The Dodgers are less than 2 months away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and that is about the most exciting news to report on. Last week the Dodgers made multiple moves.
- 12-12-2022 – Signed RHRP Jake Pilarski and his near triple digit four-seamer to a MiLB contract. It will undoubtedly stay in MiLB, but stranger things have happened.
- 12-13-2022 – Signed LHRP Adam Kolarek to a MiLB contract. He still needs to learn how to get RH batters out.
- 12-13-2022 – Signed C Patrick Mazeika to a MiLB contract. He is a good emergency catcher who will team up with Hunter Feduccia at OKC.
- 12-14-2022 – Traded LHRP Jeff Belge to Tampa Bay for RHRP J. P. Feyereisen.
- 12-14-2022 – Signed RHSP Noah Syndergaard to a 1 year contract for $13MM with a $1.5MM incentive package based on IP.
- 12-15-2022 – Traded for Oakland utility infielder Yonny Hernandez for cash considerations.
- 12-17-2022 – Signed DH J.D. Martinez to a 1 year $10MM contract. Can RVS do his hitting magic again for JDM?
- 12-17-2022 – Signed LH hitting CF Bradley Zimmer to a MiLB contract. Zimmer is another in a long line of exceptional defensive CF with lousy offensive production. Zimmer was another of those can’t miss OF and yet somehow do. He was a 1st round pick (21st overall) in the 2014 amateur draft by Cleveland out of University of San Francisco. He was a two time Top 26 in MLB Top 100 prospect. He remained with Cleveland until last year when he was traded to Toronto (April 8). He was DFA’d by Toronto on August 15, picked up by Philadelphia on August 18, DFA’d by Philadelphia on August 27, and picked up by Toronto on August 29. This year he was non-tendered by Toronto rather than pay him a projected $1.3MM. No risk signing of a gifted defensive CF, that if someone can get him to turn a light on, could become a big benefit. And yes, I acknowledge that it is a Grand Canyon sized IF.
- 12-18-2022 – The LAD era of Justin Turner has come to an end as he and Boston have agreed on a 2-year deal for a reported guarantee in the $22MM range.
This past week we also apparently witnessed the ushering in of the Gavin Lux at SS era for LAD. How else are the Dodgers going to know if Lux is an MLB SS or not unless they put him out there? But don’t d*** with him. Put him there and leave him there, just like they did with Trea Turner. CT3 can back him up when he needs it. It is not my first choice, but I do not get paid millions to construct a championship contending roster. If the Dodgers go ahead and sign José Iglesias or Elvis Andrus to play SS, what does that say about their confidence in Gavin? Those guys are not the elite SS that were signed this year, and Gavin has to believe he is a better option than either of those two. One of my Starbucks buddies advised me that I needed to oil up my glove because the Dodgers need a SS. Fan confidence is nowhere near the Kasten/AF/BG/ confidence.
With JDM, that also puts Max Muncy at 2B. As I expressed over the weekend, I have little confidence in believing that Max has the range to play a quality defensive 2B in the shiftless era. Of course he can play 2B, but at an average MLB 2B level? That puts CT3 in the Swiss Army Knife role once again, which is where he plays best. Hopefully all of his injuries are healed and he is ready to produce offensively again.
Miguel Vargas is going to get a huge runway this year to see how his bat works at MLB. With JT moving and Edwin Ríos non tendered, the logical position is 3B. There are doubters out there, but there always are. In 50 PA in 2022, Miguel slashed .170/.200/255/.455 with 13 strikeouts (26%) and 2 walks, Too many “fans” began to denigrate his start even with a much too small sample size. Just as those who were equating Outman’s start as proof positive he is the next Mike Trout. If you want to get head shaking comments from fans with this small of a baseball brain, have fun in MLBTR or MLB.com comments.
I do not believe the OF is finished yet.
Also last week FanGraphs’ Eric Logenhagen had a chat. Here are a couple of comments he had on LAD prospects.
- Quincy 12:25
- Josue de Paula the next big thing for the dodgers?
