New Dodgers Notes

10/27: New Dodgers’ post up top

Buster Olney of ESPN offers up seven things the Dodgers should do this off-season.

  • Re-sign Zack Greinke, no matter how much he wants or how long he wants it for
  • Decide on Mattingly’s fate
  • Add another deluxe starting pitcher
  • Decide Puig’s fate.
  • Keep Howie Kendrick
  • Shore up the bullpen
  • Change the clubhouse culture

On Puig: Olney reports that on the day Puig started in the series against the Mets he caught the last bus from the hotel, he didn’t start the stretch period with the rest of the team and he didn’t take as many cuts in the batting cage as usual. He thinks the Dodgers need to decide whether Yasiel’s “quirks” can be lived with and if so, they need to get the other players to learn to live with them too.

Well, maybe. From what we’ve read in the media Puig does seem to have a little trouble with clocks, but he’s shown nothing to me that would indicate he’s not a team player.

On clubhouse culture: He says some players felt “unsettled because for others besides Kershaw and Adrian Gonzalez and a handful of others, there was no sense about who might be headed out the door and who might arrive. Some players spoke about a diminished sense of investment in each other.” Olney then says the Giants, Cardinals and Pirates all exude mutual respect and esprit de corps, and the Dodgers don’t have it.

Who’s to say? He’s certainly in a better position to know that than am I. I can certainly understand if some of the everyday players whose names no one but fans know might feel like they’re parts to be slotted in from day-to-day.

If you’ve got an Insider account at ESPN you can read the whole thing.

10/27: New Dodgers’ post up top

383 thoughts on “New Dodgers Notes

  1. A commenter on another blog recently took time to review all Dodger trades this past year and give them grades, both now and future. Agree or not, it took some time, effort, and thought and IMO is worth pasting here.

    Not saying I agree entirely nor praising the front office mindlessly. But most trades do appear at this point to be beneficial with potential to be better. People generally tend to judge baseball trades in the here and now, but it usually takes more than one season to evaluate them accurately.
    FO moves in the last year

    ” I’m leaving off the insignificant trades like Butera, Jensen, and any other small trades I missed. After the trade I’m putting my grade on how the trade has worked thus far for the Dodgers and then overall with how I believe it will work for the future.

    – Traded Dominguez and Harris to the Rays for Peralta and Liberatore.
    Present Grade: B. Future Grade C+
    – Traded cash considerations to the Dbacks for Mike Bolsinger.
    Present Grade: B+. Future Grade C
    – Traded PTBNL (Noel Cuevas) to the Rockies for Nicasio.
    Present Grade: B-. Future Grade B
    – Traded Magill to the Reds for Heisey.
    Present Grade: C. Future Grade: ?
    – Traded Gordon, Haren, Rojas and 10 million dollars to Marlins for Heaney, Kike’, Hatcher, and Barnes.
    Present Grade: B. Future Grade: B+
    – Traded Heaney to Angels for Howie.
    Present Grade: C+. Future Grade: C-
    – Traded Kemp, Fedex, and 32 million dollars to Padres for Grandal, Eiflin, and Weilend.
    Present Grade: B-. Future Grade: B to B+
    – Traded Eiflin and Windle to Phillies for Jimmy Rollins.
    Present Grade: C. Future Grade: F
    – Traded Uribe and Withrow to the Braves for Callaspo, Thomas, and Jaime.
    Present Grade: D. Future Trade: F
    – Traded Reed to the Marlins for Dayton.
    Present Grade: C. Future Grade: C
    – Traded Olivera, Paco, Bird, Brigham, Araujo, and Guzman to the Braves and Marlins for Wood, Johnson, Avilan, Peraza, Latos, and Arroyo.
    Present Grade: C. Future Grade: B
    – Traded PTBNL for Ruggiano and cash considerations.
    Present Grade: A+. Future Grade: ?

    “I’m not sure if I missed anything significant, but I don’t believe so. So far the front office has only really made one bad trade and it was getting rid of Uribe for almost nothing back worth while IMO. Overall I think the FO has made a lot of good trades that helped us in 2015 and will help us even more so in the coming years. I can’t wait to see what they end up doing this offseason.”

    • Can we grade them on the trades that they didn’t make? For the likes of Price and Cueto they were competing with teams that were looking for aces and willing to spend. In both cases a bundle of top pitching prospects were traded for rentals. With the benefit of hindsight we see that in the playoffs Price in 4 games put up an ERA of 6.18 and Cueto in 3 games (so far) 7.87.

      On the other hand, Hamels did well in the one playoff game he pitched, though he lost. Fillies were said to have picked up two position players with all star potential and a possible #3 starter or closer. Understood that Amaro wanted Seager and/or Urias and the FO couldn’t work out a deal for lesser prospects that topped the Ranger offer. Will have to see how this one unfolds.

      • And yet many casual fans see not getting at least one of those pitchers simply as complete failure. A win-now-at-all-costs-mentality pervades a large segment of fans of all teams in all sports. And pretty much never works. Then, management that tried it gets to look for a new job anyway.

        • I don’t consider myself a casual fan but I agree it will take some time to ever know if these trades worked but almost all will have to be viewed years down the road to give a grade. The author appears to be very generous to me. The bottom line is whether the Dodgers win or not. You can have all the prospects and picks in the world but if the team doesn’t win then it is useless. One on the reasons I was so against what happened last year was I felt the team was so close to winning a World Championship. When the FO made all of their moves it seemed they were moving father away to me. Also when they made insignificant moves later in the season it felt like they were not making the best moves possible to me. We will see in the future how it works out but another off season like the last or worse doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers in my opinion.

          • Seems to me that the team was stronger coming into 2015, such that it was able to withstand the adversity of losing 3-4 starters, Joc’s second half plunge, Rollins’ continued decline and Grandal’s injury, winning 92 games and the Division and almost getting to the NLCS. Really hard to say that the FO’s moves moved the team farther away.

          • The difference is that you give much more credit to the new starters, Grandal, Pederson, Kendrick, Rollins ect. than I do. I don’t agree with your opinion but I can see how you feel the way you do.

          • Yeah, there are different ways of looking at it. I can see your point of view as well. For example, clearly the FO whiffed on the Dee trade given his performance in 2015, yet Howie contributed more in 2015 than Dee did in 2014. Looking at the future, Howie could be gone (and Heaney as well) and we will see how Dee does in the future, but we also have to see how Quique, Hatcher and Barnes do. In the same vein, Anderson had a better year in 2015 than Haren had in 2014, and a much better year that Haren had in 2015.

          • I agree with the Anderson having a better year in 2015 than Haren did in 2014 but I think Haren was far and away better than Anderson in 2015.

          • Anyone who has read very many of your comments knows you’re way more than a casual fan. Your heartfelt passion for the team is obvious and much appreciated, and you follow way more closely than the type fans I had in mind. We may disagree on some things, but you have your reasons.

            The type fan I call “casual” is the one who follows the team but not closely enough to know what’s going on beyond what they see on the field and maybe what media types say. Low real information, a “headlines only” type.

      • I agree with KFAZ about late season trades–they were better not made. I think they should have signed a free agent pitcher before the 2015 season started that were better than Anderson and McCarthy. I don’t recall all the free agents but Lester might have been the one they perhaps should have overpaid for. Scherzer would have been nice especially with Greinke opting out now and they could have had three #1s last year and then back to two after Greinke leaves.

        • If they were guilty of anything, it was in not properly evaluating the risks of Ryu. McCarthy and Anderson were more than acceptable as 4-5 starters and the rotation going in was evaluated by most as being second only to the Nats.

    • Can’t disagree with any of that. When Uribe was traded there were rumors that the management traded him as a favor to get him more playing time going into free agency. If that was the intent, it didn’t work. Atlanta just flipped him to the Mets where he continued to ride the bench. I wonder if he will end up with the Giants next year or even if the Dodgers might want him back as a bench player…

      • Rode the bench is a little harsh. Started a lot in Atlanta and also with Mets, until Wright came back in Sept. Overall his PAs in 2015 were at the same levels as 2014 with the Dodgers. Don’t think that this FO does anyone any favors (well, maybe Heisy). Juan started off slow and at that time just seemed to be filling space until Olivera arrived, with Justin taking all the playing time. They got a young pitcher with potential, Ian Thomas, who did well in limited time (basically giving up on Withrow) and Callapso, who provided flexibility with a lefthanded bat for when Justin needed to sit.

