Dodgers Acquire Right Hander Dylan Baker, And There is Likely a Good Reason

Dylan Baker

The Dodgers have reportedly acquired flame throwing right hander Dylan Baker from the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon, but it’s important to understand why. Baker a 25-year old from Roseburg, Oregon had spent his entire career with the Cleveland Indians before they recently placed him on waivers. The Brewers claimed him and then quickly designated him for assignment before waiver trading him to the Dodgers. The deal is for cash considerations or the Dodgers will send Milwaukee a player to be named later.

There are a few reasons for the move. I’ll go over them in a minute. Baker Pitched for the Indian’s double-A affiliate Akron RubberDucks before an assignment with the Arizona league club. Baker appeared in just 17 games due to succumbing to Tommy John surgery. In 2017 he posted a 2.25 ERA in the Arizona league and a 2.84 ERA across 12.2 frames for the Eastern League club.

Overall he posted a 10-1 strikeout to walk ratio between the two teams and struck out 16 while walking only 1. Baker has been pitching since 2012 and has posted a career 4.43 ERA and struck out 7.9 in five minor league seasons. He was once a starter and has made 48 starts in 65 appearances. He started two games in 2017. According to reports the youngster was touching the upper 90’s on the radar gun, so it seems he’s got some legitimate talent.

So why did the Dodgers acquire him? Let’s discuss the possibilities.

  1. The Dodgers need a pitcher in Tulsa or Oklahoma City. You know what they say, Oklahoma City needs pitchers too. Maybe the Dodgers are thinking about using him in the Tulsa rotation. Perhaps there is a spot to fill on either roster. Baker may be just minor league depth/fodder and we’ll never or rarely hear about him again. Unless he becomes the next Wilmer Font, then he’ll win PCL pitcher of the year before pitching like garbage at the major league level.
  2. The Dodgers believe that he has the talent and durability to help the major league club. It’s possible however unlikely that Baker could provide depth for the middle relief corp that just lost Brandon Morrow to free agency.
  3. Or number three; he’s just a roster spot holder. A 40-man roster spot holder. You see, what I have recently found out from reading several different articles is that MLB doesn’t like 40-man roster spots to go empty for too long. Many clubs will make trades to clear roster space before making additional moves. For instance the Dodgers needed to clear roster space for Tom Koehler. All 40-man roster spots have to be filled at some points. A roster spot can remain unfilled for a little while, but MLB generally frowns upon this. Again, at some point the teams have to fill their empty roster spots, and that probably explains why the front office acquires random bodies like the Ryan Lavarnways, and the Dylan Bakers. I think he’s there to fill a roster spot until it’s needed for somebody else.

Baker has actually suffered quite a few setbacks during his young career according to an interview with letsgotribe.com. A fractured leg hampered his early career before the Tommy John surgery. He’s an Alaska native, has four pitches in his arsenal and had his hair set on fire by one of his old teammates. He also really loves Netflix. He seems like a great guy and I’m honestly rooting for him.

So there you have it. The Dodgers have acquired right hander Dylan Baker and there’s probably a good reason for it. I think its reason number three, but it could be number 2 as well. Or it could be a combination of more than one of those above mentioned reasons. What do you think it is?

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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49 thoughts on “Dodgers Acquire Right Hander Dylan Baker, And There is Likely a Good Reason

  1. Personally, I think it is another example of FAZ’s affinity for injury prone pitchers. Low risk high reward, but I think he is off his rocker on this one. The guy has pitched less that 22 innings in the last 3 years. I am not impressed and he takes up a spot on the 40 man which to me makes this BOZO worthless. If is the longest two letter word in the dictionary…if he is healthy, if he can help the major league team…he could pitch at AAA and not be on the 40 man…to me it is a waste of a roster spot.

  2. This is what they do. We all should be used to it by now. And, I think we should welcome it. It’s another inexpensive dart aimed at the bullseye. If it works – great. If not – so what? He will be as easy to lose as he was to gain.

  3. I agree. Easy come, easy go. Sure other teams do this same stuff, it’s just that Friedman & Co. do it 10X more than the rest. It is the new way as long as the small market mentality is in charge.

    We are the LA Tampa A’s after all.

    1. We are Tampa/Oakland with the ability to carry a $200mm payroll. We can sign a Kershaw, Turner, Jansen when we need to and we can sign a Stanton if we want to. Without doing anything we can remain favorites for at least one more year.

  4. It seems like every team does this, I wonder how often it has paid off.

    But remember Morrow didn’t have such a healthy history, most of his career.

    And I don’t even know when was the first time Morrow had pitched well and stayed healthy, before that year he had with the Padres, right before we signed him.

    But Michael is right, this guy has an extensive injury history, for being as young as he is.

