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If Not Ohtani? Who? 

Many think Ohtani to the Dodgers is pretty much a lock. But if they miss out on Shohei, who should they target then in the starting pitching and DH positions?  

Quite the question. Do they bring back fan favorite Justin Turner, or re-sign JD? Yardbarker suggested they bring back Joc Pederson. Unlikely since Joc doesn’t hit lefties at all.

Do they pursue free agent pitchers, or make some trades for the arms they need. I think their # 1 pitching target in free agency should be the Japanese lefty, Imanaga. Yamamoto would be the top choice, but I get the idea he is going to cost a ton of money.

I do understand how AF works now though. I have to believe although he will deviate some from the norm, he will also load up on those guys the Dodgers feel they can fix, or help get better. Especially pitchers.

I am a hard NO on Teoscar Hernandez. The reason? High strikeout totals. 211 last season, and according to his baseball reference page, over 162 games he averages 191 K’s. That to me is way too damn many missed chances.

Some say his stats took a dive moving to a pitchers park like Seattle. But a pitcher’s park has nothing to do with whiffing that much.

I still think they should pursue, or at least kick the tires on a trade with the Nats for Lane Thomas. I really like that kid. I also think they should test the waters on Jeimer Candelario as a third base option.

Let’s hear your ideas and thoughts. Time is getting short and the real hot stove is definitely getting warmed up.

    

 

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Jeff Dominique

We have no idea where Ohtani is going to sign. His negotiation meetings are very secret and if any information is leaked, that team will no longer be considered. The Dodgers still check off most of the presumed boxes. But others have seemingly gained some steam, especially Texas.

Like with the Dodgers, Ohtani is not going to overly help the Rangers and their outstanding offense, and it does nothing to help with their pitching. I am not going to undertake a marketing study to determine whether Texas would benefit more or less with Ohtani and global marketing. LA has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. 

However, the point is that none of us have any real insight as to where he will sign. I also believe we are all guessing that Ohtani is going to sign by the Winter Meetings. That is just sheer conjecture. Ohtani does not owe anyone to sign early.

I still contend that Ohtani would be more of a business investment than a baseball improvement. JDM had 103 RBIs as the DH last season. How many more runs can Ohtani produce. The Dodgers had a half million more in attendance than the next team, so he is not needed to fill the stadium. But he would help the business with global partnerships and global marketing. 

The Dodgers do not need much more offense. They can always use it, but they do not need it. But they DO NEED pitching. I may be in the minority, but I do not believe the Dodgers will exceed 3 years and reach 9 figures for a pitcher. That is just not what they do. Imanaga? A good choice, but he is nowhere close to being discussed as a Dodger target. Of course with as tight lipped as the Dodgers are, who really knows who they are after. 

All I can do is look at AF’s history. Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, and Noah Syndergaard. Why do I believe that all of a sudden he will look to sign one of the top tier pitchers. All AF has said is that he wants additional starting pitching. But he did not hint to what talent level he was referring.

I think he will be shopping in the Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty, Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, Kenta Maeda, Hyun-jin Ryu, Michael Lorenzen, Luis Severino, Mike Clevinger, and Lance Lynn market.

I prefer Lane Thomas, but that would mean AF would have to trade some of his prize prospects. No, I do not believe the Dodgers will acquire Mike Trout. He will look at Adam Duvall from the right side or Jason Heyward from the left side. I believe there is better than 50-50 chance that both Vargas and Busch will find their way on the Dodgers roster.  Vargas because he is RH (and his trade value is near bottom) and Busch because he has more ceiling than any other Dodger prospect. 

Baseball America just came out with the top ten Dodgers prospects. Comments are per BA.

  1. Michael Busch (a 1B still looking for a spot with the Dodgers. The Dodgers are not lacking in opportunities to trade Busch.)
  2. Dalton Rushing (Probably more of a 1B candidate, still raw as a catcher).
  3. Gavin Stone (ceiling #4 starter)
  4. Andy Pages – (Low average, high OBP slugger potential. Remind you of someone from the left side?)
  5. Nick Frasso (Ceiling mid rotation but unless more improvement, late inning reliever)
  6. Josue De Paula (Poor defensive OF. Still needs lots of development time, but projects to be an impact player even as a DH).
  7. Kyle Hurt – (ceiling #4 starter or high octane reliever)
  8. River Ryan – (ceiling as a mid-rotation starter, but more likely a flame throwing high leverage reliever.
  9. Diego Cartaya (needs to shorten his swing to possibly reach his potential. That will be his goal this season.)
  10. Maddux Bruns (ceiling back end starter or power reliever).

Per Baseball America each of the pitchers need a lot of work to achieve their ceiling.  

Jeff Dominique

Mike Trout trade proposal:

Angels receive: 2B/3B Michael Busch (Dodgers No. 2 prospect), RHP Gavin Stone (Dodgers No. 5 prospect), RHP River Ryan (Dodgers No. 8 prospect), 3B Jake Gelof (Dodgers No. 15 prospect), LHP Ronan Kopp (Dodgers No. 16 prospect)

Dodgers receive: OF Mike Trout

My take – No. Giving up way too much for an overpriced too often injured now LF, and does not help with pitching. In fact it hurts pitching. Quit chasing rainbows and get some solid top of the rotation pitching. Shock the Dodger fan base. If the Dodgers want to trade that level of prospect, there better be Ace or near Ace pitching coming back.

