Is a Parade in the Dodgers Near Future?

If you have not checked outwww.TheAtheletic.com(it’s a pay site), you should.  It’s got some great writing. As an example, Peter Gammons wrote a great piece yesterday:

“Want a parade? The surest way to get one is to rebuild the right way. Here’s how it’s done”

I can’t reproduce the whole article here, because of the paid content, but Gammons starts here:

When baseball unraveled the draft and international signing rules in 2012, the goal was to give smaller markets better access to the best talent. The idea was to limit teams to assigned signing pools, so that big market clubs such as the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees couldn’t draft players in later rounds, players who would ordinarily be high picks if they weren’t committed to college, and entice them to reconsider by signing them to big, early-round money. In 2007, for instance, Boston selected highly-regarded Anthony Rizzo in the sixth round, paid him well above the suggested slot to buy him out of his commitment to Florida Atlantic, and signed him.

Even with all the good intentions, the larger signing pools for the teams with the worst records (and, hence, the highest picks) invited cheating. The same has happened in the International market, and two teams — the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves — have thus far been punished for various violations. Tanking is now a part of the sport’s lexicon, even as Pablo Sandoval homered on the last day of the season to cost the Giants the first pick in the 2018 June draft.

The last three world champions have been won by teams that hit bottom, were razed and rebuilt. Quietly, the Royals, under Dayton Moore, did it in a small market with budgetary restrictions. From 1994 to 2012, the Royals had one winning season, got high draft picks and selected players such as Eric Hosmer, made critical trades, won 86 games in 2013, followed with 89 as they went to Game 7 of the World Series in 2014, then won it all in 2015.

Theo Epstein and Jeff Luhnow took over the beleaguered Cubs and Astros, respectively, in the fall of 2011. The Cubs won 61 games in 2012. Last place. Then they won 66 in 2013, 73 in 2014, and 97 in 2015, advancing to the National League Championship Series. Of course, in 2016 they won 103 games and the World Series that was baseball’s V-E day, bringing Eddie Vedder and George Will to a like moment in time, place and belief.

The Astros lost a combined 218 games their first two seasons with Luhnow running the show, improved to 70-94 in 2014, then made the post-season in 2015. In 2017, they lifted hurricane-devastated Houston by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series.

Gammons talk about the many different teams who have or are rebuildng by “blowing it up” like the Padres, White Sox, Red Sox, Cubs, Marlins, Royals, and the latest darlings – the Astros. He concludes:

The rebuild concept sounds good and logical and promising, and you can hand out free copies of Baseball America to everyone coming through the turnstiles. But what the Royals, Cubs and Astros did took time, took creativity, took a lot of investment in scouts and infrastructure and coaching up and down the organization. Study the Padres. They’re doing it the same way.

Conspicuously absent from that article are the Dodgers who have rebuilt another way.  They did not tank or blow it all up.  They tried to buy their way out while building the farm and infrastructure in some innovative and incredible ways. THE TRADE has been argued by many to be part of that plan, but you already know how I feel about it.  Whether or not THE TRADE was a boom or a bane doesn’t change the fact that no team in recent history has rebuilt “on the fly” while winning the division all the while, like the Dodgers.

Part of that “tanking process” gets you one of the TOP 2 or 3 players in the amateur draft every year for two or three  years.  That’s what the Cubs did – so did the Astros, but the Stros did botch a couple of years drafts, like when they took Mark Appel over Bryant in 2013 and Brady Aiken over a player like Kyle Schwarber,  Can you imagine Schwarber and Bryant on the Stros? Where would the Cubs be without Bryant?

It also takes some luck and the Dodgers go lucky with Chris Taylor and a couple of others. Truly, what the Dodgers have done and are doing is re-loading while winning, not re-building.  Will it work?  It has until now… and I think it will continue.  The next few days hold a lot of promise.  I can see the Dodgers packaging  Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, Jordon Sheffield, Yadier Alvarez and Matt Kemp,  along with $28 million to the Marlins for Christain Yelich, Brad Ziegler and Starlin Castro. The Dodger would then have to trade Castro or Forsythe to remain below the Luxury Tax Threshold.

Matt Kemp would entertain the fans with some Home Runs.  Ziegler is a comeback candidate (when you are 37 years old, it’s likely hard to play for a team like the Marlins).  Yelich would be the new Left-Fielder and Castro would likely start at 2B. He is a candidate to get into better shape and under Ward, he could be a force. The next few days will tell the tale.  Dream about this:

  1. Taylor  CF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Yelich LF
  6. Castro  2B
  7. Puig  RF
  8. Barnes/Grandal  C

This article has 69 Comments

  1. This lineup seems to me that it would look better and more balanced, and it could be reality …

    Taylor CF (R)
    Seager SS (L)
    Turner 3B (R)
    Bellinger 1B (L)
    Puig RF (R)
    Yelich LF (L)
    Castro 2B (R)
    Grandal C (S)

  2. I like that trade idea, but the dodgers wont get Yelich or castro. Marlins won’t take kemp they want to cut payroll. The dodgers are going to keep pretty much everyone except kemp. The dodgers will sign and setup guy for Jenson. They won’t go and harper, manny, or any of the other free agents next year. They don’t want long and very expensive contracts. Their going to stick with their prospects and young talent. The Dodgers are cheap, They won’t do any big name trades or give up prospects. I’m a dodger fan and i hope they go and sign harper. But the yankees, cubs, or philly will get him.

