There is No Status Quo

We still have no clue what will happen this offseason, even though the rumors are rampant, and we still don’t know what the Dodgers will look like in 2019.  One thing I think is certain: They will look different than in 2018… the only question is HOW DIFFERENT?  Some of you will be disappointed if Andrew Friedman doesn’t sign Byrce Harper or trade for Corey Kluber.  Others will be disappointed if they don’t trade Puig and Kemp, but in reality, the only way you can trade Matt is take back a bad contract, and you never know how that will pan out.  Matt Kemp loves being a Dodger and could be even more motivated than last year to get a  new contract.  He says he wants to play 3 more years.So, let Kemp and Pederson platoon in LF – you could do a lot worse than that. The two should yield 30-40 HR again.  Yes, Matt is an overpay, but he is beloved by his teammates and is a great guy to have on the team.  The Dodgers know what they have and I would be surprised if Matt Kemp is not on the 2019 Opening Day roster (barring injury).I said early in the offseason that the Dodgers don’t need much.  They have a young team with some vets mixed in and have been to two consecutive World Series. They are among the favorites to get back there.  Of course, Friedman is “in on” Harper.  He has to drive the price up, but I do not believe Bryce Harper will wear Dodger Blue… unless he is bound and determined to be a Dodger and is willing to take less money.  That’s the deal.  I don’t see Kluber either and a Realmuto deal should not include Ruiz, Verdugo or Lux.  So, that is looking more unlikely.When the Dodgers traded for Jimmy Rollins, I wrote that it was a mistake as Seager was ready… and he was.  In 2017, I told you Bellinger was ready.  Buehler in 2018 and now for 2019, I am telling you Verdugo, Lux and Ruiz are also ready…. at least by Mid-Season.  Write it down.  I said it.  I meant it and I’m here to represent it!  Verdugo is the most ready, but Ruiz is growing by leaps and bounds – physically, mentally and skillfully.  His footwork has dramatically improved and he is a quick learner.  Baseball is his gift.  Lux is also close and Verdugo, Lux and Ruiz will likely all benefit from the Dodgers new hitting program led by Robert Van Scoyoc (RVS).I have tried to trade Puig every year… although I must admit I like the knucklehead, but now is the time to keep him.  He is going into his final season on this contract and should be motivated to listen to RVS and company.  He could have a very good year and then the Dodgers will give him the QO and he will turn it down…. ANOTHER PICK!Right about now, the two players I can see traded are Stewart, Toles and Wood.  The Dodgers need to improve internally, not by trading for “different” pieces.  I am fine with what they have now… although it is fun to speculate.   If nothing else happens, at least they did not make any dope-fiend moves… and there worse things than bringing Yasmani Grandal back on a 1 year/$9 million deal.

Other News

The Athletichas another piece on hitting today.  In part Peter Gammons writes:
Hyers and hitting guru Robert Van Scoyoc had a major influence on Martinez and several others. Their concepts included being “on plane” with the ball rather than simply trying to create launch angle. They preach “following the ball” after contact, lessening effort in the swing, making adjustments for the opposing pitcher and the situation. “Correctly implemented, launch angle and exit velocity are important,” one general manager says, “but in the end, runs created decide games. The notion that RBIs are not important is silly. Sure, season totals of RBIs include a lot of variables, but when games are there to be won, RBIs count.”For an oft-used example, in the third game of the ALCS in Houston, the Red Sox faced Dallas Keuchel. They had a clear idea of how the Cy Young Award winner would pitch them. Betts made like Pete Rose and knocked a single through the middle. Andrew Benintendi knew a ball down and away was coming and slapped it just over Alex Bregman’s head down the left field line. The cleanup hitter Martinez knew Keuchel would do a Tom Glavine and offer up a changeup down and off the outside corner, and Martinez dumped the ball over first down the right-field line. The Red Sox were up two runs in four batters before the Astros even got up in their home park.So we go back to the first and foremost scientist of hitting: Ted Williams. He preached adjusting with two outs “because two-out runs are such a huge part of the game.” Enter what he called the “push swing.”For an oft-used example, in the third game of the ALCS in Houston, the Red Sox faced Dallas Keuchel. They had a clear idea of how the Cy Young Award winner would pitch them. Betts made like Pete Rose and knocked a single through the middle. Andrew Benintendi knew a ball down and away was coming and slapped it just over Alex Bregman’s head down the left field line. The cleanup hitter Martinez knew Keuchel would do a Tom Glavine and offer up a changeup down and off the outside corner, and Martinez dumped the ball over first down the right-field line. The Red Sox were up two runs in four batters before the Astros even got up in their home park.So we go back to the first and foremost scientist of hitting: Ted Williams. He preached adjusting with two outs “because two-out runs are such a huge part of the game.” Enter what he called the “push swing.”
Here’s the part that should give Dodger fans a lot of hope:
Enter Van Scoyoc, Brant Brown and Aaron Bates as the Dodgers’ new hitting coaching and preparatory staff. “Our approach was not very good,” says one Dodger official. “The players were taught through the system to try to launch on every pitch. It just doesn’t work against good pitching. Justin Turner (another Van Scoyoc guy) is fine. But look at our postseason.”
Gammons ended with:There is no reason Joey Gallo needs to strike out 207 times in 500 at-bats, or Chris Taylor 178 in 536 at-bats. They’re too good. And in Taylor’s case, a team that has made it to the World Series the last two years shouldn’t essentially have as many games when they score three or fewer runs as the Rays.You should get a subscription to The Athletic.  Next to LAdodgerTalk.com, it has the best writing in the business.  😉

