Potpourri for $1,000 Alex

As we are winding down to less than 2 weeks before pitchers and catchers report, I was having a tough time trying to find a single topic to write a novel on.  So I am going to just give some of my thoughts on a few topics.

1.Yes, Stan Kasten stuck his massive foot square in his mouth at the FanFest, and for no good reason.  I am by no means a Kasten apologist, but I keep reading (and probably repeating) about how his Braves won 16 straight division titles but only one WS, and that seems to satisfy him.  But just as I blame the Dodger players for not winning in 2017, let’s take a look at a team that Kasten and John Scheurholz put together before we proclaim that Kasten only cares about putting a competitive team together.

They had two HOF pitchers, Smoltz and Glavine, from 1991-1999.  Greg Maddux joined the duo to make three HOF pitchers beginning in 1993 through 1999.  Maddux teamed up with Glavine in 2000-2002 while Smoltz was on the mend.  Not just HOF pitchers, but Chipper joined the Braves in 1995 for 11 of the 15-year division championship run.  That makes 4 HOF players all together for 1995 through 1999, then a variation of 3 or all 4 in some form through 2003, with Chipper and Smoltz finishing the 15-year run in 2005.

Of course during these 15 years they had multiple All-Stars…Javy Lopez, Fred McGriff, Ron Gant, David Justice, Andruw Jones, Rafael Furcal, Ryan Klesko, Steve Avery, Denny Neagle.  With supporters like Sid Bream, Terry Pendleton, Johnny Estrada, Andres Galarraga, Kenny Lofton, Brian Jordan, Deion Sanders, Marquis Grissom, Marcus Giles, Charlie Leibrandt, and a long time DP combo of Mark Lemke and Jeff Blauser.

So, was it the FO not getting the players for HOF Manager Bobby Cox, or the players (including 4 HOF) not getting the job done? Kasten may be a horse’s ***, but he sure put more than a competitive team together in Atlanta.  I do not believe he is satisfied with just getting to the WS.  I am confident he would do whatever he could within reason to get the team to win the WS.  It is a shame that that Braves group only got one WS championship from that group.

2.I was chuckling at the Giants signing Drew Pomeranz (yet another LHSP).  You just know that Farhan had the Dodgers in mind when he signed Pomeranz just after re-signing Derek Holland.  Being up in Northern California, we get inundated with Giants news and the lack thereof.  Farhan is not winning many advocates just yet.  I think the word now is that he is just evaluating what he has, and what improvements can be made, probably mid-year.  At least that is what they are hyping.  They have one of the worst farm systems, and really only one legit chance at trading and getting top prospects in return…MadBum.  They are going to have to rely on their drafts and sign FA to fill in until their prospects are ready. 

My daughter informed my grandson that he was drafted onto our local Giants Little League team, and his response was…” This is a nightmare”. Great response, although it did not make his Dad smile, as he is a Giants fan.  We told him that he can wear his Corey Seager T-Shirt under his Giants jersey. He was okay then.

With MadBum, Holland, Andrew Suarez, Ty Blach, and Pomeranz the Giants have five LHSP they can throw at LAD.  Their RHSP crew include Samardzija, Dereck Rodriguez, Chris Stratton, and Tyler Beede.  Farhan obviously wants depth at SP even if it is average at best.  He is not going to get much help in the farm, so is that why he is picking up Pomeranz????  You gotta believe that MadBum is moved at the trade deadline.  Maybe to NYY?

Their relievers are actually a pretty decent group.  Certainly, better as a group than the SP.  RHRP Mark Melancon, Reyes Moronta, Sam Dyson, and Ray Black, and LHRP Will Smith, Tony Watson, Steven Okert, and Josh Osich.  If I were GM I would be calling Farhan and seeing what return he would require for Will Smith.  The Giants need an OF, so how does one value a one-year reliever for an OF?  Farhan likes Scott Alexander and with his multiple years of control, I think he could be included.  I am sure that AF is looking for bigger fish than a late inning high leverage reliever, although a RH and LH setup would be great for LAD.

SFG has 2 catchers on the 40 man, but I am guessing that Hundley is going to end up back with the Giants.  But how long can the Giants rely on Posey behind the dish?  Joey Bart is probably two years away, but I think he is going to be worth the wait as is Keibert Ruiz for LAD.

The infield is set.  They are above average defensively around the horn, but offensively they leave a lot to be desired.  Belt (1B), Panik (2B), Longoria (3B), and Crawford (SS).  The contracts for Belt, Crawford, and Longoria along with Posey’s and a couple of injured starting pitchers, are boat anchors for them, and Crawford has a full no-trade clause.

While their infield has some talent, their OF is truly suspect.  With the signing of John Andreoli, the Giants now how 6 OF on their 40 man.  Austin Slater has the most PA with 352, followed by Mac Williamson with 339, and Steven Duggar with 152.  Andreoli and Chris Shaw have less than 70, and Drew Ferguson (SFG #27 prospect) would be a rookie.  They need OFs.  Right now it looks to be Duggar in CF, Slater in RF, and Williamson in LF.

