Yasiel Puig, Platooning, and LAD Trades

“A .209 hitter this year against left-handed pitchers, Puig was disgruntled by how he was limited to playing against right-handers, according to people familiar with his thinking who spoke under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject. The frustration was said to affect his play, and Puig is now described as distrustful of management and open to playing for another team.” – Dylan Hernandez, LA Times.

 

Is this a surprise that players do not like being platooned?  This seems to be a common theme running with the pre-FA Dodgers when it comes to platooning them.  Disgruntled or not, even Ray Charles can see that this approach is hurting the future earnings of these players.  It is now suggested that the trade value for Yasiel Puig is so low that the Dodgers need to hold onto him because there is more perceived value for the Dodgers than any other team.  Dodger fans are no different than other teams’ fans.  They overvalue the “worth” of a favorite player.  We all saw what Paul Goldschmidt, one of the very best hitters in all of MLB, was worth in a trade.  Dodgers management has told all MLB teams who will listen that Puig cannot hit LHP.  We may not necessarily agree with that, but if you do not think that is indeed the perception, then I think you are not being realistic.

 

Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, organizational depth, and a supplemental draft pick gets Goldy.  A couple of 100-200 prospects for one year of Puig?  That is not undervaluing. That is a couple of a teams’ top ten picks (not SD or Atl or ChiSox).  How much more do you expect?  Yes, Puig could be included in a trade, but it is going to take prospects going with him to get a deal done for a MLB game changer like Corey Kluber.  The question will be…does Cleveland think they can win in 2019?  If yes, then they would be interested in Puig, and might be persuaded to trade Ethan Hankins whose ETA is 2022.  Doubt it, but maybe.

 

If they want to trade Kluber to rid payroll and build their farm system, then Puig will not be going to Cleveland.  Dodger fans are going to say, but what if Puig gets back to that 2013 player?  That cannot compare to the pitcher that has won two CY awards since then, was #3 last year, and has pitched 200+ innings the last five years.  Some Dodger fans will retort that Kluber is 33, thrown too many innings, and is bound to go downhill beginning in 2019.  Why trade Puig for that?  It is probably more likely that Puig will pull a hammy before Kluber starts to regress.

 

Andrew & Co. have been loath to trade their perceived top prospects.  They are not going to trade Cody Bellinger who every team wants.  I know I am stating the obvious but there can be no trade unless both teams believe they can get something out of it.  To the best of my knowledge nobody on this site has spoken to Cleveland and asked them what their requirements are for Kluber.  What if they walk away unless Bellinger is included in any trade for Kluber?  Yes, Cleveland would like to have Puig, but not as the main return for Kluber (or Bauer).  I have read some say they wouldn’t trade Puig for Kluber straight up.  I just scratch my head on that one.  Some fans are going to be disappointed no matter who is traded (or not traded) which is why Friedman is not going to listen to any of the hair-brained trade proposals that some fans think are fair (including mine).

 

Look what the M’s got in return for multiple years of Jean Segura…JP Crawford and Carlos Santana.  And the M’s needed to throw in James Pazos, a pretty good LHRP. Forget about Nicasio, that was to even out the dollars a little more.  And you think one year of Puig is going to net a better deal?  I could very well be wrong (it will not be the first time), but I doubt that Puig can bring anything comparable in ML players than that.  And that does not help LA in 2019.

 

Two of the LAD top four prospects are catchers.  Do they really need both Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith?  How can both fully develop as ML catchers if both need the time behind the dish to get acclimated to the pitchers, and fully develop their foot work, framing, blocking skills, ball transfer, and arm to 2nd.    It takes experience to perfect those skills.  You cannot develop them when they have to split time and one has to play 3B (Smith) while the other catches (Ruiz).  Trade one before their perceived value diminishes as did Carson Kelly’s.  I have always liked Carson Kelly since he was drafted in 2011 and believed him to be the heir apparent to Yadi Molina.  He is still young, and I hope he has a resurgent career for AZ except when he plays LAD.

 

Maybe the best the Dodgers can do is to trade Puig and Wood for minor league prospects, platoon Muncy and Freese at 1B, pick CT3 or Kike’ to play 2B, platoon Joc/Kemp in LF, keep Belli in CF, start Verdugo in RF and hope he is the hit machine many believe him to be.

