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My Preferences vs What I Think AF/BG Will Do

Bear had a good premise.  For me there is a difference in what I may prefer vs. what I think AF/BG might do.

I do think the Dodgers will sign Ohtani.  But IMO that negates the possibility of signing any other FA with a QO attached. Snell, Nola, Gray, Hader, Bellinger, and Chapman.  I cannot see AF/BG losing a 3rd and 6th round pick in addition to the 2nd, 4th, and $1MM international $$$.  I could be very wrong, but AF has never given any indication that he would sign two players with a QO in the same year.

There are too many listed rotations that are RHP heavy.  All of the Dodgers pitchers are RHP – Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, Sheehan, Stone, Knack, Frasso, Ryan, Williams, Hurt.  Then I read that the Dodgers should sign Yamamoto (RHP), Lucas Giolito (RHP), Jack Flaherty (RHP), Luis Severino(RHP).  Remember, even if they sign Ohtani and he pitches in 2024, another RHP.  May and Gonsolin?  RHP.  Maddux Bruns and Justin Wrobleski are the only LHSP in the pipeline (way down) and Ronan Kopp is a LHP, but he has been moved permanently to the bullpen. They need LHSP.

LHSP that are FA – Blake Snell, Shōta Imanaga, Jordan Montgomery, Eduardo Rodriguez, Sean Manaea, Hyun-jin Ryu, James Paxton.  Only Snell has a QO attached.

The Dodgers need to sign one top of the rotation LHSP in free agency, and possibly trade for another.  I prefer Jordan Montgomery and then Imanaga, but I think AF/BG prefers. Eduardo Rodriguez.  They wanted him at the deadline, but were not willing to negotiate an additional year and $20MM to his deal in such a limited and tight window.  They have more time in the offseason to work something out.  Also, AF avoids dealing with Scott Boras (Montgomery).

I also think they will trade for a front line pitcher.  Corbin Burnes, Tyler Glasnow, and Dylan Cease are the reported top targets.  All RHP, and I would be happy with any of them.  Potential LHSP that may be available (not likely, but possible).  My preference:

  • Max Fried – Atlanta
  • Jesus Luzardo – Miami
  • Tarik Skubal – Detroit
  • Braxton Garrett – Miami
  • John Means – Baltimore

Somehow some way, the Dodgers need 2 LHSP; one at the minimum.

I think the Dodgers have the basis for a good bullpen, but do not have a closer.  Maybe Blake Treinen has been resurrected.  I do not see any FA closer other than Hader, and with a QO attached, AF will not sign him.  I would prefer AF/BG re-sign Ryan Brasier and Shelby Miller, but AF/BG has not shown an affinity to re-sign relievers who left LAD as a free agent. There are three other FA relievers that I would like to see AF consider (they won’t):

  • Reynaldo Lopez (RHRP)
  • Hector Neris (RHRP)
  • Yuki Matsui (LHRP)

I am convinced that Max Muncy will be the LAD 3B in 2024.  He did not agree to a below market value 2-year deal so he could be traded.  I believe he got enough assurances from AF/BG that he would not be traded if he extended.

Although there are a number of teams where be welcomed if traded.  I read a Juan Toribio report that said the Dodgers might be looking into a possible Bo Bichette trade.  Muncy would be perfect.  But as I wrote above, he is not going anywhere.

If the Dodgers do trade for a SS, Gavin Lux would be included in the deal.  Witt is not realistic.  Adames is a possibility, but not someone I would trade Lux straight up for.  But if the Dodgers had to take Adames in order to acquire Corbin Burnes, I am on board.  There are very few better defensive SS in all of MLB, even if he does strikeout too much.

I am willing to give either Michael Busch or Miguel Vargas a clear runway in a fulltime role, but not both.  AF/BG may disagree and keep both.

What is the fair price for Burnes.   Anything I propose will be declared moronic by all, so as a moron, what do I have to lose.

