Yu Darvish: Big Bust? Or Big Trust?

Yu Darvish

The midseason acquisition of all-star right hander Yu Darvish was supposed to put the Dodgers over the top. The Dodgers sent top hitting prospect Willie Calhoun to the Rangers for the Japanese hurler just minutes before the trade deadline. The deal was considered a go-move. It was meant to push the Dodgers into winning the fall classic. Having Darvish in their postseason rotation meant the Dodgers would not have to rely on Clayton Kershaw so much or start him on short rest like they have in past playoff runs.

Unfortunately Darvish turned out to be a bust, perhaps the biggest clunk in Dodgers history. His terrible pitching caused the Dodgers to lose the World Series. Don’t get it twisted. There were other contributing factors that led to the Dodger’s 7-game World Series loss to the Astros. I’ve detailed one big reason here. The bats went cold, Kenley Jansen blew game 2, and Clayton Kershaw couldn’t hold a 4-run lead and a 3-run lead in the game 5 loss, just to name a few. But if Darvish had pitched like he was supposed to then there is no doubt the Dodgers would have won one of his two starts resulting in a championship parade instead of another long frustrating winter.

The thing is Darvish was not having a terrific season with Texas before he was dealt to the Dodgers. As I’ve said before, in order for a midseason trade to be successful the player has to be having a good productive season. Otherwise you get a Curtis Granderson, or a Jeromy Burnitz.

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Again Darvish was not having a spectacular year with Texas. He was 6-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 22 starts. He had given up 20 home runs in 137 frames and walked 3.0 batters per nine innings. He was giving up 7.6 hits per nine innings and had struck out 148. Those aren’t terrible numbers but they’re not outstanding either.

He was coming off his worst month of the season in July when he posted a 7.20 ERA and allowed 25 runs in 30 innings. Through August he had posted a 3.13 ERA and a 3.71 ERA in the month of September. Overall he posted a 3.44 ERA in 9 regular season starts as a Dodger. He struck out 61 and walked only 13 in those nine Dodger starts. His FIP was a solid 3.38 and those numbers look pretty solid. His first start was a seven inning shutout 10 strikeout performance against the Mets. In his last three starts he allowed just one earned run on nine hits while striking out 21 across 19.1 innings pitched.

Unfortunately the postseason is a different story for Darvish where he’s had some struggles. He’s posted a 2-4 record and a 5.81 ERA in 6 postseason starts including this postseason and World Series. His first two postseason starts were just fine. In his first start against Arizona in game 3 of the NLDS he allowed one earned run on two hits over five innings while whiffing seven. There was no pressure as the Dodgers had a 2-0 series lead.

In the second start he tossed 6.1 innings of one-run ball allowing six hits, one walk and striking out seven in game 3 of the NLCS versus the tired Cubs. Once again the Dodgers were leading that series 2-0 and there was little pressure.

The World Series was a different story. Darvish gave up 4 earned runs on 6 hits over 1.2 innings in game 3 of the Fall Classic against the Astros. This time the series was tied and he was pitching in Houston. He walked one and didn’t strikeout anybody. Flash forward to game 7 at Dodger Stadium. The most important game of the season for the Dodgers and Darvish once again cracked under pressure. He allowed five runs, four earned over 1.2 without a strikeout. One of those hits was a season-ending two-run shot to eventual World Series MVP George Springer.

Over in his two starts Darvish allowed nine runs (eight earned) over 3.1 innings on nine hits. He walked two and posted a 21.60 ERA while taking the loss in both games in the World Series. He did record a strike out in either start. That is telling.

There were also reports that indicated that Darvish was tipping his pitches during his two World Series duds. Apparently his body language was giving away his grips on his pitches. Houston hitters were able to tell whether he was about to throw a fastball, slider, or other off-speed pitch.

He’s also had a long and established problem in the first inning of his starts. Darvish is a free agent this winter and he has stated that he wants to stay in Los Angeles. He is without a doubt a classy patient man, especially after dealing with intolerance during his game 3 loss.

However it seems as though he lacks mental toughness. He was unaware of his body language during his two World Series starts. He’s unable to control his mechanics. His arm slots and release points can fluctuate from start to start. He was unable to make it past the second inning in either of his outings and couldn’t even strike out a single batter. He melted down on the biggest stage when the Dodgers needed him most.

If you asked me, I wouldn’t resign him. Would you trust him to pitch a big game in the postseason again? Look deep because if the answer is no then what’s the point of wasting any cash on a new contract? Yu Darvish just might be the biggest bust in Dodgers history.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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90 thoughts on “Yu Darvish: Big Bust? Or Big Trust?

  1. I think there will be better options out there. I would even consider someone like Arrieta. His performance in game 4 in Chicago was one of the grittiest I have seen in a long time. I also think the Dodgers need to have a more balanced rotation. They have way too many lefty’s in the mix and the 2 righty’s who are under contract do not inspire a lot of optimism. Maeda was better his first year, and struggled most of this year. McBrittle is just a flop pure and simple and if there is any way they can do it they need to cut that slug loose. Kazmir still under contract. I cannot remember if Ryu has one more year or not. Stripling seems suited to long relief. Stewart? Not sure about him, he had some moments. Urias not until mid season and even then he will be on a pitch count and he tries too hard to be too fine and always seems to run his pitch count up. Walker Buehler did not show me enough to make me think he is anywhere close to ready. No one else who was at AAA stands out. Wood, he had a very good year and for all practical purposes was the best starter out there most of the year. Let us hope he can repeat that. The bull pen will need to be reworked again, Baez, and Fields are arbitration eligible. I resign Morrow in a heart beat. Watson did a decent job but with all the lefty’s in the system and the fact that I believe they will use Urias as a reliever when he comes back makes me think he will be gone. There are a TON of free agent arms out there. Some big and very good pitchers. The next 3 1/2 months will be interesting to watch as FAZ regroups and retools. Some bench pieces will be needed since Utley and Ethier will most likely not be retained. Adios Curtis Granderson. You totally sucked. Actually worse than Reddick which I never thought possible. One more thing. I would like to see the entire pitching staff learn to keep the ball in the ball park. I have never seen so many HR’s in my life…..Only Morrow went the entire year unscathed until the playoffs.

  2. I agree with Norris on most of his points, Scott. The main point, whether to sign Yu, seems pretty self evident, a big fat NO! The choice was Verlander or Yu. I thought Verlander was much older but he’s only 34. However, Verlander’s overall record way outshines Yu’s. He’s a top tier pitcher while Yu is not, never was, and was primarily hyped for several seasons. You can see he has potential but not the inner grit it takes to stand in there and hurl. Houston made the correct pick. FAZ did not, but then again FAZ almost always gets the pitching wrong. Just look at our history. Their theme is to buy in bulk and hope for a diamond. The only good thing this has produced is Wood who took a few years to get there. Building a bullpen like this can work, but not the starters. They will have to be prepared to really pay for a good starter.