 

For those that would prefer to trade Verdugo over Puig, I ask again.  After Puig and Kemp leave, who plays OF for LAD?  Toles, one more year of Joc, who will not be extended, and utility players CT3 and Kike (one more year).  I prefer Bellinger at 1B, and would prefer a leadoff hitting CF, but if no other OF what choice do the Dodgers have but to play Belli in CF?  Forget 2018 AAA players who are all gone except Verdugo and Toles.  The only AA OF last year who are still with the organization and have a potential opportunity to move to AAA are Zach Reks, Kyle Garlick, Logan Landon, and DJ Peters.  The three most legit OF prospects for 2019-2020 FA are all LF…Corey Dickerson, Marcel Ozuna, and JDM (if he opts out).  But JDM would be silly to leave the AL even if he opts out.

 

I have suggested it in the past; see if Baltimore would be amenable to a Joc for Austin Hays (23) trade.  Maybe Austin Hays will be a bust, but he is a better option than any other RHH OF in the Dodgers organization, including DJ Peters.  Sure, Kyle Garlick (27) is a good story, but he is not a prospect like Hays. Hopefully DJ Peters learns how to make contact, but do you really want a corner OF with a 250 K possibility?

 

I will be very surprised to see anymajortrades for the Dodgers.  It is not Friedman’s style to trade pitchers like Stripling, Maeda, Ferguson, Santana, or May.  He values that depth.  Wood may be different as he is a back end of the rotation right now for the Dodgers, and maybe he brings a mid-tier prospect.  But it is just as likely that Andrew values that depth more and Wood goes back to the bullpen.  I honestly do not think he gives a thought as to what that may do to Wood’s potential earnings.  His only concern is to the Dodgers (as it should be).  He is not going to trade Buehler, Kershaw, Seager, Bellinger, JT or Jansen the only other players with value.  Every team has their versions of CT3, Kike’, Joc, Toles, Barnes, and any of the relievers not named Jansen.  The one question remaining about the current roster is what is the real value of Max Muncy?  Is he truly the hitter we saw in 2018?  Does he belong in the AL?  Can he and Freese be proficient enough at 1B to keep Belli in CF?

 

As a fan would I like to see a more exciting lineup?  Absolutely.  Would I like to see Realmuto behind the dish for two years?  Absolutely.  Would I like to see Corey Kluber in the rotation?  Again, a resounding yes!   Would I like to see Jose Leclerc come out of the bullpen gate for the 8thinning?  Make it happen.  It is not important what any of us want.  The team will contend just as they are constructed for 2019.  They will win the NL West, AGAIN.  Good enough to win the WS?????  So, the far more important question is what willAndrewdo at the Meetings?

 

This article has 51 Comments

  1. Boy, do I agree with this article. To be the best ball player you can be, you must play every day. Most players cannot get into a good hitting rhythm platooning. Just like most players cannot be good pinch hitters. How does management know Puig, Bellinger, Joc, or Muncy cannot hit left handlers. They have not been given much of a chance. Actually Bellinger and Muncey hit left handlers pretty well when given a chance. I believe everyone needs to know their role on the team. It would be nice to know you are going to be able to play every day. It is also nice to know you are a substitute and you can prepare accordingly. I cannot believe any good ball player likes to platoon. It diminishes their self worth and their economic value,.

  2. 1. I totally agree on Puig’s value. They might as well let him play.
    2. Verdugo, Pederson, Bellinger and Toles are all LH. Puig hits like a LH hitter. That is WAY too many LH Hitters in the outfield.
    3. Kemp has one last season left and no one is going to take him unless you pay $15 million of the $21 million left. You might as well keep him for that. Everyone knows that he loves being a Dodger and is in danger of being a head case if traded. He says he wants to play a few more years, but hopefully he retires as a Dodger and stays in the organization. He loves the Blue.
    4. The mistake most fans make is to look at a players last season (good or bad) and conclude that is who that player is. For example, in 2017, Chris Taylor had a very good season. Last season he regressed. Most fans think that is who he is…. and they may be right. I happen to believe they are wrong. Things rarely stay the same – they either get worse or better. I think CT3 will return to his 2017 form, but many of you disagree.
    5. Ozuna is just the type of player the Dodgers need in LF, but the Cards need him too. He is signed for just this season, like Puig. I wonder if the Dodgers could entice the Cards by trading Pederson, Puig and Smith for him? Probably not, but a Gold Glove bat in LF with 35 HR power from the right side is just what they need.
    6. I’m OK with Bellinger in CF for one more year, but I think CT3 is close to being as good in CF.
    7. Assuming the Dodgers could get a RH like Ozuna, I like this lineup:
    1B Bellinger
    2B Muncy/Hernandez
    SS Seager
    3B Turner
    LF Ozuna
    CF Taylor
    RF Verdugo
    C Barnes/Hundley (he might want to win some)

