You Didn’t Really Believe The Dodgers Were Going To Do Anything at The Winter Meetings, Did You?

Friedman-Zaidi

I surely didn’t. I hope none of you were actually fooled or hyped into believing the Dodgers would do anything at the winter meetings. The winter meetings are about to wrap up, and for the second consecutive year the Dodgers have done absolutely nothing. Perhaps Andrew Friedman picked up some phone calls, but that’s about it.

I’m not complaining about it mind you. As I’ve said before the Dodgers don’t have any particularly glaring needs. This is a club that won the National League pennant, 104 games in the regular season and lost in game 7 of the World Series. Every one of their position player spots are set with the exception of left field. The Dodgers will probably need to add another right handed reliever to replace the recently departed Brandon Morrow, and I would like to see them add another right handed starter. Otherwise that’s it.

However it is extremely frustrating and annoying to go through another winter meeting and offseason with the Dodgers not doing anything. Once again teams around them are improving, adding players while the Dodgers sit around. We watch as the top players come off the boards one by one and the Dodgers miss out. We hear that the Dodgers are involved in almost every player under the sun but once again the deals never get done.

I never believe those PR generated rumors. The Dodgers are never really in on anyone and I know for a fact that those “reported” rumors will never come to fruition. I know that the Dodgers were never in on Giancarlo Stanton. Oh sure they made the calls, they discussed possibilities with the Marlins. But I knew that the deal would never get done. There was no chance on god’s green Earth that the Dodgers would actually pull the trigger on Stanton.

The same thing goes for Shohei Ohtani. Of course the Dodgers may have dodged a bullet with him and his sprained UCL, but I digress. The latest fake rumors involve Pirate’s franchise center fielder Andrew McCutchen. The Dodgers are so in on McCutchen guys, didn’t you hear? They may as well fit him for a Dodger uniform now because it’s going to happen. If you believe that I probably have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

No the Dodgers are not getting McCutchen or anyone else this winter. We’re experiencing another offseason in which we hear about luxury tax and financial constraints instead of who the hottest pitcher is on the market. Look if the Dodgers really want to get someone, believe me they’ll make it happen. The Dodgers have a lot of money and like I’ve said before, it’s not my money or your money so I don’t care if the payroll is 500 million dollars. The resources are there to acquire anyone they desire.

The Dodgers decided not to participate in the major league portion of the rule 5 draft as well. They figured since they were maxed out on 40-man roster spots that they would skip the entire thing. After all you never want to let Tim Locastro go. Thems’ a valuable roster spot I reckon. If you were wondering what the Dodger’s war room at the winter meetings looked like, I’ll let you in.

Friedman's war room
Friedman’s war room. This guy is working hard.

I wonder if Friedman/Zaidi even bother to show up. I figure they might as well stay home since they have no intention of doing anything. The National League champion Dodgers are still an excellent team. Even they have room for improvement though. It would be nice to see some activity at these meetings (It would give more content to write about as well) instead of their usual decry for bargain hunting.

Think bigger guys.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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55 thoughts on “You Didn’t Really Believe The Dodgers Were Going To Do Anything at The Winter Meetings, Did You?

  1. Nice one Scott. I was chuckling through it.

    Package if it makes you feel better, the Giants tried and tried and didn’t get squat. As of now only the Rockies improved, maybe.

    I think we will be entering the phase of “where is our improvement coming from internally for 2018?” … I’ll start posting the rest of my exit reviews.

    1. True, but you know the Gnats FO is working on things. They are in the hunt on a couple of free agents. And since Stanton is no longer an option for them, they will no doubt kick the tires on almost everyone left….

      1. Yeah, and I am the equivalent of a turn-around low cost fringe candidate for the FO. The equivalent of Toles or even Morrow.

      2. Yes, but it is a small amount and doesn’t count against the cap. F&Z together don’t make much more than a second baseman.

