A New Paradigm

Will The Dodgers Be In On Harper And Machado?

Everyone assumes that only a few teams will in on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado as free agents next winter, but I think that a lot more teams will be bidding on their services in the offseason than many people think.  Machado may get traded this year, but he won’t sign a long term deal and the Dodgers should not waste talent on him THIS SEASON unless the price is “crazy low.”

I think many teams will go after Harper and/or Machado.  The Braves and Phillies, who both are way ahead of the curve in their rebuilding schedule are both in a position to sign both players.  Think about that one for a minute! BOTH!


The Dodgers have been in luxury tax hell for several years and if they wanted to be players for either Harper or Machado… or both, they HAD to get under the luxury tax threshold. I thought they would get under it in 2017, but they had a chance to go for it all and they did.  Now they are under it for the year.  The Yankees also got under it. There is no way the Dodgers will exceed the Luxury Tax Threshold this year, but it resets and if they exceed it NEXT year, it’s a much smaller penalty.

The Yankees are in an excellent position as they only have $88 million under contract in 2019 and $87 million in 2020. They have  a lot of expiring contracts and free agent or Arbitration Eligible Players so they will have to still spend a lot. The Dodgers have $130 million under contract in 2019, but it drops to $87 million in 2020. A lot of this depends upon if Clayton Kershaw opts out of his deal. If he does, the Dodgers have $95 million in contracts for 2019. Personally, I do not think he will opt out.  The only other team he might have considered was Texas and they are near Full Rebuild Time.

Clayton is from Dallas and so I doubt he would consider that other Texas team – Houston.  Texans from Dallas are not enamored with Houston. What I think is more likely is that the Dodgers extend Clayton now that he has an “injury history.” It might be at a lower yearly number than what he is currently making… Lets say $125 million over 5 years for his declining years – he has to know his best years are not ahead of him… even though he can be very effective.  I think Walter wants to keep him a lifelong Dodger.

Of course, people are going to say “FAZ will not give out big contracts to players like Machado and Harper, because that is not their M.O.”  This is very different from what they have dealt with in the past:

  1. Machado and Harper are in their mid-20’s, not their decline years. This is new territory for FAZ.
  2. FAZ no longer has bad contracts like Crawfish and Gonzalez hanging around their necks. Their worse contract is currently Rich Hill, but that can change.
  3. The Luxury Tax is now reset!  That’s a biggie.
  4. The farm is ready to deliver some young players over the next years.

Now, whether FAZ signs either player depend upon what they are actually offered.  I don’t see a team offering either one more than $300 million, but it is possible a team could roll the dice and do that.  I could see Atlanta and Philly with all of their youngsters doing just that. I would not be surprised to see one of them sign BOTH free agents.  Either team would become a World Series favorite.

Will The Dodgers Be In On Harper And Machado?

I know this: If a team signed BOTH players, they could have an incredible 5 or 6 year run!  As baseball fans we dream about “what if.” What if, the Dodgers signed both Harper and Machado? Do you think the team could win with this lineup?

  1. Turner  2B
  2. Machado  SS
  3. Harper RF
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Seager  3B
  6. Kemp  LF
  7. Taylor  CF
  8. Barnes  C

IGUARANTEEFAZ will be “in” on both players.  AC has suggested DJ LeMahieu at 2B and he could be a nice piece as well.  Whether FAZ signs any of those players remains to be seen, but this is not an aging Greinke, Price or Cueto.  It’s a new paradigm and we have no roadmap how FAZ will navigate it.  Part of the reason they got under the salary cap was to be in  a position  to be able to bid on those players.

Other Stuff to Consider

  • Would the Dodgers actually trade Matt Kemp NOW if a team wanted him?  Think about that one…  He is having a good year and may have another one left.
  • Erik Goeddel is worthy of a spot in the pen.  He has the stuff – if can he harness his control.  He’s 29 and it’s now or never – maybe they see something they can “fix.” Teams always think that,  The Cubs thought they could Fix Jason Heyward (they couldn’t) but the Astros thought they could fix Charlie Morton… and did.
  • As bad as the Dodgers have played, they are just 8.5 games out of first.  That’s really not much.  They do need to get Kershaw back if they realistically expect to gain ground soon.  I fear Ryu could be done for the year.
  • How big of a bounty would it take to get Michael Fulmer from the Tigers?  How about Verdugo, Smith and White?
  • By the way, I heard from DC yesterday – he’s doing fine – busy with his garden and family stuff.  He assured me he will be back soon.
  • I’m hoping AC or DC writes a piece about Conner Joe (so I don’t have to do it).  He’s a player to really watch – it’s all coming together for him!
  • As Ernie Banks said: “Let’s play two.”  I say:  “Let’s win too.”


This article has 60 Comments

  1. It is difficult for Dodgers to sign both players, in that case, I prefer Machado, there are enough outfielders and few players in the infield, besides Seager should play at second base and leave Turner in third.

    1 B. Bellinger
    2B. Seager
    3B. Turner
    SS. Machado
    LF. Kemp
    CF. Taylor
    RF. Verdugo
    C. Grandal (I hope resing)

    This line up is very good … Power and speed!


