6 Minutes

There’s a TV show called 60 Minutes, so that name was already taken and I don’t have much time… so this is called 6 Minutes.  I’ll give you six minutes today and you can have something to chew on:

  • The FBI, ATF, DEA, CIA, NAACP and AARP needs to start a complete investigation into how on earth did Jason Heyward ever beat Yasiel Puig out for a Gold Glove in RF?  Even Ray Charles can see that is a travesty!  I guess it is just a popularity contest!
  • It occured to me that the next big thing in baseball may be teams training pitchers to pitch through the lineupONE TIME.  I could see the Dodgers having three or four pitchers next season who can pitch one, two or three innings by design.  The Dodgers have some candidates: Stewart, Stripling, Cingrani, Wood (I am not convinced he will be a starter… and I could be wrong) and Maeda.  Super relievers I will call them!
  • Next year’s rotation:  Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Ryu and Buehler.  Maybe?
  • As much as I would like to have Giancarlo Stanton, I think FAZ knows that big, long term deals are crippling and unnecessary. After further review, they will not get Stanton, Martinez or Harper or  Machado next year.  It’s all an overpay where the team that signed them ends up with 2 or 3 bad years at the end (Ethier, Crawdad and Gonzalez are prime examples). FAZ will likely stick to the plan and grow from within (Bellinger, Seager) and unexpected sources (Taylor, Toles, Morrow). OTOH, maybe you can afford one bad contract… just not three!
  • JD Martinez is going to get at least $125 million.  Hell no! The first two or three years will be great, but then….  So, the Dodgers ride with what they have and there are questions:
    • Can Gonzo recover and even put up decent numbers as a platoon player?  Cody would go to LF for a year. But maybe A-Gon is done.  Well, the Dodgers have 22 million reasons to see if he can play in 2018.  If he could put up good numbers at #6 or #7, that would be awesome.
    • Toles, Verdugo and Pederson – Two might make the squad… not three.
    • It’s obvious that Yasmani Grandal could be traded. Here’s a thought:  Trade Yasmani Grandal, Pedro Baez and Brandon McCarthy to the Orioles for Brad Brach and D.L. Hall.  This could be a fit for both teams and the Dodgers dump some payroll.
  • Clayton Kershaw HAS to re-invent himself next year like Roy Halliday (R.I.P.) did a couple of times… except that Kershaw doesn’t have to change too much.  Changes ups and different pitching patterns. If he keeps up his current pattern, it’s a downhill spiral.  If he changes, he may be better than ever!

OK, it was 6:37 and I am out!

This article has 63 Comments

  1. No matter how hard I try, Ryu just doesn’t make it for me. Then again, neither do McCarthy, Stripling, and Stewart.
    I like your Brach trade idea, however.

    1. Ryu missed all of 2015 and all but 4 innings of 2016.

      After not pitching for 2 years and recovering from a difficult surgery, he threw 126 innings with a 3.89 ERA. His velocity ticked up as the year went on. He struggled with his control, predictably and at age 31 is pitching for a new contract after 2018.

      I do not share your pessimism. I think he will be very good next year, but all we need is for him to be a #4 or #5. After all, he had a better ERA than Michael Wacha, Jose Quintana, Jake Odorizzi, Cole Hamels, Chris Archer, Lance McCullers, Jon Lester and Kenta Maeda.

      I look for 180 innings with a 3.00 ERA from Ryu next year. I would love to see Wood, Maeda, Stripling and Stewart as 2 innings guys in the pen with this rotation:

      1. Kershaw
      2. Hill
      3. Ryu
      4. Jhoulys Chacin (AC’s idea and I love it)
      5. Buehler

      Stewart is not a starter – starting messed him up last year, but initially he pitched very well in relief. As a matter of fact, he had a 2.18 ERA as a reliever with a 1.02 WHIP.

      Could the Dodgers sell Wood and Maeda on going to the bullpen with the idea of each one pitching 80-90 innings next year?

      1. I would rather have Wood starting at this time, barring a trade/signing for a new starter.. As far as Maeda, the team would have to make some big changes to his contract to assure that both parties are happy. I hope you are right about your predictions for Ryu, but I just don’t see it. However, I have been wrong before (or so my wife tells me).

  2. Love him or hate him, Puig deserved that Gold Glove over Heyward. Mark, this is why I dig this blog. You totally read my mind on the Stanton situation and how FAZ might feel about it. Spot on. Also, all of us on this site sees it, and you called it. Kershaw HAS to start changing his pitching pattern next season. The book on him is out, and he needs to start another chapter or he is going to start getting shelled. He still has great stuff, but he has become predictable. Gave up way too many home runs.

