Hope Springs Eternal

Baseball is the ultimate game for statistics, and in the past few years statistics have multiplied faster than a warren of rabbits.  Launch angles, exit velocity and spin rates are only a few of the new statistics.  Some statistics such as framing and DWAR are somewhat subjective and not yet a perfect means of measurement.  So many fans use stats literally in the respect that your stats say what you are. That can be true, but I am of the opinion that it is more frequently false.  As contradictory as it sounds, statistical analysis is part of the reason it is false.What precipitated this post is some fans are excited to see Joe “Machine Gun” Kelly become a Dodger, while others feel like his stats only warrant a yawn.  Joe Kelly has always had a very powerful gun – it’s like a machine.  His career has somewhat paralleled Nathan Eovaldi in that he has always thrown 100+ MPH but has never been a big strikeout pitcher.  He has also had a high walk rate per 9 innings. Kelley has averaged 3.7 BB/9 while Eovaldi was about the same… until he wasn’t.Kelly reminds me of another pitcher that almost everyone said was a waste of a roster spot and ridiculed (YES, RIDICULED) Andrew Friedman for acquiring him.  There were only two fans that I know of who supported this pitcher: AC, who called it a great pickup, and me (my attitude was “wait and see,” not actually support).  This guy threw 100+ MPH but, but look at his walks per 9 innings: 7.1, 4.7, 5.7, 4.1, 3.5, 3.0, 3.0, 4.9… but suddenly he dropped to 1.9, 1.7, 1.9.  To this date his walks per 9 innings is still 3.9.  He is Brandon Morrow, and he is a classic case of how analytics helps players improve.Brandon Morrow focused on what worked and discarded what didn’t and became a dominant set-up man.  He was on his way to becoming that guy, even before he came to the Dodgers.  He is still that guy, if he can stay healthy.  Joe Kelly has ben durable, but never knew if he was a starter or reliever… until 2017.  It was then that he accepted being sentenced to the pen for life.

Let’s look at Kelly’s Game Log Highlights Last Season:

  • In March, April and May, he gave up 5 runs in 25 games (4 in the very first game and 1 in game #16).
  • He had a 1.73 ERA on May 30th
  • June 1st, he gave up 3 ER and another one on the 2nd.  He had three more outings in June where he gave up 2, 1 and 1 runs.
  • His ERA was 3.38 at the end of June.
  • In July he had 2 games where he gave up 3 runs and 1 game where he gave up two runs.
  • At the end of July, his ERA was 4.47.
  • He gave up 2 ER in August and his ERA was 3.79
  • Boston clinched early and it was garbage time in September where he gave up 8 ER and ended with a 4.39 ERA.
  • If you take away 4 bad outings, he would have had an ERA of about 2.75.
The naysayers will say “but he didn’t.” That’s where you analyze and see what he did different and see if you can fix it. In the playoffs he pitched 11.1  Innings, allowed 1 ER and walked ZERO.  We know he can do it, because we have seen him do it.  He just needs to harness his talent consistently.  I’m betting that the Dodger Brass and Coaches believe they can help him reach that potential. Analytics of repeating his delivery and release points may hold the solution to his inconsistency.