The Giants are staring at 5thin the NL West right between the eyes.

3.I find the Pads apparent interest in Harper and Machado almost laughable.  They would have to do an extreme overpay to get either player to play 81 games a year in that park.  Realmuto could be traded to the Pads, but there is no way he stays in that park, so there would be no extension.  Plus, defensive minded and solid pitch framer Hedges is a better choice at catcher for that young pitching crew.  Gio Gonzalez does make a lot of sense for the Pads.  LHSP in a pitcher friendly park, and a pitcher who has generally been good against LAD.  Gonzalez on a one- or two-year contract would allow some of their elite pitching prospects time to mature and fully develop before they are thrust into the fire.  The Pads are two years away at being considered a legit contender, and they need a bridge for those two years, which Gio could be.  I can see that happening.

4.There are still a number of highly respected FA that remain unsigned, including 4 out of the top 5 from MLBTradeRumors: Harper, Machado, Keuchel, & Kimbrel.  Others include yet another year of Mike Moustakas not getting much love, Marwin Gonzalez, Bud Norris, Adam Jones, Martin Maldonado, Ervin Santana, Josh Harrison, Ryan Madson, Clay Buchholz, Jose Iglesias, Adam Warren, and Brad Boxberger.  How long before some of them sign minor league deals?  Recent minor league or waiver pickups include Matt Davidson (1B/3B) and Jason Hammel (RHP) signed minor league deals with Texas.  Jesus Sucre (C) signed a minor league deal with the O’s, and Mark Reynolds (1B) signed a minor league deal with the Rockies. Is Carlos Gonzalez next? John Andreoli (OF – SFG), Tony Barnette (RHRP – Cubs), and Zach Duke (LHRP- Reds) did receive major league contracts but can be easily waived.   The minor league contracts are now starting to fill in.  The Dodgers signed Justin De Fratus (RHP) and Ezequiel Carrera (OF) both signed minor league deals with LAD.  I would expect a couple more OF and pitchers to be signed.

5.Where will some of the top prospects start their seasons:

  • DJ Peters should get bumped to AAA. 
  • While not deserving, Jeren Kendall should start the year in Tulsa. 
  • Dennis Santana will be one of the OKC starting pitchers (with Caleb Ferguson).
  • Dustin May should start in Tulsa with a look to move quickly. 
  • Same with Tony Gonsolin, and probably Mitchell White, although there is a chance for White to start the year at AAA. 
  • If Yadi Alvarez moves to the pen, I see him potentially starting out in AAA, if remaining a starter, then AA. 
  • Gavin Lux will start at Tulsa to see if he can start up where he finished last year.  He could get a quick promotion to AAA. 
  • Michael Grove – Probably Great Lakes, but he could get held back in extended ST to build up and go directly to Rancho.
  • Jeter Downs – Rancho
  • Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty – OKC
  • Cristian Santana – AA
  • Omar Estevez – AA
  • The hard one – Keibert Ruiz – He is capable of AAA, but are they going to want him to share with Smith?  If Ruiz stays at AA, that will stall both Connor Wong and Hunter Feduccia, who should be at Tulsa and Rancho respectively. Ruiz can play AAA, and Smith can play multiple positions to get ABs (which is what he needs), so I am going to project Ruiz at AAA with Smith, Wong at AA, and Feduccia at Rancho.

This article has 59 Comments

  1. AC,

    I take it that you are projecting Ruiz over Smith as being the first catcher to be called up to the Dodgers this year, which is directly opposite to what Keith Law is predicting, Smith over Ruiz. If this is what you think, can you comment on your reasons why it will be Ruiz over Smith?

    1. I’ll give you my 2 Cents:

      1. Ruiz is on the 40-Man – Smith is not!
      2. Ruiz has a much higher ceiling than Smith.
      3. Smith struggled at AAA in a short sampling.

      1. I will guess that a catcher moving up a league mid-season has too much on their plate defensively and that makes it much harder for them to quickly get in sync offensively.

  2. I was looking for Dale Murphy in your list of Kasten players. His last year as a regular was 1991 so he did barely make the list of great players between 1991 and 2005.
    .
    There is a good chance that Ruiz will be the full time catcher in OK by mid-season after Smith is promoted to LA. I think Ruiz will start out in Tulsa and move to OK no later than July whether Smith is promoted or not. That also means Connor Wong and Hunter Feduccia also move up no later than July.

  3. I tend to look at WHIP for relief pitchers and I would like it to be 1 or less. Will Smith’s WHIP was below 1 last year but was over 1.2 in his previous 5 years and looks like he didn’t pitch in 2017. If the Giants accepted Toles and Fields for Smith they would get the quantity they need and the Dodgers would trade away two players that might not be on their 25.
    .
    Stewart, Fields, and Toles for Smith helps the Giants too much for a player, Smith, I don’t see the Dodgers needing.

