Prospects now, prospects later

Throw ’em into the fire now or give ’em another year? It’s a question more and more teams are facing. With the Dodgers, it’s 20-year-old Cory Seager at shortstop. The cons, as determined by Richard Justice:

  • He’s 20 years old.
  • He’s played only 38 games above Class A.

The pros:

  • He’s scary good.
  • He’s passed every test so far

The Mets, Twins and Giants are facing similar decisions.

Obviously it’s a gamble. Sometimes it pays off, as when the Orioles brought up a 20-year-old named Cal Ripken in August of 1981. Probably more often than not it fails, or at least the kid has to go back down to the minors for more seasoning. Given the dearth of big league players looking for short-term deals (because the Dodgers don’t want to block Seager for years), they may decide they don’t have much choice.

Update: Vinnie turns 86 tomorrow. A couple of years ago ESPN celebrated his 84th birthday with a sequence of what it picked as his top five calls:

  • package206

    Shoulda kept Hanley!

  • WBBsAs

    I dunno what decisions the Gnats face. Their farm system is barren, and they have as many as four rotation spots to fill. They probably don’t want Peevey and Vogelscheiße back, and Gnatt Cain is a huge question mark with a bad contract. They have no choice but to go for an impact free agent, presuming they can outbid the competition for Scherzer, Lester and the like.

    • john galt

      I don’t what kind of reading you do, but I know you spend time in Argentina. Have you ever read W E B Griffin’s Honor Bound series? It is mostly set in Argentina in the early 40s, and he is highly complimentary of the Argentine food, wine, and women. I like most of his series, guess I never grew up, just older…

      • WBBsAs

        No, I don’t know it, but I’ll see what I can find out. The wine is great, I married one of the women, and I like some of the food but not nearly everything.

        • Books in the series, from Griffin’s website.

          Man, that dude is prolific. I didn’t realize he’d written over 130 books in four or five long series, as well as a bunch of standalones. I know I can’t go past a rack of books without seeing something by him, but still…

  • Bob_Hendley

    Speaking of prospects, whatever happened to our two first round picks of Lee and Reed? Seems they should have been knocking on the door by now, but neither had an impressive 2014.

    • WBBsAs

      Most others I’ve read think both can be contributors, but they’re not elite prospects. Reed most probably will be a reliever.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Wasn’t he a reliever in college? I guess Logan White’s experiment didn’t work.

  • john galt

    My research indicates Vin’s actually 87 tomorrow, which makes him 13 years and one day older than me… Not mention smarter, richer, better looking, etc,,,,

    • package206

      Happy Birthday John!!

    • WBBsAs

      I didn’t realize, until today, that my wife shares a birthday with Vin (though she’s 30 years younger).

    • Bumsrap

      He has 20 years more than me along with more money but I have 20 years to catch up.

  • john galt

    Isn’t it about time the Dodgers announce the signing of a new nerd in the “Management Super Team”? God forbid they should waste time talking to or about meaningful players…

    • Bob_Hendley

      Above was meant as response to your post. Talking to the press of course can be a waste of time as well and not clear what the advantage would be..

      • john galt

        I’m sure there are disadvantages to publicizing their operations, like letting other teams know what they are up to, for instance. But keeping their own fans interested is definitely in their best interest. To that end, some false rumors might serve both purposes, and I, as a fan, would not mind. It’s hard to eat oatmeal day after day, knowing there’s ham and eggs in the kitchen…

        • Bob Hendley

          You not only want rumors, but you want them to be false!? Bob Hendley

          • john galt

            _Please re-read, keeping in mind the meaning of words like “might” and “wouldn’t mind”.

          • Bob Hendley

            OK, but are those “ham and eggs” real or false?

          • john galt

            They are real but I can only hope I get them. If I don’t, I’ll take the oatmeal and be glad I got it.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Some of us here might recall Jon Weisman’s “What’s your waffle?”