    1. WTF, would the Dodgers trade Pederson 843 OPS, Puig 820 OPS, and Smith, one of the best catching prospects in baseball for Ozuna 758 OPS? If I’m the Cardinals, I do that in a second and laugh all the way to the bank. What problem does this solve for the Dodgers? Pederson for Ozuna straight up sounds way more fair and likely. Cards don’t have left handed hitters and we don’t have right handed hitters. Pederson’s career OPS is higher than Ozuna’s and Pederson has one more year of control, he’s also a year younger. If anything, the Cards should send something back.

  3. I agree with everything you posted AC, I just can’t see players that should be playing everyday like Bellinger and Puig being happy being platooned with bench players, I keep reading how Roberts is a great communicator between the office and the players and how the players love playing for him but I have always felt with all the lineups and some of the field decisions he makes, why would the players love playing for him? after reading the interview by Hill I have a feeling Hill would love to be traded. You are correct about the team competing for the NL West in 2019 but I think if the team stays as is the Dodgers might be surprised by SD next year, if they can win the division again that will be as far as they go.I guess the most I am hoping for is Pederson gets traded, Kemp is the fourth outfielder and Verdugo is the everyday player in left field. Let him play everyday or trade him.We will find out some answers next week, hope I am really surprised.
    Thank you for the article, very nice

  4. Looking at baseball-reference, it appears to me that Puig’s reverse splits began in 2016, although not so much that year. It was in 2017-18 that the splits became more pronounced. Based on the fact that he didn’t always have this problem, I suspect that it’s more than likely correctable.

    Right now all that I want is for the Dodgers to sign LeMahieu for 2nd base. If they can add pitching, a catcher and whatever else they need for the right price, then all the better. Otherwise, with a division that’s gotten considerably weaker, I think they have time to address their needs. It would be nice to take care of everything now, but it might be just as wise to address those needs between now and the mid-season trade deadline. It’s entirely possible that some of the needs could be addressed internally.

    If the right deal(s) come along now, that’s great. If not, then patience with a purpose might be the best policy.

  5. Can someone please tell me why everyone is clamoring DJ LeMahieu and his 673 OPS away from Coors field? He gets caught steeling over half of the time, his road OBP is barely over 300. What do you all see in him?

    Brian Dozier is a superior player who had one down year playing with a bone bruise in his knee. Dozier is one year removed from 34 HRs and 2 years removed from 42. He’s way more successful as a base stealer and is a former GG winner as well.

    1. 59inarow: You and I and perhaps one or two others agree on Brian Dozier. It seems like other players can have a down year but not BD. I read somewhere that up until this past year Dozier was the 2nd highest all around 2B in the majors only behind Jose Altuve.

  6. I agree with most of what AC posted and Mark’s comments as well. Due to payroll constraints some salary needs to be offloaded to bring in an impact player. Those higher salaried players are: Kemp, Hill, Puig and Wood, with at least one having to go to fit in Kluber’s salary this year. I think value wise teams would rank Hill, Puig, Wood and Kemp. It may very well take two trades or a 3rd team to match up.

    I don’t want to move Puig or Muncy for different reasons but if they do it should bring back something tasty. I prefer not to move Verdugo, Lux, May or Ruiz but if one is part of the cost for a Kluber or JTR then do it. The team needs some more star power in the rotation and lineup, not more AB’s for Kike.

    Even a moderately priced FA like DJLM will require payroll to be moved. It could be Puig or Wood for prospects just for cap room. It could be Kemp in a bigger deal for Stanton, or Kipnis or Seager. It could be Hill if he really wants out in his walk year, he might bring back a useful bullpen piece or C.

    I’m not saying I want those things to happen or what value teams attach to Dodgers players being dangled, just how things have to line up for the cap numbers to work this year. Next year about $60 M drops off if all 4 players walk plus $5 M for Freese. Guys like Muncy and Maeda, CT3 and KIke, Barnes and Strip have great contracts for right now and represent value. It will take something that hurts a little (or a lot) to bring back an upgrade.

