Tough Decisions


It was said that the entire Dodger team watched Walker Buehler throw a simulated game yesterday – he’s not just another arm.  His stuff is electric and he should ready to start next weekend against the Angels. I have heard that he likley will not have a cap on his innings this year (within reason).  I expect to see him log 180 total.

There are going to have to be some hard decisions made as more pitchers get healthy.  When Buehler returns to the rotation, this is what it looks like:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Stripling
  3. Meada
  4. Buehler
  5. Hill
  6. Wood

While the Dodgers may run a six man rotation for a short while, it is less than practical.  Someone has to go to the pen.  Rich Hill has offered and maybe he should, but I think Alex Wood could be Andrew Miller out of the pen (AC suggested that).  The thing is: Alex will not like it.  He sees himself as a starter and relieving could cost him a lot of money when he hits the open market in 2020.  As much as I like him in the pen, I think he would be a problem if moved there – and I can’t blame him.

Ryu will be back fairly soon as well (allegedly) as will Julio Urias.  The Yankees need another starter.  Alex Wood might be their man.  What would the Yankees part with for Wood?  Would they give up 2 of their 3-8 prospects ands 1 of their 10-15 prospects?  Oh, by the way, this is a 4-way deal in which Joc Pederson goes to Seattle for 2 prospects as well.  Manny Machado goes to the Dodgers along with Britton and Logan Forsythe goes to Baltimore to balance the $$$$. All the prospects go to Baltimore.

So, the Dodgers get Manny Machado and potentially another closer in Britton without trading any prospects.  This is what the team might look like in August:

  1. Verdugo  RF
  2. Manny  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Muncy  2B
  5. Kemp  LF
  6. Bellinger 1B
  7. Taylor  CF
  8. Grandal  C

Bench:  Barnes, Utley, Hernandez, Toles

Starters:  Kershaw, Stripling, Hill, Ryu, Buehler

Pen: Ferguson, Urias, Floro, Alexander, Hudson, Britton, Fields, Maeda, Jansen

Puig on the DL.

By the way, it’s a tough decision to move Maeda to the pen – he and his agent aren’t going to like it!

Thoughts? You got a better idea?

Fort those of you who think Manny should sign an extension BEFORE the Dodgers trade for him – it ain’t happening.  Why would Machado do that… unless you want to give him 10 years/$500 million… and that’s not happening? I would hope that the Dodgers could convince him to sign a 10 year/$350 million deal and move to 2B.  Sell him on the fact that at 2B, he could go down in history as the GOAT!

This article has 64 Comments

  1. If the Woods and Maedas’s of the world look more at the future Benjamins than the 24 others with them on this team fighting for a flag, I have a hymn for each…”XXuck Hymn”!!! Trade em…
    Not in on the Machado thing unless there is a long term deal with him at 3B and Turner to 2B… It’s a senority thing for me,… Seager remaining at SS is the big question…

  2. I don’t think that anyone likely saw what I posted yesterday about the lawsuit against Guggenheim, so here it is again:

    Well, the Complaint (lawsuit) has been filed and served but hasn’t even been answered yet. It has been filed as a class action, but I don’t see where the Court has certified it as a class action.

    Basically, Guggenheim bought a life insurance company that sold annuities called Security Benefit Life. Under Guggenheim, the company sold a new type of annuity called a fixed indexed annuity. Here’s a good definition of a FIT:
    “A Fixed Index Annuity is a tax-favored accumulation product issued by an insurance company. It shares features with fixed deferred interest rate annuities; however, with an index annuity, the annual growth is bench-marked to a stock market index (e.g., Nasdaq, NYSE, S&P500) rather than an interest rate. An index annuity’s growth is subject to rate floors and caps, meaning it will not exceed or fall below the specified return levels even if the underlying stock indices fluctuate outside of those set parameters. ”

    According to the complaint, Guggenheim wanted the upfront money paid by annuity purchasers. Nothing wrong with that – that’s how the insurance and annuity market works. The company takes the money and invests it and makes money on the investments and then pays out when the annuity comes due.

    The Security Benefit FIT was indexed to something called the Trader Vic Index Excess Return instead of some market index. This allegedly was advantageous to Guggenheim because it would underperform but investors were blocked by contract from withdrawing their funds if it did.

    Plaintiff Ogles bought a policy and claims that he was mislead about how the fund would perform by Security Benefit’s marketing materials.

