Stop the Insanity!

Just because other teams make dope-fiend moves, doesn’t mean the Dodger have to.  Look, they have been paying the luxury tax for too long and have paid about $300 million in penalties.  It started with foolish, long-term deals to Kemp and Ethier and then came THE TRADE (Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawdad).  The Dodgers owe Kemp $5.5 million over the next two year, but after next season, most of the obligations are done.

The thing is:  the Dodgers can get under the $197 Million Luxury Tax threshold if they get rid of Gonzalez, McCarthy, Forsythe, Ryu, Kazmir and Grandal.  That may seem impossible… but maybe not.  Oh, it will cost the Dodgers prospects and players, but it might save them $40+ million and reset the Luxury Tax, which would allow them to sign a free agent like Harper (or not).  Joc Pederson and some prospects, maybe even Verdugo would be involved, but it might (could) be done.

If the Dodgers were able to move all those contacts, they would not get much value back… just salary relief.  Maybe this is THAT YEAR! Maybe the Dodgers make no trades to add to the team.  They just trade to get salary relief.  “But they can afford it.” No, they can’t and it’s just plain stupid to continue.  The Dodgers have to retire debt or they will be in trouble with MLB soon enough.

It’s fun to dream of Ohtani, Stanton, Machado and others but maybe it is time to RESET! Trading the above-mentioned players would save over $65 million, so the Dodgers could cover some of the salaries.  FAZ does not want to “block” the youngsters, so this is the opportunity to allow just that.

They might do that and still win it all.  Let me remind you that conventional wisdom is often wrong.  I, for one, am down with doing that. If it happens, here is what we might see:

  1. 1B –  Bellinger
  2. 2B –  Hernandez
  3. SS  –  Seager
  4. 3B  –  Turner
  5. LF  – Toles
  6. CF  – Taylor
  7. RF  – Puig
  8.  C  –  Barnes
  9. Sub – Will Smith
  10. Sub – Culberson
  11. Sub -Locastro
  12. Sub – Thompson
  13. Sub – Segedin
  14. SP – Kershaw
  15. SP – Hill
  16. SP – Wood
  17. SP – Maeda
  18. SP-  Oaks
  19. RP – Stripling
  20. RP – Stewart
  21. RP – Avilan
  22. RP – Cingrani
  23. RP – Baez
  24. RP – Buehler
  25. RP – Jansen

Let the youngsters grow into whatever they will be.  I’m OK with that.  Let’s get it over with.

Just say no to Dumb-ass Long-Term Deals.

Even with that, the Dodgers will win the NL West and who knows how well the kids will do? Bring ’em on!

UPDATE

DODGER NEWS:

  • Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com writes about Joc’s conditioning.  I said several times last year that he looked like the Pilsbury Dough Boy.  Evidently, I wasn’t the only one.  The Dodgers told him to shape up!
  • Gurnick also writes that the Dodgers would like to shed payroll in the form of McCarthy, Gonzo and Kazmir.  Yeah and I’d like to be 30 years younger! I don’t see either of tose things happening!
  • We have been busy talking about other things, that we forgot to mention that Juan Castro and Josh Bard have left the team. Eric Stephen has the scoop.
  • If the Dodgers want to try a Rule 5 pitcher, Dustin Nosler has some ideas. Honestly, it’s a great idea:  Low Risk, High Reward!
  • Boy, are things quiet on the Dodger Front!@!@!!

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 30 Comments

  1. When well traveled 30+ year old guys like Nicasio and Joe Smith are getting 2 year deals for more than double what they made last year I can see why the Dodgers might want to give some young arms a chance in the bullpen. I hoped they would resign Watson but he is going to get 2-$20 M at this rate.

