FAZ and Unpredictability

Anyone who really believes they know what the Master Plan is could be delusional.  One thing I have learned is that one never knows in what direction FAZ goes.  Did anyone truly believe that FAZ would have signed all three 2016 FA?  Most did not even think Hill was a consideration, and that FAZ would only sign one of Jansen and Turner.  I thought that Turner would come back (LA is his home), but had no idea that Kenley would feel so comfortable with LA.  And yet they signed all three.


More than any other team, the Dodgers want a strong 40 man roster that they can utilize (and they do).  Where I believe they have come up short is that they build a team for a long 162 game season to get into the playoffs, but one that may not be quite good enough in a short series.  They got very very close last year, but second guessers will question why go for Darvish when they might have had Justin Verlander.  Verlander was the most accomplished post season starter on the market at the time.  Maybe they did try and just could not get it done.  Some can and will convince themselves that the Dodgers could have stole him with an offer of Isaac Anderson, Brandon Montgomery, and Ariel Sandoval, and turned it down. But we will never know what was offered, or even if there was an offer.  I was okay with Darvish because the cost was not too much.  I wish Willie Calhoun all the best, but he would never have been a regular position player for the Dodgers.  And there was no multiple years remaining on the Darvish contract.


I can and have defended the FA signings and trades of McCarthy, Kazmir, and Reddick (never Latos).  I had no idea they would have made those transactions, but I understood the logic, but have no desire to go back and rehash those transactions.  I would rather speculate as to what will they do for 2018?  The one thing I do believe I understand is that whatever move is made it is with the intention to provide versatility and/or depth, and will be low risk/high reward.  IMO that is not Giancarlo Stanton.  That contract is not sustainable, and it is the antithesis of low risk/high reward.  It is not Christian Yellich.  The Dodgers have a surplus of LH hitting LF’s, and I do not see an upgrade over Joc/Toles/Verdugo with Kike’ as the RH hitting LF.  I do not see any way they will re-sign Yu Darvish.  There is less than zero chance they would sign Jake Arrieta.


The Dodgers needs include the bullpen, back of the rotation starters, back-up catcher, and a LH hitting utility infielder.  If they can find a game changing RH OF (not named Stanton) that may be explored, but I think this is more likely a trade deadline potential.


Relievers – I think this is where the Dodgers will concentrate their efforts.  I believe the bullpen will rival that of the NYY before the season starts.  Unlike many, I do think the Dodgers will try to re-sign Brandon Morrow, and may slightly overspend to get him.  If not Morrow, I would think that Tommy Hunter is on their short list for RHRP.  I like Mike Minor as a LHRP, but the Dodgers may try focus on and try to re-sign Tony Watson for less $$$ and a lesser term.  I do not see another name FA reliever they will sign.  There may be another 2017 version of Brandon Morrow that most of us do not know of, and will sign a minor league contract (and no Pat Venditte does not qualify here).


I know many have brought up the return of Yimi Garcia, but he did not pitch at all last year, and he pitched a total of 8.1 MLB innings in 2016 (and 7.1 minor league innings).  He has basically been out of MLB for nearly two years.  I doubt that FAZ is expecting anything significant from Garcia, and will look for others to provide high leverage innings.  Garcia does have one option left, and I would expect that the option will be exercised and Garcia will get his baseball legs back at OKC.  I do think that Zach Britton is a legit potential trade acquisition, as is Brad Brach.  I think they are willing to spend $$$ on one year rentals.  I also think they will check in on Brad Hand again.


Back end starter options – Tyler Chatwood and Jhoulys Chacin may not be exciting, but they can be successful back of the rotation starters.  Otherwise the Dodgers will live with Maeda and Ryu as #4 and #5, with Buehler and Urias in the rotation by July.  McCarthy and Kazmir are longshots at best.  Trevor Oaks will also get consideration, and Ross Stripling will be the long man and emergency starter.  While Chatwood and Chacin would give them flexibility with the roster, the Dodgers will not overspend to get them as they have multiple options at their disposal.  The Dodgers have a surplus of ML ready and near ready starting pitching, and can probably move multiple pitchers for the right return.  I do think the Dodgers will explore trade potential for a legit innings eating #2.  I believe FAZ will revisit Chris Archer.  Or maybe they can convince Shohei Ohtani to sign for less with the Dodgers, concentrate on pitching and PH against NL teams, and DH against AL teams.  This search will also probably be delayed until the trade deadline.


Backup Catcher – I am not convinced that FAZ believes that Kyle Farmer is a legitimate back-up catcher.  I think they look at him more as a utility infielder who can catch rather than a catcher who can play infield.  At least that is how he was utilized when he joined the ML roster.  If they keep Grandal, they are set.  If they do trade him, I think they will sign Nick Hundley or Chris Iannetta, get prospects in return for Grandal, and save $5M to $6M.  Or they will stick with Farmer as the backup and revisit the position at the trade deadline.  There is no urgency for this position.


