There’s a Better Choice for the Dodgers Than Stanton

I have reached the point that I don’t care where Stanton goes… so long as it is not in the NL West.  Let the Yankees have him.  I’m down with that… as long as the Dodgers get someone else.

OK, I admit to having been a big proponent that the Dodgers should acquire Giancarlo Stanton.  Especially now, that the Angels have signed Ohtani, it would really be nice to counteract his billboards with ones of Stanton. I admit that I really pushed for the Dodgers to trade for Stanton. I really wanted it to happen.  Yes, I did!

I also admit to being a moron!  So, there is that! After further review, I have decided that even if the Marlins take back $40 to $50 million in 2018 salary, it’s still too much… not so much in money, but rather in prospects.  The Dodgers can get more than Stanton for what they would have to pay to get him.  Here’s the direction I would like to see the Dodgers go:

Pay J.D. Martinez $180 million over 6 years!

Trade for Ender Inciarte!

That’s four year less than Stanton and yes, Martinez is not Stanton, but he’s pretty good and would slot well with the Dodgers.  DodgerRick would be ecstatic!  He has wanted JD for a while now. However, this way, he only costs money! The way I look at it, the Dodgers could sign Martinez (yes, overpaying) and then trade fewer prospects than they would have used for Stanton in order to have an even stronger team. I have wanted Inciarte for years and recently, AC has re-kindled that desire.

How about Alex Verdugo and D.J. Peters for Ender Inciarte?  Martinez’ deal could be back-loaded to cover next year and the Dodgers could THEN have to trade Forsythe, Grandal, McCarthy and Kazmir.  How can they do that?  I have a plan.

Forsythe, Grandal and McCarthy all have value and could be traded in the right deal(s).  I’m not going to pretend to know what those deals are but all the Dodgers need back are prospects.  That would relieve the Dodgers of about $25 million in salary.  Kazmir would be tougher (the Dodgers may have to eat a lot of his salary), so he would likely have to be packaged to a team who wanted  Grandal and Joc Pederson for prospects.  The Dodgers could get another $7-9 Million of Salary relief. A-Gon is the only unmovable contract.  All told, they should be able to dump $30 million in contracts and A-Gon comes off after this year.

Look at this lineup:

  1. Inciarte  CF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Martinez  LF
  6. Taylor  2B
  7. Puig  RF
  8. Barnes  C

Bench:  Toles, Hernandez, Culberson, Farmer (or Smith), Ramos (or Rios)

What a lineup that would be.  OMG!

It’s a potent lineup and great defensively, except for LF, but Kike and Toles could be JD’s caddy late in games.

  • Oh.. and sign Jhoulys Chacin too. Or, if he costs too much, just keep McCarthy.
  • Signing Brandon Morrow would make it all worthwhile.

“Andrew Friedman has walked away from more trades than any GM in the past 10 years.”

That was said on MLB Radio yesterday by Brad Lidge. Before you think that is bad thing, you need to realize that conventional thinking is usually wrong.  Before Andrew Friedman talks to a team about a player, he knows how much he is willing to give up to get that player and if the other teams exceed it, he simply crosses his arms and walks away.  If you don’t do that you get bad deals, like the Yankees got when they traded for A-Rod and several other contracts.  You end up with free agents like Price, Cueto, Schmidt and other dogs.

Some think that means Friedman doesn’t know how to run a large-market team.  PLEASE!  The facts say otherwise.  The facts are, FAZ will not exceed the value they give up for what the value they think that player brings.  JD Martinez is young enough that a 6 year, $30 million dollar a year deal would likely be a good one for 4 or 5 years.  It’s possible that the last year or two could be bad.  If FAZ is willing to take that risk, so am I.

I am not even afraid of going into the season which what they have right now. The Dodgers youngsters will be a year better next year. It should be interesting how this plays out.  FAZ has established limits on what they will pay for Stanton… but Stanton still holds all the cards.  FAZ will stick to their guns and if Stanton does too, the Marlins will have to re-visit the Dodgers offer… but it’s the Yankees and Stanton may cave!

