Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

Dodger OF Options

I still do not understand all the negative comments with respect to Manuel Margot.  He is a younger and more athletic OF than was David Peralta.  LAD did just fine with Peralta in LF.  Of course the Dodgers would have loved to get Randy Arozarena instead of Margot, but what was the asking price?  Either it was too much for AF/BG or Arozarena really was not going to be traded.

Margot will never be a star, but he is serviceable.  Not every player has to be a star.  Margot is the perfect platoon partner with Jason Heyward.  Heyward is not going to see any LHP and Margot will see limited RHP, although more than Heyward will see LHP.

Right now, Chris Taylor is the starting LF.  Thus the Dodgers are going to need to find a better option than Taylor (33) for LF.  I am not sure Tommy Pham (36) or Adam Duvall (35) are that player.  IMO, not nearly enough of an upgrade.

If the Dodgers are truly looking for a RH power hitting OF, it probably behooves them to wait until Andy Pages is ready.

I am still an advocate for Lane Thomas.  The Nats have three near MLB ready OF: James Wood, Robert Hassell III, and Jacob Young. Young has already debuted and was fairly productive 2023 with 122 PA in his initial callup.  Washington will not be a contender in the NL East for the next few years, and Thomas will be gone after two.  By the time Washington will contend (maybe 2026), all three of the near MLB ready should be in the OF.

The Dodgers could very well put something together to get Lane Thomas.  Michael Busch would fit in nicely with Washington.  The Trade Simulator advises that Busch is an overpay for Thomas straight up.  I cannot see the Nationals buying that.  Add Hunter Harvey coming to LAD and Yency Almonte to Washington.  The Trade Simulator classifies that as a moderate overpay.

  • To LAD – Lane Thomas and Hunter Harvey
  • To Washington – Michael Busch and Yency Almonte

Although he is LH hitting, Max Kepler has been tied to the Dodgers.  Last year, Kepler had a slash line of .260/.332/.484/.816, with 24 HR, 21.6% K rate, and 9.2% BB rate.  His Statcast page is very red:

 

Kepler had good splits against RHP.

I am not a Dylan Carlson fan, and I do not see him as a logical everyday LF option, but there are reports that the Dodgers are looking at him.

Baltimore would like to move Anthony Santander.

Randy Arozarena is still potentially available.

The Dodgers are reported to still be linked with Teoscar Hernandez.  How serious?

Besides Hernandez, Duvall, and Pham, there are other FA options.  Jorge Soler (much more expensive), Harrison Bader, Michael A. Taylor, Michael Brantley…

There is also one of Miguel Vargas or Michael Busch who might find their way into LF, leaving CT3 to be the Swiss Army Knife, which is where he excels.

Bottom line there are multiple options, but none that are destined to be All Stars, except maybe Randy Arozarena and Lane Thomas, and either of those are longshots. I do not know if the Dodgers actively sought Manuel Margot, but he will be a serviceable platoon OF.  There is also no reason that Margot could not be flipped.

IMO, I do think the Dodgers will be patient and let Andy Pages play his way onto or off the team sometime this summer.  Maybe his shoulder will not let him give 100%. Maybe he will be fully recovered.  We will not know until he shows up for ST.

If the Dodgers do sign another LF free agent, that could very well mean that both Busch and Vargas will be gone.  As the roster is now constructed:

  • 1B – Freeman
  • 2B – Betts
  • 3B – Muncy
  • SS – Lux
  • LF – Taylor
  • CF – Outman
  • RF – Heyward
  • C – Smith
  • DH – Ohtani
  • Bench – Barnes, Rojas, Margot, Busch OR Vargas

AF/BG will have to decide if there is a better option than CT3 in LF and a platoon of J-Hey and Margot in RF.  Of course they could do better, but they could also do a lot worse.

 

 

 

55 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
55 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dionysus

Agree with the projected roster. I personally think they should name CT3 the starting LF then have an open competition between Busch and Vargas to win that final bench spot; losing goes to OKC.

Hondo

I’d hate to have Chris “Taylor made for striking out” Taylor as the regular leftfielder. If no trade is made, I’d prefer one of our rookies there.

Badger

I can’t speak for others but my problem with Margot is that according to every projection site I look at he just doesn’t project as a very offensive player. I believe they want a 20+ home run .800+ OPS player out there and that ain’t him. I believe that is why we are reading about the links to the others who project closer to that .800 figure.

I think if given a chance Busch or Vargas could be that player. I think Pages could be too eventually, and though I don’t know what Washington thinks of Lane Thomas, a controlled 3 WAR player I suppose if they believe they could get two potential 3 WAR players in return they might consider it. They need more better players but my gut tells me they wouldn’t trade one of their best players for unproven minor leaguers.

Bumsrap

It would be nice if Vargas could excel at third and Busch in LF. But if I had a magic wand, I would include both plus a lot more for the Nationals’ Dylan Crews.

At some point the Dodgers have enough offense to allow fan favorites in the lineup. Two fan favorites are Joc Pederson and Kike’ Hernandez. And yes, I suppose Max Muncy would be another one.