    Indeed, Granderson was one of the biggest blunders I’ve ever seen. It hurt the team. It also prevented any kind of showing by Ethier if he had any juice left in the can after being a loyal Dodger for so many years and enduring being in Kemp’s shadow. Andre never had an ego like Kemp and was a consistent player for most of his career. This team has the pieces to compete and I would have liked to see Kemp fit in here as he wouldn’t have been expected to hoist the team on his shoulders. Like Norris said, Utley and Kemp will most likely be gone. Utley helped us, but not much this year.

    The two players that seemed to breakout in the WS were Hernandez and Joc. Three, if we count Forsythe who was already having a better time of it than the other two. As everyday players, neither one has yet to show me they are worthy of the title. Hernandez can be a more valuable utility man, but his consistency is questionable. Joc is just a HR hitter to me, good for PH and the bench at best.
    We need outfielders. A star would be oh so sweet. We have none, including Puig.
    We need a RH starting pitcher.
    Not worried about bullpen. Let it ride for another year. The two lefties, Cingrani and Watson helped. Fields and Baez can be traded for like players. It’s a shame that Baez’s speed is not being translated into reliability.
    I don’t trust Urias or Buehler or Stewart or Mcbrittle, Ryu, Yu. Seek other options.
    Roberts, please seek psychiatric help in the offseason. Your thinking processes are muddled.
    Wishing everyone a good offseason and hoping for another great year for the Dodgers and the staff of Ladodgerreport who continue to put the work in. Thanks guys/gals!

    1. You are way wrong on Puig Jeff. He is the best RF in the league defensively period. As for outfielders, they are loaded at the position at the major league level and in the minors. If you count Kike, who I do not, they have at least 6. Toles, Pederson, Puig, Thompson, Taylor, Verdugo. I would rather see Taylor back as an infielder. As for Kike, he had a good NLCS, not so good in the Series. Pederson is still a kid. It took Puig a while to get it, maybe Joc has that in him too. The talent is there. Just needs the knowledge. Toles will be in there battling for a place. But they could use a big bat in the outfield. There are a ton of free agent outfielders. But, will they pay the price for one? Cain is available, so is Martinez, but his defense would probably not be attractive to the front office. Forsythe raised his stock with his performance in the post season, but he has shown no power. They also have 7 starters still under contract. Kazmir, Stewart, Kershaw, Wood, McCarthy, Urias, and Maeda. 8 if you count Stripling, who is a starter at heart. Remember, he almost threw a no hitter in 2015. That Roberts misused the BP in the World Series is a given, but he is a pretty smart guy, I doubt he needs to see a psychiatrist. Be a little less reliant on the sabermetrics and the matchup crap he got into in the world series. Fields and Baez are both arbitration eligible. I think they let Fields walk. His performance in game 2 was a huge let down. Baez, well DR likes Baez. Watson is a free agent, but they have Avilan, Cingrani, and Liberatore should be back by spring. There are lots of lefty relievers out there too. The big question’s will be, how does Seager’s elbow respond to either surgery or treatment, and what do they do with Adrian Gonzalez. Who by the way is on the books for 22 million. You think they just cut him loose like Crawford? It is way too early to tell what kind of a pitcher Buehler will be. Kid pitched at 3 different levels this year. He has nasty stuff and tools and looks to be at least a year or so away. Urias coming off surgery should not be much help at all. One good thing is that they have a lot of pieces they can trade, up to and including Grandal……Morrow, Granderson, Watson, Utley, Darvish and Gutierrez all filed for free agency yesterday. Oh by the way, I just checked, Hyun Jin Ryu is under contract for 1 more year. And even though he was 5-9 this year, he still has a winning record for his career.

      1. On my original post, I mistakenly typed Kemp for Ethier. So read I would have liked to see Ethier fit in here, and Utley and Ethier will probably be gone, not Kemp.

        Michael, I don’t think Puig is a star outfielder, but he is great on defense. IMO, he has not ‘gotten’ it yet. If he improves next year on the year he just had, I will reconsider upgrading him in my view. I like him but I’d take JD Martinez over him, just saying. No one is considered a star that bats .260. He improved and I’m not saying to trade him, but I would like to see a real star outfielder. Is Taylor that guy? He may be. He played like one through most of the season. I disagree about the quality of backup outfielders that we have. They are nothing but mediocre, including Toles, whom we don’t know if he can play at a high level through one season. Pederson is a kid but I don’t like his game. Bellinger was compared to him by many when he first landed the starting job at 1st. You could see Belly was not in the same league as Joc. He excels at all levels and was thrown in cold from the minors.

        Forsythe certainly showed no power. Very surprising. That could be the deciding factor in moving Taylor to 2B and shopping Forsythe for a power outfielder in some fashion. Forsythe, like Puig, is a good fielder. The problem with FAZ is they are not very good at trades. Most of them fizzle. They are playing a cheap game. Now is the time to ante up for top talent while the team is ascending. There are windows of opportunity that every team has or will have, and the Dodgers have a big window right now. Take a page from the Warriors book, go after a Durant.

        1. You do realize of course that Martinez has never had a season like last year in his career. And I never said they had quality in the backups, I said they were loaded with outfielders. So in FAZ’s world, why would they want more? Prior to this season, Martinez only had one year where he hit more homers than Puig did last year. He does hit for average since he is a lifetime .300 hitter. But he is a mediocre defender, which is not the kind of player FAZ targets, and he is 3 years older than Puig. He also is going to get a massive contract, which since they are trying to CUT payroll, FAZ will probably bypass the large contracts until at least they sort out what they are going to do with all the deadwood they have on the roster. As for Cody, the World Series showed the league that the kid has some serious holes in his swing. But he has a huge upside. Will Joc build on his world series success? Who knows. Will he even be given the chance? Again, no one knows yet. As for Toles, he has a lot of tools. Great speed, a decent arm and the kid can hit. All he needs to do now is stay healthy. And since the only season you can really point to is last year, he really has no history to back up what you say about him. Thompson is fodder. I think when he hurt his back it totally messed up his swing and he did not recover all year. I absolutely believe that Puig will improve. He has a rapport with Turner Ward and what is more important is that he trusts the guy. Next year, Puig will be a monster. Like I said, we as fans may want them to ante up, but I doubt they do.

    2. Jeff

      If Andrew Toles comes back fine like his surgeon said after his surgery, he not only is able to hit consistently, he has elite speed, and he hits with power too.