LH Hitting infielder – I was hoping for Daniel Descalso last year, but I understand why they chose Utley.  But now what?  Do they consider LH hitting Stephen Drew, or switch hitting Erick Aybar or Cliff Pennington?  Or do they trade for Dee Gordon?


Most fans have concluded that Chris Taylor is the Dodger CF for 2018.  However Rowan Kavner, Dodger Insider, recently wrote about the poor offensive metrics for Dodger CF’s in general, including Chris Taylor.  Overall, CT3 batted .288/.354/.496/.850 with 21 HR’s and 72 RBI’s.  As a CF, CT3 batted .213/.279/.33/.612 with 5 HR’s and 18 RBI’s.  See article identified below.




The Dodgers could use an upgrade offensively and defensively in CF.  I have long been an advocate for Ender Inciarte from his DBack days.  With Ronald Acuna ready to make the leap to ML CF and super stardom for the Braves, Inciarte is a luxury the Braves can turn into prospects.  I do not have as much intimate knowledge of the Braves farm system (which is very good), but I am sure the Dodgers have the requisite prospects to make a legit trade offer.  I would think that Alex Anthopoulos has sufficient knowledge of the Dodgers farm and what they might ask for in return.  I am assuming that Joc Pederson would be included as a backup for Acuna. Joc is a prime change of scenery candidate.  The Braves could also useML readySP and RP.  They have pitching prospects.  With Inciarte in CF, Taylor could move to 2B making Logan Forsythe another trade potential.


And my continuous plea for the trade of multiple players (ML and prospects) to Baltimore for Austin Hays and Hunter Harvey.


As I stated in the beginning, nobody knows what FAZ will do.  They are absolutely unpredictable.  So while I believe they will concentrate on building a dominant bullpen and tinker around the edges elsewhere, FAZ might surprise me and go big by trading for Stanton, signing Yu Darvish, or signing Ohtani.


This article has 40 Comments

  1. Well, I was going to post this today and then I read AC’s pending post and decided to use it as a comment.

    I really don’t have a clue!

    When Andrew Friedman was hired by the Dodgers, I was all in. I liked his philosophy and soon realized the genius of hiring Farhan Zaidi. I have watched what they have done every off-season and every in-season and here’s something I think I need to say: “I do not have a clue what they will do this off-season.” Andrew has surrounded himself with very bright people in large numbers, even after AJ Anthropolous left for the ATL. AJ will do well there because I think he learned a thing or two from FAZ.

    But right about now, I have no clue what they will do and it’s pretty simple why: “They have a plethora of people who spend all their time considering all of this and I have a full time job.” There’s an old saying “Men plan, God Laughs.” That’s exactly what is happening here – We plan and FAZ laughs! Why? Because we have no clue… and I include myself.

    We can’t help ourselves… we have to speculate. We all have opinions. Some have no idea why the Dodgers would keep Kike Hernandez. Others think he could be a very good player. Some hate Yasmani Grandal (maybe because the Dodgers traded Matt Kemp for him). Others love Yasmani. Some love Puig – Others hate him. Some hate el Gasolino, others… wait… that was a bad idea – I’ll stop there, but you get the picture. We all have our own ideas… and FAZ laughs.

    I have no clue, and FAZ ain’t saying! But they do have a clue and they are waiting for the right deal(s). I have a feeling it will be something we haven’t even concocted… yet!

    There are Several Million Reasons Why Andre Ethier Isn’t Retiring – I’ll list them later – $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  2. MLBTradeRumors (Steve Adams) forecast potential non-tender candidates. Some might be of some interest to LAD. These are not exciting, but do attempt to fill needs.
    LHH Utility Infielders:
    Ryan Goins (30) – 1st year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $1.8M – Blue Jays
    Brad Miller (28) – 2nd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $4.4M – Rays
    Jace Peterson (28) – 1st year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $1.1M – Braves
    Switch Hitting Utility Infielders:
    Andrew Romine (32) – 3rd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $1.9M – Mariners
    Danny Santana (27) – 1st year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $1.1M – Braves
    Alex Wilson (31) – 2nd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $2.1M – Tigers – Bounce back candidate. Very good 2014-2016 seasons.
    Jeremy Jeffress – 2nd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $2.6M – Milwaukee – Better in NL than AL.
    RHSP/RHRP (33) – 2nd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $5.7M – Astros – Very decent in NL (Milwaukee)
    Sandy Leon (29) – 1st year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $2.1M – Red Sox
    Jody Mercer – One of my favorites who might be non-tendered. 3rd year arbitration – Estimated arbitration $6.5M – Although RH hitting, he was consistent against both RHP and LHP, and slightly better against RHP.