  3. Mark, I don’t see Kemp in Miami as long as Mattingly is the manager and as far as entertaining the fans, I’m sure his defense will be more than entertaining.

  4. Haven’t heard from Idaho Elwood after a record 21 posts a couple of days ago. I wonder is he is back in custody. 😉

  5. I read the Always Compete article just as I sat down to relax with a bloody mary last night. I’m not up-to-speed on all the identifiers, but understood the concept of the article… Always Compete did a good job at grabbing my attention, but according to Captcha, I’m not a robot…so I may be beyond this whole sabermetrics grasp to begin with. After that I read the next article about the parade, which I also enjoyed…and when Kemp was mentioned, I drifted away into a skit where he plays polar opposite Puig using Lightsabermetrics. (Ever try to get a bison with a Light saber in and out of a dugout 9 times?)

    I’ll let you know how that turns out…If I survive! Hey Matt!! This Way!!

    1. Signing Davis instead of Holland (unless they have some intimate knowledge that Holland’s arm will fall off), is living proof to me why the Rockies are a “second tier” organization. They have to give up a pick for Davis. I think it’s shortsighted and plain dumb!

      1. Yep!! Cargo carried that team after the AS Break (.327/.401/.553/.954 after July 18), and Reynolds helped them with their quick start in April, May, and much of June. Both are gone. Desmond is going back to the OF (where he belongs), but he is no Cargo, and that will probably keep Tapia on the bench (also short-sighted). Ryan McMahon replaces Reynolds and that is a who knows right now. Iannetta replaces Lucroy, another step back.
        .
        Trevor Story could be a bounce back, but will Charlie Blackmon repeat .331/.399/.601/1.000? Which Gerardo Parra shows up? I would expect Arenado and Lemahieu to replicate on 2017.
        .
        They will get a full season of Bettis, Gray, & Hoffman in the rotation. They look like a 85-87 win team.

      1. That’s just like showing blood to a vampire for Scott Boras. What is he going to ask for Greg Holland now? Boras has Holland, JD Martinez, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, CarGo, and Carlos Gomez as his clients. I still stay teams should just hang up on Boras. But when idiots like Jeff Bridich way overpay for Wade Davis, what do these other teams think.
        .
        Wade Davis has a higher AAV than Kenley Jansen, and if Davis meets his 30 games finished in 2020, then he has 4 years remaining as does Jansen. If he does not finish 30 games in 2020, then it really is even more of an overpay.
        .
        FAZ ought to just bite the bullet and trade Joc, Diaz, Alvarez, and Thompson for Yelich, and extend Puig out of his arbitration 2019 and 2-4 years of free agency. Look to extend Kershaw, and then see what is needed at the trade deadline. If they can get Castro, fine, but it has to include Forsythe going to the Fish, and nothing more than Omar Estevez. If not, walk away from Castro. Yelich with a AAV of $7M, and Joc expected arbitration of $2M, the Dodgers would pick up $5M, and still be $9M under the luxury tax threshold. I do not see how the Marlins walk away from Alvarez and Diaz. And with Joc and Thompson, the Marlins pick up ML OF which they desperately need.
        .
        FAZ has to be talking to the Fish, because nobody is picking up any chatter from them. Only the Padres, Cardinals, Yankees…

    2. Signing Davis after signing McGee and Shaw leaves the Rocks with $106 M just for those 3 bullpen arms over the next 3 years. The trick is having a lead after 6 to hand the ball over. This is not the FAZ way and I think will not turn out well for Colorado.

      I don’t see a big blockbuster trade for Yelich, at least not involving Kemp. I have seen calls to keep Kemp, trade him and release him all in the last week on here. I think if he is traded it is to an AL team (like the White Sox) for a little salary relief and a prospect or bad contract coming back, with a couple Dodger prospects going with him. I could see him coming to camp and being showcased just as easily.

      1. I am all for keeping or trading Kemp, but see no advantage in releasing him now. It’s just that if Yelich is being shopped, you have to try…

  6. It would seem that Holland wants a deal over $50 million and if he gets one the team who signs him will have to cough-up a draft pick likely in the 30-40 range.

    What kind of players have came out of the 30’s?

    2008 – Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery
    2009-James Paxon
    2010 – Noah, Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez
    2011 – Jackie Bradley, Jr.
    2012 – Stephen Piscotty, Joey Gallo, Lance McCullers, Jr.,
    2013 – Aaron Judge

    It’s just plain dumb to give up those picks.

  7. With the market for closers in the 17+/yr range and set up men (Morrow) at 10+/ would a hard throwing, back of the rotation starter with 2+ pitches ask to switch to the pen?

    Yes, Morrow may end up as the closer but I don’t think that was the original intention when he was signed

  8. Non baseball comment.

    I noticed when my phone had logged me out of the site, I could comment but it would not show up.

    Perhaps that might be one of the issues when comments don’t appear

  9. I don’t see Yelich as a big upgrade over what the Dodgers have in LF. Marginal upgrade at best. Certainly not so much so that I would give up all of that. I’d pay Harper next year and keep my assets. FAZ’s MO is to not pay guys on the wrong side of 30 big money. Harper will be 26 when he hits the market. I would have no problem giving him 10 years. I’m not doing 12 like some have suggested, but I would pay him for his 26-35 years. Had the Dodgers done the Atlanta deal sooner I wonder if they would have ponied up for Morrow. 2 years for $18 million seems half way reasonable in today’s bullpen market. Rockies are putting together a super pen to try to win.