      1. Exactly, lot’s of payroll comes off next year, plus an increase to the cap. People need to stop worrying about the cap, it’s not your money, the Dodgers were well over the cap every year under the current ownership except for last year. They can sign or trade for a second baseman without having to shed payroll. Especially since they can easily dump a Starting Pitcher that they have no room for anyways. Puig is not a salary dump player. As for an impact player, again no problem. Signing Manny or Harper will be a big increase, but they can surely shed an outfielder and a SP to help offset the money and reset next year.

        1. Especially if Harper’s price drops like JDM’s did last year. Give him an early opt out and hope he does. It seems like it’s down to the Phillies or maybe Nats already and why should either sign him early? Manny’s behavior seems to have made teams shy away too, already down to the Yankees or Phillies and Philly can’t sign both. I don’t think it’s collusion I think it’s teams being smarter on long FA contracts.

  7. Ozuna you got to be kidding. Why do you think the cards went after goldy because Ozuna was a disappointment. As far as I am concerned the cards would be better off without Ozuna, and both martinez as they don’t exhibit the “cardinal way” whatever that is. However that is a problem for the cards. The dodgers players have very little trade value. The dodgers have tried to shed puig over and over if you believe the rumors. The latest puig for Jackie Bradley. Who wants his attitude and inability to hit lefties. You could trade him to a contending team who needs a starting right fielder if there is one. No rebuilding team wants his salary or attitude. His defense has regressed as has his speed. The best the dodgers can hope for is him to have a career year in seeking a free agent contract. I would guess that rich hill could get the dodgers something at the deadline but why would the dodgers trade a guy who could come back to haunt them in the playoffs. When we received hill from Oakland he was a dominating starter. I feel we have held him back at times and not gotten the most of what he has to offer. Wood might get a bag of baseballs. He could entice a team who needs a 4-5 starter but not at 9 million. Ditto kike and taylor no real value. Other than bellinger, buehler, Seager, turner, jansen, Ruiz,Verdugo we don’t have anybody than can bring much value. We are not trading them anyway. Muncy might provide the most value. He is cheap, risky, but the right attitude and potential. An American League team could definitely take a chance. You might be able to exchange one contract for another. The only reason we obtained kemp was Atlanta had the bad contract. Friedman is creative and may be able to do something but I wouldn’t hold my breath. If I was trading I would try to find a match with the Mets because their new gm is trying to make a big splash and appears reckless so maybe that is a possibility.

  8. Let me add my compliments to the others on your analysis AC. Spot on! Your point about Puig’s trade value is absolutely correct although I think it’s more due to the time left on his contract than his numbers. Not sure how his comments on being platooned will affect his value. Some teams will view that as good (a player who wants to be out there every day and thinks he can do the job) and others will view it is a negative (more to add to his already shaky behavior reputation).
    I think Wood needs to be traded immediately, especially if we get Kluber, Bauer or Kikuchi. That would put him about 7th or 8th on the starter depth chart and he will be very unhappy in the bullpen, especially going into his FA year. Friedman doesn’t care how a bullpen year would affect his next contract but he does care about a player with a poor attitude and that’s what he’ll get if Wood spends most of his time in the bp. In my mind, Maeda and Stripling are duplicating each other so again, if we get one of the three starters mentioned above, I would trade one of those guys, whomever would bring back the most, and I do think they have value because of the amount of control left on their contracts and the fact that they have both had success in the past. Neither of them is very happy in the bullpen, especially Maeda.

    I saw Friedman interviewed yesterday and he said he had too many outfielders (he caught himself but almost said way too many outfielders). I think he’ll definitely be moving more than one. Also indicated (at least I took it that way) that he had too many starters. Imagine Friedman thinking that he had too many starters. That leads me to think he’ll move a couple of those guys also.

    Some of you here and on other sites feel that Friedman will stick to his very conservative approach. I may be in the minority but I think the roster will look quite different on opening day than it does today.

    (By the way AC, you know me as Jeff D. on the other site. Your posts are so good here that I couldn’t resist putting in my two cents worth)

    1. Nice post! If they had just not given Ryu the QO there would be room for Kluber with no problem! Now there are too many starters? WTF?! Kuber and Ryu make almost the same money this year-who would you rather have in the rotation in the playoffs? What do they have in Verdugo and Muncy? Whatever management thinks will determine if they get moved while their value is high. Hill might be the best piece to move from a contract standpoint no matter the return. Maeda’s contract might be the easiest to move and provide value to the other team. Prospects are just prospects until they are not, everyone is available in the right deal. The Dodgers have the prospects to be in on anyone they choose but also have to move some payroll so expect more than one trade or a 3rd team involved to make the numbers work.