  2. If the Dodgers want to shed more payroll maybe a trade of Grandal, Ryu, and one BP pitcher to Baltimore for Brad Brach. The Dodgers would save about $9.5M.
    McCarthy and maybe 5 or 6M to a team like the Angles for a low-level minor leaguer could save another 4 or 5M.
    Gonzalez and his $21.5M is going nowhere and I feel he is going to be trouble until the Dodgers DFA him.
    Kazmir will most likely be an ST wait and see if he can make the team or be DFA
    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Forsythe
    SS – Seager
    3B – Turner
    LF – Toles
    CF –Taylor
    RF – Puig
    C – Barnes
    Sub –Farmer
    Sub – Culberson
    Sub – Locastro
    Sub – Pederson(if not traded)
    Sub – Gonzalez
    SP – Kershaw
    SP – Hill
    SP – Wood
    SP – Maeda
    SP- Oaks( depending on how ST goes maybe Kazmir?)
    RP – Stripling
    RP – Stewart
    RP – Avilan
    RP – Cingrani
    RP –Brach
    RP – Fields or Liberatore or?
    RP – Jansen

  3. Out of the six players you mentioned, only half have any realistic chance of being moved.

    Forsythe is our starting 2b and Chris Taylor is not moving there after being arguably our MVP.

    Kazmir and A-gon have minimal value assuming they prove to be healthy during ST.

    That leaves Grandal, McCarthy, and Ryu, all depth pieces and expendable, although I’d be sad to see Ryu go. Grandal would have to bring back equal talent and McCarthy we’d probably jusr dump, maybe even paying a portion of his salary.

    More likely is we just ride out the year, shedding veterans as their deals expire, releasing some if they can’t be salvaged.

    1. What if Joc comes back a lean, mean running machine and sprints like a freaking gazelle and takes back CF with Taylor moving to 2B?

      1. The Dodgers have given Joc three years to prove himself, and he didn’t take advantage of that.

        There are many young players, that would love to have the same chance, that Joc was given.

        Taylor is a good example of a young player that not only took advantage of any chance he was given, he worked extremely hard in the off season, to make himself a better player.

        And with the struggles Joc has had at the major league level, you would think he would do everything he can, to justify the chance, the Dodgers have given him!

        And because of all of that, he shouldn’t have to be told to come to spring training, in shape!

        Major League Baseball is a year round, commitment.

      2. I would love it.
        .
        Then move Taylor to second and trade Forsythe to the Angels where he could play third. Forsythe for Cron?
        .
        Toles, Verdugo, and Ryu for Yelich.
        .
        LF Yelich
        2B Taylor
        SS Seager
        3B Turner
        1B Bellinger
        RF Puig
        CF Pederson
        C Barnes

        1. Do you think Yelich is not only better than the options the Dodgers have in LF but so much better that you would give up all of that?

          1. Maybe. Yelich is a known quantity and Toles and Verdugo are not. Ryu offsets the added payroll of Yelich.

    1. Switch hitting middle infielder. Was in Phillies AA/AAA system last year. Signed minor league deal with Orioles last month.

      Sound worth a flyer

  4. If the Dodgers are adverse to signing long term contracts, why would they consider Harper? I know he’s younger but 10 years at potentially 40 million a year. Just don’t see this front office doing it.

    1. I hope it is an idea they do not entertain. It would certainly defeat the purpose of what they supposedly are trying to accomplish.

    1. I agree they won’t sign Harper. He has an injury history and has been inconsistent, his MVP year aside. He came up almost the same time as Trout but has half his lifetime WAR. They won’t go after Machado either who has similar injury and inconsistency issues. The guy I like is Arrenado who has a similar lifetime WAR to Harper, great glove and power bat, the only knock is his stats away from Coors. He should be substantially cheaper than Harper or Machado. However the Dodgers probably won’t go after him either. These meetings have been a disappointment but at least the brass explained themselves somewhat. Any addition needs to have a subtraction in payroll to stay under $237 M for this year. All the big free agents are still out there which is a bit odd for this time of the off season.

