Winter Meetings begin

And what will the Dodgers do? Here’s one thought from the LA Daily News:

… the Dodgers’ focus this winter seems less about making significant additions to the roster and more about maintaining what they have already built — an uncommonly deep roster with flexibility and a more manageable payroll.

“Yeah, that’s a really, really good team,” Friedman said of a 2017 roster with the same elements intact that produced 91 wins in 2016 and fell two games short of reaching the World Series.

That group would return with the prospects of improved health, Friedman points out – how could it not be better than last year’s? — and added maturity for the young players who made such critical contributions.

But there is a strain of wistfulness in Friedman’s comments. He is aware just how unlikely it is that the Dodgers will be able to put last year’s band back together.

The word is that they’ve reached a deal with Rich Hill for three years and $40 million, so that’s one part of the puzzle, although not the most important one, at least as far as blogger Howard Cole is concerned. To him Justin Turner’s resigning is Job One.

I guess we’ll see what Friedman and Company do.

121 thoughts on “Winter Meetings begin

  1. Thanks, Link, for your Hot Stove postings….The re-signing of Hill is good. However, the re-signing of Jansen would be more significant. The Giants, without a closer, will likely throw big bucks at him, and that would be a disaster — in terms of rosters and psychogically — if he joins them.

    • I like it that Hill might be back with the Dodgers. The Dodgers should be able to trade one or more of McCarthy, Kazmir, Ryu, and even Hill in July.

      • Would be great if the Dodgers were in a position at that point to do so, but would hinge on the team doing well starter-wise (with De Leon, Wood, Stripling, Stewart) at that point and the vets doing well enough at that point to get get some value or at least dump some salary. I fear that before that we may have to give up some of the younger arms to resolve our situation at second base/right handed hitter.

  2. I am not sure about three length of Hill contract, but I guess we will have to see if he is an early contract Grienke or a current contract McCarthy next season.

  3. Pad’s Solarte being given a look by the Dodgers. I was impressed by him and much cheaper than several of the other options for second base (assuming it’s not for 3rd!)

  4. With Harper’s contract good for only two more years, looks like the Nats may go all in and be another competitor, along with Yanks and Cubs, for top flight closer. With only two elite FAs available, Wade of KC may be trade target.

    • Baltimore wants lefty hitting outfielders and a catcher. I wonder if they might be willing to give up Britton to get those players. He is a free agent in 2019 and is a Boras guy.

      Ethier and $$ for one year and then Verdugo starting in 2018 for many years for the lefty outfielders. Add someone like Baez. I would include Grandal if the Dodgers could get Austin Hedges from SD.

      • WaPo floating the idea of Britton trade, still two years away from FA, leveraging the high cost of current FA closers to get a haul for him.

      • Kid has shown flashes, but handing the starting job to Hedges is something that a rebuilding team like the Pads can do, and now will likely do with Norris gone. Hard to imagine a contending team like the Dodgers doing the same.

        • Hodges is 24, a very good defensive catcher, and hit well in both 2015 and 2016 in Pacific Coast League.

  5. The $9 million haul from the playoffs is being divided into 65 full shares by the players (talk about a team effort!) and over 8,000 partial shares.

    • With Chapman off the blocks, 5 years at $80 million is the market in a static sense, but teams likely to be more desperate with what is now available in FA market for elite closers (I count one), who knows (it would cost the Marlins or other team their number 1 to boot).

      • It seems to me that, with the death of José Fernández, the Fish need a front-line starter more than a closer.

        • Yeah, doesn’t seem like a rational approach for team building for the Fish and those are the sorts of teams that raise havoc (and prices) in bidding wars.

  6. The Bucs might be more willing to drop their demands for Cutch now that they have an awkward connection to him.

    How much can a team ask for a player that is a two year rental that has some ego issues?

    Cutch didn’t like batting second last year. He probably wants to play CF and the Dodgers might prefer him to play LF. Cutch had a bad first half last year.

    Dodgers have quite a few players whose trade value should increase after July so unless other teams are willing to accept some risk about the Dodgers prospects or recovering veterans fulfilling potential, I would wait before unloading a boatload of prospects for Cutch and others.

