Recently Dodgerrick wrote an excellent post on his assessment on the current LAD roster and its potential lack of depth. His initial conclusion was “I am not particularly sanguine about 2023”.
Badger wrote yesterday…”This will be a good team. Better than the Padres? Good enough to peak in October? I can’t help but think – no. They were “in” on a lot of high volume players. They got nobody. If they are serious about winning it all, it’s my opinion they will need to make moves.”
RC Dodger was more optimistic…“Despite the lower payroll this year, I am still optimistic about the roster. While it is not reasonable to expect the Dodgers to reach the win totals of the last two years, their roster is still comparable to 2022, and one of the best in baseball.”
Me? I have often been described as a “Sunshine Pumping Pollyanna with rose colored glasses”. I can accept that. But it sure seems that people forget that the Dodgers won 111 games last year. IMO, the only irreplaceable player from 2022 is Trea Turner, and I acknowledge that his bat is going to be difficult to replace.
As I wrote early 2017, we all see things in a different prism.
In his post, Dodgerrick brought up a recent article in The Athletic. It was an article providing a grade for every team for their offseason movement. For the record, the publication gave the Dodgers a C-. Fabian Ardaya, the Dodgers beat writer for The Athletic, wrote the following for the article.
“This is more about what the Dodgers are losing than anything they’ve added. As Ben Clemens noted in FanGraphs earlier this month, no team lost more net year-over-year WAR from their roster than the Dodgers had at that point. They lost a $300 million shortstop for the second consecutive winter. They saw several key members of their 111-win roster in 2022 get guarantees of eight figures or more elsewhere. Part of this was in the hope they could duck underneath the luxury tax threshold and reset some of their penalties — but now, they’re over that threshold. This front office has earned some benefit of the doubt, but they need some of their young prospects to step up to make this plan look like a win.”
It’s true. Per FanGraphs the Dodgers lost 14.1 fWAR, the most in MLB. The Braves lost 6.1 fWAR, and the supposed favored Padres lost 2.1 fWAR. Since the Dodgers won the Division by 22 games last year, can we extrapolate and ordain the Dodgers the NL West Division winner by 10 games? Probably not. The remainder in the NL West teams:
- Rockies lost 2.1 fWAR
- Giants lost 0.8 fWAR
- Arizona gained 2.8 fWAR
Of the playoff contenders, the Mets have gained 8.0 fWAR, NYY lost 0.5 fWAR, and Houston lost 3.9 fWAR. What does any of this mean? Not a thing as far as I am concerned. I do not put a lot of stock in ZIPS or Steamer or any of the other prognosticator predictions. I guess we do not need to play the season as it is clear by fWAR projections, NYM is going to run away from the crowd. I recognize that fWAR or bWAR projections are important to some. Just not for me. I am not saying I have more insight, and I do not have a super computer algorithm to support my beliefs.
It is really difficult to predict what rookies will do. Remind me of those of you who predicted a 4.1 bWAR for 2B Brendan Donovan. Or a 2.7 bWAR for reliever Ryan Helsley. He goes from a 4.56 ERA to a 1.25 ERA. Closer to home, who here predicted Evan Phillips’ dominance?
LAD unexpected improvements – Tyler Anderson climbed to a 4.3 bWAR from a 0.3 bWAR. He went from a 4.81 ERA to a 2.57. And Andrew Heaney who went from a 5.83 ERA and being cut from NYY before the playoffs, to a 3.10 ERA. Those were not predicted, and yet they happened.
I agree with AF in predicting that the Dodgers were always going to come down from their 111 win season anyway. He said recently:
“I think it’s always safe to assume that you’re going to take a step back from 111 wins.”
