Bear Claws & Pay Grades

I have been making trade proposals for over 40 years now… and to date, I have never been right.  I was close a very few times, so I keep it up knowing that even blind squirrels occasionally find nuts.  Have you ever noticed how skinny blind squirrels are?  However, I digress….Yesterday, Always Compete (AC) wrote this in response to my trade proposal for Manny Machado:

If you want to get creative why not make those the central part of a package for Realmuto, Castro, and Barraclough and include Grandal and Forsythe to balance the dollars. Dollar wise, that makes the Marlins gold for next year. And with Grandal going home, maybe the Fish can convince him to stay. He will automatically make their pitching staff better.

That’s why AC makes the big bucks! Great Idea!  While I do not agree with his trade suggestion, it did cause me to think (something I rarely do).  I don’t think the Marlins want Grandal, but they would take Forsythe to balance the salaries.  The Nats do need a catcher, but there are two problems with trading Grandal to them:  (1)  They won’t pay a lot; and (2) The Dodgers might have to play them in the playoffs.

  • So, the Dodgers trade Grandal to the Nationals for the best prospect(s) they can get. I am not sure who that is….
  • Next they trade Diaz, Ruiz (gulp), Puig, Alvarez, Baez and Santana to the Marlins for Realmuto, Castro, and Barraclough.

The Marlins get three Cubans which might help boost attendance due to the large Cuban population around Miami.  Look at this lineup:

  1. Toles or Verdugo  RF (may the best man win – the other is the 4th OF’er))
  2. Turner  3B
  3. Kemp  LF
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Realmuto  C
  6. Taylor SS
  7. Hernandez/Pederson  CF
  8. Castro/Utley  2B

Bear Clawis the Set-Up man and the Dodgers go all the way! OK, that’s all I’ve got! Well there’s a couple other things:

  • The consensus within the Dodger organization was that Clayton Kershaw needed a rehab start today before coming off the DL, but Clayton’sPay Gradewas above theirs so he got his way and will pitch against DeGrom today.  This could be very interesting.
  • The Grand Salami last night has to be a big boost to Cody’s confidence.  You just don’t send a guy like that down. Never!
  • Scott Alexander is turning into a ground ball machine.  Last night, in 2 innings, he had 5 ground outs and one strike em’ out! The Dodgers bullpen is looking better by the day.
  • Conner Joe was 2-3 with a HR in his first game at OKC last night.  Is this guy for real?


This article has 46 Comments

  1. I like the trade to the Marlins except with DM there as manager, they wouldn’t accept a deal with Puig as part of the package. It’s my understanding there is a lot of friction between the two or am I mistaken.

  2. I was interested in getting Castro from Miami the second they got him from the Yanks because they were shipping every other highly paid guy out. Castro would be a solid 2b for us, and since he’s been in Chicago and NY, he wouldn’t be scared of the bright lights of LA (like Forsythe, Reddick, etc)

    Then again, Forsythe has been waking up, and Muncy will be getting more time at 2b since Joc has figured things out himself and figures to play more CF, moving Cody back to 1b. Maybe we can wait another 3-4 weeks to determine if we need a 2b or not.

    I also want that stud ace by the deadline, and would be willing to give up a Strip or Wood in a package to get a sure thing like DeGrom. We have no idea how Kersh will be the rest of this year, but we have every idea how Kersh will be in October. I want someone who’s showed flashes of dominance in October before.

