Gold Gloves, Junkyard Dogs, MysteryTeams and Brain MRI’s


In the 2017 season, Yasiel Puig absolutely should have won a Gold Glove, but was denied… probably because lots of people did not like him.  He vowed to use his snub as a springboard and win the Gold Glove in 2018, but for whatever reasons, he regressed immensely, so much so that he was not even in the discussion.  This is not an indictment on Yasiel (I dissed him enough when he was with the Dodgers, so I won’t continue), but rather an indictment of how Gold Gloves are awarded and how subjective defensive metrics are.This is an area of the game where you especially need to use the “eye test.”  We didn’t have to look at defensive metrics to know that Puig was the TRUE Gold Glove Right Fielder in 2017 and our eyes also told us he wasn’t in the discussion in 2018.Who’s the best defensive 3B in baseball?  Arenado?  Machado? Chapman?  How about Justin Turner?  If he’s not the best, he’s in the discussion. Who is the best defensive 1B in the game?  I happen to think it’s the guy who many believe is the Dodgers’ centerfielder.  If he’s not the best defensive 1B in the game, he’s in the conversation.


I’m not going to include Corey Seager in that discussion, but I will say this:  He’s better than many think as a defensive Shortstop and, assuming he returns to form (AC has examined the meds and guaranteed it- just kidding), he’s in the Top Third of Shortstops.  The “eye test” tells me that.  The “eye test” also tells me that Max Muncy can be an average 2B.  It would be nice to have All Stars at every position, but sometimes, you have to have a few average players and junkyard dogs (let’s not forgetthose guys).Steve Pearce and David Freeze are “junkyard dogs” and to me, that is the ultimate compliment!  I’m a junkyard dog myself, so I know of what I speak! The Dodgers need more junkyard dogs.  CT3, Max Muncy and Austin Barnes could be some.  Maybe Cody Bellinger and JT are junkyard dogs too and I guess and I can’t exclude Corey – junkyard dogs like to get dirty and those guys fit the bill.


With all the slowdown in the Free Agent Market, it does appear that Bryce Harper is going back to the Nats… maybe the Phils, but I don’t see it.  I think the Nats are wanting him and he is happy there.  The White Sox “allegedly” have made an offer to Manny Machado for a 8 year/$260 million dollar deal, but he got a taste of winning last year I can’t see him in Chicago…. even if he has “family” on that team. His brother-in-law is Yonder Alonzo (I always thought he should reverse his name to Alonzo Yonder…. but I digress), and John Jay is allegedly one of his close friends.  Manny doesn’t cost a pick and while I was not enamoured with him last year, he could end up being a lot more than he showed in LA.Maybe Manny has been “humbled”  seeing that everyone doesn’t think he is the end-all-be-all. Maybe he would work out harder get stronger and be willing to play “anywhere,” and what if he believes RVS can help him get even better?  What if the Dodgers are The Mystery Team that is on Manny?  Now, hold on… don’t go BSC (bat shit crazy) on me.  Cool it for a minute…  I know it’s a lot of “IF’s” but consider this:
  • The Dodgers don’t lose a draft pick  (and that’s huge) if they sign Machado. Manny has the star power the Dodgers ownership craves (think Latino + Star);
  • Maybe they can structure the deal so that Manny has an opt-out after 3 or 4 years and that opt-out pays him X$ which is not part of the AAV, or some other way to artificially keep the AAV lower, say around $21 million; and
  • The Dodgers would have to trade Rich Hill or Kenta Maeda, but could stay under the Luxury Tax Penalty that way (Hill and Maeda are tradable).
I know he has said some dumb stuff about hustling and has tried to be too cool, but I think he can fix that.  With Puig gone, his teammates won’t tolerate it.  Justin Turner has one more year after 2019 before his contract is up, so here’s what the team would look like the next two years:
  • 1B – Muncy/Freeze
  • 2B – Machado
  • SS – Seager
  • 3B – Turner
  • LF – Pederson/Taylor
  • CF – Bellinger
  • RF – Verdugo
  • C   – Martin/Barnes
That may not be their exact positions.  Seager, Machado and Turner could move positions or not.  Maybe Corey needs some rest in the beginning.  I have no clue…  Maybe JT would play 2B better than Machado.  Initially, I did not want Manny back, but if he wants to come back and win now, this is where he should bloom. He wouldn’t have a better opportunity. I hate to lose Hill or Maeda, but that would solve a logjam in the rotation and there’s still Urias, Gonsolin, May and Grove (maybe sooner than we might expect).Rotation:
  1. Kershaw
  2. Buehler
  3. Ryu
  4. Maeda or Hill
  5. Chicken Strip
  6. Urias
  7. Gonsolin (I think he ready in 2019)