But LAD win totals for the last four years has been:
- 2019 – 106 wins
- 2020 – On pace with 116 wins
- 2021 – 106 wins
- 2022 – 111 wins
In addition, they won 104 games in 2017. The one year in the last six that they did not win 100+ games was 2018, and they made it to the WS only to lose to an exceptional Red Sox team that year. The roster in 2017 was far different than the 2022 team. Rosters change every year. Players will get hurt. Players will regress. Players will have an unexpected great season.
FanGraphs Ben Clemens reminds us:
“The Yankees brought everyone back from 1998 to 1999 except David Wells, whom they traded for Roger Clemens, and they still got 16 games worse. It’s just nearly impossible to win that many games two years in a row.”
As a reminder, NYY won the WS in 1999 even with the 16 games lost from their 1998 total.
AF further stated:
“I think we’re going to be a really good team that has very, very legitimate championship odds.”
With what the Dodgers have done the last six years, that certainly appears to have merit.
Dodgerrick gave us a list of the Dodgers lost: Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Chris Martin, Tommy Kahnle, Craig Kimbrel, Joey Gallo, David Price, Hanser Alberto, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Kevin Pillar and Edwin Rios.
Let’s just forget about Kahnle (12.2 IP), Kimbrel (did not even make the playoff roster), Joey Gallo (1 AB in the postseason), David Price, Hanser Alberto, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Kevin Pillar, and Edwin Rios. Other than Kahnle, they had nothing to do with the disaster in the NLDS.
Trea Turner will definitely be a significant loss. He cannot be replaced by a single individual. Is he worth $300MM? The Phillies think so. Turner wanted East Coast anyway, so it is highly doubtful that the Dodgers ever had a shot. The Padres lost out on Turner and Aaron Judge even though they made larger offers. So the Padres were not going to be outbid for Xander Bogaerts, and since they were in excess of $100MM more than what Boston (the only other team involved) offered. Bogaerts signed with San Diego.
The final offer, as reported by Alex Speier and Peter Abraham at the Boston Globe, was six years and “roughly” $162 million, or $27 million per season. Beyond reasonable for a player entering his age-31 season who may not play shortstop for much longer – in a vacuum.
Source – https://985thesportshub.com/listicle/red-sox-bogaerts-offer-xander-padres-contract/
Dansby Swanson’s wife is on Chicago’s Women’s Professional Soccer League team (Chicago Red Stars), and the Cubs offered $177MM for 7 years. The Dodgers preferred Lux at less than $1MM. If Lux needs to move back to 2B, there is always Amed Rosario for next year, or a trade. The Brewers may be more willing to trade Adames next winter with Burnes, Woodruff, and Adames all becoming FA after 2024. And what if the Lux experiment works out? I think some are giving up way too early on him.
JT was regressing. He did have an outstanding 3 months, but his power numbers were way down. He really regressed in the post season. He was 2-13 with 0 RBIs. He was 0-5 WRISP.
JT started 66 games at 3B, and was DH for 61 games. JT is not expected to play anywhere defensively other than 1B for Boston, and that was not going to happen with LAD. JD Martinez should be able to capably replace JT’s bat. I am sure it really came down to who the Dodgers believed would be the better DH; JT or JDM. They chose JDM. Obviously some disagree, and AF is not perfect in his decisions. We will have to wait to see how it turns out.
JT was a great clubhouse presence, but with the Dodgers makeup, just how important was that? The Dodgers clubhouse was not in chaos. The Dodgers have multiple other veterans who are more than capable of stepping up. His presence in the clubhouse did not help in the NLDS. It really was time for JT to move on. JT will be missed by both the Dodgers and the LA community. The Dodgers will survive, and JT is not abandoning the LA community.
Chris Martin will be missed. He pitched 2.0 innings in the NLDS allowing no runs on 3 hits. But the Dodgers have been able to build a solid if not excellent bullpen for the last several years. Martin was a deadline pickup, and I suspect that the Dodgers can pick up another reliever if necessary next summer. Maybe even Chris Martin, as Boston is expected to be a seller at the deadline.
