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Response to Stan Kasten

Bluto directed us to a Bill Plaschke column in the LA Times where Kasten gave an interview, hinting at what we fans should expect this winter.  This article triggered a depression episode for me (literally).  So while reading my rant below, please take that into consideration.

“Earlier in the last decade, we had a wave of young guys who were going to be real contributors.  We think we are now on the precipice of the next wave of young guys. We need to make room to allow that to happen.”

Or the cynic in me believes he is saying that “we can watch the WS on the television on a $220MM payroll just as easily as we can with a $300MM payroll.”

Does not sound promising for JT or Cody. Or probably Kersh and Anderson.  Got to keep those pitching spots open for the youth movement.

Stan Kasten needs to keep his image of building good teams that cannot finish. Nobody is better at near misses than Second Best Stan. We already know the 2022 team could not finish. Heck they couldn’t get out of the NLDS against a team they owned in the regular season. I know…short series crapshoot.  I am so tired of hearing that.  The best team in baseball is the Houston Astros and they kicked ass in all three of their short series (11-2).  The Dodgers just rolled over.  Make all the excuses you want, but that is what happened.

Are we are supposed to believe that Miguel Vargas, James Outman, Michael Busch, Bobby Miller, and Gavin Stone are going to win it all when Trea Turner, JT, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, and Tyler Anderson couldn’t.  And they still have not replaced Walker Buehler.

Kasten continued,

“I’m blessed and thankful our people put us in a position to contend for a championship every year, and I look forward to that continuing.”

 “You can enjoy the whole year without just focusing on the last game or games of the year.”

I guess that is what we Dodger fans should hope for in the future.  Winning the Championship is secondary to just contending every year.  After all, he also pointed out…fans actually vote with their wallets, and as long as the Dodgers annually lead the league in attendance by a large margin, well, the new Dodger Way is working.  Okay the last part is per Plaschke, but is he wrong?  Why should the Dodgers change?  They have the second best TV deal (next to NYY), and lead attendance every year.  They are a cash cow.  The fans are showing with their wallets that not winning a WS Championship is apparently okay with them, according to Kasten.

For this fan, a WS championship once every 35 years is just not good enough for a team that seemingly has everything. By that standard, I will never see another LAD championship.  But I should be satisfied because the Dodgers could win 100+ games every year, even if they cannot finish with the parade.

I WILL NEVER STOP BEING A DODGER FAN.  I have been one since 1958.  But I am allowed to show my disappointment.  I have this blog and I am free to post all of the changes I would like to see, even if Bluto reminds us that what we say does not mean a thing, because we have no control or input.  But regardless as to how superfluous Bluto thinks it is, I will continue to vent.

I have maintained that the team will drop under the $233MM CBT threshold in 2023.  That would seem to indicate that a lot of youth will be on the roster, and a lot of the big 2022 contracts will be gone.  So be it.  Per Kasten,

“I’m sure there are ways that we can get better. … We can’t accept that there’s no way we can get better. … That’s not an acceptable conclusion,” he said. “You can look at everything that happened and you can look at everything we did … you hope the breaks even out over a period of time, but we always assume there are things we can do to get better.”

So that change is apparently going with a youth movement.

I will continue to believe in a team with a rookie at 2B (Michael Busch), a rookie at 3B (Miguel Vargas), a 2B who will go back to SS (Gavin Lux), and #4 OF starting in LF (Trayce Thompson), and another rookie in CF (James Outman).  Even if that will be one of the very worst defensive infields in MLB.  Or perhaps another Rookie in LF (Andy Pages).  With rookies Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller in the rotation, and rookies Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove in the bullpen, what could possibly go wrong? Out with the old and in with the youth.

 

Miguel Vargas

 

Michael Busch

 

 

James Outman

So the Dodgers will silently build for 2024 and 2025 when the youth movement will then take Julio Urias and Walker Buehler from the rotation, and 130 innings Tony Gonsolin will be the Ace.

