119 thoughts on “Let the off-season rumor-mongering begin!

  1. I dread the end of baseball, but sustaining the Cubbies’ tradition should at least leave a warm afterglow.

      • Baseball should be and is a game of enduring traditions, and the Cubbies have one of the greatest. It would be sad to see it end now.

  2. The Cubs are being humiliated as much as the Dodgers were.
    I have to figure it’s tougher on Cubs fans than us because expectations were higher.
    Of course, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but she may be appearing in ChiTown this weekend, the way this is going.

    • I wrote that before the 3-run shot . . . perhaps they’re being humiliated even more.

      • It’s not pretty that’s for sure. I hope the Cubs win one tomorrow for their fans.

        • That would actually be amenable to both teams, barring a MAJOR comeback by the Cubs — Chicago gets to celebrate one victory at home and the Indians clinch at THEIR home . . . which would make champions in consecutive sports.

  3. With their Dodgers-like offense these last two games, a 3-1 deficit for the Cubs could be ballgame.

  4. This could be the second consecutive year in which a Brazilian player gets a World Series ring.

    • Quite an article. One of the benefits of moving back East has been to enjoy his writing on a regular basis.

  5. I believe I first heard this quote from Vinny: ““Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.” (That’s one of the many reasons I love him — I learned soo much from Vin, besides baseball.)

    It applies to the Cubs’ triple with two outs — if the batter had been running instead of loafing out of the box, would they have sent him? I’m thinking yes — Chicago was doing diddly all night.

    • They could have. I’m sure he expected it to go foul into the seats. I’m still shocked that the foul line is right at the base of that right-field sidewall.

  6. Nerves or what? — the Cubs have been shut out 4 times this postseason . . . twice by LA, but they still won that series (as we all painfully know) . . . hopefully the Series as well, but I respect the Indians and Francona . . . it’s nice not to be rooting AGAINST someone.

  7. Not a lot of us watching tonight. I’m only paying peripheral attention as I get some work done before heading back to Chile.

  8. Two old friends, Shawn Tolleson and Jose Dominguez are now free agents. I would not mind seeing them back in the Dodgers camp, for depth if nothing else.

    • Tolleson had a tough year after actually receiving CYA votes in 2015 (10th)! Ended the season on the 60 day DL, so should fit right in ;). Gotta think the market for him would be soft, so maybe worth a flyer.

  9. I thought I was rooting for the Cubbies, but tonight I’m wishing the Indians would come back. The sting hasn’t quite left from our final three games.

    • I thought I would be pulling for the Cubs as well but every time I tune in, I seem to be pulling for the Indians. Let’s go National League, Rah

    • For me, there’s more disappointment/sting in the Dodgers’ inability to do anything those last three games, rather than the Cubs’ ability to do the right things . . . especially defense.

    • But Lucroy did it from the right side and Grandal did it mostly from the left side. I only want Lucroy because he would be one possibility for a righty bat.

      • Ruiz is fine as a RHH backup. Grandal is nearly three years younger than Lucroy, has not reached his ceiling, and is under team control longer.

  10. 2016 suggested that the Dodgers can win the Western Division without Kershaw and if that is true and Kershaw won’t get the Dodgers through the playoffs, how valuable is Kershaw to the success of the Dodgers?

    Harsh? Yes. Too harsh? Yes. A bit of truth? Yes.

    Because of Kershaw’s back I don’t think he will opt out of his contract but might agree to upgrade his existing contract this off-season. Hopefully that would not include a no-trade clause.

    The Angels finished 2016 with a 74 – 88 record and were 21 games out of first place. Keith Law ranks Angels’ farm system dead last, says it’s ‘worst I’ve ever seen’. Hamilton’s and Pujol’s contract minimize their free agent acquisitions. They need to trade Trout.

    Kershaw for Trout won’t help them although it would give Angel fans a replacement hero. The Angels need multiple players. So, how about Urias, De Leon, Puig, Toles. That relieves the Angels of Trout’s cost which would help them add a free agent and as such should be considered a part of the trade.

    I would like to get Trea Turner from WA as well. Verdugo, Diaz, Calhoun maybe?

    2B Trea Turner
    SS Seager
    RF Trout
    3B Turner
    CF Pederson
    C Lucroy (for Grandal and Gonzales)
    1B Bellinger
    LF Thompson

    • Dodgers won 17 game of the 21 games started by Klayton in the regular season, i.e. 80%, and won the division by 4 games.

      • Just thinking out loud about a Kershaw for Trout trade before I decided to offer something else for Trout. The Angels almost have to trade Trout and so why not speculate on him coming to the Dodgers.

