Moneyball Arrogance

Brett Anderson

By now you have all heard the predictable news. Left hander Brett Anderson suffered a bulging disc in his back and will miss 3-5 months after requiring arthroscopic back surgery. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here. I don’t enjoy writing this type of article. I’m not writing this to say I told you so, or to gloat. Trust me when I say that I want the Dodgers to win more than I want to be right. I want the Dodgers to build a durable sensible pitching staff. However I want to get a few things off my chest in order to try and understand the logic behind the Dodger’s front office.

As I predicted both Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy are both injured and possibly out for if not the entire year or most of the year. If you are expecting or counting on either of these two guys to come back this season and contribute at all then I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you. I just don’t understand what the front office saw in either of them. If somebody can explain it to me without the obligatory moneyball excuses, please let me know.

The goal of this article is not to disparage Anderson and McCarthy. They are both extremely nice guys and I wish them well. I hope they are back on the mound as soon as possible and are able to contribute something to the Dodgers this season. They’re not very good, but this is not their fault. They are what they are and it’s the fault of the front office for ignoring history and logic.

I keep hearing about how Anderson “gambled” on himself by accepting the Dodger’s 15.8 million dollar qualifying offer. That is incorrect. He didn’t gamble, the Dodgers gambled on him. He was just trying to do what was best for himself. He obviously knows his injury problems and non-athletic body would probably not allow him to get through another season unscathed. The Dodgers should have known better.

So if you tally up the 48 million to Brandon McCarthy, and the 25.8 million given to Anderson, that totals 73.8 million dollars between the two pitchers. So what did 73.8 million dollars get the Dodgers? It got the Dodgers 35 starts and a 3.94 ERA between the two starters. Not good at all. It was a miracle that Anderson threw 180 innings last season. Why push your luck with him? You don’t have to be the oracle from the matrix to figure out that these guys are constantly hurt. It doesn’t matter whether it’s arm, shoulder, neck, back, wrist, knee, foot. These guys are a walking mash unit not to be counted on.

So what should the Dodgers have done? It’s simple really. Don’t offer him a contract. Let him walk. He was a free agent, and there was no reason to give him a contract. This was especially apparent after he laid an egg in game 3 of the NLDS last year. Not to mention the Dodgers have three outstanding pitching prospects waiting to be called up.

It’s just arrogance to me. Moneyball arrogance. They didn’t have to sign him. They didn’t have to pass up better healthier options to go with another injury riddled pitcher. This isn’t to badmouth the front office. Everyone makes mistakes, and the front office made a huge mistake counting on these guys. It’s ok, just stop doing it. Learn from your mistakes.

This is not the way to build a pitching staff. You build a pitching staff with health, innings, talent, known commodities and common sense. So please Mr. Friedman, I beg of you. Stop it. Stop it now! No more signing reclamation projects. No more signing guys off the trash heap expecting different results. No more signing pitchers who are constantly injured. I hope this is a valuable lesson learned for the brain trust.

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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137 thoughts on “Moneyball Arrogance

  1. I agree with you on his one Scott. FAZ wants these picks and that clouds their decisions. I knew Anderson would take the money.

    I watched the game yesterday and two things stood out for me. Ethier ripped a single into left field off a left hander. Most of the hits or outs were hit where the ball was pitched. Most of the hits were in right and left centerfield. The second one was Guerrero. He looked pretty good at 3 rd. Base. I think it helps youngsters when they are told where they are going to play. The manager has said Guerrero will play 3rd this year. Usually this time of the year the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. Our hitters looked pretty good yesterday. Also when we had a runner on third, Kiki hit a fly ball to score the run. Doing the little things.

  2. Scott, I like your take. Also, why sign more than one high risk pitcher.

    I guess if FAZ thought they might sign Anderson after the off-season settled down for $12M it wasn’t that much more to offer the QO and maybe get a draft pick.

  3. As you all know I’m not the least bit surprised by the Anderson news. What is surprising to me is how long he lasted in ’15. He sure looked exhausted in October. We have one thoroughbred on this staff. Will it be enough? I doubt it.
    .
    One game. What can be determined by one game. Nothing of course. The team did look better fundamentally and Guerrero looks like he can still hit. He might be a guy who can be moved early, but with Turner walking around on tender knees and Utley getting older by the minute, maybe hanging on to Alex would be wise.
    .
    The house is looking a bit old. It’s time for some touch ups. FAZ has made a few minor league acquisitions, some are in their mid 20’s. They also did not make the go for it trade at the deadline last year. They must have a plan for all these prospects. What is it that plan? Every time I try to talk about it I get slammed.

    1. Reading this stuff gets to be pretty exasperating. Quite frankly, Scott, this was a silly article. It is entirely visceral and reactive…and really not even honest.

      The Dodgers offered him a qualifying offer. Although it’s based on the league average salary, it’s essentially the minimum that you would offer a veteran player. Teams give players qualifying offers when they really don’t expect the player to remain with the team. It allows them to at least get a draft pick as compensation if or when that player leaves.

      But you already know this, Scott. We all do. There was nothing wrong with the Dodgers offering him a qualifying offer. It was a very low commitment and low money type of offer. It was Anderson taking the risk, here. He was betting on himself that he could have another productive year and increase his value, and there were a few that were surprised he actually accepted it, including maybe the front office.

      If you’re going to look at value, then look at what the Dodgers got from him last year for 10 million. Was he still an injury risk, and did he get injured? Yeah, but that risk was already factored into the contracts that he was offered and signed that were low dollar amounts and short duration. Come on, this isn’t that complicated! The fact that he was an injury risk and may not be counted on to be healthy this year was also accounted for by the two major free agent signings the Dodgers made in the offseason.

      You’re trying to support an emotional argument around the frustration of Anderson going down by lumping it in with McCarthy. You know that the Anderson contracts weren’t bad when you look at the production the team got for the money offered, and you know that you don’t have a good argument there, so you have to throw in that 48 million for McCarthy.

      I explained this yesterday.

      90 million for Smardjia – proven, mediocre but durable pitcher
      48 million for McCarthy – higher upside, but higher injury risk

      That dollar differential is reflected in the risk. What kind of risk do you want: mediocrity risk, or injury risk? For Smardija you’d be paying an awful lot of the risk of him continuing to be really mediocre.

      Don’t go completely off the rails every time something disappointing happens. With this team, the FO is playing the long game. Dynasty creation. If that means the FO has to make the hard decision to say no to that sixth year for Greinke, that’s what needs to happen. If it means saying no to giving up some of the bright future for a rental, then that’s what needs to happen.

      So stop with the tantrum and throwing things around the room. I posed this challenge to Badger the other day. If we want to all jump on FAZ in a big dog pile every time something bad happens and simply criticize with the same tired and worn arguments ad nauseum and ad perpetuity, try instead to proffer an alternative. “Instead of what FAZ is doing, I think the front office SHOULD do A, B and C.” What’s the plan? What is YOUR plan?

      1. “The Dodgers offered him a qualifying offer. Although it’s based on the league average salary, it’s essentially the minimum that you would offer a veteran player”
        .
        That’s not accurate.
        .
        You accuse others of “not accepting your challenge” which is entirely disingenuous. Others, including myself, have offered opinions, you just choose to disagree. And that of course is your right. But to say those who don’t agree with you don’t have any alternative ideas is simply not true.
        .
        After calming down following the surfeit of unsatisfying moves by these guys last year I feel this is a good time to regroup. We have what appears to be the foundation for decent representation in the coming years. I look at this roster, and how it is currently constructed, and I still don’t get it. Anderson going down doesn’t surprise me. Montas going down didn’t really surprise me. What would surprise me is if Turner, Crawford, Kendrick and Grandal all play a full year. What would surprise me is if Beachy, Ryu, McCarthy come back and pitch strong again anytime this year, if Kazmir DOESNT fade again, and if Maeda actually pitches over 175 innings. Any of those things happening would be a pleasant surprise for me. This team just feels like it’s made of glass. And it feels that way because Freidman and Zaidi is building it out of glass. Who’s next? Don’t you just have the feeling somebody, even multiple somebody’s, on this team is going to the DL? I sure do.

      2. Dodgerpatch get off the front office band wagon! This front office, is paying more then any team in baseball, for this starting rotation. Does this look like the best starting rotation in baseball? Hardly! I haven’t made this point for a while, but like Dodgerrick continues to write, this is a rotation of a bunch of average pitchers except for Kershaw. Ryu is not average, but there is still a question about him right now. This front office has took a big risks, with pitchers that have been mostly unreliable. Most of these pitchers are not good enough, to take such big risks on. The idea is to take big risks, on pitchers, that can give a team high rewards, not on average pitchers. And I wouldn’t call MCCarthy average, he really hasn’t been that good, to refer to him as average. What has Anderson and MCCarthy ever done, to take such big risks on them! They have only been average or worse pitchers, when they were able to pitch. And Anderson hasn’t been able to pitch, more then one year, without going down with injuries, in his entire career, and he didn’t just start pitching, last year. His career is well documented, and any one that looked at Anderson’s career, could say that Anderson is a very risky pitcher, to depend on to fill your starting pitching rotation. And many Dodger fans, made this point, after Anderson and McCarthy were signed, not after they got hurt. I had made this same point a while back, that the rotation of pitchers that they have signed, have to be backed up with depth, because the pitchers they have signed, have a history of not being dependable. And that is not really getting the most out of your money, and there is no real quality. And Faz saying that it was low odds, that Anderson would hurt his back again, is laughable. Maybe a normally healthy player, might have those good odds, but not Anderson, who has had so many injuries, that he has never been able to pitch two seasons, in a row, without going out for an injury. In fact those are very easy odds to determine. You would think these two number guys, would look at these odds, and make an easy decision. And I mainly only talked about Anderson and McCarthy here, but Kazmir also has went out quite a bit for injuries too, and in fact, almost was out a baseball for good. For a front office that wants to keep the top prospects, and to get the most out of there money, these type of pitchers, can cost prospects and money, because there positions in the rotation will need to be filled, if they go down, and the farther the season goes, pitchers are going to be harder to fill, and will be much more expensive, whether it is top prospects, or money. Maeda has been able to throw consistently thoughout his career, but he does have, injury concerns too, because of what showed up on his films. The depth of this rotation, is a bunch of mostly average pitchers, and like many here, have already said, and continued to say, what is better, quanity or quality? As much money that this front office has spent on average pitchers with high injury histories, this money, could been invested on Greinke, and maybe another reliable pitcher, for less money. Instead of paying seven different starting pitchers, with all of these concerns, why not resign Greinke, and one more reliable starting pitcher. They should fill the starting five places in a rotation with five reliable pitchers, and maybe it would be better, to build depth, with these high risks, high reward pitchers, and please make sure a pitcher, is really worth the risk. Don’t sign high risk pitchers, that are average, or worse.