  3. Agree about the Heyward/Puig thing, just didn’t think of the acronyms. “Travesty” is perfect.

    I wouldn’t even begin to guess next years rotation given the possibility of trades, etc.

    I would love to have Stanton, but I also thought that FAZ is likely to stick to the long term plan, which is to build gradually through the farm system. And as much as I’d like to have Stanton, sticking with the long term plan might actually be the best news we could get. I’ll use as an example Yadier Alvarez. There are a number of people on this site who would trade him based on his disappointing numbers. But he’s also a very young lefthander with great stuff. I recently looked at his numbers, and it appears to me that just on numbers alone, his greatest problem appears to be control. Well, we all know that young lefthanders often have command problems early in their careers. I haven’t seen Alvarez, but just unloading him alone could prove to be a huge mistake if the light should suddenly go on sometime within the next couple of years. And he wouldn’t be the only one in a deal for a player of Stanton’s caliber.

    J.D. Martinez would be a nice fit, but not at $125 million. So unless his price tag is considerably lower (not likely), he’s not a nice fit for the Dodgers, even including the fact that he’s ineligible for a qualifying offer, and therefore draft pick free.

    I haven’t kept up closely with Ohtani, but I think that given his age, his signing this offseason might invoke the restrictions the Dodgers are under as a result of their exceeding their limit during the 2015 July signing period. Those restrictions prohibit the Dodgers from signing a foreign free agent under a certain age for more than $300,000 until June 15, 2018. And I think under the new CBA the age limit was raised from 23 to 25. Depending on the particulars with respect to the signing of Ohtani, he might not even be an option for the Dodgers this year. Again, I’m not fully up-to-date on this stuff, so I could be completely wrong.

    And even if the Dodgers are willing to surrender some talent, it doesn’t have to be Stanton and the king’s ransom that he would command. It could also be a perfectly good player or players (including pitchers) than none of us are thinking about. FAZ is pretty imaginative, and I trust that they know what they would like, and what they’re willing to surrender for it in players and dollars.

    I agree about Kershaw having to re-invent himself. In fact, posted not too long ago that I thought the development of a change-up would dramatically change his effectiveness. The pitcher that most comes to mind in that respect was his fellow lefthander Cliff Lee. And there are others.

  4. To me Kersh, Hill and Wood have safe spots in the rotation next year. Maeda, Ryu, McCarthy and Beuhler would compete for the final 2 spots if they are all still around. Kazmir is a dark horse and would be a long shot. Maybe they go out and get another starter but they don’t need to. With all of the depth they can make a quantity for quality trade. They need a RH power bat for LF that can field the position and could stand to upgrade 2B. They platoon a lot but not because they want to, it’s because Joc, Kike, and Logan have bad splits and Puig had reverse splits. If they lose Morrow and Watson they need a legitimate set up guy or two also. I don’t trust Fields, Baez or Avilan in that role but Cingrani is filthy when on his game. Font intrigues me as a power arm that could dominate in short stints. The bullpen will be a work in progress this off season. Faz seems to evaluate it’s own talent in the pipeline pretty well, and has proven adept at finding hidden gems. This will be an interesting hot stove league going up to the winter meetings. Grandal seems to be the odd man out and could be packaged for a decent haul. The team never seems to go all the way to arbitration and has a good track record of fair agreements. That will be the first step and how they handle Grandal will be key.

  5. I would not be an advocate for restricting pitchers to one time through the lineup. I recognize that the game is changing, but restricting to one time through the lineup is just too much. I would prefer at least 3 pitchers in the rotation that are capable and allowed to go 180-210 innings. I think this minimizing the times through the lineup thought process hurt the team in WS Game 2. Sometimes you let your eyes do the work and not computer algorithms. Everyone saw Darvish was not good in the 1st inning, and a change should have been made right then and there. Contrarily, Hill was pitching fine in Game 2, and should have been allowed to continue.
    I have opined all along that FAZ would not trade for or sign a player with a 9 figure salary attached. I brought up JD Martinez because the thought was that he may be looking at $100M rather than the $300M+ still owed on Stanton . If people were willing to accept the Stanton contract, why wouldn’t they be willing to take on Martinez for significantly less and no loss of prospects? However, I just read that Martinez is looking for $200M. IMO that is delusional. Good luck to him and to the team that signs him. Tim Dierkes (MLBTR) has him going to the Red Sox for $150M, and Jim Duquette (MLB) has him going to the Giants for just north of $100M.
    I am not convinced that any of Joc, Toles or Verdugo will give the Dodgers what they need…a big run producer for LF, but FAZ is not going to overpay. They will give every chance to Alex Verdugo to see what he can do, but he has never been that big bat in the #5 slot in the batting order. They need someone to protect Cody. For right now that has to be Puig.
    With respect to AGon, I would plan that he will not be able to make a season long commitment. His strengths are his ability to hit HRs and be a GG 1B. His back just will not allow for that over a 162 game season. And if he doesn’t get the Xtra Base Hit, he is going to clog the base paths. If he comes back and can contribute good for him and the team.
    I do not mind the trade proposal, but I do not think the O’s will go for it. DL Hall is just a baby and a 2017 #1 pick. The O’s are not going to give him up. I would like to see what it would take to get Austin Hayes (if possible) (RH OF). Alex Verdugo would probably have to be included as one of the players going to the O’s. But with the three that you identified might be able to get Brach and Hunter Harvey (RHSP) who is a huge risk. And yes he falls into that always injured category. But if he gets healthy he can be special.

