GOAT: Kershaw or Koufax?

There are a lot of Dodger fans who regard me as a heretic when I try and say that Clayton Kershaw will go down in history as the LA Dodgers Greatest Of All Time as a pitcher.  But, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! So, as we start, let’s get this over with:

Career Records

  • Sandy Koufax – 12 Seasons * 2,324 IP *2,396 K * 165 Wins * 87 Losses * 2.76 ERA * 1.106 WHIP * 204 HR * 131 ERA+
  • Clayton Kershaw – 10 Seasons * 1,935 IP *2,120 K * 144 Wins * 64 Losses * 2.36 ERA * 1.002 WHIP * 128 HR * 161 ERA+

Don’t the Home Runs surprise you?

Kershaw stands to pass Koufax in wins and strikeouts next year.  Both have been amazing pitchers, no matter how you slice it.  Sandy pitched through age 30 while Clayton is coming up on age 30. Let me say something else:  From 1963 to 1966, Sandy Koufax had the greatest run of any pitcher EVER in the history of man.  Look at this:

  • 1963 – 311 IP * 25-5 W-L* 1.88 ERA * 306 K * 0.875 WHIP
  • 1964 – 223 IP * 19-5 W-L* 1.74 ERA * 223 K * 0.928 WHIP
  • 1965 – 336 IP * 26-8 W-L* 2.04 ERA * 382 K * 0.855 WHIP
  • 1966 – 323 IP * 27-9 W-L* 1.73 ERA * 317 K * 0.985 WHIP
  • … and then he was gone after arguably the best season of his career!

No one will ever have a four year run like that…. NOBODY.  But, it was only four years!  Sandy was a finesse pitcher who could paint the corners (after age 25) but his repertoire was one of pure violence.  His fastball and curve were among the most devastating the baseball world has ever seen.  Yes, his delivery was smooth, but it was violent and it was no surprise that his arm fell off. But, man was it beautiful while it lasted!

Look at Sandy’s worst years:

  • 4.01 ERA
  • 3.88 ERA
  • 4.48 ERA
  • 4.05 ERA
  • 3.91 ERA
  • 3.52 ERA

… before he discovered he was Sandy “Freaking” Koufax! He was higher than the mountaintops, but his lows were also pretty low.

Clayton Kershaw is not the same type of pitcher.  Clayton can dial it up at 97-98 MPH but he doesn’t, instead, operating in the 92 to 94 MPH range.  Clayton Kershaw had a 4.26 ERA as a rookie and has never been below 2.91 since.  Koufax had three years with a sub 2.00 ERA and so did Kershaw… he may have more in the future.

Some Dodger fans only remember Sandy’s last four years, not his struggles.  You can talk about Koufax pitching 300 plus innings and say that Kershaw doesn’t do that, and that would be true… BUT NOBODY DOES!  In 1963, eleven pitchers pitched over 250 innings.  Three pitched over 300, including Koufax.  In 1964, seven pitchers pitched more than 250 innings. In 1965, thirteen pitchers pitched over 250 innings and in 1966, the number was again eleven.

Back then, the top pitchers routinely pitched 250 to 300 innings.  That doesn’t happen anymore and that’s a whole another conversation.  It was a different time.  We always remember “the good ole days” but were they always good… or just different?

Clayton does not put violent stress on his arm and I believe that he can become an even better pitcher in the future.  Maybe Mark Prior is just what the Doctor ordered to get Clayton to change his patterns:  Someone closer to his age and well respected.  At any rate, Kershaw and Koufax compare favorably at this juncture.  Greg Maddux won 228 games after his 29th birthday.  He had 150 wins by age 29, Clayton has 144.

Time will tell, but I think Andrew Friedman, Stan Kasten and Guggs and Company will do everything in their power to have Clayton Kershaw finish his career in Blue and go into the Dodger Hall of Fame as the GOAT and Cooperstown as one of the all-time greats.

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 101 Comments

  1. Both will be and are great pitchers. You can look at stats and compare the two, but that does not tell the story. They pitched in different times and asked to do different things. In my mind Clayton has a violent delivery. He very well may have medical issues as he gets older. I hope Not. I sincerely hope he is a Dodger for life. That does not happen very often in today’s baseball world. As I get older I can only hope that guys like Seager and Bellinger remain Dodgers for life. I love what Campanella said about baseball. “It is a child’s game being played by adults.” Campanella has been and always will be my favorite player.

