Friday, May 17, 2024
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Dodgers Don’t Sign Bryce Harper, Unsurprisingly

The Bryce Harper melodrama finally came to an end when the superstar outfielder inked a record breaking 13-year 330 million dollar deal (my god baseball badly needs a hard salary cap), with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers and Giants were also reportedly still in the mix but neither west coast team came away with the super star. Of course as I predicted many months ago, the Dodgers would not be signing Bryce Harper, despite reports that they were SOOOOOOOOin on him”.

I hate to be all “I told you so” or something. I hate it when writers do that. In this instance I really do have to. It’s not that the Dodgers weren’t interested in Harper, surely they were. Everyone was. It was the fact that the Dodgers were not going to do what was necessary to get him into Dodger blue. Because believe me, if the Dodgers really wanted to get Harper, they would have made it happen. Certainly they can afford him.

The problem was that everyone foolishly thought that the Dodgers stupid salary dumping and trading of solid regulars for absolutely nothing (Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood to the Reds) was not a precursor to getting Harper. Again as I predicted it was just for dumping salary, creating roster space and being small market minded. It’s plain and simple.

It’s been four years and Andrew Friedman has yet to dish out a long term deal to a superstar, ad likely never will. The Dodgers will never again be major players for the top free agents on the market, well unless Friedman leaves town and someone else takes over his role. We must accept this. The Dodgers now operate as a small market club, using analytics, player development, and penny pinching. They refuse to participate in winter meetings and they refuse to sign long term deals to any top free agent.

But there are people who may object to the possibility of the Dodgers signing Harper or any other top free agent. They’re objections are funny to me. They cite all these excuses as to why it couldn’t work or why the Dodgers “can’t afford to waste money”. It’s laughable.

Excuse 1– He’s too much money!

Answer- The Dodgers are one of the richest teams in baseball owned and run by a multi-billion dollar hedge fund corporation that generates billions of dollars every year. The Dodgers themselves generate billions of dollars in merchandise, ticket sales, advertising, cable television, concessions, and revenue. If the Dodgers want a player, they can make it happen.

Excuse 2– It’s a waste of money!

Answer- Why do you care? It’s not your money. If the Dodgers spent 1 billion dollars on free agents it would not affect your life in the slightest. Your money would remain unchanged. Your life would also remain unchanged. I could care less how much money the Dodgers spend because it doesn’t affect my life in any way whatsoever. Furthermore, rooting for an executive’s wallet or spending habits is weird, so stop being a weirdo.

Excuse 3– He would not provide value after the first few years of the contract.

Asnwer- Harper still has about 4 or 5 years of his prime left at the least. At age 26 Harper would provide plenty of value well into his thirties. He’s athletic and in good health. He’s a very productive player and would uphold the value of his contract.

I’m not saying the Dodgers didn’t try. Apparently the Dodgers offered Harper a shorter term deal with a huge average annual salary. Unfortunately Harper was only interested in a long term, mega long-term deal. All those reports of Harper only wanting to play on the west coast were totally bogus. He’s playing in Philly folks, thousands of miles away from his Las Vegas home. You don’t have to play in or close to your home town these days.

It’s not that the Dodgers never sign free agents. They do. They’re willing to offer contracts to good players, just not superstars. A.J. Pollock is a good but not great player. Joe Kelly is a solid reliever, but he’s no Kenley Jansen. David Freese is dependable, but not an all-star. So while we put this saga behind us and march towards opening day we can all feel pretty good about the fact that the stupid Giants did not get Bryce Harper.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

68 thoughts on “Dodgers Don’t Sign Bryce Harper, Unsurprisingly

  1. John Heyman reported that Dodgers offered 4-5 year deal LOL. This is a top heavy organization that is skimming money from the top. Dozens of executives are making millions of dollars in salary. Too many “owners” – follow the money. How much does Billie jean King and her wife own? Who “gave” them their shares? How much does Peter Guber own? Friedman wants to win “his” way. Press is cowed.

    1. Sounds like Hollywood Mark smells either a conspiracy or a Hollywood drama with all those silly, inconsequential questions.

      Are we really concerned about minority shareholders?

  2. Unless the writers that fans read REALLY know things they’re not printing for some reason then Harper is a poor defender and wanted a contract that is/was too long for most teams.

    Just because the Dodgers have a shit ton of money doesn’t mean they should give it away like candy. That’s just bad business and baseball IS business whether we all like it or not.