      He actually hit more HRs in his first month this year, then Joc hit in his first month, starting at the beginning of the season, on the big league team.

      Also Toles seems to have that clutch gene, because he has hit well in RBI situations, and even against lefties, in those situations.

      He eventually looks like a 300 hitter, with power, and with elite speed.

      Jeff no offense to you, but you don’t know what type of player Toles is, because he hasn’t played for a full season yet!

      1. Jeff

        There are not to many players that are able to start the season at A ball, and play well enough at every level, including at the major league level, in one season, and that is what Andrew Toles did!

        And this was after Toles had not played baseball for an entire year, before his ascent, to the top!

        I think with more experience, at the major league level, he might be a Joe Morgan type of player, with his speed, and pop.

        Did you know that JD Martinez was an Astro, and they let him go, because they thought he was a bust?

        You have to give these young players a chance!

        Toles has taken advantage of every chance he has been given, and he has stepped up every time, he was given a chance!

        And as good as JD is offensively, he is also a liability on defense!

  3. I wanted Verlander from the beginning. You get the veteran pitchers who have gotten to the big stage, have done well, but didn’t win. That’s an old school method for identifying who you want as a mid season pickup. No SABR formula will crank that out. It’s just understanding athletes and history.

    By this formula, for example, Alex Wood will contribute mightily someday to a championship and I think I would not bet against him in that.

    1. You might have wanted him, but the FO did not want the last 2 years of that contract. That is why they did not trade for him. Considering the fact that they still have McCarthy for another year, Kazmir the same, 2 more years of Hill, Kershaw at a huge sum, Ryu for another year, Wood still a year from arbitration, Maeda for 6 years, and the kids under team control it is a little easier to understand why they did not want to block anyone with Verlander’s contract status. They went with the rental, and they lost the gamble, but here is a little fodder for you. If they had held on to the game 2 lead, they would have beaten Verlander twice. As it was they beat him once and knocked him out of the game the other time.

      1. Of course we know why FAZ didn’t get Verlander. I’m saying they were wrong, and I imagine if they hadn’t signed McCarthy and Kazmir they would have had the guts and resources to get Verlander. And in fact if they had just cut Kazmir and McCarthy last year we may have been in a better position to get Verlander. The Astros FO knew that all the other SABR FOs will pass on Verlander because of his last year and they waited it out and got him when the Tigers had no options left. Very smart of them.

        1. They hamstrung the payroll with those 2 guys, and I would take Verlander over Hill any day. But unfortunately you and I are not running the show. I would have had Ryu on the post season roster. Simply because that guy pitches lights out most of the time at Dodger Stadium. The Astros made the right move at the right time, but Verlander did not beat the Dodgers……..the Mortons, McCullers and Peacocks of the world did.

          1. Michael

            I agree with you about Ryu, but Hill has almost out pitched Kershaw, in the last two post seasons.

            Hill is not like McCarthy, or Kazmir, do you think McCarthy and Kazmir would stay in a game, after getting hit, on the throat, like Hill did?

            Once Hill got started this year, he didn’t have any on going blister problems, it wasn’t his fault most of the time, that the management, didn’t let him pitch deeper into games.

            And I don’t know what Verlander is making per year, but I would think it is more money, then Hill makes per year.

            The biggest reason we didn’t win the World Series, is because both of our ace pitchers, let us down, not one time, but three times!

            And Kenley couldn’t get the job done, in game two.

            And like I told YF, Verlander never coughed up a six run lead his team gave him, like Kershaw did!

          2. MJ, I simply do not like the way Hill pitches. Oh he has decent stuff and that night in Pittsburgh he was really on his game, but I tire of the 5 inning starts. In a prefect world for me the starter would go 7 more times than not. I think all of those guys I mentioned put a real strain on the bullpen, and we all know how that works out. & game series and most of the BP was gassed by game 5. Over a full schedule, I just would like to see Hill go at least 6 in a majority of his starts. I do not see that capability in him. And there is no way Hill has outpitched Kershaw the last 2 seasons. Not even close in victory’s or ERA. Kershaw is a far superior pitcher than Hill. To even mention Hill in the same breath is ludicrous.

        1. It’s a counter-factual fest!

          Here’smine:

          If this board stopped with day dreaming what if scenarios and alternate realities, we would have better discussions.

          Just an opinion.

          1. Bluto, are you replying to YF’s post or just contending everyone here is not dealing with facts? Hard for me to tell. Either way I don’t agree with that take. Kazmir and McCarthy were bad signings, and what YF said about Verlander and the Yankees has merit. Verlander was 2-0 in that series with 16 IP, 21 K’s and a 0.75 WHIP. We get that out of our ace in the most important series of the year we are Champs. Is that daydreaming or fact? I think it’s both.

            I was on record saying I thought Darvish would be the pick up, for obvious FAZ reasons, but I had no idea his heart was no longer in the game. As much as I think we need his RH talent in this rotation, I don’t sign him unles he is willing to sign for the standard FAZ reductive offer – 4 years $48 million. He says he wants to stay here, I think he still has value. He did put up 3.9 WAR this year. But if someone is willing to give him more – sayonara Yu.

          2. Badger that’s my point.

            You wrote:
            >>We get that out of our ace in the most important series of the year we are Champs. Is that daydreaming or fact? I think it’s both.<<

            IT CANNOT BE FACT. It can't be. It didn't happen. It's a counterfactual. Don't treat it like fact. It isn't.

            What I'm saying is that day-dreaming about alternate realities are not productive nor really interesting. It's just pontificating.

            Of course Verlander would have been a great acquisition. But it could not or would not have happened.

            In fact, here's my alternate reality:
            If the Dodgers had acquired Mike Trout, Verlander and Craig Kimbrel they would have won the World Series.

            But why bother? Because the team wasn't going to take on the salary of the former, and the latter two weren't going to be traded.

            Here's another one: If Yu Darvish pitches like 1/3 of the pitcher he was in the first two rounds of the playoffs the Dodgers would have won the final game of the season.

            But why speculate? He didn't, and even if he had who knows what else would have happened.

            It's easy to daydream, losing in a game 7 of the World Series stings. BUT THE TEAM GO TO THE SEVENTH GAME OF THE WORLD SERIES.

            It was a ridiculously great season. It didn't end well, but it usually doesn't. Enjoy the good, don't speculate about the bad.

            Just my perspective.

          3. So you’re saying that had Kershaw gone 2-0, with 16 IP and a 0.75 WHIP in that series we wouldn’t have won it?

            Again, I disagree.

            “Of course Verlander would have been a great acquisition.” Really? According to your own words that’s just daydreaming. It didn’t happen so why bring it up?