The team will have 25 RHP in AAA and AA with a 45-50 FV, waiting and waiting and waiting instead of being packaged for a pitcher or CF or big RH bat, who might actually help.  Let’s not forget the 6 catchers and 17 utility players.  Because we all know that defensive diversity is more important than defensive excellence.

Houston had two rookies on the WS roster, one was uber SS Jeremy Peña,  and the second was reserve David Hensley.  The Phillies had two.  One was an integral part of the lineup, SS Bryson Stott, and the second is 31 year old RHRP Andrew Bellatti.  Yes a 31 year old rookie.

But the Dodgers are going to win the WS with 3 (or 4) rookie starters and 2 rookie pitchers in the rotation (pick 2 any 2)?  Because “We think we are now on the precipice of the next wave of young guys. We need to make room to allow that to happen.”

Sounds like the Oakland A’s mentality.  Or Miami Marlins, or Tampa Bay Rays, or Cincinnati Reds, or Pittsburgh Pirates, or KC Royals.  KC at least has won as many WS championships in the last 8 years as have the Dodgers.

And what happens if that youth movement is not as good as the previous one that included Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Julio Urias, and with an Ace already on staff, HOF Clayton Kershaw?  Every one of those players were rated higher than any of the incoming rookies.

BTW, who here sees Dustin May or Tony Gonsolin or Bobby Miller as a future HOF?

I continue to read that some simply believe that the Astros are winning now because they tanked.  If that were true, then why hasn’t Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore, or Miami been winning? Somebody is not doing their research on Houston.

Astros World Series Roster 

Astros pitchers 

  • Bryan Abreu – International Free Agent 2013
  • Hunter Brown – 2019 Draft – 5th Round
  • Luis Garcia – International Free Agent 2017
  • Cristian Javier – International Free Agent 2015
  • Lance McCullers, Jr. – 2012 Draft 1st Round (#41)
  • Rafael Montero – Trade from Seattle July 2021
  • Héctor Neris – Free Agent 11/2021
  • Ryan Pressly – Trade from Minnesota July 2018
  • Will Smith – Trade from Atlanta August 2022
  • Ryne Stanek – Free Agent 01/2021
  • José Urquidy – International Free Agent 2015
  • Framber Valdez – International Free Agent 2015
  • Justin Verlander – Trade from Detroit – August 2017

Astros catchers

  • Martín Maldonado – Trade with Chicago Cubs July 2019, resigned as FA 2019
  • Christian Vázquez – Trade with Boston August 2022

Astros infielders

  • Jose Altuve – International Free Agent 2007
  • Alex Bregman – 2015 Draft – 1st Round (#2)
  • Aledmys Díaz (IF/OF) – Trade with Toronto November 2018
  • Mauricio Dubón (IF/OF) – Trade with SFG May 2022
  • Yuli Gurriel – International Free Agent 2016
  • David Hensley – 2018 Draft – 26th Round
  • Trey Mancini (IF/OF) – Trade with Baltimore August 2022
  • Jeremy Peña – 2018 Draft – 2nd Round

Astros outfielders

  • Yordan Alvarez – Trade with LAD August 2016
  • Chas McCormick – 2017 Draft – 21st Round
  • Kyle Tucker – 2015 Draft – 1st Round (#5)

Houston tanked in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  In 2014, they were 70-92.  That would have beat 9 teams in 2022.  So Kyle Tucker did not come to Houston because they tanked in 2014.  Technically the 2022 team did benefit from the tanking with Alex Bregman.  Bregman was the overall #2 selection in 2015, and they got that because they did not sign the overall #1 pick in 2014, LHP Brady Aiken.  How lucky for Houston that Aiken did not sign.  They got Bregman the next year, and Aiken was drafted again in the 1st round of 2015 (#17) by Cleveland, and he never reached above low A.  Out of baseball after 2019.