  • The Yankees have DFA’ed Tim Locastro… Want him back?
  • Caleb Ferguson and Dennis Santana may very make up a L-R power Duo in the pen next year that is outstanding.  Watch for it!
  • We had 23 new LA DODGER TALK Readers register yesterday.  I don’t know what to say, except“Thank You and Welcome to the Best Community of Dodger Fans on the Planet”
  • Godspeed to my brother in Blue: Quasimodo. No words can suffice – just know your Dodger Brothers and Sisters have you in our thoughts and prayers. May the road rise up to meet you…
  • Side Note:  I had to have a Brain MRI yesterday (With Contrast – Total Sedation, because I freak out in that stupid tube).  They didn’t find anything (I am fine), but here’s your segue – Pile on! “Of course they didn’t find anything.” Now, that one is taken…

This article has 66 Comments

  1. I’ve been in the tube and was very happy nothing was found in my head either. That’s the reason I agree with you about Machado. That is not a crazy idea, it is an empty headed idea. Let’s do it. If there is a Dodger Yankee WS, the Dodgers would not like to hit against Hill. But, the Yankees are the team I would think would want him most.
    Would trading Hill and Fields for Stanton be the alternative to signing Manny? Or, can the Dodgers get a plus reliever if Hill were traded to the Yankees?

  2. IF (BIG IF), there is a mystery team, I would think that it would be the Braves. They could use a SS, and then flip Dansby Swanson for other needs. They have the cushion that can absorb the salary. It is closer to his Miami home. Sun Trust Park would be a nice home for Machado’s bat. I cannot understand why Atlanta wouldn’t consider Machado in the first place. I do not see him as a fit for the Dodgers.
    With respect to Corey Seager, every athlete is an injury risk. Nobody seems to speak about JT’s fragile body. It always comes back to a freak accident with an inside pitch that took him out last year. Could happen to anyone, except JT crowds the plate and dives in so he is more susceptible. But for the last 5 years he has gone 109, 126, 151, 130, 103 games. That is an average of 124 games over the last five years. Most talk glowingly about Ryu, but he seems to always have some issue putting him on the DL every year, but this year is going to be different? Kershaw is one pitch from throwing his back and/or hip out. We can hope (and pray) the doctors are correct with Jansen and his heart condition. Will Dennis Santana fully recover from a rotator cuff strain? Yes, Corey’s elbow and hip are a concern, but his doctors say he is okay and can resume baseball activities (earlier than was originally anticipated), and yet many want to question Corey’s doctors and not other players’ doctors. If in fact the Dodgers were concerned about Corey’s ability to make a full recovery, I think they may have had interest in Jose Iglesias (not Manny Machado).
    I do not see the Dodgers trading Hill and Maeda just so they could sign Machado. Before we anoint May and Gonsolin ready for The Show, can we at least see if they can maintain their excellence at AA and whether they can succeed in the hitter friendly PCL? Can we see Michael Grove throw one professional pitch before we can consider him a possibility? All three have potential, but that is all that it is right now. And while I as much as anyone is excited to see them continue their climb. It is not an easy climb those last few rungs. It will not be as easy as it has been thus far.
    I have no idea what condition Urias’ shoulder is in, but I would think he would be ready to assume a possible rotation slot by June. The only word from the front office is that they believe that Urias, Ferguson, and Santana are still considered starting pitchers and will be placed in those roles as they start out the season. But that means AAA for Ferguson and Santana and extended ST (???) for Urias. Ferguson and Santana may end up in relief roles, but not in March/April/May. To me the more important decision will involve Ross Stripling. He has earned every right to be considered for the rotation, and yet he is not. Doc has already gone on record saying that Kershaw/Buehler/Hill/Ryu/Maeda is the rotation.

    1. Solid logic and thinking AC and that is why it is good to have input from a person with an accountant’s mind. But Machado would add sparkle and a righty bat more than ROI would justify.

      1. AC

        Consider the source about that comment.

        Because I think you are one of the most well rounded number’s guy, I have witnessed.

        1. MJ, what do you mean about consider the source? That sounds derogatory.
          The prevalence of CEOs with a strong financial background points to the fact that large companies prefer CEOs who can create value for the company and who understand the company’s financial drivers. Typically, companies are looking for CEOs who can develop a strategy and understand the financial ramifications of business decisions.
          AC’s comments and posts shows he understands the financial ramifications of business decisions. I would not want Friedman to not understand those ramifications and he doesn’t. I have not been a proponent of signing expensive free agents but I will play with it for the fun of it.
          AC does not need defending. I do however because I play with lineups or play along with others suggestions like I just did with Mark’s post about Machado. Do I really want Machado? Not necessarily. I just play along instead of throwing cold water on it.

          1. Bum

            First, I know AC is very capable of defending himself, but I still can state my opinion, because I didn’t agree with your analysis about AC.

            Because I was just thinking the other day, about how well arounded AC is, for being a numbers guy.

            And I know that is a generalization, but I find it more true then not.

            And I consider AC to be very fair with his analyses.

            Also, I don’t think War is truly the true value a certain player brings to a team.

