Pre-Christmas jibber-jabber

The Dodgers haven’t signed anyone! They’ve lost Greinke! They’re going to lose 100 games!

Nah, says Fox Sports guy Ken Rosenthal. There are still several good mid-rotation starters looking for work. There are also lots of trades which could be made.

Panic not! Scott Kazmir is available, as are Wei-Yin Chen, Mike Leake and Yovani Gallardo. Also, they still have Ryu and they’ll get McCarthy back mid-season (as good as a trade without giving anything up!).

I don’t doubt the team will fill holes. Obviously it won’t fill them the same way we expected them to, and if the front office is honest, probably not the way they expected to either, but they’ll field a top-notch team ready to compete for the playoffs again.

295 thoughts on “Pre-Christmas jibber-jabber

    • Yep, if those three are hitting, Puig, Grandal and Joc, this could be a formidable line up in the NL Shades of the April to mid-June 2015 Dodgers.

  1. Like WBBsAs, I don’t really like Christmas much, but for those of you who do, I hope you all have Happy Holidays, except for WBBsAs who requires unhappy Holidays to make him happy. Or something like that.. Would you call that Xmas Phobia?

    • He was replaced in 1976 with a young Rick Rhoden and Tommy John, who was returning from, well,Tommy John surgery, as the Dodgers went to a five-man rotation under Lasorda. They finished second again, but in 1977-78 went to, and lost, the WS. Andy actually returned to pitch for the Dodgers in 1979.

    • The Second Amendment is the most important tool we have to protect us from a possibly oppressive government. Strict enforcement of the laws by honest police and judges are all we need but unfortunately don’t always have.

      • I don’t want this to degenerate into a gun-rights debate, but I will point out that the US government has bombers, missiles and tanks. No matter how many guns the citizenry has, the quality of the government’s weapons makes it unlikely that the populace would prevail in any armed insurrection.

    • He was replaced in 1976 with a young Rick Rhoden and Tommy John, who was returning from, well,Tommy John surgery, as the Dodgers went to a five-man rotation under Lasorda. They finished second again, but in 1977-78 went to, and lost, the WS.

      Ted Turner helped set the tone by giving him a million bucks for three seasons, up from Andy’s previous salary of $90k. Pitched well in 1976, but was down hill from there. He actually returned to the Dodgers in 1979, but was DFAed in August.

        • The first FA was actually Catfish, whose 1974 two-year $200k contract was voided because of Finely payment shenanigans. He signed with the Yanks for $640k annually over 5 years.

  2. I was not in favor of resigning Kendrick but I’d much rather give him a contract than see Utley hobble around out there, which is where we are now. Kendrick won’t cost us a draft pick but of course we won’t get one for him signing with another team. The other teams aren’t beating his doors down so maybe we could get him on a 3 year deal at a price we could flip him in the third year. Now if only FO would listen to me…

    • The Dodgers will get a draft pick if Kendrick signs with another team, unless nobody signs him well into the season.

  3. Ok, so here is my unsolicited commentary for the holiday season. People have gotten quite rude here lately, and it’s taking some of the fun out of posting and reading other posts here. So….

    Let’s all take a couple of days’ break and come back refreshed. Let’s try to be more open-minded toward others’ opinions, no matter how wrong or uninformed they may be, in your opinion. Let’s come back here after the holiday, and all try to remember this is supposed to be fun, a release. After all, it’s just baseball. It’s our passion, and we take it seriously, but we are just spectators with nothing at stake here other than bragging rights over all those jerks who support other teams.

  4. Warm wishes for a safe, healthy, joyous holiday time to my Dodger blog buddies.e, I’m wading through the mother of all colds, but fifteen stockings on the mantel, and all four kids here with four grandkids to open them Friday morning, so no complaints.

    • Try to remember that Kasten is the organization front man. What he says is what ownership wants you to believe. Far more telling to read the comments after his Infomercial…

  5. Why do some of you guys get so abusive toward Package for stating his opinion? So you don’t agree with it. Just ignore it. He has a right to state it and you only encourage his combative instincts by attacking him. Having tried to correct him (ignoring the point as to whether or not we have that right), the smart thing to do is to ignore him. As has been pointed out before, he is his own worst enemy, dwelling on his unhappiness only makes it worse. At least he comes in every day and participates, which is more than can be said for many of our brethren. You especially, Link, should be glad for all the comments he makes…

      • Good cartoon. Whenever I disagree with anyone, I tend to remind myself that I don’t know everything. He could be right.