    1. I think Santana, Ferguson and Gonsolin could very well be better than Smith.

      Plus Smith is an A-Hole. He’s not coming to LA!

  4. I’m against pretty much any trade involving the Giants. Especially now that Farhan is with them. Not only trades with the Giants, but also signing former Giants players. I hated having to root for the Beard and Romo, two of my most hated players all time. Jeff Kent was decent, but an a-hole and Schmidt was one of our worst signings. Please don’t make that happen again.

  5. Report: Gabe Kapler did not tell police about an assault while with the Dodgers

    The Washington Post reported last night that in February of 2015 Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler — then the Dodgers director of player development — did not notify police of an alleged assault of a 17-year-old girl.

    The report states that the girl, who had run away from home several months before, accompanied two women and two Dodgers minor league players back to their hotel room near the Dodgers’ spring training complex in Glendale, Arizona. There, she said, she was given vodka by the players, after which she vomited. Angry, the two women allegedly kicked and punched her and threw her out of the hotel room. Rather than come to her aid, she said, the Dodgers players filmed the incident and posted it to Snapchat.

    After the incident, the Post reports, the girl and the girl’s grandmother contacted the Dodgers who directed her to Kapler. They each emailed Kapler about the alleged assault. The grandmother told Kapler that the girl had been encouraged to drink by the players, became ill and was punched and kicked. The girl said, “The boys got me drunk and the girls beat me up . . . Your player . . . videotaped it all.”

    The Post reports that, rather than notify the police, Kapler consulted other Dodgers personnel and then tried to arrange a dinner with himself, the girl, and the two players. Kapler said in an email at the time that, “[w]e believe we can teach valuable lessons to all involved through this method of follow up.” The grandmother told Kapler that the girl had no interest in meeting with the players over dinner and the dinner never took place. There remains a dispute between the grandmother, who claims that at the time Kapler offered the girl money, and Kapler who says that no such offer was made.

    A week after the exchange with Kapler, the girl, after talking to her case manager at Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, reported to police that she was sexually assaulted by the players while she was in the room, barely conscious. She subsequently refused to cooperate with police, as did the player she accused of the assault, who was represented by an attorney provided by the Dodgers. The police — who photographed the girl, noting bruises on her arm and swelling around her eyes — dropped the investigation. Because there were no charges, the Post did not identify the Dodgers players. At least one of the players is thought to no longer be in baseball.

    Kapler, in a written statement to the Post, said that he was not aware that a sexual assault was alleged until he was contacted by a Post reporter this past week. He said that his actions were in line with club policy and advice offered by Dodgers’ lawyers and human resources personnel.

    An attorney for Dodgers told the Post that neither Kapler nor those he consulted in HR and legal were aware a sex crime was alleged when they decided not to contact police, saying that “the Dodgers acted appropriately.” It is unclear how the Dodgers player involved could have been represented by an attorney appointed by the Dodgers if no one knew that an assault had been alleged, though it’s possible that those involved in obtaining counsel for him did not know that it was related to the incident reported to Kapler.

    That notwithstanding, it’s fair to take issue with the attorney’s characterization because, even if Kapler and the Dodgers were unaware that a sex crime had been alleged, they were aware of an allegation that a minor was given alcohol by Dodgers players and that she was beaten up in their hotel room. It’s reasonable to ask, under those circumstances, why police were not contacted and whether that was the appropriate decision.

    It’s even more appropriate to ask why Kapler, apparently with the approval of team attorneys and HR people, thought it was a good idea to try to set up a dinner between a 17-year-old girl and the two players who were in the hotel room that night. Again, even if Kapler was unaware at the time of sexual assault allegations, he was aware that an ugly, violent and alcohol-fueled scene unfolded. One wonders what he believed would be accomplished by putting the participants together in a restaurant and whether that constituted anything approaching good judgment.

    This is not the first time Kapler and/or the Dodgers have been accused of poor judgment during Kapler’s tenure with the Dodgers.

    Last fall it was reported that, in 2015, a Dodgers minor leaguer who was assigned to the Arizona Instructional League sexually assaulted a hotel maid. According to internal emails, the Dodgers investigated the incident and, by all indications, believed the maid’s account. Kapler was in the loop in those communications. The maid asked the Dodgers not to report the incident to police, but the Dodgers apparently did not notify Major League Baseball about the incident, which allowed the player to, eventually, latch on with another organization who was unaware of his history.

    In 2017 it was reported that Major League Baseball was investigating Kapler and the Dodgers for allegedly discriminating against Nick Francona, a former baseball operations employee and son of Indians manager Terry Francona, for seeking assistance from a veterans organization which helps with PTSD. While no official comment was ever released, it was reported that Kapler and the Dodgers were cleared of any wrongdoing regarding Francona’s complaints.

