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Free Agency Frenzy

The money going out the door this year is insane.

Jacob deGrom – 5 years $186MM – When was the last time he had a full season of starts?  After $500MM committed to two SS last winter, Chris Young may be in over his head.  But the owners, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, are giving him their blessing.  Texas needs to put behinds in the seats of that new stadium.  Texas has the 2024 All Star game, so they want a contending team.  All is good with the Rangers.

Justin Verlander – 2 years $86.67MM, with a $37MM vesting option if JV throws 140 innings in 2024.

Trea Turner – 11 years $300MM, but turned down what has been reported as more than $342MM from San Diego.  I like Trea Turner, but not that much.

Edwin Díaz – 5 years $102MM for a relief pitcher.  I don’t care how good he is.

Taijuan Walker – 4 years $72MM.  $18MM AAV.  His best year was last year, and he earned a 2.5 fWAR.  That supported $20.1MM.  What are the chances he repeats that 4 more years?  He went from 2/$20MM to 4/$72.  I will stick with Ryan Pepiot at ML minimum.

José Abreu – 3 years $58.5MM.

Tommy Kahnle – 2 years $11.5MM – 13.2 IP in the last 3 years (in total).

Rafael Montero – 3 years $34.5MM – Career ERA 4.64, career WHIP 1.458.

Chris Martin – 2 years $17.5MM – I like CMart but 2 years at $8.75MM per year seems a little steep for a 7th inning reliever.  Even one that does not walk anyone.

Matt Strahm – 2 years $15.0MM – After 44.2 IP and a 3.83 ERA he deserves 150% raise for two years?  Momma, let your sons grow up to be LH pitchers.

Aaron Judge – $362MM offer from San Francisco.  It could go even higher.  NYY is not done negotiating.

The insane contracts for deGrom and Verlander are only going to drive the costs up for the next level.  Carlos Rodón, Chris Bassitt, Jameson Taillon, Sean Manaea, Noah Syndergaard, Nathan Eovaldi, Ross Stripling, and Michael Wacha are doing back flips with how the market has gone north.  We saw what it did for Taijuan Walker.

Andrew Heaney signed for two years and $25MM guaranteed, with incentives that could take it to $37MM. This is a pitcher who gives up more HRs than almost any MLB starting pitcher. His HR % was 4.5, with an MLB Average around 3.0.  He is in the bottom 2 percentile in average exit velocity, bottom 1 percentile in hard hit %, and bottom 4 percentile in barrels. He is basically a 2 pitch pitcher: fastball and slider.  He will throw the changeup, but very infrequently (5%). He was released by NYY, signed for 1 year and threw 72.2 innings for LAD.  He has thrown more than 130 innings just once in his career (2018).  His next highest IP was 129.2 in 2021.  He has a career ERA of 4.56 and a career WHIP of 1.245.  Heaney reportedly turned down more lucrative guarantees, including one north of $30MM from Boston, because of his relationship with Chris Young.

Reasonable contracts include:

Cleveland and Josh Bell for 2 years and $33MM with an opt out after 2023.

Giants and Mitch Haniger 3 years $43MM.

LAA and Tyler Anderson for 3 years $39MM which was a relative steal compared to Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin 3 year $40MM FA signing.

LAD and Clayton Kershaw for 1 year at $20MM

Koudai Senga is reported to be asking for $20MM AAV.  This is what happens when Taijuan Walker gets $18MM AAV.  He was originally reported to looking for $15MM AAV.  NYM seem to be the favorite as I write this.  Always subject to change.  The Dodgers and Red Sox always seem to come up at least second best in the FA negotiations.

I make no value judgement as to the fairness of the contracts.  Simply an observation.

Besides the Trea Turner contract, it is expected that there will be two more $300MM contracts: Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa.  I don’t expect the Dodgers to be signing either of those players.

How often do we need to hear that the team is going the youth route this year before we believe them?

 

——————

 

The first ever MLB lottery was held on Tuesday, and the Pirates were the lottery winner.  As a result they moved up 2 spots from #3 to #1.  The Minnesota Twins were the biggest mover.  They moved up 8 spots from what would have been spot #13 to spot #5.  The Tigers and Rangers moved up 3 spots.  The A’s and the Reds were the big losers as they dropped 4 spots from what would have been #2 to #6.  KC dropped 3 spots and Colorado dropped 2.

The Dodgers select #26.  The last twelve spots are dictated by how they fared in the playoffs.  The Dodgers dropped from what would have been #30 to #26 because they lost the NLDS.

