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Potential Relievers To Be Had In February


We are a couple of weeks from spring training and it appears that the Dodgers are comfortable with the collection of talent that they’ve assembled at this point, with the exception of a darkhorse utility infielder making the final 25 man roster, and the bullpen.

I’ll look at the candidates for utility infielders and if any fit for the team, but fixing the bullpen should always be a priority, and while there are some options on the trade market that might be worthwhile, there’s no shortage of potentially useful relief arms to be had in February.

Joe Beimel


I’ll be as legitimate as possible with a relief options list made in February:

Casey Janssen

He’s a potential nightmare on a team with a Jansen already on it, but Janssen was a stellar reliever as recently as 2013 where he served as the closer for the Blue Jays posting a 2.56 ERA and a 2.74 FIP. Injuries have limited his effectiveness recently as he’s posted a 4.41 ERA/4.11 FIP split since the beginning of his 2014 season. The strikeouts dipped nearly 3 per 9 from when he was a dominant force in the back end of a bullpen, so this isn’t to say that he’s a lock to regain the form he had in Toronto. The saving grace for him might be through the all star break he had a 3.12 ERA paired with a 2.98 FIP, not to gloss over his unsightly 4.30 xFIP that normalized over the latter half of the season. However if the Dodgers feel that they can pick up some good innings out of him, he might be a worthwhile sign.

Franklin Morales

Morales pitched for the Royals and was actually on a world series winning 25 man roster. Baseball is funny sometimes. Morales limited left handed batters to a .194/.250/.320 which isn’t that far off from his .205/.288/.327 triple slash line given up to same handed batters. He’s only 30 years old and given that Luis Avilan is a LOOGYINO (LOOGY In Name Only), and the fact that J.P. Howell always needs help down the stretch, Morales looks like a useful pitcher, especially when he’s not in Coors Field.

All of the other options are marginal (Burke Badenhop), old (Neal Cotts, Matt Belisle, Randy Choate, Joe Nathan, Rafael Betancourt) or hardly worth mentioning.

But there’s the possibility of

Greg Holland

Holland, unlike proven winner Franklin Morales, didn’t get any outs in the 2015 world series because Greg Holland blew out his elbow last year. Before that he one of the most dominant 2 season stretches ever for a relief pitcher, posting a 1.32 ERA with a 1.59 FIP over 129 innings across 2013-2014. It says something about his (maybe former) teammate Wade Davis to where Holland wasn’t the only reliever being talked about on his own team, but 2015 took a sharp turn, he tossed 44 innings of 3.83 ERA ball with a 3.27 FIP. His K/9 dipped more than 3 men per 9 and his BB/9 nearly doubled from 2.89 to 5.24.

It should be noted that he pitched a decent chunk of 2014 with a torn UCL

And that became an issue late in 2015, what remained of his UCL finally gave out and he was sidelined on September 24th and missed the rest of the season. This means that there’s no chance of him pitching in 2015, much less at a high enough level to be a meaningful contributor on a contending team.

Holland was unquestionably an elite arm, those arms are far more likely to reach the level of dominance they had prior to Tommy John Surgery. Any deal with Holland will have to be a multiyear deal with a 40 man spot guaranteed. I’m not positive that he will get an offer from the Dodgers because I imagine that the Dodgers will like to include a team option somewhere to protect themselves against Holland never pitching again, however arms of his caliber are rarely available on the market.

Also locking Holland up to a long term deal could protect the team from Kenley Jansen‘s impending free agency after the 2016 season. Heck yes the Dodgers should lock up Kenley, but Holland would be one of the few pitchers in the game that, when healthy could provide late inning stability to a team losing Kenley Jansen.

There are several reasons to give Greg Holland a multiyear deal, perhaps of the 2 year variety.

I understand if none of these names provide much excitement for the 2016 team, but there are useful arms, some with some decent upside, one with enormous upside that this new regime appears to value.

Adrian Garcia

Adrian Garcia

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58 thoughts on “Potential Relievers To Be Had In February

    1. Badger they said it was a similar surgery to Josh’s. This might be a dumb question, but wouldn’t they say it was the same surgery? They said it was a stress reaction in his rib.

      1. It is a surgery for thorasic outlet syndrome – they remove your rib right below the collarbone. Imagine having your rib removed. This is a surgery that doesn’t always work! Someone missed something big!

        1. I had every rib broken before. This is so unbelievable. I mean just start counting again. How can anyone have so many things go wrong?