    1. It is violent, but not so much on his arm, as it is on his hips and back.

      With Sandy, his arm was a whip.

    2. “The Core”

      The best part of last season was seeing Chris Taylor join “the core” and almost get us all the way to the promised land. I damn sure thought it was our time.

      Since we’re thinking about the nucleus of ur next championship team, here is what I consider to be the inner circle of greatness (position players only):

      1. Seager–stud shortstop; most dangerous hitter on team; cost-controlled; puts the “Corey” in “Core”
      2. Bellinger–arguably the team MVP as rookie in 2017; light-tower power; defense; speed; swagger
      3. Turner–best pure hitter on team; underrated defense; team leader; everything you could want in a 3B
      4. Taylor–most amazing character arc in baseball; CF; leadoff hitter; hard not to run him out there every day
      5. Puig–another pleasant surprise from 2017; complete season with only small hiccup; motivated
      6. Barnes–asserted himself and benefitted from Grandal’s extended slump; athletic & versatile
      7. Kiké–yes, he belongs here; perfect super-utility man; high energy; quick bat; heart

      (Forsythe is important but due to contract possibly replaceable; LF is wide open competition)

      Lastly, looking the pitching “core” seems a bit more difficult because of variability, health, and competition. Obviously, Kershaw, Jansen, Hill, & Wood stand out but there are 5-10 other guys who could hugely impact the 2018 season. For example, who could have guessed that Maeda would be as crucial as he turned out to be? As the postseason hangover will likely affect our arms, depth will again be key. How the pitching will play out is almost impossible to predict.

  2. The stats don’t lie. Both will go down as great pitchers and we are lucky to have both of them as Dodger’s. When my daughter was 8 years old, she told me she would name her first boy after my favorite Dodger. True to her word, I can now hug my grand son, Sanford Koufax _________ and think back on when I watched my favorite pitcher at Dodger Stadium.
    Looking forward to the upcoming season, it can’t happen soon enough!

  3. I grew up with Koufax and Drysdale. I wore out a lot of transistor radio batteries as I played the Dodger games under my pillow every night. Koufax will always be a hero (as will Drysdale), but I do not question who the greatest Dodger pitcher of all time is…Clem Labine (just kidding). At the end of his career, Kershaw will unquestionably be considered the greatest Dodger pitcher ever from a statistics point of view, and a certain HOF.
    A couple of other interesting comparisons:
    Koufax IP per season – 195.7
    Kershaw IP per season – 195.5
    Koufax # of seasons 200+IP – 5
    Kershaw # of seasons 200+IP -5
    Koufax Winning % – 65.48%
    Kershaw Winning % – 69.23%
    Koufax K/9 IP – 9.28
    Kershaw K/9 IP – 9.86
    For we sexagenarians and older, there is no replacement for what Koufax, Drysdale, Podres, Gilliam, Wills, Hodges, Snider, T Davis, W. Davis, Fairly, Moon, Roseboro, Parker, Howard, Sherry, Perranoski…did to mold our love for baseball in general and the Dodgers specifically. But as we have in life, we move on. It is not hard (at least for me) to recognize the greatness of Clayton Kershaw. But I also recognize that overall greatness must also consider team success. Koufax was a member of 6 WS teams (55, 56, 59, 63, 65, 66), winning 4 (55, 59, 63, 65). Kershaw has been in 1 WS.
    As an aside, only Sandy Koufax and Johnny Podres were pitchers who represented the Dodgers in 6 WS. Podres would have been 7, but he was serving in the military in 1956. Podres was a member of the 53, 55, 59, 63, 65, & 66 WS. But the best of the best in terms of representing Dodger players in WS is #19 (my first Dodger jersey), Junior Gilliam. Gilliam actually played in 7 WS as a Dodger (53, 55, 56, 59, 63, 65, 66). However, WS participation and rings cannot negate greatness as a player. Otherwise Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Carl Yastremski, Billy Williams, Jim Rice, and Ron Santo, who never won a WS, would have their greatness minimized. In fact, of that group, only Williams (1), Yastremski (2), and Rice (1) ever got to a WS.
    Kershaw will go down as the greatest Dodger pitcher, but he will need to win a couple of WS as a Dodger to be as revered as Koufax.

