OK, I’ll put down my crack pipe, if you put down yours. Stanton and Ohtani were crack! Just say no to drugs!
This Team Is Still Pretty Special. The won 104 games and just missed winning the World Series by “that much.” Let’s start with this: The Dodgers are set at a number of positions with some high quality players, most of whom are young enough to improve even more. Offensively, here’s where the Dodgers are set by position:
Catcher – Right now the Dodgers have two starters: Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes. Catching is in good hands, but some think Grandal could be traded. It does make sense if the Dodgers can get a good return. Kyle Farmer is however, not ready now (if ever) to be a backup catcher on the MLB level. Will Smith is an option internally.
First Base – The only two words you need to know are “Cody Bellinger.” He’s a future MVP and Gold Glove Candidate. Don’t let a few bad games in the World Series erase his body of work and his work ethic.
Second Base – The plan is to let Logan Forsythe play out his tenure as a Dodger as the starting second baseman. He changed leagues and for whatever reason had a down year last season, but I think he will work extremely hard to return to form and get the biggest contact he can in 2019. He could have his career year…
Shortstop – This is manned by All-Star Corey Seager… and if there was any inkling his elbow was not sound, he would be getting surgery right about now. Rest assured he has lots of second opinions by world class doctors.
Third Base – For three more years, it’s Justin Turner. Not quite an All-Star or Gold Glover, but he will do pretty well until that guy arrives… if he does arrive.
Center Field – Chris Taylor had NEVER played the outfield in the major or minor leagues until last season. He started in Left Field and ended up in Center Field. Chris is currently the best CF’er on the team. That was after one season. With a full Spring Training and playing nothing but CF, I think he will be even better in 2018. Not Gold Glove, but darn good. He is such an athlete that I could see a Gold Glove in his future. Center field is well manned with Taylor there.
Right Field – Until I see otherwise, I am standing by the former-knucklehead, Yasiel Puig. He made great strides last year both offensively and defensively. He did regress against LH pitching in 2017 for some reason, and if he works that out, he will be even better. It looks to me that he is just reaching his potential as a player. He can be “scary good.”
Left Field – Currently, there are four candidates: (1) Kike Hernandez, who my opinion could be a “breakout candidate;” (2) Andrew Toles who tantalized us with his story a performance for parts of two seasons; (3) Joc Pederson who is maddening and yet talented; and (4) Alex Verdugo, who could be Tony Gwynn at best, or Chris Gwynn at worst! Who knows? I have to believe that one or two may fulfill their promise and one or two could be traded.
I think the current core of Dodgers will improve as most are young enough to do so. With Ohtani and Stanton both not coming to the Dodgers, maybe it’s time to just focus on better pitching. I really don’t think the Dodgers need more offense. Ohtani and/or Stanton would have been very nice, but at what cost?
Brandon Morrow was great last year, but I question if he can stay healthy, and the Cubs (not the Dodgers) are taking the risk to find out. So, the Dodgers need an 8th inning man… or two. In fact, I think in today’s game, it is two. Here are the pitchers I would like, and I think that their respective teams could be motivated to trade them for more prospects.
Raisel Iglesias – He is the RH component in the pen for the 8th inning.
Felipe Rivero – Felipe is the LH component in the pen for the 8th inning.
I’ll let FAZ figure out how to make that happen. It will involve some prospects, but both are controlled through 2022. Under Honeycutt, both could get better.
I thought about Chris Archer as a starter, but he would cost too many prospects and I don’t really think he is that much of an upgrade over Jhoulys Chacin who would be very useful to the Dodgers. I would sign him to a 3 year/$25-30 Million deal and I think he just might evolve to a #3 or #4 with Honeycutt’s help. MLB Trade Rumors predicted a 2 year/$14 million deal for him but I suspect it will be more. They also predicted a $20 million dollar deal for Tyler Chatwood too, but the Cubs gave him 3 years/$38 Million. Chacin will get a lot more too.
I would also try and re-work Kenta Maeda’s contract so as to pay him for bullpen performance. He might be good for 90 innings out of the pen and not that much more as a starter.
- Ryu – I look for him to pitch 170 innings
- Chacin –
- McCarthy – can we get something?
- Kazmir – Probably not?
- Buehler – 2nd half
- Urias – 2nd half
I also like AC’s suggestion to sign Jace Peterson as LH utility bat. I do not see A-Gon on the team next year.
None of the trades or signings I suggest will likely happen, but this is pretty good team and with a little luck, they could win 100 games again…. and beyond. FAZ has a better idea.