  2. Well Scott, something we can finally disagree on. Not about the lack of activity, that was expected. It is the fact that I personally think there are places on this roster that can be improved. I think there is a glaring need for a solid #2 starter behind Kershaw because I do not consider any one of the multitude of pitchers behind him to be of #2 caliber. Wood pitched better than any pitcher not named Kershaw last year. Can he repeat that? Big question. Maeda is good, not great, Hill is what he is, a 5 inning machine. Ryu could be better depending on how he builds up his arm Buehler is a kid, great stuff, no experience and the last rookie pitcher to make an impact on this team was Kershaw, I have zero confidence in them getting a damn thing out of either Kazmir or McCarthy. Oaks and Stewart, not much there either, and it will be at least June before they sniff Urias. Bullpen loses Morrow and Watson. Probably replaceable, but since it took them 3 years to find the bridge to Jansen, and now he is gone, I have little faith they will be successful in finding the right guy soon. Garcia??? Please, the guy has not pitched competitively for over 1 1/2 years. Baez has the stuff, but his coconut is not wired right. The bench? Weak, totally weak. No big power bat off the bench, Kike is to me worthless. Guy hits lefty’s and that is it. Toles coming off an injury, Verdugo was not impressive. Of course they will scout the waiver wire for bits and pieces when a simple trade or two could have made them deeper and better. Rockies are stacking their pen,and FAZ sits on his ass…….pathetic.

  3. The Dodgers can’t get any more players as they all cost money and the FO does not want to do any of that. It effects the bottom line and the luxury tax. Sounds good huh? I could get a job. The team will continue to post lies on all media that they are interested in all available players so as not to piss off the fans.

    1. I still think it ain’t about getting below $197mm it’s about staying below $237mm. I could be wrong about that but I say again, it’s more likely that resetting the cap comes after ’18.

      1. Agree, especially if there’s no room for Harper in the OF. It’s really nicely coming together.

        The team is very well situated (Bellinger first, Seager SS, Turner 3B. Some combo of Puig, Toles, Verdugo, Taylor, Pederson) in the OF. If Forsythe picks up from the post-season (and Zaidi said they are not looking for a LHB solution at 2B).

        Then it’s really optimally placed to reset the cap next year.

  4. Here are my exit reviews on Joc Pederson. Again I am aware of a lot SABR stats on these guys, but I don’t want to dwell on them since a majority of blogs out there already put out a lot of SABR stats. I am just stating my own observations and recollections of these players over the course of the year, with more focus on their performance during the playoffs (where applicable), and lastly how they could help the team next year.

    Joc Pederson. The first thing is, what shape will he be in when spring training comes around? This is the most important thing. I actually wrote this exit interview before the recent LA Times article where Zaidi said Joc needs to get in shape. I remember MJ was the first one who picked up on this in ST – perhaps women are just more sensitive to things like developing guts and fat asses, I suppose. My point was that this was obvious from the get go, but why didn’t Joc slim down during all that time he was in the minors? So for me, I think the jury is very much still out on Joc. If Joc cannot get back his speed and agility, he does not help the team much, and Toles clearly has an edge over him in left field for 2018. But if Joc can come into camp as slim as his rookie year but stronger, I think I would give him the edge over Toles. I think Joc takes the best routes among our outfielders and he just looks very comfortable making all types of plays – the only beef I’ve had with him was that he does not call people off when he was in CF. We may still need both Toles and Joc, as Joc can play CF once in a while to give Taylor a break. The second thing I am interested in is whether Joc will come to ST with yet another new swing. Looking at Joc and Bellinger, both of whom had changed their swings under Shawn Wooten, and then looking at Puig, who was primarily helped by Turner Ward, you see some trends. I am by no means an expert, but it seems like, with Joc and Bellinger, the approach is to generate hard contact – a lot of the power comes from the golf-like action. You kind of see that with Grandal too. With Puig, I can see from year to year that the work is to control the swing path and generate loft. I think Ward is trying to get Puig to swing like Turner, and Puig, being stronger than Turner, should have better success with that type of swing. If what I see is accurate, then I have no problem seeing Wooten go. I think we want guys getting loft and hitting both gaps, and I want more guys that could run first to third on a single and then score on fly balls from third. But let’s say Joc gets there and has a great season. Unless we lose AGon and one of Toles/Taylor/Puig/Kike to injury, Joc is still not going to see much playing time. And bear in mind there is a good chance Bellinger sees a lot of LF too next year. And further, Joc is blocking prospects like Verdugo. We have made the whole “too many outfielders” situation work before from 2007-2014, with Ethier, Kemp, Crawford, Puig, etc., but that was in part due to contract situations which made Ethier, Crawford and Kemp harder to trade. Joc is different. He has potential and is under team control, but he is likely far more valuable on another team than the Dodgers. This is what happens to winning teams – the prospects inevitably get blocked, and the champion FOs know when to unblock or trade prospects. With a very likely decreasing playing time, I think the FO needs to think long and hard about Joc’s value to the team as a player vs. as a trade piece (the same goes for Grandal).

