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Okay, the World Series is over.  The Dodgers are not replacing AF or Dave Roberts.  It is time to move on.  There are different opinions, but they are not going to be settled or satisfied from a blog.

So it is time to refocus on the Dodgers team and organization.

Here are some question that I would like answers to that we will never ever get.

  • Did AF ever talk to Nathan Eovaldi about signing with LAD? He signed for 2 years at $34MM. He is and was a better pitcher than Syndergaard. He already came out of his 2nd TJ surgery and was successful before FA. IMO he was a better risk even with 1 more year and $20MM guarantee more. I have no idea if he wanted to be a Dodger, but it sure seems like he should have been a good target. Was he?

 

  • Did AF ever talk to St. Louis (or NYY) about Jordan Montgomery. There is no question that the Dodgers had better trade value than what NYY and St. Louis received. Did AF really try? Or did the fact that he is a Scott Boras client play into it? Just asking.

 

  • How much will finances play into the FA discussions. Will the Dodgers look for the best players or the best deal? Why do Mookie and Freddie have such large, deferred payments. Mookie $115MM of $365MM and Freddie $57MM of $162MM. Just about 1/3 of the total of the two contracts is deferred. Could this have been why Seager and Turner said no? Judge has no deferrals, neither do Seager of Turner, nor Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Rodón, Gerrit Cole, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson…How will those deferrals play with future high priced FA?

 

  • I do believe that Eduardo Rodriguez was not a Dodger because AF would not agree to buy him out of his no-trade. This is not the first time a player asked for something in return to agree to waive his no-trade. If my supposition is true, then how much was that request? Did AF not anticipate this and ask up front what that cost might be?

 

  • Just how injured is Clayton Kershaw?  We have learned that the team threw Tony Gonsolin out there even knowing that he needed elbow surgery.

 

  • Per Jim Bowden, the Yoshinobu Yamamoto contract prediction is 7 years $211MM. That has always been well out of AF’s comfort zone (years and $$$).  Will he break out of his comfort zone and truly engage and negotiate with Yamamoto?

 

  • Are we going to continue to see a slowdown of the MiLB prospect movement between levels because they are blocked by AAAA players? I understand the reason. Those AAAA players are good depth for the regular season, but they fall miserably in October.

 

  • Shouldn’t we expect to see a push of Jake Gelof up the organizational ladder.  He is arguably a better prospect than his brother Zack.  Zack was drafted in 2021 and made MLB in 2023, and did well.  He is 3 years younger than James Outman and hit better overall.  Josue De Paula?  Joendry Vargas?  Thayron Liranzo?  Eduardo Quintero?

 

  • 19 year old Jackson Holliday went from Low A to AAA all in one year, and is penciled in as the starting SS for a 101 win Baltimore Orioles team. Ethan Salas (Padres 17 year old catcher prospect) went from low A to AA.  It is irrelevant how well he did.  The Padres know what he will eventually do.  They are giving him exposure to much better competition.

 

  • Isn’t it time that the Dodgers put Diego Cartaya and Dalton Rushing together and let one of them win out? Or do they continue to hold onto both, and let their trade value evaporate to nothing?

 

  • Is this the winter we see the Dodgers move one or both of Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch. Both are DH’s.  Neither one will be good defensively.  Sure, Roberts can move them all over the field, and that seems to be LAD criteria for players.

 

  • Will the Dodgers continue to look for older veterans rather than younger talent? Or could this be the year that the Dodgers stop with their fascination of winning division titles and move some of that RHP surplus for young position players.

 

  • BTW, what is the fascination with acquiring multi positional utility type players? And then developing even more in MiLB.  I understand moving them around in MiLB to find a spot where they play best, but once found, shouldn’t that be their position?  Is moving players all over the field a better approach than a set lineup IN THE POSTSEASON?

 

In the WS, Bochy had 2 lineups: one with Adolis Garcia and one post Garcia injury.

  • Game 1 – Josh Smith ran for Jonah Heim in the 8th.  Austin Hedges to C in 9th.
  • Game 2 – Robbie Grossman PH for Evan Carter in 9th of blowout loss.  Grossman got into the WS.
  • Game 3 – Travis Jankowski to RF after Adolis Garcia injury.
  • Game 4 – Josh Smith replaced Corey Seager at SS in the 9th in a blowout win.
  • Game 5 – No changes

Semien only played 2B, Seager only played SS, Jung only played 3B, Lowe only played 1B, Carter only played LF, Taveras only played CF, Garcia/Jankowski only played RF, Heim only played catcher.  Garver only DH’d.

