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

296 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.

  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.

    • 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.

  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.”

      • 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.

  5. 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…

  6. From Heyman:


    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.

  7. 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.

    • 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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’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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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.

          • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

    • 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.

  18. 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.

    • 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.

      • I don’t think much of Barnes from what little I’ve seen of him. Sometimes I’m glad people like the FO have to make these decisions instead of me.

        • Barnes has excellent minor league numbers, plays multiple positions, and is younger than Norris.

    • 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!

  19. 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’.

  20. 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.

  21. “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. ;-])

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!