Connect with us

Dodger Baseball

The Dodgers at One Month From Pitchers and Catchers Reporting

We are now within a month of Pitchers and Catchers reporting to ST.  The Dodgers won 100 games last year and won the NL West by 16.0 games, and were the #2 seed in the NL behind Atlanta.

I thought this would be an okay time to see how the offseason has stacked up for the NL West Division teams.  There have been relatively few trades and only 27 of the top 50 (MLBTradeRumors) free agents have signed (and 10 of the next 23).  So there are still a lot that can change the environment over the next 4 weeks.  All but the Rockies figure to make some additional significant roster changes.

The Dodgers have a reputation of wildly spending for players, however the Dodgers have not been known to outspend other teams in the offseason. They have paid a lot for their own. They have certainly been known to make sure that they did not overspend on any particular player, and that has drawn the ire of many LAD fans. But this offseason has seen the Dodgers disintegrate that notion.

The first player signed for 2024 was RHRP Ricky Vanasco who signed a MLB contract for $900K.  It was certainly strange that the Dodgers opted to give Vanasco a MLB guaranteed contract rather than a MiLB contract and invite to ST.  That has been their norm.

That was followed by $9MM to re-sign Jason Heyward and $8MM to re-sign Joe Kelly.  That is $9MM for a 34 year old platoon OF and $8MM for an oft-injured 36 year old RHRP.

That was followed the overwhelming free agent contracts for 2-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani, and for RHSP Yoshinobu Yamamoto.  I was against signing Ohtani, because I thought that it would impair their ability to sign Yamamoto, the one player they truly needed THIS year.  And because of the genius contract for Ohtani, the Dodgers were easily in position to outbid the other clubs for Yamamoto.  The Dodgers are usually in second or third or fourth position for free agents.  Freddie Freeman basically fell into their laps when Alex Anthopoulos decided to trade for Matt Olson and extend him rather than wait for Freddie to agree to terms.  What other free agent have they come to terms with on a 4+ year deal other than one of their own.   This year they get 2 of the top 3.

AF/BG traded a promising RHSP (Ryan Pepiot) and reserve/platoon OF (Jonny DeLuca) for a potential CY candidate RHSP (Tyler Glasnow) and a veteran reserve/platoon OF who hits lefties very well (Manuel Margot).  But they were not going to trade Pepiot unless they could get Glasnow to extend.  The Dodgers gambled and bet that Glasnow is now fully healthy and that Mark Prior can put him in the lab and make him even better, and extended him to 5 years $136MM.

They were not done.  Losing JDM, the team needed a RH bat who kills LHP.  Best one available?  Teoscar Hernández.  He was not cheap.  $23.5MM for 1 year, with award incentives that could take it higher still.

AF/BG (with the input/approval/blessing) of the owners have  significantly upgraded their starting pitching over 2023.  With the return of Walker Buehler, the Dodgers top 4 this year will be:

  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto
  • Tyler Glasnow
  • Bobby Miller
  • Walker Buehler

24 year old Emmet Sheehan will represent the youth as the probable 5th starter, with Ryan Yarbrough currently considered the #6 starter.   With the paucity of available funds the Rangers have to spend, Clayton Kershaw is almost a “for sure” addition to the staff for the August-November run. Money should not (will not) be a deterrence for AF/BG to sign #22.

Depth?  Michael Grove, Gavin Stone, Kyle Hurt, Landon Knack, Nick Frasso, River Ryan.  All MLB or AAA.  The next tier of pitchers is starting to form, so I would expect to see this list begin to dwindle in the next 30 days and/or at the trade deadline.

The Dodgers have not only significantly improved their MLB roster, but they have also improved their affiliates.  The Dodgers have lost MiLB players – Michael Busch, Jorbit Vivas, Jonny DeLuca, Victor González.  Every one of them were blocked at the MLB level as a regular.  In other words, all were replaceable.

Because AF/BG believes that the MLB roster/rotation is in good shape, they are now looking to rebuild their farm system.  They have acquired:

  • 24 year old SS/3B Trey Sweeney – Will probably start at AAA (LAD #18)
  • 18 year old LHP Justin Chambers – Will probably start in the Arizona Complex League (Rookie League).
  • 20 year old LHP Jackson Ferris – Will start the season at Great Lakes (A+) – (LAD #5)
  • 19 year old OF/LHP Zyhir Ferris – Will start the season at Rancho Cucamonga (full season A Ball).

Trey Sweeney does not appear to be a star in the waiting, but he could at least become a more than competent reserve/platoon infielder.  He has a MLB bat potential and will probably slide over to 3B where his arm will be plenty.  He may be the next James Outman type who will work as hard as he can and do whatever it takes to become a MLB regular.  Like Outman, he is someone who will not be denied.