    Would Harper have guaranteed a Championship(s)? No. If anyone would have known they’d have a player “drop out of the sky” for them (Muncy) and hit nearly 40 HR’s in 2018 we’d have all said that would put the team over the top. It didn’t.

    I’d have enjoyed seeing the Dodgers use their wealth productively by giving Harper $40-ish MM for fewer years, but he didn’t accept it so……move on.

    1. A surprisingly rational comment. What you said, Dan, is absolutely correct.

      So then, to you inveterate complainers, should the Dodgers have tried to sign Harper AT ALL COSTS? Should they have offered him $350 million?….15 years? How much is too much? Is it ever wise to walk away from a deal? When is it ok to say no?

      and that first comment…whoa! aluminum hat time!

      1. On the other hand, going to the Series and then reducing payroll two years in a row hardly seems “rational.”

          1. Did the Red Sox lower payroll in 2018? Did the Astros lower payroll in 2017? Did the Cubs lower payroll in 2016? Did the Royals lower payroll in 2015? Did the Giants lower payroll in 2014?

          2. Thanks. Those are fantastic examples that highlight the rational distinction in how Friedman operates.

            After shedding expensive contracts over the years, the Agon trade to the Dodgers being but one example, they spent the time constructing a winning team internally, Betts being one great example. Yes, they spent money on JDM, who turned out to be a great investment. But JDM and his 5/105 deal isn’t 330/13, is it?

            The Astros had the lowest payroll in the league not that long ago. They tanked. They were terrible for while. But it allowed them to draft and build a solid team, again, internally. They raised payroll, but they are still well below the threshold and lower than the Dodgers.

            The Cubs didn’t lower their payroll. You’re right. They went out and spent more. How’d that work out for them? Now they have some expensive and overpaid players. They still have a solid core, but those big, fat free agent signings didn’t exactly guarantee an additional WS title, did they? Hmmm….What’s the lesson there? A rational person might have an epiphany.

            ..and the Giants…Great example of what not to do. What kind of shape is their organization in now? Do they have the financial flexibility to rebuild with all of those expensive contracts to old, injured and mediocre players? How is their farm system? Great! Madbum pitched out of his mind and got them a couple of titles. They’re now going to be bad for a long, long time.

            And you think the Dodgers should emulate this?

            So because a team goes to the WS, it’s cause to spend money just for the sake of spending money?

            I would rather the Dodgers field the best team possible which puts them in a position to win a WS, but plan to do this SUSTAINABLY. Friedman might whif on a few moves, but everything he does is calculated with this particular goal in mind…and is highly rational?

            You and Scott are arguing that Friedman does not make decisions rationally, but instead is just cheap…just…because…I dunno…he’s cheap. OK. I’m persuaded.

      2. You know, we hear the same excuse every time a new Free Agent becomes available. I would just like to see the Dodgers compete for Free agents. They lie every time one comes available. They act like they are in but they are so far out of it they cannot even lie good. Guess how I know? Because they never get one. The bad thing is many fans believe Friedman and he loves it. No more good superstar players till he is gone.

        1. Please explain to the class how the luxury tax repeat penalty works and why it is important to get under the threshold to reset said penalty.

          But no, they should have gone on a “spree.”

          1. Dodgerpatch, I do understand that it may be wise to reset said penalty and get under the CBT so as to not handcuff future attempts at obtaining players that will compliment those from within. But as I just indicated, how about a change in the WAY they handle players, from minors on up. Ya know players being made into marginal ones due to some sort of analytical perception that they can only face a pitcher from the opposite side, platooning, making a 3 ring circus of players going from one position in the lineup and on the field to another in almost a daily basis

        2. Maybe to a few , the money isn’t the total factor but in any event , if there seems to be an inability to sign top shelf FA’s it may, just may be because of how the FO and Roberts manage the team’s players, such as insistence in playing multiple positions on the field from 1 day to the next, being in and out of the lineup on a daily basis with maybe a couple of exceptions, made to platoon and ‘buy in’ on how they are in different spots in the batting order daily with no consistent playing time at all. it’s quite possible that players don’t necessarily want to be here riding the bench every other day.

          1. You make a fair point, Paul. I’m just not sure the Dodgers don’t do a good job with player development. From their perspective, they would prefer a position player who doesn’t have a split disparity, and I’m sure weaknesses are addressed as best as possible through the several levels of minor league development. Top pitching prospects are groomed as starters until it’s determined their best road to success is by converting to a relief role.