    1. Here are the Dodgers arbitration eligibles and projected salary from MLB trade rumors:

      Yasmani Grandal (5.115) – $7.7MM
      Luis Avilan (4.146) – $2.3MM
      Alex Wood (4.123) – $6.4MM
      Tony Cingrani (4.088) – $2.2MM
      Josh Fields (4.083) – $2.2MM
      Pedro Baez (3.059) – $1.5MM
      Enrique Hernandez (3.054) – $1.3MM
      Joc Pederson (3.028) – $2.0MM
      Yimi Garcia (3.004) – $700K

      I would think Fields might be a non tender as he fell out of favor and is prone to the long ball. All others will be signed IMO. Trading Grandal could be a step back if Barnes is not ready for full time duty, hard to say where they stand on him. Joc is in the same boat, they could move on from him and he has value. Baez is an enigma but other teams would love to work with his head because of his arm. Wood is a no brainer as is Cingrani and Kike, Avilan is on the bubble but is serviceable.

      For the record I love Puig despite his knuckleheadedness, I like Grandal and Kike and think Baez can be worked with and a pitch clock will help him. I also like Joc but get frustrated with his approach.

      I like your ideas AC about picking up other teams non tenders but the 40 man is full and the team needs to clear some space to do so. I feel a quantity for quality trade is the best solution, beefing up the bullpen and perhaps a RH power hitting OF and clearing out some on the fringes of the roster. I prefer to keep Wilmer Font however.

      1. For what it is worth, MLBTradeRumors projects all Dodger arbitration eligible players will be tendered.
        FAZ seems to be loyal to Dodgers under contract, so I would not expect any of them to be jettisoned for any other teams’ non-tendered. I do like Jody Mercer, but I do not see the Dodgers paying $6.5M (+ luxury tax surcharges). And I would rather have Logan Forsythe at 2B who is a candidate for a huge bounce-back season.
        I would think that Ryan Goins or Jace Peterson could be added. Offer Trayce Thompson in a straight up trade and see if if goes anywhere. Both players are projected to be less costly than Chase Utley was for 2017.

          1. Paredes (3) and Segedin (2) still have options, but Thompson does not. He is either going to be on the 25 man or DFA. But your right Segedin and Paredes could be moved to make room. If the Dodgers are able to find a LHRP they can trade for (Zach Britton???), Paredes would undoubtedly be included.

          2. Font is out of options too but will have a chance in spring training to impress. As the PCL pitcher of the year in 2017 he will be long gone if DFA’d. Thompson will have a hard time making the 25 man to open the season.

  3. I know that FAZ has indicated that A-Gon is expected to be healthy in 2018. I do not believe he will play an inning for the Dodgers in 2018.

    I believe Logan will have a career year.

    I think Charlie Culberson deserves a spot.

  4. Good Piece as usual AC. I for one am good with Taylor in CF, LF, or 2B. I think the CF numbers regarding Taylor are a bit misleading. He didn’t really become the everyday CF until the Dodgers pulled the plug on Joc and of course Taylor went into his most prolonged slump of the year at that time. He was better defensively than Joc with both range and arm. He’s still got a little work to do moving back on the ball, but considering he’s never played outfield in his life I think all signs are that he can do it. Having said that, I’ve always liked Enciarte too. He’s a pest offensively and a great defender. He would be a nice match. Taylor at 2B could really put together a juggernaut of an offense if Taylor can repeat his performance. Forsythe can be either a utility player or be dealt in that scenario. I don’t see a return of Dee unless it is part of a bigger deal.
    I’m not sure who these FAZ hater are that Mark is always talking about. I can only think of about 1 or 2 people who post on here that might qualify. I agree they will continue to turn over every stone possible to improve not only the 40-man roster, but players 40-50 as well. When you sign low risk/high reward types you still need the depth if those player’s history of injuries repeat themselves. They are good at finding those players and developing players. There is no reason to believe that will stop because of any one trade.
    However, I do believe Zaidi when he says they are looking at IMPACT players to improve the roster. The Dodgers don’t HAVE to do anything. They will be the favorites in the NL West, but favorites don’t always win it. I for one believe in Toles, but he is coming off of an injury. I don’t think nibbling at the roster with another #4 or #5 pitcher will do that unless they move the long list of #4’s and #’5’s they already have on the roster in other deals. The bullpen, a SP, and possibly a LF is where impact areas can be had. I know Mark mentioned the other day that the Dodgers lied about dealing Gordon, but the truth is they said they weren’t shopping him. They never said they weren’t trading him.
    The other 14 teams in the NL are all trying to get better and if the Dodgers aren’t getting better the field is either gaining on them or will pass them. The Dodgers have the luxury of getting better by some players getting experience and maturation. Seager, Bellinger, Toles, Barnes, Buehler, Verdugo, Joc, and Taylor may all fall into that category but not all more than likely will blossom. Puig’s maturation last season needs to be an example for Joc and Puig needs to continue down that path. 162 games is a lot of games for Puig to not make a mistake with his knuckleheadness and attention span, but he came a long way last year and I expect even better next year.
    So who are the impact players? Britton, Darvish, Ozuna, Ohtani, Stanton? I agree with AC that I don’t believe the Dodgers will consider Arrietta or anyone else with a qualifying offer. I’m not paying Martinez to play LF at what he’s asking when he’s a terrible defender. I see him in Boston. The Dodgers need a high quality innings eater whether that be Darvish or someone acquired in a trade like Archer. The bullpen needs to primarily replace Morrow with either bringing back Morrow or signing a Minor or dealing for Britton who I’m a bit wary about.
    As for Stanton, I can go either way on him. Is it a bad contract? Yes, especially with the full no-trade clause. Will it still look like a bad contract in a year or two after next season’s market? I don’t know. Do I think his deal would wind up crippling the Dodgers? No, not at at all. All of these players can come off the books at the end of 2018 or 2019: Gonzo, Forsythe, Grandal, Puig, McCarthy, Kazmir, Ryu, Hill, Arrublahblahblah, Kemp, Eithier’s buyout, and Toscano, and Kendrick. That is A LOT of money for mostly unproductive players, aging players or dead money at this point in their careers. There are a few exceptions to that like Puig, Forsythe, Grandal, and Ryu. Plus about $50 million came off the books this year.
    There is certainly no guarantee that trading for him would bring a WS Championship to LA. AC recently listed some prominent players who never won a WS so I definitely understand if the Dodgers don’t want to take on that contract. However, if they did win a WS, how many titles would it take to make that contract worthwhile? The Dodgers could also market the shit out of the hometown boy returning. Here is another Stanton take that came out today.https://www.sbnation.com/mlb/2017/11/28/16710344/giancarlo-stanton-trade-rumors-dodgers-marlins