I also believe the pitching gurus can “fix” Shelby Miller who was close last year. What if he turns into another Evan Phillips? Victor Gonzalez will also be back this year. The Dodgers will have plenty of pitchers ready to assume Martin’s spot on the roster.
Cody Bellinger? How will they replace the 550 plate appearances of 78 OPS+ they got from Cody Bellinger last year? For the last three years, in 1,143 PA, Bellinger has put up a scintillating .203/.272/.376/.648 slash line. Can the Dodgers replace that? I am betting that a platoon of Trayce Thompson and James Outman can improve on that, and probably significantly. I am hoping that Belli can make a new start in Chicago, but it is doubtful that he could have done so in LA. If I were in charge, Outman would start in CF.
Do we really need to bring up Joey Gallo? FanGraphs considers it a loss. I will take CT3 over Gallo. CT3 since 2017.
- 2017 – 123 OPS+, 4.4 bWAR
- 2018 – 110 OPS+, 4.3 bWAR
- 2019 – 107 OPS+, 1.5 bWAR
- 2020 – 127 OPS+, 1.9 bWAR (for 60 of 162 games)
- 2021 – 107 OPS+, 2.6 bWAR
- 2022 – 86 OPS+, 0.5 bWAR
CT3 is hardly over the hill at 32. He was injured most of last year, and has had all Winter to build back up. I am going on record saying that 2022 was an anomaly and not a trend. I think he at least reaches his 2021 production.
Hanser Alberto or Miguel Rojas? I am going with Rojas.
Max Muncy – Going back to 3B. He started 80 games at 3B last year. He earned positive defensive for DRS, and a -2 OAA. He undoubtedly benefitted with the shift, but his elbow should be fully healed and his throws across the diamond should be more than enough.
Muncy has gone on record saying that his two down years are due to his inability to work out during the offseason (2020 and 2022).
- 2018 – 161 OPS+, 4.3 bWAR
- 2019 – 132 OPS+, 5.3 bWAR
- 2020 – 95 OPS+, 0.5 bWAR (for 60 of 162 games)
- 2021 – 135 OPS+, 4.9 bWAR
- 2022 – 96 OPS+, 2.7 bWAR
Muncy at 32 is also hardly over the hill. Muncy is fully healthy going into the 2023 campaign. I believe him when he says that his two down years were due to his inability to train in the offseason. 2020 because of the pandemic, and 2022 because of his elbow. Just like with CT3, I think Max at least duplicates his 2021 production.
Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney – I already conceded that both pitchers had tremendous comeback seasons. Perhaps the comeback can be traced to the pitching triumvirate of pitching coach Mark Prior, assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness, and bullpen coach Josh Bard. Dodgers pitchers in the last three years have posted the three best adjusted ERA+ and the three lowest on-base percentages allowed by a National League or American League team in the live ball era (since 1920). That is pretty impressive.
Who is to say that the pitching gurus cannot resurrect the careers of Noah Syndergaard, and Dustin May? Syndergaard has a better resume than either TA or Heaney had before they signed. I can still hear all the gnashing of teeth about AF’s incompetence for signing Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney last year. Now many of those same people are upset because they are not replacing either pitcher. And yet that same possibility is not afforded to Noah Syndergaard.
I am not projecting that Thor or May will become CY candidates. But there is nothing to say that they can’t pitch better than TA or Heaney, especially Heaney, who pitched a total of 72.2 innings. If IP is the barometer for losses, TA and Heaney combined for 250 IP. I think May and Syndergaard will put up those IP.
An example as to why I do not like projections. Andrew Heaney projected fWAR 2.3, Tyler Anderson projected fWAR 1.9, Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard each with projected fWAR of 1.8. Andrew Heaney is projected to be the best pitcher of the four? I am not buying it. But for those who do, May (118) and Thor (157) do indeed project more than 250 IP combined. The potential IP loss? Poof, it is gone. That is if you believe in those projections.
