What Comes Next For The Dodgers

 

Editorial Note – I wrote this before the Buehler injury.

The 2018 Amateur Draft is now over.  All that is left is the signing of the draft picks.  The Dodgers did not select a high school player in Round 11 indicating to me that they expect the top 10 to be close to the bonus pool + 5%.  There will be some savings with picks #9 and #10 as they are college seniors.  Regardless of how good these players may or not become, none of them will be able to help the team this year.

 

ZIPS has updated their projections for 2018, and has projected the Dodgers to now win 85 and win the NL West by two games over the DBacks and Rockies, and 4 games over the Giants.  All you really hope for is a chance.  Is the current roster good enough to make the Dodgers favored in any playoff series, much less three?  The Dodger starting pitching is a mess right now, and the bullpen is not much better. Once Kershaw, Maeda, Hill, and Ryu return, can FAZ really trust that they will be able to stay healthy for the remainder of the year?  Is Wood healthy?  That is 5 questionable starters.  Yes, Buehler and Stripling have been outstanding for a short period.  Will it continue?  Stewart shows no signs of being a viable option as a starter.  How injured is Dennis Santana?  Will he be able to help in 2018?  Caleb Ferguson is my favorite minor league player, but it is very much a question as to whether he is ready for prime time.  Manny Banuelos? Guillermo Moscoso? Daniel Corcino? There are not a lot of options in the current organization that can readily and reliably step in.

 

Relief is also a concern.  Outside of Jansen, now that Stripling is in the rotation, there is not a consistently reliable member of the bullpen.  Right now the one non Jansen reliever that has pitched consistently well has been Erik Goeddel.  But Goeddel is no Brandon Morrow, the one player the team was not able to replace.  Alexander and Fields have both had good games and not so good games.  Hudson has a rubber arm and with the bullpen as it is, it helps to have someone like Hudson just available for an inning or two.  Baez is Baez.  Garcia and Paredes are the two current relievers that are in LA from the OKC shuttle.  Liberatore and Venditte just joined the ML roster from the shuttle today with Santana going on the DL with a rotator cuff strain, and Brock Stewart optioned back to OKC.  It is unlikely that either Sborz or Broussard are ready enough to eliminate someone from the 40 man.

 

Offensively, Kemp has made up for the loss of Seager’s bat. Muncy is proving to be a viable option for plug and play at 1B and 3B, although not a GG defensively.  He has played 2B in the past, and he can play corner OF if need be. Joc is having a resurgence.  CT3, Puig, and Bellinger are getting over early season slumps.  JT needs time to fully recover from a broken wrist, but it is critical for him to stay in the lineup even with more than ideal days off.  Grandal should continue with his power, good defense, excellent framing, if not a reliable batting average.  The one consistently weak spot offensively has been 2B.  Logan Forsythe is generally reliable defensively, but truly not offensively.  Breyvic Valera, Tim Locastro, and Donovan Solano could be replacements, but none have been given a legit opportunity to earn the role, indicating that FAZ and Roberts plan to go with Logan.

 

The Dodgers are running out of viable options in the farm system for this year.  There are certainly no difference makers.  The three players at OKC who are on the 40 who may be able to help are Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles, and Tim Locastro.  With Tim Locastro playing more in the OF, he is more readily identified as a utility player, and FAZ seems happy with Kike’ Hernandez as the utility.  With the ML Dodgers OF of Kemp, Joc, Puig, and Cody when Muncy is 1B, there is no place for Verdugo or Toles at this time.

 

If the Dodgers are going to get help for 2018, they are going to need to hope that the injured heal properly, quickly, and fully.  OR, they are going to need to go outside the organization.  The season is still relatively early, but it still looks like a picture is emerging in the AL.  NYY, Boston, Cleveland, Seattle, Houston, and LAA seem to be the only teams who can legitimately make the playoffs.  Both the Tigers and Twins may be within 5 games of a playoff via the Division title, but they are nearly 10 games behind the wild card team leaders.  Neither the Tigers nor Twins seem to have the players capable of challenging the Indians over a 162 game season.  Oakland may technically still be viable, but I do not see them as having the horsepower to go for a 162 game schedule.  They are likely a year away from genuinely contending again.

 

In the NL, 12 of the 15 teams are within 5 games of a potential playoff spot.  Only the Reds, Marlins, and Mets seem on the outside looking in.  The Mets have sent out signals that they will consider moving Thor or deGrom for the “right” price.  Could the Dodgers make an offer to entice one of the co-aces to LA?