            Even Bill James is no advocate for War.

            About consider the source, it isn’t personal, because I like you, and it isn’t a negative connotation, it is just the fact that you are a big Joc supporter.

            And because of that, you tend to only like line ups, that have Joc starting in left.

            And you do play with line ups, and throw spaghetti against the wall.

            But even with that, there is a commonality in your different lineups, and that commonality is, that Joc is always starting in left.

          2. MJ, Mark opened himself to criticism suggesting the Dodgers sign Machado and the first response threw cold water on his post. AC was much more detailed but still threw cold water on Mark. I was being subtle but basically was having Mark’s back. AC was not saying he disagreed with Mark but rubbed it in his face. That wasn’t AC intent but that is what he did.
            During the brief time Mark shut down this site and we were on Scott’s site which was a little wild wild west and included lots of political stuff, I had your back a number of times. I have defended Doc and defended Mattingly. I defend people that are not present to defend themselves or I feel the attack it too personal like was done to you. I defend Joc because I like him and he gets trashed too often.

    1. Bum

      Like I said, I like you, but it is a well known fact, that you like Joc, so even AC who likes Joc, will acknowledge that.

      But it wasn’t a negative connotation, it just meant you like to see Joc in any line up.

      But I am sorry if you felt differently, because I didn’t mean to hurt you, because I truly do like you, and I know you are not one to want to hurt anyone.

      And all I can say, look where we are now, and I am not talking about baseball, it is a scary time.

      I hope your move goes well too.

  3. From Houston Mitchell, LA Times:
    The Poway home of San Diego Padres great Tony Gwynn, who died five years ago, has an unexpected visitor.

    The Gwynn family lost the home to foreclosure last summer and it has remained vacant. In December, neighbors noticed people at the house, including one man who seemed to spend a lot of time there.

    Turns out, an unidentified squatter is living there, officials with the property management firm responsible for the bank-owned property told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Efforts to evict him have been complicated by California’s complex “squatter’s rights” laws, but civil proceedings have been started to evict the man.

    “We want to address the neighbor’s concerns, but we can’t just knock down the doors,” Poway Sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Collier said. “There are laws that we have to abide by and facts that have to be checked out.”

    The sad part in all of this is the fact Gwynn’s house is in foreclosure. A street named after him runs nearby, and there’s a statue of him nearby. The home is valued at $2.3 million and while there are no reports I can find as to where his family is living now, let’s hope they landed on their feet somewhere.

    1. Sad story Rudy…the baseball field at San Diego St was named for Tony also. I wonder how much would have been different if he had not given a ‘home town discount’ and not played his entire career with the Padres? It cost him and his family many millions to not get that one big contract. Squatter’s rights? Why do squatters have rights to a bank owned property? Because there is no lease it has to be a judicial eviction which takes longer. Meanwhile how much damage could be inflicted by the angry squatter while it drags through court? Why didn’t the bank work with the Gwynn family to avoid the foreclosure in the first place? With the RE market in SD the past few years there had to be equity in the property which the bank wanted. Karma baby!

  4. Mark – pleased they didn’t find anything with your MRI. It seems to be the season. My older brother is in the hospital now with complications – heart, diabetes. He is waiting for a transfer to Halifax.

    1. The key to a MRI if you are somewhat claustrophobic, and no one is more claustrophobic then me for good reason, is to not ever open your eyes, when you are in one of those tubes.

      1. I just did one last week for my herniated disk. I had to use that big people/open MRI table because that tiny tube freaked me out.

        Plus, adivan heped!

        1. Bobby

          Someone told me that tip, when I was getting my lower back checked, at that time.

          And I did have a herniated disc too, and a surgery that followed.

          But when Mark said he had one on his head, I was thinking he ought to have one on his back, because you have to go in there even farther, as you know.

          But Mark is a darn giant, only in description, and I am a darn midget, so that may be the difference with me, compared to Mark and you.

  5. This year a friend and me are going to spend a few days at Camelback in Glendale. I have always wanted to go watch a few days of Spring Training but have never had the opportunity. But it looks like this is the year and I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions. We are driving from Fresno, California and are looking to be in Glendale 4 days. I am not so much interested in the games as I am interested in watching individual players practice in preparation for the season. Any ideas about lodging, how to organize the day, or where to eat would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. If you really want to have fun stay at the Hotel where the Dodgers stay. It’s most likely booked up, but you can stay close. Go to the minor league fields at the back. That’s where it all happens. Get there early and stay late. The games are a blast too. I don’t remember what hotel it is, but if nobody here knows, I can call and find out. I recommend this place for steak:

      Take the slide when you go it.

      Black Bear Diner is good in Glendale. Desert Rose Steakhouse. Don Reubens Mexican.