    But remember he is still young, and he was the Indian’s sixth pick, and the Indians seem to draft and find, pretty good pitchers.

    Like I said before, I don’t care if the front office does this, just as long, as they still act like a big market team, and use their financial advantage, to make the team better!

    After the 2018 season is that big free agent year, and I am sure a lot of Dodger fans, will be interested in seeing, if they do anything beyond signing Kershaw.

    I don’t see them going after any of the big free agents, but they may make the team better, with the middle of the road free agents, if it makes sense.

    They have to think about offering Corey something like the Angels did with Trout, if Corey can stay healthy, and Bellinger would probably be next.

    And if Puig proves he can continue to stay in the program like he did last year, this next year, they might think about extending maybe Puig too.

    1. Big difference between this guy and Morrow MJ is that this kid has never pitched above AA. Morrow even with his injury’s had some success at the MLB level. He also has control problems along with his injury history. He impressed for a couple of AA outings, but enough to be put on the 40 man roster? I do not think so. And as for the free agent market after the 2018 season, outside of maybe extending Kershaw, what makes anyone on here think they will change their MO and go after someone like Harper or Machado? They just got under the luxury tax threshold. I think they would like to stay there for the near future. And they are not going to throw 400 million plus at Harper for 10 years. Not the way they work. They would have been better off with Stanton and he would have been cheaper. No. I would bank on it that they are going to trust their own farm system to supply the main talent and do nothing but add cheap fringe players like they have since the day they took over. Oh an occasional mid season rental if they are close, but i doubt the big ticket players are coming to Los Angeles anytime soon…just my take.

      1. Michael

        I don’t know why this guy is on the 40 man roster, I am not very versed in all of that.

        But remember, Morrow is much older then this young pitcher, and Morrow had injury problems, throughout his career.

        And maybe the only reason this pitcher has not pitched higher then AA, is because of his injury issues, not his talent, and his stuff.

        I don’t want them to sign Harper or Machado to a ten year contract, but I would expect them to use free agency sometimes, if there is a player on the market, that can help the team.

        Harper is not that bad for a ten year contract , because he is still young, but he has had trouble staying on the field, so I don’t think he is a good risk, and I think we need a rightie bat, more then another leftie.

        And I don’t think teams in general, are going to give players, these long ten year contracts anymore, especially if a player is close to thirty.

        Because they have just not worked.

        And we have our own young players to think about signing, and buying some of their free agent years.

      2. I thought the objective of getting below the salary tax threshold this year was to allow the organization to reset itself and not be penalized at a 50% (or more) clip going forward.

        I can understand not taking on (or signing FA’s to) some long term costly contracts but as some of us have said before, if that becomes the mode of operandi than the Dodgers will have very few ‘proven’ stars on their teams as long as this front office is running the show.

        Players like Bryce Harper are special talents and will command large and/or long term contracts. Any star in their prime will command large/long term contracts.

        So are the Dodgers always going to sign players that are 1.) Not in their prime. 2.) Not top tier available talent. 3.) Injury prone or have health issues.

        Who in their right mind thinks that is the way to win Championships?

        Friedman & Company are living off of the stock cupboard of talent that was already here. Yes, they have tweaked it for the better but do not lose focus on the fact that they have not signed or traded for a top tier player and they have yet to have a draft pick (4 years going) make a splash (I mean a tiny little wave.) in the Bigs.

        Friedman’s draft record at Tampa was very weak. He left the cupboard bare at Tampa as they have not had a winning record over the past 4 seasons. (Which includes his last and the following 3.)

        Is everyone expecting Seager, Bellinger, Wood & Puig, etc. to give the team a home town discount? If that’s me, I don’t. A ballplayer has a small window of time to make big dollars and the current system screws players while in their early 20’s. If I’m Seager or Bellinger, I’m only signing either a short (something along the lines of a 3 year deal in the range of $30M+ per) or a long term deal that will approach $300M.

        Friedman has had it made so far. The true tests are coming.

        1. Chili

          I said Harper wouldn’t be a bad deal, because he is still young, but I also said he is to much of a risk for me, because he has been hurt quite a bit, in his short career.

          And I said, most teams will probably not be giving ten year contacts, to players close to thirty, or on the other side of thirty.

          And there really isn’t a lot of players, that become free agents, while they are pretty young, like Harper.

          And when I was talking about Corey and Cody, I was only talking about the Dodgers, trying to buy out a couple of there free agent years, to gain some up front security, much like the Angels did with Trout, not a home town discount like you are thinking about..

    1. Good question.

      “Overall, the importance of the spots on the 40-man roster have increased as time has progressed, as proper usage can also help to keep payroll costs down. A player’s service clock cannot start until they are on the 40-man roster, and even then will only start as they accrue service days in the Majors.”

