Dodgers Hope Russell Martin Nostalgia will Blind Fans to Negligence

So the Dodgers have finally made a move that LA is excited about.

Is Bryce Harper coming? HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Puh-leeze. Let’s get back to the Dodgers as they are, not as you wish them to be.

The good news is the Dodgers are reacting to the huge void left at catcher after they refused to re-sign Yasmani Grandal.

Oh! Is J.T. Realmuto coming? Wrong again.

The Dodgers are bringing back old friend Russell Martin. The reaction to this news isn’t being met with the ridicule or disappointed sideways glances that it deserves. Nope, reaction to the Martin trade is playing out exactly as Andrew Friedman expected it to.

After an offseason that saw the Dodgers dump Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Matt Kemp to save money, while other teams made themselves potentially stronger contenders, Dodger fans were slowly coming to the realization that – sorry, Virginia – there is no Friedman Claus. There weren’t any shiny and powerful new Dodgers under the Christmas tree, and it doesn’t look like our hoped-for, new Dodgers were delayed by slow shipping.

As I laid out in my YouTube video “Yasiel Puig Trade is the Master Plan, but not What You’re Thinking” three weeks ago, Andrew Friedman is moving into the next phase of the Dodgers’ All Profit All The Time mode. While other teams are acquiring players with recognizable names and the promise of improving their standings next season, the Dodgers are inviting reclamation projects to Spring Training with the bonus glory of minor league contracts.

As each day brings us closer to the 2019 season, it’s becoming harder to hide the Dodgers aren’t making any obvious moves to get over the final hump of winning the World Series. In fact, after two disappointing losses in the Fall Classic, the Dodgers are a weaker team today than they were last year. The fans are noticing, and the grumbling has gone beyond social media and shrewd blogs like LADR, and has begun appearing in big-time media as well.

What’s a penny-pincher to do? If nothing else, Andrew Friedman is a shrewd businessman. He tossed a morsel to the loyal blue masses, and they are reacting according to the plan. He snatched up ex-Dodger Russell Martin from the Blue Jays, and social media is red-hot with fans making goo-goo eyes and gushing over their past favorite Boy in Blue.

Never mind Martin is now a lackluster, below average player (as Scott pointed out in his pragmatic reporting of the trade. Never mind the Dodgers are full of question marks at two of the most important up-the-middle defensive positions (second base and catcher). Never mind the Dodgers are drying up on the vine as Spring Training inches closer.

It’s Russell Martin to the rescue! Start saving up for all those new Martin jerseys in the gift shop. YAY!

 

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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33 thoughts on “Dodgers Hope Russell Martin Nostalgia will Blind Fans to Negligence

  1. At this point I preferred to look at it as “the glass is half full”. I hope this is more than just the opportunity to have another bobble head night.

  2. We just paid a few million to block two of our best prospects, Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith. And I don’t understand the timing. Someone like Martin could have been had at anytime. We should give the kids a chance first.

  3. I am going to refrain from major judgment on this. For now… However if this is the extent of the offseason moves it will only solidify Freidcheaps MO. Although I REALLY want to think this is part of something bigger. If not…. Well let’s hope the fans do a McCourt 2.0 and run like rats from the sinking SS Andrew. Although I doubt the lemmings will.

    I really hope something big is happening…. Please!!!!

    1. For one thing, if I was a season ticket holder, I could not return them fast enough! and perhaps many feel the same way for now anyway. Heck I am honestly thinking of NOT renewing the MLB Extra Innings package this year. Freidman, or just the site of him makes me sick to my stomach!

  4. Picking up on what Michael wrote elsewhere. This deal wasn’t a salary dump one way or the other. This CBT thing is such a load of hooey.

    The Dodgers are paying Martin 3+mm, but for CBT purposes they are paying him zero.

    I could understand if the team was using the threshold because there were payments to LPs that took precedence. Or if there were issues related to cashflow. But that’s not the case. The team spends boatloads on management, on player development, on analytics and on players (like Martin) who don’t count against the cap.

    This is just people arbitrarily making up a red line and not allowing the team to cross it.

    It’s ludicrous.