Semien, Jung, Lowe, Taveras never left the field.  Seager left only the 9th in a blowout.  Carter PH in a blowout loss in the 9th, but was only LF.

 

Compare to LAD:

Game 1:

  • Chris Taylor PH for David Peralta in the 7th and stayed in game to play LF.
  • Kiké Hernández PH for James Outman in the 7th and stayed in game to play CF.
  • Kolten Wong PH for Miguel Rojas in the 8th.
  • In the 9th, Mookie from 2B to RF, Jason Heyward from RF to CF, Kiké Hernández from CF to SS, and Kolten Wong to 2B.

 

Game 2:

  • Chris Taylor PH for Jason Heyward in the 6th.
  • Kiké Hernández PH for David Peralta in the 6th.
  • Kolten Wong PH for Miguel Rojas in the 6th.
  • In the 7th, Mookie from 2B to RF, Taylor to LF, Hernández to SS, Wong to 2B.

 

Game 3:

  • Chris Taylor PH for Jason Heyward in 5th.
  • Austin Barnes PH for David Peralta in 7th.
  • Kolten Wong PH for Miguel Rojas in 8th.
  • In the 5th, Mookie from 2B to RF, Taylor to CF, Hernández from CF to 2B
  • In the 7th, Taylor from CF to LF, James Outman to CF
  • In the 8th, Hernández from SS to 2B, Wong to 2B

 

9 PH – 1 single and 1 BB.  Countless defensive switches.  Compared to 1 PH and very few defensive switches.  It certainly appears that Bochy showed faith in his players, and Roberts did not.  Is this due to Bochy letting the game dictate moves (injuries, PR for C in close game) or what the computer geeks advises as to what will work.  Bochy exudes confidence.  His players know that he can win WS after a grueling 162 game schedule.  Do the Dodgers players believe in Roberts as much?

No pitcher threw more than 3.2 IP in any game for LAD, and that was Emmet Sheehan in Game 1.  Bochy saw that Josh Sborz was pitching well against Arizona and did not care about RH/LF.  He left him in to finish Game 5.  You just know that Roberts would have brought in Leclerc regardless as to how well Sborz was pitching.

I am not going to go through what Torey Lovullo did, but it mirrors far more to what Bochy did compared to Roberts.  Moreno came out due to injury, and he brought in 3B for Longoria.  Marte never left and only played 2B.  Walker never left and only played 1B.  Perdomo never left and he only played SS.  (RF to LF) Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Lourdes Gurriel was the OF.  Pham was the DH.  Lovullo saw what was working and left it.

I know I said I was going to move on, but I just could not help myself.  The constant platooning and player movement just irritates me, and I do not think it is beneficial in the playoffs.  Now I will move on.

One question has been answered.  Max Muncy’s club option has been exercised.  Two years (2024-25), $24MM and a $10MM club option (no buyout) for 2026.  The 2024 AAV has just dropped by $2MM.  But of course, that brings up another question…Will Muncy be a Dodger come opening day, or will he be playing elsewhere.  My guess is that he will be a Dodger.

There are a lot more questions that will need to be answered.  One that we will not learn until the season begins…Will AF and LAD go bold or mild as they did last year?

 

 

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OhioDodger

Maybe Heyward will take a similar offer.

Dionysus

Way too much for him.

Oldbear48

A lot of movement already by some clubs. Yankees cut 5 players loose, including Billy McKinney. Nelson Cruz pulled the plug and retired. Anyone seen or heard from Patch lately?

Badger

Patch hasn’t posted here in a long time. Is he MIA on Mark’s site?

I expect a few moves by Dodgers soon. Those no longer wanted will be released to give them opportunity to look elsewhere.

Oldbear48

Patch hasn’t been there in close to a year I think. Some people were asking about him.

Singing the Blue

Andrew was a definite yes on Ohtani until he found out McKinney was available.

Hondo

Perfect commentary on Andrew Friedbrain. Love it.

Badger

Insults aside, Friedman will go hard after Ohtani. He may not get him, like he didn’t get Harper or Seager, but make no mistake, Ohtani is the front of the line target of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dionysus

I respect your opinions and knowledge. For my own sanity I need to look ahead. Mistakes were made. Regarding Gelof, et al, yeah it would nice for us to push them like we pushed the upper level pitching this year. Because of that, Miller, Pepiot, Sheehan, Stone, Hurt, Knack, Frasso are all ready this year.