- Eric A Longenhagen
- Saw him a couple times in the fall and he looked pretty good. Beware of DSL stat-based hype you see on social media, I feel like it got out of hand with this guy, but yeah his frame and swing are exciting and he didn’t look awful making the leap from DSL pitching to instructs pitching.
- Rayne Doncon-what did you think of his development this year?
- Eric A Longenhagen
- Blerg, his approach turned out to be really bad and I got too excited from his backfield look during ’21 instructs and ’22 milb spring training. Upside is still huge because his bat speed is, but the pitch recognition is scary.
I had to look up what Blerg meant. For those of you who are as ignorant as I am with urban dictionary phrases, it means indifference.
While not about LAD, the following is about a pitcher the Dodgers could be facing a lot of over the next several years in Arizona. He certainly impressed me in his short stint in the desert.
- I’ve been watching some of the pitchers who came up in September and I’m fascinated by Drey Jameson. Do you think his extreme GB profile can stick long-term as a starter?
- Eric A Longenhagen
- I do. He’s such a good athlete and for years now has held his velo and thrown strikes despite some of the noise and violence in his delivery. I buy it.
What might we expect this week or thru the end of the year? Brandon Drury is getting a lot of traction lately, but he is not mentioned as a Dodger potential. An OF trade? More MiLB signings? Relief pitching?
TW3. A blast from the past.
Blerg. I thought he was a prospect I’ve never heard of. Could be a running back because of his “backfield look” during instructs.
Only two months to pitchers and catchers. Though time does appear to be speeding up with each passing year, two months waiting for Spring Training seems like a long time to me.
As a fan I feel like filing a grievance against Manfred and MLB for the bungling of the Bauer situation. Their actions have caused palpable damage to my team’s ability to participate in off season improvements and therefore has caused tangible injury to me personally. Wish Rick was here so I could run that one by him.
Pitching and defense is usually important to winning. Dodgers have pitching if they can stay on the mound. Infield defense could be a weakness.
I, too, miss Dodgerrick. I always enjoyed his perspectives.
TW3. Great show. I loved Ton Lehrer. I have an album by him and the “Vatican Rag” is on it. Some other gems like ” So Long Mom, I’m Off to Drop a Bomb” and Wehner Von Braun. Another gem is ” Pollution”. Can’t wait for spring. I think anyone they sign from here on will be a depth move. Right now there are like 4 CF candidates to replace Bellinger. Vargas will get the first shot at 3rd.
CT-3 married his longtime girlfriend in Hawaii. Some of his teammates were there. Congrats CT-3.
Was just perusing savant stats on JD. There’s a lot to be seen there, one of the most interesting to me was projected home runs by park. According to their analysis he would have had 24 in LA, while only 17 in Boston. Another telling stat is the ‘22 drop in exit velocity, no doubt contributing to Boston letting him go. Maybe Von Skyhack can help with that.
With Muncy, CT3 and Martinez is the interest in Drury off the table? Looking at depth charts and roster lists adds some confusion. I see Muncy at third, Lux at second, Taylor in left. Fangraphs has it differently, Taylor at second, Muncy at third, Thompson in center and Outman in left.
I see Bryan Reynolds in left, but then I’ve always been a dreamer.
The Dodgers acquired a defensive CFer. Might they go after a defensive SS? I see it this way unless the Dodgers make a trade.
RF Betts (I would put Lux leadoff but Roberts…
2B Muncy (hit him 9th due to OBP/BB) Because he has pictures he will hit 4th.
And with a trade:
Muncy and Taylor eat payroll on the bench
By Anthony Franco | December 19, 2022 at 11:31pm CDT
The Orioles are drawing interest from other clubs in shortstop Jorge Mateo, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. The specific teams in contact with Baltimore aren’t clear, although he’s a natural fallback target for clubs that haven’t addressed the position via free agency.