      3. I think you are overreacting a bit here. I’m merely experessing my opinion. Not to say you are wrong, on certain things. Just because you don’t agree with me doesn’t mean I am “going off the rails”, or “throwing a trantrum” or whatever. My words are just polarizing.

        I do agree with you on the qualifying offer being league standard. Fine. Correct. However Everybody knew that Anderson would not stay healthy. The Dodgers were lucky to get one healthy year from him. They gambled and lost. It was a poor decision even offering him the Q.O. because 15.8 million for a below average pitcher is a lot of money. Not that I care about the money per se, it’s the philosophies the front office has towards building the pitching staff that concerns me. Frankly it’s terrifying. Their penchant for signing below average pitchers with histories of injury is alarming and not very smart. (Anderson McCarthy, Beachy, etc..)

        The reason why I lumped McCarthy in (and yes his situation is not Anderson’s) was to point out the poor strategies the front office had in 2015 for the pitching staff. That doesn’t mean I hate everything the front office does. In fact I like the direction they have with the farm system and remain optimistic this year. Ive recognized and said many times how I think the Dodgers will win 90+ games this year and have a talented team. The Brain trust’s signings this winter were much better.

        However that doesn’t make Anderson and McCarthy suck any less than they do. There was indeed many other more talented healthier options on the free agent market. I could name them, but I would have to look them up since I can’t remember all of them off the top of my head. But Samardjzia, Leake, are much better options because they stay on the mound. They have better health records.

        Anderson and McCarthy are average pitchers at best and that’s when they are healthy. That’s why the Rockies and Dbacks didn’t want those guys. If they were so good as some people claim then the Rockies and Dbacks wouldn’t have let them go. Look at Anderson’s numbers in the second half last year. McCarthy is basically a 4-4.5 runs allowed per game pitcher. Not terrible, but def not worth the money paid to them. You did watch game 3 of last year’s NLDS right?

        It’s ok to recognize that the Brain trust made a mistake. My plan would be to sign talented durable pitchers with histories of health. Innings, and health count to me. That’s my plan which is based on common sense and logic.

    2. Badger I totally agree about Guerrero. I think Guerrero can play third better, then Utley and Howie, because Alex will make all of the routine plays, with no problems. And having him play in one position, will make Alex better on defense. I thought that Howie looked a little tired last year, just before he went out because of his hamstring. And it would be good to have a solid back up for Turner, because of injury, and because Turner is a free agent, at the end of the season.

  4. Liked what I saw with Blanton yesterday… Howie batting LO??? Why not give it a go…
    Detroit’s OF Maybin out 4-6 weeks, Might call the Blue about Dre!??!!?

  5. Yes, Scott, “we have all heard the predictable news”. Dodgers over the “luxury tax” limit again! More on that later.

    Scott: “I want the Dodgers to build a durable sensible pitching staff”. We all do, especially FAZ. You are correct the Dodgers have “three outstanding pitching prospects”. Unfortunately and predictably, they are not quite ready for 2016. FAZ has been saying 2017 will be a lot better in that regard. Happily, there is even MORE outstanding pitching prospects in the pipeline after the three. That is how you build a “durable sensible pitching staff”. I am glad we didn’t GUT the farm last deadline and will reap the benefits of not doing so for many years. I think we ALL agree the “outstanding pitching prospects” are coming. Probably just not in 2016 (Like FAZ has said).

    How to compete in 2016 and also get out of LUXURY TAX territory by 2018, so you can be serious players in the post 2018 season free agent bonanza? Well, signing stop gap, short term contracts with players would be a NECESSITY.

    I asked you before Scott, who should have Dodgers pursued instead of Anderson? Don’t give me Greinke, $205M + is a huge difference from $15.8M and the “three outstanding pitching prospects” (followed by others) are coming soon. Are you saying Anderson shouldn’t have been signed at any cost? That no team with “common sense” should have signed him? That he should have been forcibly retired after 2015?

    Anderson was a “stop gap” option. A “depth piece” in 2016. Good management takes what presents itself, thus, the Kendrick signing. Offering Anderson a QO at the risk of him accepting it was a no brainer, in my opinion. He fit the Dodger short-term plan (if he accepted) at a decent price. If you don’t agree, tell me what price would have been a fair price, if you don’t think he should have just retired after 2015. The difference between $15.8 and your price is really all the Dodgers are out financially.

    Anderson’s injury is a BUMMER, it took a piece out of the “2016 PLAN A”, but, good management will have a viable “PLAN B”. I think the widely recognized “pitching depth” is PLAN B.

    P.S., I want to go on the record, before all you medical experts, Maeda will probably need elbow surgery sometime over the length of his contract, hopefully not this year.

    1. One more thing, does ANYBODY here know if Dodgers had insurance on Anderson? Does anybody here know how insurance works? Just curious.

      1. Boxout7 if you owned a insurance company, would you insure Anderson? Only for big money. There, I answered your question!

        1. Yes, MJ, I am sure the premium would be “big money”, after almost all baseball salaries are “big money”. But, do you have any idea what percentage of salary? Bobby, below, believes “all players have insurance, is he correct? Are some players uninsurable? Can the insurance proceeds be more than salary, for someone like Seager? Can you answer any of these questions?

          I was just curious if anybody had REAL info on how it works and at what approximate cost. Knowing this information, like FAZ does, would certainly affect how I looked at these players with an injury history.

          1. Of course all teams have insurance on there players, and just like regular people, some people have to pay high premiums to get insurance. And there is such things, like preexisting injuries, that some insurances, won’t cover. I bet Anderson and Crawford have very high premiums, that the Dodgers have to pay, with all of there preexisting injuries.

          2. So you think all players are insured? I am not sure. Teams don’t HAVE to get insurance, this isn’t Obamacare. Also if the policy doesn’t cover preexisting injuries wouldn’t it be cheaper for someone like Anderson and Crawford?

            I agree and am thinking its a very “individualized” potential transaction. Management might always check with the “insurance company” before finalizing a transaction to get the “insurance premium and coverage details” to assess their potential overall exposure?

            If this is the case it makes it harder for us fans to really know if a signing was good or not. For example, McCarthy had a history of shoulder problems (I think) but, not elbow problems (I think). If the policy excluded payment for shoulder injuries it might have been pretty cheap to cover his elbow.

          3. I am not trying to make mountains out of molehills here. But, player insurance, and the cost, really has a huge influence on dodgerpatch’s question “What kind of risk do you want: mediocrity risk, or injury risk”?

    2. Boxout, I don’t think the Plan has changed, just the timing. De Leon and Urias were always to be counted on as mainstays in the rotation, with Anderson and McCarthy as bridges until De Leon and Urias were truly ready (probably 2017). Now the Dodgers are looking at a different bridge. Brandon Beachy/Zach Lee/Jharel Cotton/Ross Stripling/Mike Bolsinger…let’s see who the competitor is and wants it more. One door closes, and another door opens. Who’s going to walk thru? It is these type of opportunities that make ST exciting.

      I also want to see what is going to happen with Joe Blanton and Alex Guerrero. ST game 1 was a good game for both (actually very good). Let’s see how they build on it.

      1. Totally agree, AlwaysCompete, I don’t think plan has changed either. I think Plan A, included Anderson, Plan B was merely having a backup plan, which FAZ always had.

        “One door closes, and another door opens”, yes it does. This “type of opportunity is what makes ST exciting. There is several pitchers at camp who are, suddenly, even more motivated. Lets hope for a “Wally Pipp” moment.

        I have always liked the AAA to Dodgers shuttle, FAZ started last year, now we can probably expect to see more spot starts early in the season from DeLeon and Urias.

    3. Boxout7 this front office didn’t really want Anderson for another year, so don’t claim this. They thought that Anderson would test the market.

      1. MJ, you know this how? I am asking you the same question, I asked Scott, What would have been a fair price for Anderson on a one year contract? Or should he have just retired after 2015?

        1. Because Anderson is not worth 15.8 million a year, and the front office was trying to sign him to a multi contract, that would be lower, per year.

  6. Scott, good commentary. I agree that FAZ gambled that Anderson would not accept QO and they would get an additional pick. Anderson surprised (at least to me) and accepted. 2015 was first year any player accepted QO and three did (Anderson, Colby Rasmus, and Matt Wieters). FAZ got greedy with this one. I am one who thought that Anderson would have a good year, and I was wrong. I will undoubtedly say that on multiple occasions.

    But to me, this is not one to get overly exorcised about. The Dodgers are exactly at the same point that they would have been had they not offered Anderson the QO, except for the $15.8 million. The $15.8 million did not hinder them in any way with not signing Greinke, Cueto, or Zimmerman. If they wanted to sign them, they could have…they had the financial resources. They chose not to encumber the club at that level, so they were willing to gamble on the Anderson’s and McCarthy’s until Urias and De Leon were ready, and De Jong, Holmes, Buehler, and Alveraz after that. Those six pitchers (and now Montas) are what Moneyball is all about…young and controllable. Anderson and McCarthy are bridges.

    Now if I am FAZ, Anderson goes on the 60 day DL until September, and they do not have to use one of the valuable 25 man spots for him, and then he leaves and FAZ advises not to expect a QO this time.

    I feel the same way about McCarthy. $12 million per year is not going to break the Dodgers, and if the gamble had paid off, the transition to Urias, De Leon, and the others could have been appropriately and timely executed. The plan has not changed, it’s just now the process has been moved up. Dodgers are not financially strapped because of the 4 year $48 million give to McCarthy.

    I am not saying that arrogance did not play a part in the plan, but not in what they did with Anderson and McCarthy. I think the arrogance reared its head in a way that FAZ expected Greinke to accept the Dodgers offer because…well they are the Dodgers. I hope they do not repeat that position when it’s Kershaw’s turn to opt out.

    On a more positive note, Blanton did look good yesterday. I know it’s only one day/game, but the outcome was certainly positive. Let’s be honest, many were expecting a colossal failure. I recognize that I am more optimistic and guys like Dodgerrick are more pragmatic/realist. Now it’s time for Alex Wood, and one other to step up, and I think they will. I still continue to believe that the Dodgers are built for a 162 game schedule, and only time (and trading deadline) will tell if they can come up with enough pitching HP to get them through the playoffs.