    • By trading Kemp and not knowing what Puig would do, trading for Kendrick gave the team a reliable line drive hitter. But, I don’t think I would give the Kendrick for Heaney trade as high of a grade.

      Questioning that trade leads back to the Kemp trade that created the need for Kendrick. If money doesn’t matter, why not trade the more questionable hitter, Puig, for Grandal?

      We won’t know until the end of 2016 how good or how bad the Gordon trade was.

      • Wondering how you arrive at the notion that Puig was a more questionable hitter than Kemp coming out of 2014? They both had OPS+ in 140-145 range.

  2. From MLBTR:
    Jackson reports that the Dodgers wouldn’t be responsible for the $1.6MM that Mattingly would’ve earned in 2016 if he receives a new managerial job that pays him more than that figure. Mattingly wants assurances that he can hire his own coaches, which the Marlins are willing to grant, and he also wants financial security with a new deal. As Jackson notes, Loria has shown a willingness to spend generously on managers that appeal heavily to him.
    Mattingly is interviewing with the Marlins today, reports’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). FOX’s Jon Morosi notes (also on Twitter) that if Mattingly is hired by Miami, his 2016 salary would be subject to being offset due to the fact that Mattingly is still under contract with the Dodgers.

    • Smart thing to do would be to sign a backloaded 3 to 5 year contract that pays very little the first year and makes up for it in the later years.

  3. The lot of us here are probably a pretty typical group of Dodger fans. And I get the impression from this group that no one would be too upset at trading Puig away, assuming we got fair return. I think fans as a whole would feel that way. The important thing is how does FO feel about it. I hear from a reliable source that FO doesn’t have a soul so he just might make a trade like that.

    • Tough one. Young player with tons of upside relative to 2015 performance who is pretty cheap.

      • Like many of you I am troubled by Puig, but I would like to give him one more year. Under a new manager, he might flourish. Then, again, he might not.

        • At some level people may blame him for his injuries and feel that those and his slumps are character flaws. Probably compounded this year when we were winning in May without him and the thought that we may be better without him. Donnie seemed to publically not give him the benefit of the doubt (with remarks about him not being with the team in Phoenix when he was rehabbing in Tuscon and about the miraculous recovery at the end of the season). Perhaps this was to counter feelings in the clubhouse as regards special treatment. I think it would be a mistake to trade him unless we got a big haul.

    • Puig means nothing to the FO. They would trade him for prospects in a heartbeat. Puig is a Ned guy.

    • They had no qualms in trading Mike Morse, so yeah, don’t think they would have a problem.

    • If Grandal says it hurts when I do this, might the medical staff been able to tell what the problem was or maybe get an MRI? When Grandal started his path on his 6 hits in 94 at bats, why wouldn’t he get the surgery during the season and let Barnes play?

      I am just asking the question but I am thinking this could have been handled better.

          • It’s his shoulder. I might have said “you’re gonna sit because you can’t produce, so you might as well have it done,” but if he chose not to, it’s his business. But I agree that he should have been left out of the lineup once it became apparent he couldn’t hit or throw or even catch without pain.

      • I have been thinking the same thing. If the diagnosis and treatment were known in July, why wait? I’m sure there was the possibility of further damage if he played, and there still exists the possibility that recovery time will be extended, which wouldn’t even have been a consideration if he had had the operation in July. I don’t think you can put this all on Stan Conte or even Dr. El Attrache. They diagnose and suggest but someone in the Dodger Management system made that decision.

    • Have fun with Loria! Two previously fired managers are still being paid over the next 2-3 years.

      • Yeah, bad move. Washington would have been good but apparently they have no interest in him. I think I’d have taken a long paid vacation until a good opportunity opened up.

        • Donnie does have a leg up on the GM who took over last season when the manager was fired. The GM had never played professional ball and his managing experience was at HS level in the 1980s.

          • Yeah but realistically a club has to spend mucho dinero to be competitive and Miami will never do that. A little irony here in that DM would be reunited with Dee Gordon whom he apparently never considered a very good player.

          • I was being snarky. Actually, they did spend big in 2011 but not wisely on a quick fix, and quickly dumped players after finishing last. Hopefully they got some good prospects (though they no longer had Quique, Barnes and Heany). Farm system most recently ranked 27th in mlb.

    • Actually I agree with making Heyward a top priority. Unfortunately, I mentioned Harper below when I meant Heyward.

  4. If the Dodgers do not make make a trade or sign a free agent they will loaded with left side hitters and weak with right side hitters. The rotation has openings as well.

    Pederson, Seager, Agon, Grandal, Ethier, Crawford from the left side.

    Turner, Hernandez, Ellis, Peraza, Puig from the right side.

    The question is who might or should be added and subtracted.

    Upton is available as a free agent. Should he be targeted? Would the Dodgers have to move Ethier or Crawford or both before they add Upton?

    Would the Dodgers have to package Puig with Ethier or Crawford to trade either of the latter without paying 80% of their salary? Or, would they have to package a young pitcher with Crawford or Ethier to trade either?

    If the Dodgers can’t trade Crawford and or Ethier, should they trade Agon to get a right side bat?

    I like good defense so I would like to add Harper over Upton but that adds another left bat and adds payroll. Trading the left bats of Crawford and Ethier won’t reduce payroll that much as dollars will have to be sent with them unless lots of payroll are swapped with another team. So I trade Agon, Ethier, and Crawford to the Angels for Pujols with no dollars involved.

    What is your big idea?

    • That trade for Pujols is a novel idea for sure. I don’t think the Angels do it and I’d bet my life Friedman won’t. But I am open to trading Agon IF we get value for him. Add Grandal to your right-hand hitters also. Either Ethier or Crawford will be traded, probably not both. I hope Crawford. No way we sign Upton, too expensive, not in Friedman’s game plan. I can see Crawford or maybe Ethier for M J Upton. Expand that deal: We throw in Puig, they throw in Kimbrel. Now we can trade Kenley for a starter.
      I don’t care which side Harper hits from, if we could get him in almost any kind of trade, I’d say do it. But Friedman won’t. We already have more expensive players than he wants, no way we get more unless we trade equally costly players for him. I think he might be the best hitter in baseball.

      • Harper is actually cheap ($2.5 million in 2015 and $5 million in 2016) and not a FA until 2019, but with a WAR 9.9 he ain’t going anywhere! AGon actually out hit Pujols (OPS+ 129 versus 115).

          • I meant Heyward. Wow. I really goofed. I can be crazy and stupid enough to say Harper when I mean Heyward, but I actually do know better.

        • Pujols contract is back loaded and he will be paid $30M at age 41. The Angels need left side hitters in their outfield although not so much if Pujols is replaced with Agon.

          The Dodgers are in the payroll tax penalty strata. Adding Pujols payroll in 2016 and subtracting AGon’s, Crawford’s, and Ethier’s with this trade combined with losing Greinke’s, Kednridk’s, amd Rollin’s, the Dodgers could get under the penalty. All they have to do is get under the penalty amount once and they start all over with the graduated tax.

          The Angels get out from under a contract that is back loaded for a player that is fading. They are in better shape payroll wise in 2018. By 2018, the Dodgers will have plenty of players that are young and inexpensive and can stay below the tax even with Pujols on it.

          • Don’t think that they want to get under the luxury tax so quickly if it is at the cost becoming less competitive from not having a great number 2, be it Greinke or Price.

          • Maybe that #2 starter is obtained in a trade. Maybe Puig for Harvey? And if they could sign Heywood with a back loaded contract such that the first two years helps keep the team under the penalty, this might help the team.

    • On the lefty/righty thing, AGon’s splits are rather narrow, Pujols actually hit righties better than lefties. Justin also hits righties better than lefties.

