Dodgers’ offseason notes, Part II

No new hire to replace Mattingly yet. I suspect (hope?) the Dodgers won’t step on the World Series by announcing a new manager in the midst of the games. Remember 2007 when Scott Boras announced that Alex Rodriguez, his client, was going to opt out of his contract with the Yankees in the middle of Game Four?

Should the Dodgers keep Puig? Will they sign Greinke? Can Pederson find a hitting stroke? Who’s gonna play second base? Will Ryu, McCarthy and possibly Arroyo recover? Can Alex Wood become an effective pitcher? Will Bolsinger improve?

Questions, questions, questions.

224 thoughts on “Dodgers’ offseason notes, Part II

  1. Now that Howell will be back will he be traded?

    Looking at the various player rankings the Dodgers aren’t well represented at the top.

    • Not sure which way I prefer to go with Anderson. Could offer him a 3 year contract, offer him a QO, or do nothing. If they don’t offer him a three year contract it means that they want to spend their money elsewhere. With the stats you shared with us Mr. Tip, may I call you foul?, maybe the Dodgers can offer him a QO without having him accept it.

    • I wouldn’t mind seeing Dave Roberts as manager. Did you know his mother was Okinawan and he went to UCLA? Dodgers would get credit for hiring a double minority…

    • I loved Dave Roberts as a person and a player. I remember him with tears in his eyes in CF feeling helpless over an injury. Can’t remember the injury but I think a player was maybe unconscious.

      If Roberts became Manager, maybe he could get Cora and Izturis as coaches and bring some of that 2003 team back together. Most of the entertainment that year came from watching Cora and Izturis play defense.

      Roberts has heart. I consider him a Dodger. He is only 43. Alex Cora is 40. Izturis is 35.

      • It would be nice to see Roberts become like Alston and Lasorda and manage the Dodgers for 20+ years although I also like Ellis as well, but he is still a player.

        Hire Roberts, add Cora and Izturis as coaches, and then bring back Loney. Did I lose anybody with that last twist?

  2. Just now wondering what FO was thinking in giving up a very good pitcher for one year of Kendrick if they had no intention of keeping him. And they apparently had no intention, he would most surely have been open to an extension that would be cheaper than signing him now or having him accept a QO.

    • He’s only 32. I suspect they originally intended to offer him a longer deal when he became a free agent, but who knows what they’re thinking now. Me, I’d offer him a three- or four-year deal.

      • With them, I think it’s money. They only wanted him as a stopgap for one year, til they could acquire a young, cheap second baseman for the next 5 or 6 years. It was/is to be Peraza.

      • Maybe they’ll poison him with a QO so no other club will sign him, then offer him three years @ $10M to $12M…

  3. Ken Gurnick: “Nobody wants to be the guy that traded Puig before he turned back into the good Puig.”

    Ken Gurnick: “Because of injuries and distracting deportment, Puig has burned many Dodgers bridges. Any new manager that doesn’t understand how disruptive Puig can be hasn’t spoken to Don Mattingly.”

    Ken Gurnick travels with the team and is careful with his words which tend to be conservative.

    I bet KFAZ are really scratching their heads over what they are going to do with Puig. I also bet that they haven’t decided yet.

    • Absolutely! Everyone is tradeable if the deal is right. McCourt traded Jamie to the chauffeur, didn’t he? Course he had to include a lot of money with her…

    • Good article. Reading Erstadt’s write-up there, I give him more of a shot than I did before. Wonder how his name got thrown into the hopper?

  4. What’s the big push for Ben Zobrist? He can’t do anything Kiki can’t do better, and for less money. Zobrist is a distraction and a subtraction of resources that would be much better invested in a more capable, if more expensive, player. Please focus on players who will make a difference.

    • He can do it against right handers and Kiki’ can’t.

      Given his age and so so defense, I don’t see how he would be preferable to Peraza.

      I think it might be better if Kiki’ specialized on the left side of the infield and subbed at third and short. I would make second Peraza’s to lose and back him up with Utley who could also back up first.

    • Imagine that if they had wanted him they would have gone after him before and not let another FO dicate their moves.

      • You’re probably right but I wonder about the holdup in announcing Kapler, whether there aren’t some reservations about him, no experience and all. Kasten might want a baseball man with managerial experience, strong pitching experience. How about, we let Wallach join his buddy Mattingly in Florida, we hire Bud and assign Kapler as his bench coach to get on the job experience? Everybody gets some of what they want…

        • Normally you want a sage to offer tactical experience as a bench coach. Wallach was a bit unusual in not having all that much more experience than Mattingly. Maybe that was part of the problem.

