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Two of the first four Dodgers’ games in 2018 will be on ESPN.

ESPN will televise the Dodgers-Giants opener on Thursday, March 29, a 4 p.m. PT start, and will also showcase the series finale on “Sunday Night Baseball,” a 5:30 p.m. PT start. Both will be exclusive telecasts by ESPN, which means no SPNLA broadcast of either game.

Hmm. Kershaw pitches Opening Day, Hill in Game Two, Maeda in Game Three and Wood in Game Four, I’m guessing.

  • WBBsAs

    So, the season’s entire first weekend will be a blackout.

  • WBBsAs
    • WinnipegDave

      I don’t quite understand this list. Is it a list of teams that have formerly used Trump Hotels but no longer do so? Is that what the “left after” part means?

      • WinnipegDave

        Also – this list looks about as official as the lists I make about different sports related things. That is, not very.

        • Farenthold won a Pulitzer last year for reporting on Trump’s charitable “giving”. He’s legit, even if his list is scrawled on spiral notebook paper.

    • Somebody thought running for president would be good for business. Ha.

  • RBI

    Grateful for all of you, my fellow asylum inmates, friends, and fans of the Blue.

    • Cheers back at ya RBI and to all who hang here.

  • Happy Turkey Day, everyone.

    • WBBsAs

      Turkey’s hard to find in Buenos Aires, so I had a seafood risotto tonight (though, personally, I do like turkey).

    • RBI

      Dry-brining is the bomb. Who knew?

      • Bob_Hendley

        Huh?

        • RBI

          Turkey-talk.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Sure. Is it like a dry rub?

          • RBI

            Probably. You apply the kosher salt and herbs in between the skin and flesh of the turkey as well as on top and inside two or three days ahead and leave it uncovered in the fridge. Cooked SO fast! 2 3/4 hrs for an 18 pound bird. But absolutely delicious!!!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Always invigorating to start the season off with the giants at home.

    • And against Stanton as well?

      • Bob_Hendley

        Walk him!

        • Every time

        • WBBsAs

          If the Gnats acquire Giancarlo – highly unlikely given their lack of anything to offer for him – he will lead the league in walks. They would have absolutely nothing else in the lineup.

          • It only took Bob two words to say all that 🙂

          • Bob_Hendley

            Thanks franchise not in a good position to upgrade. Lot of older guys on the downside with big contracts. Maybe they spend a bundle on J.D.?

          • WBBsAs

            J.D. would cost them less than Stanton, but he’d be a huge defensive liability at TPBTBNL. With Pence, they’ve already seen how fast things can go bad in the OF.

          • Bob_Hendley

            You are the anti-Boris. They did win a championship with Pagan patrolling CF after all. Heck, they had Pence in RF and Morse in LF, both with dWARs worse than what J.D. put up last year.

          • WBBsAs
          • Or perhaps Boris Badenov?

  • I am more than happy if the Dodgers were to start the season with this lineup:

    Taylor, Seager, Turner, Bellinger, Puig, Pederson, Barnes, Forsythe.

    Kershaw, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, Buehler/Stewart or hopefully Ohtoni.

    I like having Toles and Verdugo as young inexpensive talent available as needed.

    I would give Grandal playing time as he seems to be a much better player in the first half than he is in the second half. His value would increase for a mid-season trade if he hits early in the season. That would give Barnes more rest that would help him be strong in the second half and give Smith more time to develop and be Grandal’s replacement after the trade.

    It would be great if Morrow were re-signed and I would like to trade for Britton.

    I have always gone back and forth with Puig. My main concern with him is his threat to the center fielder. He will be a free agent soon enough anyway. Now might be a good time to use him to help get a team to take on Gonzales’ contract.

    I would love if the Dodgers could dump the contracts of McCarthy, Kazmir, and Gonzales.

    I am curious if Toles could be converted to a middle infielder like Russel and Lopes were. He could be the lefty hitting compliment to Forsythe.

    In summary, I think the Dodgers could improve by subtraction more than addition other than relief pitching and adding Ohtoni.

    • I would like to trade for Thousand Oaks native Christian Yelich. I would offer Verdugo and Puig and one or two pitchers from Ryu, Santana, Oaks, Stripling, McCarthy, May.

      The righty bats that would have to carry the Dodgers against lefties would have to be Barnes, Forsythe, Turner, Hernandez. Puig didn’t help against lefties last year anyway.

      • Then what do you do with Taylor? He played a very good CF for us, and that’s Yelich’s position too.

        I don’t think we particularly need outfielders.