For Burnes (32.0) – Miguel Vargas (17.6) and Gavin Stone (13.1).  Trade simulator has it Brewers 32.0 and Dodgers at 30.7, a slight underpay for the Dodgers.

But I would add to the trade.  Burnes (32.0) and MiLB 3B/2B Tyler Black (13.3) for Miguel Vargas (17.6), Gavin Stone (13.1), Landon Knack (10.1), and Maddux Bruns (5.7).  That is Brewers at 45.3 and LAD at 46.5, a slight overpay for LAD, but IMO very much worth it.  Even though with a lower trade simulator value, Black is younger, and a better 2B/3B option than Vargas.

Black – 558 PA – .284/.417/.513/.930 – 18 HR, 25 DBL, 88 BB, 100 K, 55 SB, 12 CS

Vargas – 285 PA – .288/.407/.479/.886 – 10 HR,15 DBL, 46 BB, 57K, 8 SB, 0 CS

I considered replacing Diego Cartaya (21.5) for Landon Knack and Maddux Bruns, but Milwaukee has a younger and more advanced catcher in Jefferson Quero.  Milwaukee will want pitching.

I prefer the sure thing (or relatively so) of Corbin Burnes for 1 year than the great unknown of Gavin Stone, Landon Knack, and Maddux Bruns.  I am undoubtedly in disagreement with LAD, but I am not all that high on Bruns.  With three pitchers, one is probably due to make the rotation.  Also with the loss of three pitchers, that would make it more urgent for a Burnes extension.  Tyler Black is Rule 5 eligible and will probably be added to the 40 man next week.  Risky for sure, but not for next year, and LAD has plenty more pitching to supplant those that are lost.  So, this may be a deal I would do, it is not a deal AF will do.

One other pitcher I would look into is RHP Erick Fedde.  Might he be the next Merrill Kelly who found himself in the KBO.

My Preferences:

Shohei Ohtani – FA

Add starting pitching:

  • Jordan Montgomery as LHSP or (Eduardo Rodriguez) – FA
  • Corbin Burnes (Trade)
  • Erick Fedde – FA

Add relief pitching:

  • Ryan Brazier (Reynaldo Lopez) – FA
  • Shelby Miller (Yuki Matsui) – FA


  • Corbin Burnes
  • Jordan Montgomery
  • Walker Buehler
  • Bobby Miller
  • Erick Fedde/Ryan Pepiot/Emmet Sheehan

Next Up:

  • Michael Grove
  • Nick Frasso
  • River Ryan

We can get into the next up after these in a later post.

The Dodgers will sign or trade for a RH hitting OF.  My choice would be Lourdes Gurriel Jr.  But it appears that AF/BG prefers Teoscar Hernández.

If too expensive, Garrett Cooper is a RHH OF who hits LHP very well.

I would not say no to a Lane Thomas trade, but it would be less intrusive with a FA.

1B – Freeman

2B – Muncy

SS – Lux

3B – Black

LF – Hernandez (or Gurriel, Cooper, Thomas)

CF – Outman

RF – Betts

C – Smith

DH – Ohtani


Bench – Barnes, Rojas, Taylor, Busch



  • Burnes
  • Montgomery
  • Buehler
  • Miller
  • Fedde (Pepiot)



  • Pepiot (Brasier)
  • Sheehan (Shelby Miller)
  • Treinen
  • Phillips
  • Graterol
  • Ferguson
  • Vesia
  • Grove

My team has plenty of pitching options, but I can also see AF/BG going minimalistic.  I would not be surprised to see AF/BG acquire:

  • Ohtani
  • Eduardo Rodriguez (or Imanaga)
  • Flaherty, Giolito, Lugo, Wacha or Severino
  • Heyward

No trade


1B – Freeman

2B – Vargas

SS – Lux

3B – Muncy

LF – Busch/Taylor

CF – Outman

RF – Betts

C – Smith

DH – Ohtani

Bench – Barnes, Rojas, Heyward, Taylor/Busch

Rotation (5):

