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Tell Me Why

One pet peeve of mine is to just blurt out statements and consider them facts without offering any support for an argument.  My opinion is no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I try to support my comments with something other than what my heart says is true.  That is all I ask of anyone.  When you come out and say that a player is going to be a #1, well… just because, I am always going to question it.  Everyone can have an opinion, but don’t expect them to all go without someone questioning your reasoning.  I am not saying you are wrong.  I am stating why I think I am right.  Now tell me why you think you are right.  That is what I am asking.

I have been a fan of MiLB since I first started following it with the inaugural draft in 1965 (day before my 13th birthday), and Rick Monday was the first player ever drafted.

My favorite all time MiLB team was the 1970 Spokane Indians. That team was managed by Tommy Lasorda. Future LAD players on that 1970’s team: Charlie Hough, Von Joshua, Bill Buckner, Bobby Valentine, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Geoff Zahn, Bill Russell, Doug Rau, Doyle Alexander, Tom Paciorek, Tom Hutton, Mike Strahler, Sandy Vance, Bart Shirley, John Purdin.

Suffice to say, I am an avid MiLB fan.  With my son playing 9 years in MiLB, and a being a former season ticket holder to the Sacramento River Cats, I lost count of the MiLB games I have seen.

So, please do not confuse my skepticism on the ceiling of certain LAD MiLB players for non-support.  The Dodgers have a great farm system and keep producing good MLB players, primarily for depth.  Just not elite. I am sorry, but that is not arguable.  The Dodgers have had 9 drafts under AF.  Since then, the Dodgers have produced 3 All Stars that have participated in 4 ASG.

  • Walker Buehler – 2 times (2019 and 2022)
  • Tony Gonsolin – 1 time (2022)
  • Will Smith – 1 time (2023)

Since 2015 (AF Era), 23 different Dodgers have made the ASG.

Under Paul DePodesta

  • Free Agent – Kenley Jansen – 3 times

Under Ned Colletti:

Draft:

  • Clayton Kershaw – 6 times
  • Corey Seager – 2 times
  • Cody Bellinger – 2 times
  • Joc Pederson – 1 time
  • Ross Stripling – 1 time

Free Agent:

  • Zack Greinke – 1 time
  • Hyun-jin Ryu – 1 time

Waiver:

  • Justin Turner – 2 times

Trade:

  • Adrian Gonzalez – 1 time

Under Andrew Friedman

Draft:

  • Walker Buehler – 2 times
  • Tony Gonsolin – 1 time
  • Will Smith – 1 time

Free Agent:

  • Freddie Freeman – 2 times
  • Max Muncy – Signed as MiLB player – 2 times
  • Tyler Anderson – 1 time
  • JD Martinez – 1 time

Trade:

  • Mookie Betts – 3 times
  • Yasmani Grandal – 1 time
  • Alex Wood – 1 time
  • Matt Kemp – 1 time
  • Trea Turner – 1 time
  • Chris Taylor – 1 time

What that seems to indicate is that AF is in fact a good judge in talent.  It is just not all that special with the MLB draft or the IFA market.

Besides the 5 drafted by Ned Colletti mentioned above, he also drafted Matt Kemp (2 times) and Dee Strange-Gordon (1 time) who were All Stars.  Other FAs signed in the Colletti era and were All Stars were Yasiel Puig (1 time) and Takashi Saito (1 time).  And he traded for Nomar Garciaparra (1 time), Rafael Furcal (1 time), and Andre Ethier (2 times) who were All Stars in the Colletti era.

AF is at somewhat of a disadvantage when it comes to the draft.  While Colletti’s first picks were:  7, 20, 15, 36, 28, 16, 18, 18, and 22, AF’s were:  24, 20, 23, 30, 25, 29, 29, 40, and 36.  Then again AF has a huge advantage with owner’s $$$.

The Dodgers draft good players with a measurable skill.  They seem to look at power arms and power bats.  Most (not all) of the drafted pitchers at the higher levels have a power fastball and hope they can teach spin.  They also look for athletes. From Michael Busch to James Outman.