        • He could be right about what? Ignoring him would be as much as an insult. I try to engage in discussion because it sharpens my own thinking to be exposed to contrary views. Sometimes those discussions degenerate for sure.

          • You tell him how you think it is. He doesn’t change his mind one iota. You tell him he’s wrong. He doesn’t change his mind. Neither do you. That’s discussion????

          • It’s the process. I enjoy his retorts. I am not here to educate Package, but to better inform myself.

          • Ignoring him would be as much as an insult? What about that old saying about if you can’t say something nice about a person, don’t say anything at all?

          • These are the extremes. I can only speak for myself and I believe that our exchanges fall between the two and don’t involve personal insults, in the main.

          • Sorry, I shouldn’t stick my nose in. As has been said before, I think he enjoys it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  6. package and anyone else who’s panicking or appalled should be reminded of the Serenity Prayer:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And the wisdom to know the difference.

    I’d rephrase it for this specific occasion:

    The F.O. isn’t going to listen to us caterwauling on this blog, and they certainly all have much more experience evaluating talent and managing baseball teams than we do, so our advice to them is something less than useful. All of us should recognize that. They’re going to do what they think their mandate from ownership tells them to do; right now that appears to be “field a championship-caliber team while rebuilding the farm system.”

  7. Even more inspiration for Package. It could be a 3-Rolaids day for him.

    “Looking ahead to 2016, the Dodgers are in an excellent position to win the NL West title for the fourth year in a row. At this point in time, FanGraphs depth charts have the Dodgers at 47.6 WAR, which roughly equates to a 95-win team. This total is the second-best in all of baseball behind only the Cubs (51.8 WAR), and it puts them eight games in front of the Giants and 16 games in front of the Diamondbacks.”

    If that weren’t enough, there’s also praise for Joc and Grandal and for moving Kemp. Make that 5 Rolaids, STAT!

    And this: “Andrew Friedman has made the Dodgers an even scarier team long-term because he understands how to value young talent.” Better make that a couple whole rolls of Rolaids… ; -])

    • “The Dodgers have a core of elite position players in Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Yasiel Puig…” Better make that gastric bypass surgery.

  8. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I think if we sit tight, we are ok. Let’s see how our youngsters develop. I would not trade our top arms for one player, even one supposedly as good as Fernandez. He has had TJ surgery once, he’ll likely have problems again. Why give away our entire future for that? I’ll take my chances that at least one of all of our young arms can be as good, or nearly as good, as him.

    Yes the Dbacks picked up Greinke and Miller. But while Miller may be good, I personally don’t think he is a game changer. And they have 2 big hitters, at least they were big last year. For the Dbacks to win, even with Greinke, their hitters need to have career years again.

    The Giants, if healthy, made the best moves, now they have a deeper starting rotation. But their hitters are injury prone, and the offense is also iffy.

    If all teams are healthy all year, I still take the Dodgers. Especially considering the help coming through our own pipeline as the year progresses.

  9. I’ve seen enough of TBLA and its comments over the years to know that a couple commenters there have some access to really good info, maybe even insider stuff. Lately one has posted a couple things, including the following. NOT saying take it to the bank but there has been more than a little truth to some things he has said. So, FWIW…

    “I know we have all been waiting for a big trade to happen, however, from what I have gathered the Dodgers are more focused instead on adding to their already impressive collection of young arms. As we already know they have refused to trade several of their pitching prospects for one established MLB pitcher. The Dodgers feel that since most of their young pitchers are on the cusp of making the ML roster, they should first find out which prospects will be part of their core, and then decide which players they can trade from their surplus. The Dodgers feel that their limitless monetary resources could be better utilized if they use it to fill weakness instead of going after top free agents that will block prospects.

