106 thoughts on “Open Thread #6

  1. I plan on being a more regular poster on this site. I read Dodger Insider with Jon of course, along with Dodger Digest and True Blue LA. But in terms of online Dodger community – well, this is the one for me. Thanks again Link for keeping the old Dodger Thoughts now Elysian Fields gang together. I like it here.

  2. All that to say, I look forward to many great discussions of all the Dodgers news and game day threads this coming year.

  3. Barring any new changes to position players, I have the roster as Grandal, Ellis, Adrian, Howie, Rollins, Uribe, Guerrero, Barney, Turner, Puig, Ethier, Crawford, Pederson. Add 12 pitchers=25. Your thoughts??

    • What about Van Slyke?

      To be honest, I think SVS is the easiest outfielder to trade at this point (beyond Pederson and Puig who won’t be traded anytime soon). But SVS has trade value that Ethier and Crawford don’t have.

      But yeah, I just realized you actually don’t have either Van Slyke or Heisey mentioned. Maybe Guerrero goes down and another outfielder on the list.

      • Can’t send Guerrero down because of contract stipulations. If Van Slyke or Heisey stay someone has to go. Who? Maybe Barney to save VS?

        • Right, I had forgotten that about Guerrero. In that case, yeah I think it’s Barney that goes. Which is a loss on defense but a gain on offense. I don’t know where Guerrero will play in the field when he is in the line-up: second base, short, left field?

          • Which is sort of why he is more valuable than Barney – better bat (probably) and more field options. Although I’m thinking Barney has softer hands – especially at 2nd – then Guerrero.

        • Ya know, now that you mention it, you could be right. I think the goal is to rid the Dodgers of their stars and begin a new stream of players so the fan base does not fall in love with their players.

          • All the money spent the first couple years of new ownership is just stop gap. Spend like drunken sailors and stay competitive, but the true goal was farm system and stockpile talent. They will rely on young (cheap) pitchers in their system to replace Greinke and the young hitters will replace Kemp. The exception will be Kershaw, but even they see that a special talent like him comes once in a lifetime. I would not be surprised if the salary level drops by 1/3 in the next 2-3 years.

          • Ya know, replacing players of lesser talent is dangerous. The goal is to win and the better the talent, the better chance of winning. I do not agree with the current front office but I was not Ned’s biggest fan either. To me Ned was successful to a degree and it remains to be seen if Friedman and company will succeed.

  4. Thanks for the greetings friends!

    I have been thinking lately about Cole Hamels and our new FO. My thought is if Ned was still in charge and pulling the strings, he would have traded one or two (or all three?) of Pederson/Seager/Urias to get Hamels. I highly doubt it happens now – for which I am pleased. Don’t get me wrong, Hamels would likely be great for the Dodgers for the next 2-4 years, but the price I believe would be too high.

    Anyway, I think that’s the difference in approach between Ned and our new FO team.

    • I think it is possible that Ned would have traded someone for Hamels and I would not be opposed if the price was not to high like trading two of the three for Hamels. I think Ned would have went after Lester hard. The Dodgers now need to get another ace as the new front office will probably let Greinke go.

      • Hmm, I wonder though if two of Pederson/Seager/Urias maybe too high a price.

        I think the new front office will value Grienke highly next off season, but are also aware that Price and others will also be available.

        • So far, Friedman has not obtained any big money players from free agency that I recall. I could be wrong. I think Friedman’s ego will cause him to go with lesser players.

          • Hmmm, I would disagree with you… except so far with the Dodgers he has shed more big money players (Kemp, Hanley) than he has brought in. Still, I believe that will change at some point (soon) during his time with the Dodgers.

          • Yeah, none that I can think of. But, I do think either he re-signs Grienke or they go after another front line pitcher next season.
            And Farhan was saying they are interested in Yoan M. – the young Cuban infielder. That could cost a fair bit.

          • Man, I hope he signs Moncada. I am hoping for this signing as I believe Friedman might jump on a prospect. Still it is a lot of money for Friedman to spend.

          • He doesn’t have a reputation for spending big money because he did not have access to big money in Tampa. Things are different, we will have to wait and see.

          • Not necessarily. Some players, such as Ethier, are vastly overpaid. Others are underpaid because they haven’t reach free agency or even arbitration-eligibility.

