MLB Trade Rumors Rising: Will the Dodgers Trade Carlos Ruiz?

What will happen this MLB Preseason when the Dodgers have to finalize their plans for Carlos Ruiz?  He wasn’t a Dodger long enough to become popular with the fans, nor did he produce enough baseball heroics to impress the front office, so his name has been dropped as potential trade bait for interested teams.

In fact, fans never really stopped scrutinizing the move that brought Carlos Ruiz to the team. One of the biggest reasons people turned their noses up at Ruiz when he first arrived with the Dodgers was simply because he wasn’t A.J. Ellis.

Ruiz had the unfortunate task of replacing a popular player who was suddenly – and surprisingly – traded away. Ellis had been a Dodger since 2003. He was Kershaw’s best friend on the team, his good luck charm and security blanket. He was a good teammate, a veteran team leader, and popular with the fans.

 Of course, Ellis’ average skills at the plate where definitely waning, and his below-average pitch-framing skills mattered little to fans for whom he was a favorite. So, of course, many fans were going to be less than enthused about the appearance of Ruiz.

The second strike against Carlos Ruiz was the peril of bringing a new catcher into the fold mid-season. It was going to take time for Ruiz to acclimate to a new pitching staff. Learning how pitches are broken and sequenced was also bound to take time, so maybe fans were right to express some frustration over the timing of Ruiz’s acquisition. Making a change of this magnitude for a backup catcher tends to cause disruptions, and many fans probably presumed that the risk wasn’t worth it for Ruiz.

Looking at Ruiz’s first game for the Dodgers (August 26 vs the Chicago Cubs), those concerns played out as realities. The Cubs were able to tie the game and eventually go on to win, partly because of the struggles Ruiz had behind the plate handling Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. 

The Dodgers were leading the Cubs by one run in the ninth inning when Ruiz missed a strike-three pitch. It bounced off his glove and the tying run advanced to third. On the next batter he right out missed catching a high fastball, and that allowed the tying run to cross the plate. The official scorer handed Jansen his first wild pitch of the season, but that call could just as easily have been a passed ball. Suffice to say, the A.J. Ellis Marching and Chowder Society was not amused. Despite his evening out the scales as the season played out, plenty of Dodger fans resisted accepting him.

Carlos Ruiz’s contract is team-friendly ($500,000 for a buyout and a $4.5 million team option), and he showed some potential to be a power-hitting backup catcher who can hit southpaws, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that Ruiz will leave the team.

Of all the options available out there for trade, Marlins right-hander Fernando Rodney and Asros right-hander Pat Neshek’s names have floated, along with Ruiz’s, to the top. Within recent days rumors and sources have begun suggesting that the Dodgers are willing to move Ruiz. Apparently the team is making him available as they plan to make a run with young Austin Barnes.

 If the rumors about Ruiz are true, there are a number of parties that could show interest in him. Ruiz is not young at 37 years of age, but he put up a respectable line of .264/.365/.348 with three home runs in 233 plate appearances. He also batted .271/.407/.386 against lefties in 2016, which as the Dodgers well know, is plenty desirable in a backup catcher. 

Will the Dodgers see $4.5 million as too much to pay Carlos Ruiz? They’re dangling him on the line to see if anyone else might be willing to accept that price tag for an aging backup catcher.

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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214 thoughts on “MLB Trade Rumors Rising: Will the Dodgers Trade Carlos Ruiz?

  1. Maddon will be second guessed on this one. I leave Hendricks in for 6. He was dealing. He had strike three on a couple different hitters and didn’t get the call. And Baez bunting with 2 strikes was just stupid.

    Will the Dodgers trade Ruiz? Yeah, sure, fine. They would get more for him than they would for Barnes.

  2. Once again (as in most MLB contests), the most important player
    on the field wasn’t a player. It was the guy asked by MLB to perform a task
    near-impossible for most humans – the home plate ump.

    I didn’t see the middle innings – I head the story line about Hendricks
    “dealing.” The first few innings, he was dealing a bunch of line drives
    (and true to most of the post-season script, the Cubs opponents were
    hitting a fair number of at-em balls).

    But in the latter innings, the calls (again, as they were most of October
    ball) seemed to fav the favs (check how many of the overturned calls
    were wrongly made originally to advantage them): I’d love to see all
    available replays of a ball Davis hit down the line against Lester (IIRC)
    that woulda been a double, but was called foul; the 2-2 pitch that Napoli
    was called out on in the crucial game-tying 8th, for the second out, was
    at least a ball width wide of the rectangle – and took away the chance of
    an even bigger rally (a small chance, I think, since Mike really struggled
    this series).

    Shame that Gomes was injured so much this season – looked overwhelmed
    almost every instant here, as did a few of his mates in the “Big Moments.”

    Kudos to Geyer and Davis for all the excellence under pressure in that
    wonderful eighth inning. What great at-bats, even before the dramatic hits.

    And kudos to the Cubs. Yes, they were lucky. And yes, they had to overcome
    the over-managing of a very good manager (I’ve noticed it’s what many of
    the game’s best skippers do in October:-). But they were challenged in all
    three series, and answered every time. Admirable, though it has to be noted
    the Tribe was missing 67% of its “aces” this time ’round.

    That would be the same Tribe that had about a third of the resources available
    to Theo in Chicago to build that team. But kudos to him anyway; I was more than
    a little skeptical when he was hired; remained so until last year. Before we send
    him to Cooperstown, let him work at a place like Tampa Bay, where our guys have
    already proven they can do well, even though they have so far struggled in the
    filthy-rich terrain it’s been Theo’s good fortune to reign:-).

    Wondering: you are utterly clueless and self-absorbed when it comes to commenting
    about the reality of spousal abuse. Women who are as “brave” as you want them to be
    often end up with worse beatings when the jail term is served. Sometimes the beating’s
    fatal. My wish for you when you die is that you are re-incarnated as an abused wife,
    and my wish is that when I die I get sent back in whatever humble role that still allows
    me to read what you write on sports blogs then….

    1. Never been on any side of domestic violence, just my observations. If you don’t try to help yourself, no one else can help you. Present day society ignores women’s complicity in allowing it to continue. And it will until women try to help themselves.
      Now why would you want to read any other of my crazy musings if we’re so at odds on the one above?

      1. Speaking from my own experience, if you are with a person that insists on pushing your bottons, just get out. That goes from both sides. I know it’s not easy. Many things that must be done are not easy.

        This obviously is not the place to discuss social issues but these dysfunctions are deep and complicated and clearly take two people to descend into violence. Recognize the signs and get help or get out. As a former educator it’s my opinion that more emphasis on understanding and preventing violence should be made available to everyone at every level. I could go into detail about that as I was involved in early pioneering on under graduate education on the subject. I’ll spare the details by just saying in the 70’s many were talking about it but not much was actually done. 40 years later we haven’t evolved much – on so many levels.

        1. Endorse, agree, support everything Badger just wrote.

          Keep politics and, IMHO, unenlightened social views like victim blaming out of here.

          1. Yes, if you don’t agree with you, stay out of here! Only “enlightened” people need reply.

            Very “progressive” of you. F.O.

          2. Who is being or not being progressive?

            Don’t care about agreeing or disagreeing, just don’t see a place for it on a baseball forum.

          3. Yeah, except, when you “Endorse, agree, support everything Badger just wrote” on a social issue.

            Who is being or not being progressive?

            Don’t think I am being “progressive”. I will always stand up for person’s right to state their “unenlightened” opinions. In my opinion, free speech will always TRUMP your right to silence.

          4. Gimme a break.

            If you really want to read closely what Wondering and Badger both were saying, they’re really not in disagreement. Except for the former, you can dismiss his comment as unenlightened, thus, burnishing your sense of self-righteousness and intellectual vanity.

            Yes, please. Keep the politics and social commentary out of here. With the polarization today, it’s the single quickest way for any discussion to devolve into utter garbage.

          5. Boxout,

            I honestly have no idea what your ramblings about right to free speech or right to silence mean, imply or are alluding to.

            We’re simply saying, if you want to speak politics or make social commentary (like the silliness you exposed on domestic violence) can you not do it on a sports blog?

            Honestly, what the hell is going on here?!?!!?

        2. Agree..Been there and done that. She was a first class Biotch….so I got away……before I committed murder…….goes both ways. Have seen men who just sit there and take it. Not my style…….

    2. Umpiring has been iffy for quite a while now and even though they get evaluated regularly, there has not been an umpire fired or demoted for a long time. Their union is pretty strong. But balls and strikes need to be universal. Trying to figure out each umps K zone is a pain. A few of the really confrontational umps and the ones who consistently blow calls should be sent to the minors or fired.