    • Me thinks that it is best to go with what you have and try to get the most out of our over-priced outfielders by continuing with the platoon approach (we ain’t geting squat for CC in any event). Dre in particular can be very productive in the right circumstances. SVS, not included in your list hit lefties at OPS+ 121, even in a down year for him. Not sure what they heck they are going to do with Guerrero.

      • Give Guerrero the choice of going to OKC or getting his release (with full pay, of course). Trade Crawford for MJ Upton, bad contract for bad contract, but Upton is right handed and can platoon in center with Joc.

      • Bob, being able to platoon Crawford and Ethier with Puig and SVS puts the Dodgers in a good position going forward. They have players and therefore can be patient with prospects, free agent signings, and trades. Nothing has to be forced or rushed.

        Trading Crawford for BJ Upton as Audit suggests and thus opening a spot for Schebler like you have noted are good tweaks.

      • Here would be my lineup:

        2B Peraza / Hernandez

        RF Heyward

        3B Turner

        1B Pujols

        C Grandal

        SS Seager

        CF Pederson

        LF Schebler / Van Slyke

        Rotation: Kershaw, Harvey, Frias, Cuban FA RHP Yasiel Sierra, De Leon, Ryu, McCarthy

        • Not too shabby. Hopefully Ryu has a strong comeback. Wood is also an option as a 4-5.

  5. Lots of speculative info in Cafardo’s column:
    He thinks Dodgers or Yankees might give Murphy $75MM for 5 years (I hope not). Another thought is that Dodgers could be interested in Matt Wieters. We already have 2 catchers but is there anything wrong with three? Maybe the FO is going to trade Agon so we can use a catcher a day at first base…. Speculation on his part, I only wish someone would pay me to speculate. But, really, with Friedman, anything, ANYTHING, can happen. Maybe that’s not so bad….

    • Re: Wieters. If Grandal is the 3/5 catcher and Ellis becomes Manager, the Dodgers will need a 2/5 catcher to replace Ellis. Not sure what that says about Barnes. Or, are they worried about Grandal’s health or ability to make contact with a baseball?

      • I think it’s Wieters’ daydream. Simple answer: Wieters is too expensive for Friedman to sign, not his style at all…

    • I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance that Friedman et. al. would blow $75M on Murphy. He’s had the best two weeks of his entire career in these two series. There’s no reason to believe he can continue it next week, let alone next year and four more after that.

  6. One of the things that I like about players like Joc Pederson is the mystery they bring to what kind of a career they will have. I see the enthusiasm of youth and physical talent. I see an attitude that can help them be the player they want to be. I want to watch a star at the beginning of their career.

    Will Joc succeed? I don’t know. Will Seager succeed? I don’t know. But their potential is exciting and it is fun to get behind them early.

    I say this now because that is how I feel about KFAZ as well. They have the same potential. They can be stars. They are young. Will they succeed? I don’t know. There is a parallel between KFAZ and Pederson. They are exciting but they both wound up after the 2015 season with question marks.

    And both had too many whiffs in 2015.

    • I understand what you are saying and agree to some extent. Especially about Pederson and Seager. But understand this: IF they succeed and become stars, they will be traded or let go as free agents. Stars make high salaries, usually more than they are actually worth. KFAZ’s goal is to have a winning team WITHOUT spending the big dollars, by developing young talent. When the young players develop into expensive players, they will be exchanged for younger, cheaper players. Spending big money is OK with the rich-guy owners in the beginning, to reach their goal. But that goal is a club that makes a lot of money and gives little of it away. That’s why they are paying Friedman $7MM a year. These guys are billionaires, not fools. So let’s enjoy the young players, but be prepared to cry when they leave us.

      • The worst part is that I don’t think this FO has any allegiance to the team. They will trade, cut, or whatever with whom ever to win on their terms. Forget having anyone as a hero for your kids or Grandkids. You are right, we will cry when some of these new players leave.

      • I don’t think re-signing players that have become all-stars will be about money. I think it will be about who will take their place that can better help the Dodgers win during the length of their contract.

        If that player is a Dodger that is eligible for free agency, they will pay him to stay.

        Ethier is a good example. If KFAZ were on board when he became a free agent, he might have only been offered a 2 year contract. But by offering McCarthy a 4 year contract, who knows yet what their tendency will be.

        • You are right as far as it goes… What would have been the result of offering Ethier a two year contract when other teams were offering him five and six year contracts?

          • Ethier would not have been a Dodger these last few years is my guess.

            I don’t think KFAZ would have made the Boston trade either and Crawford and Agon also would not be on the team. But the three of them did get us 3 Division Titles.

          • As I recall your idea of small changes was reversing the Dee Gordon trade, reversing the Kemp-Grandal trade, and generally standing pat except to sign both Hamels and Price.

          • Yea, and signing Russell Martin and improving the bullpen with some top pitchers. What is wrong with that? The team had just won 94 games, they didn’t need to be blown up.

      • Yea, why should they sign impact players when they are filling the seats with retreads, med cases and young unproven players? I know they are billionaires but can’t figure out why they won’t sign impact players. They don’t need to run this team like Tampa. How many more years must we wait for a winner?

      • Strikeouts are certainly better than grounding into double plays. And certainly no worse than fly outs or ground outs. I think some people feel that strikeouts are a byproduct of swinging hard, and homeruns are another byproduct of swinging hard, so they feel they are justified for that reason.

          • No Problem. I am a little sensitive because of all the other stuff, I can’t tell what is real sometimes.

          • That’s easy— None of this is real! It’s Cyberspace. We now have the capability to put out our opinion for people all over the country and the world to see and comment on. It’s not like talking to your neighbor or the guy at the next desk or bar stool, we have no idea who or what is responding to our posts. Therefore, every post and every response to it is a throwaway. We post it because we want to but we have no control over who responds, it may well be someone you wouldn’t think of speaking to in person… So you don’t take seriously what anyone says to or about you and your response to them. If you choose to respond. In places like this, there are some ground rules that try to keep it somewhat civil. Some people bend the rules, get snarky, I just try to give it back in kind and use humor a lot to defuse situations when they start getting serious. In short, just don’t take what is said here so dang serious, it really isn’t. Your posts indicate you have issues you bring up repeatedly: Hating the FO and Joc Pederson. Maybe I should add Grandal into that category. You must realize by now what we say here has no effect on the ballclub, they’re going to do what they want to do. Bringing up a lost cause only irritates your old wounds. It also irritates some other posters. For some of us, the best answer is to ignore it. But some others like to argue as much as you do and take advantage of your posts to amuse themselves. You need to learn to ignore them. If you can’t find someone to agree with you, drop the subject. Have fun. Enjoy. Don’t fight.

          • That is an easy one. I don’t hate Joc but I am sick of hearing how good he is. He had a good first two months and after that he was a bust. He must make some serious changes or he will not be in the major leagues. The FO however is a different story. I cannot give them credit for blowing up a team that was so close to going to the WS. They are the reason that the team did not go to the WS.

          • Kris Bryant is had a far and away better year than Joc. You must never look at RBIs, Runs, OPS, and BA ect.

          • RBIs are a function of who’s hitting in front of you. (Joc hit leadoff for much of the season). Runs are a function of who’s hitting behind you. For much of the year that was Agon who amassed the grand total of 90 RBIs. Nobody on the Dodgers was good at driving in runs last year. His OPS was quite good most of the season, since that is a function of OBP and Slugging. You got me, shoot him, his batting average was too low…

          • Doesn’t that say the team needs players that do have RBIs, Runs, ect? AGon did a good job this year and is very dependable. As you said, if they are not on base you can’t hit them in. Joc had plenty of chances to hit people in but you can’t when you don’t hit the ball. Sac Flies, evening grounding out and runners score sometimes.

          • Swing and misses helps a hitter see more pitches, increases pitch counts, helps a hitter get a walk, produces less double plays, allows a speedy runner to have more opportunities to steal a base.

            Add a very good eye and fewer swings are made at bad pitches which does the same as above.

            Add power and pitchers pitch more carefully and that leads to more balls and that does the same as above.

            Pederson seemed to me to pop up pitches in the second half that he was hitting hard in the first half and had more swing and misses on pitches he was hitting hard earlier. Some said it was more in his head than in his mechanics.