    1. AC with all of the money this front office put in MCCarthy and Anderson, and the money they will need to replace them, could have been used much better by keeping Greinke, and giving him the one additional year, that they didn’t want to pay him. And there would be still money left, to use elsewhere. I would rather pay and bet on a pitcher, that has always delivered, and did deliver, the entire time that he pitched for the Dodgers. Then these injury ridden pitchers, that have never been anything special, and McCarthy hasn’t really been much of a pitcher, and has a career era just under five. There risk is not worth there worth.

      1. MJ, it’s not the one year. Sure I would rather pay Greinke $40 million this year than McCarthy and Anderson $28 million, but that was not an option. The Dodgers were willing to go two years past their original contract at a substantial raise. Greinke chose three years past that contract. Should the Dodgers have gone $220 million for that sixth year and to make up for difference in state tax? I think Greinke will be Greinke for 3 years, but what about the other 3? That risk now became $105 million. What if his annual elbow lube job does not work, and the $105 million becomes $150 million? The lube job is supposed to loosen everything up so that the tendons and ligaments work. But what if the UCL does not cooperate? Is it a greater risk than the 10% chance that Anderson’s disk would herniate again?

        I do not expect McCarthy to do much this year even after he returns, so he will have two years remaining. Two years for $24 million is gone, but there is still two years where maybe McCarthy could provide some kind of return on that investment. Maybe he pitches to an annual 2 WAR. Maybe not, but the $$$ are not such that they will block anyone. The Anderson signing and Greinke non-signing are two mutually exclusive transactions. One has nothing to do with the other. FAZ chose independent of Anderson whether Greinke was worth that sixth year. We will know in 4-6 years if not signing Greinke was a wise move. We now know that Anderson and his $15.8 million were not a good investment. To be trite, it’s only $$$ the Dodgers lost. Anderson was not going to be a game changer. And the Dodgers will still be able to make that trade at the deadline if they need to. If they want to sign Strasburg next year, they will have the financial resources to do so. And nobody is blocked. Okay, next up. Lee/Beachy/Bolsinger/Cotton/Stripling/C. Anderson. I would like to see Lee get the shot.

        The $$$ it will take to replace McCarthy and Anderson? McCarthy was not going to be in the plans this year anyway, so all of this consternation is about Anderson? It’s not a big deal. Somebody else will become the #5 SP. Wood (replacing Ryu) and Lee will be a little over $1 million combined. Beachy is $1.5 million. No other Dodger in consideration is much over the ML minimum. So the $$$ to replace are irrelevant. This was just an unfortunate setback, but really a setback for Anderson far more than any setback for LAD. You want to criticize FAZ, sure. But not because of Anderson. There are plenty of other decisions that you can make a good argument against what they have done or not done.

        1. Boxout7 when Greinke asks for that elbow lube, I consider that as good maintenance. Greinke knows his body and his elbow, and does what he can, to take care of himself. Most athletes really know there bodies, and what works, to keep them healthy. I really don’t think Anderson knows his body, because he really isn’t an athlete, and he would tell you that himself. Maybe on a regular person, there is good odds, that they won’t suffer from that same back injury, but Anderson is not an athlete, and he is trying to be one. He has such a long history of many different injuries, and he can injure himself, by probably, just walking across the street. I had that same surgery, twenty years ago, and I have to make sure all of my muscles are balanced, When I stretch and work out. And I do think Greinke is going to pitch well, for a long time, because of the way he takes care of himself, and because he has already made the transition to a pitcher, instead of a thrower. Greinke still has a decent fastball, but he doesn’t depend on his fastball, all of the time. He has four different pitches that he can throw for striked, and all four of Greinke’s pitches, come out of his hands the same, so a hitter, really doesn’t know what is coming. He also has a very clean windup, and he doesn’t have to use a lot of energy, on every pitch he throws.

          1. MJ, for you and all who wish to complain about FAZ because they did not want to sign Greinke for 6 years for $210+ million, okay, I get it. But he is a DBack now. Signing Greinke was an arguable position, but one which I do not agree with. I would have gone with 5 years. That was only two years past the original contract. I would not go three years for a 35 year old pitcher at $35 million per. There has to be some limit. I am not sure that he hits his value after the three years of his original contract. People complain about 33-34 year old OF and 1B overpriced at $17.5 million to $21 million, but not $35 million for a 35 year old pitcher?

  7. Great article Scott. “Laid an egg” 🙂
    .
    BTW I just bought Money Ball and it’s next on my reading list.
    .
    What I don’t understand is how the staff has suffered a blow because he will be gone. Anderson is nothing more than a # 5. Though I will admit he was pretty good for a #5 last season. So you replace him with another #5. The bottom of the rotation is just a cycle of poor pitchers anyway. Except here it is called depth.
    .
    The big loss so far has been Ryu. And if Scott Kazmir is the replacement then maybe your wrath should be focused on that. Hopefully I’m wrong. I just think Kazmir will do more damage the more innings he gets.

    1. Artieboy, it is true, that Anderson can be easily replaced, but he should not have been given a QA. The odds that he would make it through another season, without going out for an injury, were not very good odds. And if it was true that before this front office was going to offer Anderson the QA, that they were trying to sign him, to a multi year contract, it was lucky, that that didn’t happen. And that makes me question this front office even more.

    2. AC I want the Dodgers to beat Greinke every time he pitches. I know Anderson won’t be that big of a loss, but we have a few pitchers like Anderson, who are not reliable. I like the front offices idea of making the Dodgers a self sustaining team, that is in the post season every year, but sometimes, the obvious is the right answer. And they need to use the money, on the good players, that play well for the Dodgers.

  8. First off Scott, excellent writing. I thought your response was well written and well thought out. And you voiced what most every Dodger fan thought when those 2 guys were signed last year. And all of them became experts when McCarthy went down. It is refreshing to see a writer place the blame where it belongs, on the front office, and not the player. The player is always going to do what is best for their families. The Dodgers did not lose Zack Greinke, he went where the money and the years were better for him. I was totally surprised when the Dodgers gave Anderson a QO. I did not think a 10-9 record was worth anything close to 15 million. But he said all the right things, and he was working out. But you cannot dismiss 7 years of history. Fried Brains and Zorro have made some whopper mistakes building this team. I applaud the buildup of the minors, but in doing so, they have brought in so many fringe, and reclamation projects, trying to get lucky. They also have a penchant for going after players from organizations they previously worked for. So there are a lot of exe Rays, and A’s. More exe Rays though because I think even though Faidi is the GM, Freidman does most of the analysis and trading. I totally disagree with Dodgerpatch and quite the contrary, think it is refreshing to see someone hold the FO accountable for their moves. You do not get that on dodgers.com. Ken Gurnick is a notorious homer. There were a number of cheaper, and in my estimation, better free agent options that the FO passed over. Leake for one, comes to mind. Then they would not have a rotation overloaded with lefty’s. The signing of Olivera, and his subsequent trade shows they blow money at will. He was a Dodger less than 4 months. Total waste in my mind. Latos, Johnson, Peralta, all worthless additions. I have been a Dodger fan over 60 years. The world series championship teams always had one thing in common. It was excellent starting pitching. They also had solid relief staffs in all those years. They had better options and passed……the onus is on the FO and ownership who approved this mess……keep up the good work, ignore the naysayers, and Dodger on……..

    1. Michael Norris, Michael Leake, 5 yrs at $80M is the same as Anderson 1 yr at $15.8M? Even the Dbags passed on Leake when they could have had him at a discount.

      1. He was probably a bad example, I admit that….but there were other less expensive options they passed on… Even maybe a trade…..they have depth to do that..

      2. Boxout7 I don’t think that was a good move from the Dbacks, to not sign Leake, who was willing to sign a team friendly contract. That would have been a better signing for the Dbacks, instead of trading away the number one pick, in all of baseball, and trading Incarnate, for Miller.

          1. Boxout7 I don’t hate everything that they do, but there has been some bad signings, and I think they try to out think everyone, and sometimes the best move, is the obvious move. I think they are still thinking small market, and the Dodgers can afford reliable pitchers for there starting rotation, and then fill the depth, with these high risk, high reward pitchers.

    2. Michael I agree with what you said about the hiring of former players, that played for the A’s, when the Dodger GM was the asistent GM for the A’s. I know you mentioned the Rays too, but there has been more players, from the A’s, then the Rays. And I give Friedman credit, for not bringing Peralta back. It looks to me, like the Dodger’s GM, is doing favors, for these players, that played for the A’s, when he was there.

      1. Or it could be that these players are known to them since they are familiar with them from their time with the As and Rays, and they prefer signing guys they know rather than signing unfamiliar players from other organizations if all other things are equal.

  9. Great article Scott; I disagree a bit. I don’t think it was a huge gamble offering him a qualifying pick. I think it was a good gamble actually. I’d rather bet on a guy for 1 year who really wants to prove himself over a guy given 3-4 guaranteed years (Mcarthy) who we are pretty certain will be injured. I also expected Anderson, after a solid year last year, to improve this year.

    Now, financially speaking, if he was in and out of the lineup, we’d be paying him. But the good thing is he’s gone for 5 months . And to answer Box’ question/statement above, I believe all players have insurance on them. So financially speaking, we should be covered quite a bit on this guy’s injury. Hence, not too much lost. Plus, we get a chance to see how good DeLeon/Urias/Lee, etc really are.

    Good luck to Anderson recovering. But take your time returning. If you’re out this year, you get your money, and we get covered by insurance!! Plus, everyone on this board would rather watch a kid pitch than this guy.

  10. Also, regarding yesterday’s game, I thought Trayce had some great at bats. He hit the ball hard, which is all you can ask.

    I think he’s one of those late bloomer types, who finally figured it out. We could have a steal on our hands! Plus, he’s right handed, which is key, as most of our up and coming hitters are lefties. A young outfield of Trayce, Joc, and Puig would be dynamic

    1. Bobby I though maybe Trayce was over trying yesterday, especially on defense. I hope both Trayce and Joc can play without putting to much pressure on themselves, so they can loosen up.

  11. #1 – What FAZ is doing is not Moenyball – Moneyball died!

    #2 – Dodgerpatch is right on. 100% Agree!

    #3 – Second guessers are never wrong, but even assuming someone KNEW McCarthy and Anderson would break down, TELL ME WHO THE DODGERS SHOULD HAVE SIGNED INSTEAD!