    Plaintiff alleges that brokers/agents were incentivised to sell the FIT due to great perks and commissions and that created a conflict between brokers/agents and purchasers. (Although that conflict potentially exists between any seller’s agent and buyer. The agent works for the seller. There’s a question about any fiduciary duty between buyers and the seller’s agent.)

    The complaint also alleges that there is an incestuous relationship between the various Guggenheim entities which covered up whether Security Benefit was adequately capitalized.

    The complaint then alleges that Walter, Boehly et al took the money from Security Benefit policyholders to buy the Dodgers. They allegedly did by a “shell game”.

    The complaint is long but can be read here:

    1. Of course I read it. I knew you were the right person to preview the lawsuit. They have until August 8 to respond, and that should be interesting.
      The thing is, annuities are not great investments, especially if you are looking for big returns. Most financial planners I run into try to steer their clients away from annuities. If they want safe, cash investments are better for the timid. It will be interesting to compare what Ogles says to what the prospectus says. That is the document that dictates what management is selling.

      1. Annuities are not great investments.

        Again, I fully believe Security Benefit is a shady, shady org. I’m also fully believing that the Dodgers (Walter and company) are beyond the fray.

        Walter alone is worth 3.1bn, from what I recall….

    2. dodgerrick – I too ply my trade as a lawyer. I’ve read the complaint several times. Other than it being long, there is not much in there that I find earth shattering. It will be interesting to follow the responsive pleadings as they are filed. I’m sure, as I read the complaint, that there will be some dispositive motions brought. Right now, all we have are allegations, and like the court we read them as if they are true, until such time as we learn they’re not true. As I read through the complaint, I was reminded of how glad I am not to practice in federal courts.

      1. I agree. It seems to me that a client bought an annuity and now doesn’t like his return on investment. As long as they disclosed how the annuity was going to be indexed, I don’t see where anyone did anything wrong as long as the annuity is being paid out as promised.

  3. Per
    “The seventh inning has been the black-hole inning for the Dodgers and their bullpen most of the season. The Dodgers have been outscored by opponents in the seventh, 47-30, their biggest negative run differential for a single inning.”

  4. On the Guggenheim suit:

    I have been aware that all is not well between Walter and Boehly and that there is great discontent among some shareholders. This suit is essentially the same as one that was filed a couple of years ago and withdrawn. I am sure that Guggs has a response prepared and I would not be surprised if it was dismissed. I do not believe the Plaintiff is saying he lost his principal… just that the interest may not have been what he expected.

    I do not think this suit is the undoing of Guggs, but they have other internal issues on the financial side. Time will tell.

  5. The Manny Machado rumors are starting to finally have specificity (May/Ruiz from LA, Phillips from MIL) hopefully this mean things are heating up and there actually may be fire.
    For more on Phillips, I add this from Crasnick: Brett Phillips could be one piece in a Brewers trade package, sources said. His path is blocked in Milwaukee, and Adam Jones will be moving off CF regardless of whether he stays with the Orioles or goes. Phillips brings lots of energy, and is still just 24.
    Nightengale, who I find of as little value as 4 way trade dreams, sez Orioles may be willing to add Britton. I think that’s bad for the Dodgers, as I don’t see how the salaries and threshold would work.
    One line of thinking I found on Twitter, via JP Breen.
    Back in December, Ken Rosenthal wrote about how teams were hesitant to meet Orioles asking price on Machado. It was two young pitchers. Obviously, no one met that price b/c Machado wasn’t traded…
    One has to surmise that the Orioles recognize that any return in July would be lower than what they’d be able to get back then. No one met their price in December. Now they’ll offer less b/c Machado is less valuable. The Orioles have no leverage. They essentially have to trade him — which teams know.

