What Can We Reasonably Expect From Clayton Kershaw?

There’s nothing that gets Dodger fans dander up more than theKoufax Verses Kershaw Argument.Sandy Koufax pitched for the Dodgers for 12 years, while Clayton is entering his 12th season.  Let’s look at their average seasons based over their 12 and 11 year careers:
  • Sandy Koufax:16 Wins 8 Losses; 2.76 ERA; 1.106 WHIP; 9.3 K per 9 innings; 3.2 BB per 9 innings
  • Clayton Kershaw: 16 Wins 7 Losses; 2.39 ERA;  1.005 WHIP; 9.8 K per 9 innings; 2.3 BB per 9 innings
Them’s the facts.  Looking at their average season, Kershaw was slightly better, but that is leaving out the last six “otherworldly” years of Koufax’s carrer.  No one has ever did what Sandy did from 1961 to 1966 when he retired.  Sandy’s legacy is cemented in Dodger lore, but the guy many of you say won’t spend money, just spent $93 million on a guy that many of you say is finished.I don’t happen to buy into the “Kershaw is overpaid. Tons of money for a dead arm” theme and I also believe there is no doubt that Clayton could have gotten a lot more on the open market, but he signed for a hometown discount because he wanted to stay in LA, and LA wanted him to stay. It’s that simple.  I am sure that Friedman had access to all the medicals when he did the deal and is much more aware than us with Clayton’s actual health .He will be 33 when this contract is up and he may or may not want to pitch more, but right here, right now, the question is“What can we reasonably expect from Clayton Kershaw in 2019?”Here’s my take:  I don’t have a crystal ball and neither do you, so there are a lot of factors beyond our control.  I do think he will start against the D-Bags on March 28th at Dodger Stadium in their Opening Game.  Striker Buehler will have to wait another year… or three! I do excpect to see Buehler in the Cy Young conversation for 2019.  Clayton?  I can’t predict that.  I can tell you that pitchers and players in general go through phases and hills, valleys and plateaus.Has Clayton already seen his peak?  That would seem logical, but pitchers like Cliff Lee, Greg Maddux and others were pitching at an extremely high level in their mid-30’s.  Cliff Lee was a Cy Young candidate at age 32 and 34.  Justin Verlander put up a 4.54 ERA in his age 31 season and struggled the next couple of years.  However, he re-invented himself and is pitching very well in his mid-thirties.  I think Clayton can do the same.Injuries are the Wild Card.  Backs and hips can be especially troublesome and Clayton has problems with both, but with a team committed to him and with the ability to make $31 Million a year, you can buy some pretty good medical and training expertise.  I’m sure Clayton takes that very seriously and is committed to being the best he can be in these last three years of his contract.  Clayton is extremely competative and knows he is writing his Dodger legacy.  He is aware.He will at least start the 2019 season as the Dodger’s Ace.  What happens after that is on him and Striker Buehler who is in line for a huge season in 2019.  The Dodgers rotation in 2019 will look something like this:

First Half Rotation:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Buehler
  3. Ryu
  4. Hill
  5. Maeda

Second Half Rotation:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Buehler
  3. Ryu
  4. Urias
  5. Stripling
The Dodgers have seven starters (8 if you want to count Gonsolin) and will likely need all 7… or 8.OK, here’s my prediction… OK, I have to do it as an either/or:
  • Either Clayton will go 17-6 with a 2.49 ERA; or
  • He will miss the season with Tommy John Surgery.
Who the heck knows? It will be fun to watch play out. The Dodgers have 2 Aces and 5 number threes.

The Cold Stove

  • The cold stove got a little hotter as Yasmani Grandal signed a 1-year/$18.6 million deal with Milwaukee.  The Dodgers will add a draft pick in the late 70s or very early 80s as compensation for losing Grandal.
  • Most of the big free agents and trade pieces are still out there.  I think things will be slow until Harper and/or Machado decides to sign, then there will be a feeding frenzy.  Until then, we sit! I have been involved in many types of negiotiations over the years, and quite often, by waiting and staying away from dope-fiend moves, good things happen. Patience, Grasshoppers!
 

