Why Floro and Neal… Again?

I already see that the FAZ Bashers are up in arms over the  re-acquisitions of right-handers Dylan Floro and Zach Neal from the Reds in exchange for right-handers Aneurys Zabala and James Marinan.  Probably the most important reason is that the Dodgers also got some international bonus pool  money from the Reds, which may be the key to the deal.  I know that the bonus money can only be assigned in $250,000 increments, but as yet, I have not heard how much they will be getting. I would guess over a million dollars, but that’s just a guess.  Maybe it’s more…  Maybe the Dodgers have their eyes on a player or players who they need it for. Also, it’s possible that they just need to bolster their AAA staff, although I can’t say Neal in better than Corcino, who was DFA’ed. It’s not a given he will be claimed off waivers, however.

It’s also possible that Floro, who is a ground-ball pitcher could help and he will likely be on that OKC to LA Express, but I actually think that maybe this is a pre-cursor to another deal… or it’s possible that FAZ is just really stupid! <JK>Marinan is seen by many to be a valuable pitcher, but I was never a fan.  He has a total of 27 innings in the minors and has a 1.55 WHIP.  Even if he is good… he’s 2 , 3 or 5 years away.  Zabala can throw 100 MPH, and if there was no strike zone, he would be awesome… but there is.

In the final analysis – I have no clue why the trade was made.  I guess we might find out…. or not!

Other News

  • Julio Urias hit 91 on the gun in his last bullpen session.  It was 88 last week, so he is progressing.  It’s always possible there will be a setback, but he looks on track to be back by early August. It’s hard to believe he is still only 21 years-old.
  • Kaelen Jones of MLB.comreports this:
    • Buehler set for simulated game

      Right-hander Walker Buehler will throw a simulated game on Sunday in Anaheim, when the Dodgers visit the Angels this weekend.

      “We’ll get some of our hitters and we’ll get him up and down five times,” Roberts said. “Then from that point in time, that should be the end of his rehab, and then get him back with us.”

      Buehler pitched three-plus innings for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night. The Dodgers’ Rookie of the Year candidate tossed 41 pitches and struck out five, allowing two hits and a walk.

      The start was effectively Buehler’s first rehab outing, as the 23-year-old was retroactively placed on the disabled list Tuesday. Roberts said he expects Buehler to make at least two Minor League starts prior to rejoining the Dodgers’ rotation.

      Dodgers pitchers set for Arizona League stint

      Left-handers Hyun-Jin Ryu (left groin strain) and Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain), as well as right-handers Pedro Baez (right biceps tendinitis) and Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation), are set to join the Dodgers’ Arizona Fall League affiliate during the Major League club’s upcoming road trip.

      Right-hander Tom Koehler (strained right shoulder) and left-hander Julio Urias (shoulder surgery) have been at the facility rehabbing and each recently threw bullpen sessions. Urias’ fastball touched 91 and 92 mph, according to Roberts.

This article has 33 Comments

  1. I think the trade is about international bonus pool money, but still very strange.
    Mark, I don’t agree with you about Hill hitting the first batter up next inning, it was not done on purpose. Hit one of ours, we hit one of yours, not when it is an accident, besides Roberts has a precedent, hit no one.

    1. Guys who throw inside better have the control to throw inside accurately. Turner has had the first half of his season taken from him by an HBP. After taking one up near the head yesterday, I wouldn’t have had a problem with a retaliatory message to the Pirates young pitcher. I know Turner dives into the ball so he will get hit a lot because opposing teams in response try to jam him but if he’s going to get hit the way he did yesterday a response by the Dodgers isn’t unreasonable.

  2. I don’t think there was anything to be gained by throwing at the Pirates after Turner got hit, clearly unintentionally. Otherwise, Mark, I pretty much agree with all that you said about the deal and the international bonus pool money. Like a lot of what FAZ does, this deal was probably the precursor of other moves to come.

    And although they don’t play today, the Dodgers could move percentage points ahead of Arizona if the Dbacks lose today to the Padres. The Dodgers are currently tied with the Dbacks in the loss column.