  3. A little more crow: I was never a fan of the young Dodger catcher
    David Ross. At the time, he struggled to hit fat, average major-league
    fastballs. I could never have imagined him becoming the great
    role player he has.

    Wow, David Ross. Especially at your age, wow!

    1. I remember his first homerun. He hit it off the great first baseman Mark Grace who was mopping up a game for the Diamondbacks in the twilight of his career…

    2. I thought the David Ross story is a little to much.

      This wasn’t his, nor the other former Red Sox players on the Cubs, first World Series.

      I get that he is a good guy, but the media along with others, favoring the Cubs throughout the post season was sickening.

      Really the Cubs were very lucky to win that game.

      I thought the rain delay helped the Cubs more, because the Indians pitcher had to sit longer during the delay.

  4. Great series. Two evenly matched teams.

    Agree about the umpiring dud. The strike zone was horrible and I too had that ball going over the corner of the bag. If there was ever a single game that signaled it is time for the use of available strike zone technology it was this Game 7.

    I don’t think Barnes is as good as Ruiz. What to do with him? I don’t know. He’s another guy the FAZ traded for that doesn’t appear to have much real value. He’s 27 next month. This is his prime and he’s not good enough? What’s the play now? Package him and Kiké up for a middle relief arm. You know, a 6th inning guy. Maybe ’17 is the year Austin gets his chance as neither he nor 38 year old Ruiz are worth a lot in trade.

  5. Since the postseason began the ball n strike calling was terrible… I’ll go with Barnes becuz of multi position usage…
    Just got back from the AFL and the Dodger kids are heating up… I see a lot of Cory Seager in Bellinger as far as how he handles himself and maturity.. I think we have another damn good one in the chute…
    On a darker note, saw Montas pitch and he is something and could be the real deal !!!

  6. Does Puig in Milwaukee make sense for Puig? I just don’t see how. I lived in Wisconsin, though not in that city. From a Baseball standpoint, yeah, a new team makes sense. From a cultural standpoint? Not sure he fits there. If he has trouble with “knuckleheadness” in LA, with a 47% Hispanic Latino population how is he going to fit in a Wisconsin community that is 12% Latino? Might be nothing but its worth looking at as it could be huge for him. And one could argue “who cares”. He’s a better fit in Florida but they probably don’t want him.

    And Braun in LA? Great player that will likely begin trending down soon after arrival here. If they take the McCarthy mistake from us it’s a bonus, so I guess I’m on board. But honestly I want to see this team get younger and more athletic. I would like to see the speed and power algorithm emphasized. You know, more guys like Puig.

    1. Badger

      I don’t think we can get rid of the two players, that hit in the most runs for us this year, and replace them with Braun and a shortstop that doesn’t hit.

      We need a bat for leftie pitchers, but I don’t think we can get rid of the bats that we have, that produced.

      Because we need a additional bat.

      If they don’t sign Turner, that would be a crime, because he is willing to work with the Dodgers.

      We do need to get rid of McCarthy and Kazmir, while pitchers are a low commodity this year.

      But can kazmir even pitch with his condition?

    2. Putting Puig in Milwaukee is not a good idea. Florida or New York with their massive Latino populations would be best. San Diego would also be a good destination considering they have a very large Zoo close.

  7. Great World Series. Congrats Cubs.

    But now our offseason can begin. Let’s see how fast we let these kids come up and how fast we ship out some old overpaid guys

  8. Dud Dew

    I don’t care what Friedman did at Tampa Bay, this isn’t a contest.

    The Dodgers are a big market team, so I expect this front office, to make a team that gets us a World Series victory.

    And if Epstein can build a team that wins in all, after four years, then our front office, that have way to many former GMs, should get us a World Series win, even sooner.

    And next year is there third year with the team.

    The fact is maybe someone like Epstein, might be a better guy for the Dodgers, then the current front office, since he has made two big market teams, win it all.

    I don’t know if that is true, we will see.

    We have had to watch the Giants win three World Series, and last night, we saw Friedman’s former manager win a World Series before we have.

    I don’t know that Maddon was responsible for the Cubs win, considering all of the bad moves he made yesterday, but they still won it all.

    If we’re lucky, maybe this Cub favoritism will end since they finally won.

    Because whether it is the Cardinals or the Cubs, we have to listen to Buck’s favortism in the post season.

    1. You cannot compare what Epstein did to what this front office faces.

      Epstein basically did the Sixers tank route. That’s not an option here.

      1. Bluto

        Yes I can.

        He didn’t have to make the Red Sox tank did he?

        The players on this Cubs team, that were drafted during that tank, is Baez, Bryant and the guy who DHed.

        That is only three guys.

        Who do you think knows how to run a big market team better, Friedman, or Epstein?

        The Dodgers are not a small market team like the Rays.

        1. They also used their high draft picks to draft Almora and Rondon.

          Through tanking they were able to trade an established player for a prospect like Rizzo.
          Through tanking they were able to trade an established player for a prospect like Addison Russell.
          Through tanking they were able to trade an established player for a prospect like Arrieta.
          Through tanking they were able to trade an established player for a prospect like Hendricks.
          Through tanking they were able to trade an established player for a prospect like Carl Edwards and Grimm.

          I think they both (Epstein and Friedman) know how to run a big market team. Epstein’s probably the best (perhaps of all time?) but Friedman’s quite good. It’s about maximizing the value of assets. Same for a small market as a big market.

          1. MJ,

            more than, not more then.

            You wrote:

            The Dodgers have more established players, then the Cubs had.

            Perhaps because the Dodgers aren’t tanking??!??!?

        1. Bum

          They are ready in 2017, because they don’t have enough young players to that can play in the majors yet.

          And we have mostly pitchers, and left hitting position players, so they will have to trade some of these prospects, to get what we need for the major league team.

          It isn’t like they are going to all come up and make a young team, that only come from our minor league system.

          That isn’t being realistic, with the prospects we have in the minors.

          We need balance of this team.

    2. Was based on the fact that it had been 108 years since they were champions. That is why everyone was so on board with the Cubbies. And for most of the year, they were the best team in the majors. The long suffering Cub fans finally can sooth their wounds. I do not begrudge that at all. Dodger fans suffered the same way until 1955 when they finally beat the Yankees. As far as the game itself, there are always pivot points in any contest, and the rain delay was that for Chicago. But do not forget the fact that the Cubs had to win 3 straight after being down 3-1. That’s on the Indians for not closing the deal……

      1. Michael

        The Indians were such underdogs, because they didn’t have there number two or three starting pitchers.

        And they are not a big market team like the Cubs.

        The Cubs were so stacked with talent, they should have
        Swept the Inidans in the series.

        The Cubs were lucky to win that game last night, after what they let happen.

        1. Yes, but any win in a World Series requires some luck. Things happen during the course of any game that can swing it one way or another. Case in point. 1988 World Series. Game 1 Gibson limps of the bench a crushes a 2 out 2 run homer in game 1 that gives the Dodgers an improbable win. The Dodgers were serious underdogs in that series and they beat a team that cruised through the season and won over 100 games and had a closer, Eckersley, who is in the HOF. They had no where near the power of those A’s and yet they beat them 4-1. Cleveland has a very talented club, and they may have won at full strength. But they did not, and they had a 3-1 lead. When you have that, you should win.

          1. Michael

            That is true but that rain delay took away from what the Indians had just done, and allowed the Cubs to regain there composure.

            Even our 1988 team had there top three pitchers.

          2. 1988….magic year. … But that was Orel’s season from beginning to finish. We had 3 good starters, but so did the A’s, and that team was a monster on offense. But the Dodgers scrubs had as much to do with winning that series as the staff did. Hatcher hit .369 with 2 HR’s and 5 ribbies. Starters that series were Belcher, Tudor and Hershiser. Only game Oakland won was pitched by Rick Honeycutt. Gibson, Marshall, Davis and Hatcher hit the Dodger homers….5 and Canseco and McGuire hit the only HR’s the A’s had….2. A’s had Dave Stewart, Storm Davis and Bob Welch as starters. The Dodgers actual #3 starter, Tim Leary was used as a long man in that series. Tudor pitched once and went 1.1 innings. Like I said ..things happen and unfortunately you cannot control the weather unless you play in a dome.

  9. I quite like Barnes. I think his versatility is of paramount importance, given how the trend with this team seems to be towards a higher # of pitchers on the roster.

    Montas is good, so is Cotton. Hill’s really good though.

    1. I disagree Bluto. This is the only season in his entire career that Hill has posted good numbers. The guy has won exactly 38 MLB games and 12 of them came this year. He is 37, and prone to injury. You want to take a chance on another lame arm guy? Not me…..but of course that would be right up FAZ’s alley. Hopefully the guy heads back east where he wants to be.