            Isn’t talking baseball, including the what if’s, what these boards are for?

            Also, I disagree that it was a ridiculously great season. Those seasons don’t end with laying an egg in Game 7 of the World Series.

          4. Talking baseball is what these boards are about. And my point is only my own. I’d love to talk baseball and not daydream or speculate about alternate realities. It’s pointless, useless and silly (in my opinion.) It adds nothing, it creates scapegoats and it promotes completely inane “I told you so” posts from fans who know little and have less ability to impact reality.

            As for Kershaw putting up those numbers, (and again, I’m more disappointed by Darvish by a long arm) who knows if they would win or not. You don’t know, I don’t know, nobody knows, because it didn’t happen. If you want to go to the chance game, YES, there’s a great chance if Darvish pitches even 25% better that the Dodgers are World Champs. If Kershaw pitches 10% better, ditto.

            But I’m saying you don’t know, because these things didn’t happen. The are the opposite of factual statements.

            >>“Of course Verlander would have been a great acquisition.” Really? According to your own words that’s just daydreaming. It didn’t happen so why bring it up?<<
            That's my point! The word "would" it would have been a great position, AND IN MY NEXT SENTENCE I SAID IT WOULDN'T AND COULDN'T (given budgetary constraints) happen.

            Of course it was a great season. Ridiculously great may have been one modifier too much.

        2. YF

          I agree with you about Verlander, he is the type of pitcher, that rises to the occasion.

          And he actually gains velocity the deeper he pitches into a games, at times.

          We might have gave him a no decision in one game, and gave him a lost in the other game, but wins are not a good way to evaluate pitchers!

          Because for a pitcher to win, they must get run support, from there team.

          And I don’t think that Verlander ever lost a game, when his team gave him six runs to work with, in this post season, like Kershaw has done, twice in the post season.

          1. Badger

            After Darvish came to the Dodgers, that changed.

            He said he looked forward, going to the stadium everyday, after he became a Dodger!

            And why wouldn’t he, he had a follow countryman to talk to, and he felt closer to the players on the Dodgers, even more then the players, on his high school, and his team, in Japan.

            I don’t really believe the moment got to big for Darvish, I just think he knew he wasn’t able to really throw any of his off speed pitches well, before these games.

            And I think it was the different ball, because Darvish was having no problems, throwing his off speed pitches, until the first game, in the World Series!

            Because really, Darvish pitched better in the other series, before World Series, then Kershaw did!

            And his off speed pitches were elite, in those other two series!

          2. Yeah, MJ, I don’t disagree with that take. It might have been the slick baseballs, a lot of pitchers complained about them, but I also think Yu didn’t adjust well. He’s got 98 in his tool bag, he could have used it (up and in) in combination with with those flat sliders thrown DOWN. He never tried it. He just kept throwing that 83mph frisbee.

            As I said, I would give him another shot – at the right price. He’s 32 next August. I see no reason to give him more than 4 years.

        3. Michael

          We both agree on that, but I think the five inning starts, are more about the management, not Hill.

          And actually Hill had one, of not the best numbers on this team, when he faced the order, the third time though.

          I was only talking about the post season.

          Kershaw is not the same pitcher in the post session, so it isn’t crazy!

          And you have to remember Kershaw is the only pitcher, they let go deep in games.

          1. Michael

            Post season era Kershaw 382,

            Post season era
            Hill 255,

            Kershaw pitched in two more games, but that is the eras for both pitchers, in the post season this year..

          2. MJ, Kershaw 3-0 this post season, Hill no wins……Hill is no where near Kershaw’s level. Even if Kershaw is not the same he is still the far superior pitcher. And I do not think management has anything to do with the fact that Hill only goes five most of the time. I think it is because the 3rd time through the order, he gets very hittable.

    2. YF

      If you looked at Verlander’s saber metric numbers the year before, he should have won the Cy Young that year.

      I don’t think Verlander’s saber metric numbers, are the reason the front office, didn’t get him.

      I think it had more to do with the money he had left on his contract, then anything else, and the fact he still had two more years, left on his contract.

      1. Badger

        That is so weird, that is what I was thinking about this morning!

        With the fastball Darvish has, he could pitch just like Verlander was pitching, like you said.

        His velocity is better I believe,
        and he has a live fastball, especially if he threw it, at the top of the strike zone, like Verlander did!

      2. Again I know why the FO stayed away from Verlander because of his contract. But Kazmir and McCarthy combined made more and they are deadwood on this roster. The FO could have made the numbers work either by packaging prospects to clear those contracts. Or just waive them. They didn’t.

        Bluto you can pick on the counterfactuals. But actually the exercise of making trades is mostly based on counterfactuals, particularly with the FAZ who likes to pick up players who are underperforming and they think they can perform better as a Dodger. To do that, the FO has to make assumptions, based on how a players has done in the past, and make projections and extrapolations on how that player would have done with a different team. It’s not simply assuming a great player will be great once they change teams – that helps but every FO does more than just that. They think about what ifs way more than we do. And they also look at past signings and how the change in scenery played out, then they play what if’s based on that. How do you think they figured Hill would be a good pickup as a Dodger? Our roster, especially our pitching depth, is littered with the counterfactual work of the FAZ.

        I am saying that one thing that the FAZ did that was wrong was that they undervalued veteran “big time” experience. My arguments against Darvish were posted before the trade.

        Bluto if you don’t want to discuss counterfactuals that is fine and I applaud your discipline, but what ifs are how you look to improve a team and it’s going to talked about, especially in the off season, so just live with it. Scapegoating is also part of the exercise to improve a team – it identifies players who should be let go or needs a new scenery. What matters is not the what if’s, or that counterfactuals and used, what matters is how these what ifs are plausible and how they help the next few moves.

        1. YF

          Those two were terrible signings!

          And McCarthy never should have been on any post season roster!

          He didn’t earn it, and he is no grinder, and because of all of that, he had no place on a post season roster, let alone, a World Series roster!

        2. I don’t think, YF, that counterfactual means what you think it means.

          I think you are conflating it with risk-management or with projecting out performance.

          I appreciate your final paragraph though, even if I don’t agree with it.

          Finally waiving a player (as was done with Crawford) doesn’t relieve a team of a salary’s burden.

      3. Michael

        One of the biggest blunders that people thought Roberts made in this World Series, was not allowing Hill to pitch past the fifth inning, or at least, finish the fifth inning.

        And you watch every game like I do, and you know they let Kershaw stay in games, longer then the other starters, throughout the season.

        And Hill had the best numbers on the team, when facing the order the third time through this year.

        Wins are a bad way to evaluate starters, because for a starter to win a game, they must get run support from there team.

        Kershaw’s era in the post season this year, was quite a bit higher then Hill’s era, in the post season this year.