The 2023 bench is probably going to Austin Barnes, Trayce Thompson, Miguel Rojas, and one of Jason Heyward, Bradley Zimmer, Steven Duggar, or Michael Busch. Then again, maybe the Dodgers swing a deal for a legit veteran MLB CF (or LF). Regardless, that bench is better than last year’s. Opening day roster in 2022 included Barnes, Alberto, and Edwin Ríos. Once they increased the non-pitcher roster to 13, it included Kevin Pillar, Eddy Alvarez, Jake Lamb, Zach McKinstry, Trayce Thompson, and/or Joey Gallo.
The Dodgers are continually rated with a top farm system, and yet during the AF era, they have only inserted Gavin Lux and Will Smith into the lineup. The Dodgers are going to need Miguel Vargas and James Outman to step up this year. I totally acknowledge and accept that. I think they will. Maybe they prove me wrong, but then again, I am a Sunshine Pumping Pollyanna with rose colored glasses. Not to mention the rookie pitching of Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove, Bobby Miller, and Gavin Stone.
Yes, the Dodgers are going to miss Trea Turner. Chris Martin is replaceable. JDM can replace JT. But please do not tell me the Dodgers are going to go south because of the loss of Cody Bellinger. I do not care how good he is considered defensively. It is not nearly enough to make up for that bat.
As I mentioned at the top, many of the naysayers seem to not take into account that the Dodgers won 111 games last year, and exceeded 100 wins in four of the last five full seasons. In the one short season, they were playing at a 116 win pace. Do you think that team could have gone 53-49 for the final 102 games? They are all of a sudden going to slide into oblivion because of the loss of Trea Turner, JT, TA, Andrew Heaney? I am not buying that.
I agree with Bear that the Dodgers were just not mentally focused on the playoffs, and the layoff had something to do with that lack of focus. They lost 3 out of their last 4 games in the regular season. They waltzed into the playoffs. They were off 6 days before the NLDS. Did they get complacent? Perhaps. Not going with the blame game here. But they did not have the same intensity. For 2022, the Dodgers batted .272/.365/.459/.824 WRISP, best in MLB in BA, OBP, and OPS, and 2nd only to Atlanta in SLG. For the NLDS they batted .147/.262/.235/.497 with WRISP. They were 3-8 in Game 1, and 2-26 in the final 3 games. That is why they lost.
BTW, none of the 4 bye teams did well in their respective Division Series. Houston and NYY did win in the AL, but it was not easy.
I think the Dodgers will be better prepared this year. They will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. They just need to get into the playoffs.
Let’s assume that the Dodgers cannot make up for any of the lost 14.1 fWAR. Suppose that translates into a 97 win season. That gets the Dodgers into the playoffs. Let’s drop down to 95 wins. 93 wins. That still gets the Dodgers into the playoffs. And as we know, just get into the playoffs and get hot. That is the recipe for a WS champion…right? So we have been told.
Great write up Jeff. I think we will make the playoffs and then it is a crap shoot.
The only substantial loss I see is Trea Turner and he is not irreplaceable. He OPSed .809 last year. .800 to .899 is considered a very good player. So he was on the low end of that. .900 and above is considered a superstar. His defense was nothing special and he struck out 131 times in 652 ABs. A 20% SO rate. I am glad the Dodgers did not sign him to a ridiculous contract like the Phillies did.
The Gallo experiment was a total bust and waste of time and a prospect. Outman could have been up getting MLB experience.
I think Lux will replace at least 80% of Trea.
Muncy 2023 will replace 120% of Muncy 2022.
Outman/Thompson will replace 140% of Bellinger 2022.
Smith 2023 will be 110% of Smith 2022.
Freeman 2023 will be 95% of Freeman 2022.
Taylor 2023 will be 110% Taylor 2022.
Martinez will be 115% of Justin 2022.
Betts 2023 will be 98% of Betts 2022.
