Riley Ottesen and Eric Carter: Two Young Men on a Mission

The more we read about minor league ball players, the more we learn about the commitments they make, not just as baseball players, but as young men. They have all of the challenges in life just as young men who do not pursue an athletic career have, plus they have the near impossible task of navigating a road to MLB littered with speed bumps. Many, or most, are pursuing degrees in the colleges or universities of their choice while devoting countless hours to playing baseball. Often they get selected in the draft before their senior year and then continue to pursue a degree by completing courses in the often season or electronically.  The teenagers drafted out of high school move out of the homes they have lived in for years and take up residence far from home living with host families. Those selected in the early rounds of the draft do often sign with significant bonuses but following those rounds the signing bonuses are anything but significant. They then play for several years for wages, compared to hours, that are below the minimum wage. Wages that are controlled by MLB. Being athletic does not exempt them from injuries or disease. How many suffer injuries that derail or delay their careers? How many now have the commonplace TJ surgery? Dodger fans may remember Devin Smeltzer, a left-hander selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of San Jacinto Community College. He rose through the Dodger system to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and was traded last July to the Minnesota Twins in the Brian Dozier trade. His story is uncommon but probably not unique. He is a cancer survivor having battled the disease starting at age-9 but never stopped playing baseball even when his illness was at its worst. This is his story: https://www.thinkbluela.com/2016/09/dodgers-devin-smeltzer-wants-to-give-back/ Now the story of two other young men presently in the Dodgers farm system. They have something in common and are representative of the various commitments made by minor league players. Riley Ottesen: Ottesen was selected by the Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the   University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The 6’1”/185-pound right-hander was born in Highland, Utah and attended American Fork High School in his hometown of American Fork. Ottesen helped guide American Fork to the 2012 state championship and earned 5A MVP honors. In two seasons on the mound as a prep pitcher, he posted a 17-2 record, including having gone 8-1 with a 1.54 ERA as a senior. He was not drafted out of high school and most likely would not have signed if the been drafted.  In fact, teams may well have already been advised he would not sign. Instead, following his graduation Ottesen went on a two-year mission through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mission was to Japan, a mission that he feels was a life-changing experience for him. An unthinkable sacrifice for most college athletes, Ottesen did not throw a single pitch while on his mission, but he firmly believes any setback to his athletic career was justified by the life-changing experience. 
         “Japan was the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said. “A mission isn’t always the best two years of your life, but it’s the best two years for your life. It’s helped shape me into a person, a man and a husband that I may want to become in the future.”
 Returning from Japan Ottesen began his college career at the University of Utah. As he expected returning to baseball after a two-year hiatus was definitely a challenge. 
    “Coming back, working out at a different elevation was hard for me — it was a very slow process,” Ottesen said. “Not throwing for two years, I obviously can’t just jump into things quickly and start throwing, I’ve had to go by a process and be patient with it and trust in that process. I’ve gotten in better shape, and my arm is in even better shape, so I think these past eight months have been alright for me.”
 He played with the Utes during the 2016 and 2017 seasons compiling a 5.37 ERA while striking out 119 in 137 innings. He perhaps could have used another year of college ball but his college coach felt for sure he would be drafted in the 2017 June Draft citing his work ethic and arm strength as two of his strongest assets. That is what scouts noticed. 
   “He’s got arm speed. You can’t teach that,” said one former professional scout who has watched Ottesen pitch since high school. “A guy is just born with that arm speed. And you know what? Everybody is looking for power arms, and he’s a power arm. I saw him his last outing against Arizona State, and he was 94 to 95 [mph] in the seventh inning and he was right close to 100 pitches. The other thing that shows that he has arm strength is he’s 94, 95 out of the stretch.”
 Ottesen made his professional debut with the Arizona League Dodgers on July 2, 2017 against the AZL Diamondbacks. Over 16 innings pitched in the AZL in which he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP, he struck out 16. He then moved on to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League where he recorded a 4.30 ERA over 14.2 innings pitched and struck out 17. Ottesen, now 24, began the 2018 season back with the Loons and things did not go well. He pitched 27.2 innings allowing more than an earned run per inning an well as walking more than one per inning. He finished the season back with the AZL Dodgers. Eric Carter: On December 16, 2018 the Dodgers signed free agent right-hander Eric Carter to a minor league contract. He has earlier been released by the Springfield Cardinals of the Pacific Coast League. He was born in Santa Clara, Utah and attended Snow Canyon High School in St. George,Utah. Following his graduation from high school he registered at Salt Lake Community College in 2011. His time at the community college was short as after his freshman year he embarked on a two-year mission through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His next two years were spent in Louisiana with no baseball. Every once in a while he reported – when he could find a throwing partner — he would play catch. 
    “I knew it would be a rough road back,” Carter said, “but I had a firm belief that if God wanted me to play professional baseball, he would help me get there.”
 Carter returned to Salt Lake Community College for the 2014 season where he posted a 0.84 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. In 2015 he returned to Louisiana, this time as a student at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. 
     “He didn’t look like he was very rusty at all,” said Louisiana head coach Tony Robichaux, who began Coaching Carter a year into his comeback. “The big difference I saw in him was the maturity in him as a man. Most kids in college are chasing a lot of things that they can’t catch. He’s above his age in his maturity.  I think that gave him a huge edge.”
 In his senior year with the Ragin Cajuns he made 26 relief appearances  in which he pitched 52 innings while posting an ERA of 2.08 and a WHIP of 0.94 while striking out 69 and walking 12. At that time Carter was already 24 and perhaps not thought to be a candidate to be drafted. However, while on a trip to the grocery store with his wife Jessica his phone began to go crazy with messages. He learned he had been selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round of the 2016 Draft. Concerned about completing his studies, Carter made plans to continue that but also to follow his dream of playing professional baseball.  He made his professional debut on June 28, 2016 with the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League. Over three minor league seasons, the now 26-year-old, has gone 8-4 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He has struck out 133 in 118.2 innings pitched while walking 36. His K/IP ratio was 10.1 while his K/BB ratio was 3.69. All of the 5’11”/202-pound right-hander’s 88 minor league appearances have been in relief. He pitched part of the past two seasons at the AA level. In Conclusion: These two young men are good representatives of the various types of commitments made by minor league ball players. In accepting their missions they were well aware of how that might impact their dreams of playing professional baseball.  They have taken two years out of a prospective baseball career – two formative years – and have made the mountain just a little higher to climb. That mountain can be climbed as evidenced by former pitcher Jeremy Gutherie who also spent two years of his possible career in a mission similar to those of Riley Ottesen and Eric Carter.

