Winter meetings, Day Three

Update: Kemp is gone to the Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects. Fedex also goes to the Padres, along with about $30M to defray part of the cost of Kemp’s contract.

Wow! In very short order today the Dodgers

  • Got 36-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies to fill the gap left behind when Hanley Ramirez went the free agent route
  • Traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins in exchange for pitcher Andrew Heaney, backup catcher Austin Barnes, minor leaguers Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher
  • Flipped Heaney to the Angels for second-baseman Howie Kendrick
  • May be close to signing free-agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy
  • and have discussed adding pitcher Cole Hamels and second-baseman Chase Utley to the Jimmy Rollins deal with the Phillies

And there’s still tomorrow to find deals which send Ethier, Crawford or Kemp to somebody for a starting pitcher or prospects!

Now that they’ve gotten Kendrick, I can’t see why they’d want Utley except as more bait to trade off, as they did with Heaney (hey, kid, I’d have liked to see you pitch!). Do the Phillies need an outfielder?

Update: changed the post title to day 3, which is accurate. I lost a day somewhere.

210 thoughts on “Winter meetings, Day Three

  1. I’d been thinking after what happened with Haren that Wilson might be in danger, that contracts alone wouldn’t determine roster spots any longer. Just didn’t think it’d be so soon. Wonder if League will stay around. He’s an extreme ground ball pitcher, so that’s going for him.

    Dunno what League’s K/BB ratio is. But the FO doesn’t seem to want pitchers who walk very many, with Wilson the most recent example. Dominguez and Magill were others.

    • League has always made me anxious and, while I might not throw him under the bus, his departure wouldn’t necessarily upset me.

  2. Well, as everyone can see. Friedman and the Geek Squad are going to mold the Dodgers into a low cost younger team. He is a risk taker but that should not take him off the hook if the Dodgers do not perform well. As Link thinks, we should wait and see what happens before we scream Kill. I don’t see the squad as giving any thought to tradition or fan favorites. His ego may be the one we have to worry about.

    • I always had the feeling that Ned would have loved to have traded Matty but ownership (he who shall remain nameless) wouldn’t let him.

  3. BTW – I am guessing that the Geek Squad (as Package calls them) is aware that our GG/SS 1st baseman is 32 years old and is owed $89 million over the next 4 years. Sell high?

      • And that point will arrive, you can take it to the bank. The O’Malleys aren’t running the Dodgers anymore. It’s not, and never again will be, the team I grew to love.

    • From the GM’s comments, I get the impression they won’t try very hard to keep Grienke when he ops out, that is offer him more money.

      • Well as we can see, Friedman is doing it his way. I think as you that this will be Greinke’s final year. Don’t know what type formula he Is using but I hope my logic is completely wrong. We will have to wait to evaluate the team’s performance, right Link??

        • At least wait till spring training before throwing brickbats! 😉

          If Greinke has a year similar to last I’d expect them to pick up his option. It’s pretty much acknowledged they’ve got the best top two and possibly three starters in the league in Kershaw and Greinke and Ryu. If Zack pitches well again, I’d keep him.

          • Problem is, it is not up to the Dodgers, it is up to Greinke. If he opts out, the Dodgers would have to renegotiate his contract which I feel Freidman will not do. Bottom line, Greinke gone. If Geinke does bad then the Dodgers probably don’t do so good.

  4. Bad news, WBBsAs, your favorite player, Brian Wilson, has been Designated For Assignment. I had to come back to tell you. My condolences…

        • Yeah. Wilson cashed in big based on 13 good innings at the end of 2013. But he was pretty atrocious last year – putting small villages on base with the BB and his velocity was down again. Probably best that they didn’t try to stick with him just b/c he’s owed all this money…

          • Actually, it’s encouraging to have a front office that recognizes a sunk cost and doesn’t hesitate to deal with it.

          • Agree on the sunk cost notion. No point trying to chase lost dollars.
            . Am wondering who they felt they needed to keep on the 40 man that required Wilson to get bumped. Not that hanging onto WIlson was important. But he was under contract and might have been at least an option to have considered if he had shown some signs of righting of the ship in ST and other guys in the pen got hurt.

  5. A friend forwards a suggestion for off-season reading:

    Edward Achorn- The Summer of Beer and Whiskey. The best book of the bunch, Achorn tells the story of the 1883 season and, he says, the popularization and salvation of baseball as the American pastime. The National League (the only professional league at the time) was a stodgy place in the 1880s: no drinking, expensive (50 cents) tickets and no baseball on Sundays. Along came a German immigrant by the name of Chris Von der Ahe who wanted to make some money. He probably liked baseball, too. He owned a beer garden in St. Louis and realized that baseball could be highly profitable if gate fares were lowered, the game was played on a day when working class people could make it and beer was sold. So he founded a league- the American Association, which eventually merged with the National League- and, as in the Field of Dreams, they built it and they came. Achorn’s lively book is a pretty awesome book for those interested in baseball (duh!) and also Americana. Baseball as capitalism and history and beer, well, not bad. Readable and short- maybe I should have saved this for the offseason (tomorrow!) to liven up the dull, sad days of winter.

  6. OK, so what’s our lineup going to look like? SVS looks like our only traditional 4, and that’s against lefties. And perhaps Gonzo against righties, but how would you line up the rest?