      1. I was gonna recommend Don and Charlies in Scottsdale but it looks like they’re tearing it down and rebuilding it as part of a Boutique Hotel. It’s open right now, but I’m not sure when they’re last day will be before construction. If it’s still open, you have to go to this “Chicago Style” steakhouse with oodles of baseball memorabilia adorned everywhere in the interior. You can enjoy “Old Style” beer, a beloved favorite staple at Wrigley Field. And don’t you dare shy away from their famous chopped liver which is served with bread before your meal.

        I’m seriously considering driving out there one last time before they tear it down.

  6. Here’s a comment from Dustin of TBLA (also of DD) and his take on the Dodgers’ offseason:
    “The Dodgers have lost about 10 wins of production this offseason. They’ve lost Yasmani Grandal, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and added Joe Kelly, Russell Martin and a couple prospects who are a few years away from contributing. They opened up a spot for Alex Verdugo, but there’s no guarantee he’ll out-produce Puig in 2019. Because the NL West projects to be not great, the Dodgers could probably go out and win the division with the squad they have presently. But after having a championship slip through their hands in 2017 and being outclassed last year, you’d think the prevailing thought would be to go all-in. Instead, Andrew Friedman — via ownership mandate or not — is treating the Dodgers like they were his Rays. And that doesn’t work in Los Angeles.”

    “Since the Dodgers reset their luxury tax penalty, they should be spending a little more than they have so far. Let’s look at the Red Sox last season. The World Series champs ran a $239.5 million payroll. They had to pay $11.95 million in luxury tax penalties. They paid that tax and ended up with a championship, but the Dodgers won’t even consider going over the tax again? That doesn’t seem right. Of course, spending money doesn’t automatically ensure a title, but it definitely doesn’t hurt, either.”

    “If the Dodgers had won one of the last two World Series, this might be a bit more palatable. But as it stands now, the Dodgers aren’t the best team in the NL. They had to go to Game 163 to win the NL West last season. They might be OK to make the playoffs and we know it’s a crapshoot, but when the premiere free agent has either already played for you (Machado) or wants to (Harper) and you’re not interested because of some artificial/self-imposed salary restriction is the wrong message to send fans.

    The Dodgers want to build the farm system and win that way. That’s fine. That’s a good strategy. But they don’t have any truly impactful prospects due up anytime soon. Verdugo is nice, but he won’t likely carry an offense. Keibert Ruiz is a stud, but there are questions about his power developing. Best-case scenario for him is a Grandal/Victor Martinez type. While good, those guys aren’t/weren’t true impact players. There is no Walker Buehler, Cody Bellinger or Corey Seager coming anytime soon. This is the prime time to supplement the lack of impact potential on the farm with one of the biggest potentially impactful free agents in recent memory.”

    1. Rick

      With the fact the Dodgers still made it to the World Series last year, without doing much other then Machado at the trade deadline, has spoiled the owners.

      But we were pretty lucky to make it to the World Series last year.

      Because last year’s team, was so inconsistent on offense.

      1. Last year Turner was out early as well as Corey. Couple that with the relaxed ST and everyone else playing terribly, the early season was horrendous. I don’t see it likely that they repeat that awful start. Right there that should make this years team better, at least from a W/L standpoint. I think we should be able to win the division with the current line up. With improvement in the young players, we should be in contention for best NL record (not AL record though). To win the WS (it’s that or bust) we need a couple more pieces. TD acquisitions (when we see the needed pieces) who actually perform in the spotlight coupled with some players playing over their heads are needed to win it all however. Right now, I’d like an additional impact bat but can grudgingly go into the season with current group and be optimistic.

    2. Dustin is a good writer, but I am not sure he has ever ran, managed or built anything. At least, by reading what he writes, I would say that appears to be the case.

      The Dodgers were outclassed last year? He’s so full of crap, if you gave him an enema, you could bury him in a shoebox… and that’s a lot of crap! Hello! The Dodgers got to the World Series last year. The last time the Dodgers won the World Series they were also outclassed… and they lost their MVP!AND STILL WON!That is so much BS! The players did not execute. If you got there, you are not outclassed. You are in the same class. Only two teams make it. Reading that cost me brain cells!

      So, the Red Sox are the recipe for winning a World Series because they had the highest payroll last year? They went out and signed JDM for $105 million and Dustin wants to Dodgers to spend $300 million or more? God, that is ignorant!

      The Astros won the WS in 2017 – was the Astros payroll bigger than the Dodgers? The Dodger payroll was $253,600,000 and the Astros was $113,000,000 less!

      If you go back 10 or 20 years, you will find that the teams with the biggest payroll win about as much as the teams with the lower payroll number. This is just a “flavor of the week.”

      Guggenheim and Co. has said they will not go over the luxury tax this year. Friendam has no control of that and if that is their stance, it is delusional to believe otherwise.

      Dustin goes on to say:Since the Dodgers reset their luxury tax penalty, they should be spending a little more than they have so far. Let’s look at the Red Sox last season.It ‘s hard for me to not sayYeah moron, The Red Sox signed JDM at the end of February. It’s Mid-January! That is just stupid.He’s a great writer, but the substance is wanting. Just shock journalism because so many fans eat it up.

