Looking to 2019 – Part 2

Yesterday I looked at what might the team be looking at/for in 2019 with pitching (starting and relief) and catchers.  Today I am looking at the infielders and outfielders.

Infielders:  Much of this will be determined by how Corey Seager rehabs.  Will he be able to play SS as well as he did his first two years? Many do not believe that he will be able to, but much of that has to do with their desire for Manny Machado. I am optimistic that he will be able to come back and be one of the top three SS in the game.  But I have nothing to base that on.  I have not seen his medicals.  I have not talked to him to see where his recovery is at.  And neither has anyone else outside of his family and the Dodgers organization.  So my guess is as good as any other non family member not connected to the Dodgers.  And I am going with Corey at SS.

 

The only way I think that Machado would be considered would be if FAZ was not convinced that Seager could fully come back. If Seager needs to go to another position, Manny at SS would be a very good solution.

 

There is nothing else to say about 3B except JT.  He is every bit as valuable to the Dodgers as Nolan Arenado is to the Rockies.  I am not sure there is another 3B I would trade for, and there certainly is no FA 3B that I would come close to entertaining.

 

Another question will be where Cody Bellinger will play.  He is a potential GG 1B, but he is also the team’s best CF.  He is 23 and still adjusting to ML baseball.  He will get better.  He has shown a great affinity to adjust and to improve.   I personally prefer Cody at 1B and then to find a CF.  His offensive numbers are actually fairly equal whether Cody is playing 1B or CF.  I just like a 1B who might be able to save a few errant throws from the infielders.

 

Max Muncy and David Freese can platoon at 1B if that is where FAZ wants to go.  I am not as comfortable believing that Max can sustain his 2018 season offensively, and he is not what I would consider a good defensive option.  I would use “serviceable”.  Sometimes it is best to sell high, and Max could be a very good option in the AL.

 

CT3 and Kike’ can tag team at 2B.  That would not be my preference, but realizing how the FO values flexibility, that is what I would expect.  The team (organization) is chock-full of utility infielders.  Plus, Max Muncy can play 2B, and maybe he gets a chance to play regularly there.  Tim Locastro is also on the 40 man as yet another one of those super utility guys who can play 2B, but not at the level of CT3 or Kike’.  There is absolutely no reason to keep both CT3 and Kike’.  Pick one.  The other will have good value in a trade.

 

After Alex Verdugo, Gavin Lux is the next position player that may have an impact in 2019.  It could be as early as a mid-year promotion, but more likely in 2020.  I have long been an advocate for DJ LeMahieu and I am not going to stop now.  My only hesitation would be because it might block Gavin Lux.  But DJ is a legit ML 2B while Gavin is a prospect.  Most recognize LeMahieu’s offensive talents.  He makes contact, has some pop, and does not strike out much.  But just as important, DJ is now a three-time GG 2B after securing his 3rd for 2018 just yesterday.  I am a Gavin Lux fan, but if the Dodgers can sign DJ for a reasonable sum for 2  years, I would think that is something to consider.  Lux will not be blocked.  Two full years to convert to 2B, and he will be 23 for the 2021 season.  MLBTradeRumors picks him to go to Detroit for 2 years $18M.  If that is his market, the Dodgers should be in on him.

 

I am not considering Whit Merrifield because Dayton Moore has labeled him as much of an untouchable as there is.

 

There are multiple other FA middle infielders that would interest me, but most of those are utility guys, and the Dodgers do not need more of those.  I like Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Iglesias, Asdrubal Cabrera, Freddy Galvez, and Yangervis Solarte.  But not more than CT3 or Kike’.

 

Outfielders:There is nothing absolute in this category.  There are more questions than certainties.  Again, I think FAZ missed an opportunity to get Yelich, but I have no idea of knowing how much they tried or who may have been offered in return. But that is in the past, and we are looking forward.   I see no way that Joc, Verdugo, and Toles can be on the Dodgers together.  For me, I will be watching to see what happens with Joc and Verdugo.  This could tell us what FAZ values more…power or bat to ball skills.  If it is Verdugo, he would be the regular LF.  If Joc, there would be a platoon of Joc/CT3 or Joc/Kike’ or Joc/Kemp.

 

Kemp, the 2017 starting LF, will remain with the team unless he can be moved to the AL without having to include too much cash to make it work.  If you are going to pay him, someone who is happy to be a Dodger and will probably accept a supportive role, he should remain with the team as a #4 or #5 OF.  I still like Andrew Toles as a reserve OF.