CT3 & Barnes

Many Dodger fans are also down on Austin Barnes and Chris Taylor. Both had very good seasons in 2017 followed by down seasons or horrid seasons in 2018 and many fans attitude is “what have you done for me lately?”  For the record, I believe that Austin Barnes will rebound and have a good season in 2019.  He is not a workhorse, so don’t expect more than 375 AB’s, which means he needs a platoon partner.  I have also been a vocal in supporter of Chris Taylor.I think both players got off to poor starts and started pressing… maybe developing bad habits… maybe tendencies exploited and lack of adjustments.  When you are in the midst of a bad season, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. What I did see were two players who looked confused. I don’t know about Barnes, but I do know that Robert Van Scoyoc (“RVS”) worked with Taylor to re-tool his swing before 2017.  It looked to me that Taylor was indecisive much of last season.  He struck out an incredible amount of times, just looking at a pitch. Part of Turner Ward’s program is to work the count and make the pitcher throw more pitches, however opposing teams know that too and sometimes you have to swing at that first pitch, because it’s the best one you will see.  It’s a fine line to walk:  being aggressive and patient at the same time.Simply put:  I think Taylor and Barnes and others have had too many coaches in their heads.  Well, now there are three, but they are united in creating a Dynamic Hitting Environment… and that could make all the difference.  I look for big things from Barnes and Taylor.  Cody Bellinger is already working with RVS and has shown a great ability in the past to adjust.  I wonder what RVS can do with Joc, Toles, Yasiel and Kike?  The Dodgers are still rated #3 in the MLB Power Poll, behind the Yankees and Red Sox.  Justin Turner is already a RVS disciple.  Could most of the hitters become incrementally better with RVS driving the train?  If they are, what more do the Dodgers need?Be careful looking at stats and thinking that what a player did last year is that player.  It seldom is: they are usually better or worse – they seldom stay the same. Of course, some fans just look at the negative:  I went to another blog yesterday and I thought I was at a funeral.  You see, part of the beauty of baseball is anticipation of winning and hope in the Fall, Winter and Spring that the Boys of Summer will live up to our expectations.  Of course, the Negative Nellies say that they are “just being realistic.” No, they are who we thought they were. However, the reality of this situation is that this is a damn good team that has gotten to the World Series two years in a row and is favored to get back again in 2019.  They are young and talented as well.  I have a lot of hope for 2019, regardless of how much or how little the Dodgers do in the trade and free agent market.The Negative Nellies are miserable year round and don’t expeirence the joy hope brings, and they are also miserable when the Dodgers finally lose that last game of the World Series.  I’m miserable 1 day a year while they are miserable 365 days a year.  I feel sorry for them.  Of course, if you are a Royals fan or a Padres fan, you can’t have that same hope.  Thankfully, we are Dodgers’ fans and hope springs eternal as they push for their 7th consecutive year in the playoffs… and shoot to win the World Series… AGAIN!

Rants and Raves

  • I love Kaybear Ruiz – I thnk he’s a star in the making, but I would consider trading him in a deal for Realmuto because that could push the Dodgers over the hump to win the World Series for two years. However, I don’t think Miami values him that highly.  They value others.  So, while the Dodgers are still in on Realmuto, I don’t think he is involved.  I have heard the Marlins asked for Verdugo, Lux and May.
  • Speaking of catchers, some people are saying that Will Smith is closest to the majors.  I disagree with that.  I think Ruiz is closer because he has more talent.  I truly think Ruiz will play for the Dodgers this year if they don’t get a big name catcher.  He’s just about ready and he is coachable.
  • AC had a great idea yesterday to reduce payroll:  Instead of paying Ryu $17 Million this year, sign him to a 3-year $33 million deal which cuts his AAV to $11 million.  With his injury history he would likely take it and there may be tax advantages too.  However, do the Dodgers want him for three years?  I doubt it.  Ryu would bite, but not Friedman.
  • Those of you who look at Scott Alexander’s 2018 and think that’s who he is, will be surprised.  Along with Chicken Strip, I look for big things out of him.
  • I would do AC’s trade of Chicken Strip for Leclerc however.  Make it happen!

This article has 53 Comments

  1. In my daily “flip flop” (I really think the FO is trying to get Harper) I’m now thinking we will only acquire a catcher to compliment Barnes while Ruiz and Smith round out their maturation/preparation for the big leagues. They will move some contracts to get financial relief and to acquire some minor league depth (have to replenish some of the five pieces they let go for Manny) but the big moves will come mid-season when we’re in the thick of a pennant race.

    Andrew values keeping the ML pipeline full and over the course of the next two years we will see the likes of Smith, Ruiz, May, White, Gonsolin, Lux et al ascend to the big club

      1. Seems that way around the league. Where have all the Winfields, Parkers, Guererros, Bonds, Dykstras, Bakers, Smiths, Gwynns, Lynns, McCoveys, Mays, Rices, Yastrzemskis ,etc, gone? It seems like there are far fewer impact outfielders than in days past.

  2. Great article today. I agree with at least 90% of it. They all say Will Smith is ready right now defensively. I’m not sure his bat is gonna be after his dismal performance at AAA. On the other side, I think Ruiz can get bat to ball in the Show right now, but his defense still needs to improve a little.

    I wouldn’t wouldn’t want to trade Ruiz for just about anyone. I would trade Verdugo, May and someone not named Lux or Ruiz for Realmuto. Cervelli is a nice alternative and probably a little cheaper, so the Dodgers have that working for them. And do we really need Realmuto if Barnes bounces back like you’re predicting? Keep Puig, sign Harper, trade for Realmuto or Cervelli, dump Kemp, Joc and Wood. If you can get another lock down bullpen piece for Stripling, so be it. If not, Strip goes to the pen and maybe becomes another late inning piece. But, he isn’t LeClerc.