    1. What was it that made you think Darvish needed to be pulled after inning 1? In hindsight, it would have been great. Inning 1 was a double, followed by a boneheaded play by Bellinger, then 3 outs. I could see pulling him and not letting him pitch to Springer a 2nd time or even walking Springer once the count got to 3-1. Springer then hit a 98 mph fastball out of the park. Schwarber hit a HR in the 1st inning off of Darvish in the NLCS and then Darvish shut them out the rest of the way. So, I don’t get how anyone would have expected Roberts to pull Darvish after 1 inning unless that person is psychic.

      1. If healthy, I think Toles has the capability of doing what Taylor did this season. Not a big bopper, but a hell of a nice player that is an upgrade in LF from Joc/Granderson. Now if Joc can show up a little less doughy and perform there is enough talent to move Taylor to 2B, but to me Joc is definitely a drop off from Taylor defensively in CF.

        No team values depth more than the Dodgers so they will have to get an excellent offer to move Grandal. They could easily split the time 50/50 for one more year and see who is hot come playoff time or move Grandal at the deadline if Barnes proves he’s ready to take over as the full-time catcher.

      2. I’m not psychic, but I am perceptive and after Yu faced the first batter, I said he was toast. His body language was pure fear. That’s not tangible, I know, but isn’t something being intangible a tangible? He was not pitching to get the batter out. It’s like a basketball player shooting not to miss.

      3. The fact that Darvish’s slider had no movement, and the batters were sitting on it. The fact that he was horrible in Game 3, and the 1st inning showed the same scenario. Almost identical outings…1.2 IP and 4 ER each game. As far as Bellinger’s “bonehead” play, Bellinger was going away from the bag (way away) and had to throw it back to a running target. Perhaps he should have eaten the ball, but he tried to make a play. It was a tough play and he made an error, but it was far from boneheaded. At the very least, once Darvish walked McCann he should have been pulled, let alone allow the double to Gonzalez. The Cubs are not the offensive team that the Astros are.
        I am no psychic. However, before the game I had already stated my case to my game guests that Wood should start Game 7 to be followed by Morrow, Kershaw, and Jansen. Wood goes 5+ innings of no hit ball, and Darvish doesn’t get out of the 2nd inning in Game 3. It doesn’t take a psychic to figure that Wood was a better risk. But I like Wood, and you seemingly like Darvish. FAZ got Darvish for that moment, and he did not come through. I have no problem with the trade, but there is no way I would re-sign him.

        1. Regarding the Bellinger play – it appeared he strayed too far off 1st and that it was the 2nd baseman’s ball (Utley?). It was a tough play to watch unfold and it couldn’t have helped Darvish’s confidence. As for resigning Darvish, I would do it if the price was right (but it probably won’t be so it’s irrelevant).

          1. Rudy, out of curiosity what is a price for Darvish you would consider? This is a genuine question. The consensus is for 6 years somewhere between $140M and $160M. So say 6 years $150M or $25M AAV. That is Stephen Strasburg AAV, and very close to Jon Lester’s contract. I may be jaded because of his WS, but I do not see Darvish in that class. His career numbers are very similar to Jordan Zimmerman’s numbers with the Nats before signing a 5 year $110M contract with Detroit. Darvish’s numbers are slightly better than Cueto’s before his FA contract with the Giants. IMO anything north of a $22M AAV would be an overpay.

          2. I think Bellinger’s play didn’t look good, because Forsythe was standing right behind Bellinger, and because of that, Forsythe would have been able to field the ball, very easily.

          3. I think Darvish is still going to get big money, but not in the Strasburg range like it was rumored his agent wanted. I don’t see him getting six years and yes his WS performance will cost him some money, but he’s going to at least 5/$100 somewhere.