 

Right now, Yasiel Puig is the RF and there is no indication that anything is about to change.  Puig is another who is happy to be a Dodger and I would not be surprised to see him get an extension offer this winter.  The only reason I can see him being traded is if the Dodgers do sign Bryce Harper which is absolutely outside of the FAZ comfort zone.  Otherwise, put Yasiel in RF and leave him.  He will drive us all crazy at times, but he will also thrill us.

 

I see LF as Verdugo and RF as Puig leaving CF as the open question.  It could be Cody, it could be CT3, it could be Kike’, or it could be someone from the outside.  I know I am again in the minority, but I would like to see Ender Inciarte manning CF in Dodger Blue next year.  A couple of days back, Mark put up a 2018 offensive comparison between Inciarte and CT3.  However IMO, Ender’s career numbers are much more indicative of his offensive abilities.  He is a solid contact hitter vs the all or nothing of CT3.  If FAZ really wants to see a change in philosophy, then CF is a good place to make a change.  But where the difference really shows is that Inciarte is now a three consecutive year GG CFer, after being named the 2018 GG yesterday.  Ender had even splits with LHP and RHP in 2018.  For his career he is slightly better against RHP, .293/.342/.408/.750, but also hits LHP well at .276/.324/.337/.661.

 

I know it has been written that Alex is a CF.  He plays CF for OKC because they have nobody else.  He is a corner OF with a cannon.  With Verdugo in left, and Puig in right, who is going to run on them?

 

In my disillusioned and opaque world, I would have the following roster:

 

1B – Cody Bellinger (L)

2B – DJ LeMahieu (R) (FA)

3B – JT (R)

SS – Corey Seager (L)

LF – Alex Verdugo (L)

CF – Ender Inciarte (L) (Trade)

RF – Yasiel Puig (R)

C – Salvador Perez (R) (Trade) – Just won his 5th GG yesterday

 

Bench: Barnes, Freese, Kemp, Toles, Kike’

 

SP: Buehler (R), Kershaw (L), Hill (L), Stripling (R), Urias (L)

 

RP: Jansen (closer), Baez (R), Alexander (L), Floro (R), Cingrani (L), Fields (R), Leclerc (R)

 

Note – Jesen Therrien will be up by June.  Caleb Ferguson and Dennis Santana will go back to OKC to start and be on call for spot start and relief if needed.

 

Out of options and DFA or trade candidates – JT Chargois, Brock Stewart, Erik Goeddel, Yimi Garcia, Tom Koehler and Zac Rosscup.  If any clear waivers, they would be on the OKC to LAD shuttle.

 

Gone from 2018 – Trade (5) – Maeda, Wood, Muncy, CT3, and Joc.  FA (5) –  Machado, Grandal, Ryu, Dozier, and Madson.

 

Defensively, there would not be a better overall lineup:

 

Defensively up the middle – Perez, LeMahieu, Seager, Inciarte

Strong defensive corner OF with Verdugo and Puig

Strong defensive corner IF with JT and Belli

You can also win games with a strong defense.

 

More bat to ball skills than the all or nothing approach. It should be financially responsible…at or around the luxury tax threshold.

 

What I expect to see:

 

1B – David Freese (R)/Max Muncy (L)

2B – CT3 (R)/Kike’ (R) or Max (L)

3B – JT (R)

SS – Corey Seager (L)

LF – Joc (L)/Matt Kemp (R)

CF – Cody Bellinger (L)/CT3 (R)/Kike’ (R)

RF – Yasiel Puig (R)

C – Kurt Suzuki (R)

 

Other Reserves: – Barnes & Toles

 

Starting Pitching – No change

Relief Pitching – Jansen, Baez, Alexander, Floro, Cingrani, Fields, Koehler/Goeddel/Chargois

This rostershouldbe good enough to get to the playoffs, but I do not know if it will be good enough to win the NLCS or WS which should be the goal.

 

 

 

 

 

This article has 53 Comments

  1. Excellent post, once again, AC. I certainly would love to see your first option become a reality. The latter option would probably have me dozing by the fifth inning.

  2. AC I like your first lineup very much, I know you like DJ LeMahieu and he would be a very good addition, especially over Hernandez or Taylor, and no way do I want to see Muncy at second. I don’t know what DJ LeMahieu would want in terms of years, I hate to see Lux get pushed back as I think he is going to be a star and that is why I was thinking about Castro who the Dodgers can try and trade for. The cost would probably be cheaper with Castro ($11M next year and a club option on 2020 for $16M or a $1M buyout) as LeMahieu will probably be a little more and most likely 3 or more years.
    I do like the lineup and see the contact hitting much improved over the all or nothing approach of last year which at times made me think I was watching a softball game, just swing away. Your lineup is well constructed,let’s hope it looks something like that on opening day.
    The second lineup and the one I think will be closer to the real one , I think the Dodgers will have a difficult time winning the division and will not win the NL.