  3. The Dodgers have apparently signed 16 international players. Only the first two, C Diego Cartaya and RHP Jerming Rosario are top 50 international prospects. 3B Alex De Jesus is the third that apparently signed for $500K+. With a total international pool of $4,983,500 that leaves $1,383,500 for the remaining 13.
    .
    The last time the Dodgers were able to sign top international players (2015-2016), they signed 16 year old OF Chris Arias to $500K. Arias was released after hitting .167/.331/.273/.604 in DSL. I use Arias only because of $500 K that De Jesus signed for.
    .
    Let’s assume that the final thirteen players signed will be under the $1,383,500 remaining in their pool, and that whatever bonus pool money coming back in this trade will be used for additional international players. I am not sure that is reasonable, but for this argument we will stay with that. The Dodgers are permitted to trade for an additional $3,737,625, bringing their pool money to $8,721,125. The Reds probably have that available since they only signed 6, non of whom are top 50, and they started with a bonus pool of $5,725,400 (after a $300K penalty). The one remaining international player with high bonus potential is Cuban OF Victor Mesa. The largest 2018 bonus paid thus far is $3.5M to SS Orelvis Martinez (DR) by Toronto. So maybe it is going to take $3.5M to sign Mesa when he is posted.
    .
    Forget Zach Neal. In essence, Aneurys Zabala was traded for Ariel Hernandez which I am totally on board with. IMO this means in the view of FAZ, James Marinan, a 4th round draftee that they felt high enough to pay him $400K over slot to sign just last year, is the cost for Dylan Floro and some international money. I have no idea if Marinan will ever make it to MLB, but if that is what a #20-#25 prospect brings back in trade, then that does not bode well for other portending trades for prospects. So for me if the international bonus money is enough to help cover for the final 13 signed international prospects with enough remaining to sign Victor Mesa, then this is a good trade. If the international money is enough to cover only the remaining 13 players signed, then IMO this is not a good trade.

  4. The Dodger organization could be better after this trade but couldn’t it have waited until after a big splash trade was made? I find this trade annoying. A splash doesn’t have to include deGrom or Machado but if not, then it has to be for an elite reliever. Stop with the fringe trades that are made during trade hype season.

  5. Thank you Grandal for again taking a bat to home plate. He tends to forget to do that for weeks at a time.
    .
    Belli is heating up but he still is swinging at too many pitches out of the strike zone. Taylor is also heating up but he still takes swings that miss the ball by a lot.
    .
    The Dodgers don’t need Machado’s bat when Grandal takes his bat to the plate but if he doesn’t do that in the playoffs, and Belli starts swinging at too many pitches out of the strike zone, then Machado ‘s bat is needed. That is even more true if Forsythe is in the lineup. I pick on Belli because he can carry the Dodgers for longer periods of time more than any other player when he is disciplined.

  6. No one that I’ve read seems to like the trade. Florio isn’t much – a groundball pitcher with a high WHIP who doesn’t strike people out. If the Dodgers had him earlier this year and let him go, they didn’t think much of him then so the trade doesn’t make any sense on paper except for the international free agent pool $$.

    It’s great to beat up on teams like the Pirates. When the Dodgers were losing to the likes of Miami, Cincy and SD and were 16 – 26 I figured they were done. They have to beat up on the bad teams and the Pirates are definitely that. They are now 1/2 game out and have to make a push to climb into 1st.

    If Max Muncy and his bad glove are going to be regulars at 2B with Forsythe as defensive replacement, then the obvious weakness is still the ‘pen. I think you have to discount the Machado and Fulmer rumors. The Braintrust has added to the ‘pen at every deadline and the Dodgers’ bridge to Jansen is burning (and everyone knows you don’t want to burn your bridges).

    Rather than wish for a specific pitcher, the thing I want the Dodgers to do differently this year is not to wait until the very last moment to make a move to upgrade the ‘pen. Why wait? An extra month of a difference maker may mean the difference between a couple of losses or wins that might become very important by the end of the season. They have been REALLY SLOW at pulling the trigger at the deadline trying to leverage the best deal they could but letting valuable games go by. Look at the difference acquiring JD Martinez in early July made for the D-backs last year. DON’T WAIT – pull the trigger NOW.