        2. Bellinger should have never fielded the ball. It was a routine ground ball to Forsythe who was right behind him when he fielded it. It was a boneheaded play. Bellinger’s butt should have been at 1st base fielding a throw from Forsythe rather than turning a 1 run 1st inning into 2 runs. It makes more sense to me to advocate starting Wood then knowing after one double that he needed to be pulled. I like both Wood and Darvish. I wish Yu had a little more Hill in him, but I think in general he’s a low key guy. It’s a matter of what have you done lately for a lot of folks. Darvish had the longest outing and best stuff of the playoffs and then got rocked in the WS twice. Was it bad stuff? Doc didn’t think so, but he seemed in the middle of the plate a lot to me. Was it tipping pitches? There’s a good chance of it. I just wonder how many were saying pull him when Schwarber hit the HR in the 1st. It looked liked Schwarber was sitting on the little back door slider Darvish was throwing to lefties leading up to that game. No manager was going to pull Darvish after inning #1. None, zero. I certainly think there was an argument for starting someone else.

          1. Hawkeye

            I don’t think Roberts should have taken Darvish out, after the first inning, because other then Springer’s double, the other hits were grounders, that should have been, easily field.

            But Bellinger fielding that ball like he did, put Darvish into instant trouble, and that was one thing, Darvish just didn’t need, to happen.

            But I do think Roberts and Honeycutt, should have thought about, starting someone else, because they already knew that Darvish was having a lot of trouble, throwing his off speed pitches, all week.

            And that was the same thing Darvish was dealing with, in his previous start, so I don’t know how they thought, Darvish would be ok, in this even more important game seven start, especially after he wasn’t able to pull off, his prior start, with the same issue!

            I don’t know that you can start Wood in this game, only because he had just made a start, and he had dealt with soreness, in his rib cage, all year.

            And Kershaw is no guarantee here, so I think I would have talked to Wood, and see what he could do, because he showed me more grit, then Kershaw and Darvish, in this series.

            I guess they would have had to go with Kershaw sometime in this game, if Wood would have started this game, but Roberts had use of everyone, on this final day, so I can see why, a lot of people were upset.

            I think it was the ball with Darvish, and in fact, baseball told the pitchers, and the coaches and managers, that they couldn’t talk about these balls.

            What does that tell you?

            I just wish Darvish could have pitched in this series, like he did in the two previous post season, series.

            Maybe he should have tried to pitch like Verlander did, in the post season, when he didn’t have much of his off speed pitches.

            Because Darvish has a good enough fastball, to challenge hitters, at the top of the strike zone, like Verlander did.

          2. The balls. Hmm, it sure seemed to bother the slider pitchers the most and it sure seemed to affect people more in Houston than LA. I don’t have the answer on the balls. Were they being rubbed down differently in Houston than LA? I don’t know. Darvish got rocked in LA and it was a 98 mph fastball that Springer hit out. If you listen to the interview with Eduardo Perez and the one with Carlos Beltran, I tend to believe tipping his pitches were a bigger issue than the balls, but I’m not the one on the mound throwing them. I believe Darvish threw so well during the playoffs and from all accounts had excellent bullpen sessions leading up to and during the WS that the Dodgers believed Game 3’s performance to be a fluke especially considering Darvish had excellent numbers against Houston previously. I don’t think he just mentally melted down between the playoffs and the WS though.

  6. The Dodgers situation with Toles, Verdugo, Pederson, Taylor, Bellinger and Gonzalez offers many options.

    1. Hawkeye

      I don’t think the moment was to big for Darvish like some people think.

      This guy has pitched in a lot of important games, internationally, and in the US.

      I really think it was the balls for him, because he pitched better then our other starters, in the other two post season series.

      And when Darvish made those other starts, they were just as important at that time, as these other starts, Darvish made.

      And your right, Darvish was looking forward, to be pitching in Houston, because he had always pitched well, there!

      I think it was the ball, and I do think he was tipping pitches too.

      Because I don’t see the Astros third baseman, stealing third there, and risking being thrown out at third, when he can easily score from second, with a hit.

      He must have known an off speed pitch, was coming.

      And Darvish was not attacking hitters, like he did in the other games he started, in the previous series.

      I think because he wasn’t attacking hitters, and had so much hesitation when he was throwing his pitches, he was easier to read, or it was easier to know, what he was throwing, if you already had that inside info, on him.

      If he wanted to come back to the Dodgers badly, and he wanted to give a team friendly contract, to come back, I don’t think that would be a bad deal.

      I would prefer it to be a two or three year contract, though.

  7. I was absolutely wrong about Alvarzez’s handedness. He definitely righthsnded. However, although not a lefty, he’s still very young, and the light could suddenly go on. I know that lots of pitcher’s like him never take the next step. But an awful lot do, and I wouldn’t surrender him in any deal that doesn’t bring back considerable talent, which Stanton is. But I also doubt that FAZ is prepared to blow up the long term plan to take on a 9-figure player.