  6. Baseball America just updated their top 100 prospects (07/06/18). The Padres have the most top 100 players on the list with 9. The Rays followed with 7, Blue Jays & White Sox with 6, and Dodgers/Twins/Angels/Braves with 5. As an aside, the Red Sox, Cubs, and Giants do not have any top 100, and the DBacks have 1.
    The Padres have 3 top 25, 6 top 50, and 7 top 75. The Rays have 3 top 25 and 5 top 50. The Blue Jays have 2 of the top 5.
    The Dodgers top 100 are as follows:
    Alex Verdugo – #25
    Keibert Ruiz – #26
    Yusniel Diaz – #51
    Will Smith – #80
    Gavin Lux – #81
    Once MLBPipeline comes out with their update, we will see where Smith and Lux land, and whether White and Santana are no longer included. To me, the 5 listed above are the untouchables for a rental, and I would add Dustin May in that group. I would consider White, Santana, and Jeren Kendall to be available for the right rental, but also for the appropriate longer controlled high impact relievers…Blake Treinen, Kyle Barraclough, and to a lesser degree Drew Steckenrider and Kirby Yates. None of those mentioned above should be discussed for Adam Conley or any other similar reliever.
    I like Machado, and I do think that he would help the Dodgers. But not at the price above. Machado may get them the NL West, and quite possibly the NL, and while they would still not be as good as NYY, Boston, or Houston, they would only have to face one of them in the WS. But their biggest need is GOOD relief. If Milwaukee offers them RHP Corbin Burnes (#58) and CF Brett Phillips, the Dodgers could counter with Jeren Kendall, but do not have a pitcher comparable to Burnes. As I stated yesterday, I would be a major advocate for Machado but not for the likes of Verdugo/Ruiz/Lux/May, 4 names that have been allegedly requested. If Yadier Alvarez is not considered a viable option by teams, then he should not be a top ten prospect. If he is as good as he is projected by the Dodgers, then Alvarez and Kendall should be able to get it done.
    But if Alvarez and Kendall are needed for Treinen or Barraclough, that is a bigger need. I think there is a way of getting Machado and either Barraclough or Treinen, but if the Brewers want to overpay for a rental, then FAZ needs to let them.

      1. I would think Ferguson proved he’ll be a pretty good pitcher, and he’s 21. I’d think he has some pretty good value. Surprised he’s not on that top 100 list though

  7. Bluto put it well above: the price for Machado went down from the winter to now. The price theoretically should go down as we approach July 31, because Balt knows all it will receive for Machado after July 31 is a compensatory 1st round pick. Now, is that 31st-38th pick who they get to choose better than the prospects they’d get by July 31? If so, don’t trade him.

    Now again, the price should drop by July 31 unless theres’ tons of suitors, in which case the price may increase. Who blinks first? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get him, and I really do think if we got him, we’d get him knowing we could keep him.

    It’ll be a fun next few weeks!

    1. I personally would be ok with trading verdugo/alvarez/non top 10 guy for machado. He’s a difference maker in the lineup and we have the of depth to overcome verdugo’s loss. Maybe someone like sheffield/rios/wong as the 3rd piece. Seems fair to me.

  8. Very excited to have Toles back in the lineup! I hope he makes the most of this opportunity.

  9. I think it is odd that Verdugo hasn’t been in the OKC lineup the past few games. Has anyone heard of an injury report on him or did they finally bench him for his attitude. He has some serious baseball skills but I watched him when OKC came to Fresno to play the Grizzlies and he was wearing these super bright red batting gloves and sliding mitt and was consistently, every inning, the last guy out of the dugout, moving just a little faster than a walk. Irritating. Both he and Alvarez have tremendous talent but lack something in the heart. I could easily trade either one for a top of the line SP or RP. I’m sure it would be a win-win for both teams. Maybe for a Gennett.

    1. Definitely trust e-6 to evaluate a player’s heart based on batting gloves and walking vs. running pace observed from the stands of a single MiLB game.

    1. While I am happy for the exposure he is getting, I’m not too excited about his participation in the derby. Each of our last few participants have gone into the all-star game and home run derby with glowing statistics, only to come back after the all-star break and suck eggs for the remainder of the year. Kemp, Pederson, Puig, Bellinger, am I forgetting anyone?

  10. E6 – I was at Fresno… Color scheme??? So what??? A bit of a swagger??? Maybe??? We all got our favorites I guess…
    That being said, I’m happy for Toles and lets get him in there for good run… I really like the speed added to the lineup… He’s hungry I hope…
    E6… Did he have the fingers of his batting gloves in or out ???

  11. Not a fan of dodgers participating in the hr derby. Not a surprise that Toles was called up instead of Verdugo. Kemp is more comfortable in right and Toles can play all three. Where has Verdugo been? He was red hot and then disappeared from the lineup. If we can get machado without a huge outlay I say go for it. The way our offense looked against that great angel rotation(sarcasm) we need another bat. Somebody in the lineup is always cold and Barnes, Forsythe, are automatic outs while Grandal has horrible stretches. Machado would give us more margin for error. So machado, gennett or both would obviously make us better offensively.

