Winter meetings

Update: The Chapman trade is on hold until MLB finishes a domestic violence investigation of an incident involving Chapman and his girlfriend in October. It’s not pretty, although the police filed no charges.

Police interviewed multiple people, including Chapman, Chapman’s girlfriend, her brother and a man identified as Chapman’s driver, according to the report. No arrests were made “due to conflicting stories and a lack of cooperation from all parties involved,” the report said.

On Day One of the meetings the Dodgers have already traded for Aroldis Chapman, sending two prospects to the Reds. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Jose De Leon are not in the deal.

As the article suggests, getting an elite closer in a trade means your current elite closer may have some bad feelings, understandably so. What they’re going to do, or try to do, with Kenley Jansen is still up in the air.

Earlier in the day the Dodgers signed 34-year-old right-handed starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, a free agent who’d been with the Mariners for four years. Interestingly, he’s thrown fewer pitches in his career than Greinke, who’s three years younger.

They also signed 37-year-old infielder Chase Utley to a one-year deal for $7M, about half what he made last year, a season in which he never fully recovered from an ankle injury he suffered in January.

217 thoughts on “Winter meetings

  1. Will things get so bad FO will sign Linceum? I can only imagine some of your reactions to that…

  2. package won’t accuse Jon of being a shill for his bosses, but he probably won’t appreciate the content of Jon’s latest blog post either. It’s mostly a “Keep Calm and Remember the playoffs don’t begin for 9 1/2 months” kind of essay.

  3. While we remain competitive, and the dealing is not over, the giants and Snakes have apparently improved. It will be a dogfight. Bring it on!

  4. In theory, the Gnats gnow have a No. 1 starter, but I’ve always been skeptical of Cueto. The signings of Cueto and Samardzija reflect the fact that their farm system is barren, and that Peevy (sic) and Gnatt Cain are washed up.

  5. Well at least this off season is not run of the mill predictable. You know with the Dodgers using their financial might to add a bunch of over priced free agents to their baseball team.
    It will be fun to see where all this financial patience and prudence will lead them.
    Let the next trade attempts begin…?

  6. I have to agree with Package, whether FO is really trying to sign some players with high performance records or not, he is remiss in fulfilling his (unwritten) duty to fans by giving them hope. So far, we’ve heard Jack Caca out of Dodger Stadium. I’ll give you odds Mark Walter is not pleased with FO’s performance so far….

  7. Mike P of DoDi asks whether Greinke’s agent even took the out-of-the-blue AZ offer back to LA/ SF. Answer from Rosenthal: ” I don’t know, Mike. It didn’t sound like it.”

    If true, Dodgers never had the chance to counter.

    Another question we don’t know the answer to and may never. Was the NL West team Greinke was “minutes from signing with” the Giants? If so, poison pick would be what happened.

    • I seem to remember reading somewhere that Zack did call FO to talk about the Phoenix offer, giving him a chance to meet or exceed it, I suppose, but I don’t remember where that little bit of data came from, so we’ll all believe what we want to believe. My assessment of Zack’s character is that he would have given the Dodgers the opportunity to meet or beat that offer.

      • Don’t players leave all negotiations up to their agents? Why else hire one?
        You sometimes hear of players dealing directly, but that’s rare. I’d think if an agent is involved, he’d insist it be his show from start to finish to keep from muddying the waters. And then bring the player offers to discuss.

        Not saying I believe anything but would like to know the answer to did Dodgers have a chance to counter? Could put things in a different light.

        But we’re not likely to get that answered.

        • Heck no. Even if I found that web page again, it’s only one man’s story of what happened, not backed up by any other stories, and he wasn’t even there.

  8. I’m getting reconciled with Zack’s loss. The credit all goes to the Snakes and you really can’t be surprised at FO’s reaction, nor can you blame Zack in any way. FO thought he had a deal at 5 years at $31M per year, which is a lot of money and apparently more than anyone else would give him. Except Dave Stewart and the Snakes. Stewart comes running in out of the boonies and offers him $34M, $3M @year more than anyone else and gives him an extra year, to boot. Zack can’t say anything but “Yes” and FO is probably so speechless he can’t say anything. I’m not surprised he couldn’t raise that bet and down the road I suspect all of us will be glad he didn’t. Yes, it puts us in a hard spot now but given how things usually are, I will be greatly surprised if Zack is fortunate enough to pitch well and without injury for 6 more years. I don’t think we have much choice now but to pay Johnny Cueto even more money than he is worth, try to sign or trade for another pitcher, and sign or trade for an impact hitter (as Package calls them) to give our depleted pitching staff more run support. A good byproduct of signing a good hitter is that it might influence Kershaw’s decision when his opt-out opportunity comes up all too soon.