        1. Mark, I just got done listening to your boy Bowden on MLB radio. He believes it will be the Dodgers. He thinks the Dodgers are in and they can beat the Giants crappy offer anytime they want. He also made a point of acknowledging how good Kasten and FAZ are at their jobs when it comes to negotiating so he doesn’t envy the Marlins. In fact, he blasted the new ownership there for overpaying for the franchise then having their first move being trading off the face of the franchise. He thought they should have made the old ownership do it so it doesn’t appear as same old same old to their fan base.
          Anyways, he pointed out that Stanton has a penthouse overlooking the ocean in Miami and doesn’t see him okaying that deal to live in St Louis. He predicts Ozuna eventually moves to St. Louis after they realize they aren’t getting Stanton. He feels they will have already swapped some names so a move to Ozuna will be easy.
          He pointed out an OF of Stanton, Taylor, and Puig would make him okay with moving Verdugo, Stripling, and he may have said Alvarez with some contracts for Stanton. He thinks the Marlins will get 30 cents on the dollar for Stanton. Some of the other guys the Marlins want to move like Prado, Ziegler, Chen, and Volquez will be extremely tough to move if not impossible. Ozuna and Gordon are movable.

          1. Well, Bowden is not “my boy” but he does have some connections. This could go either way and I have no clue.

            I wish I did…

  5. Like Hawkeye, I am not sure Taylor’s offensive numbers while playing center, is because he was playing center.

    I have always liked Enciarte too, but he doesn’t have close to the power numbers, that Taylor had.

    I think we need another number one or two starting pitcher, for the post season, but there are not many good starting pitchers, that will be free agents, after the 2018, and 2019 seasons.

    That is why I would be ok if the front office signed Darvish, if he gave them a very good deal, to play in LA.

    I would love to have Ohtani if they could make it work, but I know it will be easier to do that in the American League.

    I would be good if they made fair trade to get Archer too.

    I think getting a pitcher like Britton will help if we can’t get another top starter, but it would have to be Britton and Morrow, or a pitcher as good as Morrow, that will really shorten games.

    I also agree another year, will only make our young players, better.

    This was really Taylor’s, Barnes’, and Cody’s first season, playing fulltime, in the majors.

    And this was the first time in a few years, that Puig was able to
    play fulltime in the majors for a entire season, without going out, for a hammy.

    The Astros’ young everyday players, had more experience then our young players, especially when you consider this was Taylor’s, Barnes’, and Cody’s first year in the majors, playing everyday.

    The Astros’s third baseman was there only young player, that didn’t have that much experience.

    I also think to many people focus on what Corey and Cody did, in that last game, and the rest of the team.

    Remember Corey had been hurt since August, and this was Cody’s first year in the majors.

    They both just tried to do to much there.

    But both Corey and Cody, had big hits, in that series!