Justin Chambers is a wild card.  As a LHSP, he is certainly a pitcher of need.  Other than Justin Wrobleski and Maddux Bruns, the Dodgers do not have a lot of LHSP talent.  He will probably pitch himself into the LAD top 30 by year end (maybe top 20) as an 18 year old.  The Dodgers have worked wonders for pitchers returning from TJ surgery who are willing to put in the work.

Zyhir Hope is an exceptional athlete.  This is a trait the Dodgers look for.  In HS, Hope was known for doing his Ozzie Smith back flips before games.  He even did one of his back flips in his gown at his HS graduation.  He has tremendous power for a 19 year old.  His power looks to be better than fellow 19 year old Josue DePaula right now.  Will it stay there?  Heck, I do not even know if Hope remains an OF.  He could also become a pitcher.

Jackson Ferris looks to be the big prospect “get” this offseason.  I do not think it is fair to draw comps of a 20 year old to Blake Snell.  But if he gets there, LAD has a future Ace.  Jim Callis (MLB Pipeline), is one of the best amateur talent evaluators, has said that Ferris could become the best LHP prospect in all of MiLB.  That is high praise indeed.  I think most talent evaluators are looking for Ferris to jump into the top 100 lists maybe by mid-season.  Some are saying he will be this year’s helium pitcher as Nick Frasso was last year.

The Dodgers addressed positions of need:  middle infielder, outfield, LHSP.

The Dodgers are now saying they want to turn their MLB ready players into future talent.  If they can get players of the ilk of Ferris, Hope, Chambers, and Sweeney, I say “Get ‘er Done!!”

Besides the additions identified above, the Dodgers have also added depth at the MiLB level.  This year’s Yonny Hernandez is 25 year old Jonathan Araúz.  He will not be special at the MLB level, but he does have MLB experience.  I do not expect to see him on the 26 man this year, but if there are injuries, he can certainly fill in.

Two relievers who have had successful MLB seasons have also been signed to MLB contracts.  RHRP Daniel Hudson, and 29 year old RHRP Nabil Crismatt.  Hudson has closer experience, and if healthy, he could break camp as one of the relievers on the 26 man.  Crismatt figures to be someone who could be called upon if for the inevitable Joe Kelly injury.

 Elieser Hernández is that tweener.  Journeyman #6/long relief, and AAAA/MLB pitcher. Depth and more depth.  I know the Dodgers were considering trading for Hernández when he was Hernández with Miami during the 2020-2021 seasons.  He is another who could find new life in the Mark Prior lab.  This is not a reclamation project in the form of Andrew Heaney and Tyler Anderson, but more in the line of Mike Montgomery, Matt Andriese and Robbie Erlin.  Because of the number of LAD prospects about ready, Hernández has to be considered a LONGSHOT.  While he has a chance, I do not like his odds.

I am not sure if this is foretelling of another trade, but the Dodgers have also signed AAAA Catcher, Chris Okey.  He has been assigned initially to OKC, putting him in a logjam with Hunter Feduccia and Diego Cartaya.  Is Barnes or Feduccia likely to be traded?  Do they want to keep Cartaya back at AA and compete head on with Dalton RushingSimon Reid also figures to be at Tulsa.  I have zero clue.

Others that have been signed to MiLB deals:

  • Utility Brendon Davis (26) – He has played SS/3B/1B/2B/RF – Currently assigned to Tulsa.
  • CF Austin Beck (25) – He is one I am really hoping takes to LAD development. Former 1st round pick (6th overall).  He has been currently assigned to Tulsa.
  • LF Lolo Sanchez (25) – Currently assigned to Tulsa.
  • OF Travis Swaggerty (26) – Former 1st round pick (10th overall). He has been currently assigned to OKC.

There is very little guessing at the currently projected MLB 26-man roster for position players.  It is all subject to change.

The pitching is a little more fluid, but also pretty well fixed.

Position Players:

1B – Freddie Freeman (L)

2B – Mookie Betts (R)

3B – Max Muncy (L)

SS – Gavin Lux – (L)

LF – Teoscar Hernández (R)

CF – James Outman (L)

RF – Jason Heyward (L)

C – Will Smith (R)

DH – Shohei Ohtani (L)

 

Bench:

C – Austin Barnes (R)

INF/OF – Chris Taylor (R)

INF – Miguel Rojas (R)

OF – Manuel Margot (R)

Of course, Manuel Margot and Miguel Rojas are potential trade candidates, freeing up a spot for Miguel Vargas.  He has very little to gain going back at OKC.  I do not know how the Dodgers can justify it enough to have Vargas go back with positive thoughts, but then again, they do not have to.  It would be up to Vargas.  If he hits like he can at OKC and plays better defense, he becomes a very marketable player at the deadline.  If he is not needed on the LAD 26 man due to injury.  This is why AF/BG get the big bucks figuring what is best for the team AND taking the player into consideration.