      All through 2017, I said the Dodgers were going to the world series and EVERYONE thought I was stupid.

      Last year, most quit on the team.

      We got to the world series both years and our players let us down. Choked may be a better word than outclassed, but that’s not really the case either.

      Finally he ends withThere is no Walker Buehler, Cody Bellinger or Corey Seager coming anytime soon..

      Says who? There are several players will will exceed most people’s expectation THIS year.

      It’s way early to say any of that stupid stuff. What? Just overpay?

      I’m done ranting, but that was just moronic!

      1. Umm, all through 2017 I also said we’re winning 100 games and winning the world series. And very few on this board called me or you stupid. Well they did, but not for that prediction.

          1. I am of the opinion that if you get there, it’s on you to win. I think the 3rd times the charm.

          2. “it’s on you to win”. THAT right there is why I blame Kershaw more than anyone else for us having zero rings these last 6 trips to the postseason.

  7. I will be at ST again this year, March 16-20 and really enjoy the laid back atmosphere. If you want to watch practices you have to get there early, like 10 am. Park on the LF side of the park because Dodger practice facilities are all there (White Sox are on RF side of complex). Either that or park on the distant lots in RF and walk to the fields so you can get out quicker after the game. There are several fields they practice on and the minor league facilities are there also. The walkway from the clubhouse to the fields is a popular place to get autographs but is really crowded. Pitchers practice facility is a good place to see some action up close. However, we have found that the best place to get autographs and chat with players is to get seats on the 3B side near the Dodger Dugout and make your way down to the first row of seats as the players walk from the clubhouse to the dugout. Bring a good pen and something to sign (lots of people have baseballs)and always thank them for taking the time. Don’t think that they are going to spend much time chatting with you, they have too much to do. Sometimes if you are lucky you can catch a couple of guys working out on a back field and they will chat for a while. Notice that on the ticket sites they list some seats a “partial shade”. The sun can be brutal so bring a hat, sunscreen, water (not beer) and sunglasses. 1B side is visitors, 3B is Dodgers. Go to some away games because other parks are smaller and easier to get close to the field. We love the Rangers park in Surprise.

    Eating— we get a motel that has breakfast, grab a dog at the park before the game, and eat wherever in the evening. Get a motel right now because they fill up fast. Go on travelocity and ask for motels in Glendale to get something close to the park. Lots more but I am tired of typing…

  8. Mark – glad to hear we’ve got you for a few more years.

    Quas – I know you’ve had a bad run of things, but you are strong!

    Now Machado.
    I was probably one of the only people on here who actually thought he did ok for us after his move.
    I liked his arrogance, and he was one of the only Dodgers to show any kind of aggression in the Brewers series.
    We would not have made the Post Season without him.
    I think he is a much better fit than Harper as we don’t need another LH hitter, and Manny has some pop.
    I think that it’s always hard the swap leagues at the TD, and added to the fact that was his first time either under the bright lights of LA or in the pressure of a Pennant Race, he will undoubtedly be better for the experience.
    I think we should match the WSox offer.
    We need a 2B – let Corey play there, far less stress on the rebuilt elbow.
    Manny plays SS.
    Infield this year

    1B Cody / Muncy
    2B Corey /Muncy
    SS Manny
    3B JT


    1B JT/Cody
    2B Corey
    SS Manny
    3B NOLAN

    How good would that Infield be…..for a number of years?

    I’m happy as we are, but I really believe that if Manny returned, you would see a improvement in his hustle.
    He is the RH bat we need.

    1. I have no issues with what Manny did at first in the post season, because that was over blown.

      Because I know why Manny did what he did, because that first baseman was not immediately getting off the bag, after he caught the throw, like most first baseman do.

      But Manny doesn’t have good enough numbers to me, to give him to much.

      In 85 at bats against lefties with the Dodgers he hit 318/437/553/990, which are good numbers.

      But in twice as many at bats which is 182 at bats, Manny just hit 253/285/456/ 741 against righties.

      And those last numbers in twice as many at bats, are quite average numbers, so I can’t see paying Manny anything he would accept to have him come back to the Dodgers.

      That 741 OPS really stands out there, and Manny has played in pennant races before, and in the post season, so I don’t think that made much of a difference in his numbers.

      We need to save that money for Corey and Cody, who are even younger, and have hit much better against righties then Manny did with the Dodgers.

      But to Manny’s credit, he did have really good numbers when runners were in scoring position, even if it didn’t seem to some, that he helped the team that much.

      We badly need a right hand bat, and the off season has been so slow, so I understood why Mark made this proposition.

      And there is no one better then Mark, at going out of the box, and making different propositions.