    1. Podres was not on the Dodgers’ WS roster in 1966. He was traded mid-season to the Tigers in ’66.

  4. Mark, There are a lot of stats that can make a case for either of these great pitchers. I said yesterday I never saw Koufax pitch, but to me, the difference between them is the postseason.
    Koufax in 8 W S games won 4 and lost 3.
    In his 3 loses he pitched 19 innings, gave up 17 hits, 7 runs, 3 earned, walked 4, struck out 17, and gave up zero HR.
    In his 4 wins, he pitched 4 complete games, giving up 19 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned, walked 7, struck out 43 and gave up 2 HR.
    In the 1965 WS against the Twins, he pitched 24 innings in 7 days giving up 2 runs, I earned. 1n game 5 with 3 days rest he pitched a shutout giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 10. In game 7 also with 3 days rest, he pitched another shutout giving up 3 hits, 3 walks, and striking out 10.
    His WS era is 0.95, is career regular season era is 2.76
    Kershaw in the postseason is 7 and 7 with an era of 4.35 compared to his career regular season era of 2.36.
    Kershaw still has time to change things around but for now, the question is, it’s the 7th game of the WS and it’s between Kershaw or Koufax for the start. I don’t have anywhere near the confidence in Kershaw as I have in Koufax. As of now the greatest Dodger pitcher is Sandy Koufax.

  5. I sincerely hope the Dodgers put Beuhler in the starting rotation out of ST. He just needs to pitch. Yes , like all hard throwers, he does not have the best control yet. He will need to be rested as the season progresses. By the end of the year we could have Kershaw #1 and Beuhler #2. I remember when Kershaw came up. He struggled his first year. Sending him back to AAA will do nothing for him except add innings on to his total.

  6. I believe Kershaw will be a Dodger for life. I am hopeful he gets at least one ring during his tenure. I also identify strongly with Hershiser as my favorite Dodger pitcher of all-time as his efforts in 1988 to will us to a title will never be surpassed for me.

  7. I first became a Dodger fan at a young age following Koufax and Drysdale and they will always have a special place for me. Kershaw has sustained his excellence over a longer period and to me will be the GOAT (Dodgers) by the time he retires but I am not quite ready to put him there yet, for two reasons: He needs to take that final step and win championships and he needs to commit to the Dodgers to stay on for the long term. Both I believe are likely so I agree with Mark’s take.

    The Giants add Austin Jackson for 2 years and $6 M plus incentives per MLB trade rumors. He can still handle CF and had a nice offensive year last season. He feels a need for the Giants at a nice price but strikes out a lot and is on the decline. With Cutch and Longoria they are going for it this year while they still have MadBum but it is a risky strategy as they have little depth and a thin minor leagues to fall back on.

  8. 2017 World Series Game 5: Kersh has a 4-0 lead and blows it. Then a 7-4 lead. And blows that.

    There is no comparison for when it really matters.

  9. The difference between Koufax and Kershaw is the dominance of Koufax’ stuff. His fastball was overpowering – no one could hit it. His curve was the best in baseball. Allegedly, Koufax tipped his pitches and it didn’t matter – no one could hit them anyway.

    In game 7 of the ’65 Series, Koufax pitching on 2 days’ rest couldn’t get his curve to do anything and so for 8 innings only threw the fastball. The Twins knew what was coming and it didn’t matter – they couldn’t hit it anyway.

    Casey Stengel, whose Yankees were swept by the Dodgers in’63, remarked after Sandy struck out 15 Yanks in Game 1 “I can see how he (Koufax) won 25 games – I just don’t know how he lost 5”.

    The Dodgers had a popgun offense the last 2 years of Koufax’ career and he won 53 games in those 2 seasons.