This article has 60 Comments

  1. The way baseball players are developed now, if you have a live arm, you may make it to the show at even ages 28-31. It’s happening more often as player development is not linear. Great Read!

  2. WhiteSox offer to Manny Machado 2 weeks ago was 7/175. They, smartly, won’t bid against themselves. If that’s the deal, Id pay that for him as well, but not sure if we’re after him.

    Also, if Manny is being offered 7/175, how much more is Bryce worth??

  3. Imagine having figures like 10/300 thrown around in mid season and then seeing an offer of 7/175. I don’t know if the Phillies have made Machado an offer but if they have he should probably grab it quickly. If they sign Harper and the Sox are the only place left for Manny, maybe he should just sit out a year. 🙂

    1. Are there anymore questions why Friedman was waiting?

      Geeeezzzz, I have to go off on an epic tirade…

      1. You’re an idiot Mark! Go back to the temple of Andrew Friedman where you belong! We should’ve signed these guys 2 months ago for 10/350 like they felt they deserved !!!!

  4. I don’t think Mark needs to go that far away, but I also don’t think we need to sign these guys to 10 years 350 mil. I think that will handcuff the Dodgers when it’s time for Bellinger Seager ,Buhler. To become free agents

    1. ,,, but they could sign one….

      At any rate, when one signs, the market will be set, and the dominos will start falling.

  5. Machado hurt his value during his time with the Dodgers with his attitude and reinforced the opinion his stats were inflated by Camden Yards. Harper hurt his value by having a lackluster walk year and Boras asking for the moon and stars. Neither are worth what they want but both have a lot of value. If Manny is going that low what would Pollock’s price and years drop to?

    I don’t worship any GM but Freidman is way better than most. I evaluate each transaction on it’s own and aside from the minor league flotsam most of his deals make sense on some level. I hate the Farmer trade but that is a personal affinity for Puig mostly talking. If the Martin deal was discussed at the winter meetings why not Kemp straight up for Martin? And not signing Ryu to the QO? No Ryu or Kemp but they would still have Puig, Wood, Martin, Farmer, Brito and Sopko and the $$ about the same. Grandal I give a pass as he was offered the QO and also a 1 year deal to come back and turned both down. Still would like to see another useful piece added.

