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Rings Or Just Contenders

A while back, Sandy mentioned that the Dodgers have the MLB talent and organization that will have them contending for the next ten years.  I totally agree.

The core of the current team seems to be Mookie, Freddie, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urías.  The kids will be joining the core soon enough…Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, James Outman, Miguel Vargas.  While not fundamental to the overall success, CT3 and Austin Barnes have been integral to multiple LAD teams that have been winners.  Because of his injury, Walker Buehler is somewhere in between.

Of the above, the only players not tied up for next year are Kershaw and Urías.  Both could re-sign with the Dodgers, but if pressed to give an opinion, I would say that LAD will re-sign Kershaw but not Urías.  Urías can be replaced by May/Gonsolin/Buehler/Miller to begin the next core.

The organization has the players too add:  Ryan Pepiot, Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller, Michael Grove, Nick Frasso, Emmet Sheehan, River Ryan, Nick Nastrini, Landon Knack, Michael Busch, Jonny DeLuca, Andy Pages, Diego Cartaya, Jorbit Vivas, Eddys Leonard, Dalton Rushing, Yeiner Fernandez, Thayron Liranzo, Rayne Doncon…While I would be hard-pressed to claim any of them are destined for All Star status, some could and possibly will.    Many of those are ready now, and will be next year.  Some will not make it all.  That is baseball.

The Dodgers cannot possibly find enough room for all of the above on their 26 man (2024 and 2025). Instead of wasting on the prospect vine, some could and should be packaged for established players.  I do not profess to have any clue what direction AF may go in (if any at all).

Regardless, the Dodgers have the necessary prospect capital to make something happen.  Or do nothing at all.

Sandy said something else… “Whether that translates to championships is anybody’s guess [I still want two more to match SF’s recent run], but the chances will be there.”  I think we have supported that the organization will definitely provide championship opportunities, championships are not guaranteed.

Matching the Giants’ three championships?  This gets back to the question…Is it better to be contending every year or winning 3 WS championships in 5 years?  In the last 13 years, San Francisco has won 3 WS championships but reached the playoffs only 2 other times (2016 and 2021). Only 3 times since 2013.

OTOH, since 2013, the Dodgers have been in the playoffs every year.  Giants fans will brag about the 3 championships, and LAD fans can brag about the 10 years of playoffs, even with only 1 WS ring.  The Dodgers were hosed in 2017, so the Dodgers should have 2 championships in the last 10 years.  But they do not.

Here is what both SFG and LAD have done since SFG won their 1st championship.



But Mark Walter (Guggenheim Partners) did not purchase the Dodgers until May 2012.  It is hard to include any Frank McCourt years, as winning was not a high priority for McCourt. Thus the first year Walter had control was 2013.  This is the tale of the two organizations since 2013:



I have run into many SFG fans in Northern California.  And they will all point to the three championships and say that the cost was well worth the 3 World Series wins.  Many LAD fans say that as long as the team is relevant and contending every year, that is what they expect.  For me that is a cop out.  That is what frustrated fans say when they do not win championships.  There were more than enough opportunities to win multiple rings.  I am sure true Atlanta fans are not happy with only one WS with that run they had from the 90s into the 2000’s.

After all, that is what Mookie promised when he signed the big extension.  Multiple rings.







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I think AF is great at finding gems while drafting so low. I do not think they have done as well in the international market as they should. Although some of their younger prospects have come from there, but at the major league level, they have few of those. They also have not tapped into the Asian market since Maeda and Ryu. And for those in the know, they have never signed an Asian offensive star. They have a chance when Ohtani becomes a free agent, but the cost is going to be high.


Really good post. Excellent read.



We don’t pitch well enough this year to win a championship. That could change.

We are still scoring. How that is done may be up for debate, but the fact we do it is not. “Our offense is dangerous.” JD Martinez

Yes they are. Now find the pitching to match.


St. Blue has mentioned that the Dodgers can’t protect all of their prospects and in particular those that JeffD listed from Rule 5. At what point do the Dodgers start packaging some of those prospects in two for one or three for one prospects/players?