This article has 107 Comments

  1. You’re right! The team is good enough right now to go back to the post season again. Last year was a weird one with the “Slow Start” Spring Training (No doubt another bad Farhan idea) that carried over into a slow start in the beginning of the season, piling up intra-division losses against Arizona and SF. The loss of Seager early, Bellinger and Taylor’s regression and the worst year ever for Clayton Kershaw all contributed to the Dodgers under performing early on.

    As you mentioned, Puig and Kemp in a walk year and Bellinger returning to mean will improve production in the outfield. Seager and one of Taylor, Kike, Muncy at 2B will certainly improve an infield, although I have Muncy penciled in at 1B and there’s a good chance for regression. Fortunately for us, there’s two really good bats that just happen to play 1B that were added to the 40 man in Rios and Beaty, so there’s a big insurance policy there, not to mention Freese. Grandal is a big hole offensively at catcher. Hopefully Barnes will get closer to his 2017 than his 2018. Can Farmer actually catch?

    I think the pitching staff will be stronger than last year. We added a great backend piece with Kelly and the arrival of Bueller coupled with the return of Urias makes for a three headed monster, at some point after Urias’ innings limit. Ryu and Hill are no slouches and Stripling and Wood should fit well in just about any rotation. Jansen will return to form without the lazy spring training and heart scares.

    Like you said, there are still spare parts that need to be dealt away. And the lineup is a little too left handed. And the more I think about Harper and Machado, the more I like waiting for Arrenado. Even though I still think Harper is destined to be a Dodger. I choose to believe the reports that he wants to be here. If that’s the case, both sides will compromise and come to agreement. Sorry Bryce, you just haven’t done enough to deserve the longest and biggest contract ever.

    Less than 100 days to opening day. Today is the shortest day of the year, so every day will be a little bit better starting tomorrow.

    1. “Today is the shortest day of the year, so every day will be a little bit better starting tomorrow”… What a great quote, 59. You gave me something to think about in this dreary ass world we live in (if only the Dodgers could win a ring). ☺

  2. I agree with you Mark. The Dodgers have a good team as is with enough depth to replace a hitter that might have been a one-hit-wonder (Muncy, Taylor). Verdugo either spends more time in OK or pushes a player off the 25 in spring training.
    .
    I am ready for Verdugo to take over RF and would like to trade Puig to the Reds for Raisel Iglesias. He is signed through 2021 with an AAV of $8M. I assume the Dodgers would have to add a solid reliever to the package, maybe Santana. Other players as needed.
    .
    If Muncy winds up being the long term first baseman then Bellinger becomes the long term CF. Lux will soon be either the SS or 2B long term for the Dodgers. Joc and CT3 might be a good LF platoon in LF but Taylor is too young to get only 30% of the starts and if he got more, neither player would stay sharp. CT3 is a mid-season trade chip but for now is insurance for CF should Muncy not repeat 2018 and Bellinger moves back to 1B.

  3. Jurickson Profar to the A’s. Three team trade. Profar still has 2 years of arbitration and is projected at $3.4MM in 2019.
    .

    A’s send to Texas – 24 year old 2B who was at AA last year (A’s #17 prospect)
    A’s send to Rays RHRP Emilio Pagan and the A’s 38th overall pick (compensatory pick)
    Rays send to Texas MiLB LHP Brock Burke, MiLB LHP Kyle Bird, MiLB RHP Yoel Espinal, and international bonus allotment.
    Rangers send to Rays MiLB RHP Rollie Lacy.
    .
    It now appears that Lowrie will not be going back to the A’s.

  4. I would be disappointed if Machado or Harper wore Dodger Blue this year. Neither one of them have what it takes to be a Dodger. Skill, of course, attitude NO. I complained about Machado’s attitude last year, lack of hustle and general demeanor. The reply was , we need to take the bad with the good. No we don’t, and there wasn’t enough good anyway.
    I honestly suspect the same would be true of Harper, maybe not lack of hustle but his attitude I do not think plays well with the Dodger way.
    And I agree that we have the potential as it is to field a great 2019 team, a WS team.
    A new hitting philosophy and back to the basics on the bases and in fielding your best 8 players day in and day out will be the game changers we need.
    Not ” dope fiend ” moves that will again set us back not move us forward.
    Verdugo, has a bit of the attitude that could be problematic, but is young enough and hungry enough that he likely will listen to the veterans who can guide him.
    Bring him on. And I sure would like to see Toles in that outfield and running those bases at Chaves Ravine in 2019.