  3. That second option is brutal when you look at it on paper. It looks like what is cobbled together at the end of an injury riddled season—haven’t I just lived that dream?

    No way I want to start the season like that. If that’s how we start I may have to go back to rooting for the Bosox (grew up in MA but SoCal transplant for 40+ yrs)

  4. I am with you on “selling high ” on Muncy. I liked the suggestion of trading for Abreu, although I also prefer Bellinger at 1B. The Dodgers need a RH power hitter and Abreu fills the bill. If the Dodgers had to throw a lower level prospect in, I would do it.

    I would also “sell high” on Puig. He’s going to cost $10 to $12 million and his defense is going south. Also , his body is not going to be conducive to longivity. He also can’t hit LH pitching. If I could get good prospects for him I would clear the way for Verdugo. FAZ has been loathe to trade him for 3 years. Every team who wants to trade with the Dodgers asks for him. It’s time to play him. A MLB-Ready Reliever plus another prospect seems right to me.

    Realmuto is my target, but the Dodgers may not agree and I do love Ruiz, so I am OK if they sign Suzuki and utilize Barnes and/or Will Smith until Kaybear is ready.

    I would also sell high on Wood and Maeda…. more minor-league arms.

    I would roll with this:
    1. Verdugo RF
    2. Turner 3B
    3. Seager SS
    4. Abreu 1B
    5. Bellinger CF
    6. Kemp/Pederson LF
    7. Taylor or Kike 2B
    8. Suzuki/ Smith/Barnes C

    2020
    1. Verdugo RF
    2. Turner 3B
    3. Seager SS
    4. Abreu 1B
    5. Bellinger CF
    6. Pederson/Peters LF
    7. Ruiz C
    8. Lux 2B

  5. Interesting ideas. I’m inclined to think a Puig extension is highly unlikely. I’m also on the fence about whom to trade (Wood, Puig, Joc, Maeda, Kemp, Toles, Stripling seem possible); it depends largely on how they are evaluated on the outside. I also won’t pretend to be close on the bullpen. That said, there are so many variables that it seems impossible to make any predictions but I’ll counter with what I’d do:

    1) Secure a catcher on the assumption Grandal is moving on. If by any chance he accepts, we’re still fine. Sign a stop-gap for one/two years to partner with Barnes. Smith and Ruiz are coming fast and this is the rare instance I don’t want to block a prospect. I think Ruiz could be special and Smith could be a long-term option as well. Solution: Sign Martin Maldonado to two-year $8 mil deal.

    2) Go all-in on Bryce Harper. Sell him on the chance to bring a championship to LA (and his mantle). Sell him on a fresh start, a new opportunity, a marketing jackpot that would make him one of the most high-profile athletes in the world. Offer him both a monster deal and a near-term opt-out so if he’s not happy or the market jumps, he can secure another deal while he is still at age 30. Solution: Sign Bryce Harper to ten-year $370 deal with an opt-out after 4 years (totaling $160 mil) with a remaining value of 6 years/$210 mil ($35 mil per year).

    3) Welcome Ryu back with open arms. Talk a bit about extending him for under $18 mil a year in a multi-year deal (2y/$30 mil or 3y/$36 mil). Bank on his athleticism, work habits, and character. Solution: He accepts one-year Q.O. for $17.9 mil and leaves his options open to return to Korea after the season.

    4) Attempt to rework Maeda’s contract to reflect a potential full-time move to the bullpen as a set-up man. This is a very complicated move and it could backfire as the terms are already team-friendly and we can always just move him to the bullpen late in the season as we have done the past two years. Resist the urge to dangle him in trade talks. He’s part of the core who should be celebrating with us when we finally win it all. Solution: Keep him in the rotation but notify him early he is definitely moving to the bullpen for the postseason.

    5) Sign a high-end bullpen arm to a short-term high-salary deal. Target Andrew Miller, Zach Britton, Adam Ottovino. With Harper as our top target we might have to settle for our second or third choice. Solution: Sign Zach Britton to two-year $16 mil contract with incentives.

    6) Trade Kemp to AL where he is better suited. Dump Toles as he is clearly not in our future. Trade Stripling while he still has some value. Focus on these deals should be salary relief and/or international draft money & prospects. Solution: Trade Kemp to Seattle for PTBNL & cash; trade Toles to Oakland for PTBNL; trade Stripling to NYM for PTBNL.