 

Other starting pitchers who may be available are:

JA Happ – Toronto

Cole Hamels – Texas

Bartolo Colon – Texas

Danny Duffy – KC

James Shields – Chisox

Ervin Santana – Twins

Jake Odorizzi – Twins

Michael Fulmer – Tigers

Chris Archer – Rays

Tyson Ross – San Diego

Dan Straily- Marlins

Matt Harvey – Reds

 

Position players that may become available are:

Manny Machado – Orioles

Jed Lowrie – A’s

JT Realmuto – Marlins

Mike Moustakas – KC

Scooter Gennett – Reds

 

Relief Pitchers that may become available are:

Brad Brach – Orioles

Zach Britton – Orioles

Kelvin Herrera – KC

Jeurys Familia – Mets

Francisco Liriano – Tigers

 

IMO, the DBacks are the most likely landing spot for Machado.  They do not have a deep farm, but a package starting with RHP Jon Duplantier, C Daulton Varsho, and RHP Taylor Widener would get the conversation going.  The DBacks have been heavily investing in the 25 man over the last couple of years so they might as well go all in for 2018.  Their principal competition may come from the Phillies who have not been shy letting teams know they are in the Machado market to stay and have the farm system to play.  The only link to the Dodgers seems to be the fans.  Machado is not someone that FAZ has gone after at the deadline.

 

I would think that the Nationals would be the logical landing for Realmuto, but the Rockies also seem to be a potential landing spot.  Certainly Machado and Realmuto should be enough to make up a 2 game difference in the final projected records.  What could the Dodgers do to offset those acquisitions?

 

One rumor article identified the following potential trade partners:

Machado to the DBacks

Zach Britton to the Braves

Jed Lowrie to the Red Sox

Brad Brach to the Indians

J.T. Realmuto to the Rockies

Kelvin Herrera to the Astros

Jeurys Familia to the Angels

Chris Archer to the Brewers

Michael Fulmer to the Yankees

Cole Hamels to the Phillies

Dan Straily to the Mariners

Francisco Liriano to the Mariners

Mike Moustakas to the Cardinals

Scooter Gennett to the Nationals

 

Oh yeah… they also identified the Dodgers being a landing spot for Big Sexy, Bartolo Colon.  Their supposition is that he will give innings, will not cost much in prospects, and not put them in danger of the luxury tax.  They seem to be reading the tea leaves with an understanding of what FAZ has done at the trade deadline.

 

The Dodgers have enough potential lottery picks that they can use to get someone who can help in 2018, but they may be just as inclined to see what happens this year and wait for everyone to heal and see how they can supplement the team for next year.  I am inclined to think of the latter as I am sure that FAZ believes that with a healthy Kershaw, Hill, Buehler, Ryu they have enough starting pitching to compete, but without them, there are not enough available starting pitchers to make them competitive.  If Thor or deGrom are indeed available, I would absolutely consider them as potential help in 2018, but deGrom is team controlled for 2 more years and Thor for 3 more years.  That is where I would concentrate if I wanted to make a big move.  Big Sexy is not where I would go for help, but I can certainly see why the authors would think that to be viable.

 

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 41 Comments

  1. Another day another SP goes down. Lets hope Walker only needs to skip a start to get healed. With the team playing well the FO has to find some more SP and while at it can perhaps find a taker for Forsyth thereby offsetting some salary and allowing the team to stay under the CBT.

    Team is showing grit something that was missing in April and most of May. Think JT means something to this team?

    1. Could be JT, could be performances returning to their proper level.

      The better story is the former, the more realistic is the latter.

  2. A couple of observations:

    1. Just like predicting where free agents will go each year, the pundits are seldom right. I would not be surprised if none of those deals happened.
    2. I think Alex Wood is about to go on the DL as well… and I hope I am wrong, but his drop in velocity is startling. He has dropped off nearly 10 MPH from early 2017.
    3. The Dodgers have 2 off days next week, so Stripling can go Sunday and next Friday against SF on regular rest and they only need 2 starters between Sunday and next Friday. Maeda and/or Hill could be off the DL by next weekend and even if Buehler has to go on the DL for a few weeks, they could cover next week with Ferguson and a bullpen game.
    4. Teams that are going to be trading won’t trade now UNLESS you want to really overpay!
    5. If Logan Forsythe can stay healthy (that has always been the issue with him), he can be real asset. He is starting to round into form -it takes him a while and what has happened in the past is that every time he has been there with the Dodgers he gets hurt again. He’s due for a run of good luck… as are all the Dodgers.
    6. This has been one crazy season and the boys of summer are still in it. Maybe they will just have to HIT THEMSELVES OUT OF THIS PROBLEM! When Joc Pederson hits like this, the team is very dangerous. Now… if Kike can just get hot!

  3. The Mets offense is struggling. Yoenis Cespedes begins rehab assignment Friday and will return soon but they apparently need much more. Flores should return soon as well but again they need more offense especially with the Yankees looking a little like the old Bronx Bombers.
    .
    Could Puig and Cespedes draw fans and produce runs? Would they feed off each other? This might sound crazy with the Dodgers needing starters but since Wood is both very good when healthy and bad when not so healthy, how about Wood and Puig for de Grom? Wood, Puig, Forsythe for de Grom? FAZ can add to that trade with players from both teams.
    .
    Toles or Verdugo would replace Puig.
    .