The Dodgers 2023 rotation will not be as good as their 2022 rotation but close.
The Dodgers will win 111 games in 2023 less the wins that SD and AZ take away. It’s less about the Dodgers being a weaker team and more about other teams getting better in 2023.
I think those are fair percentages. For me, the key to 2023 will come down to two players…Max Muncy and Thor. If Max has a season like 2021 (more than capable) and Thor can replicate what TA did last year, the 2023 Dodgers will be a strong contender. Thor will be that veteran pitcher they need (as they did TA). Regardless I think the Dodgers will be in the hunt at the deadline, and they can make adjustments at that time. Of course everyone else has to perform. Lux has to prove he is ML SS. I think he will hit. But Muncy and Thor are the two big questions at the beginning of the season.
I’m with you, SPP. Let the games begin.
I just want to see the rookies get chances.
Excellent analysis, Jeff.
The last four regular seasons have been amazing by the Dodgers. We focus more on the three playoff losses, but 106 or more adjusted wins in each of the last 4 seasons is incredible. This season will be interesting for me to see how the younger players perform in the big leagues. Certainly, the team may struggle or underperform, but I expect them to win the division in the end. The betting odds still have the Dodgers and Mets as co-favorites to win the NL pennant, even with the slow off-season. And with the top rated farm system and a manageable payroll, the Dodgers are well positioned to remain competitive in future seasons.
Let’s see: how does the 2023 team compare to the 2022 team that won 111 games?
1) we lost Bellinger, who was atrocious in 2022
2) we lost JT, who was good for 2 months and poor for most of the year in 2022
3) we had Muncy who was horrendous for the first 4 months, and decent the last 2 months of 2022
4) we had Lux, basically a rookie, who played really well, and then got hurt and was less than average at the end of 2022
5) we lost Trea Turner, who was absolutely brilliant in 2022
6) we had Chris Taylor hit .221 in 2022
7) we had Mookie Betts, who was good, then fantastic, then good in 2022
8) we had Freddie Freeman, who was absolutely brilliant in 2022
9) We lost Kershaw for 2-3 months in 2022
10) we lost Walker Buehler the 2nd half of the year (and all of 2023) in 2022
11) we had zero reliable closer almost the entire year in 2022
12) we lost Tyler Anderson, who was an All Star, and who was dominant in an abrupt 5 innings in October in 2022
13) we played Joey Gallo often, who struck out roughly 50% of the time he batted for us in 2022
14) we lost Andrew Heaney, who was actually pretty solid all year in 2022
15) we had no Dustin May until the last few weeks in 2022
Seems to me, it won’t be too hard to match or exceed 2022!!!
Tyler Anderson had a year.
Well, there aren’t too many projections available yet, but Cesar’s Sportsbook has the Dodgers winning the NL West at 96.5 wins and ZIPS has them winning the West with 91 wins.
What we don’t know
1 – Can Miguel Vargas hit big league pitching? Can he play 2B, a position that he didn’t really play in the minors?
2 – Can Gavin Lux really play SS at the big league level? He hasn’t looked that great defensively at any position yet and in a short try at SS, didn’t play that well.
3 – Does anyone think that an infield of Muncy, Lux and Vargas is a post-season quality infield?
4 – Who really will plan CF and LF? Thompson has never been a big league hitter. and last year (his best) he struck out 36.5% of his plate appearances. Chris Taylor struck out 35% of his plate appearances. James Outman struck out 152 times in the minors! I might have to invest in a windmill near Dodger Stadium.
I agree that JDM will replace JT as far as offensive productivity is concerned, but he won’t replace him in the clubhouse.
Trea Turner can’t be replaced either.
This may be the worst defensive infield that the Dodgers have had since the days of the infamous Karros/Harris/Offrman/Hansen infield of 1992 – which, by the way, the Dodgers went 63-99 even with a team ERA of 3.41 and a rotation of Hersheiser, Kevin Gross, Candiotti, Ramon Martinez and Jim Gott.