    • This is a good question. I expect SVS to platoon with Crawford, who is no No. 4 hitter. Grandal’s pop is apparently underrated, but I wouldn’t expect him to be a No. 4 hitter any time soon.

      • That’s a plausible lineup. When was the last time the Dodgers had two switch-hitters in their starting lineup?

          • I was just thinking about that lineup in 63. Or maybe it was 65? Those were good times. I just hate that we continue to wait for a championship when we were so close.

          • Quite surprising actually how often we have had a least two switch hitters getting a good number of PAs. The ’88 Champs had Griffin and Shelby and then Eddie came over in ’89 to join them. In the early ’90’s Offferman was a swtich hitter and Webster was around getting a lot of PAs as well . And at one point we had a least five guys appear during the season. In ’98 we had Hundley and Devon White. In 2004-5 we had Li’l Cesar and Milton Bradley and about 4-5 other guys getting PAs (Navarro, anyone?)

  7. Well, now the Geek squad has signed Brett Anderson. He is an accident waiting to happen. Wonder if sabermetrics figures that it is a good signing? He has been hurt more than Dan Haren.

    • I tend to agree with you on this one. Haren has never been hurt much, but Anderson is Mr. Fragility.

      • Guessing that we are done, with Nicasio the first up if there are injuries (betting on it) and then to the farm. Be nice to see one of White’s guys, Lee or Reed, pan out soon and watch Urias and de Leon develop.

    • Bright side to it–if any–is not many of his many recent injuries have been arm injuries.

      However, that’s a bit of a stretch if whatever injury you have means you can’t pitch,.

    • Anderson is a reasonable flyer to take for # 5 pitcher but not at $10 mil per. That has me baffled.

      • It’s only money! Seems like a good way for the Dodgers to use their war chest to out bid other teams for stopgaps and retain flexibility. (not knowing what other offers he might have had, if any – $10 million for 2-3 years?)

  8. I had recorded Friday’s Access Sports Net show discussing the week…
    Bulldog, Hairston, and some other fellow…. Just watched it last night.
    They kept referencing the strength of the Dodgers’ pitching “staff” … and, the perceived need (not being as urgent) to add more arms like McCarthy as the “staff” is so good….
    In my mind, aside from any prospects that come up and ‘light the world on fire,’ we have 2 premier arms. (Kersh and Grienke) – And, that’s all. Who am I missing?

    From 2014: Haren is gone, Beckett retired, Ryu reminds of me of Jerry Reuss as he usually gets hit around pretty good in at least 2 or 3 innings each outing & injury a concern, Howell made everything look difficult in 2014 vs. 2013 where he made it look easy. The young, hard-throwing righty from the Dominican looked good at times, but was all over the place. Kenley was Kenley. Paco looked more bad than good plus injured, Elbert returned just in time to get roped by the Cards. The Beard didn’t have his best year….. but, I still love the guy and wish him the best in 2015.

      • Boras, from that: ” You’re talking about a guy who has a historic record under his belt.’

        Um…..yep, you sure are. Only Boras would say that and think he could sell it.

  9. Here are some interesting facts. The Dodgers won an average of 88 games thru Colletti’s tenure. To me that is remarkable with the Dodgers going thru the McCourt era. He averaged 93 wins the last two years under Kasten. Wonder if Friedman will be able to do that?

    • On balance, Colletti did a decent job. He had his best years , however, when good fortune blessed him – like a juicing Manny Ramirez dropping into Dodger laps in 08 and the largesse of theGuggenheim purse in last two years. In the leaner McCourt years of 10-11-12, Dodgers missed the playoffs. But Colletti just wasn’t the guy to deal with the bloated payroll he had created so I don’t blame ownership for wanting to spend smarter and get younger.

      • Ya know, I get getting younger and spending smarter but after 26 years I would like to see something like a championship. To take a club that is very close to that goal and make wholesale changes doesn’t seem smart when maybe a catcher and another starter and some improvement in the bullpen could have done it. I may be proven wrong and Friedman and company may win. We shall see.

        • Had they done just those things I think they thought they’d only have one shot at winning, in 2015, and that only if a bunch of older players all stayed healthy and had close to career years. I think what they’re trying to do is build for the long haul.

          • I guess I just would like to win something and not wait years for other younger players to bloom. I say that because of only adding unproven Pederson for youth and the jury is out on the catcher we now have. By the way, what do we do after 2015 for 3rd base and 2nd base?

          • Strange, we got older with Kendrick to get better but we younger to get worse with Pederson.

          • It’s simply too early to say that. I would expect Kemp to out-perform Joc offensively, in the short term, but Joc’s defense should be far superior immediately.

          • Matt’s defense was just plain bad last season, and it had never been very good. Those two Gold Gloves he won were as much for his hitting those seasons as for his fielding.

            Look, the Bison hit 182 HRs for the Dodgers in 5 full-time and two part-time seasons (he also struck out about 25% of the time). Pederson isn’t going to hit HRs like that in 2015 or probably ever, but he may be a good-hitting center fielder for years to come. What we do know is that putting him in CF means Puig can go back to right where he and his arm belong and the outfield defense is immediately upgraded.