      1. Vegas, agree with you re Manny and his stock dropping.

        But re. the Martin trade: sending those 2 prospects allowed us to have Toronto pay a majority of Martin’s contract. If we sent Kemp for Martin, there’s no salary savings whatsoever

        1. That’s why Ryu was subtracted…his QO is almost exactly what Wood and Puig will make combined. Timing is everything and it may not have lined up at the time but I never understood overpaying for Ryu with his injury history and then shipping out Puig and Wood to unload Kemp. If salary or CBT savings were the only goal then they owe us another deal as many have said. I’m patient but even buzzards get hungry and have to kill something sometimes!

        1. So far I have been right on Friedman. Let’s see how this plays out.

          Conventional wisdom is often wrong.

          Conventional wisdom used to be “sign those free agents before they get away.”

          Andrew Friedman has played a big role in causing other GM’s to realize the fallicy of their ways.

          I happen to think the sports journalists are still behind the curve….

          1. I don’t think the Dodgers are going cheap. Their goals are still to sign Harper and trade for JTRM. Clearing Kemp and Puig were necessary to create room for another outfielder. Wood wasn’t happy to be a reliever and rightfully so as it will impact him in free agency. He wasn’t going to beat out…
            Kershaw
            Bueller
            Hill
            Ryu
            Maeda

            If this was entirely about being cheap, they wouldn’t have took on so much of Homer Bailey’s contract. I mean, they did just resign Clayton for 3 years 93 million plus incentives. If they weren’t planning on improving the team, why not let Clayton walk? I would be surprised if they value Clayton being a Dodger for his career if they aren’t planning on winning a World Series with him. The bigger elephant in the room is Corey Seager who’s going to hit free agency the same year Clayton’s contract expires.

            With that said, it sure doesn’t look like the Dodgers are being cheap. It looks to me like they are waiting to see if they can sign Harper, their preference, then flip Verdugo for JTRM. If this is the roster they open the season with, I will be very surprised. If not Harper, maybe they get Pollock. If they strike out on both, that’s a bad look for Friedman who’s contract runs out after this year.

            I’m mostly being patient on this offseason. It’s hard at times, I flip for a day at times, but I really do think Bryce is a Dodger. He’s playing the game with the Phillies right now and the Dodgers will make an offer once the Phillies do. Then, it’s up to him to accept. Personally, I would just pay the man. Some time you just have to say F it and get your guy. Pay the man!
            Taylor R
            Seager L
            Turner R
            Harper L
            Realmuto R
            Bellinger L
            Muncy L
            Pederson / Kike L / R
            This looks too damn good!

    1. Read that. It is quite true. why do the Yankees not seem to be bothered by the Lux Tax? But LA loves their new found money, and the fans keep paying through the nose. Sign Harper.

  6. DODGERS ANNOUNCE 2019 MINOR LEAGUE COACHING STAFFS

    LOS ANGELES
    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates for the 2019 season:

    Triple-A Oklahoma City Season with Dodger Organization (as coach)
    Manager – Travis Barbary 25th
    Pitching Coach – Bill Simas 9th
    Hitting Coach – Scott Coolbaugh 1st
    Coach – Jeremy Rodriguez 3rd

    Double-A Tulsa
    Manager – Scott Hennessey 3rd
    Pitching Coach – Dave Borkowski 2nd
    Hitting Coach – Adam Melhuse 2nd
    Coach – Pedro Montero 3rd

    Single-A Rancho Cucamonga
    Manager – Mark Kertenian 3rd
    Pitching Coach – Connor McGuinness 3rd
    Hitting Coach – Dustin Kelly 2nd
    Coach – Elian Herrera 1st

    Single-A Great Lakes
    Manager – John Shoemaker 43rd
    Pitching Coach – Luis Meza 3rd
    Hitting Coach – Justin Viele 3rd
    Coach – Jason Bourgeois 1st

    Rookie-advanced Ogden
    Manager – Austin Chubb 4th
    Pitching Coach – Dean Stiles 2nd
    Hitting Coach – Seth Conner 2nd
    Coach – Cordell Hipolito 1st

    Rookie-level AZL Dodgers
    Manager – Jair Fernandez 4th
    Pitching Coach – Stephanos Stroop 1st
    Hitting Coach – Jarek Cunningham 3rd
    Coach- Chris Gutierrez 2nd