        If we can’t enjoy our team in the World Series we can fantasize during the Series. If the Angels don’t want to send Trout to the Dodgers there could be a third team such as the Nationals. Maybe Trout to the Nats and Trea Turner and Stephen Strasburg to the Dodgers.

        • Apart from this Trout/Turner business, I am not ready to give 1st base to Bellinger, If he keeps up his progress, I could see him as a late season guy with some starts at 1st and the OF. I wouldn’t try to land either Braun or Cespedes and would rely on Thompson/SVS. I would also stay with Grandal/Ruiz at catcher and Howie/Johnson at 2nd. I would do just about anything to retain Justin, Kenley and Hill, as well as an arm or two for the pen. So basically, stand pat and wait for farm bats and arms to begin filling in slots over the next season or two.

          • I agree that if the Dodgers land Braun or Cespedes they would not have to get a solid righty bat behind the plate and therefore could keep Grandal.

            I am anxious for Bellinger to take over at first, enough so that I could make a mistake sitting at home and bring him up too soon but SVS, Kendrick, and even Sedegen could spell him if he needed breaks.

            For me it depends on whom the Dodgers could get for Gonzales that would be the determining factor of trading him and living with Bellinger et. al. Same with Puig.

            Cespedes is a lot like Puig as far as staying focused. I like his speed, arm, and power bat but would rather let him stay with the Mets.

            Braun would be the most help in 2017 and then become the player the Dodgers have on their roster instead of a free agent that they could better use.

            I am ready for more risk to get younger and faster. Thompson and Ethier could platoon if Thompson can’t get it done full time. SVS is also available should Thompson not be the big righty bat that the Dodgers need.

            2017 is very much the in-between year.

          • Grandal’s splits are about as good as you can get behind the plate. They may have a problem, but he is not part of it. And you would have Ruiz as well.

          • If the Dodgers don’t add a righty bat that can make them equally competitive against lefties then I think a catcher that always hits from the right side and plays 70% of the games would help the Dodgers more than Grandal does against lefties.

            Grandal might not be the problem but neither was Loney. The Dodgers just needed a better hitter than Loney to hit 3, 4, or 5 and left and third were the places to put such a hitter when the TRADE was made.

          • The increase in production between Loney and AGON was quite large. What you are proposing would not be anything like that and could be a wash and would cost resources.

          • Would have to compare the difference between Loney and Gonzales with the difference between the left fielder at the time of the trade with the left fielder that the Dodgers could have obtained. Then add in the free agent the Dodgers could have signed with the money paid to Crawford and Gonzales such as maybe Tanaka.

            Maybe a Grandal for Lucroy trade might be made close to straight up and if so the net cost of resources would be negligible.

          • In the end you are arguing by analogy for a trade that makes little sense based upon the players (Lucroy and Grandal) performance, age and team control. Moreover, Loney was a problem, one of many the team had at the time. Since 2012 he has generated WAR 3.0. Loved the guy, but glad he was moved.

          • I have to laugh at myself a little here. I should have used my Loney example to support keeping Grandal. That would have made more sense. Oh well.

            The Dodgers need a power righty bat that that can be as good as Gonazles has been against righties that can play at least 145 games. That bat best fits in LF or RF should Puig leave.

            That is the same scenario that existed when Loney was traded. Grandal, like Loney, are not and were not the problem. But, this is where I still say that the bat the Dodgers need could still be slotted in at catcher.

          • Unlikely to get much for AGone and you would have to eat a good part of his salary just to give the slot to an untested rookie. AGone can still give you solid fielding and maybe around 110-115 OPS+. Not a risk I would take.

          • I don’t want to see anybody fail because they were rushed but I would rather watch a player like Bellinger evolve than watch a player like Gonzales decline. Winning is just the icing for me and I always like good cake with a thin coat of icing more than I like lots of icing.

    • I am not sure I want to go back to the point of draining our prospects for players that may or may not be helpful to our team. We could still miss the World Series with this line up.

        • Not sure about bases loaded, but they WERE shut down — literally — Games 2 & 3. Unfortunately, they remembered how good they really are in the rest of the games. (I’m hoping for the same thing for them in the Series.)

  11. From DodgerBlue:
    Another trade the Dodgers nearly pulled off was with the Milwaukee Brewers involving two high-profile outfielders in Ryan Braun and Yasiel Puig.

    Braun, a Los Angeles native, would fill a big need in terms of finding a right-handed bat that crushes left-handed pitching. Besides Yoenis Cespedes, who will likely opt out of his contract with the New York Mets, teams will be hard-pressed to find a better power-hitting outfielder that’s openly available.