            I would like to see Pederson hitting second next year. Hopefully he will again make enough solid contact.

          • Perhaps in his head, but under Mac’s tutelage he tried to adjust his mechanics with not very good results during the last two months of the season. (tough to do).

          • A good batting coach is probably best as another set of eyes on how one is doing within their established mechanics.. An instructor is a whole different ballgame involving changing mechanics and not sure Mac is cut out for that.

        • What about grounding out and moving runners along or Sac Flies? Don’t think that swinging hard always results in more SOs. If you hit the ball, it is better than striking out except in double plays.

          • Can’t argue with your last sentence. And advancing the runner via ground out is a plus but at the cost of an out, like a sacrifice bunt. I don’t think any batters deliberately ground out to advance a runner, it is an accident that happens while the batter was trying to get a hit. Only a hitter’s skill is in question, no matter whether he strikes out, grounds out, flies out, singles or hits a home run, no matter the result, he was trying to strike the ball for a hit.

          • Have you not thought about hitting the ball to either side of the infield to advance a runner or as you said or a sacrifice bunt? Yes the batter sometimes sacrifices himself to move runners, especially in late innings.

          • It is a wasted out. But sometimes the runner advances and scores anyway. Just saying Smart Money doesn’t do it.

      • It’s more in regard to OPS, which Audit suggests. Of course, that is shorthand as there are outs that are more (and less) productive than Ks and a BB is not always equal to a hit. Adjusted batting runs tries to take these into account and is expressed as relative to average and in terms of wins (10 runs is worth a win). Using this formula Agon 2.4, Justin 2.2, Ethier 2.0 and Joc 1.1. Next is Seager with 1.0 in only 113 PA. Kris Bryant is at 2.8 and rates 7th in the league. Harper tops them all at 7.7. Joc rates 38th just behind Dee (yes, it take into account SB).

        • That sounds like a useful tool. Ethier 2.0 in a limited amount of abs is surprising. You call it ABR?

          • Dre actually had slightly more PA than Justin, but only 70% of Agon. Dangerous bat in many situations. BR calls it BtWins.

        • Where might Kike’ have ranked Bob?

          In the second half Kike’ was a better hitter than Joc against left handers but really looked bad against right handers. I never understood why Kike’ played against right handers. His defense was not good enough to justify his at bats against righties.

          • He comes in at 0.8 in 218 PA, so not bad at all (though, as you say, did have his problems against righties). Grandal also at 08, but with 426 PA. That said, sure wish Joc had been in CF in the second inning of game 3.

  7. 2016 Rotation?

    De Leon
    Cuban FA RHP Yasiel Sierra
    Lee until Ryu returns



  8. It now seems to be a pretty much accepted view that the FO had a bigger hand in daily lineups and batting orders than most of us (except Package) thought. If that is the case we may have to rethink our speculation (respeculation???) about a new manager. I would think some old school manager types might have no interest in the job because the FO is encroaching on their territory. It looks more and more to me like Gabe Kapler may already have the job locked up. I can see the possible down-the-road changes in baseball this foretells. The field manager becomes an extension of the GM’s office, a junior executive who will one day grow up into a GM. No playing experience required, just executive training. The tactical offensive decisions will be made by the Bench Coach, who will have some actual baseball playing experience. So too the Pitching Coach will make all pitching decisions, another position requiring some actual baseball experience. This will be quite a status and salary upgrade for these two coaches, but the Manager has to have someone to accept the responsibility when things don’t work out well… As Maurice Chevalier sang, “I’m glad I’m not young anymore…”

    • I assumed they thoroughly discussed what the stats said about platoons, batting order, and lineup with Mattingly and if he “used” that info, he got along with the front office. They also probably discussed who was hurting and who was tired and then talked about what relief pitcher did well against what hitter.

      Maybe that is why Madden went to the Cubs.

      • He went to the Cubs because they were becoming a good baseball team and their record backs that up. Maddon and Friedman abandoned Tampa Bay for the same reason, they were never going to have a lot of money to spend and player salaries were seriously escalating. Can’t blame them for that.

    • I think the FO was more about who played than where they batted, although I feel they (FO) had many suggestions about all facets of team play while they played with their new toy thru Donnie Donnie is an easygoing guy who just wanted to get along and did. Donnie knew the only way he could stay was win it all, their way. I also think Kaplan has the inside track as they continue to monkey with the team

    • If we are speculating, I would think that they had the influence such that Bumsrap outlines. Perhaps they wanted more, which is why Donnie declined an extension? Hard for me to imagine the future scenario that you lay out. A manager without baseball experience might be at a disadvantage in managing the clubhouse and in balancing the technical decisions of the various coaches from their more narrow perspectives. Clint Hurdle at Pittsburgh shows that you can teach old dogs new tricks with the advent of big data baseball. Madden left Tampa 10 days after Friedman did.

      • My scenario was in jest, If baseball goes in that direction, it will just be a different type person who will have interest in managing, he’s definitely going to be more flexible and mild mannered.

        • Makes me recall La Russa with his printouts under his arm. Probably as geeky a manger as there was back in the day.

          • Maybe I had it backward. Maybe the Bench and Pitching coaches have laptops and are in constant contact with the FO deciding on tactical moves and strategy which is passed on to the front man or Manager to implement. His cache is getting along with the players and the press and executing the decisions arrived at by the FO and his technically oriented coaches…

    • Includes Maury Wills at Seattle. Don’t think that anyone has heard of the guy judged to be the Dodgers’ worst manager.

  9. Wish they would go ahead and name a manager so we can start screaming about what a mistake it is… I know, they have to go through the charade of minority interviews before they name whom they have already selected. You know that people like this FO don’t let a manager go without knowing who’s out there to replace him and exactly which one of the who’s they want. They may already have a deal in place…

      • Pretty much but that really doesn’t make any difference to most fans. If the team doesn’t win (enough), fire the FO.

  10. Boy I miss one day and everything blows up. Sorry to see Mattingly go but agree that now it’s best to turn the page and try some new approaches. Not sure if I am excited or scared to imagine Kapler leading from the dugout. Some other good names out there as well – Martinez, Wallach and Ronny R.

    • Here is my guess of how the conversation went.

      KFAZ: Now would be a good time for you to get another gig as a Manager with the success you have had here. You can stay here until the end of your contract as well. This is how we see the future. The Dodgers will add and subtract to the 40 man roster 20 times in the next 12 months. We will add and subtract from the 25 man active roster about 30 times in 2016. We will want you to platoon about 6 positions maybe 7 or 8. How does that sound to you?

      Mattingly: I really liked the time I have been with the Dodgers but it think if you will pay me for 2016 as if I were the Manager, even though I will not be, I will seek other pastures.

  11. I am glad the drama that was created by the constant jabber that Mattingly would not return for 2016 is over. The Dodgers spent millions of dollars training Mattingly only to let him get away. He is leaving a much better manager than when he started. His skill might have been more about winning the war versus the battles.

    If Pederson bounces back or becomes a contact hitter with some power and Seager and Urias excell then KFAZ will look better in 2016 than they did in 2015. If De Leon, Cotton, and Lee or Stripling contribute in 2016 and Peraza does well at second base, KFAZ will look better at the end of 2016 regardless of the Dodgers get to the second round of playoffs or not.

    If KFAZ sign Greinke and Price/Zimmerman and don’t get past the second round they will look like they they do now, questionable.

    Kaplan would be good as Manager for Pederson, Seager, Hernandez, and Schebler as well as De Leon. He might not do so well with Agon, Turner, Ellis, Kershaw, Jansen, Ethier…

    • Kershaw is the only one of that group that really has any life expectancy as a Dodger. Agon and Ethier are gone when their contract is up, if not before; Turner and Jansen are gone when they become Free Agents; Ellis can’t last more than 2 years, then into coaching or broadcasting. Kershaw is also gone when his contract is up or he opts out. FO doesn’t have any Dodger blood in him, some say no blood at all except what he sucks out of others….

      • What a wonderful comment Audit. I could not agree more. Guess I just don’t know how to put into words what you say without making others uncomfortable.