Michael Busch as a QB he led his HS to a state championship game.  He was a hockey team captain, and two time All State.  The Dodgers drafted him for his hit tool with projectable power, but no discernable position, and not very fleet of foot.  IMO, Busch has the best bat, hit and power, than any other prospect in the organization.  But he is best at 1B or DH.  Right now he is blocked by Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy.  I do think he will be a good MLB hitter, and probably could be a mid-order batter.  They are going to need to create a position for Busch if they plan on keeping him.  It will be an adventure with Busch defensively.

Outman’s football prowess has been well documented.

Can Busch coexist with Miguel Vargas in the same lineup?  For many out there, yes.  For me, no.  Am I down on either of them individually?  Absolutely not.  But unless one of them is the DH, I cannot see two poor defensive players in the same lineup.   My solution would be to include one of them in a trade.  I personally believe that Michael Busch has the higher ceiling and he would be the one I would hold on to.  But I trust AF with that decision.  Whatever happens with Ohtani will clear a lot of this up.  Or not.

BA has just published their 2024 top ten.  They do not have one middle infield prospect in their top 10.  MLB Pipeline has Jorbit Vivas as their #10. That could change before the season starts and the rankings are updated. There is not one publication that believes he will be anything more than a utility infielder.  MLB Pipeline really considers 2B to be the only MLB position he can effective at.  We have been advised that these scouts are not God, and they can be wrong.  Of course they can, and they often are.  But they are far more correct than incorrect.  But the errors are mostly in the “not as good as projected” column.  Those that are not rated highly do not usually make a big jump in their skills grades and FV (future value).  You rarely see a 45 FV jump to 60, but there are 60 FV that do not make it.

So can Vivas grow into a solid 2B prospect?  Yes.  But IMO, and in the opinion of the publications, he will not be.   But I do believe he will be a MLB player.

Gavin Stone, Nick Frasso, Kyle Hurt, River Ryan, and Landon Knack (top ten in MLB Pipeline) are all RHP prospects.  The first four are 25 and Knack is 26.  Not the age that you hope front line starters are rookies.  Each of the first four RHP have plus pitches but questionable command and control.  The command and control problems are mostly as the game goes longer.  They cannot hold pitches through the lineup twice.  Generally these pitchers with 2 quality pitches and a questionable tertiary selection find themselves in the bullpen where they can dominate for an inning or two or no more than once through the lineup.  Is that a pitcher problem or an organizational issue with the tight pitch/inning controls?

Landon Knack does not have elite pitches, but he does have exceptional control (60 grade).  For a MiLB pitcher, this is outstanding.  He is not a big strikeout pitcher, and more of his outs are “air outs”.  He is more apt to be a starter than a lock down high leverage reliever. He does need to watch his conditioning.

I like all of Ryan Pepiot, Emmet Sheehan, Nick Frasso, Kyle Hurt, and Gavin Stone, and in that order.  Pepiot has shown more than any of the others that he needs to be considered a lock to be in the rotation.  Sheehan has the overpowering fastball that makes him more of a setup/closer type pitcher.  He can dominate (and has) with that pitch, but generally in short term occasions.  His secondary and tertiary pitches are average at best, but if he can continue to develop them, he will be a lock down high leverage reliever.  For now he will continue to develop as a starter.

Kyle Hurt’s conversion to the bullpen has already begun.  He is projected to be a MLB reliever, even though he will continue to stretch out in MiLB.  His swing and miss pitch is evident with his 14.87 K/9 metrics. That screams late inning high leverage reliever, even though MLB Pipeline thinks he is more of a multi inning reliever.  But the organization has many of those, but none with this swing and miss capability.

Nick Frasso will be a good MLB pitcher.  But he cannot go from being a mid-rotation starter ceiling to an Ace.  I am not saying he is a mid-rotation starter.  Every baseball publication says so.  Are they all wrong?  In many of your minds, yes.  But I cannot remember one projected mid-rotation starter who has gone to be the Ace of a title contending team.  He is 25 and does not seem to have the endurance to go more than 5.0 innings.  How does that translate into being a #1?  The answer cannot be because I say so. I am asking why for those out there who believe Frasso is an Ace in waiting.