This article has 76 Comments

  1. I don’t think there can be much of an argument: Koufax vs Kershaw. They played in different eras with so many variables in play that a true comparison is not possible. We can’t jump Sandy ahead to now and we can’t send Clayton back to the sixties.
    .
    They both were the best of their respective times. I say, “were”, as I don’t think Clayton is the best right now. Having said that, he is darn good, and I certainly expect another strong season from him. His health would be the only issue. If healthy, and with a Kershaw attitude, he may again climb to that top rung. Maybe, maybe not, and I don’t think it hurts to have another young stud – Buehler – nipping at his heels. Nothing like friendly competition to push guys.
    .
    My only complaint with Clayton has been his inability to come up big in the big games when a strong performance may well have put a ring or two on his fingers. It is time to right that ship.
    .
    I wondered if Clayton was hurting more than we knew towards the end of last season. He seemed to pitch a bit differently, nibbling a bit rather than simply taking charge. In any event, we should all be behind him just as much now as we were back in his super-dominant days. I hope he finishes his career with the Dodgers and with a ring or two.

  2. There was a TV commercial about a bank that had a slogan “the bank you don’t have to think about”. I don’t think about Friedman. I did think about the Dodger owners between O’Mally and Guggs as well as the GMs/Presidents that belonged to those owners. Mark, might you protest too much with the few that think about Friedman?
    .
    Kershaw will help get the Dodgers to the Playoffs and he will pitch very well in about 65% of those playoff games, or said another way 90% of his playoff innings. Hopefully, he wins the key playoff games that make him co-MVP throughout the playoffs and WS.

  3. Man O Man, were on this Sandy vs. Kersh stuff again!??!
    I’m not at all worried what the Blue pays Kersh because most players in baseball are overpayed or on the cusp… Milwaukee pays Lava Flow 18.5 Mill??? Go figure…
    I want Kersh to retire as a Dodger and expect him to reinvent himself…
    Now lets talk about Doc’s terrible managing…
    Go Indy…

    1. Haha so true he may have gotten us to 2 world series but in each one he made horrible calls, that’s probably why everyone left and don’t want to sign with us

  4. Dozier to Nats. And we grasshoppers are still being patient while our competition continues to improve.

    1. What a damn shame. He wasn’t worth 1yr/$9MM?? For years we tried to trade for him and finally got him as a damaged player. The teams we have to beat to get to the PS getting better while we sit and wait. What BS!!!

      1. Damn bro I feel the same, everyone is getting way better as we sit and wait, they better have something up there sleve’s cause I love this team but this team won’t make the playoffs let alone the division

  5. This is called Friedman style, so we wait & wait tell there nothing left but the bottom of the bin.

    1. I guess I was mistsaken. For somed reason, I thought that the Dodgers had a top 8 Farm System and got to back-to-back World Series and are still favored to win the NL. Maybe I was just dreaming….

  6. Is it me or do any of you think the dodgers aren’t going to do anything this winter lol, I feel there going to miss out on everone

    1. It definitely isn’t only you by what I read on various sites and by some of our folks here.
      .
      Personally I don’t feel any pressure to rush into a deal. That is, to let the agents of the world drive up the cost of signing players. I am not upset that Brian Dozier or Jasmani Grandel signed elsewhere. And no, I don’t know who should be signed to replace them or who will be. I would be willing to bet that the Dodgers FO has an idea or two.
      .
      Grandal signed for something like $300,000 more that he could have gotten by accepting the Dodgers qualifying offer. He didn’t want to be a Dodger and perhaps thinks too highly of himself by refusing the Mets four-year offer.
      .
      Time is moving on and we are closer to ST than we are to the most recent WS. I am grateful for that. I am not sure how negotiating works but I expect those involved have a pretty good idea when players are about ready to sign and must move quickly then. It all depends on whom they want to sign as a free agent, and what the master plan is. I do think there is a bigger plan than simply signing a player or two in isolation, unless the determination is that the one or two are definitely the missing pieces for a WS championship.
      .
      I look more for trades than free agent signings of big names. Friedman has used the prospect pot quite well since 2014, trading quite a few without really weakening the system.