My first magic wand choice would be for a guy like Dylan Crews and my second choice would be for bringing back fan favorites. Anybody else is just filling out a lineup that reduces a weakness.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bumsrap
Badger

Fan favorite? You want to jack up the fan base bring back Bellinger and platoon Outman and Margot in left.

Maybe they will just wait and consider a platoon of Busch/Vargas in left, Margot/Outman in center and Taylor/Heyward in right, Lux/Rojas at short Muncy/Vargas/Taylor at third, Mookie/Busch at second and Smith/Barnes at catcher. Sign Kiké to mix & match in there as well. The Los Angeles Platoons.

Bumsrap

Who is this Bellinger guy?

Badger

Kid from Chandler Arizona. You’d like him.

Bluto

For me the biggest worry with Thomas is his crap OPS vs RH (.719) That said, it’s still a better metric than Taylor’s.

Maybe the batting coaches could help him out vs RHP (FWIW: he improved 37 points from 2022. )

Oldbear48

Teoscar Hernandez strikes out way too much. Yes, he has a lot of power. He is not the best defensive outfielder and to a point, he plays mostly in RF. No thanks.

OhioDodger

I agree. Hell no on Teoscar. Vargas and Busch and pray for Pages. Give the kids a shot and see what they can do.

tedraymond

Free agency continues to crawl along. No sense of urgency for the rest of baseball.

Why not Vargas in LF? If AF cannot find a place on this team for either Vargas or Busch it’s somewhat of a fail in my eyes. For being a highly ranked minors system for several years, it hasn’t really produced much. Recently it’s been Bobby Miller and James Outman. It will be interesting to see if other teams want any of the Dodger prospects in trades. But, with the aggressive approach in free agency the impact of limited help from prospects is insignificant.

Even with my above comment I’m so excited for the 2024 season to start. And it’s not so much a criticism, but an observation. The front office isn’t making the rankings.

Give Vargas and/or Busch a chance in 2024. Either here or with another team.

Carry on.

dodgerpatch

Decent power and average. Doesn’t walk, which hurts his wRC+. Below average defense, which maybe doesn’t matter as much in left.

Still, he’s a marginal upgrade or a wash compared to the Adam Duvall’s and Teoscar Hernandez’s. Why give away a talent like Busch when you can just spend 8-10 million for a one year deal for one of those guys like they did with Peralta?

I don’t think Taylor is the permanent answer there. Outman had poor splits against lefties, and there’s a good chance he regresses, so he’ll likely need a platoon partner option, which is where Taylor fits, as well as his utility infielder role. Margot is likely going to be Heyward’s righty bat partner.

As for a more long term solution, I get conflicting reports on Vargas’s speed and athleticism, some saying it’s not great. He did not play well defensively at second, and was always considered fringy at third. How hard is it to learn LF? I am reminded of video clips of Hanley Ramirez trying to play left in Boston. It was comedic.

Andy Pages is maybe a long term OF solution, but I think his arm plays up in right, and the Dodgers will be needing a replacement for Heyward next year.

Last edited 5 months ago by dodgerpatch
Phil Jones

I disagree that Outman has “poor splits against lefties”. His career BA vs RHP is .255 and .252 vs LHP. What he lacks is power and experience vs LHP. He has 1 career homer vs LHP but only 27% of his AB’s have been against LHP. I think it’s too early to make him a platoon player in CF. Take his projected platoon partner and put him in LF, as CT3 isn’t the answer for me.

Badger

Phil Jones. Nice to your name on the scroll this morning. I’ve always appreciated your take.

And I agree here. I like Outman. I picked him as my favorite to breakout player a year before he broke out. He’s a powerful hard working decent defender with a linebacker attitude. He’s got one full year of experience. He will improve.

I hope you stick around Phil.

Badger

Feels like it’s take a flyer on a slugger or go with Vargas/Busch with Pages in the bullpen. Trying to think like Friedman, good luck with that, I’d lean towards the slugger and use one of Vargas/Busch in trade for another arm.

Oldbear48

I will be very honest about this, I just do not like Margot period. Has nothing to do with his skills. Maybe it is because he played with the Padres. Or maybe it is because he was with the Rays when the Dodgers beat them and I saw him make a huge blunder trying to steal home. What ever the reason, he is low on my list of likeable players.

Dionysus

Michael Morse

Oldbear48

Never wore the uniform

Oldbear48

Oh hell yes

Singing the Blue

So you don’t like (or more accurately intensely dislike) Margot because he once played for the Padres? He was traded there by another team, Bear. Was he supposed to refuse to report?

Or maybe you don’t like him because he played for the Rays in 2020? So that means you also don’t like Glasnow, who was on the same team?

I wasn’t thrilled that we got him, but I’ve decided to wait until I see how he performs as a Dodger before coming to a definite decision. Of course, you are certainly entitled to dislike any player you want to, but it seems to me that you could put that dislike to better use on another player who has really hurt us through the years.

Have a safe trip back to Colorado. Maybe AF will flip Margot while you’re on your way back.

Oldbear48

RIP Tom Smothers of the Smothers Brothers. Passed away today.

