Open Thread #1, Fall 2015

On November 4, 1922 Howard Carter opened King Tut’s tomb in Egypt

On November 4, 1956 Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary and Budapest

On November 4, 1979 Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Teheran

On November 4, 1995 Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in Tel Aviv

On November 4, 2001 the Diamondback’s Luis Gonzalez blooped a single into left field off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of Game Seven to defeat the Yankees for the World Series Championship

On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama was elected as America’s first black President

And on November 4, 1950 I came forth unto the world, naked and screaming

385 thoughts on “Open Thread #1, Fall 2015

    • Since I heard that Black has had temper issues, I hope the three interviews go to the others, not that my math is better than Shaikin’s.

    • if I was a gambler, my money would be on Roberts as the next manager…and on Cueto coming to the Dodgers…other than that…the FO will just work around the fringes

    • This route is certainly an option. Would mean, for example that you might not need to spend big bucks on another reliever. Anderson decides today, no? If he doesn’t take the $15 million, it’s maybe $22-23 million to add to the pot, while still keeping team under $250 million with other moves, including outfielder/2nd base. Draw back I see is the number of years committed for a guy like Price. Not sure how he will be when he reaches 34-35.

      • Why would it be important for us to want to keep the payroll under 250m?? Also, why does it mean the Dodgers don’t need to spend big bucks on a reliever??

        • More important to the owners than us, given the luxury tax. I believe that it is in the TORs of the FO to bring costs down and hope that something around $250 million will make them happy for now. With another top line starter, less reliance on the pen to perform.

    • No way would this FO spend that much on two impact pitchers after what we have seen. It would be a real change to their previous signings.

      • I’m not so sure about that. I just don’t think he spends the big bucks on position players.

          • You wanted Price (or whomever)? Money wouldn’t have helped then. He would have been a rental, would have cost us Urias and a couple of other players for two months service!. And we would be in exactly the same position we are now, trying to give him more money than all the other teams who are competing with us for his services.

          • I think you are led to believe we are trying but in reality, we are not. I will feel this way until an impact player is signed.

          • And by “Impact” package means an All-Star for the last ten years whose career is on the decline, but who is widely known and regarded and who will be vastly overpaid.

          • We should be happy that we are now free from two “impact” players that together cost around $42 million a year and whose “impact” last year was a combined -0.7 WAR.

          • OK. How about this: would you pay $178 million over the next four years to have those two ballplayers on your team?

          • Two “impact” players who were with the Dodgers 2014 playoff team that the FO did not retain, which you have cited as an example of how the FO wasn’t committed to winning.

          • Don’t know who you are referring but if its Hanley and Matt the answer is yes. However the numbers you are using are not accurate. We don’t know what the Dodgers would have had to pay (Hanley) or the years as we made no attempt to retain him. Matt was traded but the Dodgers paid 18m just this year of his contract, effectively paying a player the the team did not employ. So if that is your game it is not completely accurate.

          • Not sure what you are trying to argue. Matty has a contract over the next 4 years that pays him $87 million. That the Dodgers are paying $15 million of the contract doesn’t change the fact that the Dodgers would have had to pay $87 million to retain his services for those four years. You actually think that Hanley would have signed significantly below market to stay with the Dodgers?

          • I am not arguing anything. You asked if I would pay two impact players 178m for 4 years which is just over 44 mil a year. The answer is yes if I were trying to win a World Championship. The team paid 15m using your figures for a player we didn’t use.

          • $44 million for two players who most recently contributed a combined -0.7 WAR to their teams, when 0.0 WAR would have cost you $1.2 million for replacement level players? Doesn’t seem like the way to win championships. Are you sure that you are committed to that or are you just committed to complaining about the current FO?

          • No sense in talking about Grandal. We just disagree about him but where would you be without WAR? Without that stat you are in never never land.

          • And then been out those prospects for the next ten years AND not have Price or a similar pitcher for even a full year. It doesn’t make sense, even to win a World Series. The point is to get a team together which has excellent chances to win several.

          • Yea, spoken like a person that believes every prospect will develop into Ted Williams or Babe Ruth. Just look at how well Joc has panned out so far? He is questionable to even return to the bigs next year. Point is most of the prospects do not develop into great players. If you have good players you should think twice about junking them for maybes and if you need good players some should be considered expendable.

          • Jays picked up Price in order to make the playoffs. As regards the playoff themselves his record was 1-2 with an ERA of 6.16.

          • That’s right, the FO told us we were more flexible and nimble and could go much deeper into the playoffs with their changes. So much for that.

          • I am rooting hard for both Pederson and FAZ while recognizing that both had success and failure in their first year. FAZ and Pederson have plenty of talent and potential. They are part of the journey. Let’s enjoy the journey.

            Adding 5 veterans is merely putting Dodger uniforms on some other team’s players. Why pull for Jeff Kent, Luis Gonzales, Mike Lowell, Jason Schmidt, etc. just because they wear a Dodger uniform?

            I think Kasten should not have made the trade with Boston, I don’t think KFAZ should have traded Kemp or Gordon and I really think they should have signed Yoan Moncada. I also think they should have overpaid for Lester before the 2015 season. So, I too am as worried about KFAZ as I am Pederson but I see potential and am willing to see what they do in their sophomore year before harping too much.

          • Good post Bumsrap. My problem is I am not very patient. 27 years is a long time. I too wanted Moncada and would have overpaid for Lester. I know you will agree that KFAZ has missed the boat on at least a couple of occasions? I do feel though that Joc is close to being over.

          • Agreed on all. That Boston trades got us some quick wins but it tied a big stone around our neck that we must carry 2 or 3 more years. Really miss Gordon and Kemp, even if he’s not the “MVP” he almost was. He still matches Agon in production and far exceeds Crawford. And the Gordon trade got us Kiki and a (maybe) catcher and one year of Kendrick. Wish we’d kept Dee.

          • The currently most widely used methodology for evaluating players is WAR. Love him dearly, but Matty hasn’t been an “MVP” since 2011. In the last 4 years he has provided WAR 4.4. CC, don’t love him so much, has put up 3.8 in his three years with the Dodgers (a costly contribution to say the least). Agon in the past four years has put up WAR 12.3

        • I wonder how the righty lefty thing will work into the equation. Kershaw, Price, Wood and maybe Ryu from the left side and Greinke by himself on the right side. Maybe the choice should be Greinke and Zimmerman.