    Non of our players had great offensive stats, except Joc.

    But you have to remember, this was only seven games, and only just over a week, so the numbers are skewed.

    Our team did in the World Series, what they did all year, they played as a team!

    There may not have been many players with great numbers, but in each game, a different player, had a big hit or two, to help the team win a game.

    Look at Altuve’s numbers, he didn’t have great numbers in the World Series either, and he is far more experienced, then Cody and Corey.

    The team gave our pitchers more run support, then a lot of people remember.

    We lost a game that Kershaw started, and the team scored 12 runs in.

    That can’t happen!

    And that wasn’t the only game the team lost, after scoring a lot of runs, or coming back, and scoring more runs, after we lost the lead.

    Our players gave our pitchers, as much run support, as the Astros gave there pitchers.

    Both teams scored the exact same amount of runs, in the World Series!

    And if our offense was not that good, why was everyone that were not Dodger fans, or Astros’ fans, saying this was the most exciting World Series, they had ever saw?

    We made it to game seven, even though are top two pitchers, couldn’t give us two good starts, in this series!

    And Kenley also couldn’t give us a save, in every game he pitched in.

  6. First
    Baseball America Votes Dodgers 2017 MLB Organization Of The Year, congratulations and well done.
    I don’t want to see Stanton and his 10-year contract part of the Dodgers. I believe that contract and Stanton’s play are going to bring the team that makes this trade nothing but heartbreak, for the team and its fans. So, I say with total joy and malice in my heart go get him, giants.

  7. To be clear, my idea of Inciarte was not as a replacement for Taylor but as an addition to Taylor. CT3 will undoubtedly get better as a CF, but Inciarte is already a GG caliber CF, and Taylor is a natural infielder. The point is that IMO the Dodgers would be a better team with Inciarte in CF and Taylor at 2B for several years than with Taylor in CF and Forsythe at 2B for 1 year. Inciarte has a team friendly contract with 4 years at $6.105M AAV and a club option for $9M and a $1.025M buyout for 2022. That is exactly what FAZ looks for. CT3 is controlled thru 2021 with 3 years of arbitration.
    For information purposes only, CT3 had 50 or more plate appearances in four different defensive positions:
    CF – 201 PA, .213/.279/.333/.612
    LF – 206 PA, .333/.388/.619/1.007
    2B – 80 PA, .313/.425/.567/.992
    SS – 50 PA, .340/.380/.511/.891
    People can draw their own conclusions or justify why the numbers are so skewed, but the numbers are simply a way of measuring performance. There are obviously potential underlying reasons for such disparity, but I do not know what they are. I also do not pretend to know what that the numbers might portend for 2018 with CT3 as a CF or 2B.
    In full disclosure, Forsythe was much better offensively at 2B than as a 3B:
    2B – 277 PA, .274/.397/.381/.778
    3B – 140 PA, .150/.281/.250/.521
    So while I think the Dodgers would be better offensively and defensively with Inciarte in CF and Taylor at 2B, I also believe that they can be very good with CT3 in CF and Logan Forsythe at 2B.
    One other point to think about is that with Inciarte at CF, Corey at SS, CT3 at 2B, and Barnes at C, the up the middle defense could be intact thru at least 2021.

  8. I tried to trade for Inciarte when he was with with the D-Bags in my role as Fantasy GM. I was rebuffed! He has a career BA against RHP of .302 and .278 against LHP, so he might slot nicely at leadoff with Taylor moving to 5th. To get Inciarte, I think the Dodgers would have to give up Alex Verdugo, Jordon Sheffield and another lower level prospect… and I would do that.

    Joc Pederson, Edwin Rios, Yadier Alvarez and Imani Abdullah to the Rays for Chris Archer. I’m on a roll, so next I trade Yasmani Grandal, Brandon McCarthy and Ross Stripling to the Orioles for Zach Britton. Now, I am done. I did take a big whack out of the farm system, but I dumped a little salary and the team is still young. However, I would keep Forsythe at 2B. This is my lineup:

    1. Inciarte CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5. Taylor LF
    6. Puig RF
    7. Barnes C
    8. Forsythe 2B

    Reserves: Thompson, Kike, Toles, Farmer, Culberson

    1. Kershaw
    2. Archer
    3. Hill
    4. Wood
    5. Ryu

    Pen: Maeda, Stewart, Avilan, Morrow, Cingrani, Baez, Jansen

    As was mentioned earlier, the Dodgers are The Baseball America MLB Organization Of The Year :

    I guess the FAZ-Bashers are running out of ammo!

    1. Impressive lineup but I don’t see the Dodgers being comfortable with Farmer as their only other catcher. I could see them getting a veteran to fill the position and including Farmer in a trade.

      I,too, have been a longtime Inciarte fan. Get it done FAZ.

      I’m not a robot.