        Kershaw gave up a record amount of HRs in the post season this year, and if Kershaw hadn’t got so much run support from his team, he wouldn’t have won a couple of the games, he won.

        And Kershaw is making a heck of a lot more money then Hill is, so more is expected out of Kershaw.

        1. I agree with all of your points MJ, except, Hill is no where near the level of pitcher that Kershaw is. Hill is a good pitcher, Kershaw is a VERY good pitcher. And you may say that wins are not important in a pitchers stats, but I am old school and wins mean a lot. Yep Kershaw gave up 8 homers in the post season, which I think is a product of changed hitting philosophy, and a totally new approach to hitting. But there is not a pitcher on this team who was not bitten by the HR bug. Hill gave up 3 homers in 17 innings. Kershaw gave up 8 in 33 innings. Hill gave up 18 in 135 innings during the regular season. Kershaw who pitched almost 45 innings more gave up 23. Ryu and Maeda who pitched a lot less innings than Kershaw, gave up 22 apiece! That’s terrible by any stretch of the imagination. But you thinking Hill is better is your opinion, one I do not agree with. Of course MLB set a record for the most HR’s ever in a season, and the post season was no different. Dodger pitching gave up 29 home runs in the post season. 7 in the division series, 7 in the NLCS and 15 in the World Series. Hill had a lower ERA than Kershaw, but Kersh’s WHIP and BA against was lower than Hill. And keep money out of it. Kershaw is worth more money than Hill. He is also 8 years younger.

  4. I bet if one of the Astros pitchers started two games, and was tipping his pitches, both Corey and Cody, would look like very good hitters too, and they would have hit a HR like Springer and Gurriel did!

  5. @ Bluto:

    “What I’m saying is that day-dreaming about alternate realities are not productive”

    What part of blogging about baseball leads to anything productive baseball wise?

    Have you come across a comment in the vast blogosphere that eventually lead to a productive decision by our baseball club? If you have please provide it.

    “It was a ridiculously great season. It didn’t end well, but it usually doesn’t. Enjoy the good, don’t speculate about the bad.”

    Why isn’t that pontification?

    1. I find A LOT of blogging is productive. I learn about ways to watch the game, to evaluate the players, to appreciate the skill.

      I’m really sorry if you don’t get that out of blogs and online communities.

      Is what I wrote a pompous statement? A Self-important or imperious one?

      I think it isn’t and didn’t intend it to be. I thought it was laudatory of the team and brief.

      1. Oh by productive you mean productive to you. So if it isn’t productive to you then it’s a waste of time, or as you put it “It’s pointless, useless and silly (in my opinion.) ”

        To me, IMHO, dismissing others because it doesn’t meant your standards, borders on pompous arrogance. But if that is your perspective that’s fine. It’s a free country.

        I enjoy these boards for the camaraderie and the different perspectives. But I will not reduce other person’s opinions to a waste of time simply because they don’t meet my definition of being productive. There is a lot of baseball opinion I don’t agree with. But who am I to judge?

        1. Not really my care nor point MJ. I don’t care if people are agreeing or disagreeing.

          I just want smart people to discuss interesting things. Not what ifs, or who to blame

          1. Bluto

            I just think people were accessing what went wrong with the team, and what would make the team better.

            And it does get frustrating, losing for much the same reason, we have lost in the post season, in the past!

          2. That’s silly MJ.

            Every time you lose a game, it’s generally for the same reasons:
            1. Not scoring enough (game 7)
            2. Poor pitching (Darvish)
            3. Bad luck (Darvish? Taylor not hearing the 3rd base coach)

  6. Felony Dufus, I tried to help you many times by telling you that you are so deep in the hole it was time to stop digging. Now you have not only got a shovel working, you have brought in the Dufus Back Hoe, and it is obvious that most others agree. Give it up, you have no interest in actually learning anything from blogs or others’ opinions, your narcissism prevents it and just makes you come across as very shallow, simple, arrogant and pompous. It’s time for you to “Run Away!”

    1. Oh no.

      The homophobic moron with sophomoric nicknames is back with a metaphor about digging and a bewildering use of quotation marks.

      Can I run away whilst in the hole I have dug?

      The discourse level is sure to lower

    2. Bluto

      Kershaw was also given a seven run lead, and once again, he didn’t do his job!

      And if a team continues to lose games the same way, something has to change!

      Wood put in the gutsiest performance, of all of our pitchers, in the World Series!

  7. “The discourse level is sure to lower”.

    Yep:

    “The homophobic moron with sophomoric nicknames.”

    Sigh …..

    Anyone going to talk Hot Stove?

    We know the Dodgers won’t get below the Luxury Tax in ‘18. Well, I believe I know it, don’t know what other bloggers are saying. One in particular said they would do it this year. How’d that work out? I see $202 million sitting there now, and moves to improve will be made – right? I hear Stanton rumblings again. We know he wants to play in LA, any ideas on how that will happen? Miami will likely pay some of that albatross salary, but how much? I figure Stanton has a shot at earning his money as a position player for 4-5 more years, then he is a DH. Who gets him and at what cost?

    1. Every report has the Dodgers cutting payroll, so I’m expecting it to happen.

      I think Stanton is Giants or Philles according to reports, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston or another team jumps in.

      Grandad should get a return.

      Other interesting questions:
      Will Maeda’s incentive laden contract have an impact on him taking a bullpen role.

      How much of poor late season showings will factor in to 2018 expectations for Buehler and Verdugo?

      Any chance Gonzalez and Kazmir retire? Would help with cost-savings, but why should players care about that?

      Alex Cobb seems a good price for rotation help, no?

  8. Hey Badger
    Man it is nice to see your name on the board again. I always enjoy your perspectives on the Dodgers. I would love to see Stanton in Dodger Blue but I do not think FAZ will spring for the years or the money. I think maybe trading Puig and some prospects would get it done as Miami may have to eat a little money too. Maybe that is not nearly enough but don’t think I would give much more.

    1. Thanks package. I appreciate that.

      I think if FAZ wants to do it, they can. But I too question their motivation. The Dodgers won over 100 and led all of MLB in attendance without him. If he wants to play in LA, he could make that happen himself by a willingness to restructure. He can opt out after ‘20, but would he leave money on the table just to play in LA? Rumor has it a few other teams, not in the east, would be interested in his services. I can see St Louis and SF interested. I can see the Angels very interested. But the man comes with a serious debt load that, if not restructured, will submerge somebody’s payroll after his productive years are long over. He could be Josh Hamilton waiting to happen. Nobody wants that. That said, his bat between Seager and Bellinger would be fun.