    1. I think Yelich would be a big improvement over what the Dodgers have in left field. None of Toles, Joc, or Kike’ are close to Yelich offensively or defensively. Right now, Joc and Kike’ are platoon OF’s. Toles has potential as an everyday LF, but I do not see him being anywhere close to Christian Yelich. If the point is to hold on to Diaz and Alvarez, okay, that would be a good choice. They are both tremendous prospects. But the 2018 Dodgers would be a better team with Yelich in left and Diaz and Alvarez in another organization. Or if you prefer, Yelich in CF, Toles in left, and Taylor at 2B. Maybe the 2020 version of Diaz and Alvarez will be better than Yelich, but not the 2018.
      .
      The problem with prospects is that you have to move some so as not to block others. Alvarez is at his highest value now if he goes to the Marlins. Jeter would be insane not to want Alvarez. Nobody can replace Jose Fernandez as a pitcher or as an attendance draw in Miami, but Yadier Alvarez might help in both. I agree with Mark and the potential breakout for Yelich this year. I think he could be this year’s Tommy Pham, only better.

      1. I do agree there is potential for more with Yelich and yes I do prefer the Yellich in CF with Taylor at 2B. Toles was extremely good in 2016 just in limited AB’s. Kike has pounded lefties 2 out of 3 years. Even if Joc is included in the conversation. All 3 guys are making nothing.

  10. I did not go back and look it up, but someone said the “Dodgers are cheap.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The Dodgers are smart! Signing Free Agents to big contracts doesn’t mean you are “not cheap.” It means you are generally ignorant. Ignorant, this front office is not.

    If Machado and/or Harper get $300+ Million, the Dodgers will not sign them… not because they are “cheap” but because they are smart.

    It’s possible the Dodgers end up with Stanton if the Yanks sign Harper or Machado. Stanton wants to be in LA and it still could happen. Nothing about the Dodgers is “cheap.” Everything is about “smart.”

    1. Totally agree as the team has had the highest payroll and paid the highest luxury tax for several years now-they are not cheap! Now the pipeline is yielding fruit with back to back ROY and breakout seasons from Taylor, Wood, Barnes and Puig and many more knocking on the door. If they can’t land a substantial upgrade it’s time to stop blocking the kids and let them develop. Being ‘In’ on next years free agents may mean being ‘Out’ on Kershaw and I hope that does not happen. If I was an owner or GM I would avoid Boras but if I was a player I would hire him!

      1. I think they can re-sign Kershaw and Harper. Ryu, Forsythe, Grandal all come off the books next season with Hill and Kemp the following year.

    1. Christian Yelich is just 26 and has 5 years MLB experinece. His career BA is .290 with a .369 OB%. Just as importantly, he is team controlled through 2022 at a very low cost!

      I do not think we have seen what Yelich can do. He is capable of 35+ HR and is a middle-of-the-order hitter. If the Dodgers traded for him, he could arguably be their best hitter.

      You aren’t going to give up “junk” to get him. Miami doesn’t want Thompson or Ryu. They want Verdugo, Buehler, Oaks and Diaz. I would substitute Alvarez in place of Buehler and try to get them to play $3-$5 million a year for Kemp.

      As Yelich matures, he will be a slugger!

      1. Ryu going to Miami gives them a starter they need and helps the Dodgers with their 2018 payroll. But if Alvarez has to be switched with Oaks, I would do it. Miami needs outfielders with Stanton, Yelich, anbd Osuna traded away. Verdugo might need another half year in the minors and Thompson can fill in while he is there.
        .
        I would hate to include Toles or Forsythe as they provide solid backup that the Dodgers need and who knows, could earn starter status. But Ryu or Forsythe are the best options top offset Yelich’s payroll.

  11. Couldn’t agree more with Mark’s last comment, regarding Dodgers being cheap. Felt like responding earlier but held back. But, my discription would be they are
    (smart yes) also, wise, frugal focused, committed, systematic, visionary and full of common sense. Cheap, no.