  9. I am guessing, barring any trades, that Eithier and Crawford share left field, with Pederson in center and Puig in right. Then SVS comes into play against a lefty, either in center or left. Is that how everyone else sees it?

  10. MLBTR says Heyward has decided which team he’ll sign with but won’t disclose it yet. I suppose it could be Dodgers but I much prefer Cespedes…

  11. Here’s a comment suggesting a trade from another site. I sure don’t agree with it but just for laughs…
    rollnoles105 hours ago
    I think the Yankees and Dodgers are going to make a Blockbuster trade. I see the Dodgers now knowing that they need a lockdown Closer so Andrew Miller is the best choice they could make. Also in return the Yankees send Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner and Rob Refsnyder to the Dodgers and the Yankees get Puig, Carlos Frias, Yasmani Grandal and Yimi Garcia. Works for both clubs because the Dodgers get 1 of the top closers in the game in Miller They get a very good underrated pitcher in Nova and Rob Refsnyder could end up being their starting 2nd baseman in a few months if anything he is 20 times better than Utley and the kid can hit. The Yankees get that 35 HR threat that has a rocket arm and just needs to be taught a few ways of the game. They also get Frias who is another young Starting pitcher who would at least be much better than CC and could end up being a 15 game winner in the Bronx. They get Grandal because they need a backup catcher bad and he could also spell Tex at 1st because he is going to miss at least 25 games its a given. And Yimi Garcia is a young hard throwing reliever who is only going to get better. Win win here boys!

    • Among other problems with your proposal, the Dodgers already have a lockdown closer, and if they traded Grandal they would not have a starting catcher.

      • Read it again. It wasn’t my proposal and I certainly didn’t agree with it. I posted it only as an example of the really weird, complex deals some fans dream up. Getting Miller, TO PAIR WITH JANSEN, is the only part of it I can agree with.

  12. Hi all! I spent last week on a silent meditation retreat, no phones, no Internet, nothing, and arrived back to find out that “nothing” had changed, oh, except for the loss of our Zack. I have a hunch he wanted to be a Number 1 somewhere, and if that came with a lot of years and dough, so much the better! But otherwise, much ado about nothing all week. Is that good? Bad? Lots of drama, (Chapman! Geeze Louise!) but little action, eh? So what’s next? More waiting, I guess. When’s opening day again?

  13. I guess thinking we were going to totally overhaul our team every year was too much to expect. But what a fun ride it was!

    • Dunno about a total overhaul, but it’s a long time yet until the spring. Doubt FZ stands pat. Things they’ve said don’t sound like they will.

    • Didn’t seem like a total overhaul seemed warranted with at least seven of the eight field positions more or less nailed down. The obvious holes going in appeared to be a starter, bullpen help, 2nd base and perhaps another RH outfielder, was well as the Puig issue. To the extent that Puig might be involved in solving one of these holes, further moves might have been likely.

      • You are correct, no need to retool the entire team, but I do think we some stronger offense, since we do not have Greinke, we will need to score more runs.

  14. FO is like a Great White Shark; Even if you don’t see him, you’re still afraid to get into the water.

  15. Bob, what would the Yankees want from us for Miller? I’m hoping it’s an outfielder so we can go after Cespedes…

    • So, if we are still going after a closer, it seems a little bit less likely that its part of a three-way. Suggest that they may want to go the KC route for now with three shutdown relievers (I include Hatcher here) to bolster the less than sterling starters.

  16. Is this our infield as things stand now?
    Agon; Utley; Seager; Turner; Kiki; Peraza; SVS, with Kiki and SVS splitting time between the infield and outfield. We can hope for offensive improvement from some of the players but I foresee the same run-scoring difficulties this season as last.

    • With the addition of Seager we should be in very good shape if the holdovers are at least able to maintain last year’s production (fingers crossed)

  17. Reading between the lines, Friedman’s radio interview seems to indicate we should not expect much in the way of changes. Then again, who knows. He might trade half the team, just not his half.