            Joc Petersen would be a much more valuable player if he hit lefties. Is it the organization’s fault that he doesn’t? Would you stop platooning and keep starting him against lefties in hopes that he’ll somehow turn it around? He’s been in the league several years now. He might make incremental improvement, but he basically is who he is at this point. It’s Robert’s job to field the best lineup for each particular game. Petersen is good against RHP, horrendous against LHP. Why wouldn’t you platoon?

            I see where you’re coming from, though.

        3. Like Pollock, Smith, Jansen, Turner, and Kershaw!

          But if we overlook those, we can focus on Koehler, or Muncy, or Morrow.

          1. “Like Pollock, Smith, Jansen, Turner, and Kershaw!”

            Will Smith? Julian Smith? Who are you talking about? Jansen and Turner seems like they never considered leaving. Kerhsaw kind of the same. Pollack I like. I had him on the team I constructed right after the WS. But he was not what most would call top shelf.

          2. Doh!

            Smith was meant to be Kelley. Those United Kingdom names.

            Can add Ryu to that list.

            Pollock was the 4th or 3rd highest rated FA this off-season!

            Turner and Jansen the same.

            How is the opinion “they never felt like leaving” material? The point is they spend money on free agents except when you forget to consider those they spend money on.

          3. Of the guys you mention, 3 were their own guys. That’s not jumping into the market.

      1. Bluto
        Are you referring to the Dumpster ready players that Dummy2 recruits? He has got the market cornered.

  3. If the past 5 winners of the world series all raised payroll to get them over the top, I would say that is a solid trend. For every “Harper is mistake overpay”, there are 10 examples of available free agents who performed to the level or surpassed their salaries.

    Let’s be honest. The holes that were inherited by Freidman still remain. #2 starter, 8th inning reliever, solid second baseman, solid catcher.** There have been many players that they passed on, who could fill these holes.

    I am not a fan who asks for them to spend money just for the sake of it. The relief pitching is still an issue and this team leans too hard to left side on offense and pitching. I would like to see money thrown at these areas.

    You guys just want to replace my opinions with that of a fictional kneejerk fairweather fan that you have created in your head. I posted on here exactly what I would have done with this roster less than a week after the last out of the season. So you can continue to argue with the fictional fan that you have projected upon me, but I haven’t seen anyone else put it out there like I have. Your offseason plans seem to center on watching Freidman sit on his wallet and then give him a standing ovation.

    1. The luxury tax has been reset. Please tell the class the advantages of staying under the threshold THIS year.

    2. Mexivin, you are so correct on this for sure:
      You are not a fictional fan to me but one who is up front and honest
      “The relief pitching is still an issue and this team leans too hard to left side on offense and pitching. I would like to see money thrown at these areas.” I have been saying similar things as far as the lack of balance on this team for quite a while now. As far as $$ spent, honestly it has often been spent ery carelessly,, can I say McCarthy, Kasmir, Crawford, Brett Anderson? There may be a few more but I will leave it at these here

    3. How many of those WS winners repeated the next year in spite of opening up the wallet? I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to keep adding to roster, signing top players and building a team, but within reason, and each transaction should be weighed on its own merits. I think the Cubs would like a do over on a couple of those signings. Sure, the Dodgers could have signed Brandon Morrow and that Japanese guy who face planted in game 7. Aren’t you kind of glad they didn’t?

      “Let’s be honest. The holes that were inherited by Freidman still remain. #2 starter, 8th inning reliever, solid second baseman, solid catcher.** There have been many players that they passed on, who could fill these holes.”

      These are fair points. Sure, you want to improve here, but at what cost? This has been discussed even back to the Cole Hamels days, but to get someone like Kluber means the Dodgers have to give up something. In this case it was probably a lot of the Dodgers future. If there’s anything you can derive from observing AF at this point it’s the value he places on building a solid minor league organization. He would almost sacrifice a little bit with respect to improving a chance to winning in the short term for winning sustainably in the long term. I really have no problem with that at all.

