Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

Something Needs To Change

Bluto said:

Picking up on what Friedman usually does….

Once again, I want to point out Friedman’s MO.
He goes after superstars and he goes after undervalued assets.
He doesn’t go after Chapman, Adam Frazier or Jordan Montgomery.
He could change his philosophy, but until now he hasn’t.

On this we agree.  Except I am not so sure he would not pursue Adam Frazier.  Frazier is more of that undervalued asset that AF seems to covet.

Perhaps my take will differ in that AF generally comes up short in his pursuit of superstars.  He succeeded with Mookie (extension after a trade).  He succeeded with Freddie (FA).  Although I have no idea why Freddie was signed at such a “low” contract.  Once the CBA was signed, I think everyone expected Freddie to re-sign with Atlanta, and by the time they traded for Matt Olson, most of rosters were filled and AF swooped in.  IMO, if a team had offered Freddie $180-$200MM earlier, AF would not have matched it.  Why do I say that?  Outside of Freddie, what FA did Freidman sign for long term $150MM++?  Trevor Bauer is the only other FA that AF signed in excess of $100MM (3 years $102).

In 2023, the Dodgers did not have a problem with scoring runs (during the season).  They did have a big problem with starting pitching.  And yet there are those that want to give a DH, who may or may not be an effective pitcher again, $40MM to $50MM to $60MM a year.  Shohei Ohtani is an elite prolific hitter.  Better than Judge?  Harper?  Certainly arguable.

Is he deserving of an Aaron Judge contract (9 years $360MM)?  While Ohtani would be exclusively a DH, Judge has been a respectable defensive RF who can play CF (okay not very well).  2023 was Judge’s first off year defensively in RF.

I have no idea what type of a clutch hitter (playoffs) Ohtani would be since he has yet to play his first MLB playoff game.  The Dodgers spent $10MM for a DH in 2023, and he got the team further than did Ohtani.  And there are some that want to spend 4 times that for 10 years?

The Dodgers have had one consistent superstar throughout…Clayton Kershaw.  Friedman has lost out on every other FA he was supposedly bidding for.  Bryce Harper, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Corey Seager, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke.

Gerrit Cole was only going to pitch for NYY.  Once he got the offer he wanted from NYY, he never let the Dodgers counter.

Anthony Rendon did not want to go “Hollywood”.  Instead he went to Disneyland and flat out quit.

Trea Turner was only going to play on the east coast.  He made that crystal clear.

AF really blew any shot at Bryce Harper who was adamant that he wanted a long term deal.  Instead AF offered a short term high AAV deal, which is his comfort zone, not necessarily the players’.  Harper signed with Philadelphia for 13 years $330MM instead of 3 years $150MM (or something close).

His offer to Corey Seager was never going to be near enough.  Chris Young wanted him, and paid what it would take.  Corey Seager should still be a Dodger.

Zack Greinke had a handshake with AF, but after Arizona came in with a last second offer, he accepted without letting LAD counter…not that AF would have.

They came up #3 or #4 on JV.

I cannot blame AF on Bogaerts.  Some have estimated that SD paid nearly $100MM more than the next best offer.  Some have strongly speculated that Preller did not want AF swooping in and signing him; very willing to overspend.

The Dodgers show they have the organization and can acquire depth players to be more than competitive in the regular season.  But in 3 out of the last 5 NLDS’, the Dodgers have been beat (3-9) even while averaging nearly 106 wins during the season.

Something has to change.

Below is the best estimate of the Dodgers projected 2024 payroll as it currently exists.

 

 

That is 20 players who figure to be on the MLB roster, and there are 10 other pre-arbitration players that will get strong consideration for the 26 man:

  • Bobby Miller
  • Ryan Pepiot
  • Emmet Sheehan
  • James Outman
  • Michael Busch
  • Miguel Vargas
  • Jonny Deluca
  • Michael Grove
  • Gavin Stone
  • Kyle Hurt

There is at least $60MM-$70MM in payroll available before the CBT threshold.  There is no reason that LAD cannot exceed the threshold if an elite player becomes available.

In prior years, AF would tinker around the edges and rely on his organizational depth.  But shouldn’t a different approach be a premier consideration?

Something needs to change.