  7. DJLM, Josh Harrison and Lowrie are still on the market. If we sign DJLM, then Lux becomes expendable. I am thinking Lowrie on a one year deal to give one more year to develop Lux. Realmuto or Kluber could be the finishing touch. Don’t give up yet people…….. But I would prefer to see Andrew speed up the process.

  8. From:http://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb/news/2019-mlb-win-total-projections-odds-betting-wager-caesars-red-sox-dodgers-yankees-astros/kvjg7117lo8f1o9epdps3y4hu
    .

    2019 MLB win-total projections:.

    Team 2019 Ws 2018 W-L
    .

    Houston Astros 97.5 103-59
    Boston Red Sox 95.5 108-54
    Los Angeles Dodgers 95 92-71
    New York Yankees 94.5 100-62
    Cleveland Indians 91.5 91-71
    Chicago Cubs 89 95-68
    St. Louis Cardinals 88.5 88-74
    Washington Nationals 88.5 82-80
    Tampa Bay Rays 85.5 90-72
    Atlanta Braves 84 90-72
    Minnesota Twins 84 78-84
    Los Angeles Angels 83.5 80-82
    Milwaukee Brewers 83.5 96-67
    New York Mets 83.5 77-85
    Oakland A’s 83 97-65
    Philadelphia Phillies 83 80-82
    Colorado Rockies 82 91-72
    Pittsburgh Pirates 78.5 82-79
    San Diego Padres 77.5 66-96
    Arizona Diamondbacks 77 82-80
    Cincinnati Reds 77 67-95
    Toronto Blue Jays 76.5 73-89
    Seattle Mariners 74.5 89-73
    Chicago White Sox 74.5 62-100
    San Francisco Giants 73 73-89
    Texas Rangers 70.5 67-95
    Kansas City Royals 69 58-104
    Detroit Tigers 67 64-98
    Miami Marlins 65.5 63-98
    Baltimore Orioles 59 47-115
    Projected win totals updated Jan. 9, 2019.

    1. Kind of surprising to see the Brewers and A’s projected so low after a playoff season. Also the Rocks at 82 and Dodgers at 95 after being tied at regular season’s end. If the Dodgers total gets that high it will be because they beat up on teams in their own division. The NL Central is brutal, hard to see a clear favorite there.

  9. I actually do believe the Dodgers will do stuff, and I am a firm believer in patience. And certainly I didn’t want Dozier back. There’s still lots that can happen between now and opening day. So everybody calm down and just be patient. Things can start happening when you least expect it. At the very least, don’t call the off-season a failure before it’s FULLY played out. And I find it comforting that other teams know that AF cannot be forced into any hasty moves.

    1. I can appreciate Freidman’s restraint on not overpaying, but his MO has been wait, wait, wait, until the bucket is empty.

      Do something Andrew!

  10. Would the Angles win more games and sell more tickets with an outfield of Verdugo, Bellinger, and Harper?
    .
    Would the Dodgers do the same with an outfield of Pederson, Trout, and Toles/Hernandez?
    .
    Would Maeda, Ruiz, Verdugo, May land the Dodgers Blake Snell from the Rays? Too much or too little?
    .
    It’s cold in New Hampshire and I am not a skier so I have questions of great nonimportance.

  11. $9 million for Dozier?

    Ha!

    I am glad Friedman is standing pat… for now.

    He will make his move, but right now it’s a sellers market.

