One More on FAZ and My Final 2018 WS Autopsy

I hope you all bear with me. I would like to somewhat continue the FAZ discussion from yesterday.  And then to give one last autopsy report on the 2018 WS.

As Mark indicated, FAZ took over a team that had a payroll in excess of $250MM. One would think that a team with that payroll would be loaded.  However when they arrived on the scene, the team had only 3 starting pitchers (Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu), no SS, no 2B, no catching, and a totally bereft bullpen, as well as a depleted minor league system. The ownership saddled them with a bloated salary level, which limited their ability to go out and get talent. They were not going to bid on Jon Lester. So, they went out and got three marginal pitchers Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and Mike Bolsinger. McCarthy was a bust for four years, while Anderson had a decent enough 2015 campaign that FAZ made the mistake of offering a QO to him for 2016 which he accepted. Who Knew??? Before 2016, no player had ever accepted the QO, and then 3 did. Bolsinger was the journeyman everyone figured he would be, but he did pitch 109 innings with 21 starts and a 3.62 ERA. Not a bad return for a minimum salary.

In addition to the pitchers, they traded for Howie Kendrick to play 2B and Jimmie Rollins to play SS. They also traded Matt Kemp and his salary to the Padres for Yasmani Grandal; their very much needed catcher. By the end of the year, the payroll ballooned to $310MM (per TrueBlueLA). The payroll picture can be followed at:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-payroll-20151009-story.html

To build up the farm system, FAZ went out and spent an unfortunate amount of capital on international players. But all was not lost. Hector Olivera brought Alex Wood and Luis Avilan (2015). Oneil Cruz brought Tony Watson (2017), Yusniel Diaz brought Manny Machado (2018). Yadi Alvarez and Omar Estevez are still with the Dodgers organization and are included in the Top 30 prospects.

I have said it for the last three years…FAZ can build a team for a 162-game season to get to the playoffs, and then it is up to the players. Many have criticized FAZ for their deadline trades or missed opportunities. They are accused of whiffing on Hamels in 2015. I say they did not, because that would have cost at least Corey Seager. After they whiffed on Chris Sale (IMO their biggest mistake), they did try to improve the roster with Hill & Reddick in 2016. Reddick did not pan out, but we will never know if Hill could have won Game 7 of the NLCS because Kyle Hendricks beat Clayton Kershaw in Game 6. In 2017, FAZ went out and traded for Yu Darvish, Tony Watson, and Tony Cingrani. At the time, the Darvish trade was not criticized, but we all know what happened to him in the WS. But how many remember his game 3 in the NLDS against the DBacks and Game 3 in the NLCS against the Cubs.?
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In 2018, FAZ stepped up big and acquired Manny Machado. It was costly, and he did not produce as was hoped. Hindsight is fantastic for those who said the Dodgers should have gone for Steve Pearce instead of Machado. I recognize that most of those comments were in jest, but not all of them. Some like to criticize FAZ just because they can and want to. FAZ also picked up David Freese, and I was happy they were able to re-sign him. He will be a heavy influence in the 2019 clubhouse.
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I am not a big fan of deadline trades because most of the time they do not get the desired results. Sometimes they do (Manny Ramirez).
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I have also questioned FAZ’s lack of emphasis on the relief game, at least on the ML level. Perhaps that description is less volatile than my “FAZ does not value relief pitching”. However, relief pitching was average at best during the season. At times excellent, but others…WOWwere they bad. This came lo light front and center during the World Series:

Scott Alexander– 1.1 IP, 1 H,2 R, 2 BB, and 2 K
Pedro Baez– 4.2 IP, 2 H,2 R, 3 BB, and 4 K
Dylan Floro– 2.1 IP, 3 H,3 R, 2 BB, and 3 K
Kenley Jansen– 4.0 IP, 2 H,2 R, 1 BB, and 3 K
Ryan Madson– 2.1 IP, 3 H,1 R, 2 BB, and 2 K –Plus 7 inherited runners all scored.
Kenta Maeda– 3.0 IP, 4 H,1 R, 1 BB, and 5 K –Plus 3 inherited runners scored
Julio Urias– 3.0 IP, 1 H,1 R, 1 BB, and 2 K
Alex Wood– 2.1 IP, 3 H,2 R, 1 BB, and 2 K

Where I think the Dodgers missed out on the trade deadline was not picking up a solid reliever. There were a bunch out there, but I was focused on Keone Kela, Ryan Pressly, and especially Jose Leclerc. Instead the Dodgers picked up John Axford, Zac Rosscup, and Ryan Madson.