Some of you think I dislike Nick Frasso because I am more in line with where the baseball publications place his ceiling.  Not true at all.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A MID ROTATION PITCHER.  EVERY TEAM NEEDS THEM.   But he needs to prove he can go more than 5.0 IP before he can become a regular in the rotation.  But that fastball of his is a money pitch.  While every team needs a mid-rotation starter, every team needs a closer (or should have one), and Frasso could be a devastating closer.  He has been mentioned in the same space as Eric Gagne.  Both have/had high rated fastballs with a plus plus change.  Gagne was a starter prospect as well.

Believe me or not, I also like Gavin Stone.  But his money pitch is his change.  Ryan Pepiot also has an outstanding change, but he also has a 70 fastball.  Actually Pepiot’s change is rated higher than Stone’s (75 to 70), but their fastball is the big difference.  Pepiot has a 70 fastball while Stone has a 55 fastball.  It was Stone’s change that got clobbered in MLB.  MLB hitters do not chase the earlier breaking change like MiLB hitters do.  MLB hitters spit on his slider they knew would not be a strike and jumped on that change.  Stone’s change needs to be consistent with getting it to have a late break. His change either breaks early and lands in the zone, or is a ball out of hand.  MiLB hitters get fooled.  MLB hitters do not. Same is true with Pepiot, except Pepiot can get batters out with his fastball.  There is a big difference between a 70 and a 55 fastball.

I think that Stone, Frasso, Hurt, Ryan, and Knack are fairly graded.  I just have a hard time believing the Dodgers should keep all of them.  At the MLB level and all 4 affiliations’ levels (AAA, AA, A+, and A) the Dodgers have 64 RHP and 19 LHP (overwhelmingly mostly relievers).  They have 6 LHSP and one of them is Ryan Yarbrough.  Do they need all 64 RHP?

I prefer to package a couple of them for a more highly regarded MLB pitcher(s).  I guess the other choice would be to continue to hold onto them and let them leave as MLB or more likely MiLB free agents, because they cannot have 10 starting pitchers in the rotation.

That does not count the number in either rookie league (ACL and DSL).

And for those who criticized me for believing the publications’ scouting reports as being accurate about Frasso and Stone, and should not be in the rotation, at least to start the season, I asked the question…if the Dodgers do as planned and acquire two top SP for the rotation, who gets bumped so Stone and Frasso can join the rotation?  Buehler, Miller, Pepiot, or Sheehan?  And why?  Actually Roster Resource has penciled Ryan Yarbrough into the rotation as the lone lefty.  IMO the Dodgers are looking for two starting pitchers to replace Yarbrough and Sheehan/Stone.

What if the Dodgers are successful in acquiring Dylan Cease and say Jordan Montgomery or Shōta Imanaga?  Who out there would prefer Stone/Frasso over Cease, Montgomery or Imanaga?  I know there are those of you who would say you prefer the rookies.  We will just agree to disagree.  One other consideration is that for most teams, the #5 is a often times a veteran who is an innings eater.  I think that is why Lucas Giolito will be considered for that role.  For the last five full seasons, his least number of IP was 161.2.

That being said, I do not blindly follow the publications.  However where I disagree, much of the time it is because I am not as enamored with the higher ranking as the publications are.  I have not been shy about saying I am not a huge fan of Maddux Bruns.  I hope I am wrong, but I do not see him in the rotation.  There is no question that he has a good arm, with three quality pitches.  He has worked hard to improve his control.  After walking more than 1 an inning a year ago, he brought it down to 6.2 per 9 innings. That is still not sustainable as a rotation pitcher. Can he actually get it down to below 4 per 9 innings?

As a follow up, this is almost exactly what BA’s Kyle Glaser said, even though BA has him at the #10 top prospect.  I think his age helps here.