    • For some reason I have warmed up to Braun coming to the Dodgers. He isn’t the speed I want on the team but he does hit lefties.

      • I’m ambivalent about Braun, but he is a strong bat. He’s also an accomplished base-stealer (16 this year with a career high of 33), though at age 32 those numbers are likely to drop.

      • I understand the allure, as he has long been the apple in my eye. Concerns would be on the health side at age 32 with four years remaining on his contract and what it might cost to get him and his salary of around $20 million. Bat certainly fits in. On the field, in LF In-house option at this point is Thompson/SVS (?) platooning with Toles/Dre? Or, give him RF (splits are good) and deal Puig.

  12. “Kenley’s had a tremendous career as a Dodger that we hope will continue,” Friedman said Monday. “He obviously set the Dodgers save record this year, he’s been a big part of our past success, we hope he’s a part of our future success. It’s well-documented what he has meant to his organization.”

  13. While Kershaw wasn’t his usual self in the elimination loss to the Chicago Cubs, and presumably didn’t pitch at 100 percent health, back surgery isn’t considered likely. “He feels good. Talking to him after the game and [Monday], he feels good,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.

    “Like all of our guys, we have exit physicals and conversations with trainers and doctors. I’m sure that will take place and I don’t expect it to be anything that is newsworthy. He ended the year and felt good. … I don’t anticipate [back surgery] being necessary.”

  14. There are two ways we could go regarding the 2017 Dodgers. 1) we could guess what we think Freidman will do or we can say what we want the Dodgers to do.

    Looking at history, Freidman tried to trade Ethier for Montero and at least inquired about if not made an offer to free agent Russell Martin before finally trading Kemp for Grandal. They offered Greinke a contract but wouldn’t match AZ offer.

    We all know what Freidman did but we don’t know what they tried to do first. So if they don’t trade Gonzales we won’t know if they didn’t want to trade him or just couldn’t get enough in return to make the deal.

    My first choice would be to go young and fast. I would like to trade for Shea Turner and make him the second baseman. Verdugo, Diaz, and Wood are the Dodger players I would include in conversations with WA to obtain Turner.

    I would keep Puig and trade Grandal and Gonzales and in perhaps multi-team scenarios wind up with Lucroy as a place holder until Wil Smith is ready to take over the catcher position long term.

    Hopefully Justin Turner will sign with the Dodgers and hopefully for no more than three years.

    C-Lucroy; 1B-Bellinger; 2B-Turner; 3B-Turner; SS-Seager; LF-Toles; CF-Pederson; RF-Puig

    Kershaw; Stewart; Urias; Maeda; McCarthy/De Leon

    • Grandal is cheap, controllable, and really good. Ruiz will be a superior RHH backup catcher (Lucroy’s contract has one year to go, by the way). González’s contract makes him untradeable, but he’ll occupy the position until Bellinger is ready. The Nats (gnot the Gnats) stole Trea Turner from the Pads, and they’re not about to let anybody steal him now. Puig has some trade value, but not what he used to have.

    • Trea Turner seems like an unlikely acquisition. He how shown outstanding potential, is dirt cheap and doesn’t hit arbitration until 2019. He has shown to be a key leadoff hitter for the Nat’s and his ability to play either CF or SS provides them with good flexibility in trying to fill holes through the upcoming market.

      That said, Verdugo, Diaz and Wood would seem like a great haul for a team that is a few years away from contending, but not the Nats.

      Here is latest on Diaz. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30607

      • I’m not limiting my brainstorming to easy acquisitions. I am saying Shea is a player I would like to have on Dodgers. Young, fast, and good.

        What would you like to see added or subtracted Bob? Tell us. I won’t throw cold water on your thoughts. Maybe they will spark conversation that will keep this site lively during the off-season.

        We need brainstorming rules for our thoughts otherwise this site dies during the hot stove league.

        We have to be willing to make ourselves vulnerable to get conversation going.

        • Bumsrap, over the years it is clear to me that you are eager, creative and out of the box thinker in this area. I am not and have yet to really start thinking about it. But you are also perhaps a bit defensive, when people comment on your ideas. That is probably rule Number 1: don’t be so sensitive. Group dynamics require that people come from different directions and contribute what they are good at. You are good at getting us thinking.

          • I am not so much defensive as I am desirous of dialogue. You could start by saying what kind of team you like such as defense first, lots of speed or lots of power. Maybe just want a righty slugger. Names can come later.

          • Bob, some have said my out-of-the-box thinking is just crazy stupid 🙂 I like your characterization of my trade ideas better.