Oldbear48

Read an interesting story on I think it was Dodger Blue. Freidman explained why he has never given a pitcher more than four years. Except of course, Jansen. AF said we never needed to do that before. I still think they would rather fix the pitching with trades and lower tier free agents. But at what cost? There was also a blurb on Yardbarker that the Dodgers were going to seriously try and sign Snell. I don’t believe that one. If the Dodgers signed two free agents who were offered the QO, the cost in money would be high, but, the cost in draft choices would seem to me to be the biggest deterrent to them doing that. Because they pay the Tax, they would have to give up 1 million in bonus pool money and their second, third, fifth and sixth draft picks.

Dionysus

Jansen was an attempt to idiot-proof the bullpen. It didn’t work.

norcaldodgerfan

Don’t forget AF broke from his MO when he signed Bauer to a three-year high AAV contract in free agency. I think he’ll most likely look to acquire one big time starting pitcher like Burnes via the trade market and sign at least one from the Flaherty, Giolito, Wacha, Ryu free agent market.

For me, Ohtani is an absolute must sign. Just makes too much sense for the business side of the house while giving the Dodgers the best player in baseball. After two rather humiliating post season exits, AF has to inject some excitement into the fan base and Ohtani does that. If they lose out on him look for AF to swing a blockbuster deal that will shake the baseball world off its axis.

Oldbear48

The money for Bauer, yes, but not the years.

Bumsrap

Trout will make $35,541,667 through 2030. He keeps missing games due to injury. Still, it’s exciting imagining him in the Dodger lineup and at the same time frightening to imagine him in the lineup a few years down the road.

Financially speaking, the trade would look better if Muncy and Taylor were included in the trade. That would reduce payroll by about $27MM through 2025.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bumsrap
Dionysus

I love BA but Gavin Stone #4 ceiling is just a projection, not a fact.

Jeff Dominique

He is a two pitch pitcher. BA is far more right than they are wrong.

Bluto

And far more than anyone here!

Bumsrap

Why must that be repeated over and over again. Let me provide a collective Duh.

Bluto

I pine for the day it is no longer needed as a reminder.

Bumsrap

So was Kershaw before he learned the slider.

Jeff Dominique

Please, you are going to compare Gavin Stone to Clayton Kershaw? 

Kershaw was always going to be an ACE.  Both his fastball and curve were unhittable. At 23, Clayton won his first CY. Stone will be 25 to start 2024.

Scouting Report: Stone is a slight but athletic righthander with a fierce competitive streak. His fastball sits 94 mph and touches 98 out of a low release point that gives it added carry. His 83-87 mph changeup is nearly a plus-plus pitch with late run and dive, and his mid-80s slider flashes average with depth and late bite. Stone’s arsenal is loud, but his pitch selection needs improvement. He falls in love with his changeup and major league hitters took advantage, ignoring his slider and sitting on his change to make him a two-pitch pitcher. He added a 89-91 cutter during the season to give him another option, but it’s a below-average offering in its nascent stages. Stone throws strikes with above-average control when his delivery is right, but his fastball command is only average and he’ll catch too much of the plate.

The Future: Stone has to incorporate his slider more to get batters off his fastball and changeup. He projects to be a No. 4 starter if he makes that adjustment.

Does that read as a future CY winner to you? He is a #4 IF he makes the adjustment. Before the Dodgers finish their shopping, Stone is at least #5 right now. Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, Sheehan, and then Stone. Maybe Grove moves ahead of Stone. Maybe Knack and Frasso could be that #5 before the season is up. So if the Dodgers add two SP as is expected, even if both are at the Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty level, where does that leave Stone? In OKC or with another team.

So let’s hope he makes the adjustment and can become a #4. If not he is headed to the pen. Nothing wrong with that. But when you are trying to build your rotation around 5-7 pitchers who have #3, #4, #5 ceilings it will become very difficult to win a WS.

The Dodgers are not Oakland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Colorado, KC, Cincinnati where Stone would be an improvement on their rotation. The Dodgers are an elite team looking to finally win a WS, and should be looking to add a pitcher to the rotation that does not have #4 as a ceiling.

Let’s hope AF is thinking better than Gavin Stone for the rotation. I would have no objection if he were the long man in the pen or #6 starter. Depending on the number of pitchers that AF adds, Stone would be in competition with Emmet Sheehan and Michael Grove for the slot. That is a lot of Mitch White’s and Ross Stripling’s on the 26 man.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Bobby

One person said he could be a #4. Others last year, before he came up, had him a bit better than that.

Let’s not act like God has proclaimed Stone a 4, AT BEST.

Jeff Dominique

God has no say in this. BA is not the only one. BEFORE last year, the scouting report from MLB Pipeline:

While Stone is less physical than desired for a starter, he’s athletic and has an efficient delivery that helps him hold his stuff and provide consistent strikes. His biggest need is to add some life to his fastball, which doesn’t miss as many bats as metrics suggest it should. He has little left to prove in the Minors and projects as a mid-rotation starter. 

BEFORE last year, FanGraphs had this to say:

Even though Stone’s delivery looks like the sort that can create a power pitcher’s angle and shape on his fastball, it isn’t a dominant in-zone pitch, and his slider/cutter plays more due to command rather than pure stuff. He definitely has a starter’s mix, but just one of his three pitches is truly plus, giving Stone the look of a no. 4/5 starter on a contender. 

We will have to wait on the updated scouting reports. But I would not anticipate either publication moving Stone to a top of the rotation level prospect.