    As to Koufax’ relatively short period of excellence, there are many who believe that his progress was stunted by Walter Alston. He was signed as a “bonus baby” and was therefore required to remain on the major league roster for his entire first season (1955). They never sent him to the minors. He was primarily a basketball player at the University of Cincinnati and never got much coaching. Alston reportedly resented having him on the roster and so didn’t let him pitch much until 1958. Koufax reportedly asked to be traded after the 1961 season due to lack of playing time and considered retiring from baseball.

    If Koufax had access to today’s medicine, who knows how much longer he could have pitched?

  10. For old time Dodger fans there’s no question Koufax is the greatest Dodger lefty of all time. Simply from the no hitters and perfecto and the WS and stretch pennant run victories. You can make the case of Kershaw for body of work but for clutch wins when we needed them nod has to go to Koufax. Plus Koufax was just awesomely beautiful to watch…if you were a Dodger fan. And a nightmare to opposing players and fans. Although I have to say Kershaw’s no hitter was gorgeous and should have been a perfect game.

    1. Dirk,
      I have to agree with you. Having had the good fortune of seeing Koufax pitch at Dodger Stadium on numerous occasions (including the perfecto and a World Series game against the Twins) there is no one else I would want pitching the 7th game of the WS for the Dodgers. His delivery was classic. He had opposing batters at his mercy. Clayton is great and I hope he stays a Dodger, but Sandy, during his glory years, was one-of-a-kind.

      1. What was it Casey Stengel said in 1963. I can see now how he won 25. But what I can’t figure out is how he lost 5.

  11. If memory serves, Koufax’s elbow problems had nothing to do with any violence in his delivery. If you look at his 1964 stats you will notice that he only pitched 223 innings. That’s because, again, if memory serves, he injured his elbow in August of that year, which I believe happened when he jammed his elbow while sliding back into 2nd base after Walter Alston inserted him into the game as a pinch runner. In fact, if he had not been hurt, he likely would have won the Cy Young that year, given that he was 19-5 in August.

    And he likely would have won the Cy Young in 1962 had it not been for the circulatory problem that kept him out for half the year. In fact, I believe he had 219 strikeouts in July of that year when he went out. Might well have struck out over 400. And the Dodgers would definitely been in the World Series that year.

    Kershaw will definitely have better career stats. And so have other pitchers. But by far, not even close, Sandy Koufax is the greatest pitcher I ever saw.

    And by the way, I forget who mentioned it, Koufax did not ask to be traded after the 1961 season. That was his first really good season, when he was 18-13 with a 3.52 ERA. His dominance began the following season in 1962.

  12. Different game in Koufax’s day compared to the present. Fewer teams, consistently better lineups from top to bottom and less reliance on the bullpens. Ultimately, Kershaw will have better overall statistics (except as they relate to complete games). But, in my extremely biased opinion, I think that Koufax, at his best, is better than Kershaw, at his best. Koufax was indeed beautiful to watch. I can still recall laying on my dining room floor listening to to his perfect game on my transistor radio and I still get goose bumps over Scully’s call of the last inning, just as I did then. I love Kershaw, but until he has a couple of 25-5 years, I’m voting for Koufax as the all-time best lefty.

  13. So, a pitcher who was the best on the planet for 4 of his 12 years as a Dodger is better than a pitcher who for 9 of his 10 years has continuously been one of the top pitchers every year?

    You are comparing 4 years of devastation to 9 years of incredible excellence.

    Yes, Clayton has not fared as well in the Post-Season, but I am going to ask you to consider a few things:

    1. Sandy pitched in just 8 playoffs games. Clayton has pitched in 300% more (24 games).
    2. Sandy pitched 57 innings in the playoffs. Clayton has pitched 122 innings and his 1.098 WHIP in the playoffs tells you he has been incredibly UNLUCKY.
    3. Clayton has has a lot more exposure to the playoffs and if you delete 3 of his 122 innings in the playoffs, his stats are eye-popping…. but you can’t!
    4. In 12 years Sandy accumulated 49.0 WAR
    5. In 10 years Clayton accumulated 59.4 WAR.
    6. Sandy’s fire was hard to start – it took 8 years, but then it burned white hot for 4 years and blew out!
    7. Clayton’s fire has consistently been as bright as anyone’s since his sophomore year.
    8. There is more to Clayton’s story to be written. Sandy’s story is over. That’s why I say Clayton will be the GOAT.
    9. Do you want Sandy to start the 7th game of the World Series? Can I pick the year?