Still time on that group you listed but guys like Pages, Vivas, Ramos need to be taken seriously. I’m assuming Vargas, Busch, Feduccia will make team.

The main thing with long contracts is the AAV. Commit to character guys only.

Dionysus

Then trade Ramos.

Jeff Dominique

He has no trade value. He was passed up in the Rule 5 last year, and probably will be again this year.

Singing the Blue

The only way Feduccia makes the team is if they get rid of Barnes. Otherwise they need to put him out of his misery and trade him somewhere that he’ll be given a chance to show what he has.

Vargas and Busch may both make the opening day roster, but if not, they have to trade whomever doesn’t make it. Sending either of them down to OKC again would totally destroy their confidence. As far as I’m concerned, give them a spot on the 26-man or trade them. There is no third option.

Dionysus

With you all the way here

Badger

Me too.

Bumsrap

I would trade both of them.

Bumsrap

The Dodgers signed their cleanup hitter for 2 years $24MM

Singing the Blue

Tonight he’s their cleanup hitter.
Tomorrow (figuratively speaking) they may spend 500 million to put someone else in that spot.

Bumsrap

As in Ohtani at $50MM annually.

Yamamoto at $29MM annually.

If the goal is to sign as many free agents that $100MM annually will get then that would leave $21MM. I like Gray and Giolito but maybe Lee who bats from the left side is an option.

Bumsrap

The Giants moved on from a Manager that made all the moves Roberts makes.

Badger

He didn’t have the players Roberts had.

And “the moves Roberts makes” are done so because the system, and therefore the team itself, is designed that way. He wins Division Championships with it and is given extensions. He’s a company man.

Hondo

I hope he’s gone before I die. And the cheap-ass Friedbrain.

OhioDodger

Dodgers should seriously consider resigning Kike.

Badger

I’m sure they are considering it OD. They really like utility. They already have Taylor in that role, I’ve heard Taylor mentioned as a starter, left field maybe?, and if so, Kiké could fill the bench utility role. I don’t think it will happen that way, but it certainly could if they decide to go after multiple pitchers.

Singing the Blue

A really excellent, well thought out post, Jeff.
Questions that need to be asked. Some of them may eventually be answered.

With regard to Yamamoto, Bowden is often wrong about things he says, but I’ve now seen 3 different pundits predicting Yamamoto’s contract and they all seem to be in the same general area. It’s going to be expensive but how often do you see 25 year old free agents?

Badger

Nobody needs him more than we do.

Tell me more about Lee. I saw his Korean stats. Impressive. He plays CF. Do we give him Heyward’s money (for several years) or sign them both? An outfield of Outman, Lee and Heyward sounds good to me. Yamamoto and Ohtani. That would be bold.

Singing the Blue

Lee is known more for his bat-to-ball skills than his power. Considered a very good fielder. His father was a star in Korea so good baseball genes (although we said that about Vargas too, and the jury is still out on him).

Possible negatives – suffered a fractured ankle mid season last year so we don’t yet know if he’ll be completely recovered by ST (or ever). A Boras client.

I’m still ready to roll the dice on him, but there will be lots of competition, including Farhan who is not about to lose another guy he wants.

Bumsrap

I recently read that Lee is better suited for a corner outfield spot so my guess is that he would play LF. If the Dodgers sign Ohtani and keep Muncy then they might want laDuca in RF instead of Heyward because they wouldn’t need Heyward’s lefty bat or his salary.

I am intrigued with the idea of trading for Gelof and putting him on 3rd and then Muncy goes to DH or is traded if they sign Ohtani. It’s not like Muncy doesn’t have value and if packaged right, he could get a good return.

Singing the Blue

We already have a Gelof. You want to trade for another one? I realize that Jake is probably 2-3 years away so go ahead and trade for Zack. We’ll find room for both of them eventually. Actually, the A’s played Zack mostly at 2B last year. But if I give you Zack, you can’t have Joc. Enough is enough.

Bumsrap

Deal.

Bumsrap

In 2020, Baseball America polled scouts about the talent level in Asia, and the consensus was KBO is roughly between Double-A and Triple-A. NPB in Japan is between Triple-A and MLB.

