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Dodgers State Going Into the Hot Stove (Cold Stove?)

The Dodgers seem set at 5 positions.

  • C – Will Smith
  • 1B – Freddie Freeman
  • 2B – Gavin Lux
  • RF – Mookie Betts
  • DH – Max Muncy

That is actually a decent core of excellent players.  Not many teams have that quality in their lineup. But they have a lot of needs.  The Dodgers need a SS, a CF, a LF, and maybe a 3B. I am acknowledging that Miggy Vargas will become the regular 3B or LF, even though he is better suited as a DH.  In addition they need starting pitching.  Will they look for top of the rotation starters, or back end as they did last year  (Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney).  Maybe this year it will be Chad Kuhl and Dylan Bundy.

But questions still persist with some of the players still with the team.  Why did they not replace Walker Buehler?  Are you convinced that Tony Gonsolin’s forearm strain is not a precursor to something worse?  Right now, the only starting pitchers on the projected 26 man are Julio Urias, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin (if healthy).  One thing I learned in business is that I hope for the best, but I plan for the worst. Is anyone prepared to trot out a rotation of Urias, May, Pepiot, Miller, and Stone?  If the Dodgers do not re-sign Kershaw, Tyler Anderson, or Andrew Heaney, or any other starting pitcher, that could be the rotation.

There are multiple ways of finding replacements.  Promote from within. This is where Miguel Vargas comes in.  James Outman?  Jake Amaya?  Pepiot, Miller, and Stone?

Sign a free agent elite player.  Sign a free agent depth role player and hope they can turn into a regular.  This would include a bevy of FA signing MiLB contracts (Yency Almonte, Jason Martin, Jake Lamb, Kevin Pillar, Eddy Alvarez).

Pick up a waiver wire player and hope they turn out as did JT, Max Muncy, Evan Phillips.  Trade from the roster or trade from MiLB.

I think the Dodgers will be outbid for every elite SS.  I do not think they will put a package together to get a top of the rotation pitcher, or sign one.  And yet other teams will.   I do not think they will put a package together to get a solid CF or big LF bat.

I know for some, their preference is that the team keep all of their prospects until they become non-tradeable.  Yadier Álvarez, Jeren Kendall, Mitch Hansen, Jordan Sheffield, Omar Estévez, Cristian Santana, Starling Heredia, DJ Peters, Matt Beaty, Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Kyle Garlick…But for some of us maybe it is better to trade prospects for players who can help now.  Willie Calhoun, AJ Alexy, Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas, Keibert Ruiz, JoJo Gray, Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, Connor Wong.  Yes, that Dean Kremer, who was a throw in for Manny Machado who will turn out to be better than most of those RHP the Dodgers are holding on to.

AF has gone both ways with trades involving prospects, as well as to holding onto prospects.  Some have worked out, and others (as noted above) have not.  Gavin Lux and Will Smith.  These are the only two position players drafted or IFA signed in the AF (2015 to current) era who are considered everyday players in the LAD 26 man roster.  Who will be the next?  Miguel Vargas, James Outman, Jake Amaya?

Obviously nothing is going to happen until after the WS.  Options will be exercised or not.  Not just for the Dodgers but for all of the other teams.  Qualifying offers will be made.  Rule 5 draft prospects will be protected.  Some players will be non-tendered.  The Winter Meetings will take place just about a month after the WS.  And the start of ST will begin just about 2 months after that.  A lot of moving parts need to be identified in a short period of time.

I plan to look at the 4 positions in question and starting pitching over the next several days.  I am probably less enthusiastic that significant free agents or trades will be made.  But I am open to being wrong.  Part of my reasoning is that 2022 will be the second year that the Dodgers will exceed the CBT Threshold.  The last time they were in this position (after 2017), they made sure that they slipped below the threshold to reset the penalties.  IMO they may want to do the same thing in 2023.

What say you?

 

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Dave

I had thought that if they won the WS they could back off and start bringong up more prospects instead of going all in and signing stars. But they didn’t even get in to the WS so they have a tougher decision, go big again or retool with prodpects.
Or they could do both by starting the season modestly and filling their holes at the trade deadline.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Badger

I believe they will reset. What that means for roster additions? It’s too early to know. That’s Dodgy blog schema for I don’t have a clue.

We’ve got those 5 stars to build around. The powerful staff of Buehler, Kershaw, Urias, May and Anderson got blowed up. Bellinger. JT. Trea. All question marks, but at this moment I think they try to bring all of them back. Two of those will be easy.

This is an organization that isn’t designed to rebuild. Not with those expensive stars on the payroll. I see 1 rookie being added yearly to the Opening Day roster. Maybe 2 counting a pitcher. To hit pause and wait for the deadline is risky, but I think that’s a strong possibility.

Friedman will be challenged. It would be easy if they wait on the reset. Just overspend again. My guess is more reclamation projects, a trade nobody sees coming, Vargas, Stone, Bellinger, CK, JT. Even if they sign Bogaerts, Correa or Swanson and trade for Reynolds that starting staff needs to be upgraded to challenge through October.

I’m rambling. I look forward to reading some ideas that make sense.