    I think Taylor or Kike can hold down 2B until Lux is ready. Between Lux, Smith and Ruiz, Lux is probably closest to big league ready. That dude is flat out talented, a true 5 tool guy. He might pull a Cody Bellinger and be ready a month into the season.

    I’m with you, the Dodgers are in a great place right now and it seems like they’re working hard at getting better. It sure looks like Harper is a real possibility. There’s been some debate if the Dodgers are better now than last year. If we get Harper, there’s no debate.

    Muncy was so good last year. Taylor was highly criticized with all those strikeouts. Do we all know that Muncy actually strikes out at a higher rate than Taylor, who lead the MLB? Do we expect Muncy to be better next year? Some days I look back on his Monthly stats and think, this guy is the real deal. He hardly slumped at all, all year! Then I look at all those K’s and then I remember Seager and Bellinger and Puig’s regression after their first full years. We might need to hand onto an extra outfielder or two. Man, our new hitting Gurus have their work cut out for them. Maybe all those strikeouts were Turner Ward’s fault? Or, maybe Farhan’s? Maybe Van can correct this?

    Strikeouts and statistics. Statistics are inherently flawed in many ways. Pitch framing, is it really that important? Should it be so highly valued? It seems to be that a framed called strike 3 is so much more valuable than a framed strike 1, or 2. For example, is a framed strike 1 on a 1-0 count as valuable as a framed strike 3 in any count? When considering pitch framing, we don’t differentiate framing by count. How many of those framed strikes resulted in strike 3? All other framed strikes are less valuable since the ultimate outcome of the at bat isn’t necessarily an out.

    OBP vs Batting Average. It seems like no one gives a crap about Batting Average any more, but I think it’s much more valuable to have a better batting average, if OBP is equal or even slighly less. You only force baserunners up one base with a walk, and sometimes the walk is less than beneficial because it sets up a double play. Hits almost always advance baserunners, not just forcing them up one base. Many times a single results in 2 or even 3 bases for a baserunner, whereas a walk only means a single base for said baserunner. You can make an argument that an increase in batting average is more valuable even if it means a marginal decrease in OBP.

    Strikeouts, the second worse kind of out other than a double play. Again, nothing good happens with a strikeout. You almost never advance a runner on a K (Barring the stolen base or dropped third strike). Strikeouts are not created equal to other outs as a fielders choice or fly ball commonly advance baserunners, Strikeouts do not, but we don’t always differentiate them from other outs, so hitters nowadays aren’t as discouraged to avoid them and put the ball in play. Good things happen when you put the ball in play.

    Stolen bases, the geeks hate them. The stats say they shouldn’t steal. But are the stats capturing the distraction to the pitcher, the stress on the defense, the altering of the defensive alignment and all the throws to first base that wear on the pitcher?

    There are so many other examples in baseball where the stats lie and don’t capture the entire effect on the game. So, you are absolutely correct that you can’t judge a player entirely on stats. None of them are perfect. Sometimes you just have to trust your eyes. Puig is a good example of this. Us Dodger fans love him because of so many of these intangibles that aren’t entirely captured by stats. Doubles are turned into singles so often when balls are hit to right field, he goes first to third on an infield single. I love the guy, warts and all, but his OPS, or DRS doesn’t capture the entire picture.

    And don’t get me started on defensive statistics. They vary so wildly, year to year for so many players. They are far from perfect, but they’re better than nothing. Still, defensive statistics are considered in WAR figures, so if defense is unreliable, so is WAR.

    1. In saying a walk often set up the double play making it less valuable. That may be true, but if so the next at bat a walk would be better as avoiding any outs. I just hope we can avoid that feeling of ‘Oh shit. Here comes the double play’. Too often that was Puig coming up, though he did hit a homer or two putting that feeling to rest.

  3. Mark, most of the posts on this blog on signing Kelly that I have read are saying that it’s a good sign but he was hot and cold last year, nothing about a waste of a roster spot or any ridiculing of Friedman for the signing, my comment was signing Kelly is a good start but the bullpen needs more help. If you are referring to the other blog where you heard this sort of ridicule than I suggest you post your comments to them.
    The people on this blog are very knowledgeable when it comes to baseball, and the Dodgers, and don’t need your lectures.