  12. Things are starting to pick up, even if it is only ex-Dodgers signing 1 year deals. I did not think the team would bring Dozier back with Kike and CT3 on board but losing Grandal leaves a large hole. If not JTR then who? I posted late yesterday that Weiters, Mesoraco, Maldonado and Hundley were the best FA C’s left or team dad candidate AJ Ellis. I like Lowrie a lot on a 1 year deal, DJLM if he will take a 2 year deal. No interest in Harrison and Gonzales gets a nice deal somewhere. OF bats? Pollock has the QO attached, Adam Jones is past his prime, maybe a 1 year prove it deal. Or maybe they circle back to Castellanos and dangle something tastier to the Tigers. Kluber seems dead and Harper a real longshot. I’m patient but the viable options are dwindling down. Still have $20M more to spend!

    1. If Friedman’s serious about making the change in our line up like he talked about.

      I see DJLM more then Lowrie, because of the different approach of these two hitters, and the bad experience we have had with average hitters, from the American League.

      At least we know DJLM can handle a bat, and he and Corey up the middle on defense, will take away a lot of line drive hits, among other things.

      I was never one to want Dozier, because he is exactly the type of hitter we don’t need in this line up.

      He is a right hand pull hitter, that is more an all or nothing hitter, then anything.

      He did hit a lot of HRs in Minnesota, but that stadium is ranked just behind Great American park, which is ranked 7th when it comes to HRs.

      Dodger stadium was ranked 22 I believe on this same list, so Dozier would have trouble coming close to his HR numbers, hitting in Dodger Stadium so much.

      And like I have said to many times, hitting twenty plus HRs is not a rarity in baseball today.

      And hitting 20 plus HRs, doesn’t always equate to a lot of RBIs either.

      In fact, they don’t equate to quality runs, as we saw all season long last year, and especially in the post season, except with Puig, in the post season last year.

  13. Brian Dozier at 1 year $9MM is not out of line whatsoever. That is about a 1.1 WAR. Last year while hurt, he still had a 1.0 WAR with Minnesota. He has never had a WAR less than 2.6 between his rookie season and last year. There is a greater likelihood that Dozier will closer approximate his 2016 and 2017 season than his 2018. Dozier will earn his 1 year contract. Will Ryu have a WAR of 2.2? He never has. Will Kershaw have a 4.3 WAR? He hasn’t since 2016.
    .
    If one does not believe that Dozier is a good 2B and that LAD has better internal options…that is at a debatable discussion. But to say he is not worth $9MM?
    .
    But that really isn’t the important factor. Does Dozier make the Nats a better team? Yes. He is better than Difo or Kendrick. The Nats have improved their starting pitching with the addition of Corbin and Sanchez even with the loss of Roark. They have improved their catching with Gomes and Suzuki. They have improved their bullpen with Rosenthal and a full year of Barraclough, who will be utilized by the Nats in the 7th inning and earlier where he is at his best. They are still considered the favorite to land Harper. Who knows if they will, but I do not think they are afraid of going north of the threshold.
    .
    If you do not believe the Nats are legit contenders, you are being naive. Getting to the playoffs with Scherzer/Strasburg/Corbin/Sanchez they will be very tough to beat.
    .
    Last year we also heard the advice to stay patient. The Dodgers were going to do something other than Scott Alexander and salary dump. The Dodgers saw Stanton/Yelich/Ozuna/Cole all go to other teams and the Dodgers were being patient because something was going to happen. And when it was all over, the Dodgers reported to Camelback with Alexander and Kemp as the sole roster additions. This season is eerily similar…The Dodgers signed Joe Kelly and had another salary dump, and fans are again told to be patient. I guess I will, because what else am I to do? But if Kelly combined with the loss of Kemp/Puig/Wood/Grandal is what goes to Camelback, do I still have to be patient until the trade deadline?
    .
    I do not think that Miami is going to trade JTR to the Dodgers. I do not think that Cleveland will trade Kluber to the Dodgers. i do not think the Dodgers will sign Harper or Kimbrel. They will sign a backup catcher, and I am assuming that they will consider Castellanos, but at what cost, So unless you believe that the Dodgers will be able to trade for JTR or Kluber, or will sign Harper or Kimbrel, then our patience is to hope for Castellanos in LF and Maldonado as a backup catcher?

      1. Richie

        AC is right with the point he is making, as always, but Dozier would probably not repeat that War at Dodger Stadium.