    Darvish apparently would like to come back. I don’t know if he and/or his agent would be willing to accept a hometown discount. If he was, I wouldn’t be opposed to the Dodgers signing him to pitch in the middle to backend of the rotation. Not likely to happen, but you never know. Less likely to happen if the Dodgers the Dodgers add another high quality arm via a trade or free agency.

    I’m not as high on Toles as some others. The picture I have of him is a player with the same penchant some other Dodgers lefthanded hitters have, and that is chasing low and in breaking balls.

    I don’t see Agon being very productive. And as AC suggests, his extra base power is no longer there, and his base clogging is a definite liability.

    Not sure about our current alternatives in LF. Either bring someone in via free agency or a trade, or stay in-house and hope for the best. If they’re not going to give Verdugo a serious look, then they may as well trade him.

    1. Brooklyn

      I saw Toles adjust on those low curves, right after Greinke Schooled him twice, that way.

      And unlike Joc, he has hit for a average, and he actually hit more HRs then Joc did, in his first month, in the majors.

      And even though Cody had a problem with those type of curves in the World Series, he was pitched like that by the Giants when he first came up, and he adjusted soon, after that.

      I just think he was trying to do way to much, in the World Series.

      And you have to remember Corey was hurting during the post season, and that is probably why he looked so bad.

      And the may be the reason, Corey stopped hitting the ball the other way, in the post season too.

      Because although they said Corey’s hitting wasn’t effected by his bad elbow, he barely hit over 200, after he came back off the DL, for his elbow problem.

      I think Joc has been given plenty of chances to show he can adjust, but after three years, he has still not been able to hit consistently, so I think he is going to have to do a lot, to even get a chance, with this team.

      1. I dunno MJ, unless traded I think Joc is almost assured of a chance.
        I think the Joc that the team saw in the post-season is reminiscent of the Joc that had scouts and team officials giddy.
        The very fact that Joc made the WS roster is interesting to me.
        This is why I think there has to be some trades:
        Verdugo, Taylor, Puig, Toles, Joc, Kike, Thompson.
        Some more than others, but all make a crowded OF.

        1. Bluto

          Granderson was only on this team, because Joc still hadn’t been able to hit consistently, for much more, then just over a month, and that was after, three years.

          He was also a liability on defense this year, this year.

          Joc wasn’t even on the first post season roster.

          And he was only on the National league
          Roster, because Corey got hurt, in the previous series,and Taylor had to play short, at times, in this series.

          And remember, Joc didn’t play much at all, in the National League Series.

          And the only reason he was on the World Series roster, was only because, Granderson,
          was terrible.

          Joc did play a lot more, in the World Series, and he did hit in the World Series.

          But the World Series, was only a two week, series, and we already knew Joc could go on a streak, but two weeks doesn’t prove that much.

          And remember Toles was not guaranteed a place on the roster, after he hit well, in the last post season series, the year before.

          1. I think Toles will be given every chance to earn a roster spot this year, in fact i think he almost is guaranteed one.
            Same with Pederson. Same with Puig. Same with Taylor!
            That’s already four. I just think someone may have to go.

  8. As most of you know, I was violently opposed to The Trade and the last 2 years of A-Gon have been huge decline. Crawfish was in decline from Jump Street. In 16 and 17, the Dodgers paid Ethier, Gonzo and Crawfish a combined $60+ Million for almost nothing. That’s why I have seen the error of my ways and said “NO” to Stanton. Someone will trade for him and be hamstrung by his bad contract.

    Darvish will get a huge deal. Just not from the Dodgers.

    Andrew Toles has 201 career AB’s and a .294 BA with a .341 OB%. He needs to walk more, but everything I have seen from him is good! He’s still only 25!

    Joc Pederson has thunder in his bat, but can he adjust?

    Alex Verdugo could be Tony Gwynn or Juan Pierre (minus the speed).

    What to do?

    1. I would like to see the Dodgers go after a power bat that could fill the 5th spot in the lineup, someone like Marcell Ozuna.

    2. Bluto

      I think your right about that, like AC has said, we have to use our depth in someway, if we are not going to play them.

  9. Interesting that you mentioned Chacin in next year’s rotation, because I thought the same thing when looking through the list of FAs.
    However, although he had a decent season,and seemed to pitch well against us, he led the MLB in HBP, and walked em at a good rate.
    Think he would be a good workhorse for the back of the rotation.