    7) Non-tender some expensive bullpen arms and go with youth.

    Lineup:

    LF) Harper
    3B) Turner
    SS) Seager
    RF) Puig
    1B) Bellinger
    2B) Keekay
    CF) Verdugo
    C) Maldonado

    Bench) Barnes/Freese/Muncy/Taylor/Joc

    Rotation:

    Kershaw
    Buehler
    Hill
    Maeda
    Wood

    Bullpen:

    Jansen
    Britton
    Floro
    Ferguson
    Baez
    Alexander
    Santana

    *Overall philosophy is to reload with Harper, rely on veterans in expiring deals (Puig, Hill, Wood), and target a co-closer to help Jansen throughout the season.

    1. Formatting is tough on this site. Sorry if this is unreadable. I also left Ryu out of the rotation. I guess put him in Wood’s spot and trade Wood (to save money for Harper). If Ryu leaves, keep Wood.

  6. AC – good post. I have no problem with your “delusional” lineup, though I agree with Mark as to Puig. Time to sell high on him. I think it was Al Campanis that said it is better to trade a player a year to early, than a year too late. I expect, however, that what we get next year is much closer to your “What I expect to see” lineup. Then again, as soon as I typed that, I was reminded that at this time last year, there wasn’t a single person on this blog that would, or could, have predicted the Culberson trade with the Braves. At some point each year, FAZ completely surprises us with what they do.
    .
    I wouldn’t mind a short term solution at catcher. I’m excited about seeing what Smith, Ruiz, Wong, Feducia or ultimately, Cartaya can do. Suzuki, Barnes and Farmer are fine for one year. I would love to see Coby B. stay at first base. He’s just to good defensively to put him in Center Field, where he is good, but not great. 2B – I like the idea of trading high on Muncy. Though I wouldn’t mind if he stayed. He’s not particularly the mentor I would want for Lux though. SS: Seager. 3B: JT. LF: Verdugo and Kemp. CF: To be determined. RF: To be determined.

  7. Good post AC. It does, however, bring up a question about 2nd base. Why has Lux, Kiki , Taylor, Muncy, LeMahieu etc been named but not Tim Locastro to play 2nd base next year? Locastro seems to be a better fielder and baserunner than Lux. Maybe as a hitter also if you compare Locastro last year to Lux this year. As far as LeMahieu is concerned, I am totally against it even with his GG fielding. Lifetime he is a .329 hitter at home but only .264 away that includes .236 at Dodger Stadium.

    1. Agree on LaMahieu .

      My opinion is that LoCastro is a AAAA a player.

      If Lux keeps up his development he’s a potential All-Star.

    2. I am a Tim Locastro fan which is why I have been strongly suggesting that the Dodgers move one of CT3 or Kike’. But Tim has been playing more CF than middle infield lately. In 2018, he played 11 games at 1B, 30 games at 2B, 46 games in CF, and 8 games in LF. His transformation into a super utility player seems to be the plan for him and right on target. Drew Jackson will be the next one.
      .
      I know the knock on LeMahieu is his away from Coors stats. But I am looking at 1-2 years before Gavin Lux is ready.
      .
      With respect to comparison of Locastro and Lux offensively, I am not sure I agree that Locastro is better. Let’s look at when both played at RC and Tulsa. For Locastro that was in 2016 as a 23 year old. At RC he hit .289/.347/.413/.760 (380 PA) while at Tulsa he hit .277/.330/.346/.676 (207 PA). As a 20 year old at RC Lux hit .324/.396/.520/.916 (404 PA) while at Tulsa he hit .324/.408/.495/.904 (120 PA). As a 20 year old Lux hit better at the same levels as Locastro did as a 23 year old.
      .
      Locastro is a better base stealer than Lux. He is better than most if not all of the current Dodgers. But that is irrelevant since the Dodgers do not believe in running.
      .
      Lux has the potential to be an outstanding offensive 2B and a better than ML Average 2B with a plus arm. The knock on Gavin defensively is his throws to 1B from SS. His hands are just fine. His body and feet are not set up properly to make the throw consistently from SS to 1B, but that issue seems to be much less of a problem for him at 2B.
      .
      Brendan Rodgers (Rockies #1 prospect) and the #3 rated SS prospect by MLB at 21 batted .275/.342/.493/.835 in AA in 2018. He did get a late season promotion to AAA.
      .
      Bo Bichette (Blue Jays #2 prospect) and the #4 rated SS prospect by MLB at 20 batted .286/.343/.453/.796 in AA.
      .
      Carter Kieboom (Nationals #2 prospect) and the #6 rated SS prospect by MLB at 20 batted .262/.326/.395/.721 in AA.
      .
      Garrett Hampson (Rockies #4 prospect) and the #6 rated 2B prospect by MLB at 23 batted .304/.391/.466/.857 in AA. Hampson was called up to the Rockies in September and is considered the heir apparent to DJ at 2B in Colorado.
      .
      All of the above are considered to make their respective ML teams at least some time during 2019. All are rated ahead of Lux, but none of them hit with Lux this year. Maybe it is a one year aberration, but I do not think so. But then again I do not get paid to be a talent evaluator.
      .
      The idea is to find the stars before they hit free agency, and Lux looks like he will be the one to look for in 2020. But who gets to play 2B in 2019. I am a defensive minded fan, and DJ fills that role for me. If it is CT3 or Kike’ I will be fine with that, as long as they do something else to make the team better than last year. A full year of watching CT3 or Kike’ swing and miss will drive me crazy.