 Clayton Kershaw announced on Instagram that he underwent a surgical procedure this morning to repair the gleno-humeral ligaments and capsule of his left shoulder. He says that he is “hopeful to return to play at some point next summer.”

The Dodgers have declined their club option on right-hander Lance Lynn, per Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic. They will pay him a $1MM buyout and send him to free agency instead of retaining him with an $18MM salary for 2024.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bumsrap
Jeff Dominique

Kershaw is going to be a trade deadline addition for the Rangers or Dodgers.

Singing the Blue

Dodgers, but it may have to wait for 2025.

Jeff Dominique

This should be a no-brainer for Farhan. He needs someone to roam CF at Oracle. If he does not sign Bellinger, he will not lose Lee. Lee has to be posted so he is going to get signed before Bellinger. Boras has already hinted that Bellinger will not be an early sign (akin to Bryce Harper). Players can be posted anywhere from November 1 to December 5. Once posted, teams have 45 days to ink a contract.

Farhan could have an great New Year’s celebration with both Lee and Yamamoto. Farhan covets both very high.

Sam Oyed

WRT deferred money; the Nationals have also used deferred money to sign free agents. So the Dodgers are not alone. I do not know how many, if any, other teams have used this approach.

Given the reports that San Diego had to take out loans, maybe a deferred payment approach for Fernando Tatis, Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts would have been prudent. The again, maybe none of them would have signed with San Diego if that was the only option.

Bluto

St. Louis, Philly and the Yankees as well.

I’d be shocked if most savvy team and agents didn’t go this route.

Jeff Dominique

Who on NYY has deferred payments. Not Judge, not Cole, not Stanton (Miami deal), not DJ LeMahieu, not Carlos Rodón.

Phillies – Only JT Realmuto has any deferred payments. $10MM deferred and paid out in $5MM increments in 2026-2027. Not a long term deferral. Not Bryce Harper (he said no to LAD deferrals), not Trea Turner, not Zack Wheeler, not Nick Castellanos, not Kyle Schwarber.

St. Louis – The only player is Nolan Arenado. That was a part of the trade concession that Arenado made to help Colorado and their cash payments to St. Louis. This was not a St. Louis deal. No deferred payments for Paul Goldschmidt nor Willson Contreras.

The Lerner family was having cash flow problems when they made their big deferred payment deals with Scherzer, Strasburg, and Paxton. They wanted the big pitchers, and the only way they could sign all three was with deferrals.

Cash strapped Baltimore did this with Chris Davis. A very stupid deal, one they will never repeat.

The Dodgers also deferred half of Scott Kazmir’s contract, the year after the Dodgers incurred their highest payroll in their history. That figure has not been passed since. Coincidence? The Dodgers went from $291MM in salary in 2015 to $196MM in 2018, the time that MLB told the Dodgers owners to get control of their payroll because of their debt to revenue ratio.

There is no way that a good agent would agree to a deferred payment contract unless the player wanted it. It makes zero sense for the player unless he wanted to play for that specific team. We also know that Strasburg made it very clear that he only wanted to play for Washington. If the player wants to defer their money, they can take the amount of the projected deferral from his salary, and invest it himself. Why let the owners retain it and use it?

I have no idea why Mookie and Freddie have so much deferred, but it is not usual.

Do you really think that it is savvy for the Dodgers to pay out the following when the players will not be with LAD? Do you think that those $MM will have an impact on future LAD contracts with FA? We are not talking about Bobby Bonilla deferrals.

2028 – $4MM
2029 – $4MM
2030 – $4MM
2031 – $4MM
2032 – $4MM
2033 – $14MM
2034 – $14MM
2035 – $13MM
2036 – $13MM
2037 – $13MM
2038 – $15MM
2039 – $15MM
2040 – $15MM
2041 – $11MM
2042 – $11MM
2043 – $11MM
2044 – $11MM

Bluto

Well, most of the contract information isn’t released publicly, so we have to just go on what’s out there. And obviously the player’s union doesn’t want this data out there.

I’m pretty sure Wainright deferred money as well in St. Louis.
The Orioles and Alex Cobb is pretty well known. And that Chris Davis’ deal.
The Mets had deferred money for Lindor, Scherzer and Edwin Diaz.
The Nats did it with Brad Hand, Zimmerman and Straus
The A’s with Rosenthal.
I know the Red Sox did it with Devers and Kike, the Royals with Salvy Perez.
The Brewers with Yelich, Braun and our friend Kolten W.