    1. 100% agree with you. If we see a guy we like, get him now. We’re not running away from anything this year, so a few wins in mid July will definitely help.

      I personally would rather send elite prospects for 3 years of DeGrom, whos a much bigger need, than 3 months of Machado, who looks like Jose Offerman playing SS. Of course, the pen is more important, unless by acquiring DeGrom we’d send a current starter to the pen. Could Wood be an 8th inning guy? Would Wood like to be an 8th inning guy? Maeda obviously could, but can he go back to back or 3 of 4 games?

  7. The first reported proposed deal for Machado just came in…Alex Verdugo and Yadier Alvarez for Machado. I am shocked that the O’s said that isn’t even close (sarcasm alert).

    1. That trade would push one of Joc, Puig, or Taylor to the bench. If it is Puig then Kemp probably moves to RF.

  8. Rick

    Our GM actually did say when they interviewed him, that they wanted to make a deal sooner rather then later, to gain more value from the rental or trade, they make.

    But you are right, that has never been their MO in the past.

  9. I, for one, am totally against trading for Machado who everyone knows is just a 3 month rental. If what I have read is true, he will be wearing NYY pinstripes in 2019. It was reported the Yankees is the team he wants to go to.

    1. I agree with you. Getting Machado as a rental does not negate his desire to be a Yankee, or give the the renting team an advantage come negotiations next winter. He is not shy telling everyone who will listen that he has always wanted to play for NYY. That will not stop a team like the Phillies or Braves getting involved next winter, but the Dodgers do not figure to get in that bidding. I would have no desire to pay 3-4 top ten prospects for a rental, even one as good as Machado. If the Dodgers are going to trade multiple top 10 prospects, it should be for a Jacob deGrom. I would also consider a lesser value offer to Detroit for Michael Fullmer and hope he is not the 2018 pitcher in the long term, but I would not be nearly as committed on that one. That could be a repeat of Sonny Gray.
      .
      Barraclough, Treinen, Steckenrider, and Yates are all longer term team controlled quality relievers and should be pursued. But alas, I think it is the converted starter into a reliever like Adam Conley type that FAZ will latch on to. What I am fearful of is that FAZ will trade for Adam Conley and Brad Brach and think they have solved their relief problem.

  10. As far as getting DeGrom is concerned it’s been reported the Mets have taken him and Syndergaard off the table until this winter if at all.

  11. The Dodgers made a mid-season trade for Charles Johnson (catcher) and it did not work out. That said, I would rather trade for Realmuto than for Machado. Alvarez, Ruiz, and Grandal for Realmuto.
    .
    With Kershaw, Hill, Buehler, Wood, Stripling, Ryu, Urius, Maeda, Fergusson in house the Dodgers do not need deGrom.
    .
    With Muncy at second the Dodgers do not need a second baseman.
    .
    A trade for two from Barraclough, Treinen, Steckenrider, and Hand is needed.

  12. I am getting a bit of cold feet on machado. If he can’t play d we don’t need him. I would only sign him as a free agent. If they are not considering Verdugo and Alvarez for a rental I would forget it. As a free agent we could talk to him about playing somewhere but ss if Seager is healthy. I would stay in the mix to make whoever gets him to pony up. I don’t know if New York takes him at ss since they already have a good one. I just figured he was an elite defender but not so far at ss. I think we will get some blue light special type like Floro but not a signature name. I don’t think our farm is strong enough to make a big deal. When Ruiz hitting .241, white total wreck, and Diaz with 5 home runs in your top 5 I don’t think anybody will be in hot pursuit.

    1. Don’t judge the talent level of what a 19 year-old player in AA is doing. His tools are undeniable and other teams scouts are crazy about him. Our farm system is TOP 10 and the depth is what makes it outstanding. Look at John Sickels pre-season rankings:
      https://www.minorleagueball.com/2018/3/21/17149090/2018-mlb-farm-system-rankings

      Baseball America ranks them #8.

      They have more than enough to get Manny. The better question s are” Do they need him? Do they want him? I think they are just driving up the price.