        The stadium in Minnesota is a lot easier to hit a ball out, then Dodger Stadium.

        It was ranked after Great American park in Cincinnati, for being easy to hit one out.

          1. Vegas

            I was surprised about Minnesota being listed right after Great American Park.

            But of course there are a bunch of different lists on this.

            But with Dozier, it really makes a difference, because it is very easy for right hand hitters, to hit one out in Minnesota.

            About Kemp and Puig, Turner Ward, is going to have to emphasize with Puig and Kemp, to try to go the other way.

            Because that park in Cincinnati, is going to get those two, wanting to pull everything.

    1. Under Friedman, the Dodgers have been extremely deliberate during the off-season. I am reminded of the 2015-16 off-season, when the Dodgers needed to acquire a pitcher and by the time they pulled the trigger, Scott Kazmir was the “best” free agent pitcher available. It appears that they try to leverage the “best deal” for so long that they are left holding the bag.

      The Dodgers’ obvious weakness this off-season is at catcher. So far, the Nats have acquired 2 (one by trade), and the White Sox, Mets, Braves, Angels, Brewers and Astros 1 each. The available universe of useful catchers decreases each time one of the Dodgers’ competitors have acquired one. There will soon be no one left.

      IF the Dodgers are a team with championship aspirations (and they are), going into the season with a catcher like Austin Barnes, who is certainly an unproven commodity at this point, and some as yet to be determined generic backup catcher (I saw that Drew Butera is available) is not designed to lead to a championship. It must be one of those “addition by subtraction” things – lose your starting catcher and then don’t replace him. Sort of like trading off 3 players who started last season on a World Series team and not replacing them either.

      But hey, Andrew Friedman is a genius. If the Dodgers don’t have players, we can always root for the front office. Maybe they can rename the team the Los Angeles Friedmans. There’s precedent for it after all – they were the Robins for a while when their manager was Wilbert Robinson. We can be amazed by the non-deals and the shrewd manipulation of the 40 man roster, the patient waiting until all of the good players are off of the board since the team did go to the Series last season and hey, it’s addition by subtraction!

  14. The other argument to all the players lost is who might be improvement candidates from the current roster?
    Seager coming back healthy.
    Jansen rebounding to his old self.
    Buehler for a full season.
    Verdugo getting his first shot, could be a ROY candidate.
    Muncy getting 600 AB’s instead of 395.
    CT3 and Cody bouncing back.
    Joe Kelly, Schultz, Therrien, McCreery helping the BP.
    The return to health of Urias.
    Hill and Ryu in walk years trying for a new contract.
    Kershaw finding some more velocity and staying healthy.
    Freese as a vet RH bat for the whole season.
    Stripling as the clear swing/long man. Or Maeda.

    I am least confident in the catchers currently on the roster and Kike at 2B but that’s just my opinion. Joc should produce again but in a strict platoon. He was good defensively in LF last year. The team as currently constructed will still easily win the NL West even with a few spots that could be upgraded and a hole at C. They will still lead the league in attendance and have the richest TV deal and get some playoff home games. Are they trying all out to win this year or preparing the team for sale?

    1. I forgot JT playing the whole season at 3B, sorry RedTurn! (Even though his injury and another to Forsythe allowed Muncy his chance to play.)

    2. Your last query is a great question. How they are currently acting is how an owner would act if looking to sell. I never thought of that, but it is a legit question.
      .
      I am not as convinced as you may be that the Dodgers will easily win the NL West. Unless you believe like some that all of the Dodgers will have career years and all of the Rockies will regress. Both possible but unlikely.

      1. My vote goes to AC on this one, Vegas. They needed an extra day last year
        to get the West won. Nothing on your own list suggests it will be easy, unless
        all the best outcomes for each player obtain ( a la 1988:-).