    1. Nicely done YF.

      Here’s my exit review:

      There’s the exit. Beat it.

      That’s harsh, I know, but we have a plethora of outfielders and we could use him to get an arm. Find a team that believes that .847 OPS year and work a trade. I’m more inclined to believe the other two years.

    2. YF

      Another great job, and thoughtful, review!

      I agree on most everything you said, but I don’t think Joc would have an edge on Toles, only because he slimed down.

      Because Joc still hasn’t been able to hit consistently, after three years.

      And Toles has hit consistently, since he came up, he even hit a double, in his first major league at bat.

      The only time I saw Toles struggle a little, was after he sat on the bench, for five or six straight games, in a row.

      And the only reason Toles was on the bench, was because we faced a leftie starter, in five straight games.

      That was early in the season , before we proved to the league, we could hit lefties.

      And even if Joc does slim down, he will never be as fast as Toles is.

      And Toles is very capable of playing center too, if Taylor needs a day off.

      He did a good job filling in for Joc, after Joc went out on the DL the first time, last year.

      And Toles seemed to build his confidence up, in each game a played in center, at the major league level.

      I think Toles biggest challenge will be, not favoring his knee, when he has to move laterally, or make quick cuts, on defense.

      I do think your right about Bellinger playing in leftfield this year, too.

      The thing what frustrates me the most about Joc, is the fact he still hasn’t changed, or adjusted his approach, when he is up to bat, after three years.

      And I have seen Bellinger do that, quite a bit, in his first season!.

      And I don’t think any young player, should have to be told, to show up to spring training, in shape!

      1. I think Toles biggest challenge will be hitting consistently after being out for more than a year. As for Joc, sometimes MJ, a younger player needs a reminder. They have pretty much had to talk to Puig every year about coming into camp in shape. He finally did and it turned his career around. It takes a lot of discipline to keep to those workout schedules in the off season because the natural inclination is to relax after the long grind. For others it is just part of their everyday routine. There are players who are regular gym rats and those who are not. Joc does not seem to be that type of guy. Seager on the other hand probably has everything well planned. You are probably right about Joc’s approach at the plate. But he did adjust during the world series and had some success. Now that Wooten is no longer with the organization we will see if Joc takes to Turner Ward’s tutelage. The Dodgers are loaded in the outfield and you can tell that because no one is mentioning Trayce Thompson at all. I do not consider Kike an outfielder even though that is where they have him on the depth chart. Best defensive outfield would probably be Bellinger, Taylor and Puig, with Toles in the next tier. Offense wise, that first one would be the best also. But that is only if Puig keeps improving and Taylor can repeat the success of last year.

        1. Michael

          I agree with you about Wooten, and Turner Ward.

          And Toles has already proved he could hit consistently, after he was off a year.

          Toles was out of baseball, the entire year, before he came to play for the Dodgers!

          And remember he did play at the beginning of the season, so he wasn’t off, for the entire year.

    3. Joc’s appeal has always been his power. Toles has some power and so does Puig. Taylor surprised everyone with his output. Thompson could be a power hitter if he was consistent enough and healthy. Bellinger will be out there some this year, but next, he will be at 1st and no where to be seen in the OF. I do not consider Hernandez an outfielder. But of the pure outfielders in the organization, Joc has probably the most raw power of them all. He could easily be a 40 HR guy if he was consistent. And therein lies the problem and the conundrum. You are definitely right about the way he runs routes. He is rarely fooled and usually gets to the ball. If he comes in to camp in shape, expect superior outfield play from him. The bat? Who knows. Will he take to the instruction of Turner Ward or not? I think somewhere along the way, the FO is going to have to make a decision on not only Joc, but Verdugo, Thompson, Toles and Hernandez.

    4. Joc’s biggest appeal has always been his power. He has more raw power than just about any outfielder on the roster. His downfall has been consistency and contact. He does run great routes. He is rarely fooled and usually makes the play. If he comes into camp in shape like he was his rookie year, expect superior defense. His bat? Who knows. If he applies and accepts the tutelage of Turner Ward, we could see the same type of resurgence as we saw in Puig. No matter what happens with Joc, at some point the Dodgers will need to address the outfield surplus and figure out what roles Thompson, Toles, Hernandez and Verdugo are going to play. Because I believe at this point in time, unless he is dealt, Joc is above Toles on the depth chart based on Zaidi’s statements and his world series success.

