What Kind of Help is on the Way?

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 Prospectsas follows:
  1. Keibert Ruiz
  2. Alex Verdugo
  3. Gavin Lux
  4. Dustin May
  5. Will Smith
  6. Caleb Ferguson
  7. Dennis Santana
  8. Tony Gonsolin
  9. Mitchell White
  10. 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 
  

This article has 44 Comments

  1. Interesting 2022 lineup. Apparently BA believes that LAD will be extending both Joc and Clayton. Joc is due to become a FA after 2020 and Kershaw after 2021. Are we sure that Bums is not writing for BA.
    .
    I think there is very little chance that Will Smith will be the regular 3B in 2022. I think this just shows how light in the prospect department LAD is for 3B. I think I might have gone with Cristian Santana. Even Matt Beaty should be considered. Why not Jeter Downs? I think Will Smith will be a very good backup C and utility infielder. Obviously BA does not believe that Smith will be included in a trade.
    .
    Apparently BA either believes that Gonsolin is more likely to be traded vs. Stripling or he is going to be a reliever (not closer).
    .
    I am a Gavin Lux fan, but I do not believe he is the equivalent of Corey Seager. Seager came up at 21 at the end of the 2015 season. Lux at 21 may come up in a watching/learning role in September, but I do not see him in a meaningful 2B role during the season. He still has to learn the conversion to 2B.
    .
    You and I will just have to disagree with the importance of a GG 2B vs a utility player who can play 2B. Jimmy Rollins was brought to LA not only to bridge the gap to Corey, but to also be a mentor. Teamed with Chase Utley, Seager got a tremendous education, and I think Lux deserves the same with DJLM or Dozier. I am not looking to block Lux in any way, but as I have stated many times, I am a big proponent of strong defense up the middle. So 1 year of Dozier or 2 years of DJLM is not going to block Lux or stunt his development. It may in fact enhance it.

    1. It would appear that BA projected the 22 lineup from existing players in the organization. Setting my bias aside, Joc should still be extended if the Dodgers do not add players via trade or free agency. I might however substitute Gonsolin for Kershaw since he is in the organization and Kershaw might retire after his current contract is up.
      .
      The 22 lineup has 7 lefty bats and I include Ruiz because he might give up on switch hitting and just perfect his lefty swing strength.
      .
      I’ve said before that I would trade Bellinger for Torres to give the Dodgers a righty bat at a comparable age and ability. The Yanks need more lefty bats, especially if they sign Machado. Torres could be slotted into 2B, 3B, or SS. Make that trade and then sign Pollock for CF.
      .
      I also prefer Smith at catcher over Ruiz. Make Barnes and Smith the long term catching tandem. Ruiz and Verdugo are players I would trade if and only if a great return was obtained.
      .

      1. I recognize that Joc should be considered because he is in the organization. But I think my question is more why wasn’t DJ Peters or Jeren Kendall considered? JT was not considered to remain at 3B (and I do not think he will), so judgments are made by BA as to whether the player is deemed to be the best option within the organization. If BA thinks that Joc is a better option than Peters and Kendall, that is what I would like to know. Sometimes understanding the logic as to how BA views the future lineup, also tells how they view the prospects.

  2. I, unlike most here, am not that enthralled with Gavin Lux. So far his fielding is not a strong point. He is a SS learning a new position(2B) and so far he has growing pains at that new position: TC-275; Errors-9; Fld%-.968.
    Then there’s the fact he’s a LHH that so far can’t hit LHP(30-147=.204BA). I rather see him have a FULL year or two in AAA(with a call up in Sept.) to improve upon his skills.
    For that reason I’d like to see what an injury free Dozier could do. He’s certainly a bounce back candidate who I’d like to see signed for a year or two. There seem to be a few other teams interested in him namely Rockies, Nationals and Brewers, all teams we need to beat in order to make it back to the WS this year. Just my opinion.

  3. I totally agree with bridging the gap with Dozier. He’s a huge bounce back candidate. Unfortunately, they will have to convince him that all the platooning was Farhan and not Roberts. Wow, Lux is horrible vs LHP. Is this an organization issue? Why is it that no left handed Dodgers can hit LHP?

    1. Ah but we do 59. Problem is he’s a pitcher

      CK: 6-15 .400 BA

      Top Regular LHH:
      Muncy: 255 BA .891 OPS

    2. Ah but we do 59. Problem is he’s a pitcher

      CK: 6-15 .400 BA

      Top Regular LHH:
      Muncy: 255 BA .891 OPS

    3. Seager can hit LHP and so can Muncy. I think Cody could with more AB’s and a better approach. Verdugo and Toles should be able to as well. Best way to hit LHP is not put productive hitters on the bench and let opposing managers dictate your lineups.

      I agree with AC, Will Smith will never be a ML full time 3B.

