I think some GM’s think that they have Andrew Friedman “over the proverbial barrel” since he has already moved three key players off the Dodgers roster. Right about now everyone is trying to sell high and buy low and there’s not a lot happening, all over the hot stove league. But, if you think Friedman traded four players for the privilege of overpaying for others, you are smoking some really good stuff!
- Bryce Harper is still possible, but is he realistic? Not to me… but you never know. I just don’t think he is the solution.
- J.T. Realmuto is still available… if the Dodgers trade Cody Bellinger. The Marlins say that’s the player they want and no one else. Pass!
- Nick Castellanos is available but who do they want? We haven’t a clue. But I want him! I’m tradeing DJ Peters, Mitch White and Joc Pederson for him. Your move, Al Avila.
- Mitch Haniger is available (too costly) as are DJ LeMahieu, Brian Dozier, Josh Harrison, et al. No thank you! We don’t need any second basemen… I’ll tell you why later.
The truth is: the Dodgers cleared up space for some player or players, but no moves have been made because I suspect that the prices are too high. Stick around… they will come down. Patience Grasshoppers! So we wait, but trades or Free Agents may not even be the primary method of improvement for this 2019 version of the Dodgers. The primary method of improvement could come from within. Yes, within!Of the Dodgers Top 10 Prospects, I believe that 7 could play a part…. maybe an important part of the Dodgers 2019 season. Baseball America has theTop 10 Dodger Prospects
- Keibert Ruiz
- Alex Verdugo
- Gavin Lux
- Dustin May
- Will Smith
- Caleb Ferguson
- Dennis Santana
- Tony Gonsolin
- Mitchell White
- DJ Peters
All but May, White and Peters could play roles for the Dodgers in 2019, and maybe there could even be a surprise or two in that group as well. Let me give you my short opinion of each player:
- Keibert Ruiz: Conventional wisdom says he is due to arrive in 2020. Yeah… maybe, but maybe not. Cody Bellinger arrived a year early. He has a lot to learn… but he has a lot of talent. He had the lowest strikeout rate of any hitter in AA and he was freaking 19 years old! He is becoming a man and he is a man with great talents. I think he will soon be MLB ready… like April or July. I’m not a seer… just soon!
- Alex Verdugo– RF! Forget Yasiel Puig… and you will. He just needs to get his head right and his butt in gear!
- Gavin Lux– The next Dodgers’ second baseman, but he can play SS in a pinch. He has the potential to be the best 2B in baseball. That’s a mouthful.
- Will Smith– He is listed as a catcher, but he really is an infielder. Never forget that! He’s more of an infielder, than a catcher and he is a dang good catcher. He’s just a guy who blooms where he is planted. He’s a cross between Kike Hernandez and Austin Barnes… with Kike’s arm.
- Caleb Ferguson– Let’s make this simple. He will be in the Dodgers bullpen and play a huge role in 2019.
- Dennis Santana– A RH version of Fergusom. May be able to start… with another pitch, but a high leverage reliever.
- Tony Gonsolin– This is the guy I am really high on – Put him in the pen and he’s better than any reliever on the market. Put him in the rotation and he might be your #3. TG has a 100 MPH arm… and he’s ready!
It’s going to be fun to see which of the youngsters are ready in 2019. That’s quite a list, but wait… There’s More! A few other players could make the show in 2019 players like Yadier Alvarez (if he suddenly gets his head right, which seems quite unlikely), Edwin Rios (most likely he gets traded), Marshall Kasowski (he will be in the Dodgers pen, unless he is traded – the question is when?) and Jortdan Sheffield, who has been converted to a reliever and could progress quickly.
Baseball America has their PROJECTED 2022 Dodger Lineup:
Los Angeles Dodgers Projected 2022 Lineup(Listed with 2022 season age)C Keibert Ruiz 231B Max Muncy 312B Gavin Lux 243B Will Smith 27SS Corey Seager 28LF Joc Pederson 30CF Cody Bellinger 26RF Alex Verdugo 26SP Clayton Kershaw 34SP Walker Buehler 27SP Julio Urias 25SP Dustin May 24SP Ross Stripling 32CL Dennis Santana 26