I guess, and this deals with the comment below, I presumed that deferred money came with interest adjustments. If not, it doesn’t nearly make as much sense.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bluto
Bluto

Well, we partially agree. I think it’s savvy because it alleviates cash flow.

I also think we partially agree on more things. Like Roberts as a manager.

However, if it’s not interest bearing deferrals, then it makes no sense for the player unless they have no self-restraint.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bluto
Bluto

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

Sam Oyed

While the numbers are high in the outyears, the rate of inflation will, in effect, reduce the actual amount. For example, assuming 2% inflation rate, 14M in 2033 would be worth 11.27M. Not trivial but less than is listed. Obviously, there is some limit to deferring payments.

Dave

Good analysis Jeff! And I am starting to come to the same conclusion about too many utility players. I think a team needs 1 or 2 for when injuries happen or to give a guy some rest or to pinch hit, but they need regulars who can hit.
I hope extending Muncy means he will mostly DH and they get a regular 3b, which would mean no Ohtani ,but I don’t think like AF does.

Badger

Busch and Vargas will play somewhere in the Majors this year. We can live with Muncy and his -8 OOA at third if we get Ohtani. What a lineup that would be. Would be talked about like the ‘27 Yankees are talked about. We could live with Vargas or Busch at third with less power and similar defensive productivity. We could trade any or all of them for pitching or system depth. It all depends on who is our DH next year.

Bumsrap

Who on the 27 Yankees would a .208 hitter be? Where would Ohtani bat given that Roberts insists on batting Muncy 4th?

Singing the Blue

What .208 hitter? Max hit .212.
How many guys on the ’27 Yanks hit 36 homers with 105 RBI?

Bumsrap

and hit .212

Singing the Blue

That makes it even more impressive.

I’ve been meaning to ask you, Fred, are you as down on Schwarber as you are on Max?

And how come you have no problem with bringing Joc back. His numbers, both last year and career are, for the most part, not as good as Muncy’s.

Bumsrap

Joc is not a priority for me and I throw him in the mix just to keep you amused. He could be cheap.

Schwarber doesn’t appeal to me. A banana does.

Bluto

This may be the best SNL skit in years:

Fred Vogel

It was very funny.

Bumsrap

Agree

Bluto

Dodgers decline Lynn’s option.

voila! They got younger, for now.

Singing the Blue

As long as they don’t replace him with the newly retired Bartolo.

Badger

He was 7-2 with the Dodgers before the playoffs.

Younger? Ok. Can we find better?

Singing the Blue

Assuming that CK’s shoulder surgery is successful and he can actually make it back to the mound, I would say the odds are 99% that it would be in a Dodger uniform (assuming Andrew is ready to bring him back).

Based on how he finished last season, I think Kershaw is very anxious to leave L.A. on a positive note and he could only do that by coming back here to pitch rather than leave for Texas.

Dionysus

He’s done here.

Singing the Blue

Looks like we disagree. Assuming he actually recovers from this well enough to continue his career, we’ll have to wait until summer or possibly even 2025 to see who was right.

Bumsrap

It seems like mid season is the best hope for his return. Would the Dodgers wait to sign him until he is ready to pitch?

Fred Vogel

I hope he retires and enjoys life pain-free.

Singing the Blue

If that’s what he really wanted, I don’t think he would have worded his announcement the way he did.

I really don’t think he wants his last MLB game to have been by far the worst performance of his career.

But if it turns out that he decides to retire, I wish him a great post-baseball life.

Singing the Blue

I’m guessing that will be the case, since no one, including CK, will know if he can actually pitch next year.

On the other hand, maybe AF (or the Rangers) will offer him a few mil to lock him up and then include lots of incentives.

Just one more variable to the Wonderful World of Winter 2023.

Badger

We may need him.

zallanz

Regarding the line up changes. Teams that are losing are looking for answers, teams that are winning, have them.

Badger

Are the Dodgers a winning team?

RC Dodger

Excellent article Jeff.
Friedman is good at his job, but it is helpful to learn from mistakes. The Syndergard signing was bad, and Eovaldi was a better alternative. Other options were also Senga at $15 million per year, Wacha at $7.5 million and Seth Lugo at $7.5 million.

I like the contract for Muncy, and it will be interesting if they bring back JDM or Justin Turner in the DH role if Ohtani is not signed. I would also consider bringing back Almonte and Yarbrough for pitching depth at reasonable salaries.

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