stretched out over multiple years. Second, he has 10/5 rights and isn’t going to accept a deal to the Marlins who don’t need a 1st baseman. Sure he could be flipped elsewhere for pennies on the dollar, but he isn’t accepting a deal unless it is to a contender or he knows he can’t play and it’s just a paperwork move. The latter being more likely. The guy spent months on the DL rehabbing and it didn’t work. He also got another shot to allleviate pain and it didn’t work. He may get himself in enough shape to get ready for the season, but ultimately it will go again.

      So, for Stanton to be a possibility it would come down to moving guys like McCarthy, Ryu, Kazmir, and possibly a Puig. Where I disagree with Mark is whether or not McCarthy has value. Has everyone seen pitching staffs like Baltimore and Miami’s. That’s just two off the top of my head. McCarthy makes $10 million next year with a club option of $5 million the following year. Despite the fact that I hated that deal the moment it was announced, what is left of it should have value to pitching starved teams under budget constraints. Maeda should have value too. Much more than Ryu because he has 6 years left only guaranteeing $3 million per year. $28.5 million per year is crazy, but what is Machado and Harper going to get? If the Dodgers shaved a couple of contracts and buy that number down closer to $25 per year is more palatable considering what the other stars will be getting. I would have no problem dealing Verdugo in a deal for Stanton especially if they don’t win it all this year, but they would still have to get under the luxury tax penalty next year to make it work.

      As for Utley, I don’t know if he would be brought back again, but FAZ recently said that when Chase is done they will put on the full court press to have in in the organization in some role.

  11. “I know Chapman is a hothead and that he let his woman push the right buttons to do the wrong thing in turning him into a lunatic. That can happen to ANY man.He just has to come across the right woman for that job. We are all potential lunatics any shrink will confirm that.”
    Quasimodo, you need some serious help.

    1. I’ve had my buttons pushed to the point where I was one of those guys you see at bus stops yapping out loud to nobody but everybody. While I wasn’t choking or shooting anybody and perhaps only hurting myself But I know for a fact ANYBODY can suffer great mental harm with extreme bad results. I choose to try to be polite to those who’ve gotten kicked by life in some ways or whatever because it’s those rude one’s that pushed the buttons on that lunatic who killed and injured all those people in Las Vegas. I don’t wish what has happened to me on anybody but it’d of turned most anybody odds of sorts to a great extent. I hope for the best for all. Perhaps you might need some more serious help. I know I’ve handled the hand I was dealt pretty well as I met a lot of rude people along that way and wish harm to none. Peace.

      1. “Perhaps you might need some more serious help”
        Not even sure what that means. You continue to dig that hole deeper and deeper.
        Don’t label all men as possible abusers. Sorry it happened to you, but that doesn’t mean every other man has those same uncontrollable feelings you have/had.
        Peace back at ya.

  12. 1. In my opinion the Dodgers were right to rescend the Chapman trade. He may be good (not as good as he used to be), but they don’t need that kind of character.

    2. I still would not trade Verdugo for JD Martinez. The Dodgers will bid up Martinez, but they will not sign him. Too expensive and too old.

    3. I think the Dodgers will consider Stanton. He could be quite the draw and he’s only a couple years older than Machado . If the deal is right, Walter will consider it.

    What about this:
    1. Turner 3B
    2. Seager SS
    3. Bellinger 1B
    4. Stanton LF
    5. Taylor CF
    6. Puig RF
    7. Barnes C
    8. 2B

    1. I still would want Taylor at leadoff. I’d just slide Stanton into the 5 hole or move Turner there.

      1. I think Turner needs to move to another spot. His RBI total is VERY low considering everything.

  13. Was that an obscene phone call or was that Quas??? That’s what I thought…
    If I got the checkbook, I go for Machado… 3B or 2B…
    I’m cool with that!!!

  14. Paul Goldbrick ended the season 0 – 17 and was 0-11 against Jon Gray.

    3-Run Jack!

    The Playoffs start now. Forget the other crap!