    I want young players anyway. For me, I want the mirror of Verdugo, Calhoun, Toles–same skills and age but hit from the right side.

    • Bucs are acting like they won’t drop their demands. The Nats, who were supposedly in the hunt for Cutch, just gave away a good chunks of potential future SPs for Eaton. If the Bucs want anything near that for Cutch hard to see the Dodgers meeting their demands. They say that he has agreed to play LF. His second half suggests that he was bothered by injury earlier (think it was the thumb). A great player. At only age 30, difficult to think that he is suddenly on his way down.

    • I notice in your various trade scenarios you seem pretty willing to part with Grandal, while the team seems very high on him. Out of curiosity, why do you think he’s not the answer at catcher?

      • Doesn’t seem to be able to hit when banged up. Seems to be banged up a lot. Inconsistent. Framing skills compromised by passed balls. Hitting reminds me of Kingman.

  7. Sad that it looks like Jansen and Dodgers will part ways. I get it, but still hard to see him go. I do wonder what the Dodgers’ plan B is. Melancon, Chapman, Davis, and Uehara are off the table. Perhaps Holland or Robertson are possible options.

    I don’t expect the Dodgers to trade for Dozier. If they do though I could see Stewart, Calhoun and another piece or two heading over to the Twins.

    I get it doesn’t work like this but who would you rather have/who would be more valuable: Jansen or Dozier?

    • A straight up comparison using 2016 numbers: Dozier in 691 PA generated oWAR 6.2 and another 0.8 on the field. Kenley faced 217 batters and generated WAR 2.5. Kenley in terms of salary is easily going to be double that of Dozier, who will cost resources to obtain, but not signing Kenley will mean the Dodgers receiving a first round draft pick. Then the issue of options, including in-house, to generate like amounts of WAR, if the issue is really going after one or the other. That trade off might actually be more a Turner-Kenley thing.

      • Britton would be a great to have. Can’t imagine who the Orioles would get in return but it may start with JDL or someone like that.

        • O’s are said to need a catcher, outfielder (preferably left handed) and back end starters. As a contender they are looking for MLB ready players as opposed to prospects, particular for the field positions. They might be able to fill some of their needs on the FA market, but unlikely to be big spenders. So JDL could be in the mix but package would need vets. Dre seems to too costly for them, is under contract for only one more year and is coming off injury, (and has right of refusal) so moving him would require deep discount on salary. Of course the FO could always involve a third party to make a deal.

  8. I’m a little surprised that the Dodgers have signed neither jansen NOR Turner at this point. Are they hoping their respective asking prices will come down? That seems unlikely to happen.

  9. whatever we may think of the Dodgers FO and how they are run, I am also a Ram season ticket holder….so there!

  10. The Dodger website says Dodgers are getting close to signing Turner and are still in on Jansen. I always assumed Turner would be re-signed and give Jansen a 33% chance of coming home as well.

  11. The Dodgers will need to take two players off of their 40 man roster to accommodate Turner and Jansen, so who needs to start packing?

  12. Nice to see the band getting back / staying together. Surprised but very pleased to see the 3 big free agents (Hill, Jansen, Turner) likely all back in the fold.

    Things left to do:
    1. Trade Brock Stewart, Willie Calhoun and Walker Buehler for Dozier.
    2. Sign one more bullpen guy (Holland!).
    3. Trade one (both?) of Kazmir and McCarthy for bench players, or another reliever.
    4. Worry about LF at the trade deadline if need be.

    Then start up the season and have some fun.

    • Not sure you get much for Kaz or Mac at this point (or ever?). Would hold on to them just cuz, you know pitching, and they have upsides.

      • Agree, McCarthy and Kazmir and Ryu need a successful spring training at least to get the most in their trade. Also, if they are ready in April they will give the youngsters a delayed start to conserve innings.

        I think it would be good if the Dodgers could trade some of their lefty hitters for righty hitters so Calhoun and Vertigo and Johnson for young righty equivalents.

        I think the Dodgers will need Stewart this year and Buehler next year so would not include them for a 2 year rental.

        • At that price I would take two years of Dozier in a heartbeat. Not sure that I would miss Stewart next year as much as Buehler the next and hopefully several years after that.