    2. I like Inciarte in CF, but if that happened, I think Toles in LF and Taylor at second makes the Dodgers a stronger team. If the Dodgers used Verdugo in a trade, and Toles is the LF’er then maybe the Dodgers bring back Ethier on a one year contract to back up LF and RF. I think he would be a better PH then Thompson. In my opinion, the Dodgers need a back up at FB, maybe trade Forsythe to the Angles for C J Cron and a mid-level prospect.

  9. I think a trade for Inciarte is possible (albeit not probable), and it would improve the team, However, let me play devil’s advocate with myself on Giancarlo Stanton. The only important number is the $25M AAV which will be used for the luxury tax calculation. The Dodgers can afford the salary even when it gets to $32M, and much of those additional dollars will be offset by additional revenue that will be brought in as a result of Stanton being a Dodger. My guess is that advance ticket sales will be significantly expedited, almost guaranteed additional playoff dollars, additional parking and food during games, additional merchandise sales (I am sure there will be a run on Stanton jerseys)…
    The thought was for the Dodgers to get below the luxury tax threshold for 2018 so they can go after the 2018-2019 free agents. Per Spotrac.com, after the 2018 season, there will be 9 years remaining at $270M plus $10M guarantee for 2028 as a buyout. So let’s assume that Stanton will be bought out for $10M in 2028 leaving him with 10 years at $280M remaining when Harper and Machado become free agents. There is no doubt in my mind that both Harper and Machado will get more than $300M as free agents, with Harper a potential $400M+ player. What will Josh Donaldson ask for? How about Dallas Keuchel? There is going to be elevated contracts for Charlie Blackmon, AJ Pollock, DJ LeMahieu, Andrew McCutcheon, Adam Jones, Zach Britton, Craig Kimbrel, and Cody Allen. Stanton would be the Dodgers Harper or Machado. And I believe he is a better fit with LAD than either Harper or Machado.
    The Dodgers can almost insist that the Marlins take Kazmir and his contract in return. That is one year at $16M vs. the $300M+ obligation they currently have. The Marlins would insist on Yadier Alvarez , Alex Verdugo, and Stripling (or similar level with no real salary cost), which is far better than anything the Giants can put together. I have to believe that the Fish view Alvarez as a potential replacement for Jose Hernandez. Not that anyone can truly replace Hernandez as a pitcher, but the Cuban population in Miami is starving for another Cuban hero, and the owners are looking for that as well for attendance purposes. Alvarez would also probably be more comfortable in Miami than LA. Who knows, maybe Miami would want Yaisel Sierra as well.
    Financially the Dodgers can offset the Stanton $25M in 2018 by Kazmir ($16M) going in the trade, and moving Brandon McCarthy ($10M) anywhere for prospects. The $25M in 2019 will be more than offset by the loss of A-Gon and Arruebarrena alone, not to mention Grandal and Ryu neither of whom will be re-signed if retained for 2018. Part of that savings will go to Kershaw. 2020 will be close to an offset with the loss of $20.5M in salary for Hill and Kemp. But there would be no other needs. The farm is more than capable of providing young players with no salary commitments to offset the losses of the players leaving from the current projected 25 man; A-Gon, Ryu, McCarthy, Hill, and Grandal.
    So for three years there is absolutely no significant financial impact with the addition of Stanton. He can opt out after those three years, but I bet he doesn’t. So how long do you project Stanton to put up 4+ WAR? I think he can do that until at least age 34. That would leave three years plus his option year that he would have a problem contract. But by that time, his contract may not be that much of a burden. My guess is that for the next CBA, the players will be looking for a loosening of the Competitive Balance Tax, and the NL will have the DH making Stanton an even better investment. Maybe another David Ortiz?
    But the real question is will the addition of Stanton make the Dodgers better, and improve their chances for a WS Championship? Would he have increased the chances for 2017? We will never know. Do the Dodgers want to take that opportunity away? Who do you pitch around a lineup of?
    So the devil’s advocate in me says go ahead and make the trade. There will still be enough available to sign Morrow and/or Minor to bolster the bullpen. BUT I still do not see it happening.

    1. Everything you say makes sense, but I just can’t see paying a player when he is no longer any use to the team, and I’m sure his last 3 or 4 years will be Crawford, Ethier, and Gonzalez all over again, I’ll go with Toles or Verdugo over Stanton.