      • I’d take Greinke over Price or Scherzer or Lester. Just my opinion. But the grass is always greener, and the FO will let him go for signing one of the others.

  5. I am amused by you guys who want Friedman et. al. to empty his wallet for Scherzer, Shields or Lester. Even if it’s other people’s money, as this is, it’s funny to hear people advocating spending gazillions of dollars rather than exercising frugality, particularly when there’s no guarantee of good results either way. Remember the number of free agents who have failed over the years, even for the Dodgers. Andruw Jones, anyone? OTOH, yes, Kevin Brown worked out well for us. But still.

    • How about all the prospects that have come down the Dodger pathway? How many have succeeded? Bet the percentages are better with FAs, trades and proven players than prospects.

      • Maybe, but remember the strings of Rookies of the Year the Dodgers have had.

        First four in a row:

        1979 – Rick Sutcliffe (1979)
        1980 – Steve Howe (1980)
        1981 – Fernando Valenzuela (1981)
        1982 – Steve Sax (1982)

        Ten years later:

        1992 – Eric Karros (1992)
        1993 – Mike Piazza (1993)
        1994 – Raúl Mondesi (1994)
        1995 – Hideo Nomo (1995)
        1996 – Todd Hollandsworth (1996)

        All but Hollandsworth turned out to be long-time MLB players and most became All-Stars. One of them is going to be a Hall-of-Famer.

          • Nine that won awards. There were a lot that were serviceable, and some which were great but didn’t win. The Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey infield, for example, was all homegrown. Others became useful trade material (and horrible trade material: see Pedro Martinez, traded away for DeShields).

            All I’m saying is there are several ways to skin the World Series cat.

  6. It looks like Scherzer may go to the Nats. If he does go, it is said that the Nats may trade one of their starters. Included are Zimmerman, Strasburg and Fister. Any of those guys would be welcome support to the Dodger staff after the two starters they signed, Anderson and McCarthy. Bet it won’t happen because the Friedman’s ego is too big.

      • Because he has made the Dodgers a WEAKER team while cutting payroll. We can argue that the team is better but deep down inside we know that it is not. Everybody puts their faith in the new FO not in what is real. His reputation is such that he is known for using very little money and fielding a competitive team. I said competitive not a winning the WS team. He thinks he can win with this team even though it is worse and that my friend is ego. If he wins it will be pure luck. If he does not he will blame Donnie or injury or anything except him.

        • Actually, the Dodgers’ payroll has increased. As Link says, though, we won’t know for some time whether or not the Dodgers are better than last year, but they should still be strong division favorites and a potential Series team again.

        • Think we are stronger in starters and relievers given that we were average last year (thought we thought we were strong in both areas going into last year as well), weaker on offense (unlikely to be the top team in NL, excluding Rox, again this year) and stronger on defense. Will be interesting to see how it all works out, but should be able to make playoffs again (and then roll the dice).

          • I think most everyone here agree with your thoughts and I believe the FO does too so there should not be many problems.

          • Oh, I am sure that there will be “problems”. One never knows with pens and Donnie is going to have to manage this new offense without the big guns in the middle, so I am guessing some trail and error. If we are not getting results by mid season, the FO will be under pressure to go shopping to plug holes.

    • Well, at least he’s not going to the Gnats (whose rotation, except for BadGums, is looking weaker and injury-prone).

    • I get the feeling that we are done for now as regards starters. Think they will sit on things for now and next year deal with Greinke/replacement issue and see how our young arms develop in the meantime.

      • I am sure the FO has a plan mapped out that most folks here will agree with. I am not sure how many of last years team will remain after 2015.

        • All I’m saying is they clearly have a plan they believe in. I think they deserve a chance to see if it works, and, (since we have no say in personnel matters anyway) we might as well sit back and see what happens.

          And I don’t understand why you or we should care how many of last year’s team will remain after 2015. Certainly Kershaw will, Greinke probably will, Ryu probably will, and there’s turnover in the infield, although Gonzalez is still under contract beyond then. If Crawford or Ethier goes after this season is either a real loss? Presumably we keep Puig in the outfield, too.