  12. I think Vegas mentioned the White Sox as a potential landing spot for Matt Kemp. I have always thought that the ChiSox were a good place for Kemp. He will run into more pitches as a DH in a month than Matt Davidson will for the full season. The only bad contract that the ChiSox have is James Shields. He carries a $1M additional AAV for 2018, but is off the books for 2019 after a $2M buyout. Maybe Kemp, Rob Segedin, Ariel Sandoval, & Michael Ahmed for James Shields. The White Sox have a lot of young pitching prospects so it is unlikely they would want lottery pitching, but if they do, the Dodgers have plenty.
    .
    The Dodgers could then move Shields and cash, or Ryu and no cash. They could also have all of their prospects if they did want to go after Yelich if they wanted to.
    .
    I also would not mind expanding a trade with the ChiSox for Yolmer Sanchez. The Dodgers could include Forsythe, and additional prospects, including Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios, pulling back Ahmed. So Kemp, Segedin, Sandoval, Forsythe, Lux, Rios for Shields and Sanchez.
    .
    While I recognize that none of these ideas will come through, as long as nothing is happening anywhere, they are still fun to think up.
    .
    David Hood is a very good analyst when it comes to prospects. He just came out with his 21-25 prospects for the Dodgers. I was pleasantly surprised to see Devin Smeltzer at #25. I wrote an article on him during the year, and I still believe he could be a good starting pitcher (back of the rotation), but could be an outstanding lefty reliever.
    .
    I am also really looking forward to see the maturation of James Marinan #24. He could be a very good mid rotation prospect.
    .
    I am happy to see that Hood agrees with me that Sborz (#23) will probably best be served going back to the bullpen, but that he has to want to. He will not be a Dodger if he wants to be considered a starter, but he could be a solid setup prospect.
    .
    Conner Wong at #22 will give the Dodgers 4 catching prospects in the top 21. Catchers who are also infielders are becoming the prototype catcher for the Dodgers.
    .
    It is great to see my sleeper of 2 years ago, Caleb Ferguson #21, start making his climb to the Dodgers rotation. This year at Tulsa (AA) will be a very big step for him. I do expect him to pitch well as he has the last two years.
    .
    https://www.truebluela.com/2017/12/29/16830392/dodgers-prospects-2018-caleb-ferguson-connor-wong

  13. If Boston does not sign Martinez there is maybe a slim chance they might give Kemp a chance. After, they did sign Sandoval.

  14. It seems to me that Alvarez is thrown into a lot of deals around here. I admit to having never seen him throw a pitch, but based on what I’ve read, he’s someone I would be very reluctant to throw into a deal. Forgetting his Rancho stats from 2017, he did, as a 21 year old, manage a 3.55 ERA at AA Tulsa, even while walking 25 in 33 innings. Teams hit .234 against him, and he averaged 9.82 K’s per 9. It appears to me that his biggest problem is command, which is not all that unusual for a 21 year old. It may well turn out that Alvarez never amounts to anything, but his is the kind of arm I want to stockpile, especially if Kershaw decides to exercise his option after 2018.

    If the Dodgers are serious about re-building through their farm system, then I think trading a talent like Alvarez would be short-sighted.

    Mark and I disagree about THE TRADE, but I am in total agreement with him that the Dodgers are in no way cheap. Now that the Dodgers have a long pipeline of talent that they can depend on, they will be less likely to commit to expensive long term deals that just tie their hands in the long term. If anything, the Dodgers are willing to flex their financial muscle where they consider it to be prudent, and patient enough to keep their powder dry until the right opportunity presents itself.

    Mark, do you literally mean the next few days. I don’t expect any deals until after New Year’s, and fully expect that things could play out well past that. I see the Dodgers as a pretty safe bet to win the division, which means there is no particular urgency to do anything before the mid-season trade deadline. I think most of us know that teams generally look a lot different at the end of the year than they did at the beginning. Just think about the 2017 Dodgers who began last season without Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Brandon Morrow.

    I don’t know what Christian Yelich’s power potential is, but I do think that Cory Seager is a candidate in the next several years, maybe even this coming year, to hit 30-40 HRs.

    1. It would be really cool if Pederson, Puig, Seager, Bellinger and new Dodger Yelich all hit 30+ home runs next year.
      .
      I think the Dodgers experience with Arruebuena and the young Puig plus what we have heard about Alvarez’ work ethic is why many are willing to trade Alvarez. I like the potential of a Urias, Buehler, and Alvarez led rotation.
      .
      I hereby offer Toles, Verdugo, Diaz, Barnes, Oaks, Santana, and Maeda for Yelich and Realmuto.

    2. The New Year is almost here. I think the Marlins are pushing to trade Yelich quickly because as the FA sign, there will be fewer options for him, so I do expect something quickly!

  15. Christian Yelich is on the verge of becoming a BIG TIME PLAYER!! If we can get a 26 year old stud on a great contract, we need to offer them Verdugo and Alvarez, as well as some other stuff (Joc). He solidifies centerfield for the next 8 years. He’s got the bat control closer to Seager than Bellinger, so he’s a legit #2 type hitter.

    I also preferred Ozuna, as he’s a big time power right handed bat, but oh well. Yelich would be a very very pleasant fallback option

    1. 1. You have to submit a request written in Portuguese to our board.
      2. You will need to attach a few $500 Bills to the request (the more that are attached, the more favorable the response).
      3. We will take a vote by secret ballot.

      or

      We could just put it up there, if you put show us ours we will show you yours! 😉

      1. OK, I see you have ours there. Give me a few days – I have some other ones to add and delete (I’m not smart enough to do it myself).

        1. I understand perfectly. Besides, that jeroboam of champagne isn’t going to drink itself. Thanks!

  16. If the Dodgers think Yelich is the answer to their left field situation for the next 4 or 5 years, then they have the players to make the trade work for both teams. If the Dodgers also wanted to include Realmuto, then I think they are looking at taking on the contract of Starlin Castro, as I think Miami would make sure Castro is part of the trade. If that were to happen then maybe the Dodgers are going to try and include Barnes, Wong, and Forsythe in the deal. Dodgers getting Realmuto would mean Grandal would be traded, maybe to Washington for Wieters.
    Kemp to the White Sox sounds good ( anywhere sounds good ) but not for Shields, unless the Dodgers like AC, said, they move him and money which I’m not sure they can.
    If the White Sox took all of Kemp’s contract and included Matt Davidson ( he can backup first base ) then the Dodgers can just DFA Shields if they can’t find a buyer.

