Machine Gun Kelly

No matter how big of a Dodger Cynic you are, you have to admit that this Dodger Team, right here, right now, is better than the 2018 version. The 2018 version did not have Joe Kelly, Corey Seager and Julio Urias.  Even if the Dodgers are done dealing… and I doubt they are, the team is better than last year.  I’d like to say they are better without Turner Ward because they have RVS, but that is still to be decided.  It’s apparent that Friedman and Roberts are on the same page and focused on improving the teams’ situational hitting, minimzing platoons and cutting-down strikeouts.What can we expect from Joe Kelly?  Until recently Joe Kelly was consistently inconsistent.  He walked too many and struck out too few… but man-o-man… his stuff is fast, filthy and furious.  He couldn’t start and couldn’t close. I am betting that Honeycutt, Prior and the Dodgers Brass see something great that they believe they can invoke in JK.  Andrew Friedman throws around nickels like they are manhole covers when we are talking relievers, so why is Joe Kelly any different?  Because he IS different! 100 MPH different with movement.Maybe Kenley teaches him the cutter.  I guarantee that Friedman did not give him $25 million for smoke and mirrors.  Henceforth, I shall never refer to him as Joe Kelly, just like I never call Striker Buehler by his real name.  From this day forward, he isMachine Gun Kelly.  If you don’t know who that was… look it upHERE… and I am not talking about some silly rapper. Machine Gun Kelly will take hitters hostage and humiliate them if they don’t pay his ranson. The real Machine Gun Kelly was not a good guy, and in our climate of political correctness, I am sure some will oppose that name, but a reliever that throws 100+ with filthy stuff has to be called Machine Gun.Scott Alexander (I’ll have to work on a name for him) and Machine Gun will form a formidable L-R Tandem in the bullpen next season.  Sprinkle in Floro, Ferguson and others and the Dodgers might just have a world-class bullpen. BTW,  I am on record as predicting a great season for Alexander in 2019…. Chicken Strip too!Pedro Moura of The Athleticwrote this yesterday:
Why spend big right now when you already know you have a good chance at another World Series bid as is?
The obvious answer isTO TRY AND WIN THE WORLD SERIES!  Dodger fans are looking for more movement, but rest assured, Andrew Friedman will not overpay! It’s likely that an outfielder (or two) gets traded and a starting pitcher (or two) gets dealt, but who and when depends upon how other teams value players.  We may think the Dodgers could have offered a better package for a Paul Goldschmidt, but the D-Bags may not value players that the Dodgers offered as much. I’m not saying the Dodgers even tried to get Goldy – that just an example.  Lots of people think St. Louis got Goldy on the cheap, but SL feels like they gave up a lot and AZ loves what they received.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.There will likely be more action, but it could be slow.  Sit around the Hot Stove and let’s talk. 

This article has 31 Comments

  1. Kelly is a good start, I’ll wait and see what other moves Friedman makes before making comparisons to last year.

  2. Joe Kelley, with a lil tweaking will definitely add some thunder in the 8th.!!! A good pickup in an otherwise catatonic Winter Meeting…
    Lets not forget Pedro Baez and the turn around 2018 he had…
    Now if we could get a few starters to maybe say pitch 6 inn. as the norm!!! Quality start be damned…

  3. It’s freaking awesome to have someone hitting 100 in the pen. Hopefully he can throw more strikes, but man o man, what a strong arm on that one!

    I’m with you, the team is better now than last year. That one additional dominant bullpen piece as a big hole last year. The young guys will be a year older and are still on their upward trajectory. Having a better hitting philosophy will help, maybe they will reverse some of those platoon splits with a better approach. I’ve never seen so many lefty hitters so inept at hitting lefties. And how do you explain Puig’s splits reversing further into his career? We should sweep the Reds next year since we have so many left handed pitchers, and the Reds have a hitting coach that can’t solve lefties.

    We have too many spare parts on this team, as written by everyone who covers baseball. I’d still like to see Puig stick around another year, but would rather have Harper. Puig seems as good as gone, for the third year in a row. I wonder if it will actually happen this year. A right handed power hitter would be a nice add, but there isn’t an obvious fit out there.

  4. Love the December optimism, lets hope it becomes an October reality. I really think the only other need that must be addressed is the catching position. The Dodgers are most likely going to go ST with a triumvirate of CT3, Hernandez and Muncy to win the 2B job and use an OF combo made up Toles, Joc, Verdugo, Bellinger, CT3 and Hernandez. Kemp will be traded to an AL club with the Dodgers eating half of his $21 million salary.

    Puig will get dealt in a package with Wood for one marginal big league piece (maybe catcher or RP) and some minor leaguers just to get the salary relief. With the additions Mark has listed we are indeed a better team than last year. Good health and a resurgence of Kershaw, Jensen, Turner and fewer K’s by Ct3, Hernndez, Bellinger and we’ll be set to roll.