  13. Longenhagen on the recent Dodgers trade:
    `
    Question: Does the price for Floro, Neal, and bonus money seem steep to you? Marinan seems like he could be a guy.
    `
    Eric A Longenhagen: Nah. I don’t dislike Marinan, but he’s maybe a #4/5 starter. That’s not steep when you’re adding pieces to contend for a ring

    1. You are a big Logenhagen fan, and he is certainly well informed and well spoken, and has more resources than most of us fans, but his comments are nothing more than opinions just like all of us have. I do not think anyone believes that James Marinan is anything other than a #4/5 starter. I certainly believe that is his ceiling. I do not believe anyone has ever considered him a potential Ace. But the last time I checked, clubs still need #4/5 starters. It is not a luxury to have competent #4/5 starters. Ask the Nationals.
      .
      I am all in favor of trading potential #4/5 starters to “add pieces to contend for a ring”. Are we to assume that Logenhagen believes that Dylan Floro is adding a piece for a ring? Interesting that in the next question that you commented on Logenhagen does not believe that Floro “moves the needle”.
      .
      So what he is saying when combining the two answers to questions regarding the trade is that it is okay to trade a James Marinan if you can add a piece for a ring, but Dylan Floro does not move the needle (and I assume that means that he does not add a piece to a ring). So then why make the trade? I think that is what many of us are still asking. Before we can appropriately answer that question, we need to find out how much International Bonus money is included in the deal. That will determine if the deal makes sense.

      1. Not sure I’m any bigger on Longenhagen than others, but he’s not behind a paywall.
        `
        That said, I’m not sure what the confusion is, nor am I sure the International allocation is necessary to “make sense” of the deal.
        `
        Of course you need #4/#5 starters, but they are easier to acquire and develop than #3/#2/#1 starters.
        `
        If Floro can move the needle and the assets can be replaced, why not make the trade? Is that not part of what prospects are for?
        `

        1. That is in fact what some prospects are for, and is probably a good use of James Marinan, just as AJ Alexy was last year in the Darvish deal. But if you believe that Dylan Floro is worth a potential #4/#5 starter, then you and I disagree, which is fine. A lot of people disagree with me.
          .
          You said, “I’m not sure what the confusion is”. Here is my confusion…One response to the question about Floro…”Nah. I don’t dislike Marinan, but he’s maybe a #4/5 starter. That’s not steep when you’re adding pieces to contend for a ring”. I agree with that statement. I assume that means he believes that Floro is adding a piece to contend for a ring. Then his next response about the value of Floro…”Floro doesn’t really move the needle but think ARI and LAD are going to be in a literal arms race the rest of the summer”. So is he saying that just adding multiple mediocre arms to the OKC/LA express is adding a piece to contend this year? Does he believe that Dylan Floro is a difference maker? If that is what he is saying, then I disagree with him.
          .
          Kyle Barraclough, Blake Treinen, Kirby Yates, and Drew Steckenrider are difference makers. Jared Hughes and David Hernandez are closer to difference makers than is Dylan Floro…in my opinion. And all six are being shopped. Dylan Floro was not the equivalent of Joe Broussard last year at OKC which is why Floro was not retained. He was bad with the Cubs AAA team and he was bad at OKC. So now he has a decent three months with a bad team and no pressure, and he is worth the #20 to #24 prospect from a top ten minor league system? Not in my opinion, unless the International money is enough to sign Victor Mesa.
          .
          It would be a fun conversation with Logenhagen (who I do respect) over a beer on this subject. No winner…no loser.

          1. I get it. “It” being where you are coming from.
            `
            I guess I’m not sure if Floro moves the needle, neither is Longenhagen. But if he could be, or if he proves to be part of a “move the needle by committee movement” then isn’t an FV #4/#5 worth it?
            `
            I’m not sure, but I don’t think it’s absurd (in terms of price to pay) to take the chance…
            `
            That said, the timing does seem to imply that the International allocation has a lot to do with it.