    1. Watford,

      That is why I like Chacin. He is a workhorse. You can pay a Jeff Samardzija $90M for 5 years, or pay Jhoulys Chacin considerably less in both years and dollars, and get the same result. Tim Dierkes (MLBTR) has him going to the Reds for 2 years at $14M. He turns 30 in January. He knows the NL West and has had success. He is the prototypical FAZ sign…low risk – high reward. I do not think that signing Chacin will put a stranglehold on the salary budget or luxury tax concerns over the next 2-3 years. He had 14 HBP last year, but only 5 the year before. 32 starts and 180.1 IP, ERA 3.89 and a WHIP of 1.270. That is a fantastic #4 or #5.
      If the Dodgers do not sign Brandon Morrow, another potential FA I would like to see is 31 year old RHRP, Tommy Hunter. He is another of those former #1 draft pick starters that have converted to relief. In 61 games, Hunter pitched 58.2 innings, had 64K and 14 BB (4.71 K/BB ratio). While his ERA was a very respectable 2.61, for relievers I beleive WHIP is a better indicator, and Hunter’s WHIP was 0.972. A certain negative is the 6 HRs he allowed in those 58.2 IP. While not in the Brandon Morrow league, and not a true setup, he will come at a far less cost. My BIG preference is Brandon Morrow, but Tommy Hunter could be a low cost option.

      1. Big names at what cost? Interesting to see Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Addison Reed and Pat Neshek all FA along with Jose Bautista. Those 4 guys could certainly set up. Tommy Hunter sounds very Faz like, good find AC!

        1. Davis and Holland are only going to go to clubs that need a closer. Addison Reed could be a setup, but he will be more expensive than Morrow, and you would lose 5 MPH on his 4 seam FB. Neshek could be priced right, but he is 37. He had an awesome 2017, and has had some great seasons in the past, with St. Louis and Oakland. Even with Colorado he was outstanding after his first 5 games where he had 2 blown saves. In 23 subsequent games in 17.1 IP, he allowed 3 earned runs with a WHIP less than 1, 1 BB, and 18K. He’s had his TJ surgery, and has been relatively injury free since. I would much rather have Neshek than Baez and Fields.
          All things considered, I much prefer Brandon Morrow to any of the potential setup guys (not considering Davis or Holland as setup).

  10. Lorenzo Cain hit .300 this season, had 5 defensive runs saved, is a good base runner and can play CF. Not sure what he would cost but I would kick the tires. I like JD more than Stanton but even the DBacks won’t bring him back at the price he wants. Of the starters in FA I like Alex Cobb, finally healthy last year and stronger towards the end of the season, and Chatwood who battles and would benefit from getting away from Coors. Chacin battles too but struck me as a hothead in the few games I watched him pitch. Lynn maybe if he passes a physical, he has a good competitive makeup but his stats fell off last year. I didn’t consider any lefties as we have enough already. I don’t see any infielders that excite me in FA this year. I could see them picking up an under the radar LH hitting utility infielder for platoon depth.

  11. I like Lorenzo Cain a lot, and I was an advocate for getting him at the trade deadline, but KC foolishly believed they could contend and would not move any of their big three FA. But the cost has been speculated to be 4 years at $70M, which is Andre Ethier money. Multiple publications have him headed to the Giants. That makes a ton of sense to have a GG caliber CF in that ballpark, and one who is a good gap hitter, with speed, and some pop. He is also a solid citizen and a clubhouse leader. Not much to dislike except the cost which the Dodgers will not spend.
    I am more intrigued with Alex Cobb than Lance Lynn. Lance Lynn to me is a steady innings eater much like Samardzija. Jim Duquette thinks he is in the 5 year $80M level while Tim Dierkes says 4 years $56M. It will probably end up somewhere in between. I think Alex Cobb offers the higher reward and higher risk. His cost should approximate (but less than) that of Lynn. Cobb is more what FAZ looks for. What makes it even more interesting is that Alex was in Friedman’s 1st amateur draft (2006 – Round 4), so he is well known. If anyone knows his value, it will be Friedman.
    I know there are many that like Chatwood. He is nearly two years younger than Chacin. Dierkes puts his value at 3 years $20M. Both Chatwood and Chacin have projected AAV at $7M. With both pitchers above a 2.0 WAR, those are more than fair values. As long as Chacin is not a Milton Bradley, I believe the Dodgers clubhouse can keep him under control. I like Chacin more because he has shown a better ability to pitch deeper into games, and for a #4 or #5 that is what you look for.

    1. AC

      I took a look at the starting pitchers that would be free agents after the 2018 season, and there are no top pitchers there, that we could trade for, at the trade deadline, that would help us in the post season, next year.

      But I did see some good relief pitchers, that we might trade for, at the trade deadline.