        • MLB usually frowns on announcements during the playoffs. Gabe is basically already in the fold. What would be the rush if he were the chosen one?

          • Note that everyone has different possibilities but no one has any certainty about what FO will actually do. He’s got us just where he wants us….

    • Man, if I were on the Nat’s pitching staff and I learned Baker was going to be the new manager I’d walk off the job right now. I would get all my pitching teammates together and say “we have to negotiate with the GM immediately to keep this lunatic from destroying our careers by over-extending us.”

  5. Which players on the Dodger team cannot be traded? Assume free agents leave, make your best guess on whether a player is tendered an offer or not.

  6. Hey Guys!…. Lots of talk about this off season, and what our Dodgers will do… My guess ???
    Friedman / Zaidi – The ‘Dynamic Duo’ — or — ‘The Duo of Dodger Doom’ ????- We’ll see….
    I think they will look to cut costs both with the roster and the coaching staff.
    1. Grienke? – Fuhgetabowtit! – Too pricey…. – Kendrick? – perhaps…..
    2. Go with youth wherever possible…..
    3. Trade Crawford, perhaps Puig, even Gonzalez…… and, others…..
    4. Manager? – Somebody for whom they are giving their first opportunity…..
    I really have a hard time thinking of them as going ‘all out’ to win the WS in 2016….
    To me, they foreshadowed this notion by suggesting that the new manager would have a 3-yr. window. – I hate to predict the above. But, it’s my call at this point. I’d love to be 100% wrong.

  7. Package, and others, what is your attitude going to be when (if) Gabe Kapler is announced as the new Dodger Manager? Opinion up front, yea or nay, or will you give him a few months to show himself as Prince or knave? I will have an open mind. I learned my lesson last year with the FO. I condemned them at first but as the year went on I came to see the long term wisdom in their modus operandi and I now endorse it/them.

    • Walter Alston was an unknown at the major league level and the New York Daily News reported his hiring with the headline “Walter Who?” Alston was sometimes referred to as “The Quiet Man”

      He is best known for managing the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers between 1954 and 1976. Alston signed 23 one-year contracts with the Dodgers.

      His MLB playing career consisted of one game and one at-bat with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1936. He managed the Nashua Dodgers, the first integrated professional team in modern baseball. He was promoted to manage the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954 after several successful seasons in Brooklyn’s Class AAA minor league teams.

      will the next Dodger Manager come with the headline: “Gabe who?”

      • Perhaps with the public at large, but Gabe is fairly well know within major league baseball after a 12 year, well-traveled career as a player.

  8. MLBTR:
    A “source aligned with” recently fired ex-Marlins GM Dan Jennings toldBarry Jackson of the Miami Herald that Jennings’ relationship with owner Jeffrey Loria deteriorated because they didn’t see agree on some lineup decisions. The key disagreement, it turns out, had to do with outfielderMarcell Ozuna. While Jennings was “more than eager” to play the 24-year-old (25 in November), Loria was losing confidence in him. The owner also pushed for Ozuna to play in right field rather than center at times because he was out of shape, but Jennings refused and did as he pleased in at least one instance, according to the source.
    Well, DM has some training at doing that…

    • So Loria is “losing confidence” in Osuna? Think he might take Puig in trade for him? (Just asking…) DM might have mixed feelings on that swap…

  9. Paul Goldschmidt
    Dee Gordon
    Corey Seager
    Josh Donaldson
    Yoenis Cespedes
    Bryce Harper
    Giancarlo Stanton
    Buster Posey
    Clayton Kershaw
    Zack Greinke
    David Price
    Jeff Samardzija
    Johnny Cueto

    Aroldis Chapman
    Craig Kimbrel

  10. Heyward in RF.
    Joc in CF.
    Gordon in LF. (I know this won’t happen because the Dodgers would not sign 2 free agent outfielders who both cost them a draft pick. But I would love to see Gordon in the Dodger outfield.
    Trade Puig for a young pitcher (Salazar or Carrasco (not super young I know) from Cleveland).
    Find a way to off-load 2 of Crawford or Ethier or van Slyke. I really have no ideas how or who would take CC or Andre without a lot of money going with them. Even then it’s tough.
    Turner at 3B.
    Seager at SS.
    Peraza at 2B.
    Gonzalez at 1B.
    Let Kendrick walk. Sign Zobrist and let him and Hernandez be the main sparks off the bench in multiple positions.
    Grandal and Ellis at C. (With Barnes not too far away.)
    Kershaw SP1
    Price (let’s say) SP2
    Salazar, Ryu, Wood, McCarthy (2nd half), Bolsinger, Frias, Lee, etc to round out the starters.
    Bullpen – sigh, I don’t know exactly. Will the FO keep most or replace most?
    Jansen, Baez, Hatcher, Garcia most likely.