  5. Dammit. I posted a link. Mistake here.

    Well, it could be hours before it’s released so I’ll just tell you it was Hirano’s Japanese League stats. You can google them yourselves if interested.

  6. No need to bash on the FO, they are what they are. I still believe that although they have the resources, they still operate with a small market mentality. There was really no need to go after big free agents, but they could have managed a trade or two to address some of the more glaring holes. I know they have concerns about the luxury tax, and I get it. But they would not be in this fix had they not signed so much DEAD weight. I wish I had a calculator in my brain so I could compute all the money they have wasted against the money wisely spent. As it sits right now, they have 3 players under contract for this year who they have been trying to unload and will in all reality be stuck with. If Gonzo rebounds this year, they may get some bang for their buck. He is probably the only one of the 3 I trust to do anything. McBrittle and Quagmire will no doubt be worthless again. What I am really watching is to see which bargain bin items FAZ adds this year. The retooling of the minor league chain with cast offs will no doubt begin some time soon after the new year. Looking for a pig in a poke. That’s the fazainian way.

  7. Yankees interested in Cole. That would help them.

    We know the FO has been trying to dump their costly mistakes on anyone who will take them and I think that process will continue. If those guys show anything in ST it might be an easier discard as you never know what needs teams will have as the season approaches. In the mean time, I think Michael is right, FAZ is patrolling the perimeter looking for bargains. As they should frankly. After all, it is what they are good at. I think position wise we may be set. Pitching? Bodies o’plenty. We already have, by last count, 8 starters listed on the depth chart and a couple more in reserve if needed. In that group only Kershaw looks like a horse. I think the team might be cautious with him, though I know in a contract year he wants the ball for 32 starts. I see 12 listed in the bullpen so we already have 20 pitchers ready to go.

    Play ball.

    1. Yep it looks that way Badger. There is plenty of quantity, not much quality. I still do not like the bench. Of course that depends on who the main starting 8 turn out to be. I would say, and this is if Gonzo is healthy, the starting day lineup, baring any trades of course, will be, Gonzo 1B Forsythe 2B Turner 3B Seager SS Bellinger LF Taylor CF Puig RF and Barnes catching. Of course after that everyday will be different because that is the way Roberts manages. I do think they would benefit from a 6 man rotation. Since except for Kershaw, there is no horse in the starting stable.

      1. Quantity has worked in the past. I’ve been pimpin for a stud for 3 years, and when I finally get what I was asking for he fizzles like a cheap bottle rocket. The reminder there is – what do I know. More proof off that is I had the under on 96 wins. Missed it by …..

        that much.

        1. Padres get Galvis from Phils……Phils sign Santana for 3 years….Dodgers do nothing so far…they did sign one of the players the Braves lost because of their international blunder….Angels sign Cozart….presumably to play 3B since Simmons is going no where…

        2. What Agone did in 2016, was a lot like what Santana has done, in the last few years.

          And the Phillies are paying him, twenty million a year.

          1. Santana is a 3 WAR veteran player. Sure, he’s past his prime (4 WAR) but he might still earn the money. I don’t see this as a bad signing. It’s Philadelphia so who really cares? Cozart is an interesting signing. I think he’s a good fit there. That infield defense suddenly looks pretty good.

          2. Agon is through. He will never again hit like he did early in his career and by playing him it is restricting Cody from his rightful position just like I told you when they sent Cody to the DL last year. He is Roberts buddy so he will play 1st instead of Cody. That is a disgrace. Maybe Agon will have back problems again and that will be the end. That would be a blessing.

          3. AGon won’t keep Bellinger from playing. Personally I hope Gonzalezs shows up in great shape. If he can hit he can help in a couple of ways. If he’s healthy, maybe he would agree to a trade, and we absorb half his salary freeing up $10 million. That’s a steely eyed FAZ move, hey?

          4. If he puts up 2.8 WAR he is.

            But I doubt he does.

            Sabathia signs 1 year for $10 million. He projects 148 innings at 4. ERA, which in the AL is pretty good. He’s only $4 million more than Koehler? Maybe C.C. wanted to pitch with that lineup behind him. Don’t blame him if that’s the case.