  9. From MLB Trade Rumors

    “The Dodgers appear to have a deal in place with Taiwanese right-hander Lin Hui-Sheng, with Liberty Sports reporting the news and CPBL Stats tweeting it along. It’s believed the youngster will secure a $300K to $350K bonus if and when he passes a physical. You can read more about this reputedly live-armed 20-year-old here, courtesy of CPBL Stats. Injuries seem to have interfered with Lin’s development to this point, but it seems the Dodgers will have an interesting new arm to work with.”

    1. Also, if you like (or if you haven’t tried) Chicago style deep dish pizza, there is a Giardano’s in Glendale and a Lou Malnati closer to downtown Phx. Both are AMAZING!!

    1. I’m never sure if the writers of these type of articles are even baseball fans, though certainly not fans of the specific team being outlined. It just filled a need for 30 different clicks.

      I expect Alex to the the starting RF for most of the year but barring any impact additions, there will likely be some fluidity in OF starters.

  10. Mark, I am disappointed in your response to Dustin Nosler’s article. You can disagree without being disagreeable, as you have commented previously.

    What is undeniable is that the Dodgers have lost Machado (partial season), Dozier (who didn’t perform but is capable of being pretty good), Grandal (whom you have consistently boosted as a top performer at catcher), Puig (a gold glove caliber OF who has hit well in the post-season and has supplied power, even though not always consistently), Kemp (arguably the Dodgers’ first half MVP last year), Wood (who started more games than any pitcher in the rotation last season) and Farmer.

    In response, the Dodgers have received the corpse of Homer Bailey, a 36 year old catcher who hit .190 last year, a short reliever who might be good but has a long history of control problems, and the return of Cory Seager who hopefully will return to his pre-injury form (but we don’t know that) and they have made space for the untested Alex Verdugo.

    There is no way to look at this picture and say that the team as situated is as good as it was last year, let alone in 2017. They have an apparent black hole in the lineup at the catcher’s spot, question marks at SS and 2B (we don’t know whether Seager is the Seager of old and we don’t know who the 2B is yet), and an untested rookie in RF. The rotation will be a strength again this year, but Wild Man Kelly is not capable of being the Bridge to Jansen by himself, and the bullpen was a weakness last season.

    It is fair to say that the team has apparent resources to do better. Whether it is Friedman or Guggenheim pulling the purse strings tight, they are being pulled.

    As situated, I don’t have faith that the Dodgers will be contenders for the Series. They should win the 2nd weakest division in MLB, but remember, the Rockies weren’t all that good last season and ended the season in a dead heat with the Dodgers. That never should have happened. There are plenty of teams in the NL who have improved since last season. The Dodgers are not among them. And as I am not a disciple in the Church of Andrew Friedman, I do not have blind faith that just because he is calling the shots, all will be well.

    1. I found Mark’s comments uncalled for. The “You can disagree without being disagreeable” mantra seems to have gone out the window. Too bad.

      1. I enjoy Dustin writing and find him one of the more informed dodger bloggers. I usual come away from his post knowing more than before

        In this post which I read this morning I didn’t feel Kore informed that before I started reading. Dustin was ranting. One rant deserves another.

  11. Yes, this offseason sucks for sure. Not what I expected. But, JTRM, and Kluber haven’t been traded. Harper, Machado and Pollock are unsigned. The 40 man sits at 39 and Brock Stewart is still on it. There’s still work to do. If Friedman comes up empty, I will be pissed. There’s no way that starting lineup will happen on opening day. If it does, I’m gonna cry.

    Carlos Gomez comeback candidate? I mean, we did just TRADE FOR Russell Martin…

    1. Assuming that you do mean Carlos Gomez and not Carlos Gonzalez, I’m in. We need someone to replace Puig as the team “wild and crazy guy”. Other than that Gomez’ stats look just about like the 2017 Austin Barnes line, so he’d better be good at licking his bat.

  12. With all due respect, I’m not trying to attack or offend anyone, but…..
    If any of you were in Friedman’s place…
    What would you have done differently?
    Which player would have given a contract?
    How much money and years?
    The signing of a certain player, would it make you feel satisfied?
    There is not a single player that is guaranteed to win a world series !!
    And you claim to be good Dodgers fans, it’s enough to be criticizing EVERY DAY…
    It seems that nothing pleases most of you …
    Why invest in someone, without first knowing if it will be necessary?
    And do any of you already know what this team is going to need when the season starts?
    Any of you can read the future?
    Please then tell me what the winning lottery ticket will be !!