      1. Thanks AC. I knew you would have more insight on Lux vs Locastro than I did. I’m still against getting LeMahieu though.

  8. I”ll give a diff opinion on Puig: I think it’s imperative that we keep him! He’s a right handed hitter on a team full of leftie power (Belly, Muncy, Seager, Verdugo/Joc). If we somehow add Bryce Harper, there’s another leftie. We need right handed balance and JT is the only sure thing if we all get rid of Puig.
    I thought Puig really grew this year. I never thought he was much of a clutch hitter, but he got a few big hits in the playoffs, and of course the huge 3 run hr in Game 7 at Milwaukee. He followed that up with some more RBI in the world series, and another huge 3 run hr in Game 4 vs Boston which should have sealed that win and gotten us tied 2-2.
    I think those big hits showed his patience and maturity. I do not want to get rid of that just to save a few bucks on salary or on some belief that his athleticism is ready to decline. I still see growth. I still see a .300/35hr/100rbi year(s) coming up for him. While the rest of our team was flailing away and striking out all the time, Puig showed he actually had a smart approach at the plate.

    Keep him in RF. If we get Harper and his avg defense, stick that in LF. I still like Verdugo in CF. Now that’ a nice young outfield!

    We need a balanced lineup. Keep Puig!!

    1. While I’m not sure about Muncy’s ability to play 2B full-time, I feel pretty confident Verdugo could man CF. Positioning is more important than range and a good arm can partially make up for a lack of speed. He may never be an asset at that position, but for a year I think we could live with him out there.

    2. Good post, best of the day. Puig should stay for many reasons including he is actually a fan fave.

      Muncy has to stay-sell high? I think someone is getting high. Give him 100 ground balls a day and stick at 2B.

      Hard pass on Harper and I live in Vegas-he is me not we.

      Quantity for quality type trades is what the team needs. More impact players and less super subs.

  9. geez, rosenthal got PAID. i’d love a one-year deal on britton or miller or ottovino or herrera, but they all seem to be in line for multi-year deals.

  10. I am with Bobby, keep Puig.

    And I totally diagree that LeMahieu cannot hit away from Colorado. What I think is often overlooked is that players suffer from playing half their games in the thin air at Coors. That, probably more than anything makes it more difficult for them to hit when on the road. Put those players in more normal conditions for the entire year, and they will become more accustomed to hitting in those conditions.

    If the Dodgers somehow decide to acquire Harper, then I have no problem with Verdugo playing CF. He may not be a pure CF, but is probably adequate enough out there given the additional offense that he and Harper would provide. But some of the other scenarios whereby the Dodgers acquire players like Inciarte and Abreu could also work for. The devil is simply in the details

    And one other thing. I don’t recall Puig’s stats historically against lefthanders. However, I don’t recall him having any particular problems in that area until last year. For me , it’s a fixable problem if some time is spent focusing on it. If I recall correctly, Puig’s last HR in the WS was off a lefthander.

  11. I think the Dodgers have a good chance to get Harper if they go after him. Both he and his wife grew up in Vegas and they live there in the off season. He is a west coast guy.

  12. The Dodgers’ main deficiencies this year were bat to ball skills, approach with 2 strikes/2 outs/ RISP, and relief pitching. The main question is whether the Braintrust will actually do something to ameliorate these problems or whether it will double down on the approach which it has said repeatedly that it believes in to win – try for HRs all of the time and scrounge for relievers and hope that you find enough of them to full staff a successful bullpen by the trade deadline. I will assume the later but hope for the former. The philosophical approach which it takes will inform its decisions.

