In case you have been hiding under a rock, we are now engaged in the Baseball Hot Stove League where fans talk about trading everybody and his brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandpa, grandma as the family dog. It’s fun and we all engage in it to some degree. But, there are two rules you have to go by:
#1 Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear; and
#2 They are building what is to become the World’s Largest Building, so as to house all the
roomers... ‘er rumors.
You are going to hear rumors that the Dodgers are in on just about everyone, but don’t believe all that. The Dodgers have plans and contingencies and contingenciesto the contingencies. They have a good idea of what they want, but you can’t always get what you want, especially when other teams or free agents want more than you want to pay. Depending upon how things shake out, this could be the infield: 1B – Muncy/Freese; 2B – LeMahieu; SS – Seager; 3B – Turner. The left side of the infield is set (barring injury) but the right side is the major question. If I thought that getting Corey Kluber was a real possibility, I would not sign a real second baseman like DJ LeMahieu. I would save the money for Kluber.
It’s quite possible that the Indians are interested in Puig for RF. It’s also quite possible, they do not want to take any more salary on. I think the Dodgers could trade for Kluber and Gomes by sending Puig, May and Wong to the Indians for them. The Indians think they have the roatation covered in 2019 without Kluber, so a Power Hitting Right Fielder and two very good prospects should be just about right. They also are able to cut payroll by doing this
With Kluber, Kershaw, Buehler, Ryu, Stripling and Urias in the rotation, Wood, Maeda and/or Hill are expendable. The Dodgers could easily move two of the three for a need. or prospects. I keep hearing rumors (there’s that word again), that the Yankees want Machado and Harper, but they would have to get rid of Stanton to get one or both. Maybe that’s the deal for Kemp. The Dodgers trade Kemp and his $21 million salary, along with (pick one) Hill, Maeda or Wood to the Yankees for Stanton. I think the Yanks would go over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a year.
So, why would I trade for Stanton when I don’t want to sign Bryce Harper? Well, here’s what he is due in salary:
|2020||30||$26,000,000||May opt out of contract following 2020 season|
|2021||31||$29,000,000||Miami Marlins to pay $30m to New York Yankees if Stanton does not opt out following 2020 season.|
|2028||38||*$25,000,000||$25M Team Option, $10M Buyout.|
The contract is biggest in the middle and less at the beginning and end. Stanton is from LA and could becomebecome an icon by hitting BIG FLIES out of the Ravine. It’s conceivable that he could break the All-Time HR Record as a Dodger. He has 305 now. He would almost be Free in 2019, IFCashman takes back Kemp… and there’s a chance he will, IFthe Yanks can sign Harper and/or Machado. It’s not clear to me if the Dodgers would get the $30 million owed by the Marlins to the Yankees if Stanton opts out.
This leads to a whole another lineup:
- Verdugo RF (L)
- Turner 3B (R)
- Seager SS (L)
- Stanton LF (R)
- Bellinger 1B (L)
- Pederson/Taylor CF (L/R)
- Muncy 2B (L)
- Gomes/Barnes (R)
Subs: Toles, Kike, Rios, Freese
Rotation: Kershaw, Kluber, Buehler, Ryu, Stripling/Urias
The Bullpen will be fine with internal options and a few unlikely pickups. I like the balance of that lineup. Muncy will grow into an adequate 2B and Kike can be his caddy. Lux is in the wings with Kaybear = I wondered why he wasn’t playing the last two weeks of the AFL Season, until I learned this fromJim Callis on MLB.com, who named him the #9 prospect in the AFL:
9. Keibert Ruiz, C, Glendale (Dodgers No. 2)
Ruiz’s Fall League season ended two weeks early when he left to deal with a death in his family, but before he departed he showed why he’s one of the game’s best catching prospects. He’s a switch-hitter who can handle the bat from both sides of the plate, should grow into power and owns solid receiving skills.
New Hitting Coach
Now with the hiring (allegedly) of Robert Van Scoyoc as the Dodgers Hitting Coach… well I almost don’t know what to say… I said “ALMOST.” I do know what to say and I say: “This is a high risk, high reward hire.” This could be a stroke of genius or a fling at insanity! I tend to be a risk taker. My Controller says “I hate guys like you” (we are good friends anyway). I am also an iconoclast, so this is right up my alley. Many oldtimers hate change. I embrance it. How can you go against Andrew Friedman anyway? His track record in LA speaks volumes. Nuff said… Maybe he can finish what Turner Ward started. I have a feeling this move is going to be radical. I mean REALLY, REALLY RADICAL! (If I offended anyone with the use of exclamation marks, just know that no animals died).
Yes, baseball is changing, but let’s not forget it had been around for for over 50 years, when some guy with a woman’s name (Ruth, I think it was) re-invented the game with his laptop with launch angles, fly balls and the like. OK, I made that part up, but he sure changed the game… for the better, I think. In 1918, Ruth tied for 1st in HR with 11. In 1919, he hit 29 – next was a player with 12. In 2020, he hit 54 and George Sisler was 2nd with 19. It took a few years for them to figure it out – maybe they hacked his laptop to figure out his launch angle, but evidently, every 100 years change occurs… or not!
P.S. Yesterday, someone suggested I needed sensitivity training. Well, I’ll have you know, I have taken that class. However, it was cut short because I beat up the instructor!!!!!! Any complaints? I think not!!!!