    1. I agree, if the commentators are silenced through lecture, ridicule, or just plain rudeness, your product will suffer. I for one liked the Kelly signing and said so. So, it wasn’t just you and AC. And you probably could have left the Ryu bullet point out of this article. I will try not to comment on salary in the future because it’s a waste of time since not one person on this site knows what the Dodgers budget number are, or the circumstances surrounding said budget. We can assume that some leaked document has weight. Or, we can assume that one of the richest franchises in the sport can go past the CBT threshold because they did it for half a decade. But, none of us really know. Not even those who work in finance.

  4. I would also like to point out that I for one, check back to the daily article many times a day. Not to re-read the article, but to check on the comments. So, really I spend more time reading comments than the post itself. This isn’t to say that the posts aren’t awesome. You and AC do a fantastic job! I like your site more than all the others. But, you should tone down the insults and lectures as 1439 put it.

  5. Sophie’s Choice: part with Ruiz as the centerpiece of a multi-player package for Realmuto OR send Verdugo, May, Lux.
    Dodgerdenny might’ve convinced me last night to hold onto Ruiz. I never wanted to trade him in the first place. The massive outlay for a mere two years control is a tricky thing to get past.
    Similarly, Mark’s rumored package of Verdugo, Lux, & May is simply too much. Maybe we just need a short-term bridge and focus elsewhere.
    Lastly, Stripling wouldn’t net Leclerc. Teams know the value of lights-out relievers. He’s someone we probably should’ve overpaid for at the deadline last year.

    1. Agreed, let some other team overpay for JTR. That’s too much for the Dodgers to give up when their young catchers are so close.

  6. I want to express an idea that I have stated previously. In order to win the World Series somebody needs to play over their head. That happened for Boston with Pearce, Kelly, and price, and evoldi was great as well. The Dodgers just don’t seem to get that. You might argue buehler and hill did that but the rest of the team imploded. Kershaw, ryu, Jansen, bellinger, kike, to name a few were all terrible. I like getting machine gun Kelley for no other reason than the Dodgers won’t have to face him for a while. Watching him I was amazed at every pitch and thinking he is pitching way over his head. But I think it takes talent and attitude to do it on the big stage. He had both. Pearce the mvp was a castaway who anybody could have signed. We made him look like babe Ruth and their terrible catchers were even having good hacks. So, I go back to a previous article that mark said our game preparation must be looked at. Although we couldn’t do anything about Kelly etc. maybe we could avoid making babe Ruth out of Pearce. Back to kelley maybe Friedman sees Kelley as a possible starter if multiple trades are made. I mean as a last resort as he is a versatile pitcher.

  7. I say “No” to Realmuto…find a stop-gap back-stop (say that five times in a row) for a year or two.

  8. I don’t take Mark’s comments about negativity, etc. as an insult, but a disagreement. We all have differences of opinions and I have been the poster here who has been most negative about the Kelly signing.

    Baseball history is replete with post-season heroes who have been signed to big contracts based on post-season performance when their career history doesn’t warrant the big $$. Most of those teams have been disappointed. That’s why I looked at Kelly’s performance month by month last season. As I pointed out yesterday, I am concerned about WHIP and BB/9, which are important numbers for short relievers, especially those who pitch in late innings. Again, Scott Alexander was rightly criticized by posters here for his inability to find home plate in the late innings. His BB/9 was 3.7 last season – Kelly’s was 4.4.

    Kelly switched to the bullpen full-time in 2016. His career BB/9 is 3.7, but since switching to the ‘pen it has been 5.4, 4.2 and 4.4. Similarly, his career WHIP is 1.38. In the last 3 seasons it has been 1.700, 1.190 and 1.355. The only Dodger reliever who pitched more than 20 innings last season with a higher WHIP was Yimi Garcia and no one’s going to give him $25MM any time soon.

    Mark’s comment about looking at a player and assuming he will perform as he did the previous season is true but only to a point. That’s why they keep the stats. Don’t most who post here assume that Justin Turner will hit .310 and OPS close to .900 because he has a track record of this type of performance? Most here hope Cory Seager will return to the player that he has been for the Dodgers in the past and hope that his surgeries don’t affect what we have come to expect from him based on his past performance. Joe Kelly is 31. He isn’t coming off of his first season or two; his performance has been up and down but he has consistently had trouble finding home plate. He has been in the majors for 7 seasons. And suddenly, we are to expect him to have the control of Kenley Jansen or Clayton Kershaw? I doubt it.