      I keep reading these analogies to Friedman’s reluctance to “go all in.” Is that a bad thing? Do you realize that means that if you don’t win big, you lose everything? That’s a really dumb way to manage a baseball organization. AF is a former Wall Street guy. He is metabolically inclined to find ways to maximize return on investment, to seek value, to ensure long term success and growth. he has to be rational. Every transaction he makes is analyzed for its relative cost/benefit ratio. He understands the teams weaknesses, and will seek to improve them, but all within the rubric of not compromising sustainable success. Once you understand and appreciate that, I’m ok with a few whifs on Kazmir or McCarthy. I’m perfectly ok with not been desperate with Harper, and the Phillies are effing dumb. Let them be dumb.

      1. DodgerPatch
        You are perfectly satisfied with whatever Dummy2 does. If I am discussing you not making enough money with the Dodgers, I am sorry. I am sure your take of the Dodger profits can’t be much so why do you care. Who cares what the cost/benefit ratio is? Does Sustainable success mean just make the playoffs? You listen to his propaganda and then make excuses for him. Do you have any objection to having an exciting team? Or continue with platoon city? I would like to see a championship before I die. We will not get there with Braves baseball. When the new ownership took over all we heard was that the Dodgers would be dominate and they would spend whatever was necessary to win. That has not happened! Oh how quickly we forget. Get real. If you want to play, you got to pay.

        1. Good day, package206. your post is right in line with how I see things based upon what has actually taken place. And it is so true that if ya want to play ya got to pay. But we all realize that paying won’t always guarantee a WS , as it is a team effort. But again, along with paying, the managing of players and how the team is constructed just might have something to do with getting to and actually winning a WS. And as a reminder to all, platoon city is NOT going to get the desired job done. And reasons for platooning? Roberts said it was for survival last year and that was again because most of the lineups were made with marginal players who were not adept enough against both sides of a pitcher to warrant them playing daily. and then of course being in and out of the lineups and in various positions on the field and batting order don’t always point to successful outcomes. Most likely where those inconsistencies we saw last year resulted in us coming up short in WS. Boston however was the much better team and no need to get into specifics because I am sure most know of them already.

          1. Hey Paul
            Did you know that Puig and Kemp were the best 2 hitters on the Dodgers wth over 400abs? Yeah, and Dummy 2 gave both away for nothing. You will hear they got Pollack but he was not as good as either.

  4. As far as I can remember, teasing the fans with free agents has always been how the organization operated. It doesnt matter who the owners or the GM are/were.

    Maybe MLB office controls all!

    1. Except for GMs like Colleti, Epstein, Cashman, and basically every other GM who’s won the WS in recent years, other than the Royals. Which is actually very interesting becaus, in my opinion, the Royals model is aberration but since it leads to owners making a lot of money and decreases the power of agents, that’s the back story of all these small market genius GMs who’s never won anything. Just look at how much money is being made these days by the billionaire owners.

      I don’t get fans defending the owners, who do have have to lower prices or give out rebates to the fans when they choose to tank. The worse of free riders are the rich free riders. Or be forced to de-leverage when they are tanking. The worse of rich free riders are those who borrow from banks and try to finagle their way to tax credits (ie their free riding ways are dependent on the spending teams being good TV AND squeezing their local fans who are taxpayers and bank depositors).

      So stop crying for the rich guys and their enablers.

      1. Ooooooooh! I get it. So if I don’t believe in overpaying for players in a bidding frenzy I’m a defender of “rich guys.” They’re probably rich, white guys, too, which makes them even more evil.

        Ok, thanks Alexandria.

        I just don’t think we can have a meaningful dialog. For you, it boils down to your own prejudices and sense of good versus evil. Rich guys are bad. Nevermind that agents such as Boras are very good at leveraging their bargaining power to maximize their return, when owners act rationally to do the same thing, it’s bad.

        For me, I just try to empathize with what AF is trying to do. That doesn’t mean I’m sympathetic. By empathize, it means I’m trying to see what he’s trying to do through his eyes, analyzing his position imagining what would I do if I was in his shoes. If you simply operate within some sort of “rich guys are bad” paradigm, then you are unable to do that. I can’t have a rational conversation with you if that’s how you think.

        So, explain to me how this is “crying for rich guys?” …and did you explain how I or anyone else is a hypocrite and are using strawmen? I’m sorry, if you throw that stuff out there, which is basically just an example of name calling without any substance or addressing any argument, I’m going to require that you defend it.

  5. I like Pollock. I approve of the signing. I just don’t think he was perceived as a top shelf free agent by many teams. (more due to his injury history than his talent) I remember he took over one month last season and put up huge numbers. I like the Kelly signing as well. I just wanted a few more moves. There are several redundant players who should have been cleared out. Depth is fine. But depth refers to the bottom of the roster not the top.