    Dominican Summer League Dodgers
    Managers –Keyter Collado/Fumi Ishibashi 7th/9th
    Pitching Coaches – Ramon Troncoso/Roberto Giron 2nd/6th
    Hitting Coaches – Johermyn Chaves/Sergio Mendez 1st/4th
    Coaches – Pedro Mega/Antonio Bautista/Dunior Zerpa 19th/12th/2nd


    Two Dodger minor league managers return, while new skippers are in place for Triple-A Oklahoma City, Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Rookie-advanced Ogden, Rookie-level AZL and the Dominican summer league team. John Shoemaker will manage the Loons in his 43rd season in the Dodger organization, Travis Barbary will become the skipper for the OKC Dodgers, Mark Kertenian will become the manager for the Quakes after leading the AZL Dodgers to the Arizona Rookie League Championship, and Austin Chubb will lead Rookie-advanced Ogden after spending four seasons as one of the Dominican summer league managers.

    Barbary enters his first season as the manager for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Bill Simas will remain on the OKC Dodgers staff as pitching coach, while Scott Coolbaugh and Jeremy Rodriguez start their first seasons with OKC. Coolbaugh had a four-year Major League career with Texas, San Diego and St. Louis and the Binghampton, NY native served as hitting coach for the Baltimore Orioles for the last four seasons. Rodriguez, 29, enters his third season with the Dodgers and his first year with OKC after spending the last two seasons as the Ogden skipper. The Southern California native played in parts of five minor league seasons (2011-15) in the San Diego organization after being selected by the Padres in the 16th round of the 2011 Draft out of California State University, Bakersfield.

    Hennessey, 48, enters his third season with the Drillers after leading the club to the Texas League Championship for the first time in 20 years last season. Prior to being named the skipper, Hennessey served as an amateur scout in the Dodger organization from 2007 to 2016. Dave Borkowski will also remain on staff as the pitching coach for his second season. Prior to joining the club in 2018, the former Major Leaguer spent the past eight years as a pitching coach in the Astros’ system (2010-17) and was also the pitching coach for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League in 2013. Borkowski appeared in 181 big league games (21 starts) over seven seasons, going 13-20 with a 5.87 ERA with the Tigers (1999-2001), the Orioles (2004) and the Astros (2006-08). Adam Melhuse will round out the staff as he joins the club as the newest hitting coach. Melhuse spent 2018 as the hitting coach for OKC, was the manager for the Los Angeles Angels’ Single-A Burlington Bees (2016-17) and was an advanced scout with the Chicago Cubs. The Santa Clara, California, native and former UCLA Bruin played eight Major League seasons (2000-08) with the Dodgers, Rockies, Athletics and Rangers, appearing in 311 games and hitting .234 with 24 home runs and 98 RBI.


    Kertenian, 38, enters his third season with the organization and will manage the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes after managing the AZL Dodgers in 2018 and the Ogden Raptors in 2017. Connor McGuinness returns for his third season as pitching coach with the club while Dustin Kelly returns for his second year as the hitting coach.

    Shoemaker, 62, will embark on his 43rd season in the Los Angeles organization and 26th season as minor league manager. Drafted by the Dodgers in the 35th round of the 1977 draft, Shoemaker has been with the club ever since, as a player (1977-80), manager, coach and coordinator and, in 2015, he was appointed as the Dodgers’ “Captain” of Player Development. Meza enters his fourth season with the Dodger organization as a pitching coach and his first year with the Loons after spending 2018 with the AZL Dodgers. Justin Viele enters his third season with the Dodger organization and his first year with Great Lakes.

    Chubb, 29, begins his fourth season with the Dodger organization and his first year at the helm of Rookie-advanced Ogden. Chubb spent the last two seasons as the manager for the DSL Dodgers 2. In 2017, Chubb became the first American manager in the history of Campo Las Palmas and prior to becoming the skipper, he entered the coaching ranks as Rookie-advanced Ogden’s hitting coach. Dean Stiles enters his second year with the Dodgers as the pitching coach, and Seth Conner begins his second year coaching with the Dodgers. The 25-year-old Missouri native played five minor league seasons in the Blue Jays organization (2011-14, 16) and posted a .244 batting average with six home runs and 76 RBI in 187 career games.

    Jair Fernandez begins his third season with the Dodgers organization and first as a manager for the AZL Dodgers. Fernandez spent the past two seasons with Single-A Great Lakes as the hitting coach. Stroop embarks on his first minor league coaching position after serving as a pitching coach for Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. Cunningham will enter his third season as the AZL Dodgers hitting coach. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 18th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of high school and played eight seasons as second and third baseman.