  4. The Dodgers don´t need a second baseman from the outside, OK Mark, I´m waiting to hear why, and who is the answer.

  5. It would appear that BA projected the 22 lineup from existing players in the organization. Setting my bias aside, Joc should still be extended if the Dodgers do not add players via trade or free agency. I might however substitute Gonsolin for Kershaw since he is in the organization and Kershaw might retire after his current contract is up.
    .
    The 22 lineup has 7 lefty bats and I include Ruiz because he might give up on switch hitting and just perfect his lefty swing strength.
    .
    I’ve said before that I would trade Bellinger for Torres to give the Dodgers a righty bat at a comparable age and ability. The Yanks need more lefty bats, especially if they sign Machado. Torres could be slotted into 2B, 3B, or SS. Make that trade and then sign Pollock for CF.
    .
    I also prefer Smith at catcher over Ruiz. Make Barnes and Smith the long term catching tandem. Ruiz and Verdugo are players I would trade if and only if a great return was obtained.
    .

  6. Mark, I strongly disagree with you telling me to forget about Puig and that we will. I still remember Pedro, and Konerko, and Carlos Santana and Piazza. The team chose to move on but I will always root for Yasiel and hope they didn’t make a big mistake like those trades above.

    1. I am with Vegas Dodger on Puig. The Dodgers lost a litttle excitement when they lost him.

  7. Well if Mark’s opinion/prediction for our top 10 prospects pan out, we have BY FAR the #1 minor league system in baseball! I like it; 7 all stars from our 2022 lineup baby!

  8. That projected lineup also assumes we’ll have re-signed or extended Seager. He’s a free agent after 2021 and if he plays the next three years like the Corey Seager we all know and love, every team in baseball will be after him. If Joc doesn’t have an awakening under Van Scoyoc, he won’t be here in 2022. That said, RVS might be exactly what Joc needs to really get his career in gear. Add me to the list of folks who would be happy to see Dozier back next year.

    1. That projected line up for 2022 is an interesting exercise, primarily for looking at what is in the pipeline. For instance, projecting Smith as the 3B shows we are very thin in prospects at that position. Because it doesn’t take into account all contract expirations etc, it doesn’t represent the reality of 2022. Not sure why Kershaw is on that list as his contract will have expired.

      Concur that Seager may be elsewhere in 2022. By 2022 there should be a new collective bargaining agreement, so what that does to the free agent market is anyone’s guess. I hope it will lead to better salaries for younger players but whether older players will receive lower salaries ??? What will FA market look like ??

      We can’t even project a likely line up for 2019. Though it is possible we will go into the season with the current roster, it is almost a guarantee it will be different in August.

  9. I am reminded of Prarie Home Companion. Garrison Keillor’s fictitious town where “all the women are strong, all the men are handsome and all the children are above average “.

    So – the Dodgers will have 20 prospects come up and they’ll all be All Stars? Isn’t that what always happens with prospects?

    The fact is that several of your prospective All Stars will flame out or get hurt.

    The difference between a proven major leaguer and a prospect is that a major leaguer has already proven an ability to compete at the big league level. A prospect is just that, and many prove to be fool’s gold.

    Teams like the A’s and Rays pick a player or 2 and commit to them long term and otherwise cycle through an endless parade of prospects. When they collect enough of them they are competitive for a year or two. They don’t trade for the likes of Stanton or sign any high $$ free agents.

    It’s fine to let Puig or Grandal go if you have someone as good or better waiting in the wings. I assumed that that was the plan after the Farmer trade. So far there’s no evidence that there is as good or better in the wings.

    Like both TrueBlueLA and Dodgers Digest have said, if the Farmer trade was not just the first move of many to actually improve the roster then it was just a salary dump.

  10. FO made the big move today….from the Rays the Dodgers acquired Jamie Schultz. WTH is Jamie Scultz I don’t know but I’ll await confirmation from Mark that This is a great acquisition and Shultz will dominate for NL Rolaids Relief Man if the Year and it’s another genius move by Friedman.

    It’s official we are the Los Angeles Rays! All joking aside does anyone know anything about this guy?

  11. Probably both teams looking to see if the player acquired can benefit from a change of scenery. Maybe that happens, maybe not. Nothing to belittle, as teams all over baseball, do this all the time.

    Certainly this doesn’t preclude lots of of other stuff from happening. In fact, maybe Schultz is a piece that can be included in a future deal.

  12. Schultz has a live arm and his pitches have a lot of movement. TB gave up on him and Friedman knows him. Maybe Honeycutt thinks he can help him. Usually it doesn’t work, but sometimes it does. If you don’t try it, it won’t work and if you do try it it might not either.

    It’s call LOW RISK – HIGH REWARD!

    What’s the problem?

  13. Yes Dodgerrick I too give thst post a thunbs up, love the analogy. And yes prospects can be fools gold. We are a worse team then last year as we currently stand no debate in my mind. And we have many unknowns like Jansen and Seager returning to all star form right away, Kershaw to halt his regression and this out of the box hitting coach to actually improve us rather then hurt us.

    Oh wait breaking news: Jamie Schultz was just acquired from the Tampa Rays. Offseason complete.

