It’s hard to say if the Dodgers would have been making the moves they are and saying the things they are if Farhan Zaidi was still General Manager, but my opinion is that they would not. I think Andrew Friedman has decided not to fill the GM’s position because he wants to make sure he gets “his way” which makes perfect sense to me. I think Andrew gave Farhan a lot of latitude and he was really the GM, but now he wants to make some changes that are necessary in light of two World Series flameouts. Friedman has decided to change the following:
- Hiring Robert Van Scoyoc (RVS)as (what?) Hitting Coach, Brant Brown as “Hitting Strategist” and Aaron Bates as Assistant Hitting Coach in an “Effort to Pursue a Dynamic Hitting Environment.” Andrew wants to cut down on the strikeouts and have the players hit out of the shift more. Zaidi be damned!
- Signing a “setup man for $25 million/3 years? Well, at least Kelly can’t beat the Dodgers again. He has always had the “”stuff” and maybe at 30, he’s getting the control… finally. He could be a great bullpen piece. Hopefully, he can find the consistency that has been missing from his game.
- Friedman is wanting to cut down the platoons(maybe just one or two) to get guys more consistent playing time. The platoons were a Zaidi thing… and Roberts bought in. I think part of the holdup in Roberts deal was that Friedman wanted to make sure they were on the same page.
- The Dodgers are still in on Realmutoand Wood, Puig, Kemp and others are in play. There are a lot of moving parts, so I can’t speculate what will happen. I really can’t see Tucket Barnhart in Blue. He’s part of the reason the Reds pitching is so bad. Homer Bailey? Maybe. He might thrive in the pen if he changes his mindset! I would say he’s a “poor man’s Brandon Morrow” but with his salary, he is aRich Man’s Brandon Morrow.
- Then today, we read inThe Athleticthat the Dodgers will beat the shift in 2019 by bunting and hitting the opposite way more. I TOLD YOU THIS WEEKS AGO! Friedman is going to make sure this team cuts down it’s strikeouts:
At this week’s Winter Meetings here inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, manager Dave Roberts issued an edict: His players will bunt against the shift more often in 2019, starting in spring training.
“It should be important enough to get on base to be able to manipulate the bat and hit the ball the other way or to lay a bunt down,” Roberts said. “As far as offensively, philosophically, for us this year, we’re going to get better at that.”
There are lots of moving parts here and deals being bantered back and forth. It could gtake shape this afternoon as the dominos fall. The cover photo of Blue Dominos is for Hawkeye. They are starting to fall and they might end up falling on Bryce Harper if Friedman can perform some magic in reducing payroll.I am relatively certain that they will exceed the LTT this year if Harper is involved.I am not a big fan of Harper, but he could be a big plus the first half of the contract (and a boat anchor the next half).
The Rule 5 Draft is today. The Dodgers will likely lose some players. Maybe Christain Santana, Drew Jackson, Stetson Allie and another own or two … When the Farm is loaded with talent, you are bound to lose some. I can confidently say this: The 2019 Dodgers will be vastly different than the team that lost back-to-back World Series.