    2. Hey Jeff, good to see you drop in.
      .
      There are a lot of moving parts, but unless there is a Kluber or Realmuto or even a Kikuchi (although I think SD is more likely), I would not anticipate much more than a stopgap catcher or bullpen pieces that are not going to cost much. Maybe a Kelvin Herrera for a year, or a Joakim Soria for a year. They could get a couple of potential late inning relievers with a trade. I am still holding out hope for Leclerc, although I am extremely doubtful. Jesen Therrien is my fall back. I have the same feeling about Therrien as I did about Morrow after he signed 2 years ago.
      .
      And while I do think that the Dodgers have too many OF and too many SP, Andrew is more likely to keep them for depth rather than give them away. He can always hold onto them until the deadline when the return may be more. If he can get a decent return, he will move at least one SP and at least on OF.

  9. Ryu career post season ERA 4.11 whip 1.229
    Kluber career post season ERA 3.97 whip 1.257

    Ryu is a year younger.

    1. Are you really trying to compare Ryu to Kluber? A two time CY winner. #3 last year. 200+ innings 5 years in a row where he has 2 #1 CY vote, 2 #3 CY vote and a #9 CY vote. Or a pitcher who has never pitched 200 innings, didn’t pitch 100 innings last year, had major shoulder surgery, and never seems to stay healthy. I will take Kluber. And Kluber will cost less than Ryu this year.

      1. No, I would rather have Kluber than Ryu. I was just pointing out their post season performances are the same.

        With that said, I wouldn’t trade Puig for Kluber if the plan is to plug Verdugo into Puig’s spot. I don’t think the difference between Kluber and Ryu makes up for the difference between Puig and Verdugo. Remember that Ryu had a sub 2 ERA and a 1.008 whip last year and he pulled his groin off the bone. Is Ryu gonna pitch 200 innings next year? Nope, but neither is Kluber if he’s on the Dodgers.

        Would I rather have Ryu and give up nothing, or have Kluber and give up Puig a top 5 and top 10 prospect? I’ll take Ryu. Unless Verdugo is the top 5 and they sign Harper.

  10. Other than making room for Verdugo and finding the best way for Wood to make a contribution commensurate to his salary, the Dodgers don’t have to do anything.

  11. 1. Harper – Some of you love to point out what DJLM has done away from Coors, or what Ozuna’s OPS is, or a myriad of other prior year historical metrics. And yet you refuse to look at what Andrew has EVER done. He is not going to sign a player for $300MM for 10+ years. Harper is not going to drop to JDM numbers. Before he drops below even $250MM, Philly will take him. I see Harper going for the $$$, so even the ChiSox will outbid LAD. Harper will not be a Dodger.
    .
    2. Either Verdugo gets traded or he plays everyday for LAD. Those are the only two choices. He cannot be platooned. RF or LF, don’t care. If he stays, Joc or Puig would have to be moved to accommodate Verdugo. I am still guessing Joc because he probably has more trade value than Puig. Less money and more years. Plus Andrew probably believes that Puig is more likely to go off offensively than Joc.
    .
    3. I still think Wood gets traded. Cincinnati is looking for two starters. One figures to be Dallas Keuchel. Many believe that Keuchel would prosper better in a smaller market, and Cincinnati seems to favor Keuchel over all others. Seems like a perfect match. A second pitcher (even for 1 year) could be Wood. The Reds are no longer saying that Scooter Gennett will absolutely be with them next Spring. They need a spot for Nick Senzel who is ML ready right now, and they would like to give him some ML time before the Reds believe that they will contend in 2020. Jonathan India could be ready by then at 3B. He could be the 2020 version of Alex Bregman. Gennett only has one year before he is a FA, and his projected arbitration salary will be more than Wood. How about Wood and Brock Stewart for Gennett. If it takes another lower level prospect, okay. Anything more, walk away….
    .
    4. Oakland would be a great landing spot for Wood. It would only be for prospects. Maybe 3B Sheldon Neuse. RH bat who may be ML ready in JT’s final year. Or maybe the Dodgers take a flyer and trade Wood to Tampa Bay for JDL. I have always like JDL and maybe he is a bullpen piece at this point. To me he is low risk and high reward. Bring JDL home. There are options to move Wood, and you can bet I will be watching and rooting for Alex every game except against LAD.
    .
    5. I do like Nick Hundley. I think he would rather return to SF where he is comfortable. I know Bochy likes him but I do not know about Zaidi. He knows the NL West. He signed for $2.5MM last year. Offer him $3MM for one year with LAD and their staff which will hopefully include Corey Kluber.