A former top prospect in the Yankees and Oakland farm systems, Mateo at times can be undone by an overaggressive approach at the plate. He’s walked in fewer than 5% of his MLB plate appearances while striking out nearly 28% of the time, leading to a dismal .271 career on-base percentage. Things were even more extreme this past season, as his .267 OBP topped only that of Jonathan Schoop and Cody Bellinger among hitters with 500+ plate appearances.
While Mateo doesn’t have an especially well-rounded skillset, he tapped into the physical gifts that made him a high-end prospect this year. After bouncing from the A’s to the Padres, the 27-year-old landed in Baltimore late in 2021 via waiver claim. He got his first everyday run at the major league level this past season. Mateo’s plate discipline profile was ghastly, but he demonstrated his top-tier athleticism. He stole an AL-best 35 bases in 44 attempts, showcasing the speed that garnered top-of-the-scale grades when he was a prospect.
As Rosenthal points out, that kind of athleticism could be particularly appealing in light of the rules changes going into effect for the 2023 season. MLB is instituting a limit on the number of times a pitcher can step off the mound in a plate appearance and enlarging the bases, both of which should at least moderately incentivize base-stealing.
The league is also instituting limitations on defensive shifting, requiring clubs to keep two infielders on either side of the second base bag and four players on the infield dirt. Teams could place more of a premium on athletic defenders as a result, since it’ll be more difficult to compensate for players who have below-average range via strategic positioning.
Mateo thrived defensively this year, posting top-tier marks in over 1250 innings at shortstop. Defensive Runs Saved pegged him as 14 runs above average at the position, the third-highest mark in MLB. Statcast estimated Mateo at eight runs above par, tying him for fourth among shortstops. He showcased both high-end range and above-average arm strength and looks to have emerged as a plus defender.
Maintaining that kind of defensive production will be critical for Mateo unless he takes a significant step forward in his offensive development. This year’s .211/.267/.379 line was 18 percentage points worse than average, by measure of wRC+. His baserunning means he’s not completely a glove-only player, but he’ll need to sustain high-end defensive marks to remain valuable with such tepid output at the plate. That Mateo is attracting interest from other teams in spite of his offense is a testament both to his secondary skills and the scarcity of alternatives.
Good read. Thanks Bum.
Observation: Mateo. His base stealing? His OBP is .267. I think we’re better served with Lux at short.
Franco. Good acquisition. How’d you do it?
Jefe, re: Reynolds. I worked the trade out using the simulator. Pages, Pepiot and the entire Tulsa roster, including coaching staff, gets it done. We’re not using them anyway so no great loss. To compensate Tulsa everyone from Great Lakes and Rancho moves up.To replace Rancho the Dodgers will scour the Mexican Leagues and regional semi pro and MABL teams. It’s Rancho Cucamonga. Who cares, right?
111 wins with Muncy and Bellinger hitting below .200 most of the year.
I have thought about Jorge Mateo as a possibility. Defensively there are few who can compete with him. 11 OAA (Statcast) and 14 DRS and 7.5 UZR. I do believe run prevention is another way of winning baseball games, and Mateo has very few equals at SS. But his bat is abysmal.
If the LAD hitting gurus can teach him any kind of plate discipline, he might get his OBP up to .300, and he would be an excellent choice. Okay, maybe it would be best to partner him with Freddie and not RVS. With his speed and base stealing ability, he would become more valuable if he could just get on base. With Gunnar Henderson knocking on the proverbial door and Jordan Westburg right behind, Mateo becomes available, and has 3 years of control.
Bums you bring up a perfectly logical SS option in Jorge Mateo, but then cloud that logic with Wander Franco as a Dodger SS. In what parallel universe is that possible? I am shocked that you have Muncy and CT3 on the bench and not going to Tampa Bay for Franco. 😂
I meant Mateo but unfortunately I glanced down at the article I copied and put the article author in the lineup.
There are Francos and there are Francos and no Wonder we get confused. It did get some humor going though and some creative ways for getting the Wonderful version on the Dodgers.
BTW, I wouldn’t have put Wonder in the 9th hole.