      1. According to reports, he also is one of the best framing catchers in the minors……..and we all know how I feel about that skill…….

  10. Hot Stove! Hot damn! And so it begins. Trade Ruiz? Not a big deal. They won’t get much maybe a mid level prospect or a relief arm. Resign which free agents. Nothing but guess’s there, and most will be wrong. Is Barnes ready? Well he has a versatility they love, multi position player, contact hitter, but has not had much of a shot at the major league level. He did play well last spring, so maybe he has a monster spring and makes the team. Which players to they unload in trades and which free agents do they target>/?? Again we can do nothing but guess. The free agent filing circus will begin shortly and we will see soon who is tendered and who is not. No doubt the only 2 they will give the QO to are Kenley and Turner. Lots of guys on the bubble here. And some are just plain out the door.

  11. Badger-

    Of course it doesn’t but if that’s the best deal they can get for him(Puig) than that’s where he ends up. If he doesn’t like it there he can play well and wait until he becomes a free agent.

    I’m not sure Braun is a good fit in LA either. He won’t cause any off field issues but ‘for the most part’ will be stuck with his contract for the next 3 or 4 years.

    I personally would talk to the White Sox. Puig would be a better fit there and I think they might value him a little more than most other teams. If it’s me, I start with Urias, Puig, Hernandez and Stripling for Sale and Frazier.

    I do this a.s.a.p. Then make Turner a reasonable offer but if he walks then Frazier can play 3rd base. I would then go after Jose Bautista maybe offering a lucrative 2 year deal (2 years/$20-25M per year).

    Sale & Frazier are both under team friendly contracts. The only additional big dollars would be to Bautista but only for a couple of years.

    In my scenario it would come down to either Turner or Gonzalez still being on the team. The best scenario would be NOT signing Turner and being stuck with a multi year deal on a player on the wrong side of 30.

    LF-Toles
    2B-Kendrick
    SS-Seager
    RF-Bautista
    1B-Gonzalez
    3B-Frazier
    CF-Pederson
    C-Grandal

    Starters
    Kershaw
    Sale
    Maeda
    DeLeon/Stripling
    Stewart/Kazmir/McCarthy

    I would be willing to go closer by committee at the start of the season if necessary. By June/July there will be opportunities to pick up a quality closer on the cheap.

    1. Sorry, not trading Urias at all. Maybe some other hot minor league arm, but that kid is a keeper. And Stripling cannot be on your starters list since you traded him to the Sox…….

      1. I’m trying to build a championship caliber team quickly and of course I think Sale is a proven commodity and a top 5 pitcher in the game today. Urias is still unproven. Does have potential but I doubt he reaches the levels he’s been hyped at.

    2. Got Stripling going to the White Sox and staying…my bad. Ideally would hope that maybe Bolsinger could go to the Sox so it’s either Bolsinger or Stripling going and the other staying.

    3. Chili

      Fraizer hit 200 and he is another player like Grandal and Joc, but Joc was a better hitter this year, then Fraizer.

      The last three at bats in that line up, will be like a dark whole at times.

      1. He actually hit .225 and yes he is another similar player to Grandal and Joc. But he did hit 40 HR’s/98 RBI’s playing in a new league. He hit 35 homers the year before while hitting .255. He is a corner player (3B/1B) so he fits the bill for those positions.

        Frazier’s career average is .250. The elite player Josh Reddick’s career average is .255 with no power. Pederson’s career average is .224.

        Todd Frazier over the last 4 years has played in 150, 157, 157 & 158 games. He has been injury free.

        I just think he would give them some serious pop from the right side. I bring him up cause if I was going after Sale, I would look to pick him up as well. If the White Sox don’t feel they can compete right now with the likes of Cleveland, Kansas City or Detroit than they might be looking at getting out from under contracts.

        1. It doesn’t matter what he hit, it matters what he OPSd.

          Frazier is what FAZ looks for. Arb eligible, +dWAR, 3.4 WAR, over 100 OPS+ player making $8 million. He’s due a raise, but, if Turner leaves we could do worse than that guy. Good thinking Chili. I don’t think it happens either, but I commend you on your creativity.

          1. Man hit 40 homers this year so that might solve part of the cannot hit lefty’s problem, but his glove is not as good.

        2. Chili

          You don’t have an argument with me about Reddick!

          And I guess to be fair, Fraizer is a rightie hitter, but I think Joc has more of a upside, if he finally gets it.

          I just think three types of these hitters in this line up, will make it very unproductive.

  12. Again. Just what I would seriously consider doing. Not saying that FAZ will do it. Do you want me to tell you what they will do?

    1. Obviously we have no idea. But, and I think this is where you are going with your question, I’m trying to think like they are or, more accurately, trying to figure out how their value system works.\

      They know a million times more about baseball than I do, so why not try to figure out their strategy than come up with one on my own.

      1. Bluto

        We don’t know at this time that Friedman runs a big market team well, it is to soon to know that.

        And until he brings a World Series to LA, he won’t be considered successful.

        1. MJ,

          Running a team means getting the most for your assets and assembling a competitive team.

          I’m not sure why doing that in a big-market is any different than in a small market.

          In a big market, you can take “bigger” chances and your mistakes won’t have as “big” of an impact (because your moveset is larger.)

          1. Bluto

            To be honest I think they not only made bad signings with McCarthy, Kazmir, and Anderson, I also think they over paid those pitchers.

            I am just afraid that they won’t spend the extra money, to get elite pitchers, and players, when we need one.

            You almost always pay for what you get.

          2. Yeah, I think we totally differ there. Especially the term “extra money.” I don’t think that’s intrinsic to being a large market team, but it’s a trap those teams fall into.

            From my POV, you set prices on assets and you don’t go higher than that. Failing on that screws you in the medium and long term.

            And, as stated previously, I have no problem with the McCarthy, Kazmir and Anderson signings. Basically any short-term contract is fine, even better if they are upside plays.

          3. I think the main concern per the money as far as the fans perspective is that getting players who have history’s that are somewhat suspect is not making the team better or stronger. Granted, had McCarthy even come close to what he did that year in NY, that signing would have looked genius. If Anderson was healthy all last year and had come close to the pitcher he was in 2015, same thing. If Kazmir had delivered Maeda like numbers, I doubt the fans would be even a little perturbed. But none of that happened. The deadline deal was in my opinion a dud. Same as 2015’s huge deal was a snoozer. And you look at the long list of guys they brought in during the season to try and plug the gap, and it is truly head shaking. To the average fan, they wasted a ton of cash….

      2. I do not think they know a million times more about the game than you do. They have a better knowledge of the inner workings of the game. But there are a lot of fans out there that know more about the game itself than any of those guys…

        1. Zero percent chance your last sentence is correct. And I don’t think I understand the differention between “inner workings” and “game itself”. Please clarify.

          People who work in baseball WORK IN BASEBALL. It’s all they do. They have statistics and information we don’t have, they have insights fans can’t hope to. They know about personalities and practice habits. They know about reputations and injuries. Not to mention the statistics and analytics that are proprietary.

          For me, case in point, I can just watch and form amateur opinions.

          1. Different points of view and I respect that. Inner workings is self explanatory. They know what goes on in every players history. No we are not privy to that information. They know work habits, and they know the players ability’s . In that respect they know a lot more than we do. But a lot of fans know the game and its history as well or better. Baseball people are more concerned with day to day stuff than the history. That is where their focus is.

          2. What do you mean by, “a lot of fans know the game”? Like 9 innings in a regular game, three outs a side? nine players in the field?

            I bet you could be right about the game’s history. Not sure how we could tell. Also not sure how that knowledge affects team-building decisions, unless you are using history as a case-study or something.

          3. Referring to the history itself. Records, players, things like that. There are fans that I know who are veritable encyclopedia’s of players and teams records. They are not concerned with the inner workings and day to day operational functions that those guys do, but they can tell you all about Babe Ruth’s first game, or Christy Mathewson’s last. That to me is the fun part of the game itself. All this other stuff, well, that’s for those who run the game. As a kid, I memorized the backs of those cards and read almost every baseball reference book out there. I read biography’s about any player who had one out there, and I actually had a subscription to the sporting news so I could follow in the off season since there was no internet and the LA Times did not write about baseball until the winter meetings or the beginning of spring. Baseball to me is more than just stats……It is history, and those who make it. I do not reduce it to saber metrics, or any other form of statistic. It is people……..and that is what makes it fun

      3. That’s fair. I was trying to come up with a plan that I thought would/could work. I definitely do not think they will go that route either. But I do think Sale can be obtained, obviously I think he could have been acquired a little easier after he destroyed their throwback uni’s.