  1. “We like André. If he goes over the 10-5 limit with us, that’s fine.” So said Zaidi about Ethier, who’s scheduled to go over the 10-years-in-the-bigs and 5-with-the-same-team threshold in the first month of next season. The significance of that rule is that a player who fits it can veto a trade.

    • You would probably like for the Dodgers to trade him, eat his contract and lower that payroll and when they get all done getting rid of all the decent players you can sit back and say “Well we got that payroll down to cheap but they only problem is we can’t win”

    • That is interesting. I’m glad to see that the fact they’ve only got one full year of data weighs on how much they trust it in making decisions. Small sample sizes!

  2. $20 mil a year just won’t buy what it used to

    Very insightful Dave Cameron piece on why teams do what they do in free agency. Well worth the time. Couple excerpts:

    “A few years ago, $20 million per year was a significant benchmark, and the only guys who were able to reach those lofty heights were star players with impeccable resumes. These days, $20 million buys you an above-average regular, a guy who can play every day and help your team, but isn’t ever going to be mistaken for a franchise cornerstone. Average players now cost about $15 million per year, mediocre veterans with some track record of success at the end of their careers get around $10 million per year, and part-time platoon guys with some usefulness get $5 million per year. This is what happens when your sport has $9 billion in annual revenues; everyone gets really, really rich.

    “The best thing a team can do is set itself up to not need free agency in order to contend. If you can develop and extend your own prospects and make savvy trades, then the free-agent market can be used to supplement a roster instead of trying to build a winner by simply throwing around money. But if you have a roster full of young, underpriced players, the rest of your payroll has to go somewhere, and while spending it on a free agent is less efficient than putting it into other resources, it’s more efficient than just not spending it at all.

    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/free-agency-hot-stove-rumors-contracts-busts-david-price-zack-greinke-davis-weaver-werth-111115

  3. Even though its likely the Dodgers were never even anywhere close to trading for Simmons, it still gave me a bit of a spark of enjoyment. It reminded me how much I do like the season of dreaming, hoping and analyzing team construction – aka the Hot Stove League.

  4. Baseball people doing the managerial search, not the owners, says Fahran Zaidi at the close of the General Mgrs meetings.

    “Zaidi and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said they
    will have a manager hired before the Winter Meetings, which start Dec. 7
    in Nashville.”

  5. I am about to forget about getting any really good players by way of Free Agency or Trade so I think I would like the Dodgers to start really going through the kids and foreign players to see what they have. Maybe bring up some a little early to mature. If they’re not going to get good players shouldn’t they use and develop the kids?

    • How bad might that be? The 2018 team could challenge the Cey, Lopes, Russel, Garvey team for length of time played together. That 2018 team could have Seager, Pederson, Peraza, Bellinger, Verdugo, and Puig starting through 2028 (2028 sounds so far away doesn’t it) plus Urias, Buehler, Holmes, and De Leon.

      Getting to 2018 would have Grandal, Agon, Peraza/Hernandez, Turner, Puig, Pederson, Ethier, Seager plus Kershaw, Wood, Frias, Bolsinger, De Leon.

      I doubt that the FO would go into the 2016 season with that rotation and would at the minimum do what they did last year with high risk additions.

      • My preference would be for Hernandez to concentrate on the left side of the infield and backup short and third next year. I would not use his development time at second base. He should be the heir apparent to Turner at third if he shows he can hit right handed pitching.

        That gives second base to Peraza to lose and a need to sign a backup in case he does lose it. I am okay with Utley as a backup at second.

      • Guess no one else is sick of waiting for a championship team. Especially when money is not the problem, being stubborn is the problem.

        • Package, we’re in the perfect position, we can look forward to winning it all every year. Fans of other teams envy us, don’t understand why we whine. Look at KC fans. They’re on top of the world. And they have nowhere to go but down. They know they will not be there (probably) again in their lifetime. I wouldn’t trade places with them. Rejoice!

        • You don’t want to be the fillies as the fans forget very quickly. They had 3.8 million the last year they made the playoffs in 2011. After coming in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 5th they are down to 1.8 million.

      • Really wasn’t on the edge of my seat. Trading RH power bat for great fielding SS doesn’t seem realistic, particularly when you already have a guy who looks pretty good in fielding that position. You can always do something down the road in a couple of years or when the market is not so tight or bring up someone through the system.

    • The more I kicked around the various scenarios that might happen should the Dodgers trade for Simmons the less it made any sense.

      • Yeah, there would have had to been a third party or additional moves. Braves wanted pitching prospects and got a fellow ranked around where DeLeon is ranked. Justin would then have to be moved to a team that basically wanted a power hitting third baseman and willing to give up a top line starter or RH power hitting outfielder. Depending upon what the Dodgers might have received, they could have then gone to the FA market to get the other piece.

  6. What if… Turner and something else to the Braves for Simmons. Or add Julio Teheran and whatever Dodgers need add to make it work out right. Not advocating, just speculating…

  7. From Heyman:

    Dodgers

    Of course the $300-million team had to make this list. While their ultimate goal is to blend in more kids and win through development, the immediate concern is re-signing Greinke, or replacing him. Greinke is the top choice but they also very much like Price.

    Meantime, they need to replace free agent second baseman Howie Kendrick, and they lean toward a lefty swinger such as Murphy, who will probably get a four-year deal, or perhaps the more cost-efficient veteran Chase Utley, who may be more in the $6-million, one-year range. They like Utley for the tone he sets, though his productivity is obviously slipping.

      • Listening to Inside Pitch on XM today, Duquette and Stern think the Dodgers will probably be no more than a top five team in spending. So I guess what we were told when they were sold will not come to pass. I think it is pretty clear about their direction. No impact free agents or impact players by trade. It even makes me believe that they won’t resign Greinke.

        • Pretty certain that they won’t go into the year much above $250, if that. But that should be enough to put a competitive team out there.