  5. IF, if, if Harper really wanted to be a Dodger he should take a 10 year, $150M contract with an opt out after one, two, and three years. That way he could opt out after 2019 and renegotiate a contract with the Dodgers et al when the Dodgers have $80M coming off their payroll. It protects Harper should he get hit by a bus or reenacts Tommy Davis or Matt Kemp injuries in 2019. If he flops in 2019, he gets two more chances to play for the big contract. Takes lots of pressure off Harper, helps him with the fan base in 2019, and makes him a Dodger. He could ask for a $20M signing bonus in 2020 to make up for the Dodger discount in 2019.
    .
    I’m sure the Dodgers could clear $15M off their payroll in 2019.

  6. We seem to be good enough to play in the World Series but can’t get over the hump. We need a catcher, 2nd baseman and one more top of the rotation starter if we want to get over the hump. Muncy at 2nd base? Maybe for a few games but not a full season. Go Blue

  7. Saw this article by JP Hoornstra in the Daily News. I have no idea how reliable a stat called ‘clutch’ is but results do sort of fit with what we all complained about last year. It is that slow time of year.

    https://www.dailynews.com/2018/12/19/inside-the-dodgers-who-were-the-most-and-least-clutch-dodgers-of-all-time/

    “Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig (-4.0) are particularly un-clutch. Duke Snider (-4.1) was even worse. Gary Sheffield (-4.5) is worse than that. But the absolute least clutch Dodgers of all-time are still on the team’s roster: Joc Pederson (-4.6) and Matt Kemp (-5.0). How about that: Four of the six least clutch hitters in franchise history were on the team last year.“

    1. “Four of the six least clutch hitters in franchise history were on the team last year.“

      Update: One of the six least clutch hitters in franchise history is still on the Dodgers roster

  8. Other than Buehler what starting pitcher can be counted on to start more than 25 games or pitch more than 150 innings? Kershaw had 26 starts and 161.1 IP but has landed on the DL for significant time for the last three years. Anyone who has a bad back knows that they just do not go away. Kershaw works harder than anyone on the team, and you know his core cannot get any stronger. So, what are the chances that he stays injury free in 2019? But let’s stay positive and project Kersh at 30 starts and 180 IP.
    .
    Okay, now there are two. What about the other three starting pitchers? Doc has already anointed Hill, Maeda, and Ryu to be the three going into to ST.
    .
    Hill – 24 starts, 132.2 IP (5.5 IP/GS)
    Maeda – 20 starts, 125.1 IP
    Ryu – 15 starts, 82.1 IP
    .
    They are going to need somebody to step up, but who? But wait there is that one pitcher that nobody other than a handful of us think positively about…Alex Wood. Yes, that Alex Wood who led the team in starts with 27 and would have led the team in IP had he not gone to the bullpen. As it was he was still #2 in IP with 151.2. I continue to be asked, but what about his drop in velo? I have no idea, but it could be as simple as pitching from the stretch instead of a windup. But, I agree that it could be a concern, but what about Kershaw’s drop in velo? If pitch velocity was the most important factor, then why is Greg Maddux in the Hall?
    .
    BTW, how is Stripling going to have that break out year as a long reliever and spot starter? I am sure he is thrilled that Friedman thought so much of his 2018, that he went out and spent $18MM on a pitcher that pitched all of 82 innings last year, while he goes back to the bullpen.
    .
    What can possibly be gained by Verdugo going back to OKC?
    .
    Who is going to catch? Right now it is Barnes and Gale. Regardless as to which backup they eventually sign, they are not going to match Grandal’s WAR. Ruiz is 20. Future HOF catcher, Yadi Molina was 21 before he got significant (more than 100 PA) playing time. Contreras was 24, Realmuto was 24, Grandal was 23. Even Salvador Perez was 21 before he came up with a very poor KC team. And yet Keibert Ruiz is going to come up in a pennant race and make a significant impact? That is a lot of optimism. I have no doubt that he is the catcher of the future, but he has as much of a chance of being a significant backup this year as Grandal hitting those 40 HRs.
    .
    Other than Joe Kelly, what bullpen improvements can be expected for what was considered the biggest weakness on the team? Or can we expect more of Daniel Hudson, Zac Rosscup, JT Chargois, John Axford, Erik Goeddel, Pat Venditte, and hope one can stick.
    .
    So this is the bottom line thinking – The Dodgers lose back to back WS, lose their starting catcher, add an at times excellent power reliever but with way too many wild streaks, and a hitting coach, and that is going to give them the 2019 WS? What are the Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, Cardinals, Nats, Mets, and Rockies thinking? Those owners are going to their GMs and ask why they didn’t just go out and get a bunch of platoon players, sprinkle a couple of legit AS, and bring in a new Hitting Coach.