  12. Still stand by my bitch fest last night about Verdugo, yes he has all the tools, but is he right for THIS club? I just don’t see the fit with the type of personalities on the club right now. We all know that could be trouble down the road, and the Dodgers have one of the most tight knit clubhouses in baseball. He doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who will take on a padowan role for a JT, Utley, or even Kemp. Wildcard.

    1. I am going to respectfully submit this to you:

      Back in the day when I used to have pressbox, dugout, field and locker room access, It was easy to see who the bad actors were. The fans were in love with Manny Ramirez, but he was a not a good person. Andre Ethier was a prima donna… but he evolved pretty quickly. Matt Kemp was moody and totally self-centered early in his career.

      You didn’t read about this stuff in the media. The writers would not touch it. Witness Tony Jackson talking about the Phoenix Pee Party and it cost him his job. Froze out by the players.

      I am not close to the team anymore, so I can’t really say what kind of attitude Alex Verdugo has… and neither can you! However, if FAZ doesn’t trade him, that tells me that they have faith in him… and that’s enough for me. Verdugo has super elite ball-to-bat skills. Those don’t grow on trees.

      1. seriously. IF Verdugo is immature, well he’s 21. There is a pretty decent chance he’ll mature and be a team player and team leader as he gets older. To automatically assume he wont fit in is a tad presumptuous.

        1. Bobby

          He is actually 22, but you are right, I don’t like to label any young person, but I do understand why some feel that way.

          But I don’t watch him everyday, so I don’t really have an opinion about him, yet.

          Did you look at Machados walk to strike out ratio, it is pretty impressive, for a hitter that hits with power, like Machado does?

          And to top that off, he is also hitting 300.

          1. definitely having a career year, OR, now that he’s 26, he’s figured it out and is a top 5 offensive player in baseball

  13. … and let me say this: If you believe anything or any trade scenario from any fish hack (pick ’em) , blogger (me included) or insider (Jim Bowden), then I have a bridge…

    No one has any clue…

    And, the information that is being disseminated is likely false!


    1. Don’t forget commenter:

      Machado, Britton and cash for

      Verdugo, alvarez, Sheffield, sborz, wong and rios

  14. Baltimore looks historically bad. They should take simply the largest prospect haul they can get for machado. Time is wasting. He’ll never have more value than right now.

  15. The good news is that Kershaw will not opt out!

    The bad news is that Kershaw will not opt out!

  16. Pretty much

    Ok wit in the compromise of a couple more years of him

    Btw, will smith continues to take. Close to untouchable

    1. It’s so great seeing him out there! I hope he stays healthy and in the starting line up.

  17. Damn I love Toles. He just looks like he belongs. Gotta love the headfirst slide. Great to see him healthy again.

  18. Robert’s is a perfect manager for toles to become a major league cf and possible lead off man.

    1. I don’t like Toles as a lead off guy, only because he is much more productive, when runners are on base.

  19. I love Mark’s notion to manufacture prospects with Wood and Joc (or Puig) to trade for Manny. Time to give Toles and Verdugo their chance. I too think there is a bunch of disinformation going on. After the DBacks scored with Martinez last year, should the Dodgers miss Manny and he helps the DBacks win, they will be second guessed big time. Time to make something happen!!! I also get the Clayton sentiment. He’s my favorite player but if he opts out, I’d say he’s OUT!

    1. Yes, because last year turned out so well for the DBacks (with Martinez) as it did for the Dodgers.

      1. The Dbacks’ acquisition of Martinez is not why the Dodgers won more games than the Snakes did. Come on – really? Could the Dodgers have used a LF bat of Martinez’ caliber down the stretch? Did the Dbacks win fewer games with Martinez on the roster than they would have won without him?

  20. I noticed last night Ferguson hit 95 on the gun. His curve is so much better than it was when he first came up. This guy is going to be good! (or he’s going to be good trade bait). His progress will make it easier to trade one of our stud young arms in the next few weeks.

  21. Kershaw will throw less fastballs and more sliders and curve balls and will do well. If his fastball gets back up to 93 he will throw more of them. For now his fastball will not be his strikeout pitch. He is still an ace.
    If Toles can stay on the field he will be fun to watch and easy to root for. He is likeable.
    I’v been living on the east coast for the last 10 years and plan to move to Oregon next year. If Mark trades Joc to Seattle, that works for me. Seattle’s new park is very nice and unlike the tomb they used to play in.
    The Dodgers are still in the market for a second baseman. Unless they plan to move Bellinger to CF and keep Muncy for 1st base, I can see selling high on Muncy.