    • package206

      All these newly acquired Nerds make me think of DePodesta and it makes me ill.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Just to clarify. Cal was an August call up. By that time he had already 275 games above A level under his belt.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Has anyone been signed that we might have wanted (I mean besides Hanley!).

      • I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

  • Bumsrap

    I am favor of putting Seager at shortstop asap and letting Arruebarrena hold the fort until asap gets here. The Dodgers do not have a third baseman for 2016.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Right about 3rd base, yet for the record Uribear just gave us his two finest seasons as a pro (after giving us his two worst). Guessing that age will catch up with him.

  • package206

    Looks like the Orioles have a strong interest in Matt Kemp. I hope the Geek Squad is not dumb enough to trade him just because they could sell him high. The Dodgers do need him to try and win a World Championship.

    • “Strong” might be too strong a word. Per Ken Rosenthal, they’ve “talked” to the Dodgers about him. From MLB Trade Rumors, here are some of the “talks” which have included Matt this offseason. Teams include the Mariners, the Padres, and now the Orioles.

      • package206

        I hope the Dodgers do not trade Matt as I believe that he could possibly return to center field. His batting stats for the last half of last season are awesome. The Dodgers need this type of player on the team. Hanley is bad enough but the resurgence of Mattie is very apparent. The outfield should be Crawford/Kemp or Puig and Kemp or Puig in right. Notice NO Joc Pederson. Lets win before we put a rookie in the outfield? The SS position will have to be filled from the outside until if or when Seager can handle it.

        • john galt

          I would trade Pederson for a GOOD shortstop that can last 4 or 5 years, say someone like Starlin Castro, and figure Seager for third next year. A lot easier to find good outfielders than shortstops…

          • Bumsrap

            But Pederson is the reincarnation of Duke Snider.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Let’s hope (though at 22, Duke put up an OPS+ of 123 in 615 PA).

          • package206

            Ha Ha Ha. I saw Duke Snider and Joc Pederson is no Duke Snider.

          • Bumsrap

            I also saw Duke Snider and Pederson reminds me of him. Have you seen Pederson as many times as you saw Snider?

          • package206

            Based on how he hit late last year, I don’t know if I want too.

        • WBBsAs

          Kemp is never going back to CF, where he is well below average. LF would be more suitable, though he’s OK in RF.

  • Bumsrap

    With Uribe and Turner for 3rd in 2015, the Dodgers have a full year to decide on 2016 & beyond. Turner could be the 3rd baseman through 2019 followed by Seager through 2025.

    • package206

      Do you think that makes the Dodgers stronger??

      • Bumsrap

        I admit it doesn’t match up with your desire to players making $20M a year at every position.

        • package206

          I certainly don’t think getting rid of players from last years team is something that builds winners. Especially when they are top tier players.

  • john galt

    The Geek Squad has done it again… Mike Magill, a pitcher with no future, to the Reds for Chris Heisey, a (redundant) outfielder with no future. Take a break, guys, don’t work so hard, High Fives all around. Think I’ll quit following the…news????

    • With Nicosia and the other reliever (Peralta) they just signed Magill was a spare part. I assume Heisey goes to AAA.

      • package206

        Watch out, Heisey could be a platoon player to go along with Pederson thus helping the Dodgers unload several outfielders. Time will tell but I don’t know what to expect from the geek squad?

        • john galt

          Heisey was tendered a contract last night, which makes me think he isn’t going to Oklahoma City. I fear SVS is now sure to be traded and Pederson WILL go to Oklahoma City. I now feel that there is much danger Kemp will be traded also, for equally obscure returnees. Noticed that Butera was also offered a contract so apparently they are not looking to get a better catcher from San Diego or Texas, both of whom have surplus. Butera is our best defensive catcher but we already lose too many low scoring games, we need runs. I pessimistically fear the 2015 Dodgers might be a pretty dull team to watch, a field full of “no-names” except for the pitchers who will lose a lot of one and two run games… Hope I’m wrong.