          • Every team would love to have a WS champion but so many variables go into a 5 game LDS and 7 game LCS and WS that it’s really hard to figure what a winning formula might be. Dodgers had highest payroll this year – the leading offense in NL (by OPS+), two Cy Young winners in the rotation but still couldn’t get past LDS.. Best you can do is build a team that will get to the playoffs, have 2-3 strong starting pitchers, a balanced offense and a good bullpen. That last issue was LA’s Achilles heel last year – probably the reason that Kershaw stayed in longer than he should have in LDS. But Colletti spent big and unwisely there – Wilson, League, etc. ..This was the problem – ownership turned the money tap on, but Collettii wasn’t able to figure out the best way to use it.. He needed to go.

          • I don’t think Colletti should be held accountable for some of the bullpen problems because on paper he would not have known that Wilson’s velocity would fall and on paper League was a pitcher who one would have thought would succeed. Also, Perez. When they opened up the year I dare say, no one would have expected the bullpen to be a problem.
            Those same things can happen to Friedman. Make no mistake, I was not a Colletti fan but I think he tried to overpower the opponents and was successful in some cases but did not plan to use the farm until later in his career. The proof is what type of record the Dodgers have under Friedman’s watch. That is the bottom line. All the rest is BS. I hope all the folks who supported him remember that if Friedman is not successful. Don’t worry though, I will remind them.

          • Dodgers spent more on the bullpen in ’14 than the Astros spent on the entire roster, yet had the 26th ranked ‘pen in baseball. A lot of this was the way Ned operated – collect enough known names and “proven vets” and you are assured of a winning record. That can lead to a huge payroll when ownership gives you an open checkbook as Dodgers did these last two years. I think the guy that spent this much yet get a bad return for that spending had to be held accountable and was.

          • I think Ned was held accountable more for the spending than the Dodger success rate. If they felt that he should have done better than 94 wins or that he should have won a WS then they would have fired him. They wanted to try the Geek method.

          • I agree. It was both the spending and the end result. 94 wins and a first round playoff loss might have been acceptable if Dodgers’ payroll had been $ 120 million. At $ 240 million Dodgers should either win or at least make the WS for Ned to have kept his job, IMO. Sure, Cashman of the Yankees has also had a bunch of first round flameouts even with NY outspending everyone big. But he also has 5 championships and 2 other WS appearances under his belt. Ned didn’t have that on his resume. I think KAsden saw what happened to Yankees the last 5 years – getting old and expensive and not winning much anymore. He wanted to avoid that same scenario by getting some new blood in FO.

          • Do ya think Kasten will try and build a team like he did in Atlanta where he made the playoffs many times but only won 1 W.S. or Washington where in won nothing? I know teaming up with Friedman will help.

          • Sure. On paper the Braves should have won about five WS. Good grief, their starting pitching alone…Maddux? Smoltz? Glavine? should have won two. They had weird breaks, slumps at the wrong time, all manner of things happened to them.

          • During those years I was in and about Atlanta and am very familiar with the teams that Kasten was involved. He was heavily criticized for trying to bring up too many youngsters and not enough vets. I think this is the direction the Dodgers are headed.

      • Ned grew in the job to some degree, thankfully.

        But he remained a bad negotiator. I don’t think he ever had an overall plan or much vision and negotiated out of fear players would walk, a la J.D. Drew. Exhibit A: panicking and signing Juan PIerre after Drew bailed.

        His bad contracts for some veterans along with some plain old bad signings rose up and took the seat out of his pants.

  10. Can someone clear up something? The money sent the Marlins was to cover Haren and Dee, likely as a push toward retirement for Haren but for sure to get him gone. Supposedly the Dodgers pay this amount no matter what Haren does.

    But if he retires, doesn’t he forfeit his salary? If so, are the Dodgers just on the hook for Dee? How will that work?

    • What do you mean “on the hook for Dee?” He’s now property of the Marlins. Haren’s gone too, whether to retirement or to the Fish. I think the $10M is gone too, no matter what Haren decides to do.

      • On the hook just for Dee’s salary, not both. Question was if Haren retires and that means he doesn’t get paid, does that mean the Dodgers don’t send that $10M?

        I’ve read that the Dodgers have tp pay it anyway, but seems like there should have been a contingency clause.

  11. Another analytical take on all the moves:” Couple clips from it:

    “Before the Dodgers decided to throw Colletti out on his toupee, the potential for the Dodgers becoming a juggernaut had to be tempered. Even with their Scrooge McDuck vault-sized financial reserves, Colletti had spent the Dodgers into a bit of a corner.”

    “Already he (Friedman) has turned an average Dodger infield defense into arguably the best defensive infield in the majors.”

    “Friedman has proven that in two months he can both reshape this club in his image and upgrade the roster at the same time. He also isn’t going to continually sacrifice the future for one run at glory, like Colletti so often did. He’s setting up the Dodgers to finally become that juggernaut everyone feared and to remain at that level for a very long time.”

      • Well, it IS! You’re upset about Kemp, and I understand that completely, but you gotta remember that pitchers and catchers don’t show up till February, so there’s still plenty of time for the FO to do more, and I expect them to do so. They know where the holes are as well as we do, after all, and they’re being paid to fill them. We’re just kibitzers on the outside!

    • If he weren’t rightly concerned with the hitting and doubts about Dee being able to sustain his performance, he could have had the best defensive infield in the majors just by keeping Rojas. The kid had a dWAR of 1.8 in just 400 odd innings! Such a move would have saved the Dodgers $20 million and 14 years (ages of Rojas/Dee relative to Rollins/Kindrick).