          Last year’s team, after all, failed in the NLCS. They were special enough in the regular season, but they couldn’t beat the Cardinals when it counted. Take note of what Charlie Steiner says here: they were seven games under .500 against teams with records over .500. In other words, they had trouble beating winning teams. Changes needed to be made, and they were.

          • We will sit back and see what happens but to watch most of the players leave in a short period of time is not much fun. Especially when the players that are replacing them is questionable. You obviously think this team is a possible WS team, I do not as it is right now. I hope I am wrong. Dodger tradition is worth something and I doubt the new regime cares much about that. Yes, changes did need to be made but some are open to debate. We will see the outcome soon enough. Please accept the fact that I am not one who will blindly follow the new FO just because they want me to. I will trust past history over the past 60 years I have followed this team, not sabermetrics and ego.

          • I don’t subscribe to the notion that the Dodgers were a weak team last year and therefore changes had to be made based on what Charlie says. You can cherry pick and note that they had winning records against both the Cards and the Giants. From what I saw they were the victims of a couple of unKershaw like starts and a weak bullpen. You could have just done what they did and strengthened the pen and reinforced the starters. As regards the position players, one critique I heard in regard to being a weak playoff team was that they struck out too much against the Cards. First, the Cards struck out more than the Dodgers. Second, while Dee struck out 6 times, Hanley, Kemp and Eliis struck out a total of four times. The big Kers, Puig, Crawford and Uribe are still there. I think the moves they made had a different rationale. Sorry, Charlie.

  7. Well, the Dodgers signed another one of Friedman’s favorites with Eric Bedard. He is really a jewel with his 4.75 ERA and his 1.49 WHIP. He pitched the 6th most innings for Tampa last year. Guess all the writers will assume that he will blossom into the next Cy Young award winner. This has gotta be good if the FO did it. Better wait and see.

    • It’s a minor league contract, package. Relax.

      From Mike Petriello:

      So what’s he doing in Los Angeles? This falls squarely under the
      category of “every team hands out a ton of non-roster invites to guys
      like this,” because it’s difficult to see Bedard cracking the rotation,
      and while he’s never been a reliever, it’s not like he’s been
      particularly hard on lefties over his career. There’s worse things in
      the world than having a veteran depth guy who could be an interesting
      long man / emergency starter, and maybe that’s the upside here. Maybe
      he’s just around for spring training depth; after all, while Andrew
      Friedman did employ him in 2014, he also released him in 2014. (Twice,
      actually, because he was briefly cut free at the end of camp.) Depth
      isn’t a bad thing. This is depth. That’s probably it.

      • Guess if you sign enough scrap heap players the odds are you will find one who can play.

        • Package206: Curious why you are so down on this front office when the past 4 GMs – actually 6 if you count interms – have not done the job of winning the World Series anyways? This is an honest question – and not an attempt to bait or bother you.

          • WinnipegDave: True the Dodgers have not won a WS in 27 years and they have had several GMs. The past GMs never had the money to assemble a really good team with the exception of Ned. Ned did gather talent and still did not win big. I think the FO gave up prematurely when so much money had been spent and Kasten wanted to turn the Dodgers into Braves west. Truly a few changes and I think the team could have won. As a matter of fact, I think they would have had a much better team than the one we now have. Enter Friedman, not listening to what he says or just saying give him a chance. Would you have made any of the moves he made? I think he is resting on all the postive hype he got in Tampa. I like to think if it does not make sense, it probably is not true. No way would I have traded Matt at this time and he was by no means my favorite Dodger. I would have maybe dumped Ethier or Crawford. Getting Grandal is not a huge plus based on his stats and certainly not anywhere near a good trade for Kemp even paying part of his salary. I think Friedman has an ego to feed and he can’t do that with existing superstar players or even obtain well known superstars which is why no major players have been obtained and some have been gotten rid of. I think he wants it to be all about him. I just don’t like his attitude as he was having too much fun tearing down the old team and I believe he will continue this trend. Then he and the new GM will bring in an endless stream of different players coming in and out where you will not be able to have a favorite for long like the A’s. Really, wouldn’t you if you were building a team look at your outfield and keep the best 3 you had and do something with the remaining outfielders and kept Hanley? I know some think I am just negative but I want to win as bad as anyone. I also know most of the folks do not and will not agree with most of what I have written because they have so much faith in the FO and all I can say is I am not right all of the time but I am not wrong all the time either.I also do not understand why I am expected to also believe the FO is right. I truly hope I am wrong and the Dodgers win a WS. We shall see.
            PS Does that about cover it?haha