      1. He’s 24 years old, has a career OPS over .900 and would have won a 2nd MVP last year if he hadn’t had a fluky injury in the rain. He’s big upgrade over what the Dodgers have in LF, they would have him in his prime, and is protection if Puig leaves after 2019. The Dodgers will have the flexibility with payroll next year that the Yankees had this year. I’m interested.

        1. He may want to come to LA as it’s the closest place to his home, and if he would go 10 years with an opt out after 3 or 4 years I might be on board but Boras (and Harper) will not likely leave any money on the table. I don’t think Puig or Kershaw want to leave but that could change.

  5. The Dodgers haven’t signed any free agent to more than 5 years (Jansen) since the Braintrust has taken over and haven’t signed a free agent from outside of the Dodgers’ roster to more than 4 years (McCarthy). (I don’t count Maeda, who was signed to an 8 year deal but for $3 MM/year plus incentives). I agree with others that the Dodgers will not sign a free agent to a long term deal and will likely be out of the market for any of the big free agents next year. In fact, I fear that if Kershaw opts out that the Braintrust won’t resign him either given his age and recent history of back trouble.

    The Dodgers who were, in the past, considered players for every big money free agent available won’t be any longer. And while in the short run, this is due in part to concerns about the luxury tax, I don’t think that the Braintrust will operate any differently once they have gotten past the luxury tax. Their MO is different. They have shown that they will sign their own key free agents to extensions so Seager and Bellinger will wear the Blue for a while, but don’t expect Harper to come to Dodger Stadium except as a member of a visiting team.

    Dodger fans’ pipe dreams of acquiring Stanton or his ilk are all past.

    1. Dodger Rick

      I agree with everything you said.

      But I thought our model organization was suppose to be the Cards, at least that is what Mark use to say.

      And even the Cards and the Cubs, sign free agents, or trade for good players, to make the team better.

      And the Dodgers are the second richest team in all of baseball, so they should use all of the advantages they have, including money, to make the team better.

      And I am talking about after the 2018 season.

  6. I agree with all being said here we do not need big name free agents stick with the kids and see how far they take us the kids will play hard they are trying to make a name for themselves

  7. Would like to see how well this team can do. I think the franchise needs to show loyalty to Gonzalez since he carried team for a few years. Kazmir has no trade value and at best might fill a relief role; wish we could give him away. McCarthy could potentially also fill late inning relief role if he’d just regain his confidence and testicles. Getting below $237M is absolutely necessary this year and then next year we’ll be positioned to get below the cap and reset our clock, so to speak.

  8. I know fans think that the Dodgers should have sufficient financing to pay for any free agent or assume $295M salary over 10 year. But those beliefs are not reality. Relevant facts without making any judgement…
    .
    In 2012, the Dodgers were purchased for $2B. In 2009, the Cubs sold for $700M, and in 2010-2011, the Rangers sold for $593M and the Astros sold for $610M. The Dodgers cost more than those three franchise sales combined.
    .
    In the purchase, the new owners assumed $420M in debt.
    .
    For 2013-2016, the Dodgers payroll was greater than $1B, and the resultant luxury tax was another $113M.
    .
    For 2013-2015, the Dodgers lost $166M. The next closest loss was the Phillies at $69M, and we have seen what they have done to their payroll. The only other team that lost as much as $6M was Toronto.
    .
    Depending on who you ask, the Dodgers may or may not have debt service concerns that need to be addressed. But their intentions told as to MLB were that the Dodgers would reduce their payroll, and would be closer to $200M in 2018. I do not have access to the Dodgers Balance Sheet to determine if they meet the MLB criteria. But I would not summarily dismiss the issue.
    .
    Current 2018 projected payrolls (before $13.5-$15M in benefits) per Baseball-Reference:
    Dodgers – $214.5M
    Red Sox – $208.9M
    Giants – $182.2M
    Nationals – $174.0M (Including Kintzler)
    Yankees – $153.1M (Including Stanton in, Headley out)
    Cubs – $161.1M (including Chatwood, Morrow, Smyly, and Cishek)
    Cardinals – $135.1M (Including Ozuna in and Piscotty out)
    .
    The Cubs and Cardinals are in a much better position to sign free agents than the Dodgers. The Dodgers are in no way in a position to take on a significant free agent without eliminating salary.
    .
    Do not look for any significant addition to the roster before Spring Training. Regardless as to what market they are perceived to be in, they cannot take on any significant salary without jeopardizing the risk of surpassing $237M. The best they can hope for is to be in a position to pick up some talent at the trade deadline. They may have to continue to play at an elite level, and their stars need to stay healthy, but they have the players that can win. The Dodgers will lose more than $80M in salaries for 2019, and should be in excellent financial position to take advantage of potential trades and free agents.

