What are the Dodgers needs going into the 2019 season? We know they need a catcher. I discussed that in great length yesterday. I think they need a 2B other than CT3 or Kike’, but I know I am in the minority. I think the Dodgers need a leadoff batter. That is really not what Alex Verdugo does, but he seems the most logical…if he makes the squad, and there is no guarantee that he will. While I would prefer to have a true CF in Dodger Blue next year, the way the team is currently structured, Cody Bellinger will be in CF with Muncy and Freese platooning at 1B.
But the elephant in the room is what will Andrew do to find a RH power hitter that will make teams sorry they stack the LHSP against LAD? Manny is not coming to LA, so please forget that. Josh Donaldson is not coming to LA. Neither is A. J. Pollock or Andrew McCutcheon. The Red Sox are not going to trade JDM. So, what about hometown power RH bat Giancarlo Stanton? I know what everyone is thinking. “No way. You have lost your bloody mind. That is $270MM over the next 9 years”. The final $10MM is a buyout in the 10thyear, but I get your drift. He will only be 37 when the contract runs out (before option). Plus, if Stanton does not opt out after 2020 (and he will not), the Marlins kick in $30MM. Thus, the contract is really “only” $240MM for 10 years. His AAV is $25MM. Both Harper and Machado will cost more, and probably go past age 37. Also, do not forget that the current roster includes three RH hitters that are only controlled for 2019 (Kemp, Puig, Freese), so they are going to need someone, why not Stanton?
The Yankees desperately need a LH power bat, and Bryce Harper wants more than anything to be a Yankee. It seems like a perfect fit…except he has no place to play with Stanton, Hicks, Judge, and Gardner as the 4th,and Clint Frazier as the 5th. Hicks is a switch hitter and Gardner is a lefty, but his best years are way behind him. Harper balances them, but with Stanton there for another 9 years, Judge due to cash in soon, and then to commit to 10+ with Harper, it seems like too much even for the Yankees. It is impossible to move Ellsbury’s contract, but they can move Stanton’s. Ellsbury comes off the books after 2020 and a $5MM buyout in 2021. Stanton would have to waive his no-trade clause, which he will do for the Dodgers.
For his career, Stanton has slashed .268/.358/.548/.905. He absolutely crushes LHP, slashing .297/.393/.634/1.027, and did better than that in 2018. His defense is underrated. Last year he had a 7.3 UZR with 5 DRS. Compare that to Matt Kemp and his -4.6 UZR and -9 DRS. Will he strike out a lot? Yes. Waaaaaay too much. But with those K’s you will get a 162-game average of 43 HRs and 109 RBIs.
How do the Dodgers pull this off without going over the CBT threshold? Andrew has the leverage, but Brian Cashman will be a very good adversary. Andrew must insist that NYY take Kemp. NYY would save $5MM AAV in 2019 but would then be out of the Stanton contract from then on, saving a full $25MM. Once Ellsbury is done after 2020, that is another $21MM free. They will have more than enough to pay for Harper. I was originally thinking something along the lines of what they gave to Miami, Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers. My original thought was Kemp, Edwin Uceta, and one of Omar Estevez/Drew Jackson/Errol Robinson. But I covet Chad Green. NYY is going to need pitching (LHSP), so one year of Alex Wood might be something for them to consider. They only need him for one year to allow Justus Sheffield to fully develop, as well as Jonathan Loaisiga and Albert Abreu. They will need another reliever (preferably LHRP), thus I would include Scott Alexander.
Therefore, my fried brain trade proposal would be Matt Kemp, Alex Wood (LHSP), Scott Alexander, (LHRP) Edwin Uceta, and one of Omar Estevez/Drew Jackson/Errol Robinson for Giancarlo Stanton and Chad Green. The Dodgers would save approximately $4MM in AAV which the Yankees can handle. The Yankees would also get the LHSP for one year. They could then sign JA Happ (2-3 years) and pass on the far more expensive Patrick Corbin. Or they could put a reasonable package together for James Paxton or even Corey Kluber. And they could trade Sonny Gray for another reliever.
