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Teoscar Hernández Is Now A Dodger. Okay, Now What?

With the latest LAD signing of Teoscar Hernández to a 1 year $23.5MM contract, with $8.35MM deferred until 2030-2039 the Dodgers lineup of position players is set.

1B – Freddie Freeman (34)

2B – Mookie Betts (31)

3B – Max Muncy (33)

SS – Gavin Lux (26)

LF – Teoscar Hernández (31)

CF – James Outman (27)

RF – Jason Heyward (34)/Manuel Margot (29)

C – Will Smith (29)

DH – Shohei Ohtani (29)

Remaining Bench – Austin Barnes (C) (34), Chris Taylor (Swiss Army Knife Utility) (33), Miguel Rojas (INF) (35).

 

That is a VERY veteran team.  A lot of talent, but  most on the wrong side of 30.  Average age in in excess of 31.  There is also no LH bench player.  That cannot stand, correct?  This has to change, right?

I believe there is a reason for that.  Fans may not like to hear it, but the Dodgers just do not have many MLB ready position players.  Or MLB ready position players AF/BG are willing to rely on???  That includes Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch.  There is not a current spot on the 26 man, and neither Vargas nor Busch should return to AAA.  In order for either Vargas or Busch to be on the LAD MLB roster post ST, current roster players will need to be included in trades.  Or both will need to be traded.

Outside of Busch and Vargas, the only position players who can be considered near MLB ready would be Andy Pages and Hunter Feduccia. Feduccia is a backup catcher at best. Perhaps the Dodgers feel that Pages will be ready by 2025, as Hernández, Margot, and Heyward have only one year remaining.  Margot has an option, but there is no guarantee it will be exercised. Trey Sweeney would be next, but he is not ready.

It might behoove the Dodgers to trade some of their surplus for prospect outfielders that are close.  An MLB ready 3B/SS would also be nice.  A bridge until the players in A Ball are ready.  One thing we have learned from AF is that he does not make a move unless he knows what the next on and probably two will be.

Perhaps the Dodgers will not trade Vargas and/or Busch.  Perhaps it will be Margot and Taylor and/or Rojas that will be traded, opening up spots for both Vargas and Busch.  The team does have to get younger, doesn’t it?

There is still a lot of moving parts that need to be figured out.  And all we can do is speculate what is yet to come.

Once the signing of Hernández becomes official, someone else on the 40 man will need to be moved off, via trade, or via DFA.  Perhaps that will clarify somewhat where the team is headed.

The more rumors I continue to read about what the Dodgers are going to do, the more I realize that these pontificators are just throwing s*** at the wall to see what will stick.

  • Dylan Cease
  • Jesús Luzardo
  • Trevor Rogers
  • Braxton Garrett
  • Shane Bieber
  • Emmanuel Clase
  • Josh Hader
  • Kenley Jansen
  • Ryan Brasier
  • Corbin Burnes
  • Willy Adames or another SS upgrade

These are just the ones that are reported by multiple sources.  Some reputable, some for click bait.  I know there are many other reports about other players.

What we have heard from the Dodgers is that originally, the Dodgers concentrated on SP.  They have certainly transformed that situation from a distinct weakness into a near strength.  IMO, they need one more innings eating #5/#6 pitcher.  But AF/BG seem enthralled and accepting of going into the season with their young guns.

We need to listen to what Andrew Friedman and Brandon Gomes are telling us.  They told us right from the get go that they knew they needed to upgrade their starting rotation.  They have done so, but is it enough?

BG has gone on record with stating the team needs maybe one more starter, but has been careful to primarily stay with another “pitcher”.  I guess that keeps the Hader and KJ reports going.  Now that the Dodgers are no longer considered a potential for Shōta Imanaga, and that Sean Manaea has signed with NYM, I would not at all be surprised to see the Dodgers pivot to James Paxton as the LHSP reclamation project.  I am not predicting it, it is just pure speculation understanding who they have signed the last couple of years.

They could also stay away from all FA’s and concentrate on trades.

Most recently, AF had indicated the need for a RH bat that can hit LHP.  We now know that player is Teoscar Hernández.