Just want to verify that SS Franco is Wander Franco?
And who were you planning to trade for him, I mean other than Max and CT3 which the Rays might not be ready to do. They would probably ask AF to pay 80% of their salaries plus throw in Bobby Miller, Vargas, Stone and Pages.
I think AF might very well bring in a defensive minded shortstop, not necessarily as a starter but as a bench player to be subbed late in games at short or second and Mateo could be valuable on both fronts you mention, defense and base running.
On the other hand, we might already have someone who fits our needs, Yonny Hernandez. He plays three infield positions, has good fielding marks and stole a lot of bases in the minors.
If the choice is Mateo or Hernandez, it is very simple for me. I am taking Mateo 100 times out of 100. I am really not sure what Hernandez adds to LAD.
I am surprised that so many do not consider run prevention as a means for winning games. St. Louis has done it for decades. The Dodgers do have the pitching, but I truly believe the LAD pitchers are praying that ground balls only go to Freddie at 1B. I am a Lux fan and I do believe the LAD brass when they say Lux is their SS. I do not have to like it as I prefer him at 2B. Does anyone really believe he has better range than Turner? He will have the weakest arm of any SS in MLB. Many of you are willing to put a statue at 2B and 3B? Lux and Muncy would have to be the worst defensive SS/2B combo in MLB. Opposing teams are loving how the Dodgers have constructed their post-shift infield. The Dodgers shifted more than any other team, but now that the shift is gone, they choose to go backwards with their infield defense.
Mateo had a 2.8 fWAR, and was #3 MLB SS in DRS, #2 UZR, and #5 OAA. He is expected to earn $1.8MM.
You do not like Mateo, how about Ramón Urías, a GG 3B moving to 2B? He is not as good defensively at 2B, but I am guessing that he could learn it quickly, and he would have better range than Max Muncy.
Can the Dodgers for once think defense?
I hope so.
Why not just bring up Amaya?
Apparently the Dodgers do not consider Amaya a MLB SS at this point in his career. He has never been included in the discussion. Michael Busch has been mentioned more at 2B than Amaya at SS, and that is very little. Like it or not, unless the Dodgers can swing a significant trade for a SS, Gavin Lux will be the LAD SS in 2023.
Seems like Iglesias on a 1 or 2 year deal would be a good way to go.
San Diego signs Matt Carpenter to two years and $12MM. If he is the player that NYY had last year, he will be a terrific addition to the SD roster. If he is the player with St. Louis the last few years, not so much.
Giants Correa presser has been delayed due to a medical issue that came up during the physical. This is going to get resolved, but how do the Giants feel with a 13 year deal for a player with an injury past and now a medical concern at the physical?
They feel like they should have signed Jose Iglesias to a 4 million dollar, 1 year contract. 😰
At least Iglesias can sing a little 😀
This is why AF should sign him.
He likes guys who play multiple positions.
Trea – SS, 2B, CF
Lux – SS, 2B, LF, CF
Iglesias – SS, 2B, Between innings serenades
They found a drum up his ear.
A drum in the ear? How unusual.
Defense huh. Iont think so. That said, Ohio’s point is valid, we already have a defensive wizard in Amaya, why go outside for an all glove no hit shortstop? And, if it’s Lux, he will be fine.
I’m okay with Lux at SS but not okay with Muncy or Busch at second or Taylor in the starting lineup.
I would insist on Wonder Mateo as he is hereby nicknamed bunt 35% of his at bats and do the Furcal slap bunt 35% and do the Wills swing 30%.
We should be fine if we score 5.5 per game and average 11K/9.
Trash can lid.
Johnny can’t read.
Looks like LAA is signing Brandon Drury. 2 years $17MM. Good deal for both.
Drury is the perfect fit for the Angels.
I predict they make the playoffs this year.
And that could be unfortunate for us and our supposed attempt to lure Shohei.
Oakland signs Drew Rucinski for 1 year $3MM with a $5MM club option for 2024. This is another deal I like.