      • It looks like Audit, Package, and I are not going to drink the KFAZ Kool Aid, at least not until we get a new flavor. Anybody else not drinking yet?

        • Seems a bit pompous to assume that those that don’t share your starting point with a knee-jerk dislike for the FO have somehow been drinking kool-aid. I take my baseball with bourbon.

          • I don’t dislike the FO. I like that they are smart and can and will use multiple ways of looking at players ranging from advanced stats, scouts, and character. I don’t want to replace them. I am excited about what they might do for the Dodgers for years to come.

            There is no knee-jerk dislike of the FO from me. I am glad they didn’t trade youth for a rental. I have not been a fan of the Boston trade and Kasten was involved in that. He is part of KFAZ.

            I am not happy with the Gordon trade. I am not happy with the Kemp trade. I am not happy that the Dodgers didn’t sign a better free agent pitcher prior to the 2015 season.

            So, when I say I am not drinking the KFAZ Kool Aid, it means while I think they will be good if not great for the Dodgers, they haven’t proven yet that they will or can.

            If someone likes the potential of this FO as I do, does not mean they are drinking the Kool Aid. If someone has a knee-jerk belief that they have a magic wand, then they might be drinking the Kool-Aid but I was not saying anybody was doing that. I just said I wasn’t. To say otherwise is perhaps being pompous.

            Keep your pompous comments to yourself Bob.

          • If anyone is using a knee jerk reaction it is the FO as some of the moves make no sense. It doesn’t appear much thought is given, especially to the major league team. The jury is out on the farm.

          • If anyone is using a knee jerk reaction it is the FO as some of the moves make no sense. It doesn’t appear much thought is given, especially to the major league team. The jury is out on the farm.

          • This is what you said: “It looks like Audit, Package, and I are not going to drink the KFAZ Kool Aid, at least not until we get a new flavor. Anybody else not drinking yet?” Seems to be the definition of pompous.

          • I don’t see the pompous in that comment.
            affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important.
            “a pompous ass who pretends he knows everything”
            synonyms:self-important, imperious, overbearing,domineering, magisterial, pontifical, sententious,grandiose, affected, pretentious, puffed up,arrogant, vain, haughty, proud, conceited,egotistic, supercilious, condescending, patronizing;More

            characterized by pomp or splendor.

          • So far for me, the KFAZ Kool Aid flavor du jour is lemon lime and I look forward to a flavor that I can enjoy such as blueberry apricot.

          • In spite of what I seem to be saying, I actually don’t dislike the FO, I have a grudging respect and admiration for what he is trying to do: Trying to run a baseball team without paying, actually over-paying, players many times what they are actually worth. We are at the birth of a whole new operating system and there are birthing pains. We hate to give up our over-paid superstars. But I hope he is successful and every other club goes the same way. Maybe our great-grandchildren will be able to afford tickets to a baseball game. I would like to talk to him about his future plans. I am only human, some say sub-human, so at times things I say conflict with other things I’ve said, like I’m sure I’ll complain about the new manager as much as I complained about DM.

      • Both A-Gon and Andre are 34. Each has two years left on his contract, I think. At age 36 they’re going to be declining, so they will be let go, I’m sure. AJ will be 35 before the next season starts.

        This team is older rather than younger, so I expect turnover in the next two seasons to be higher than even this year.

  12. Isn’t it too bad WBBsAs isn’t here to disagree with everything everyone says and correct all our spelling and grammatical mistakes?

    • Yea, all I have to do is let them make all the decisions and then when we don’t win, they fire me. EASY.

      • I think you’ve hit upon the key. They want an unpopular manager so they can ax him when their plan fails.

        • No but I can play the game. Listen, we will just have to agree to disagree. I think the FO stinks and you love it. Either way they didn’t win.

          • Well, I am more partial to this FO than to the previous one. And I liked Donnie as a manager, even though I might have made some tactical decisions differently at times.

          • Even though they had worse results with the 92 wins. Ned did every bit as good with the major league team.

          • I guess I don’t put too much stock in a 2% difference relative to last year. We had a tough year in regards to our 3-4 starters out of the gate and I think they made enough right adjustments to get us to the playoffs, without selling the farm and we had a good shot but fell short.

          • excuses, excuses, excuses, they had chances to correct the problems but failed to react or get good enough players who were available.

          • You might be interested in the performance in the playoffs of those pitchers you seem to feel would have guaranteed success: Hamels (0-1); Price 1-2, ERA 6.80; Cueto1-1, ERA 9.00)

          • True enough but it’s their money and their choice on how to use it, like your choice on buying ground beef or t-bones, cheap whiskey or single malt scotch, Hyundai or BMW, etc, etc

          • 2014: Batting:30.9; defense 0.5; pitching 14.2. 2015 23.5; -0.3; 19.6. Comparing the team in the manner you do (94 wins versus 92) is not very enlightening. Changes had to be made at CF, SS and catcher. It is not a static situation. The 2014 was not going to replicate with the same personnel. The FO was beginning to adjust along another more sustainable path and in the process put together a team that made the playoffs and had a shot at moving on.

          • Every team has problems each year. Maybe 2% is not a huge difference but I cannot forget the BS we heard during last off season about being more nimble, flexable and playoff ready, along with a much better clubhouse attitude. No where do I see improvement and as a matter of fact they look worse to me. Based on their comments we should have had the WS sewed up.

          • Have worked in both. Contrary to what people might think found more yes men in private sector where your job was beholden to your boss rather than in the civil service.

          • That’s because of the always possibility of being terminated in the private sector as opposed to the government where you almost certainly don’t find many folks who can be terminated. I think it might be easier to keep a government job. Just an opinion.

          • I would modify your statement to “It might be easier to keep your integrity in a government job.”

  13. Let’s vote on a new manager. I’ll post a name, if you want to vote for him, click the up check chevron under the post. One vote per person. If you want to nominate someone, post their name.

  14. I suppose whom they hire as manager will have importance in its own right, but I wonder if it might have even more importance if it influences Zack’s decision adversely.

  15. I am not a huge Mattingly fan but when you can call this happening before the first pitch of the 2015 season it is a shame. I said that before the season started that if they did not make the World Series Donnie would be the scapegoat and he is and that he would be fired. I also said he didn’t even know it. The front office is accountable for this season and not Donnie.

    • Not disagreeing with your statement in its intent, but… DM didn’t get them into the playoffs three years in a row, the players did. And DM did not fail to get them into a World Series, the players did. The manager gets too much credit AND too much blame.

        • I’ve wanted every manager fired. Perhaps I resent the mistakes they make that costs the team wins, and/or perhaps I resent the false credit they get for winning. I don’t know.

          • As I said earlier, if Donnie had made it to the WS, no one would have wanted him fired and everybody would have praised Friedman as being the savior. I think he would still be the manager and would manage again next year.

      • If he wasn’t fired he surely knew he wasn’t wanted. I lot of times when people part ways they are given a choice, agree to leave or we will fire you. Donnie is too classy to be fired outright when he knows he can find a job easily. Either way he was canned. If that is not went down then they asked him to live with something that he could not.

        • You might be right on the last part, but there is nothing in the reports that suggests this was a firing, veiled or otherwise, related to not making the WS and using him as a scapegoat.

  16. Here’s what I like about this decision: the players who have expressed their strong support for Donnie don’t need to feel disloyal to him, now that he’s going. This was mutual, and in the end it sounds like he wasn’t let go, he made the decision to move on. I was worried the FO would be callous, or handle this in such a way as to anger some of our best players. This sounds like the opposite has happened, so hats off to all involved.
    I do agree it’s time to bring in someone new.

  17. Well, #2 on list of Olney’s 7 Dodger offseason things taken care of….. what’s next?

  18. They don’t mention the coaches but I imagine some of them will quit too, others will be fired so new manager can make his selections. Perhaps a couple of them will considered for manager.

  19. DM walking away from this job should be a word of warning to other wannabe managers. But they’ll dive in the shark tank anyway…

    • Aren’t we all wannabe managers (from the comfort of our couches)? Now comes the scary part.