  17. I have said before most teams do not have enough good catchers. We have two good ones at the major league level and four good prospects. Some of these may be used in trades.

    I have always liked the versatility of the Dodgers. Taylor, JT, Forsythe, Barnes, and Bellinger can all play different positions. That is why the Dodgers making sure these young catchers can play other positions. None of us know how good Toles is going to be. He has shown signs he can be very good. Another picking off the scrap pile by FAZ. I do not think FAZ will do much this spring. They will wait until July to see what there needs are when it is much clearer. Maybe we can find another Taylor, Morrow or Bellinger from the farm system.

    1. Idahoal

      Thanks for backing me that day, I think we have an affinity, for the same type of players.

      And I agree with both you, and Hawkeye, about Toles.

      I like Yelich too, but I just don’t think we know what we have with Toles, until he gets more experience, and more time, in the majors.

      And I believe the same guy that brought up this trade with Yelich, said the same thing about Toles, not to long ago.

      1. I happen to like Toles a lot, in fact, I was the person who predicted Toles was ready about two weks before he was called up. But, we have seen a small sampling, and it’s hard to make projections based upon that.

        You also need to know that Toles is only 5 months younger than Yelich…. but Yelich has 2,478 AB’s in the majors compared to Toles 201! Toles is 5′ 9″ tall and could be a very nice player, but Yelich is 6′ 3″ and is a player who could become a force.

        Toles has gotten off to a good start, but Yelich CAREER OB% is 27 points higher than Toles. Yelich has already won a Silver Slugger Award and I believe is ready to hit 30+ bombs a year. As much as I love Andrew, I’d ditch him for Yelich.

        1. I like Toles as well. Don’t know if his prior issues will pop up again. He could be another Milton Bradley. I just don’t know. If he doesn’n have much trade value the Dodgers will keep him and could well have a gold nugget. Whether he needs just one week of continues play like Alex Guerrero needed to be a star is a question, albeit a somewhat sarcastic one.

          1. Bum

            Stop trying to make up stuff, about Toles, he hasn’t had any issues, with the Dodgers!

            And I wouldn’t be talking about, Puig’s, or any other Cuban player’s, work ethics.

            Especially after your favorite Joc, has showed up to spring training, two years in a row, out of shape, and heavier, each year.

            And the fact that Joc had to finally be told, to show up to spring training in shape, might say something, about his work ethic.

            And I have no idea, why you are comparing Toles, to Alex Guerrero.

            Toles might have only had a chance, to have 200 at bats, in the majors, in the last two years.

            But he has took advantage, of those 200, at bats!

            And Joc still has not been able to hit consistently, for much more, then 100 at bats, in each season, in the last three years.

            Even though, Joc has been given far more time, and far more at bats, then Toles.

            Remember, Joc was sent down to AAA last year, because of this.

    2. The Yankees have significantly gotten better, and they are not done. They are still looking at adding a Gerrit Cole or Yu Darvish and/or Mike Moustakas. The Angels have significantly gotten better, and if their young pitching comes through, they will be very formidable. The Astros are not going anywhere, and they are in the hunt for Darvish and Holland. The Indians lost Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana, but should still win AL Central, and the Twins have made minimal changes (but not without trying). In the NL, the Cardinals have improved, and will get Alex Reyes back this year. The Cubs will replace Arrieta or re-sign him. If not Arrieta, then Cobb. The Nationals have improved and will now have Kintzler, Doolittle, and Madsen for the full year. They get Adam Eaton back as their CF. They have also added Matt Adams. I would not be surprised to see the Nats trade to get Realmuto. Catching is their only weakness in their starting 8, and they have the prospects to make it happen. Their pitching is still strong, and the biggest improvement is that Dusty Baker is no longer managing them. Going into 2018, I would rate them as the favorite to win the NL pennant.
      .
      For those that want to stand pat, the Dodgers do not have to do anything to win their division. But will they have enough to win the WS? The Cubs tried that last year, and even had the mighty Kyle Schwarber with them the full year. How did that work out for them? Yelich makes the Dodgers better for 2018. He has had a 4.5 WAR 3 out of the last 4 years. Joc/Toles/Kike’ combined have never come close to a 4 WAR, and this year magically one of them will do so? Maybe one will. Someone will to have to if LAD wants to stay with the Nats. That also assumes that Kershaw’s back will be okay for the whole year, Alex Wood will replicate a 16-3, 2.72 ERA, and 1.057 WHIP, and that Rich Hill/Kenta Maeda/Hyun-jin Ryu will be more than 5 inning pitchers. Kenley will have to continue to be near perfect, and someone from Cingrani/Garcia/Baez/Koehler/Fields/Font/Stewart/Avilan/Liberatore will become the bridge to Kenley. Every team has questions, but the Dodgers have a lot of them.
      .
      I love the prospects as much as anyone, but at some point they are going to have to make the ML 25 man team or ending up blocking others and losing value. IMO, Buehler, White, Ruiz, and Cristian Santana are the untouchables, with Dennis Santana and Dustin May very very close. I think Diaz will be good, but not better than CT3 who should be in CF for the foreseeable future. I think Alvarez has a ML arm, but questionable head/heart. With Barnes/Farmer/Smith/Ruiz/Wong, they have catchers stacked. I think Smith will be good, but not as good as Ruiz. I am not a fan of Lux (never have been). There is NO WAY Lux should have been taken over Bo Bichette. Heredia, Brito, and Estevez are all young and may blossom into outstanding ML players. But none of them should be considered untouchable. Edwin Rios belongs in the AL. Ibandel Isabel as well.
      .
      In all honesty, I am tired of waiting on next year. I have already seen some post what the pitching staff could look like in 2019 and 2020. If the Dodgers do nothing, they should be projected to be the best team in 2020. Great!! They will also have too many ML ready catchers and RHP blocked. My point…what about 2018? I think Yelich makes the Dodgers better in 2018 more than Toles, or Toles/Kike’, or Joc/Kike’. If they can work something to also get Gerrit Cole as another RHSP for 2018, even better. In my Company, our mantra is to Always Improve… Do Better This Year Over Last. Losing Morrow, Darvish, Watson, and replacing them with Koehler and Kemp and hoping for Toles doesn’t improve them IMO. But I also believe that FAZ can build a roster better than me, so if they decide to stick with what they have and think they can now win Game 7 of the WS, who am I to argue.