Considering Bluto’s initial comment regarding AF looking for superstars, even though I am not convinced that the Dodgers need Shohei Ohtani, I am just as convinced that AF will make more than a competitive offer for him.  Too many believe that AF did not spend big for 2023 because they believed that Ohtani was a target for 2024.  If he does not make a sincere effort for Ohtani, he will suffer from lack of believability from the fan base (earned or not earned is irrelevant).  He is a superstar that LAD can add to their stable.

But the question is…how much?  If I am being realistic, I would pay him Aaron Judge $$$ and then create a vesting incentive for pitching.  When healthy, he pitches every 6 days.  The most starts in his MLB career is 28 (2022), and the most IP is 166.0.  Is that really worth $200MM++?  Does AF risk losing Ohtani to another team that does not need to include a vesting option in their offer?  IMO, as a MLB player he is not worth $600MM, and that was before he got his 2nd TJ surgery.  But other teams believe he is.  Does AF reconsider his strategy?

AF also seems to take his time evaluating FA contract proposals, and that could take him out of the discussions for other players.

Besides Ohtani, I do think AF will get heavily involved with negotiations for Yoshinobu Yamamoto.  Yamamoto is reported to be posted around December 1, giving a team just 30 days prior to year end to conclude contract terms and get him under contract.

Will the pitching be good enough with Buehler, Miller, Yamamoto, Pepiot, and Sheehan, or will they also look for another mid rotation starter (Clayton Kershaw, Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito, Hyun-jin Ryu) or shoot for another front line starter…Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray, Aaron Nola?

But that brings up another change in strategy for AF.  He needs to be willing and able to negotiate with Scott Boras, something he has not done previously.   Both Snell and Montgomery are Boras clients.

I can see AF signing two SP from the above names.  AF’s depth will be Gavin Stone, Michael Grove, Landon Knack, Nick Frasso, River Ryan.

Does AF also consider Matt Chapman, another Boras client?  If he signs Ohtani, does he keep Muncy for 3B?  Give it to Michael Busch or Miguel Vargas?  He cannot keep both Busch and Vargas can he?  Does Jonny Deluca get the long runway for the LF job?  Does Kyle Hurt get a long look as a high leverage reliever on the MLB roster?  Or does AF look to sign an elite closer?

Does he limit his available $$$ by giving Clayton Kershaw another $20MM deal?

AF has options with payroll flexibility.  What he does over the next 4 months will let the LAD fanbase know if it is going to be more of the same, or a change in strategy.  Regardless, he is going to need approval from ownership whatever direction he chooses.

Something needs to change.

53 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
53 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Oldbear48

Needs to and will are two entirely different things. I doubt the Dodgers are just going to change their philosophy on how they construct a team. Not as long as AF is the president of baseball operations. What really needs to change more than anything is the three true outcome approach to hitting. This team scored more runs than any team in the majors with two outs. But if they had some guys who made consistent contact instead of striking out so much, maybe they would have scored a lot of those runs with one out.
Six players, Freeman, 121, Muncy, 153, Outman, 181, Betts, 107, Martinez, 149 and Chris Taylor, 125, struck out more than 100 times. Muncy’s strikeout totals have climbed every year for the last three seasons. Outman is a rookie, so I cut him a little slack. He should get better and have a coach work with him on cutting down the k’s. Freeman averages 132 a year, so he was a little under that. Muncy 155, Betts, 102, Martinez, 167, Taylor, 170. Martinez is likely gone next year, so his total won’t be added. But between the five guys who figure to be here next season, that is 727 unproductive outs. Add Martinez and it is 876! Almost 900 outs where you have no offense whatsoever. I realize in this day and age strikeouts are not frowned upon, but they should be. The Dodgers as a team, struck out 1359 times this season. Unbelievable.

Last edited 5 months ago by Oldbear48
Jeff

Jeff,

Do you see anyone from the farm being a star who is not a pitcher? Vargas, Deluca, or Busch, don’t do it for me. The pitchers are a different story. With a different approach/change of the pitching coaches/trainers,etc., we should see some stars emerge soon. Pepiot, Sheehan, maybe Grove, seem at the cusp and need to turn that corner with better coaching and training, giving more control and endurance to their games. How many pitchers emerge much better after TJ surgery? just curious.

It’s time for Kershaw to pack it up. He’s already a legend here and if he’s our #1, we are not going to win anything again.

But again, I have to come back to what I originally said about the Dodger organization right down to the players and farm, it is a Corporate run and managed team. No heart there. Never will be.