 

 

 

 

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Baseball1439

Great post.

norcaldodgerfan

Love the detailed analysis of the state of our MiLB and that of Friedman. I agree 100% on your critical thinking of AF’s performance. He’s good, but yesterday’s comparison to the work of AF vs. Anthopoulos was “spot on.” AA identifies a need and attacks the trade and FA market and fills the need aggressively. AF seems to get “paralysis by analysis” and, it seems just as a casual fan watching from the sidelines, he appears to lose out on a coveted player. too often. Was the alleged offer to Nola legitimate or is it just inside baseball talk giving him cover to say “we tried.” Apparently the “we tried” mantra is becoming a thing in MLB circles.

There is another blog I visit often for Dodger information and banter where the blog owner is weirdly confrontational whenever anyone posts anything critical of AF. Don’t get me wrong I like AF, but he’s not perfect and it’s OK to question his moves and more importantly his results. Todays post does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting the all-star appearances of Dodger players under the Depodesta, Colletti and AF regimes.

This offseason is a big test for AF. He has to get it right. I like our young pitchers but anyone who thinks we can go 162 games and be dominant with Pepiot, Sheehan, Miller, Yarborough, Stone, Grove, Frasso, Knack et al in the rotation with Buehler as the only real established veteran is being unrealistic in my opinion.

Jeff

I wonder which blog that is. 😋

Badger

Great post Jeff. And yesterday’s late posts by the group was a very interesting read for me.

As many here may know, initially I wasn’t an AF fan, but as time has gone on I realized it’s difficult to argue success. The team’s record over his span of leadership speaks for itself.

As for the pitchers mentioned I would look at spin rate and command. Fastballs are of course important as all other pitches work of that pitch, but those arms that depend on that are more likely to have elbow problems. Spinning the ball to locations and changing speeds is what I would look for and instruct to young pitchers.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Oldbear48

Tell Me Why, great Beatles tune. I do not comment much on the talent in the minors because my knowledge of those guys is simply from the stat sheet I read on the teams sites. I have seen a few of them play when I occasionally watch a minor league game on MLB.TV.

Bluto

Really appreciate this post and highlight this line:
“Not as good as projected”

Most prospects (and especially pitching prospects) won’t live up to fans hopes/scouts expectations.

That, I think, should work in the LAD’s favor as they seem to be playing the volume game in MiLB WRT prospects.

I also really like the Stone analysis. I had no idea (or had forgotten) his best pitch was the change. I thought he was FB/SL.

Badger

Three pitches should be enough to get through the lineup twice. If that’s 5 innings I’m ok with it.

I’ve said it before, I believe solid mid rotation starters will work with a team that scores the way the Dodgers do. Scoring 900 may not be sustainable but with Betts, Freeman, Ohtani, and Smith leading the way I think scoring will be a strength in the immediate future.

Bush or Vargas. Honestly I don’t know which one will will offer the most WAR but my instinct tells me it would be Vargas. His hit tool has always been a strength and I still believe with intensive practice he could be a + dWAR player. I believe Busch will be the one traded.

I think there will always be free agents that want to play for the Dodgers and the organization can afford them. As fans we are fortunate to have a team like the Dodgers.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Maybe it’s not who is better between Vargas and Busch and instead who can get the better player in a trade. I think that is Busch.

I have consistently opined for exhausting the try to trade for Witt before using trade assets elsewhere.

The last thing the Dodgers need to repeat is the Zack Lee fiasco and by that I mean waiting too long to give up on him.

I think a team with a good offense can win with two great pitchers and three pitchers that can consistently go 5 innings.

Bumsrap

For me, the concept of piggyback challenges the need for a bullpen full of one inning pitchers or with one who can go 2 innings for 2 games out of 5.

If Grove and Stone for example could eat 7 or 8 innings in tandem every 5 days for $1.5MM, that leaves payroll available for elsewhere.

Bluto

Wasn’t the Zack Lee fiasco its original sin? Drafting him in the first place?

Fred Vogel

However, they did trade him to Seattle for Chris Taylor so at least they received some value back, albeit, years later.

Jeff

I would choose Vargas to give another chance to next season at 3B. It seems he hits well on the farm then can’t translate his hitting to the majors. Normally, I would say that would indicate a higher ceiling and I like his size. He should develop a power game which the FO loves. But, if I’m the boss, I go to FA to. get what I want or trade a package for what I want.