Yes, the Dodgers score runs except when they don’t. They don’t against lefties and it has been a few years that that has been the case. If they do need a righty bat they can look for an outfielder or a shortstop because Betts gives them that versatility. Or, they could put that righty bat at third by swapping Muncy for a righty bat such as Gleyber. Yes, I would put Gleyber at third.

If the Dodgers want to win now might they package May and Lux for Witt or Lewis? (others as necessary)

Pitching: Whatever trade they might make it won’t make a difference if Kershaw, Urias, and one more now on the roster don’t pitch really well.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bumsrap

Contenders but definitely dangerous. They don’t have the pitching, pure and simple, and they are usually too slow to repair leaks to their ship. Losing Buehler was bad but Urias and May too? We’re not winning 110 games this year, and so many games have had random endings so no real domination going on.

Singing the Blue

Hey Jeff, any chance I could convince you to use a different name here? Whenever I read your comments (which are worth reading) I have to stop and remind myself that you aren’t Jeff Dominique.

I happen to be another Jeff D, so there are a lot of us floating around out here.

Anyway, if you don’t want to that’s fine. It’s my problem and I’ll just deal with it. Don’t mean to offend you.

Singing the Blue

Nobody is going to take May in a trade right now because his health is a total unknown. For all they know, they may lose him for another 12-18 months to another TJ at some point in the near future.

Remember the road Treinen took, wasting most of a year trying to rehab without surgery and then having the surgery after all.

Lux is another one who would be difficult to trade until he gets back and proves he’s 100%. His was a very serious injury and there is no guarantee that he’ll ever be back to where he was when he got hurt.

So, I suggest you come up with two other guys to start your Witt or Lewis package because the Twins or KC aren’t going to go for that one.

And, as you think about that trade, I want to remind you that you can’t trade Muncy to both the Yanks and the Twins/Royals, even though you’d like to.


Thanks Blue, it never occurred to me that a team would be reluctant to trade for an injured player whether the injury could result in 2 months or missed play or 18 months.

That said, Lewis has an injury history as well. The Twins lead their Division and need hitting more than pitching but they might win if the roll of dice delivers two solid major leaguers. I’ll gladly offer Muncy and one of Lux or May for Lewis. Witt would take a lot more so that trade is purely one made to humor myself.

Singing the Blue

Here’s my take on the question you posed above, Jeff (Dominique).

If I were a player on the Dodger roster, I’d definitely say it’s all or nothing. Anything less than a championship means I didn’t get where I wanted to go.

But………………………I am not a player, I am a fan. I view/listen to Dodger games purely for entertainment purposes. With that in mind, I’d much rather be a Dodger fan and be entertained every year rather than a Giants fan and reach the playoffs only 5 times out of 13 years.

Nothing worse than being a fan of a team that is more likely than not to miss the playoffs. You approach every game feeling like the other team has a better chance of winning than you do. As a Dodger fan, I feel we can win every game we play in and that puts me in a good state of mind, at least until the game starts.


With USC changing conferences, it is going to be a little more difficult for them to be in the running.


The players, all of them, are hired guns who want to win championships. They only have so many years. Once they are no longer relevant, which means gone, they may go back to rooting for the teams they grew up rooting for.

Fans are obviously different. We’re lifers. The question about rebuilding between championships is a good one, but I don’t see it applying to the Dodgers. I love blowing the West away, and I love winning 100+. The playoffs aren’t like they were decades ago. Any team can win, which MLB loves. The key for the team with the most regular season wins is how to be hot when it turns cold.

I like the idea of a shorter season but it won’t fly. Too much revenue lost.

USC is going to be good whatever conference they play in.

Sam Oyed

If the Dodgers are looking for pitching help, the White Sox have designated Hanser Alberto for assignment.


I would much rather have my team contending every year than being good one year and then suck the next. Giant fans have nothing to gloat about. They went from 1954 until 2010 without winning a championship. By comparison, the 32 years we waited was nothing. How about Padre and Mariner fans, who have never tasted Tommy’s fruits of victory? Pirates haven’t won since 71, Cubs went over 100 years, and the Red Sox, 86. Even the Yankees have had a drought. Nope, just get to the playoffs and at least have a shot.