    #4 – McCarthy could still be a big factor for the Dodgers. He has 2.5 years left. As Patch said, I’d rather be stuck with McCarthy than Samardzija !

    #5 – No one thought Anderson would take the qualifying offer! NO ONE! Who knew that MLB would get wise to giving up picks this offseason? But it happened. That’s just 20/20 Hindsight. I have ZERO problems with giving Anderson the QC. If the Dodgers hadn’t offered it, you same people would have blasted them for it. Purely Monday Morning Quarterbacking!

    #6 – Scott said: ” I want the Dodgers to build a durable sensible pitching staff.” We all do and this is exactly how you do it! You sign guys off the bone pile while you grow your own. That’s the only way. The Giants evidently didn’t learn on Zito – now they went out and signed Cueto and Samardzija! Watch them crash and burn in the next two years! STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!

    #7 – I have moved on from Anderson, but he could be of value after the All-Star Break. I just don;t consider it.

    #8 – Did I mention that this is not Moneyball?

    1. You don’t build a durable rotation from spare parts and injured guys. Here is Fangraphs’ take (and they are a Sabercentric publication):
      “Over the last few years, the Dodgers have made it pretty clear that, when it comes to pitching, they’re willing to take some health risks in order to get talent upside. To that end, they’ve signed pitchers like Scott Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and Brandon Beachy as free agents, all of whom have put up very good performances at times, but all of whom have had significant medical issues throughout their careers. This winter, they attempted to sign Hisashi Iwakuma, but backed off due to concerns with his physical, and then signed an incentive-laden deal with Kenta Maeda, who reportedly had some pretty ugly medicals himself. And this doesn’t even count Hyun-Jin Ryu — who wasn’t recently acquired, but is returning from shoulder surgery — or Alex Wood, a pitcher with a delivery so awkward that his long-term health was one of the main reasons the Braves traded him to Los Angeles to begin with.

      The 2016 Dodgers rotation was essentially Clayton Kershaw and then some combination of four high-risk pitchers with health problems. We’re only a couple of weeks into spring training, but the downside of pursuing this strategy is already starting to show through the cracks. ”

      As I have said before, the Braintrust seems to prefer quantity to quality. Rather than sign 1 reliable healthy quality guy, they would rather sign 2 or 3 and call it “depth”. They paid 4/$48 mil to Anderson after 2 good months in NY in 2014. They paid $10 mil to Anderson after 6 good weeks in Colorado in 2014 and then tendered a qualifying offer for $15 mil assuming that he wouldn’t take it this year. They signed Maeda knowing that his arm could fall off any time; Kazmir knowing that even if he stays healthy that the wheels have come off in September 2 straight year; Beachy after not 1 TJ surgery but 2 (and he wasn’t able to pitch decently last year, so they gave him a $500 K raise).

      They continuously tinker around the margins, signing and releasing players at a dizzying pace and then they call the churn “depth”.

      You’d rather be stuck with McCarthy, a guy who can’t pitch (I mean he is physically unable to pitch, not that he doesn’t pitch well) then Samardzjia, a guy who has been inconsistent but healthy? Really?

      There are pitchers who are both durable and good – they are available and people do sign them to contracts. The teams that sign them have to pay them more money then the Dodgers have paid for guys whose arms fall off, but then again they are able to pitch every 5 days.

      Patch talks about building a dynasty. Well, Stan Kasten built a decade of excellence in Atlanta, but in addition to growing his own, he signed Greg Maddux as a free agent after he won a Cy Young in Chicago and he traded for John Smoltz from Detroit. No high risk guys with arms falling off. Friedman built competitive teams in Tampa but no dynasty because he had to trade all of his good players because he couldn’t afford to keep them. He was pretty good at grabbing guys off of the scrap heap – a gamble that works once in a while, but all he could afford to do.

      THESE ARE THE DODGERS – not the Rays, not the A’s. The team can afford to sign a David Price, Zach Greinke or whomever to go with Kershaw. They don’t have to trade prospects for Cole Hamels if they want to keep the prospects and they don’t have to rely on orts and leavings to come up with a rotation. The flaws in this approach are obvious even though it’s only Spring Training.

      1. The Braves signed Maddux when he was 27. Let’s remember that. I would have been in favor of signing Greinke if he was 27!

        Some of these guys arms will fall off, but all of them will. I like the road they are on. Sure, they have had failures, but they are building a sustainable model.

        1. MM nice to hear you admit, that every move hasn’t worked out. I would have rather risk, signing Greinke to that additional year. He has so much more reward, and makes a difference with his defense, and is not an easy out.

      2. dodgerrick, I don’t think Braves were in 50% luxury tax when they signed Maddox.

        How do you answer the argument of several posters, who say Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and Brandon Beachy are nothing more than a bridge to the “outstanding pitching prospects”?

        Dodger have and will be in high end free agent market. More difficult to be there when you pay 50% luxury tax. I believe FAZ has been tasked with getting Dodger’s out of luxury tax before 2018 season. Because of luxury tax, Dodgers are penalized in 2016 for the TRADE and other prior big salary commitments.

        1. 1 – there wasn’t a luxury tax when the Braves signed Maddux.
          2- the “bridge” can’t get you from one side to the other if it is broken, and the Braintrust has mostly signed broken pitchers.
          3 – prospects are only prospects until they prove that they are capable of pitching at the big league level. Maybe Urias, Webster, Deleon, Cotton et al are all great – but we know that won’t happen. I remember when the Dodgers traded Webster and de la Rosa to the Bosox in the Adrian Gonzalez deal and were criticized for trading their top prospects – Webster was DFA’d by the Dbacks last year and de la Rosa has done nothing so far.
          4 – my point is still that the team could have signed pitchers who are both durable and good but it would cost them more. It’s like buying a suit of clothes – you can buy 5 $100 suits and they will fall apart and not look that great – or you can buy 1 $500 suit and know that it will last and look great. I would take quality over quantity every time. The Braintrust has opted for quantity instead of quality and called it “depth”.

      3. Dodger rick they obiviously are still thinking small market, and when Kershaw opt out comes up, we will finally find ou, if they are still thinking small market. I hope they keep the Dodger’s Young pitching prospects, that excell in the major league, for the Dodgers, and if another player, comes to the Dodgers, and excells, why not keep a player, that has done nothing, but play hard, and well, for the Dodgers.

    2. I was really worried that Anderson would take the QO. It made since. He only had one good year and needed two good years to get a longer big contract. FAZ read the tea leaves wrong. That team of highly educated and highly paid experienced executives were supposed to read the leaves correctly.
      .
      I have said this before. When anything is over hyped there there is a hidden worry. The Big Five, now Big Six, were over hyped and as such, are targets for at least good natured pokes.

      1. Bum your guy is playing in the game today, but I can’t see it, because TWC is not showing all of the spring training games. That figures, I finally able to get the Dodger channel, and they cut the spring games. I do get to see tommorow ‘s game. I saw some of there drills, and the hitting instructor, was out there watching batting practice, and he was having the hitters, to try to hit in different situations, and hit line drives, and so on. It didn’t sound like to me, that you got MLB TV for spring.

      2. Dodger rick they obiviously are still thinking small market, and when Kershaw opt out comes up, we will finally find ou, if they are still thinking small market. I hope they keep the Dodger’s Young pitching prospects, that excell in the major league, for the Dodgers, and if another player, comes to the Dodgers, and excells, why not keep a player, that has done nothing, but play hard, and well, for the Dodgers.

    3. There were people who thought Anderson would take the qualifying offer but they were ridiculed and told that Anderson was one of the best pitchers in the NL last year and we should be happy to have him back.

      Sure $48 million is chump change to these guys. So why not spend a little more on quality? I’d take Cueto or Zimmerman over Anderson in a minute. Maybe they’ll get hurt too, but I like the odds a lot better.

      Even though Shields struggled last year, he still pitched 200 innings and went 13-7. I’m betting that he gets a lot more wins in the remaining years of his contract than McCarthy.

      1. Everybody would rather have those guys probably including the Dodgers. That’s why Shields, Cueto, and Zimmerman got $75M, $130M, and $110M compared to the $16M Anderson got and $48M McCarthy got. I’m not sure that qualifies as “a little more”.

        1. What I meant was that after Greinke walked it freed up a considerable amount of money which could have been used to sign one of those guys, but it seems they would rather have more Cuban prospects. I mentioned Shields as an example of someone they could have signed last year instead of McCarthy. I probably would’ve kept old Dan Haren around rather than paying him to pitch somewhere else and signing Anderson to take his place, but I’m funny that way.

          1. I see your point, but Greinke’s money was also probably used in some way to sign Maeda and Kazmir.

  12. Scott you’re a total downer. Come back Mark. I need the entertainment. Best thing about Dodgerreport is the mandatory blog list. Thanks for that.

    1. I think I’ve been pretty optimistic about this season for the most part. I’m not going to like everything the front office does and I am going to voice my opinion on it. Most of the articles I’ve written here have all been positive about the Dodgers this year.

  13. MIKE LEAKE?

    The Cardinals are paying him $80 million until 2021!

    Let me emphasize that the Dodgers signed McCarthy and Anderson to be bridges to Urias, De Leon, Holmes, Buehler, Sierra and all the others…. and they are getting closer.

    Yes, the Dodgers spent money on Olivera, but they have Montas, Wood, Thompson and Johnson to show for it. I don’t get what the problem is.

    It’s all back to what I have preached for nearly two years! DON’T TRADE THE FARM! FAZ didn’t, and all of their mistakes of which there have been many are the result of sticking to that plan.

    I can’t understand why that is so difficult to see!

    1. Boxout7 if you owned a insurance company, would you insure Anderson? Only for big money. There, I answered your question!

      1. Yes, MJ, I am sure the premium would be “big money”, after all almost all baseball salaries are “big money”. But, do you have any idea what percentage of salary? Bobby, above, believes “all players have insurance, is he correct? Are some players uninsurable? Can the insurance proceeds be more than salary, for someone like Seager? Can you answer any of these questions?

        I was just curious if anybody had REAL info on how it works and at what approximate cost. Knowing this information, like FAZ does, would certainly affect how I looked at these players with an injury history.