  • Rodriguez (LHP)
  • Buehler (RHP)
  • Miller (RHP)
  • Giolito/Flaherty/Lugo/Wacha/Severino (RHP)
  • Pepiot (RHP)

Relievers (8):

  • Treinen (RHP)
  • Phillips (RHP)
  • Graterol (RHP)
  • Ferguson (LHP)
  • Vesia (LHP)
  • Almonte (RHP)
  • Yarbrough (LHP)
  • Feyereisen (RHP)

MiLB starters in AAA – Sheehan (RHP), Stone (RHP), Knack (RHP), Frasso (RHP) + two AAAA SP (preferably LHP)

AA – River Ryan (RHP), Kendall Williams (RHP), Maddux Bruns (LHP), Justin Wrobleski (LHP), Ben Casparius (RHP), Hyun-il Choi (RHP)

AAA Relievers – Grove (RHP), Hurt (RHP), V. Gonzalez (LHP), Varland (RHP), B. Hudson (LHP), Alec Gamboa (RHP), Ben Harris (RHP), John Rooney (LHP)

Depending on which FA Freidman/Gomes sign other than Ohtani, it is conceivable that the Dodgers could slide under the CBT threshold.  I do not believe that should be a concern, but maybe the owners do.

I am sure I can come up with more than a dozen more scenarios.  Too many RHP, too many catchers, too many platoon/utility players, not enough quality infielders (especially middle), not enough quality OF, not enough LHP.  FA and trades are needed to balance it all out.

Still so much to follow.


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Good read.

Dodgers need a LH starter? I know you don’t believe it as I’ve said it before and you didn’t agree then. The Dodgers need starting pitching that isn’t concerned about matchups. Matchups are for the bullpen.

You want Fedde you can get him. I had to look him up. Yeah, he got KBO hitters out. AA level hitters. But, worth looking into I guess.

I would think Milwaukee might be interested in Lux. I’m sure he would be interested in them. We’ve talked about Adames before. He’s a few million more expensive, but he would fit. Lux and Rojas give a L/R combo but Adames hits RHP just fine. His career stats show he’s better against RHP. I believe it’s possible to work something out. That’s why yesterday I made that trade, mostly for Burnes. Burnes doesn’t care who’s up. The problem might be Burnes is still arb eligible for ‘24.

Burnes, Imagana and Ohtani. It can be done. Re-sign Heyward and Hernandez. Dodgers win the West again.


I like everything except that bench. No on Henandez please. He strikes out way too much. Isn’t Gurriel younger?


Just to be a devils advocate I question the need to change the way they have gone. Pepiot, Sheehan, Grove, and Stone will have 2023 under their belts whereas they didn’t last year.

The playoffs got off to a bad start with Kershaw opening game one. The Dodgers didn’t hit in game two and the bullpen didn’t let Miller’s jitters take them out of the game. Lynn was a terrible decision for game 3 since Pepiot was pitching so well at the end of the season.

The Dodgers won 100 games.


Don’t forget, in the game Lynn gave up 4 gopher balls in one inning the team only gave up 4 runs. The Dodgers score more than by accident sometimes. Kershaw’s hairball aside, pitching didn’t lose that series, lack of offense did.

As for our young pitchers, I have confidence in most of them. Sheehan and Pepiot look like starters. One of Stone and Grove will step up. Frasso, Knack, Hurt, Ryan are all good enough to use in trade if they aren’t used on the 26 sometime next year. I firmly believe our pitching will be better and I trust Friedman will make it so.


“Is that a winning rotation?”


That’s why I traded for Burnes (used one of those guys to do it) signed Imanaga and look for the latest reclamation project.

I merely meant to say I believe our young pitchers are good enough to contribute. With the exception of Miller, I don’t see any aces in the group. I did say if we get Ohtani, Adames, Lee (and Arenado) our offense would be good enough we could get by with 5 #3s. I still think that’s true.

Both Mookie and Freddie know they swallowed olives. There is nothing Roberts can do to prevent that from happening again. That’s up to them.