        1. That was the impression. But the Sox denied that from the get-go. They were not too happy with his actions, just like the Dodgers were pretty ticked at Puig down in OKC when he posted those party pictures of his team mates acting juvenile. But to get that guy, I would package a couple of A list prospects.

  13. I read a story the other day. Not sure on which site it was on. It was about the Dodgers trying to get payroll below the luxury tax level. That level currently sits at 189 million. With the CB coming to an end and a new one to be negotiated, the tax level will most likely be raised. According to what I read the Dodgers tax this year will exceed 30 million. Well that right there is a couple of mid level free agents for a couple of years. I understand a little better what Kasten and the owners want Friedman to do. I may not agree with the way he evaluates and signs people, but I understand the reasons now that the owners desire to get below that threshold. In reality I know winning is not all that easy. Some people say it takes 25 pulling together in the same direction, but that is totally false. This year the Dodgers used more than 50 different players all season. So it takes talent from all levels. Pretty much a hit and miss deal. I like players coming from our own system augmented by good free agent signings and trades that at least bring guys with good history’s. I do not wish to see injury prone cast offs and low risk, high reward fringe guys who might work out. We saw enough of that crap this year. There were a couple of pleasant surprises, and more than a few total washouts. I just want to see the Dodgers get better, and finally end the 28 years of frustration we as fans have felt. It was made worse because the Giants won 3 in 5 years. It is time for that to end. If the Giants were to win another before the Dodgers do, the fans will really be ticked….

    1. Michael

      I think everybody understands what they are suppose to be doing, but wasting money on pitchers like McCarthy, Anderson, and Kazmir, doesn’t give any fan much confidence with the front office.

      That along with some of the players and pitchers, they have brought to the team at the trade deadline doesn’t instill confidence either.

      1. I totally agree…..but remember this. FAZ is not worried about the fans confidence. They are concentrating on doing what ownership wants them to do. So they are playing the low risk card and throwing money and hoping something sticks. If McCarthy had pitched like he did his last season in NY, they would have looked like genius’s. He got injured and has remained so, and they come off as dolts. Anderson stayed healthy his first year and ran out of gas in the playoffs. He shocked them by taking the QO. Then he blows out in spring, so again they look dumb. Kazmir in my personal opinion was a real stretch. They got some production from him, but not much, then he also goes down. Their deadline deals have been underwhelming. They got 3 wins from Hill and very little production from Reddick. Fields and Chavez were not much better……..so I agree with what you are saying.

        1. Michael

          They could have gotten one or two pitchers that were much better, and because of these signings, we have lost even more money.

          You just don’t sign pitchers with long injury histories, and expect them to make there starts, let alone pitch well.

          And there were other pitchers out there.

          They didn’t look that far, because they signed pitchers, that they knew from the A’s.

          1. It was in Dodger Digest. But it was pretty interesting to read. I get that in my email almost everyday. Plus Yardbarker which usually is pretty close to what is going on in the game and the rumors.

        2. Michael

          I read what you read and it was in Think Blue.

          I just didn’t understand why the payroll was the biggest in the first year they were here, if they are suppose to get the payroll down.

          1. First year, you mean 2015? They still had big chunks of Kemp, and then they signed Olivera, that was 64 million well spent. With Gonzo, Crawford, Ethier, Kershaw and Greinke the payroll was pretty well high when they got here.

  14. Maybe they trade Barnes for something better than what they can get for Ruiz. Ruiz is an ok backup, and might even be better than Grandal. But he is old. Barnes will never be a full time catcher so the next wave will come from Farmer and the farm. The best trade chip is still 66, but the suits are still in love with his “potential.” Too bad. I would like to see Mattingly manage him again. Good luck, Don. It’s too bad the game last night didn’t end in a tie. That would have been fitting for my feelings for both teams. Then they both could have kept complaining. What the series showed again is that there is no one way to win a championship. It takes GRIT. For our team, the grit begins with Kershaw and might end with him too. I don’t see much of that in the rest of our players. It’s still an LA thing. How can we play with that curse/goat/whining chip on our shoulders that seems to be required to win that f’n tournament? giants fans are the biggest whiners in the world, and they have 3 rings. Now the Cubs Whiners have one. The Cleveland whiners almost got one. I don’t remember if the Royals were whiners, but they probably were or used their economic disadvantage to the max advantage by whining about being such an underdog. I think that’s the answer. We have to stop complaining and start whining. There is a subtle, but real difference. It’s the sound it makes. Not noisy but like a wheel that needs some lube. And it goes on 24-7-365. Do we have it in us. I hope not.

  15. Mark:
    On the last thread you mentioned Braun and Simmons in our 2017 lineup but didn’t tell us what we would have to give up in return.
    I have a different lineup:
    1. 2B- Villar
    2. RF – Toles
    3. SS – Seager
    4. LF – Braun
    5. 3B – Turner
    6. 1B – AGon
    7. CF- Joc
    8. C – Grandal
    In order to get Villar and Braun, we send Puig, Howie, McCarthy, Kazmir and Wood along with Verdugo and one of DeJong/Stewart/Sheffield. Their entire salaries go to the new team.

  16. I keep swearing not to post here again but just can’t help myself.

    The Hot Stove is upon us, so here goes.

    1- Michael Norris referred aptly to a post from Dodgers’ Digest about the luxury tax.

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2016/11/01/luxury-tax-could-impact-dodgers-offseason-plans-now-and-in-future/

    This means that the chance that the Dodgers sign their most important free agents is remote. Looking at it, I doubt the teams gets below the tax threshold in 2017 but 2018 seems more likely, since Ethier and Crawford’s contracts come off of the books then. At that point, the team will have both Kazmir and McCarthy’s salaries for one more year (and Kershaw if he opts out and leaves).

    2 – The team has 9 free agents: Jansen, Turner, Hill, Utley, Blanton, Chavez, Reddick, Anderson, Howell. Of those, obviously Jansen and Turner are the top priorities.

    In my view, the chance that Jansen is signed is none. The Braintrust does not believe in paying big money for closers. The SABR view is that relievers are fungible and that it doesn’t make sense to pay for a guy who usually pitches 1 inning 3 times per week. Jansen has been consistent year in and year out though, and so the usual objection to paying relievers due to the ephemeral nature of their performance doesn’t hold up. Further, Jansen more than proved his value in the post season. And if the Dodgers don’t keep him, who on the present roster do you really want closing games? Finally, if the Dodgers don’t sign him, can you see him wearing Halloween colors and playing for Baghdad by the Bay?

    Turner is another must keep. The Dodgers have no one to replace him. He has been the team’s best hitter for the past 3 seasons (obviously, Seager was best last year but I am talking about 3). He is a Gold Glove finalist. There is no one in the high minors ready to step in. And any thought of getting Machado, Donaldson or Arenado is a pipe dream.

    3 – BUT – the salary cap will likely mean that the Dodgers won’t resign both of them and may mean that they don’t resign either of them!

    4 – I know that Rich Hill is supposed to be the best free agent pitcher available – when he can pitch. But – who here bets that he will get 3 years? And who thinks that he will actually pitch for 3 years with no time lost to the DL? Who thinks he will pitch less than 1/2 of the next 3 seasons? And who thinks that the Braintrust will try to sign him and call it “depth”?

    5 – Next year’s rotation – without any signings or trades, it’s Kershaw, Maeda, Kazmir, McCarthy and Urias as of now. I am less than overwhelmed by that group. I for one am for seeing if any of the kids are ready now – let Stripling or DeLeon try their hands at it.

    One of the broadcasters during the post-season mentioned that if a team has a weakness, it will be magnified during the post-season. The Dodgers’ main 2 weaknesses last year were starting pitching and hitting lefties. Does anyone think that a rotation of Kershaw, Maeda, Kazmir, McCarthy and Urias solves this year’s pitching problem?

    6 – Hitting lefties – the team has to secure some potent right-handed bat. I’m not a fan of the proposed Ryan Braun trade but understand why some are. I’m not a fan of Cespedes either but again understand why some are. Other big free agent bats include Matt Holliday, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Bautista. Again, not necessarily fans of any of these either. I’m not sure that there is an easy fix here.

    7 – Trade Puig? I’m ready. It doesn’t look like he will ever figure it out wearing Dodger Blue. Get what you can for him now. Talent alone may not get it done.