  5. Do not expect something BIGGER. This is Ol Andy’s modus operandi people. How many major free agents, and I am talking 5 years or more and 100 mil type deals, has he done since he became the Chief baseball operator? The answer is none. Those of you pining for Harper, or a reunion with Manny were just having dreams that were never going to come true. Jansen has the longest term contract they have ever given and Kershaw has the most expensive. They actually got hit twice today when LeMahieu signed with the Yanks and Dozier finalized his deal with DC. They were talking to both. Most reports now have them interested in 3 very versatile players, Flores, Harrison and Marwin Gonzalez. Whether they will sign any of them is up there for speculation. Friedman is the ultimate junk man. He is the Sanford’s personified. He looks in the trash to find a Picasso. Martin is still a decent receiver. His bat is a huge question mark at this point, but he is a career .249 hitter, which is higher than Grandal’s career average, he walks a lot so his OBP is very good. And he has double digit HR power from the right side. Those are the pluses. He is 36 and well past his prime. He could be the primary catcher, but I doubt it. So far Old Andy’s trades have netter him 25 million in debt, 2 prospects and a catcher who is 36 years old. He released the 25 million dollar player rather than keeping him. He has signed 3 outfielders to minor league deals along with a German pitcher playing in Australia, and a Canadian catcher. He traded for a 6’9″ 250 pound lefty with control issues……you got that Honeycutt? He traded his 2 best RH hitting outfielders, one of his starters and a bench player, and so far has not replaced any of them. Outwardly, I do not see where he improved the team at all while weakening it defensively. As of right now the roster stands at 39. There are 4 catchers, 8 infielders and 4 outfielders on the 40 man roster, of those 8 hit from the left side, 7 from the right and one switch hitter, Ruiz. Of those guys, Ruiz, Rios, Beatty, and Gale are most likely starting the year at OKC. That actually balances out the roster some making it 6 from each side. So, they have room for 1 surprise because you know they are going to carry at least 12 pitchers during the season. That one player could be an impact guy, or it could be more of the same and unless they thin the roster using trades or DFAing a player here and there, what you see is what you are going to get. Using the present roster as a guide and not adding any players via free agency or a trade, this could be your opening day roster, Muncy, 1B, Kike/Taylor 2B, Turner, 3B, Seager, SS, Pederson/Taylor/Kike, LF, Bellinger, CF, Verdugo/Toles RF, Marin/Barnes, C, Freese will be coming off of the bench pretty much for most of his playing time and spot starting for Muncy and Turner. Taylor and Kike will swap at 2nd with Muncy getting a start there also. Taylor can spell Seager. The National League west is not quaking in it’s boots at that lineup. I am really starting to believe that they are saving that money for next years crop of free agents. Main target will be Arenado.

  6. ” I am really starting to believe that they are saving that money for next years crop of free agents. Main target will be Arenado.”

    Whatever you are smoking, please spin one up for me.

    1. Arenado is a local boy. It makes sense he would love to come home, plus Hill will be off the books, so there is 18.6 million right there, and Arenado is a gold glove caliber 3rd baseman and a RH hitter with substantial power, plus he has played his entire career in the NL west so there is no adjustment to the pitchers. Arenado also has been pretty good at Dodger Stadium. Better than Harper that is for sure.

      1. Like I said, if you think they are saving up a bunch of money in order to go crazy and spend it on FAs for the following season, then please twist one up from your stash for me. I think you are high to even think that for a moment. I’m trying to tell you, a lot of this is an ego thing for LooneyBall.

        1. I did not say they would go crazy. I said they would target Arenado. That does not mean he will come to LA. But going after him makes sense, and by the way True, I do not use any kind of drugs, never have and never will. I do not even smoke. And I quit drinking in 1990. So, sorry to tell you that I am never high. Don’t believe in it and do not need it. My only drug is playing music when ever I get a chance. That’s my high. Always has been.

          1. Michael, just the other day I was beginning to realize one thing as far as this current Dodger team and over all organization. And that is this team right now anyway is not a good drawl or one that most players even want to gravitate to. And I believe you might know why that is. It probably goes along with AF’s desire to bargain hunt but it is also that most FA’s don’t prefer to come to a team that would force them into being marginal players by way of a platoon.

      2. All well and good Michael, except this is what Arenado and his agent will see come FA time:

        Offer from other teams: X years at Y hundred million.

        Offer from Friedman: X-1 year at Z hundred million where the average per year won’t be more than what other teams are offered, and Friedman will not adjust his offer if other teams are raising their bids.

        This is fine if Friedman is good at evaluating vet talent and has a good track record for making trades for impact vets players using prospects. Except he doesn’t have such a track record.

        I’m just looking forward to more of the same, no big FA signings, and waiting out Friedman’s tenure. No big trades or FA signings prevents Friedman from hamstringing the plans going forward if we are lucky enough to land a real top 3 FO maven like Cashman.