      1. AC

        What you have so eloquently written there, is exactly what I was getting at last week, when I had a dig about the way FAZ was going about their business.

        You have listed the teams that are potentially getting stronger with their pick ups, and of course we have got weaker with the loss of some key pieces.

        I also believe that we haven’t heard the last of Corey’s elbow.

        In my experience of sport, playing & watching, you should always try to improve from a position of strength, while you have momentum and belief.
        Standing Pat never seems to work.

        Was pleased to read your take on things – made me think that I’m not alone in my thinking.

      2. AC

        Toles can’t start on the field next year, and have the same experience, that Yelich already, has.

        That is just the truth!

        But I wouldn’t necessarily lump these three players together, because Joc has not only gotten more consistent at bats, then Kike, he has gotten much more at bats, then these other two players, in the last three years.

      3. AC,

        I agree with a lot of what you say but disagree with some too.

        AGREE:

        1. Lux was a wasted pick (Kendall too);
        2. The Angels are better, but how much? They were expected to win it all when they signed Pujols and Hamilton too;
        3. Rios and Isabel to the AL;
        4. Koehler and Kemp don’t make them better… but they don’t have to.
        4. I am all in for Yelich. He will make the Dodgers better in 2018… and beyond. I would trade Verdugo, Pederson, Alvarez, May and Toles for him… If they take Kemp and the Dodgers pay $35 of the $43 million owed him.
        5. I am tired of waiting too… but as long as I see progress, I am OK.

        DISAGREE:

        1. Are the Yankees really better? They don’t have a 3B or 2B and they have Gardner and Ellsbury with lots of questions about the starters – they could be really good or really bad. This reminds me of the D-Backs two years ago….
        2. I still believe the Dodgers are better than the Nats… even if they don’t do anything.
        3. The Dodgers may get better, even if they do nothing, due to the kids. It’s time for them to step up: Smith, Ruiz, Buehler, Santana and Urias! Brock Stewart: Super Set-up Man.

        … the off-season party has not yet started! Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear!

  18. Dodgers trade Grandal, toles, Alvarez, Verdugo,farmer,Santana,(p) for Castro, Yelich, and Realmuto.

      1. No just a brutally cold day and I was suggesting a trade to heat things up to no avail. We might use faz favorite trading partner the athletics in a 3 way with Miami. Oakland needs a catcher and we could use Yelich.

  19. With Peters, Kendal, Heredia, and Diaz in the wings and Pederson, Puig, Hernandez, and Taylor with at least a full year of experience, there seems FAZ may not have to keep Verdugo and Toles for depth.

    1. If Joc showed up in condition for three straight years and hit 180 HR’s combined, she might put it up for a vote! 😉

      But… she is consistent!

    2. Bluto

      You and Bum, are big fans, of Joc’s.

      And you both thought he was the second best hitter, on the team in 2016, just from his OPS.

      But there are other people here, that like to see Toles to get his chance.

      And because people mentioned Toles today, I guess that bothered Bum.

      Because he tried to put a label on Toles, and I don’t think that is cool.

      He also tried to say Puig was a problem in the outfield, not to long ago, too.

      And if you read his posts, he talked about Puig’s and Cuban’s work ethic too.

      1. Why in the world do you think I’m a “big fan” of Pederson?

        He was the arguably the 3rd best hitter in 2016, based on OPS.

        That doesn’t make me a big fan, it simply proves I can read.

  20. 1 – I generally agree that the team can’t stand pat. Entropy happens. But – the luxury tax is a real thing and they’re not going to go above it. So, how do they make improvements without getting taxed?
    2 – Everything that I read says that the Fish don’t really want to trade Yelich and that it will take a significant overpay to get him. The Dodgers won’t do that.
    3 – Any of Toles, Kike or Joc could break out in 2018 (or Verdugo). i don’t think that the Dodgers address the OF unless they need to do it at the trade deadline.
    4 – The biggest issue right now isn’t the OF, but the bullpen. Tom The Faucet probably isn’t the answer. Who pitches the key innings after the Dodgers get their typical 5 inning start next year? El Gasolino? Chicken Strip? I am high on Cingrani right now but no one else floats my boat.
    5 – They probably win the Division again with what they have but they will need to stock up for the postseason. Last year they did it and came within a game. It was the 1st time that they made a big splash at the deadline in my opinion. The Braintrust knows that they can win it all and will make the move at the Deadline when they know where the biggest holes are.