          • Thanks so much for your reply Package. I appreciate your honesty and love the passion you have for the Dodgers. It must be frustrating to have almost everyone disagreeing with you even while we all want the same thing – a Dodger team that is constructed in such a way that they have all the parts and pieces to finally win the World Series. I agree that this new front office has changed the team dramatically and for all anyone knows – them, you, me – they could fall flat on their face and finish third (or worse) in the NL West. There are question marks – do we have enough starting pitching?; is the infield too old?; is the bullpen better?; etc. The flipside of course is that this year’s team could end up having a deeper roster of talented players, that the defense will sparkle, that the outfield will be good, and the bullpen great. Again, for all anyone knows – them, you or me – this team wins 96 games, finishes first and has a wonderful run through the playoffs. To be honest, my dad is worried like you! I’m more optimistic and quite excited for this season to begin.
            So thanks again for your willingness to share more about where you are coming from. It really helps me not feel like you are just being contrary for contrary’s sake. We may disagree but that’s ok. We both just want the Dodgers to win.

          • I am sympathetic to Package’s views and disagree with the notion that we are finally constructed to win the WS. The team was already quite capable of doing so the past two season, if it weren’t for some unKershaw-like performances and Hanley’s ribs. The new FO was faced with the Hanley situation and probably made the right decision for at least the medium term and I think the wrong decision as regards Matty in both the short and medium term. Still, I think the rebalancing they have done (more pitching-Package disagrees on this-and defense) will still get us into the playoffs with a decent chance to go all the way.

          • Ya know Bob, I do feel we have a chance to win but I think we now have a greater chance to lose with it seems more of a chance for injury with Grandal and an older Rollins and the addition of the 2 new starting pitchers also the addition of an unproven Pederson.

          • The two major problems I see have not changed…weak bullpen and wrong manager. Now we are a little weaker hitting team. But the key for postseason success is getting hot at the right time. Two years ago, we were on fire….in August. Last year we were good but never did click on all cylinders. St Louis seems to get getting as the post season approaches, the Giants seem to click once they get to the post season. Our timing is just off. I put this on the manager. But what do I know.

          • You know a lot. You won’t have to worry about Donnie if the Dodgers don’t win as I feel that he is earmarked as the fall guy this year. They won’t blame any of their moves.

          • Thanks for trying to understand my viewpoint. You are correct that we both want the Dodgers to win!

    • Remember him fondly from his days with the O’s. The really got a haul for him, including Adam Jones, old friend George (Duckbill) Sherrill and Chris Tillman, from Seattle

    • It’s all philosophy. Some GMs/clubs like big name players plus plodders to win, others like to go middle of the road journeyman type players, no stars, no bottom feeders. I think almost all fans prefer the star system. And I think that there is a good possibility that the route the Dodgers SEEM to be headed, successful or not, will in the long run cost them fan support. My preference is having star players to watch. I have enjoyed watching the Dodgers over the years because of the big name players they had who excited us fans, Kemp, Kershaw, Greinke, Ethier a few years ago, all the way back to Snider, Koufax, Campanella, etc. To me, winning a World Series won’t make up for having a dull team; having 25 good but no great players isn’t as good as having a few great ones, some good ones, and a few players we could do without. It’s all philosophy…

  8. Should the Dodgers try and sign Casey Janssen? Anything left in his tank do you think?

    • I think that it looks like the FO is bringing in a bunch of potential relievers so why not Janssen? They do not believe in bringing in proven talent. Hopefuly we will find some diamonds in a bunch of coal.

      • Ned brought in Chris Pérez and Wilson as “proven talent,” and we can see how that worked out.

        • Agreed Perez was a bust but Wilson played great his first year and then received a new contract before he blew up.

          • Ned gave Wilson an absurd player-option contract on the basis of a few good innings at the end of 2013.