    1. My point is that this management team isn’t going to take on any long term expensive contracts. They are philosophically opposed to the idea. It really doesn’t matter who the big free agent is or what year that he is available – they won’t sign him. You can argue that this is really the smart way to go or not but it is what it is.

      Mark makes an interesting point – does signing the big free agent ever work? Obviously it does sometimes but not always. I’m sure that if I had the time to do a little research, I could find several examples both ways. Yeah, Gonzalez is a “boat anchor” right now but he wasn’t when he was traded – he was one of the few really good players on the team. Sometimes you overpay and sometimes that means too long and not just too much.

  9. MJ,

    The Cards once were a very good organization but they have slipped a little. Oscar Tavaras death was a big blow. This was a guy who could have been one of the best players in the game. The Cards are trying to come back and will, I think. They let Pujols walk after deciding that was not a smart move. Arte Moreno got sucked in on big contracts with Pujols and Hamilton.

    While, we are at it, can anyone tell me what percentage of big contracts turn into boat anchors? There is a correlation between big contracts and winning and the correlation is that they are not mutually exclusive. Friedman is trying to win EVERY year, not have a few good years and tank for several years.

    Right about now, the Dodgers are THE MODEL ORGANIZATION again… after 30 some years! It shall be interesting to see how FAZ evolves after these bad deals are behind them. I would not look for many more deals like Anderson, Kazmir or McCarthy. Those were done out of necessity and while they may not have bene successful on the surface, they serve a purpose and saved the Dodgers from making Dope-Fiend Moves.

  10. The model organization? I would hope the model organization was one who was not 30 years removed from a WS championship regardless of the other metrics in their favor.
    And despite being voted such, how about winning all the marbles first before saying how good a team is. Moving in the right direction – yes, but concerned they are satisfied with just making the playoffs every year.
    Also, in spite of their current malaise, I’d rather have the three Giants WS wins then being voted a good organization.

    1. The Giants were a good organization long before the WS wins.

      The Dodgers have not been a good organization since the Mid-80’s. The fact that BA proclaims them the Organization of the Year when the LOST the WS, speaks volumes.

      Do you really think they have the highest payroll in baseball, the largest FO and Scouting Staff, world class training facilities, some of the highest-paid coaches and they are just satisfied with making the playoffs every year? PLEASE!

      Friedman has been there three years and the team has went further and got better EVER year while some knuckleheads are still calling for him to be fired.

      But, first becoming a “model organization” preceeds winning… and lest we forget, the World Series is still a crapshoot. In 10 years of MLB action, Clayton Kershaw has a 2.36 ERA and a 1.002 WHIP. In 9 years of MLB action Madison Bumgarner has a 3.01 ERA and a 1.097 WHIP.

      There’s not a GM alive who would trade Kershaw for Bum but in the post-season, Mad Bum was nearly unhittable. Call it what you want, but who can predict that stuff? The Dodgers are on the right path and no Team President or GM is satisfied with just making the playoffs… especially if winning the World Series is how you are judged. It’s silly to even think that.

Comments are closed.