    I am of the opinion that Friedman is more comfortable and successful dealing with the bottom of the roster. He seems unwilling or unable to play with the big dogs when dealing with the top of the roster. As evidenced in the laughable offer to Bryce Harper. Everyone (except Friedman) knew that Harper was looking for a long term contract. I suspect they were in it because LA is the most attractive destination out of SF,PHI and LA. Not the most attractive/realistic contract offer. But they made us think they were serious until the day before his signing.

    1. 4 years, $180M, is not an attractive offer? You don’t seem to understand that the longer Harper was signed for, the less value he will deliver. The Dodgers wanted to tie him up in his prime . He’s got maybe 5-6 years tops, at his prime. What do you think will happen for the remaining 7 years of that contract with Philly? Any rational person knows that the risks of signing anyone to a long term contract of that magnitude has a very high risk factor.

      1. Jeff
        I would just like you to take a winning the championship attitude, not the gee the fans are not rational or the high risk factor argument. Do you get on this blog to tout good management skills or baseball?

  6. I am tired of reading how hypocrites defend the Dodgers non-move by setting up strawmen arguments. Friedman is not going to go all in on any player. In fact he thinks one good player plus spare parts are better than one great player. We all know the type. They will buy spend more at a K Mart than just getting what they need.

    Friedman is one of the most predictable GMs in the league. I am sure all the GMs and agents know how exactly to deal with him.

    1. You nailed it YF.

      Dodgerpatch, why all the condescension in all your posts. I think that you think it makes you look smart but it actually has the opposite effect. I think you have some good things to contribute, but the talking down shyte is a little played out on this playground. Relax, contribute and don’t think you are the smartest kid in the school. This school is big enough for everyone’s opinion.

      1. Hmmm…ok. I reread my posts and, you’re right, a little heavy on the condescension.

        My style is to be cheeky, but I find snark to be annoying, too.

        Doesn’t mean I’m not going to argue. That’s fun for me.

        1. by all means, of course argue, what’s the fun in everyone saying the same thing.

    2. And when I read this it becomes immediately difficult to contain my condescension.

      You’ll have to explain this post a little further. Who is the hypocrite, and why? And what is the strawman argument? Honest questions.

      Another sincere question: did you REALLY want AF to exceed that Philly offer? Do you think Harper is THAT much of a difference maker? What happens when Seager, Bellinger, Urias and Beuhler become FAs? I presume you’d want to keep them.

      “Attention K-Mart shoppers. ”

      That Harper even signed that contract tells me a lot about a lack of competitive drive and a desire for security long term over the opportunity to win and be part of a winning culture. A driven and competitive player would have accepted the challenge to be as good or a better player at age 30 in order to sign another, potentially higher AAV contract while still in his prime. He chose being set for life regardless of his performance.

  7. A couple of things. Everyone has made some very valid points. We all have our opinions about this ownership and the front office as run by Friedman. Ownership was willing to pony up 45 million dollars a year for 4 years. 180 million dollars. That is not being cheap by any stretch of the imagination. That they did not feel like giving Harper a contract that takes him to age 39, did not bother me at all. I have always had issues with the way Friedman does business. Like all people in his position, he makes some good decisions, and he makes some bad ones. Harper’s contract with Philly is a no trade, no opt out deal. It all comes down to MONEY. He wanted a LONG term deal period, so as long as the Dodgers held the line on a short term contract, Harper was never signing here. The Giants were offering a 12 year deal from what I read. Not sure how much, but it was over 300 million. I am glad the Dodgers did not get into a bidding war with either team. I am sure that even if he had taken the deal from SF, the FO and ownership would not have budged from their short term deal. So he is taking his bad glove and his well documented bad attitude to Philly. I am glad he is not a Dodger. Now they can take the money they did not spend and extend their own kids. Seager, Bellinger, Buehler, can all get decent money now and we will not hear from the FO that they are ham-stringed because of a large contract. It has been 4 full years since Friedman took the reins of the Dodgers. We all know how he does business, so why would we be surprised this happened? It is time to move on and address what everyone knows are the problems that still exist. Roberts is going to continue to play players the way he has in the last two seasons. That is not going to change. Although he has said there will be less platooning. The Dodgers fortunes for this year rest on a few things. 1. Seager making a full recovery and playing at the level he was playing before he was injured. This is crucial. They need his production and steady bat in the lineup 90 percent of the time. 2. More consistency from Bellinger, Pederson, and Hernandez. Again, these guys all had 20 plus homer seasons, but also had periods where their production was below expectations. Bellinger started off very slow and it took him quite a while to finally get going. Joc showed no power early in the year. But later he got very hot. His biggest step forward was cutting his K rate. Kike was better against RH pitching in the second half, but fell off some vs lefty’s. 3. The starting rotation needs to stay healthy. Kershaw at this point is not throwing. It is a shoulder problem. It was reported today that it was feeling better. We all hope that is the case. 4 consistency in the bullpen. There were some stretches last year when the pen was very good and others where they were the gas brigade. 5. Muncy needs to repeat, or come close to the numbers he put up last year, and he needs to get better if he is going to play 1st base because otherwise the defense is going to be iffy. Finally, if they feel that they need to get someone or something at the dead line that improves the team, they need to pull the trigger and get the job done. I personally feel that although they are deep in the rotation and the bullpen, that this whole thing is going to come down to pitching. They need to be superior in that department to win the big one.