    1. 1. The Dodgers will not go over the luxury tax threshold, even if that means they will not win this year. That was their stated goal from the beginning, and they have achieved it. They will win the division, but they will not win 104 games, and they will probably not have home field for the playoffs. Like so many others, they see 2019 and 2020 as win it all years. And they will not do anything to distract from that.
      .
      2. I agree that the Dodgers will not do an overpay for Yelich, but somebody will. I can see the D’Backs in play. He is a 26 year old 4.5 WAR with a $7M contract for four years. Quite a difference compared to what it will cost for JD Martinez, Jay Bruce, Carlos Gomez, CarGo, Jon Jay, and Jarrod Dyson.
      .

      3. I do not share your optimism on a break out year from career platoon OF’s. Joc cannot hit LHP, and Kike’ cannot hit RHP. Look at their career splits. I am not even sure that Dodger brass believes Toles can hit LHP, since he has a total 21 PA against LHP. He will get his chance as the other two have had their opportunity, and did not succeed as full time starting OF. And Verdugo is part of that 2019 – 2020 team, and will be going back to OKC to work on further development and maturity.

      4. You were not touting a Joc/Kike’ platoon last year when JD Martinez was available. You recognized that a corner OF position (especially LF), needs to be an offensive position, not a platoon.
      DBacks – Peralta
      Rockies – Parra
      Padres – Pirela
      Nats – Taylor
      Cardinals – Pham or Ozuna (one RF and one LF)
      Pirates – Marte
      Phillies – Hoskins
      Mets – Conforto
      Reds – Duvall
      Brewers – Braun
      Admittedly, the Cubs will be a platoon. And the other platoon will be the SF Giants. The Braves will probably let Ronald Acuna have a shot. And the Marlins will have ???. Of course, Mark could be right and Kemp will go to ST and convince everyone that he is capable of playing. They can always use Joc in LF for defense in the later innings.
      .
      5. You may not like the current bullpen, but that is what it will be. FAZ will not pay for a bullpen. They will continue to look for the Blanton’s, Hatcher’s, Romo’s, Morrow’s, Koehler’s…Some will work, some will not, but they will not cost. What relievers are even available? They will not pay for Watson. They will stack OKC, and continue to move them up and down until they find what they want. Baez will get the first shot to be the setup. Doc trusts him. Garcia will be next up. Maybe Cingrani. I would feel more comfortable with Stewart, but I think he is headed back to OKC to start. Starting is what he wants to do. If not for the Dodgers, it will be for some other team. I am okay with the herd mentality for the bullpen. There is really very little value for relievers other than for closers. You will not get value for a $8M – $10M AAV relievers.
      .
      People do not want Yelich, I am okay with that. He makes LAD better, but does not put them over the top as clear favorites. But I do not believe they can stand pat and expect the kids to take over. There are no Bellinger’s in the Dodger farm system. Buehler, Verdugo, Urias, or Santana will more likely be ready to assume a full time role in 2019, not 2018. Neither Smith or Ruiz or White or Diaz will be ready in 2018. Again it feeds into the 2019-2020 scenario.
      .
      The Dodgers lost Darvish, Morrow, Watson, and Utley. And they have replaced them with Koehler, Kemp, and Henry Owens. I bring up Utley because the Dodgers have done nothing to bring in a LH hitting infielder, to platoon with Forsythe. I think Max Muncy has as good a shot as anyone to get that job. He will at least get the opportunity come ST.
      .
      But I am still the optimist. I see Kershaw and Wood with 33 starts, 18-22 wins, sub 3.00 ERA, and going 1-2 in CY; Hill, Maeda, and Ryu will have 27 starts and 150-180 IP; Seager and Bellinger will battle for the NL MVP; Chris Taylor will win a Silver Slugger and prove he is an elite CF; Puig will hit .290 with 30 HRs, 80 RBIs and GG, JT will again be an AS; Barnes and Grandal will combine to throw out 35% of base stealers and hit a combined 30 HR’s; Logan will hit RHP as he has in the past and will again hit double digit HR’s; Koehler will become the 2018 version of Morrow; and of course the platoon of Joc/Toles/Kike will have a slash line of .300/.395/.505/.900 with 40 HR’s and 100 RBI’s. And this time the Dodgers will win the last game of the MLB season.

      1. Oh, I agree with you to a point. JD would look great wearing Blue and playing LF for the Dodgers next year. Yelich would also be an improvement. I only meant to say that the Braintrust won’t be bringing JD to the Ravine next year for luxury tax and other reasons. And as for Yelich, the D-Backs won’t be doing that either. They can’t afford the players that they have (something like 13 arb eligible players)and their farm system won’t allow the overpay in prospects that the Marlins will require to offload Yelich.

        I don’t claim that any of the Dodgers LF will breakout this year. It will be a platoon of sorts and it will be the weakest position on the field, but they will get some production out of LF and their more immediate need is the ‘pen.

        If LF is such a weakness that it hinders the Dodgers by the Deadline, they will make a deal. But it will be one that won’t put them over the cap on the luxury tax.