Oldbear48

How can anyone who has followed this team since Freidman took over think anything significant is going to change??????

Bluto

Exactly.

Bluto

Not sure about all of this Jeff.

For many years the Dodgers had a high-leverage closer. For that reason, why would it be a shock to see them have one again.

Not all prospects stay in AAA. Lux didn’t, Smith didn’t. Outman didn’t. Not sure why you can be so cavalier in saying the same for Busch/Vargas and DeLuca.

I am coming around on Frazier and his appeal to the front office. Great call.

Bluto

I misunderstood, I thought it was about playing time.

Yeah, not sure any are elite to that level. I do think one or two of them will be on the game-day roster.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bluto
Dionysus

Pages getting injured hurt us too. He was in pace to be opening day LF in 2024. Vivas needs another year and MIGHT be able to man 2b, but I think bench bat is better bet. Cartaya and Rushing are battling it for C. Others are down the line.

Dave

Friedman likes the depth he gets by signing AAAA players, recovering veterans and young players with options. That is a great way to endure the season but is not the makeup of a playoff team.
The lineup needs to be more balanced and there needs to be more quality starters. Someone will always get hurt and the depth he creates is great for the season but that’s all. That’s what happened this yr except they didn’t even start with enough quality starters. Kershaw, then unproven starters in May and Gonsolin and Syndergard.
Offensively they need a good hitting rh 3b,even to just platoon, a good hitting rh outfielder, add Lux, keep Rojas then add 2 quality starting pitchers. Kershaw is an unknown and might need more recovert time but maybe they sign him to a 2nd half contract so he’s in midseason form for the playoffs and it can be his farewell tour

Sam Oyed

As I recall the Dodgers have more than a few rule 5 players that they could lose in the draft. Trading them before they are lost would seem prudent. Who goes, most likely, with someone on the 40 man roster and for who is something to keep an eye on.

Bluto

I still think the service time thresholds under the Rule V draft need to be changed.

They totally are unfair to Int’l Free Agents, primarily pitchers.

Badger

Something will change. But it won’t be the firing of Friedman or Roberts that so many are calling for.

I mentioned yesterday a change I felt would benefit the club by adding an All World talent and I got a some pushback on the idea. I expected it. I don’t have a lot of time to do the research on every team’s systems but I’m sure Friedman does.

Example:

On that list of short right field porches was Tampa. Muncy would be an improvement on their current DH. He would add thunder and WAR to that lineup. And who could come back? Two pitchers with equal trade value and low salaries are Kevin Kelly and Collin Poche. Both can pitch. And I don’t know who in the minors might be if interest but I’m sure Friedman does. The point is, it can be done.

The strategy here is to add value to our lineup, in this case maybe 4 WAR. AND, with the signing of Ohtani, we get what amounts to a big league pitching prospect for ‘25 and beyond. With Muncy and Kershaw’s contracts off the books, you’ve got money to offer Ohtani. Also, I’m betting someone like Giolito, a 1.6 WAR pitcher would love to love to come to LA and work with Prior and wouldn’t be that expensive to pick up. Again, it CAN be done.

And that my friends is change.

Bluto

Lovely post Jeff.

Two thoughts, my favorite Friedman post (and one that I submitted elsewhere) is this gem that McCullough got:

“If you’re always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.”

My second thought, about “missed” superstars is budgetary. If Seager had resigned, I’d bet there’s a good chance Freeman isn’t offered anything.

The Dodgers can’t be all superstars. They could afford more superstars, but ownership isn’t going there. If they sign Ohtani, will there be the political will or financial space to sign others? Dunno. Me dunno.

Badger

They’ve got the money.

Bluto

They definitely do, Badger. Whether they want/choose to use it is another question.

Singing the Blue

Jeff, you mentioned that you couldn’t tell what kind of clutch player Ohtani might be in the playoffs since he hadn’t yet played in the post season. Although it’s a small sample size, he performed rather spectacularly on the world stage in this year’s WBC so I think the odds are good he would rise to the occasion.

Kershaw – somehow I think AF might be hoping that he decides to hang them up and save the team that $20MM. It’s not so much that the quality of his pitching has gone down but rather the increased chances that he can’t take the mound on a regular basis. I think Dave had a good thought above when he suggested Clayton might want to sit out the first half and come back for the second half, if he still wants to (and is able to) pitch next year.

