Here’s One To Think About

Kenley Jansen and Scott Alexander appear to be “fixed.” That bodes well for the bullpen, but I would still like to see more help there.  Of course, I have always made no bones about wanting Raisel Iglesias.  Let’s take it a step farther.  Cody Bellinger is a great 1B, but what if the Dodgers had another 1B who could play the position as well and also hit? I have no doubt that Cody Bellinger could be a very fine Centerfielder.  What if this were the Dodgers lineup:

  1.  Taylor  SS
  2. Votto 1B
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  CF
  5. Kemp  LF
  6. Grandal  C
  7. Puig  RF
  8. Utley/Hernandez  2B

Pen:  Jansen is the closer and Iglesais is the setup man along with Scott Alexander.

Votto is owed $25 million a year until 2023 and has a buyout of $7 million in 2024.  I think his body type will let him be productive much later than most hitters.  He can’t be traded without his permission as he as 5/10 rights, but he might want to go to a winning team (even though the Reds beat the crap out of the Dodgers last weekend).

The Reds would be happy to unload his contract, but would have to take some money back to balance it.  The deal is this:

The Dodgers send Logan Forsythe, Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, Dustin May and Will Smith to Cincy for Votto, Igledais and enough cash to balance the deal to keep the Dodgers under the salary cap.

When Kershaw comes back, the rotation is (by August):

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

Maeda goes to the pen with Stripling and Stewart as well as Iglesais, Alexander, Koehler, Jansen and maybe Urias.

It really isn’t FAZ’s style to take on an aging players’ big contract and that may be the stumbling block.  It’s just that Votto’s bat would replace Corey’s Seagers’ very handily… then when Seager comes back next season, they would be stacked.

Justin Verlander

Using 20/20 Hindsight, Justin Verlander was the pitcher the Dodgers should have targeted last season at the trade deadline instead of Yu Darvish, but like AC said, at the time, Darvish looked to be the better option. Besides being 4 years younger, Darvish had a 4.01 ERA, but a 1.168 WHIP before the trade, while Verlander had a 3.92 ERA but a 1.279 WHIP.  Many thought Verlander was done or at least in steep decline. It’s obvious that he wasn’t – his 1.05 ERA and 0.714 WHIP this year is in start contract to Darvish’s 5.56 ERA and 1.529 WHIP.

Darvish fooled both Andrew Friedman and Tho Epstien. What a train wreck he has been for both the Dodgers and the Cubs! I am not sure he can ever recover from his brusied psyche.  Do I wish the Dodgers had traded for Verlander?  Of course, but I can’t fault the thinking at the time.




Tulsa – 2-1 loss to Springfield Cardinals


Back to Back Cardinals HR’s in the 4thruined an otherwise outstanding effort by journeyman pitcher Logan Bawcom.  The two HR’s were enough to straddle Bawcom with the loss.  Overall, Logan pitched 5.2 innings allowing the 2 runs on 6 hits, 0 walks, and 3 K’s.  Brian Moran pitched 2.1 scoreless innings (3K), and Andrew Istler pitched a perfect 9thin relief.  The Drillers were limited to 4 singles and their lone run came on an unearned run.

Drew Jackson was placed on the 7 day DL & Caleb Ferguson was placed on temporary inactive list. The Ferguson move was probably due to the addition of Bawcom, and will probably be remedied once it is Ferguson’s time to pitch again.  Once Farmer was sent down to OKC, a catcher needed to be moved.  Cael Brockmeyer, who had been playing very well at OKC, was assigned to Tulsa to replace Will Smith who is on the 7 day DL.  Hamlet Marte may be moving back to RC now with a 3rdcatcher.


RC – 6-3 win over Stockton Ports (A’s)


Dean Kremer put up a quality start and got his 2ndwin.  He logged 6.0 IP, allowing 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, and 7 K’s.  Stetson Allie followed with 1 inning allowing a 2 run HR.  Logan Salow finished the final two innings and registered his first save for the Quakes.  6 Quakes had 2 hits on the night to lead a 15 hit attack…3B Rylan Bannon, LF Logan Landon, CF Jeren Kendall, 2B Omar Estevez, C Steve Berman, and RF Saige Jenco. Berman and Christian Santana each slugged a HR for the Quakes.  Gavin Lux contributed a triple (his first of the year).