    1. Michael,

      At this point in ST, my concerns focus more on the rotation and the bullpen. Obviously, if we don’t have Kershaw, it is a loss, however, we have some very good arms ready to step in. Stripling and Urias should be prepared, in that order.

      The bullpen has been god-awful this ST. Have you noticed how many hits and runs they’ve given up? Baez looked like the same guy of 2-3 years ago and Ferguson is way off his mark. This is a bit worrisome. It’s still early and they are still auditioning many minor leaguers. We have some good arms waiting for their chance.

      Barnes and Martin have held it together, so far. Ruiz looks far better than Smith. Verdugo has a rocket for an arm. Beatty is someone to keep our eye on.

      1. The games I have seen it was the kids who were imploding. Quackenbush has been knocked around, but I do not expect him to be on the 25 man when they break camp. As for Baez and Ferguson in yesterday’s game, both were making their first spring appearance. Floro gave up a homer yesterday as did Santana. But Ferguson was just plain hit hard. Verdugo made an error on the throw or Fergie would have given up 4 earned. Quackenbush is the only reliever with more than 2 appearances. Kelly has pitched once, Jansen, Kershaw and Buehler have not pitched yet. Garcia has been lights out. I do not expect Ferguson to make the team anyway. He will no doubt be in the rotation at OKC with Santana. If Yimi continues his good outings, Fields will be on the bubble for sure. Cingrani and Alexander are going to be the lefty’s and if they carry 3, I think they might just keep Urias. Chargois, Schmidt, will probably get sent down. Martin said he over did it in the cage, so his back is barking a little. Smith and Ruiz are both hitting in the low .100’s. I doubt they are close to being ready yet. Neither has an extra base hit. Rios is not having as good a spring as he had last year. The only non roster OF impressing at all is Carerra. But, it is 27 days until they start. About the middle of the month when the regulars start playing more, and the bullpen starts to take shape, then we will have a better idea of what and who is going to be out there. I will be happy in a week when Corey finally has enough AB’s on the back field to play in a game.

    2. Michael, this part of your post is true for sure:
      ” It has been 4 full years since Friedman took the reins of the Dodgers. We all know how he does business, so why would we be surprised this happened? It is time to move on and address what everyone knows are the problems that still exist. Roberts is going to continue to play players the way he has in the last two seasons. That is not going to change. Although he has said there will be less platooning” I see this happening still more than most of us want to see. Those things you mentioned as far as what Dodger’s fortunes rest on this year are quite accurate as well. Honestly, I would have like to have seen Muncy dealt to an AL team where he can DH (due from being a possible defensive liability) where perhaps we could have received a return which fills a need to go along with those from within. As far as defense, it is WAY better if Bellinger is back at his natural position instead of having to go back and forth from the OF and 1st base.

  8. Friedman came out of the Harper circus smelling like a rose….. like he backed into a parked car, and then won the lawsuit for getting hit from behind.

    Dumpster Dive Digest…. Russell Martin has a sore back.