    8 – Other miscellany: I’m not sure Andrew Toles is ready to be a full time player but I’d give him the chance…Still too many platoons for my liking…I don’t agree with the new apparent paradigm of the 5 inning starting pitcher…Who here thinks that Kershaw will stay around after 2018? If he opts out, who thinks the Braintrust will pay him the money it would take to keep him?…The team still needs a leadoff hitter…I would dump Hatcher, Kike Hernandez, Barnes, Van Slyke, and keep Ruiz

    1. That rotation does not scare anyone nor inspire a great deal of confidence. I agree also on Toles. I am not convinced yet that he can perform at that level over a full season. Puig is the enigma here. I love the guys natural talent, and think his brain is comparable to a watermelon. If he ever put it all together he would be the answer to part of the puzzle, but so far chances of that happening have not been visible. For that reason I think if nothing else they entertain trade propositions. I also think a trade is the easiest way to upgrade the rotation. There are just not that many good pitchers available in the free agent market. I like Barnes’s versatility, but also not convinced he is a better option next year than Ruiz, who has a great knowledge of the league. Most of their free agent will go elsewhere, I also agree that Kenley will not be retained because he is going to get stupid money from somewhere, and we all hope it is not SF. Along with Kike, SVS, Hatcher, I do not retain Chavez, Howell, Fields, Fein, but I do try and keep Blanton on a 1 year deal if he wants it.

      1. Michael

        They have two articles in Think Blue LA.

        One is about the Dodgers getting financial emancipation in 2018.

        They also have another article about the Hot Stove.

        They do a pretty good job talking about the Dodgers finance in these articles.

    2. Well said Rick. The Giants are going to get a closer. It’s just a matter of which one.

      Does anyone know how close Cueto and Chapman were while with the Reds?

    3. Dodger rick

      Your right just to be the same team, we would have to sign Turner and Kenley, or another one of the closer’s on the free agent market.

      And that is just to stay the same.

      I don’t think they sign Kenley either, because of what he might cost.

      But I think they might sign Turner, because Turner would prefer to stay with the team.

      Turner is our most important hitter, and because of that, we need him badly.

      Corey is a better all around hitter, but I think Turner hits in more clutch runs, then Corey, at this point in Corey’s career.

      We also need a big right hand bat, that helps us hit better against lefties.

      And we need a number two pitcher badly too.

      Getting the number two pitcher will be harder to get, since pitchers are scarce on the free agent market this year.

      I also think Toles should be given a chance to play everyday too, to see what we got.

      Toles has speed, and that is one thing this team needs.

      And Toles would help our offense, to be more productive, because he does make pretty consistent contact.

      I hope the front office suprises us, and makes some good moves, to bring pitchers or players, to the team, that will take care of all of these needs.

  17. Good start to off season conversation here today. I have little to add. My opinion on the direction and timetable has not changed. This isnt a championship roster.

    Turner and Jansen. Until we know the answer to them, we don’t know diddly. As of now the starting pitching is, in my opinion, scary pedestrian. I have no idea how to make it better. Hopefully FAZ does. Can anyone project ’17 payroll for us. I’m too lazy. I been landscaping and I’m beat. Last I read it was about $200 million before the many raises that are due.

    Good to see you rick.

    Carry on.

    1. Been my opinion all season long. Good but not great team. Lots of grit, some of which will disappear if Turner leaves…..same with Kenley…..but he is going to get major money.

    1. Hawkeye

      Did you think the curse of the Billy goat was alive and well, after the Indians centerfielder tied the game up, with his HR off Chapman?

      1. I thought they were dead when he sent Chapman out for the 9th. Cleveland made some bad plays on defense throughout the series. Chisenhall is dreadful in RF. Napoli couldn’t turn a routine DP ball that turned into two runs last night. Davis catching the ball flat-footed let Bryant score last night. I thought the pitch to Zobrist was awful. He just threw him two balls away, the 3rd baseman was playing way off the bag and then he threw him another ball away. Give the Cubs credit they hit mistakes against the Dodgers and Indians. Madden was just awful last night and they got away with it.

        1. Hawkeye

          I totally agree about Chisenhall!

          He caused that dropped rountine fly ball, in the game before.

          And he misplayed more then a few in right, in this series.

          I too, thought they were going to get to Chapman in that last inning .

          I was shocked that Maddon sent him out there for another innng.

          If he didn’t go to his slider, they would have got to him.

          I thought one of the hitters on deck, would get a clue that Chapman was throwing his slider, and they would just set on that pitch.

          It just must have been the Cubs fate to win this year, because they were very lucky to win that game.

          I thought the lay over did the Cubs a favor, and took the momentum away from the Indians last night too.

          Think about in our last game against the Cubs, they also got a hit on an error by Toles on that flyball, and they got another gift in that sixth game.

          With as much talent that the Cubs had, there is no way the Indians should have took them to game seven.

          Maddon and Chapman, didn’t impress me in this series.

  18. I wonder how Epstein would have rebuilt the Cubs if he had a 1B, LF, CF and RF who were all making what the TOP players at their respective positions were making, but who produced like journeymen? Gonzalez, Crawfish, Kemo and Ethier were all paid like SUPERSTARS but their production was closer to the bottom than the top. Even A-GON is not a TOP 10 first baseman.

    Guggs and Kasten would not allow the demolition of the Dodgers like the Cubs did. I don’t how any of you can make that comparison with a straight face.

    When Theo took over in Boston after the 2002 season (In which they won 93 games), they had Jason Varitek, Nomar, Johnny Damon and the guy who was arguably the best hitter in baseball – Manny Ramirez! They also had two 20 game winners – Lowe and Pedro Martinez as well as Burkett and Wakefield. Their payroll was only $108 million and he dropped it to $99 million the next year. In comparison, Friedman’s TB teams spent $95 million on payroll… IN HIS FIRST 3 YEARS COMBINED!

    Friedman inherited a team that won 63 games a year earlier and had Carl Crawfish and Aubrey Huff as their best players. Mark Hendrickson was their ace and all the starters had ERA’s over 4.43. Still, in his tenure at TB, the team won more games per dollar spent than any team in baseball.

    Theo came to Chicago and gutted the team. That’s the best way to do it. Guggs wouldn’t let Friedman do that. It’s too bad he didn’t be we have stayed relevant and didn’t tank. The youngsters are getting close.

    Anderson, KAZ and McCarthy are the most maligned pitchers on the planet, but who should they have signed, if not them? Even after the fact, tell me who. Those kinds of comparisons are like trying to compare apples to Alka-Seltzer! They make no sense!

    1. Excuses, excuses. For someone who has never won anything one would think that Friedman and Zaidi have a couple of titles under their leadership but are just in a drought listening to this stuff.

      In Theo’s SECOND SEASON as the GM the Red Sox won the World Series. And for good measure he/they won another title 3 years later (his 5th season as the GM).

      Which takes longer, tanking and rebuild a team to a championship level or inheriting a 2 time division champ 94 win team and retooling the team to a championship level?

      Apples to alka-seltzer….LOL….we know who is the alka-seltzer!

    2. While I don’t see the point of comparing Epstein to Friedman, i also don’t see the point to the win per dollar calculation. If you spend $1.00 and win 1 game, that means you have more wins per dollar than anyone else but you still only have 1 win.

      The point is to win more than anyone else and then win the postseason.

      if you have one starting pitcher who can pitch more than 5.5 innings and the rest are at 5.5 or less, you aren’t set up to win. The Dodgers were fortunate in 2016 and won 90 games, but aren’t set up to do that again unless they upgrade their starting pitching and their offense against lefties. And that assumes that they at least stay even and keep Turner and Jansen or their equivalent.

      1. I agree. I need to find another GM that would be more comparable to Friedman. Maybe the Reds GM? Afterall they are rebuilding their farm and trimming their payroll.

    3. Granted it is a lot easier to ask Cubs fans to buy into tanking for 3 or 4 more years than it would be Dodgers fans after the McCourt fiasco. I remember when we just wanted to win a playoff game it had been so long and then it was just win a series. We’re now at a point where this front office has to win at least a pennant sooner rather than later.

      Zaidi was part of the front office in Oakland who made terrible trades down the stretch a couple of years ago. Not only did they lose going for it, but they set themselves back a long ways. I’m sure Oakland fans would kill to have Russell back.

      For someone who hasn’t won a title Friedman gets a lot of accolades whether they are deserved or not. So far, I would say that more of their trades have been losses than wins.

      Mark and Badger can argue about the Punto trade. Honestly, they both have good points of view on the trade. There is truth to both arguments, but all that is left from that deal is A-gone and 1 yr of Crawford’s contract. Time to build accordingly for the future. Neither should keep the Dodgers from signing Turner and Jansen in my opinion. They aren’t going to get under the luxury tax until after 2017 whether they sign them or not.

      1. Hawkeye

        The thing I don’t like when Mark brings up Agone, and acts like it is the worse deal on this team, is that he doesn’t bring up these three pitchers, that have cost as much, if not more in the last couple years.

        One thing he always forgets is that Agone plays more games then most, and does still contribute to this team.

        He isn’t sitting on the bench trying to be witty on Twitter, like these pitchers, that haven’t came close to contributing as much as Agone has.