  12. According to Fan Graphs, from 2008-2014 the Rays were the # 1 team in baseball in offensive WAR. Pretty impressive that Friedman did this with limited resources. It was done through a balanced approach – Rays were # 1 in BB and also in Baserunning. -middle of pack in HR’s. When it came to pitching the Rays were 11th. Not bad, considering that they weren’t able to attract (or retain) big-dollar frontline starting pitchers.. This is not to say that he is infallible. But his track record certainly merits some benefit of the doubt that these aren’t bird-brained movei because he’s sent a few big names packing I think he needs to address offense at 3b – while Uribe’s glove is great, his hitting is terrible. Work still needs to be done on the bullpen also. But we have literally 3 more months to see how some more improvements can be accomplished. And yes, the goal is to win the NL West not just eek into the 1 game WC playoff. But 94 or 96 or even 100 wins are no guarantee of going anywhere in postseason either. The last 20 years are littered with 100 win teams who went home after their LDS.

    • He gave Weird Game James (Loney) a place to play, so I love him for that. Juan Uribe isn’t terrible, but just a different kind of hitter who just gave us the two best seasons of his career (reaching OPS+ 120 last year). I do look for him to regress now at age 35.

      • No doubt Uribe has been offensively productive in ’13-’14, but he’s a career 87 OPS and he put a couple of mid-500’s OPS seasons in ’11-’12. As best I can tell, part of Friedman’s strength with the Rays was having decency at every spot and actually that was Dodgers’ strength in ’14 except for Catcher, which hopefully has been shored up now. Obviously the downgrade from Kenp’s bat is a concern, but that coupled with Uribe falling off the cliff again could pose problems. Clearly, the only solution for 3b is a trade unless Headley is on the radar. Given the groundball orientation of our staff, Uribe’s glove is probably considered important enough to risk the offensive tumble. But as you note, at age 35, the chances of a regression are fairly big.

    • Exactly what is it that Uribe does or doesn’t do to warrant you saying we need improvement at 3rd base??

      • Dodgers have been very lucky with Uribe these last two years offensively. His career indicates, however, that this luck isn’t likely to hold up, especially since he’s turning 35. I agree with you that the offense is at risk of being weakened with Pederson (or more of Ethier) instead of Kemp. For that reason, the risks of Uribe collapsing become more of a problem even though his glove is one of the best at 3b. AF+FZ have to be thinking of some options there.

        • I agree that turning 35 is not a good situation for Uribe. Injury should be the area of concern. I feel that Juan will hit better than .280 and will have 60-70 RBIs. As you stated earlier, his glove is outstanding.

    • Don’t understand your reasoning by the simple fact that Friedman’s Rays never won a W.S. You can say he had no money but you cannot assume he would have won if he had money. He has let this Dodger team regress in hitting and it remains to be seen if it will benefit the team. Sabermetrics does not always win championships. Oakland is a good example of that. If you say well they made it to the playoffs, well Colletti did it 5 times in 7 years so why would an ownership want to tear a team up? Money.

    • Uribe has his shortcomings, but I wouldn’t call his offense terrible the last two years. The previous two it was indeed terrible.

  13. It is apparent to me that Friedman does not care about hitting at all. Last year the Rays were last in OPS, SLG, Runs and RBIs. No wonder it doesn’t bother him to get rid of most of our hitting. Last year the Dodgers led all of MLB in OPS and was in the top 6 in every other hitting category. The Dodgers have not strengthen the pitching yet and if you look at the fielding it is not as bad as it is said to be. I am not going to just be like sheep and follow everything Mr. Friedman says.

    • Actually, they have strengthened the ‘pen, and McCarthy is probably better than Haren (though I was fine with Haren as the fifth starter). At this point, the offense is probably not up to 2014, but that doesn’t mean Friedman “doesn’t care” about it. Kendrick is a significant upgrade on Dee, Rollins was probably the best available bat at his position, and it’s still two-months-plus until spring training starts. By all means, be skeptical, but this is work-in-progress.

      • I agree that Kendrick is better than Dee and Rollins is the best option after letting Hanley walk but I don’t think that McCarthy is an upgrade over Haren. If anything he is slightly worse. I see Freidman betting on the come with Pederson which is what some on this site are doing also. He is not proven at a MLB level.

        • “He is not proven at a MLB level.”

          What rookie is? They are, by definition, in their first year of MLB. They have little-to-no experience in the big leagues.

  14. Whether the Kemp deal is good, whether the Friedman regime turns out to be good, whether Grandal ever learns to frame a pitch, and on and on, none of it matters right now. I am a Dodger fan and have been for as long as I care to remember.
    What I am having a difficult time with now is I think we fans are the only ones who are still around with the Dodgers. Ownership has changed multiple times, there is no allegiance from them to the players, and likewise, there is no allegiance from the players to the owners. Yet I am supposed to blindly go along with what has and is being done with the team now, by guys I don’t know who they are.
    Yeah, I will keep following and rooting for them, or for the brand called the Dodgers, but in my mind, who are these guys? Any of them, who purport to be the Dodgers.
    I am sure this applies to any fan who follows any team in any sport at this time. It’s just that at this point in my life, knowing how hard I work to make a buck and make ends meet, I am supposed to support a team that I no longer know, and players who have low or no morals. Yes I know, Kershaw is a gem of a guy and charitable and such, but for every Clayton there are probably dozens of Rices and Pearsons and Pucketts etc etc.
    I’ll root for them, its what I do, I guess it’s the sheep mentality.

