57 thoughts on “2023 Hot Stove League #3

  1. Yamamoto’s numbers, from The Athletic:

    In 2017, he had a 2.35 ERA for the Orix Buffaloes. He had a .750 winning percentage. He struck out five batters for every batter he walked. He allowed 0.5 homers per nine innings pitched.

    That was his worst season in the NPB. Also, he was an 18-year-old rookie. That partial season was probably his nadir as a professional so far.

    As for the rest of the seasons, his career ERA in the NPB is 1.72, if that gives you some idea. He’s allowed 36 homers over his seven-season career. That’s fewer homers than eight different MLB Hall of Famers have allowed in a season. In his 2023 season, Yamamoto threw 171 innings and allowed two home runs. Not a typo.

    His career numbers:

    1.72 career ERA
    .714 winning percentage
    75-30 W-L record
    9.2 K/9
    2.0 BB/9
    0.3 HR/9

  2. They failed to address the most glaring problem. The home plate umpiring and calling balls and strikes correctly. We need Robo-Umps.

  3. Me oh my and a custard pie, as me old granny used to say.

    The Dodgers and Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto have agreed to a 12-year, $325M deal, according to MLB.com’s sources.

    I hope the same interpreter can work for both Shohei and Yoshi. Gotta save money where you can.

  4. My goodness, we better win next year then. Hopefully they don’t play like an under pressure team with these great expectations

      • We are planning to see the Dodgers in early April when they play in Minneapolis.

        But Dodger Stadium in June or July sounds much, much better! Lol.

  5. Somehow in the Glasnow-Pepiot trade the Dodgers not only got two quality players from the Rays but they got $4M from them as well.

    I’m pleased but surprised. Why would the Rays agree to pay extra cash? They were paying Glasnow $5.35M last year, but they had signed him to a $30M extension in 2022, so they were on the hook for $25M in 2024. Maybe this was a sweetener? But the Dodgers need pitching; they wouldn’t have demanded the cash, I shouldn’t think.

    ‘Tis a puzzlement.

  6. Notes from the Ohtani press conference:

    Perhaps because he played for two general managers and four managers in his six years with the Angels, in which the team never reached the postseason, Ohtani insisted on what is known as a key man clause—if either principal owner Mark Walter or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman leaves the organization, Ohtani can opt out of his deal.

    “Everybody has to be on the same page in order to have a winning organization,” Ohtani said. “I feel like those two are at the top of it and they’re in control of everything, and I feel almost like I’m having a contract with those two guys. I feel like if one of them are gone, then like I said, [we] might not be on the same page. Things might get a little out of control. So I just wanted, like, a safety net.”

  7. Shohei’s dog is apparently something people have been interested in since it appeared with him at a press conference earlier this year. Its Japanese name is Decopin and its American name is Decoy, Ohtani said, adding that the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje came with the name.

  8. Remember the video Joe Kelly’s wife Ashley put together to help persuade Shohei to sign with the Dodgers?

    Here’s some backstory from the LA Times, but what I found even more amusing is this from Ashley’s husband:

    “He was like, ‘I love the video,’” Kelly said, having met with Ohtani earlier Wednesday. “He told me thank you for the number. It’s cool. He’s a great person. We’re all very excited as a unit, as a staff. It’s gonna be fun.”

    So, should Ashley be getting partial credit for the signing then?

    “Yeah, she should, so we’re trying to get her some dugout seats now,” Kelly said with a chuckle. “When he saw the video and was told we were OK with it — I’m not gonna say it persuaded him a ton — but, there’s probably at least 7% in there that helped make it happen.”

    Ashley’s an athlete too, by the way, although I doubt she had to swap numbers as a soccer player at UC-Riverside.

  9. Ohtani’s contract does have an opt-out provision after all: If “certain personnel” leave the Dodgers’ organization he can bail out. The ocntract doesn’t name them, but the AP says they are Andrew Friedman and Mark Walters.

    These “key-man” clauses are rare in baseball but not unheard of. Joe Manchin of the Rays was able to leave for the Cubs when the same Andrew Friedman left the Rays for the Dodgers because he had this kind of clause in his original deal with the team. .

  10. Would be great to get Yamamoto. I hope they are in on Imanaga and Montgomery.

    I certainly would not trade Pepiot and Deluca for Glasnow and Margot.

  11. Now: Sign Yamamoto and Kershaw (for half of next year) and test out Sheehan and Stone, etc to fill out the rotation.

  12. Apparently the trade for Glasnow is completed – if the Dodgers can sign him to an extension.

  13. There’s nothing new about Ohtani in Houston Mitchell’s latest edition of Dodgers Dugout, but there is this bit of sad news:

    Vic Davalillo, who played 16 seasons in the majors, the last four with the Dodgers from 1977-80, died last week at his home in Caracas, Venezuela. He was 84.

    Down the stretch of the 1977 season, the Dodgers were looking for a left-handed pinch-hitter. Davalillo, 38, was hitting .384 for Aguascalientes in the Mexican League, so the Dodgers sent a scout down who recommended the team sign him.