Kendall had another assist with an out recorded at home. It was Jeren’s 5thassist on the season.  He also has 13 SB.  If he ever gets fully adjusted where he can consistently put bat to ball, Kendall could be a very good CF.  I am still lobbying for Maury Wills or Brett Butler to take him under their wings and mentor him.

Great Lakes – 5-1 loss to Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays)


Jesus Vargas did not pitch poorly in his 6.0 innings, but with a week offense, the three runs he did allow were enough to saddle him with a loss. Justin Hoyt allowed 2 ninth inning runs in his 2.2 innings of work.  The offense was led by Brayan Morales, the sole Loon with two hits.  Romer Cuadrado and Carlos Rincon each contributed their 7thdouble on the season.

Brayan Morales stole his 19th base on the season (he has been caught 6 times). Brayan is another who could use some tutelage from Wills or Butler.



Mitchell Whiteis scheduled to start for Tulsa, whileChris Mathewsonshould start for Rancho Cucamonga.


This article has 63 Comments

  1. It is all about the money. I think we all knew Verlander was best but he didn’t fit the financial narrative. Darvish could be had because he really has been overrated for a long time. He appeared to be an upgrade and did have some good playoff moments but no doubt the money stopped Verlander. The cubs missed on him as well. But, go back even further on the money trail. When Kershaw was pitching way too much in the playoffs our number 3(4)was Brett Anderson. This is where I think faz missed the World Series. We had Kershaw Greinke and no one else. Had they gone after someone like hill or anybody solid we might have a World Series or 2. But now we have gone from a young overused Kershaw to arguably the worst team in baseball. Kasten wanted the big trade but the financial ramifications have gotten us here. They are just not going to risk the finances moving forward no matter how many times they refute it. A great trade idea mark but no way it is happening. Look at the rosters and see where the blue light special is. As they say follow the money….

    1. Well, I went back and followed the money and the trail said that in 15 and 16, the Dodgers’ payroll was the biggest in baseball.

      Verlander would have only cost the Dodgers $40 million total in 2018 and 2019, as Detroit paid $8 million of his salary. The Dodgers knew Darvish would have to be re-signed at more than a $100 million, so if it were about the money, they would have traded for Verlander, not Darvish.

      I think it was about the prospects involved. I think they would not give up Buehler – that’s the long and short of it.

      1. The payroll was the largest which is my point. They are not about to go over that luxury tax. To the extent they can make a deal to stay under they would do. My point is the payroll from a business perspective has possibly cost us a World Series or 2. That bloated payroll assured the Dodgers were not going to take on Verlander. Faz was brought in to get the payroll under control and winning long term but I believe in that order. That is not a good recipe for the fans but it helps the bottom line which may help the fans if you can live long enough. Gerrit Cole could have certainly been a Dodger at a very reasonable cost. It is always said that the prospects were too high but the Astros have an ace for a couple of years and didn’t give up much. What real prospects has faz drafted? None at triple a aside from Verdugo well now Santana, and Buehler. The international spree seems to be a long shot at this point. Diaz can’t stay on the field and Alvarez is heading the wrong direction. Hopefully Kendall can pan out. I just think the trade is still costing us opportunities and the front office is not going to do anything substantial until we can get under the luxury tax. In the meantime we don’t have the horses while the Yankees , Astros, Boston, and the Cubs have gotten younger and better. By the time this financial debacle is over seager, bellinger, etc. will command huge contracts.

  2. Interesting trade idea and certainly one Cincy would have to seriously consider. That’s three potential impact players coming back. Not sure they have any use for the exchanged contracts though. It’s perhaps ironic that a front office that prides itself on objectivity would get burned by intangibles like Darvish’s not being a “big game pitcher.” Some of his previous numbers were amazing and many of us chose to ignore the whispers that he didn’t come through in the clutch. As for this year, I’m about a week away from declaring it close to done. We’re at the point where we’d need to play like a great team to climb back into it, and I see no signs that we are capable of that. History may record 2019 as a lost year and a true transition year to whatever the iteration of our next winning squad will be. Someone on another board said all we need is an 8-2 stretch to change everything. Now it’s looking like we need a bit more than that. 15-5 anyone?

  3. People forget the price came down on Verlander right before the deadline and the Dodgers had already made the Darvish deal. The Tigers kicked in $20M to offset salary and Verlander voided his 2020 $22M option.