    • Would guess that unless Donnie presses like last time he will remain as the manager, but I don’t see an extension. He is likely to understand that and to have more confidence in himself at this point and that there is demand elsewhere for his services if things don’t work out next year.

        • With DM gone, the FO can take a chainsaw to the clubhouse now. We won’t recognize anyone next season.

          • He is not a constraint but it is always smoother if everyone is on board and on the same page. Everyone likes input in personnel changes in most any business.

  20. Off-topic, but John from Aus will appreciate this email I just received:


    We are Forestville Basketball team in Australia,We are
    looking for Point guard,Shooting guard,Small forward,Power forward and
    Center with small to mid sized contracts($1200-$10,000/per
    month)Interested players should forward game highlight or film.We are
    interested to hear from any players who can add to the strength of our
    Men and Women. The Australian Basketball office will be pleased to
    assist players and parents with the complexities.Please get back to us
    We will contact you on receipt.”

    That’s new. I’ve seen lots of spam, but prospecting for roundball players by mail?

  21. The Dodgers have claimed righty Lisalverto Bonilla off waivers from the Rangers, The Cubs just signed Cuban center fielder Eddy Julio Martinez‘s $3MM signing bonus.

    Keep it up KFAZ. You let Moncada get away so you could sign quantity and that quantity has one less piece of quality in it.

    • Agree with you there Bumsrap. I wanted them to get Moncada real bad but it is hopeless. I am still trying to find a trade, free agent or prospect that this FO signed that we could say “Wow, they really did their homework that time”. I am still waiting.

      • We’ll probably never see him. Instead of buying a dozen lottery tickets, I’d rather buy a good hamburger at least…

          • I don’t know if everyone got my message… Instead of buying a dozen iffy pitchers who might work out, I’d rather take that money and buy the best proven pitcher I could afford.

          • They can afford any and I mean ANY pitcher or position player they desire. They are playing games. Its like you or me being a multi millionaire and then try to sell your or my wife that all we need is a used smoking Ford Focus. It is dumb.

  22. You know the worst part aside from not winning a World Championship or even participating in one is the this FO with their stubborn selfish egos and agendas are evaporating Clayton Kershaw’s, Zack Grenike and Kenley Jansen’s along with others I am sure, PRIME SEASONS while they play Moneyball and have fun as they suggested last off season. What a waste.

  23. Link linked to a Dodger item at the NY Post a couple days back. Another link there led to this.

    Starts with the usual low-hanging-fruit-but-not-exactly-on-target stuff about $300M+ payroll, then has some interesting stuff about DM, Greinke, and Puig. Excerpts:

    “In the way a movie cast wants to know if the director or studio is calling the shots, the Dodgers clubhouse never could be sure if Mattingly or the front office was dictating usage. Mattingly mostly used collective terms such as “we” when discussing, say, how his lineups were formed. There is a line between getting input from the front office and being dictated to.”
    “Greinke is a thoughtful type who arguably was more disturbed by the 2014 clubhouse problems than anyone and, perhaps, most appreciative of the cleanse. Those who know him say he would not chase the last dollar into somewhere he does not believe fits him. But he is a tremendous athlete with a repertoire that suggests even as he losses velocity he should remain effective, thus, he will have a market.” [He will? Who’d have thunk it? duh..]
    “But what can be expected in return (in a potential Puig trade) has shriveled. Beyond attitude concerns, other teams also see what worries the Dodgers — that Puig is thickening, which is not only a potential catalyst for further injury, but could slowly erode the quick-twitch explosiveness in his bat and running that made Puig seem such a star in the making just 12-to-24 months ago.

      • I am sure this FO thinks it has all the answers. Just like last year. When the smoke clears, we shall see. I believe these questions are not hard for them and they can change players in a heartbeat. No one is exempt except maybe Kershaw and Seager and I am not sure about them.

          • Some of them didn’t work out, Since nobody can foretell the future, you have to rely on luck for the players to live up to your expectations. Sometimes they do (Kendrick, Grandal, Anderson, Kiki, Barnes), sometimes they don’t (Rollins, Latos, Wood (not yet), Crawford). It is the same for every club. This FO is more liable for criticism for what they didn’t do, rather than what they did. Their achieved results were about average.

          • I wasn’t aware that Anderson was a trade? Kendrick and Grandal aren’t any better than what we gave up or their replacements. Kiki was a throwin and the jury is still out on Barnes. Even if you don’t agree, none were clear upgrades. These players weren’t the reason the Dodgers won the west, it was the players they already had.

          • Right on Anderson. We can only judge players on what they have already done. In his career Kendrick had performed better than Dee. (I would have kept Dee also but I understand the way the FO looked at it) Kemp was a shadow of his former self and not likely to improve, and we simply had to get a catcher, AJ was not up to the job on a full time basis. I would have like to keep Kemp for sentimental reasons and dump that garbage Crawford on the Padres, and they would have done it for a little more money. That’s an FO mistake in my book. Kiki and Barnes, if I remember correctly, came to us in the Dee gordon deal, along with Heany whom we traded for Kendrick (Mistake), so we got a good return on Dee, at least… Baseball moves on and we have to move with it or be left behind. The FOs have always traded players I wanted to keep and got players I don’t like. Nothing I can do about that, they just don’t listen to me… Remember, this is the toy department. If this is your biggest problem, you’re a lucky man indeed.

          • No, not my biggest problem by far but it is an aggravation for sure. I get tired of hearing some give that crowd credit for not doing a good job.

  24. Nice baseball connection for Bing Russell, a character actor mainly remembered as the Deputy Sheriff Clem on “Bonanza”.

    Russell much later played Vernon Presley to his son Kurt’s Elvis Presley in the 1979 television movie, Elvis.

    Russell owned the Portland Mavericks, the only independent team in the Class A Northwest League. Russell kept a 30-man roster because he believed that some of the players deserved to have one last season. His motto was fun. He created a park that kept all corporate sponsorship outside the gates, hired the first female general manager, Lanny Moss,[4] in professional baseball, and named the first Asian American GM/Manager. His team set a record for the highest attendance in minor league history, but lost the 1977 pennant to the Bellingham Mariners. Subsequently, Major League Baseball regained interest in Portland and resurrected the Portland Beavers minor league franchise. The Portland area was recovered but paid Russell the highest payout in history for a minor league territory after Russell took the matter to arbitration. Ex-major leaguers and never-weres who could not stop playing the game flocked to his June try-outs, which were always open to anyone who showed up. The team and archival footage of Russell were featured in the 2014 documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball. (

  25. MLBTR Mailbag ( gives hope that the Dodgers can actually unload Crawford this winter. San Diego seems to be an agreeable trading partner and they have some pitchers we might use (Yes, it’ll take more than Crawford and money), I like one of their catchers, Derek Norris, but don’t know that the Dodgers would have interest or not, AJ won’t last forever. And certainly Kemp would be a vast improvement over Crawford. How about Crawford for MJ Upton, bad contract for bad contract but at least Upton’s centerfield skills would be of some use to us, not that we really need another outfielder. But of course we don’t know who the FO is going to trade off so maybe we will need an outfielder or catcher, who knows?

    • I couldn’t get that link to work. As I remember, San Diego needs catching depth as well. You mentioned Kemp. Did the article mention him?

      Would you want to trade Pederson, Ethier, and Cotton to AZ for Pollock plus whatever makes the trade equal?

      • Sometimes those links “time out”, I just redid it, try again. San Siego has two good starting quality catchers in my opinion. No mention of Kemp, just my wild thought about getting him back. No, I wouldn’t make the trade you propose, but that don’t mean the FO wouldn’t…

    • I assume that Grandal will get well, and we have Barnes as possible backup if AJ goes south or could just find some guy off the scrape heap, which most teams do for a backup.

  26. Selfish I know but I wish all the playoffs and World Series games were over, and I don’t care about the winner. Signing the players for next year and making trades is much more interesting to me. Don’t mean to say I’ll like everything they do, I probably won’t, but at least I’ll care enough to read about it and comment on it.

    • Somehow I feel the same way. The Cubs and the Mets are both nice stories, except, who cares. The Royals are a nice story, at least they were last year. And g-d forbid Toronto wins it all, then a team of rentals will be all the rage.