  18. Alert!! Be aware of scam calls from Area Code 809, Dominican Republic. If you call them back, you will be charged $2425 per minute.

    • Hope you didn’t find out the hard way. Surely victims can avoid actually having to pay such an obvious ripoff.

      • I got a warning email. The charges are made in the DR and our American phone companies collect them by International Agreement.

  19. As far as I know, FO didn’t do anything bad, matter of fact, he didn’t do anything at all. I am disappointed in him. Shame Package isn’t here to enjoy it.

  20. Just FYI for the sports fans who need a break between the mall trips: here’s the bowl schedule. If your alma mater didn’t make it into a bowl it must have had a really horrible year, as three bowl committees had to forage among those with losing records (cough, Nebraska, cough).

    • I’m so glad to be out of the country during handegg season (on the downside, it’s always soccer season here).

    • Optimist! How many people actually commented on baseball during Winter Meetings, the most active days of the off-season?

  21. Another idea, stomp on it if you wish… How about Crawford for Shields, sign Cespedes. Shields is owed about $20M more than Crawford, spread over next 3 years. We had worse pitching for us last year and he can be had easily. The Padres likely have no love for Crawford but the deal saves them $20M and gets the money off their books a year sooner. I would even sweeten the deal with some extra cash, What the Hey, we can afford it.

    • Believe that the veteran RH slot is already taken by Iwakuma (with McCarthy out there somewhere as well). And, it’s not as if Shields had a better FIP and WHIP than guys like Wood, Ballslinger and Frias.

      • Didn’t realize there was only one RH slot, I was just thinking Shields was better than some of the options we tried last year…

        • A bit tongue in cheek, but having three veteran righties under contract for the next three years seems like over kill. Latos with us had a better FIP than Shields last year! I know you dislike CC, but while he draws a ridiculous salary, he does perform at an average level.

  22. Noting Package’s absence the last two days, do you suppose he went to the Winter Meetings to mess up any deals FO might try to make? If so, he’s doing a bang-up job so far…

  23. My advice to the Dodgers at this point would be to hang tight with the prospects we have and see where they take us. I would not give up all of our best young players for Fernandez.

    In my eyes, the impact pitchers are off the boards. And Cueto is pretty iffy. Filter in our young pitchers during the year, maybe a 6 man rotation like the Mets did so as to not wear out their young arms, or 5 man with Kershaw, Iwakuma, and Anderson on rotation, and 3 or 4 other arms rotating. I don’t know, just spitballing here.

    Adding Greinke and Miller, all other things being equal, the D-backs may have not quite closed the gap on us, or we are both pretty even…I don’t know. The Giants are no better than they were. We ride it out and get the young players some experience, see what they can actually do at the major league level, then see what’s what come July 31.

    • Agree to a large extent. But considering the state of our pitching, if we can’t upgrade that then upgrade our run production by signing Cespedes. Do whatever it takes to move either Ethier or Crawford to create space for Cespedes.

      • I am good with moving our outfield around. I like Cespedes. I would move Puig and keep Ethier, Crawford, Pederson, SVS and add Cespedes. We cannot get rid of Ethier or Crawford, but we can get something for Puig.

        • Players with bad contracts get moved all the time, you just send money with them and don’t get much of a player back. But that roster space has a lot of value. I would trade Puig for a good pitcher but if I got Cespedes, I’d prefer to keep him around. First of all, I think Cespedes would have a good effect on him, settle him down. Secondly, if the competitive juices get flowing between those two, it would be a sight to behold…

          • You may be right, I just don’t see the FO eating a lot more salaries, but who knows at this point. They may decide that Crawford isn’t going to play, so what’s the difference paying him to sit on our bench or on someone else’s.

  24. Time for Plan C: contact Cleveland and try to trade for Carlos Carrasco.
    Wow that really is Plan C!

    • Better than most teams’ plan A. Carlos is certainly a better pitcher than Samardzija or Miller, and compares favorably with Zach in regards to FIP and K/9.

  25. FO fast getting himself into a position where he’ll have to give up everything to get Fernandez because all the smaller fish are gone already. He may have over-reached this time…

    • If you are going to overpay, which is the market, I’d rather it be for Fernandez than Samardzija, Miller or even Zach.

      • No way I’d “overpay” the players Miami is demanding.
        Seager, NO WAY.
        Urias, maybe, so far he’s just a prospect.
        Joc, maybe, his future is suspect anyway…
        Any other prospects, not in top five.