    The Dodgers, meanwhile, are reportedly one of the subjects of a federal grand jury probe investigating Major League Baseball’s activity in Latin America. There is at least some suggestion of criminal activity on the part of Dodgers personnel in information that has leaked from the probe. Kapler, again, was Dodgers’ director of player development during the period that is the focus of the investigation. He declined comment on the matter last fall.

    It remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of this latest report. As it is, however, it is reasonable to have serious doubts about the judgment of Kapler and the Dodgers in connection with this incident.

    https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2019/02/02/report-gabe-kapler-did-not-tell-police-about-an-assault-while-with-the-dodgers/

    1. Actually, I was drafted by the Giants when I was nine for Little League. I think I was chosen because my older brother was also drafted by them. I don’t remember playing much that season…possibly a late inning sub in the outfield watching gophers pop out of their holes in the grass. I always envied my best friend at the time who was drafted by the Dodgers.
      But what was even worse, a few years later I was drafted by the Big Boys, who sponsor was Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in Toluca Lake, CA. At least every player got a Big Boy Combo at the end of the year.

  6. SF fans seemed to get into the rivalry more than did Dodger fans. I have never disliked the Giants. If they hadn’t accompanied the Dodgers to CA the Dodgers might not have been able to make the move. I liked Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey. Okay, I really didn’t like Juan Marichal or Bonds or Morgan.
    .
    I like San Francisco. It is an awesome city. If the Dodgers aren’t in the WS then I am happy if SF or the Angels are in it especially if that makes the Dodgers want to improve their team. I did not like Colletti coming from the Giants to the Dodgers or the players he brought to the Dodgers from the Giants.
    .
    While I am not a Giants hater, I seem to not want ex-Giants on the Dodgers. That’s a contradiction. Maybe I see Giants players as tarnished. Weird, I know.

    1. San Francisco was an awesome city. It’s set in a beautiful surrounding. Unfortunately, the stench of bums and urine consume the streets now and it’s getting worse by the year. I still like to visit from time to time, but like Las Vegas, after a couple of days I can’t wait to leave. The last time I went there for a conference, I brought my family along. My fist stop was to a drug store to pick up some toiletries. Within five minutes, some degenerate sneezed right into my face and passed his flu unto me, without so much as an “excuse me” and no attempt to cover his nose and pie hole during the transgression. As Travis Bickle said about New York city, the same words are applicable to San Francisco…

      All the animals come out at night – whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

      As far as the Giants go, I agree that they hate us much more than we hate them. But, I hate them deep in my bones. I hate their Halloween pumpkin colors, I hate the old Candlestick park and I hate their obnoxious fans and I hate the Wild Card because it allowed them to win a championship without winning the division. They are the opposite of the Blue, White and Red of the Dodgers. We are warm LA sunshine, they are cold, windy, wet and dark. We are apple pie and Chevrolet. They are weed and Prius. We’re beer and T-shirts at the ballpark. They’re wine and turtlenecks in the cold. Simply, we are good and they are evil.

          1. Quote from Taxi Driver, not my words. But, I think of them every time I visit SF and I’ve been to that city quite a bit. 75 – 100 times maybe.

            Vegas Dodger, homelessness is an epidemic. We get a lot of it by the beaches since the weather is tepid, and middle class families that sympathize with them. But, not anywhere in LA rivals SF. SF is a dirty city filled to the brim with dirty people. I have spent a ton of time in both cities having worked in DTLA on and off for most of my adult life, and many vacations, conferences and traveling to SF for work. Vegas is much cleaner even on the strip, no comparison at all. When you go to SF for a conference, you literally trip over bums on the sidewalk. They have bums like we have bikinis on our beaches. Feces, urine, used syringes everywhere on the sidewalks. I instantly turn into a hypochondriac every time I visit, to the point where I don’t even want to step into the city for vacation anymore. It’s sad such a beautiful city has turned into such an armpit especially considering all the money and all the taxes over there. It’s a travesty. And the Giants are the perfect baseball team to represent them.

      1. When the cost of housing is in the stratosphere there will be more homeless like in SF which is really a humanitarian crisis in many large cities.

        Las Vegas is a conundrum as most tourists who come for a few days never leave the Strip and most locals never go to the Strip unless they work there or want to take in some entertainment. Las Vegas is much more than the Strip or Fremont Street downtown.

        Down at the beach where you live in LA is a lot better area than by the Greyhound Bus Terminal downtown or east LA and there is a large homeless population in LA but beach cities have been caught dumping there homeless downtown.

        1. I lived in S.F. and the Bay Area for 40 years. I left permanently in 2007. Cold? Without snow, that city is chilly and I hated the weather there. Homelessness was a real problem back then with no solution in sight. Dirty streets, disheveled people, and ridiculous attitudes. I’ve never regretted leaving for 1 moment.