I expect Andrew to make a major pitcher signing this winter. I think we’ll see either Ohtani or Yamamoto in Dodger Blue come Feb. From listening to Andrew, I feel they might be OK with going deep into the playoffs every year and rarely winning it all, but the past two years have been an embarrassment to the organization and these guys are competitive, just like the players. That’s why I disagree with those of you who think they’ll never change the way they do things.

If I got to make the decision, I’d pass on Ohtani (way too much uncertainty about his ability to pitch well going forward) and instead I’d use the money (actually a bit less money) to sign Yamamoto, Hader and Jung-hoo Lee, the Korean outfielder who will also be posted this winter and has shown great bat to ball skills as well as being considered an excellent outfielder. Yamamoto is 25 and Lee is 24, which I also consider to be a plus.

Badger

I’m absolutely fine with those signings. But as you can probably tell, I want Ohtani’s bat in the lineup. And I believe he WILL pitch again. Why? Because he really wants to. And that’s good enough for me.

Bobby

works for me.

Jeff

Me, too.

Scott Andes

In regards to Trea Turner, those PR generated rumors that he “preferred to play on the east coast” were false. He would have come back to the Dodgers if they had offerred him a contract, and they never did.

“I don’t know if surprise is the right word,” Turner said Monday. “I had conversations with them in spring training last year, and that didn’t work out. Once that happened, anything is possible. It’s a business … It just didn’t work out.”

Phillies’ Trea Turner Never Got Formal Contract Offer from Dodgers in Free Agency | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

“You’re like: ‘Man, I just played there. Did they not want me?’” Turner said. “But I don’t think that’s necessarily fair either. Like I keep saying, it’s the nature of the business. It just didn’t work out. You want that two-way street, you want that love, you could say. I think the relationships that I built were very good for me, and I enjoyed it.”

Dodgers News: Trea Turner Battled the Hurt of LA Not Pursuing Him in Free Agency – Inside the Dodgers | News, Rumors, Videos, Schedule, Roster, Salaries And More

Trea Turner Reveals Dodgers Didn’t Come Calling During Free Agency Last Winter | Dodgers Nation

Something does have to change indeed.

Last edited 5 months ago by Scott Andes
Bluto

Sounds like PR from Turner, Scott.

Scott Andes

This is from multiple publications, and directly quoted from Turner himself. The Dodgers never offerred him a contract.

Bobby

maybe the Dodgers already knew he wanted 10/300 type money, and the Dodgers were not going to go there?

Either way, I always liked Trea (except for last year’s playoff performance) and I wished he stayed, especially after Seager left the year before.

Bluto

Yes, Bobby this is what I meant. This is “PR Spin” of a situation.

i’m sure the Dodgers would like to have him at SS as well.

Scott Andes

Then they should have made him an offer

Bluto

You pick the oddest hills to take a stand on, Scott.

Scott Andes

How is this odd? I’m just stating facts. We’re talking about free agency, and specifically the Dodgers reported interest or non-interest in Trea Turner?

Wouldn’t you agree that if a team is actually interested in signing a player, they would make them a contract offer? Wouldn’t a contract offer imply interest?

Bluto

Just stop this fake naïveté, it’s silly.

Last edited 5 months ago by Bluto
Jeff

Yes, Bluto. Please stop it.

Scott Andes

Did not believe? Or did not want to?

Scott Andes

It does kind of matter in a way. They let two MVP shortstops walk in free agency, one after the other. Seager was not retained, and partly because they already had Trea at the time. Then They let him walk. Lux gets hurt, and the dropoff in talent is huge at that position. Not to mention the massive hole in the farm pipeline.

Narative for Seager was Dodgers couldn’t (they could have) match Texas’s offer.
Narative for Turner was that he wanted to play on the east coast.

Turner has said he would have at least considered staying with the Dodgers. I believe him.

You see what both of these players are doing in the postseason. Especially Seager who was already a World Series MVP 3 years ago and could be on his way to winning another.

It’s super incompetent in my opinion to let both of these guys walk to play Gavin Lux. Or is it because they didn’t want to spend the money?

Lux isnt in the same stratosphere as those two. Maybe if they had one of those guys, or both, they at least win a game this postseason. It’s all in the past, but it’s what we’re talking about here, how Friedman handles free agents, which at times is pretty bad.