Many of you like Gavin Stone more than me. I am not against Stone, I just believe he is at best a back of the rotation starter. Every team needs one, including the Dodgers. The Dodgers dominate MLB with the number of back end of the rotation types. I have asked the same thing for two plus years now. How many RHP do the Dodgers need?

I ask again, who gets bumped from the rotation once AF signs two SP even at the Giolito, Flaherty, Lugo, Wacha level? Pepiot? Sheehan? Miller? Buehler? I am asking, who here thinks Stone is better than any of those four? Admittedly, I am more partial to both Pepiot and Sheehan than Stone. And I think Sheehan is headed for the bullpen.

Pepiot
Sheehan
Grove
Knack
Frasso
Ryan
Hurt
Williams

All RHP, and all project to have a ceiling of #3-#5. Ross Stripling and Mitch White were two of my favorite Dodgers. But it was best to move them when they did. They did get Williams and Frasso in the deals. Both White and Stripling were rated just about where the above are. 

Call me crazy, but I would prefer Sonny Gray, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Shōta Imanaga over Gavin Stone. I prefer Seth Lugo, Michael Wacha, and Marcus Stroman. There are any number of potential trade candidates that he could be packaged with that I prefer to Gavin Stone. Corbin Burnes, Dylan Cease, Jesus Luzardo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, Mitch Keller, even Brady Singer.   But if Stone is the #4 or #5 for the Dodgers, I will be happy for him, but that would mean that two of the current starting four will be gone.    Who do you pick?

Dionysus

Frasso could be a #1 if everything breaks right.

Jeff Dominique

And you know this how? Are you a scout? What publications have you scouted for? How many games have you seen Nick pitch? By breaking right, what does that even mean? You do know that Frasso is 25 and has pitched more than 5.0 IP just 2 times, and none more than 6.0. And I am asking, does that even matter to you? It does to me and to scouts who grade Starting Pitchers for a living.

I will use your logic…if everything breaks right, Brady Smith could be #1. Or Jerming Rosario? Or Jared Karros? Or Justin Wrobleski? Or Hyun-il Choi? Or Petr Heubeck? By me just saying it, does not make it any more realistic, even if I believed it.

I choose to believe people who get paid to scout, and then follow their reports by watching them play beginning with A Ball. I watch and compare them to there peers. I would bet that many here have no idea who Kyle Harrison is. He is the Giants top pitching prospect, and he has a much better chance of being their #1 than Nick Frasso. Again just my opinion. But I have seen them both pitch, and Harrison has a higher ceiling, both in my eyes, and the scouting publications.

BTW, these publications make their scouting grades based on if everything breaks right.

Dionysus

Thank you.

We just don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nastrini turned into something with CWS.

Hurt has a great fastball. Frasso can make guys look silly. Knack has potentially elite control. Stone has a wicked changeup. These are carrying tools. Shit, Sheehan might have the best stuff on anyone in the org not named Miller. Ryan looks athletic, Martin could have it all. Bruns and Kupp: shruggy guy.

They are less known quantities than Lance Lynn was. Let them play.

Jeff Dominique

I agree with you about Nick Nastrini. I have been an advocate for him since he was drafted out of UCLA. But that was the cost for Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly in the midst of a pennant run. Any trade deadline deal runs the risk of not working out. But that does not mean you should not try. All trades cost. The idea of a trade for a contender like the Dodgers is to improve the team right now, and make sure the pipeline is not bare. Trading Nastrini was a risk, but the Dodgers had at least 10 other RHP they could develop. BTW, the other LAD RHP included in that trade was Jordan Leasure. Another I had high hopes for, even though he is absolutely a reliever. Leasure was very strong in the Arizona Fall League Hopefully he will pitch very well for CWS. But the Dodgers have Kyle Hurt and Ronan Kopp (who was just converted to relief) in the pipeline. They are also still hopeful on Jake Pilarski. Plus the number of SP who have a higher floor as a lock down high leverage reliever.

Badger

If not Ohtani then pitching.

The Dodgers won 100 games without an ace. Kershaw was the closest to it with 13 wins (13th) and 131 IP (85th). Imagine what they could have done with better starting pitching.

It would be advantageous to find youthful long term bats. Vargas and Busch look like it in the system. I believe both will be successful but I also believe one will be traded. It’s possible, even likely, others may step up next year.

So if we don’t get Ohtani, and I still believe we will, I see Vargas at third, Muncy at DH and Busch traded for pitching. We don’t need Trout. We need pitching and the Dodgers will bring more than one in.

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
Dave

I disregard all the rumors and hype because of course FA is interested in everybody at this point. Someone who is not being mentioned only means it wouldn’t make good headlines.
On the field we need pitchers,of course, and then 2 proven rh bats to play OF and 3rd base. I do not see a place for Vargas or Busch but they could be traded for a player we need. I am assuming Heyward gets re-signed otherwise Busch could be a lh OF although I’m not sure he is a fit in RF.
Last year we let JT go and replaced him with JD. They both earned similar money and both batted well. But JD could only DH and JT could DH and play 3rd. JT was a fan favorite. He would fill 2 of the needs and could platoon w Muncie.

Bluto

I’ve re-read Dave’s first sentence four or five times now, I still can’t make heads or tails of it:
I disregard all the rumors and hype because of course FA is interested in everybody at this point. 

Free Agency is interested in everybody at this point?

I figure either Dave flipped the letters and meant Andrew Friedman
OR
Dave meant to write:
Free Agency means everybody is interested in everyone.