  12. We need a RH power bat and CF? Julio Urias, Keibert Ruiz, Dennis Santana, and Puig for Mike Trout. Problem solved! Everybody gets a good return.

      1. 2 years and the Angles won’t trade him here for any reason whatsoever because they know their fans will bolt 30 miles up the freeway.

  13. No Harper for sure I agree. But, if the Yankees really want Harper maybe there is a way to get Stanton if Friedman can make the finances work. That is a huge if but it is remotely possible if Friedman actually wants Stanton. I don’t know about Verdugo. They might be able to use him at all 3 outfield positions making him mostly fulltime but I think your observation has the highest probability. Wood needs to be traded but I doubt Gennett which would give us yet another left handed hitter. I doubt cincy would do this anyway after they saw wood pitch in Cincy.Hopefully, Oakland wood but I doubt they wood take on the full salary. Just playing around with woods name. Hundley may be a stopgap but doesn’t provide much upgrade if any.

    1. With Wood I am looking for places for Alex to land more than what the Dodgers can get. Who needs a starter? I agree that Cincinnati is doubtful, but they are looking to add starters and have said one year guys are okay if they can also sign someone like Keuchel. I think they would consider Wood something better than Matt Harvey.
      .
      Oakland has said they can take on some $$$ as has Tampa Bay. Plus Wood gives all three teams a potential deadline deal. I do think Gennett could be moved because with Senzel and India ready or very near ready, I doubt that they would extend him. I do not know what the value of a $10MM one and done 2B is worth, but maybe it is a $9MM one and done starting pitcher plus a flyer on Brock Stewart. Cincy needs a SP more than a 2B, and the Dodgers need a 2B more than a SP.
      .
      I know Scooter is LH but last year he hit .294/.335/.439/.774 against LHP. But more importantly, career wise, he has a .307/.358/.487/.845 line with RISP, and a .284/.352/.462/.814 line with RISP and 2 outs. In a small sample size of 52, he has a .440/.462/.680/1.142 line at Dodger Stadium with 3 doubles, 3 HR, 11 RBI, and 8 K. I think he sees the ball well at Dodger Stadium.
      .
      Hundley would only be a stopgap. Unless the Dodgers can somehow get Realmuto without hemorrhaging their farm system, that would be preferable to Barnes. But otherwise, Barnes is going to start and they need a stopgap before Smith/Ruiz or Ruiz/Smith if you prefer. I would rather have Hundley than Maldonado or Lucroy. If they can pull off a Wood for Cervelli trade, that would be okay as well.

  14. I’m just gonna let the wind blow and take faith that pat plays better this coming season. I’m certainly confidant Dodgers will get off to a much better start in 19 and Seager likely fills a gap far better than we all vision. There has to be some blame thrown towards Ward that had the Dodgers so terrible with situational hitting. For a team who supposedly bought into whatever need be for a championship they missed the boat on opportunities. They did that as a team so someone above was preaching the wrong approach. This season it’ll show if there’s anything in seeing it as such as the take for the need for more HRs has moved north. Damn! I’m in too much pain to be making much sense at the moment. Sorry.

  15. AC, your logic is flawed. Just because Friedman has never opened the purse strings, doesn’t mean he won’t. It’s silly to think the Dodgers, who lead the league in attendance pretty much every year, and have one of the biggest TV deals in sports, purposely hired a GM that will never pursue the highest paid players in the game. Did I say silly? I think a better word is ignorant. The Dodgers are going to get that impact guy either this year with Harper or Machado, or next with Arrenado. Arrenado, unlike LeMehiue hits away from Coors.