Leclerc– In 59 games, he was scored on in only 6, none since July 25.

Kela– 16 games with Pitts – scored in only 2 and one of those he had 4 runs scored bloating his ERA.

Pressly– 26 games for Houston 23.1 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 3 BB, and 32K. The cost was Jorge Alcaia RHP, and CF Gilberto Celestino. Good players, but a price the Dodgers could certainly have covered. Salary would certainly not have been an impediment.

Kela – $1.2MM
Pressly – $1.6MM
Leclerc – $552.3K

Ryan Madson made more than those three combined. Who would you rather have had on the mound…Madson or any of the three?  Andrew can spin it any way he wants, but failure to pick up a legit late inning reliever hurt the team’s chances.  I am not going to say that the Dodgers would have won the WS with one or two or all three, but it sure would have been longer than 5 games, and then who knows.

With the post season analysis by Zaidi, it was mentioned that the player development people will be directing their minor league affiliates to use starting pitchers in relief, and starting position players off the bench, to train them to be flexible in multiple roles. This is insane to me. How can you expect starting pitchers to go 7+ innings at the ML level if they are being trained to be relievers? How can you expect batters to hit both RHP and LHP if they are being trained to come off the bench and learn to be role players as well? I do not agree with this approach, and I would welcome Zaidi to move on to SF if this is his brilliant plan. But it is clear that this is the intention as this is who the Dodgers are drafting after the first couple of rounds. I also recognize that drafting as late and as often as the team does, really hurts the chances at drafting a top of the rotation guy.  But Jacob deGrom was a 9th round pick.  What might have happened to his ability to go late in the game if he were told in his development to learn how to relieve so he could become more “flexible”.  Most of the recent pitcher draftees are either relievers or are projected to be. That was my comment with regards to Stephen Kolek. That is not a negative on Kolek or any of the other recently drafted pitchers now employed by the Dodgers. Get used to seeing starting pitchers go 5 innings and no more than twice thru the lineup, and then an Andrew Miller type high leverage reliever coming in the 6th to face the top of the order for 1-2 innings and then a setup and closer. Get used to the platoons and multiple utility players with only 2-3-4 full time starters. Right now that might be Corey, JT, and Belli, and I am not sure about Belli anymore.

While the pitching outside of Walker Buehler and Rich Hill was pathetic during the WS, it was the offense that Friedman blamed for the WS loss and not the bullpen. I am of the opinion that it was offense, starting pitching, relief pitching, defense, and managerial decisions that cost the Dodgers the WS. Realistically, the Dodgers had a chance to win if all of those components were exceptional, but they were not and the Red Sox were by far a superior team. Looking at the offense there were but two players that seemed to come to play:

David Freese– (.417) – 5-12
JT– (.333) – 8-24

There were a couple of others that were at least not absent:

Max Muncy– (.235) – 4-17
Puig– (.250) – 5-20

But where were these guys?

Barnes– 0-11
Dozier– 0-5
Belli– 1-16
Joc– 1-12
Kemp– 1-9
Grandal– 1-5
Kike’– 2-15
CT3– 2-14
Machado– 4-22

That is a combined 12 for 97 for a spectacular .124 combined batting average.  For those players around for the 2017 WS, they were not much better. Of those who played in both years, only Joc hit well in the 2017 WS.  Charlie Culberson and Logan Forsythe were the other two that hit well, but they were not on the 2018 roster.  The team had 65 strikeouts in the 2017 WS.  If they want to WIN the WS, the offense is going to need to change in personnel and/or philosophy.