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 62 Comments

    1. Yet!

      I know JD is not a good outfielder, but he has played the majority of his games in RF. If he concentrates on LF, I don’t think he will be as exposed, and if the NL doesn’t get the DH, he could possibly be moved to the AL in 3 or 4 years by paying a percentage of his salary. He’s still only 29 (30 next year) so maybe a fielding guru can help too.

  1. The dodgers should have won the World Series this year but their starting pitching and bullpen blew the series. They are going to have to improve to get back. The fact that Roberts could not trust and was unable to use guys like fields etc. forced Morrow and Maeda to be overused. Plus Jansen did not do his job like he has done in past series. The blowing game 2 and game 5 with Darvish melting down 2 starts was more than they could overcome. Although I expected Kershaw to do his usual I did not expect Jansen who just didn’t look right the whole series. While the angels and Yankees are getting better and younger, the Astros will be great again the dodgers will need to improve just to keep pace.

  2. I was hoping to wake up today and read that momentum had turned to the Dodgers. I can’t help but think they let a huge opportunity slip through their fingers. Like I mentioned the other day, the Marlins accepting $25-$30 worth of bad contracts for 2018 didn’t get them to their payroll number. The Yankees were willing to take all of the money except for Castro’s deal which has about $37 million left but it is spread over 3 years and is only $10 million next season. If the Dodgers got in sooner, would things have been differently?
    What’s next? Ozuna? Go with with you got and focus on pitching now? Those seem to be the two options. Ozuna will cost quite a bit in prospects. $30 million a year for JD Martinez, no thank you. If your not willing to risk the financial ramifications of a generational player like Stanton, I’m not paying that kind of money for a butcher in the OF who has had his share of injury issues.
    Definitely disappointing news today. Bryce Harper most certainly won’t be signing with the Yankees a year from now.

    1. I think FAZ had their number and stuck to it.

      Stanton still holds the key!

      It ain’t over until it’s over… but the fat lady is singing.

      1. Stanton is on his way to NY to take a physical, he must have approved the deal. I agree with Hawkeye, if they would not pull the trigger on Stanton they will not sign Martinez unless the price comes way down. The Red Sox will be all in on him to keep pace with the Yankees, JD would love to hit fly balls over the Green Monster. I do like Inciarte though, he is signed through 2022 and has a cap hit of 4.7 M in 2018 plays excellent defense and has speed. He throws and bats left however and they already have Toles, Joc and Verdugo although Inciarte is better than all of them. AA knows our system well and would be a logical trading partner, they need starting pitching and corner OF that plays defense.

    1. Yep. That’s legit!

      1. Yelich CF
      2. Seager SS
      3. Turner 3B
      4. Bellinger 1B
      5. Ozuna LF
      6. Taylor 2B
      7. Puig RF
      8. Barnes C

      That’s formidable! But, they really don’t need both!

  3. It isn’t this front offIce can’t run a big market team, they don’t know how to make a big market deal!

    And they don’t think like a big market team, so they are to overly concerned, about the money!

    And because they are so overly concerned aboyt the money, they didn’t focus on the fact, they probably won’t ever have a chance, to get a player like Stanton, again!

    The Dodgers are the second wealthiest team, in all of baseball!

    And a team like the Dodgers, shouldn’t be so overly concerned with there money, especially when there is so much money coming off the books, after the 2018 season!

    And the Yankees are in the exact same financial situation, the Dodgers are in!

    The Yankees didn’t let one year of the luxury tax, stop them from realizing, they may never get a chance to get a player like Stanton again!

    And if someone thinks this was not a good deal, look at how fast the Yankees made this deal happen!

    And this front office isn’t going to sign any big free agents, like JD Martinez!

    I don’t mind when this front office signs all of these obscure players, seeing if they can find that one good player.

    But I also expect them to recognize a good deal, by standards in baseball, today.

    And I don’t think the Dodgers will get ever a chance, to get a player like Stanton again!

    And apparently this front office were so overly concerned about the Dodger’s money, they couldn’t see a rare deal, even though, the ball was in there court, for the last three weeks!