  3. I like trade proposals. I like making them, and I like reading others. I never understand those that criticize FAZ for trades (or non trades), who do not say what they would do different. Generally the excuse is that “I am not the GM”. Agreed,…none of us are. But that should not stop people for giving an opinion. It is easy to criticize, but a lot harder to give your own opinion and set yourself up for criticism.
    Ruiz would absolutely need to be included. The Fish do not have any catching in their top 30 prospects, and zero catching after Realmuto. By the time the Fish are ready to contend, Ruiz would be ready. I would think that the Fish would want Grandal to finish the year, much more than they would want Forsythe. With Rojas, Anderson, Riddle, and Dietrich, they have more than enough to replace Castro.
    I know there are those that say that Mattingly will not take Puig. One, as most are saying, Puig has changed. Second, make no mistake, this is Jeter’s team and not Mattingly’s. To get Puig in Miami would be a boost for that baseball community.
    FAZ may have to include a lottery pick…say Omar Estevez, so they would not have to pony up any cash. Castro, Realmuto, and Barraclough have an AAV of $12.584M, while Grandal, Puig, and Baez have an AAV of $15.4M. Or maybe they take on Brad Ziegler’s contract. There are ways to make it work.
    To get Realmuto, Castro, and Barraclough would instantly change the landscape in the NL West and NL. It is a pipe dream, but it is fun to dream.

  4. Trade grandal, Forsyth, Ruiz, estevez,Diaz ,Santana and pay grandals salarary for Castro, realmuto, and barraclough. So essentially you are trading Ruiz, estevez,Diaz,and Santana for realmuto and barraclough. That would be a starting point, I would throw pug in there but they wouldn’t want. I would consider adding toles or Alvarez . Miami would get the future catcher, salary relief and we would get a real catcher and reliever. I posted weeks ago that we should go for barraclough.

  5. Castro is a good player, but over-rated. His defense is simply OK and he has occasional “lapses.” This year he is hitting .272 with a .318 OB% and is OPS’ing .692. Yawn! He may be re-energized to be on a winning team, but he will never hit as well as he did with the Yanks. He is not much of an upgrade over Logan, except maybe he can play better under bright lights and packed stadiums. But, he’s a good bottom-of-the-order hitter.

    1. Agreed! Castro is just a guy who gives salary relief and you try to move in the off season. How about gennett and Iglesias for Forsyth, Alvarez, Puig,Diaz, and estevez.

  6. Miami can always flip Grandal and Puig if they don’t want to keep them. Puig lives in Miami. Puig, Grandal, Alvarez would attract the Cuban population in Miami, maybe. I would just as soon move Taylor to second and put Kike’ at short than obtain Castro.
    Anybody want to offer Muncy in a trade?
    Realmudo, Barraclough, deGrom, in.
    Ruiz, Puig, Alvarez, Grandal, Baez, Stewart, Forsythe, Wood, out.

    1. Realmudo, Barraclough, deGrom, in.
      Ruiz, Puig, Alvarez, Grandal, Baez, Stewart, Forsythe, Muncy, out.

  7. How about votto, Iglesias, gennett for kemp, Forsythe, Ruiz, estevez, Santana, white,Alvarez, wood, and Rios

    1. The Reds wouldn’t want Kemp or Forsythe or Wood. Votto would be a boat anchor.

  8. Insanity above, love the trades but can we come back to earth. How about Alvarez and a lottery ticket for Barclough. And White, Santana, and Sheffield for Gennett.

  9. Actually probably would have to throw in another player to get bseclough due to his three years of control

  10. I love seeing some of these makeup trades. Here’s another one:
    CK, Puig, Baez for Trout.

  11. Most teams are going to want prospects primarily. The thought that anyone will take Logan Forsythe and his $9 MM salary in a trade for someone good is a true pipe dream.

    The Dodgers won’t trade Grandal mid-season if they intend to contend. Too hard on the pitchers to trade primary catchers mid-season.

    1. I think it depends upon the circumstrances as to whether a team would take Forsythe. Under the right circumstances the Marlins would absolutely to Forsythe for a half year to get rid of Castro for 2-1/2 years.

    2. Forsythe not 9 million now. If the Dodgers could somehow get a Real(muto) catcher they would trade grandal in a nanosecond. Highly unlikely but faz could piece it together if they can take Castro’s contract and somehow stay under the cap.