    1. That trade would be nice, but I don’t know if Wood could pass a physical. However, let’s assume he could . I think the Mets would ask for a couple more prospects, like Santana and Ruiz. They aren’t going anywhere this year, so I don’t know if they would want anything but prospects.

  4. DeGrom makes a lot of sense, but I think the deal would have to hinge on something like Verdugo, White, Santana, Smith and Sheffield. It’s a lot to pay… but I might do it! The Mets might have to take Forsythe to balance the salary.

    Rotation:
    1. DeGrom
    2. Buehler
    3. Stripling
    4. Hill
    5. Maeda

    I am not counting on Kershaw or Wood this season. Ryu will be back which forces Maeda to the pen and Urias will HAVE to pitch out of the pen. He can’t build enough arm strength this quick.

    I wonder how bad Muncy would be at 2B?

    1. That would take the rotation from 4 lefties to 4 righties in less than half a season. Wild.

  5. Fuller may be someone Honey can whip back into shape. I would roll the dices with him. I don’t think the Mets would trade deGrom for Wood and Puig but if they would, I would do it in a heartbeat.

      1. I am sure he means Michael Fulmer from Detroit. The Yankees are rumored to very much into Fulmer and they have the prospects to do an overpay.

  6. I do not think that FAZ will do anything substantive this year, and I am okay with that. They are not going to overpay for a rental. Machado is the only difference maker rental who will be made available for trade, and FAZ will not overpay.
    .
    I am still inclined to believe that FAZ is more likely to let the team heal…Seager, JT, Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Wood, Buehler, Santana, Cingrani, and see who they might be able to pick up next year. I think they probably give Grandal a QO, and if he accepts they have one more year for Smith or Ruiz to emerge. If not they get a supplemental pick. I think they let Ryu walk. I think the Dodgers will try to buy Kershaw’s opt out clause with a two year extension and an opt out in two years, but make it for an AAV of less than $30M.
    .
    I can see the Dodgers going for a Kelvin Herrera and Whit Merrifield trade. Merrifield is team controlled until 2023, and Herrera is a likely re-sign candidate.
    .
    The only player I would consider an overpay for would be Jacob deGrom. Puig and Wood would never even be considered. The Mets are too invested in Jay Bruce to get another RF, Wood has one year less team control than deGrom, and they would want prospects and near ML ready prospects. Start with Verdugo/ Santana/Smith. If you are not willing to trade prospects at that level, you are not going get Jacob deGrom. He is not at the Chris Sale level, but he is someone I would want to have pitching for me, and someone I would overpay for.

    1. 100% agree!

      Who do they trade for Hererra and Merrifield?

      Sborz, Lux, Verdugo, Smith, Diaz? All Five?

      Throw in Sheffield and the Royals throw in Moose?

      1. I do not think it would take all five. I do not think FAZ trades both Verdugo and Diaz. I would want to make relatively sure that Herrera could be re-signed (without tampering of course). But the idea of Moose is intriguing. I think that moves JT to 1B and Cody to CF, and would be a preview of what might be available with a Machado FA signing next winter.

    2. Not so fast Mark and AC. The Mets play in New York City. They need offense. deGrom is proven and Santana and Smith are not. Wood has shown he can be as good as deGrom if he can stay healthy. Mets were rumored to be interested in Forsythe I think. If you want to include Verdugo to go along with Puig, Wood, and Forsythe that is fine with me if FAZ can get more than deGrom. The Dodgers can put Toles or Kemp in RF.

    3. A C I agree with you about FAZ not doing anything substantive this year, and like you I don’t in any way see the Dodgers giving up a solid group of prospects for Machado.

      If the Mets put DeGrom on the market, you are correct about an overpay, and that will be fueled more by the teams lining up for him. DeGrom would be a nice addition to the Dodger rotation, and he will come at a substantial cost.

      I think with Kershaw, before doing anything, I would think they will wait and see what his value is to the team this year, and what they think his value to the team will be for the next 4 years and what that value is worth. I just hope Kershaw opts out and the Dodgers have $65M extra for next year.

  7. As I’ve heard from someone in the past….no crackhead moves. Or something like that. Marijuana move would be OK.

  8. Justify wins the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown! With no other early speed in this race the winner controlled the pace from flag to wire. Congrats to Bob Baffert as only the second trainer in history to do it twice.

  9. DODGERS SELECT CONTRACT OF DANIEL CORCINO

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Daniel Corcino from Triple-A Oklahoma City (#56).