    • I know the feeling. No true Dodger fan would ever trade Kershaw but I bet this new front office crowd would.

        • No, according to the press they are geniuses! Lotta kool aide drinking out there with little hard analysis from what I have seen. I don’t disagree with a lot of their moves but the sportswriters seem to be a bit too fawning to me. Not sure who is feeding him this stuff or if he is making it up on his own, but Saxon at ESPN says that the Dodgers struck out too much in the post season (BTW – the Cards struck out more) and in this era of low scoring getting on base and not striking out is at a premium. So, we are told that they went out looking for grinders, such as Rollins, Kindrick and Grandal who supposedly get on base a lot and strike out in moderation. Fact is, none of these guys have sterling OBPs. Moreover, Grandal strikes out as much as Matty and gets on base less (heck AJ had a dismal season and had an OBP as high as Grandal’s). Of course Matty is essentially being replaced by Joc who has been striking out at a 30% rate in the minors. Again, don’t disagree with a lot of their moves (guess which one I didn’t like), but this kind of press is a bit much.

          • I might point out that Joc also has very high walk numbers and a high OBP (though I, too, would like to see him cut down on the K’s).

    • Grandal apparently already ranks highly on pitch-framing (though I am personally skeptical about the entire concept of pitch-framing). I have some reservations about him because of injury history and the PED connection, but I’m willing to keep an open mind. I wish Kemp were still a Dodger, but I’m guessing that, before his contract is up, the Pads flip him to an AL team where he can eventually DH.

      • What would have prevented the Dodgers from doing the same with Matty before his contract was up?

        • They bet that his value was at its highest right now.

          There’s an old Dodgers tradition of offloading players before their decline really kicks in. See Garvey, Cey, Lopes. Before that see Billy Cox and many others. The bet management makes is that it’s smart enough to recognize the high point of the player’s career and sell/trade him just as he’s tipped over that point.

          • In principle the idea is good, but sometimes they don’t choose the optimum point. Greg Brock was never going to replace Garvey, and Cey had several good years for the Cubs.

          • And Garvey did the same for the Padres, and Lopes did all right with the As and Cubs, then pretty much sank with the Astros. But they replaced Lopes with Sax, Garvey with Brock and Marshall, and Cey with Guerrero. So they only really blew it at 1B, in my memory.

          • Guerrero was not a 3B. Throughout the Dodgers’ entire LA history, Cey has been the only truly memorable third baseman.

          • He was so much better than everyone else that it was ridiculous. Our team had a pitcher who was good enough to earn a cup of coffee at Cleveland, but his talent wasn’t remotely close to Ron’s. When I first saw him at age 14, he was crushing balls at least 50 feet farther than anyone else was capable.

          • Strange how sometimes even smaller guys can crush balls? Guess they just have a certain balance or something. I see guys on the golf course that do the same stuff.

          • The first time I saw Cey, he waddled up to the plate and hit a ball 100 feet over our LFer’s head. The next time up, everybody moved back and he did it again. Her had incredibly quick wrists.

          • I understand the concept, but each of the people you mention were 34 years or older and had already had a couple of years of decline (less so in the case of Cey).

  15. I think that Kemp trade was a bridge too far and find to galling that we had to throw in $30 million. To me a risky proposition. Is our outfield defense all that much better? Puig held his own in CF and was only likely to improve. Matty’s bad defensive performance was when he was in CF and LF. In RF he seems about average. As well, defensively our new catcher is nothing to write home about. On offense, Matty produced a second half that mirrored his 2011 season. I would take the offense combination of him and Ellis over Joc (love the guy) and the new catcher without a second thought. Joc really needs to work on his K rate and not sure that the Bigs is the place to do it. Leave him on the farm for another year and the $30 million you spent could have been used to unload either Dre or CC after 2015. (at that point Dre would have $48 million remaining on his contract and CC $41 million).

    • I hear ya Bob, my sentiments exactly. I think the Kemp trade was a bad one. I love Joc’s potential also. Yea, leave him in the minors another year. Dre and CC could have been unloaded but were not, Too late now. Got to wait and see the results of this trade.

      • I’m sure that AF+FZ got info on what Ethier and Crawford could fetch. But they believed a lot more could been done with the $ 75 mil saved on Kemp and Grandal + Wieland than the $15 mil savings and meaningless prospects that Ethier could bring. Like with Gordon, undoubtedly they thought this was the time to unload Kemp while good value was still there.

        • Don’t think I’ve seen you comment here. Welcome, whether this is your first or you’ve been here before and I missed it!

        • I don’t know about value but the team is definitely weaker. You can’t let Hanley walk and trade Kemp which is -38HR, 160RBIs and not be weaker. The Dodgers won’t get that from Pederson and Rollins.

          • They improve by 5-6 HR’s at 2b with Kendrick v. Gordon and last year Rollins’ HR rate was comparable to Hanley’s. Pederson may not hit 25-30 like Kemp, but 20-25 is not unrealistic. Not saying that the loss of two RHed power bats can just be waved off though.

          • Spin it any way you want. If the Dodgers don’t win at least 94 games then the team is not as good.