  9. News:

    From FanGraphs chats:
    Moto Moto: Discuss Dustin May’s likelihood to break into the LA rotation this year..
    Kiley McDaniel: Feels like I don’t have much to do with this conundrum but Dustin May is very good while the Dodgers also may not need SP depth when he’s ready

    Jake: Will DJ Peters swing and miss issues relegate him to a bench bat or does he mash enough/play ok defense to overcome the weak average?
    Eric A Longenhagen: I think he plays everyday but might be volatile, year-to-year, like Michael Taylor and those types

    careagan: Hey Eric, thanks for the chat. MLB Pipeline’s report on Dennis Santana said one organization views him as the Dodgers best prospect. Which org do you think that is?
    Eric A Longenhagen: My educated guess points toward teams that want ready upper-level pitching so I guessed Cubs but Jim just told me that’s wrong.

    Mike: What makes Dustin May better than tony gonsolin? Feel like gonsolin’s splitter is the best overall pitch, feels like they should be closer than their rankings are.
    Eric A Longenhagen: Age is a huge factor for us since we’re looking at a six-year window of production. May is the age of a college draft prospect, Gonsolin turns 25 in May. The latter may hit his decline phase during that six-year window. That needs to be considered.

    Duchess: Given the rankings, it feels like Will Smith is already sort of blocked by Ruiz in LA. Is this true, or is he trade bait or just a guy that ends up playing a ton of positions for the Dodgers?
    Eric A Longenhagen: Nah, he can play all over the place

    Keith Law chat:
    Randall Stephens: How worried should I be about Kershaw? Can his FB get back to 93-94?
    Keith Law: I think he can succeed averaging 90 mph, but I’m more concerned that his arm is sore. Seems like he’s never come up with a complaint about arm soreness.

    Zihuatanejo: In a recent spring training game, in all but 3 PAs for the entire game the Dodger hitters swung at the first pitch they saw. Do you think that was: 1) a random thing that happened; 2) a directive from the dugout; or 3) an inside joke between the players?
    Keith Law: I’d guess 2, then 3, but not 1.

    Speaking of the great Mr Law, check out this piece he did with TrueBlue:

  10. Dodgerpatch,

    The Dodgers seem to groom these young players to be “Platooners”, and apparantly do not work at strenthening their weaknesses. Instead, they convince their farmhands that they will never be anything more than a “platooner”.

    The Dodgers also seem keep them in the farm too long. This has to be discouraging to these kids, who want to get to the “Bigs”, and want to have the opportunity to be an everyday player. I am sure these guys do not want to be subjected to limited playing time. Position players platooned, pitchers shackled with pitch/innings limits.

    1. Must be very discouraging to be a Dodger.

      Get to the World Series. Top tier in terms of player development. Sold-out stadiums.

      Very discouraging.

      1. How do you think some of those young Phillie outfielders feel right now? Altherr and Williams in particular, their playing time is going to be drastically reduced because you know that Harper and McCutcheon are going to be manning the corners. In 3 years what the Dodgers put on the field will be totally different from what they are running out there now. Even next year, there will be some changes because some guys definitely will not be retained.

        1. Michael
          I agree, next year’s team will not look like this year’s team. As soon as Friedman gets some more platoon ready kids, he will be good to go. Aren’t you tired of platoon vanilla teams?
          I like kids but gee whiz could we have a few more top tier players? Dummy2 will make sure that never happens. Small market team philosophy for sure. Very discouraging for surel.

          1. Spot on, package206! let’s try getting top tier players on board (not necessarily ones who have to be the very highest paid) And believe me also… I am sick up to here with platoon vanilla teams.. Joc has to be an exception if he’s still here because he just does not have it in him to show much against LHP.. In fact unlike Bellinger, who took the off season to work on things, I doubt if Pederson did much in that area because he already knows he won’t be seeing any LHP anyway.
            Time for me to go do some lap swimming , so to all here….carry on.

          2. Paul
            Joc gets 5mil a year to platoon and his MLB career BA is .228. That is Friedman’s type of player. Guess if you play fantasy football with the President, you stay.

        2. Agree. The front office does a remarkable job reloading. Just look at all the players who are gone from three years ago. Puig, Grandal, Gonzalez, Kendrick, Rollins, Crawford, Ethier, Ellis, Utley even.

          And we’re still favorite to win the NL. Still have a top 10 system. Still have ludicrous depth.

          It’s great.

          1. Bluto
            Being the favorite is not the same thing as winning the championship. Also, the question is after he got rid of the players you mention, who replaced them?

          2. Package,

            Don’t be silly, being the favorite is the best position to be in until the last day of the regular season (or until the NL Championship is won.)