    Collado and Ishibashi enter their seventh and ninth seasons in the Dodger organization, respectively. Giron enters his sixth season as the pitching coach, while former big leaguer Ramon Troncoso returns for his second season as pitching coach. Troncoso spent five years in the Majors (2008-11, 2013), including four seasons with the Dodgers (2008-11), going 8-8 with six saves and posting a 3.92 ERA in 175 relief appearances. Mendez will return for his fourth season, Mega in his 19th season, Zerpa in his second, and Bautista will also return to the Campo Las Palmas staff in 2019.


    In 2018, Dodger affiliates posted a .547 (452-374) combined winning percentage, which was the best among MLB clubs, with the club’s top six affiliates advancing to the postseason. Double-A Tulsa (Texas League), Single-A Rancho Cucamonga (California League) and the Arizona League Dodgers all won their league championships.

  7. Drew Saylor is now the Manager of the Pitates A league team in WVA. He is also the Assistant Minor League Hitting Instructor for the Pirates. Evidently, he did not agree with the new Dodgers hitting changes that Friedman is implimenting….

  8. I am not sure that Mark and others are properly portraying what some are saying. While he can certainly speak for himself, I do not believe Dodgerrick or others are saying that Friedman should have ponied up $350MM for 10 years without letting the market settle. I know there are some bloggers that do believe that to be true, but I do not get the sense that most on this site believe that should be the strategy.
    .
    But that begs the question. Is Friedman in on Manny at $175MM for 7 years? That is $25MM AAV, and that takes the Dodgers above the CBT threshold, but they could get back under with a couple of other moves. That by itself should not be a consideration. But again, that begs another question, do the Dodgers want to take a chance p***ing off Seager and moving him to 2nd? I for one value Seager more than Machado so that would be easy for me, not so much for others. If the team signed Machado to play SS, they have told Seager that they value Machado more as a SS than Seager, and/or the team is better with Seager accepting to play 2nd. If I am Seager I would counter that if the team is better with both of us, then maybe Machado should accept playing 2nd for the good of the team. I suppose some do not consider a fractured clubhouse as a problem. I certainly would. Bottom line there is more to a decision made by the club to make an offer than just money. I suppose Friedman could go to Manny and say we will give you 8 years at $200MM but you are going to play 2nd until JT is moved from 3rd. Take it or leave it. My guess is he leaves it. IMO there is a lot more going into the non-offer for Machado than just contract length and amount. If Machado signs for $175MM/7 years, I would not be willing to match that to sign him, so I would not fault Friedman, but others who value Machado more than me might criticize him.
    .
    Harper is another story. Would he help the Dodgers? There is no question he would. But at what cost? If Friedman offered Harper 6 years $200MM, would Harper accept that? I do not think he would. It is nowhere close to the Stanton overall contract that both Harper and Boras want to surpass, and it does not surpass the Greinke AAV. The $33.33MM AAV certainly puts the team well above the threshold. How about 8 years $250MM? That is a $31.25MM AAV. Would he accept that? We will not know what Harper’s floor is until he signs.
    .
    If Friedman can sign Harper for 6 years at $200MM or 8 years at $250MM, for all of those that are defending this Winter’s transactions, would you be satisfied that Friedman made the right choice by not making the same offer. Harper has already said that if the offers were comparable he would sign with the Dodgers. If I were in charge, I would agree to either contract offer even knowing that it goes above the threshold. It drops back down plentiful next year, and the tax for 2019 would not be onerous. But I agree, I would not go 10 years $350MM. I know some out there would. I just do not value Harper that high. 8 years $250MM is at the top as to where my comfort level would go.
    .
    JDM is not a fair comparison. Friedman did a great job getting below the CBT threshold, and he was not going to go over it, even for someone like JDM. Last year everybody knew where JDM was going. It was just for how much? Nobody was going to pay him $200MM. His value was at a Cespedes level and that is where he signed. It was a fair contract. Boston did not steal him. They were undoubtedly the only team that made any kind of reasonable offer, and they probably made that early on and Boras could not find anyone to better it.
    .
    I think those who are critical of this Winter’s transactions, have a valid point. As of right now, the team lost Puig/Grandal/Kemp/Wood/Machado/Dozier and are replacing them at the ML level with a full year of Corey Seager, Russell Martin, Joe Kelly, and Alex Verdugo. I do not see how this year’s team is better. What was the purpose of the Farmer trade? To rid the team of potential malcontents? Okay, but we will never know if that was the case. More flexibility? For who? I can certainly understand that there should have been a secondary resultant transaction. Maybe there is still one to come, and Friedman is waiting for the market to settle for FA and trades.
    .
    Can Friedman be blamed for not including Bellinger in a trade for JT Realmuto? I certainly wouldn’t. I would not have included him in a trade for Kluber, who I want more than any other potential target. Since it takes at least two teams to make a trade, unless the Marlins/Indians come down on their requirement, why should Friedman make the trade.
    .
    I know there are those who say the Dodgers will easily win the NL West. I am not nearly as comfortable making that proclamation. Last year the Dodgers and Rockies were tied after the 162-game schedule. The Rockies lost DJLM, who many did not think much of anyway. I read comments that at 30 he is declining offensively and defensively. They also lost CarGo, Parra, Holliday, and Ottavino. Garrett Hampson will take over at 2nd. They signed Daniel Murphy to play 1B, who will more than make up for the offense lost from DJLM and others. Ian Desmond will go to a much more comfortable spot in the OF. Dahl/Blackmon/Desmond is a fairly formidable OF. Murphy/Hampson/Story/Arenado is a good offensive infield with all good defenders except Murphy. The catching is no worse than last year. All of their young starters are back. The one other player they will miss is Adam Ottavino. But I keep hearing that CT3/Barnes/Bellinger and others are all going to have bounce back years, why can’t the Rockies relievers? Why can Dodger players have bounce back years, but not opposing team’s players?
    .
    For those who are critical of Friedman, what is your ceiling for FA contracts for Machado/Harper/Pollock? Who are your untouchables for trades for JTR/Kluber/Castellanos?
    .
    For those who think Friedman is acting properly by his lack of acquisitions, what is your floor where you would be critical that the Dodgers did not offer at least what they signed for? I am asking about the organization, not Friedman. Did the organization falter by not making the offer, or do you simply agree that the Dodgers should not exceed the threshold for any reason? Who are your untouchables in a trade?
    .
    Me – No on Machado at $175MM 7 years. Harper – 8 years $250MM or 6 years $200MM. Pollock – No higher than 3 years at $45MM. Prefer two years at $30MM or three years at $42MM. Untouchables – Seager, Bellinger, JT, Kershaw, Buehler, Jansen, Ferguson, Lux, May, Ruiz, (Gonsolin very close). I would include Verdugo in a trade for Kluber but not for JTR or Castellanos.