      1. Badger,
        I have not been on the board lately but have you said who you think will not return to the Dodgers in 18. I am thinking Darvish, Granderson, Ethier, Forysthe, Utley, Watson, Fields, others may be traded or sent to the minors. I do think the Dodgers will look much different in 18. What is your 1st thoughts?

        1. Good question. My first thought is Darvish put up 3.9 rWAR, 3.5 fWAR. That is clearly worth more than what Hill, 2.6 fWAR, Kazmir ZIP, and McCarthy .7, get from the Dodgers. He’s worth an offer, though it probably won’t be popular if one is given. We need more better starting pitching but I don’t know where it will come from. Arrieta maybe. Buehler will probably earn a spot. Wish I knew if Urias will pitch again. His shoulder surgery was a serious one. I think Forsythe will be back, the others who knows. It’s early. A lot to talk about all winter. Let’s see who garners FAZ interest, but the core of this team won’t change. You can make out the starting lineup today.

        2. Ok Package, Watson, Granderson, Darvish, Utley are all free agents and not under team control anymore. Ethier has a 17 million dollar team option and a 2.1 million dollar buyout. They will buy him out. Forsythe’s option will be picked up. Fields is arbitration eligible. Now whether they make him an offer or non tender him I have no clue. But he had moments and stretches where he pitched really well. He just blew up in the world series like a bunch of the guys did,

          1. I agree with you. One person did not cause the team to lose the WS but some are more apt to not come through than others. I think Fields is one of those. He certainly is not the only one However, that is just an opinion and FAZ rarely matches me. Ethier is one I would like to see return but not at 17 mil. Utley is also a reliable bench player. I personally do not care much for Forsythe but I agee they will probably retain him. I hope I never see Granderson again.

      2. Badger

        I agree with you, I don’t see it happening, especially after our front office, has tried so hard to get under the luxury tax.

        The Angels just signed Justin Upton to a five year contract, and I would think the Angels need a good leftie hitter more, to balance there line up, then another rightie power hitter.

        I don’t see Stanton wanting to go to SF in that big stadium.

        And the Giants still haven’t got a good bat to play left, even though they have needed one, for the last three years.

        And I don’t think the Giants have that many good prospects in there minor league system to give the Marlins, to get Stanton either..

        But I also don’t know if that is the only way to make a deal.

        I like Stanton but I just don’t think he is going to be worth, his big multi year contract, anyways.

        He has had trouble at times at staying on the field in his career, even with his Adonis like body.

        And if we did get Stanton, I see Puig going to the Marlins, because I don’t think Mattingly will be the Marlins manager, much longer.

        And as much as some might think, I don’t think our offense was the reason, we didn’t win the World Series.

        Cody was a rookie in his first year, who had little time in AAA, and if True doesn’t jinx him, he is only going to get better! ( Sorry True, I couldn’t resist!)

        I just think to many people expected to much from Cody in the World Series, because we already know that Cody can go the other way, so that is not an issue for him, he just tried to do to much.

        I bet Cody will be working on his recognition of slow curves on his hands in the off season, because he only wants to get better!

        Also some people seemed to forget that Corey was injured, and because of that, he was not the same hitter, in the post season.

        Corey’s power numbers went down, and he also was not going with many pitches to the right side, after he got hurt.

        And because of that, he didn’t have his normal power, and he hit a lot of balls into the shift, then he normally would have, if he was healthy.

        I do think our team offense needs to practice being more productive on offense, so they will be able to score tough runs, against good pitching.

        They did do a pretty good job against Verlander in that game six.

        But in game seven, even after they watched the Astro’s third baseman, give away his at bat, by hitting a grounder to the right side, to move Springer over to third, to score a easy run.

        But our players did the opposite of what the Astro’s did, in there first half, of the first inning.

        And because of that, even after Taylor lead off with a double just like Springer did in the prior half inning, we didn’t even score a single run, even though we were able to load the bases, after both Corey and Cody struck out!

        And by the way, I know those two young players didn’t do there job in that first inning, but they were not the ones, that didn’t get a key hit after the bases were loaded, in that first inning, so they should not get all of the blame, like some people tried to do!

        Corey and Cody’s main objective should have been making sure they made contact, to get Taylor to third, but they both tried to do to much, and because of that, they both struck themselves out, on pitches in the dirt and off speed pitches, on there hands.

  9. If I had not said it already, it’s good to have Badger back, and also it seems several others have started to get over our WS choke and gotten back into the swing of things again. Great to see.

    On getting additional vet starters. I know when I said the top contenders are young and talented, including us, and Michael got on me a little because (and he’s right) our 25 man roster this year is actually older than the other elite teams. What I should have said is that going forward we are going to be just as young and talented. By this I mean the older guys are going to be dropping off, 2018 and forward. I don’t think they sign any veteran starter this year as they are going to rehab their prior signings and give a shot to Buehler. Urias is a big question mark. We also still have a bunch of Cubans in the minors if anyone has noticed (some may have forgotten, in fact). Our pipeline is still very crowded. Other than maybe a Grandal trade I don’t see much happening this year for us, this offseason.

    Maybe this will be fun — what does everyone think we can get for Grandal?

    1. Hey Yueh, a couple of bats and maybe a bag of balls for Grandmal…..just kidding. He could bring a bench bat and maybe a decent relief pitcher since most of the reports I am reading are saying the Dodgers are not going to pursue any of their free agents, including Morrow, which I think is stupid. I also doubt seriously my friend that they just throw Buehler into the fire. First off, you have to look at who they still have under contract. Kershaw, Hill, Wood, Maeda, Ryu, McCarthy, and Kazmir are all starters and all under contract for next year. Now, they could and most likely will just jettison Kazmir since from most reports he is no where near baseball ready. Then you have to remember that Stewart is a starter too. I think Stripling will be a long man for the foreseeable future, but he can also start. Revamping the bullpen will be a priority since this FO likes using them so much. Over dependent on them in my estimation. And if they trade Grandal, who becomes the back up back stop? Well Farmer would be the first choice, but there are an awful lot of very good catchers who are free agents this winter. They are leaning, again according to almost every story I read, to resigning Forsythe. Okay, is he the everyday 2nd baseman, or the Utley clone? Urias will not be ready until at least mid season, so to me he is not even in the equation. They have lefty’s Dayton, Liberatore, Cingrani, and Avilan under team control. Baez and Fields are arbitration eligible. The outfield is crowded as always. But do you keep Taylor in CF? I would rather see a natural CF out there. He is still learning, but I like him so much better in the infield. Toles is now hitting so there is a really great chance he will be vying for a starting job in spring. Puig will be the RF. But the other two spots should and will be up for grabs. Here is the kicker, and I was reading about this today. Depending on how severe the injury to Corey Seager’s elbow is and how he responds to treatment or surgery, and I think it is going to be the latter, is he even ready for opening day? That is going to be a legitimate question. I like you, doubt they will pursue any big ticket free agents, up to and including Darvish since they are really trying to avoid the luxury tax. Well all know how Friedman and Zaidi work. They like the low risk high reward guys, as Morrow was this year, and they like to stockpile talent. I have little doubt that the same philosophy is practiced this off season. There will be tweak’s, and we as fans can only guess as to what they will be. There WILL be a new pitching coach since all sources are reporting that Honeycutt will not sign a new deal. All in all, the next couple of months will see comings and goings to the Dodger organization. I do want to wish Andre Ethier all the luck in the world and I hope he gets a contract with an organization that will actually use him. Thanks to Chase Utley for the total class you showed while a member of the team and for your guidance and leadership for the guys. And my final note, directed to MJ, methinks you have a crush on Giancarlo Stanton……Adonis like body??? Wow MJ!!