  2. Hope you guys watched the Royal Wedding!!

    Meghan looking very nice.

    She’s from LA – hope she’s a Dodgers fan!!!

  3. Wow Mark, you are pretty quick on your feet, how do you do it? Maybe you ought to man SS.

    1. I’m a cross between a ballerina and a freakin’ Gazelle! 😉

      I played SS 40 years ago. I’m sure I can catch anything…. hit right at me!

  4. Well it isn’t the Royal Wedding, but I am heading to Santa Barbara for a wedding this weekend. It will be nice to be with Dodger fans once again.
    I was starting to compile some info on Connor Joe already, so maybe I will expand it and write something on him. I am taking my computer, but with friends I haven’t seen in some time, I do not know if I will be able to complete it before next week. But I will get it done.
    Stripling against Roark in Game 1. I will unfortunately miss that game on my 6+ hour drive to Santa Barbara. Everyone root the Dodgers on.

  5. So who goes down to make room for Cingrani and Goeddel? My guess is Liberatore unless they carry 3 lefties in the pen and Chargois. They do have the 26th man for a 2nd game of a DH. Chargois has a similar problem to what Alexander experienced: his breaking balls break SO MUCH they go out of the strike zone but is almost unhittable. Send him down for a bit to clean up his mechanics. Venditte and Hudson have outs in their contracts if sent down and Goeddel is out of options. I like this move, could be lightning in a bottle as Goeddel has swing and miss stuff.

    I believe the 1st option is taking care of Kershaw with his option and see what’s left for the others. If he is not resigned I suppose they could sign both, but the longest of long shots. Of the 2 I am on record as preferring Machado but both he and Harper are hotheads and will require ridiculous contracts. No one mentions Donaldson but he is so solid I would move JT off 3rd for him. He is a bit older at 33 but would cost a lot less. There are also some good 2B guys: LeMahieu, Dozier and Murphy and some good bullpen in Kimbrell, Miller and Britton. Those are players that fit the Dodgers MO better IMO.

    I don’t like Joc hitting 2nd so how do I feel about him leading off? I think it’s a bad idea and he and Kike have no business being up top in any batting order (odds Kike takes over for Joc during this game 80%) Yeah Puig did well last year in the 8 hole but come on! Swap CT3 for Joc in the 6 hole and I can live with the lineup. Cody in CF again to get Muncy’s bat in the lineup is ok in theory but not on a wet field, he hurt himself last year in the OF. This is over managing for no real reason-they could just stick Muncy in LF and sit Joc.

    1. Vegas

      I rather see Kemp in the line up, over Joc or Muncy.

      Although Kemp doesn’t have good numbers against Scherzer, either does Joc or Muncy, and Kemp is hitting righties as well, as Joc, and Muncy.

      And Kemp has hit better against Scherzer in the last few years, and he did hit a HR off Scherzer, last year.

      Kemp has also seen Scherzer a lot more, then anyone on this team, since he played with the Braves, who are in the same division, with the Nats.

      Now that this is a doubleheader it probably makes sense not to play Kemp in both of these games, but they just had Utley play in two games, of a doubleheader, not to long ago, and he is 5 years older, then Kemp.

      What is funny, if we are facing a rightie, they have normally put Puig lower in the line up, before they started keeping him just in the eighth position, but Puig has hit righties much better then lefties, in the last couple years.

      1. More lineup changes just announced:
        1) Joc………LF
        2) Cody…..CF
        3) JT………..3B
        4) Yas……….C
        5) Kemp…RF
        6) Muncy.1B
        7) CT3……SS
        8) Logan..2B
        9) Strip……P

        I like Kemp in but not for Puig, for Joc. I prefer Utley to Logan at 2B but as you say they have a DH. 1st roster move is Liberatore optioned for Cingrani. There will be a couple more moves before game 2 to make room for Goeddel and for the 26th man maybe Garcia. My guess is Chargois but it should be Baez (won’t happen) Hudson is the prime candidate to be the long man with Strip in the rotation. Stewart just started and went 3 innings so doubt he gets the call.

  6. Santana gets his 1st AAA start today against the Nashville Sounds (A’s).
    Locastro – .366/.464/.561/1.025
    Solano – .359/.414/.458/.875
    Valera – .353/.423/.541/.964
    Pick one and leave him at 2B.

    1. Dennis Santana’s first start in Triple-A was … decent: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K, 86 pitches, 60 strikes, 2/5 GO/AO


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated left-handed reliever Tony Cingrani (left shoulder inflammation) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Cingrani, 28, has gone 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA (9 ER/14.0 IP) and has held hitters to a .250 average in 18 relief appearances prior to his stint on the disabled list. He has also struck out 22 batters against just four walks over 14.0 innings of relief, posting a 14.14 strikeout per nine innings and a 5.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    Liberatore, 31, went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER/8.0 IP) and limited the opposition to a .214 average, while striking out eight against four walks in 12 relief appearances with the Dodgers.