  7. In response to Jeff above on my thoughts of Ruiz and Smith. I do not necessarily believe that Ruiz would get a call over Smith. My thoughts are that Ruiz is strictly a catcher while Smith can play multiple positions. Smith is ML ready right now as a catcher defensively. He needs to prove he can hit. Last year both co-existed at Tulsa for half the year, before Smith got promoted. Smith caught 49 games during the year, while playing 43 games at 3B. Ruiz caught 86 games at Tulsa, his only position. If the Dodgers need a catcher during the season it will be for backup where defense is expected and offense is hoped for. That is Will D. Smith. Getting onto the 40 man will not be an issue. There are going to be multiple spots opening on the 40 when ST breaks camp. In addition, Rocky Gale is a likely candidate to be waived if Smith was considered a candidate to make the 25 man at some point. There will be plenty of AB opportunities for both Smith and Ruiz as the DH. There is no reason that both Smith and Ruiz cannot both start the season at AAA. If Ruiz starts out at AA, that would seem to indicate that the Dodgers want to see Smith catch more routinely rather than bounce around between catcher, 3B, and DH.
    .
    The Dodgers have a lot of good catcher candidates that do not need to be blocked. Connor Wong is ready for AA and Hunter Feduccia is ready for RC. But then again I am not Brandon Gomes and making those decisions.

    1. It makes me wonder why they signed Josh Thole when they already had Rocky Gale, and both could handle AAA C. Was it insurance in case they dealt Smith and Barnes in a JTR deal? Is it overkill to have so many catching prospects in the pipeline? Smith to me is Austin Barnes with a better arm and more power, Ruiz is a pure catcher. Ruiz is a switch hitter who much like Grandal hits better from the left side and Smith hits right and can play other positions. Smith played college and is several years older so is more advanced physically so I see Smith at AAA and Ruiz at AA to start the season. Smith could be swapped for Gale on the 40 man and Thole has an opt out I believe in July. If that is not pressure on the Barnes/Martin combo I don’t know what is. The team does really not need JTR and the fans don’t deserve the Marlins posturing.

      I would take a flyer on Buchholz and Boxberger for the Dodgers, the Giants may want to sign Adam Jones on a 1 year prove it deal or Cargo.

      1. Vegas, I read it that one of Gale or Thole will be the third catcher at AAA, while the other will be the mentor for Connor Wong and second catcher at AA. It is all just guess work, but the organization should have no problem working both Gale and Thole onto MiLB rosters. But I would also not discount that the Dodgers thought that they were in line to get JTR and Thole was insurance. I think other teams came in and are probably outbidding the Dodgers now.

        1. Totally agree. Gale and Thole are mentors, player / coaches for the younguns. Almost ZERO chance they see the MLB roster unless something goes horribly wrong on the MLB roster and the kids aren’t ready.

        1. Minor league deal w/ST invite, little risk for team, prove it deal for player. Kind of what they did with Brandon Morrow. Player gets an opt out if not moved up by a certain date like end of June.

  8. I would trade with the Giants if I thought that it would help the Dodgers. I don’t care if Will Smith is an A****. Most thought Joe Kelly was an A*** after drilling Hanley, and most on here are welcoming him. We are talking one year, not a five year contract. He would not impede Santana, Gonsolin, or Ferguson. If Santana or Gonsolin make the 25 man this year, then something wrong happened to the pitching, and Will Smith would not be an issue.
    .
    I understand the quality of depth to win in a 162 game season. But it is the quality not the quantity that is needed in the WS. What was the problem the last two WS? Relief pitching. Not enough late inning high quality relievers. My heavens, we used Brandon McCarthy as a reliever in the 2017 WS. How is that for quality? Last year the team kept trotting out Ryan Madson and Alex Wood (not a reliever) in critical relief roles. And yet this Dodgers team is so stacked that there is no room for a quality LHRP like Will Smith Or is it just because he is a SFG.
    .
    Are we so sure that the team cannot be improved by a pitcher who came back for TJ surgery to throw 53 late inning high leverage innings, and register a sub 1.000 WHIP; 73K/15BB for a 4.73 SO/W ratio. Compare that to Scott Alexander and his 2.07 SO/W ratio and 1.273 WHIP. Smith allowed 3 HR’s in those 53 IP. Bums doesn’t think Smith is needed but believes that Stewart is ready to be rolled out again after allowing 4 HRs in his 17.2 IP.
    .
    We all have favorite players, but that should not prevent the team from trying to improve just so it does not impact our favorite players. Many on this site were upset about Puig getting traded but did not give a rip about Alex Wood. I was far more invested in Wood than I was Puig, but I recognize that the TEAM is better with both players gone. I want to win this year. The window is closing and Will Smith (not to be confused with Will D. Smith) is an excellent LHRP and would absolutely help the Dodgers THIS YEAR. We can worry about Gonsolin and Santana helping the team next year.