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the 10-day disabled list (lower back strain) and optioned left-handed reliever Adam Liberatore to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

    Kershaw, who will make his ninth start of the season tonight against the Mets at Citi Field, missed the last 18 games due to a lower back strain, which occurred in his last start on May 31 against the Phillies, where he allowed just one run on four hits and struck out five in 5.0 innings. Despite starting the season going 1-4 in eight starts, the Dodger ace has posted a 2.76 ERA (15 ER/49.0 IP) and has held hitters to a .233 average. The southpaw has also struck out 53 batters against just 11 walks in 49.0 innings, while posting a 1.12 WHIP. In the 18 games that Kershaw missed, the Dodgers went 13-5 during that span.

    Liberatore, 31, has made 17 relief appearances with Los Angeles this season, going 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA (4 ER/13.0 IP) and has limited the opposition to a .227 average.

    1. Pirates played over their heads the beginning of the year. This is who they are, a very mediocre at best team. They will be a 90+ loss team in 2018.

      1. Might be able to trade Forsythe for harrison. Might be a bit of an upgrade. Good defensively and can steal a base plus play third. Salary dump for pirates.

        1. Harrison does have a $10.5 and a $11.5 option for the next two years, with a $1M and $500 K buyout respectively. The Dodgers may consider that hoping that Lux will be ready by 2021. But I still believe that CT 3 is destined for 2B for 2019. Ownership will love the cost.

  13. Two years ago at this time I was all in on Chris Sale. One of the top 4 pitchers in MLB and 3.5 years team control. In fact I was indignant the Dodgers did not make the trade. I have no idea what was asked for in return, but I do have a very reliable source who said that Julio Urias was required, and FAZ said he was untouchable. Very shortsighted IMO.
    This year I am not quite at that level with Jacob deGrom, but close. The only untouchable rookie or prospect is Walker Buehler. Anybody else, including Ruiz, would be in play. It would be just how much. If FAZ did not go for Chris Sale how can I possibly expect them to be in on deGrom?
    I would also be happy to see a deal for Scooter Gennett, but FAZ is committed to Forsythe. No chance.
    Since I proposed a deal for Kyle Barraclough last year, I would definitely be in for Barraclough this year. But the Fish would be stupid to trade him unless there was an overpay. FAZ will not. So Barraclough will remain in Miami or go to a team willing to overpay (Houston, Cleveland, Boston ???).
    FAZ will not take on salary to even approach luxury tax. And they are not going to trade any top 10 prospects. They will look at relief pitchers at the level of Daniel Hudson, Josh Fields, and Jesse Chavez. FAZ has no problem with a bunch of mediocre middle relievers to mix and match.
    I know I will continue to propose trades and comment, but realistically the best I am looking for is Brad Beach and Jeremy Blevins, as long as the O’s or Mets kick in $$$. Come next Spring the Dodgers will still have two LHH and one RHH non power corner OF in the minors (Verdugo, Toles, and Diaz), with Kemp and Puig on the 25 man. CT3 will go to 2B and Joc and Kike’ in CF. Barnes and Farmer will be the catchers. If Kershaw does opt out, they will not re-sign him. But Todd Boehm will be happy because the team will not come close to the luxury tax. He will point to the Dodgers record without Kershaw and say that no pitcher is worth $30M when they can play just as well without him.
    I do not blame FAZ for non moves, but I do ownership. FAZ has a budget, and I do think staying under the budget is more important to ownership than winning. I HOPE my cynicism is wrong, but I do not think so.

    1. Todd Boehly is an owner, but it appears he has left Guggenheim Partners. By the way, Guggenheim is under siege, with loss of profits and mass exodus of key employees. There has been tension between Mark Walter and Boehly for several years. The partners evidently have mutual confidentiality agreements that are pretty strong because there are no leaks of info.

      Walter is firmly in control of the Dodgers although, Boehly certainly has a say. I do not think you can compare being in the 50% luxury tax category compared to being in the 20% luxury tax next year. The Dodgers felt they had to go over the tax while they built up the farm, but getting under it because it would have been 50% this year. It is my opinion that it’s really not very smart to have to pay a 50% tax every year. By getting below it this year, it resets and while it might be great to never pay the luxury tax any year, I believe they will in the future – just not this year so as to get under the threshold and re-set it.