What comes next?  Will the Dodgers trade for a pitcher?  Will Michael Busch and/or Miguel Vargas be the primary players in a trade package?  Will any of Gavin Stone, Landon Knack, Nick Frasso, Kyle Hurt, or River Ryan be included in a trade?  Do they dare trade Emmet Sheehan?  There are 40 days until Pitchers and Catchers report, and 43 days before the position players report.  There is still a lot of Hot Stove League remaining.

 

 

 

 

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Singing the Blue

All of this activity (spending) is very unlike AF. I think Walter is hanging over his shoulder saying do what it takes to win it all this year. I don’t care what it costs and besides, we’ll have all that extra revenue from Japan.

I still see us bringing in a lefty starter but really hope it isn’t Paxton. I’ve been lobbying for Ryu and I’m still on that train.

Last edited 5 months ago by Singing the Blue
RC Dodger

Ryu would be a nice addition.
But there is a LH starter with the best ERA in the MLB the last two years at 2.37 that is still a free agent. None other than Clayton Kershaw. If unproven pitchers like Yamamoto and Glasnow cost $375 million and $137 million, surely you can afford to pay Kershaw too.

Singing the Blue

CK won’t be available until mid season, if then. We need a lefty to begin the season with.

Oldbear48

If available, trade for Luzardo.

Singing the Blue

He’s available………………..but at what price?
He’d be a good addition and we definitely seem to have an overabundance of prospects who are blocked at this point.

Bumsrap

……”We need a lefty to begin the season with”

Why?.

Badger

Good question Fred. How about pitchers who can get anyone out?

Bumsrap

I think having a lefty starter for the playoffs is the bigger need/want than having one for most of the regular season.

Singing the Blue

I’ve always felt it’s good to have different looks from your starters.

Having a lefty in amongst all the righties helps with that.

Bumsrap

Will your Ryu support match last year’s Lance Lynn pick? Is your Ryu want a warning to the Dodgers to be very careful?

Singing the Blue

I feel far stronger about my Ryu pick than my Lynn pick.
Therefore, the Dodgers should be even more careful.
Boy are you nasty.  😄 

Bumsrap

That’s the way I woke up this morning. I’m better now. I sucked at Wordle and Connections as well this morning. Still, it’s my turn to keep you in line so I’m just fulfilling my responsibilities. Badger has you next week.

Bluto

I forget who it was, but somebody said there’s no such thing as a bad one year contract in MLB.

In a year or two the Dodgers will have moved on from Muncy, joe Kelly, Taylor and Teoscar. That mitigates alot of the age concern to me.

Bluto

Marlins beat writer forecasts a trade, though not imminent:

Mark Timmons

Incentives in Teoscar Hernández’s Dodgers deal, per source:

– $1 million if he wins Silver Slugger
– $500k if he finishes 11th-15th in MVP voting
– $2 million if he finishes 6th-10th in MVP voting
– $3 million if he finishes 1st-5th in MVP voting

Badger

High bars.

Bumsrap

And more deferred money on the books.

Vinny's Ghost

Loved your blog sorry to see it go.

Ted Gottlieb

Mark, I wish you will reconsider because there are many of us that read your log who don’t contribute and enjoy your site immensely. Don’t let a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.

Duke Not Snider

Great to see Mark’s contribution here. While we mixed it up sometimes, Mark’s LADT was a terrific and lively site that provided me with hours of enjoyment.
I had been skeptical Teoscar for two reasons. First was his very high on his K rate in ’23, but a deeper dive suggests he should bounce back. Even in an “off” year he hit 26 bombs. I expect him mostly in LF but also Heyward’s platoon partner in RF, essentially replacing Margot.
The second reason is that Teoscar’s arrival eliminates the obvious “runway” for Vargas or Busch. An off-season injury could change things, but I think the roster is pretty much set. If Lux struggles, the Dodgers can plug in Rojas. The Dodgers had plenty of offense last season and now they’ve replaced JDM with Ohtani and basically replaced Peralta with Teoscar. Major upgrades.
MLB.com’s Juan Toribio has speculated about possible lineups vs. RH and LF pitching. Both lineups start with Mookie, Shohei, Freddie and Smith and end with Lux. Then he shuffles in the platoons
My kvetch is that he endorses the idea of Margot platooning with Outman vs. lefties. Certainly possible–but ’23 Outman’s OBP against lefties was over.350, while Margot’s was below .300. When it comes to Outman, the Moneyball mantra applies: “He gets on base.”
It would make more sense to put Margot in LF and, at least occasionally, have Taylor replace Max. The last couple of seasons, Max has struggled against lefties while Taylor has not.