    “I know this sounds a lot like a rebuild phase, which in a sense it is, but the Dodgers will not be doing it while “tanking” seasons. They still will be competitive and in the process they will be fortifying their young core players. They were hard pressed in not overpaying for pitchers during last years trading deadline or for free agents this offseason because they feel this will not lead to an efficient winning environment. I know this is not what fans want to hear, but if their specs develop like they should and with their abundant of resources they could be in contention for many years to come. TRUST THE PROCESS.”

    • They were fairly explicit when they came in that this would be their approach and I, for one, agree with it. It calls for discipline in making it happen. So far I mostly agree with the decisions that they have made and the arms foregone. There are certainly risks involved as regards remaining competitive and bridging to the young arms, and difficult for fans when they see the competition so freely spending, even when these deals seem crazy. I attribute this to the notion that the giants and Snakes feel that they have s short window of time. The Cubs have gone this route of reloading under Epstein but had the luxury of lower expectations by their fans in the transition.

      • And the Cubs are still, well, the Cubs. If Lester doesn’t return to form, and if Arrietta doesn’t have another career year, they have a big problem with their rotation.

        • Yes, young arms they don’t appear to have (don’t follow them close enough to know). Lackey is just the sort of two-year bridge that the Dodgers could use,

  10. I wonder if Lee might benefit more than any other pitcher in the Dodger organization from Maddux’ tutoring. Lee doesn’t have an out pitch and therefore needs to pitch smarter than those that do.

  11. Picked up a couple days back, from Peter Gammons:

    One gets the impression they (Dodgers) will not break the bank for Japanese righthander Kenta Maeda because of durability (155 pounds and having to go from 6 to 4 days rest) and the adjustment to larger baseballs, given his small hands.

  12. How about for Christmas we take up a collection to buy Package and WBBsAs a set of Pugil Sticks and a motel room?

  13. Remember, the Cardinals won a World Series with a rookie starting pitcher, as did the Dodgers.

  14. From MLBTR: There’s already buzz about what could be a brilliant 2018-19 free agent class, John Harper of the New York Daily News writes. That year’s market could include Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Andrew McCutchen, Dallas Keuchel, Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey and Manny Machado. Also, Clayton Kershaw,David Price and Jason Heyward will have opt-out clauses. Of course, some of that first group of players could sign extensions, and there’s no telling if they’ll be as valuable then as they are now, but that looks like a stunning amount of talent. Harper notes that many of the Yankees’ bigger contracts will have expired by then, and he quotes an executive suggesting the Yanks could potentially use the intervening years to get under the luxury tax threshold and throw their weight around in 2018-19.

  15. IMHO – Roster a complete mess at this point…
    Can they clean it up ??? – Only time will tell….
    My call. (PS – Called it that they wouldn’t sign Grienke… unfortunately….)
    1. Puig – Would not ever suit up in Dodger Blue again if I were GM. They’ve blundered so badly
    by letting his stock drop. If anybody knew the holes in this guys’s game, it was the
    Dodgers………and, they hung on to him way too long…. waste.)
    2. Joc – I think, given proper instruction….. He’ll find his swing again. Outstanding defense. Keep for now….
    3. Pitching staff ???? Please…. Another year of.. .Dogers acquire ___________ Who????
    Biggest Bummer ? – Vinny’s last season will be announcing for a plus/minus 500 club. 🙁
    Need Proof ???? – Anybody who trades Dee Gordon is an idiot. Lead MLB in hits. Gold Glove.
    Talk about selling a stock right before it went up….. I don’t care if they just wanted Haren off the books. Obviously poor talent evaluators… Stupid. PS – Merry Christmas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • Hey… just because The Googs Group game Friedman and Farhan a lot of money doesn’t make them good…………… Think about it.
      Every year, multi-million dollar execs are jettisoned in favor of other multi-million dollar execs…. with the next one promising … “A new day …. for _____ insert franchise…”
      I’m skeptical…………

    • When exactly would you have gotten rid of Puig? Puts up an OPS+ of 151 over his first two seasons (i can live with those sorts of holes), before a down and injury-plagued 2015 gives him a 109. On the Dee trade (note that Haren was not taken off the books, we paid his salary, the same as if we had DFAed him), they did find a trading partner who valued them and we got a haul in return (note that Quique put up OPS+ 130 to Dee’s 114). Not sure that the roster is a mess and in any event we have two months until ST.