    Is it February yet? Pitchers and catchers in how many days?

    1. 2019 will mark 31 years since our last championship. 31 is a lucky number. Mike Piazza is proof. It’s going to happen. Make sure you believe early so you don’t have to jump on the bandwagon later.

  5. Dodgers sign Joel Ibarra a 16 yo Mexican SS/RHP.
    On the subject of prospects from our Southern continent mate, I’ve been reading a few positive things about RHP Gerardo Carrillo. Smallish frame but great FB/Curve and feel.

  6. Don’t be surprised if Stephen Vogt’s name comes up as a short term fix for the Dodgers catcher needs. He appears to be ok after his last shoulder surgery and has been contacted by the Dodgers

    1. Vogt is LH and would be a nice platoon at C – that’s a plus.

      Vogt is one of the worst pitch framers in baseball – that’s a minus.

      I’d be surprised!

  7. We need nicknames for everyone.

    Striker Buehler
    Machine Gun Kelly
    CT3 Taylor
    Red Poppy Turner
    Bambino Bellinger
    El Chapo Baez
    Tamahawk Missle Seager
    Michelin Man Ryu (I think he looks like him)
    Wild Horse
    Chicken Strip

    Any more ideas?

  8. Kelly a nice pickup, hopefully there will be more signings. In my opinion the biggest move this offseason in F Zadi moving on. It just might be huge.

    1. It may be that he was too hands on as it seems Roberts did some things that he should of known better and that could of been Roberts staying true to what was agreed to when he was hired. Maybe Giants will show developing some more bad habits at bat. The changes relating to situational hitting approach seems more like what Roberts would of felt all along. At any rate, it’s high time. Just gotta hope there’s proof ahead in what we all felt where a change was in need of happening.

  9. MT – Cast aside the bong…
    Again, A.J. Ellis interim catcher and retire as a Dodger… Work his way thru the minors as a coach…

  10. A commenter I respect on another blog suggested for argument’s sake the following trade:

    Dodgers get: JT Realmuto
    Marlins get: Keibert Ruiz, Dennis Santana, Edwin Rios, & Andre Toles
    In the spirit of a pro & con debate, I’d like to take apart this proposed deal. I’m ignoring the two loudest voices in the room: “Get Realmuto no matter what it takes!” and “Ruiz is untouchable.”
    Pros: We land a top flight catcher, one whom many say is the best in the game.
    We address a position of great need, as it is certain we will be adding a catcher.
    We add a RH bat to the lineup.
    We don’t touch any players expected to make a major impact in 2019, with Santana the possible exception.

    Cons: We part with Ruiz, a prospect unicorn as a switch-hitting catcher with potentially elite ball-to-bat skills.
    We trade six years of Ruiz team control for only two of Realmuto.
    We potentially cramp the development of Will Smith, who might be ready at some point in 2019 or 2020.
    We give up, in addition to Ruiz, a top arm in the system, a well-regarded minor league bat, and a wild card.
    Analysis: There are several approaches when evaluating pro-con lists; one is to focus on the strongest one is either column and see if it is so overriding of the other factors that it sways you instinctively toward one side. Clearly, the two strongest points are Pro: We add Realmuto & Con: We lose Ruiz. For many, this is the end of the debate, If you are in one of these camps, you will never be dissuaded by the other side.
    Other factors: Another potential Pro might be found in the area of “windows,” as in what would the deal mean for our window of opportunity to win it all? I would submit we have an indefinite window in theory, but we do have a shorter or smaller window in reality based on some expiring contracts we have after next year (Hill, Ryu, Wood, Kemp, Puig, Freese) and further down the line (Turner after 2020 & Kershaw after 2021 come to mind). I suppose a related Con could be the bad timing of having Realmuto’s contract expire right when Ruiz would be projected to be ready for prime-time and to [potentially] be our new franchise catcher.
    Wild Cards: I think the fact we’ve lost the last two World Series is a real factor. I also think the fact we have not only Smith but also Cartaya & Wong in the system (not to mention Barnes). We don’t know how Ruiz internally views Ruiz, but I’m guessing it’s something along the lines of jaws-on-the-floor anticipation. Similarly, we don’t know exactly how our scouting department regards Realmuto but can probably assume its as “first tier catching option.”
    Results: I dunno man. My instinct is to say Ruiz is untouchable and the whole 2 years vs. 6 years is a bridge too far. BUT, my head says that sometimes you need to focus on what you get and not what you give up. I think the other parts in this trade are noise and the true decision lies in whether you’d be willing to trade Ruiz for Realmuto. It’s a damn tough call and thankfully none of anything I wrote actually matters and so and so forth.
    Conclusion: I’d do it. This move says we are in full attack mode. I’m not even factoring in Kluber or Harper. We need a catcher. Realmuto’s the best one out there. Screw it. I’m in. Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, Paul Konerko, Carlos Santana, Yordan Alvarez, I don’t care. Give me JT2.0 and I’ll accept the consequences. I’ll know we’re dead serious about ending this title drought.