    1. Why is my reasoning flawed when investor packages were being disbursed telling all potential investors that the Dodgers will not go above the CBT threshold for four years (2018-2021). Just because you and others think the Dodgers have unlimited funds doesn’t make it so. Owner Todd Boehly has always said that once the Dodgers get below the CBT threshold, they will stay there. Mark Walter has never said otherwise. Friedman has never signed one of those crazy deals, and yet this year he will? All of the evidence says the Dodgers will not go above the threshold. All of those that think otherwise just believe that they will because they are gazillionaires with buckets of disposable cash. There is no evidence that they will.
      .
      I also do not share your enthusiasm for Harper who has had ONE outstanding year. He has had two years of 4+ WAR (5.2 & 4.7) but not as high as Seager’s two years (5.9 and 5.6). If Harper is worth $300MM what will Seager be worth in 3 years? Same agent.
      .
      Washington has said they will not exceed $300MM but they did not say they would take it away if he came back for it. If it drops to $250, Philly is all over it. Friedman was hired specifically to bring the spending under control. That is who he is. If they wanted someone who is willing to spend they would have hired Dave Dombrowski or Jerry Dipoto.
      .
      Do you really think the Dodgers attendance will tank if they do not sign Harper? They do not need Harper to keep the attendance where it is at, and they do not need Harper to win. Would he help? Yes. He is a very good player, but not worth what he and Boras are asking.
      .
      The Dodgers do not need to exceed the CBT to get back to the WS this year. Next year if they want to spend on Arenado or Rendon or Strasburg or JDM they can. They will have plenty of room. But they are getting very close to winning with their own, and that is the direction they are headed.
      .
      In the end you may be right and I may be wrong, and Friedman will get the green light to go above the threshold this year. But I cannot be convinced that it will be for Harper. I think it would be more likely that they get Kluber and Realmuto but cannot trade Wood or Puig to offset the salaries. Or Kikuchi if they can move at least one SP.

      1. Investor packages are marketing materials. There’s an old saying “The difference between sales and marketing is that marking knows when they’re lying.” “Investor Materials” are in fact marketing materials. They are a sales tools to for the infusion of equity. Infusion of equity does the same thing toward meeting the debt service rules as reducing expenditures. They are also not a binding contract in any way. Do you really think Billy Jean King is gonna sue the Dodgers if they blow past the CBT threshold?

        Here’s the Dodgers opening day payroll since 2013…

        2013 $241.8
        2014 $269.8
        2015 $266.0
        2016 $236.0
        2017 $227.8
        2018 $177.4

        Yeah, we are almost $100M lower than it’s highest point. It’s laughable to think they won’t spend on the right guy. Maybe Manny isn’t the right guy, maybe Harper isn’t the right guy. But, both are in their mid 20’s and are on the path towards a HOF career. That sounds like the right guy to me. Everything I’ve read says that their strategy towards free agents are to not pay for guys who are often older and past their best years. Everything I’ve read says they’re in on impact type players. Believe what you want. But, the Dodgers have the money if they choose to spend it and I’m sure Walters doesn’t want to be the Braves all over again.

        1. There’s a lot more to it than just having the money and I am not talking about the fact that spending is seldom the solution. In fact, the less the Dodgers spent on payroll, the more successful they became.

          1. I’ve yet to see any indication that any of the owners/investors in the Dodgers via cash flow as a metric of success. To the contrary, everything is about the underlying asset it’s worth and using it as collateral/leverage.
            `
            I’d even venture that operating losses are more useful for many of them.

  16. I have my doubts about arguments concerning players who don’t hit as much away from Coors. I tend to think (and I believe I’ve read this elsewhere) that playing half the season at Coors is what makes it more difficult to hit away from that environment.

    1. See
      Vinny Castilla
      Troy Tulowitzki
      Garrett Atkins
      Brad Hawpe
      Eric Young
      Mike Kingery
      Neifi Pérez
      Jay Payton
      Ian Stewart

  17. AC – Great comeback to 59!!!
    We have a damn good ball club right now and if a deal presents itself during ST or at the deadline, we shop…
    1920 will be sweet and I for one would love Arenado…

  18. Top 3 teams in the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes according to Kurkjian of ESPN
    `
    1. Phillies
    2. Dodgers
    3. White Sox
    `
    Phillies ownership has already said may spend stupid money. My money’s on the dummies.

    1. As for Machado, Rosenthal sez:
      `
      It’s not just the Phillies, WhiteSox and Yankees that have interest in Manny Machado. One rival executive hears at least three other teams are in the mix and will meet with Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, at the winter meetings.
      `
      Phillies ownership has already said may spend stupid money. My money’s on the dummies.

      1. The only way either player goes to the White Sox is if they outbid everyone and the player wants the most $$. That would be stupid money to spend because the CWS are way more than one player from contending.