          • As Giants showed, a team needs to be good enough to get into the playoffs (which they did with 88 wins). As long as Dodgers have Kershaw, Greinke, and whatever offense and bullpen can be shored up by midseason, they will be a team to contend with in October.

          • I just used last years stats for my point. Are you saying it is OK to be a worse team just as long as the Dodgers make a Wild Card??

  16. Item here earlier about Kemp dissing a teammate, cursing, and throwing equipment makes me wonder if he wasn’t one of what’s been called two disruptive clubhouse influences now gone.

    Suppose the other bad influence now gone must be Hanley. Have seen stuff about his attitude.

    Didn’t see that kind of stuff about other Dodgers from last year. Was there any?

    Clubhouse issues are the kind of thing teams don’t want the public to know much about.

    • I not sure why, but losing Kemp doesn’t bother me as much as it logically should (if that makes sense) 🙂

      • If Kemp plays like second half last year or better and Grandal doesn’t do well, it won’t look so great.

        If Kemp falls off and/or has more health issues, it’ll look a lot better. Plus, he’s 30ish, and the final couple years of his contract could become Ethierish, especially given his defense. If so, that’ll be a SD problem, not a Dodger one.

        Management gambled they were selling high on Kemp. The maxim originated by the Dodgers’ Branch Rickey–better to trade a player a year too early than a year too late–comes to mind.

        Those so upset about Kemp are convinced he’s absolutely sure to return to his MVP level and torment the Dodgers for years. Guess we’ll find out.

        No one has a working crystal ball, but keep in mind Friedman has been called one of the best evaluators of talent there is. Doesn’t mean he can’t miss on some, but smart money would bet he’ll hit a lot more than he misses.

        Speaking of money, this is the kind of deep-pockets move Friedman never could have made before. But in this deal, 30 mil or so to SD is no more than just another tool. (Like the money sent Miami.)

    • Time will tell but I would bet you money the Dodgers will not win 94 games with the team as it exists right now.

      • Odds are the front office, made up of folks pretty much universally recognized as among the best and brightest in baseball, is not done. Season opener still months away.

    • Sorry about the rant of yesterday but I felt and still feel that the Kemp trade was very poor. I can understand the Rollins and Kendrick trades even though each will probably be for one year but the Kemp trade reeks of being personal. I mean if you ask most people would they have made that trade, I think the answer would be a resounding NO. It was a salary dump and a get rid of Matt trade. I mean, Heck , we still have Heisey What is that?? I will always be a Dodger fan but again I think the Front Office is under question. In baseball it is always what have you done for me lately. In this case the jury is still out. On paper so far the Dodgers do not look to be a better team in my opinion.

      • Time will prove whether Kemp for Grandal was the right move, but it’s clearly a genuine attempt to address weakness at a key position. Outfielders, even power-hitting outfielders (other than Giancarlo), are easier to come by than solid catchers. I am ambivalent about Grandal, but it’s the sort of risk you may have to take.

        • I think where I differ from many of you is that I do not have the faith in the Front Office that you do. Grandal has been involved with PEDs and only throws out 13% of potential base stealers. How does that compare with a potential MVP? I don’t know but betting on an outfielder to have injury as opposed to a catcher having an injury is easy. The catcher will get injured more often in my opinion. The fact is, I really believe that trading Kemp was a personal one as opposed to getting fair trade value. I really don’t know how much better Grandal is over Ellis. The Dodgers lost money big time on this deal. Even the other two deals are questionable as Rollins and Kendrick will probably be gone in 2016, then what? Use rookies? Flip players like a small market team? I don’t care much for this type of business and it is yet to be seen whether or not it will work.

          • I think the jury is out on whether the Kemp/Grandal swap is beneficial or not. Like you, I wonder about Grandal’s injury history and PED record. At the same time, I think Kasten has made it clear that lowering payroll is not a goal in its own right – rather, it’s a by-product of getting quality younger players. While the Dodgers have a defensively superior Pederson and a nearly-ready Seager already in the system, their only current catching prospect is in the lower minors.

          • Ya know, the Dodgers are 20 mil over last years payroll as we speak. We are said to be younger but we have Rollins and Kendrick in places where we had Hanley and Dee. Doesn’t sound younger to me. I am not sure that if it were me making the decisions I would have signed a Lester, Scherzer or another Top starter, resigned Hanley to play ss this year and to 3rd base when Uribe leaves after next year and beefed up the bullpen and I bet the team would have more than 94 wins and still not overspent much after dumping Ethier and Crawford.

          • It’s pretty clear that the 36-year-old Rollins is a one-year placeholder until Seager is ready. Kendrick is at least as good a defender as Dee and a much better hitter (look at Dee’s second half last season). He’s only 31, so he’s got a few years left in him until one of the Dodgers’ minor league infielders gets MLB-ready.

            Hanley wanted a long-term deal. He got one that is much longer than the Dodgers were willing to give him, in part because of his shoddy defense and in part because of his injury history.

            As I’ve said before, if they could have traded Ethier or Crawford this week I’m sure they would have. They apparently had no offers they liked. They did get an offer they liked for Kemp.

          • Look for Ethier and/or Crawford to be gone before spring training as the Dodgers are already 2 to 3 players over for the starting 25. Link, you know as well as I that if the Dodgers threw in 30 mil they could have unloaded Crawford or Ethier.