      Could be to start the clock on as many players as possible. That’s just a guess.

  5. Are the Dodgers in on anybody?????? No buzz on trades at all. Realmuto and Yelich out there and not a whisper…frustrating off season so far….

      1. Badger
        That is just it, the Dodgers are always in on it but nothing ever happens. They do it to appease the fans but in reality, they are not. It is very frustrating to say the least. Common sense tells us that this or that move should be made but it never happens and then we get some off the wall player and many clap and say, well what a good move. I don’t get it, yes I do.

          1. Do you mean “inconsistent, streaky, long-drought hitter that happens to not catch too many pitches slug”?

          2. That’s him True.

            I think metrics still like him. He put up 2.2 WAR in 129 games so technically he’s a bargain.

            Looking at his rWAR page is rather strange. 1.6 oWAR and 1.2 dWAR adds up to 2.2WAR. Just another thing about saber metrics that doesn’t add up. And apparently passed balls aren’t counted against you in defensive metrics cuz he had 16 of them. Led the league again. Count me as one who wouldn’t miss him if he’s moved.

            I still think we should add more pitching, but it may not happen right away. In fact it may not happen till the deadline.

            I wonder how Julio is doing. Shoulder capsule surgery is a big deal and can be a career ender. It remains “possible” he will pitch in ’18. Because the injury occurred while on optional assignment he’s not accruing service playing time so no need for him to be rushed. We may not see him at all, which I think makes it more likely a deadline move would be made. In the mean time, not a whole lot to talk about. Except maybe the Rams. And maybe both local qb’s declaring early. 1 and 2 in the draft?

        1. Realmuto over Grandal? Of course, but the team is replete with catching prospects and players at the pro level.

          What problem does Realmuto solve that is more important than say, top pitcher?

  6. I recall The Molester has always had a boner for that slug (and very young, defenseless girls too).

    I think the Rams will take care of Falcons this weekend. I am concerned with their chances against the Saints, Eagles and Vikings. can they score against the really tough defenses in the NFC? Then again, they have gained more and more confidence as the season has gone along and they really should have beaten the Eagles and the Vikings earlier this year (they gave those teams some gifts in order to lose those games).

    Has anyone told the Rams organization that they simply don’t have helmets that match any of their uniforms? Really bad. The only uni they have worn this year that matched was the all yellow outfits that they wore against the 9rs at the beginning of the season. Since they were so ballsy with that get-up they should have gone all the way and worn helmets that were all yellow with blue horns (they pussed out).

    1. Careful True. You know this site is monitored.

      I think the Rams can handle any team in the NFC on any given day, but agree that going on the road to Minnesota or Philly could be difficult. Not having Zuerlein in close games is concerning too.

      Agree about the helmets. My understanding is new uniforms will come with new stadium. I think they are just using the white horns as a testament to the Rams uni’s of the 60’s.

      I got a very interesting trade proposal from Jonah this morning (wish he would come back, he’s a very bright guy) and am waiting for him to ok my posting of it here. It’s a 3 way involving our bbf in Atlanta.

          1. I don’t know him at all beyond this site.

            And would never say such things about him beyond this site.

        1. Bluto

          He is a very bright guy, and a very witty guy too.

          Not everyone expresses their intellect in the same way, and Badger was a teacher, so he is very aware of this.

  7. Ok, I’m gonna need one of you guys to buy this, read it, understand it, then get back to us here regarding projections for all our players.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Badger

  8. “Rumor has it Atlanta is interested in Yelich and Realmuto but probably doesn’t have the trade material to get them. I can see the Braves, with their best friends, the Dodgers, combining on a three way trade to make it happen. We get Yelich and either Flowers or Suzuki, Atlanta gets Realmuto, Miami gets Grandal, Joc, Thompson, Farmer, maybe a couple of pitchers. Or some other combination….. like maybe including Castro and Forsythe……”

  9. I thought the objective of getting below the salary tax threshold this year was to allow the organization to reset itself and not be penalized at a 50% (or more) clip going forward.

    I can understand not taking on (or signing FA’s to) some long term costly contracts but as some of us have said before, if that becomes the mode of operandi than the Dodgers will have very few ‘proven’ stars on their teams as long as this front office is running the show.

    Players like Bryce Harper are special talents and will command large and/or long term contracts. Any star in their prime will command large/long term contracts.

    So are the Dodgers always going to sign players that are 1.) Not in their prime. 2.) Not top tier available talent. 3.) Injury prone or have health issues.

    Who in their right mind thinks that is the way to win Championships?