    • 8 Pederson/Peraza
      4 Peraza/Barnes
      9 Heyward
      5 Turner/Hernandez
      3 Pujols/Utley
      6 Seager/Hernandez
      2 Grandal/Ellis
      7 SVS/Schebler

      Kershaw, Harvey, Anderson, Frias, Ryu, McCarthy, De Leon,

      Jansen, Hatcher, Cotton, Anderson, Garcia, Baez, Avilan, Stripling

      Trades: Puig and Wood for Harvey. AGon, Ethier, Crawford for Pujols.

  11. I know we all are susceptible to allowing “stuff” that supports what we are already thinking to not be questioned near as much as “stuff” that we disagree with. I have always thought that pitching and defense were priority one. This World Series is supporting that hypothesis.

    So, I am now thinking that Peraza should be the Dodger second baseman because of his defense and ability to make contact. And, more than ever, I want Heyward in RF, I will add Pedefrson when his off season training proves to have enabled him to make consistent contact.

    • I am not sure I follow. If the Dodgers can trade Crawford and or Ethier, I don’t think it is such a long shot that Heyward signs with the Dodgers.

      • I understand that if you were FO, you would give Heyward $150Mm to $200MM. I wouldn’t. Only players who deserve that kind of money are Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and some pitchers. And I would hate giving it to them. Maybe I’m like FO, I’d rather sign 2 or 3 players for $10MM to $15MM each than put all 150,000 eggs in one basket that might get damaged or just not work very well.

        • I think I would if I could trade Crawford and Ethier without having to pay their salaries. One way to do that would be to trade them to the Angels along with Agon for Pujols.

          • AGon for Pujols are comparable in terms of salary (AGon $22; Albert $25, though climbing and 3 years long) and recent performance (both around OPS+ 130 over past five years), though Agon is two years younger. But let’s say a wash for arguments sake. That means that the Angels would essentially be paying around $100 million (combined salaries of CC and Dre) over the next three years to fill their LF slot. They might as well move Calhoun over the left and sign JHe, no?.

          • Crawford, Ethier, and AGon are owed a total of $119,000,000 through 2017. Pujols is owed $165,000,000 through 2021. The Angels save $46,000,000 and rid themselves of the bad years of Pujols contract.

            The Dodgers get a right side bat at average net cost of about $7,500,000 through 2021. At that cost, Bellinger could phase in to first beginning as soon as 2018.

            The Dodgers would have roster flexibility that would allow them to trade Puig for a pitcher and replace Puig with a free agent.outfielder or go with SVS in RF and Kike’ in LF.

          • I over estimated CC/Dre cost by about $30 million. So numbers look better for Angels than I assumed. But not sure how the roster flexibility is related in the last part for the Dodgers. Are you saying that because they get a right handed bat in Pujols they can replace Puig with JHey?

          • Not directly. I would only trade Puig for a pitcher like Harvey and his $600,000 annual salary. Then I would decide if SVS, Kike’, Pederson, Schebler is enough or do I need Hayward.

            Pujols does replacement Puig’s right bat.

          • OK. You sure are going to need two more outfielders. I think Quique is just a stopgap kinda guy as an outfielder. His skills and bat are better served as an infielder.

          • Pujols is a bigger liability than Ethier and Crawford in that he goes on for a longer number of years, to a higher age and therefore more questionable production. Ethier, judging from last year, can be an asset in his remaining (2) years. Better to trade Crawford for an equally bad contract (same money, same years) (like MJ Upton) or pay half (three-quarters?) of his salary to get someone to take him.

    • Probably better for Gabe to remain part of the FO as they start deliberations for the off season. Once he becomes manager, they will just ignore him.

      • That sounds a little harsh. They are supposed to be the great collaborators and whether true or not, Mattingly did say he was asked about players they were looking at.