  22. MINOR LEAGUE RECAP by AlwaysCompete
    AAA is on their All-Star Break until Thursday, and there was limited action elsewhere. There were two winning streaks continued and yet another loss for Great Lakes.
    Tulsa – 8-1 Win over Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers)
    The Drillers won for their 6th consecutive game. Yusniel Diaz (who should be at AAA) followed his 4 hit night with a 3 hit night. Will Smith (who should also be at AAA), hit his 15th HR on the season. Smith has now homered in 3 consecutive games, and 8 in the past 13 games. DJ Peters went 2-4 and Jacob Scavuzzo hit his 11th HR. Errol Robinson got another bases loaded 2 run single.
    Kyle Lobstein improved his record to 2-0. He started and went 6.2 IP allowing 1 run on 2 hits, 1 walk, with 4 Ks. Nolan Long and Devin Smeltzer finished the final 2.1 innings allowing 0 hits and 1 walk, with 3 Ks.
    Rancho Cucamonga – 5-4 Win over Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)
    Leo Crawford started, pitched 4.1 innings, and surrendered 4 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk and 6 Ks. The Quakes found themselves down 4-0 and in danger of losing for the first time after 13 consecutive wins. But with the aid of 3 HRs, the Quakes put up 5 and won for their 14th consecutive game. Jared Walker slugged his 2 HR of the season, a 3 run shot, to put the Quakes in the lead for good. Connor Wong (12) and Cody Thomas (11) each hit solo HRs. Wong went 3-4 and is showing some signs of life after his great start was followed by as long slump. Gavin Lux also had another multiple hit night going 2-4.
    Ryan Moseley, Logan Salow, and Andre Scrubb picked up for Crawford and shut down the JetHawks holding them scoreless over the final 4.2 innings. Moseley got the win, while Scrubb got his 1st RC save. With RC, Andre has now pitched 9.1 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 HBP, with 12 Ks. He has had a good start to his High A promotion.
    Great Lakes – 5-0 Loss to Dayton Dragons (Reds)
    Great Lakes has had a couple of good seasons of late, but this season has not been kind to the Loons, as they lost yet again and now have a record of 27-60. I was looking forward to last night’s game as 21 year old Dominican pitcher Jeronimo Castro was due to start his 1st game at Great Lakes. He was dominant in his 10.1 innings with AZL. It did not go as planned for the young RHP as he went 4.0 IP allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, and striking out 4. Three relievers followed allowing 3 additional runs in their shutout loss. The Loons managed 2 hits with Eric Peterson tripling (1) and Luke Heyer singling.
    Both DSL Dodgers teams lost yesterday.

  23. To the Bluto.
    Martinez crushed the second half last year for the DBags. Don’t know what they gave up but that deal made them a factor. This year it’s a dog fight to win the NL West. Time to use some tools in the shed to get a new edge. If Manny can be as impactful in the second half as Max was the first….. what if both cylinders were hitting!
    Go Dodgers be creative

    1. Screw the division. Any move we make is aimed at winning the world series. There is no halfway this year. I expect us to add a closer (yes, closer) and try to swing Machado. Our superstar is out for the year and it just so happens one is available for the year. The moves have nothing to do with 2019 or 2020. They are about this postseason and getting another shot at ending the drought. Nobody will want to face us in the playoffs. Let ny/bos/hou kill each other off. We’ll be the last team standing.

  24. 2019 lineup:
    Verdugo RF
    Toles CF
    Turner 3B
    Seager SS
    Taylor 2B
    Bellinger 1B
    Smith C
    Pederson/Hernandez LF platoon
    Traded away:
    Kemp (unless NL gets DH)
    Free agents leaving

  25. Prospect question:

    Assuming both Ruiz and smith survive the purge, AND smith is the long-term answer at C, what other position could Ruiz occupy in the future?

    1. You might need to ask the question the other way around, because Ruiz is 4 year younger and some scouts think he will be the better catcher. However, I think Ruiz would be a good 2B. He has soft hands and moves well. His weakest tool is his arm so, 3B would be out. Smith can also play 3B and he has a very good arm.

      However, neither one may be the catcher for long as Diego Cartaya is the new end game. His skills are allegedly ahead of either player.

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