    I try, really try to stay positive but it’s getting harder. Traditionally the manager takes the fall for a performance like this and it’s usually the wrong move. I don’t see any magic fixes out there manager wise. They will stay the course for awhile longer but the internal options need a chance to try, especially the OF and bullpen. Or Solano and move CT3 back to CF.

    I like Votto and his bat and demeanor would really help but he does not fit the managements MO age and contract wise. Magic Johnson can’t really bring both the Lakers and Dodgers back, can he? I don’t think he is really a baseball guy at heart and is mostly a figurehead in the team structure. Can’t deny he knows how to win though.

    I read above about Jeren Kendall who homered last night also getting his 5th OF assist on top of 13 SB’s. He is a true CF and a starter for someone in the future, should be in Blue. Did anyone see what Billy Hamilton did to us? A walk or single was like a double and they moved him over and even squeezed him home. We don’t have a true leadoff guy and our players can’t bunt but the Reds gave a clinic on how it’s done. Kendall could be that guy.

    I don’t see a trade scenario just yet but top guys to be moved for general suckage: Joc, Logan and Baez. Hudson and Venditte are filler only. Top guys who could bring something back: Grandal, Puig and Kike. Ryu and Hill only if they prove to be healthy but that is a big if. I don’t see a tear down or fire sale but something more needs to be done either internally or externally and fairly soon to save this season.

    1. I agree that a trade might be coming. something has to be done. maybe we could do a reverse Heaney-for-Kendrick trade, a low-key dud of ours that never really made sense at the time and makes less now. grandal for ???

  4. I still believe in bellinger as an all-star level, if not MVP, first baseman. i’m not ready to give up on him at 1b even though votto is historically great. I do wonder if there is any kemp trade out there [who needs a DH?] that would free up some money for another deal later in the season (machado?). we seem to have enough outfielders and could make a swift little profit by eating half of kemp’s salary and pocketing the rest for a rainy day. other than that, we need our rotation to get healthy and our bullpen to settle down. oh, and we need some offense. on an unrelated note, big start for mitch white today. he’s on the fence as to whether he’s trending toward Santana or alvarez. a rock solid performance today could ease some concerns. I always worry about his health and stamina. he’s a big dude with a near-perfect pitcher’s frame. it’s time to see some results to match.

  5. Vegas,
    You forgot that the Dodgers don’t believe in the bunt or the stolen base. It is a Home Run or nothing.

    1. I didn’t forget but Doc could manage that way if he had a true leadoff guy. CT3, Puig and Cody are fast but not really base stealers. Kendall could steal 40 or 50 bags if he played every day. He is still a couple years away but played plenty of college ball and is more advanced than most except cutting down his K’s (which he has done this year) and making more consistent hard contact. His speed and defense are already elite.

    1. “We’re young,” Correa said. “We’re hungry. We want to strive for more. We want to build a legacy here.”

  6. I agree with Therealten that there is no way the Dodgers will trade for Joey Votto. It just does not fit into the Todd Boehly vision. Votto and Iglesias make a combined luxury tax salary of $25.9M, while Forsythe and Joc have a luxury tax hit of $11.6M. The $14.3M difference would have to be greatly offset in some fashion. I think the inclusion of Verdugo/May/Smith makes it a plausible consideration for the Reds, but I am not sure what the Reds would do with Forsythe or Joc. Maybe they could flip them. But what would the Dodgers do with a hitter with a career OBP of .428, and career OPS of .965? He is a left hand bat with a career slash line of .297/.401/.502/.903 against LHP. How could he possibly fit into that power laden offense the Dodgers are marching out every night? All kidding aside, there is no doubt in my mind that Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager would latch on to Votto and his sweet LH swing and learn as much as they can. Who would make a better hitting mentor than Votto for the two future faces of the Dodgers? And for that reason alone, it should be considered (but we all know it isn’t).
    The Reds basically replaced LH hitting long time 1B Sean Casey (one of my favorite people) with an even better Joey Votto, with 2 years of Scott Hatteberg in between. What a great run they have has a 1B.