    1. I can’t even remember the last team to make 3 World Serieses back-to-back-to-back.
      `
      That cannot be a realistic expectation looking at history and precedent.
      `
      Obviously we fans have to have hopes and dreams, but we also should be moored in what is obvious.

      1. Oakland A’s did it in 88, 89, 90. The Dodgers won their last WS during that A’s streak. The A’s won one of the three.

    2. I believe you mean Joe Kelly not Carson Kelly but Carson Kelly maybe should have been on our radar. I totally agree with you that our front office to this point is not doing much to upgrade (if I understood correctly) while the cards, nationals, and even the Rockies seem to be moving their team forward. If you believe what has been written about getting into luxury tax territory the Dodgers will not. Then, you say we can cut payroll but it seems we are not a priority to other teams or we would have already done it. I have decided maybe we should consider lemay since second base has been a black hole. I doubt if any of the free agents are in the cards. The ownership will say what they are selling now that we are great and maybe we can finish second again. If we don’t get better I don’t believe we will beat the Rockies much less the cards and nationals. I kept reading the Rockies were going to fade and that we would take over. Well, we were lucky and good but the Rockies are right there.

  9. My point is, i believe we can do well without Harper and Machado, well my point is I wouldn’t want either one. But I think we need, obviously a catcher with a bat, and another ace or near ace. Then we are a WS contender. Ok let’s get another reliever too.

  10. A couple hot takes…

    This is my first post on ladodgertalk..

    Some of the best Dodger discussions happen on this site from what I can tell…

    So I thought I would give my inside scoop to everyone…

    Verdugo will be on the 25 man roster come opening day as a starter, AF does not want to include Verdugo in a trade, contrary to all the “rumors” everyone has been hearing, Dodgers are trying to get rid of Puig and Kemp as we speak, if no one wants Kemp there is a very good chance Dodgers will release him.

    Dodger FO believe Verdugo is going to be the next Corey Seager, and tbh I do as well

    Ruiz and Lux are not as “ready” as people may think, FO believes they need at least a year or more to develop at the higher levels of the minors, to show that they can actually succeed at a certain level of pitching, but they will be good and might get some opportunities in Sept.

  11. “Right about now, the two players I can see traded are Stewart, Toles and Wood. ” ???? Is this what they call new math?

  12. I agree with you AC, not sure what we have done to improve and one could argue we are a worse team then the one that played Boston. Lost our starting catcher, added an erratic set up man, lost an all star shortstop and are adding an all star shortstop who is coming off two major surgeries. I also don’t see Muncy and Kemp repeating there 2018 performances. There are bounce back candidates but definitely so many wild cards that could regress even more. My point is to get back for a third straight year, which in itself is near impossible, will take a stronger team then we previously had. A game changer is necessary and I don’t care if it is a little “dope fiend.” We are a financial beheamouth that should be able to easily recover from a bad signing or trade. Plus another move or two around the peripheral to shore up other holes. Get it done Friedman, unless the powers to be are not allowing you too??? I guess we will find out soon

  13. Accoding to Jeff Passan:
    The Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds are finalizing a significant trade, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Multiple major league pieces expected to change sides.

    1. Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood have been traded to the Cincinnati Reds, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Homer Bailey is one of the players going back to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The return for the Dodgers clearly will be more.

      1. Shortstop Jeter Downs is headed to the Dodgers in the monster deal, sources tell Yahoo Sports. He really impressed scouts this year and has a chance to be a capital-G guy.

          1. Bailey, owed $25M, expected to be released by the Dodgers after trade. Deal will still benefit LAD from a luxury-tax perspective. Puig projected to earn $11.3M in arbitration and Wood $9M, and Kemp still owed significant sum (unclear what exact number is).

          2. Source confirms huge Dodgers-Reds trade that will send Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to Cincinnati for a package including Homer Bailey, pitcher Josiah Gray and infielder Jeter Downs. and likely international slot money. JeffPassan was first on the deal.

            A friend of mine is wondering if Bryce Harper has signed yet?

            Verdugo, Bellinger and Harper in the OF?

            Downs or Gavin Lux and a Catcher to trade for Realmuto?

  14. Report: Dodgers, Reds “Finalizing A Significant Trade”
    By Jeff Todd | December 21, 2018 at 3:27pm CDT

    The Dodgers and Reds are “finalizing a significant trade,” according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Details are not known, but it’s believed to involve “multiple Major League pieces.”

    We’ve heard of prior talks between these two organizations on a variety of intriguing scenarios involving some big names and big contracts. Just which ones are now slated to be moved remains to be seen.

    1. That is good for Puig to be back with Turner Ward, at the least.

      But there has to be more moves after this, because we didn’t have many rightie bats, to begin with.

        1. If you mean Bryce Harper signing when you write, “Giancarlo Stanton trade” I think you are right.
          `
          For an “untradeable” contract, Kemp has been traded quite a bit.

  15. Are you saying the Yankees will get Harper, and trade Stanton to the Dodgers?

    I don’t think we have got that far yet, because I checked the Marlins, Yankees, and Harper, at MLB trade rumors already.