 

Rotation:

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (R)

Tyler Glasnow (R)

Walker Buehler (R)

Bobby Miller (R)

Emmet Sheehan (R)

 

Relievers:

Evan Phillips (R)

Brusdar Graterol (R)

Joe Kelly (R)

Caleb Ferguson (L)

Alex Vesia (L)

Blake Treinen (R)

J.P. Feyereisen (R)

 

Starter/Reliever:

Ryan Yarbrough (L)

 

If Buehler starts the season on the IL, I foresee Gavin Stone as his replacement.  Michael Grove, Landon Knack, and Kyle Hurt could also be candidates depending on ST.

Grove and Hurt, with Daniel Hudson, are potential candidates for the bullpen as well.

The Dodgers have 39 on their 40 man, so the above could change quickly with the addition of another FA or trade.

I do not see the Dodgers standing pat.  I think they will wait until the cost comes down on any number of trade candidates.  Because both the NL Central and AL Central are both open to winning by any of the teams in the Division, three teams with potential trades for pitchers figure to stay right where they are until the trade deadline.

  • Milwaukee – Corbin Burnes
  • Chicago White Sox – Dylan Cease
  • Cleveland – Shane Bieber

The fourth that is talked about is Jesús Luzardo.  While the Dodgers can certainly put a package together to acquire Luzardo, Baltimore and Cincinnati both have a better package they can put together (if they want to).

Do they look to Hyun-jin Ryu or James Paxton as potential LHSP?  Would they be amenable to Trevor Rogers as an alternative to Luzardo?  Braxton Garrett?  Or someone that nobody has even discussed up to now?

So with less than a month before pitchers and catchers report, the Dodgers are set, but then again, there is room for additions that can make them even more formidable.

Wednesday, I will highlight the Giants and D-backs.

 

 

 

 

68 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
68 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ron Fairly fan

Not much left to do except bring in Kershaw. Position and pitching seems set barring an injury in spring training. Maybe a trade for prospects and alway as AF says being opportunistic and flexible if someone falls in their laps.Sending Vargas to AAA to play left field every day could make sense to have him play there next year with the big club.

RC Dodger

Great recap Jeff!
The Dodgers have clearly won the offseason, and will come into spring training as the World Series favorites. The starting offense is very solid and better on paper than last year’s team which set the LA Dodger record for runs scored. The projected bench players of Taylor, Barnes, Rojas, and Margot add depth, experience, and defensive value, but are all right handed and limited offensively. Only Taylor had an OPS above 700 last year. I would not have traded Busch and would have given him a shot in spring training to beat out one of these four. Busch is left handed and Fangraphs projects him for a higher WAR than Teoscar this year. While Teoscar is a lefty killer, 75% of pitchers are right handed. Money is no object to the Dodgers but the four reserves are making about $35 million in AAV this year. Young players like Vargas and Pages will also challenge for a roster spot this year.
The starting pitching is still a possible Achilles heal for the Dodgers. The top four are loaded with potential, but only Buehler has pitched more than 125 innings in a MLB season, and he is coming back from TJ x 2. It is startling how much starting pitching the Dodgers have lost from last year including every one of the top 6 starters from opening day. Urias, Kershaw, Gonsolin, May, Noah, and Pepiot are all off the roster and/or hurt. I view Buehler as the ace of the staff even though he is only making $8 million this year after settling prior to arbitration. Hopefully, he is healthy in what will likely be his last year with the Dodgers. The Dodgers should sign Kershaw by spring training once the 60 day space is open, and that will provide some late season depth. It would be helpful to add another starting pitcher for depth to start the season. The Cubs signing of Imanaga was a fantastic deal at 4 years and $13 million per year. He would have fit perfectly this year as a veteran lefty to add to the staff. Ryu, Paxton or Lorenzen are remaining viable options to fill the 5th starter role. Pitching depth is the most important addition the Dodgers can make prior to the season. And as last year showed, you can never have enough starting pitching.

Mark Timmons

Muncy, Freeman, Lux, Outman, Hernandez, and Heyward are all LH, so why would you want more LH hitters on the bench? It only makes sense that the bench would be predominantly RH.

Right or wrong, some organizations feel that Shota Imanaga is a #4 or #5 starter. The Dodgers are of that opinion. They were never really interested in him. His fastball sits at 91-93 MPH. His four-seamer ranks as below average. He has a sweeper, and some compare him to a LH Andrew Heaney. I have no opinion, and we shall see how it plays out, but the Dodger brass was unimpressed with Imanaga. They believe they have much better arms in their system who are ready.