          • Yeah, its always tricky guessing what could be a legit trade. Is it not enough from the Dodger? Would a team like the Twins demand JDL in there as well as Stewart in order to complete the deal? Hard to know what it would take to get Dozier but I think I would be interested to find out. Just not Bellanger…

          • Dave, are you interested in Jonathon Schoop at second base? He is with Baltimore and they want a catcher and a lefty hitting outfielder. I would be happy with Barnes at catcher instead of Grandal.

          • Schoop would be alright (and he has a great name) but I don’t like the idea of losing Grandal. Just don’t know how well Barnes would do as starting catcher. And who would be the back up to the back up backstop?? (In other words, who would catch behind Barnes?)

            Perhaps Thompson or Toles could headline a trade for Schoop…

          • I think Barnes can handle catcher. He studies the game and has a good eye and makes contact but he might not hit more than .220. Farmer would be the backup.

            Grandal could hit 30 home runs but I have not warmed up to him.

            If Baltimore would take Ethier and lots of money plus Toles or Verdugo I would jump at that but something tells me it would take Grandal.

          • I’ll take .220, if it comes with 30 dingers and OBP of .340, i.e., Grandal at $2.8 million.

          • My gut tells me Stewart is better than his scouting grades. Why not go after San Diego’s Solarte who is 29 and his stats were in the NL and more pitching friendly ball parks?

          • No problem with that either. Stewart has already shown that he is better than the grades just by his rise through the system, but Buehler has the real upside.

          • Sure. Except Pedro showed that he could pitch in the Bigs and Buehler has a few innings with the Loons coming off of TJ. Delino Sr. never had a season approaching what Dozier has done.

        • Which is why I say – bench players and bullpen depth. That seems doable for potentially two pitchers would could be #3’s in a rotation and for sure #4’s.

  13. Me thinks it is good that Kenley got married. That was one heck of a wedding that made both Turner and Jansen realize they should re-up with the Dodgers.

  14. I thought the Dodgers were at 39 on the 40 man roster this morning (thanks for the home run Charlie Culberson).
    So, with the addition of Turner and Jansen, who got cut?

    • Sorry. Didn’t see that HLKLA asked the same question down below. But the question is still without an answer…

  15. The Dodgers might have their righty power bat already in Thompson. I would stay with an outfield of Puig, Pederson, Thompson, and Toles and be open to trading Ethier and Verdugo now.

    I would wait until McCarthy, Kazmir, and Ryu show they are healthy and tradeable while watching to see what they have in Thompson and Toles before making a move to add a righty bat in the outfield.

    I want a young second baseman, 25 years old max. But I could live with Dozier in a three team trade where Grandal went to Baltimore, Schoop went to Minnesota, and Dozier went to the Dodgers.

    I’ll give up Grandal’s 30 home runs mostly from the left side for Dozier’s 25 home runs from the right side and live putting last year’s offense at second base behind home plate in Barnes.

      • A player would have to have no value for them to have no trade value. It follows then that a player with no trade value should be released like Crawford was last year. WBBsAs, you are a bigger fan of Grandal than I am.

        • Ethier’s become a bench player at best – he wouldn’t bring anything back in a trade, but he could still make a contribution to the Dodgers. Grandal, by contrast, is one of baseball’s best catchers, virtually irreplaceable at present.

          • You have a strong position but the salary of Dozier after signing the 3 free agents may deter FAZ from trading for Dozier unless they can move salary. Grandal and part of Ethier’s salary would do that. Ethier does meet a need that Baltimore has identified.

            If Ethier thought he could start in Baltimore in his contract year and knowing that he only had be in Baltimore one year could result in him waiving his veto of such a trade.

          • I’ve always liked Ethier, but he has yet to prove that he can come back from injury, and he’s well on the wrong side of 30.

            If your proposed trade happened, then the Dodgers would lack a starting catcher – let alone one of the best in the game.

    • Figure that it would take more than Schoop to get the Twins to give up Dozier. They want young pitchers and not sure what the O’s have on the shelf. Grandal would thrive in Baltimore with that short porch. The other issue would be giving Barnes the plate. Fellow has only around 65 PA in the Bigs (OPS+ 55). Don’t think a contending club should go that route.