    1. I miss the glory days of first basemen from George Brett to Will Clark to Don Mattingly to Frank Thomas.

  7. I have been involved in situations where large shutdowns/layoffs were dominating everybody’s minds. It was stressful. I got everybody together in a large room and said it is especially hard when we don;t have more control or our situations but we do have control over how we handle them. People are watching, we are watching each other. I told everybody to think of themselves as on an airplane that is struggling to stay in the air. Some will be screaming and some will be yelling and some will not draw attention to themselves. When the plane lands and we are walking off, which ones of us will walk off with our heads a little higher even if our pants are a little wet?
    This season has started poorly and it has been a team failure. Pick a player or several players that you would especially like to see do well and root for them until the team rights itself. Enjoy the game inside the game. Criers, yellers, and panicers will be remembered when the plane lands.

  8. Mark–you have 15 comments already and a game starting right now. can this thing go to 100? what’s the LADT record?

  9. Truth be told, a couple of years ago I was kind of embarrassed that we had turned into the West Coast Yankees. Our payroll was exorbitant and I heard it all the time (being that I live in friggin’ Giants country). Yet now, as I get older and we have not won the WS in 30 loooong years (fan since the mid 70s), I ask why the FO doesn’t spend more? The Dodgers have the perennial highest gate attendance and a ridiculous TV contract that even made the infamous McKook blink, yet, they seem to be stingy of late. Yes, I understand the desire to get under the Luxury tax but what does that matter when they have no problems raising ticket prices by as much as 30% this year (Guggenheim is showing their greed)? Obviously, they like to make money so why not spend it on the team to give us a winner the old fashioned way by acquiring known quantities rather than just hoping everything works out via sabermetrics? I was really onboard the FAZ bus last year and truly felt they knew what they were doing but the way things are going this year, I’m starting to have my doubts. This method worked in Tampa until it didn’t but they did not have the funds to go crazy. In LA, they have the funds so it is time to go crazy. As you proposed, Mark, Votto would be a good start. The rest is all about pitching, pitching , and better pitching. I guess we’ll see what the long term plan is in the upcoming offseason. If they do nothing…. damn, I hate to even think about that.

  10. I’d rather the Dodgers find someone from the farm that can play the game. Or trade for better prospects. Some sort of transactions where we get good future players without adding big buck contracts. I’m really over this season. And I’m over the recent prospects helping out. Will Puig ever be a consistent hitter. Taylor just disappointing. Verdugo,Pederson, Barnes , Farmer, Hernandez, when do the Dodgers cut bait. I mean what’s up with these players. Why are they hitting so poorly. And the pitching generally pretty poor too. How much time is enough to decide if these players are bad but could turn it around or just bad. I’m not for making expensive moves to try and save this season. But please try and get someone who can compete for next season and the next and so on. Buehler has so much potential but still so new. FAZ needs to work their magic. Gets us a competitive team for the next 5 or 10 years. I know it ain’t easy but they knew the job was gonna b tough when they took it.

  11. Amazing how that works. The top of the order gets on base, and their #3 hitter (who has been out all year) gets a 3 run double. Followed with a double by the #4 batter who has hit all season but not with many on base. Good for the Dodgers today.

  12. If the Astros had lost Correra and Bregman and 2/5 of their rotation, we might be talking about their collapse too.

  13. You cannot overstate the importance of Justin turner to the offense. He is the best hitter, best clutch hitter, works the count the best, and is the leader of the offense. Iassume he is also the clubhouse leader. Earlier I read somewhere he would be off today. I am sure he requested to be in the lineup. He also takes the pressure off of others, unfortunately he can’t pitch. I also think he was hurt during the World Series last year because he just wasn’t himself.

  14. Orel mentioned yesterday that Taylor was possibly the best base runner in the MLB. I agree with that.

  15. I don’t know if it was mentioned here, but MLBTradeRumors speculates that in light of the Cano suspension, the Mariners might be interested in Forsythe, whom we would replace with Utley/etc. Of course, no need to sell when we are WINNING A GD GAME right now.

    1. Yes sell now!! We are certainly not going to rise or fall with Logan Forsythe or at least the one who has played in la! (When he hasn’t been on dL)

  16. It’s the quality and composure of JT’s ABs that need to be noted by the other players.

    Good game time today

  17. We are now further back in the wild card race than the divisional race (9 vs. 8.5). Is this correct? If so, might as well just win the NL West again.

  18. 5 runners on base, and 5 RBI’s. With the number of close losses the team has suffered, what might have been if JT was in the lineup all year. Oh well. He wasn’t so we move forward, and dream of the future not dwell on the past.