Singing the Blue

Gibson signed for one year and $12MM with a team option for a second year.
The Cards picked up a lot of innings for $22MM (Gibson plus Lynn), but their fans won’t be happy if they don’t add one or two frontline pitchers to that.

Oldbear48

Paul DeJong close to a major league contract with the White Sox.

Singing the Blue

Somebody on Twitter just pointed this out:

The 2024 #STLCards rotation will now be anchored by the 2023 leaders in runs allowed (Miles Mikolas), hits allowed (Kyle Gibson), and home runs allowed (Lance Lynn).

Someone else suggested they sign Thor so they can add the stolen bases leader to the group.

Last edited 4 months ago by Singing the Blue
Bumsrap

That’s funny

tedraymond

Fantastic information Jeff. I think AF and Gomes are going to need to change their tactics in order to restore the starting staff. They are going to need a closer mentally when the closer fails (Bauer signing). Put it behind you. Move on. It’s been decades since the Dodgers have had a starting staff at this level going into the off season. Here’s my two cents on what might be considered.

I considered the FA signing of starting pitchers a couple of weeks ago.  But, after reading lots of comments and opinions I’ve changed my ideas for starting pitching and how to obtain them. I’m sure that will change more than once before free agency is concluded!

First I wanted to list many of the aging prospects. I think many should be either put on the 40 man or used in a trade.  Otherwise, what’s the point of continuing to keep them in the Dodger system? I know, depth.  But, I would imagine the Dodger brain trust has a pretty good handle on who is going to be playing for the Dodgers in the future.  Certainly, not all the ones listed below.

Last year I wanted the team to use as many prospects as possible.  Which they did.  And, only two, James Outman and Bobby Miller made any impact.  This was out of 16-17 (I think).  So, that was kind of disappointing although not unexpected.  What is concerning to me is that so many were in the 25-27 age range.  Here’s a list.

Ages as of July, ‘24.  *Currently on the 40 man roster.

Position players:
*Busch 2B/3B/DH? – 26
*Vargas 2B/3B? – 24
*Feduccia C – 27
*Deluca OF – -26
*Pages OF – 23
*Vivas INF – 23
Ramos OF – 23

Pitchers:    
*Frasso – 25 
*Stone – 25
R Ryan – 25
*Knack – 27 
Wrobleski – 24 
*Hurt – 26
*Grove – 27
*Sheehan – 25
*Peptiot  – 26 

So, instead of using hundreds of millions of dollars to sign Free Agent pitching or DH, how about using many of the above prospects to obtain some solid starting pitching via trades.  I would, also, consider prospects like Rushing and Gelof who don’t appear to have a defensive spot with the team.  I would go after Cease and Burnes.  I would think AF has more than enough to obtain both. Do not take back any salaries!  Cease has two years  before becoming a FA and Burnes one year. 

I know that Burnes is represented by Boros, but it’s Burnes who makes the final
decision on where he wants to play.  Let’s say the Dodgers win the WS in 2024 and Burnes is a huge part of that.  And, he is from Bakersfield, so there’s a good chance he was a Dodger fan growing up.  And, the  Dodgers will have the money to pay him.  Boros has been overruled in the past by a player. Even if he signs to another team the Dodgers would receive a nice draft pick (if they can get under the CBT in 2024). The Dodgers have two years to get Cease to resign (if he works out).  Then go after Imanaga in order to get a LH starter at 4-5 years at $15MM per.

With the above you have potentially three nice pitchers for less than $38MM for 2024.  If Kershaw wants to pitch next year how about $15MM and work to target the All Star game to begin his season.  Hopefully, that would get him through the season and ready to go for the postseason where he can redeem himself and win a WS with the Dodgers and retire on a positive note.  Go for a six man rotation to allow starters to go deeper into games and still be “fresh” for the playoffs.

Rotation for 2024:
Buehler
Miller 
Cease
Burnes
Imanaga
Pepiot (if not traded) / Sheehan
Kershaw at midseason.  Injuries are certainly going to happen (i.e. – 2023).