      1. Management looks at the entire contract dollars to determine if there is value rather than looking at the final 2-3 years of contract which they realize is lost salary. In February 2017, Fangraphs placed the value of one WAR to be $8M. Therefore just looking at Stanton’s guaranteed $305M (including $10M buyout in 2028) that would mean that Stanton would need to earn 38.13 WAR over the remaining life of that contract. His WAR for 2017 per Fangraphs was 6.9. He may not duplicate that again, but he might. But I believe he will average at least a 3.8 WAR over the remaining 10 years, and therefore there is value. What I believe, or any fan, is irrelvant. FAZ has to be convinced that Stanton will be average a 3.8 WAR over the next ten years. Fans look at these issues emotionally, while management cannot afford to do so. The WAR value will also necessarily increase incrementally on inflation alone.
        I understand that this is a business viewpoint, but it is a subjective way all companies look at valuing return on any asset. And make no mistake that MLB and it’s member teams are businesses. I am guessing that ownership looked at the $127M the Dodgers would owe Gonzalez for 2013-2018, and believed that he would average a 3 WAR over those 6 years. He was well on his way until his back gave out sometime in 2016. Bad investment from a baseball standpoint. Part of that loss was offset by the renewed interest in the Dodgers once “the trade” was made, and the positive influence he has made in the community and resultant increase in the Dodgers’ revenues. But subjectively a bad investment.
        After 2018, Dodger management is going to have to make a similar evaluation on Clayton Kershaw and whether to extend his contract for 3-4 more years at $30+ per year. Would you feel the same about Kershaw at the back end of his contract, when he will not be “earning” his salary?
        Kershaw and Seager are the current faces of the Dodgers and Bellinger is soon to get there. Something tells me that a local product , and current MVP, Giancarlo Stanton will also quickly become a fan favorite and another face of the organization.
        The Dodgers will always be able to “buy” a specific player if they want to. But Stanton would be the last player they would have to “buy” for awhile because of of all the team controlled players they have on their 25 man and in the pipeline. Knowing that, how much at the back end of a Stanton or Kershaw contract are you willing to absorb for a WS (or two or three) championship(s). They are right there, they just need a push across the line, and maybe that is Stanton.
        Again, I am not advocating the trade, I am simply making an argument as to why it should be considered. I am playing devil’s advocate, as I do not believe the Dodgers will make the trade.

        1. Dodger management has said, part of their plan is to build a strong minor league system that will continually support the major league team with enough talent for the team to be competitive every year without spending dollars on FA players in their mid 30’s. They also said there will be times when we will make trades to fill a position we feel is in need of an upgrade that can’t be filled by the system at this time. Stanton is 28, not in his mid 30’s but he will cost the Dodgers 310M plus 10 years. If the Dodgers feel they need to make a trade for a power hitting OF’er then that is what they will trade for, but could they trade for someone else that would give them the same results without committing the years and dollars Stanton will. I most certainly agree with you, what I believe, or any fan, is irrelevant, but I do think Friedman and Zaidi view every year of a player contract and what they think his overall value to the team will be. If they think his value will still be substantial then I’m sure they will make the trade. I like your idea of Inciarte in center and leading off, maybe add Yelich in left and move Taylor to second.
          Thank you for your views.

  10. However, I think the longer it goes, the more it favors the Dodgers in the Stanton Sweepstakes.

  11. There are no guarantees, but Stanton’s presence would significantly increase the Dodgers chances of winning a WS. And I totally agree with AC that Stanton would stimulate a revenue increase from ticket, merchandise and concession sales. I could imagine the Dodgers finally going over the 4 million mark in attendance. And if the Dodgers bring home a Workd Championship or two, ticket and all other prices would probably go up. And I’m sure there are all sorts of other means to increase revenue.

    What I don’t know, and none of us knows, is how much this makes sense to the Dodgers financially. But ownership and FAZ do know. And if it makes sense to them, then I don’t think anything will deter them.

    And speaking of finances, does anyone know if there are plans in the works to further develop all the land around the stadium. Am I correct that if any such thing did happen, that Frank McCourt would be a part of it?

  12. I was convinced that there is no way that the Dodgers would pull the trigger on a trade for Stanton, but much of what AC, Dodgers’ Digest and others have written have convinced me that while improbable, it is certainly possible for such a trade to make sense and thus be doable.

    While Stanton is very expensive, he won’t be any more expensive than Harper, et al will be next year. If the Dodgers are inclined to go free agent shopping, they might indeed do better grabbing Stanton now than banking on outbidding the Yankees or some other team for next year’s available studs.

    While we are on the subject, there is value to keeping a guy like Kershaw around and not letting him walk that outweighs his value to the team on the field. Not only does he put butts in the seats both in LA and elsewhere, Dodger fans will go nuts if he goes to another team – let’s face it, most of us haven’t forgiven the trade of Mike Piazza or the decision to let Adrian Beltre walk. If Kershaw ends up pitching for one of the Dodgers’ adversaries…well, I don’t even want to think about it.

    1. I’m sure a lot of us would love to see CK break Sutton’s win record in LA as well. One more thing on Stanton, would a team like the Dodgers be able to ask Stanton to drop his no-trade clause from his contract if they acquired him or is that a no-no with the union?