Lance McCullers did come out of one of those tanking drafts (2012), but he was overall #41 selection in 2012.  Drafting a pitcher overall #41 is not a benefit of tanking.  Carlos Correa was a 1/1 after the team tanked, but he is no longer with Houston.  The Astros just won a legit WS with Jeremy Peña at SS with Houston and Correa in Minnesota.

This nonsense that Houston built the current juggernaut only because they tanked is just that…nonsense.

I love the kids.  Always have, always will.  They want to add Vargas or Busch or Outman in the lineup I am okay with that.  But all three?  And I am okay with one of the kids in the rotation and one in the bullpen.  But four rookie pitchers?

I do not want to do the research right now, but maybe someone knows.  What WS team won with 2 rookies in the everyday lineup and 3-4 key rookie pitchers?  I am guessing none.

Badger wrote that you cannot build a WS winner in April.  I think that is true, but you can certainly lose one.

I will wait until I see what the Dodgers actually do this winter.  Maybe Kasten is doing his sleight of hand routine with his youth movement remarks.  Maybe he is building up the youth for trades.  It is hard to trade quality youth if you do not believe in them.  It is hard to convince a team to accept one of the MLB ready prospects, when you do not believe they are good enough to play on your team.  Or he is being literal with advising us to expect a youth movement.  We will soon see.

I will continue to praise and vent as I see fit.

Thanks for putting up with my rant.

 

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Badger

Well said Jeff. And please, rant away. I believe it’s a minority that is content with a third place finish, if it even was a third place finish. You might could say it was 6th. I don’t even know. How many teams were still playing when our season ended?

I remain in recovery. And watching the Rams lay an egg didn’t help.

I don’t believe the Dodgers will go with 6 rookies, though if they did I think I’d be ok with it. If a $300 million payroll couldn’t get it done I’m sure the same thing could be accomplished with a reset. But explain that thinking to Freeman and Mookie. And, would we lead the league in attendance with that roster?

I have no idea what the plan may be. I haven’t really thought about what my plan would be. With each passing year I get more weary and less engaged. I’m fairly certain it’s going to be a long winter for LA fans.

Thank you for your work here Jeff. You do a damm fine job with this site.

Singing the Blue

I remain in recovery. And watching the Rams lay an egg didn’t help.”

I didn’t realize you were such a masochist. May I recommend the Lakers.

Badger

You may. The Lakers make the Rams look better.

Sam Oyed

Rumor that the Mets are interested in Trea Turner. The Mets being the Mets will probably have Turner at SS and Lindor at 2B

Singing the Blue

Neither one of those 2 would be happy moving to 2nd. I’m guessing that rumor was put out there by Trea’s agent.

I think Lindor is the better fielder so if either moved it would be Trea and he isn’t going to sign somewhere to become a second baseman.

He’ll have plenty of options. Just off the top of my head:
Dodgers
Giants
Phillies
Braves (if Swanson leaves)
Cards
Cubs
Marlins (if he really wants to go home and gives them a massive discount)
Nats (if new owner is in place and wants to make a splash)
Angels (if new owner is in place and wants to spend big)
Orioles (low payroll so they might pay him to build around)

I’m sure I’m missing a couple. In any case, the bidding will be hot and heavy.

Bumsrap

Once Turner cashes in, he might accept CF.

Singing the Blue

I think he dislikes center even more than second base.
He’s signing to be a shortstop, at least for the next few years.

Dave

You make some good pts but I think you’re over reacting to the limited info Kasten is giving. But to your remarks, would we be any worse off with Outman in CF instead of Belli? Vargas at 3rd or LF instead of Turner or Taylor? Can we add a young starter or two to go along with Urias, May Gonsolin and probably Kershaw? I think so. Does this allow us to make a big move at the trade deadline? Yes.
Yes we didn’t go as far as we should/ could have, same with the Mets and Braves. Let’s keep rolling the dice!

Oldbear48

Outman over Bellinger? Absurd. Outman’s K ratio is much higher. And the kid has played less than a full season at AAA. Bellinger will be back, and with the shift eliminated, he will hit for a higher average, also his defense is still the best in the league and he is only 27.