    1. Sorry for all the typos and “Ruiz internally views Ruiz” nonsense but I forgot one small thing I had been working on. I’ll leave it and then be done:

      Realmuto made $2.9 mil last year in his first year of arbitration. MLBTR projects his 2019 salary to be $6.1 mil. I can’t find a decent projection for what his 2020 might be, but we do have the instructive case of the Reds’ Eugenio Suarez’s recent contract for comparison. Suarez, while not being perfectly in line with Realmuto, is making–as part of his new deal–$2.25m is his first year of arbitration (as compared to Realmuto’s $2.9m) but is also banking a $2m signing bonus. His (meaning Suarez’s) Arb-Year-5 & Arb-Year-6 salaries are $9.25m & $10.5m (as compared with Realmuto’s projectes $6.1m & ???).
      I think the Reds, as part of Suarez’s overall contract, deliberately inflated his Arb5 total a bit and deflated his Arb6 total as a way to make the deal more “cost certain” for the team.
      Therefore, what can we expect Realmuto’s 2019 & 2020 salaries to cost? I’d say anywhere between $16m–$21m, based on adding his projected Arb5 & Suarez’s Year6 numbers. Of course I could be way off and Realmuto could command more, but let’s just estimate we’d essentially be getting Realmuto on essentially a 2y/$18.5m contract.

    2. If you want Realmuto without giving up Bellinger there is going to have to be two very good prospects and they prefer big league ready or close to big league ready. To do that without Lux and May who are the two the Dodgers most value then you need to add Verdugo to any package. Verdugo and Ruiz may get it done. Verdugo, Smith, Santana would be close. Toles, Joc, Rios, Stewart could be added to the package.

  11. Another exhilarating MLB Winter Meetings showcasing a boatload of mesmerizing transactions that the blogs will be talking about for years. OK, maybe not. Here is what has transpired this past week:
    RHSP Nathan Eovaldi sins with Boston for 4 years and $68MM.
    Catcher Chris Hermann signs with Oakland for 1 year $1MM plus incentives.
    Cardinals trade infielder Patrick Wisdom to Texas Rangers for infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson.
    Pittsburgh trades RHP Ivan Nova to ChiSox for RHP Yordi Rosario + $500K international bonus pool money.
    Toronto releases Tulo and his $38MM obligation.
    Phillies sign OF Andrew McCutcheon 3 years $50MM.
    Angels sign Justin Bour 1 year $5.25MM.
    Nats trade RHSP Tanner Roark to Cincinnati for RHRP Tanner Rainey.
    Texas signs Lance Lynn for 3 years $30MM.
    Rays sign Charlie Morton for 2 years $30MM plus one year option with vesting
    Dodgers sign RHRP MG Kelly 3 years $25MM.
    Mets sign RHRP Jeurys Familia 3 years $30MM.
    NYY signs LHSP J. A. Happ 2 years $34MM with 1 year option including vesting.
    3 Team Trade – Seattle send 1B/DH Carlos Santana and $6MM in cash to Cleveland; Cleveland sends 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion plus competitive balance draft pick to Seattle and 1B/3B Yandy Diaz and 28-year-old MiLB RHP pitcher Cole Sulcer to Tampa Bay; Tampa Bay sends 1B Jake Bauers to Cleveland and $5MM to Seattle.
    SD signs 2B Ian Kinsler 2 years $8MM
    Tigers sign SS Jordy Mercer 1 year $5.25MM plus incentives
    ChiSox sign catcher James McCann 1 year $2.5MM
    That is 12 free agent signings, 4 trades, and 1 player release.

  12. I agree with Bruce Elliot and Quasimodo, I also think the biggest move so far is Zaidi moving on. I think we will see the real Doc and how he manages a game going forward without somebody dictating moves to him. Also seems like Freidman, after two World Series losses, seems bound and determined to win it all this year, that’s why we will see more of a hands on approach from him. I like the direction. Don’t get me wrong, Farhan did some great things for us the past few years, but a bit of a tweek in the approach is ok. Looking forward to the new season and hopefully Roberts pushing his scrappy style as a player onto the rest of the team.

  13. Maybe getting run over by the Sox in the Series was the best thing that could have happened to us. It apparently convinced Andrew that he needed to think about our hitting approach differently (fewer strike outs, etc.) and it gave Kelly a chance to audition for our bullpen.

  14. Vassegh on Dodger Talk
    Confirmed Alden Gonzalez’s report that Harper wants to be a Dodger. Said he’s heard that since the All-Star break.

    Believes the Dodgers-Reds-Marlins could be working on a 3-way for Realmuto.

    Reminds me of Stanton wanting to be a Dodger and we failed to pull it off. Not saying Boras and Harper will give the Dodgers a discount but perhaps a shorter term deal with an opt out next year or after year #2. Friedman must make this happen!

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