Dave

If I were an observer at a high school dance and watching the HS QB I might think that he is interested in a number of girls there. Some people I talk w might tell me he is most interested in the Prom queen which makes sense because she is beautiful and has recognition of the whole student body.
But early in the evening he is talking to lots of girls to gauge their mutual interest. He will double back to a few later on. Of course with his high school brain he would want the prom queen. But would she make a good girlfriend? Think Ginger or Mary Anne. I also have no idea what the QB is thinking, I can only speculate.
Isn’t this much like the off season? FA is said to be interested in everyone, especially Ohtani, Yamamoto etc. But on the field Ohtani doesn’t fill a need and might not be able to even DH when the season starts. Yamamoto is a good pitcher but Imani is also good and he is left handed,which we need.

Oldbear48

Imanaga is the guys name.

Dionysus

I think he’s a main target.

Farhan Friedman

If the Dodgers are really going big, then I want to see the Ed Sullivan show: Sign Blake Snell, Eduardo Rodriguez and JD Martinez. Then a blockbuster trade with Tampa Bay for Tyler Glasnow and Randy Arozarena.

Betts. 2B
Freeman. 1B
Arozarena RF
Muncy. 3B
Martinez. DH
Smith. C
Outman. CF
Vargas. LF
Lux. SS

Starting staff:

Blake Snell
Eduardo Rodriguez
Tyler Glasnow
Bobby Miller
Walker Buehler

Oldbear48

No on Snell. He is a five inning pitcher, walks too many batters and he has had two good seasons out of his 8 in the majors. Sign one of the Japanese guys in place of Snell. The lefty, Imanaga.

Badger

Snell started 32 and went 180 innings. That’s 5.2 innings and an ERA of 2.25. He’s the Cy Young Award winner. A solid YES from me on Snell, though I do have my doubts on Friedman paying what Snell will get.

Oldbear48

Whoopdee doo, two extra hitters. 2 years out of 8 he has been good. He barely averages over 5 innings a game, and he led the league in walks. Boras is going to get this stiff 5 or 6 or more years. No thanks .

Last edited 7 months ago by Oldbear48
OhioDodger

Top tier starting pitching should be the #1 priority this off season.

Sure would be nice if either Busch or Vargas could handle 3B. As I see it, we already have a DH. Max Muncy. I do not like having a player that can only DH. I would like to see Muncy DH against righties and Will Smith DH against lefties.

Get a better backup catcher so Smith can get more days off and days as a DH.

It is time to give Fedducia a shot and move on from Barnes.

Last edited 7 months ago by OhioDodger
Dionysus

Agree with all this, although is Shohei wants to play ball, DH is his.

Dionysus

Agree with those who say high-end starting pitching is the biggest need.

I can make up a workable lineup from what we already have:

C–Smith
1B–Freeman
2B–Vargas
SS–Lux
3B–Busch
LF–Taylor
CF–Outman
RF–Betts
DH–Muncy

The trick is the improve a position or two. LF, 3B & DH jump out.

Rotation is likewise doable:

Miller
Buehler
Pepiot
Sheehan
Stone

Obviously, 2-3 spots here are questions as well.

OhioDodger

I could live with that lineup. Resign Heyward to platoon with Taylor. Bring up Feduccia and get 2 top of the rotation starters.

Badger

Looks like an 85 win team to me.

I don’t see Vargas and Busch in the same lineup, I see Betts at second and thunder in all four corner positions and DH. I see an ace in front of Miller and Taylor in the utility role.

We will have two new starting pitchers and we will have a very high priced super star DHing for us.

Jeff Dominique

One down. Aaron Nola re-signs with Philadelphia – 7 years, $172MM. He just set the bar for Boras. With Snell and Montgomery both Boras clients, that leaves Yamamoto and Gray as the top tier starters the Dodgers will be bidding on. Gray has a QO, so if they sign Ohtani, he is out.

SF, NYM, NYY are viewed as the top three for Yamamoto. I still do not believe AF will ever sign a pitcher to 7 years, even one who is 25. Until he does, we only have his history to inform us.

Nola, Wheeler, Suarez, and since Nola’s average $24.5MM is only $8.5MM over what he made last year, I am going with that Dombrowski is not done.

I will be pleasantly surprised if the Dodgers sign any pitcher above the talent level of Eduardo Rodriguez.

Oldbear48

I saw that was what he was asking for. Drops the Dodgers out of the Snell and Montgomery sweepstakes. Best route now is a trade or two

Bluto

I like the Nola deal for both sides. Usually, i think baseball players should pursue the highest compensation they can, but Nola obviously wanted to stay in Philly.

Good on him.

Singing the Blue

Most good players love playing in Philly.
If Dombrowsky wanted him back, Nola wasn’t going to be allowed to leave.
And, he supposedly turned down larger offers from other teams.

Last edited 7 months ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

$24.5m AAV. That’s a good deal of money and he will likely play for a championship each year. Snell should receive a similar offer.

Jeff Dominique

Philly is a good place to play. So is NY and Boston. The fans love their players. Sometimes they hate them, but they always come back around and welcome them. Trea Turner is perfect example of what the fans meant to him last summer. I am going to need to do a study, to see the percentage of +++players who become FA and leave NYY, Boston, Philly. You cannot convince me that Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera or Jorge Posada would have left for more $$$. Aaron Judge got the package up as high as needed and stayed with NYY. If anyone truly believed that SF had a prayer for Judge, they were hallucinating. Judge was always staying in NY.