      1. Michael

        I don’t have a crush on Stanton, like a lot of men I do, because he can hit a ball so far, but any woman, including me, can’t miss the fact, that Stanton is built!

        1. yeah he does, but is there a winning personality behind all that? I always valued a woman who had a great personality and people skills. I never had the great looks, but my personality always got me by. Of course, I can be an obnoxious bastard when the wrong mood hits, and I am very blunt and opinionated. But I have never, and will never had a man crush on anyone….Not my thing.

          1. Michael

            I don’t think we really know what a players, true personality is, we all probably put our own spin, on a given player.

            In this day and age, some men do confess to have crushes on certain guys, and I have heard many guys, say they wish they could hit a baseball as far, as Stanton does.

          2. Yeah I bet there are a lot of current major leaguers who wish they could hit one as far as Stanton also. I value the complete player more. That’s why I always loved watching Willie Mays. I am comfortable enough with the talents that I do possess and that keeps me grounded to who I am. Natural talent is something I enjoy watching and a lot of these players have that. Skills that cannot be taught. I admire others who have great skills at doing something they truly love doing. But not enough to ever have a man crush. Just not in my DNA. But you do get glimpses of a person’s true personality, even ball players. One of the things I learned playing music and doing shows with people who were legends in the music business. One on one, their real personality is very out there. Some are truly humble and very easy to talk to. Others are standoffish, and sometimes even rude. I have also noticed that some can even be somewhat jealous. Barry Bonds by most accounts was a insufferable ass to a lot of people, especially the media. Gary Sheffield was also a pain to be around. I saw first hand after a Dodger game what a jerk Daryl Strawberry was. But fame has it’s drawbacks. How you handle fame is what really counts.

    2. YF

      See the thread Badger posted bellow, it is about the average age of the Dodgers and Astro’s players, and the article is about which teams, have the brightest futures.

      It seems like both Michael and you are right, because the team’s average age, are really close!

  10. Good stuff here.

    The way I see it if Forsythe is back Taylor is in CF. Trading both Joc and Grandal could net some talent. Farmer and Barnes are both RH hitters and knowing how FAZ likes the platoon, will they be ok with that?

    $237 million is a mark they might shoot for as money means nothing but 10 slots in the draft might. I think they are realistically at $202mm so there is room to be creative. Also, if the right deal is there ef those 10 slots. Instead of 30 it’s 40? Who cares.

    We are still paying Olivera almost $5mm What idiot signed that guy? Oh…. never mind.

    I don’t think the park matters to Stanton. He could hit 50 in any uniform.

    1. No platoon nessesary if your catcher can hit both types. Grandal even though he is a switcheroo, has no power vs the lefty’s I just like Barnes makeup back there and he can move and block a lot of those pitches that Grandal does not.

    1. Artie – just just watched your boys come back to
      beat my boys 3-2 from 2 down.
      Great game though & Everton needed the win.

      Finally beginning to get over the game 7 meltdown.
      What an absolute Rollercoaster the Playoffs were. Feel like I need to go into therapy.
      Getting up in the middle of the night to watch the games for a month was tough, but made me realise how much I love the game.

      Great to have Badger’s input again. This board is much the better for him being part of it.

    1. I too would like to have Jonah return. He has good perspectives. Like all of us we always don’t agree but he is definitely a standup guy.

      1. Package

        I bet after all your worring about the team, you were pleasantly surprised, on how well the Dodgers played in the post season, from there first series against the Dbacks, to game seven, in the World Series.

          1. Package

            For some reason, I don’t doubt that!

            I think all of us Dodger fans, were surprised on how well, our players put it in gear, once the post season began.

            They really had a great year!

            I wish Darvish could have pitched in the World Series, like he did in his other post season starts.

            It is to bad for the team, and Darvish himself, because he really enjoyed being on this team.

            Darvish said he never felt as close, to the players, he played on other teams with, like this group of guys.

            And he did pitch so well in those other two series!

    2. Badger

      Thanks!

      YF I thought you might like this article, since Michael and you, were debating the two teams.

      The average age of the Dodgers and the Astros, is about the same.

      They have the numbers in this article.

      1. Actually the Dodgers were a little younger. My bad. The core of the Astros is young, but Seager and Bellinger make the Dodgers a little younger and the only starters on the Dodgers in their 30’s were Forsythe and Turner. Astros had 3, Reddick, Gurriel, and McCann. Dodgers bought out Ethier’s contract today, making Andre a free agent.

  11. Well believe it or not, tomorrow the mad rush for free agent help begins. There are some very interesting players out there, not to say that FAZ will be buying. Lots of starting and relief pitching available. A lot of catchers too. And that is before the non tendered names hit the list. There are now 7 exe Dodgers who are free agents. Morrow, Darvish, Ethier, Granderson, Watson, Utley and Gutierrez. According to Duquette’s predictions, the Dodgers will sign none of the top 25 free agents, including their own.

  12. Yes, Ethier as expected got bought out, thus bringing our FAs to 7.

    And this is probably a good time for me to roll out the first of my “exit reviews” for the players. I am aware of a lot SABR stats on these guys, but I don’t want to dwell on them since a majority of blogs out there put out SABR stats and I prefer to just state my own observation and recollection of these players over the course of the season and with more focus on their performance during the playoffs, and lastly how they could help the team next year. I think depth will still be key but hopefully the FAZ starts to get “quality depth” from our farm system rather than relying on bad depth with spare parts and wishful turn-around projects. There will be plenty of second guessing and what ifs, it’s called learning from mistakes and while we are not running the team, it makes things fun and keeps our minds busy.

    I will start with our 7 free agents.