    I am tired of Guggenheim, though better then McCourt, of the same ilk. I realize as fans we are kept in the dark on most things but if your going to continue to ask for more at least keep appearances up and bully once in awhile. I don’t want to hear about lost revenue and debt when likely that is not the compelte truth and even if it is the equity built in the team over the last 5 years is undeniable windfall for Guggs!! The ownership group has definitely made me start to resent Friedman, who has done a very good job for the most part with owner mandates limiting him.

    1. Wow!

      1. Back to back World Series.
      2. Top 8 Farm System.
      3. Since buying the team Guggenheim has the Highest payroll in MLB .

      Man, you guys are hard to please.

      If you are lawyer and put Friedman on the stand and asked him if it was a salary dump, he will say” no”, they are not done. But if you are a lawyer you will push forward and say “Did you reduce salary in the trade? Answer the question.”

      “Yes, I reduced salary, but it was with the intent…”

      “That’s all I need. No reason to elaborate. You purjured yourself, Mr, Friedman.”

      So, if you want a legal answer, it was a salary dump and if it makes you feel better to call it that, then enjoy yourself.

      … and if TrueBlueLA and Dodgers Digest say it, you should believe it. HA! OK…. I prefer to think for m yself.

      1. Wow indeed!! Guggenheim of the same ilk as McCourt? Give me a freaking break. Other than both would like to make a solid return on their investment, there is no comparing the one with the other. The McCourt years have been some of the most miserable that Dodger fans have known.
        .
        Gone Puig – who gets his at bats? Probably Verdugo or ????? Can Verdugo or ???? perform at Puig’s level? Undoubtedly.
        Gone Kemp – who gets his at bats?? CT3 or ???? Can CT3 or ???? perform at Kemp’s levels? No question.
        Gone Farmer – who gets his at bats? Gale? Smith? I don’t think the Dodgers take a step back there?
        Gone Wood – who gets his innings? Maeda? Stripling? Ferguson? Can they perform at Wood’s level? Perhaps.
        .
        The Dodgers have rid themselves of some steep salary commitments for next year. They have created flexibility to acquire other players as needed. They presently have players on the roster that can perform at ot near the level of the players dealt. It’s the second week of January, patience grasshopper, things will happen over the next several weeks that will help make this all much more understandable.

        1. Of course Verdugo is better than Puig. Of course, he’s never done it but, hey, if you say so…

          Of course Taylor will be better than Kemp. Well, he lead MLB in K’s last year and Kemp was the top hitter on the team with RISP last year, but hey, if you say so…

      2. I made the point about TBLA and DD because they admire Friedman and if they are calling it a dump if it isn’t followed by another move, then it’s probably a dump.

        If they are not done, then what? From everything I read, including here, all of the players that the Dodgers are known to have targeted (Realmuto, Kluber, et al) or are rumored to be interested in (eg Harper) appear not to be coming. So – they cut salary but aren’t spending it on other players. Sounds like a dump to me. Obviously, there are 5 weeks ’till Spring Training so they could surprise us, but it would be a surprise if it weren’t a dump.

        Dodgers ‘ farm system ranked 10th per MLB Pipeline. Top 8? Maybe.

        I am not comparing Guggenheim to McCourt. Wow.

      3. Second place is the first loser. Love the blind loyalty MT, I’m no different but if you think the way the team is constructed right now is better than the team we sent to the WS you truly do wear rose colored glasses.

  14. Those top ten prospects may very well participate for the Dodgers this year, and they very well may be part of the ongoing ‘Kasten Dodger’ model (make the playoffs), but they are not what is needed to win a WS.

  15. The Farmer trade was less a salary dump and more of an AAV dump. In either case with the additional $7M going to the Reds we just heard about, not much $$ was dumped.
    .
    Maybe it was more of a chance to improve team chemistry plus clear space on the 40 plus better position the club regarding flexibility should opportunity arise.

  16. I’m tired of hearing about the dodgers in all these rumors. The dodgers won’t sign Harper nor trade for kulber or jt. The dodgers won’t sign sales or arenado if they want him. Nor will they sign trout. Almost Everyone is going to want to long term deals not short term deals. The dodgers will pass on a lot of those guys. Also think some of the dodgers prospect you listed will do good but not make a big difference. Im loosing faith the dodgers.

    1. Yeah, the bums have made it to the World Series two years in a row. Top 8 Farm System. Division Champs 6 years in a row.

      What a bunch of losers!

      1. Yeah that’s all great but don’t mean much when you don’t win the world series and flopp twice when you get their. So all good pionts I’m just loosing faith in them and if they don’t win next season I’ll go to another or stop watching baseball all together. Also one quick question has Freedman ever got the Ray’s to win a ring?

  17. Yeah that’s all great but don’t mean much when you don’t win the world series and flop twice when you get their. So all good points I’m just loosing faith in them and if they don’t win next season I’ll go to another team or stop watching baseball all together. Also one quick question has Freedman ever got the Ray’s to win a ring?

  18. I have been a Dodger fan since I was 7 years old, I am now 73. While other teams are getting stronger, the Dodgers are getting weaker. Either the Dodgers are tanking or they are going for their third World Series loss. Just lost Grandal, Barnes the next catcher are you serious.

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