          • It wouldn’t have been a Rule 7 violation had I not have been so paying more attention. Sorry you had to point out the sarcasm and now that you have, I am enjoying the humor,

  12. In a move that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, the Marlins fire Dan Jennings, so they have an opening for a GM, although they have both a President and Director of Baseball Operations who presumably outrank the GM. Sounds like a perfect spot for Ned. Maybe DM can give him a recommendation…

  13. It has been extremely quiet on the Dodger Manager Front. Which leads me to think their mind is already made up, they will go with Gabe Kapler. I’m sort of looking forward to seeing how he runs things as compared to DM. I imagine, for instance, in-game decisions would come more from logic and statistics than tradition and player relations. These are going to be interesting times. And all you guys yelling for bringing Kendrick back… He had a good year and I wouldn’t mind bringing him back for a year, but that isn’t going to happen, it will take a 3 or 4 year contract to get him. Remember the Al Campanis rule: It’s better to get rid of a player a year to soon than…. And I don’t want Utley for even 5 minutes.

  14. Should the Dodgers go into 2016 with Hernandez and Peraza vying for second base or should they sign a free agent or make a trade? Here are the second base free agents and their ages available.

    Joaquin Arias (31)
    Mike Aviles (35)
    Emilio Bonifacio (31)
    Stephen Drew (33)
    Jonathan Herrera (31)
    Maicer Izturis (35) – $3MM club option with a $1MM buyout
    Kelly Johnson (34)
    Howie Kendrick (32)
    Daniel Murphy (31)
    Steve Pearce (33)
    Cliff Pennington (32)
    Sean Rodriguez (31)
    Skip Schumaker (36) – $2.5MM club option with a $250K buyout
    Chase Utley (37)
    Ben Zobrist (35)

    • Good question. I would go with these two. That said, you are going to need another infielder, preferably a left handed batter who can play multiple positions. Anyone that is really good is going to want years and $, while the club should probably be better off devoting resources to other needs. My first inclination would be to go with a one year contract for Chase. He might be happy with $5 million to play one last year in LA. If they decide to spend money, Zobrist would be great. Give him $10 per and he might be willing to sign on for two years.

      • I haven’t seen anything, but he is probably looking for at least three years for maybe $30 million (?). If Dodgers want to go that way, they would need to judge if 2015 represented the beginning of a decline or not. Also, not sure that he would have versatility to move into utility role in later years if one of the young pups claims second.

  15. The Dodgers could use a few more contact hitters. Peraza is supposed to one and Turner is and Agon is except when he is not. That need, if I am right, is why I think the Dodgers are in on Heyward.

    • I sincerely doubt that.
      Edit: And I shouldn’t even say that. FO is the ultimate free thinker when it comes to trades and signings. And I am growing more and more to appreciate that. (Except in his pitcher signings) His unconventionality is quite entertaining.

      • Do the Dodgers have enough offense? Seager should be better than Rollins but Kendrick’s replacement if in house should not be as strong. Will Puig, Grandal, and Pederson be an offensive force?

        What should the Dodgers do with these questions? Add a free agent hitter or merely add pitching or tweak the team with Rugiannos and Andersons?

  16. Scott van Slyke is now a Super Two. Most of you know what that means. For the benefit of the others, it means he reaches Salary Arbitration a year early and will have arbitration for 4 years instead of 3. That means he will have a nice raise in salary this off-season (estimated to be $1,200,000) instead of arbitrarily having his contract renewed somewhere near Minimum. I’d settle for Minimum gladly as its a little more than $500,000 a year. I could live on that… That extra year of arbitration means each of the following 3 years will be higher than they would otherwise have been. In my pessimistic opinion, this also increases the likelihood of him being traded and replaced with a cheaper player. We’ll see….

  17. Wonder if the FO has thought of bidding on B. Park whose Korean team is posting him this week? For a total cost of about what he will pay Agon in the next two years, he could get Park for 6 or 7 years. Probably the same production, too. That would allow him to trade Agon to the Padres for a pitcher. Just wondering, not saying to do it…

    • Believe that the owner would nix the idea of replacing AGon at this point, even if the FO were able to show him that it was a good idea in purely baseball terms.

        • AGon was the great white whale of the franchise and it’s Latin base of fans. They even took CC to land him. Hard to imagine the FO with a compelling enough reason to replace him at this point, particularly after having two of his better seasons, that the owner would sign off.

          • That is a good point. But the FO probably got extraordinary powers when he came here and the FO could probably do it if he wanted. And Agon and CC were Ned acquisitions which might be considered good reasons to move them on. Kiki and Puig are going to be Latin favorites, way more personality than Agon.

          • I don’t buy into this Ned issue. It would be silly if the FO evaluated players in that manner and one thing they are not is silly. I don’t think think that Quique as a Puerto Rican or Puig as a Cuban could ever hold the level of attraction that AGon does with a Latin fan base that is overwhelmingly Mexican-American.