      • Hey Bob…. I hope you’ve had a great Holiday Season with your family…
        I would have traded Puig right when his lustre began to wear off and we began to hear stories of his friction with teammates…. Right before he was named the cover boy for the MLB PS4 video game. To me… Yasiel Puig………
        1. Is still a kid… .but, a head-case who has now looked stupid in the last 2 post-seasons…
        2. Will chronically have pulled hamstrings, and other “lack of flexibility”-type injuries which are “atypical” for players his age…. I think GHormone/juicing.
        3. Has no clue where the strike zone is…. and, looks like he’s trying to hit a ping pong ball in clutch situations… (unless it’s a Tuesday evening game in May against a bad team in front of a 2/3 full Dodger Stadium crowd… That’s when he padded his STATS…. to me, anyways.)
        4. Absolutely CANNOT READ RELEASE POINT … and give himself half a chance vs. quality pitching. 100% At the mercy of the Pitcher….
        Sure, he’ll make a number of absolutely phenomenal plays out in RF throughout the season… but, not my kind of player…

        • The problem is……….. Now EVERYBODY in the game knows all of this about Mr. Puig………….. And have for a season and a half now….
          Good luck getting anything for him, Dodger Management ! 🙂

          • Young players have ups and downs – ever hear of the “sophomore slump?” Puig is still one of the most talented players in the game. Trading him is not a never-do-it thing, but you need to get a BIG return.

        • Hey Jonny. Everything good, hope as well with your family. I certainly understand the criticisms of Yasiel, just trying to understand when you might have traded him. After the 2014 season then?

  16. At times there’s just no end to the idiocy that can be found online. This appeared in a hand-wringing thread elsewhere, believe it or not.

    “As much as everyone hate McCort, he in fact did bring the Dodgers back to relevance and into the postseason. How McCort ended completely disguises the good things that he accomplished.”

    • I happen to agree with this thought. Until the last year or so, when the McCourts got caught up and swallowed by the LA lifestyle, the Dodgers had become competitive. We like to dwell on the negatives, and they had many, but the team was in the mix.

      • It’s good to be balanced and remember the good, but you seem a bit generous to McCort. In his last two years we finished 4th and 3rd. 12 and then 11.5 games back in a fairly weak division. I even felt sympathy for Ned.

  17. “Don’t write the Dodgers off yet, you fools”

    Says Grant Brisbee

    “Regardless of what they do, it’s not time to label the Dodgers’ offseason a failure. It’s been
    weird, sure. Filled with stops and starts and surprises. But it’s not over, and they don’t have to make a mega-whopper deal for Fernandez to salvage anything. They still have options, and the means to acquire just about anything worth acquiring. Writing them off seems like a good way to look silly later on.

    “The biggest surprise? That the 2016 rotation projects to be better, mostly because of a full season with Alex Wood and a moderately healthy Hyun-Jin Ryu. The lefty-heavy rotation still has the best pitcher alive, and four good-to-competent arms behind him.”

  18. Read where Matt Holliday is working out at first base to increase his versatility. I wonder if he could be a fit for a year or two with the Dodgers, platoon in left and relieve Agon.

      • And I have un-fond memories of Crawford trying to play LF. How about Crawford and $30M to the Cards for Holiday? They would welcome the money and ditch Crawford at the first dumpster they passed…

  19. I don’t know who has more fun, Package with his opinions or the guys that like to bash him because they disagree.

    • In theory, a guy with stuff like Leake should play well in DS, though that was not the case in the Phone Booth. Probably will want at least 5 years in any event at some ridiculous price. I would stay away.

  20. More fodder for the farm… “The Mariners have announced that the club designated outfielder Daniel Robertson for assignment to clear space for the signing of Hisashi Iwakuma. And the team further announced that previously-designated lefty Tyler Olson has been dealt to the Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash.

    • So, if I am understanding this, we traded a player who was not ours, with whom we had a deal and found a way to back out….for a DFA’d pitcher, and we are sending them money.