  8. Might the Dodgers be thinking of trading Turner or moving him to second? If so, that means they would also be thinking about moving Seager to third. Why do I ask?

    The Braves are “deep” in trade talks with a yet-unnamed NL West club, reports Jonah Keri of ESPN (via Twitter). Clearly, there’s a lot left to the imagination with this report, but there’s enough to at least envision a few possibilities.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/11/braves-trade-nl-west.html

    • The Dodgers could be a great defensive team if they obtained Simmons and signed Heyward while living with Pederson in CF. It might take Peraza to get Simmons but if Peraza were to play second the Dodges would have quite the defensive infield (Seager at third).

      • I wouldn’t mind Seager at 3rd, Simmons at short and Mystery Person at 2nd.
        However, I thought it was also reported that it was San Diego that was in convo with Atlanta.

        • Or rather I should say Not Yet Known at 2nd. Mystery Person sounds more like someone who is not in-house.

        • You are not concerned about losing our top oWAR, who will probably cost about $5 million in 2016 after arbitration?

          • That’s why “Living” struck me as wrong. It implies “tolerating” in that context, which means “put up with despite flaws,” and I read that as you suggesting they’d be a great defensive team while putting up with his flaws in CF.

          • There have been so many questions about Joc’s hitting that I wanted to recognize that question. I kept my comment too short and as a result it wasn’t clear what I was thinking.

            I love Joc’s defense and the Dodger up-the-middle defense would be awesome with Simmons, Peraza, and Pederson playing together. Grandal’s framing skills are better than his fielding skills.

    • Had the same thoughts. Guess we’ll just have to wait to see… Watch out for FO and his three way trades…

    • I don’t like this thought but it could be FO doesn’t trust Turner’s knee; Atlanta is still looking for a third baseman; Dodgers also like Julio Teheran. So, Simmons and Teheran for Turner and several other players and/or prospects. I could see FO doing something like that…

    • Don’t like the idea of Justin at 2nd, but nor do I like the idea of losing a RH power bat.

        • I may be right on this, but I am not closed minded and would be willing to discuss more with Bumsrap before it’s elevated to the level of the FO. He is the one who corresponds with them in any event.

      • Adding Simmons’ defense at short and then putting Turner at second would be strange at best. Turner’s knee would be better at third or first.

        To keep this WAGing going, maybe Turner could move to first and Agon goes to a third team and Atlanta gets a younger and lower salaried player from that third team.

      • Maybe Justin is that utility infielder, getting maybe 4 starts a week at First, Second, and Third, plus pinch hitting in the other 2 or 3 games.

        • I like that other than he was the #3 or cleanup hitter all last year. Hard to limit your best hitter to 4 starts a week. He probably needs to stay away from the middle infield with that knee.

          • I would prefer to see a DH hit instead of watching a pitcher hit. I get no joy watching a Manager think about when to pinch hit. Maybe if I would watch a monitor hooked up to the Manager’s scalp during an electroencephalogram, I could enjoy that fascinating part of the game.

          • Wonder if anyone has ever done research on the correlation between the number of in-game decisions a manager makes and number of games team won?

  9. New guy sounds like he went to the Joe Buck school of broadcasting, who I can’t stand. It’s the sound of strained urgency and pontificating, I suppose. Spoiled by Vin.

  10. Dee Gordon. First player ever to lead the league in hitting and in stolen bases while also winning a Gold Glove.

    • Not sure where, but I’ve seen chatter that the Dodgers made no effort to talk with Greinke, just let him opt out. From Audit’s link above:

      “Los Angeles tried to open talks with Greinke during the season, GM Farhan Zaidi told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (Twitter link), but he declined the invitation. That probably should not be read as any indication of Greinke’s feelings about where he’d like to play, of course, as he may well have felt that he’d be best served by seeing what the open market had to offer.”

      • There was chatter here about that in August. There was no news on whether this was happening or not. Some here took it to me that it hadn’t or wasn’t happening and demanded that the FO do something.

        • A little more from Zaidi:

          “We definitely expressed our interest in having him return, [he’s] been a
          big part of club for last three seasons,” Zaidi said. “With the season
          he had, I think there was intent on their part to playing out the season
          and get to this part and make a decision on the player option.”

          Yeah, and I don’t blame Zack at all. 19-3 and an ERA as low as his? Of course he’d want to see how big the offers might be.

  11. And this…

    Likewise, the Dodgers are considering bringing back Chase Utley to provide a southpaw-swinging option at second and third base, per Rosenthal, after previously declining his option.

    • If they believe in Quique and/or Peraza not a bad option as a fall back and LH utility infielder. Save $15 million here and there that can be spent elsewhere.(starter, pen, outfield).

      • I can see it now, a different lineup every day, Kiki in center, or SS or 2B, Peraza 2B some days, other days feature Utley at 2B or 3RD. Poor Package, they’ll haul him off in a rubber jacket… (That’s a joke, Package, don’t get upset…)

        • Based on how I interpreted Freidman’s latest interview, I don’t think that is what he wants to do. I do think he wants to use the entire 25 players on the active roster intelligently and let them all contribute though.

  12. I think Zack Greinke is a really intellegent individual and what he decides to do next year will certainly give us a little insight as to whether he thinks the Dodgers can win or not. If he leaves I think it will be to a team he feels that can win a ring.

      • Wow WBB, you really got me on that one. Guess there was nothing about baseball you could add.

        • Until you get your basic grammar, spelling and syntax in order, nothing anybody says – about baseball or anything else – will be meaningful to you.

          • My grammar, spelling and syntax have nothing to do with baseball. Your ability to be rude and say things that have nothing to do with the subject show the type of person you are. You need to saturate yourself in subject knowledge before you post.

  13. Heyman, two days ago:

    Gabe Kapler entered the managerial derby as the seeming favorite, but
    that may not be the case now. Dave Roberts is said to have wowed them in
    the interview, and others appear to be under consideration, as well.
    Ex-Angel Darin Erstad, the Nebraska head coach, and Mets bench coach Bob
    Geren may get a decent look, as might Davey Martinez; whose close ties
    to Joe Maddon are attractive to Dodgers people (There’s that connection
    there with Maddon and Dodgers president Andrew Friedman). Bud Black is
    in the mix, too. Kirk Gibson most likely received an interview as a
    Dodgers hero with good experience and ties to Dodgers people but he
    would seem to be a long shot. Dodgers coaches Ron Roenicke and Tim
    Wallach received interviews, but Wallach is expected to go to Miami as
    Don Mattingly’s bench coach.