Ultimately, I trust the Dodgers front office as their track record with pitchers is the best in baseball.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2024-01-14/dodgers-pitching-turnaround-mechanics-data

‘Everything they touch turns to gold.’ How the Dodgers help pitchers change their fortunes

RC Dodger

The Dodgers may have the best track record in baseball with pitchers, but their big pitching acquisitions last year were Noah Syndergard and Lance Lynn. The Rangers opted for Nate Eovaldi and Jordan Montgomery instead and they won the World Series.

Duke Not Snider

Dodgers can have a bench loaded with LH bats when Margot plays for Heyward, Rojas spells Lux and Taylor gives Max a rest. (A full Lux/Rojas platoon could happen if Lux gets off to a slow start against lefties.)

Germ

Mark bro please get the website back up. I like Jeff’s writing too but the comments were so funny on your page

Oldbear48

They are not going to sit Hernandez against RHP when they are paying the guy that much money. Besides, his career BA against RHP is .256. Very respectable. He is an outfielder; Busch is best at first or third. He has hit 106 of his 159 homers against RHP. Projections by FanGraphs or any other analytical think tank are just that. Projections. In the real game they do not mean anything. It is what you do on the field that counts.

RC Dodger

Good point Bear. You are correct. They are not going to sit an OFer they are paying $23 million a year. Especially when the cost is closer to $45 million when you include the “Cohen Tax”. I just think the Dodgers position players are pretty old in baseball terms. Out of the 13 projected position players, 10 of them will be 30 or older this year. Busch is only 26, and is controllable for 6 more years. Freeman and Heyward will be 35 this year, and Muncy will be 34. The Dodger window to win is now and Busch and Almonte have a chance to help them win this year, whereas the prospects they acquired are 5 years away from the MLB if they ever make it. Plus over the next 2 years Busch can replace either Heyward, Teoscar, Muncy, or Freeman as they age. The Dodgers are much smarter than me, but Father Time is undefeated.

Oldbear48

Busch has not proved a thing. He is still considered a prospect, and an old prospect at that. Yes, their main players are older. But they are also all battle tested in playoff and pennant runs. Hernandez has close to 8 million deferred. And he and Heyward are only here for 24. Spots will open up for the kids come 25. Muncy has one year after this. The only long-term guys are Mookie, Freddie, Yamamoto and Ohtani. They could very possibly trade Taylor after this year. Barnes is not even a lock for the roster. And with one roster spot open, anything can happen.

Duke Not Snider

The fact that Busch has not really proved anything on the ML level is one reason I’m happy about the trade for Ferris and Hope, similarly unproven but much younger. Ferris may turn out to be the best player in that deal.
I think we Dodger fans fall in love with our prospects and tend to value them more than the marketplace does. If we want to trade for an impact player, we have to offer multiple prospects and/or package a prospect with a more proven player.
With Pepiot gone, the best young pitcher not named Miller is probably Sheehan. So imagine a package that starts with Sheehan and Vargas and adds a catching prospect not named Rushing. Now add a second-wave pitcher and/or Gauthier.
Could a five-player package reel in Luzardo and Scott? Imagine a six-man rotation the features Yamamoto, Glasnow, Luzardo, Buhler and Miller. The sixth could be Stone, Frasso, Ryan or Knack–or Kershaw after the all-star break. Are the Dodgers looking for a rehab project for Prior?
Jeff has suggested that the Orioles or another team could offer a better package of prospects for Luzardo. Perhaps they could–but are they willing to do so? They surely could have outbid the Dodgers for Glasnow–but perhaps Glasnow’s contract was too much to consider. It’s a bit surprising that the O’s, who seem to need an ace, still haven’t reeled in Cease.
I just keep thinking another significant move could be in the works…

norcaldodgerfan

I think AF will find a way to get Brazier signed and added to the BP. Hudson will give it a go in ST, but he’s a bit long in the tooth and his knees (ACL surgery with tendonitis on one knee and MCL sprain in the other) prevented him from getting all the way back after surgery. He will probably stay behind in extended ST.

Can Freyerisen find his groove after labrum/rotator cuff surgery? He’s got great stuff and could be a terrific addition to the BP and the same can be said about Treinen.

CT3, Rojas and Margot are nice veteran bench pieces, but cost the Dodgers about $30 million. I could foresee AF sending one of them out in a trade and then signing Ryu, Paxton on a “pillow contract” and to a lessor extend maybe Lorenzen.

I don’t think Hader is necessary even though there has been a lot of chatter about the Dodgers being in the mix for him.

One of the young guns will have a great ST and push his way into the starting rotation, pushing Yarborough to the BP. My money is on Gavin Stone and YES get Kershaw signed at the start of ST, put him on the 60 day IL and let him get ready for his post all-star break return.