Singing the Blue

I believe that was Trevor Bauer, and he’s said it to all 30 teams within the past couple of weeks.

Bluto

No, I think it was on FanGraphs, but maybe?

I mean Bauer signed a 3-year deal when much longer ones were probably on the table.

Singing the Blue

I was just indicating that Bauer would certainly be happy with a 1-year deal at this point and that could be good reasoning to use with prospective teams.

Forgot to raise the sarcasm flag.

Bluto

Once again, I suck.

Should have sensed that.

Bumsrap

I got it and it was funny.

Jorge Valenzuela

And just like that, suddenly everything looks much better, they only needed a right-handed batter, now just need to put the best lineup in place.

There are still a lot of lefties in the lineup

Last edited 5 months ago by Jorge Valenzuela
Jeff

Is there any chance the Dodgers are still in the Imanaga race?

dodger dad

power hitting right handed outfielder, check! could cease be next? or ryu until clayton gets back. either way either vargas or busch goes in a trade!

Oldbear48

No, they are not one of the four teams still in on the lefty per MLBTR.

Sam Oyed

It’s interesting that the Dodgers said they needed a right hand bat because they leaned to much on left handed. Now the concern is the bench is all right handed.

That said I expect a trade, most likely for a pitcher, is next.

Dave

It seems so much easier to acquire a player through free agency than through trade. Jusy agree on a contract and done. Trades can be with any team or teams and for any combination if players,cash, etc.
My guess is AF/ BG have been trying to make trades and just have not come up eith the right combination. So pivot to signing Teoscar, which means a player must be dfa’d or a trade is finally about to happen.
I still can’t wait to see what happens with Busch anf Vargas!

Badger

I read recently 25% of pitchers in MLB are left handed. That’s around 175 at bats for the left field position. Hernandez, and someone else, is going to get a lot of at bats against RHP.

I don’t know about this, but I don’t need to know. Friedman does. I’ll just sit and watch. Been fun so far.

Farhan Friedman

Include Vargas and Rojas in a trade for Cease or Luzardo, then Busch is your left handed bat off the bench. I would prefer Luzardo but think the Dodger brass would prefer the veteran with all the uncertainty of the current starting staff.

Badger

That makes some sense, but I can’t help but wonder how much value Vargas and Busch have at this point. With them just sitting there, allegedly ML ready, the Dodgers extended a third baseman and signed two free agent outfielders.

I’m now anxiously awaiting the move that sends them both out.

Bluto

Still think they hold onto Vargas, as alluded to above it’s simply a matter of time (without injuries) until Muncy, Hernandez and Taylor are gone.

Singing the Blue

AF always plans a few years ahead. He’s got JHey, Margot and Hernandez all who have expiring contracts at the end of the year and CT3 after next season.

That leaves a future outfield of Outman and CT3 for one year plus Pages, if he develops the way they hope (but certainly can’t count on).

I’d like to see them decide which of Vargas/Busch has the most promise to be a left fielder and keep him. Trade Margot to make space for the guy you’ve chosen.

Duke Not Snider

Dropping in for a first time with Mark putting LADT on hiatus, perhaps forever.
Don’t like Teoscar’s Ks, but he does solve the LF question and adds that righthanded power in middle of the lineup. His arm is a weapon on defense.
But what about Vargas and Busch? Is Vargas more likely to be dealt no and perhaps Busch kept? Will both be dealt?
Reports persist that Luzardo could be dealt. Of all the SPs who are free agents or on the trade market, Luzardo would be my top target–a 26-year-old lefty with ace potential and three years of contract control. If AF thinks Luzardo is worth it, Dodgers have the prospect capital to make it happen.
And then maybe they’d go after Hader too

Oldbear48

They will not go after Hader and the reason is obvious. Hader has a QO attached. They have already lost two draft picks and one million in international pool money for signing Ohtani. AF is not going to lose two more picks, which would mean they lose 2-3-5-6 numbered picks. Hader is not worth the long term 100 mil plus deal he seeks.