        And even this last year, Agone had still had a very good average with runners on base, and hit in a higher percetage of runners, then anyone on the team.

        And actually after Agone sit those three days off, he produced at the same level he has in the past, during that time period.

        When is there projected time to get our team ready to win it all?

        They have more help in there front office, then any team in baseball.

        1. Right or wrong, Mark brings up A-gone because he’s a declining player and the Dodgers took on the salaries of Crawford and Beckett to obtain him. They overpaid. I tend to look it at it as an extension of the purchase by Guggs. The stadium was empty after a fan boycott of McCourt, any minor league talent was in the very lower levels of the system, and the team needed talent to contend so they made a deal for Hanley and Gonzo.

          After next season, Crawford and Ethier are finally off the books. Anderson is gone now. After 2018 Gonzo, McCarthy, and Kazmir are off the books leaving Kershaw, Maeda, and a bunch of kids on their first contracts. The Dodgers can afford to re-sign Turner and Jansen and I believe they will. Especially Turner.

          I have no problem with Gonzalez being on the team for one more year, but he has to hit lower in the order if the team is to improve next year. He’s no longer a 2-4 hitter.

          1. Hawkeye

            I have no problem if Agone hits lower in the line up.

            But to constantly complain about his contract, and not say anything about these three pitchers, is not being honest about the situation.

            And the Dodgers wouldn’t have won four divisions in a row, without Agone.

            And when they let Hanley go, and traded Kemp, that made it even harder for Agone to produce, with no real protection in the line up, until Tuner started to break out, and with Corey this year.

          2. Hawkeye

            If the team isn’t good in 2018, that is the time to trade some of these players at the trade deadline, or the year before, if it makes sense, and there target year, is right around the corner.

            It looks like 2019 should be there target year, but sometimes it comes sooner, like with the Cubs.

            But if they don’t have a team that goes to the World Series in 2019, I don’t want to hear how wondeerful the front office is.

            I think it should come sooner.

      2. Hawkeye
        Most of these players like Agone and Ethier, don’t come off untill after 2018.

        The thing I don’t get is why is it ok to blow this money on these pitchers, and a player like Olivera.

        But they can’t pay a little more for a player like Turner, who has been under paid for the last couple of years, and has did nothing but produce for this team.

        1. Hawkeye

          I thought from an article in Think Blue LA , that all of those guys came off after 2018, but Crawford is off after 2017, and Ethier has a 2 and a half million option, for 2018.

          1. Yes. So basically Crawford and Ethier have one year left. They will happily pay the $2 million on Ethier. Not a knock on the guy but at his age and declining power numbers there is no way they will pay $18 million. Either way it’s about $35m off the books after next season.

    4. Kazmir, Anderson and McCarthy are exactly what is wrong with Freidman. He bought supposedly low risk, high reward pitchers for a total of 100 million dollars for all 3. That is over the length of all their contracts. 24 million so far for McCarthy and his 6 wins over 2 years. 25 million for Anderson and his 10. And 12 so far for Kazmir and his 10 wins. I think there are a few pitchers out there who would have cost less and been just as good if not better. JA Happ for one. All 3 of those guys had injury history’s and yet you continue to defend their signings. Great, you love em, we do not. Most Dodger fans think all 3 of those guys are bums, and I have to agree…of course you knew that……the proviso here is that they have to want to pitch in LA.

    5. But the Cubs did have a 3B, RF, LF, SP & SP ‘who were all making what the TOP players at their respective positions were making, but who produced like journeymen?’ In 2011 salaries they were making 14.6M, 14.5M, 19M, 19M & 13.5M. 2 were moved before the 2012 season began and the other 3 were gone prior to 2013. And to answer your question Epstein’s Cubs became a 97 win team by 2015. A 103 win World Series Championship team in 2016.

        1. You have no point Mark. You just think that you are right and everyone else is a moron. You say it more than once. I understand that you like these guys, and I can appreciate that. But the AVERAGE FAN is not concerned with all the saber metric stats and graphs the powers that be use to evaluate players. They are concerned with wins and losses and whether or not their team makes it to the big show. All the stats in the world are not going to change that or their minds. They see teams like the Royals and the Mets scraping to get by and yet winning, and the see the Dodgers as rich and sitting on their thumbs collecting flotsam. Most people on here do not even understand all that stuff. They want star power and feel ownership owes it to the loyal fan base to win now. So when someone like Price, Lester or Jansen is a free agent they see no reason why they are not in Dodger blue. Look at it from their perspective and it all makes perfect sense. Maybe not to those who check to see how much over the luxury tax the team is, but to the one who goes to Dodger Stadium to be entertained and spends close to 100 bucks every time they go, it makes perfect sense. They also think management is screwing them with the TV contract that still keeps a large portion of Dodger fans from being able to watch the games…..they have a lot to fix, and the natives are restless…..

      1. Aoki is a pest in my opinion. It didn’t even look like it was much of an arm for Maybin either. Options have started being picked up and declined too. Everyone send Kazmir a tweet asking him to opt out.

        1. Hawkeye

          Most of the people who follow the front office religiously thought that opt out in Kazmir’s contract, was a great idea.

          I don’t think anyone here thought that, but in what universe is Kazmir going to opt out, of a multi year deal?

          Kazmir should have never been given a multi year contract with his history of being released from the Angels, because he was ineffective.

          1. Kazmir was having arm problems and was out of the game an entire year. He should never have gotten a long term deal because the guy has been injury prone. He will not opt out. That would be stupid…

          2. If Kazmir had an avg season he would opt out into a very weak free-agent class, but he had a horrible year in my opinion only to be made worse by a chronic condition that the entire world knows about. A guy with gives up a lot of BB’s and HR’s won’t be high on the wish list for teams especially when the guy has a chronic condition with his neck.

            I keep hoping that he’s either stupid or just hates it in LA.

  19. Kazmir’s arm has been fine. He actually was not bad this year.

    I mean, don’t compare him to Kershaw, but he compared well to lots of other pitchers who make a lot more.

    By the way: Here are all of Theo’s trades and they were great because he was blowing up the team:

    http://wrigleyville.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2015/09/10/theo-the-trader-evaluating-epsteins-trades-during-his-cubs-tenure/

    Chilli, Quit saying stupid stuff. If you don’t it understand the facts, that’s OK, but your comparisons are delusional. I’ll take it that you are just yanking my chain, if you don’t keep saying the stupid stuff. If you do, then I know what you really are…

    Look, Theo is very good. No caveats, but you are just devoid of reason to try and fit Friedman in that same box.

    1. Stupid stuff? LOL….it’s all factual.

      For the record no one was discussing Epstein on this site/blog until YOU brought up his name and immediately attempted to undermine his accomplishments while attempting to imply that Friedman has accomplished just as much if not more than Epstein.
      But I do agree that we should not be putting Friedman in the same box as Epstein. I think Dick Williams is a better comparison. Mr. Williams Reds had a $ per win of $1.36M per win. The ‘Champion’ of cost per win, Mr. Friedman came in at $2.63M per win in 2016.
      He’s got some work to do to better Mr. Williams.

    2. So a team/GM can only make great trades when they are blowing up the team? Please. Now that might be the dumbest thing ever said. To keep it simple. Were the Cardinals blowing up the team when they traded for Lou Brock? They played in the WS the following season. Were the Cubs blowing up the team when they traded for Sandberg? They won 96 games in 1984. Were the Dodgers blowing up the team when they traded for Manny Ramirez in 2008?
      Were the Cleveland Indians blowing up the team when they traded for Andrew Miller this past season? And were the Cubs blowing up their 103 win team when they traded for Aroldis Chapman? Do you want more?

      You just keep making excuses for Friedman.

      1. Epstein didn’t trade the current players he had, until about two years ago, because he actually thought this was his target year, and he was suprised that the Cubs made it to the post season last year.

        For everyone that wants to trade Agone or one of the other older players, you don’t do that, until the year before your target year.

        Obviously 2017 isn’t our front offices target year.

        It isn’t just about the luxary tax.

        And even when our young players are ready, we have a lot leftie hitting prospects, and more of our young top prospects, are pitchers, more then position players.

        So they will have to trade some of our prospects, to get what we need.

    3. Mark

      No front office makes all good deals, and I hope no one would expect that.

      But look at the young Boston players that Epstein drafted, he is doing something right, not to mention the World Series victories.

      The main difference is that Epstein has not been at small market teams.

      Every team uses saber metrics and numbers, but I would say that the A’s use them more then most.

      I think Friedman
      is a little different then the A’s, but our GM is from the A’s.

      And look where most of the players have played at, that isn’t coincidence.

      And we know our GM is more familar with those players, but that still isn’t a reason to only look that way.

      Look at the bodies they have in the front office.