    1. Glad you asked. I wouldn’t have made the Cincy trade without knowing that I would be able to sign someone better.

      1. Like who:
        Harper? Not needed……….Pass
        Machado? Not needed…..Pass
        Pollock? Not needed……….Pass
        LeMahiue? Not needed…..Pass
        Dozier? Not needed………..Pass

  13. Thanks dodgerrick for stating the fact that we are not as good as we were in 2017 due to fiscal restraint that maybe needed to take place in 2018 for the tax reset but surely in not in 2019. I am as loyal as they come to this team and I believe fair minded when it comes to facts. Yes Friedman has done a great job with what he has been given and that should be recognized however I don’t think we are using our one major advantage and that is money. We can build a farm and be a little reckless financially and be just fine. The fact that Guggs or Friedman or maybe a combination of both have chosen to tighten the strings this offseason does not sit well with me or many other fans. I believe Nosler is correct in his assessment and it is not just smoke for the average fan to eat up. We should be pushing 237 million this year now that we reset the tax and we will be just fine financially by doing so. Guggs can tell me otherwise but until they have full transparency I will believe it is just smoke. How that 40 million plus the 12 million luxury tax hit is spent is debatable, but it could be on Harper or a combination of a few others but this team needs and deserves this infusion. And we will be better for it, and I believe in a better position to end our 30 year drought. Crapshoots aside, better players put you in a better position to succeed, bottom line.

    And all it costs is money not player revenue which can hurt you long term. However that 52 million will likely sit in the owners pockets, along with their other profits and massive equity they continue to build.

    So yes commend the FO for being fiscally great and proving winners can be built without spending in excess, dumpster diving and moves around the edge. But don’t tell me this is necessary for this franchise’s long term viability and sustsinabiliry, just not true.

  14. There you go! I am tired of waiting and yet have a feeling Freidman is seeing if some dominoes fall and swooping in for a bigger move. How big may depend on who falls late. Gomez was a highlight reel in the OF not long ago and has a fire to his game. Adam Jones might do a 1 year prove it deal late. Pollock might take a short deal with an early opt out. Gulp-Harper might say get ‘er done Scott! I don’t see Machado coming back at all from either side but Kluber would get me excited.

  15. After further review, that piece was worse than I depicted. Dustin is a good writer – he is a wordsmith, but being a great writer, actually a journalist, of which I am neither, carries a great responsibility to tell the truth, present the facts and have an argument that is not slanted to the facts.

    I don’t worship at the church of Andrew Friedman, I do admire what he has accomplished, warts and all. If the past two season he has accomplished more than any team in baseball. In his eleoquent daitribe he holds up the Red Sox as an example of what the Dodgers should do and then he says:
    Since the Dodgers reset their luxury tax penalty, they should be spending a little more than they have so far. Let’s look at the Red Sox last season.

    Spending a little more than they have so far? $10 or $100,000,000 dollars? $10 is a little more. Look, the Sox would not pay JD Martinez what he wanted ($175 to $200 million), but using Nosler’s analogy, the Bo Sox should not have waited for him – they should have signed him for $200 million, instead of the $105 million..

    My God,the Red Sox waited until almost March to sign JD and they did not trade for the World Series MVP (Pearce) or the or best pitcher (Eovaldi) until the trade deadline,and of course Rick talks about “waiting for players to have a career year” … like Betts and Martinez? Yes, they did!

    The Dodgers lost their SS and their Ace and Closer coughed up hairballs. Dustin has a right to pen an article like that…. if the Dodgers don’t win the World Series… or get to it, but to write it now just caters to weak-minded people who buy that jibberish.It’s not even February, much less March or July, when 3 key pieces of Boston’s World Series Run were acquired.It is irresponsible journalism to write that the way he did.

    Good writing can’t obfuscate bull shit! I refuse to try and be politically correct around such drivel.

  16. … and I might make the Cincy trade even if I did nothing else, but you can bet your a$$, Friedman is not done. Like last year, the market is slow. Call it that! Don’t try and tell Friedman how to spend. He’s playing chess and you are playing checkers!

    1. The Church of Friedman – of course the holy Andrew is on a higher level than mere mortals – he can play chess, for heaven’s sake. Therefore, we should have faith in holy Andrew – he knows all, sees all and even if the Dodgers have lost 3/8 of their starting lineup from last season’s post-season, it doesn’t matter.

      Kemp, Grandal, Puig, Wood and the contributions of Machado and Dozier total about 11 WAR. That’s been replace by .5 WAR for Kelly, -1.5 WAR for Bailey, 1.3 WAR for Martin. Seager may be a 5 or 6 WAR player if he’s healthy, and I hope that he is but we don’t know. We have no idea about Verdugo and we don’t even know who will play 2B he won’t be a new player so no WAR is added there.

      The Dodgers went to the World Series 3 times in 4 years 1963-1966. But the Dodgers of 1967-68 were awful. So Buzzie Bavasi shouldn’t be criticized for letting the team crumble because they had been successful? (No straw men please – I am not comparing the 2019 Dodgers to the 1967 Dodgers.)

      It’s possible of course that there is more to come, but it’s also possible that Friedman does nothing between now and the start of the season. He’s on record as saying that they are good enough to go back to the Series as constituted.

      Pitchers and catchers report 2/13 – less than a month away. And the Dodgers roster is not as talented as last year’s roster – certainly not as good as 2017’s roster.