Duke Not Snider

Good point, Bear. I had not considered the QO factor.
So perhaps Clase + Beiber?

Bumsrap

Wouldn’t Heyward be the lefty swinging player on the bench when the opposing pitcher is a lefty?

With 5 lefty hitters in the lineup do they really need a lefty hitter on the bench?

Oldbear48

Hernandez has primarily played right field over the last couple of years. He has been better there than in left. No so sure he is going to be the primary left fielder.

Hondo

He has a good arm so I think they would put him in right and move Heyward to left.

Oldbear48

Working on your Frank Howard story

Frank Howard

TYVM. 🖕 

Hondo

Wow. Sorry, I thought that was a thumbs up. I don’t see very well.

Bumsrap

Don’t leave out his Mr. Clean gig in phantom pregame entertainment.

Bumsrap

The one area where the Dodgers have youth in their system is pitching. They could lose that if they use it to get a veteran pitcher.

Bumsrap

Happy to see Hanigar going to Seattle. Now, I hope they sign Pederson.

Bluto

Per Bowden, so take it with a grain of salt:

The #Dodgers tentative plan is to platoon Jason Heyward and Manuel Margot in RF with Teoscar Hernandez in LF and will make sure to get at-bats for Chris Taylor all over the field including LF.

So, you can throw my hope of optioning Margot to AAA out the window.

if he is right

Oldbear48

Fans up in arms about LA being able to defer so much salary. Screaming unfair! Why???? Any team that has the resources can do the same.

Ron Fairly fan

Fans are up in arms because they don’t understand how deferred money works. They want the Dodgers to pay taxes on 700 million dollars. They think the Dodgers should have a 70 million a year tax not 46 million. I’ll admit I don’t totally understand the way MLB calculates future money and most fans of other teams don’t either so they think the Dodgers are cheating the CBT system.

The fun part is reading comments on MLBtraderumors. Fan are saying the Dodgers will be bankrupt when the deferment payments come due. They don’t realize that the Dodgers will have to start funding the deferred amount next year in an escrow account. The main thing is the Dodgers are following the rules. It’s a unique situation that probably won’t ever happen again because no other player makes as much in off field endorsements as Ohtani does.

Vinny's Ghost

Against lefties Margot replaces Heyward, Taylor could spell Muncy or Outman and Rojas could spell Lux. I think the hitters side oif the roster is set. Only question now is do they add a starter and/or Closer. Cease and Luzardo seem the most likely starters. Claes on the closer side. Hader would cost to much in draft capital.

Jorge Valenzuela

According to this, the Braves are still a better team, perhaps it is true, but that is why they have to play 162 games, and they will hardly repeat last year’s numbers….

2024 ZiPS Projections: Los Angeles Dodgers

Last edited 5 months ago by Jorge Valenzuela
Bluto

Who cares?

Badger

I do. I thought it was a good read. The Braves were better last year too. A lot of good it did them.

The team rankings of LF I found interesting. Dodgers ranked 16th. If I read it right Hernandez gets the lion’s share of at bats out there, hits 30 home runs, knocks in 107, but puts up only 1.8 wins. Ok. I think fangraphs evaluators must really not like his defense.

Singing the Blue

I’ll police things while you’re in Bodega Bay, Jeff. If Mark gets out of hand, I’ll ban him. But I want a case of wine for my troubles.

Phil Jones

Hey STB, can you vouch for me as a participant on this site? I read it all the time but seldom post. But I’d like to participate more in the future with topics in my wheelhouse. I’m not much of a GM but I love to comment on the game. And I can help critique that California wine.
Jeff, watch out for those birds at Bodega Bay.

Jeff Dominique

No sightings of Rod Taylor or Tippi Hedren. Should be okay. 🤗

Bluto

This is a meritocracy Phil, no need for vouching or vouches.

Oldbear48

Okay, who gets released or designated for assignment? When Hernandez is officially announced, someone has to go.

tedraymond

Maybe a trade is in the works for another starting pitcher and a opportunity to reduce the roster by a couple of spots. If not for the Dodgers this offseason would be a real snooze feast.