  8. M.T. remember when a paradigm would get ya a coffee!?
    Watford the princess is hot!
    A SoCal girl in three royal family.
    I’m all in on Machado next year
    . Why trade Kemp??
    This year??? Patience.
    Gonna catch a Cleveland game and more importantly the R&R HOF in a week or so.

    1. The Rock and Roll HOF of Fame is Awesome. I was there for a weekend at the same time the Blue Angels were and they were flying around the HOF and other buildings in downtown Cleveland. .. sideways! I was once there for a 4 game series with the Dodgers. It’s a great venue.

  9. We look more awake then the Nats today.

    I am sure glad we don’t have Howie in left anymore, but thanks Howie, for that run!

    And Hawkeye, where have you been lately?

  10. Will the Dodgers go after both Harper and Machado? don’t know, but I would think Machado comes into play only if Seager agrees to move to second, he has said he intends to continue playing ss when he returns.
    If Kershaw opts out at the end of the year I hope the Dodgers just let him go, another 5 or 6 years of Kershaw at $30M or more a year just to have him retire a Dodger is not worth it,
    If Kershaw doesn’t opt out fine, the Dodgers have him for another 2 years before he becomes an FA after the 2020 season.
    If a team wants Kemp, let him go.

  11. What is the freakin fascination with Muncy? If kike is not better than him they should dfa him. Talk about depth is Muncy the depth? I thought we would be done with him when Turner got back.

    1. That’s the freakin fascination with Muncy! He now has 11 RBI in limited time.

      Did I mention he is a lefty?

    2. That’s the fascination Muncy doubles for dodgers 3 rd run. Great! Now he is batting .230 but he is probably getting ready to break out. Go dodgers!

      1. Worked the pitch counts like a lead off hitter should and had the key hits for two of the runs. Small crow maybe but crow just the same. Playing some defense too

    1. I believe stripling wants to start and he pitched a great game today. Today should have earned him more starts. The dodgers need that from a starter! Go dodgers!!!

  12. I’d make the bet today that I wouldn’t of made yesterday that Dodgers WILL win the division in 2018!I take Dodgers and you can have the field.-$100.00 even!

  13. Just looked at the standings
    18-26 – that really is bad.

    Think I’ve been burying my head in the sand…..

    1. Watford

      Funny, I just looked too!

      But it is only 7 games out, and this is early in the season still.

      If our starters can keep this up, until Kershaw comes back, we do have more of a chance.

  14. It’s better than yesterday…

    Just get better every day.

    Right now, the Dodgers are just 7 games out of first place


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today activated right-handed pitcher Erik Goeddel (#62) and optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the second game of the doubleheader. Right-handed reliever Yimi Garcia was also added to the roster as the 26th man prior to the game.

    Goeddel, 29, was claimed off of waivers yesterday from the Mariners and in five games out of the bullpen with Seattle, he went 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA (1 ER/7.1 IP) while striking out nine. Prior to his promotion, Goeddel was 1-0 with four saves with 10 strikeouts in nine relief appearances for Triple-A Tacoma this season. Goeddel signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on March 20 after beginning the 2018 campaign with the Rangers, who he signed with on Dec. 19, 2017.

    Garcia, 27, will make his second stint with the big league club after going 0-1 and allowing four runs (three earned) over 3.1 innings (8.10 ERA) in four relief appearances with Los Angeles. In 10 games with Triple-A OKC, the Dominican Republic native has posted a 4.22 ERA (5 ER/10.2 IP) and has struck out 12 batters without issuing a walk in 10.2 innings.

    Venditte, 32, allowed two runs in 2.2 innings (6.75 ERA) and struck out two without issuing a walk in three relief appearances with the Dodgers.

  16. Saturday 5/19 8:05pm
    Rich Hill (L)
    @ Nationals – Max Scherzer (R)
    1. Joc Pederson (L) LF
    2. Max Muncy (L) 3B
    3. Yasmani Grandal (S) 1B
    4. Cody Bellinger (L) CF
    5. Chris Taylor (R) SS
    6. Chase Utley (L) 2B
    7. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
    8. Austin Barnes (R) C
    9. Rich Hill (L) P

      1. Baby can stay…for the time being. But that Hill bathwater needs to go down the drain.
        Sorry, but I never liked him. So be it.

  17. Ist AAA start. Dennis Santana 6 .0 IP, no run, 3 hits, 11 K. Bench Hill, bring up Santana.

  18. El Gasolino gets no help on defense. He has looked good so far in 1.2 innings.

    1. AC

      Thanks,that sounds good!

      AC called Muncy in the middle of the off season.

      Muncy has only had 200 at bats, in the majors, before this year.

  19. Muncy on fire. AC called it. I knew there must be some reason he was playing him. Might not last but keep the hot hand Muncy. This is what we need someone to get hot play over their head get unconscious. Santana great game 11 ks.

  20. Cingrani still not ready for MLB? Hudson definitely shouldn’t be there. Spoil a great effort by Alexander, El Gasolino and Garcia.

      1. Hudson and Cingrani both have ERAs over 6.00. The standard is hardly perfection. I would settle for adequate.

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