 

——————

 

The Rule 5 draft will be held on Wednesday.  How many Dodgers will be drafted?  I still think the most vulnerable will be (in no particular order):

  • Ryan Noda
  • Carlos Duran
  • José Ramos
  • Justin Yurchak
  • Devin Mann – doubtful but who knows if some team could be looking for a utility player.

The Dodgers have 3 spots on their 40 man.  Will they take a chance on anyone else’s Rule 5 eligible player?

Finally, I came across the item below.  It is sad to think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Badger

Yeah, sad to our stars leaving. Just another sign of the times.

A topic to discuss maybe is something Bluto and I exchanged opinions on and is mentioned in the LA Times this morning. “The biggest challenge for MLB – and every US sports league – is the collapse of cable and satellite TV. Those mega-contracts have been funded by deals with regional sports networks (RSN) which pays enormously providing some teams the money to spend lavishly on players.” The downside of course is what I was mentioning – the level of revenue disparity makes it impossible for some markets to compete. It’s never been more evident than it is today.

Another interesting article this morning was written by Dylan Hernandez suggesting something talked about here, and on other blogs, which is the need for a vocal leader on this club. Honestly I didn’t feel it necessary but apparently getting paid hundreds of thousands every week, some players every night, is not enough motivation. These spoiled brats need f’n cheerleaders and internal motivational speakers. I find that interesting as most motivational speakers I’m familiar with are there to encourage ways to make more money. That’s not what is needed here. What’s needed here apparently is motivation to accomplish what they are getting paid millions to do. Weird. The good news is Roberts thinks maybe he should take on the role. Yeah, the manager motivating. Good plan Dave. One could ask, where have you been dude?… but I’ll leave that for others.

Just saw Judge back to the Yankees. Good. Now the giants can sign Correa and Rodón and we can… what is it we’re going to do?

Last edited 2 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I think Correa is a great fit for the Giants. He would be their motivator and team leader. I prefer Swanson for the Dodgers.

Drury would be insurance for Vargas and LF if a prospect winds up in left.

Verlander and deGram contracts have driven up the trade value of quite a few pitching trade targets.

Jacob Burch

I bet we sign Longoria.

Singing the Blue

Kenley goes to the Red Sox. 2 years, 32 mil. Nice work KJ!

Mets sign Quintana.

We are no longer King of the Hill. Will have to fight SD and SF $ for every player.

Jacob Burch

I just spent some time looking closer at Brandon Nimmo’s B-Ref page. His 2022 season was a lot better than I thought numbers-wise. 102 runs and 673 PAs stand out.

He’s 29, from Wyoming, andp was a 1st round pick by the Mets. He’s bigger than I thought [6’3 206 lbs.] and MLBTR predicted he’d sign for 5y/$110m.

If we can get him for around $20m per year [maybe extend it to 6 or 7 years] he might be a good addition. For any weaknesses he has, we know he would:

Solve the CF problemGet a ton of ABs, likely at the top of the lineupPlay good defense and be a solid baserunnerI admit I’m willing to roll the dice with Outman but truthfully he’s always profiled as a 4th OF rather than a first-division starter.

I’d be okay with it . . .

Last edited 2 months ago by Jacob Burch
Jacob Burch

Sorry about the formatting. It looks different when I hit Post Comment

Jacob Burch

I wish Judge would’ve gone to SF. Would’ve made the league more interesting. Guessing now that Bogaerts returns to BOS, SF [or SD] lands Correa, and Dansby either signs with STL or us. Atlanta will probably just find a rookie to put at SS and have him be a world-beater.

Oldbear48

A good comparison to Judge would be Frank Howard, 6’7″ 252 pounds, but was probably a little heavier than that. Frank’s last productive season was at age 34. That was the last time he played more than 150 games. And it was a real step down from his age 33 season. He would retire two years later. His knees were a problem by then. Dodgers big move yesterday? Making Aaron Bates a co-hitting coach with Von Shylock.

Jacob Burch

Would people here rather have Dansby or Nimmo?

Jacob Burch

What about Devers or Soto?

Oldbear48

If Boston is even willing to trade Devers and that is not likely. They are meeting with Bogaerts as we speak. Soto is not a free agent for two more years.

Singing the Blue

Dansby, but only because I absolutely don’t want to see Lux moved off second. We can then use some prospect capital, gulp a few times, take a deep breath, and trade for Reynolds.

Jacob Burch

I don’t care for those trade simulator websites. But for three years of arbitration-eligibility [which will be below market value but not cheap] for a good, not great, switch-hitting CF with speed and power . . .