    If the Braintrust decides to double down, I expect:
    1 – they will try to re-sign Ryu for a short duration (3 years or less) contract at a Rich Hill level (he’s at AAV of $16MM as I recall)
    2 – They will try to grab a catcher from the market for cheap for a couple of seasons. Realmuto will cost too much in the way of prospects. I can see them try to trade for Perez from KC – he’s a good catcher, a good hitter and will not cost as much as Realmuto in prospects. They will forget Suzuki – defensive metrics aren’t kind to him. Maybe Lucroy or a Maldonado someone like him on a 1 or2 year contract.
    3 – The ‘Trust has looked outside of the organization to man 2B without success for the past 3 seasons. They like Kike and Taylor as utility guys but Roberts played Kike at 2B down the stretch and most of the postseason. I expect he and probably Muncy to form some sort of platoon at 2B when Muncy isn’t playing 1B. I don’t expect the Dodgers to sign LaMahieu or any other free agent to play 2B.
    4 – The Braintrust loves its platoons, matchups and moving parts. Look for more of the same in 2019 – they have as much as told us so. Friedman, after the World Series said: ” Friedman rejected blaming the struggles on the club’s platooning lineups.
    “So, it works for the regular season, it works for the DS, it works for the CS, but it doesn’t work for the World Series?” he said. “I don’t know how to answer that.””

    With that in mind, expect Taylor and Kike to play all over the field; expect more of Bellinger at 1B and CF, expect Muncy to move between 1B and 2B and so forth. The ‘Trust really believes in this and it’s not going to change.

    5 – The Dodgers have a glut of OF that they have to address. I can see Puig being traded to allow Verdugo to play RF. I can see Joc or Toles being traded in addition to or instead of Puig to open up LF. They won’t be able to unload Kemp’s contract so he will probably form the RHH half of a LF platoon.
    6 – The way the Braintrust builds the bullpen will not change. If the right deal falls in its lap they may sign a reliable reliever, but I expect that it will more likely take a flyer on a 1 year contract for a reliever who had a bad season last year but has a good history – like an Andrew Miller, Brad Brach, Cody Allen or a Kelvim Herrera. Otherwise, expect to see a name or 2 you’ve never heard of before sign this offseason.

    What do I expect? (Not what do I want)
    C – Perez or Maldonado
    C – Barnes
    1B – Bellinger, Muncy and Freese
    2B – Hernandez and Muncy
    SS – Seager (and pray) – otherwise Taylor
    3B – Turner
    LF – Kemp/Verdugo or Pederson
    CF – Bellinger/Taylor and Muncy
    RF – Puig or Verdugo
    SP – Kershaw
    SP – Buehler
    SP – Hill
    SP – Ryu (?) or Stripling or Maeda or Wood
    SP – Urias or Stripling or Maeda or Wood
    RP – Jansen
    RP – Miller or Herrera or Brach
    RP – Stripling or Maeda or Wood
    RP – Cingrani or Ferguson
    RP – Baez
    RP – Fields
    RP – Alexander
    RP – Floro

    I do not expect the Dodgers to make any big splashy free agent signings. They don’t need Harper and they won’t pay what he’s asking. Machado goes unless Seager can’t play SS any longer. There will be a short-term solution at catcher in light of the talent in the minors. I expect to see them sign 1 formerly-very good to great RP for a short term. They will try to solve 2B in house especially if they view Lux as the long term solution there. They will have to trade at least 1 or 2 OF.

    Expect more of the same in 2019!

    1. Rick

      All those different match ups must have got to you, because you have Muncy as a possibility in center.

  13. AC

    Another good write up!

    I would rather see your line up, then this same old line up that many of those players couldn’t even manage to hit 100, in this last World Series, and was so inconsistent offensively, throughout the season.

    Of that bunch of players, I only see Cody getting better, because of his talent, and that fact he didn’t play more then a month at AAA, and next year will only be his third year in the majors.

    Cody’s war number might look better when he plays center, but I think Cody at first, is much better for this team.

    We already have to many outfielders as it is, and a couple of those outfielders can probably play center as well, as Cody.

    But there is not a single player on this team, that can play first at the level Cody can, and it isn’t even close.

    Cody is one of the most athletic first baseman in all of baseball, and that along with Cody’s long reach, makes everyone else in the infield better.