    2. They have Wood out of that trade….yes Peraza went to the Reds so they could get those other 3 guys, but it cost them Dixon and Schebler too…..Leake got overpaid because the Cardinals were desperate. Sierra wasn’t even in the equation until a month ago. Most of those guys you mentioned are 2 years away. Urias, and Deleon MAYBE next year. Urias needs to build up some serious innings before he is even considered. FAZ is NOT the main guy here…..it is Freidman….all decisions run through that guy. FAZ is more a figurehead than the trading genius. The point is this…why go for retreads and rehabbing guys when you can have guys who stay healthy and have a good track record? That is the gist of that Scott said….

      1. Sorry for repeating myself but I can see Urias and De Leon getting some of their 100+ innings early in the season and let now injured verterans pitch in the latter part of the season. That keeps the pitch count down for Urias and De Leon as well as Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson, and Beachy.
        .
        I would want Urias and De Leon to start the season in the minors before bringing them up for around 6 starts each.
        .

  14. Patch, mountainmover hit it on the head… Your comments are spot on… I wish this blog contained more on what we have and the way the FO has positioned us for success… Yep, prospects are like working the race track, the only place where windows clean people, but I’m excited to find out which ones year by year will eventually make the 25…

    1. Yes Boxout, Apparently it was a level 3 issue with one of the hosting providor’s carriers overseas. Some server went down. I had a ticket opened and they fixed the issue. Thank god. I appreciate everyone being so patient and understanding. I love all you guys.

  15. Leake is 28, has no history of injury and is being paid an average of $16 million for the next 5 years. I fail to see how this is overpaying a steady Major League starting pitcher. He’s a 30 start 190+ inning guy. We could actually use a few of those.

    1. A guy like Leake can save a team money, and save a team, there pitching prospects, because when a pitcher gets hurt later in a season, the price always gets higher, to get another pitcher, to fill in.

  16. I like to read the pros and cons. It would not be fun if everyone felt the same. But for the life of me, I do not understand the angst about Anderson no longer the Dodgers #5 SP. Was he a difference maker in anyone’s mind? I don’t know that Beachy will ever be able to pitch at the ML level ever again, but is he going to make or break the Dodgers? If he can, he was a pretty good pitcher at ATL. Give him a chance. It’s only ST, not the pennant drive.

    My personal choice is Zach Lee. Lee had a bad start for LAD last year (Kershaw had a few as well). He was called up unexpectedly because Greinke decided to take his full three days of paternity leave. But he was one of the best pitchers in the PCL in 2015. Less than 2.7 ERA with 113 IP with good control 4.26 SO/W ratio, in a hitter’s league. Hitters excel in PCL, and pitchers excel in IL. He deserves a chance.

    A lot of people are down on Mike Bolsinger. I am not the biggest fan, but Bolsinger had his ERA below 3.00 as late as September 4. After that game, he just collapsed. I think he exceeded his expected ceiling, but maybe not. Ross Stripling/Jharel Cotton/Chris Anderson all would get chances as a #5 on most teams.

    The Dodgers chances are no better or no worse now that Anderson is no longer in the rotation. The Dodgers will contend as long as Kershaw, Kazmir, and Maeda stay healthy; Puig/Pederson/Grandal all have to have good years.; Justin Turner plays 130+ games at 3B; and Seager stays off the DL.

    As far as Wood is concerned, I think he reverts to his 2014 year with ATL. He’s only 25. Dodgerrick does not like his delivery and believes it will lead to arm problems. It may. But some are concerned that Kershaw’s delivery puts too much torque/pressure on his hips. It’s also possible that Kershaw turns into a Tim Lincecum. Unlikely, but certainly possible. All players have injury risks. Even Badger’s Archie Bradley took an unexpected line drive to the face. Who knows if he will ever be able to pitch the same. Badger thinks so. I think Wood returns from the sprained ankle and bone bruise and thrives this year, even with his delivery. On March 4, my estimation is as good as anybody’s.

    Does anyone really believe that the money given to Anderson prevented the Dodgers from signing Greinke? I believe they were mutually exclusive decisions, and the money given to Anderson was never a consideration in Greinke’s offer. Dodgerrick is correct when he states that the Dodgers are not the A’s or Rays. But spending foolishly is not the answer either. Price was never going to pitch for LA. He is an East Coast guy and prefers the AL East. Maybe if the Dodgers did not have the CC/Ethier/AGon contracts to contend with, they may have gone that extra year for Greinke. But I think the days of $200 million to pitchers paid by the Dodgers is over (except for Kershaw – I hope).

    1. Anderson is the #5 starting pitcher on a team which has 4 better pitchers than him. He was #3 on the Dodgers last year and with Ryu on the shelf, McCarthy on the shelf, and Maeda and Wood not exactly sure things maybe Anderson is #3 guy again this year. Also, you don’t pay #5 guy $15 mil.

      No one has really answered Fangraph’s statement about the Braintrust’s risky strategy for pitching this year: “The 2016 Dodgers rotation was essentially Clayton Kershaw and then some combination of four high-risk pitchers with health problems. We’re only a couple of weeks into spring training, but the downside of pursuing this strategy is already starting to show through the cracks. ”

      No one has answered my comment about the utility of pursuing a quantity of risky signings over signing a few quality, healthy and consistent arms.

      I still don’t think that the Dodgers should employ a rotation of spare parts. If all the injured “depth” is unable to pitch, let’s see if any of the prospects can.

      1. dodgerrick, I am at work and need to do some work, but, I will answer you later, if you tell us, who these “few quality, healthy and consistent arms” were (with contract terms) that don’t interfere with our “three outstanding pitching prospects” (and more later) starting to come up in 2017 or us getting out of luxury tax by 2018. If you don’t think getting out of luxury tax territory by 2018 is a priority, fair enough, but say it.

        1. 7, here is my response.

          First, the luxury tax was never the whole thing. The reason that the team had such a high payroll last year was, in part, due to the number of players they were paying not to play. Haren ($10 mil), League ($7.5 mil), Wilson ($10 mil), Kemp (what was it last year, $17 mil?). Last year, they were trying to put together the best possible roster. This year?

          Second, look at the money that the Braintrust has spent on the ML roster – Kazmir, ($5 mil signing bonus plus $11 mil for ’16, $8 mil deferred), Maeda ($1 mil signing bonus plus $3 mil for ’16), Chase Utley ($7 mil for ’16), Kendrick ($10 mil for ’16, 1/2 deferred), Blanton ($4 mil plus bonuses), Beachy ($1.5 mil), Anderson ($15.8 mil for ’16) and McCarthy ($12 mil for ’16). That’s $70.3 million against the payroll for ’16.

          Are they getting their money’s worth? A 37 year old 2B with bad knees who hit .212 last year? Two injury prone pitchers (Anderson and McCarthy) with horrible track records who likely won’t throw a pitch this year? Two more pitchers with significant injury risk (Kazmir and Maeda)?

          Fangraphs described this approach as a risky strategy that lines up Kershaw plus 4 significant injury risks to serve as the Dodgers’ rotation. This is not a strategy for a team with championship aspirations.

          I can’t fault them for Ryu – he was not an injury risk as far as I know and was signed by the previous regime. But the rest of them?

          And what about all of the Cubans???

          As to pitchers who would have been available over the last two years (remember, McCarthy and Anderson were originally signed for ’15 and were supposed to be in the rotation for both seasons) let’s look at whom other teams signed over the past 2 years:
          2015
          Cueto
          Gallardo
          Greinke
          Lackey
          Leake
          Price
          Samardzjia
          Zimmerman
          2014
          Lester
          Liriano
          Scherzer
          Shields

          The team could have signed a pitcher or 2 from this list – pitchers who are good and reliable – in lieu of some of the flotsam that wears the uniform now or sits on the DL.

          Do we really need Utley at $7 mil? Anderson and McCarthy who between the 2 of them are going to make almost $28 mil this year? Wouldn’t you rather have a top flight pitcher then 2 or 3 injured guys, has beens, or fringe guys? That’s $35 mil for guys they don’t need – couldn’t they have signed someone good for half of this sum?

    2. AC I think that Bolsinger wasn’t happy, when Latos was brought over to pitch in the rotation, and Bolsinger was set aside. Bolsinger’s father had said something about not being happy, with the way the Dodgers treated his son.

      1. Bolsinger’s ERA was under 3 when he was sent down but I think he was showing signs of fatigue. He lost his feel for the curve when they tried to convert him to a reliever. He did a great job holding down the #3 spot while here, but I hope he learns to throw another pitch and handle the bat a little better if he wants to start.

    3. AC, it seems like we generally have the same perspective on things. I also think Lee should get a good shot at the #5 spot.
      .
      I don’t think Anderson’s cost had anything to do with not offering Greinke a sixth year but I think MJ’s point was that she would rather have spent the McCarthy/Anderson money on Greinke whether FAZ agreed or not.
      .
      The Dodgers have a lot of pitchers in the depth pool that should not pitch more than 150 innings combined in the regular and post seasons. Some will pitch in the second half and some will pitch in the first half. Its the prospects that are ready to pitch now and could get starts in the first half.
      .
      I would be fine with Lee or Beachy starting the season in LA but Urias and De Leon should start in AAA and then get a short and early call up.
      .
      The Dodgers need a maximum of 182 starts. They have enough pitching depth to accomplish that with good options for success.

  17. I am optimistic about our pitching staff, figuring that we will have a 2nd platoon of fresh, well-rested pitchers for the final third of the season.

    1. Who, pray tell, is this second platoon of arms of which you speak? One or more of the prospects? Some additional spare parts that the Braintrust will grab off of the waiver wire? More targets of deadline deals like Mat Latos or Jim Johnson? One or more of our currently injured pitchers (Ryu, McCarthy, Beachy, Anderson) who will make comebacks?

      Not exactly confidence inspiring, is it?

  18. So far, everyone who condemns to pitchers FAZ has signed has not offered up a better option… and don’t show your lack of understanding and say “Leake.”

    Come on, if they didn’t sign Anderson and McCarthy, then who?

    See, when I opposed THE TRADE which was from day one, I gave my opinion of what the Dodgers could have done that would have been better than THE TRADE. I would have left Loney at 1B and got a power bat in the outfield or 3B. Loney would have been solid at 1B and we would have had more money for other spots.

    I suggested Torii Hunter, Melky Cabrera and Mike Napoli as options. Tell me the Dodgers wouldn’t have been just as good with them and then NOT having three Bloated Contracts right now to Ethier, Crawfish and Gonzo.

    If I say something, I try and back it up. I hate “driveby shootings” that have no substance.

    Give us some better deals, geniuses!

    1. Could the Dodgers have actually gotten any of those three or are these fantasy trades like Badger’s deals for Hamels? And Ethier was not part of the trade, even if he is overpaid.