    1. MJ,
      Do you understand the concept of budgets? Of business plans? Of business itself?
      Do you understand who sets budgets and who makes financial decisions? Do you think it’s the front office? If so, who in the front office?
      Two requests:
      1. Please tell us which “rare deal” the Dodgers couldn’t see?
      2. Please stop posting nonsense.

      1. Bluto

        How often does the Dodgers have a chance, to get the best right hand power bat, in all of baseball?

        And when was the last time the Dodgers had in there line up, a right hand power bat, like Stanton, and a leftie power bat, like Cody?

    2. MJ,

      That is pure silliness! The Yankees have $101 million in guaranteed contracts for 2018. The Dodgers have $175 million in guaranteed contracts. If the numbers were reversed do you think the Yankees would have traded for him?

      You are thinking with your heart, not your brain.

      1. Thanks for the info about the Dodgers and Yankees numbers, for the 2018 season, I didn’t think there numbers were that far apart.

        But what will the Dodger’s and Yankee’s numbers be, after the 2018 season, because that was my point!

  4. I only wanted Stanton if the Dodgers could unload about $70M in contracts. I like the Dodger team as it is now with a few additions like Britton and Morrow.

  5. Mark, small error on your part. Martinez turned 30 this past August, and will turn 31 during next season. No big deal.

    As I posted at the end of the last thread earlier this morning, not signing Stanton is not the end of the world, and maintains the Dodgers’ flexibility for a deal involving other players such as Ozuna or others of his ilk. Also, as I’ve read elsewhere, given luxury tax implications, Stanton’s $295 Million could have ended up costing the Dodgers a half Billion dollars.

    And regarding the Dodgers finances, I never presume to even have a sliver of knowledge in comparison to FAZ. Whatever I know comes from what I read, which I am sure is incomplete.

  6. Assuming they could even do it, acquiring both Ozuna and Yelich might make a lot of sense.

    1. Taylor could move into 2B, with Ozuna in left and Yelich in CF.

    2. Or the Dodgers could flip Yelich to a third team to fill another need.

    3. Or, if the Dodgers held on to Yelich, they could package some of their other spare players in a deal.

  7. Dodgers offered better prospects. The Yankees were willing to take on more money it seems. Ozuna might be a nice consolation prize but he will require better prospects and the Dodgers would only have him for two years.

    1. As I posted earlier, The Yankees have $101 Million in guarantee money in 2018. The Dodgers have $75 million more. “THE TRADE” played a role in this. It might could have happened if not for A-Gon. We will never know for sure.

      1. The trade did play a role. You’re correct. The Yankees dealt 2 low level guys, Castro, and got $30 million back which bought his luxury tax hit to a level that the Dodgers could have handled. The Yankees outmaneuvered FAZ if they were truly interested. It doesn’t mean I’m a FAZ hater but they should have beaten this if they were truly in.

        1. The difference is that the $30 million the Yankees get is if Stanton opts out. The Dodgers needed it in 2018, not 2021. I don’t agree that FAZ got outmaneuvered, they were a lot more shackled by salary than the Yankees in 2018. I mean, the Dodgers obligations in 2018 are 75% higher than the Yankees. I think FAZ knew what they needed and TB could not do it. TB really got very little back.

          1. I certainly understand not wanting to take on the deal and who knows how it will turn out. Stanton’s body may break down.

          1. So far, those were horrible signings. One more year to go… and I think the Dodgers have to see if either one has anything left.

  8. Sometimes the best trades are ones you don’t make. Let’s not anoint the Yanks, yet!

    OK. here we go to the Winter Meetings. Where anything can happen.

  9. Mark, stop with THE TRADE. That trade was part of a long term plan by Stan Kasten to keep winning in the present while at the same time re-building a farm system left in tatters by Frank McCourt.

    In 2011 the Dodgers ranked at #30 out of 30 teams, in the amount of money they spent on young international talent. That changed when new ownership took over in 2012 (before the FAZ era), when both Puig and Urias were signed. That’s even the year that Corey Seager was drafted.

    Kasten knew that rebuilding the farm system would take about 5 years, at which time the Dodgers would likely have a strong pipeline of young talent that could be infused gradually, year after year. In the meantime, at the time of the trade with Boston, and also the deal that brought Hanley over from Miami, Kasten sought to bring in immediate talent that would keep the Dodgers competitive until the farm system could begin producing. And it worked, as evidenced by 5 consecutive division titles. My guess is that remaining competitive after 2012 more than paid for itself in increased revenues from high attendance, and playoff sales.