    Granderson. His bat looked slow and I was not impressed with his speed or defense. I think every hit he got was by virtue of anticipating the pitch and cheating on the pitch, and even then he often swung through meatballs on the middle or outside part of the plate. Note for future reference – if we ever sign another mid-season veteran bat, I want a bat that is good at hitting to the opposite field. But it would be better if they just let our young outfielders get experience and grow into more complete players. George Springer debuted in 2014 and had major strike out issues before putting it together in his age 27 season (this season).

    Brandon Morrow. He was quite a find and has great stuff and make-up. When he gives up a big hit or a home run, my recollection was that those were usually quality “out” pitches. He will help us a lot next year, provided he stays healthy (this goes with all pitchers). As many here know, I do not like too many relievers of the same type of pitches, and there is an argument to be made that he’s just a better version than Baez and Field, who are younger and could improve. However I don’t think so – while Morrow does throw a lot of fastballs and sliders, he can get those pitches in all quadrants with movement and we actually don’t have many guys who can do so similarly. The main problem is that Morrow is no longer a secret and will get a nice contract of 3 year in length. While I would love to see him back, I do have one concern, which is that Morrow will be subject to over-use by Roberts and we may be in for a huge letdown if he is signed to a 3 year contract. A back-end loaded contract would be nice as we would likely be under the luxury tax
    next year, and since Morrow is from California, maybe he takes a back end loaded 3 year contact for a chance to win it all. But a lot of teams needs someone like Morrow, and I think he will get a blowout offer from another contender (for example the Astros, yikes). So overall I think he walks, and I will not be too upset about it if he lands a big 3 year contract, unless the FAZ blows it by letting him walk for a back-ended loaded contract that we could have given him. The question I have is that since Morrow was signed as a minor leaguer but with a MLB roster deadline, can we get a pick if we tender a QO and he declines?

    Tony Watson. He had his ups and downs, but he is a good fit for our bullpen as a medium leverage bridge. I liked his demeanor in the playoffs. He doesn’t walk people and when he throws his fastballs it is flat and straight, but consistently at the outside edges of the strike zone, which allows him to get ground balls with his sinker down in the zone. I would not mind getting him back at a 1 year or 2 year deal, if the FA market dries up on him. However, I don’t think he will be missed either, since we would have Grant Dayton and Liberatore , and there are always bullpen arms to find.

    Yu Darvish. Despite my misgivings about him, Darvish has great stuff and would be a great regular season pitcher in the regular season. I do not like him at all in the post-season – he just has that look like he wishes he was somewhere else. If anything, in those situations it would just be better to pitch around people, but he does the worse thing possible – he misses spots in the strikezone and gets lit up. Check out what he did in the Olympics and the World Baseball Classics, representing his country. Anyways, I still think he is a great regular season pitcher, but he will be very expensive, and with our young arms coming up, I don’t think the FAZ makes a move to sign any big contracts this off season. Bye bye Darvish.

    Utley. His bat was noticeably slower this year and he started to strike out on bad pitches in key situations, and looking to me like he was cheating and guessing wrong. His defense was not bad, not great, but I will say this. When he is playing in the infield, you don’t see many rushed plays or either Seager or Bellinger trying to do too much. He just has a calming influence. Hopefully he comes back as a coach, and Utley may be a great bench coach if Geren leaves for the Mets, but it may be a while – I think players of his stature usually takes a year or two off before going into coaching. Since we have so many youngsters coming up, I think we would want to keep him around.

    Gutierrez. Another turn around project that combusted. I hope the best for him. You can bet that the FAZ will continue to make 100s of transactions of this caliber.

    Ethier. His bat seemed ok to me, and I think he would have been a liability in left field, but I don’t think his defense was worse than JD Martinez, Schwarber or Marwin Gonzales. I think our FO and coaching staff totally underestimated him. For the Series, with Bellinger striking out so much, Ethier was the left handed bat we needed against right hand pitching for the first 5 innings, and then put Joc in later for defense and the HR off their bullpen. More than just Ethier, it did not seem like we were as prepared for every player’s usage in the series, and we did not take into account the use of starters as relievers as the Series wore on. Putting Joc in to start the game basically required Bellinger, a rookie that had broken the record for strikeouts in a WS (with room to spare) to remain in the cleanup spot. How about Ethier in the cleanup spot and moving Bellinger behind Forsythe? That would have put a lot more pressure on the likes of McCullers and Peacock, and even Verlander as Bellinger was not going to his Verlander’s sliders anyways. I hope Ethier gets a decent shot with another club with sufficient playing time to play out his career. I don’t know if he wants to sign back with us on a small contract to stay in LA, if not we should be moving on from our vets.

    1. Excellent exit reports there Yueh. By the way, Morrow gave up ZERO homers in the regular season. Zero in 45 innings pitched. He pitched in 14 games in the post season and gave up 3. 2 in game 5 when he was totally gassed. Free agency opens at 5 pm today….teams have until then to make qualifying offers to their players. That’s 5 PM eastern time…..you can pretty much forget the Dodgers going after Cobb, Tampa made him a QO…so Dodgers would surrender a draft pick and we all know FAZ will not do that.

  13. It’s too late for wishful thinking about Verlander. He’s under contract. He’s not available. There were a few here that advocated for Verlander before the deadline, I think Yueh, but not many. He was older, appeared to be in decline, and there was a reasonable reluctance to take on that salary. The Yu move was generally applauded. Looking back, in retrospect, would I have preferred the Verlander the Unhittable that he became after the trade for Yu the Wilter? Of course.

    Unfortunately we don’t have Mr Peabody’s Way Back Machine. It was a smart move based on the best available reasons at the time. It just happened to work out better for the Stros. Lucky them.

    1. At the time I wanted either of them but Darvish just seemed like the logical choice. I thought it was a great pickup. Got that one wrong. Verlander makes the ‘stros a great pick to repeat. He could win 20 on that team.

      1. I think Verlander at his age is due for a down year in 2018, even though it is a contract year. I think he pitches well enough to get another 2-3 year contract and then he will hang it up. The AL is very tough and it will be a real gauntlet for the Astros in 2018.

        For the Dodgers, I think this is the first year of our championship window. We will get younger very rapidly from now on. I think this is Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen’s team now, and Kershaw goes back to Texas after 2018. But Kershaw may surprise us all and choose not opt out – that will endear him to the Dodgers fans for sure.

        1. Considering how down the Rangers are, and the fact that I doubt the Astros would pony up with Verlander still under contract, Kershaw will remain a Dodger.

          1. Championship window opened 5 years ago.

            I have believed Kershaw would opt out and finish in Texas. I don’t know now. It might depend on how healthy his back is. He could finish his contract here at age 32, with over a quarter billion made, and still have a couple years to give to Texas.

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