      But is it better to trade for one of these top relief pitchers, in the off season, like some here have brought up, or would it be better, to wait until the trade deadline, to trade for one of those relievers?

      I don’t understand why we would want to go after Chacin, because not only do we have a lot of starting pitchers to fill our rotation, most of our starting pitchers that were part of our rotation for most of the year, this last year, have better eras then Chacin, except Maeda, and Maeda, was pitching better at the end of the year, most of the time.

      I think our biggest need, is a really good starting pitcher, who could help us finally win this, not an average starter, that we would never use, in the post season.

      Also, how close is Buehler?

      And do we really know that Brach, is really healthy enough, to trade for him?

      1. MJ,
        With respect to Brad Brach, I am not sure if there are any health issues. He has pitched 62+ innings the last three years. He is in his 3rd year of arbitration and is projected to earn $5.2M. I think Mark’s trade proposal was more for contract relief of Grandal and McCarthy than getting Brach. His inclusion of DL Hall was a major plus, but not one the O’s are going to do. FAZ is all about assessing and leveraging risk, and IMO the O’s would be more likely to include and FAZ more likely to consider Hunter Harvey. And I would rather have Brad Brach than Pedro Baez. It’s also more than $12M in salary savings.
        Baltimore has no other choice but to go for it in 2018. Grandal would give them at the very least a great backup to Chance Sisco, or start if Sisco is not quite ready. They only need him for 1 year. McCarthy could easily be their #2 or #3. Of the top six starting pitchers with the most starts for the O’s, 4 are FA. Leaving Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as the only two known starters. Baez would replace Brach. FAZ does not do this unless a prospect comes back. I would prefer Austin Hays, and I would seriously look to see what it would take to get him. You want a projected RH bat in the #5 slot…that’s Austin Hays. It probably takes Alex Verdugo to make it happen, and Hays will not be ready in 2018. But if it is just the three Mark listed, I would want Hunter Harvey.

  12. AC, I wasn’t able to reply to your question above re: Darvish and $$ because there was no reply option. As far as fair price, it would be whatever FAZ sees as good value. The WS starts not withstanding, I thought Darvish showed well against the DBacks and the Cubs. Not sure what happened in the WS (nerves?) but he will be a solid 2-4 pitcher for whoever signs him. I’m with you regarding Cobb. I feel he would be a solid addition.

  13. I believe if they can find a taker for Ryu and or McCarthy they pick up a veteran RHP until Beuhler is ready. Paired with Maeda that would give the rotation more balance since the top 3 are all lefties. Urias also waits in the wings until he’s rehabbed. Stripling and Stewart are bullpen pieces to me but another team may view that differently. I still think Wilmer Font could be a very good relief pitcher with his velocity and pitch mix.

  14. Brandon McCarthy has not been healthy since 2014 when he pitched 200 innings. If you are into Statistics and Probability, then you might conclude that he is due for a good year. FAZ considers stuff like that. I think there is less uncertainty with Ryu. After missing two seasons, he pitched reasonably well last year and I can see him getting better. If the Dodgers trade either player, it would be a case of selling low. Combined, they are owed less than $20 million and either one, or EVEN BOTH could have good years. There are a couple of teams who might take a chance, but we have seen that a team can never have enough pitching. If the Dodgers could get Chacin for $14 to $16 million, I think it would be a good move. I think Buehler is ready, but you never know.

    Oaks may also be ready, but you never know. Mitch White could be closer than many think and Dennis Santana could leap-frog them all with the addition of another pitch. Urias could be back by August, but you can’t count on it. As it stands, all of these guys could get looks as a starter:

    I could see Chacin but not much else….

    What about Clay Buchholtz for the pen? Sort of like Brandon Morrow…

    1. Clay Buchholz would have to have a highly incentivized contract for one year with a mutual option for year 2. This is similar to what Greg Holland signed. The Dodgers wanted Holland, but he wanted to close, and he would not be in that role with the Dodgers. Buchholz may not be as picky, but if he wants to close, it will not be with the Dodgers. He may still want to start. But he is in the FAZ wheelhouse. Brandon Beachy, part deux.
      I do not think McCarthy gets anywhere near 200 IP (at least not with the Dodgers). He has been given a number of chances, and has not captured and held on to that starting spot. Unless Buehler is lights out in ST, I think he starts the season as a #6 starter, starting out in OKC and getting called up when needed for a start. Unless there is a trade of Stripling or Stewart, I do not see a spot for Oaks. He too would start in OKC and come up as needed. He is a Rule 5 candidate, so he will be added to the 40 man. Dennis Santana is the other Rule 5 eligible that will be added. Joe Broussard is also Rule 5 eligible but I do not see him added to the 40 man. Mitch White is a September callup at the earliest. Santana could beat him because he will be on the 40 man. But he would do so in the bullpen, not in the rotation (at least not 2018)
      I like Chacin because of his IP potential – no more than 2 years $16M. I like Alex Cobb because of his potential. But not more than a $12M AAV. So unless there is a trade, the Dodgers will probably go into the 2018 season with the same rotation as 2017 with Buehler as the #6, and Maeda/Ryu #4 and #5, with McCarthy/Kazmir on the outside looking in. I do expect FAZ to revisit to see what it would take to get Chris Archer. I do not consider him an Ace, but he will go deep into games. I do not expect FAZ to be successful in this endeavor.