By the way, I agree with Mark that relief pitching is not an exact science, and that one year does not necessarily reflect the next. But at the deadline, one can generally look at relievers that have been successful during the year and finishing strong. All three of Kela, Pressly, and Leclerc finished strong as well as Brach. I am also on record as to not being a huge advocate for Joe Kelly or Nathan Eovaldi based on their WS exploits. I believe the Dodger hitters made those two look better than they may have been. I think if you were to ask Cora, he might say that Matt Barnes was their best reliever not named Kimbrel.

After this final autopsy report of the 2018 WS by me is in the books, I am going to put 2018 behind me and look towards 2019. I want to study the MLBTradeRumors top 50 FA and see realistically who might help the Dodgers in 2019. It is inconceivable that FAZ would pay $420MM for 14 years for Bryce Harper. It is also inconceivable that the Phillies will plop down $390MM for 13 years for Machado. They are simply projecting that neither Boras or Lozano will let Giancarlo Stanton’s ridiculous contract remain the most lucrative deal.

This article has 54 Comments

  1. Nice autopsy AC. One other FA signing not referenced was the horrible signing of Scott Kazmir. I think it’s obvious the NL West crown, and perhaps the NL pennant goes through LA for the foreseeable future, but the FO is going to have to find a new approach to the offense.

    I like the occasional “pop” in Keekay, CT3 and Bellinger’s bat, but they have to find a way to reduce those empty AB’s that end with a K and put the ball in play with more regularity. How many times did we see a second and third situation with one out where all the team needed was a sac fly but far too often we would see a Bellinger, Grandal, Keekay or CT3 strikeout for out two and three?

  2. I’m beginning to (luke)warm to the idea of signing Harper. He’s one of those generational players.
    1B – Bellinger
    2B – Muncy/Hernandez
    SS – Seager
    3B – Turner
    LF – Puig
    CF – Taylor/Verdugo
    RF – Harper
    C – ??

    1. If I were to sign Harper, I would convert him to LF. He’s not a great fielder and then there’s the injury factor.

    2. I dont like to sign Harper y prefer Machado in a good price…I PREFER DO A TOLES AND VERDUGO A CHANCE INSTEAD O HARPER. MACHADO O GOOD RIGHT HANDER HITTER ES BETTER

  3. Dodgers (Glendale)
    Ben Holmes had himself a dominant day on the mound yesterday striking out six players over five innings and allowing only one hit and two walks.

  4. AC

    A really fair and very good analysis!

    Like I have said to many times, I was really upset after the front office’s news conference, because of the attitude of both Friedman, and Zaidi.

    Because Zaidi was so defensive and neither guy admitted that they could have done certain things better, like AC has said here, like get a better reliever.

    I just think that everyone makes mistakes and if they can acknowledge their mistakes, they will probably not make those same mistakes again.

    Friedman did say our offense was the reason we didn’t win the series, but after Zaidi had defended their platoons, and their decision about Hill, I didn’t know what to think.

    And since Zaidi came from a team that totally embraces saber metrics as a totality of staying relevant as a team, I felt he just didn’t get it.

    And the only reason I thought that about Zaidi, was because he was a product of Billy Bean’s school, that encompasses saber metrics above most anything else, in order to keep a team relevant with little money, and with little resources.

    Not because he isn’t smart, because that is ridiculous, because he knows more about running a team then any of us, but even smart people can get lost in to much minutia, of the moment.

    I just didn’t think his mind was open enough to use saber metrics as just another tool, to help the team do better.

    Because remember when he was asked what was wrong with the team’s offense earlier in the season, he said they were not hitting enough HRs.

    But after that news conference, Alanna Rizzo took Friedman aside, and asked him point blank, about the platoons.

    And Friedman said his goal is not to have a bunch of platoon players to plung in, he said it was more because of the roster of players they had this year.

    And I can understand that to an extent, because they were dealing with the luxury tax last year.

    But AC has given us an example on how this organization is ran at the minor league level, and all these minor league teams seem to be plagued with the same problems, especially selling out for power, and accepting all the strike outs, that goes with power.