      • I guess it would be cool if the Cubs finally won a WS but I think it would also be cool for a low payroll team like KC to win it all. I haven’t watched any games post Dodgers.

        • KC not really a low payroll team anymore. Certainly not among the big spenders, it’s more middle of the pack at $125 million. Other teams still in the fight are Jays ($138), Cubbies ($133) and Mets ($120). Lowest playoff teams were Pirates ($99) and ‘Stros ($81). Fish are at the bottom ($62).

  27. Darwin Barney has been designated for assignment, so the FO can claim him if they like. When I hear the name Darwin, I always think of a talking monkey in a cartoon show my nephew’s kids used to watch. He talked with a British accent, Tim Curry did the voice….

  28. The Dee Gordon Story brings up a good point. Someone (or ones) in the Dodger Organization had a poor opinion of Dee, maybe his potential, maybe his attitude, maybe something else, and deemed him trade bait. So far that’s not looking like a good move but time will tell. I wonder if the Alex Guerrero Story is going to play out the same way. When the season began, he was a terrific hitter, you couldn’t want better. But as his at bats decreased, so did his effectiveness. Nobody hits good getting one at bat a week. And he has a rep for being a bad fielder. The few games I’ve seen him in at third base, he has looked perfectly adequate to my amatuer eye. I wonder if the same person who destroyed Dee Gordon’s Dodger Career is now working on Alex Guerrero?

    • Everything I’ve seen about Dee’s attitude is that it has always been great.

      IMO decision-makers thought they were selling high on him, based on belief he’d only ever had one good half of one year and would regress.

      Dunno if they make his trade if they knew what he’d do this season.

      But kinda think they still would given all the useful pieces who came back in return.

      Alex G. reportedly never altered his aggressive approach at the plate and so was eaten alive as pitchers took advantage of his inability to or failure to adjust. Doubtful the team sees much value in him and likely finds some way to move him over the break.

      If they’re going to keep him but use him only as they did the latter part of the year, it’s a waste of a roster spot.

      • Unless he regains his hitting form, and unless they then use him, then he is of no use to them and it is stupid to keep him on the roster. If that is the case, DFA him and be done with it. What they should do is make him understand that he will get his remaining $14M no matter what happens, but it is in his best interest to play, actually play, in the minors to show the Dodgers, OR SOME OTHER ORGANIZATION, what he can do, and take whatever path life opens for him from that. I get the impression there is so much hostility toward him that no one is trying to reason with him to find a useful solution.

        • Or, maybe KFAZ just grow up a little more and accept his contract.

          Like I said somewhere, I am going to be a little snarky toward KFAZ until they succeed and I do not define success as winning with 50+% turnover every year.

          • Their modus operandi will always have a high turnover rate. With the possible exception of SOME pitchers, everyone else will be pre-arbitration, arbitration, some low priced free agents, or, hopefully, some young stars who came up through the organization and signed club-friendly extensions. For example, look at Tampa Bay.

      • From what I have seen from watching games, Ethier plays well with others. I have never liked watching him slam his bat and get into an emotional stew when striking out, etc. He has improved keeping his emotions in check but let them get the best of him in the Dugout in game 5.

        Mattingly used to drive me crazy arguing with umpires but I think someone explained to him that vehemently arguing with umpires was not in his best career interest.

      • Yes, think they did well in finding a team with a much higher opinion of Dee’s future and were willing to give us a bundle for him (and Haren -huh?-as a frontliner, if the Dodgers paid his salary). Gotta think that they were swayed by Dee’s sparkle, (I know that I always enjoy watching him play)

      • If you look at the pattern of his usage he stopped hitting before Donnie started reducing his appearances, not the other way around.

        • Probably so but no one ever broke out of a slump on the bench. I don’t even claim to be an expert but most likely DM and Alex have vastly differing opinions on whether or not he got a fair trial. Someone else will have to figure that out. I wonder if he could play second base?

          • Sure but I was responding to the notion that diminishing use led to diminishing results. Alex had as many PA in both August and Sept/Oct as he had in March/April when he was knocking the hide off the ball. I think that foul tip is closer to the mark. Alex looked worse than Joc at the plate. The brain trust tried second base, but were not impressed. Hard to imagine that this fellow was an SS in Cuba. Scouts missed their mark.

          • Yeah, Alphabet and Olivera have yet to show much either. On the other hand, Puig gained his luster from the tryouts in Mexico City, rather than his Cuban performance, and has some amazing numbers overall for the Dodgers, despite injuries and a down year for him in 2015.

    • I enjoyed the interaction between Gordon and Kemp. They seemed to enjoy each other.

      Until KFAZ puts a team together that I like (I was going to say that wins but one could argue that they did that by winning the Division) I am sure I will be a little snarky with them.

      I don’t find myself feeling any disappointment with the Dodgers already out of the playoffs. I never really liked the team. I would have loved to watch the young players that mostly came up together a few years back to win it all. Those players would be Kemp, Martin, Loney, Ethier, Kershaw, Billingsley, Broxton, and Ellis. Mix in Gordon, Seager, Pederson, Jansen, and Greinke and that would have been a team I really would have enjoyed watching celebrating a Championship.

      This team was full of rentals and first time Dodgers.

      • I agree with that. I’m a fan of players rather than team. For me, if Joc, Ethier, Seager, Kiki, Clayton, or Zack have a good game, I’m happy even if the team loses. I was just thinking the other day I’d rather have Loney than Agon, even considering the difference in production. Also Dee, Kemp for sure, Billingsly, and Martin. No love for Broxton, maybe because he was a “closer”….

      • I’m glad to hear you say this, It puts into words a feeling I haven’t been able to vocalize, even to myself. I especially never warmed up to the influx of Phillies. And I really missed Dee’s leadoff spark.

        • Yeah, those Phillies…I always wanted Rollins and Utley on our team…about 10 years ago.

      • Count me in here, I also agree with you. It was easy to root for the home grown team. Yes, we have rentals now, and I could never get my head around the benefits of what was done to the team with who we got rid of and who we brought in.

        Yes, nice clubhouse, we all played well together. How sweet.

  29. Bleacher Report “Complete Offseason Guide: Predictions for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

    Lists of free agents, arbitration-eligible players, possible free agent acquisitions, possible trade targets. It’s a nice summation except that it’s in BR’s annoying slideshow format.

  30. So, are we assuming that Greinke is gone? I think he’s worth the extra $ it would take to keep him. I also believe he will continue over the next six years to adjust his pitching to his aging, like Maddux.

    • We are assuming that he’ll opt out. And he’d be a fool if he didn’t. We are hoping the Dodgers will beat any other clubs’ offers in order to bring him back. At this point it is only a hope.

    • Not necessarily. Gist of a Sports Illustrated print piece this summer that couldn’t be linked to was that if he opted out (probable), LA still would be favored to re-sign him. (Warning: SF seemed to be on his radar screen, tho, grrrrr..)

      Several things may work in the Dodgers’ favor. Reportedly he and his family like most everything about the team and LA itself, and relocating would be very stressful with a newborn; wife Emily is supposed to have said she wants to stay.

      Few teams can afford him. He wants to win. He did a typical exhaustive Greinkesque analysis of teams before settling on the Dodgers last time, and not too much should have changed as far as teams with a good chance to win.

      [JP Howell said he relied heavily on that Greinke analysis when he signed with LA.]

      Impression I have is opt-out was in contract in self-defense in case the pitching market escalated–which it has. So Greinke may be a $30m/yr. Dodger next year.

      Your thoughts about his pitching aging well are echoed by some knowledgeable people, who say things like he’s been a command guy for several years, not so much a power pitcher any longer.

  31. Some thoughts:

    Bret Anderson: 180 innings, 31 starts, 3.69 ERA–Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    Zack Greinke: Please take $30,000,000 to not opt out of your contract.