  26. AZ collecting all of the pitchers this off season: Greinke, Shelby Miller, Mike Leake…

  27. Gee Brain. What are we going to do tonight?
    Same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try and trade for someone (so we can take over the world).

  28. Ok…. Greinke gone ! – Bummer !…. But, not a surprise.
    Sorry to have to drop 2 “F-bombs” here… but, “F”riedman & “F”arhan… out to save some dough. Ownership likes that. And, it seems they scored him some of the money they saved.

    Friedman, in fact, was spotted pulling into the lot at Dodger Stadium the day after losing Grienke.
    He was driving a brand new, cherry red (D-back colors) Lamborghini with vanity plates that read,
    “BYE-ZACH” ….
    Make of that what you will….. 🙂

    • AJ frantically scanning the rule book to see if it says anything about the catcher actually having to set up in the same zip code behind the dish……

  29. This may be from a while back. But it highlights Tampa dealings with unsavory types when Friedman ran the show there. Could be argued that a small budget team had to cut corners anywhere possible to compete as well as the Rays did, but was this the right way to do it? Something to watch for with the Dodgers.

    Note to Package: people who have blind allegiance to the Dodger FO wouldn’t post this, maybe not even read it. Situations are more nuanced than you seem to allow for.

  30. Different angle from Chad @ DoDi:

    “Heck, even putting all that aside (and you shouldn’t put it aside), trading for a guy with one year left of team control that might be suspended for a solid chunk of that single season is just plain stupid just from a baseball perspective. Even if Chapman does get cleared in a few weeks, it’s hard to imagine all of the hassle surrounding him is worth it at this point.”

  31. Chapman for a couple of prospects might have been one of my “never going to happen” trade ideas.

      • Chapman’s domestic issue puts a spotlight on Puig’s recent incident and delay any trade that Puig might have been considered. If the Dodgers wound up with Fernandez, I would guess that it would be a three way trade involving the Mets.

        Ignoring domestic issues, the key players in a Fernandez trade might have Puig going to the Mets, Wheeler going to Mami and Fernandez going to the Dodgers. The Dodgers would have to include another player(s) and the same with the Mets and Marlins to get the trade balanced.

    • Chapman getting traded was a given, I think the issue was, and is, where it fits among priorities. To me, that is still a head scratcher and fallout likely from the failure to get Greinke. Assuming that the other priorities remain, it does suggest that they may be willing to spend closer to $250 million on payroll for 2016 to remain competitive.

      • We may never know if this was going to be a standalone trade where FAZ builds up the bullpen or a precursor to bundling Jansen with a harder to trade player to get a starter or second baseman.

        I thought the signing of Utley might have meant that Peraza was going to be the second baseman backed up by Utley or platooning with Utley. But some have guessed that the two prospects for Chapman might have been Peraza and Holmes.

  32. Different topic. From Eric Stephen’s SVS profile at TBLA:

    “Van Slyke is a valuable player, so much so that the Marlins asked for him as part of a package with Corey Seager and Julio Urias, and others, to land ace Jose Fernandez, per Jayson Stark of ESPN.”

  33. And the question of the night is: When did the Dodger FO know about this? And did they try and use the info to drive down the value of the trade? And does that make Farhan and co. look really bad morally?

  34. Dodgers claimed two guys named Daniel on Day One of the meetings. Danny Reynolds, RHP, pitched in AA for the Angels’ system last season. Daniel Fields is an outfielder who played for AAA Toledo in the Tigers’ system before being claimed by the Brewers.

  35. Rob Neyer suggests three reasons Greinke signed with the Diamondbacks…1) wanted to be #1 on the staff, 2) wanted to be highest paid player in baseball, and 3) wanted to go to contender who could also satisfy conditions 1 and 2.

    • Maybe he went to Chattanooga to make sure no trades were made. Maybe that’s why we haven’t heard anything out of the Dodgers since noon…

      • Certainly he wouldn’t object to dumping so-called prospects like Seager and Urias for an “impact player” like Chapman.

      • Maybe he was going to launch strikes on Nashville from Chattanooga, then retreat to his base? ;-])

  36. Remember last December when Matt Kemp was traded to San Diego, except he wasn’t because of a physical, except of course he obviously was traded?
    Ahh, good times.