    I just think if the Dodgers want to have a more consistent offense, that will be equipped to be able to score runs against good pitching, like we will face in a World Series, they are going to have to evolve, just like the Astros and the Red Sox have.

    And both of those teams don’t only depend on HRs to score runs, they do all the other little things to, that helps a team score tough runs.

    And with that, the HRs will come too, because a line up filled with average or below hitters with pop, is not as tough of a line up as some think, even if most in our line up hit twenty HRs.

    Because although pitchers might make a mistake with a line up like this and give up a HR, this same line up makes it much easier for pitchers to strike out our hitters in high leverage situations, and in general.

    And you can see that, when you look at almost everyone in this line up that hit twenty HRs, because their RBI numbers, are very small for as many HRs they hit, because most of these guy’s HRs came when there wasn’t a single runner, on base.

    Because even sub par pitchers pitch tougher when runners are in scoring position, and our average and below hitters, don’t have the approach or the ability to adjust in these situations, so that makes it easier on pitchers, just like in this last World Series.

    1. Batting is a science but pitching is an art. I have no idea who will succeed and who won’t. I trust the process until I don’t. I do like the youth we have coming up.

  5. Looking at some free agent bats. I say no to Pollack. Obp not great. Lowrie is an interesting name. Switch-hitter, can play multiple positions, draws walks. 2b is crowded already but on a short deal maybe?

    1. I like him too, but for a year. I think Lux takes that job some time in 2019. I heard high school comparisons of Chase Utley (AC would you agree?) .

      The problem we have is that most of our better bats, as well as top 2 prospects (Verdugo and Lux) are left handed. If e sign Harper, there’s another leftie. This is the reason I would trade Joc and Verdugo, for an impact right handed hitter. Not sure where he’d play, especially if we have Harper, Bellinger, and Puig in the outfield, and JT, Seager, and Muncy in the infield. Somehow we need a right handed bat, which is why offensively, Manny fits better than Harper.

      Lucky for all of us, I don’t get to make those decisions! But if I did, I tell Anaheim give me Mike Trout and I send Bellinger plus a bunch more over your way. That solves everything.

      1. I saw Chase a lot in college and in the minors. He was more advanced than Lux at the same time. Lux came into his own this year. I would be shocked to see Lux get called up in 2019, but it is not totally inconceivable. Remember Lux is a SS who has played 2B on occasion and actually fairly well. I would like to see him play more regularly at 2B, and a lot will depend as to who plays 2B for the Dodgers in 2019. Lux usually goes back to Wisconsin in the off season, but it sure would be cool to see Utley work with Lux to make the transition.

  6. Everything is in flux right now, and I don’t have a clue as to where things are going. So everything I say now is accompanied by s grain of salt until the picture clears up.

    I have thought about what Bobby said about our abundance (over-abundance?) of left handed hitters, both at the MLB level and coming up.
    That said, I would have no problem with the Dodgers signing Harper, if only because he terrifies me every time he steps up to the plate against the Dodgers. And assuming Puig was around (and I hope he is), there is no way that I move his cannon to LF. I’m sure that Harper could get very comfortable in LF.

    I know that a lot of people are high on Lux, and maybe there’s very good reason. However, without having a full grasp of the free agent market, for now at least, I favor targeting DJ LeMahieu, especially given the fact that he was not given a QO, and therefore is free of any draft compensation. Lux is young, and probably will not be ready until 2020, and like any prospect he’s no sure thing. Even Alex Verdugo who I am extremely high on, is not a sure thing. Why not sign LeMahieu, a proven MLB offensive and defensive player, and then worry in 2020 what we’re going to do with an over abundance of infielders. A lot can happen, some of it totally unpredictable, between now and then. And, of course, LeMahieu is a right handed bat.

    Mark, is there a way to make it easier to scroll back up in the comment box when posting from a phone? I find that attempting to do so also makes the entire screen to move as well. Consequently, I often just give up after a long post, and just post without proof reading.

  7. The World Series and the post-season – that’s an interesting issue. In my view, the outcome of the Series was fairly predictable in many ways.