Fred Vogel

The only MiLB player in the Dodger system that I would deem untouchable, at this time, is Cartaya. The rest are trade chips, some of greater value than others. With Betts and Freeman signed, you can’t afford to just sit on your hands while other teams continue to improve. Use this so-called vaulted minor league system to fill in the missing pieces by making trades for established players.

Badger

Ok. It’s gonna take at least three of the better ones for Reynolds. There’s one hole filled. If we go with Amaya, that’s another hole plugged. Have we kept Vargas or traded him? Maybe we can get by for a while with the pitching we have. 90 wins and a Wild Card spot.

I was watching Kyle Tucker. Terrific hitter. He and Bellinger both bat left handed and both are 6’4”, 200 pounds. You know what else they have in common? Nothing.

Fred Vogel

Possibly a willingness to learn with Tucker and a stubborn defiance from Bellinger is the difference. We know Bellinger was good at one time and then he disintegrated before our eyes.

i wouldn’t mind keeping Vargas but if Don Corleone approaches AF with an offer he can’t refuse…

I still think the starting pitching is the big bugaboo.

Jeff Dominique

I am forming my thoughts around this starting pitching enigma topic. But I have to ask the question (s). If the Dodgers re-sign both Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Anderson and call it a day, is this an elite starting rotation? Urias, May, Gonsolin, Kershaw, Anderson.

And what is the over/under on 2023 IL visits for that group?

Badger

O/U …. 4?

If it were 5 I’d take the under. If it were 3 I’d take the over.

Fred Vogel

Too many.

Badger

TMI. Slow down the delivery. I’m old and my brain fast twitch are atrophied.

Vargas. I don’t buy the “lack of fast twitch”. In 4 MiLB seasons, 410 games, he had 47 stolen bases and 12 triples. Plus, you don’t square up 96 mph fastballs without a supply of fast twitch. And I’m a firm believer in this – defense can be improved with hours of hard work. These guys know from the moment they sign they make it to the next level by hitting, so that’s what they work on. No matter where he plays, 100 pick-ups and 100 fungos every day between now and Opening Day and he will improve. If we can do better at third, go for it. If not, I’ll hit him 700 a week, and I’ll rol pick-ups. A dollar a swing plus expenses. Rolls I’ll throw in. That’s cheap for a fungo master.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Badger

Ok, then put him in left and starting last week hit him 100+ balls a day. Line drives to the corner, gapers to the fence, over his head to the fence, pop ups, sac flies…. over and over til he collapses from exhaustion. You remember how you felt after sprints at the end of football practice? Run him til he has that body language. Then do it again tomorrow, the day after that, and so on til Open Day. Repetition. He’ll get better.

Also, the Dodgers have their own scouting report. And we’ll never know what that says.

Singing the Blue

Badger: Fungo Master
Has a certain ring to it.

If you throw in a roll, does it not become a throw?
Perhaps you need to roll in a roll?

Badger

You can throw a roll. I know. I got hit by one. It was fresh so it didn’t really hurt. We both got a laugh out of it.

Bumsrap

I don’t think the Dodgers are well served with Vargas at DH. If a young player can’t play adequate defense to own a spot on the field then that player has to be a stud and Vargas isn’t a stud.

Neither is Busch.

That says a trade is needed to get a young player that can own a spot on the field.

Outman is outstanding defensively so he should stay.

The Dodgers still need to score more runs against lefties.

If Kershaw, JT, Bellinger are not Dodgers then there is money that can be spent on a big righty bat. It may come down to choosing between Correa and those three Dodgers.

Singing the Blue

Until this year, if I’m not mistaken, all of Vargas’ defensive time had been spent on the infield, mostly third base with a little second base thrown in.

It seems to me that left field would be easier to master than either of those positions. I say, give him the left field job and I’ll bet he can make himself into an adequate fielder. He’s not unathletic and he’s still fairly young.

He’s known to have good baseball sense and is a bit faster than he seems, both qualities that should help him master left field.

I don’t care what any of you says, he’s my 2023 left fielder!!!! (at least for the first couple of months, after which Bums can tell me “I told you so”).

Last edited 1 month ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

Remember the Lux left field experiment?

Leave Vargas where he has been. The infield.

Singing the Blue

I don’t recall anyone ever saying that Lux was not good enough to play the infield and might need to spend his career as a DH. Moving him to left field was not a good idea.

I still maintain that left field would be a better position for Miggy than third base.

Singing the Blue

Justin Turner has been named winner of the Robert Clemente Award for this year. If Andrew was planning to get rid of him, this makes it just a tad harder.

I’d love to see fan reaction if he gets rid of JT and signs Correa. 🙂

Bumsrap

I’m a fan. My reaction would be history was great and now it’s time for the future. Oh, and congratulations Justin.

Singing the Blue

I was planning to get you a JT jersey for the holidays. You just blew it.
I’m kinda glad you did, because those things cost a small fortune.

Coach

Martin is the most underrated player in the system. His power is real. He hasn’t had a real opportunity yet at the major league level, meaning consistent at bats. With every day playing time, we’ve seen what he can do. If not with the Dodgers, another team will reap the benefit of the power and glove.

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