    And it’s for the reasons above that I give most of the credit for the current success of the Dodgers to Stan Kasten. Yes, I am a huge supporter of FAZ, but I also recognize that the only reason FAZ exists is because due to Stan Kasten. When Kasten determined that he was going play a lesser role day-to-day, he decided to hire someone with like ideas with respect to building a team, and it’s for that reason he hired Andrew Friedman. So if we’re going to give credit to Friedman, then let’s give credit to the person who had the wisdom to hire him. In fact, Kasten was also smart enough to give Friedman a complete free hand in running baseball operations, which enabled Friedman to hire Zaidi, etc., etc.

    1. I understand THE TRADE, but just like McCarthy and Kazmir have been bad deals, THE TRADE was a bad deal. I never wavered from the day the deal was made. I have wavered on Stanton. The Dodgers paid Crawfish and Gonzalez an average of $43 million a year for 5 years and now they have to pay another $22+ Million next year to someone who will not earn that contract and in fact, may not make the team. That doesn’t include the large sum paid to Josh Beckett for very little production as well. It did not like it then and I don’t like it now. There may have been better ways of doing it, but that’s something we can never know.

      Maybe the Dodgers would not have won the division in 13 or 14, but they might have Stanton now and be positioned to win a lot more. Or maybe they would not have traded for Stanton – we all have seen how those long-term deals end up and it’s mostly not good.
      I respect your opinion, but I disagree. You make a lot of good points, but it doesn’t sway me… maybe I am too biased! 😉

  10. Much has been made about the 2018 free agent class where the dodgers can play. Folly they are not going to sign anyone like Harper etc. they will appear to be in on everyone to drive the price up but don’t get excited it will just be posturing. I think Stanton was a much better chance but we’ll……they seem to favor guys like McCarthy, Anderson, hill, etc. who spend half there time on the dL. In fact, if McCarthy hadn’t been on the series roster the dodgers might have won. They knew he couldn’t perform in a relief role but they did it anyway but he is cheap. We will have a solid team unlikely to win a 100 again which was a great feat. But we are either unwilling or unable to acquire the pieces to put us over the top. At the trade deadline we have not been able to acquire someone like jdmartinez, verlander etc. Darvish looked good against the cubs but his numbers certainly don’t match the hype. If verlander pitched like he did for Houston and we had him we would have had a world championship.

  11. I didn’t expect the Dodgers to obtain Stanton and they won’t sign JD either. They won’t commit the years or the money. They have most of what was a 104 win team left from last year. They will nibble around the edges and then evaluate the team’s needs at the deadline and address them then.

    They won’t resign Morrow – not at $8/$24 MM or in that range. They will sign some other pitchers with potential but with health problems or poor results and find the next Morrow, or convert someone else (McCarthy or Maeda?).

    The Dodgers will underwhelm all of us with their offseason dealings. They will still be the team to beat in the NL West and we will see what they do at the deadline.

    I would love to see them get a RH power bat for LF but they have tons of guys who can play LF. I would also love to see a more durable RHP in the rotation but they have tons of guys who can start.

    They will probably add:
    1 – a couple of relief pitchers if they are inexpensive
    2- a couple of broken-down starters who can be “depth” or transition to the ‘pen
    3 – a left-handed utility INF
    4 – maybe a right-handed OF/1B who can pinch hit

    The problem here is that people have lead with their hearts instead of their heads. They wanted to see Stanton &/or Otani in Blue so developed expectations accordingly. It was never going to happen.

    By the way, they aren’t going to sign Harper, Machado et al to any 10 year $400 MM contracts next year either. That’s not the way they operate. Don’t get your hopes up.

    1. A lot of truth in that, especially “they aren’t going to sign Harper, Machado et al to any 10 year $400 MM contracts next year either. That’s not the way they operate. Don’t get your hopes up.

      Stanton went to minors out of high school and at age 20 he made the big team, hitting 22 HR.