            Puig was replaced by Pollock or Verdugo.
            Ellis/Grandal by Barnes/Martin/Ruiz/Smith
            Gonzalez by Bellinger/Muncy
            Kendrick/Utley by Kike/CT
            Rollins by Seager
            Crawford by Bellinger/Verdugo
            Ethier by Pollock/Verdugo (I guess.)

          3. Getting rid of all the oldies is kind of a no brainer, including the clown, Puig. But I agree, the Dodgers have a lot of talent on their team and AF is doing something right as evidenced by their record, not the negative posters who continue to beat a dead horse time and time again, hey Scott?!

      2. Bluto,

        If these crazy Dodger fans want to fill the stadium and watch faux-baseball, then that is the problem. As long as the turnstiles keep rolling, the team will not change.

        Just like going to a Brittney Spears concert…. if the fans want to waste money watching Ms. Spears lip-sync her way to millions, why should she sing?

  11. As long as the Dodgers stick with this lousy platoon concept, they will never be able to build a team from within their farm system. They will only produce so-so players, who will inevitably will disappoint, be branded as an average platoon player, and hence be traded for just mediocre talent, of flat out dumped.

    The Dodgers are always noted to have a fairly decent farm system, but they let these poor kids lose confidence, waste away their talent, and bow to dumpster quality, wholesale aquisitions. Better off giving these kids a chance, instead of wasting millions on a bunch of has-beens.

    They let anybody put on the Dodger Blue uniforms anymore. Gone are the days when it was a privilege to done the “Blue”.

  12. MLB is putting the clock on hold until after the next CBA is settled. Package, Pederson gets 5 mil a year to platoon and hit for power. In analytics, BA does not matter. What matters is his OPS and his power numbers. He averages over 20 homers a year. That in their world has value, plus he is working on his 5th season. Considering the improvement he made last year in cutting down his strikeouts and the power he brought to the lead off position, he merited a raise from the 2.9 mil he got in 18. That’s just the way it is nowadays. You asked earlier if I was tired of all the platooning. I have never liked platooning, but this is not the first time in Dodger history that they have done this. Alston did it for years. After the stars from the Brooklyn days either retired or were traded away, they were replaced by a lot of players who had lesser skills. So in a sense he was forced into doing that. In 1963, they used platoons in the outfield and a couple of the infield positions. The only guys who played more than 150 games were Ron Fairly and Willie Davis. Their best hitter by far, Tommy Davis, coming off a batting title and on his way to winning his second in a row, played in 146 games. 3 different players started games at 1st, Fairly, Skowron and Nen. Nen hit a game winning homer against the Cardinals in a crucial August series. Wally Moon platooned with Howard and T. Davis. Fairly played 45 games in the outfield and 119 at first. So it is not really a new concept. We all got used to the same 8 running out there in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. Even in the early part of this century, the same guys were out on the field most of the time. This year, Pollock, Bellinger, Seager, health permitting, and Turner, will play in a majority of the games at their positions. The rest will no doubt be a day to day decision. Why? Because that is the way Friedman has built the roster. All the complaining by fans in the world is not going to change that one bit. We may not like it. But that’s how it is going to be. Me and my friend Jim at a German restaurant in Phoenix enjoying a dark boch Beer.

  13. Well, Dodger Fans,

    Somewhat bad news in Dodgertown. Kershaw’s shoulder inflammation may delay his season start. Once again the overly optimistic FO banked their chips on a healthy return of Clayton, and it now has apparantly backfired. Shoulder stiffness is one thing, but inflamation…. that could be serious. I would not be surprised if he eventually needs surgery. Kershaw will no doubt be spending a lot of time on the DL. With the slow progress of Buelher, as well, the prosective Dodger rotation is looking vulnerable. They might regret not looking for a solid FA starter. Now it is too late. A trade will end up sacrificing a few top prospects. We have not seen too much of Jansen or Kelly, so who knows if they will be ready. Only bright spots this spring have been Maeda and Urias.

    What also is disappointing is their failure to find a decent backstop, once again relying on a old veteran catcher to get second wind, and fill the void. Ol’ Man Russell’s back is failing him. Back injuries are serious, especially for a catcher. There were a lot of FA catchers out there early on, but now they will be lucky to find a decent one to carry the load for a couple of years while the Kids are sharpening their trade in the minors. Well, time has come to promote the kids to back up Barnes. Barnes is going to have to up his game, and carry the load…. good luck with that.

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