          • They got a catcher who can hit and two pitching prospects they may turn around and flip for another starter. Who knows? And Fedex isn’t much of a loss, considering they now have Grandal and AJ and had to DFA Lavarnway to dump a catcher. And they got four years of no Kemp salary of $20M a year.

          • And they gave San Diego 30mil. Look, Grandal hit .225 and had a.327OBP. Not too good.
            Link, this was a great debate and we will agree to disagree. We both will have to wait and see who got the best deal. I hope I was not too pointed but I get excited.

          • Grins. You do indeed get excited!

            From SI’s recap:

            What’s clear is this: Los Angeles added depth, defense and financial
            flexibility — and did so without trading away any of its top prospects.


            the Dodgers are in a better position than they were a week ago. The
            organization is more financially streamlined, and top prospects Joc Pederson and Corey Seager now have a clear path to everyday jobs.

            When most of the experts seem to think the Dodgers improved their lot, I’m willing to be persuaded. I’ll miss Matt and Dee, but seeing Kendrick and Rollins at second and short should improve the infield defense a lot, which will make the pitchers happy.

            And, we don’t know what else they might do. Their outfield is still crowded and they want to find another starter and some bullpen help.

          • I agree that Pederson and Seager do have clear paths but the unknown is whether or not they will excel. I want the kids to do well but I want to win a championship more. I do think Ethier will leave soon. Not much time left as I am old.

          • Boston could also offer Hanley the option to DH in future years, and to handle the short-porch LF at Fenway.

  17. There are still too many outfielders: Puig, Joc, Crawford, SVS, Heisey, Ethier. On the face of it, Ethier would seem the likeliest to go but, if Joc falters, Andre would be the best alternative – but he doesn’t want to be a bench player next season.

    • Lotta pressure on Joc to perform and they don’t seem to have the luxury at this point of keeping Heisey in the 25 to at least start off with a platoon in CF. They may trade Dre and cash for a bag of beans, as it is hard to see where he fits in to me.

      • It doesn’t matter now as the best hitting outfielder is gone. They might tell you that the Dodgers are better without Matt Kemp but I am not ever going to buy that load of S%%3!!!

        • I like Kemp a lot, but his defense is dubious and his offense has holes, especially the K’s and the decline of his running game. The Dodgers could conceivably be better without him, but even next season may not tell the entire story.

        • Whatever you may think of this alleged havoc, even our current flush owners can;t continue to support $ 250 mil payrolls indefinitely. 2015 looks like a transition year where the club is trying to stay competitive while figuring a way to lighten payroll, present and future. We still have the ability to shore up weaknesses via midseason trades.

          • They really can’t keep the payroll that high if the snafu over Time Warner’s demands for carriage fees for televising the games doesn’t end. Either TWC lowers its price or it tries to renegotiate the fees it pays the Dodgers for the content. At some point fan interest is going to begin to fall if they can’t watch the games. Nobody can attend every home game in person.

          • What makes you think that the current owners cannot support a 250 mil payroll?? Based on their current TV contract and what they paid for the team, I would say it is no problem. You are just believing their new front office’s current sales job. Just because Friedman is from a small market team does not make the Dodgers a small market team.

      • I’ve always liked Dre, and think he could stage a comeback, but the indicators don’t point in that direction. His departure would probably be the best-case scenario, though I doubt they’d get much of anything for him.

    • Send Joc back to AAA, DFA Heisey and play Crawford in left, Puig in center and Ethier in right or switch Puig and Ethier. Joc has not proved his worth and Heisey should have never been obtained by this new stupid front office.

      • Mike Petriello of Dodgers
        approves of the Kemp deal for a whole bulleted list of
        reasons. package206, read those and see if they make you feel any

        Are you forgetting that Ethier is basically hopeless with a bat against left-handers? He had that one year where he had about 7 walkoff hits, but he’s been right about 2.5-3 WAR for the last few years, which is better than negative but nothing to write home about.

      • Joc eventually may not hit in the majors, but he’s regarded as having a lot of potential.

        He hasn’t had enough chance to prove his worth. People may have been expecting him to come in and hit .400 with 10 HR in Sept–but even if he had it wouldn’t have meant any more than his struggling did. Got to give him more chance than that.

        • You are correct. If the Front Office has made any mistakes, it will show up in due time. It is also not fair to Joc to prejudge him without a little history to warrant a judgement.

      • The front office, clearly, has a plan. Ethier is the sore thumb in the outfield and, while Joc might not have an immediate impact, I’d say he deserves a shot. They always have an option – literally – to send him down. Puig would be better in a corner.

        Replacing Kemp’s offence will be a challenge, but they’re not necessarily done with their moves.

  18. More “A” grades for the Dodgers, this time from Jonah Keri at Grantland.

    What we can say for certain is that the Dodgers now have one of the
    better double-play combinations in the NL; they dumped a contract that
    could have been an albatross for them over the next five years and got
    real talent in return; they kept all of their key prospects and added
    minor league depth in the Kemp and Gordon trades that they could use to
    make other moves; and they have the money, the flexibility, and
    (clearly!) the will to keep upgrading as opportunities present

  19. I’m just picking my jaw up.

    I saw in passing this morning that Dee was traded, now Kemp.
    I agree with much of what’s posted below: that Matt was turning around, but also that he’s injury-prone.
    Of course, all of this — like the speculation before any season — is based on past performance and expectations. I learned my lesson after the first couple months of this past season — that what’s on paper doesn’t mean a thing until they start playing . . . then continue to play.