  19. 182 total starts counting regular season, maximum playoff games, playoff game, WS games.
    .
    36 Kershaw
    28 Maeda
    25 Kazmir
    30 Wood
    10 Lee
    15 Beachy
    10 De Leon
    06 Urias
    18 McCarthy
    20 Ryu
    08 Sierra

    That’s 200 starts. Subtract 16 of those from the pitchers that struggle and that depth will give the Dodgers a competitive starter in all 182 games.

    1. Boy are you an optimist. There is a 50/50 chance based on studies that McCarthy doesn’t successfully come back from TJ surgery. There is a better than 50% chance that Beachy doesn’t either since it is his 2nd TJ.
      http://www.hardballtimes.com/tommy-john-surgery-success-rates-in-the-majors/

      Ryu’s labral tear surgery isn’t a sure thing either.
      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16634

      Subtract the 53 starts that you expect to get out of those 3 pitchers and you get 147. Where are you going to get the rest of the starts? From spare parts, just like last year.

      I’m not saying that Ryu, McCarthy, Beachy or Anderson won’t come back but the odds are not good that they will all come back and the odds are that most of them won’t. While we hope that they all do, you can’t really base the construction of a rotation of a team with championship aspirations on wishful thinking.

  20. Mark, driving in the car today, listening to MLB.Radio — the guys were talking about the Dodgers pitching problems or concerns. And one of them said he felt the Dodgers should have signed Greinke and Price and with Kershaw, just finished out the rotation with the best of the rest — and they would have the class act in the majors.

    As I remember bits and pieces — he listed quickly – like Kazmir at $13,000,000, Anderson at $10,000,000 . . . but add to that $17,000,000 for 2 second basemen not really needing both. Anyway — they lined out that going first class might have been better than what they did. Then I had to leave the car . . . did not hear the entire segment.

    1. Roger, I also heard that conversation and got out of the car before it was over. It was Jim Bowden, who I hardly ever agree with and his theory was the money spent on Anderson, McCarthy, Kazmir and Meada would have allowed them to sign Grienke and Price. The problem with that would be open holes in the rotation last year and having to way over pay for Price who wanted to stay in the east. Now if his argument was to sign Scherzer last year with the McCarthy and Anderson money then resign Grienke with the money spent on Kazmir and Meada. That makes more sense then his signing of Price.

      Obviously I would preferred they resigned Grienke but when it to 6 years it became a deal breaker. I just hope Lee and Stripling get a fair shot at the 5th spot. Bolsinger is probably the front runner, but who knows may a dark horse like Cotton, De Jong or Dirks grabs the bull by the horns and forces their way into the rotation. I think Urias and Deleon are headed to AAA. I just hope they don’t go after someone like Lincecum, Loshe or Harrang.

      1. I question Bowden’s math. Anderson, McCarthy, Kazmir and Maeda if maxed out would be about $196 million over the remaining years of their contracts . Price by himself is $217 million. Greinke is at $206.5 million. If Maeda does max out, that changes the dynamics of the rotation, as he would be a very durable and effective member of that rotation over the full eight years. If Maeda only earns his guaranteed amount, the four contracts max out at $132 million (Anderson 1 year at $16 million, Kazmir 3 years for $48 million, McCarthy 3 years for $36 million, and Maeda at 8 years for $32 million).

        Price had zero desire to pitch out West. Even though not as adamant, Scherzer also wanted to stay in the East. I liked Scherzer when he was with AZ. I thought he was going to be that guy before he was that guy. Since Scherzer would have been signed last year, that means add $22 million to the contracts for the extra year for both Anderson and McCarthy. Scherzer was signed for $210 million so that also would make the math difficult to match up.

        The Dodgers could not have had both Greinke and Price or Greinke and Scherzer for the same money of Anderson, McCarthy, Kazmir, and Maeda. If anyone wants to make the argument that it would be better to have Greinke, Price, or Scherzer instead of Anderson, McCarthy, Kazmir and Maeda, that is an argument that can be made. But they could not have had more than one at the same price.

        1. Seeing as it was Jim Bowden making this statement he was viewing it in a one year window, not over the length of the contract. But hey when you’re trying to bash someone, why let facts get in the way.

  21. Anderson was no #5. He was 3 at worst with Ryu out. This is a huge loss. The only good thing is that it happened now when we can still have spring auditions. I have no confidence that Bolsinger is a regular MLB starter. Wood, maybe. Forget the blame game. This group has made worse decisions than this. Frankly I wouldn’t sign anyone with past injury unless he was about 20. We are terrible in bringing up minor league starters. We have no pitcher development in the minors. Mat Herges? Time will tell on this next bunch.

    1. Bobbie, Anderson may have been the #3 for LA in 2015, but he was not signed to be the #3. Not in 2015 or 2016. He was signed to be the #5; McCarthy #4. and as you pointed out, Ryu was supposed to be #3. I do not know how Bolsinger will be in 2016, but he was a sub 3.00 ERA after his September 4 game. Even though I am pushing for Zach Lee to get the prime consideration, I think Bolsinger deserves to be considered for the #5. The Dodgers won 92 games last year without their #3 or #4. I wouldn’t say FAZ did a bad job for 2015. Did they go far enough or push all the right buttons, I guess that is what is constantly being argued.

      But not signing anyone with past injury unless 20, leaves a lot of good pitchers that you might be missing on. Jose Fernandez, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Stephen Strasburg, just to name a few.

  22. Based on what I have read, I got the feeling that when Greinke got the 6 year offer from AZ he called the Dodgers and asked if they would give him a 6th year. I don’t think he told them he had an offer for 6 years from AZ and was going to take it if the Dodgers didn’t go 6 years. He didn’t really give the Dodgers much of a chance to match the offer.
    .
    I also remember reading that SF offered more than the Dodgers did. Maybe FAZ thought they would get a chance to match an offer before Greinke took another offer.
    .
    He is gone. My preference was to overpay him for three years anyway.

    1. Bum you brought up a good point about this front office. I would like to know just how much all of the people in this front office, is being payed. They don’t go after premium pitchers. What are these guys in the front office being paid?

    1. Point made Bobby, but Seager is no longer a prospect. He’s the starting shortstop and I don’t see him going back down. Does that change the ranking? Well, yeah, I would think it does.

  23. Many trade scenarios, as well was suggested free agent signings have been proffered in here. To suggest they haven’t been is dishonest.
    .
    Anderson may have been a 3 on some teams, but he was never meant to be a 3 on this one. Any loss of a starting pitcher is a big deal, but I think it’s a bigger deal on this team because of how fragile everyone but Kershaw appears to be. Don’t you just get the feeling we haven’t seen the last starter go to the shelf?
    .
    I’m on record – De Leon or Lee. De Leon is 23. Lee is 24. What have they got? Let’s see it.

    1. I see it differently. Because we have so many Anderson’s, I don’t think the loss of one of them is that huge. Between Maeda, Kazmir, Anderson, Wood, Mcarthy, Bolslinger, etc, they’re all most likely a bunch of 3’s and 4s anyway.

      This injury actually opens the door for someone who maybe can emerge as a 2 eventually. Give DeLeon a shot. His ceiling is a 2, so let’s see it. If he got 25 starts, I don’t see him having numbers any worse than half of our Andersons anyway

    2. Badger did you read that article on OC Register? I read this article this morning, and I wasn’t aware, that this current rotation, is the highest paid starting rotation in baseball. That is counting, the seven different pitchers, currently in the rotation, and the two back ups, for the rotation. Now does everyone think that the front office, could have spent all of this money better?

      1. Good point Bobby. Well thought out.
        .
        Frankly I see no number 2’s on this team, (OK, maybe Kazmir if he can finish better) but the idea of 5 #4’s after Kershaw could actually work if a. our bullpen is deep and talented and b. we score with runners in scoring position.
        .
        Did just read that article MJ, which led me to the conclusion I just stated. Yeah, I’d prefer Hamels, or Greinke, or Price, or Zimmerman, or Cueto, or even the Shark, but we have who we have. I still hope to be surprised.

          1. Rick, I do not know if the pen will turn out to be good, but it really isn’t the same group of guys. Nicasio and Peralta are not on the team, and Johnson who was a total disaster is not there either. Garcia has shown some real ability, so hopefully his confidence has grown. Hatcher came back and had a great 2nd half. Jansen will be there for the full year, and Hatcher will not be expected to close. I am not a huge Baez fan, so if he is replaced, I am fine. I do not know if Avilan will be effective with a full year with LAD. But potentially the big addition might just be Joe Blanton. It is not KC Royals, but then again who counted on Ryan Madsen having a good year. You and I look at “ifs” differently. Hopefully the pen grows with age and confidence.

          2. Everyone currently slated to start the season in the pen (Jansen, Hatcher, Garcia, Baez, Howell, Avilan and Blanton) was there last year except Blanton. There was a lot of roster churn in the bullpen last year but the only change from the end of ’15 is Blanton – who doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

        1. I was thinking that Anderson going out, might be a good thing. Maybe someone else will emerge, that just needed a chance.

  24. Zach Lee gets his only chance on Sunday. Hope he doesn’t pee his pants again.

    Anderson? LAD either expressly or implicitly approved the trainer that improperly trained Anderson, thus causing the back injury. Anderson is still on Neddy Jr. When you sign a bone man that has extremely weak cartilage you sign a man that will be on the DL all of the time.

    1. Zach did not pee in his pants last July. He got a last minute call after throwing a full bullpen session because Greinke did not let the Dodgers know he was going to take his full three day paternity leave and not pitch his scheduled July 25 start against the Mets. For whatever reason the Dodgers did not give Zach a chance before or after that date. Lee had a 2.7 ERA over a full season at AAA in the PCL, a hitter’s league. He gets a start on Sunday. It will not be his last opportunity. But sure, the pressure is on especially after Bolsinger and Cotton both pitched well today. I am pulling for Zach.

  25. Scott good job, you really got a lot of different comments. Keep up the good work! I can’t believe that Dodgers Digest is the most popular blog. When Mark had this blog, it was hands down the best Dodger blog. And Scott you are keeping the tradition, and continuing Mark’s good work! Half the time on Dodgers Digest, they are not even talking about baseball, so I don’t get it. Everyone good thoughts!

    1. MJ it’s popular with the stat heads and more of a frat house over there at Dodger Digest. They do very good and detailed writing over there I just don’t read the comments

  26. It’s true we do have the #1 Farm system, but that Farm system is frayed in spots. 21 of the top 30 specs are either OF or Pitchers. The other 9 specs are infield and C. Of those 9 remaining we have: 1-1B; 0-3B;2-C;3-SS; 3-2B.