Last edited 1 month ago by norcaldodgerfan
Mark Timmons

Brasier wants to stay with LA, but it will all boil down to what other teams are willing to pay. The Dodgers have such a glut of MLB-Ready arms it is crazy!

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Mark Timmons

On Ricky Vanasco’s MLB Deal: I heard that he was offered an MLB deal with another team (I think it was the Cardinals), but he preferred to stay with LA if they would match it.

Dionysus

Great content. You mention “the next tier” of our minor league pitching. Is that Wrobleski, Bruns, Kopp, Casparius Heubeck, Martin, Ferris, Jang?

Duke Not Snider

All those guys, and a couple players to be named later…
Wrobleski is a bit older than the others. If he makes progress, perhaps he’ll join that first tier–and he’d be the only lefty.
There’s also the possibility that one of the young arms could have a breakthrough. Kershaw was just 20 when he debuted in majors, and Fernando and Julio Urias were both just 19.
On the hitting side, it’s interesting that both Teoscar and Margot hit much better on the road that at home last season. Here’s hoping that Chavez Ravine helps them raise their game.

Dionysus

I don’t understand why some people mention trading Margot. He’s a perfectly fine 4th OF. Maybe it’s because they think Taylor already has that job, but he’s actually our insurance policy on a long-term injury to anyone not named Smith or Freeman.

Mark Timmons

… because he is very tradable, but they won’t trade him on a whim. He has a lot of value, and let’s not forget that RVS and Company could help him surpass what he has already done. I’m not saying that he will… but it is possible.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
dodgerpatch

Really? He’s kind of expensive for his performance, which is why the Rays wanted to include him in the deal. I wouldn’t say he’s a great trade prospect unless the Dodgers eat some of his salary.

And the Dodgers need him. He’s the designated platoon partner for Heyward in right, and could probably play CF, too. CT3 is the flexible plug ‘n’ play at multiple positions, and would likely be the platoon partner for Outman since you’re absolutely convinced Outman must never start against a leftie under any circumstances, ever, or the sun will literally explode.

Rojas is a valuable piece, too, and can play great defense at SS, 3rd and 2nd. I don’t get the impulse to trade away these guys. The Dodgers need them. They fill a need.

And speaking of trading away veterans with larger contracts, why would anyone want to trade for Chris Taylor when he’s owed 15 million? … and he’s 33 and his performance is declining.

And CT3 plays good D at multiple positions. Busch can barely play D at any position and he’s blocked at 1rst by Freeman. Why would you try to trade CT3, who the team needs and has depressed trade value, and keep a guy the team can’t use, is cheap and talented, thus having relatively high trade value? Come on, people! Think!

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch
Duke Not Snider

As I recall it, the Dodgers actually got the Rays to cover part of Margot’s salary to make the deal happen. The Rays were able to dump part of Margot’s salary, but not all. They also unloaded Glasnow’s contract. The wealthy Dodgers could take on the big contracts and give the Rays controllable salaries with Pepiot and Deluca.
Salaries are wacky. I still don’t understand why Chris Taylor has had more job security at better pay than Max Muncy. Or why Teoscar is getting paid nearly as much for one season as Max is getting paid for two.

Duke Not Snider

On the current roster, I’d call Margot the most expendable. Rojas is more valuable in case Lux falters.
Should Margot be dealt? It all depends on how a deal might line up. To me, Margot is a really good 4th outfielder–and a platoon partner for Heyward–but for a lot of teams he’d start in CF.
Should the Dodgers deal Margot to make room for Vargas? I don’t think so. Margo is a quality defender who has proven himself as a major leaguer. He’ll win games with his glove, speed and savvy. If the Dodgers deal him, they’d probably replace him with a free agent like Pillar to shore up the OF.

Mark Timmons

Frasso, Stone, Hurt, Ryan, Grove, Knack, Vanasco, Varland, and even Kopp could play a role this year.

Badger

I kept reading that the Dodgers need a RH hitter, so they got two of them. I think it’s relevant to point out the team OPS’d .787 against LHP last year. That’s actually pretty good, and doesn’t suggest the team that won 100 and scored over 900 runs needs to change much of anything, especially after adding the best hitter in baseball.

I like Hernandez, but let’s face it, he’s past his prime and has trended down the last 3 years. He had 150 PA’s against LH pitching last year and OPS’d .817 against them. If he does it again, fine. But he had 528 PA’s against RH pitching and OPS’d .718. He projects a wRC+ of 110, which is good of course, but is it worth $23 million? $23 million payment for about 3 WAR. Will Hernandez reach that?

And what is Margot’s role on this team? Platoon with Outman? I’d check his splits and projections before I say yes to that. I’d rather see Outman in every game. And there is still Vargas. That kid deserves to play. But on this team, play where?