David Ortiz and Jason Varitek both stayed when they could have moved on. If San Diego had not offered Bogaerts $100MM more than Boston, he would have stayed. That is not a little money.

The Dodgers have kept Clayton Kershaw, but if he wanted Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander $$$ he would have had to leave LA. In 2019, at 31, Kershaw received 3 years at $93MM. In 2024, Nola at 31 signs a 7 year $172MM deal. Money is not what drives Kershaw. Other than Kershaw who has stayed? I think we are talking Andre Ethier and Bill Russell.

There are only 5 players inducted into the HOF wearing LAD hats…Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton, Alston, Lasorda. Two of them are managers, and two started their careers in Brooklyn. Only one player, Don Sutton, who started his career in LA and entered HOF wearing an LAD cap. 1 player in 65 years. Kershaw will make it 2. The Dodgers had control over Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Adrián Beltré. Two are in the HOF and one is on his way. Martinez (Boston), Piazza (NYM) and Beltré will go in as a Texas Ranger, and will be the third player wearing a Rangers cap in the HOF (Nolan Ryan and Pudge Rodriguez).

What does that mean? Nothing, except it always seems to bother me that the Dodgers do not seem to keep their players in the organization.

Bumsrap

Cory and his injury history plus getting a Bogaerts type offer (one he couldn’trefuse) is understandable. Change in Dodgers ownership(s) helps explain others.

Bluto

Turner stayed until the team didn’t want him anymore. So did Jansen.
Muncy stayed and has proclaimed he wanted to.

I do think there’s an interesting angle to if the Dodgers should have kept Turner and Jansen, just to build up the “Dodgers remain Dodgers” mantra that could, in theory, help retain players in the future.

Singing the Blue

For those who are on the bubble regarding “real” umps vs. electronic.

Courtesy of Codify Baseball:

MLB umpires had better accuracy calling balls and strikes this regular season than in any other regular season in history.

They missed over 21,000 calls.

Badger

What still don’t understand is why the ABS system is believed to take the place of umpires. The ump will still be there running things. He will still make calls on the field and will still make the call on balls and strikes. It would be a seamless transition and would eliminate 99% of those 21,000 errors.

Singing the Blue

I’m 100% with you on ABS, but if it’s instituted the umpire isn’t calling the balls and strikes, he’s announcing them.

He would still call plays on the field, of course, but those are mostly subject to correction as well.

In some instances, machines are more accurate than humans. What’s wrong with admitting that?

I liked the good ol’ days when the doctors just guessed where to cut into somebody. X-rays and MRI’s take all the fun out of it.

Badger

“the umpire isn’t calling balls and strikes he’s announcing them”

That is of course what I meant. The game can be made better by eliminating thousands of mistakes. It’s time to do it.

Bumsrap

Via ChatGPT
The idea of using electronic systems to replace home plate umpires in baseball has been a topic of discussion and debate. While there are potential benefits, there are also challenges and considerations to take into account. Here are some arguments in favor of electronic systems replacing home plate umpires:

  1. Consistency and Accuracy: Electronic systems, such as automated strike zones, can provide a consistent and accurate assessment of pitches. They are not influenced by factors like fatigue, emotions, or biases, which can sometimes affect human umpires’ judgment.
  2. Objective Decision-Making: Electronic systems make decisions based on predetermined rules and parameters, eliminating subjective judgment calls. This can lead to more objective and fair outcomes in terms of balls and strikes.
  3. Reducing Controversial Calls: Human umpires may make mistakes that lead to controversial calls, which can have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. Electronic systems have the potential to reduce the number of controversial calls and enhance the overall fairness of the game.
  4. Speeding Up the Game: By removing the need for players and managers to argue with umpires over calls, electronic systems could contribute to a faster pace of play. This could make the game more engaging for fans and help maintain their interest.
  5. Player and Fan Confidence: Knowing that calls are determined by an impartial electronic system could increase confidence among players and fans in the fairness of the game. This could contribute to a more positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Despite these potential advantages, there are also challenges and concerns associated with implementing electronic systems:

  1. Traditionalist Resistance: Baseball has a rich history and tradition, and some fans and players may resist changes to the game’s officiating. There is a sentiment that the human element of umpiring is an integral part of the sport.
  2. Technological Challenges: Implementing reliable and accurate electronic systems poses technical challenges. Ensuring that the technology can consistently and accurately determine the strike zone in real-time is crucial for its success.
  3. Adaptation Period: Players, managers, and fans may need time to adjust to the introduction of electronic systems. Adapting to a new way of officiating could lead to initial resistance and pushback.
  4. Costs of Implementation: Developing, installing, and maintaining the necessary technology can be costly. Leagues and teams would need to invest in these systems, and it might not be feasible for all levels of play.
  5. Unintended Consequences: Introducing electronic systems could have unintended consequences on the dynamics of the game. For example, it might affect the strategy and approach of players and managers if they know they cannot rely on human umpire judgment.

In conclusion, the idea of using electronic systems to replace home plate umpires in baseball comes with both potential benefits and challenges. The decision to implement such systems would likely involve careful consideration of the impact on the game’s traditions, the reliability of the technology, and the overall experience for players and fans.

Badger

“some fans and players may resist changes to the game’s officiating. There is a sentiment that the human element of umpiring is an integral part of the sport”

There have already been significant changes along this line. Instant Replay review. And that certainly has changed the game. Not sure how the umpires feel about all this but to me that isn’t relevant The e-strike zone is just a good idea for today’s game. I think everyone would come around on it.