Bumsrap

Oh, I thought you were going to say who has to get kicked out of here in order to add Phil as I thought Jeff put a limit of 10 of who could actually post and not just read.

tedraymond

Hey Phil. I have always enjoyed your insights and look forward to you contributing here. Welcome aboard!

Jayne Cobb

I’ve been lurking for a while. Looks like I will be posting here as well.

Duke Not Snider

Lurking?
That sounds suspicious…

Singing the Blue

Hey Phil and Jayne, two of my favorite posters at LADT. I’ll be happy to vouch for both of you, but that might work against you.

Hope you’ll both be active posters here and, although I can’t speak for him, I’m sure that Jeff feels the same way.

Welcome aboard.

Jayne Cobb

I’ve been reading the blog for years, just haven’t posted. Following one site’s comment section was about all the time I have for such things. Good to see familiar names.

I hope Mark has a change of heart on LADT. Jeff and Mark have very different styles when it comes to writing and running their sites. I enjoy both. I have never had an issue ignoring certain people in the coment section. Mark’s style is direct and, at times, a little harsh. But it never bothered me. If you spent an hour with me and my group of sports friends, especially if there had been a couple rounds of shots involved on a Sunday afternoon, you’d think we all hated each other. Language that would make George Carlin blush. But it’s, mostly, in good fun. Just have to be aware that if you voice a strong opinion about something, you might be subject to being called a moron, dipshit, retard or other much less polite and/or politically incorrect words. And often from several different angles, simultaneously. We aren’t negotiating peace in the Middle East. It’s just sports. People shouldn’t take it so seriously.

That said, I’m the opposite of many people on the interweb. I will say things to somebody’s face that I would never say anonymously to somebody in a comment section. If you cross a line in person, a round of shots fixes everything. Can’t do that online. 🙂

Bumsrap

Getting back to my ornery self, didn’t you vouch for Lance Lynn.

Singing the Blue

I certainly did, but apparently word never got back to him so he didn’t realize he was supposed to help us win a WS.

Actually, I didn’t vouch for him, just suggested he might be worth getting since he was striking out a lot of batters just before the deadline.

Although many people are blaming Freddie and Mookie plus our starters for our early exit, it was actually mostly my fault.

Badger

“it was actually mostly my fault.”

I can live with that.

Dodgfan

Can you tolerate another LADT poster?

While I only posted sporadically, LADT became part of my daily reading.

Bummer to see LADT shutdown. Encouraged to see a lot of familiar posters on this site.

Go Dodgers!

Mark Timmons

With Andrew Friedman, you should “never assume.” Teoscar evidently was the outfielder they wanted. MLBTR predicted he would get four years and $ 80 million. Wow! What a difference. The Dodgers outfield is suddenly older, with Taylor, Margot, Heyward, and Hernandez all being over 30, BUT, other than CT3, they are only signed for one year. The Dodgers have to get younger, but maybe that will be next year! If Hernadez has a big bounceback season (and I think that is part of the reason he signed with LA), then the Dodgers can give him the QO… and they could do the same with Heyward (but that is less likely).

I would not assume that Vargas and/or Busch will be traded. They both have options and have no say in where they will play… except by just shutting up and playing. Did I mention that both have options? Muncy, Freeman, and Betts are all over 30 as well, so I don’t see Friedman just cutting bait with youngsters like Vargas and Busch without a plan to get younger in the future. Pages is really the only other position player closest to being MLB-ready.

Margot and Rojas could both be traded. While not equal to Rojas’s defensively, Taylor plays a credible SS. The Dodgers have passed $300 Million, so they must have more in the tank and are likely not done yet!

Last edited 5 months ago by Mark Timmons
Badger

The Dodgers are loaded. I have no problem with so many being over 30.

Rata

If I am not mistaken, it has been many years since most of the posters here have seen 30 years of age and many probably do even remember their thirty’s. But that is OK.

Duke Not Snider

Dodgers got about 6 years younger at both DH and SS, and Teoscar is about 4 years younger than David Peralta. Shohei, Lux and Teoscar also add a lot of speed to the lineup. (And Margot is fast too.)
If Teoscar plays well, AF could extend him.

Dionysus

Age is definitely a factor with this team. Need to keep rotating youth into the lineup.

