Open thread #3

In case the comments close on the previous post, here’s a new one. Also, if you’re wondering what the college football bowl schedule looks like for the next three weeks, I posted ESPN’s list at my other place.

Update: The Kemp trade is on hold for the moment because a physical showed Matt’s got arthritis in each hip. As Mark Saxon explains, this could blow up “two other trades and three other teams.” That’s because some of the secondary players were being sent on to other teams for yet more players by both the Padres and the Dodgers.

102 thoughts on “Open thread #3

  1. The Nats (gnot the Gnats, unfortunately) have signed the Swedish Owl to a minor-league contract.

  2. I just love the way Freidman frames his off season moves like “We are a more functional team now” and “before we were just a collection of talent”. Instead of saying we were too expensive and I am cheap and the guys we had were lousy teammates.

    • Combined salaries of Rollins and Kendrick are only $3 million less than Hanley and Dee would have cost us..

      • True enough. But Hanley is very, very close to being a DH, he can’t carry his weight in the field. I keep saying we should adopt the DH; If we did, then Hanley and/or Kemp might have jobs with the Dodgers. On Dee, the brass simply don’t think he will continue to play as well as he did last year. Maybe they’re right. maybe not, but it is done, over. Worry about today, not yesterday.

        • Yes, I certainly understand the thinking behind the moves, just trying to clarify some of the parameters of what they did.

        • I think that Hanley is being colored as worse than he was in the field. He certainly was not bad enough with the glove to equal out his great bat. Again, just another person that Freidman wanted to be rid of and dump any more future salary.

          • They didn’t resign him for a lot more reasons than Hanley’s fielding, but he is a pretty bad fielder, especially compared to Rollins. The question is really, so what? Current sabermetrics would say that the difference (based on last year’s crunching) between the two is that Rollins will save you 16 more runs a year.

          • So you are saying that Rollins is 16 runs a year better than Hanley if you crunch numbers offensively and defensively together?

          • Defensively Rollins saves you 16 runs Ramirez would have let in. Offensively, by Wins Against Replacement (WAR), last season Ramirez was at 3.5, meaning he was 3.5 wins better than the average replacement you could find for him. Rollins was even better at 3.9. So barring a sudden decline Rollins is a clear upgrade, even at his advanced baseball age.

          • My question to you is if you needed a SS on your team and only Hanley and Rollins were available, which would you select??

          • Link, I respect your judgment but in Rollins prime he could not command the money that Hanley has and will make. He will average over 21 mil for the next 4 years. I promise you that he might have gone to the AL but he could still get much more than Jimmy could ever hope to see.

          • I don’t think Sabermetrics is completely reliable, either. My point is that RIGHT now if you compared both players that Hanley is more valuable. Right now A-Rod is worth nothing. The Red Sox are not paying all that money because Hanley is weak

          • The trouble with Saber-metrics and the old style stats is exactly the same, they deal entirely with past performances. Any future similarities is strictly wishful thinking. Giving players long term contracts couldn’t be more stupid than it is. And I don’t think Friedman will operate that way. I think when a star type player nears the end of club control (That means reasonable costs) that he will be traded for very good prospects. If it is done right, the club will have a continuous string of good players coming up the system. Fans will need to be flexible and not fall in love with players but cheer for the team as a whole.

          • Not sure you can win a W.S. doing it that way because without some history of what a player can do, you can’t determine whether or not you can expect the player to play well. If a player has been performing at a high level wouldn’t you expect him to continue?? Of course this bars any injury. Also, with a constant stream of kids and no vets I don’t think the team can win year after year. Some of those kids are not going to make it. Also without some stars I doubt you would build much tradition. I sure am glad I had Koufax, Drysdale, Snider and others to grow up with. These all stayed longer than you would have us stay.

          • That’s true but back in the good old days we had The Reserve Clause. A club owned a player as long as they wanted to keep him and pretty much pay him what they wanted to, if he didn’t like it, he could quit but he couldn’t go to another club for more money. Free Agency caused the constant escalation of salaries and player movement as they followed the Almighty Dollar. Loyalty works, or doesn’t work both ways.

          • One thing for sure, if Rollins does not do well, I will not be saying that he suddenly got old and you shouldn’t either.

      • I continue to question the trades that Freidman has made so far. I keep hearing Grandal, Grandal, Grandal but frankly I think the jury’s still out on him. If you look at his numbers he is not very good. No question that this was a poor trade and done simply to dump salaries and rid the club of Matt. To just dump salaries I think they could have dumped Either or Crawford just as easily. True, Kemp would have traded higher but the Dodgers did not get equal value for sure.

    • I assume that’s a suggestion, not a report. 😉

      The Phillies are trying to get younger about three years after they should have started doing so. Adding two 30+-year-old outfielders doesn’t accomplish that.

      • It’s only money but…. $40MM plus $96MM saved from Hamels, minus $23MM a year for E & C. Keep them a year ($23MM), then give them away for a bag of balls.

  3. Story referenced at MLBTR says the Pads need a first baseman. They seem to be overloaded with outfielders; Wouldn’t it be funny if they flipped Kemp to Philadelphia for Howard, maybe getting some more cash thrown in?

  4. I just wish someone would tell me exactly which stats or reasons were used to decide the trading of Matt and the letting go of Hanley. If it is sabermetrics then say which ones. I keep hearing that the lineup is now functional but don’t know what that means. To me it just means they got rid of salary because they won’t say that now the Dodgers will win more games than 94, in fact they say they will win 91. Go figure??

    • It was pretty clear, at least with Hanley. They didn’t think he was worth upwards of $16M a year for four years.