      It actually makes the Dodgers look stupid to outsiders, because they have all of that help, and have such a big payroll, and they can’t make it any farther in the post season.

      1. Ned did the same thing. He brought former Giants and Cubs into the fold. GM’s are comfortable with players they are familiar with, but if you check, the Dodgers have acquired more exe Rays than A’s.

        1. Michael

          The only ex Rays were Peralta and Libertore.

          Kazmir was with both teams.

          McCarthy, Anderson, Johnson, Calaspo, Reddick, Hill, Chavez, and I can’t remember more, but I believe there is more, all played for the A’s.

          1. The Dodgers look stupid to outsiders??!??!!?

            Where did you get that impression? And what do you mean by “outsiders”?

            Everything I read has “outsiders” very interested in how the Dodgers built their teams and assembled their depth.

            I’d love to see any citations of people calling the Dodgers stupid.

    4. Hawkeye

      If they really felt that Kazmir would have a chance to opt out, don’t you think they should have took that chance on a better pitcher like Cueto.

      I was concerned with Cueto’s arm or shoulder, but at least he has pitched well, in the last few years, much more then Kazmir.

      Kazmir has only been able to pitch well in the first half of the seasons he has pitched, since being out of baseball.

      That is funny that you said that about Kazmir, he always looks like he never has any real concentration beyond a few minutes, when he is pitching.

      Anytime the best hitter is coming up, he worries, and often walks the hitter before the best hitter, and makes things worse.

      1. Hindsight is 20/20. Sure I would rather have Cueto but there was more concern about arm issues with Cueto than Kazmir at a higher price.

        I for one thought Kazmir was a panic move after they let Iwakuma slip through their fingers.

          1. Seattle quickly added a year to their original offer while the Dodgers were hemming and hawing over his physical. While they tried to re-work if full of incentives, Seattle’s GM rectified a mistake by letting him test the market.

        1. Hawkeye

          That was my big concern too, but Dodger patch made a good point about Cueto.

          And I agree that Kazmir was a last minute kind of deal.

      2. Freidman was hired to get the Dodgers below the luxury tax without blowing up the team or gutting the farm system. That much is obvious, and it is also obvious that ownership wants the team built the same way that Tampa built it’s few winning teams. With a strong home grown core that is team controllable and cheap. The offshoot is that if the farm pans out as planned the team will be competitive. It will also mean more profits for the shareholders and owners. The less they spend on salaries, the more they pocket. The more competitive the team is, the more the fan base buys into the plan and supports the new players. If one or more become legitimate stars, the attendance is sure to go up. TV contract brings in more cash, and if they are not paying the luxury tax, they can sign more international talent and keep the system stocked therefore being able to trade to fill holes and not have to sign huge cash free agents. Guys like Corey Seager will no doubt be offered long term team friendly contracts early aka Longoria, to keep them in the system and reduce the arbitration system

        1. That would be ok to a point, but not all prospects become major league players.

          But I would think the team can be built some what from there minor league system, but the Dodgers model, would be more like the Cubs , after they built there core players.

          Because the Dodgers are a big market team like the Cubs, and unlike the Rays.

        2. Simplistically cynical argument.

          The problem with it is that the Dodgers already lead all of baseball in attendance. It’s not like creating some faux competitive team that is just good enough to dupe the fans as part of some sinister corporatist plot will create an additional windfall. The team already signed a long long term TV contract, so that’s really out of the equation.

          The luxury tax, however, is basically equivalent of the team taking out big piles of money and dousing it with lighter fluid.

          1. Realistic is more like it, and how many fans are still shut out of seeing the games because of some stupid cable system snafu? They may lead the league in attendance, but the Giants sell out more. The Dodgers if they got their act together could do that too, but the price of admission is a huge deterrent to a lot of fans. I am no cynic. It is all about money and anyone who thinks any different is delusional.

  20. Dodger Blue predicting that the only free agents the Dodgers resign are Kenley and Turner with KJ getting a 5 year deal and JT 4. They even predict that Blanton will leave. They also think both Ruiz and Kazmir will be traded. I do not think that 5 years for KJ is even realistic with this FO. JT for 4 would make some sense. He would be 37 in the last season and as we have seen a 37 year old player can be a positive influence and produce. They also say Utley gets resigned for a year.

    1. What are they smoking? Five years for KJ? Totally unrealistic! Trade Kazmir? Not in their wildest dreams! Somebody is having fun jerking chains.

        1. Probably doesn’t, I can understand that. Retirement is great. But he does want that $36MM so he will push himself to show up next year….

          1. Someone is quoted at Dodgersdigest that both parties would prefer a divorce. Kazmir has three days from World Series to decided so we shall know by tomorrow if the Dodgers are getting an early X-mas present or not. It’s a long shot, but to tell you the truth I’m surprised he hasn’t already opted in.

  21. I see some things, and some people, just don’t change.

    About a year ago I started chanting 2018. Now why do you suppose I would have done that? Go to the web sites that have the Dodgers payroll extended out to that year and tell me what you see. Then take a close look at what prospects will be in the starting lineup, and rotation after ’17. Of course, a few of those names are gone for the Hill/Reddick gambit.

    As of today, I got the under on 91 wins in ’17.

    The “talented but troubled” Andrew Toles is penciled in by some as the leadoff hitter next year. His 115 PA slash this year, .314/.365/.505 was better than his 4 year minor league slash of .309/.348./458. Is he ready to step in and do close to either of those lines for 450 PA’s? Wouldn’t that be nice. I wonder what those sites that do projections might say about it?

    “Scott Kazmir was actually not bad this year”. Wow. What a glowing endorsement. 26 starts. 4.56 ERA, 136 IP. 0.2 WAR for $13 million. Whoopee. Was he a #2 or a #5.5? That $ figure goes to $17.666 million in each of the next two years. At a conservative $7mm per WAR he didn’t earn his money this year and to make up for it he’s going have to put up over 2.5 WAR each of the next two years. Possible. Not likely. I would put him in the same column with McCarthy and Anderson.

    I say we have a 50/50 shot at keeping both Turner and Jansen.

    1. Badger

      Those stats that you posted about Toles’ minor league stats, as compared to his major league stats.

      There isn’t a wide difference in those stats, in fact they are pretty close.

      And the reason you can believe Toles major league stats, is because Toles has changed his mind set this year, and has matured.

      And because of that, he has dedicated himself more to baseball this year.

      And Toles didn’t get many starts or consistent at bats this year.

      But he was still able to hit at a really good average, and he also demonstrated gap to gap power.

      And in our last post season series, when the pressure got the highest, Toles continued to hit.

      And Toles started at A ball this year, and that shows a lot.

      1. Not really. He had been in A ball before, so he should have had success there. His AAA stats are more impressive, BUT……..until he does it for say 4 months at the major league level I am not convinced of anything. I have seen way too many flash in the pan players. He needs to earn his stripes…..pitchers will adjust, how he adjusts back will be the big factor

        1. Michael

          I am taking about him going up the entire system in less then a season.

          Did you treat Joc the same after what he did last year for the entire season?

    2. Hawkeye Thanks!

      I had a problem
      Correcting my comments, because the other site in here, is coming through so much, it is hard to correct things at times.

  22. The problem with the Tampa/Oakland model is that when your home-grown stars become expensive, you let them leave and try to grow another batch of young stars.

    In Tampa, the only guy they kept was Longoria. All of the pitchers and other players left as soon as they became expensive in arbitration or free agency.

    Same is true in Oakland. They kept Eric Chavez but let everyone else leave and kept re-booting. Heck, they traded Josh Donaldson after he became an All Star with 4 years of team control left and all he did was to be the MVP the following season (2015).

    I like rooting for Dodger players that I know. It’s great to grow your own, but the Tampa/Oakland model is like a revolving door and no one stays. You don’t get to keep rooting for the Dodgers that came up through the system. That’s one of the reasons that I have no faith that home grown talent like Jansen will be back.

    I agree with one poster that they may try to extend Seager as the one guy that they keep but don’t expect other Dodgers to stay around.

    1. The flaw with your reasoning is that Tampa did that out of fiscal necessity, not out of some overriding managing philosophy by Friedman. No doubt the Dodgers will in the future operate under some financial limit related to the salary cap, but it’s still the Dodgers, and they always will have more financial flexibility than Tampa ever will. Best not to assume that the same revolving door will exist with this team. I envision a front office that will try to wrap up key talented players during their prime years, but will not hesitate to trade them or let them walk when they hit the 30 year-old mark, give or take a few exceptions. I don’t think that’s a bad strategy. It’s why the Dodgers traded Garvey and let Cey go. Greg Brock didn’t exactly pan out, but best to get something for a player before he hits his declining years than get stuck with a Pujols.