    • Just looking at his stats. He looks like he is too good for the Dodgers to have interest. Is there an article saying they have interest?

        • No reason to think that any contending club with bullpen needs would not be interested at this stage. They certainly have headroom, depending upon how much over the luxury tax they are willing to go. At $165 million now they could stay below $250 million with Greinke $30, 2nd base $15, another starter $15 or less (Anderson?) and a high-priced reliever ($10?). That would bring them down from last season’s $300-odd million. Owners could probably live with that as it would keep a strong team on the field, though the next big chunk of savings won’t be until after 2017, when CC and Dre come off the books.

      • We need to be careful in assessing whether a team has real interest or not. Baseball writers, all kinds of them, need things to write/say every day, sometimes several times a day. Just saying the Dodgers (or any other club) is interested in so and so, without a single word of encouragement from the club, satisfies their boss and won’t likely make anyone mad at them. A lot of what we get excited about here never really had much reality attached to it. We fool ourselves, set ourselves up for disappointment.

      • So, the Dodgers don’t have interest in good players… We can expect, then, that they will make their big off-season splash by trading Kershaw, Kenley, Turner, AGon, and probably even Seager.

        • Not Seager but the rest, who knows? That is 4 of Ned’s boys and I am sure he would love to get rid of them.

          • Whether Ned wants to get rid of them or not, he is only a senior adviser, with little or nothing to say about the matter.

          • Your notion that there is a casual link between players being traded and them being “Ned’s boys” doesn’t seem very useful.

          • package, in this era of free agency, whoever the GM was when the player was acquired is probably of little relevance to the current GM or President of Baseball Ops. Loyalty in the way you seem to be thinking of it is no longer what it might once have been, and I’m not sure it hasn’t been romanticized. Owners and GMs have been ruthless about trading or cutting players they’ve felt are no longer producing since the days of Wilbert Robinson and John McGraw.

          • Cutting and trading players that are no longer producing is a lot different than what FAZ are doing. They have no allegiance to the team they inherited. The only team they want is the one they build. They get more credit if they get rid of the players Ned had assembled. They also care nothing for the fans. What and who you like makes no difference. I hope I live long enough to see them gone.

          • More credit from whom? Why do you think they don’t care about the fans? Without 3-4 million paying customers they’re not successful. Of course they care about the fans.

            It’s your privilege to hate the people running the show. It’s our right to think you’re hipped on the subject.

          • Link, it does not matter what I think. They run the team but that doesn’t mean I have to like or agree with what they are doing. So far, they have not helped or made anything better.

          • You don’t have to like it. In fact, you don’t like it. We know. We know. Every thread seems to include long arguments brought on by your pessimism about what the front office might do and your certainty that they won’t do anything that might help the team win a World Series.

            When the rest of us try to point out that it’s ridiculous to suggest that the leaders of a multi-million dollar sports team don’t care about winning and in fact sometimes deliberately take actions which will keep the team from doing so, you just keep arguing, certain that Friedman et. al. were brought in to prevent the Dodgers from ever winning a championship again.

            It’s a silly point of view. If tempers get a little frayed once in a while because it keeps being put forth, you shouldn’t be surprised.

          • Who gives them credit for getting rid of players that Ned assembled? If you try to trade players who are no longer producing, you have missed the boat. What is behind this notion that they don’t care about the fans? They seem to be trying to build a team that can sustaining a winning level of baseball.

    • I don’t blame Kendrick for wanting a four-year deal, but he should not get it from the Dodgers.

    • Rendon in particular is unlikely to be on the market. He is part of the team’s core and has shown All Star capabilities. Not an FA until 2020. In any event, Nat’s need outfield depth with Span leaving and Werth aging.

    • If Kendrick accepts the offer, why would we trade/sign for another second baseman, with Peraza at OKC to boot?

          • Does this help you interpret what I thought I was saying:

            I would guess that if Kendrick accepts the QO the Dodgers would keep Peraza but if KENDRICK DOES NOT ACCEPY THE QO, Peraza could be traded to help get a second baseman like Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals

          • It clarifies the statement. But I think FO keeps Peraza (for now at least) regardless of whether Kendrick signs with us or not, or whether trades/signs some other second baseman. In particular Zobrist is old enough you don’t plan on him being a front line starter for more than one year, if that. And Peraza was/is a very good shortstop. He would be kept (maybe in OKC) as a backup for Seager. FO is going to sign very few new players, some pitchers and a few reserves.

          • I think they could possibly sign Zobrist but none of the other impact players . Freidman doing anything to get Rendon is pie in the sky.

          • Anybody doing anything to get Rendón is pie in the sky – unless that anybody is willing to surrender something like Kershaw, Félix Hernández, or Arrieta.

          • Friedman said that second base and pitching is the area they are looking at the most. If they think Peraza is a year away and want to keep Kike’ as a relief player and think they need a strong second baseman next year, they might try to trade for that second baseman.

            Who might they trade? I don’t think they would trade Peraza unless they could get what they really want at second, thus I said Renden. By naming Renden aren’t we saying the same thing– that they value Peraza?

          • They will not–according to Bob, cannot—trade for Rendon. I hate the thought of it but they might go for Murphy.

  14. Package will love this quote: Rather than pursue any offensive-difference makers on the free-agent market, the Dodgers are looking for the likes of Puig, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal to recover the form that made them All-Stars.

    • Yea, I saw it. Well Friedman can wish all he likes but that won’t win championships. I guess he doesn’t know that they would have fixed their offensive woes if they could have. Guess they were waiting for him to make his all knowing quote.

      • These are young ballplayers who have all shown recently that they can dominate with the bat. We made the playoffs with them being productive as a group in only 8 of the their collective 18 months. And we will have Seager for a full 6 months. I would actually be more concerned about the older players (AGon and Dre) sustaining their levels of productivity and what we get out of 2nd base slot.