    Davalillo hit .313 with the Dodgers in 1977, but is best remembered for one postseason at-bat. With the NLCS tied a one game each, the Dodgers traveled to Philadelphia for an important Game 3. The Phillies led, 5-3, in the top of the ninth and closer Gene Garber retired Dusty Baker and Rick Monday to start the inning. Davalillo, batting for Steve Yeager, came to the plate and, with the infield playing deep, laid down a perfect drag bunt for a single. Manny Mota, batting for pitcher Lance Rautzhan, then hit a fly ball to deep left that Greg Luzinski, with all the grace of a moose on stilts, tried to trap against the fence. It was a double. Davalillo scored to make it 5-4. Davey Lopes singled to deep short, just beating the throw (Phillies fans will tell you he didn’t beat the throw) to make it 5-5 and later took second on a bad pickoff throw. Bill Russell singled up the middle for the go-ahead run and Mike Garman shut down the Phillies in the bottom of the inning for the win.

    Davalillo hit .312 in 1978 and .259 in 1979 all mainly as a pinch-hitter. He had six at-bats for the Dodgers in 1980.

    It sure was a different world back then. The Dodgers felt comfortable carrying two guys who were almost entirely pinch-hitters (Mota and Davalillo) on their 25-man roster all season. That was when pitching staffs were 10-11 men.

    • I am deeeeeee-lighted! I enjoyed last year enormously and I plan on enjoying this one even more.

  14. This is essentially a 10/460 deal, just structured differently because he makes around $50 million off the field anyway and doesn’t want to hamstring his team financially under CBA. Not really off the charts. Max Scherzer signed a three year deal for $43 million annually a few years ago at age 37. Ohtani is 29.

  15. Ohtani defferals, explained at MLB.com.

    Something I didn’t know: Ohtani is “the game’s highest earner off the field…”

    Well, heck. Easy to take just $2M per year when you’re already making more than anyone else before you throw a pitch or pick up a bat.

  16. I may temper my use of the word “obscene” (see below) regarding Ohtani’s annual salary — I will have to do read more — as a friend of mine just sent me this:

    “Ohtani will take just that $2 million per year from the Dodgers during
    the life of his 10-year, $700 million contract with the team, deferring
    the rest for the 10 years after the contract expires, according to a

    • Babe Ruth, the only comparable player, was paid $80K by the Yankees in 1931. In today’s dollars that’s $1,619,321.05, per Inflation Calculator.

      Which means, with the deferral, Ohtani is getting a little more per year. And the travel is harder and the season’s longer than that which Babe endured.

  17. I have gone to Opening Day at Dodger Stadium for almost every game for more than two decades with the same two boyhood friends. Looking at the prices already noted for this year’s opener, that’s absolutely not in the picture for me.

    • Sportskeeda:

      Although the Dodgers have not released figures on how much season ticket plans will cost for 2024, their 2023 rates can provide some insight. Last year, tickets ran fans from a low of $1,230 in “value” sections to over $15,000 for more sought-after seating.

  18. I am glad that the Dodgers signed Ohtani, but the money is obscene. Even though there is considerable deferment, $700 million over 10 years for 1,620 games comes to over $432,000 per game.

    • Gonzalez was the winning picture in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, the deciding contest. It was one of 10 games in won in three seasons with the Dodgers. The other nine were in the regular season.

  19. Jack Harris at the LA Times:

    Ohtani’s priorities as a free agent appeared to be A) join a winning team, and B) ensure that his mammoth contract wouldn’t create unmanageable payroll headaches that limited other roster moves his new club could make (like the Angels often faced during his tenure in Anaheim).


    Had no deferrals been in Ohtani’s deal, the Dodgers would already be pushing the league’s $237-million tax threshold. Once that threshold is crossed, every additional dollar the team spent would’ve been taxed at increasingly punitive rates, rising potentially as high as 110%.

    However, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported, there is an exception in the league’s collective bargaining agreement the Dodgers seemingly seized upon. For contracts with significant deferrals, the AAV total can drop markedly. In this case, Ohtani might only count for $40 million to $50 million in luxury tax payroll, Passan reported, as opposed to the full $70 million had the deal not had deferrals.

    That reduction is unlikely to keep the Dodgers completely under the tax line, which they’ve surpassed during three consecutive seasons.

    But, again, every dollar that isn’t counted toward Ohtani or tax payments now is a dollar the team can spend elsewhere to bolster the roster.

    • It caused a couple of ESPN anchors on SportsCenter to giggle, but it’s almost a “team-friendly” 700 million dollar deal. Apparently a whole bucketload of the money is deferred until after his retirement, which means it doesn’t blow the Competitive Balance Tax (luxury tax) out of whack. So they’ll have plenty cash to spread around to the Yomimuras and Snells of the world, and they’re gonna need to.

  20. Quite apart from the impact of having him on the team, it will be a joy to have the chance to watch such a phenomenal player on a daily basis.