        I know that the Braintrust won’t pay for a bullpen. The biggest contract (other than Jansen) given to a reliever was $4 MM to Blanton and the 2nd biggest was $2.3 MM to Romo last year. I do believe that they will try to sign another cheap arm or 2 for the ‘pen.
        -I’m not nearly as optimistic as you are about next year. As often happens when a team wins 104 games, several of last year’s Dodgers had career years. There is a real question in my mind whether Wood, Puig, Taylor, Bellinger or Turner can repeat 2017. I’m not saying that they won’t but it seems unlikely that all do.

        1. AC

          I actually like Yelich, and I think this team needs a players more like Yelich, in the line up, like Bobby said.

          I am hoping Friedman goes more to what the Astros did with there line up, since he is from Houston.

          The Astros traded almost all of there, all or nothing hitters, and filled there line up, with players that make more consistent contact, and don’t swing at pitches, out of the strike zone a lot.

          I know the Dodgers will probably have to emphasize this type of hitting, throughout there minor league system, but I think it is getting back to having more productive offenses, in baseball.

          And the major league team did mostly practice this throughout the season, but we have young players, that are just learning to play, in the majors.

          And the Astros toke advantage of our young players in experience, a little , in the World Series.

          The Astros power numbers, didn’t go down either, after they started to adapt this type of line up.

          Because like I told you, there is no way Toles will have the same experience that Yelich would have on opening day, with the Dodgers.

          But I don’t think we know what type of player Toles will be for sure, and you might be right about him, but it is so hard to know.

          I don’t know that Yelich would make that much more of a difference, then another couple relief pitchers, or another starter, but leftfield has been an issue, as you said, for quite a while.

          But for right now, since Puig has stepped up, we do have two pretty good outfielders, if Taylor continues to play like he did, or about how he did.

  21. I agree with MJ on Pederson. Trade him. When he does nothing to improve in 3 years, he needs to go . AC, you cannot bring up 4 rookies (Beuhler, Verdugo, Urias, and Santana) in 2018 and expect to win. Four rookies in one year? Now, if you are going to give them extended playing time at the major league level on 2017, then I will agree with you on 2018. Not at AAA.

    If you want Yelich, then you need to trade Verdugo, Joc Kemp and Toles. They will be blocked. I am not against that trade with adding a minor league player or two. In fact, I would like that trade. Will Miami like the trade? If I was Miami, I would want 4 good farm kids, Verdugo and Toles. That would be my asking price. The Dodgers can keep Joc and Kemp. The Dodgers are going to stay under the luxury tax regardless what we think.

    Our biggest problem, in my opinion, is the bull pen, not left field. Maybe these young arms in the minors can fill some of those positions. In fact, I have always been a strong believer this is the best way to break in a good minor league pitcher. Let him throw one year in the bull pen, and if successful, make him a starter next year.

  22. If the roster stays the same as it is today: Pederson will most likely platoon with Hernandez in left. Most are optimistic that Taylor will repeat his offensive game, but that is not a certainty hence they will keep Pederson. If Pederson starts hot and Forsyth comes up with his typical injury then Taylor or Barnes goes to second enter farmer with kemp and Toles in left. I think Toles and Verdugo will start in Oklahoma City with the current roster, Toles proving healthy after long layoff with Verdugo getting more at bats and it’s the easiest scenario. Hernandez can play any outfield position and most infield positions so he will be busy. If Barnes is not the everyday catcher and Forsythe struggles with righties again Barnes may get a lot of reps at second. We really need for Taylor to be the offensive player that he can be. He will be fine in center and maybe really good. If kemp had the right attitude and work habits he could really help. My guess is he won’t but he could play 6 innings and turn it over to Hernandez etc. and hit 25 homers with 80 rbi if healthy. The way Roberts manages he could probably keep him healthy. I look for ryu to be good, Hill hopefully has conquered blisters, wood solid, Kershaw healthy. Maeda well 5 inning 5th starter, big addition by subtraction in McCarthy, hopefully 30 starts between Urias,Stewart, and Buehler. I think the pen is solid, Garcia is good, Baez will be useful, liberators hopefully healthy, cingrani and Avilan are good, Koehler can help maybe big, Stewart or Buehler could end up the righty setup at the end. The dodgers are definitely very good now without any moves. They made some of their moves last year getting cingrani, giving Buehler and Stewart experience in high leverage situations, giving farmer opportunity, so the dodgers just need to be hungry when spring training starts and healthy and they will be very good. They can then evaluate as to what they need at the trade deadline.

  23. 1. If FAZ gets Yelich the outfield starters will be Yelich, Taylor, and Puig. I still want Yelich.
    2. If the Dodgers trade Forsythe and get Yelich the outfield will be Pederson, Yelich, and Puig.
    3. Pederson needs to lose weight and Puig probably does as well.
    4. Kemp, Taylor, and Hernandez could be the outfield against lefties if Puig fails to hit lefties again.
    5. The Dodger bullpen is loaded for the playoffs and more than adequate for the season.
    6. One of Pederson or Toles should be productive enough. Which is still the question.
    7. Verdugo, unless traded, will spend half the season in OK.
    8. The rotation will get innings from Kershaw, Wood, Hill, Maeda, Ryu, Buehler, Urias, Stewart,.
    9. The Dodgers still do not have to do anything and still win the WS.

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