    You can’t change your stripes in the post-season. Put it another way, you play the same way in the post-season that you played all season long. In the Dodgers’ case, that meant inconsistent bullpen play, the inability to knock in RISP, lots of Ks, trying to hit HRs every time up. It worked, after a fashion, during the regular season but it wasn’t like the team was suddenly going to change its stripes.

    They got away with it against Atlanta – there was too great a talent gap. They barely got away with it against the Brew Crew – the talent level was closer. They didn’t stand a chance playing like that against a Boston team with very good talent but one that was adept at clutch hitting and pitching.

    The Braintrust has made deadline deals annually and as you have pointed out, sometimes it has worked and sometimes it hasn’t. I give the ‘Trust high marks for getting Machado and Dozierr. It didn’t work out with Dozier but it was a good try. Like you though, the team’s obvious need was a shut-down set-up man and they didn’t get that. I think that like Mark, the ‘Trust assumed that the team’s extra starters would be what was needed in the ‘pen. Maeda pitched well in that role last year but not this year. Wood’s stuff isn’t suited to the bullpen. Stripling wasn’t the same after his injury.

    If the Braintrust has a blind spot, it’s the bullpen. The Dodgers struggle every year to find 8 guys who can pitch effectively out of the ‘pen. In 2017, trading for Watson and Cingrani at the deadline filled in the gaps. This year, the Axe and the Cup – not so much. As I have suggested before, it would be nice, going into a season, to have more than 1 guy in the ‘pen with a track record of success. The ‘Trust doesn’t believe in that so don’t bet on it happening in 2019.

    Doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result may be one definition of insanity. I expect the Dodgers to continue to trend toward the same “3 true outcomes” style of baseball that they have trended toward increasingly for the past 3 years. The ‘Trust has said that in its view, that’s how to win ballgames. To expect a different outcome while doing the same thing – sounds crazy to me.

    1. It’s apples and oranges to try and compare a year in which they had to get under the salary cap to a year in which no such constraints apply. I believe the Dodgers will snag a couple of good relievers, but it may be later because it’s also foolish to go with deals longer than 2 years with most relievers!

      To say that Alex Wood’ stuff is not suited for the pen defies the evidence. Wood has a 3.33 ERA (1.225 WHIP) as a starter and a 2.70 ERA (1.060 WHIP) as a reliever. He strikeouts per 9 IP is 1.5 higher as a reliever, so it made perfect sense to put him in the pen with Maeda. This was not a flaw in FAZ’s plan – it was a lack of execution by Wood and Maeda! All FAZ can do is put them in position to execute. The fact that they didn’t doesn’t mean the plan was flawed!

      Kenley Jansen had (1) Heart issues; (2) was involved in a custody battle with his oldest daughter; and (3) had a new daughter. His meltdowns were epic and central to the Dodgers’ failures. Hopefully, it will all be behind him next season. However, I think the Dodgers should acquire another arm capable of closing.

      I would like to see Madea and Wood traded for a couple of relievers. If Ryu returns, the Dodgers have plenty of starters. Stewart and Stripling are also trade bait. Those players could net some really good bullpen arms.

      Floro and Baez look to be nice pieces. Freguson and Santana could excell there and there are several other minor leaguers that may be readyto help in 2019.

  8. Agree AC, insanity reigns with respect to pitching development with FAZ. I would also say it reigns with respect to the swing and miss philosophy. Freidman & Zadi have mostly been good for the Dodgers, but how many WS’s do we have to watch teams with superior pitching expose the big swingers, and players with bat to ball skills expose our inferior bull pen, and beyond Buehler inferior starters (we need another #1 or #2 starter despite CK’s claim he will return to being elite. And yes Hill pitched great, but that was one game, he does not do that consistently.
    If the Giants sign Zadi away I will not be sad.

      1. Agreed, but was thinking more of Hill’s season – he has some real stinker outings, plus he is 38, how much more is in his tank.

        1. Next year is Hill’s last year under contract. It seems he has the blister issues worked out, so I would except a good year from him. Maybe a 150 innings and a 3.66 ERA like this year…

          As a #5, he should be great.