    I would love to see it spread out bit better especially since other than Guerrero we don’t have a 3B if Turner walks after this season.

  27. dodgerrick, my response to your response.

    First, agree, “luxury tax was never the whole thing”. But, I believe the luxury tax is a HUGE thing and probably the most important thing. Like it or not, first and foremost, MLB is a business and no business can thrive when its biggest cost (players) is penalized 50% against the competition. FAZ has been tasked to get under the luxury tax threshold as soon as possible, while still competing. It is critical that the Dodgers get under the luxury tax threshold ONE year to reset the luxury tax rate.

    You are correct, the “high payroll last year was, in part, due to the number of players they were paying not to play”. But, there was no way they were getting under the luxury tax threshold in 2015. I also agree “Last year, they were trying to put together the best possible roster”. Its a whole other debate if they succeeded at that, but, I do believe they had a REAL shot at a championship.

    You asked, This year? You said, “look at the money that the Braintrust has spent on the ML roster – Kazmir, ($5 mil signing bonus plus $11 mil for ’16, $8 mil deferred), Maeda ($1 mil signing bonus plus $3 mil for ’16), Chase Utley ($7 mil for ’16), Kendrick ($10 mil for ’16, 1/2 deferred), Blanton ($4 mil plus bonuses), Beachy ($1.5 mil), Anderson ($15.8 mil for ’16) and McCarthy ($12 mil for ’16). That’s $70.3 million against the payroll for ’16”.

    First, there is no way they were going to get under the luxury tax threshold in 2016, because of prior contracts. Lets look at the money the “Braintrust” spent. I see a common theme, short term contracts! But, it also tells me they are trying to put together the best possible roster, utilizing short term contracts (The $70.3M, kinda blows Badger’s “tank until 2018” theory out of the water). Are they getting their money’s worth, I don’t know, we will see this season. We already know Anderson didn’t work out, BUMMER, but they have a PLAN B in place. Will PLAN B work, I don’t know, we will see this season. I have to say, I believe, if the team management puts together, gets to the playoffs, that is management success. Playoff success is on the players!!

    2017, Probably still in luxury tax territory, unless, we can find someone to pay Crawford’s and Ethier’s salaries. DFAing them still counts against luxury tax. Good news, FAZ has always said the FARM starts to become a major factor this year. The JUGGERNAUT begins.

    2018, Crawford and Ethier, OFF THE BOOKS!!!!, hopefully they rebounded in 2016 and 2017, like Uribe. Dodgers definitely out of Luxury Tax territory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holmes and Bueller fighting to be added to the “durable sensible pitching staff”.

    2019, Young, cost effective team, and a player in the free agent bonanza that includes, CLAYTON KERSHAW.

    “What about all of the Cubans???” I think we all agree a top farm system is the MOST important thing in building a dynasty. The Cubans are relatively cheap. Dodgers are on a level playing field when it comes to signing Cuban’s. The jury is out on the FAZ Cubans. Olivera, the FAZ Cuban most criticized, has netted us Wood, Johnson and Thompson. Not bad.

    Lastly, the pitchers you listed in your post have a common theme, LONG TERM COMMITMENT. Its not only about 2016. The price and years for most of those pitchers just don’t fit with the Dodger luxury tax situation.

    1. Boxout, a reply to your reply to my reply….

      1 – Cubans! According to MLB Traderumors,
      “The Dodgers have spent over $200MM on nine Cuban players over the last four years, a major investment that Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register notes that thus far yielded relatively little return. Yasiel Puig has delivered both all-world talent and controversy in his time with the team and Hector Olivera was flipped to the Braves, while Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero are now afterthoughts. “I think like any part of the talent universe there’s going to be mixed results,” said senior baseball operations VP Josh Byrnes, who also noted that the Dodgers’ big investment is still less than it would’ve cost for a similar outlay on free agent talent. The club obviously still expects much from highly-regarded prospects still in the system, including the recently-signed Yaisel Sierra.”

      Even excluding Puig, Guerrero and Arruebarrena, (from the prior regime) that’s a lot of money for no return as yet. I know, it just happened but you have to ask if they are getting bang for the buck. And I don’t believe they have only signed 9 Cubans – but I haven’t been able to find all of the information about them. For Sierra, Diaz, Estevez, Fernandez and Olivera, the team has spend $54.5 Mil in signing bonuses alone (not including salary). And it is highly questionable that they will get any return on the investment. The money spent on Olivera’s bonus alone is gone – they got none of it back from the Braves.

      I know – they kept Wood and flipped Peraza (whom they get in the Olivera deal) to the Chisox in the deal that netted them Montas (who may never pitch again after first cervical rib resection), Johnson who apparently fields like Guerrero does and can’t really play 2B, and Thompson, who is a 5th OF. Great return on investment there. Plus they gave up Schebler.

      The point is that with the $70 Mil that they are spending on salaries for has beens and injury prone (or disabled players) plus Cubans, they could sign real major leaguers. BUT NO – the Braintrust has to show that they are the smartest guys in the room – it’s like nerd-style gladiatorial combat. Rather than do the simple thing, the obvious thing, the RIGHT thing and sign someone like Greinke, Zimmerman, Lester or – well anyone, they have to do the cute thing that no one else would ever think of because they are so much smarter than anyone else.

      But it hasn’t worked. It has been a bad gamble – injury-prone player are injured – who’d have guessed it? And Cubans – other than Puig, none have contributed yet. Maybe in 3 or 4 years after Kershaw is gone.

      2 – Short term contracts? some of them. 1 year to Utley and Anderson, sure – but 4 years to Kazmir (it’s his option), 4 to McCarthy, 8 to Maeda. And besides – who is going to be on the Dodgers in ’18? According to True Blue LA, it looks like Kershaw’s last pre-opt-out year. They have Adrian Gonzalez, Puig, Kasmir (if he hasn’t opted out – and don’t bet on him doing so if his arm falls off), McCarthy (oh boy), Ryu, Arrebarrena. And that’s it. (and pre-arb youngsters like Seager – can’t forget him.)

      3 – All of the Braintrust fanboys are celebrating because all of the stud prospects will be up and contribuing. Who will play 3B? 2B? LF? Will Verdugo and Bellinger (the Dodgers only home grown position player prospects) be ready for prime time? They almost never spend top draft picks on position players.

      What about the pitchers? Do you really think that all of the prospects will turn out? It never works that way. You are lucky to get 50% of the top guys to turn out. Remember all of the can’t miss prospects that missed? Do I have to make a list? Of course, you win with guys from the farm but prospects are just that – and they aren’t sure things.

      4 – All of this means what as far as payroll is concerned? The Rays, A’s, Pads are all small market teams. When McCourt tried to sell LA on his small salary dream for the team, the fans abandoned him – of course, he was stealing the team blind. It isn’t a great analogy – but are we to expect a bunch of 24 year olds playing for the Dodgers with 1 or 2 big salaries and a payroll of $85 mil will keep the fans happy?

      5 – None of this addresses my point – that the team has gambled on a strategy of Kershaw plus 4 injury-prone/injured/spare parts/minor leaguer pitchers for a rotation that is supposed to challenge for the division at the least. They signed lots of these guys, called it “depth”, but if they can’t pitch, it’s not depth.

      6 – Finally – I root for the Dodgers. I have been doing so since at least 1965. I want them to win now and in the future. The way that they are built now is not designed to make them win.

      I root for the players – Koufax and Wills, Bill Singer (he was always one of my favorites), Garvey, Lopes, Russell & Cey, Fernando and Orel, Karros and Piazza. It’s about the players, not the front office – I don’t root for any front office. The Braintrust fanboys do – they are gaga about the collective brilliance of the 8 or 9 current or former GM’s and how cool they are. I don’t have a Friedman jersey. I want to be able to root for Dodgers players who can actually – well, you know – play. Not McCarthy and Anderson and Beachy, who will suck up salary dollars while sitting on the DL. I used to love to root for Zach Greinke – oh well, he plays for a rival now. Can you conceive of a situation where the Dodgers let Don Drysdale go at the top of his career while he was teaming up with Koufax to give them an unbeatable 1 – 2 rotation punch? Neither can I.

      1. Solid post Rick
        .
        I can answer who plays where in ’18 when it all comes together:
        You see, the problem has been the trade. Yeah I know, we won four straight Division titles and led all of baseball in attendance after the trade but the trade has been a curse, just as anyone named Mark Timmons. In ’18, Ethier is gone, Crawford is gone and AGon will be moved to the Amercan League and we pay half his salary. With the curse lifted and $50 million or so saved the brainiacs will buy 10 Cubans or purchase a free agent pitcher, third baseman, and second baseman. Verdugo in left, Puig in right, Pederson/Thompson in center, new third baseman, Seager, whoever at second, Bellinger at first. Kershaw, Urias, De Leon, Maeda, Holmes and by then our young bullpen arms will have learned how to throw bullets at kneecaps. All done with hardly anything paid in luxury tax. Easy peasy World Seriesy.

        1. Badger,

          See, I just come out and call you what you are: words that start with an “I” or “M”. This post is a classic case of why:

          I have been paying attention to mockery for years, it is one of the basic ways of communication by less civilized cultures or people. People who believe they are superior do not feel remorse in mocking people they consider below them or contemptuous.

          Great ideas are mocked, because they are not understood. Truly intelligent people are mocked, they make others feel stupid.

          Intelligence and savvy decisions are normally held in contempt, and only a few people truly enjoy the benefits – great ideas are only for the few, not the many.

          So, when you mock me with your small minded ideas and verbose insinuations, I know that I am generally on the right path… because if Badger mocks me, it’s usually because I’m right.

          Thanks for reinforcing my beliefs.

          1. “Truly intelligent people are mocked, they make others feel stupid.”
            .
            Even though as written that makes no sense, I assume you meant intelligent people are mocked BECAUSE they make others feel stupid. That is a huge step for you to take, admitting that you call other people morons because they make you feel stupid. I see some growth in this admission and look forward to moving past our disagreements.