        1. Judging by what I read to day you are pretty close to being right on the money. He asked for 30 million in arbitration and the Rockies offered 24.5. There are rumors that they are going to split the difference at 27.5 which would be the richest contract of the arbitration era surpassing Donaldson’s 23.5. SO maybe, since they are losing both Ryu and Hill next year unless something unforeseen happens which opens up close to 36 million in salary, they might go after Cole. And True, life is serious. I do not always take it that way and while many feel the need for pharmaceutical aid, I do not. I had my brush with alcohol when I was younger. One massive hang over ended all that for me. I never was into weed, and had a family, so buying drugs was not a priority. I handle stress with music. Playing to an audience, seeing them enjoying themselves is a perfectly good enough high for me. But you go ahead and party on.

          1. I think you are trying way too hard to make your point about drugs. Personally I don’t partake of the evil weed, now for years, however if you give me anymore “too serious” posts on the subject I may have to reconsider. Have some fun, loosen up, don’t take every damn post so damn seriously. No wonder you and MJ nearly came to blows. She was having fun and you were taking all posts way too damn seriously. Please no follow up drug and alcohol posts, I may relapse if I have to read another one.

          2. No problem True….Best word to describe this off season is stagnant. Friedman playing the same game as last year when he made a salary dump trade and signed 1 free agent of note, Koehler. I doubt very seriously any really big move is coming. If it does, I will be as surprised as anyone. Just does not seem to be Andrew’s modus operandi. He might be keeping that one open roster spot for a move later, who knows. But with spring bearing down and not much action, it does not seem like anything close to an impact player is happening. Guys on Twitter thinking with their hearts and not their brains still think both Machado and Harper come to LA>

          3. Michael
            You didn’t need any artificial highs. You had the Duke and the rest of the boys. Hats off to you. I was there but did not have the good fortune of knowing those guys. That must have been a true natural high?

          4. Pack, those were the days my friend. 3 Championships in their first 8 years in LA. A close call in 62. Getting to see Big D and Koufax when they were the best tandem in the majors. The all switch hitting infield in 65, for those who forget, Parker, Lefebvre, Wills and Gilliam. Lefebvre’s ROY season in 65. Coming back to beat the Twins after both Koufax and Big D lost games 1&2. Sweet Lou coming in and filling the hole left with Tommy Davis’s horrific ankle injury. TD winning 2 batting titles, something no Dodger has done since. The sweep of the Yankees in 63 is probably the best memory. But a lot of great Dodgers were gone by the 63 season. Snider, Hodges, Furillo, Labine, Newk, Erskine. Guys who were legends in Brooklyn. Those days and my music are my fondest memories. The teams after 66 were pretty pitiful until the early 70 teams. When the class of Garvey, Cey et al made their debut. Dodger baseball has always been a joy. Even when they lost. But those teams had really exciting players. Must watch TV. At this point, especially since they have traded Puig, they do not have the seat of your pants must watch guy is no on this roster. Buehler if he continues his development probably will be. The guy has electric stuff. Kersh was that, but now people watch to see if he melts down. Bellinger has that ability for sure. If that guy learns consistent contact and cuts down on those strikeouts, watch out. He will be better than Harper. As for music, I am not really into the country of today. I still like the classic guys. Haggard, Nelson, people like that. But it always manages to keep me mellow.

  7. I would have picked up AJ Ellis over J Martin, but that would have made too much sense. AJ is a clean, respectable player who would have been a valuable mentor to the young catchers. Also would not have been as expensive.

    The only memory I have is Martin’s involvement with PED’s. He, like McRoid, Conseco, A-Rod, Bonds, and a host of others, prove that there is a place in Baseball for cheaters… as MLB has failed to keep the game clean. As far as I am concerned, they have no right to still be employed in baseball, and earn Millions. They all destroyed the integrity of the game.

    You are right, Oscar, Dodger Fans are suckers for celebrating the return of old timers. I agree, Friedman is playing the nostalgia card. Fans undoubtedly will tip their caps to this clown, and overlook the fact that Andy made another dumbass move.

    Gonna’ be a long season, Dodger Fans.

  8. Good article in today’s LA Times about Justin Turner. Here’s a quote from Justin; I guess he attends that “Church of Andrew Friedman” as well:

    Of the salary dump that sent outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to the Cincinnati Reds, Turner acknowledged, “It caught me off guard, obviously.”

    The Dodgers also traded left-hander Alex Wood and catcher Kyle Farmer as part of the deal. In exchange, they received two prospects and right-hander Homer Bailey, whom they promptly released.

    Turner said he doesn’t share the widespread concerns about the shortage of upgrades the Dodgers have made this winter.