      • Listening to MLB Network the other day, Baltimore’s GM said they need a catcher and lefty hitting outfielders. I don’t recall him saying anything about pitching; maybe because that is something everybody wants.

        Maybe it is Baltimore that gives up more than Schoop for that three team trade.

        Barnes is supposed to be a good framer and athletic for a catcher. He knows the young pitchers as well. I am of the guess that Barnes and Dozier would better solve the Dodger weakness against lefty pitchers than Grandal and Utley/Hernandez/Miller/Calhoun.

        Also, I would rather give up Grandal than De Leon +++

        • That was my point. The Twins need more in a package from the O’s to give up Dozier. Schoop won’t hack it by a longshot, as he is nowhere near the level of the other two players in your proposed deal. If the Twins want pitching, a direct trade with them would probably be best without involving the O’s. The Dodgers have relatively more young pitchers than elite catchers. So, if the team wants Dozier, that s what they should use to acquire him.

          • You are probably right Bob but because I have never warmed up to Grandal, I prefer to trade him instead of 2 or 3 pitchers not named McCarthy, Kazmir, or Ryu.

          • Grandal has his flaws and there may be options, but Barnes at this point represents a risk to big for FO to take

          • Ha, they are worried about him being #2. The closer I get to the beginning of the season, the more I will move from the edge and to the center. I am a lot braver in the middle of the hot stove league.

      • Oops, I forgot about him. Definitely like SVS. Ruf might contribute as well. Gonzales should get more rest next year so SVS and Ruf should get opportunities at first.

  16. Old friend Zach Lee has been picked up by the Pads. Will rejoin Logan White, the fellow who draft him 28th in 2010. Recall that he received the largest signing bonus at that time. And, this was seen by some as an indication that McCourt was willing to spend on prospects.

    • I think the decision came down to, do I buy another house, or take a chance on someone who can maybe help the team I own make more money for me?

  17. So, can they put Yimi Garcia ( TJ surgery) on the 60 day disabled list to clear a spot for Turner, or do they have to wait until the season starts?

    • My understanding is that they can put him on the 60 day if they need to in order to free a spot on the 40 man.

    • Gotta give to get. Imagine that the Twins want Alvarez as well, but that the Dodgers are holding out on that. Brock Stewart has less pedigree that JDL, but better results in the Bigs (SS), which lessens the blow of possibly losing JDL.

      • I am a Stewart fan and like his health as well. If Kershaw opts out in a few years and leaves, I can see a rotation of Urias, Alvarez, Buehler, Stewart, and a surprise.

        I would rather try to use De Leon to get a younger player that might be part of a 70s kind of infield. It just seems like the Dodgers should be able to get someone like Dansby Swanson for De Leon, Verdugo, and Calhoun. What else would be needed for an offer that Atlanta can’t refuse?

        • We already have an SS, who seems destined to be playing their for at least four more years. While I would love to recreate the 70s infield, you can’t force something like that. Maybe Lux might be that guy in a few years.

          • I was putting Swanson at second base. Bellinger, Swanson, Seager would 3 out 4 that would play together for years. Lux could join in 3 or 4 years.

          • Good hitting shortstops are precious and acquired at a premium, so that would seem wasteful.

          • It doesn’t have to be a shortstop but someone LIKE Dansby Swanson’s upside and youth. Getting Dansby Swanson would provide back up at short and allow Seager to move to third in 2021 when Turner’s contract ends.

            De Leon, Verdugo, and Calhoun makes a good package to start a conversation, one that I would prefer to trading De Leon and Stewart for Dozier.

  18. Since it was 11 below zero and snowing, I checked on Baseball Reference to see how the Dodgers did over all on their first round picks. (I think BR went back to ’65.) There are, as with most teams I assume, a lot more misses than hits for sure. Scouting is really a shot in the dark!

    • KInda depends on what your hit/miss target might be. Looks like an overwhelming majority of first rounders up to 2012 (Seager’s year) have made it to the Bigs.

        • Not sure I would call scouting a shot in the dark, though. It depends as well on where you are drafting in the 1st round. A #30 is quite different from a #1 player taken. As well, the number of fellows that make the Bigs declines as you move down the rounds.