        • In a platoon, I think Dre can continue to contribute. AGon should probably sit a bit more than he has, though he shouldn’t need a strict platoon.

  15. Hall of Fame ballot out today. Griffey and Hoffman are pretty much locks, I think. Piazza’s almost assured, Bagwell should be too, and who knows about the rest.

    The entire list:

    Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Randy Winn.

      • Didn’t sound to me like Friedman had many plans to get guys from the outside and was satisfied with who he has right now.

        • He’s keeping his plans to himself, which is a wise decision. If the other side(s) know your plans, it weakens your bargaining position.

          • I kept thinking that thought last year down the stretch and nothing earthshaking happened.

          • I used to have lots of big plans. None of them worked out. He probably has the same problem…

          • He doesn’t reveal any of his plans but past experience tells me that he probably won’t do much. He appears to be rebuilding but who knows? His track record from last year suggests he won’t get any impact players.

          • No, Package, except for the occasional pitcher, FO will never sign an impact player. That is his philosophy. He wants to grow his own. That won’t change. These wishes that he would sign Heyward will never happen.

          • What I hate most is that he tells people that he is trying to win a championship but clearly does not. Most here believe that that is what he is doing. Looking at last year, he got Grandal, Kendrick, Rollins, Anderson, McCarthy. Got rid of Kemp and promoted Pederson. That does not put fear in your heart. That was the start of the season. Then the things he did were way worse and I won’t bother to list them.

          • You forgot getting rid of Dee and Harren…but interested in this list of “way worse”, if it’s not a bother.

          • Latos, Johnson, Arroyo, Tsao, and the list goes on and on and you know who they are as well as me.EDIT We would have been better off with Haren and Dee.

          • They turned out to be poor performers, who cost us basically nothing. How is that way worse?

          • Cost isn’t a factor. Impact players cost money and why fool with poor performers? The Dodgers record with retreads, poor performers and med cases is not good. Bob, wouldn’t it just be easier to get folk that can play wel? Why all these games? I get that you would rather argue with me than admit I am right. The FO will eventually push the envelope to far and the Dodgers will not win the West. This team gets worse by the minute.

          • But your fears coming into 2015 were unrealized. What makes you think you are any more right in forecasting such for the upcoming year even before the team has made any moves? “Worse by the minute”, really!?

          • I forecast a worse season and it was. You don’t want to admit that. You would rather make many excuses for what has happened and say “Well it is only 2 wins worse”. Worse is worse. We were told it would be better. I guess you see it as loyalty to the FO, I don’t know but I cannot see this building that is supposed to be going on. The team gets draft picks which is not assured to give us a quality player let alone a impact player. The prospects we have gotten have not been impact players so why would I think this is the way to build a team?

          • The top ten impact players in the NL, as measured by oWAR in 2015 were Harper 8.9, Votto 7, Goldie 6.8, Pollock 5.9. Clutch 5.8, Bryant 5.5, Rizzo 5.1, Carpenter 5, Buster 4.7, Peralta 3.9. Our own Justin came in at 3.4. Do I think we will land one of these “impact” players? No. But each of those guys, save Rizzo and Peralta, came from each team’s farm system and I hope to see Seagers name in the top ten next year or the one after that.

          • Bob, my fault is that I am very frustrated with never winning and 27 years in a major market is not good. Sure, some major markets do not have the money to buy or build a team. The Dodgers went through that also but now they do have the money but really some of the moves that are made just seem so out there. I do believe Freidman is trying to do this his way but I have huge doubts he can do it very quickly if at all. So every time he has a chance to improve the team as he did last year with an addition of a very good pitcher and he passes, I don’t get it. The name is the game is win and it looks like he doesn’t see it that way.
            EDIT Every team in both lead championship series added good players down the stretch. The Dodgers did not.

          • These guys were not brought in to spend money and unless the team starts losing (i.e., not making the playoffs) it’s hard to see the owners loosening the purse strings to acquire impact players.

          • I agree completely and that is what is frustrating. Maybe they will not do worse but in my mind they will.

          • The Mets and the Jays added players just to make the playoffs and the rentals, Price, Cespedes and Clippard, did not contribute much in the Championship Series. The Royals rented Cueto for the playoffs and got ERA 36.00 out of him in the Championship Series. The Cubs didn’t bring in anybody.

          • “Worse” is only “worse” in your mind so that you can say you were right. Other than that, saying that the Dodgers were worse in 2015 than in 2014 is laughable. I have no loyalty to the FO. Why do you cast things in those terms?

          • I cast things in those terms because it is true. The team did worse but the part that gets me is the FO said we would be better especially in the playoffs. This is not true.. You do remember that, right? But you are correct, in my mind the team is a lot worse. They were very lucky the first half and the 2nd half was a bust in my mind.

          • This part about being better in the playoffs. What I recall is a Buster Olney article. Perhaps there was some deep background from someone in the FO, but there were no quotes and no attribution. One of the things I recall was his notion of replacing players who struck out in the playoffs. Didn’t make much sense to me as a theory, as the players they got rid of were Dee (who struck out the most) and Matty (who struck out the least).

          • Seems to me that he was fairly clear in that he is looking outside for at least one starter, an infielder and bull pen help. What is the indication that he is “rebuilding”? As regards past experience and him not doing much, we came into last year with new starters half of the positions.

          • True on the one starter but again, I said impact players. When the season started we had Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, McCarthy and Anderson. 3 starters were NOT new. Again, we had Pederson, Grandal, Kendrick Rollins. Those folks do not suggest impact at all. Then as the season rolled on the pitchers he obtained were worse than average. Assuming Seager, Pederson remain and then he adds say Peranza and whoever else he thinks he can work into the lineup that is young and replacess some of the bullpen with kids. I would call that rebuilding.

          • Bringing in a couple of young players and having turnover in the bullpen is hardly rebuilding. You want rebuilding? Try the Reds, who had rookies start all of their second half games. Now that is rebuilding.