  14. Question: Why are the Dodgers trading for 40 relievers like Floro? Don’t they have better depth than that? Is this for the bonus pool, and if so, why?
    `
    Eric A Longenhagen: I agree Floro doesn’t really move the needle but think ARI and LAD are going to be in a literal arms race the rest of the summer. Neither has great pitching depth (especially ARI) and both seem to be constantly dealing with injuries. They each need as many viable arms as possible.

    1. I think this trade provides a clue what a top reliever would bring. I would bet that if the Dodger tried to get that 8th inning guy RIGHT NOW the teams are asking for Verdugo and 2 other top prospects. They may take less, but if you wonder why FAZ doesn’t move sooner, it very simple: YOU HAVE TO OVER PAY!

  15. I watched Britton pitch last night and he looked nasty. 95 with movement. I think he’d be a good piece to add.

  16. Also looks like Verdugo may have tweaked his approach:
    `
    Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers (Profile)
    Level: Triple-A Age: 22 Org Rank: 2 FV: 50
    Line: 3-for-4, 2B, HR, BB
    `
    Notes
    Verdugo may have made a subtle swing change as his lower half’s flexibility has improved. After looking at what his finish looked like when he homered on Tuesday juxtaposed against one from last year. It’s emblematic of the swings visible throughout the Dodgers system. You can see from the way Verdugo’s foot is bent in his older swing that he’s rotating hard, but the new, flexed front leg enables better balance and control of barrel depth via the lower half, as well as the hands. It’s a better, more athletic swing. Perhaps there’s suddenly more power here because of it.

  17. Dean Kremer was promoted to AA today and proceeded to pitch a 3 hit shutout (7 innings) in his AA debut. Two of the hits were infield, and one was a bad hop single. He had 3 walks and as he did with RC, he had a lot of Ks. Tonight he had 11 in 7 IP. He looks to be primarily a two pitch pitcher right now. His fastball was consistently in the 91-93 range, but it was his change up that got the swing and misses. He kept the fastball down and placed it well and got a lot of called strikes, and then threw the change which looked to be unhittable tonight.
    .
    Kremer is 22 and was the Dodgers 14th round draft choice (2016) out of UNLV. He is 6’3″ 180 pounds RHP.
    .
    The Drillers won both games of a DH against the Midland RockHounds (A’s).
    .
    Also promoted to AA today were relievers Nolan Long and Michael Boyle. These are good relievers, but they were not the top two at RC. I believe that Zach Pop and Marshall Kasowski were the top two. Moving Long and Boyle gives Andre Scrubb some more opportunities. Long appeared in the first game and pitched a scoreless 9th to get the win. He did allow 1 hit and 1 walk, but also had 1 K.
    .
    Yesterday Leo Crawford was recently promoted to RC and in his first RC start (3rd appearance), he pitched perhaps the best game of his professional career,..7 innings of 2 hit shutout baseball. He did have 1 walk to go with 7 Ks, and the win.
    .
    In another professional debut tonight, SS Deacon Liput went 2-4 with a triple and 2 RBI’s in a losing effort for Great Lakes.
    .
    4th round draft pick 17 year old Braydon Fisher, had a much better outing last night than his debut. Last night he pitched 1.2 scoreless innings for the AZL Dodgers on 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 K. His 6/28 debut he pitched 1.2 innings, allowing 2 runs, on 3 hits, 1 walk, and 2 K.
    .
    2nd round draft pick Michael Grove has signed (terms not disclosed), while 1st rounder JT Ginn has not yet signed. He has until tomorrow to decide.
    .
    UPDATE
    .
    JT Ginn has told both the Dodgers and Mississippi State, that he will be honoring his commitment and attending Mississippi State in the fall…a lifelong dream.

    1. I think it’s a bigger deal that the Dodgers were unable to sign their #1 pick than an under the radar trade of last year’s #4 pick who must have not shown enough. High school kids always have the leverage of going to school and raising their status, on the other hand he turned down a lot of money and could get injured, you never know. The Dodgers will get an extra pick in next year’s draft.

      Possible moving day as the Pads are beating the Snakes 5-1 in the 6th and meanwhile the Giants are losing 6-0 to the Cards. Shelby Miller and Cueto would be on the hook for the losses.

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