    1. War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! I wouldn’t go that far but thought I might give you a new video Mark. Joe D’s avg WAR was only 6 for his 13 seasons. 6 is quite good, but not for a guy of Joe D’s standard. It’s a good stat, but not the 1 stat the is all-telling like some think. Ben Zobrist’s War was often higher than the best players in the league. I don’t buy it. The Royals are now stuck with a LF who had incredible WAR and it was one of the worst signings they ever made.

    2. it isn’t unlucky when you give up HRs in the postseason – it’s bad pitching. Kershaw’s WAR is low but his ERA is high in the postseason – not bad luck, but he’s given up 18 hr in 122 postseason innings. Koufax has given up 2 HR in 57 postseason innings.

      1. I don’t think it’s that simple. Maybe it is bad pitching… but I think it has EVERYTHING to do with pitching patterns. Advance scouting and analytics have changed everything. Watch how Clayton pitched in game 7 verses the other games: The Astros had no clue in Game 7 against him, but in the other games, they had a great idea. He changed up… maybe it has sunk in.

      1. How about I pick Koufax’s year and you pick Kershaw’s year? Who would win?

        My point is consistency verses short-term dominance!

  14. When my son got to choose his number before 8U, he asked me to list all of the Dodger greats. He went for #32 for Sandy which surprised me a bit. If Clayton had been as dominant in the post-season as Sandy I don’t think we would have this debate. Seems like some of Sandy’s early struggles also had to do with opportunity. He was a bonus baby and that forced him onto the roster at the dislike of some veterans as well as Alston. We all know the story of Sandy’s command issues early in his career. However, I’ve also listened to interviews with Sandy where he has stated that had Alston allowed him to pitch more things would have been different. Tough to compare generations. I know everyone debates Jordan and Lebron, but with the game on the line, I’m still tossing it into Kareem. The game has changed in the major leagues just like the NBA and other sports.

    As for the current club. I just listened to Ned get interviewed the other day by DV. He said that he expects Kemp to be elsewhere and if the Dodgers can free up any money moving him they will do so. Obviously, Ned isn’t in the loop when it comes to decision making, but I still expect Kemp to be gone by opening day. Just whether it’s opening day of ST or regular season. Don’t let highlights of 2011 fool you.

    I know some have said that the Dodgers won’t be in on Harper. I don’t buy it. They may not get him but he will be entering his 26-year-old season when he signs. I don’t believe he’s going to get $40 million a year either. The Dodgers will do their due diligence on Harper. Having said that, if the Dodgers have no intention of being in on Harper, then I would agree with Passan that it is foolish to not be in on someone like Darvish because they may go over the luxury cap by a few million dollars. Especially with Forsythe, Ryu, Grandal, and possibly Kershaw falling off the books next season and Hill falling off the following year. I know the Dodgers won the division without Darvish, but there is still a lot of hope going on with this rotation. Kershaw then hoping Wood can repeat. Hoping Hill beats father time and blister issues. Hoping Ryu can stay healthy. Hoping that Maeda can go 5 innings. Hoping that Urias bounces back and Buehler will be ready by the second half. They need a Right-handed innings eater.

    1. 1. For the record, I hope Kemp is gone too, but unless the Dodgers get a “significant” return for him, he will be there.

      2. The Dodgers will be in on Harper. Ray Charles can see that!

      3. I have a sneaking feeling about Darvish.

      4. I hope Buehler starts the season in the Rotation and Urias ends it.

      1. I think the Dodgers are willing to attach prospects to move Kemp. I’m not sure what level of prospects, but we have to look at those prospects allowing the Dodgers to improve elsewhere not about what they gave up to move Kemp’s money. Let’s use Darvish as an example. The Dodgers were willing to give up Tree Trunks Calhoun for a few months of Darvish. If they’re interested in bringing him back, whoever they attach to move Kemp is to sign a Darvish for 5 years. This stagnant market isn’t helping the Kemp issue get resolved. The Dodgers and his agent will sell the first two months of last season knowing his hammies are a ticking time bomb.