By the way, I read some numbers on replay in MLB. In ‘22 there 1288 replays and 625 were overturned. 48.5%. The year before it was over 50%. Not sure about this year.

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
Dionysus

Hearing Busch for Cease might be close. Other pieces involved but might be part of separate trade. Stay tuned.

Bobby

Oh interesting that Busch would be the centerpiece, and not one of the pitchers (Knack, Stone, etc)

Jeff Dominique

Dylan Cease would be a fantastic trade for the Dodgers. He had a tough year for an Ace last year. But if he approaches his 2022 season, the Dodgers could have a CY candidate on their hands. He will be 28 and still has two years of control. His projected salary for 2024 is $8.8MM. Not knowing how Walker Buehler will bounce back or what his innings restriction will be, Cease could move into the #1 spot. A healthy Buehler, Cease, and Bobby Miller would be a formidable trio in the playoffs.

One publication has speculated that the cost for Cease would likely include 2 of Michael Busch, Miguel Vargas, Diego Cartaya, Emmet Sheehan, Ryan Pepiot and Andy Pages. I think the two pitchers would be the primary return request. Even with Cease, their rotation is woefully thin.

There are players in that group I would prefer not to lose, and there may be others not on that list that I would prefer to include, but I trust AF knows the players much much much better than me and is far more qualified to put a good package together.

My only request is…just do not try to be perfect. Get one top of the rotation pitcher (TOR) and begin to work on the 2nd.

Singing the Blue

I saw a mockup of Cease in a Dodger uni (can’t remember where) and he sure looked good.

He’s a good looking guy to begin with. Perfect for Hollywood.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see AF pull off a deal for a big starter in the next few days, just to show Ohtani he’s going to do everything he can to put together a better roster for next year.

Oldbear48

There is one on X. Cool photo. They did the first one of Ohtani in a Dodger uni too

Bluto

Where is this being reported?

Badger

A very interesting Rosenthal article in the Athletic on Ohtani’s worth. A few unnamed baseball execs weigh in:

“I would argue if he’s not pitching, he’s at least going to play the outfield, maybe center field,” one executive said. “At least at this stage of his career, he can really run. And you would think he could throw well enough.

“It’s still paying a lot for a corner outfielder, especially when you’re paying some for at least for the prospect of him pitching. But that’s a little bit of a soft landing if the pitching thing doesn’t work out. He’s one of the best athletes in the game. He should at least be able to play right field.”

In the piece it was mentioned that WAR is now closer to $9m than $8m. If he could play a corner outfield position, and I see no reason why he couldn’t, his value goes up. Along with the global bonanza his NIL would bring its being said again $500 million is not out of line, but medical records must be made available.He intends to pitch but nobody knows how much he may want to after 2 surgeries.

Some very creative contract structures are talked about, including $25m next year (a record for a DH) with an opt out and a team option of $396 over 9 years. A record $44m AAV. That one makes sense to me.

This will continue to be the most speculative subject for MLB until it is resolved. Everyone hopes it gets done soon so what follows can actually happen.

Last edited 7 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

As the leading cheerleader for AF to get Lance Lynn at the trade deadline last season, I’m pleased to report I can’t make that mistake twice.

He has signed a one year deal with the Cardinals ($10MM).

Bobby

Well technically you can. You can request we trade for him in July 2024

Singing the Blue

Thanks for the tip, Bobby.
Remind me again at the end of June.  😄 

Jeff Dominique

I do not think you made a mistake the first time. There is a long list of reasons why the Dodgers did not win in 2023. Lynn ate innings when someone needed to. Who else was there who could?

Singing the Blue

Well, now that you put it that way……………………………

Singing the Blue

Alex Anthopoulos is known for acting quickly every winter.
A few days ago he traded 5 guys for Aaron Bummer, which left him with 30 men on his 40-man roster.
Today he signed Reynaldo Lopez to a 3 year/$30MM contract and I’m sure that’s just the beginning.
He’ll probably fill up his entire 40 man roster before Andrew makes his first move.
Just different ways of doing business, I guess. Can’t argue with either guy’s success rate.

Bluto

Not to quibble, but it’s 3/26 for Lopez. I found the portioning of the salary interesting:
López will earn $4 million in 2024 and $11 million in 2025 and 2026. The club option for 2027 includes a $4 million buyout.

I wonder if Lopez has arm trouble which may cost him a portion of 2024?

Thoughts?

Jeff Dominique

Actually, the $4MM buyout gets added to the contract for AAV purposes. It is 3 years and $30MM. AAV always looks at the guaranteed $$$.

Bluto

Wait the buyout gets added if it’s optional?
That’s strange, but I believe you, because the other money is guaranteed.

Singing the Blue

If they don’t exercise the team option, they have to give him the 4 mil buyout. That’s why it’s included. Basically he’s guaranteed a minimum of 4 mil for that year.

Bluto

Thank you! Makes total sense now that you’ve said that.

Jeff Dominique

AA does not wait for the market to be decided. He decides it. He has not come away from an offseason without acquiring what he needed. He wanted a deeper bullpen. He goes out and trades 5 guys they will never use and gets a potential lockdown closer. Then signs one of the best setup relievers in MLB on a favorable contract. It may not be perfect, but he got the job done. AF would still be negotiating looking to save that last $1MM.