Sam Oyed

Minor correction; Pirates beat Baltimore in 1979.


Forgot all about that one, still a long time


I’m in the club where a championship is the ultimate goal and not to accomplish that is not a successful season. I wouldn’t go as far as calling the season a failure by getting to the WS and losing. But, to be satisfied with that scenario and feel like the season was a success doesn’t make sense to me. I would find it disappointing to think the players would have that opinion as well. I have been disappointed many times within this last decade of success by the Dodgers in that we had only one WS ring to show for it. And, let’s be real the 2017 WS ring belonged to the Dodgers. So there’s that. So, two in ten years under the Guggenheim regime.

To have so many opportunities to win a WS when you most likely had the best team that year is frustrating and like I said disappointing. That being said, would I trade the Dodger’s record for the Giants three WS titles and record in non championship years? No way. I, too, enjoy the winning each year, but that doesn’t take away the feeling that the season isn’t a success without a championship.

I know the postseason has become a crapshoot with so many more games needed to win in order to get a ring. I know this would never happen, but why play so many regular season games when they have marginal bearing on who wins the WS? Of course, it’s money and the historical records that baseball religiously relies. Nothing is going to change that. But, I would like to see, for example, a 125-135 game regular season and align the postseason so the World Series ends within the first 10 days of October. I hate November baseball. I know…I’m delusional.

So, far this year the team has some major flaws. Most of which are with the pitching staff and the bottom three spots in the lineup. With all that the team is tied for first place with a team that will most likely be at or near .500 by the end of the season. If the Dodgers finish in first place again this year without any high end roster additions via trade and crumble in the playoffs would you consider it a successful season? I would not. But, I would still enjoy the journey over the season.
Carrey on.


I enjoy watching a team that competes for the best regular season record. It is much more enjoyable than watching my team scuffle to get a wildcard berth or be out of the picture by the end of June.

The Playoffs are like a second season. It’s more fun if my team is in the second season. Each series of playoff games is more fun to watch if my team stays in play. Winning the WS is the ultimate fun.

Whatever playoff game the Dodgers were not in gave more time away from the TV. That’s a win as well.


It is certainly more fun to have a contending team throughout the spring and summer. But, very disappointing in the fall when they fail in the playoffs.
Unless AF works some miracles, I don’t believe we have the horses to win the WS this year. But, we will be in contention all year and most likely make the playoffs.
Overall, I would rather be a contender every year than suffer through losing seasons with teams that have no chance at a WS title or the playoffs.


On the Baseball America podcast, a favorite of mine Eno Sarris speculated (i.e. wasn’t reporting) on the Guardians this off-season.
He could envision that team both buying and selling, and selling to the Dodgers.
Bieber and Rosario (Rosario a pure rental, I believe) for…
Well, he doesn’t think the Dodgers would offer Vargas (nor do I), and Cartaya may be too much. But maybe Busch plus?

The trade value simulator likes:
Bieber and Rosario for Busch, Pages and Pepiot. Although the Guardians are swimming in pitching.

Sam Oyed

Rosario’s defense is worrisome.


Been loving the content here. I’m geeking on our prospects right now.
Jeff, what is your timeline for DeLuca?I’m hearing 2024 but I think we should give him a look.


Alden Gonzalez answers what the negative Nancies our midst (joke) have been asking ($$$$)
How is L.A. still doing this? 5 reasons Dodgers keep winning

This, essentially, was supposed to be the Dodgers’ gap year. A year when they’d bring their payroll back down to a relatively reasonable level. A year when they’d give some of their promising young prospects a real opportunity. A year when they’d contend but not necessarily dominate…. One reason: Their best players have been their best players


What do people know about Imanol Vargas.

He smoked a couple of basehits tonight for Tulsa. Vargas was on base 4 times and has his OBP at .390, OPS .862 and avg. at .268. He also has 7 HRs and 33 RBIs.

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