Who said it was a winning rotation?

With piggybacks the Dodgers need more pitchers but they don’t have to be elite. It’s more about who are included in the 13 pitchers on the 26 with or without the use of piggybacks.


“…I question the need to change the way they have gone. “…Because some of us will stop following the team. I was fed up at the start of the season because of all the garbage that Friedbrain gave us. I was so sick of it I rooted against the Dodgers. Now, if Friedbrain doesn’t do anything this off-season, I will not follow the 2024 season. And if it continues past 2024, I will consider following a different team — even after 61 years.
If you’re strong enough, you don’t need to take the sh!t you’re fed.


Interesting way to define strength.


I’m working off the Operation Ohtani success outline. I’m still not very confident it will happen, but it makes the exercise a little easier. After handing Ohtani 500 million, I think Friedman shrinks back to bargain mode on the free agent front. Great point about signing two QO free agents. It isn’t happening. I think we trade for a short term starter and sign a mid-priced lefty. I’d be happy with Burnes or Cease, but I think the WS might be a little easier to deal with and we get two years with Cease. I don’t see either guy getting extended and Ohtani essentially replaces them in the rotation down the line (in theory). I suspect the Rodriguez and Shota bidding will get too high, so I guess Paxton, Perez, or Manaea. Whichever is the last one standing ready to deal. Grove takes on Shelby Miller’s role in the pen. I think Hurt beats out Treinen coming out of spring.

SP – Cease, Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, Manaea/Sheehan
RP – Phillips, Graterol, Yarborough, Grove, Hurt, Ferguson, Vesia

Mookie permanently moving to 2B seems inevitable and I think his time there only increases. When Outman got the hang of CF and Mookie replaced Vargas improving the middle defense, the team started to surge last year. For that reason, I don’t think Lux lasts at SS too long before Rojas goes back full time and I don’t see him hitting where we can’t take him out of the lineup. I think they’ll prepare for that adding Teoscar, bringing back Heyward or Kike.

OF – Teoscar, Outman, Heyward, Vargas(if he isn’t traded, otherwise DeLuca)
1B – Freddie 2B – Betts SS – Rojas. 3B – Muncy
Catcher – Smith, Barnes
Bench – Taylor, Lux

They’re going to try selling us that Buehler coming back is like adding a star free agent. They’re going to tell us they like Cease better than any FA starter on the market. They’re going to tell us they still expect Kershaw back at some point in the season. They’re going to advertise the youth movement again. I don’t hate it, but it’s definitely the same formula.


I don’t understand. Are you really suggesting that Sheehan, Stone, Knack, Frasso, Hurt, Grove et al ALL belong in the minor leagues?!?!

Madness I tell ya


Good response. I think we have to use the arms that are ready.


I still like using a piggyback in one or more of the rotation spots. If Grove and Stone pitch every fifth day as a piggyback then it might be said they are hybrid starters/relievers. That gets them on the 26 and reduces the bullpen by one or two pitchers.

If Buehler is going to have his innings reduced this year then he is another pitcher that could be piggybacked. The alternative would be a 6 man rotation or pulling him after 5 innings and wearing down the bullpen.

A question might be about the number of innings the Dodgers want their bullpen to pitch versus how many they want their starters to pitch with piggyback pitchers defined as starters.

Would Grove, Stone, Buehler, Sheehan pitching 400 innings as piggybacks be better than Treinen, Phillips, Graterol, Ferguson, Vesia, Almonte pitching a lot of those 400 innings?

Is Buehler/Sheehan combo for 8+ innings better than Burnes for 6+?
Is Grove/Stone combo for 8+ innings better than Montgomery for 6+?

Would money going to Yamamoto be better than money going to Burnes and Montgomery?


“If the Dodgers sign two FA or sign one and trade for one, how do Sheehan or Stone or Knack or Frasso make the rotation.”

6 man rotation, with each of those guys getting time off during the summer. There’s plenty of room for more pitching.