Bumsrap

But can Bellinger’s $19M salary be better spent elsewhere. Outman will be as good or better defensively and cost about $18M less. Neither one will benefit from the elimination of the shift if they don’t make more consistent contact. A Mercedes is a better car than a Ford but both will reliably get you from point A to point B.

The Dodgers need to improve against lefty pitchers. Where do the Dodgers add a lefty killer bat into the lineup and how much will that player cost in salary or prospects?

Fred Vogel

I will wait until I see what the Dodgers actually do this winter. Maybe Kasten is doing his sleight of hand routine with his youth movement remarks. Maybe he is building up the youth for trades. It is hard to trade quality youth if you do not believe in them. It is hard to convince a team to accept one of the MLB ready prospects, when you do not believe they are good enough to play on your team. Or he is being literal with advising us to expect a youth movement. We will soon see.

This.

Bumsrap

I don’t know which of the Dodger prospects will step up but I do know that I won’t be unhappy if Justin, Max, Cody, Chris do not return. That’s quite a few positions to replace. Those players might be jettisoned a year too early or if retained, a year too late.

If Kershaw wants to return he will be allowed to return. I think Justin only returns if he gets a two year Utley contract to allow him to be on the team in 2023 with a smaller impact to the CBT and then he retires or plays elsewhere.

I’m okay with Lux at SS but not okay with Max, Busch, or Taylor at 2B. Maybe a middle infield of Lux and Betts would work.

The in-house outfield if Betts moves to second would be Thompson, Outman, and Pages. Too many question marks with that outfield and questions would not be reduced if Vargas were added to the mix.

My bottom line is that I don’t mind using the regular season to season some of the younger players for the post season. A little cumin here and there adds flavor. I don’t want to keep the already seasoned players in order to win 105+ games. That team is over seasoned with K-sauce.

Badger

Justin, Max, Cody and Chris totaled 6.4 WAR between them. That figure should be accomplished by any two of them.

I believe Muncy and Bellinger will be better next year. Not at all sure what Turner and Taylor are worth.

Oldbear48

Great stuff again Jeff. I don’t think there will be a full-scale rookie attack though. They are going to have to see how these guys perform, and that is what spring training is all about. I think Vargas will make the roster, but I cannot see that guy in the outfield.

Bluto

FWIW, the Dodgers beat reporter, Jack Harris, had the following to add in reference to Kasten’s interview:

This will be important context to remember this offseason. Dodgers will go after FAs if they feel fit is right. But they’re also confident they have 6-7 young players potentially capable of MLB impact next year

Some have compared it to the young wave they brought up in 2019

Last edited 28 days ago by Bluto
Badger

6-7? MLB impact?

Define impact.

Bluto

Are you asking me to define impact as Harris intended?

Beyond my skill-set, but we can probably reverse engineer.

I think in 2019, the Dodgers had: Lux, Gonsolin, Smith, Beatty, Rios, Garlik, Verdugo and probably a couple more.

So, impact is the range from Beatty to Smith of that year?

Also, I’m unsure who the “some” in Harris’ final line is/are. If they are fans (hope not), fellow reporters/bloggers (better than fans) or team officials off-the-record (ideal) I think the latter, but whonose?

Last edited 28 days ago by Bluto
Bluto

Totally agree on all counts, except I probably think more highly of Gonsolin, May, Smith and Lux than you.

I mean if this crop could also provide four (4) players at that level, it would be super-amazing to me.

Last edited 28 days ago by Bluto
Bumsrap

Most of us liked the young wave that arrived in the 70s as well which included Lopes, Russell, Cey, Garvey and Yeager. Mix in Baker and Reggie Smith and the Dodgers went from a low scoring boring offensive team to one that produced.

Gibson added attitude. Reggie Smith went into the stands in SF to whack on a loudmouth racist fan. The more I think about it the more I want Correa.