OhioDodger

Damn. Missed out on Trayce Thompson 3.0. Mets signed him to a minor league deal.

Singing the Blue

Just finished watching the Yamamoto presser.

Boy does he project confidence. Not ego driven, just “give me the ball and get out of the way” confidence. Strikes me as a huge competitor.

A nice touch, he started off by saying a little bit in English.

This guy, at least at the podium and in a nice 3-piece suit, seems like the real deal.

Bumsrap

I would have been more impressed if he said a few words in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and French–the official languages of the United Nations. That would have positioned him as an international player.

Singing the Blue

I’d rather he impress me on the mound and then do his post game interview in Punjabi.

Bobby

I’ll translate at that point

Singing the Blue

Excellent, Bobby.
That could be very lucrative for you.
I hope he’s a good tipper. He should be with a 325 mil contract.

Bluto

I think the RF platoon will be Hayward/Betts.

Margot has options, I’ve long said he may not play in the Ravine.

Trading for Thomas doesn’t “feel” like a Friedman move. He’s not a superstar and he won’t come cheap.

Singing the Blue

So you think Doc was misinformed or lying when he said Mookie would be the every day second baseman in 2024?

Bluto

I don’t think he said that at all. I think he said he’d be at 2nd Base for the majority of the time.

Sam Oyed

So 51% at second; in other words he will platoon with Heyward like thus past year.

Singing the Blue

Quote from the L.A. Times, 12/4/2023

“Roberts first made the announcement during an interview Monday afternoon on MLB Network, saying, “I think it’s pretty safe to say No. 50, Mookie Betts, is going to be our everyday second baseman.””

Bluto

I could very well be wrong, it could very well be semantics…

“Obviously with the signing of Jason Heyward, to put him out there in right field, to play vs. right-handed pitching and to play a Gold Glove right field, it just makes our club better. Now you get a happy Mookie Betts, a guy that can post and play 160 games, t makes the Dodgers much better. It’s pretty much a no-brainer.”

Mookie Betts will primarily play second base for the Dodgers, Dave Roberts affirmed. Will still be able to kick out to to right field on occasion, but spoke with Betts on the phone recently to let him know their plans for him.

3:40 PM · Dec 4, 2023

Singing the Blue

Looks like Mookie will be the every day second baseman and sometimes right fielder and will play 200 games this year.

Badger

Mookie will be our starting second baseman on Opening Day. Probably.

Bobby

Anyone ever notice that Brandon Gomes speaks exactly like Andrew Friedman ?

I closed my eyes during Gomes’ interview, and I swear it could’ve been Friemdan talking.

Singing the Blue

Yup, I noticed the same thing.
That’s why Andrew didn’t have to be there today. His voice was even though his body wasn’t.

Bobby

Maybe, much like the outfield, we’re platooning GM’s?

Dionysus

Really?

tedraymond

Fight on indeed! Moss looked very composed and played like it was his moment to shine. Good reads and arm accuracy. USC defense had some of their usual breakdowns. But, overall, they were more aggressive and their tackling was much improved.

Badger

That was fun to watch. Louisville was ranked 15 and USC handled them. Both teams were missing a lot of players of course but as an SC fan watching Moss pick apart a defense and the defense actually tackling properly was encouraging.

Is Moss that good? Makes me wonder if they will still target Howard.

Bobby

More importantly, was Caleb Williams on the sideline wearing his future Chicago Bears jersey??

He’s the one I want, and God willing, Carolina loses 1 more game so we can secure their #1 pick.

From Fight On to Bear Down!!

Dave

How hard can it be to learn to play left field? And hoe hard can it be to make a trade? If the skill set isn’t there w Busch or Vargas they need to be traded. I’m sure they have both been working on that at Camelback this off season so the Dodgets know what they are capable of.

Badger

The outfield at times can make a lifetime infielder look silly. There is more time to misjudge sinking, sailing, fading, hooking hard hit 100 mph e.v. baseballs. Outfielders playing infield have less time to figure out exactly where that screaming, spinning, bouncing 90+ mile an hour rocket propelled baseball will be when it gets to them.

My philosophy, learned early from my grandfather, was simply this: if you can hit a baseball you can catch a baseball. Put in as much time doing defensive drills and receiving fungos as you do in the batting cage and you will be successful doing both.

These are professional athletes. Granted, many of them are only because they can hit, but again, if you can hit a baseball…..

Both Busch and Vargas can play left field. After their cage work hit them balls until the sun goes down then turn on the lights and keep doing it. Do it every day. Do it for at least 8 hours. It’s their job. They’re getting about $350 an hour. Make them earn it.

Bumsrap

Let’s ask Ford about the Edsel. Joc can play first base, kinda. Vargas last year was the second fastest Dodger and yes that bridge is still for sale.

Badger

I think we know what Ford thinks of Edsel. Ford DFA’d the loser. A $3 billion loss (in today’s money).

An often overlooked fact about Vargas. He’s fast. Obviously he can track a spinning ball. If he worked at it, he could play outfield.

Dionysus

P loop loop

Bluto

Well said.

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

55
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x