          • Bob_Hendley

            We led the NL in runs scored (if you don’t count the Rox) a full .5 R/G above the league average, with essentially half seasons from Kemp, Crawford and Hanley. We will clearly miss Hanley, but I trust that the brain trust of the Dodgers will focus relatively more on the pitching side, where we were eighth in the league a good .6 RA/G behind (ahead?) the leader Washington.

  • package206

    It has been reported that the Phils want Pederson or Seager for Hamels. I say send them Pederson.

    • john galt

      OK

    • You sure you didn’t read this article from July and think it was current? 😉

    • foul tip

      Haven’t been able to check in here in a while but have tried to keep up. Most serious analysis I’ve seen says it would take more than one of the Big 3 Dodger prospects for Hamels. Philly might even be asking for all. Which is ridiculous, but Philly GM is not known for being exactly reasonable. Still, serious amounts of serious prospects supposedly is his price.

      Another approach is the Dodgers could sign one of the FA pitchers instead at zero cost in prospects. And, they might target a FA RHP because of Grienke’s opt-out provision after next year, so the righty could take his spot if he leaves.

      Best case there, Grienke just gets more $$ from the Dodgers and re-signs. Best read I have is he’s happy and not very likely to leave. Given several comments, he’s very unlikely to based on $$ alone.

  • A Red Sox blog reports Dodgers have entered the Jon Lester sweepstakes.

  • foul tip

    Jon Morosi, who covers MLB for Fox, says the Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Mariners, Rangers, Braves, Reds, Giants, Padres, Royals, Indians all trying to add an outfielder now.

    Three NL West teams — Rockies, Diamondbacks, Dodgers — have the most obvious outfield surpluses, he adds, and says that’s not ideal for division rivals SF and SD.

    With that many teams looking for OF help, maybe chances for the Dodgers to move one or two are better than many have thought. Moving some $$ along too, of course.

  • foul tip

    Pretty decent Petriello perspective piece on Dodger off season so far.

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/12/02/dont-panic-about-lack-of-dodger-offseason-moves/

  • john galt

    Not sleeping well so there is much time at night for thinking. I feel guilty for criticizing the Front Office Geeks. I honestly think they will do as good a job as the average front Office does. Thinking back over the last 50 or 60 years, about every GM I can remember has had some successes and some failures. Me too. I’ve pinned my hopes on some players who failed big time, although God knows they were trying. Before the Internet, I never talked much to other fans, I’m not a very sociable person. I watched or listened to the games; In the off season the only baseball “news’ was what made the newspaper or the rare article from a reporter who was doubtlessly paraphrasing a feed from the Front Office. And I was happy with it. I think I enjoyed the games more not knowing all the gossip and rumors and opinions of other fans, which is just as meaningless and speculative as my own. I think I’ll pull back and follow baseball only through MLBTR, which is mostly news and some speculation from people more connected and more knowledgeable than I. I think I’ll have less frustration that way. You fellows that feel differently, enjoy yourselves and thanks for letting me visit.

    • foul tip

      Can’t speak for Link or others of course but I think your opinions contribute to a civil and interesting discussion here.

      Everyone will have to respect your decision, but I doubt anyone wants you to leave.

      Either way, good places for enjoyable, factual, and pretty objective Dodger coverage that keeps fans informed but mostly sane (in addition to here and MLBTR), are Dodgers Digest and True Blue LA (in addition to dodgers.com). Think Blue LA has much less following but also some good stuff at times.

      Comments at Dodger Digest, IMO, can be downright bizarre. I usually don’t spend much time on them and most always avoid those at dodgers.com (unless I just want to see how over the top some folks can be.) But commenters at True Blue often post worthwhile and enjoyable things. Their stuff usually is worth checking out, but if you do bring lunch because there often are hundreds of comments.

      TBLA is one of the closer blogs out there to the old Dodger Thoughts community . Quite a few DTers migrated there. Don’t know if you followed DT. But at its peak it was about as good as the web gets.