      • A-Gon is a highly effective first-baseman and hitter at this stage of his career. He may start to decline, but I wouldn’t bet it would be steep in 2016, so I’d keep him around, particularly since as far as I know we don’t have any Eric Karros/Steve Garvey/Greg Brock types in the farm system.

        • The original question/plan was to sign Park, the Korean first baseman, for considerably less money than Agon makes and trade Agon for a much needed pitcher. I really have no attachment to Agon, he was not an original Dodger. Please note that the first words of the comment was “Wonder if”…

          • But why do you think Park would outdo Gonzalez? The Korean league is at about the same level as the Japanese league, I think, and that’s below MLB level for position players on past performances.

          • Agon had 27 home runs, one more than Joc, and 90 RBIs. OK but not great. Bob could probably rate with other first baseman who got same number of at bats. Eric Karros level. And he is declining. We will wish for that production next year. And certainly not worth what he is being paid. Maybe I think like the FO after all, not like a fan…

          • AGon is maybe top five for 1st basemen in NL, but distant from the elites (Goldie, Votto, Rizzo). Hasn’t been elite since 2011 (155 OPS+) but seems to have plateaued over the past few years at 130 OPS+.

        • Funny you reference Karros-Garvey-Brock. The only similarities between them in my opinion is that they all were first basemen. Garvey was an All-Star, Karros a journeyman, and Brock a failure. I rooted for all but that is how I see their careers in retrospect.

        • The highest ranked 1st baseman in the system is currently the number 9 prospect. Cody Bellinger, 2013 draftee, played this season at Cucamonga as a twenty year old (a year younger than most). Athletic, he plays defense very well and has even appeared in CF. Shows power, but high K rate. Now projected as late 2017 call up at best.

    • I lean pitching and defense and Park is supposed to be a weak defender. I don’t think the Dodgers would add Park to the mix. I, however, haven’t figured out what KFAZ might do so it is fair to wonder.

    • Usually don’t watch pre- or post-game, but saw them during the rain delay in the ALCS and it was excruciating. Alex did his time and is playing, so I don’t see a problem in that sense in him being in the booth. What I couldn’t stand is Pete being there and opening his mouth and getting on the Big Hurt’s case. He made a spectacle out of himself.

  18. While watching the Royals – Mets, be glad that the taxpayers haven’t been on the hook for Dodger Stadium or its improvements since the original construction, unlike the two fan bases in KC and NYC.

  19. Rules experts, would this be legally possible? Could the Dodgers work out a deal with Crawford whereby they agreed to pay part or all of his coming salary over a 10 or 20 year period, and give him an unconditional release, allowing him to live the life of a retired gentleman or sign a contract with another club if he chose and could find a club dumb enough? (Wow!! A 61 word sentence!!)

    • It’s unfortunate that the Angles didn’t bite, when they were hunting for a left handed leftfielder. They started with Joyce (OPS+ 60) and got mid season pick ups in Victorino (65) and DeJesus (-5), as compared to CC (95).

  20. Hey, all. I’ve been reading everyone’s posts but staying mostly silent, for two reasons. One, I’ve been fine-tuning the edits on the second draft of my book. Two, I have no idea what’s going to happen next with our team, or what I even want to happen! But I sure do miss watching them play. And I sure do love following all of you, as you plot and plan and fantasize and discuss. Please don’t stop. You have at least one avid lurker.

    • I know I’m different but to me this plotting and planning is more fun than watching a game. Probably because I’m participating instead of just spectating.

  21. If the Dodgers could get a #1 or #2 pitcher for Puig plus maybe Wood they might make that trade instead of going after a long term free agent pitcher. I think Harvey might be that pitcher as the Mets will want to replace Cespedes and Murphy without paying their going rate.

    If the Dodgers trade Puig, I think they will first sign Heyward as a free agent. That could be a 7 to 10 year contract at $25M annually.

    As suggested by Audit, the Dodgers might want to trade Crawford for BJ/MJ Upton to reduce the logjam in left field and provide a defensive backup in CF who is better than Hernandez defensively.

    I think Peraza will be the second baseman and Hernandez will be the much used utility player that will easily get 400 at bats.

    Patience will be shown for the arrival of Verdugo, Bellinger, Urias, and De Leon.

    The bull pen will be manned with the additions of Cotton, Stripling, and Anderson.

      • Because Upton has a contract about as bad as Crawfords AND Crawford would bring some money with him. Instead of paying Upton $32MM over the next two years, they would pay Crawford $43MM but they should get at least $20MM with Crawford. I would gladly give them the $20MM if I were Friedman.