        Could happen. More likely, the west will once again be relatively weak,
        allowing a modestly good team to advance. Will the Nats finally be
        as good on the field as on paper? Show me. And if they’re not, the Ds
        could once more arrive at the finals by sorta/kinda default, with a similar
        Participation trophy. ’17, IMO, they turned out to be legit contenders.
        ’18, first year they couldn’t squander boatloads of cash, they were the
        obligatory lambs for the Red Sox, upon whom the baseball gods smiled
        extra smiles all season. I docked them 15-16 wins last spring with all
        the unanswered questions, and they outperformed me by a few, but
        a baker’s dozen less than ’17.
        This will be year two of relative fiscal restraint. Andrew and friends have
        to show me they can score a player here and there without a gazillion
        low-risk moves. Remember: the Rays, in a majorly tougher division, won
        one fewer game reg season than the Flock. Hence my major disagreement
        with MT and AC and others about the quality of the FO’s work.
        Starting with a playoff team when they got here, they’ve spent savagely
        with no championship, a widely recognized deep team which is actually,
        in my house, more of a broad team (see Kike hitting third in the last loss),
        and not a single every-day solid player in the lineup that the heralded system
        has both drafted and schooled. Yet.
        I remain from Missouri.

  15. No Grandal no Dozier my oh my is the sky falling? No it isnt.
    And making a deal just to make a deal isn’t going to solve any Dodger shortcomings.

  16. AC – Thanks for shedding some light on the Dozier… I’ve said a few times in the past that I wanted Dozier back, but the love affair some have for a 2B platoon of CT & Kike persist…
    As MT would say plenty of time grasshoppers, or was that Master Kan!??!

  17. I was thinking of setting up a go fund me account. Since the owners are so cheap. We can fund the Dodgers to sign players. I mean since the owners are homeless and all. Greed

  18. The best FA signing of last off-season came in late February. Perhaps the BoSox should have signed him earlier at a much inflated price?

    1. Do you really think that Harper is going to sign for 4 years $110MM with an opt out after the 2nd year? He wants a 10 year, and apparently he has one. The Harper and Machado dollars are going to go past $200MM even by the most conservative reports with Harper probably north of $300MM.
      .
      The Dodgers could have made a better offer for JDM at the time, and yet chose not to. So it isn’t patience, it is not wanting to do the deal.
      .

      What the Dodgers should have done is to have already made their best offer to Harper. If he declines then move on to Plan B. How many more catchers must be signed before JTR is traded before the Dodgers decide to sign one of the least desired remaining FA catchers.
      .
      A better approach may be what the Astros have done. They were never in on Harper. Instead they signed Michael Brantley to a reasonable deal. That makes Kyle Tucker available, and could very well headline a package they trade to Miami for JTR. Are the Astros better with Brantley and JTR or with Kyle Tucker? But what they did was to make themselves better early on and now they can play the leverage card. The Dodgers strategy is to be patient until everything is done. Not spend money on a FA or trade one of the prospects that LAD seems to value more than any of the teams they are trading with. Again, JDM is a bad example because the Dodgers were not going to sign him under any circumstance. If the Dodgers make the trade for JTR or Kluber I will be very surprised. Less surprised with Castellanos. Even less less surprised if they signed Adam Jones on a one year deal, and hope he has a career year with the rest of the Dodgers.
      .
      I am also convinced that they will not sign Pollock because they will lose their #31 overall pick. That is last year’s unsigned #1 – and current year 2nd highest pick, the penalty for signing a FA with a QO.

  19. I don’t dislike Dozier, but we have Muncy, Kike and CT3 who can all play there. I don’t think a 32 year-old Dozier is an upgrade.

  20. The problem is: we don’t know what the Marlins will end up taking for Realmuto… and they are going to trade him, no matter what they say.

    If Friedman could trade Alvarez, Pederson, Verdugo, White, W. Smith and two more mid-level prospects, would the Marlins and Tigers trade Realmuto and Castellanos?

    Right now, everyone is seeing what they can get. They are going to have to back off their asking prices. I would include Verdugo in a deal and platoon Kike and Toles in RF.

