And it starts with the announcement that nine Dodgers are officially free agents. Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen top the list, followed by by starting pitchers Rich Hill and Brett Anderson, relievers Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell and Jesse Chavez, outfielder Josh Reddick and second baseman Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir and Carlos Ruiz could join the list depending on their respective opt-outs.
My personal opinion? Keeping Turner and Jansen should be management’s first priority. After that it’s mixed. I doubt they’ll keep Utley. I think I’d keep Blanton and Howell, I’d try to keep Hill, and I’d watch Reddick and Chavez go.
The Dodgers continue their playoffs’ 4th-starter auditions with LHP Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA), who’s been on the shelf since August 22 with thoracic spinal inflammation. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA), who threw a shutout in his last start, striking out 16 Padres in the process. Kazmir beat the Rockies on July 2, going six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Gray has made five starts against the Dodgers and gone 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, but the losses have both come at Dodger Stadium, where he’ll pitch tonight.
This will be opening night of a weekend celebration of Vin Scully:
I’m beginning to think that Rich Hill is a phantom. His blisters preclude him from starting again today, so the Dodgers ask rookie RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) to step in. He’ll face the Pirates’ Ivan Nova (8-6, 4.83 ERA), who will be making his second start for them after coming over from the Yankees at the trade deadline. His first one was successful: he went seven innings and gave up just three runs in a win over the Reds last Saturday.
Josh Reddick hasn’t gotten off to a great start with the Dodgers, but he’s 5-for-13 with two homers against Nova in his career.
The Dodgers have acquired OF Josh Reddick and LHP Rich Hill from the Oakland As for three good minor league pitchers, Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas, and Grant Holmes. MLB Pipeline rates Holmes fifth, Montas eighth and Cotton thirteenth among Dodgers’ prospects.
This is why Friedman et. al. have emphasized stocking the farm system: to have useful pieces available for trade to fill immediate needs.
At Dodgers.com Ken Gurnick says Reddick gives the Dodgers coverage if they do trade Yasiel Puig. He says the latest rumor about him involves a swap with the White Sox for James Shields. Other rumors: Ken Rosenthal says: “Dodgers’ talks with Rays revolve largely around TB’s starting pitching, but LAD also likes infielder Logan Forsythe, source says.”
Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Hill: “Rich Hill was best reasonably obtainable pitcher on market. He has a blister. Those heal. He has a 2.25 ERA. No one else in baseball does.”