I would resign JDM, Kiki, and Heywood.  I would go after L Gurriel for LF.  Also, on the bench would be Taylor, Barnes (Feduccia), and Rojas. For the insane amount of money projected for Ohtani, I say pass. With his injury history it’s too risky in my view.  And, like Jeff has mentioned, JDM was damn productive compared to Ohtani for a lot less money.  Even at what JDM will sign for in 2024. Another positive of these moves is that it will give the Dodgers a chance to get under the CBT in 2024.

The BP should be in great shape.  I think it’s time for Graterol to become a closer.  If he doesn’t work out then they have Phillips available.

Lineup for 2024:
Betts 2B
Gurriel LF
Freeman 1B
JDM DH
Muncy 3B
Smith C
Outman CF
Heywood / Taylor RF
Lux SS

Sorry for the long post.
Carry on.

Oldbear48

DeJong and the White Sox agree on a deal.

Jeff Dominique

Thanks Ted. It was a good take. We all have moving targets for opinions as to what the Dodgers will/should do. AF/BG are certainly under the spotlight this offseason. I doubt that it is a hot seat from ownership, but it is from the fans.

I know success is measured differently by everyone. Winning at least 100 games in each of the last 4 full seasons is not only successful, but impressive. Nobody builds a roster for 162 games better than AF. However, for me it cannot be considered a success when the Dodgers lose 3 of those 4 years in the NLDS, going 3-9. I know that is unacceptable to me, and I would guess that it is true for most LAD fans. Others are happy with the 100 wins knowing their team contends every year. From all of the reports and interviews, AF appears to believe it is unacceptable as well. We will see. I doubt that he will enter next year’s post-season with an unproven rookie heavy starting rotation. How many top of the rotation pitchers will be wearing LAD uniforms next year? We have a little less than 3 months before ST.

Of course it is the players. That is who plays the game. And the LAD players have put together a phenomenal regular season run. But maybe they are not the “right” players for October. AF knows far more than me, and I hope he considers a change in approach. I like the idea of trades because the surplus of RHP talent needs to be trimmed. The catching talent needs to be trimmed. One of Busch/Vargas needs to be moved.

It is time to turn the page, and perhaps try a different approach. Yes, Scott Boras gets excessive contracts for his players. Texas paid it, and they got a WS Championship largely thanks to Boras clients (well at least 1 for sure). And Ted, you are correct. Boras works for the players, and not all of the players are looking for long drawn out negotiations for the highest bidder. While most of his clients want to max out their contracts, many have told Boras what they wanted and he has complied. Trade for Burnes and work with Boras. It will almost certainly not come before he enters FA, but for the right price he might tell Boras he will accept a deal with LAD. Maybe not. But if you want elite talent, you have to negotiate in good faith with Scott Boras. He has a hold on elite talent.

AF/BG will have to leave their comfort zone with starting pitching. It is going to take 6-7 years for the elite pitchers, and 9 figures. Put the Bauer deal in the rear view mirror. It was a mistake, move on.

The reports change daily. Today I read that the Dodgers are going to go hard after both Ohtani and Yamamoto. Yesterday, Yamamoto was headed to one of the NY teams (this is also what I think). There are conflicting reports that Yamamoto wants to play on the east coast and the west coast. I am guessing the East Coast writers believe he prefers the east coast, and west coast writers believe he prefers the west coast. We will know when he signs BEFORE January 4.

Badger

Swith out JDM for Ohtani.

I am fine with your bench.

After Sho-Oh I think we will get Burnes or Cease, (maybe both) to pitch, Gurriel to play LF, and with that we will be favorites to win it all.

Last edited 4 months ago by Badger
Jeff

Ted,
I agree with a lot of what you wrote. The pitching is the most concerning. We’ve got good prospects and I think it should be enough if we obtain 2 proven starters. FA or trades, doesn’t matter to me.

Outman turned out to be adequate, but is adequate really adequate? JDM if Ohtani is not possible. Proven.

Trade Muncy in a blockbuster deal. JDM as DH is more than enough for any team.

Lux is a big question mark at SS. In a sense, he will be the key to our infield. Do we really want to place that burden on a guy who has a meagre track record? I’m not in favor of platooning at any position. This is the cheap charlie way of AF.