Singing the Blue

If we want attitude (and I subscribe to that), Correa may be the answer.

Bumsrap

May and Muncy to Guardians for Bieber.
Busch and Jackson/Grove for Gelof.
Outman, Pages, Taylor, Ferguson, and Knack for Reynolds. (more of less)

Sign Correa.
Sign Pederson.

Non-tender Bellinger

2B Lux
RF Betts
1B Freeman
SS Correa
CF Reynolds
C Smith
LF Pederson and Vargas
3B Justin and Amaya as the bridge to Gelof
DH Vargas and Pederson

No outside to relief corps.

Kershaw, Urias, Bieber, Gonsolin, Stone, Miller

Singing the Blue

IMHO, this is one of your better fantasies. The lineup is definitely interesting and although I doubt all those trades would happen, at least the chance is less than zero.

Miller, however, is not ready for the big show. He needs to spend most of his year refining his stuff at OKC. Add Pepiot or bring back Anderson or Heany, or find this year’s Anderson/Heaney.

I think Amaya only makes sense at shortstop, so why don’t we sub Rios as JT’s help mate.

Bumsrap

Just like Friedman, I forgot about Rios. Although Amaya would be useful elsewhere in the infield now that Taylor was traded.

Bumsrap

Cleveland needs offense and 1st base is a need.

Singing the Blue

Rios would cost a lot less.
May, Busch, Rios.
Forget the Gelof deal.

Last edited 28 days ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

Cleveland won 92 and aren’t losing anyone of note to free agency. Trade their ace? That’s not only silly, it’s stupid.

did I just say that?

Yes. Yes I did.

Bluto

And you said it quite well, IMHO.

Last edited 28 days ago by Bluto
Badger

I never said it was a stupid comment. I said Cleveland trading a team controlled ace after winning 92 games would be stupid. He’s not a free agent until ‘25. They aren’t rebuilding there, they just did, and it worked. They would be stupid to blow it up now. They aren’t stupid.

Bumsrap

Moron.

Bumsrap

I would do that trade. I’ll find another way of unloading Max. Maybe he takes Rizzo:s place on Yankees if Rizzo doesn’t re-sign.

You made my case for jettisoning Muncy.

Singing the Blue

Stop the Presses!

We just picked up a guy named Luke Williams from the Marlins off waivers.

26 years old, from Dana Point, plays outfield, third and second.
His lifetime OPS+ is 72.

So the only question here is whether he’s our opening day left fielder, third baseman or second baseman.

Well, actually, there is another question: with a roster crunch and trying to squeeze a lot of guys into the 40 man this winter why the heck does Andrew take up a spot with this guy?

Wait a minute, the obvious answer is that he’s the main guy in the Bieber trade we’re doing.

Last edited 28 days ago by Singing the Blue
Singing the Blue

He’s not the next Max Muncy, he’s the next Eddie Alvarez, but a right handed version.

Bluto

Emmet Sheehan was absolutely DOMINANT in AFL action today:

The Dodgers prospect struck out 8 batters in a row and finished with 10 punchouts.

Singing the Blue

Sheehan is really exciting. When he’s on he’s amazing, and that happens more often than not, but not quite often enough yet.

Bluto

Since 2005, only one pitcher had racked up at least eight strikeouts while allowing no runs with one or fewer hits and walks in the AFL.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers’ Emmet Sheehan became the second: https://atmlb.com/3FVuRtf

Singing the Blue

Dodgers decline options on Alberto and Nelson. No word yet on Duffy or JT.

Oldbear48

Alberto’s and Nelson’s options declined. Williams is nothing more than AAA depth at this point. I do not think there is any message there

Singing the Blue

What about the message that says they’re willing to give him a spot on the 40-man when there is already going to be a roster crunch. My guess is that they dfa him soon and hope he passes through waivers so they can stash him at OKC.

Bumsrap

He’s the great grand nephew of Ted. Give him a chance.

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