    2. I don’t think they will go after Harper unless Kershaw leaves. If he does they will want to make a splash to appease the fan base. Having 2 players taking up almost 40% of the cap space is a tough way to go but the fans would love it!

  15. The Lakers are entertaining this year. They can’t shoot FT’s were a crap, but they have a nice core. They’ve even won a few without Ball after being something like 0-9 without him. Just going from KCP to George next season would make them tremendously better. I’d go after a combo of Cousins and George in the offseason if they can create the cap space somehow.

    1. Let me give some insight into Paul George. When the Pacers were forced to trade Paul George and did to OKC for Oladipo and Sabonis, the National Media crucified the Pacers for “giving him away.” Months later, no one in Indy would trade either one of those players for “team-killer, choke-artist, look at me” Paul George.


      If you are a Laker fan, don’t wish for Paul George – you will be sorry!

      We got rid of our season tickets 2 years ago and now I gave been to 8 or 10 games this year and this team is fun to watch, minus head-case Paul George – Good Riddance!

      Boogie? Don’t get me started on him.

      Side note: We are taking our employees on a Pacer outing tonight! We love watching these guys.

      1. He’s one of the best defenders in the game, averages 20 points per game despite having two guys who dominate the ball on their team. And he can shoot FT’s. He’s a good player who wants to be in LA. It doesn’t mean the Pacers didn’t get a good return. Cousins and his attitude is the one that would worry me.

  16. The season of 66 was my first on the planet and Sandy’s last as a player, so I should be biased towards Kershaw, since I’ve really only seen him pitch. However, according to Tommy, Kershaw ain’t done shit!!

    Good stuff up above though, keep on, keepin’ on…

    1. Drysdale is my favorite pitcher. Followed by [Koufax-Kershaw-Hershiser-Fernando], you can sort them any way you choose…

      1. Way before my time, but Newcombe will always be on my mind as well. Campy was one of my fathers favorites.

      1. Puig is inching up the ladder, yes. I often wonder if he has better stuff off of the mound then Drew Butera?

        I always be Puigin’

  17. By the way, did you all know that the Dodgers jacked up prices on season tickets this year? My 2 seats in Reserve 15 went up in price from roughly $2900 for 2 seats to $3600 for the same 2 seats!

    I”ll go to the stadium tomorrow for choose-your-seat day and see if it’s worth keeping these seats, getting cheaper ones, or just not renewing. Meanwhile, we still can’t watch the Dodgers on tv in LA unless we have time warner cable.

      1. correct. last year i paid $18 per ticket; this year i believe the seat jumps to $23 a ticket. The issue isn’t the per game price. It’s the resale opportunity. Since I can’t attend 81 games, I resell the vast majority of these games.

        Last year, over an 81 game schedule, i wound up losing about $300 (I only attended 4-5 games, gave 10 games away, couldn’t even sell another 10 games, and sold the rest). You can imagine that a Tuesday game vs. Atlanta won’t sell for very high, so you lose money on most nights, and hope to make it up on bobblehead days, etc. This year with the price increase I”ll definitely lose more money; hence the debate if it’s worth it again.

  18. Ken Rosenthal on the lack of action regarding Yelich:

    Here’s the problem with making Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or any other top prospect the centerpiece of a Yelich trade: While a team would be acquiring certainty over uncertainty, the depressed state of the free agent market enables clubs to sign players at below-market rates and still keep their best youngsters.

    1. Food Stamps and Homeless Shelters, I guess!

      J.D. Martinez might have to take a “meager” $100 to $125 million. How can they be expected to survive on that?

  19. Congrats to Jim Thome. I played against him in High School. He’s a helluva nice guy. Good to see Vlad and Chipper get in too. Three very deserving guys. I wish Vlad had become a Dodger.

  20. According to Chris Camello he says Sources are saying the #Dodgers are looking at Lorenzo Cain but that talks are going in waves so it’s tough to gauge where they’re at right now as far as interest #MLBNHotStove @MLBNetwork.

    I would find that FA acquisition odd considering we have CT3 in CF and Logan set at 2B. Probably a leak by an agent trying to drive up the price.