    1. ….”Bums doesn’t think Smith is needed but believes that Stewart is ready to be rolled out again after allowing 4 HRs in his 17.2 IP.”
      .
      Yes, I would like to see Stewart “earn” a spot on the 25 through a solid spring training and a fastball that is back to 95. I like that has low mileage on his arm, that he is a converted shortstop, and that he has great movement on his fastball. He is already a Dodger and I like to see players come up through their system. I tend to be loyal to those players.
      .
      Yes, Stewart was bad last year and he was fighting injuries for the first time. Is he ready to be rolled out again? What does that mean? I would roll him out in Spring Training and go from there. If we are going to put words into each other’s mouth, let me ask why you think Stewart shouldn’t be given a chance in Spring Training?

      1. Bums I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth. You are a Brock Stewart fan and that is okay with me. But you indicated that the Dodgers do not need Will Smith (your words) and have on more than one occasion cited Brock Stewart as someone who could make the roster. I did assume that you meant over a pitcher like Will Smith. I honestly never care about fans and their favorites. We all have favorites different from others. Does not make us wrong or right. But I said “roll out Brock Stewart again”, I was not implying that you said that. But to think that he hasn’t already had multiple and multiple genuine opportunities is not based on fact. Perhaps if he had accepted that his third pitch is not good enough to make him a starter for a top contending team and had accepted the role as a reliever, he might be already considered safe for the 25 man. If Brock Stewart wants to start, the best situation for him is KC, or Tampa, or Miami, or Detroit, or Oakland or Seattle. He is not going to start for LA, and there are already too many above him as relievers.
        .
        I never mentioned Toles, Fields, or Stewart. The only player I mentioned was Scott Alexander. Alexander alone would not get it done, but it is a start of a lefty reliever with 4 years vs a lefty reliever with one year. That is something I know Zaidi favors. But the Giants really only have three players they can trade for prospects…MadBum, Will Smith, and Tony Watson. The Giants are going to wait until the trade deadline when they can get more from contending teams wanting to win now with any of those three. I predict that none of those three will be Giants come August 1. I also predict that none of them will be Dodgers. But to dismiss a reliever like Will Smith as if he were just a throw in is not looking at the same Will Smith I am. And to be clear, I am not saying that you said he was just a throw in. That is just my hyperbole. You just said he was not needed. But in reality it was your inclusion of Toles (probably headed to OKC), Fields (probably headed to OKC), and Stewart (more than likely will be DFA or traded for that PTBNL or some very low rookie ball lottery ticket). If that doesn’t say that a pitcher not worthy of that caliber return is not a throw in, I am not sure what is.

        1. My point about Toles, Stewart, and Fields are that they probably won’t be on the 25 so they would not weaken the Dodgers if they were traded as much as players that more likely would be on the 25. However, I think they are a stiff price to pay for one year of Smith.
          .
          At some point in the season Urias, Fergusson, Gonsolen, are going to push themselves onto the 25 and to do so they will have to take someone else’s place. Smith’s stats other than last year don’t get me excited.

    2. I retract what I said about Will Smith… for some reason my pea brain was thinking Hunter Strickland, who is an A-Hole. Will Smith is a great guy. My fault!

  9. Going back a “few” years, Sal Maglie was an ex Giant that I appreciated as a Dodger. I may be in the minority, but I always liked Jeff Kent as a Dodger.

  10. Yesterday I wrote about how I felt Tony Cingrani could be a huge plus for this year’s bullpen. Today I see this from mlb’s daily email to me:

    Tony Cingrani, LHP, Dodgers
    It was mostly a frustrating season for the lefty reliever, who spent the majority of it on the disabled list with shoulder problems and otherwise posted a 4.76 ERA across 30 appearances before getting left off the Dodgers’ postseason rosters. That might make Cingrani a forgotten man in the L.A. bullpen, but assuming good health, there is reason to believe the 29-year-old could be a force in relief this year.

    Among all pitchers with 20-plus innings in 2018, Cingrani ranked ninth in strikeout rate (37.9 percent) and sixth in the difference between his strikeout and walk rates (31.6 percent), behind only Edwin Diaz, Josh Hader, Sean Doolittle, Chris Sale and Dellin Betances. Each of those feared arms had an ERA of 2.70 or lower, and Cingrani’s 2.32 Fielding Independent Pitching is more representative of how well he pitched. Cingrani put up similarly robust peripheral numbers in 22 games for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Reds at the 2017 non-waiver Trade Deadline, so a full season in L.A. could work wonders.

      1. I think we are all hoping for a healthy Cingrani. But Stewart is not a pitcher that ever impressed me. I will be very surprised if he makes the team this year or is not traded.