    So . . . while I will miss Dee and Matt, I am hoping that the Front Office knows what they’re doing . . . AND that whatever 25 we end up with are winners thru next October!

  20. Our favorite Giants blogger gives the Dodgers an “A” for both the Marlins deal (Heaney, Hernandez, Hatcher & Barnes) and the Padres deal (Grandal, Weiland, Eflin for Kemp and Fedex). He also gives them “As” for the Rollins deal and the Kendrick deal. But! He only gives them a “B” for the Brandon McCarthy deal. As he says, “Ha ha, there goes your perfect GPA, Dodgers. Hope you picked out some good safety schools, losers.”

    I don’t think I’d grade the Kemp deal as highly as an “A”, but I like the others a lot.

  21. Just listening to MLB radio it seems that most fans are irate over the Kemp trade. Even Steve Sax can’t figure out why they traded Kemp and 31mil for a catcher and two prospects. Their thoughts were that Crawford and Ethier could have been given away with money and the Dodgers still would have had the better player (Kemp).

    • If you have grape, orange and apple juice and people only want grape juice, if you really want to make a deal you gotta give up the grape juice. It may be they felt that they could never get a better price for Kemp, just like they probably felt they could never get a better price for Gordon.

  22. Mark Saxon at ESPN thinks part of yesterday’s frenzy had to do with getting a clubhouse full of good players who could play with one another.

    . . . what this really was about was restoring functionality, to the roster
    and to the atmosphere around the team. That last part is so nefarious as
    to invite ridicule. The players don’t have to hold hands and engage in
    group therapy before every game. They also probably shouldn’t curse
    loudly, throw equipment and demean a teammate when they’re told to get
    ready to play another position, as Kemp did — according to team sources
    — when the Dodgers decided he could no longer play center field and
    moved him to left.

    • Some sloppy reporting here. He goes with the narrative of Rollins, Kindrick and Grandal being grinders in that they get on bass and stike out in moderation, when if fact Grandal gets on base far less than Matty and K’s about as much. He also talk about how much the Dodgers struck out during the post-season against the Cards. Matty struck out 3 times in 17 plate appearances with an OPS of .886. Gimmie a break. A number of sportswriters seem to be falling all over themselves to praise the new front office and not doing their homework.

      • “get on bass”

        Sounds like if this baseball thing doesn’t work out, they might have a future on the pro bass fishing circuit. -;])

  23. Arizona’s trade of Wade Miley to Boston won’t make Scott Van Slyke happy. SVS is 8-for-18 lifetime vs. Miley with five of the hits being homers and the other three doubles. He also has three walks for an OBP of 524,

  24. I will miss Kemp and, to a lesser degree, will also miss Dee (whose replacement, however, is a clear upgrade). I hope both do well (but not v. the Dodgers). The Dodgers did need a catching upgrade because A.J. is aging (for a catcher) and somewhat fragile), but I’m not totally sold on Grandal (though I expect he and A.J. will share the position). I expect it won’t be a complete platoon because Grandal hits both ways.

  25. Well, lets see? The Dodgers upgraded at 2nd base but not by much. Rollins in for Hanley we will call a wash. Grandel for Kemp and 31mil is beyond reason. Signing McCarthy also makes no sense as it is not an upgrade over Haren. There a few prospects involved but all in all the Dodgers are a worse team than last year by plenty. Possibly adding Hamels would be a help but offensively the Dodgers are WAY worse.

    • Better on defense. McCarthy should be much better than Haren (though we are stuck with him for 4 years). My worry is the loss of the two big righthanded bats, so a lot riding on SVS.

      • Kendrick is a clear offensive upgrade on Dee. Also, they’re not necessarily done.

        True about SVS, but also a big opportunity for Joc. I don’t think the Kemp move will satisfy Ethier, so he’s likely gone.

  26. Rubby de la Rosa and Allen Webster back to the West with reported trade of Wade Miley by Snakes to Bosox.

  27. interesting comments from a blogger on I think he makes a bit of sense

    This is all about the big picture. The new Dodger brass understands the big picture. Rollins at short while Seager matures, Kendrick has more years in him at second. These guys are proven winners with solid defense, plenty to offer offensively. They are going to be younger on the infield in a year or two with players at least as good as these. Now about Kemp and Ethier…Kemp is one year removed from having doctors tell us that his career may be over because of his ankle. And he took a long time for a young man to come back from that shoulder. It is a risk to keep or to move. But either way, the outfield circus needs to end. Get Pederson in center, move Puig back to right, platoon Crawford and Van Slyke, and get Grandal to eat up time behind the plate. Throw in McCarthy and another solid reliever and we are better than last year and into the future. Look at the slash lines, look at the defense, look at the leadership…all improved. Look, you can’t live in the past by holding on to Ethier & Kemp or you end up where The Philadelphia Phillies are today. Keep it going, Freedman & Zaidi…

    • Not sure I share the imperative that someone has to move. In this case, just so we can put a rookie in CF. Don’t like the idea of losing our two big righthanded bats (Hanley and Kemp) either.

  28. Trying to figure this switching 2nd baseman business. Maybe Austin Barnes is the second coming of Jeremy Brown.

  29. It’s 3 a.m. Buenos Aires time, and I’m gonna have to sleep on this (though often, in BA, things are just getting started around this hour).