This would then allow LAD to move Puig for prospects or relief. The Marlins have exactly 2 LH bats on their proposed 25-man roster; Derek Dietrich and JT Riddle. OF Magnerius Sierra is still not ready. I know Bums keeps wanting to move Puig to Miami (never happen), but Mattingly would love to have Joc. Therefore, I would propose Joc and Brock Stewart for Jose Urena and a mid tier prospect, and I would convert Urena back to a reliever. Yes, Urena is a gamble, but so was Brandon Morrow and Joe Blanton. Who says he will not be a RH version of Brad Hand (another Miami reject). His fastball is picking up velo (96.2), and if he can concentrate on his fastball and slider (off-speed – 86.7), he has two varying plus pitches. He can still show the change, but not for a strike. I like the gamble, but then again, I am a Kenny Rogers fan.
The lineup could look like the following:
Alex Verdugo – RF
JT – 3B
Corey Seager – SS
Giancarlo Stanton – LF
Cody Bellinger – CF
CT3 – 2B
Muncy/Freese – 1B
Barnes/Farmer – C (or a 1 year stop gap FA catcher).
OF Reserves – Andrew Toles/Kike’ Hernandez
Check out that L-R-L-R-L-R order
Kenta Maeda/Ross Stripling/Julio Urias (start out at OKC)
Ross Stripling/Kenta Maeda
Jesen Therrien would come up in June and replace one of the RHRP. Josh Fields has another option, so he could start the season in OKC as well or can be traded for a like kind top AA LHRP.
Urias would start in OKC and be in a position to come to LA for an injured starter (bound to happen). Ross Stripling and Caleb Ferguson would be the Andrew Miller type to come in at any time to face the best of the lineup (and emergency starter). Cingrani would be the loogy. Urena, Baez, and Floro would be 7th, with Chad Green the setup to the closer, Kenley Jansen.
I guarantee that Andrew will find some AAAA OF just in case. Connor Joe/Edwin Rios/Matt Beaty could all play OF in a pinch, as could Tim Locastro. The Dodgers have depth at every position, plus get that middle of the order RH bat they need. They eliminate most of the OF and pitching logjam, and do not block their future…Lux, Smith, Ruiz, Santana, May, Gonsolin. And plenty in reserve if they need that trade deadline pickup. And they would drop well below their CBT threshold. As I have described the scenarios above, they could drop $20.7M in payroll, and be more than $30MM below the CBT threshold. What’s not to like (except maybe from the Dodgers, Yankees, and Marlins fans). I think that the return for Stanton is comparable to what they gave up, plus he has a no-trade and he is not going to opt out. The Dodgers are NYY’s best bet to get out from the contract. I may be short changing on the Chad Green side, but being a LHRP, Scott Alexander would probably fit in better with Yankee Stadium. They are both controlled through 2022. But if it takes more, then I am sure that Andrew will not give away a top tier prospect. This whole thing is contingent on NYY taking Matt Kemp. The Dodgers will have enough next year for Arenado, Rendon, JDM, or Sale, or nobody if they so choose.
I can hear Dodgerrick now telling us that no way would the braintrust even consider Giancarlo Stanton. Rick, you would be undoubtedly correct, but I was having a brain freeze and feeling sorry for myself because my beloved Trojans just suck!!! So, I went with something that will hopefully get the conversation started before the Tuesday 40 man set date and Thanksgiving. Hopefully there will be some activity (if not LAD then any team) before the Winter Meetings that start 3 weeks from today.
Finally, congratulations to you Rudy for your Bruins victory over my hapless Trojans. My only solace is that hopefully USC will finally get a real College Football Coach, and not a Western Kentucky reject.
Now try not to be as rude to this proposal as those commenters on MLBTR.
UPDATED FOR PROJECTED PAYROLL
|PROJECTED LOS ANGELES DODGERS PAYROLL|
|Clayton Kershaw||$ 31.000||$ 31.000|
|Arbitration (Per MLBTR)|
|Player Control/40 Man|
|Incoming Via Trade|
|Matt Kempt to San Diego||3.500||3.500|
|Kenta Maeda Incentives||3.000||3.000|
|40 Man Players – Minors||2.250||2.250|
|Estimated Player Benefits||14.500||14.500|
|Current Estimated Payroll||195.100||(20.700)||174.400|
|Change to CBT Threshold||10.900||20.700||31.600|
|CBT Threshold||$ 206.000||$ –||$ 206.000|