    Corcino, 27, who will appear on a Major League roster for the first time since 2014, appeared in a combined 14 games (six starts) with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City going 3-1 with one save and has posted a 2.22 ERA (11 ER/44.2 IP). He has also struck out a combined 43 batters against 16 walks, while limiting the opposition to a .190 average. Corcino has spent the majority of the season with the OKC Dodgers, going 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA (8 ER/37.0 IP) and has held batters to a .182 average, while striking out 34 against 15 walks in 10 games (six starts). The right-hander was a non-roster invitee with the Dodgers during this past Spring Training and appeared in six Cactus League games, posting a 1.35 ERA (1 ER/6.2 IP) and struck out five against two walks.

    Corcino, who is in his 11th professional season and his fourth year in the Dodger organization (2015-18), has appeared in five career big league games (three starts) all in 2014 with the Cincinnati Reds, going 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA (9 ER/18.2 IP) and limited hitters to a .188 average. The Dominican Republic native has appeared in 238 career minor league games (126 starts), going 51-55 with eight saves and has posted a 4.03 ERA, while holding the opposition to a .239 average with the Reds (2008-15), Dodgers (2015-18) and Cubs (2017) organizations.

    To create room on the active roster the Dodgers optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City and to create room on the 40-man roster, the club transferred right-handed pitcher Dennis Santana to the 60-day disabled list with a right rotator cuff strain (retroactive to June 5).

    Venditte, 32, who was recalled prior to last night’s contest, appeared in the game against the Braves allowing one run on three hits over 0.2 innings of relief. Over five appearances with the Dodgers this season, the switch-pitcher has allowed four runs over 4.1 innings (8.31 ERA) and has struck out four against one walk.

    Santana, 22, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to yesterday’s games, made his Major League debut on June 1 against the Rockies, where he recorded his first win, allowing five runs on six hits and striking out four batters over 3.2 innings.

    1. The reporting is that Dennis Santana’s rotator cuff strain could sideline him until late August. He would not be eligible to return from the 60-day DL until Aug. 8.
      `
      No surgery according to Roberts.

  10. A rotator cuff “strain” is actually a “tear” but I doubt that in Santana’s case, it is a “significant” tear. Rest and deep tissue treatment will likely cure it. If the tear becomes significant, surgery is needed. Actually, with enough time, you can rehab a significant tear. In my case, it took over 5 years. I would not count on seeing him again this season. Rest is the cure and why push the youngster?

  11. Logan Forsythe has been uncharacteristically bad in the field this year.

    Alex Wood’s velocity is up, but his location is poor. He’s not missing many bats.

    1. What was his velocity tonight? He was already knocked out before I was able to tune in. You got to try Muncy at second don’t you? If we aren’t going to get the quality defense in Forsythe at least get a hot hitter in there. Play Valera, kike, anybody but Forsyth.

    1. This isn’t the first time Forsythe made an error has cost us a game, if we lose tonight.

      He committed an error in Pittsburg that cost us a game too.

      He has 7 errors alone this year.

      He has only swung at three first pitches this year too.

      And that is much what he did last year, and that more often then not, puts him behind on the count.

      And he is not a good enough hitter, to be down on the count that often.

  12. Just part ways with wood. I can’t believe we can’t find a pitcher who can go 5 innings. Forsythe defense is pathetic and that’s all he had. Our starting pitching is getting to a very seriously scary scenario. Where and what is the medical staff doing? This is unbelievable and I’m sure wood has something wrong or is he just that bad? Culberson and some other also ran have at least 5 hits between them. I’m not sure wood can get minor leaguers out at this point. Not one dependable starting pitcher at this point. I don’t know where you find a decent starting pitcher but we certainly need one. It’s a shame that our offense is coming alive and our starting pitching is worse than any team in the league.

    1. Stripling has been reliable but I certainly get your point and am equally alarmed. Got to get Maeda and Hil back ASAP and package Wood and Forsythe and some more pieces for Whit Merrifield and Jason Hammel from KC.

      1. If you were KC would you take Wood and Forsythe for Merrifield and Hammel? If not, why would they?

      2. Your right about stripling and Buehler has done well. I am just so tired of watching wood go out there and get his teeth kicked in. The bullpen has just been abused and they are not very good to begin with. I don’t blame Roberts he can only play the hand he is dealt. There is something wrong when your whole staff is continuously hurt. The starting staff seems to be so brittle and pampered at the same time. How many times have you heard Roberts say we are going to give them an extra day. What the heck for? They gave wood 2 xtra days and he couldn’t make it to the third inning. I don’t know it seems the league has way too many starting pitcher injuries while pitching fewer innings. It sure doesn’t seem to effect scherzer. I don’t know any team that pampers their starting pitchers any more than the dodgers. “I got a hangnail I better go on the dl “ “ he should be back in 10 days oh wait he has been moved to the 60 day” very frustrating I don’t know how Roberts stands it.

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