  9. I cannot see any downside to signing Kelly, other than the inherent risk in signing any player to a multi-year deal. If the Dodgers perceive that Kelly has matured to a point where he has developed more consistent command, then I trust their judgment and hope for the best. If the Dodgers can add another dominant bullpen piece (e,g., Stripling for Leclerc) I’m all for it. However, Kelly adds depth to the back of the Dodger pen, and makes it possible that the Dodgers could reach down to the farm later in the season to find an additional depth piece to the pen.

    I agree that Alexander could become an important piece in the pen. However, for that to happen will require that he finds consistent command and control, which was sorely missing down the stretch in 2018.

    I really like AC’s idea to extend Ryu additional years to drop his AAV, because it’s something that I was recently thinking about.

    I still would like to see the Dodgers sign DJLM, if only that that adds a consistently strong defensive presence at 2B. And I think he would hit.

  10. It seems to me that when you are responsible for the day-to-day creativity, operation and development of the most original Dodger site I’ve found, you should have a certain amount of leeway when you challenge someone’s opinion.
    I suspect that Mark expresses his views and insights in his original postings and often utilizes the comments section to stimulate a bit of controversy and interest when he takes umbrage with opinions which differ dramatically from his. This is his site and he, AC and others do a great job researching, developing ideas, and putting together all of the daily topics which draw us to this site.
    59, please don’t take everything so personally because I think you are a true Dodger fan and this site needs all of us to be able to agree to disagree without becoming “Trumpish” whenever someone chooses to say something that doesn’t support our own opinion.

    1. I do admit to acting like your crazy uncle who has no filter to spark conversation. Edgy makes people come back to see “what that Crazy Timmons will do next.” This blog has been growing by about 30 a week. Most don’t post but do read every day.

    2. There’s a difference between taking something personally and being called names, flat out lying about what I said, implying that I’m ignorant because my opinion is different, and that because I don’t do finance for a living my opinions are wrong.

      * You really are a short term thinker – Name Calling
      * But when your thought process can only go 5 minutes in the future, I can understand why that is difficult for you to comprehend. – Implying that I’m stupid
      * you just think that it is okay to spend others money because they have an unlimited amount (or so you say) – Flat out lie
      * stay away from arguing finance with me because you are out of your league – Condescending
      * Feel free to insult on. I am done replying to you. – I’m taking my ball and going home.

      I think this goes way beyond me taking something personally. All of this was from 1 paragraph. But, like I said, I’m done talking about salary and budget since we’re all in the same boat on those subjects.

  11. As far as trades the dodgers will need to cut payroll. You will not do that trading stripling. Wood has to go and if Harper is in the picture they must save money on kemp or puig or both. Obviously, puig has worn out his welcome but without a better option he may stay. I would love to have Kluber but I think Cleveland is having second thoughts as they now have reduced payroll. It seems the Dodgers wait too long to pull the trigger.i know that’s called patience but you know Dipoto and the Mets are overly active. We had a chance to take advantage but maybe there wasn’t a match. Cincinnati may be the team we can deal with. I don’t think the Dodgers are going to overpay for a lefty when they have cingrani. I would still look at getting Syndergaard and cespedes. Let the Mets have kemp, puig, wood, Ruiz, stripling,Ferguson plus 25 million for Syndergaard and cespedes. The Mets get catching, controllable young pitching, and outfield power and depth for this years run, and get rid of 60 million of cespedes salary. The Dodgers get the ace they need, a right handed power bat, get salary relief to go after Harper. I don’t know if I would do this deal but it is a talking point.