  21. I can’t see the need for Cain either.

    Would much prefer to see us sign Darvish. We need a RH workhorse and he is better than that.
    I know we have financial constraints, but I’m sure we could trade away some of 18s wage bill to make it work for one season before some big salaries come off the books at the end of the season.

    Think the club needs a shot in the arm before ST, and this would provide it.

    I believe that Verdugo will win the Starting LF role.

    1. If Verdugo does well enough to earn a starting job in the outfield that spot could just as well be in RF. Trading Puig saves the most salary and probably gets the best return. Verdugo could hit lefties better than Puig. At this point I think any trade that is made would be for salary relief that would go to Darvish.

          1. Harper doesn’t have to play RF. I’m only advocating a reasonable extension if Puig is still behaving. If anyone were ever to give a hometown discount it would be Puig. He was out in LA yesterday serving burgers at McDonalds. I think he would be crushed if he were ever traded.

        1. Hawkeye

          I didn’t know that Verdugo has already proved he could hit in the majors, let alone, hit better then Puig.

          1. I think it’s a long shot that Verdugo starts the season in LA. Needs to develop more pop and show he’s ready to act like a pro.

    2. Yet another reason to trade Pederson. I like it. But I think Verdugo will start at AAA, with Toles and Kemp (if he’s still around) sharing LF, Taylor in RF, and Puig in RF.

  22. I like the Lakers this year as well. I would want to keep Ball, Ingram, Kuzma, and Randle. I would love it if Randle could play center even though he is only 6′ 9″ and 250 lbs. Bill Russel held his own against bigger centers so while Randle is no Russell, he could still plays lots of minutes there. Can’t say I want a player added to the Lakers that is closer to the end of their careers than their beginning.

  23. 1. If the Dodgers could steal Lo-Cain, they would but they can’t… so they won’t! 😉
    2. The chances that Verdugo starts in RF in 2018: Slim and none. Now, LF? Maybe!
    3. There are too many outfielders right now, but things have a way of working themselves out. Verdugo and Toles would likely be headed to OKC unless Kemp sucks or is traded or Pederson sucks or is traded.

    If the Dodgers could get just $6-$8 million of Kemp’s contact paid each year, I think they would do it.

    My ideal outfield would have Verdugo in LF, Taylor in CF and Puig in RF with Toles as the 4th outfielder. Kike is the Lefty Destroyer.

    I would also like to see Darvish re-signed, but to do so would mean Kemp, Ryu or Maeda and Grandal and Pederson are traded.

    1. Just curious: why Verdugo over Toles? I haven’t seen any evidence [at any level] that Verdugo is superior to Toles.

    1. Hawkeye

      Good one!

      I trust Turner Ward much more then all of us, and he said Toles is a pure hitter.

      And Toles has not only hit for more power then Verdugo, he has much more speed, then Verdugo too.

      But I do think Verdugo, will be a good hitter, and Verdugo would be my second choice, in left.

      Because I think Verdugo will hit consistently, and we have enough players in our line up, that can hit one out anytime, but we don’t have a lot of good contact hitters, in our lineup.

      But all of this, depends on what the Dodgers do with Kemp.

      Kemp is the wild card, while he is still on this team.

  24. If you could pick any minor league player in the Dodgers Farm System who would be a difference-making player (All-Star Caliber Player), who would that be? You can pick three. If you are right, you win ten million dollars.

    My picks:
    1. Alex Verdugo
    2. Kay Bear Ruiz
    3. Dennis Santana

    1. I’ll bite for 10 Mil.

      1. DJ Peters
      2. Kay Bear
      3. Verdugo
      4. M. White
      5. C. Ferguson

      I made 5 picks because I could really use the money.

      1. 1. Buehler
        2. Kay Bear
        3. Verdugo

        Please give my share of the winnings to AC so he can finally retire and spend his days writing about the Dodgers.

    2. 1. Walker Buehler
      2. Keibert Ruiz
      3. Jeren Kendall (if he controls his strikeouts, he will be an All-Star). His CF skills are outstanding. And then again he may fall on his face.
      The Mets are in the process of re-signing Jose Reyes. This should end talk of trading Forsythe to the Mets.