BTW, how hard would it have been to find 4 players on the 40 man who will not have much impact, and include a throw, in to acquire a potential elite closer. I love how AA works. I do not know what CWS is asking in return for Dylan Cease, but with 16 RHP on the 40 man MLB roster and 6 more in AAA (includes 8 RHSP and 2 RHSP more who will be added this year if not snapped up in Rule 5), you would think a deal could be made. That is 10 RHSP on or near MLB ready. Dylan Cease is a RHSP. ‘ 2, include a bat and get it done. And yes I acknowledge that I am oversimplifying the situation. But isn’t this what happens every year? He works the s*** out of deals only to lose them at the last minute, and then advise everyone that they really tried to get something done, and then settle with what he feels most comfortable with…reclamation projects. That is unless he feels an urgency like 2018 and 2021 at the deadline. I hope that he is looking at 2023-2024 offseason as being urgent.

AF said this back in 2016:

He lives that philosophy and comes in 3rd every time, and I do not think he loses any sleep. IMO, he also does that with trades. 

Bluto

That’s one of my favorite quotes by Friedman.

I love it.

I think it’s very true, and has real Risky Business overtones.

Singing the Blue

Blake Harris posted a quote from someone (although he didn’t say who) that claimed the Dodgers were in on Nola and offered him a deal for $165MM. Since he didn’t say where the quote was from I have no idea whether to believe it, but that leads to some questions:

1) Is Andrew actually willing to give up 4 draft choices (that’s what he would lose if he signed Nola and then signed Ohtani) ?

2) Does Andrew already know he’s not signing Ohtani?

3) Did AF want to make Dodger fans happy by pretending to go after an ace pitcher while at the same time making sure not to actually get him?

4) Can you actually believe anything you read online?

Jeff Dominique

1) He has never shown that he is willing to do so.

2) We will not know that until Ohtani is signed. NO LEAKS or Ohtani says…Well, Bye.

3) He does this every year when he loses out on a FA, why would this year be any different?

4) No

BTW, it was also reported that Philadelphia was not the high bidder. That would mean that AF came in no better than 3rd on this one. Again, a regular offseason scenario for AF.

Singing the Blue

Yup, third again. In the money but never wins the race. I just desperately want us to wind up with Ohtani or Yamamoto. Or both.

Bluto

There’s a theory cultivated by MLB insiders which is called the “we tried.”

It’s encapsulated here:

Bluto

Baseball America’s New Top 10 list for LAD:
1. IF Michael Busch
2. C Dalton Rushing
3. RHP Gavin Stone
4. OF Andy Pages
5. RHP Nick Frasso
6. OF Josue De Paula
7. RHP Kyle Hurt
8. RHP River Ryan
9. C Diego Cartaya
10. LHP Maddux Bruns

Bluto

Glaser did a nice chat on BA’s site. It’s paywall, so here are just a few highlights:

QUestion:
Between Frasso, Knack and River Ryan, who has the best chance to remain a starter in the big leagues?

Kyle Glaser
This is the million dollar question. Knack is the one who has proven he’s durable enough to start and has the most feel for pitching of the group, so you might have to defer to him. At the same time, I can see a scenario where any of the three end up being the right answer to this question. Pose this question to Dodgers officials, and you’ll get a different answer from everyone you ask.

Question
What injury did Payton Martin suffer this summer? I couldn’t find anything written up about it. Are there internal team concerns about his smallish frame?

Kyle Glaser
Martin is healthy, he just got shut down due to his age and the Dodgers being cautious with his workload. There aren’t any concerns about Martin’s frame. He’s a good athlete who has lots of room to fill out. As long as he fills out and gets stronger, which he has the frame to do, he’ll be fine.

Question:
Are the Dodgers still the industry leader when it comes to identifying + developing prospects? Do you feel like other orgs have closed the gap if so?

Kyle Glaser
They Dodgers are still the class of MLB when it comes to scouting and player development. Other organizations may be close in pitching or hitting individually, but no other team does both simultaneously as well as the Dodgers do.

Also had good things on:
Eduardo Quintero, Elkins and Wrobleski

Singing the Blue

What did he say about Elkins? First time I’ve heard him mentioned since the draft.

Bluto

Great athlete. Needs to avoid the injuries which have hampered. If he does, lots of talent to unpack and polish.

My summation, not his words.

Bobby

I wish he would’ve told us, between Frasso, River Ryan, and Knack, what the upside for each is.
Do any have the ceiling of a #2? Or are they back end 4/5’s? Can any of them be a Game 3 playoff starter?

Last edited 7 months ago by Bobby
Jeff Dominique

They have in their LAD Top 10 Scouting Reports:

Nick Frasso :

The Future: Frasso has midrotation potential if he can improve his durability. If not, he projects to be a late-inning relief weapon.

River Ryan:

The Future: Ryan is 25 years old but still young as a pitcher. He has the stuff to be a midrotation starter if he can improve his execution and durability. If not, he projects to be a flame-throwing, high-leverage reliever.

Landon is outside the top 10, and is the oldest. Kyle did say that in his opinion Landon would be the most likely to stick in the rotation, but probably at the back end (bold comment my add).

I will try and include their full BA scouting reports.

I know that Kyle Glaser (or the other BA writers) is not God, but he is (IMO), the most knowledgeable of Dodger prospects of any of the publications. He (they) does not do it in a vacuum, he (they) stacks them up against others in other organizations.

Again…because they are graded as mid-rotation as their ceiling does not make them bad prospects. Quite the contrary. He likes them. I like them. But they are not elite. There is nothing wrong with mid-rotation starters. But to be a dominant rotation, you need a solid #1 and #2. These guys do not project that high. They need to be shopping in the Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes aisles and/or looking at Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray, Blake Snell FA aisle. 2 of those and a reclamation project would give LAD a big improvement.