  21. Having lived through the Koufaxless years of 1967, 1968 and the year of Zolio Versailes playing short while batting .196 in 1969 I find all this sky is falling mentality humorous.

      • I remember something happening between Wills and management, never heard what, but they dispatched him all of a sudden….he was persona non grata for quite a while

        • I think, if I remember correctly, it had something to do with Wills not being willing to go with the team to play in Japan. That was my understanding.

          • And that was supposed to be cecause he didn’t have skin on his legs after stealing 104 bases.

    • From the post:

      There’s a cadre of national writers that are very, very insistent that
      every move the Dodgers make is a precursor to a Jose Fernandez deal.
      Trade for Frankie Montas? Must mean the Dodgers are after Fernandez.
      Hunker down and withdraw from the hot stove action? Probably means the
      Dodgers are deep into talks with the Marlins. Wink.

      There’s a large degree of similarity between national sportswriters and the nation’s Presidential press corps.

      • now you are going to tell us how the dodgers are going to build a wall and make the fans pay for it

  22. Jerry Sands has been DFA’d again. Remember when we thought he was going to be the answer? We should keep that in mind whenever we think of our present prospects…

      • Agree, Sands was never a top prospect, which is not to say that we have not had top hitting prospects flame out such as Andy LaRoche.

      • Merely pointing out what everyone knows already, that there is always a lot of talk and comparatively little action. Not just this FO, in all baseball. Sorry, didn’t realize you had a crush on FO…

  23. Considering that both our main Divisional rivals have strengthened their pitching staffs and we are hard put to find additional pitching upgrades to sign ourselves, an alternative plan might be to seriously upgrade our offense. To that end, signing Cespedes seems like our best option.

  24. Bob Nightengale seems to think that the Dodgers FO plan on going after a #2 starter with the wealth of prospects they have collected. I know Fernandez and Carrasco will be expensive, but we can hope.

  25. Never mind the Dodgers in general. Think about the offseason Gabe Kapler is having. Coming in second in the managerial search. And then having his boy Scott Schebler traded away for other prospects. Clearly the team is not afraid of upsetting this guy. (Yes, I realize teams should never ever be afraid of upsetting an employee. Or something like that.)

  26. ESPN’s David Schoenfield likes the Dodgers’ end of the deal with the Pale Hose and the Redlegs.

    What’s interesting is how this sets things up for the Dodgers. They now
    have two right-handed platoon bats in the outfield in Thompson and Scott Van Slyke. Thompson can play center, so he makes for a great platoon with Joc Pederson, if the Dodgers want to make Pederson a platoon guy this early in his career. They still have Yasiel Puig. To me, this opens the door for either dumping Carl Crawford or trading Andre Ethier, since you are not going to carry six outfielders.


    The Dodgers are also stockpiling more young, inexpensive talent,
    basically flipping Peraza for three cost-controlled guys. (Don’t be
    surprised if they simply put Montas in the bullpen right away). This is
    the long game: They will continue to compete in the ensuing years while
    simultaneously cutting salaries to gear up for the big free-agency year
    that comes after the 2018 season

  27. From Dodger Digest: As it currently stands, however, the Dodgers have sacrificed their talent lead on their rivals in the present because they didn’t want to take on future risk even with the largest payroll in baseball. As a result, they have a roster that’s ironically loaded with risk and now absolutely needs a bunch of things to break right just to get them back to 2015 levels and compensate for what hasn’t happened in the off-season. Lots of similar thoughts.

  28. There appears to be some movement involving the Dodgers and Todd Frazier, but it is a three way with the White Sox and it seems he is going there. Is there someone of the Sox that we want?

  29. Link: I admire your optimism, but from where I live in the heart of Giants country, I can tell you that their fans are a lot happier today than ours are. The Giants and Diamondbacks each have taken two large steps forward in the starting pitching department. The Dodgers have moved down one giant step. Did the Dodgers have a relationship with Greinke in which they asked him to talk with them one last time before signing with any other club? My feeling is that our FO is in shock, and that has been evidenced by their failure to do anything.

  30. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For instance we like cookies, chocolate kisses, and elves. Team those things together and well, a picture is worth a 1000 words.

  31. So are you saying Link: “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”