Run prevention is important.
96.5 is fair.
From an article in The Athletic:
“If you look around the clubhouse, there’s a lot of guys that have been around,” Roberts said. “I don’t see (how) the culture, with a couple guys departing, should be affected”
A couple of guys?
The article is about the impact that JT had in the clubhouse, but I guess it’s no big deal according to Dave Roberts.
Dave is saying what he’s supposed to say. He knows he has his work cut out for him.
The numbers I posted are clear. We lost our best starting pitcher and our third most productive player. Trea Turner scored 100 and he knocked in 100. That won’t be replaced. That team did win the West by 3 weeks. But then they laid another post season egg. Who knows, maybe those people playing in the Majors for the first time, and those playing new positions, will prove to be better suited for playing in October. The experts say we will win the West again. I’m no expert so why wouldn’t I believe those who are? The Mets didn’t get Correa, they’ll fade. Atalanta will be good again, but we can beat them. The Phillies will be tough, and the Padres believe they can beat us, they proved it, but I think they will once again do what they do.
The last team standing? Yeah sure why not. I’m not betting on it, but I only bet push-ups and I win every one of those bets I make. Ask Timmons. I think he still owes me a thousand. Will I bet 500 on this team? Nope. I’m too old to make that bet. But, I wouldn’t anyway.
A couple months back I commented on the relationship between JT and Doc after reading the comment below from an LAD reporter…probably David Vassegh.
That was summarily dismissed by many. The team should not need a go-between for the manager and the players. That was Doc’s job.
As a counter, I believe it was Bums, who mentioned that maybe management wanted to push Roberts more in that direction, the same way the team traded clubhouse leader and Clayton Kershaw’s best friend, AJ Ellis. Carlos Ruiz was certainly not an improvement. I can speculate as to the reason why Ellis was traded, but let’s just say that the loss did not hurt the Dodgers (3 WS in next 4 years), nor make them better. There was a secondary reason.
In the same article, Freddie mentioned that in 2022 Mookie was already taking a more active leadership role in the clubhouse. It is a veteran team without much (if any) drama. But this year, the team is going to need production from Miguel Vargas and probably James Outman. It is not a secret to me as to why the Dodgers signed JD Martinez and traded for Miguel Rojas. JD Martinez is the son of a Cuban immigrant who is already working with Vargas, as is Rojas.
Does anyone really think that JT is going to influence Mookie, Freddie, Smith, Muncy, Lux, CT3, Barnes? OTOH, who might be a better mentor/influence on Cuban born Miguel Vargas…JD Martinez/Miguel Rojas or JT? The same with Outman…Mookie or JT. I guess the same could be said about Michael Busch. Who best to mentor/influence him than the one person in MLB he is most comped to…Max Muncy.
BTW, the last two clubhouse leaders who were destined to be fixtures in the LAD plans after retirement…
AJ Ellis – Special Assistant to GM for Padres
Chase Utley – Works for Major League Baseball as their ambassador to the U.K. His main goal will be “promoting baseball” in London.
I agree with the author of the article:
“JT’s absence will be felt, but it won’t be a backbreaker.”
Yep, I am guilty of what you mentioned about AJ Ellis. I was saying there was a possibility that AJ was getting between the pitchers and Honeycutt, using his own analysis and pitching plan.
JT, I think was replaced mostly by a better bat more than for getting between players and Manager. AJ was not replaced by a better catcher or bat IMHO.
Anthony Castrovince with a FAQ on the new rules.
One that I didn’t realize is that a team can pull one of their outfielders into the infield and play with 5 infielders if they want to.
Seems pretty dumb, but I bet someone does it before the season is overwith.