Right now, I will go with Ryan Pepiot as Playoff Game 3 Starter.

I am not as opposed to Blake Snell as Bear is. He may be a 5 inning pitcher, but are the Dodgers looking for more innings than 5-6? He still has a 3.20 career ERA and a 1.24 career WHIP. However since he is a Scott Boras client, he is not likely at all, but that does not negate the shopping aisle AF needs to search.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Jeff Dominique

Kyle Glaser is my favorite scouting publication writer. I think he has the most knowledge. Or maybe it is because he and I are in such agreement.

He said the same thing about Landon Knack that I wrote yesterday in my next post.

We seem to be sympatico on Maddux Bruns and Jonny Deluca.

He wrote in a national baseball publication what I have been saying about Kody Hoese since he was drafted. A certain someone and I had several disagreements about the true prospect status of Kody Hoese.

I will include several other questions and Glaser responses below.

Bluto

This is worth bupkis, but I think I’d trade any of those top 10 people save Stone and DePaula.

Jeff Dominique

And I would trade Stone way before Frasso. Fans see prospects differently. I would save Michael Busch unless there was a top pitcher involved. I would move Vargas before Busch. DePaula would be untouchable for me as well. He has the most upside offensively than any other prospect in the LAD (IMO). And while they are not Top 10 prospects, I would put Joendry Vargas and Eduardo Quintero at the very tippy top of the prospect save list. And the draft picks I may be most enamored with are Payton Martin and Kendall George. I know there are others, but those two just stick out for me right now.

Bluto

Yeah, good point. Frasso / Stone are tough to differentiate. On second thought it’s Frasso and DePaula as my no-trades.

Still means bupkis.

From what I’ve read Busch isn’t seen as much as a 1B/DH. With Ohtani he’s blocked, that’s why I have no trouble trading him.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bluto
Jeff Dominique

Most people agree that Busch is the logical choice for LAD to trade. It is just that I think Busch is going to be a hitter to be reckoned with down the line. Not to the extreme of Yordan Alvarez, but significant nonetheless. There better be a much better pitcher return with Busch in the package over Vargas. Again…my opinion, and I agree it means bupkis.

Jeff Dominique

More questions and Kyle Glazer responses in Baseball America.

Question: What ever happened to Kody Hoese? Can we declare him a bust?

Glaser response: Hoese’s lack of bat speed caught up with him. He was never a great athlete and everything just slowed down a tick as he got older. Even the Dodgers acknowledge it was a busted pick. It happens.

Question: Do you see a consistent role for Deluca on the Dodgers in 2024?

Glaser response: Yes, likely as a platoon outfielder who mashes lefties.

Question: Am I wrong in assuming that due to their ages, guys like Busch, Deluca and many of the pitchers (Frasso, Knack, Ryan, Hurt) are starting to lose trade value?

Glaser response: There is some degree of truth there in that model-driven teams are going to ding them because of their ages. Scouts still like these players and want them in their orgs. A team that trusts its scouts is going to value these guys as they should be.

Question: Two lower level prospects, Rayne Doncon and Jeral Perez; do they project to hit enough to reach MLB ?
 
Glaser response: Doncon is a no. He can crush a fastball but all you have to do is throw him three breaking balls in the dirt and he’ll swing and miss over all three of them. Perez is a maybe, but he’s so far away.

 
Question: Is (shortstop) Vargas and (outfielder?) DePaula the real deal offensively (all stars?) and can they become 45-50 rated defensive players in the big leagues?
 
Glaser response: De Paula certainly has all the tools to be the real deal offensively. The odds of him becoming a 45-grade right fielder are very, very, very slim. He’s really bad out there right now. Vargas is really promising, but we’re talking about teenagers in the DSL. He has enormous potential but it’s way to early to declare him a future All-Star.

 
Question: What’s the confidence level that Rushing can stick at C?
 
Glaser response: Decently confident. Rushing has the makeup, physicality and toughness to stay behind the plate and he’s improving as a receiver. It’s more going to come down to him supplanting Will Smith, which he won’t. That’s why he’s listed at first base in the future lineup. But in a vacuum, he has a decent chance to stick at catcher.

 
Question: Do you think Maddux Bruns will be able to control his stuff enough to stick in a big league rotation one day?
 
Glaser response: I think the odds are very slim, but to Bruns’ credit, he took steps forward last year. If he continues to progress, there is an outside chance he throws enough strikes in a Michael Kopech kind of way, where it’s not pretty but he is starting in the majors.

 
Question: Kendall George was a surprise supplemental first rounder but had a strong debut. Will he land in the teens or does he need to show some more pop?
 
Glaser response: George landed in the teens. He had a really promising pro debut. Power isn’t his game but it doesn’t need to be. He can be a contact/speed center fielder, which is plenty valuable

I said the same thing about Bruns in my upcoming post.

I very much like what Glaser said about Kendall George. Do not try to put lift and power in his swing. Let him make it or not based on the talents he was drafted with.

Singing the Blue

Don’t understand Glaser’s comment about the odds of DePaula becoming a 45-grade right fielder being extremely slim. Don’t you normally put a bad fielder in left field? Or failing that, hope you have some room for him at DH.

Really anxious to see how DePaula and Kendall George progress. And I totally agree. Don’t change his swing! He’ll never be a home run hitter. Don’t screw him up by trying to increase his power.

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