      If it makes a difference, those sites generally operate similar to an unspoken version of Jon’s original DT “Thank you for not” rules. If it matters, you will see profanity at times, less so at TBLA. IMO, that usually happens only when someone decides to drop a few bombs and others follow suit because they can and need to show they’re cool with it. Then they quickly move on. There’s really not much of it.

      Of course, it only diminishes what they have to say and adds exactly nothing.

      I really enjoy the community here and wish more participated more often. Hope you stay.

      Once again, thanks to Link for doing this.

    • Dip in and out as you please, john. There are no rules about participation. We’ll miss you if you go off completely.

    • RBI

      Don’t go! I need you, as well as the others, to weigh in with your posts, as I am pretty hopelessly ill-informed as to what happens off season. But I still need my daily fix from those of you who have something to say.

    • package206

      Hey John, don’t go as I enjoy your perspective.

  • Bumsrap

    So, the Dodgers are in on Lester after all. Awesome. Heard on MLB Network that the Dodgers might now consider trading Puig. As you all know, I think trading Puig could help the Dodgers the most. I would like to wind up with Seattle’s Seager for third if the Dodgers sign Lestor. More teams and more players could be added such as Van Slyke, Uribe, and Crawford(+$) to get a catcher like San Diego’s Austin Hedges to learn under Ellis this year.

    • You do know that Seattle signed Seager to a 7-year $100M deal earlier this week, don’t you?

      • Bumsrap

        Yes. So?

        • So how do you get from “the Dodgers sign Lester” to Seattle (which has no rights regarding Lester, who’s a free agent) somehow giving up Seager, to whom they just committed a ton of time and money? I’m confused. The Dodgers should sign Lester and trade him to Seattle for Seager? They want pitching more than they do a third baseman this year, we’re told.

          • Bumsrap

            I think the Dodgers should prioritize pitching so if they don’t sign Lester they should trade Puig for a pitcher. Preferably Fernandez or one of Seattle’s two young ace type pitchers and not Hammels.

            Signing Lester would allow the Dodgers to trade Puig for Seager and
            fill a position they don’t have anybody for after 2015 for the next 7 years.

          • Huh? How would signing a pitcher allow them to trade Puig, an oufielder, for Seager, a third baseman? Money? Puig is the least expensive of the four starting outfielders the Dodgers had last year.

            Keep explaining and maybe I’ll get it. I surely don’t now.

          • Bumsrap

            Wow Link! Really? Signing a free agent pitcher means you don’t have to trade for one and that allows you to trade instead for your next need. I think with Cory, the Dodgers have a long term solution for short.

          • Bumsrap

            Agreed Link, adding Lester and Seager and subtracting Puig adds to payroll. But my original comment also included Uribe and Crawford in a broader trade.

          • Okay, I can follow that. But Puig isn’t on the short list of people other teams have asked about. Pederson and Seager and Urias are. And the Mariners just traded one of their starting outfielders, Saunders, and spent $58M on four years of Nelson Cruz at DH. So I’m not sure they want an outfielder.

          • Bumsrap

            They still want a right fielder. Puig in right or retraded, Van Slyke at 1st, Uribe at 3rd, Crawford in left would be good for Seattle.

            The Seagers on the left side for years would be awesome for Dodgers along with Paxton, Kershaw, Rhu, Greinke, and Lester would be quite the rotation.

          • Bumsrap

            Link, I should say that my trade ideas are not necessarily what would make the the Dodgers better or even doable. I just try to think of ways to get players on the dodgers that I want to watch for multiple years.

            That said, I would love to watch the Seagers play on the left side together for the next 7+ years and I like the idea of filling a future hole at third.

            Also, I think Ellis will make a great manager and therefore see him as a potential replacement for Mattingly down the road. I would prefer Ellis be the main catcher for 2015 and the backup catcher to Austin Hedges thereafter. If the Dodgers were to get Seattle’s Seager, a left bat, I would rather trade Gonzales to get Hedges than Kemp for Hedges and put Van Slyke at first.