    Friedman & Company are living off of the stock cupboard of talent that was already here. Yes, they have tweaked it for the better but do not lose focus on the fact that they have not signed or traded for a top tier player and they have yet to have a draft pick (4 years going) make a splash (I mean a tiny little wave.) in the Bigs.

    Friedman’s draft record at Tampa was very weak. He left the cupboard bare at Tampa as they have not had a winning record over the past 4 seasons. (Which includes his last and the following 3.)

    Is everyone expecting Seager, Bellinger, Wood & Puig, etc. to give the team a home town discount? If that’s me, I don’t. A ballplayer has a small window of time to make big dollars and the current system screws players while in their early 20’s. If I’m Seager or Bellinger, I’m only signing either a short (something along the lines of a 3 year deal in the range of $30M+ per) or a long term deal that will approach $300M.

    Friedman has had it made so far. The true tests are coming.

    1. Good point Chili. Friedman inherited a winner. The best that can be said is he hasn’t screwed it up. Who knows how long he can keep the balls in the air. It’s possible this is it if Kershaw leaves. If Kershaw stays, it could be fluff the pillows on a made bed through him, Seager, Turner, Jansen, Puig and Bellinger. Or it could be the league, or even the Division, catches us shortly. Urias was supposed to step in and be the next Dodger great, but if it ain’t him, who is it? The Cubans? If they were worth the enormous investment we made, wouldn’t at least one of them be tearing it up by now?

          1. Badger thanks!

            He had the second highest defensive war, on the team, under Corey.

            Here is his overall numbers, for last year.
            224/351/262/678

            Against righties
            190/315/262/576

            And his offensive numbers were pretty good, against lefties.

            I think he is a sure handed defensive player, but do you think the level of defense he gives us, makes up, for these type of offensive numbers?

            I thought only a great defensive player, at shortstop, could make up for these low offensive numbers, with great defense.

    1. I’ve seen as high as 3 and as low as 11.

      The mean is probably 5ish.

      I think we can all say it’s a very strong system. Quite remarkable because they only can spend internationally one year (without cap) and have picked late in the draft for the last half-decade.

  10. I may have over-estimated Kemp’s value. Dodgers trading three players for Alexander and still couldn’t rid of Kemp? Seems weird.

    Alexander is quite good and cheap.

    Scott Alexander had the highest ground ball rate in the majors in 2017 (73.8%), and has 2 5 years until FA). Luis Avilan is out of options

    1. Huh?

      That don’t make no sense. You already said, more than once I believe, Kemp had NO value. Is this an attempt at humor? Why would Kemp, and his $43 million have anything to do with this trade? This is just another peripheral bullpen trade. He replaces Watson who pitched 20 innings for us. Peter? 25. Maybe a scrapper. Organizational depth in the infield. Could work out ok. Oaks, Mejia and Avilan is talent, but won’t be missed.

      Kemp had nothing to do with this move. And how do you know they don’t want to keep Kemp and plan to play him in left field?

      1. Yes, I was a bit brief and vague. I thought the only way the team can/could move kemp is to package him with young cheap talent.

        They had the young, cheap talent in this deal by didn’t include him.

        I probably should have internalized that bit or defined it further.

        I think there’s no chance, based on the reporting I’ve read, the Dodgers have any interest in keeping Kemp.

        1. Yeah, well I think I agree with you on that last part. There is likely very little about Kemp that appeals to FAZ. Even 30 and 100 doesn’t float their boat if the guy can’t run catch and throw. I’m still hoping he shows up in great shape and pounds the ball. I can remember him hitting shot after shot high over the center field wall on the game field at Camelback. I believe I was there watching it with Roger and Timmons. Everyone in the park was in awe at how easily he was able to do it. It would be nice to see that Matt Kemp back in Dodger Blue.

          Hey, maybe the deal you are thinking about is with the White Sox. Apparently the two teams are talking. Let him DH there for $10 million a year.

  11. There goes 1 of the ‘over hyped’ pitching prospects (Oaks) by the Fazophants.

    Had predicted that most would be traded or not come close to the hype. It’s all just a matter of time unless you drink the Kool-Aid then every class A prospect looks like the 2nd coming of either Drysdale or Koufax.

    1. I’d love to see one published scouting report comparing Oaks to either of those.

      Or even one positioning him as a top of the rotation guy.

      1. The best we’ve got, Buehler, projects as a #2. I believe Urias was a #1 but who knows now. Oaks was projected as a back-end starter in ‘16, but I don’t know what anyone thinks of him at this point. Don’t much care. We traded him. I think Chili was being hyperbolic for effect.

        1. For what effect? This is exactly why you develop prospects to have significant value, so you can get Alexander–74% groundball rate, 2.48 ERA–to deepen pen for only $2.5M.

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