RC Dodger

Good ideas Jeff.
So many options for the Dodgers. Ohtani may be inevitable and may be the right business decision, but for 2024 it is only a modest upgrade over JDM to me. Also, Ohtani makes a left handed lineup, even more left handed. And Ohtani is much better against RHP than LHP. The other most likely lineup additions in 2024 are also LHB in Lux and Busch. The base lineup would have 6 everyday LHB with Ohtani, Freeman, Muncy, Lux, Outman and Busch(or Heyward).
The starting pitching needs to be the main focus. I like a trade for Burnes, and sign Imanaga, and Lugo. No lost draft pick and still probably under the luxury tax even with Ohtani.
I had ruled out Eduardo Rodriguez due to the trade fiasco, but if all Friedman had to do was add another option year, then he should have done it. His option would have been at most 4 yr, $69 million, which is well below current market estimates of 4yr for $80-$90 million at Fangraphs and MLBTR. Eduardo simply would have opted out anyway or taken a below market deal for the Dodgers. Seems like a very modest concession for Friedman to walk away from his most important trade deadline deal.


Putting Muncy and Witt in a “won’t be traded” box takes a lot of fun out of the guessing game.

Tyler Black
Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 40 | Run: 55 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Black, like Busch and Vargas, does not have a position. I’ll pass.

I don’t think we know the details of Muncy’s contract. He might have a clause that requires him to be paid a few million if traded.

I like Bichette’s righty bat if the Dodgers sign Ohtani and would put him at 3rd.

Lefty bats: Freeman, Lux, Outman, Ohtani, Heyward?
Righty bats: Smith, Betts, Bichette, Taylor, DeLuca

It would be nice to have a lefty starter but I’ll take the best pitcher available.


Don’t our hitting prospects have 55 grades?

A lot of well thought out guesses in here this morning. I applaud the group. It’s not a standing ovation, just a respectful applaud.


I’m pretty sure I read Vargas was a 55. He’s still a prospect as far as I’m concerned.


I already traded one of them for Burnes. Milwaukee’s choice.

I expect both to be ready. What that means for each I don’t know.


I get why you like Black. But, I also get why the Dodgers may not. Power 40, Arm and Field 45.

Witt and Bichette are players I don’t see being traded.

We won’t need more hitting after Ohtani is signed. If he isn’t signed, then veteran bats will be added, not prospects. If he isn’t signed might as well re-sign JD and Heyward, get Burnes and Adames, sign Lee or Teoscar for left, pick up the next reclamation project (you know there will be one) and go with the young arms that step up in ST. We have a few from which to choose.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

Are you sure Adames still has 2 years of control remaining? I think he and Burnes are both done at the end of 2024.

Good idea to have Devin Williams help Stone with his change, but let’s have him do it in LA instead of Milwaukee.

Singing the Blue

Trade Simulator approves of this trade:

Dodgers get: Burnes, Adames, Devin Williams

Brewers get: Lux, Sheehan, Busch, Ferguson

Only problem is that if we can’t extend Adames, we’re left without a shortstop in 2025. Williams still has 2 years of control.

Singing the Blue

I think you’re absolutely correct that they would never package all 3 of those guys in one trade. Would definitely get a better return trading them separately, or at least no more than 2 together.


If the Dodgers really want to shake things up, they trade Cartaya.

Nothing would tell me more than that that they are changing their approach..


If that’s true don’t trade him.


This is closer to fair.


Black with his speed and weak arm is best suited for second and that is where Betts is going to play unless he moves to third which is a new and mind stretching idea.

I want to give up more and get more instead of settling for Black. Yes Black is more available than Witt. Plausible? Again, only to one team.

I said no to Black because while offering something Busch or Vargas doesn’t, he doesn;t move the needle.


Okay, my brain has decided to read better. Replacing Black for one of Vargas or Busch has merit especially if it were done in context Jeff proposed the trade–as part of a Burnes trade and not as a standalone.

My bad.


AF/BG sounds like a weird online sex fetish.

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