            So, if Seattle wants a home grown fan favored Dodger, Kemp, then give up a home grown fan favored player, Seager. Seager for Kemp, Uribe, and Crawford plus $50M.

            CF Pederson
            RF Puig
            3B Seager
            1B Van Slyke
            LF Ethier/Guerrero
            SS Seager
            C Ellis/Hedges
            2B Gordon

          • Oh. I thought you were suggesting possible or likely deals. If I’d known it was a wish list…heck, I can happily do that too. Let’s trade Kemp to the Angels for Mike Trout! 😉

          • Bumsrap

            Are you in your 20’s?

          • “If I knew then what I know now…” Nope. 60s. “I’ve seen it all, bub.” 😉

            I need more coffee this morning, I think. I’m snarly.

          • package206

            I am snarly, with or without coffee. I am old too.

  • package206

    I sure hope the report that the Dodgers and Padres are discussing a trade of Matt Kemp is false.

    • Twitter: Dodgers talking Kemp with other teams as well. Deal with Padres not necessarily more likely than it is with other clubs. Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal)

      • Bob_Hendley

        He has reported Kemp trade rumors for at least 5-6 years, so some day he may be right, but hard to imagine what the Padres have that we would want.

        • WBBsAs

          Grandal, who has the potential to be a very good catcher. I don’t want to see Kemp go, but I didn’t want to see Frank Howard go either, and I can’t argue with the results of that trade.

  • The Orioles, Rangers and Padres are teams also looking at Justin Upton, which means they’re not necessarily looking at Crawford or Ethier. The Dodgers can’t trade either of them to no one, after all; they have to have a party of the second part.

    • package206

      Are you saying the only outfielder that can be traded is Matt Kemp? Need to find another way as Puig and Kemp should have solid hold on two outfielder spots The 3rd is up to discussion in my opinion.

      • No, I’m saying that if they’re looking at Upton they’re probably not looking at our expendable guys, which is unfortunate. The second sentence meant that they have to trade players to interested parties; the fewer there are the harder it is to do so.

        • package206

          Well, saying that our expendable outfielders are not being looked at is also saying that Matt is the only one except maybe Puig or Pederson that anyone is interested. Right??

  • Bob_Hendley

    I see that the Dodgers picked up Bosox catcher Larvanway on waivers. As I recall he was the fellow that Ned wanted but Kuroda declined to be traded in 2011, so we settled for FedEx for Trayvon Robinson. Kuroda probably would have gotten the Bosox into the playoffs that year.

  • WBBsAs

    When my nephew’s fastpitch game starts at noon Buenos Aires time, the temperature will be 90° F. He’s pitching.

    • foul tip

      Hope he does well. Did you have anything to do with his interest in playing?

      • WBBsAs

        He did well, and I’ll have more to say about it later. I had little if anything to do with his interest, but we would play catch whenever I visited.

  • Bumsrap

    Okay, I am going to give up on my wish to trade for Kyle Seager and instead start thinking about Yoan Moncada as the Dodgers long term solution for third base.

    • package206

      Now you’re on the right track! I believe he will be a special player and worthy of a strong run at him.

  • foul tip

    Really good piece on Kemp, his value, and factors in any trade involving a player like him.

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/12/05/the-only-bad-matt-kemp-trade-is-a-bad-matt-kemp-trade/

    Another on the history of trade talk about him (after all of which he remained a Dodger.) Which is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Which, given all the hand-wringing about it, is a good change of pace.

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2014/12/04/source-literally-every-team-wants-matt-kemp/

    One of these from 2007 mentioned a Johan Santana for Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. rumor. If that had happened we’d have gotten to see what Ned looked like in his tar-and-feathers outfit ;-])

    Nice ending comic touch to this piece:

    Mike Petriello @mike_petriello

    Source: Jets (NY & Winnipeg), AC Milan, Jamaican bobsled team, Megadeth, Russia, NBC all interested in acquiring Matt Kemp.

  • NPUT