  16. Well, I’ll be hornswaggled! Just when you think Friedman is standing pat… BOOM!

    It looks like Harper is coming… maybe Kluber too.

    To trade bthe untradable Kemp… well, that is amazing!

      1. What does that 1-14 record and 6.09 ERA in 20 starts say? He is obviously going to ST to show what he has. But it better be a lot.

    1. From a straight cash standpoint, using MLBTR arb projections for Wood/Puig, Dodgers shedding ~$42m (Kemp $21.5m) and taking on $35m (Bailey $28m incl. buyout, plus $7m to Reds).
      `
      Luxury tax for 2019, Dodgers trim ~$16m (20 + 11.3 + 9.2 – 17.5 -7)
      `
      Unlike the Bryce Harper scenario, if the Dodgers pursued J.T. Realmuto, Corey Kluber, A.J. Pollock, Craig Kimbrel or pretty much anyone, they remain safely under the luxury-tax threshold.
      `
      Like with their players on the field, the Dodgers relish flexibility financially. This deal offers it.

  17. Are you talking about Harper to the Yankees, and the Yankees trading Stanton, to the Dodgers?

    I already checked Yankees, Marlins, and Harper at MLB Trade Rumors, so I don’t think they are that far along yet.

  18. I mention Stanton because we now have 1 legit right handed hitter on our team, JT. To go with Muncy, Belly, Seager, Joc, Verdugo, etc.

    I would not be shocked if we trade for Stanton, who after NY pays down some of his salary, would be cheaper than Harper (and may be a better player).

      1. I don’t buy that. His 3 run HR off a lefty in the WS was certainly right-handed. They should have just let him play which is what they figured out come playoff time after watching Kike continually not produce vs lefties anyways. I

    1. Bobby

      Your scenario works better for both the Dodgers and the Yankees, for that reason, especially Stanton for a more reasonable price.

      I also checked the Marlins because JT Remuto is another rightie bat too.

  19. On its own this is a horrible deal for LAD. The Dodgers do get one good (2B/SS Jeter Downs) and one decent (RHP Josiah Gray) prospect in the deal, and free up $23MM in CBT threshold space. I know Mark is going to try to sell Homer Baily as the next Brandon Morrow, but he could just as easily be DFA. What pitcher loses their spot to the worst pitcher in MLB? This is obviously a move to sign Bryce Harper.
    .
    The Reds on the other hand get an Ace (for them Wood is an Ace), and two OF that should LOVE hitting in Cincinnati. The Reds have just made themselves relevant, and the Dodgers are obviously now waiting on Harper.
    .
    Well I have to delete what I was writing for tomorrow and start a new post.

    1. Agree 100% as the great Eric Stephens writes:
      This move HAS to be the first domino of other big moves, because otherwise it’s just a salary dump that big market teams shouldn’t do.

    2. Jeter Downs is a player I have seen and he could be VERY good. Josiah Gray is on the right path…. He has some nice stuff. It was 87 MPH on his fastball two years ago. Now it’s 94 and he’s still growing!

      1. Gray is a converted SS, so he is still learning. Jeter Downs is a legit prospect who will make the Dodgers top 10, probably top 5 right behind Gavin Lux.

        1. Just looking at their 2018 stats, I think both prospects will make it to the MLB whether it is with the Dodgers or the Marlins.

    3. Joel Sherman:
      I really don’t understand this trade from #Reds perspective. They took on more $, gave up prospects and added 3 walk-yr players who still might not lift them out of 5th place, even if it makes them more competitive.

  20. We know there’s more to come now…

    Harper? Stanton? Maybe the Dodgers send Rich Hill to the Yankees for Stanton? Then, the Yanks sign Harper.

    Verdugo for Kluber or in a deal for Realmuto?

    I am astonished that this happened!!!

    1. The short fence in right, and the abundance of rightie outfielders the Yankees have, makes Harper more sense for the Yankees, and Stanton for us with all our lefties, like Bobby said.

  21. The official transaction includes $7MM going back to Cincy making the $23MM CBT threshold reduction down to $16MM. That will put the Dodgers at about $23MM to $24MM short of the threshold. Unless they are willing to go over the CBT threshold, Harper is not coming to LA.
    .
    I am glad that Kyle Farmer was included. I hope he gets a legit shot at a 25 man roster position. Plus he stays with his college teammate and very close friend.
    .
    The Dodgers now have 38 on the 40 man.

    1. AC

      I know you wanted Wood to have a chance, but that doesn’t mean this is not a little hurtful for you, so I am sorry.

      1. It is hurtful for me. I have been a huge Alex Wood fan from his Atlanta days, and when the Dodgers traded for him, I was ecstatic. As soon as I learned his #, I bought a Wood jersey. I will cheer for Alex every game other than when he starts against LA. .
        .
        He had no chance to start for the Dodgers so it is a blessing for him to go to Cincinnati. They desperately need pitching.