I think we’d have to part with a top pitching pitching prospect, a top hitting prospect, and a third piece, maybe major league ready.

Miller/Pages/Ferguson?
Pepiot/Busch/Grove?
Stone/Outman/Jackson?

So much easier to just sign a guy.

Jacob Burch

It’s the starting pitching market that looks so out-of-whack to me. I think the only potential value to be found is from the Japanese league and also the AAAA junk pile.

Badger

Yeah, what Badger was talking about is last year the Oakland payroll was about $200 million less than ours. Under the current plan, you’ll never see those lower tier teams competing for big names.

Singing the Blue

Can you imagine Boston fans’ reaction on the day of your proposed trade (before they find out that Busch and Pepiot are actually pretty good)

First they trade Mookie to the Dodgers and follow it up a couple years later by trading Devers to us?

They’d burn down Fenway.

Bumsrap

Boston needs a first baseman. That could be Muncy. I’m a fan of letting the chips fall where they will so I don’t worry about Boston fans crying about Devers.

One trade at a time. Muncy for Sale.

Separate trade for Devers. Taylor and Busch plus Grove.

Assuming Vargas is the Dodgers 3rd baseman then Devers either becomes the DH or is traded.

Dionysus

Wait–we trade for Devers then trade him?

Singing the Blue

Kenny Rosenthal’s latest article in The Athletic makes a point of the fact that the unresolved Bauer situation is causing the Dodgers to hesitate on making big money deals.

If the entire suspension is upheld they won’t owe anything, but if the arbitrator cuts back some or all of the suspension they could owe as much as 100 million in salary and penalty taxes.

I’m going to say once again that I can’t believe the Dodgers aren’t making a bigger stink over this. There should come a point in instances like this where the penalty is done away with so at least they can partially plan their moves. There should also be a limit as to how long a case like this can continue without resolution. Totally outrageous!

Bumsrap

Ya think there isn’t plenty of talk between Manfred and Friedman that has been kept from becoming public?

Badger

While I do whole heartedly agree with you on this Jefe, I’m left with the words my Uncle Bob told me decades ago – you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. MLB is made of owners and a commissioner owned by owners. None of them are likely to do the LA owners any favors.

It might to time to accept our fate with a smile, reset, and attempt to beat the feathers off our rivals with rookies and rebuilt veterans. We should be able to compete with a $232 million payroll. We couldn’t even get to the NLCS with a $300 million payroll so people couldn’t possibly expect any more than that with a reset roster.

Jacob Burch

rec

Badger

Of course you’re right Jeff. But not a lot is being said or written about this. The owners own the commissioner, so if they wanted to give the Dodgers a break on CBT they could easily do it. Will they? I doubt it. For the team to be on the hook for $60 million for a suspended player is outrageous, but it sure looks like that’s the case. And for that $60 million to count against the cap is, in my ooinion, unconscionable. Question: if the commissioner and MLB stick to their guns about this, is there a morality clause in players contracts that can void payment to said player?

I’m sure with you on letting him pitch. Many fans aren’t going to go along with that but from a business perspective it just makes sense. If he pitches he could certainly earn some of that money.

Last edited 2 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

We got away with minimal damage. I was expecting a lot worse.
Now maybe we’ll find a gem in the minor league portion coming up.

Jacob Burch

Jose Hernandez is the only one that strikes me as significant. He could have the stuff to an above-average LH reliever as soon as this year. But nothing to get upset over.

Bluto

FutureDodgers says:

Reyes was mostly relief with some starts last year. 11.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9K, 2.84 ERA in 44.1 IP at High-A; 6.2 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 6.17 ERA in 11.2 IP at Double-A.

Dionysus

In this economy?

Oldbear48

Bogaerts just signed with the Padres for 11 years.

Singing the Blue

We don’t have to worry about Bauer’s potential salary hit hurting our chances of signing free agents. AJ Preller is going to sign every damn one of them.

Got to give Seidler credit. He certainly isn’t a major market team but is sure playing things like one. Fans in Pittsburgh, KC, etc. should be the ones who are really bothered by this. I haven’t seen Peter Seidler’s financial statement lately but I very much doubt that he’s one of the wealthier MLB owners.

So the Pads have lost Myers and Profar and will replace them with Tatis and Bogaerts. SD fans must be going out of their freakin’ minds.

I sure hope AJ doesn’t steal Kiermaier out from under us.  😂 

Last edited 2 months ago by Singing the Blue

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