Give Barnes a chance with another team. We don’t need him.

Signing Gurriel is a no brainer if it can be done. And, if we pass on Ohtani, we should have plenty of $$ to sign a couple of starting pitchers. This is enough to get to the playoffs and win if the players execute as they should.

Oldbear48

Muncy signed that two-year deal because he wants to stay in LA and the Dodgers obviously want him. He isn’t going anywhere in any kind of a blockbuster deal. They believe in Lux even if you do not. And the kid has never really played a lot yet. He played one truly full season and hit .276. That is decent hitting. He has only played 68 games at SS, and his fielding pct. there is only slightly lower than at second base. Before you condemn the kid, give him a real shot at the position. Everyone is so quick to knock these guys before they have a real chance. Outman improved his fielding towards the end of the season. If the kid can cut down the Ks, he is more than capable of being very good. I agree about Barnes, but that is very unlikely unless Feduccia absolutely kills it in spring training. Pitchers love Barnes.
Adames fielding percentage at SS is exactly the same as Lux’s. .968.

Last edited 4 months ago by Oldbear48
Bluto

I find this news and the similar move with Farhan and Alex A as positive.

Teams are trying to imitate the Dodgers, in terms of front office and hitter development. I know at least two or three teams before the Angels who took hitting instructors.

Oldbear48

Brown went to the Marlins I think it was.

RC Dodger

Jim Bowden of the Athletic wrote about the risks of signing pitchers to long term free agent contracts. He cited recent contracts for DeGrom, Rodon, Sale, Strasburg, Corbin, Price, and Bumgarner as examples of FA deals that have not worked out.
Gerritt Cole is one big FA signing that has been a good investment thus far. To Friedman’s credit, with the exception of Bauer, his strategy of avoiding long term and high priced pitcher contracts has worked. But it helps to inherit Kershaw, Ryu, and Urias on team friendly deals to build a rotation around.
The current rotation needs depth and experience. I think Nola was a good fit to stay in Philly, but not worth $172 million to the Dodgers for a 30 yr old pitcher who just had a 4.46 ERA in 2023. Hopefully, AF can 1) trade for Burnes/Cease/Glasnow, 2) sign Imanaga/Gray/Rodriguez, 3) bring in a low priced rehab project like Flaherty/Lorenzen/Lugo/Severino and 4) resign Kershaw. The Dodgers could add 4 pitching options for less than the $172 million guaranteed to Nola.
Also, I would offer Buehler a 2-3 year extension to give him some insurance on his rehab, while keeping him a Dodger for a while longer. I would bet on his competitiveness and recovery ability now, and even if he does not return to form, he has been a valuable Dodger contributor.

Bumsrap

St Louis’ Gibson and Lynn — innings eaters otherwise I prefer Pepiot, Sheehan. Etc

Singing the Blue

Previous “experts” have commented that Japanese players prefer to be the only Japanese player on the team they sign with.

Today Yamamoto’s agent said that he prefers to play on a team with another (or other) Japanese players.

If true, we may have to sign Ohtani to get Yamamoto. It may be an all or nothing scenario, since I’m not sure that signing Imanaga would mean nearly as much to Yamamoto as playing with Shohei or Senga or Darvish or the Cub or Bosox outfielders whose names escape me at the moment.

Singing the Blue

Well, we already know Senga wants to play with Yamamoto.

I’m not really worried. If we can’t get Ohtani and/or Yamamoto, I hear Thor is willing to give us a discount and change his name to Noah Syndermoto.

Oldbear48

According to MLBTR over half the teams in the league have reached out to Yamamoto. Highest bidder will get this big fish.

Bumsrap

Salmon eggs or worms?

Singing the Blue

If he does get Yamamoto, that will be a pretty nifty switchout from one season to the next. Dumping Verlander and Scherzer, both of whom don’t have a whole lot of pitches left in their arms for two younger aces, while at the same time saving millions in annual salary.

I realize Stevie is paying most of the old guys’ salaries but to replace two aces that quickly is still a very good maneuver.

Last edited 4 months ago by Singing the Blue

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