  12. There has been more sniping than usual lately on this board-at each other and it’s not a good look. We all want the Dodgers to win it all and are tired of waiting and we all have our preferred players we root for, that should be a given with any team with a fan base. I think the payroll issues are real-the team COULD go over the threshold but probably WON’T-based on past history and public comments, hence the complicated scenarios to ‘get under’ to add an impact player. There is one guy left I feel it’s worth some shuffling for and that’s Kluber. If the real intent is Harper well that means he and Boras have to go along and that is problematic. It does seem as if most of the potential Harper landing spots are drying up but that could be posturing. If it is reality the price could well drop and the Dodgers could be in play. Or it’s all hogwash and there is a monster 3 team trade about to drop out of nowhere-Or they just tinker around the edges, dumpster dive for a RH OF bat and backup C and some RP non roster invites and call it a day. I have yet to see a real open competition in any ST since the new brain trust arrived, guys on the bubble with options get sent down and the real team forms a couple months into the season. That’s crap and we all know it and leads to the bad starts this team always seem to have. If a guy is tearing it up in ST let him break camp with the big club, salary and options be damned! The fact is NO ONE on this blog really knows what the team will do the rest of the off season or how those moves will pan out. Some want only Harper and some want only Kluber but hell how tough would they be with both? A LOT tougher than if they just tinker. Final thought: one bunt single against the shift a week or a slapped oppo ground ball adds a ton of points to a batting average over the course of a season. A lot of the K’s were a byproduct of launch angle, taking too many good pitches early in counts and not having any semblance of a 2 strike approach, and not trying to have ‘productive outs’ that move runners along. This is now changing and it comes from the top and is a welcome change. With less platooning, a better hitting approach and more we not me attitudes there could be a lot of improvement with the players they already have.

  13. More sniping than usual!!! You think???
    AC liked the way you handled it… With time, like a hemorrhoid, this too shall pass!!!
    I figure 59 is part of the Base…

    1. Some of us remember one who went by ‘Hemorrhoidal Rage’ that wasn’t short on insults. He kept everyone’s skin at a proper thickness.

      1. He had a lot of other names too, none of which I shall give any credence to. He was banned as have a half dozen others. I will not allow this blog to get too chippy!

        Carry on like Ladies and Gentlemen!

  14. I just ran a Traffic Analytics on all the Dodger blogs, and from June to November, guess which site has had the most visits, highest traffic rank and longest visit duration?

    If you guess this site, you guessed right!http://www.LAdodgerTALK.com

    I’d like to think that I give you the platform, but it’s the writing and knowledge of AC and DC as well as all the commenters that makes us NUMBER ONE!

    1. That’s very interesting, kudos to you Mark! I read a lot of other blogs and it’s the comments that leave me wanting more. I could give examples but most here already know who has decent topics but either very few comments from the same people or absolute drivel about their favorite food or drink or other nonsense sprinkled with baseball (Dodger Digest I’m taking a shot at you) This site has many different things to discuss on a daily basis and spirited in depth analysis I don’t find anywhere else and it keeps me coming back. Thanks for providing a place to do that.

  15. I’m one of your newbies Mark, thanks to a reference AC made on another site a few weeks ago. Really good back and forth here and thought provoking conversation. Keep up the good work. Count me as one of those Dodger fans who is very happy to hear the comments that AF and Doc have made about adjusting the team’s approaches to the shift and two-strike hitting. Coupled with the new hitting coach setup, I think we’re in for a much more interesting season next year in terms of in-game action.

  16. I went to the winter meeting snooze fest for two days this year in Las Vegas. The most exciting part of the winter meetings was playing the ponies and watching Pete Rose sign baseballs for $125 down the hallway from the MLB Network broadcasting site. You could also purchase a jersey, picture, hat , bat or a combo of any of the items. Pricing varied depending on what you selected. I was going to get a baseball signed but changed my mind after hearing the two sales people giving their circus like sells pitches. I took a photo with my IPhone of Pete while exiting the shop which satisfied me for now.
    My Dodger wish list is as follows:
    Jed Lowrie a switch hitting 2nd baseball on a one year deal that will vest into two years if he has a good year.
    Cervelli to catch on a one or two year deal.
    and make the trade for Cory Kluber.
    I my opinion, the last two years we have been one good starting pitcher short. Last year seemed like more than one good pitcher but we need three good starters in the Rotation to compete with the Red Sox, Astros and Yankees. Yankees staff seems to be put together by bailing wire and bandaids but could be good.
    I haven’t been commenting in here recently but I do read this site daily.

    1. I think Pete Rose should be in the HOF, but he is not a good person. His brother is a “line cook” in a restaurant close to me and it breaks his heart that Pete never calls or does anything for him.“I guess he’s busy, so I always have to call him…”

      I am thinking of going to Camelback Ranch in March and I will be in Vegas April 23-25!