    “I’ve been around these guys for enough years now where I trust what they’re doing,” he said. “Our guys, they’re not pulling stuff out of left field. There’s a reason for why they do what they do. Obviously, they haven’t made a corresponding move yet, but I’m sure there’s something in the works.

    “At the end of the day, I feel like when opening day comes, it will probably make a lot more sense to everyone than right now because I’m sure a lot of people are scratching their heads trying to figure out what’s going on.”

    Asked if he is a fan of free agent Bryce Harper, Turner responded, “I mean, yeah.”

    He laughed.

  9. Michael
    I like to listen to some country and I always liked to hear Chet Atkins strum that guitar. By the way, do not forget the great Vin Scully on the radio everywhere when the Dodgers were playing and the fans screaming go,go,go everytime Wills got on base. The good days my friend.

  10. Vin was the best. You could hear his voice all over the coliseum and Dodger Stadium. But I read this again, nostalgia? For Russell Martin? I hardly remember him in a Dodger uni. Nostalgia for me is remembering the last Dodger team to win it all, or the tri MVP’s in the 81 series. Cey, Yeager, and Guererro. Mike Scioscia taking Doc Gooden deep in the playoffs in 88 to keep them alive. The fact that they went 1-11 against the Mets during the season and when it counted, beating them in the NLCS. And when I was a kid, listening to Vin on my transistor radio under the covers because where I was living we had to be in bed at 8:30. The night Koufax struck out 18 Giants, I was listening on that radio. Here is a little tidbit. Duke Snider still leads the Dodgers in total post season HR’s with 11 and he hit his last one in the 59 series. He was also the first player to homer 4 times in two separate series. 40 or more HR’s in 5 straight seasons, and the only thing that broke that streak was moving into the coliseum, where the RF fence was so far away. Tommy Davis, the last Dodger to win a batting title. And he did it 2 years in a row. Lots of nostalgia but none for Martin. He was just not that memorable…..Piazza….that’s a different story. Chet was probably one of the best country pickers ever. Classic stuff. I really liked Alabama and I have seen them in concert probably 20 times. Charlie Daniels does a great show too. Only saw Garth once. That was at the Pond in Anaheim. A friend of mine plays keyboards in his band. Dave Gant.

  11. Jeff Passan:
    The Chicago White Sox have offered Manny Machado an eight-year deal and could be compelled to go even longer, league sources tell ESPN. The Phillies remain in on him as their Bryce Harper pursuit heats up.

    Baseball America has a great JJ Cooper article on the intersection of analytics and scouting being a sweet spot for the Dodgers…

    “There’s no coincidence the Dodgers, who have plucked several starters of the trash heap and turned them into regulars, were ahead of the trend.

    But now everyone is catching up.”
    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/tech-has-transformed-hitting-coaching-faster-than-expected/

    1. Bowden would know about teams going backwards!

      He does condition it with “if they don’t do anything else,” and with that he’s right.

      “You look at this Dodgers team right now. You’ve got Pederson and Hernandez in left, Taylor in center I guess, Verdugo in right, Bellinger at first and Muncy at second. And that’s a team that’s going backwards.”

      Bowden expressed concern about the Dodgers no longer having Puig in right field.

      “You know, Puig is gone. You’re going to miss Puig, he’s a pretty good right fielder. Are you gonna overpay for Pollock? How’s that gonna play out?”

      1. Muncy should NOT be considered for 2nd base.. That weekends Dodgers defensively at an all important middle INF position where platooning is not ideal. Not ideal for a SS having to play wih a different double play partner every day due to that platooning thing. As far as Verdugo is concerned, I am not that sold on him at all. If he were a RHB maybe I would be a bit sold.

    2. Funny how things go backwards when you spend less money on quality players and your first rounders don’t work out as well as the prior regime.

  12. Dodgers sign Taiwanese RHP Lin Hue-Sheng. Yep. I have no clue who this guy is. Machado’s offer from the Chi Sox is 7 years about 250 plus. Avasail Garcia signing with the Rays. And the beat goes on. By the way, they had a list of all the teams and what their lineups would look like if opening day were today on MLB.com. Verdugo was not the starter in RF, Kike was. Verdugo was not even listed as a starter. Pederson, Belli and Kike in the outfield, Muncy, Taylor, Seager and Turner on the infield and Barnes the starting catcher.

    1. On top of all that, the Yankees got themselves a real bargain with LeMathieu. 2 years at $12 million per year? For a Gold Glove player in his prime two years removed from a batting title? $12 million is more than $6 million less than the QO we gave to Grandal (which was not accepted and we still haven’t filled that gap).

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