  11. Why is it so important that a certain player is playing with a certain team? They are professionals and will play where they are paid, whether it comes from SF or Mars, it does not matter. Loyalty to the same team is already extinguishing. If it’s someone who can help win, I do not give a damn about which team comes … Because it will be a new member of the Dodgers!

  12. AC

    Another good job of giving us something to think about.

    I saw that Zaidi was looking for depth in position players, and outfielders like you mentioned.

    John Heyman said Zaidi was looking for players that agents would call low bud players.

    I was wondering how many utility players Zaidi had on his roster after reading that, because I know he is big on utility players beyond the fact they are cheap, and can fill so many different positions.

    When I played girls softball, we never had any of the names, of the major league baseball teams.

    We instead were called what ever business was sponsoring us, and we had those sponsors on our uniforms, which was just a short sleeve sweat shirt and a hat.

    What is odd, when I was on the high school softball team, we didn’t get hats.

    I don’t know if girls teams in high school and college are still not wearing hats, but I think they should at the least, to prevent skin cancer.

    I think a visor would be a nice touch for girls, from the hats that the guys wear.

      1. Bobby

        Thanks!

        I was wondering, because a few years ago I saw a couple of college girls teams playing on TV, and they were still not wearing hats.

        I think the visors would give that feminine touch.

        1. Hat, visor or nothing. Player choice. Most of the College Women Softball programs wear visors, but it is not an NCAA requirement. It may be a University or College team requirement.

          1. I think either a cap or visor should be a requirement, uniformly as a team, to help prevent skin cancer.

            And it just looks sharper.

  13. From a Company E-Mail:

    Aaron Marshall, Purchasing Manager at US Water Systems died at age 43 of what appears to be a massive heart attack Friday Morning.

    It will be next week before we know the details of Aaron Marshall’s funeral (the coroner is doing an autopsy on Monday), but what we do know right now is that Aaron was part of the US WATER SYSTEMS Family and we try and take care of our own. Patty and I and US Water Systems are helping the family in several ways. Currently, they do not have enough for burial. If you wish to contribute, the family has set up a Go Fund Me Page to enable anyone to help. Please share this on your own social media and others may also want to help.

    Aaron was only with US Water Systems for a short time, but he was incredible at his job as Purchasing Manager – we shall miss his work ethic and all that he did for us. He was “all in.” As good of an employee as he was, he was a better man and was an outstanding father to his four children. They too need our and your help. US Water Systems is setting up and education trust fund for his children. His family has also set up a Go Fund Me account (see below).

    Please donate whatever the spirit moves you to donate.

    Aaron Marshall: we shall miss you and may God watch over your soul.

    https://www.gofundme.com/aaron039s-funeral-expenses?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_cpgnstaticsmall_r

    1. I forgot where I heard/read that earlier, but I also heard it, and I think that’s a starting point from which to realistically get Harper in LA. We pay him handsomely for his next 5 years, which should be all star caliber years at minimum and MVP caliber years at best.

      I’d be ok with this as opposed to 10/300ish

      1. $40MM AAV, that is a BIG nut. That will be an additional $6MM+ in luxury tax.
        .
        Not to be oudone, Farhan just signed Brandon Beachy to a minor league contract.

  14. ROSENTHAL: DODGERS OUT ON HARPER/MACHADO AND EXPLAINS THEIR SPENDING PRACTICES
    Posted by Tim Rogers | Feb 2, 2019 | Editorials | 9

    After the Kasten Kerfuffle it looks like someone in the Dodgers front office caught the ear of Ken Rosenthal. Given some of the reactions to Stan Kasten’s remarks it is a good idea to feed some information to an excellent reporter like Rosenthal. His article in The Athletic covers topics such as why the Dodgers chose A.J. Pollock over Bryce Harper, why they won’t re-sign Manny Machado, Dodgers spending now and in the future and what might happen with Joc Pederson.

    WHY POLLOCK OVER HARPER
    Regarding Pollock over Harper Rosenthal says:

    The Dodgers’ big outfield addition, free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock, is a better defender than Harper and, as a right-handed hitter, better balances the team’s lineup. At a maximum of $60 million over five years, Pollock also will be less expensive than Harper, perhaps by hundreds of millions.

    Rosenthal also mentioned the reservations the Dodgers had about Harper’s defensive play, consistency and the length of the contract. Some have said that they don’t think Harper will age well enough to stay healthy and on the field.

    He then goes on about how it is understandable how most fans would prefer Harper since he is younger, more durable and has huge star power. The mantra of when does the front office “get the benefit of the doubt” is brought up and that is a good point. What is constantly missed with that saying is that fans are frustrated with so many near misses. Some of the frustration might be misplaced as the players have been in place but have not delivered when needed. The trade of Puig also set expectations for signing Harper, even though nothing was said by the front office.