    And that is why what sometimes makes an individual player’s numbers better, is not necessarily best for the team.

    Joc leading off is another example of this, because leading off for Joc, was better for his numbers especially his slugging, but I don’t think Joc leading off, was best for this team.

    Joc’s slugging went up quite a bit, but he had the lowest OBP of his career, and his OPS was lower then in 2016.

    I think we have already seen the best of Joc, it has been four years, and I see him regressing next year like a lot of players do, when the pitchers will adjust him just like they did, in this last World Series.

    I think another outfielder finally deserves this chance.

    And I don’t think a team like the Dodgers, should have to settle for so many platoon players either.

    We already saw what happens if the wrong pitcher is starting in these short series in the post season, and platoon players have to sit on the bench to much.

    And it is much easier to match up against these platoon hitters anyways, if you are the manager on the other team.

    And Roberts thinks he has to play everyone, and that takes away to many at bats, from our best players.

    Sometimes just because a hitter has the platoon advantage, that doesn’t mean you want that hitter up at the plate, then your better hitters that don’t have the platoon advantage.

    I also think Muncy will regress, because most players do, and Muncy had a monster season, so I think we will just have to wait in see with Muncy too, but trading him, might be smart.

    I don’t know why anyone would want to trade Puig.

    Puig is one our few rightie hitters, and he actually had a pretty good post season.

    I don’t like when he throws to the wrong base, and I will call him on it, but even Cody did that a couple times, in the post season this year.

    Puig got a a couple key hits with two outs, that hit in important runs and he hit a couple HRs with two outs, in the post season too.

    And we need more hitters like that.

    I think at this point in Verdugo’s career, he and Inciarte, are much the same type of player, except Inciarte has more speed.

    And that is probably why Verdugo’s defensive metrics in center are not good, although like you mentioned, Verdugo has a much better arm.

    But I think Verdugo has to lead off if he is in the majors, because he didn’t have that good of numbers in high leverage situations, in AAA.

    They talked about how relaxed Verdugo looked at the plate, but wouldn’t you think he would be better in these situations, if that was true?

    And the little time Verdugo has played in the majors, his numbers were not good in these situations either.

    But I don’t think he has had a fair chance yet, but I still think his numbers in AAA in these situations is telling, so I see him getting on base, more then hitting in runs, and that is why he should only lead off.

    AC, about DJ, he is in his early thirties and he was off on the DL twice for the first time last year, so I don’t think we will see the consistency, he once had.

    And I didn’t think you wanted to block Lux, so I was surprised when I saw you had DJ’s name up there.

    I want to see a more athletic and balanced line up, this year.

    1. MJ, Lux is not ready. He may be ready by 2020. DJ will not block Lux on a 1 or 2 year deal. I have doubts about Muncy duplicating 2018 offensively. DJ had a 18 defensive runs saved at 2B last year. How many of the close games lost could have been turned with defense.
      .
      Brian Dozier may be looking for a 1 year contract. I am tired of CT3 and his league leading strikeouts and not changing his approach. Kike’ is too valuable as a utility guy.
      .
      So someone find a 2B who will not block Lux, who can play defense, and will not lead the league in strikeouts. I am wide open.

        1. The more I think about it the more I’m convinced we should just stay in-house for 2b this season. In fact the last ten years feels like a blur that goes from Jeff Kent to Mark Ellis to Dee Gordon then nowhere. Willie Calhoun couldn’t play it, so we turned to Forsythe–who failed–then Dozier & the rest this year. If we do nothing, we still have:

          Muncy–Obviously a bat we’d like to have in the lineup but defense will never be more than passable.
          Keekay–Before a late season slump, he seemed like a legit candidate to play full-time in 2019.
          Taylor–Flawed but has potential; good chance to gain back a starting job.
          Lux–probably a year or two away but Seager’s presence at SS makes 2B a more reasonable outcome.
          LoCastro–darkhorse
          Connor Joe–even darker horse
          Turner–never going to happen so don’t ask

      1. AC

        Your not the only one!

        I didn’t look at DJ’s defensive numbers, but that is impressive.

        I always thought with DJ’s athleticism and his reach, he would get to a lot of balls most second baseman don’t get to.

        And I like he that he does the little things to make a team better.

        Maybe he would take a two year contract.

        He should stay healthier in LA too.

        I have no problem with DJ, and I really don’t think he will cost that much.

        I hope you are enjoying Tahoe!

    2. Dionysis

      I was one of the lucky ones, because I didn’t see Kike pitch, but I know that was a major contention for many, especially with the division being so close, at the end of the season.