  9. Dozier had to be the last player we needed, we already had far to many hitters like Dozier in our line up already, and his knee had been bothering him, all year.

    And that not only affected his power, it affected the way he turned a double play, so it affected him defensively too.

    And Madson was dealing with back issues before he joined this team, and that is probably why his era was over 5, before we traded for him.

    When they traded for David Freeze, that was really when they finally got it right!

    And maybe the move for Freeze, shows that the front office finally got what this team really needed.

    And that was a good faith move.

    1. In reality, the Dozier/Forsythe trade was made to hope for the best from a new environment for both players. It should also not be lost that the Dodgers saved some money with that trade ($1.3MM). There is no way that I can call this a bad deal by FAZ.

      1. AC

        I agree, it wasn’t a loss, because Forsythe had been just terrible, but I sure would not rate it at the top of their moves, especially with Dozier’s knee issue.

      2. Some fans infuriate me. They cry for Forsythe to be replaced then when the guy who replaces him is no better they complain more.

        1. Dionysis

          First, I don’t think anyone wanted Forsythe replaced, maybe let go, because we had others on the team who could play second.

          But at that point in the season, most were thinking about a arm for the pen, then another postition player.

          And most thought that money given to Forsythe for his option, could have went toward a decent arm in the pen.

          Like I said, I wouldn’t rate that my top move, but AC pointed out, it saved some money.

          But because Dozier wasn’t healthy, he didn’t do much.

        2. Dionysis

          And if you didn’t take what I said so negative, maybe you would have realized I was complementing the front office for getting it right, not wrong!

          Because as small as the Freeze move was, and as late as it was, it was truly a good move.

          1. My comment wasn’t directed aimed at you but I hear you. We did have other options at the time. In general though, most of us were excited about dozier and his failure judt illustrates how fickle success can be.

  10. We need to get better hitters. As Friedman said there would not be a need for platoons if the lineup had better overall hitters. At least that’s what I thought he said.i said I wasn’t as upset about platoons as most because we just don’t have good hitters. I have said for a long time we have one good hitter and that is turner. Add Seager and we have 2. The rest have strengths but are not complete but then when you see a guy like pearce(who anyone could have had and many have) you have to think the execution was bad. That is why Verdugo would give us another good hitter who can probably hit good pitching. From there, I don’t see bellinger as more than a .270 hitter with power, Muncy.250 , kike .250 maybe, joc .250 maybe, Puig.280, you can have some of these players but not 6 or 7. At least Puig has been pretty good in the playoffs. We could use another quality starter and a quality reliever that is not burnt in the regular season. I also thought that Boston was just hungrier, grittier, the junkyard dogs you need. There is where Cora was much more motivating than Roberts. He expected guys to step up and sell out while Roberts was too concerned in making excuses.

  11. It is to bad Anthony Rendon is not a free agent yet.

    He is a pretty good right hand bat, and he has played all over the infield including second, although he has mostly played at third, the last few years.

  12. With all the elements of the Astros and Red Sox bullpen, I’d say that most of the better teams are not high-profile big money bullpens. For every Kenley Jansen there’s a Kimbrell or Osuna. The rest, are an assembly of lower cost arms.
    `
    I know first had the Red Sox bullpen was the major source of anxiety all year round. For a large part of the year, command issues with Brasier, Workman and Barnes made Sox fans pen for “quality relievers.”
    `
    they pulled a “Maeda” with Porcello and then the right pitchers got on a roll.
    `
    I know less about Houston, but no big names there. Even with Osuna.

      1. You mean below the radar moves like John Axford, Zac Rosscup, and Ryan Madson, while Ryan Pressly and Keone Kela were not only available but were traded to other teams like the Astros (Pressly)?
        .
        By the way, I think the Astros lost because they sold their soul to get the domestic abuser Osuna. I went from having a lot of respect for Jeff Luhnow to hoping they end in last place every year.

        1. AC

          I would definitely not bet against any player or pitcher, you have mentioned here!

          I think exactly the same way about the Cardinals, and they have not made it to the post season since they were caught.