    2. Rick, I absolutely concur on Kershaw. As a fan I do not care what it costs. The Dodgers cannot be outbid for Kershaw. He should remain a Dodger for life.

  13. Let’s get BOTH Stanton and Inciarte:

    1. Inciarte CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Stanton LF
    5. Bellinger 1B
    6. Taylor 2B
    7. Puig RF
    8. Barnes C

    Print the tickets!

  14. The only way that I think FAZ would trade for Stanton is to win the WS now, next year. To hell what happens after that. I do not think that is their style. That contract will hamstring the team until the contract for Stanton ends. Spend the money on CK. I would rather have Inciarte.

    1. The Dodgers will not be hamstrung by the Stanton contract. I do not think the Dodgers will trade for Stanton unless the Marlins took back one year of a bad contract (Kazmir – $16M). That coupled with the loss of Ethier’s contract allows the Dodgers to add Stanton with no additional financial cost. Next year, Stanton’s contract cost would replace A-Gon, Arruebarrena, McCarthy, Ryu, Grandal, and Toscano (none of whom would be expected to re-sign) and some of that savings going to Kershaw.
      IMO they were not hamstrung by A-Gon, Crawford, or Ethier, Having A-Gon and Ethier under contract did not stop the Dodgers from committing nearly $200M on three players last year. They may have chosen not to take on a Greinke contract, but that was an individual decision. They would have paid him $150M – $160M for 5 years, but not $210M for 6 years. The Dodgers are not any more hamstrung than the Nationals are with Scherzer and Strasburg at nearly $400M committed for 2 players while also having Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman with $225M commitments.
      With Stanton and an additional $5M for Kershaw in 2019, they could very well be under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold in 2019, and with the minor league system producing and projected to continually produce in the next several years, their payroll should stay low enough allowing a large market team like the Dodgers to carry two very large contracts like Kershaw and Stanton.
      It is deals that FAZ just completed that will allow them to sign a Giancarlo Stanton. Their next find could very well be RHRP Jesen Therrien who underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2017 season, to a two-year minor league pact due to the fact that he’ll spend the 2018 season rehabbing from surgery. “Therrien, 24, obliterated minor league opponents in the Phillies’ system this season, as evidenced by a 1.41 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 57 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. In the Majors, he logged an 8.35 ERA on 24 hits and seven walks with just 10 strikeouts, though Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that his velocity dropped sharply in the Majors, quite possibly due to the effects of his ailing elbow.” I would fully expect to see Therrien fully recovered by 2019 ST and competing for a high leverage relief slot.

  15. I think that every time I see a lineup that includes Stanton posted on this site, Stanton is always hitting in front of Bellinger. It seems to me that having Bellinger hitting in front of Stanton makes more sense. I think that I might like having the youngster protected by Stanton than the other way around. And then again, maybe it’s six of one and a half dozen of the other.

  16. Hello again everyone. It’s been awhile. I have checked in during the last two weeks and have read well thought out comments.
    I would be happy if the Dodgers were to start the season with this lineup:
    Taylor, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Puig, Pederson, Barnes, Forsythe.
    Kershaw, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, Buehler/Stewart or hopefully Ohtoni.
    I like having Toles and Verdugo as young inexpensive talent available as needed which could be as soon as opening day.
    I would give Grandal playing time as he seems to be a much better player in the first half than he is in the second half. His value would increase for a mid-season trade if he hits early in the season. That would give Barnes more rest that would help him be strong in the second half and give Smith more time to develop and be Grandal’s replacement after the trade.
    It would be great if Morrow were re-signed and I would like to trade for Britton later in the season after his health is better known. Grandal for Britton would be good pieces of a trade package.
    I have always gone back and forth with Puig. My main concern with him is his threat to the center fielder. He will be a free agent soon enough anyway. Now might be a good time to use him to help get a team to take on one of Gonzales’ , McCarthy’s, or Kazmir’s contract.
    I would love if the Dodgers could dump the contracts of McCarthy, Kazmir, and Gonzales.
    I am curious if Toles could be converted to a middle infielder like Russel and Lopes were. He could be the lefty hitting compliment to Forsythe.
    In summary, I think the Dodgers could improve by subtraction more than addition other than relief pitching and adding Ohtoni.
    I would rather trade for Thousand Oaks native Christian Yelich than for Inciarte.

    The righty bats that would have to carry the Dodgers against lefties would have to be Barnes, Forsythe, Turner, Hernandez. Puig didn’t help against lefties last year anyway.
    If Kershaw wants to opt out of his contract I would let him go unless he dominates in the WS in 2018. He would be the one leaving the Dodgers and not the other way around. His salary is big enough already.
    My crazy thought would be to have a three way trade with the Marlins, Angels, and Dodgers. Stanton would go to the Angels. I will let everyone’s imagination come up with who the Dodgers would get.

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