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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?