      1. You got it backwards. They traded Cey, and let Garvey go in free agency when he signed with the Padres. Cey was traded to the Cubs. Brock was traded to Milwaukee, and Davey Lopes was traded to the A’s when Sax became the starting 2B.

        1. Chapman was a 1 year rental, and it wasn’t like he was making a fortune or was going to take a long term commitment. They did go after Greinke. And someone outbid them. We can quarrel about the wisdom of letting him go and whether the DBacks overpaid him.

          As to the past, Garvey was 33 when they let him walk after the 1982 season after 14 years with the team and his numbers were declining. Cey was 34 after they let him go after the 1984 season after 12 seasons with the team. Lopes was let go after 10 years with the team and he was 36. Hardly a revolving door.

          Not what the Rays or As do.

          We haven’t yet seen what this front office will do with Dodger players still in their prime. Will they keep Jansen or Turner? If they do then I will stand corrected but I wouldn’t bet on it right now.

          1. My mentioning of Chapman and Greinke was to show that if the team thinks there are high-value players that will help the team, the team tries to get them.

            I’m not sure what Garvey and Lopes have to do with anything, but that’s good info.

            I think we’re missing the forest for the trees with this discussion.

            In my opinion we should be looking at how the As and Rays value players, what metrics are important. That seems to be consistent for the Front Office.

            The player management doesn’t seem at all consistent, thus the budgetary-based suppositions here are irrelevant, since the fundamentals are totally different than with the Dodgers.

            But it seems people like bouncing around suppositions and theories, then treating them like accepted fact.

  23. I don’t think Epstein projected to win it all this year, because he was suprised the Cubs made the post season last year.

    What is our front offices projected year to make this team a winner, and to make this team there own?

    1. Their own? Read Dodgerrick’s post a bit above yours. That is the Dodger model, we sign them, grow them, when they’re ripe we sell them and start another crop. That is specifically why FAZ was brought here.

        1. Wondering

          If you get bored with no baseball, you should watch Gold Rush on the Discovery channel.

          That is what I watch during this time.

        2. It’s working OK but I have to tell you, it’s 4 times harder to use than a PC. And there’s 50 times more software available for PC than for MAC. Remember in the 80s when VCRs came out? They said Beta was better than VHS. But. One or two companies made Betas, dozens made VHS. When they put movies to rent on tapes, they used VHS, not Beta. In a couple of years, Beta disappeared but VHS thrived until DVDs took over the market. Same thing here, MAC is a dead horse, PC is the dominant format. If you get a computer, get a PC, it is a much, much, much easier tool to learn to use…

          1. I have a hard time believing this.

            What software could you be using that is not available on the Mac in this day and age? Is it industry specific? Because the majority of software (general workplace and home place) is abundantly cross-platform.

          2. I was looking for a book reader today. There are dozens available for PCs but only found three or four for the MAC and some of them won’t work on the OS I have, Lion 10.7.2. I did find an older version of Calibre that will probably work. Even so, it is so much more complicated with MAC than PC. Perhaps if you are an expert on MAC you should be advising her, my best advice is buy PC.

          3. I think she can make her own decisions, but you have to admit you’re trying to find software for an OSX that is quite out of date. Lion was released back in 2010 or something, wasn’t it?

            What about iBooks?

            Oh, it may not be compatible with 10.7.

            I mean no slight by my next sentence, but if you are going to keep your OS (on either mac or PC) relatively current, there will not be a difference in software. That stigma has flown out the window with the advent of iOS everywhere.

            Back to readers….

            iBooks is quite flexible. As is GoodReads.

          4. Three of my PCs are Windows 10, the other an old XP. Never had any problem finding software in their previous iterations, Windows 7. I only got this MAC because MJ thinks (incorrectly, I think) that MAC would be easier to learn than PC. I was looking on EBAY to find examples of MACs to recommend to her, made a few low ball bids on a few and ended up buying this one dirt cheap. Having no experience on a MAC, I decided to see how it works…. Thanks for the advice on software, I will try those out. For my PCs, I have Ice Cream Ebook Reader which works great.

  24. The Tampa/Oakland model was composed and orchestrated but F and Z. It’s what they know. As has been said by a few in here we know what F and Z can do on a limited budget. They’re good at mining wins from below the surface. What we don’t know is how well they manage a lot of money. So far they haven’t shown me enough of hiring the right veterans, especially those 30 and under, bullpen notwithstanding. It started with Latos and has taken us through to Kazmir, with a few gags between. I figure they can’t ante up on the real pot until payroll is trimmed. I’m on record saying I don’t believe they have to do that but I recognize they are doing it, and I understand the reasons given.

    Until they get a few McCarthy/Hill’s right, I’m not ready to sing the praises. I still say patience is needed.

    1. Wondering

      I’m sorry you hate that Mac.

      Do you think it is harder for you, because you learned on a PC instead of a Mac, or does it just seem harder in general?

  25. The question is how long should the front office get, to bring a World Series to LA?

    Should it be faster then the Cubs, and Epstein did?

    1. I’m still flummoxed by the core of this whole discussion.

      Why are the two clubs and GMs being compared?

      The situation is completely different!

  26. I don’t to the comparison either. You have to judge the front office on its merits.

    The Dodgers lost their best free agent last year – again, if the DBacks overpaid, so be it but there it is. The team did not adequately replace him in my opinion. (I am of course aware that Greinke had a bad year and that Maeda arguably had a better one, but who would you rather pitch in a must win game?)

    Now, Jansen and Turner are free agents. The $64,000 question is whether the Dodgers retain either or both of them. Jansen is the new paradigm that we keep hearing about – the home grown star. The have no one on the team who is an obvious choice to replace him. Do the Dodgers keep him? How big a factor is the luxury tax? How big a factor is the usual SABR bias against signing reliever to big $$$ contracts?

    Turner doesn’t have an obvious replacement from the current roster or the farm system either. There are no other top 3B on the free agent market and Turner went from being a mediocre backup infielder to a star in Dodger Blue. Do they keep him?

    I suggest that we will not really know whether this front office is serious about keeping Dodger players who have proved their mettle until they actually do it.

    Thus far they have tried to build a starting rotation on the cheap with poor results. Rather than see more so-so veterans with injury histories, I would rather see if any of the kids have what it takes, but I believe that the team needs a 2nd ace-type pitcher and I have little hope that they acquire one this off-season. They also need a big right handed bat – same thing. If we are lucky they will retain Turner and Jansen and we will break even – not be worse than last year.

    By the way, the references to Garvey, Lopes and Cey were in response to dodgerpatch who attempted to compare the teams’ jettisoning of their long-time infield to the Tampa/Oakland model of recycling prospects every few years.

    1. Agree on 90% of that. But they didn’t, by your own words and mine, try to build a starting rotation on the cheap.

      They tried to spend a lot.

      Process > Outcome

      1. When they couldn’t “spend a lot” and sign Greinke they went cheap and signed Kazmir and Maeda. Like they signed Anderson and McCarthy the year before. Injury prone pitchers with iffy records who could be had relatively cheaply. They’ve wasted $17.2MM on Anderson last year and $24MM on McCarthy for 2 so going cheap didn’t help – plus they were available when they were needed. And Kazmir has been no prize thus far.

        1. Your words – We have to judge the front office on its merits. I agree with that. It’s my belief that Kasten hired these guys on exactly that. What in their collective resume did Dodger ownership see that they wanted implemented in LA? They want what Boston and Chicago got out of Epstein.

          I’m hoping that with an extra $100 million to spend, the way THEY want to spend it, we won’t continue to see guys like Anderson, Kazmir and McCarthy. We won’t know what they are capable of doing until they no longer have to scour infirmaries and waiver wires looking for risk reward gambles. Payroll won’t dip below luxury tax for another year or two. In the mean time, 2017?…….. third verse of Scramblin’ Bros.

          Sing it for us Bear.

          “Scramblin Bros, Scramblin bros,
          Win a pennant? No one knows…..
          Though we want to, cuz we love Blue
          Who can cling to, the Scramblin Bros”

          1. Badger

            The first year the new front office was here, the Dodgers had the biggest payroll, that they had ever had.

            If they were suppose to save then why trade Gordon and Haren, and give Anderson a contract?

            And why bring Howie, who cost more then Gordon?

            And why sign Olivera to that big contract?

            That is what I don’t get, if they were told at the beginng, to bring the payroll down, so the luxary tax would go down.

    1. James

      I always worry about players coming from the American League to the National League, because it seems they take a while to learn the new pitchers.

      Other wise those are two good players.

      I also wonder how they will hit in a different line up.

      Because in Detroit they have such a good offensive line up.

      I have noticed that both Martinez and Cespedes became better hitters, after being in that Tiger line up.

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