    1. Hawkeye

      Do you think most major leaguers, would hit that hanging slider, that Goldy hit out, at the beginning of this game?

      1. Yes. They should. I wasn’t a fan of bringing in Holland but I understand not want to lose with him sitting in the pen.

        1. Hawkeye

          It is to bad both of the Rockies guys in the pen, let them down.

          And in the pen, is where the Rockies were suppose to have the edge, over the Dbacks.

          I would hate to be a Rockies fan right now, after there relief pitcher let another relief pitcher, beat him up at the plate.

          I was glad that Arrenado and Story hit those balls out, because I thought the Dbacks set up guy, was just doing way to much celebrating, after he hit that triple!

          But after seeing what Holland did, I am glad we never got him.

          That has to be one game the Rockies wish they had, to play over!

          1. You have to remember that Holland was coming of off a TJ. I think he ran out of gas at the end of the season. He wasn’t pitching well down the stretch. That’s why I didn’t like the move there. JD Martinez isn’t that good against righties so I would have left in the young kid who was throwing 98 and then brought in a lefty to face Lamb. But like I said, I understand why they brought Holland into the game. Despite the fluky triple from Bradley, I still wish the Dodgers would have picked up Neshek. The game was so out of hand early for the pitchers that relief guys were asked to go longer than they normally would.

  15. I would have also rescinded the Chapman trade. But character issues or no character issues, what makes anyone think that the Dodgers would be interested in paying TWO mega bullpen contracts? Jansen is making $80 million over the life of his contract (or is it $90 million?), and I believe it’s $90 million for Chapman. Stanton’s a better deal than that. But as for Stanton, the Dodgers know better than I what they’re willing to pay. As for Machado and Harper, they might well surpass Stanton’s deal.

    Quite frankly all I can think about now is the upcoming NLDS against the D-Backs. Not ready to even consider what the Dodgers might do this off-season. Too many variables.

  16. Kershaw, Hill, Darvish, Wood
    Jansen, Morrow, Watson, Cingrani, Fields, Maeda, Baez,
    Belly, Forsythe, Seager, JT, Grandal, Granderson, Taylor, Puig
    Barnes, Utley, Kike, Ethier, Farmer

    Bubble-Joc, Locastro, Stripling

    I don’t think Stripling is in. I think he’s taxi guy with Gonzalez which leaves the final spot between Locastro and Joc. I guess Ethier could be a bubble guy too because he’s primarily LF only these days while Joc can play CF and LF, but I have to believe Ethier is in despite Doc not committing to it yesterday. I don’t know how good Locastro is at stealing bases. He’s been about 80% at stealing bases in the minors, but that’s not the big leagues. The Dodgers only have one guy, Grandal, who looks like he’s pulling a plow when he runs, but hardly a team of burners. Are Utley and Barnes enough as potential pinch runners. I would think they would like to use Barnes for more than that this year. Joc finally had some quality AB’s on Sunday. Could the workouts be a tie breaker? It seems like the Dodgers want to have all of their bases covered they way they’re talking about Locastro, but it seems odd that analytic guys would carry a pinch-runner.

  17. No on Stanton and no on Martinez. IMO, Stanton’s contract was stupid the day he signed it as his value is based solely on his power. I was one of the people pining for Martinez before the deadline as a rental but I don’t want him for what he’ll cost now. Someone will probably overpay Martinez this off-season based on his production since being traded. Hopefully it the d-backs. If the FO wants to sign/trade for an outfielder I think they should go after Khris Davis or Marcell Ozuna. They’ll both cost multiple players/prospects but don’t have large contracts and have some team control left. Miami needs pitching (their offense is pretty good) so they might be willing to take a Ryu, McCarthy or Maeda as part of a package. Oakland would want minor leaguers. I think Forsythe’s option will be picked up if for no other reason than he could be a valuable trade chip.

  18. With all the silly talk about small-ball and fielding, how about we look at what’s actually happening in the playoffs.
    It’s about HRs.
    And in recent history, it’s not about starters going 7.

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