      1. Three Key players for the Red Sox were acquired in late February and August.

        Kemp was done. Puig was a knucklehead and Wood did not want to be in the pen. I am certain Friedman is not done, but he is playing it just like Boston did last year. EXACTLY!

        If Machado or Harper falls he will pounce, but he has other plans. He’s not looking at your clock!

  17. How long are the Odds that the Dodgers catchers could be co-Comeback Players of the Year.

    Miami still has not traded Realmuto because what they asre asking is ridiculus – maybe you want Friedman to made that deal so you can ridicule him? He’s not doing it.

    Maybe he should just ride in and pay Machado $350 million or Harper $400 million?

    The Indians are asking for the moon and stars for Kluber, he should just pay it?

    In case you are a novice – I buy and sell for a living – I buy as cheap as I can (USA MADE) and sell it for as much as I can. You learn not to fall in love with a product (player) and overpay. When you are selling, you sell as for as much as you can get and then adjust your price to the market. I know how this game works. Friedman will make a move when the time is right.

    If you want to be relevant, year-over-year, you can’t make dope-fiend moves.

    Case in point: We are about a $12 million dollar company. I just hired a VP of Sales and Marketing from a competitor who is $250 million. How did I do that? He came to me. He is willing to bet on himself and take us to that $250 million plaueau. He wanted to come and help us grow and get paid on the back end. His idea, not mine. If I had went after him, I could have never afforded him. but he came to me. Sometimes, the best things happen when you don’t push. The Universe responds!

  18. I don’t get you DodgerRick. First of all, there is no Church of Freidman, yet I will go on record of being a supporter of him. Don’t know how many GM’s you’ve seen come and go, but I was around for Bavasi, Claire, Malone(There is a new sheriff in town!), the friggin douchbag execs at Fox who traded Piazza, our old pal DePodesta, who chased Beltre away, and last of all Uncle Ned, which I loved his book, but gave Kemp and Ethier huge contracts, signed Jason Scmidt after his peak years, and I wont even mention Brandon League. What other GM out there do you want to run the Dodgers? Freidman has done the best he can with what he has been allowed to do. It’s been well documented on this site the trouble brewing with Guggenheim. We all have no friggin clue about the length of leash Stan Kasten has on Freidman. Kasten also has a well known temper, so he isn’t exactly an easy going guy. Ok, fire Freidman’s ass. First of all, he wouldn’t last one week before another team swoops him up. Second,the new guy still has to answer to Kasten and the ongoing Guggenheim storm. Careful what you wish for, we could be alot worse off. Once again, let’s wait until opening day before we judge the dude.

    1. I do not dispute Friedman’s general competence. What i do not understand is the apparent infatuation that some have with him; an infatuation that leads to the complete loss of critical thinking and a blind faith that whatever Friedman does, it’s brilliant.

      It’s like the Dodgers’ roster of old and infirm pitchers – the money spent and wasted on the likes of Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson and Scott Kazmir. Those who love Friedman unreservedly have given him a pass on that. And it lead to an overreliance on Kershaw in the postseason – there were no other healthy pitchers on the roster (or at least not many).

      I was not initially critical of the Farmer trade as I assumed that it was the first of many trades that would improve the Dodgers’ roster. Instead, it looks like it was just a salary dump. To lose talent and not receive talent in return was just strange for a team with championship intentions. Trading players for prospects (and low level prospects) is something that a rebuilding team does, not a contending team.

      So, if there is another deal to come before the season starts, what is it going to be?

      1. McCarthy, Anderson and Kazmir were lessor options than Cueto, The Shark, Price and Greinke and I thank my lucky stars everyday that Friedman did not sign any of that bunch. It was a roll of the dice, but they (COMBINED) made less than any one of those pitchers.

        And look at the results: The Dodgers got better every year. Friedman has built up the farm and is loathe to trade certain young pitchers he highly regards. When he drafted Buehler People said (I think you were included) “Great another TJ Surgery Candidate.”

        If you want to hold up the Red Sox as an example, Friedman has 6 more weeks to make a move. then he has to the trade deadline.

        I was a champion of Matt Kemp, but he was not a factor much in the second half because heis weight ballooned. He had to go. For whatever reasons, Friedman did not want Wood or Puig and I think we can figure out why. When he found the market was soft for them he did what he could and got two very good prospects back.

        He is not done shopping… and maybe it carries into the season. I don’t know who he will get, but he’s not done. He just posiitioned himself to be able to manuver. He also knows that if the situation presents itself he could exceed the LT for a year (I think if Harper or Machado were available at the right price).

        Boston waited for Martinez. Who would you ratehr have – JD for $105 million or Harper for $350 million? Boston did it their way. Friedman is doing the same.

        … and while we are at it, look at the results: Since Friedman started, what team has the most wins in baseball, while improving their farm system the most?

        Every GM makes mistakes, but many of them hamstring the team for years. Friedman, while not infallible, has managed not to fall into that trap.

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