      Friedman says he is not under a mandate to stay under the tax and maybe it’s true because he also thinks it needs to be reset, but I guarantee the Dodgers will NOT go over the threshold this year. Next year or the year after? They might! I am more concerned with Guggs and Company and what is happening behind the scenes. Where there is smoke, there is fire.

      1. Boehly is a business man first, and a good one. If I am running a Fortune 100 company I might call on him. But a sports franchise is not the same as a for profit corporation. Like I said, I do not blame FAZ, but regardless of what Andrew says, I believe actions. And since FAZ has assumed player personnel control, the largest contract signed has been $16M. Not a lot of history points to the Dodgers going to $20M+ AAV contracts, much less $30M+. It is possible that they will surprise us and go out and sign someone in that range (Machado), but I doubt it. I think Corbin will get $20M+ AAV so any SP will have to start south of that. I am hoping that LeMahieu will be $16M or under AAV.
        I can appreciate what they can or cannot do this year due to luxury tax. I am in complete agreement with staying underneath the threshold. The Dodgers are currently $15.5M under the threshold. I am thinking that Maeda will max out at last years bonus of $4.9, taking the Dodgers to around $10.5M under the threshold. There are multiple players who may be able to improve the chances of the Dodgers this year and will not take them above the threshold (deGrom, Gennett, Barraclough, Treinen, Archer, Hand, Stamman, Tyson Ross). It is just how much in prospects are they willing to spend. I still predict the Dodgers will scour the waiver wire and see if they can find another Goeddel.

  14. Congratulations to Wilmer Font who picked up his 1st win. He pitched 5.2 shutout innings in the 4-0 win over the Yankees. He gave up 3 hits and issued 1 walk with 4 K’s.

    1. He was bad with the Dodgers, worse with the A’s and now with TB, he is Lights Out!

      Go figure!

      Good for him…

      In his last 4 starts he has 20 IP and a 1.80 ERA!

  15. The Dodgers are beating deGrom like a rented mule. Now his value is down – trade a bag of baseballs for the bum…

    Just kidding!

  16. Edwin Jackson joined the Oakland A’s today; his 13th team in his career, tying a record. Now that’s impressive.

    I wonder what happened to Chuck Tiffany?

  17. Oregon State ahead 5 – 1 after 3. They were considered best college team ever last year and are as good this year.

  18. Now the last 2 innings have really shown me that Caleb Ferguson will be a really really good pitcher for us for a long time (unless he’s dealt in the DeGrom deal).


  19. I’ve always been a big Puig supporter, but there was absolutely no excuse for him not running hard out of the box.

    1. He did however do a good job of backing up Belli to keep a triple from becoming an inside-the-park-home run. Belli should not have tried to catch that liner and instead gone to the wall and tried to hold the hitter to a double.

  20. It has been a very enjoyable two games for me. Last night Alex Wood has another QS and a win, and tonight Caleb Ferguson gets his first ML win. For the last year and a half many dismissed Wood as a good starting pitcher, and most didn’t know who Ferguson was 2 years ago. I have stood by them, win and lose since Wood became a Dodger and since Ferguson’s Ogden and Great Lakes days in 2016.
    I have never believed that Wood is or would be an Ace, but I had no doubt that he was a 3-5 in the rotation. For some that is not good enough. That being said, I would have zero problem with Wood ending up in the bullpen ala Andrew Miller. But for now he is needed as a starter, and he should continue to grind away.
    Maybe next time Ferguson can start and Kersh can relieve for him. Just kidding. I fully expect Ferguson to go back to OKC once Buehler rejoins the staff. Until then, I see him in the role he was today…long reliever. Great two days in NY. Now bring out the brooms.

  21. deGrom’s audition for the Dodgers didn’t go as well as he may have wanted.
    Ferguson did well again.

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