      DJ Peters went to college and in his first full year in the minors, he hit 27 HR at age 21. I cannot predict great things for him… yet, but you never know.

      The minors are still stacked and you never know what will happen.

      Where I disagree is signing “broken-down” starters. I don’t think you will see much of that.

  12. I do wonder what it would take to get Inciarte?

    The Mets need a 2B. How about Logan Forsythe for Jerry Blevins?

    How about Pederson, Alvarez and Grandal for Ender?

    1. I don’t know what the fascination is with Inciarte. He is a good cheap player. Ok now I have it cheap and solid, however if Taylor can repeat or get close to last year he is the better player. Of course who knows if Taylor can repeat that is a big if. Another left handed hitter who could move Taylor to second. I suppose Inciarte would be better than having Forsyth and cheaper. If Inciarte could just get on the dL a few times I am sure we would acquire him. Your trade proposal seems to be addition by subtraction. You were so high on Grandal last year, this is his final year prior to free agency which could yield some big numbers. But that arbitration salary may be too costly, Pederson ok, Alvarez who knows.

  13. More reporting, this time from Olney:

    The Dodgers really like Stanton and have been well aware of his desire to play for them. But in internal discussions, there has been discomfort with the very back end of his contract — Years 8, 9 and 10, for which Stanton will be in his late 30s, he will be owed owed about $96 million, presumably in his waning years of production and defense. The Yankees can project ahead and know that Stanton could shift into a DH role, if necessary; the Dodgers do not have that luxury. The access to the DH, in the end, might be why the Yankees jumped at Stanton and the Dodgers did not.

    1. That actually makes a lot of sense, 10 years is a long time for production to fall off, look at ARod and Pujols. Stanton has had an injury history as well, that had to factor in. The DH is probably coming to the NL but who knows when? I don’t believe they will go after any of the big money free agents next year either as they have never bit on anyone with a QO and it does not fit their salary model. The only guy they really wanted was Ohtani and their hands were tied by having only $300 K and no DH. They will try to sign Morrow and Watson but both are long shots.

  14. I was never in on the Stanton deal. Most hitters are not very productive after 35. If they are happy with Verdugo and Toles, we are set in the field. I do not see the Dodgers doing much except in the bullpen. I think they will resign Morrow unlss the price is out of sight. Joc and Grandal may be traded. I really think Ryu is going to be very good this year. This will be his second year after surgery. The farm is starting to produce. Let the young kids have their due.

    1. What did status quo do for the Cubs? Without Morrow and Darvish do you really expect another 104 win season? Believing Ryu will be very good is like believing Joc will hit 40 HR’s. Sure it can happen, but I doubt it. Ryu is a 5 inning pitcher. Joc is at best a platoon LF who absolutely cannot hit a LHP.
      Young kids? Who? Buehler and Verdugo will start out at OKC. There is no room for them on the ML team right now. Those are the only two possible kids. If you trade Grandal, are you prepared to have Kyle Farmer as the backup catcher? Last year in MiLB he started 3 games at 2B, 26 games at 3B, and 48 games as catcher. That is 48 games out of 140. Do you want him behind the dish with Rich Hill or Clayton Kershaw? Is he really the right catcher for Alex Wood?
      It is more likely the team will go with what is remaining from 2017 believing they can do it again, but without Morrow and Darvish (and Watson). Of course they can replace Morrow with Pat Venditte. Who knows it may work again. And replace Darvish with McCarthy or even better, Kazmir. After all he says he will be ready. The Dodgers will continue to build depth for the 162 game season and hope they get lucky in the playoffs, this time with Ryu, McCarthy, or Kazmir as the #4 starter.
      I hope I am wrong, but I do not see much of any changes. Certainly not JD Martinez or Yu Darvish. There are two chances of any over 30 player (not named Kershaw) getting a $150M contract from FAZ, and slim just left the room. It is more likely that the addition will be someone like Austin Jackson, and they will trade Joc for some low level prospects hoping to win the lottery, and will end up giving away Trayce Thompson who is out of options.