  22. A Stanton deal makes sense.

    Would the Dodgers trade Bellinger and Verdugo for Realmuto? I hope not.

  23. Yanks have already met with Manny. They will want to dump salary before they sign Harper or Machado. Stanton and Judge play the same position. It makes too much sense to ship off Stanton and get rid of his contract.

    From our standpoint, it’d be smarter to buy low on Stanton’s contract, with NY paying off some of his $28mil a year. It wouldn’t cost us a ton in prospects either; these 2 dudes from Cincy can fly from Cincy to LA right back to JFK!

  24. I have no illusions about Homer Bailey being Brandon Morrow… even the old Homer, but his velocity is back to 97-98 two years after TJ. Maybe Honeycutt can do something. .. It doesn’t seem likely to me that the Dodgers will cut him… unless he really is done.

  25. Wow, I love Puig and Kemp, but realize it’s time for them to go. I keep hoping to see a return of Puig’s one year of greatness, that isn’t going to happen in Blue. He made some awesome plays in the field, and missed twice as many cutoff men, but he was so exciting. How can someone so fast be so bad at stealing bases, often at the most inopportune times. He can turn a single into a triple! But oftentimes turns them into outs at second base.

    Kemp’s homecoming started with a bang, but failed to have a storybook ending. He slumped for most of the second half and was the forgotten man in the playoffs. It looked as though he would take the everyday spot in left. Then, it looked like he would be a productive compliment to Joc’s biggest weakness, left handed pitching.

    When Alex Wood decided to ditch the windup last year I thought it was a stupid idea. But even more, I thought he was just plain stupid. See ya later Alex, you came up big in the 2017 post season and I will always admire you for that.

    This can’t be it. Something is going to happen. Welcome Bryce?

  26. As per Bill Plunkett:
    Under the radar part of trade — Kemp, Wood, Puig were 3 of the more unhappy Dodgers re: platooning/overstocked rotation.
    `
    LAD wanted to lessen that element in clubhouse atmosphere next year.

  27. If you take just Kemp and Bailey alone, their AAV’S are similar. Kemp has an AAV of $20 million and Bailey’s AAV is $17.5 million. Basically two untradeable players were swapped for each other, with the Dodgers saving $2.5 million on the number that counts for Luxury Tax purposes. If memory serves, between the two players the Reds save on the absolute salaries paid in 2019.

    My guess is that Kemp and Puig will greatly benefit from playing in the Great American Bandbox.

    Jeter Downs is listed in the 2018 Baseball America Prospect Handbook as the Reds’ #11 rated prospect. He was chosen by the Reds with the 33rd overall pick in the 2017 draft.

    I believe that Josiah Gray was drafted in the 2nd round in 2018.

    The inclusion of Puig and Wood frees up approx. an additional $20 million. Clearly the Dodgers created payroll flexibility to allow for additional moves, maybe for Harper, maybe somewhere else.

  28. Will certainly miss Puig, Wood and Farmer but felt that Kemp’s lack of defensive capacity cost Dodgers runs far to often, especially since I still feel the NL is won with defense and pitching. I think that Bailey will be at Spring Training and will follow the same set-up the Dodgers used with Morrow. Saw him pitch extremely effectively against the Dodgers the latter part of 2018 and he may prepare for ST like Kemp in 2018 and surprise us all. Read somewhere that Indians and Reds had been discussing trade options recently and wonder if the MiLB prospects the Dodgers received from the Reds were wanted by the Wahoos. Package those two with Joc (to provide the much needed OF) and Ferguson (to replace Miller) and perhaps Kike and I think a deal for Kluber would be possible.

  29. I will wait and see the completed roster before I make up my mind. On the surface an organization like the Dodgers who lead the league in attendance and have that much TV money shouldn’t have to dump that much talent to get so little in return. I don’t care about Kemp although and offseason of not having to lose 40 LBs might help. If we moved Puig to sign Pollak, I would rather have Puig. I don’t buy he can’t hit lefties. Wood is a good pitcher. I don’t get why he dumped his wind-up. I never will, but I will always remember his 2017 season and blowing away Houston in the WS.
    ~
    I do think Harper is coming, but replacing Kemp and Puig with Harper and Verdugo makes the team way to lefty heavy which makes me think Verdugo is still in play for either Kluber or Realmuto and then the Dodgers sign Pollak to even out the lineup. If that’s the case I think dumping Puig is stupid.

  30. This trade only makes sense (trading two of three RH bats), if there is a part two and hopefully a part three. We still need a catcher (Realmuto – yes, Barnes???, Grandal for 1 year – no), 2b (Muncy is not the answer), a RH bat (Stanton – yes, Harper – no), and another #1 SP ( Kluber). We wait.