    1. Agreed! When your 1 and 2 guys get on base and your 3 and 4 hitters have 3 hits each it makes the lineup look a lot better. There is still the black hole of Kike batting 5th and Logan batting 7th but that’s a story for another day. Puig hits another HR and has been on base all 4 times, why keep him hitting 8th? He needs to be near the top of the order IMO. Maeda is dealing today and has now pitched shutout ball for 7 innings with only 87 pitches. Better not pull him Doc!

      1. Vegas

        Puig has hit well in the eighth position, and last year, after they moved Puig up, his numbers were not that good.

        I don’t move Puig out of the eighth position, and I have Puig sitting next to Turner Ward, in every game.

        I just can’t argue with success.

        1. Here is my lineup:
          Put the everyday guys in a regular order and move the platoon guys down where they belong. 4-5-6 can be moved a bit for matchups but 7-8 should be set in stone.

  19. It’s also refreshing to see what it is like for a pitcher who does not have to worry about being perfect to pitch a good game. 55 pitches in 4 innings. When was the last time Maeda pitched liked that?

    1. wood had an amazing start like that recently [I believe he pitched five innings with 60+ pitches], but then everything fell apart in a hurry.

  20. We’re the last place team in the NL West as of this moment. But who cares. Win today, wake up, and this will be a really really fun summer for all of us again.

    I still have 100% confidence we’ll be playing in October. I’ve said that for the last month. We have plenty of time to wake up and pass up most of the crap that’s currently in front of us.

    1. When do we get Kershaw and Ryu back?

      Are those the two main injuries remaining (other than Seager and, minorly, Toles)?

      1. Technically, Urias is in that injured group, as is Koehler. Neither Ryu, Koehler, or Urias will be available before the AS break. If anyone knows, they aren’t talking about when Clayton will be back. He is playing catch, but “not close” to throwing off of a mound. His shoulder MRI showed no structural damage which is good news.

        1. Thank you. If we have a miracle left in us this year, maybe Urias will part of its authorship.

    2. Per The Athletic: “In the 118 full seasons since the first modern World Series in 1901, just eight teams have reached the postseason (or finished in first place) after falling below .400 after a quarter of the season had elapsed. That’s a rate of roughly one in every 55 teams, or a 1.8 percent chance of overcoming such a prolonged slow start.”

    3. Bobby

      After watching both Turner and Kemp, hitting one after another today, I think you just might be right!

      And Taylor and Puig, also had a nice game today too.

      And we know Cody is figuring it out right now, too.

      1. The good attitude comment was for Bobby for his optimism and not his stat from The Atlantic. It was an odd pairing of comments though.

  21. Logan Forsythe was hitting .174 when he went on the DL. He’s 0 for 8 since then and is hitting .145. Why is he playing?

      1. Do you really think Seattle wants to pay what is left of his 2018 contract (probably between $6.5M and $7M)? Unless Forsythe goes off (not likely) he will be a Dodger to the end. I hope I am wrong on this one. I guess it is possible that Seattle will accept all cash above minimum salary and send a lottery pick. If they are willing, why doesn’t it happen? I like Logan Forsythe the person, so I would like to see him go to a team that he may be able to help.
        If they can move him, that would be a good opportunity to call up one of Tim Locastro, Donovan Solano, or Breyvic Valera and park them at 2B for the rest of the year to see what they have.

        1. Seattle saves 80 days of Cano’s huge payroll so if they don’t have to give up much to get Forsythe, maybe they do pay his full payroll.

          1. I am sure they can afford it, and Cano’s lost salary should be enough of a savings to pay for Forsythe. But would if you were a GM would you pay a prorated $9M salary for Forsythe? While they may prefer to keep Gordon in CF, they could still slot him at 2B for 80 games.

          2. I don’t understand why FAZ bought his option either but if FAZ is smart enough to sign Forsythe, why couldn’t Seattle’s FO be just as smart?

        2. Probably they would not. However, they have a need,and Forsythe was a different player for Tampa. They saw him in that league and may remember his best days. I think he would probably play better in a Seattle environment. They certainly have the money and saved salary on cano. Scooter Gennett might be their better option but more costly. It might come down to how willing we are to part ways or they might want joc in center and move Gordon back to second. How about that trade?

  22. Dang, Turner looks totally locked in hitting wise. Wish some of the younger guys would check out his approach and what he’s doing. Not so much the launch angle, just squaring it up. Great win, we needed it. Guys looked a little looser out there today.

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