        3. They just opted for the wrong stud…I still do not consider Darvish an ace. You check his stats in Texas and he never has really been elite. He has been good, but not the kind of lights out guy I would have wanted. I am curious to see how they rebuild the bullpen myself. And if they consider Avilan as the # 2 lefty out of the pen. Or is Cingrani that guy.

          1. I checked his stats Michael. Over 11 Ks/9 and a 3.42 ERA, in Texas, looked damn good to me. I thought both those numbers would improve in LA. Got it wrong, but I wouldn’t have a problem if they bring him back. He can eat a lot of innings behind Kershaw and 3.4 ERA works for me. That said, I don’t believe he is signed.

          2. That is good for the AL as you say, I was looking at the fact that when the trade was made, the guy was not pitching all that well and in fact had been hammered more than a few times. I think if he was pitching like he first did, his ERA in the NL would be much closer to say, 2.50. I do think he is a better option than any on the roster right now save Wood. Maeda may improve, but I do not trust any of those guys to average at least 6 innings an outing. He is getting nibbles as a free agent, but no one seems to want to commit right now and he is still talking to the Dodgers.

          3. Badger

            I didn’t check there war.

            I was just pointing out, that Agone making 22 million a year, is not that bad by today’s standards, in baseball.

            That is if Agone could have a season as good as he had, in 2016.

  8. Santana will add to the Phils offense for sure, but the defense took a hit. Guess that means Hoskins will be in the OF regularly next season. They are moving their top prospect into the SS job.

    1. Badger

      It is just to bad Darvish couldn’t pitch like he did, in the two prior post season series.

      One thing about Darvish, he is a big guy, so I don’t think he will have a lot of injuries.

      He is a bigger guy then Ohtani, but Ohtani should fill out more, in a few years.

  9. Breaking news…..Giants close to trading Matt Moore to the Rangers. Also is a rumor that Hunter Pence may be part of the deal…….deal is for prospects……

      1. Trying to get under the luxury tax line.

        The Rangers have acquired LHP Matt Moore and international signing bonus pool money from San Francisco for minor league RHPs Israel Cruz and Sam Wolff. Roster now at 40.

      1. Package

        Obviously, I was not talking to you!

        And I was not the one that said Agone was going to play first, over Cody.

        Michael was the one who said Agone might be playing first, and Cody might be playing in left.

        And guess what, Michael has the right to say what he thought the line up might be!

        And just because you don’t feel the same way, that does not give you a right to be abusive to someone!

        And I am tired of your abusive behavior!

        I guess you think your a big man by abusing and talking down to a woman on the internet, but it says just the opposite.

        And I am sure you wouldn’t do that to me , in person!

        And by the way, I am not the only one that thinks Kershaw is not the same pitcher in the post season, here, and I am not going to debate this with you again!

        You are a negative person, that doesn’t have a lot of postive things to say about most anyone, except your few favorite players.

        And you have a lot higher expectations on any player, that is not one of your few favorite players.

        And if you don’t stop this, I am going to talk to Scott about your abuse, so back off!

        1. MJ
          I am sorry you feel that way but I have not abused you at all. You have attacked me over and over. Also accusing me of talking down or abusing you because you are a woman is over the top!! I do not those types of things and I would say anything I have said here right smack dab in your face. Just because I do not agree with you on many subjects does not make me abusive. Talk to whomever you like. I am sure if they review my comments to you they will see no abuse. Remember you are the one who said I was negative. What right do you have to judge me?

    1. Koehler is projected to make $6 million. Must have an arresting spin rate. His overall numbers ain’t all that. Neither are his projections.

    2. Koehler could be next in line as a surprise pen find or he could be an absolute dumpster fire. Tune in to the 2018 season to find out!

      After he was traded from the Marlins to the Blue Jays, Koehler started getting regular looks out of the pen. In his new role, he put up a 3.00 ERA and 3.16 FIP in 12 innings, while his strikeout rate ticked up (18.0% to 21.6%) and his walk rate almost halved (11.3% to 5.9%). Though perhaps what appealed most to the Dodgers was that Koehler’s fastball ticked up in the pen, and he started throwing as hard as ever, sitting 93-95 mph. Koehler also still used three other pitches in his curve, slider, and change, though he leaned especially heavy on his curve in relief.

  10. I like Kholer but $6 million? That’s too much and who are we bidding against ? This means you’re forced to pitch him to see how he does instead of the youngsters in the minors. I like Hirano too – forkball grounder pitcher.

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