Duke Not Snider

Dodgers don’t really need another SP, but a lefty like Paxton or Ryu would be nice. So would another ace–but perhaps that’s too greedy.
With Yamamoto on board and Shohei in the wings for ’25, a six-man rotation makes sense. This would reduce the strain on Glasnow and Buhler (whenever he is ready and it could also provide more opportunity for Stone, Knack, Frasso, Ryan, and whomever I’m forgetting.

Singing the Blue

Video of Buehler and Lux working out at the stadium (courtesy of Dodgers Nation).

I don’t claim to be an expert, but Buehler looks smoother out there at shortstop than Gavin does.

Dionysus

Mookie’s moving to the bullpen.

IlliniDodger

I’m over from LADT, as well. Happy to see so many familiar names in the comment section. I enjoy all the posts and comments. Go Big Blue!

Dodgerfan

I was a regular reader every day at LADT but did not comment often really enjoyed mark and bear they had great baseball story’s and trade ideas, going to miss LADT but I read LADC every day.

Make mine BLUE

Thank you Jeff for this site, it is very refreshing to not deal with a bully running a Dodger blog. That’s all I’ll say about that. Very appreciated, keep up the good work.

The Blue is definitely setting itself up to be the Evil Empire of the MLB, much like the Steinbrenner Yankees, I’m totally good with that.

Hernandez should prove to be an incredible addition, at least at the plate, from what I have seen he is a below average defender. However when you put that into perspective, he will have 4 to 5 opportunities at the plate each game to show his worth, while having maybe 1 or 2 opportunities (if that) each game to show his marginal fielding issues. Most balls hit to the outfield are routine and don’t require the elite skills to handle. So what I am saying is Hernandez prowess at the plate will far outweigh his marginal skills in LF.

TennisMenace (TM)

My, my….how we have become much older now. I sure hope we can infuse some young blood along the way. Please don’t trade Vargas and Busch.

Duke Not Snider

All the regulars have aged one year.
But Ohtani is 6-7 years younger than JD Martinez, and Lux about 7-8 years younger than Rojas, and Teoscar is 5 years than Peralta.
Yamamoto is about 11 years younger that Lance Lynn…

Make mine BLUE

This may have already been mentioned, but here’s the rumor that I have been hearing: Either Taylor or Rojas are being looked at to be traded. Both can play 3B, SS or 2B to spell the regulars or give late defensive relief at 3B. The +s for Taylor he can play all OF spots and provides more offense, all be it, Taylor does whiff a lot. So bottom line is one of these guys is going and thus Vargas or Busch may have room to stick at the break of camp.
I actually really like both of the players, Rojas sure is slick with the glove and Taylor is a very good swiss army knife.

Has anyone else been hearing this chatter?

Duke Not Snider

Bear points out that AF will probably pass on Hader because the Dodgers would have to sacrifice two draft picks. What would it take to get Clase and Beiber?
Busch/Vargas + Stone + Almonte + a catcher not named Rushing?

OC Dodger

Thanks to this community for helping us to avoid being a Dodger with the blues. Thanks to Mark, Jeff and all the heart I read about almost every day from this community. Hate to see LADT go out just as this adventure is hitting full stride but I get the desire for freedom. Best wishes to all for a healthy year and I wish you all the love of family and friends.

Duke Not Snider

A lot of us are new to Jeff’s site, so I want to give a plug to Jeff’s article on Josue De Paula. It should make every Dodgers fan smile.
Elsewhere on the web, you might find similar rave reports on teenage SS Jeondry Vargas.
I don’t like the “untouchable” label, but the young talent the Dodgers is collecting–also including Kendall George, Thayron Liranzo and a few pitchers–gives me hope that someone could blossom into a true phenom not unlike Acuna, Soto, Trout.
That would be fun to see.
This is one reason I don’t worry about the age of the Dodgers’ roster. The superstars Mookie, Freddie and Shohei are in their primes. So is Will Smith, and Outman can build on his fine rookie season. If Teoscar plays well, AF could decide to extend him. If this is the last good year for Heyward, then perhaps Andy Pages will be ready.
I certainly don’t think AF’s work is done. A blockbuster for Luzardo and lefty RP Tanner Scott may be too much to hope for, but it seems possible. The Dodgers have the prospect capital to pull it off.

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