A few years ago, some of you were saying that Arte Moreno was going to own LA after his signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. What the Angels did is actually the antithesis of how you build a winner. Two bad contracts have hamstrung them. I believe that when Friedman came to LA he wanted to blow it up like Theo did in Chi-town. That’s every baseball President’s dream. Alas, Kasten and Guggs would not allow that. I wonder what would have been if there had not been The Trade and signings of Kemp and Ethier? What if FAZ had been allowed to blow it up? We would be loaded going into 2018, but then again, we are still loaded going into 2018.
No team has ever re-built while continuing to win that I can remember. This is unchartered territory. I believe that if given a choice, Andrew Friedman would have stood pat at the trade deadline last year. I believe that Guggs and Kasten pushed for the trade of Hill and Reddick… which almost worked. Hill had little opportunity as he was blistered and Josh Reddick just choked in the LA spotlight (watch him have a good year in Houston this year) – he’s not a big market player. It’s just my opinion (based upon a lot of evidence) that Friedman really did not want to trade Montas, Cotton and Holmes for Hill and Reddick, but was pushed to do it by ownership… and ownership has that right. I would have rather they did not do that deal, but do it they did, and that’s that. Friedman and Zaidi know how to grow the farm and they also understand that dope-fiend long term deals to aging players are seldom the answer. The short-term deals for the blind, crippled and crazy were necessary to build the bridge. The jury is still out on Kazmir and McCarthy – we will have that answer in two years.
The Dodgers were never going to sign Price, Greinke or Cueto and even sign Cespedes to a long-term deal. 3 years to Kazmir and 4 years to McCarthy won’t kill you even if their arms fall off. $200 million deals can kill you. Ask Moreno! In a couple of years, the Red Sox are going to hate David Price‘s contract which will prevent them from signing some of their own free agents. The D-Bags already regret Greinke’s and you can’t be sure the Dodgers REALLY would have paid Greinke $150 million for 5 years – I think they knew he would take the biggest deal and they knew their deal would get surpassed. They just drove the price up and put the screws to the D-Bags.
2018 Free Agents – It’s quite another thing to give a long-term deal to a 26 or 27 year-old… which is how old Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be in 2018 when they become Free Agents. Everyone talks about Bryce Harper, but I think the better fit for the Dodgers is Manny Machado. He could slide in at 3B with Justin Turner moving to 1B the last two years of his deal. Bellinger can swing between the OF and 1B. I think Machado is a better fit because of many things, not the least of which – he is a right-handed hitter, while Harper is LH. With Bellinger and Verdugo being LH, along with Seager, Grandal and Pederson, Harper would make us lefty-heavy. It’s hard to predict, but I think Machado will command an 8 year/$250+ million dollar deal…and by 2016, that will be right in the Dodgers wheelhouse!
Jose De Leon – I am neither for or against trading Jose De Leon, but I think it is going to take JDL, Calhoun and another player like Hernandez to do the deal. I like JDL as a reliever… maybe a starter, but he makes more sense to me as a reliever. A lot of scouts are still high on Kike and I think he has upside as well, but Dozier could really blossom in LA. He has shown improvement every year – he may not hit 40+ HR but he can improve his OB % and BA – is he a middle-of the-order hitter or leadoff hitter? I think you could see Dozier and Toles alternate at the leadoff spot. Could the Dodgers sign him to a 3-year extension? It might be wise to try.
I’m ready for Spring Training.