  25. Verdugo–I’d love to be proven on him but so far here are the things he has going against him:

    1. had poor intro to the big leagues
    2. alleged character issues
    3. power has not arrived
    4. competition

    what he has going for him:

    1. youth
    2. bat to ball skills
    3. batting eye
    4. plus arm

    truthfully i’m not sure what he brings that we don’t already have. i hope he succeeds but i think his value for us lies in a future trade.

    1. Verdugo did have a poor into intro MLB. But so did Walker Buehler. Verdugo’s slash line for his 1st 25 PA and 23 AB was .174/.240/.340/.544. Willie Mays in his first 32 PA and 26 AB had a slash line of .038/.219/.154/.373. I am in no way comparing Verdugo to Mays, but just to show that the initial intro into MLB does not always give the true picture of what is to come.
      I think Verdugo had maturity issues rather than character issues. I think he has acknowledged that and gives a great deal of credit to the LAD veteran from last year for proper guidance.
      The power may or may not come. He does hit the ball hard, but does not have the launch angles to generate a lot of HRs. I do think he goes back to OKC and tinkers with his launch angles. But with 52 BB compared to 50 K, maybe he does not need to make a lot of changes.
      I agree with all of your “what is going for him” assessments. His arm is probably plus plus. He was rated as the best OF arm in the PCL. He also takes very good angles on balls hit. It is hard to ignore 49 assists in 3 ½ years of pro ball. With Verdugo, CT3, and Puig, nobody is running a lot on that OF.
      Unless Alex really goes off in ST, you may be right that he does not bring more than what the Dodgers have right now. I fully expect him to be optioned to OKC. But in the long run, he could very well be a tremendous contact hitter, something the Dodgers could benefit from. If Toles is that guy, then maybe Verdugo does become part of a future trade, but it better be for a game changer.

      1. excellent takes. i appreciate the response. i’m probably a little too tough on him and i completely agree that further development [physical and overall maturity] can push him over the top.

  26. Speaking of Buehler, he and Puig were on the field playing catch with some of the trainers today while I was running around selecting my season seats and eating free Dodger Dogs.

    Buehler is slim but looks strong. Like a smaller version of last year’s Bellinger. Puig of course looks like a linebacker out there.

  27. Ken Rosenthal

    Christian Yelich traded to #Brewers, sources tell The Athletic.

    3:03 PM – Jan 25, 2018

  28. Verdugo will be our Left Fielder and bat Lead Off after the All Star break.
    Out of ST he will play LF and bat 7/8.

    He is gonna surprise a lot of people this season.

    1. i hope you are right. i’ve been [very wrong] before. i saw scott schebler in AAA and thought he’d never make it! the hit tool is the most important one in the sport and he’s supposed to have it. can’t wait to see it. i felt like he was just off in his debut. hardly squared anything. looked a little weak to me. supposedly he’s motivated and getting stronger this offseason. he won’t be be bellinger but maybe he can find himself. toles/joc/verdugo should be a great spring training storyline to follow.

  29. The Miami Marlins traded center fielder Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday for four minor leaguers: outfielder Lewis Brinson, considered among the top prospects in the game, plus middle infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.

    1. Marlins fans cannot be upset with this trade. They did tremendously with this deal. Some consider (including me) Lewis Brinson a better prospect than Victor Robles. Isan Diaz is a very good middle infielder who will undoubtedly stick at 2B. He was one I was hoping that FAZ would have been looking at. The Dodgers do not have comparable prospects to Brinson or Diaz. Brinson will probably start in CF for the Marlins this year, and Diaz will probably start within the next couple.
      Harrison will probably be a reserve OF when and if he advances to the ML level. I agree with you that the sleeper is Yamamoto. He pitched very well in the Carolina League last year (A+). It will be interesting to see what he does at AA next year.
      Now the Brewers have signed Lo Cain. I do not know why, but they have. It looks like the Brewers want to be the top dog in the NL Central this year. Look for the Cubs and Cardinals to make additional moves.

  30. The patch celebrating the 60th year of Dodgers in LA is really a good looking design. Anyone know if/where they are being sold? Perhaps at ST?

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