          • Agreed the player option 2nd year option was not a good idea but after what he showed in his 18 games .066ERA and .088 WHIP, I can see giving him another contract. Those innings he pitched were innings under pressure most of the time. After his 1st year, bet you weren’t screaming for the Dodgers to get rid of him.

          • I’ve never liked, but was willing to accept him if he could perform as he did in that brief showcase. He couldn’t, and the player-option contract was a disaster.

          • As I recall the market for him was strong and he probably had some three year offers. He was a proven closer coming back from injury, who looked to be back on track. Hard to be too tough on Ned.

  9. Funny….

    I always ask my patients if they have any New Years’ Resolutions ….
    One actually stopped and asked me the other day… ” How about you, Doc? ”


    Not having even thought about it, my first thoughts turned to Vinny, our Dodgers, and
    Spring Training. So, I told him that my New Years’ Resolution is to make it out to
    Camelback and check out our Dodgers. ( Nice man because, as it turns out, he’s a
    big Giants fan – and, he told me was going to go to AZ to check out his Giants and
    he didn’t make any wise cracks about the World Series, Kershaw, et. al. )

    Spring Fever, Catch It! 🙂

  10. I wonder what it would have taken to get Grandal, other than Kemp and $32MM? Could we have gotten him for a prospect or two, not the Big Three? How about Ethier or Crawford and ALL their salary? Trading Kemp is about the only thing I really dislike the new FO for. And the only good thing I can say about them is that they’re NOT Ned!

    • Pretty sure if anyone had offered anything for either Andre or Carl it would have been taken. Kemp was the only one of the four outfielders (other than Puig, whom they weren’t going to let go) anybody wanted to give up much for.

        • I was really disappointed in AJ last year and now he’s a year older… I’m willing to give Grandal a chance to show his wares before I knock him. Unless you live in San Diego, you probably haven’t seen much of him either.

          • Based on stats, Ellis is a better defender than Grandal and a little worse on offensive. Not much, however.

      • They really didn’t give up “much” for him, remember, they got $32MM too.. I was basically saying give up one of them for nothing, we pay all their salary. That ought to be worth something… Plan B: We negotiate a deal with Ethier; example: We owe him about $52MM, we offer to pay him $2MM a year (deferred payments) for the next 20 years and release him. He is now a free agent, can make his own deal with the DiamondBacks. Everybody’s happy.

        • The Pads got a player in his prime at basically $15 million a year over five years. By comparison, Ryan Braun, a year older, has a seven year contract at about $20 million a year. Who got snookered on that one? Believe that the FO was a little bit too eager to implement their plan.

    • I used to think Ned was not too good either but his results for nine years were not that bad. 5 playoff appearences with 3 divisional championships is not that bad over 9 years. This while being employed by the McCourts while they were owners. Not saying a change was not necessary but Ned wasn’t so bad compared to the current change.

      • “Compared to the current change?”

        They haven’t even had opening day of their first season yet! That’s a really unfair comparison, package. I know you dislike them, but come on.

        • I feel that I misjudged Ned as his results showed me that he had made some questionable moves but he has also achieved some good results that should not be over looked. I see where you think that the new regime should have an opportunity to show what they can do and they will but it should be questioned if those moves do not make sense. I hope the Dodgers win the WS this year and that will put the question to rest. I also know that if it doesn’t work out the new regime should be held accountable as no one said they should have years to build and rebuild and strut their stuff.

  11. 18 year old Julio Urias named top lefthanded prospect in basbeall! Who needs Scherzer? FO needs to keep a slot in the rotation open.

      • On the other hand, if he is mature beyond his years, as those both inside and outside the organization are saying, keep in mind that Clayton debuted in the majors at age 20, after 30 games at A level and below and 18 games at AA level. Urias already has 40 starts at A level and below. With a season at AA he could be ready by next year.

        • I don’t think they’re going to risk his future. The SOP these days is to increase innings very gradually as the prospect matures.

          • OK, but 50 his first year and 90 the next so shouldn’t the target for next year be at least 130. By comparison, Clayton went 122 innings in AA in 2007 and then 61 innings in 2008 before coming up and pitching 107 in the Bigs

    • Don’t worry Bob, there is a good chance that injury could strike this rotation. I sure hope not. Don’t know if the Dodgers would give the kid a chance. Maybe.