  15. Mark, we’re both too biased. 🙂

    I seriously doubt if the Dodgers will entertain any expensive 10 year deals for anyone in next years free agent class.
    It doesn’t fit in with their modus operandi. And neither does signing JD Martinez to a 6-year $180 million deal, and so too they won’t be looking to sign any “broken-down” starters, especially since they now have internal options. What the Dodgers will do, as all teams do, is sign some under the radar players to minor league contracts in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle.

    I’d like to see the Dodgers try to get Ozuna and/or Yelich, or doing something similar elsewhere. And as I noted in a post in a previous thread, the fact that Cody Bellinger can play the outfield, frees them up, if they so choose, to pursue a power hitting first baseman, e.g., Jose Abreu.

  16. The dodgers are not going to make any big trades or sign big names for several years to come. They won’t sign harper nexts year, which would be awesome but I know they won’t. their afraid of long terms. They are going to go cheap and use their farm. I don’t see them offering clayton a lot of money on a extension. he’ll probably go somewhere else. The dodgers need to think better and not be to pull the trigger to get big name players like ( Archer, harper, etc). They need to either go young or go for the win. Probably a lot of the prospects that they don’t want to give up won’t do much in the bigs. I could be wrong who knows. I hope urias will get his command wnd his shoulder won’t be a problem.

  17. The Dodgers were hell bent on getting Gonzalez or Kazmir off the books and rightfully so. It was their only opportunity to do so. Now they are stuck with them. Unless Gonzalez shocks the world and contributes they’re sunk costs. Kazmir will get roughed up in the minors or spend the year on the DL collecting his money. This play would have worked had not the Yankees stepped in and got a sweet heart of a deal from the ex-Yankee.
    I guess the question is what could the Dodgers have done after the Yankees stepped in. Was there anything they could have done? Maybe not. Does McCarthy, Forsythe, prospects better than NY’s for Stanton and the same $30 for the backend of the deal get it done. Or the same deal with just BMac or Logi Bear. You have to deal the other elsewhere then. Would it have been worth it? It moves Taylor to 2B and probably forces the Dodgers to move guys like Grandal and Joc for salary relief.
    Yes, the Punto trade played a role, but they didn’t rue the day they took on CC’s contract. It was Gonzalez’s back giving out on him and yes the bad bad signings of McCarthy and Kazmir also played a roll. A deal by Ned and a deal by FAZ kept this from happening. It would have been fun to see Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Stanton, and Puig in the same lineup. The Stanton dramas at least temporarily helped getting over the WS loss.

  18. According to MLBTradeRumors:

    While the Los Angeles-born Stanton would have preferred to go to the Dodgers, they didn’t make an offer that “intrigued” the Marlins, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. Sending Stanton to the Dodgers would have required the Marlins to take on more bad contracts than they were “comfortable with,” according to Sherman, who reports that LA wanted Miami to accept one or both of Adrian Gonzalez or Scott Kazmir and absorb $30MM of Stanton’s contract. The Marlins found acquiring Starlin Castro from the Yankees much more appealing, as he’s someone they could slot in at second base or flip elsewhere.

    1. Beyond the Dodgers reservations in taking on Stanton is the question why MLB is allowing the Marlins to totally dump and reset their payroll after paying big money to purchase the team. How would you feel if you were a Marlins fan, a Marlins player or even Don Mattingly? If they are set on dumping Ozuna the Dodgers may be in play but did their Stanton approach leave a bad taste? They certainly have the prospects and ML ready talent to do it.

    2. I think the Dodgers new Miami would not trade Stanton for Gonzales or Kazmir, and certainly not both. Sounds like they know what they want, and it wasn’t Stanton.

  19. If the Angels sign Darvish, might they trade Garrett Richards to Dodgers for Forsythe? Both are free agents after 2018. Angels need a second baseman. Other players may be involved 😉

  20. The Dodgers didn’t sign Stanton, and I think the biggest reason is the last 5 years of his contract and the value he would bring to the team. I would like to see the Dodgers trade for Ozuna, who at $10.9M, for this year, and with only 2 years remaining before he becomes an FA would fit nicely in LF, and batting in the 5th spot protecting Bellinger. The cost will be high but this is a trade the Dodgers like to make, young, short-term, and not very expensive.

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