I can’t help but feel more moves will be made and made before ST starts.

Mark Timmons

Fans like to see set positions, but that will not likely be the case this year. Teoscar did not fare well in Seattle last year. I don’t look at his splits previous year as much as I look at his career splits. The same is true with Margot – as he was injured much of last year. For his career, Teo has a career .887 OPS against LHP. If anything, I expect him to get better under RVS and Company. His career OPS against RHP is .772, and if he can do that, he will be just fine.

Margot has a career OPS of .760 against LHP – not great, but OK. If Outman can hit better against LHP, then Margot could be moved. Outman’s OPS against LHP last year was pathetic. That’s his challenge this year – he needs to OPS .725+ against LHP and generate a little power. His SLG against LHP was .305. That’s on par with Rojas, who cannot hit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Mark Timmons

IF JO can cut down his Ks by just 15% and hit LHP (to the tune of a .750 OPS), he could be an All-Star.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Badger

I do look at what they have done lately. Hernandez, RH by the way, peaked 4 years ago. His OPS has declined the last three years. He does project a bit higher for ‘24, .790, probably because he’s out of Seattle. Like I said, I like the guy, but except from the occasional bomb, I don’t expect much out of him this year. I expect even less out of Margot.

dodgerpatch

“Hernandez, RH by the way, peaked 4 years ago. His OPS has declined the last three years.”

He was very productive in 2021 and 2022. His wRC+ was 132 and 130 respectively, which is notch below elite. It was higher in 2020, but nearly everyone’s was. I throw out 2020 when looking at stat trends. It was a weird year.

“occasional bomb?” He had 26 last year. He’s averaged nearly 28 the past three years.

I don’t know what you do expect, but FG expects him to hit 30 bombs.

Badger

occasional bomb?” He had 26 last year.

He had 678 plate appearances. That’s 1 every 26 at bats. There were 8 Dodgers last year who did better than that. Yes, occasional.

And what I said was his OPS has declined the last three years running and that is a fact.

I’m no longer going to do this with you patch. Can we agree to just ignore each other?

Bumsrap

AZ had their pesky hitters take them to the World Series last year while the Dodgers had their power hitters win a Division and stop.

So the Dodgers added a non-pesky hitter (Hernandez) to help them not stop.

dodgerpatch

Bit of an overreaction, but ok.

Oldbear48

My man, package is on the way. Snail mail so it will take a few days. Enjoy.

Badger

Thank you. Bear.

Did you just say your man package is on the way?

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Oldbear48

There is a comma there bud. But it is still funny.

Bumsrap

Margot is the type of player I would expect to be playing for Oakland or KC.

Duke Not Snider

Outman’s OBP against lefties last season was .357, which is nearly 50 points better than Margot’s career OBP of.309. (I don’t know what Margot’s career splits are, but in ’23 his OBP against lefties was .293.)
So while Outman lacked power against southpaws, he still managed to get on base.
I really don’t see any case for playing Margot ahead of the home-grown Outman, especially with Outman’s career trending upward. Both play quality defense, but Outman is the better offensive performer by a wide margin. Guys who are good at getting on base have a lot of value, especially when they’ll be hitting ahead of guys like Mookie and Freddie.
By the way, the claim that Miguel Rojas “can not hit” may only apply to his performance against righties.
Against lefties last season, Rojas batted .286 with .331 OBP and a .734 OPS. Not shabby. In terms of OPS, he outhit Vargas, Outman and Muncy against lefties.
Will Lux hit lefties? He’s had trouble in the past.
Perhaps he’s the guy who needs a platoon partner.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Zeke

It’s hard to believe that Pitchers and Catcher will be reporting in 5 weeks or so. Here in the frozen Midwest it’s a balmy -9 this morning. Just got my Directv statement and they already started to auto bill me for MLB Extra Innings so things aren’t that far off.

Still a lot of big name free agents available as the “Hot Stove” has been like the Midwest weather, frigid for the most part league wide.

Still interested to see where Bellinger signs and wonder where Snell will go, as it looks like the Yankees have moved off him it seems like as of now.

philjones

Zeke, it hasn’t been all that warm in Glendale either. But it’s early. And getting better.
I was riding my bike around Camelback Ranch yesterday to see if they have installed a bike rack by the front entrance. They have. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the front gate was wide open, a very dedicated and rigid security woman tracked me down and threw me out for trespassing. I guess she figured I was going to steal home plate on a practice field or a barrel of Field Conditioner. Jesus, I’m riding a bike around on a sunny day.
I swear they have the rudest staff in Az, from the Ushers to the security staff. I hate the place and if it wasn’t the Dodgers home, I wouldn’t go near the place.