    • Considering KFAZ paid $32M for Peraza and Wood via Olivera plus gave up Paco late in the season after seeing how Kendrick played defense, I am skeptical that they sign Kendrick. On the other hand, they need Kendrick’s bat unless a trade is made or another free agent is signed.

      • I understand what you are trying to say in regard to Peraza, but of course what the Dodgers traded was a 31 year old fellow who apparently can’t play 3rd (and will need to learn to play the outfield) where Justin is anchored in any event and who would have been owed $28 million over the next 4 years. That’s what they had in their pocket, not the $32 million in sunk costs you allude to. And, of course they also got Avilan and Johnson (well that didn’t work out), and lost Bird and a compensatory pick.

    • Unless I am reading Cole’s story wrong, he seems to think the Dodgers will also sign Zobrist and Heyward?

      • Not that the Dodgers need another LF, but having Zorbist penciled in at LF with the ability to move him to second if Peraza slumps seems preferable to signing Kendrick.

    • While I want to see Pederson, Peraza, and Seager in the starting lineup I worry that Puig might not hit well enough to allow those three to struggle. So, I like the idea of signing Heyward and putting Puig in LF or trading him for a pitcher.

  16. Haven’t been here for a while, since mid playoffs, but things seem to be getting a little chippy, as they say….in this comment string I mean….must mean its hockey season.

  17. If Greinke can get a 6 year $180M contract from a team other than the Dodgers and the Dodgers don’t want to go 6 years, might Greinke take a 3 year contract at $100M from the Dodgers?

    That would let him try to get a 3 year $80M contract three years later to break even and maybe more at the risk of getting a smaller contract if any at that age 35.

    • I don’t think I would were I in his shoes. I’d want the longest term I could get. I might get hurt in the final year of a 3-year contract, doing terrible harm to my chances of getting another one of that length.

      • There has to be added stress in signing a huge contract that says you are worth that amount through age 38. If you think that is a stretch you are being dishonest in signing it.

        • I don’t think many ballplayers have that thought. I think they look at it like the team is getting the best years of his career and that is what it cost, it is just spread out over more years. Dishonesty is not the question.

      • I don’t know what Joc believes. I do have my own opinion and that is that Joc lost confidence. He had success and got too agressive and that led to swing at bad pitches and that let to that lack of confidence. His big swing made it hard make the adjustment that would have given him the little hits that would have built that confidence back.

        I don’t think he needed a hitting coach as much as he needed help with sleep, relaxation, and frame of mind.

        I have shared the following (see http://www.brainstatetech.com) with the Dodger FO assuming they open my emails. I have tried to get Jon Wiseman to also present this to the FO.

        A person with a balanced brain has more accurate timing, increased strength, and improved agility. A balanced brain can make all the difference by helping Dodgers pick up that split-second advantage.

        Athletics who train their brain not only reap the benefits in their performance, but also in their character. Issues of anger, self worth, AD, ADHD, addiction, and confidence is also addressed with this technology.

        You have to at least enjoy basketball to some degree, right? Athletes competing in an arena with screaming fans can be fun. And, it seems over the years, the basketball players have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger. Seems to me that it would make sense that the art of free throw shooting would have improved too, doesn’t it?

        Well – it hasn’t improved. Like golf scores or batting averages – there has been no improvement. A story in the “New York Times” on 3/4/2009 says, “statistically free throw shooting (which is a free shot from 15 feet performed from in front of the basket) success has not changed much in over 50 years.”

        HOW can this be possible? No improvement? Why is it still the same?

        I believe it is the same because of the belief system. The “New York Times” article says “Widespread improvement over time in any sport, depends on a combination of four factors: physiology (the size and fitness of athletes, perhaps aided by performance-enhancing drugs), technology or innovation (things like the advent of rowing machines to train rowers, and the Fosbury Flop in high jumping), coaching (changes in strategy) and equipment (like the clap skate in speedskating or fiberglass poles in pole vaulting).” Leaders in the field of sport believe this. And, this understanding is missing the BIGGEST factor in potential excellence in the field of athletic competition – THE BRAIN.

        This is easy to prove. Take a few athletes. Train their brains to balance and harmony. And, like magic, their performance improves. Keep training their brain and their performance would likely set new peaks for the sport they participate in. So, for a basketball player with free throws, for a batter in baseball, for a golfer, for someone depending on strength (weight lifter for example), endurance (long distance runner or cyclist), form (dancer or diver), intuition (games of chance), or speed (sprinter or swimmer) – ALL of these can hugely benefit from the balance and harmony of their brain. Early adopters – those who train their brain before this is generally known and adopted as a meaningful way to improve in the field of competition – will excel quickly.

        So, get an athlete in the chair and balance and harmonize. Not a different process except that imaging should include examples in the competitive field when training the temporal or parietal lobes especially. Balance and harmony is a beautiful thing.

          • BS? Maybe. But there was a time when most people thought that it was BS that Earth was a sphere. A closed mind can be limiting. Likewise, a gullible mind can lead to embarrassment. Imagination is the key to invention.

  18. A commenter from Ladodgertalk that goes by Brooklyndodger shared this from his copy of the 2015 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Its about Peraza who at the time was the Braves #1 prospect and was published before the 2015 season.

    “Signed out of Venezuela for $350,000 in 2010, Peraza has emerged as a top prospect over the past three seasons by displaying an incredible feel for the game. He made his U.S. debut in 2012 and ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League prior to spending the last five-plus weeks in the Appalachian League. He then stole 64 bases at low Class A Rome in 2013 before busting out as a prospect in 2014, when he stole 60 bases (to rank third in the minors) as he raced to Double-A Mississippi in the second half. Along the way, Peraza started for the World team in the Futures Game in Minneapolis, collecting a single in two at-bats. He helped guide Mississippi to a second-half record of 44-26.