MLB new rules for 2023 FAQ
Look for rocky times next winter in the FA sweepstakes for LHSP Julio Urías. Urías will be 27 next year and Scott Boras has already fired his opening salvos. In a recent LA Times article penned by Dylan Hernandez, he reported that Boras commented that one of his clients:
Where do you think Urías’ bidding is going to start? Is he going to get Gerrit Cole $$$? If so, it will not be the Dodgers paying it.
Depending on what he does this year, I think the Dodgers will be outbid. Urias, like every player everywhere will take the money. Until they have the mega contract, Championships mean little to these guys. I guess I don’t blame them. I’d take the money too.
Julio may be worth Cole money, but I don’t think he has Cole-type respect throughout baseball. Not sure why, but I don’t think it’s there.
Also, he’s had a serious shoulder operation in his past. No idea if that makes him more likely to have problems in the future or less likely or won’t have any effect on his negotiations.
He may wind up with something not far off from Cole’s years/dollars (9/324) but since it will be 4 years later, it won’t actually have the same value since prices have gone up in those 4 years.
I would say the following teams will certainly be involved in the bidding and the sheer numbers will drive the price up: Dodgers, Angels, Mets, Yankees, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and maybe the Rangers.
I don’t see the Dodgers resigning Urias.
1 – They won’t give him enough years to suit Boras – Pitchers break
2 – They have only signed 1 player (Betts) for more than 6 years or $162MM since Friedman has run the team. I would say that Urias is not a good risk for that kind of contract – probably no pitcher is.
And Urias is a guy who always looks like he’s working hard. It doesn’t look to me like he can continue working like this for too many more years. And those surgeries.
Like I said, I think he stays in California.
I agree no pitcher is worth the money they are getting. This is going to become even more prescient in the next several years as the pitchers start to lower their pitch and inning count. We used to watch pitchers throw 300+ IP in a season. Relatively soon we are not going to see any SP reach 200 IP. How long before 175 IP.
Last year there were 8 pitchers that surpassed 200 IP with a high of 228.2 by Sandy Alcantara. The other seven were between 200 and 205. 34 pitchers surpassed 175. There were only 45 pitchers that pitched the minimum of 162 IP to be considered as qualified for post season awards. How long before MLB changes that calculation.
How do you pay a pitcher $30MM+ AAV when they cannot pitch 200 innings. The reason as I see it is that the teams believe they need that elite pitcher to dominate in the playoffs.
This is an aspect on future pitcher earnings that I have wrote about in the past. With the ridiculous universal 100 pitch count and with the establishment of the opener I felt was an attempt by front offices to reduce the amount of salary dedicated to starting pitching. So, far that hasn’t been the case. But, I agree with you Jeff that there is no way a team is going to spend $30MM+ for starting pitching. Especially long term. So, I don’t see the Dodgers being able to keep Urias. Badger is right in that Urias seems to work too hard to get through an outing. Very anxious to see if Pepiot, Miller, and Stone can pitch themselves into permanent roles on the Dodger staff. With those guys in the future along with Gonsolin, May, Buehler and the perennial rehab project the Dodgers should be in very good shape with starters. An inexpensive closer from the BP should be in the cards as well. The current BP will be structured that way this year and will most likely be the case in the near future. Year to year consistency from a reliever can’t be counted on…or paid.
Jeff, I’m enjoying this site for the content and posters.
Ted, thank you much. Your kind words are very much appreciated.
Would love to have Urias long term. But I find Boras’s comment
“Another one of Boras’ clients, Stephen Strasburg, was 31 when he inked a seven-year, $245-million deal after the 2019 season, also with the Nationals”
a cautionary tale.
Didn’t read the article but the Athletic had an article about expansion and realignment. Bowden used this to project his idea of what that may look like. Guess it was a good straw man but any realignment that has the Dodgers in the west and the Giants and Rockies in a Pacific Coast division seems more than a bit off
Just read it Sam. I think it works on a few levels. Dodgers, Angels, dbacks and Padres could make for some intense rivalries. Also with 32 teams playoffs would make more sense.