Bklyn2LA57

Anxious to see Teo away from Seattle this season. The home/away splits suggest that T-Mobile Park was not a good home for him.

Oldbear48

Hey Jeff, I know you meant Muncy, and Margot, but Mookie would have to be superman to play 2nd and 3rd simultaneously. And I have never seen Miggy Ro play the outfield. Just sayin.

Mark Timmons

For whatever reason, I think we can agree that Teoscar had a bad year last season. I think he will do better in LA than Seattle. Beltre hit 48 HR in LA and then flamed out in Seattle.

Here’s the deal, however: With Freeman, Ohtani, Heyward, Lux, and Muncy all being LH, I think the Dodgers will see an inordinate amount of LHP this season. Let’s look at Teos splits just against LHP for the past four seasons:

2023 – .815 OPS (HR ever 20 ABs)
2022 – .978 OPS (HR every 11 ABs)
2021 – 1.151 OPS (HR every 9 ABs)
2020 – .935 OPS (HR every 10 ABs)

I think he will hit 4th or 5th against LHP. He may not play against certain RHP.

Cassidy

One more roster spot for another pitcher. Who and when will AF go after? The biggest October bang for the buck is either Burnes or Hader. Otherwise,until Buehler and/or Kersh gets back keep plugging the young guys in and see who delivers.

Mark Timmons

I think that if Burnes is traded, it will be at the Deadline, unless MiL is still in it. Hader is nice, but I worry about his attitude.

Sam Oyed

Muncy recently stated that the Dodgers traded away/let go malcontents and players who were more concerned about their stats than the team. If that’s true, I have a hard time seeing the Dodgers signing Hader.

dodgerpatch

I don’t think we ever figured out who what player was? My guess would be Syndergaard.

“You want me to change my pitching style!? No!! You were supposed to make me throw 99 again! I’m Thor, damnit!!”

Maybe JD? He seemed like a good mentor to Vargas and a good team guy. Doubt it.

Kershaw!!

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch
Cassidy

I know we all love our prospects but since Smith in 2018 the only positional Dodger prospect (traded or kept) IMHO that has a chance to be anything more than average is Lux. We seem to draft and develop pitching better than positional players.

Duke Not Snider

I think you are overlooking James Outman, who just finished 3rd in ROY while compiling stats comparable to established guys like Bryan Reynolds and Arozarena.
The question now is whether Outman can build on his fine rookie season. Well, why not?
His track record since he signed out CSU Sacramento has been one of continual improvement. He showed his mettle last season when, after a fast start, he battled back from a bad slump to finish strong, finishing with a .790 OPS.
Roberts largely stuck with Outman through his troubles when they could have opted for a platoon. That suggests the Dodgers brain trust believe he could be more than a 4th or 5th outfielder. In the end, Outman had more OF starts than anybody on the team, and only Freddie and Mookie played more games.
For Outman to take another step forward, he needs to cut down on his K rate and raise his performance against lefties. He was a power hitter against righties with 22 HRs and an .835 OPS, but a singles hitter against southpaws. But importantly, he produced an OBP over .350 against both.
It’s remarkable to me how various people suggest Outman should be platooned with Margot, who is a fine player, especially with the glove. Margot’s career OBP is .309.
Margot is the 4th outfielder.

Bluto

BP has their top prospect list ($$$$) here:
https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/87663/2024-prospects-the-top-101/

Four (4) Dodgers on it, Busch on it too.

Dalton Rushing, Jose de Paula, Nick Frasso & Thayron Liranzo.

For those following and not paying from home, Diego Cartaya was #19. Not on the list this year. He’s gotta rein that swing back in.

Bluto

River Ryan just missed the list.

New friend Jackson Ferris, old friend Jorbit Vivas and a pitcher Jeff D covered last calendar year, Payton Martin, all are highlighted candidates to crack next year’s list.

The train just keeps rolling.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Oldbear48

With the QO attached to him, Hader is not coming to Los Angeles. Got my first Ohtani baseball card. No stats, just the information about his signing with the Dodgers.

Oldbear48

Totally understand that logic. I just can’t stand the butt head.

Duke Not Snider

When we think about young pitchers with talent struggling to figure it out, let’s recall that Koufax was one of those guys.
The guys who have an early breakthrough–like Fernando, Kershaw, Urias–are the exception to the rule.

dodgerpatch

“I am a huge closer fan, even though I recognize that the trend to have one single closer is continuing its downward trend. IMO, the Dodgers prefer the flexibility of having 4 high leverage pitchers available at the end of the game (8th and 9th). The marginal utility of adding Josh Hader for $100MM is negligible if even existent. Yeah, I had to reach back in my economics education to pull that one out.”