      As to Kemp, I gotta believe they knew the same stuff that Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs did in July when he wrote

      Over just the four years between 2010 – 2013, he ranked third-worst in
      UZR/150, and fourth-worst in DRS/150. This is one of those situations
      where both the advanced metrics agree, and they agree on the idea that
      pre-operation Kemp was a comparable defensive center fielder to Shin-Soo Choo, who is not a center fielder.

      Here’s a primer on Ultimate Zone Rating, in case you (like me) need to brush up. Likewise, here’s one on Defensive Runs Saved.

      • Thanks for the info. I still don’t understand some of it but hopefully I will get it as we go along.

          • Even though you are correct about it being spilled milk, I would like to know why Friedman does what he does. Even if I don’t agree I would like to understand his thought process. So far sabermetrics will not change my thoughts.

          • Good luck. I often try to figure out why my cat does what he does, until I remember that that way leads to madness.

      • Not to beat a dead horse (too much), but this does not take into account post July when Matt was healthy and playing RF. He was atrocious in CF and LF, based on Baseball References Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) projected over 1,200 innings with -44 and -26, but in RF he was -7. By comparison Puig was 3 in RF (and 0 in CF). Somewhat apples and applesauce, but on offense, using BR numbers, Matty was at 21 runs over average. His output over the second half was on par with his 2011 season when he was worth 56 runs over average. The bet that management took was that the second half was not sustainable perhaps in the short run and most likely in a 2-4 year span. Joc better have a great glove (as a benchmark, Bourjos a very good fielder with the Cards had a DRS of 12 in CF).

        • Even if his glove is outstanding the fans want offense and so do I. RBIs overcome a lot of bad glovework, just like the Dodgers of last year.

  5. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were the Dodgers who posted the $5MM for negotiating rights to the Korean shortstop, Kang. He wants 3 or 4 years at $4MM to $5MM, peanuts to them. They could have openings at second, third, and short next season. Seager can fill one, maybe Guerrero another, so at least one opening. He looked good in Korea but that’s no guarantee over here.

    • Its like you said. We will have to wait and see to determine how well the trades have done. I think the chances of losing is much greater with the trades than not doing them. Except for the Dee Gordon trade which I believe Kendrick is better than Gordon. The Dodgers did not have to trade Kemp, and they could have resigned Hanley. The Dan Haren trade also makes no sense as signing McCarthy is not impressive. Also signing a injury riddled player like Anderson is not very smart in my opinion,

      • They could have re-signed Hanley but, without the DH option to offer him – sooner rather later – it would have been foolish to try to beat the price the Sawx ultimately paid him.

  6. One thing is for sure, the Dodgers better not roll into Petco expecting to win every series. The Padres have assembled a good team. Get ready. Good luck thinking they will win 94 games in 2015

    • “The Padres did ask for additional compensation from the Dodgers after Kemp’s physical, but Los Angeles refused.”

      I can hear the Dodgers’ F.O. now: “Damn, guys, we’re already giving you Kemp, Fedex and 32 million bucks!”

  7. Looks like Bumsrap had it right. The Dodgers needed to teach Puig to play 3rd base, then they would have had room for Pederson and Kemp.

    • Do I detect a tongue in cheek there? Instead, why not trade Agon and teach Kemp to play First Base?

    • If the Dodgers had a need for an outfielder, they might have re-signed Ramirez to play left like Boston did. Puig at third, Ramirez in left, Kemp in CF, and Ethier in right field and Friedman in the hospital with stomach acid.

  8. poll question on espn baseball, “Is Kemp still an elite player?” 59% No, 41% Yes. I hope the majority are correct in this case 🙂

    • Not an elite player, perhaps, but still a very good one whose production the Dodgers will miss.

  9. I think maybe San Diego is getting cold feet on Kemp. Maybe they realize they have a lot of outfielders already. I’d be happy to get Kemp back but I don’t want to return Grandal. Think maybe they’d take Ethier or Crawford and the same money they got with Kemp? That would be more than half of what’s owed Ethier, almost half for Crawford.

    • The Pads are making some bold moves. I doubt it will put them in serious contention this season, but they could edge out the Gnats for second place.

      • So why did they take Justin Upton today. Bud Black must be working on a 7 outfielder defense…

  10. Well, guess the Padres are really trying to make a run at the NL West. Obtaining Will Myers to go with Matty and also picked up Hennigan to catch. These trades make sense unlike the ones that the Dodgers have done. After all, they could have resigned Hanley, not traded Matt and Dee and maybe picked up Cole Hamels for the staff and not traded Dan Haren. Not seeing any improvement.

        • I doubt they wanted to give up Kemp, but he was the cost of obtaining a quality catcher with several years’ team control.

          • Yeah, sure that his was not the big outfield salary that they wanted to move, but had little choice. Didn’t seem to make much sense for the Padres to take him, so they drove a hard bargain and now have a tremendous hitting outfielder at $13 million per year. The Padres are now using that to gear up for a run.

          • I think that getting rid of Matt, Hanley, and Dan was a political move. I don’t think Donnie personally liked any of the three. Dee could have been shaped but they dangled him and found a taker. It makes no sense to weaken the team for no reason except for maybe money. The thing I find strange is that no one from management has said what a good job any of the three did for the team. Silence.

      • I disagree. They would have loved to have Hanley back, but not at the price that an AL team could pay for a defensively challenged middle infielder.

    • Update. Now the Padres have obtained Justin Upton from the Braves, Will Meadowbrooks from the Red Sox and Bud Norris from the A’s. A pretty good add to Matt Kemp and Wil Myers. How do you like that lineup??