      1. Maybe we can get together at Camelback this year. Once you figure out what days you will be there, Let me know.

    2. I asked my son if he wanted to put on Dodger gear and go down and be on TV, he passed. It was a snooze fest and their stupid free agent poker was annoying. I grew up loving Pete Rose and he broke my heart with his gambling issues. It’s sad to see him hawking his stuff to make ends meet and truthfully he has signed so much his auto is virtually worthless in the memorabilia world. He still belongs in the Hall of Fame along with Bonds, Clemons, McGwire, Sosa and Palmeiro. Especially when guys like Baines get in just because they played a long time. It’s the Hall of Fame not Hall of Pretty Good.

      1. Yes Vegas, I got on TV behind the MLB Network setup. It was fun for a few minutes but quickly got old. I saw GM’s, managers and the MLB insiders walking around but as I mentioned, playing the ponies was more exciting this year anyway.

  17. I have a question: Is there any kind of clause in which a player who no longer performs at the same level (Kemp) and who has very high salaries, can be removed from the roster and pay them without affecting the CBT? There are too many players with quite high salaries and I am tired of reading that teams can not do anything or sign someone for exceeding the CBT. I’m not sure if I was clear or if I explain what I mean…

    Harper wants to play with Dodgers, and Dodgers wants Harper, but they can not hire him because they have to do something with Kemp first, why not just release him and pay his salary, without affecting the CBT?

    It is my personal opinion, but this is something that the Players Association can see for the benefit of the players themselves, allowing them to play in the team they want!

    1. Whoever releases Kemp would pay his full salary. Another team would then pick him up for the major league minimum. Last year the Braves released AGon immediately and paid his full contract. The Mets then picked him up for the MLM salary.

      1. I know that, what I mean is why it has to affect the CBT of each team? The League should also do something to protect the teams from having to carry such bad contracts, although it is also true that the fault lies not with the players, but with the stupid owners for giving such horrible contracts.

  18. We dodged a bullet with grandal. Nobody wants him and imagine us stuck paying him 17 million. He is running out of suitors. I hope we don’t jump back in at any cost. Maybe he has somebody knocking but I don’t think he is going to get the bucks he expected. I don’t know why in the world we offered ryu the opportunity for the 17+ million. We could have paid Kelley’s salary with that. I like ryu but he isn’t worth the money he will get. I know it is one year but we overpaid. I hope grandal finds somebody so we get the draft pick.

    1. I expected Ryu and the Dodgers to agree to a 3/$33M type contract within a week of him taking the QO. As was mentioned above, this would be one way of lowering the AAV.

  19. If ryu can stay healthy all year he will probably still get 3/33 next year. That is a big if since he is rarely healthy. I would rather risk it on him as Brett Anderson. He is a better pitcher and a lower risk. He really disappointed in the ws but they should have made sure he pitched in la. Would any team in the league give him 17+ for one year? I doubt, so the dodgers overvalued him or just wanted him pretty badly. I would like to know how they come to that decision. I’m shocked grandal didn’t accept. He should have. If the cost for the best catchers are below 10 million per year the cost for Realmuto should come down or Miami will just keep him. At this point I wouldn’t give up Ruiz for him I would offer smith plus whatever else is needed including barnes who they had once I believe.

  20. Catching market going great for the Dodgers as Ramos takes the Mets out of the picture.
    Grandal and JTR, the two best catchers, are still out there. With the Rays and Dodgers seemingly the only buyers.
    I’m probably wrong and there may be other teams….
    As per Joe Fisaro:
    This week will be telling if a trade is made or not. All along the Marlins have maintained they don’t have to do anything. From what I’ve gathered that stance remains

      1. I would think so. May is a top pitching prospect regardless of any rankings. That’s a lot of prospect depth surrounding him.

        1. I’m starting to think we’d prefer a one-year option. Cervelli, russ martin, Hundley, lucroy. I dont see grandal returning.

          1. I would rather buy a one-year option than trade the likes of White and May. May can be another Walker Buehler just might take some time since he was drafted out of HS. White can be a dominant arm as well.

      2. I am a little concerned with Barnes in the deal. I’d do it, but who is our back up then. A mercenary back up for 1 year? Should be able to find one of those.

        I’m not sure Smith’s bat is ready for the ML yet. Ruiz’s bat should play now in the ML but I would like to see him as a everyday minor league catcher getting defensive reps

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