      1. SF needs major rebuild from upper management on down. Whole organization is a mess (it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys). Zaidi wouldn’t leave the great situation he has now (he’s already GM for a team that’s a annual contender that has almost matchless financial resources) unless he’s going to be given complete control and I wonder how that will work as long as Sabean is still there (he’s under contract for one more season I believe).

        Farm system stinks. Their analytical department is small and not generally listened to. Their major league roster needs a complete tear down but no one wants most of what they have. It’s probably a 5 year project but SF ownership always says that they are in it to win it every year so I wonder if they will get the fans to buy into a 5 year rebuild.

        Obviously, Zaidi is very talented but I would be surprised if he would take on such a mess.

      2. Bluto

        I hope we start imitating the way the Astros and Red Sox make up a line up, and the way they play the game.

        I felt that way, before the Red Sox won it all, but that just reinforces my desire for the Dodgers to do the same.

  14. Rosenthal has a off-season preview of sorts @The Athletic.
    `
    https://theathletic.com/633974/2018/11/05/rosenthal-harper-machado-and-shifting-dynamics-in-the-market-will-make-the-offseason-a-parade-of-crazy/
    `
    Mentions most expect the Dodgers to spend $ now that they’re under the CBT. Also mentions that he’s cooled on the Dodgers to trade for DeGrom bit (as he’s cooled on Baumgartner to Yanks and Kluber to Braves) but think a package led with Ruiz could get it done.

  15. I got the impression reading on this site that Cory Kluber is a pitcher to stay away from. So I went to BaseballReference.com and checked out his stats. They looked pretty good to me. The only problem were his postseason performances this year and last year, though the numbers appear to show that he performed well in the 2016 postseason. Since I don’t follow him, maybe there’s something I don’t know. But on the surface, given that he will be a free agent after next season, why wouldn’t he be a good short term fix for a year. In fact, if the Dodgers acquired him before next season, they would be in line to receive a draft pick
    if he left after next season. Of course, a lot would depend on what it would cost to acquire him. Maybe part of a larger package.

    Again, I may be missing something, so I’m open to being enlightened.

    1. Brooklyn

      I don’t believe Kluber has been 100 percent healthy in the post season, the last couple years.

      But I have no idea what his injury issues were.

      1. I just saw his stats too. I guess this past year he had a really good year, but it wasn’t good as 2017. Still, 2018 was a really good year!

        If his stuff is still there, I’d definitely be interested

  16. After two WS failures I’m surprised more here aren’t suggesting more changes, more additions, filling in the holes exposed lately by Boston, and previously by Houston.

    I get it that that’s not the MO of the FO, but doing the same thing with the same players when you know other teams will improve will get the same results.

    I not content with another loss to end the season.

  17. Rob Neyer, one of the deans of SABR writing in the popular press, has apparently written a book where he decries the state of today’s baseball called Power Ball. In a delicious turn of irony, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote this:

    “More than its predecessors, Neyer’s book casts a dubious eye toward the evolution of baseball. By using a random Astros-A’s game in September 2017 as his backdrop, Neyer allows himself to address a panoply of topics, everything from pitch clocks to concussions, reliever use to weed use. Clearly frustrated by the state of the game – “Everything except homers and strikeouts is dying,” Neyer writes – he laments the effects of what he deems postmodern baseball. “All of which might well be conducive to winning,” he writes, “none of which make the games more entertaining for the common baseball fan.””

    The game that Neyer propounded for years is the game that’s now being played, especially by a certain team from LA that wears Blue. But even he has to admit that “Everything (in baseball) except homers and strikeouts is dying.”

  18. “I not content with another loss to end the season.”
    B.E. I think I read this in a fortune cookie!!
    IMO we should have beat the Astros…
    We lost to a better team in the Red Sox…
    “suggesting more changes, more additions, filling in the holes”…
    In the last couple days I’ve heard alot of great ideas B.E … Please add some examples to mull over…

  19. With Maddon in the last year of his contract should we just exercise the one-year option for Robert’s and roll the dice for one more year?

  20. Great post AC.
    I agree that the roster will mostly stay the same. FAZ tends to tinker around the edges of the roster with under the radar moves (CT3, Muncy, etc.) Then at the deadline pick up a big name on an expiring contract. However, after two world series loses I would like them to make some changes to this team.

    I would like to see this lineup next year:

    RF – Verdugo
    SS – Seager
    LF – Harper
    3B – Turner
    1B – Muncy
    CF – Bellinger
    2B – LaMahieu
    C – Maldonado or Perez

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