        • Yelich has been primarily a left fielder until last year. Trading Puig and Verdugo opens a spot in the outfield for Yelich. 2018 will probably be Forsythe’s last year with the Dodgers at which time it seems like Taylor and an unproven Lux alone are the only good in-house replacements.

          If Forsythe again fails to hit righties which is what he will see 70% of the time, Taylor could be the second baseman in 2018.

          • Bob_Hendley

            The Dodgers rather unceremoniously released Fernandez, the Cuban left handed hitting 2nd baseman. Wonder what happened. He hit pretty well in AA and was supposed to be on the fast track to the Bigs when they signed him last year.

          • Speculation about Fernandez here.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Seemed to be producing with the bat, perhaps fielding was questioned. Maybe the nature of the injury was it.

      • Bob_Hendley

        You have been yearning to get Yasiel out of RF (either to another team or to 3rd base) for quite some time. Seems like a lot of value to give up for Yelich, particularly given that our current CF had a better season than he did. Donnie Baseball would be fit to be tied if Puig landed with the Fish.

        • That yearning comes and goes and right now it is based only on his take-no-prisoners approach to chase down balls into right center. He still has a need to try to make the super play or throw.

          Puig to third seemed like it would fulfill a need at third but Turner is now signed there. The Dodgers have long-term possibilities for the outfield but not with the infield.

          As you know I will through out trade scenarios that stretch my imagination and most replies seem to say something like the other team would never do that trade so I try to eliminate that reply. I agree, it is more than should be needed to get Yelich.

          Miami can always flip Puig if Mattingley is in the way.

          • WBBsAs

            Puig at third is an absurd idea. He’s a born RF. Turner’s contract runs three years more, IIRC.

          • He is a great right fielder. He could also be a great third baseman. Reggie Smith was a good right fielder yet he also played some third base.

            Try to find an exit from that small box your imagination lives.

          • WBBsAs

            So, what would you do with Turner? He would have no position.

          • Please read what I actually said.

            Or, to play your game, I should ask why you want Puig at shortstop when Seager is already there.

          • WBBsAs

            You said nothing about Turner’s displacement under your scenario.

          • Bumsrap Bob_Hendley • a day ago
            That yearning comes and goes and right now it is based only on his take-no-prisoners approach to chase down balls into right center. He still has a need to try to make the super play or throw.

            Puig to third seemed like it would fulfill a need at third but Turner is now signed there. The Dodgers have long-term possibilities for the outfield but not with the infield.

          • WBBsAs

            Turner has three years left on his contract, and he’s a 3B only. Possible Seager will move there when Turner’s contract is up.

  • WBBsAs

    In bittersweet news, he’s going out as a Dodger… https://twitter.com/mlbtraderumors/status/934861474618597377

  • WBBsAs
    • Bob_Hendley

      Can’t blame him.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Dodgers Ohtani proposal would apparently put him at first and shift Cody to the outfield.

  • It’s early in the Hot Stove League and that is when I throw out ideas that are more unrealistic than probable.

    The Angels need a third baseman.
    Stanton, Forsythe, Verdugo, Hill/Ryu to Angels.

    Trout to Dodgers

    Grandal, McCarthy, Puig, Heredia to Marlins

    • 2b Taylor
      ss Seager
      CF Trout
      3b Turner
      RF Bellinger/Toles
      LF Pederson
      C Barnes
      1B Ohtani/Bellinger

  • WBBsAs

    Grant seems to fear that Giancarlo will become a Dodger… https://twitter.com/mccoveychron/status/935584929710305281

  • Bob_Hendley
    • Bob_Hendley

      With the possibility of getting him and staying under luxury tax.

    • WBBsAs

      I beat you to it.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Certainly doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibilities. Salary dump could keep them under luxury tax, but trade off would be more prospects and maybe a current 25-man player.

  • WBBsAs

    I guess you could make a case for the ‘Stros, but… https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/935610024675676160

  • WBBsAs

    Grant is pessimistic (or perhaps optimistic, if you’re a Dodgers fan)… https://twitter.com/mccoveychron/status/935618340793540609

  • An excellent article about Yu Darvish in SI.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Enjoyed his short stint with the Dodgers (though not the short stints in games 3 and 7).

  • Bob_Hendley

    Stanton to Dodgers talk really heating up among writers. Not so much as regards actual talks taking place between the teams, but in terms of what Stanton is said to want (West Coast contender) and Dodgers ability to absorb a good chunk of the contract and provide prospects relative to other potential suitors.

    • Dodger fans could be moaning about Stanton’s contract like they have done with Crawford’s, Ethier’s, Gonzales’ when they were no longer contributing. The last 3 years of his contract could be painful.