  19. How about a trade of Jose abreu and jace fry for wood and muncy. If you believe muncy was a one year wonder then this might be good. If you believe muncy can stay close to last year or get even better then muncy is better than abreu. But abreu would give us a right handed bat with power even though last year he was mediocre. Woods salary would offset much of abreus salary. Fry is a young lefty who could be a rising star. Maybe we could add Cingrani to offset salary. Abreu would not come with the versatility of muncy.

  20. The Dodgers new hitting coach batted .100 as a high school senior.
    `
    https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-hitting-coach-20181207-story.html
    `
    The Dodgers also employ Brant Brown, whose title changed from assistant hitting coach to hitting strategist, and assistant hitting coach Aaron Bates for their hitting department. Friedman explained he spots an opportunity to counter the run-prevention advancements made across the sport in recent years — advancements that have led, among other noteworthy developments, to a record number of strikeouts — with the trio.

  21. 59inarow,

    I agree with a lot of your thoughts, but I have never seen AC make any flawed thoughts, when it comes to the Dodgers are about baseball, in general.

    AC has been right more often then most everyone on this thread.

    And the back history backs what AC is claiming, along with the prospectus that came out, that was being used, to entice people to buy into the Dodgers.

    It isn’t like AC wouldn’t probably love for the Dodgers to do more, but like AC has said, that has not been Friedman’s MO, since he joined the Dodgers.

    Friedman answers to the owners, and because of that, if the owners only want to spend so much, Friedman can only do his best, to get the most out of the money, he is allowed to spend.

    1. I agree with a lot of AC’s takes. But, not on the financial side. This ownership group has always been willing to spend as shown by the previous payrolls I listed above. Friedman has made very good and shrewd moves. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions to the rule of never signing a top free agent as AC would have you believe. But fine, if you all want to believe the Dodgers aren’t ever going to sign anyone, what’s the freaking point of reading this blog? So we can all offer stupid trade ideas that no real GM would ever agree to and put together lineups with 3rd basemen at 2B?

      1. I for one like to see different viewpoints and takes and yours are well thought out and stated, keep ’em coming! I agree with most but not all of AC’s takes, as well as Mark’s (though he likes to stir the pot sometimes) and DC’s minor league posts. There are a lot of knowledgeable posters who I enjoy like Hawkeye, Rudy, Bobby, MJ and even Dodger Rick however I don’t always agree with their takes but it is always interesting. We disagree without being disagreeable way better than most blogs. I want the team to sign whoever is needed to climb that mountain-luxury tax be damned! I just don’t think they will but have been wrong many times before. Apologies to any posters I have left out and for you readers of the blog who have not yet decided to post please do we need new voices along with all of the old ones around here!

  22. All of you forget that last year everyone agreed that ownership only got under the CBT to reset all penalties and the plan was to always go after Manny or Harper. Then the stupid investor prospectus came out and now we’re not gonna spend until after the 21 season? Which coincides with the end of Kershaw’s contact? What was the reason we resigned Kershaw then? 33 Million a year to stay under the CBT? I call shenanigans! They can taste that Championship and they will blow past the CBT if they can add an impact player. Period! END OF STORY!

  23. Well I don’t know what to make of the financial state of the dodgers. I see Friedman or Zaidi or whoever making the decisions go after every blue light special they can. Then, they throw 33 million more for a guy who has failed miserably in the playoffs. Do they really believe kershaw can take them to the promise land? If they wanted to cut payroll there was their chance to save 100 million roughly. Maybe they are making money on the kershaw brand? While he is an extremely hard worker and a talent I don’t feel he is a number 1 or even our number 1. Are his best years ahead? I doubt it. With all the pitchers we have we surely could have improved our team greatly with those funds. But we are under the luxury tax. I’m pretty sure kershaw knew if he went into the open market he couldn’t get what the dodgers paid him. So, it can’t be just about reducing payroll. However, the word is out that they won’t get into luxury tax territory again. I believe that. I think they are ok with winning the division and make it to the World Series win or lose. That is what Atlanta did with Smoltz etc. although they at least won 1. We have a really good team but not World Series. I have said if kershaw and Jansen would have just done their job we would be world champs. But, that was when I thought they were good enough but they have proven they are not. It is like a gambler losing and keep doubling down on the same horse. So, no they will not exceed the cbt because they are still betting on the same horse. Next year we will be in the best financial shape in many years. Will they go after arenado? I doubt because we will still have the same horse. The ownership will be celebrating how Friedman saved them so much money and kept them competitive without a full-fledged rebuild.having said all that I have no idea what they will do. I just don’t believe that winning the world series is the priority that they try to sell.

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