  9. It is called a think tank, a bunch of different experts that share their knowledge with others, in the group.

  10. I wanted Scherzer when he was a free agent.
    .
    I wanted Yelich even though it could have cost me Joc.
    .
    It’s crazy that one grossly overpaid contract (Stanton) should be used as the cornerstone.
    .
    Harper should accept an incentive laden contract if he wants 10/350. He is only a draw if he excels.
    .
    I am not expecting too much from Verdugo.
    .
    Joc’s 2019 line: .265 .350 .500 .850 and for MJ his BARISP .311

  11. Curious to know why you’re such a fervent athletic supporter of Joc’s.
    And this coming from an ex-catcher.

  12. I would be happy with just Castellanos going into the season… and then seeing what else is needed by the trade deadline. Don’t block the youngsters.

    1. Just out of curiosity – Would you trade Verdugo, Smith, White, and Jeter Downs for Kluber? That is four of the top ten prospects. I would make that trade. I am not saying that Cleveland or even Friedman would, but Kluber would not be blocking any youngster. If they want Rich Hill, let’s see where he fits. I would let Cleveland tell me that they have no interest in Brock Stewart or Josh Fields or Yimi Garcia. If Kluber doesn’t perform in 2019, you buyout his option. I believe that his option buyout is up to $2.5MM for 20 or 21. Certainly not onerous. But there should be a package that the Indians may be willing to accept, if (BIG IF) they want to trade Kluber.
      .
      I thought it was 2017, and then 2018. What year do you say, this is the year we are going for it. I may be wrong, but this team RIGHT NOW is not good enough to win the pennant much less the WS. It is irrelevant as to the reason the Dodgers did not win the WS in those years. They didn’t, and we fans are still waiting. Friedman said the 2019 team was good enough to win with the current roster BEFORE the Farmer trade. If he makes no other move, one has to believe that he believes the team is stronger without the players that were traded. I do not want to wait for 2020 when other teams that tore down and rebuilt are going to get better, and the Dodgers will be replacing 40% of their rotation with no replacements for those that do not have bounce back years.
      .
      I have no idea of the cost for Kluber. But he is the one player I would be willing to give an overpay for. It is said that you cannot have enough pitching. I would say that it is much much more true when you are talking about additional potential CY award pitchers.