      1. “I do not think McCarthy gets anywhere near 200 IP.

        Are your prejudiced against blind squirrels finding nuts?”

  15. The best MLB free agents from 2012-2013 should be a sobering reminder for everyone.

    Via MLB Trade Rumors:

    1. Zack Greinke
    2. Josh Hamilton
    3. Michael Bourn
    4. Anibal Sanchez
    5. B.J. Upton
    6. Nick Swisher
    7. Edwin Jackson
    8. Dan Haren
    9. Hiroki Kuroda
    10. Kyle Lohse
    BONUS #11 Angel Pagan

    1. I’d be shocked if he went to Chicago. Darvish possibly, but not Otani. They’re in the same boat as the Dodgers when it comes to only being able to offer $300.000. I’d replace the Cubs with the Rangers on that list. They plan on going all in on him. I’d also put the Dbags as a sleeper. The scout who almost had Otani signed with the Dodgers coming out of high school now works for the Dbags and apparently they have a great relationship.

  16. Mark, when you mentioned Alex Verdugo and Juan Pierre in the same sentence, you clearly weren’t thinking about their arms.

    I’d have to look this one up, but didn’t Cain get a QO from the Royals. If so, that would rule him out of the Dodgers plans.

    1. From SI, 11/7/17:
      Chicago Cubs pitchers Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb, Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn and Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana, along with Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Lorenzo Cain receive their offers on Monday.

    2. Verdugo has a cannon. JP had a popgun. I was just saying that Verdugo could hit like Gwynn or Pierre!

  17. Right-hander Brandon Morrow also appeared on MLB Network Radio today, stating that “all things being equal,” he’d prefer to return to the Dodgers (Twitter link, with audio). Morrow specified that at age 33, he’d prefer to sign with a contending team, noting that he doesn’t necessarily care about pitching as a closer versus pitching in a setup capacity. Morrow raved about the young talent and clubhouse on the Dodgers, noting that the team is poised to be a contender for years to come — a highly appealing factor to him (and other free agents). Though perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into his comments, Morrow did note that “to be able to hopefully in that for three to four years … it’s definitely an attractive situation.” Morrow does indeed seem to have a strong case for a multi-year deal after a return to prominence in L.A. this past season. We pegged him for a three-year, $24MM contract on last week’s ranking of the game’s top 50 free agents.

    I copied and pasted that for everyone. I didn’t actually listen to the interview today. I haven’t fully recovered from the WS loss and haven’t been able to bring myself to listen as much yet. At least the Hawkeyes knocked the snot out of Ohio St on Saturday.

    1. I listened to Morrow’s interview. He flat out said “I really want to stay with the Dodgers.”

      OK…. make it so. $24 mil/3 years.

    2. Hawkeye Thanks!

      I bet pitching in the World Series, is something that Morrow wants another chance, to do, and that has to be a big draw.

  18. I thought the penalty was reduced but after reading the new rules, which are more complicated than tie breakers for the NFL playoffs: Because the Dodgers were over the luxury tax last season they would lose a 2nd and 5th round pick if they sign anyone with a QO and would also lose $1 M in international bonus pool money. Signing two such free agents would cost a 3rd and a 6th as well. 1st round picks are exempt unless a team has more than one, then they lose the lower 1st rounder as well. Pretty stiff penalty in addition to the inevitable overpay, I agree Faz will not sign anyone with a QO. Good thing they are pretty good at trades.


  19. The Dodgers need to put bellinger at first and let agon play little. He’s career is done, he’ll get injured again. Bellinger doesn’t need to be in the outfield, they have to many outfielders as it is. They do need another power hitter that can hit against left hand. the bullpen will be a question mark. grandal probably won’t be trade unti midseason. I think after season the Dodgers are goning need to get harper and a top ace pitcher, he will be better then joc or puig. The WS lost should be a wake up call. The Rockies, D’backs , will give the Dodgers a run for the division. Just saying. If the Dodgers don’t win the WS next season, shit will need to change.

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