    1. I found him to be pure entertainment when baseball needs to get rid of many of the “unwritten rules”. After his demotion to the minors he’s been nothing but a good teammate and a good ball player. And who had the big HR’s against Milwaukee and Boston this year? It was Puig. Too bad Puig had his big moment in the WS taken from him by Dave Roberts and Ryan Madson. I believe the Dodgers are going to swap out these prospects with Verdugo and acquire Kluber then sign Harper and Pollack. I would rather have given Puig a modest extension and let him play RF everyday than sign AJ Pollack who is older and injury prone.

      1. Hawkeye

        I would have kept Puig over AJ Pollack too.

        And Puig wouldn’t have been the first outfielder I would have traded, either.

        1. All just speculation, but Chris Camello mentioned on twitter that his sources say Kluber is the next move and reminded everyone that Cincy and Cleveland were talking Kluber too. The Dodgers may have just acquired one or two of the prospects that Cleveland liked. Camello has always had good sources with the Dodgers.

          1. The only Chris Camello I found was a guy who writes for TheRebel, which I have never heard of.

            That guy?

  31. I expect Gray and Downs may not get to play in the Dodgers system. If a trade with Miami is in the works they may well be trade chips. Both are young – Gray (21) and Downs (20) and rank 20 and 7 respectively on the Reds Top 30 prospect lists.
    .
    Mark’s dominoes are starting to fall.
    .
    I really hope Farmer will get a shot as Scott Schebler did with Cincinnati.

    1. The fact that Farmer could get run. And that the Reds OF could be kemp, puig, schebler is just a testament to the dodgers ludicrous depth.

    1. Or if they now sign Pollock, Lemahieu and acquire Realmuto.

      Lemahieu-2B
      Seager-SS
      JT-3B
      Pollock-CF
      Bellinger-1B
      Realmuto-C
      Joc-LF
      Verdugo-RF
      Pitcher

      1. 1B-Muncy/Freese
        2B-Kike/Taylor/FA
        SS-Seager
        3B-Turner
        LF-Pollack
        CF-Bellinger
        RF-Harper
        C-Barnes

        Buehler
        Kershaw
        Kluber
        Ryu
        Hill

  32. I do not believe the Dodgers will release Bailey. Let him go to ST to see what he has. If he has something left, how about the bull pen. You can always release hm in ST.

    I would start the year with Barnes as our catcher. I cannot see losing good young prospect to bring in Realmuto when Ruiz is very close to being ready.

    Kluber is another story. I do think we need to trade for him. However, the Dodgers need to say no if Verdugo is who they want.

    I still do not want Harper. He is not a Dodger. Besides, he is a left hander.

    The Dodgers gave up three players all in their last year of their contract. Somebody said they were all disgruntled became of the substitution the Dodgers did last year. I hope this platoon system ends. Bellinger has to also be unhappy with his playing time last year.

    1. Apparently Bailey’s relinquishing his no-trade clause was contingent upon him being released when the trade was finalized. No link but read it somewhere.

  33. The Dodgers didn’t have a big role laid out for Kyle Farmer in 2019. Of the catcher position, Andrew Friedman said, “I still expect us to add someone from the outside.”
    `
    Andrew Friedman laughed when asked to characterize Yasiel Puig’s Dodgers tenure.
    “That,” he said, “is a very deep question.”
    `
    “We really like Joe’s ability to give us one-plus innings,” Andrew Friedman said of new reliever Joe Kelly. “He will be used in creative ways by Doc and Honey to take down more than three outs depending on the game situation.”
    `
    Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers liked Josiah Gray “a lot” going into the 2017 draft. That’s usually a good sign that they want to keep him. Plenty of teams liked Downs in the draft too, and Friedman sounded like he’d be extremely content to keep him.
    `
    Friedman noted the surplus the Dodgers had in OF/SP and how today’s deal helped gain flexibility and strengthen the system. “We still feel like we have a really good team but feel like we want to continue to add to it before we get to Spring Training.”

  34. Interesting trade. Like AC, I have always liked Wood and thought he was a lot better pitcher than given credit for. Clearly something happened after the 2017 All-star game that caused a major down-tick in velocity and command. I truly hope he gets shine as a full-time starter in his new environment. I’m ambivalent as to Puig and Kemp. At times I thought each player was as good as can be and at other times, very frustrating. Jon Weisman articulated my thoughts about Puig, better than I can put words to paper(as he always does).
    https://www.dodgerthoughts.com/2018/12/21/yasiel-puig-dodgers-memories-farewell/
    .
    I will also miss Farmer. While not a great player, he was always a great interview and truly fine young man.
    .
    The dominoes have started to fall Mark! Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

  35. I have been out of pocket so reading this I am excited to see next moves. A salary dump in part but the reds got a few good pieces. I loved kemp being a Dodger but the second half it looked like he gained his weight back. I still think kemp helped la and especially wrecked Arizona and he got to the ws so he earned some salary. Puig I liked and he did well in the playoffs. He was exciting but I personally think he wore out his welcome. The Dodgers were constantly rumored to trade him so something wasn’t right. Wood, he had his moments and one great year but the Dodgers didnt have a rotation spot for him this year. Farmer did some clutch hitting but didn’t figure for la. It helped the dodgers gain some financial flexibility, the prospects will probably be part of another trade. The Dodgers still need a bat and preferably right handed. I just don’t know how Harper fits. I could see Verdugo used to get Kluber or Realmuto. I still think it makes more sense for the Dodgers to target stanton. If the Yankees got rid of Stanton they could get Harper and Machado. Realmuto would be a rh hitter but would not be enough. I guess they could use Taylor and/or kike to platoon in left with joc and sign lemay. I don’t like pollock too injury prone. I am satisfied that there must be more to follow. Exciting!! Go Dodgers!!