      2. Mark

        Don’t make me laugh, even you are calling that a below the radar move.

        Like I already said, they definitely got it right with Freeze!

  13. There is a great article yesterday in The Athletic on Kershaw by Pedro Moura. As Mark and others have said, if you are not subscribing to The Athletic, you are missing on some very good writing.
    .
    Here is a small excerpt from “Clayton Kershaw opts in: ‘I’m looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong’”:
    .
    He said he was not counting on his velocity loss becoming permanent. He said the existence and success of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Cole Hamels provided inspiration for how he might recover it. And he hinted at believing that, with a run of good health, some of the lost velocity might return. He has spent time on the disabled list because of back injuries in each of the past three seasons, and more time because of a sore shoulder in 2018.

    “I’m really gonna set my sights on that,” he said of avoiding the DL. “Hopefully, from there, the getting-people-out thing will take care of itself.”

    Kershaw has never lacked motivation. His teammates marvel at his ceaseless work ethic, at his arrival times at ballparks every afternoon, all season, across the country. He said this contract will motivate him more, noting widespread reports of his decline.

    “This deal gives me a chance to prove a lot of people wrong,” Kershaw said. “I’m looking forward to proving a lot of people wrong.”

    Kershaw said he would’ve given more consideration to his hometown Texas Rangers had they been in better position to contend in the immediate future. He said he and his wife, Ellen, and their two children have come to feel like Los Angeles is their home, too. The team’s extended and wide-open window to win helped convince him.

    1. Hopefully Kershaw will have someone monitoring him, so he won’t over do it.

      I have never thought Kershaw didn’t put in the effort, and I don’t bet against anyone’s human spirit.

      I do know that Verlander had an oblique surgery that took him another year after he was allowed to return to pitching again, to get his velocity back.

      But with Kershaw’s back and other injuries, he is going to have to be careful, because he is not as young as he once was.

      But because he has had to deal with injuries the last few years, maybe that will help him know when to much, is just to much for his body.

      It is just hard for me to see someone like Freeze, not given what he was suppose to get, after performing well for the Dodgers.

      And that was such a small amount of money, as compared to Kershaw, who has made plenty of money before this last extension.

      But I don’t think their is a Dodger fan that doesn’t hope Kershaw finally gets what we all want.

      1. Dionysis

        I think Dozier is very cute, and I hoped after I watched him first play, he could make a difference.

        Because it does not seem like the bright lights of LA bothered him, like it did with Forsythe.

        It is just to bad he had that knee issue.

        Because Bobby had him on his fantasy team the year before, and he just threw it up in the second half of the season, last year.

          1. Bobby: We didn’t get the real Dozier this year because he was hurt. For the last 4 years before 2018 there was only one 2nd Baseman better the Dozier and that was Altuve. I would take a chance on him for 1 year and $10M.

  14. There was no reason to think that there was any difference between Freese and Pearce. They were fundamentally the same player, and are, in fact, about the same age. And Freese played well in the post season, and Pearce just happened to get hot at the right time. And he could just as conceivably be in the playoffs next year, and be as cold as ice. So he is definitely not a player I would covet, especially since we already have him, David Freese.

    Adding a bullpen arm this winter could help, but I also think that we could add to the pen from players already with the Dodgers, which includes the minor league system. Big, established arms would likely come at a high cost. Whether such a cost would be justifiable can only be determined when we see the cost and it’s context in relation to other moves the team makes.

    And one other thing, even more important than the Dodgers. Exercise your franchise, and VOTE on Tuesday (unless you have early voting and can do so sooner, or already did). I repeat, VOTE!!!!!

  15. Arizona Fall League All Star Game key stats:
    .
    Keibert Ruiz – 1-1 with a BB and RBI
    Jordan Sheffield – .2 IP, 1 hit and 1 K.

  16. I sure would rather retain Woodward that Zaidi. Zaidi can go north and can take Geren with him. We need a bench coach that will save Roberts from himself. We need a better balance of analytics and gut. Just like politics, extremism isn’t good for anyone. Get back to the center and don’t over manage yourself out of winning.

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