      • Bob_Hendley

        There is moaning and then there is moaning (see Hatcher). Issues is whether it hamstrings the franchise (Pujols comes to mind). Only three years would be great, depending on the contributions in the previous eight.

      • Bob_Hendley

        There is the larger issue of whether the owners want to go this way. CW was that they were moving to get under luxury tax to be in a position to grab one or more of the FAs next year (Harper, Machado, etc) and that Stanton becoming available now might accelerate the process. Perhaps they don’t go that way at all.

  • Pursuant to Bob_Hendley’s comment below, here’s the latest column of rumors about Stanton from the local newspaper.

  • WBBsAs

    Yesterday I realized that Vin Scully and my wife share a birthday (though she’s a bit younger).

  • Bob_Hendley

    Yanks and Dodgers said to be on the five-club shortlist for Ohanti. That would sure be a coup. Logan White said he had Klayton-like potential. Bat has been big in Japan and not sure how it translates, but probably adds another, at least, average bat to the 25-man without reducing number of pitching staff.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Pads, who Logan now works for, also said to be in the running.

    • WBBsAs

      I’d much sooner have him than Stanton.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Clock is ticking on Ohtani. 20 more days to reach a deal. Much cheaper. Perhaps both. Stanton is sitting there on a silver platter and hard to pass up. How else do they spend their money? Wait for next year? Or don’t go the big FA route at all?

        • WBBsAs

          Giancarlos has a history of fragility, and the length of his contract is Pujolsian.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Article invoking Pujols. http://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/01/miller-giancarlo-stanton-a-dodger-unlikely-and-unnecessary/ Shouldn’t underestimate the risks involved, nor overestimate them. Stanton has lost time in the past after HBP. Wouldn’t consider him to be “fragile” in the classic sense like, say, Harper, but point taken. The length of the contract is Pujolsian, but Albert was signed at age 32, whereas Stanton would be 28. If Pujols had been signed at that age, 2017 would have been his last year after putting up OPS+ 140 from age 28 through 37.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Length of contract is used to reduce annual average salary for luxury tax purposes and not necessarily an indication of what the club might think would be a player’s contribution in those later years.

  • Meter running on Ohtani, coaching vacancies filled, and eight players were tendered contracts:

    The Dodgers tendered contracts to the eight players on their 40-man roster who are eligible for arbitration: Pitcher Alex Wood, catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Tony Cingrani, pitcher Luis Avilan, pitcher Josh Fields, pitcher Pedro Baez, outfielder Enrique Hernandez and outfielder Joc Pederson. They also avoided arbitration with pitcher Yimi Garcia, who missed the 2017 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.

  • Bob_Hendley
  • Bob_Hendley

    Marlins said to be not interested in Ohtani because of cost! Basically a $20 million posting fee. Also shopping Stanton to reduce costs. MLB approved sale to this group so that they could act line Bain and Company? They ranked 19th last year. I understand going the rebuilding route, but one would think that MLB would want owners brining in capital, and not sucking it out (see, McCourt, Frank)

  • Bob_Hendley

    If Dodgers are to go big FA route, article on why Stanton now better fit than Harper next year, money-wise. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-dodgers-should-pursue-giancarlo-stanton/

    • That link contained this:
      According to Cots, the Dodgers current CBT commitments for 2019 stand at around $101 million, but that doesn’t include any money for arbitration-eligibles or pre-arb big leaguers, who will cost the team about $35 million in 2018. So if we assume the team will spend similarly in arbitration next winter, they’d slot in at around $135 million based on current expenditures.

      I would roll the dice that the current 40 man roster can get the Dodgers into the WS again and then if that approach proves embarrassing, go hard for Machado or Harper. The Dodgers got to the WS last year and while that whet the appetite of fans, it also will carry fans’ enthusiasm through 2018.

      I would tweak the 40 man roster but the first goal for me would be to reduce the 2018 payroll.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Ok, but there is a scenario involving Stanton which would include staying below the luxury tax for 2018, involving salary dump and prospects, if that is the first goal.

        • Forsythe, McCarthy to Angels for C.J. Cron?
          Grandal, Ryu to Orioles for Britton?
          Gonzales, Puig, Kazmir, Alvarez to Marlins for Stanton?

          • Bob_Hendley

            Now your thinking! Guessing that AGon would be hard to move without having to swallow a chunk of his salary. Kaz as well. On the other hand, more prospects to the Fish could be used to help lower how much of Stanton’s salary would have to be assumed.