  36. Part of the trade of Homer was that he would be released, with a $7mil buyout. So, $17mil would not count. A salary dump by Friedman. Can’t wait to see the next domino fall!

  37. So far, the big winner is Homer. Be great if he now signs with the Reds at $1M+ for 2019.
    .
    I think the Dodgers made room for Kluber’s contract and will not be in on Harper.

    1. Pedro seems to believe that Harper is a longshot for LAD. I tend to agree. I think Kluber and/or Realmuto are the real targets. If no Kluber then I can actually see JTR in a trade, with DJLM and AJ Pollock as FA signees. Some believe that Kimbrel is the target. I am nowhere close to that belief.

      1. You have got to be kidding. Friedman said we lost the ws due to our offense. We have already gotten rid of 2 of our most productive hitters in kemp and puig. Jtr is the only real hitter in our lineup. No way he is traded unless Friedman has totally given up or arenado is coming to la. I think Harper is a long shot but if Friedman thinks we need offense then somebody better surface. With the loss of kemp,grandal,and puig our offense has taken a hit and how does he plan to improve our offense. He has to get a bat or 2 or he has no plan of contending. I don’t have a clue but pollock and lemay are not the answer. No way in hades they trade turner. No way in hades do we sign Kimbrel unless we trade Jansen which is highly unlikely. Is JTR Justin turner?

  38. So the reds paid 7million for 4 players while giving up 2 class a minor leaguers. Kemp and puig could hit 45-50 homers in cincy. Wood probably good for 10-12 wins. The dodger trades seem more neutral than anything. We give up a lot of production for a shot in the dark but the payroll flexibility could be huge. It really underscores just what little value puig and wood represented. I don’t know how to value the prospects but apparently nada. It looks like Friedman couldn’t even dump wood and puig salaries much less get anything. Somebody please tell me what I am missing.

    1. They got salary relief and two very good young prospects. As I said, Wood and Puig were not wotrh much and Kemp was untradable.

      Friedman is Houdini!

  39. I would really hope that we are not in on Harper. Save some cash for Arenado next year and get Pollack on a one or two year deal, give Verdugo the keys to right field, and take a shot at Kluber or Realmoto. I will observe a moment of silence while you guys get the Harper pixie dust out of your eyes…. He is not a savior, not even an outfield need. Verdugo is a much better defender and is a contact guy. Can you picture Harper buying into Doc’s “sacrifice for the good of the team” mantra? Hell no. The last year or so I have read from Mark, AC, DC, and other well versed guys on this site, and when all is said and done, like a chorus, WE NEED STARTING PITCHING AND BULLPEN HELP!! We all blew up FAZ, and they paid the price last season, by going for Manny Moe instead of good bullpen arms when there was quality help to be had. We all know good pitching beats good hitting 90% of the time. All you have to do is look at what Eovaldi and Kelly did to us. I want that game over feeling by the 7th inning from our bullpen. Screw the marquee hitter, give me a lights out nasty fastball with a disappearing slider late inning reliever any day of the week.

  40. So, the first domino has fallen… maybe 4. If anyone wants to make a judgement on the trdae with the Reds at this juncture, they are devoid of any reason… yet I have read plenty of those morons at other sites. I have to say that I am so glad the commenters here are so much smarter than that! I cannot believe some of the stuff I read on certain sites. OMG!!!!

    1. We will move on next year and not miss these guys one bit if we get a bat or 2. I also believe and have said many times get Kluber, Syndergaard, or some acelike pitcher. Easier said than done because everybody wants that. We need to get a rh bat or 2. I can’t believe that Friedman would do the cincy deal without having a plan to add offense. We are not done. Right now I suppose our lineup is Muncy 1b, kike or Taylor 2b, Seager ss, turner 3rd, Verdugo rf, bellinger cf, kike/Taylor/joc in left, Barnes c, no way that lineup is opening day.

    2. I tried to read some of those comments as well but my browser couldn’t take it and crashed. I didn’t go back.

      Kids called today to ask what I wanted/needed for Christmas. I am now subscriber to the Athletic. Thanks for the continued recommendation.

  41. I am actually incredulous at some of the stuff I am reading about this trade. Are people just pretending to be this stupid… or are they really that stupid? WHAT? Are you kidding me?

    1. They are just bitter and angry. You cannot please those that just hate everything about Friedman and despise everything he does.

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