    1. Taylor CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger 1B
    5. Castallenos LF
    6. Muncy 2B
    7. Toles/Pederson RF
    8. Barney C

    1. By your lineup you are trading 6 years of Verdugo for 1 year of Castellanos? When Castellanos leaves after next year, who replaces him? Joc/CT3/Toles is the OF? Andrew does not think that short term. If he wanted to move Verdugo for a one year player, he could have done that many times.

      1. But, I think that’s a winning lineup and with money dropping off the books in 2020, they Dodgers could afford to re-sign Nick. I might regret it later… 😉

    2. Just say no to Castellanos. He will cost too much for a rental.
      *
      Just say no to Realmuto if the price is anything like Bellinger. Sign Maldonado for a year or two and make him the starting catcher.
      *
      Just say no to Muncy at 2B.
      *
      Trade Joc, just because.

  21. From Keith Law’s latest chat:
    `
    Q – If you’re Andrew Friedman and offer Harper a short term/high value deal which he rejects, what’s your next move to improve the team?
    Keith Law – Offer him a longer deal.
    `
    Q – Who would you rather trade…Verdugo or Ruiz/Smith
    Keith Law – Verdugo. I think he’s good but easier to replace than Ruiz.
    `
    Q – Any chance Caleb Ferguson gets another shot to start? And are you out on Urias?
    Keith Law – I’m not out on any Uriases that I can think of. If you mean Julio, we are in uncharted waters for someone with that injury.
    `
    Q – Aside from Ruiz and Verdugo, have the Dodgers drained most of their elite talent from the farm?
    Keith Law – No.

  22. Mark

    I like Toles, but he is not a good right fielder.

    He is much better in center, and left.

    I don’t see them trading Verdugo, after they traded Puig.

    But I do wonder if they saw Verdugo as Puig’s future replacement in right, because of Verdugo’s arm, why didn’t they play Verdugo in right in AAA?

    Because although Toles doesn’t have good defensive numbers in right the few times he played there, Verdugo doesn’t really have much better numbers in right, the few times he has played there either.

    1. If Puig wasn’t gone, Verdugo might make sense for JT RM.

      But it sounds like Friedman values Verdugo higher then some do.

  23. This from an SI article about free agency and the Brewers’ recent signing of Grandal:

    “[free agency] was built on a view that saw top players underpaid, often wildly so, for the first six years of their career before they became free agents. And then they got to make up for that in free agency, where they might be seen as overpaid—particularly on long deals, in which teams understood that they’d have to eat some cost on the last few years of a contract in order to get premium talent on the first few years. The balance was precarious, but it was, for the most part, there until the last two offseasons.

    Now, teams are disincentivized from high spending with the harsher luxury tax, and they’re increasingly comfortable with sitting out years at a time in order to attempt a new window of contention from the ground up. There is more emphasis placed on prospects and draft picks, and less on free agents. Charitably, you could read that as teams starting to prioritize youth over veteran talent. Realistically, you could read it as prioritizing cost-controlled players over all else.

    There might be a tendency to classify all of this as the product of front offices getting smarter. There are fewer contemporary deals that could be labeled “mistakes.” If Grandal’s body begins to break down in the coming years, Milwaukee won’t be paying him $20 million in 2023 the way Toronto will be paying (Russell)Martin in 2019. Front offices are better at saving money and being more efficient all as the league boasts record revenues.

    But it’s not quite as cut and dry as general managers being smarter. If a team has any interest in winning, it stands to reason that there’s a point at which “payroll money saved” will cease to outweigh the cost of missing out on a strong talent. And if the league has any interest in keeping a peaceful relationship with its players, then this system will have to change—unless it wants a work stoppage, which is beginning to feel more and more likely.”

    That’s the $64MM question. At some point, looking primarily at payroll money saved costs championships. Put another way, Boston had the highest payroll in baseball in 2017 and will pay a penalty. Do you think that they are upset about that? Isn’t it better to get the best players you can while your window for success is open and take your best shot at winning it all rather than trying to do it “on the cheap”?