    Howie Kendrick: The Dodgers traded Andrew Heaney for a 117 games of Kendrick whose defense tanked in 2015 and he was really only a league average hitter. Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    Chase Utley: OBP’d .286 and had a tiny 73 OPS+ as a member of the Phillies and Dodgers. Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    Jimmy Rollins: .285 OBP and a 78 OPS+. Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    J.P. Howell: 1.97 ERA in 155 innings as a Dodger. That number is inflated because he was used as a LOOGY for much of the season and also because he allowed 9 inherited runners. Let him opt out. Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    Carl Crawford: Owed $41,750,000 through 2017. Do what ever it takes to move him to another team. Thanks and good luck with your next team.

    If Hernandez does not win the second base job he probably platoons with Pederson and Ethier in left and center. Lets assume the latter happens. Here is what the Dodgers are starting with before trades.

    2B Peraza
    CF Pederson
    SS Seager/Hernandez
    3B Turner/Hernandez
    1B Gonzales
    RF Puig
    LF Ethier/Hernandez
    C Ellis/Grandal

    • Kendrick made 5 errors in 989 innings. His range was slightly below average, but nothing his hitting didn’t make up for. Make him a QO or let him go, but he doesn’t deserve to be maligned.

      • I don’t think anybody needs to be maligned. The “Thanks and good luck with your next team” was not meant to be sarcastic. I wish all Dodgers good luck wherever their careers take them, even if to SF.

        • I saw the verb “tanked” and it triggered something. Sorry. And I draw the line at Dodgers going to SF. It takes at least a year before I forgive that.

          • Tanked was way too critical of a description of Kendrick’s defense. His defense did drop off but it did not tank. I usually am much more careful about using mean words.

          • If you go by dWAR, Howie throughout his career had been an above average fielder, Last year he moved into the good range with dWAR 1.4. in 157 games This year down to -1.0 in 117 games. So, he kinda tanked.

      • Kendrick is probably a better second baseman defensively than Daniel Murphy but in this series, Murphy’s hitting did a better job of making up for his defensive ability than did Kendrick’s. The Cubs might agree.

        Is Uribe going to win a WS championship again? Every five years…

        • That wasn’t the full season Murphy we saw, the stars have just aligned for him for a short period. He’ll be a journeyman infielder again next year. It is thought the mets will not retain him.

  32. Looking thru some Mike Petriello tweets, saw this gem about the simplistic, traditional, and wrongheaded overweight on pitcher wins importance (demeaning adjectives all mine, but you get the idea)–

    Or maybe you don’t since I haven’t yet figured out how to get it to appear here….

    • I would say that pitchers wins can be misleading, but are not necessarily irrelevant. If you win 15 to 20 games, it means you’re pitch pretty deep into games, which helps your team. It used to said that you had to be a pretty good pitcher to lose 20 games – for much the same reason.

      • Agreed. They’re not irrelevant; didn’t say they were. Your points are good ones.

        My comment was directed at the old-school thinking that overweights wins in consideration for Cy Young awards and such, and often gives pitchers too much credit. Fortunately many knowledgeable people are now using more advanced stats and getting away from over-reliance on things like pitcher wins, batting average, RBIs, etc.

        Except for the archaic language, the sentence beginning with “Certain it is” would make a good modern-day tweet. Nice use of “execrable.” ;-])

        • The AL CYA to Felix (13-12) suggests that SO/ERA have some weight these days, in beating out Price (19-6) and Sabathia (21-7)

  33. Even though no one asked me, here is my take….

    sign Greinke, to me this is a no brainer….
    much as I hate to say it, keep DM through the end of his contract, not his fault everyone was injured and on the DL all season…..
    another starting pitcher, duh….
    trade Puig, there is some sucker out there who will over pay us for him, then go get Cespedas or Gordon on the free agent market…..
    Kendrick, depends on price…..
    bullpen, another duh…..
    clubhouse culture, don’t know what this means, it’s like chemistry, when you win it is good, and when you don’t it’s bad….

    • Price for Howie is the qualifying offer of around $15 million (which the Dodgers seem prepared to make), but he will likely want more years from the Dodgers or someone else.

      • Puig is still a very young player who has gone through challenging life experiences, and spent much of this year on the DL. Giving up on him would be absurd.

  34. I could be totally wrong, but this notion that the FO needs to decide on Donnie’s fate seems to be entirely a media creation based on their own speculation. Nothing that the FO or Donnie have said lends credence.

    • Agreed. But if they don’t extend, he’ll be a lame-duck manager next season. I don’t know that that should matter; after all, Walter Alston had 20-something consecutive one-year contracts. I don’t know when the Dodgers started offering multi-year deals to their managers.

  35. With Conte gone, do the Dodgers have any ex SF exects left on the team? I hope not.

    New Dodgers ownership is settling in. KFAZ is still Rembrandting their vision. The 2018 team might be what they are trying to get to. Until then, players are probably going to feel like moving parts.

    We will see in 2016 how much pitching and defense dominates their vision.

  36. Two days after elimination. My feeling is that the FO is NOT going to fire DM. If they were, they would have done so Friday, enabling him to try for the other open manager’s jobs. If they do so after this, they really are callous and inconsiderate.

    • Not a surprise, though. He’s got 3 years and $71M remaining on the current contract. After the year he had he’d be crazy not to see how big the offers might be, and perhaps more importantly, for how long.

      Here’s the Heyman item at CBS Sports. Take note of this: “one GM suggested he should get multiple offers for $125 million over five years, at a minimum, with the likely winning bid at about $150 million over five years, or perhaps even more.”

  37. More on Conte: “My resignation will allow me to focus on my research in baseball injury
    analytics as I remain committed to determining the causes and effects
    of various baseball injuries.”

    He’s got a consulting business profiled in the NYT six years ago.

    • would have been nice if he tried determining all this while an employee of the Dodgers….2nd most games lost this season under his watch….

  38. News from MLBTR that will bring tears to your eyes:
    The Dodgers have announced the resignation of Vice President, Medical Services and Head Trainer Stan Conte, who had worked with the team for nine years. “I want to thank Stan for his contributions to the Dodgers over the past nine years as well as all he has done for the entire community of sports medicine,” says Dodgers exec Andrew Friedman. The departure could be the first of many within the Dodgers organization after a disappointing exit from the playoffs this week.

    • Seems like he wants to make some real money, injury being the new frontier in player evaluations.

  39. Sounds good but I’m too cheap to subscribe to a “baseball expert”. In no particular order…
    Yes, it’s time for Puig to put up or shut off. (That means trade him off)
    Same thing on Mattingly. Tell the world he’s your manager till you say otherwise or let him go now.
    Pass on Kendrick. Yes, he had a good year but I doubt he keeps it up for 4 more. This is basic FO philosophy, develop young players, sell them when they get too expensive to keep.
    Resign Zack, add big arm, upgrade bullpen.
    There is always that difference between those players too expensive to trade and those who can be easily replaced. My take on the FO’s philosophy is that soon there will be only expensive pitchers on the club, and position players who (hopefully) are good but also young, arbitration eligible or not there yet, and all in the same boat in that they are all subject to be traded at any time for the good of the club. Seniority is just a word in the dictionary. If that is the way the FO wants to do it, then they must stay the course. Guys like Ethier, Crawford, and Agon will probably be leaving soon. If this is the case, then the FO should be pushing for the DH and an increase from 25 to 28 or even 30 in the active roster. The MLBPA should be on board with both those changes and even the owners should realize that replacing 5 highly paid players on your club with 10 players averaging not much more than League Minimum salary is a net gain.
    Why bother protesting, WBB? You know I don’t care what you say and won’t spar with you about it.

    • I don’t have time or interest in dissecting all your errors, but I will point out one of the most egregious. Kendrick is not a young player the Dodgers developed; he is a veteran free agent the Dodgers acquired in trade. The Dodgers will make him a qualifying offer that he will probably refuse; with younger talent in the system, it would then be questionable to give him a longer contract.

        • Well, you either didn’t know or were trying to deliberately mislead, because you wrote something absolutely different.

    • Seems a bit simplistic, but that of course is what theories are supposed to do. You don’t really make the case as regards seniority, since the three you mention already had long term contracts, so not sure why they would be leaving soon, or sooner than their contracts expire. What the FO does with yougin’s developed in the system is an open question and probably depends on the individual player. In the case of Longoria at Tampa, Andrew signed him up to a long term contract to keep him off the FA market.