    2018 DODGERS PLAYER REVIEWS: MANNY MACHADO
    MACHADO WILL NOT BE RE-SIGNED
    Despite my desire to see Manny Machado re-sign with the Dodgers it looks like it won’t be happening. According to Rosenthal, even though Machado is a good fit as a right-handed hitter, the “Dodgers became less enamored of him once they got to know him.” None of this should be surprising and it’s too bad as Machado is very talented but to make a mediocre impression on an excellent team lowers his value. For his sake, he needs to learn from his mistakes and be better.

    CURRENT SPENDING
    In addressing “real inside baseball economic stuff” Rosenthal attempts to figure out Kasten’s reasoning.

    If a big-market team such as the Dodgers exceeds the threshold for at least two consecutive years, it forfeits a percentage of the revenue-sharing refund it would otherwise receive. Teams also must remain in compliance with the debt-service rule, earning enough profits to adequately service their debt.

    The debt service does scare me but Bill Shaikin addressed it in November and it does not seem to be an issue:

    The Dodgers are in compliance with the league’s rules on debt service, Manfred said. Guggenheim had taken advantage of a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that affords new owners five years to satisfy the debt rules.

    “We don’t try to regulate payroll through the debt service rule,” Manfred said. “We try to get to financial stability. There are other ways to get there. The Dodgers had a plan, and they stuck to it. Probably the most amazing thing about it is that they had a lot of high-payroll guys, they worked their way into a young team and got to real financial stability, and throughout the whole time they were competitive. That is no mean feat.” – Bill Shaikin, LA Times

    Rosenthal points out that the Dodgers will have the highest payroll in the National League and will be a leader in spending on things such as “facilities, front-office staff, revenue sharing and scouting and player development.” Remember, the All-Star game is coming to Dodgers Stadium in 2020 and there will be extra costs related to that event, even though they will recoup the costs.

    FUTURE SPENDING
    In addressing some reasoning behind not spending huge amounts on players such as Harper:

    Eventually – after years of trading prospects, selecting at the bottom of the draft and operating with smaller international signing bonus pools – the Dodgers will be in less of a position of streng
    When that happens – and when their division rivals, several of which are rebuilding, start to pose more of a threat – the Dodgers will be well-positioned to react to their increased urgency, well-positioned to spend big. They will benefit from the money they saved. The money they declined to spend on Bryce Harper.

    This does make a lot of sense as the Dodgers will also need to sign their own players as the young and underpaid players will eventually absorb a lot of payroll. Of course, what gets missed, is that others such as Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Rich Hill and Justin Turner will roll off the payroll at the same time. In my opinion, the Dodgers could afford Harper if they felt he was the fight fit. Maybe it is someone like Nolan Arenado after 2019 but I doubt that also.

    JOC PEDERSON TRADE INTEREST
    Rosenthal said that there are a few teams that are interested in trading for Joc Pederson after the Dodgers signed Pollock. It has not been ruled out that Joc could remain with the Dodgers as his .893 OPS in 386 plate appearances against right handed pitching would be tough to replace. With Cody Bellinger, Pollock, Alex Verdugo and Joc Pederson I see four players that should be in the lineup a majority of the time. Then you factor in Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Andrew Toles and the outfield is crowded. Somebody has to go as it is only fair to all of them. These are major league ready and capable players and deserve a chance to play.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    I’ve publicly advocated for signing Bryce Harper but it does look like the front office has ruled that option out, along with Manny Machado. I usually do give the front office the benefit of the doubt as they don’t make too many mistakes. The Dodgers’ team going into 2019 is a strong team and will only get better with any further moves. I do get a bit worried about relying on trades to improve the team as the farm system has been hit pretty hard with trades within the last three seasons.

    In some ways it does seem Rosenthal has been given some extra access to the Dodgers in order to allow them to do damage control after the Kasten Kerfuffle. As always, Rosenthal is very good at providing a lot of excellent content but we are seeing nothing really new regarding the spending approaches. Rosenthal just says it better and clearer. I want the Dodgers to spend what they need to spend in order to get over the top. Is it Bryce Harper? Is it Manny Machado? The Dodgers don’t think so.

    The last two years they’ve come up short and part of it is because they relied on bullpen options that were not reliable. A little more spending may have fixed that problem. Joe Kelly is an excellent addition and seems to be a different direction in bullpen spending. Let’s hope they don’t let the luxury tax get in the way of getting the players they might need to win the 2019 World Series.

  15. Cody Bellinger, AJ Pollock, Alex Verdugo, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Andrew Toles.

    That is incredible depth and Puig and Kemp are gone.

    Hernandez or Taylor may have to cover SS early in the season, so I can see them keeping all 7. Of course, Bellinger, Taylor and Hernandez also play the IF, so there is that!

  16. To the Great Optimist and a dozen or two others, Joe K
    is seen as a great upgrade.

    In the Skeptic’s House, we wonder which Joe will show, and
    when…..

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