      2. Rick, you say you root for the players and not FO, and yet outside of Kershaw and Greinke which Dodger player have you said anything positive about? You do not like any of the SP other than Kershaw. You just trashed Montas, Johnson, and Thompson (but praise Peraza even though he is only “just a prospect” who has not done anything. You previously discounted the entire bullpen. You have trashed Grandal, Utley, Kendrick, and included Seager as an after thought because…well he is only a prospect and prospects don’t count. Pray tell didn’t any Dodger other than Kershaw or Greinke participate in any of the 92 wins LAD got last year? Based on what you have written, I would expect that you project the Dodgers to only win while Kershaw is pitching and they will end up below the Phil’s, Reds, and Braves.

        As far as draft picks, the Dodgers did draft OF Mitch Hansen in the 2nd round. Lousy 1st year, but every scouting report has him as a solid prospect. Willie Calhoun, 2B, 4th round, Brendon Davis, SS, 5th round, Edwin Rios, 1B, 6th round (did not sign). Logan Landon, OF, 10th round. 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, and 19 were round where Dodgers picked position players. You may not like them, but position players are drafted.

        For pitching, we know you do not like Wood or Kazmir. But one of your favorites is Bill Singer, a career sub .500 pitcher. I am not knocking Singer, as I liked him as well. But you like a below .500 pitcher but discount a .500 (Wood) pitcher, and a plus .500 pitcher (Kazmir).

        You have brought up the analogy of letting Koufax or Drysdale go at their prime on a couple of occasions (at least I think you did previously). Totally different era, pre FA. Is it inconceivable that O’Malley would let them go if they demanded more $$$ than he felt they were worth? I remember very well the holdout both Koufax and Drysdale held, so it is not inconceivable that either one of them might have signed elsewhere. Especially Drysdale going to a contender post Koufax (Cards/Tigers). He would have looked good with Gibson or Lolich. The Dodgers did not let Greinke go. They made a fair offer and the mercenary went to AZ. He’s gone. Let it go.

        We are all Dodger fans, even Badger when he isn’t telling us how great AZ is going to be. You do not like or root for the FO. Fine, but hopefully you will find some player that you can like in addition to Kershaw, you might enjoy the games more.

      3. Dodgerrick your exactly right. They do think they are always the smartest guys in the room. Sometimes the obvious, is the right move. And in Dodgers Digest, at the end of the article today, they backed what I said, about using this money toward Greinke, instead of MCCarthy and Anderson. Even though they are always pro office. Everyone says that Greinke was not in the thoughts concerning MCCarthy and Anderson. They knew when Greinke was opting out, and they have no problem, looking ahead to 2018. And when the Dodgers hired Brynes, I wondered why. He did nothing for the Padres when he was there. They had good pitching, but that didn’t work out last year. What position player, did he draft for the Padres, or bring to the Padres. And like you have said, and I have said, all of these pitchers are injury risks, so you better have depth. And if one goes out, then you are paying a double salary for two pitchers, that could have been used for Greinke, or a better pitcher. I guess you read that article in OC Register. I didn’t know that the Dodger’s rotation, was the highest payed rotation in baseball, and that was what made me upset. I know the Dodgers will be ok without Anderson, but it was the point, and the fact that the Dodgers have a few pitchers, almost as bad as Anderson, when it comes to injuries. And I agree about Kazmir, and I said it at the time. He isn’t going to opt out. What team is going to give him a better contract. He is as old as Greinke I believe, but he is no Greinke. Greinke has always been dependable, and he will pitch deep into his career, and pitch well, I believe.

        1. MJ, okay I give. You, Badger, and Dodgerrick are right. What idiots FAZ were for not signing Greinke to $210+ million. In fact why stop there? They should gave spent $220 million on Scherzer last year, and $230 million on Price this year. They could have signed Zimmerman, Cueto, Leake, or Samardzija just to complete the rotation. Plus DFA CC and sign Cespedes. And when Bryce Harper becomes a FA after 2018, sign him to a $500 million contract. They could be proud of the first billion dollar payroll. That will certainly show everyone how smart they are.

          Greinke is going to win 6 straight CY and go directly into HOF. Maeda’s elbow is going to blow up by June. Kazmir will never make it to September for his annual fade. Seager will be sent down to AAA right after Pederson because they are just prospects and we all know how many of the can’t miss prospects fail. AGon’s back/neck will give out and he will end up on the 60 day DL. Utley will have to be carried off the field because his knees are gone and he will announce that he will retire at end of year. Puig will undoubtedly be late for all games, get benched, and pout, proving that the Dodgers should never sign Cubans. FAZ will listen to Rick and only draft position players in June because they have too many pitchers. And the Dodgers will be 50-112, because their injury prone non athletic players belong in a trash heap. OK, is there any other Dodger outside of Kershaw that I forgot to trash?

          And now Byrne’s gets the treatment. I have never researched how Byrne’s did at SD, but it certainly could not be worse than AJ Preller. But then again I like a lot of what FAZ does so what do I know?

      4. Everyone talks about 2018, but will Kershaw really want to be part of a rebuilding team? I hope every one of our prospects pan out but history suggests only a minority will. Will Guggs really get in on the free agent “bonanza?” Isn’t giving Harper a 10-year contract a “dope fiend” move?
        I don’t believe most of the “projections” for this season, so I’m skeptical of pie-in-the-sky promises for a dynasty three or four years down the road. It takes time for a championship team to gel, and I see too much roster churning these days for that to happen.

  28. I realize that people have different opinions and takes, but this one really shows how some people just automatically assume the worst every time… especially when they are trying to make their point:

    Dodgerrick said: “Montas (who may never pitch again after first cervical rib resection)

    Wow, Montas did not have thoracic outlet syndrome, but rather a stress fracture in his rib. Josh Beckett recovered from the surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and went on to still hit 95 with his fastball and pitch a no-hitter at age 33.

    Yes, I suppose it’s possible that Montas will not pitch again, but it’s 100 times more likely that he will. The bigger question is how effective will he be? Will he still hit triple digits? To say that he may never pitch again is really jumping to a conclusion not supported by facts. My opinion!

    1. While you keep repeating that Montas didn’t have TOS (and I have no idea if he did or didn’t) the surgery he has had is the same as if he did have TOS, and it is the recovery from the surgery that we have to worry about. In an article in Baseball Prospectus, the authors wrote:
      “The prognosis for almost all of the injuries we have discussed in previous installments called for a good-to-excellent chance that the afflicted player would return to his previous levels. However, thoracic outlet syndrome still possesses the potential to be career-ending (or worse). Baseball was lucky to avoid such an outcome in the case of Aaron Cook and others, but it remains a possibility.”
      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15834

      The point is that Montas was hardly a sure thing – his control is iffy at best. If he was a sure thing, the Sox would have kept him. The Braintrust missed a major red flag. Now we have a pitcher whose control is iffy and his recovery from surgery is not guaranteed. Not my opinion – a fact.

  29. dodgerrick, I appreciate the well thought out, spirited debate. My reply.

    1. Cubans, $200M, they are a major investment. This shows me that ownership and FAZ are committed to obtaining the most and best talent available. I believe the Cuban spending will turn out to be a good or great investment. I hope they keep spending BIG on international talent this year (don’t you?). Like I said its an area where they are on a level playing field with other teams (Everybody pays the penalty after very low spending).

    We will need to wait several years to see if this investment pays off, but, Puig himself, if he starts playing like he is capable, could make the $200M a good investment. I know FAZ didn’t sign him, just looking at it from Dodger, Josh Byrnes, perspective. You are correct, not all will probably work out, but, that is the same for free agent signings as well.

    Regarding Olivera, Dodgers paid approximately $30M bonus, Braves are on the hook for the remaining $30M salary. After signing Olivera, I think Dodgers were disappointed, it probably looked like he wasn’t going to be the third baseman they hoped. So they flipped him and we have a pretty good haul for him. Time will tell if its outstanding or a financial loss of some amount.

    Bottom line to me and Cuban investment, no luxury tax implications for 2018, except for ones on 25 man roster and that should be small amount. 2018 is the luxury tax critical year!!!!

    2. Short term contracts? Yes, lets look at the ones you are questioning, McCarthy, $12M, 2018 luxury tax salary; Kazmir, $16M, 2018 luxury tax salary; Maeda, who knows, but not much, great contract. The amounts for these three pitchers is a bargain and easily tradable (if they want to), if they are doing ANYTHING. Not a HUGE risk in planning for 2018 luxury tax even if they totally tank and we have to include in 2018 salary.

    Who is going to play for Dodgers in 2018? I agree with Mark on this one, I don’t know, FAZ doesn’t completely know, we will have to see what presents itself. We do know a lot of the highly touted farm players, especially pitchers. Will they work out? I don’t know we will see, but, that is what we got. Kershaw, yes, Gonzalez maybe, Seager yes.

    Bottom line to me again, planning to get under 2018 luxury tax threshold.

    3. Yes, I am celebrating number ONE farm system. Aren’t you? I am a player fan also, and am pulling for the youngsters to succeed. The holes you mentioned will need addressing. That is why they make the big bucks.

    4. Dodgers are NOT a small market team. Their payroll will always be right at luxury tax threshold, but, nobody can thrive with a 50% penalty on player salaries year after year. See NY Yankees.

    5. Regarding strategy of signing injured, rehabbing players. Its just ONE strategy FAZ has been using. Anderson worked last year. Bolsinger saved us last year, he was, buy low, strategy. Young prospects might do it this year. I don’t know, but, there is still lots of options. We will have to see what happens.

    Everyone on this board would prefer a Greinke, Price, Zimmerman, but, again their contracts don’t fit with the 2018 luxury tax plan. Even the Leake’s and Cueto’s don’t fit unless they would sign for a bargain (making them more tradeable). And of course, was the contract a good value.

    The good news to me, if I am right about 2018 luxury tax planning is that Dodgers are positioning themselves to be major players in post season 2018 free agent bonanza.

    6. I root for players also. I root for management to put together good rosters to get us to the playoffs. Nothing else. I am almost positive nobody here among FAZophants has a Freidman jersey either. I rooted for Manny big time when he first got here, my kids became life long Dodger fans because of him. But, I didn’t root for Manny so much after Dodgers resigned him. I loved what Greinke did for Dodgers and rooted for him also. Will AZ fans be rooting or hating his huge salary over the next six years? We will see.

    I am old enough to remember Sandy holding out for a $100K and Drysdale holding out for $80K (and no luxury tax implications), O’Malley hanging tough sure irritated me and I think he probably considered trading them. So there is a situation where they could have been gone. Like it or not MONEY determines almost everything.

    Lastly, bottom line, luxury tax, it will kill you.

  30. Some people see the glass half full.

    Others see it half empty.

    Some see the same glass as Death Valley.

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