By the time Brandon Morrow got to the big leagues in 2017, the Dodgers were ready for someone to set-up Kenley Jansen on the back of the bullpen. Brandon Morrow filled that bill and while I would love to have him back, there are two problems: (1) He was healthy last year, but he has generally never been that healthy at any time in his career; and (2) some other team is going to way overpay for him. At least, that’s what I think. So, there is an opening in the bullpen for a set-up man. All who are qualified please apply!
I happen to think that Yimi Garcia could be that guy. At least one Dodger Insider believes that Yimi Garcia will be “back with a vengeance”. That would be a real plus. He’s only 27 and will be 18 months post-Tommy John at the start of the season. He can throw in the mid-90’s and has excellent control. In 75 IP in the majors, he has allowed just 59 Hits, struck out 81 and walked just 12. His career WHIP is 0.947. That last stat speaks volumes. This guy has the potential of being the Dodgers 8th inning guy if he can develop another Plus Pitch. His slider was close at times and if he can improve it, he could be a stud. He also makes less than $700,000 in 2018.
If I were a betting man, I would bet that in September and October 2018, the Dodgers bullpen will included at least two of these pitchers:
- Walker Buehler
- Julio Urias
- Dennis Santana
All have electric arms. Maybe the arms the Dodgers need are all within the organization already? What if the team starts 2018 with this rotation?
With Maeda is the pen along with Stripling, Stewart, Garcia, Avilan, Cingrani, and Jansen. Why not? Yes, the Dodgers could trade for Zack Britton, but past performance is no guarantee of future prospects. The Dodgers also have Trevor Oaks, Edward Paredes, Wilmer Font, Josh Fields, Adam Liberatore, el Gasolino, Yasiel Sierra, and Scott Kazmir (long shot). It would be nice to have more, but that’s a lot. Let McCarthy start in the rotation and if he does well, trade him at the break and call up Buehler.
And that doesn’t even take into account Shohei Ohtani – more on him later…
Giancarlo Stanton Headed to LA?
Would the Dodgers like to have Giancarlo Stanton? Absolutely! Even Ray Charles can see that. The real question is whether it will ever get that far because for them to have a shot, Giancarlo has to reject every other trade proposal. So far, he has not accepted any of them. That’s all we know for sure. He has to reject them all and then the Dodgers can step in. I have no clue how soon or if even that could happen. I do know that they can stay under $237 Million next year and trade for Stanton. It all depends upon who blinks first. Stanton could say “I am not waiving my no-trade clause. PERIOD!” and start the season with the Marlins. Will he blink? That’s what we don’t know…
The Dodgers Next #2 Starter
I think Shohei Ohtani could slot as the Dodgers #2 starter and also get 200 or so AB’s on offense. The money will be as good or better with LA than any other team. His swing is not unlike Cody Bellingers’ and if he doesn’t work every day on it, holes will be exposed. The problem is, in this new era of baseball, you have to focus on what you do 24/7. I do not think he can be a superstar pitcher and hitter. I think he can be a superstar as a pitcher right away. To be a superstar hitter, it will take longer. He should focus on pitching and hit when needed, if he shows he can.
I like Chase Utley a lot, but I like him as a coach or in another position. He’s a great guy in the clubhouse and he can deliver a clutch hit… at times. He’s a pro’s pro, but he’s nearly 80 years old. In his 3 years with the Dodgers he has hit .202, .252, .236… although his OPS has went up every year. Last year it was a semi-average .728.
AC first mentioned Jace Peterson, who still is only 27 years old as a non-tender candidate and I agree. He was Atlanta’s regular 2B in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he hit .239 with a .314 OB% and in 2016 he followed that up with a .254 BA and a .350 OB%. Last year he regressed as Brandon Phillips was the 2B. He has a career .261 OB% against LHP, but .330 against RHP. He’s young enough that Turner Ward could help him a lot.
I mention this, because while I believe Logan Forsythe will have a career year in his walk year, and while he has hit RHP pretty good over his career, he did not hit righties last year. Peterson can also play 3B, SS and the outfield. At the right price, he is worth a shot! I do hope Chase decides to retire. Let’s not forget that Logan hit 37 HR in 2015 and 2016 and that he batted .281 in 2015 and .264 in 2016. That’s what I expect from him in 2018.
Things may stay quiet until the Winter Meetings. Everyone is waiting for the first shoe to drop and none have as yet. It seems to me that Shohei Ohtani will decide quickly and then all hell will break lose after that. It’s just a feeling I have and I have been known to be wrong before.
- A number of trades could go down if the Dodgers get Shohei Ohtani or Giancarlo Stanton or both. Grandal, Pederson, Toles, Verdugo, Alvarez and 2 or three other prospects could be involved. Right about now, it is “HURRY UP AND WAIT!”
- Finally, let me remind you of one thing: Don’t attach any significance to what FAZ says or doesn’t say. They don’t want us or any other team to know their strategy. They aren’t going to say if they will or won’t be under the salary cap. They will also appear to be “IN” on just about every big free agent… if only for the purpose of driving the price up. They aren’t saying… nor should they!