      1. I would make that trade for Kluber, with his 3 years at $51M but it leaves a RF hole where Verdugo would be. If they get Harper who cares but if they don’t then there is a hole. With Kluber in the fold they would have an extra pitcher to flip like Maeda or Hill and guys like you mentioned-Stewart, Garcia and Fields who are on the roster bubble for a RH hitting OF for RF. Or add in a Rios or Beaty who are blocked positionally and hit LH. Or just sign Pollock but along with Kluber puts them over the CBT, have to move Hill. He is also the one guy I would overpay for like Sale was.

  13. AC: “I am not sure that Mark and others are properly portraying what some are saying. While he can certainly speak for himself, I do not believe Dodgerrick or others are saying that Friedman should have ponied up $350MM for 10 years without letting the market settle. ”

    No but when those who aren’t overly critical of the moves and lack of moves thus far say “wait until the offseason is complete”, we get called “members of the church of friedman”. So 2 can play that childish sarcastic game. If we’re church members, then others want to overpay for everything right away just so they’re satisfied. That, I’d say, is even more ridiculous.

    1. Bobby, I do not disagree that there is a wide divide between factions that think Friedman is doing what he should do, and those that believe he is not doing enough. And I think that both factions are prone to hyperbole. That is why I asked for those that think Friedman is doing fine, what is the floor for the FA contract that you would agree the Dodgers should at least match. If Harper signs for 6 years $130MM, would you agree the Dodgers should have matched that? Where is that decision making line? Similarly what players are not tradeable under any circumstances. Other than Indian fans who would be against Verdugo/White/Smith/Downs for Kluber. If you are against it, which player is the untouchable? Would you trade Joc and a prospect for Castellanos? Bums, we already know you wouldn’t.
      .
      Contrarily for those who do not think Friedman is doing enough, what is your ceiling that you would not go over. Who believes that Harper should be signed for 10 years $350MM? I am sure there are some, but I would think that most believe there is a line that is too much. What is that line?
      .
      Down below, Rick asked the question , how many of us believed that the Farmer trade was just the precursor for something else? The day after the trade, I wrote a post titled “Theeeere They Go”, with a picture of blue dominos in the title picture. That blue dominos picture was taken from one of Mark’s previous posts (pre-dating the Farmer trade), where he believed that the dominos were about to fall. So speaking for myself, I absolutely believed that there was at least a second transaction ready, and said so at the time. Harper? Kluber? DJLM & Pollock? JTR? There was going to be something. Nobody knew just yet what that was. It will be 4 weeks this Friday since that trade.
      .
      I am on record. I do not want Machado anywhere near 7 years $175MM. Staying away from the decision to not go over the CBT threshold for any reason (because that by itself is a bad reason), IMO Harper at 8 years $250MM or 6 years $200MM would be acceptable. I believe that Harper would pay for any luxury tax with additional revenues generated because he was a Dodger. Anything above that I would walk away. If any of the reports on the Dodgers interest in Harper at lesser years but at a higher AAV would seem to indicate that they might be agreeable to exceed $206MM. Pollock max is 3 years $45MM; preference would be 2 years at $30MM or 3 years at $42MM.
      .
      We have about one month before pitchers and catchers report. After that date, I would not expect anything other than a plethora of potential AAAA players auditioning for OKC and Tulsa for that chance for a callup during the season due to injury or very poor performance from one of the 25.

      1. He might be mad because this hurts their negotiating tactics. He might be trying to drive the price to a record setting pace,and if you believe the reports on the white Sox, it might have an adverse effect. It might be he is just disgusted with people reporting fake news. It could be somebody in his group leaked it

        1. I think perhaps Manny saw that offer and called his agent and asked “$175?? you told me I”d be in line for $300mil + offers!!”

          And the agent is seeing a very thin market for his client, partly due to his client’s underwhelming 2nd half in LA, underwhelming performance in big time situations, lack of hustle, and stepping on guys feet, etc in the playoffs. I think this is why the agent reacted the way he did, because he is not fulfilling the “promise” he made to his client about a record setting deal this offseason!