    Peraza employs speed, quickness and intellect with tremendous instincts for the game, which led to a combined .339 average in 2014, ninth-best in the minors. A spray hitter with a good understanding of the strike zone, Peraza has the hand-eye coordination to hit all types of pitches but is patient enough to wait for those he can handle and winds up barreling the ball more often than not. He has quick wrists and strong hands that generate a compact swing. He’s tinkered with moving his hands in his stance to give him more of a trigger, because he has below-average power. Peraza keeps the ball on the ground by rarely getting under pitches and uses his plus speed to get on base. He has been timed as fast as 3.9 seconds from home to first base, which is top-of-the-scale speed that makes him one of the fastest players in the minors. Once on base, he creates an instant distraction for pitchers and the defense. He reads pitchers well and has a great first step in stealing bases. He made a seamless move from shortstop to second base in 2014 while displaying steady, soft hands with above-average range and solid arm strength. He is not flashy in the field but makes all of the routine plays and was voted the best defensive second baseman by high Class A Carolina League managers. Peraza’s other weakness other than his modest pop is his unwillingness to walk, which may set him back as a future leadoff man.

    Some scouts questioned Atlanta’s decision to shift Peraza off shortstop to the less-demanding job at second base. With Andrelton Simmons entrenched at shortstop, the Braves gave Peraza a chance to accelerate his timetable by moving him to second, and he seized the opportunity. The organization considered calling up Peraza in August when Simmons was sidelined with an injury, but Peraza was battling a mild groin strain at the time. The Braves traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs in November, meaning the musical chairs at that position will end soon in Atlanta. In anticipation of filling the Braves’ longstanding need at second, Peraza will compete with Phil Gosselin in big league camp this spring for the starting job and could wind up bypassing Triple-A Gwinnett with an impressive showing.”

    …….I am hoping that Peraza becomes the Dodgers second baseman myself.

    • I can see them picking up another infielder to both compete for the 2nd base job and to be a utility guy. I would like that guy to be Zobrist.

          • Zobrist’s stock is high at the moment, and he won’t require surrendering a draft pick, so quite a few teams may be after him, which will drive the years up. I’ve always thought highly of him, but wouldn’t want too great a commitment.

          • There may be other options, but his value added to the Dodgers screams for over compensation.

      • I would like to have Zorbist on the team as well. If he can play third and CF as well as he can play 2B he would be worth the cost. He would also be great to have in left should Ethier and Crawford be traded. I hope the Dodgers don’t need Zorbist though other than as a backup player.

        • What Zobrist brings is flexibility, though he is a below average fielder and not likely to get better. CF is probably out of the question, but he would provide platoon advantage in LF regardless of what happens with Dre/CC. As a switch hitter he is best as a RH and only average LH, so not a great platoon option at 2nd or 3rd. He is, of course, familiar to the FO, as he would be to Martinez.

  19. A lot of people here didn’t learn anything last year. Statements that this player is untradeable, that another club would require top prospects only, that the Dodgers wouldn’t trade so and so, or that they wouldn’t do the other, just didn’t pay attention last year. The FO can and well may do anything in the assembly of the Dodgers. Be forewarned. That said, I will now cease to speculate or comment on trades and actions, real or imaginary. No point in talking to people who already know everything.

    • I hope that does not mean you will quit posting. I enjoy your perspectives even though we do not always agree. Some here do not give much thought to any other perspective, other than their own. I also agree that the assembly of the new Dodgers may include the exclusion of some players we like.

    • You seem a little thin-skinned and not up to the task in any event. For example, Bumsrap, for one, is a creative thinker and is willing to defend his proposals and run the gauntlet. You seem to rest your proposals on the fact that the FO is capable of just about anything. Don’t think that anyone here disagrees with that, but they do things to fulfill needs and landing another starting catcher would seem to be far down on the list of priorities. You want to get rid of CC and I would guess that the FO has been trying to do that ever since they got here, but it takes two to tango.

      • At some point I could envision the FO’s cutting Crawford loose, but doing so would mean advancing the free agency clock on prospects who, at the moment, are not demonstrably superior to him. So long as he’s a passable bench option, it makes sense to limit the roster time of guys like Schebler.

        • Not that I’m advocating bring Schebler up this year, but hasn’t his clock already started from his September usage? Besides, FO is likely to sign/trade for a “fourth outfielder” type anyway. And I think either Ethier or Crawford is traded this off-season. One more point of disagreement: EVERYBODY is superior to Crawford.

          • It’s an issue of service time, the number of days he’s spent on a major league roster. Ethier still has value to the Dodgers, but wouldn’t bring back much in return. Crawford has lower value, and would bring back nothing or nearly nothing in return.

          • Yes, but it terms of arbitration eligibility and eventual free agency, the number of days any given player has spent on the major-league roster acquires significance. That’s why the Cubs held out Kris Bryant for the first ten days or so this year, to delay his eligibility for arbitration.

  20. I know it won’t happen but I would like to see Grandal and Pederson traded to anyone for 2 prospects and a draft pick. That sounds right up KFAZ’s alley.

  21. I would like for the Dodgers to trade Crawford and our AAA catcher to San Diego for Shields and Derrick Norris. MLBTR says the Padres want to move them. Kick Ellis upstairs, coaching or whatever, they have all kinds of coaches jobs open now… Shields has a backloaded contract which should cancel out Crawford’s undeserved salary. Give them money or another player to balance out the trade. They’re in a mood for change, take advantage of it. I had reservations about posting this but I had to… I know someone(s) will be against it, have their own deal to propose but that’s OK, they have as much right as I do. And none of us have any juice with FO so it doesn’t matter anyway.

    • Good idea Audit but it won’t happen as this crowd is sold on Grandal but I would much prefer Norris.

          • Well, it isn’t like he’s a superstar. He really knocked the cover off the ball the 2nd half. Right? I think he should be traded.

          • For what? We need a starting catcher, and he’s a good one. Presumably the surgery and rehab will help him get back close to where he was in the first half of last season when he was an All-Star. Why would we trade him? For a different catcher?

          • I would like to have a catcher that I could tell my Grandchildren were of good rapport as well as a good catcher. I guess you could say a good role model.

          • So, you never, ever made mistakes when you were young and dumb, some of them serious, maybe. So no one ever had to be forgiving and willing to give you at least one more chance, right? Not even once?

            I’d venture that if Grandal doesn’t re-offend and has the kind of Dodger career he has potential to that he’d be a great role model–if you choose to look to pro athletes for that kind of thing. A story of a flawed human being–as we all are–coming back and earning redemption.