Yeah, we’ve talked about that, and it would be certainly be nice to have a Hader, but it’s a luxury, and a pretty exorbitant luxury when you consider the dollar amount and the lost draft choices … and the closer/diva behavior … and the fact he stunk in 2022. I still wouldn’t mind a trade for Clase. He’s been the closer for them, but I think he’d accept a more flexible role.

I don’t really care to have Kenley back. Again, another closer you have to handle with kid gloves. He showed he couldn’t pitch on back to back nights the last year with the Dodgers.

RC Ray

Great article on Austin Gauthier at a site I had never visited before, Dodgers Daily.

Austin Gauthier: Disciplined, Tough, Talented

Mark Timmons

2024 Spring Training Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Mark Timmons

I am a huge Austin Gauthier fan.

Duke Not Snider

Gauthier’s a great underdog story. Perhaps he could rise to a UT role with the Dodgers. Reminds me of gritty Zach McKinstry, who was was a late draft pick who exceeded expectations and now plays for the Tigers. Gauthier was undrafted but has made his presence felt. He is now kind of the new Jorbit Vivas, an infielder with great plate discipline.
Like McKinstry and Vivas, Gauthier’s greatest value to the Dodgers could be in trade…. perhapsas a sweetener in blockbuster for Luzardo and Tanner Scott.

Dionysus

Gauthier doesn’t have much trade value. Keep him and let him replace Taylor in 2026 for 1/15th the cost.

It’s what smart teams do.

Bumsrap

Would you prefer to be given a $60,000 car or two $30,000 cars? I ask because the Dodgers seem to have chosen two $30,000 cars in the International free agent signing period.

Should the Dodgers have tried to sign the best players or spread their money around? Maybe they did and their evaluations of players were different from how others ranked them.

The international signing period runs through Dec. 15, 2024.

Below is a look at which players from MLB.com’s Top 50 International Prospects list have agreed to terms with clubs, and for how much. Unless otherwise noted, clubs have not confirmed the deals.

1. Leo De Vries, SS, D.R.: Padres+ ($4.2 million) More »
2. Paulino Santana, OF, D.R.: Rangers+ ($1.3 million) More »
3. Jose Perdomo, SS, Ven.: Braves ($5 million) More »
4. Fernando Cruz, SS, D.R.: Cubs ($4 million) More »
5. Adolfo Sanchez, OF, D.R.: Reds+ ($2.7 million) More »
6. Yovanny Rodriguez, C, Ven.: Mets ($2.85 million) More »
7. Dawel Joseph, SS, D.R.: Mariners ($3.3 million) More »
8. Daiber De Los Santos, SS, D.R.: Twins ($1.9 million) More »
9. Kennew Blanco, SS, Ven.
10. Adriel Radney, OF, D.R.: D-backs ($1.85 million) More »
11. Eduardo Herrera, 3B, Ven.: White Sox More »
12. Jorge Quintana, SS, Ven.: Brewers ($1.7 million) More »
13. Robert Arias, OF, D.R.: Guardians ($1.9 million) More »
14. Emil Morales, SS, Spain: Dodgers+ ($1.9 million) More »
15. Francisco Vilorio, OF, D.R.: Yankees ($1.75 million) More »

Monday marked the open of MLB’s 2024 international signing period, one of two ways major-league teams acquire amateur talent each year. The draft you see every summer covers players born in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Players from everywhere else in the world fall into international free agency.
Roughly 30% of current MLB players were originally signed as international free agents, including reigning MVPs Ronald Acuña Jr. Jr. and Shohei Ohtani, and other stars like Sandy AlcantaraJulio Rodríguez, and Juan Soto. Perennial contenders like the Dodgers and Yankees, teams that usually pick late in the draft, use international free agency to add high-end prospects to their farm system.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bumsrap
Mark Timmons

… and it is still a crapshoot… as evidenced in the book “Future Value!”

Ron Fairly fan

Or maybe they are holding cash back in case Sasaki gets posted in December.

Mark Timmons

OK

Duke Not Snider

Is Emil Morales really from Spain?

Oldbear48

No, he is Dominican. That has to be a typo

Duke Not Snider

The Dodgers are said to be saving some of their international budget for another sleek Japanese ride, namely Roki Sasaki, who may arrive from Japan in ’25.
Perhaps Emil Morales, signed for $1.9 million, works out and maybe he doesn’t. He’ll at least give Jeondry Vargas some competition for the Dodgers Shortstop of the Future label.
Back in 2018, young Diego Cartaya of Venezuela signed for a $2.5 million bonus and was touted as the Dodgers’ next great catcher.
In 2021, Thayron Liranzo of the Dominican Republic signed for a $30,000 bonus.
Right now, Liranzo is considered a Top 100 prospect–and Cartaya has fallen off the list.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider

Must See

More in Dodger Baseball

68
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x