          And that is why he’s so mad!

  14. The Church of Friedman comes from the numerous posts that no matter where the Dodgers are now, don’t worry, have faith, Friedman will fix everything. With that kind of faith, you can start a church.

    I’m not sure that the Dodgers need Harper but a 10 year deal would be nuts.

    But to all of those who think that I’m wrong, didn’t you think that the Farmer trade to the Reds was just the 1st in a series of trades that would improve the Dodgers’ roster? And if it’s just getting rid of players, then does that make any kind of sense? (Unless you are a member of the Church of Friedman?)

    1. I’ll ignore the church talk (also because im not very religious)
      I agree, say NO to any 10 year deal, unless his name is Mike Trout
      I did think the Puig trade was the 1st in a series. I also hated trading Puig because of how he matured in the playoffs and was clutch when nobody else was. I hope I’m wrong, but we are going to really regret trading him too soon.
      Yes, if it’s just getting rid of players, then it makes zero sense. We’re the Dodgers; we’re better than that. But I’ll wait to lose my mind (and I will lose it), if we’ve done nothing by spring training. But I do think once Harper/Machado sign, then everyone else will start making their moves. And THEN, if our team looks like it does now, I”ll join you in starting a new church.

      1. Bobby

        I feel the same way, especially after this last post season, and we were only talking about one more year.

        But at the least, this next year will be interesting.

      2. This team the way it looks lost twice in the World Series. It needs one Great Piece to make the jump. Standing pat isn’t going to do it. Spend the dang money on Harper from crying out loud. It is the fans paying for him. You want JOC in LF or Harper?

    2. Players used to play for teams their entire career so what is the problem with a 10 year deal? Everyone gets upset when their stars leave for Free Agency after 2-4 years on a team, so a player on one long term sounds refreshing.
      SIGN HARPER. Generational HOF Player.

  15. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2019/01/16/dodgers-future-plans-fans-tucker-kain/2593868002/

    Dodger franchise valued at $3 billion, they generate $500 million in revenue each year, have had 3.8 million fans come through the turn styles the last several years and have led attendance in all major sports for many years. They have an $8.3 billion TV deal and they’re worried about going over the CBT. I’m OK waiting on the market and “right price” for Harper, but if we go to CBR with no additional changes I’ll seriously have to question whether I’ll spend my $$ going to DS to watch a game with an $8.00 Dodger Dog and a $9 beer after I parked my car for $20.00 and paid $65.00 for a reserved level seat on Friday night.

  16. This is old stuff but still relevant. If the Dodgers were really going to be in on the free agent market and were worried about finances. Why in the world would you give ryu approximately 18 million. You talk about an overpay. I love ryu when healthy and I am glad he is a dodger. But, no one in the league would come close to paying him that amount. If the Dodgers would have given him 11 million that obviously saves 7 million which would have given Friedman more “flexibility”. Ok so now I see why the farmer trade was made. They sign ryu, so get rid of wood, kemp,puig to make up the overpay for ryu, reduce attitude, don’t need a lefty, pave the way for verdugo. So, if no other moves are made the thinking might be we are better with verdugo and ryu and it really doesn’t raise our payroll. Throw kemp in there and reduce our number toward cbt. I am not against Friedman I love the Dodgers and am proud to be in 2 consecutive World Series. I am just trying to understand why the ryu deal. Maybe they didn’t think he would accept but if he did we can counter. Has anybody ever heard an explanation or am I the only one who thinks this was an overpay.

    1. I agree that Ryu was an overpay, especially with his injury history. His signing set other balls in motion, time will tell how it all turns out. Thumbs down on the Farmer trade also. Martin was actually a savvy deal.

    2. You can’t counter. You make the offer, they accept. You can’t even trade him for several months. Who cares? Like previously stated, they have the money! SPEND IT!

  17. I know we have all been going back and forth about either Freidman doing his job, or being blind to what other teams are doing to improve, myself included. Let’s talk about finance a bit. After following a few of you guys on this site who are really dialed in dollar wise, (And my apologies for going off on Dodgerrick last night, I’m just as frustrated as he is about certain moves), I really wonder how much of a financial leash Freidman has right now. What we may view as inactivity might be a result of the Guggenheim infighting and lawsuit. Freidman does have a boss he answers to, like all of us. Dare to say this, but are we looking at a Ned Colletti scenario with McCourt, trying to make something out of not much financial resources? Just sayin’, but something just doesn’t seem right .

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