            Your past comments make it clear that your biggest real problem with Grandal is that the Dodgers traded Kemp to get him. Nothing anyone says is likely to change that. That trade is history, and continuing to hold grudges about it is living in the past. Doing so is pointless, only makes you unhappy, and will not change one thing one iota.

            Trades of popular players have been common throughout baseball history, and not just by the Dodgers, as you well know. All fans can do is hope what comes back makes up for the loss of those traded.

          • Of course I have been young and dumb just like maybe and probably everyone else but maybe not to the degree of Grandal. Also, I am not the catcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers where thousands of kids follow players and try to be like them. My thoughts on Grandal do not involve Kemp but I will say the team did not get what they gave up to get Grandal. I sometimes wonder why people think he is such a great ballplayer? There are many catchers that are as good or better.

          • They got a talented first-string catcher – the hardest commodity to find among position players – for a sub-mediocre outfielder whose offensive production was easily compensated for.

          • Matt Kemp’s offensive numbers were far and away better than Grandal’s numbers and you know it. Matt is also not sub mediocre and you know it. Grandal was certainly not worth 18 million dollars above and beyond Matt Kemps production in 2015 and you know it. Why would you make such an outlandish statement?

          • According to FanGraphs, Grandal was worth 2.3 WAR in 2015, worth an equivalent of $18.2 million as a free agent. Kemp’s 0.4 WAR would make him worth $3.5 million in free agency. Not to mention that Grandal is much younger, while Kemp is likely to decline rapidly with age.

    • This is a non-starter. Crawford is completely untradeable, partly because of his salary and partly because he’s injury-prone, though he’s been useful when healthy. For better or worse, he’ll be a Dodger for two years more.

      Shields is fast declining, and Norris is no better than A.J. (though he is younger and has surprisingly good wheels). Grandal is by far the best of the bunch, and Barnes will soon replace A.J.

    • Don’t understand the notion of kicking AJ upstairs at this point. Last year he showed that he could hit as a back up with adequate rest. Norris is a starting catcher and we already have a better one. Seems a waste of resources on our side. Moreover, if SD is trading, they are looking for prospects, not trading bad contracts. We are pretty much stuck with CC at this point, until the FO decides that he is blocking someone better and they need to write him off as a loss.

    • And the Atlanta franchises led the NFL and MLB and were third in the NBA in collecting this money. I guess the marketing guys know their customers.

        • And more from small rural ares nationwide where economic opportunities are limited, which also very much applies to the South.

    • That’s good but most of the blame goes on the military, they waste money like it was poison… Millions of dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not one bit of good comes from it or will ever change anything for those people, only our bankrupt country and the families who lose sons and husbands there. For no good!

  22. Dodgers have made qualifying offers to Greinke, Anderson and Kendrick. I’d say there’s a chance Anderson accepts, Greinke no way, Kendrick unlikely.

    Dodgers have declined options on Bronson Arroyo (we hardly knew ye) and Joel Peralta.

    • Some sites are talking up the possibility of the Dodgers signing Anderson to a 3 year, $36M contract.

      • That would make sense for Anderson, but not necessarily for the Dodgers. His durability this season was a pleasant surprise, but I think there are still some question marks.

      • Not a bad price for a 4-5 starter on a contending team (it’s annually about what he made this year between salary and bonuses). He is in his prime (only 27) and has had good stuff throughout his career. This is where the new science of player injuries comes into play. He has a rep for injury, but with his back issues apparently cleared up he hasn’t shown arm trouble since his TJ in 2010. Assuming Greinke or fill-in-the-blank, It would essentially lock up the 3-5 slots until 2018 and provide some fallback if Ryu/McCarthy don’t pan out as we await the yougins’.

    • ??? Since there will be a new manager, Honeycutt will by definition be working for him – or at least with him.

          • I posted what Eric Stephen wrote today @ 10:11 a.m. about Rick Honeycutt staying with the Dodgers and not working for the new manager. That article has since been changed. The part I refered has been taken completely out of the article. Do you understand it now!! Eric Stephen is a liar and his articles are not true. Bad Journalism.

          • Eric probably keeps up with Dodgers news better than anyone else but sometimes, in his eagerness to get the news out, he makes errors that he corrects either sooner or later – which even outlets such as The New York Times do. Sometimes his readers point out the mistakes, and he thanks them (being your own editor is not easy, by the way). He is certainly not a liar.

          • My problem is not that he made a mistake, it is that he did not note it when he changed it. When people like me or you quote his stories, we trust that it is correct. If it is not, people like you will question it and it cannot be proven. Don’t worry though, I have contacted the author of the original article and explained the situation.

  23. Ruggs says bye-bye. Job opening for OF RH stick who doesn’t mind sitting in OKC waiting for an injury.

    • They let a fairly decent player go to save $2.5M but they continue to pay that putrid Crawford over $21M per year…

      • It’s also possible that they might be looking to upgrade, so maybe not done for any savings.

        • I know, roster space and Rule 5 considerations. They could offer him a minor or major league contract later, without arbitration to deal with. I just can’t stand Crawford.

  24. “And on November 4, 1950 I came forth unto the world, naked and screaming.”

    Only difference now is you wear clothes, right? At least I suppose so. ;-])

  25. I’m late to the party but – Happy Birthday Link. Hope you have a day filled with wonderful people, tasty food, much joy – and pleasant surprises.

  26. MLBTR says Jonathan Lucroy is available in trades. Given Ellis’s age, etc, I think it would be a good move to pick him up. He could also relieve Agon at first.

    • Would be a luxury to have two first string catchers and wouldn’t come cheap in a trade. Given priorities I can see them going with Elis and having Barnes in the wings. Would seem like one of their stronger positions going in.

  27. Apparently Atlanta has decided Olivera isn’t a third baseman. Dodger scouts aren’t doing too good, are they?

    • I used to have fun telling people my birthday was the day before Guy Fawkes Day, but it was tempered because I’d then have to explain what event that celebrated.

      Remember, remember!

      The fifth of November,

      The Gunpowder treason and plot;

      I know of no reason

      Why the Gunpowder treason

      Should ever be forgot!