Talk about a PR nightmare (if we’re also talking about PR). Hey fans, we’re not signing world series MVP Corey Seager because we have Trea Turner, but then we’re going to let him walk a year later because we have the best number 9 hitter on the planet in Lux. Then he gets hurt and we’re stuck Miguel Rojas for an entire year, and nobody else. (No disrespect to Rojas)

The Dodgers of the 2020’s.

Last edited 5 months ago by Scott Andes
Scott Andes

I don’t care about being right here. I care about the Dodgers winning in the postseason. But not offerring a contract tells me they weren’t very interested in bringing him back at all.

That’s just my opinion though.

Bluto

It’s definitely a lot of opinion!

Last edited 5 months ago by Bluto
Jeff

What matters, Jeff, is they signed an SS who was so far below Turner’s threshhold and that hurt us a lot. Turner was our sparkplug who made that lineup sing. They had plenty of money to replace Turner but AF went down the rabbit hole. They went the Cheap Charlie way with Syndergaard, Rojas, Heyward, & Peralta. They thought the rookies could handle the rest. This should be a big lesson to AF with his penchant for re-treads and DIY fixits. This team needs proven talent.

Jeff

How does a team go from Trea Turner to Miggy Rojas?

Scott Andes

Here is someone who understands what I was saying.

and that’s what I was talking about. They go from having Seager and Turner, to Miguel Rojas at short, and nobody at second. ( I know Jeff D. loves Miggy’s glove)

Scott Andes

Jeff,

I never said they didn’t have conversations, they never made an offical offer. That’s all I’m saying and that is fact.

If anything, an offer indicates more interest than mere conversation, especially when those conversations don’t happen in the winter.

Badger

I agree with Bluto.

Turner said he had talks with the Dodgers in the Spring. That suggests to me he wanted to talk extension. Dodgers said no. Then we hear he wants to play on the East Coast. I’m assuming that’s true but I don’t know it to be. And if his agent didn’t pick up the phone to talk to Friedman, multiple times, then that’s on him. Or, maybe Friedman just decided he wants Lux at short and he’s saving leverage for a bigger signing than Turner. Whatever. Turner is gone, and apparently happy in Philadelphia. Good for him. Now shut up about the Dodgers Trea.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Scott Andes

How does anybody know where he really wanted to play?

Fact is the Dodgers never oferred him a contract. if the Doders were really interested in him, they would have offered him a contract.

He was saying that he enjoyed playing for the Dodgers and would have been open to returning. That doesn’t sound like PR crap to me. That sounds like he’s telling the truth. Unless you believe he’s lying.

It would be one thing if he said something like “I love the Dodgers! I want to come back and don’t want to play anywhere else! I love Los Angeles!”

“They knew he was going to sign with an east coast team”? No those were initially rumors. Had the Dodgers actually made him an offer, maybe he would have taken it and stayed. I guess we’ll never know.

Last edited 5 months ago by Scott Andes
Singing the Blue

Don’t you just have to sometimes want to win that you just say F it and go for it? “

I think that’s exactly what they’re saying around the Dodger offices right now because of how they got smashed the last two post seasons.

Everyone says it will never change.
Wrong.
This year it will change.

They were pretty upfront with the fans last winter, indicating they wanted to try to get below the tax line and also having to deal with the Bauer situation.

I think, maybe for the first time since he got here, that Andrew might actually feel another finish like this year could cost him his job. That will motivate him to be more bold.

File this somewhere Jeff and let’s see if I’m right once we have the ST roster.

After all, I’m the guy who so cleverly said we should trade for Lynn. And, low and behold, he set a record during his start in the NLDS.

Jeff

Nah. Kasten is very happy with AF’s work and I strongly doubt there is any question about his job security. There are always changes in the Dodgers from year to year. AF will probably focus on the pitching rather than the fielders. Lux will take SS with Rojas backing him. Hopefully, Muncy will no longer play 3B and move to DH if he stays with the team. 3B is an opportunity for the Dodgers to change as well as Lux at SS. Will they keep Rosario for 2B? They are now paying Kike and Taylor $25M for their utility skills. Is this wise?

Bluto

Corbin Burnes, Kevin Gausman, Tyler Glasnow, Clayton Kershaw, Max Fried, Spencer Strider and Framber Valdez have all combined for zero Wins

The three leading NL MVP candidates — Ronald Acuna Jr., Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman — have combined for the following this postseason:

3-for-31.

Dionysus

Baseball is shit.

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

53
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x