    And before someone says that the Dodgers have spent a lot of $$ on payroll (a fact of which I am aware), look at how payroll has decreased each year under Friedman, and how the Dodgers, in order to entice investors, have said that they intend to continue to keep payrolls down. That’s not how a title contender runs its team; it’s not how a large market team sets its roster or payroll either.

    1. I can only go by what I know and Guggs and Co. have said they will be below the payroll tax. Friedman did not make that decision.

      Boston was willing to walk away from JDM had he not dropped his price last year. It got so late everyone was set and Boston got him at thier price. That’s the lesson!

      1. Things will have to change, because now players are going to want to be paid in their youth, because teams are valuing young players much more.

  24. I just read this in MLBTrade Rumors.

    Now that Grandal is out, 6 teams are having substantial meetings with the Marlins, for Realmuto.

    And the Dodgers are the most motivated to sign Remuto, of the 6 teams.

    But the Astros, are one of those 6 teams.

    1. Ha – yes MJ. Was moonlighting over there earlier. It’s like being back at school.
      Hope life is treating you well.

      I’m not nearly as worried as some of you guys about the lack of signings
      I see a very good core of players, with a glaring gap at catcher.
      I think the season will much depend on how the new Hitting Coach approaches our ABs. More contact and singles, as opposed to HRs all the way would be preferable.
      I think much will depend on our 3 young hitters, Corey, Cody & Alex.
      If they can hit for a decent average, we will be fine.

      Our Rotation is excellent, with decent back ups.
      Beuhler is more experienced, CK could rebound, and Hill, Ryu & Stripling or Maeda is as good as most.
      The Pen has to be better with Kelly in it, and hopefully Pedro Baez will continue to improve.

      We have a number of good utility players for the bench, but hopefully a lot less platooning.

      I wouldn’t rush into anything tbh.
      Pass on Harper and Realmuto, and see where we are at the TD.

  25. Given all the weeping and gnashing of teeth I’m seeing with Grandal and Dozier with the competition, I shudder to think what it would have been like if they had both signed by the Dodgers last week.

    1. I don’t think anyone here is crying over Grandal or thinks he is worth $18.25M but he has not yet been replaced. Screw Dozier, I’m still pissed about dumping Puig and Wood to get Kemp’s contract off the books. Most of all I would like to see the money saved turned into something useful like a damn catcher!

  26. Comparing Koufax and Kershaw is laughable because one guy stepped up in October and one guy was/is a sure bet to fail come the big moments.

    Doesn’t even merit a discussion.

  27. This is from an article in The Athletic on contending teams and their biggest holes and how to best fill them with available free agents:

    “Los Angeles Dodgers
    2018 Finish: 92-71, lost World Series
    Biggest need: Catcher
    Top FA Target: Martín Maldonado

    The Dodgers balked at retaining Grandal after his pitch-blocking yips in the postseason, but also failed to land Wilson Ramos, Kurt Suzuki, Robinson Chirinos, Jonathan Lucroy, or Brian or James McCann. So, now they’re down to Maldonado, who is effectively Jeff Mathis with occasional pop, as a best available free agent beyond hoping that Austin Barnes can rediscover his 2017 form. That’s a big drop-off at the plate for a team that just traded a pair of 120 OPS+ outfielders for prospects. So, when does the Bryce Harper signing happen?

    1. Harper signing to be announced Jan 17 with presser at Dodger Stadium on Jan 21st. Any other questions?

          1. The famous Clarence Mitchell of course! He smoked one that Wambsganss caught, stepped on 2B to double off Pete Kilduff and then tagged Otto Miller steaming in from 1B. (OK, I looked it up) Only the Dodgers, right? I still cringe at the back to back tag plays at the plate by ex-Dodger LoDuca on Kent and JD Drew, with an assist to another ex-Dodger Shawn Green against the Mets in the playoffs in 2006, a game they went on to lose 6-5. Biggest Doohhh! I ever saw the team pull in a big game.

  28. This addition by subtraction is at zero, heading toward negative numbers as we wait for needs to be addressed that were subtracted in the salary dump.

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