  1. New logo….meh!!!
    Just one man’s opinion.

    This is a Dodger Website! I love the Dodger bat logo, but there may be copyright issues.

  2. For the record, Frankie Montas did not have surgery for for thorasic outlet syndrome. He had a rib removed, but it was not for for thorasic outlet syndrome.

    You can have that surgery for for thorasic outlet syndrome, but Montas did not have it for that reason. As usual, many of you jump to the wrong conclusion.

    1. As usual, many of you jump to the wrong conclusion. The team reported that Montas has a “stress reaction”. You read about athletes having these from time to time, usually in a foot or a shin, but tell me, when was the last time that you read that anyone had a BONE REMOVED to cure a stress reaction? That’s what a first cervical rib resection is – the removal of the rib.

      This explanation stinks and sounds like an attempt to paper over a mistake. Even if it was a “stress reaction” why wasn’t it picked up before the trade was made by the “Braintrust”?

      1. A doctor friend of mine says that in all likelihood, the stress reaction could lead to thoracic outlet syndrome, but that it had not evolved that far. He says it’s also almost impossible to detect and that it was likely precautionary so as to prevent thoracic outlet syndrome.

        If you are a hater of FAZ then you will say it’s a bad thing when another person may say it’s a good thing. I guess you can see whatever you want to see. I see it as a “thing.” Not a big deal! He starts re-hab next week!

        Hell, I had a full hip replacement and missed 5 days of work. Why do I know so much about thoracic outlet syndrome? Because I have it.

        1. The surgery IS a big deal – I know people who have had it and never recovered and had to retire early. I have had cases where people have had it and I don’t think that I have ever had one that ended well. This is major surgery – they removed a rib!

          1. Of course it’s a big deal. To say it’s just a “thing” and “not a big deal” is nonsense.

            To everyone that is not a FAZophant this is another in a line of questionable moves. That line is getting longer.

      2. It sounds as if they removed the rib to prevent TOS. Maybe he was asymptomatic at the time of the physical. Doctors miss things all the time; it’s when the team knows about an injury and signs the player anyway (I’m looking at you, Ned) that I get upset. Hopefully he can recover as well as Josh Beckett did. He’s still young, and it’s not like he was likely to be on the opening day roster anyway.

  3. Well you couldn’t make it up.

    The “Centrepiece” of the WSox trade has had surgery. Unbelievable.
    Do we need to start getting Waranties with these signings?

    Mark – c’mon man.
    It’s nothing to do with whether you are a Faz lover or hater, questions have to be asked.
    If this had happened on Ned’s watch there would have been uproar.
    Get those rose tinted glasses off, and at least be realistic about things.

  4. Not surprised that they might look to add relievers. They are taking close to 30 pitchers to camp….I think about 22 of them are on the 40 man, and the rest non roster guys.

  5. Mover, are you really an asshole in real life or do you just play one on the blogs? You seem to go out of your way to be offensive and annoying. Lighten up and let others enjoy themselves without you being such a killjoy, know it all. We are here to discuss things, not to have you get some kick out of being a jerk to everyone. Live and let live, dude.

    1. “Asshole is as asshole does sir” – Forrest Gump

      FAZophant – noun 1. a self-seeking servile flatterer, fawning parasite of Freidman and Zaidi

      Origin: Badgerian, Sedonan, FAZophanta; circa 2015-2016 < informal stem of phanian fig + to show obsequious ass kissing tendencies agentive insufferable suffixes

      Use in a sentence: "Mover is an enough already FAZophant."

    2. Perceptions are subjective things. Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you after the comment above and your prior comment about him being “an easy lay.” I would say the general tenor of the recurring, non-stop – actually tedious, repetitive and tiresome – comments by the pitchfork brigade of cynics and perpetual whiners is a big killer of joy. If you want a political echo chamber where the FAZ hating faction can continuously pat each other on the back, then you’re not getting an honest nor balanced discussion, but just slow dribbling diatribe of predictability without the benefit of anything new; and certainly without the benefit on relative contribution of anything resembling balanced insight.

      For every action there is a reaction. For the non-stop drumbeat of negativity and the “Blame FAZ First” movement, there will always emerge and opposing voice. To get anything resembling balance in this discussion forum, that is essential.

      1. I never cease to be amazed at other conceptions and misconceptions, what they will defend and not defend. Keep on amazin, Patch!

    1. See the surgical procedure text I just posted on the previous thread. It sounds to me the surgery for “prevention” of TOS is same procedure for treating TOS. I don’t mean to sound like the prophet of doom here, but removing the first rib is a big frikken deal. It’s a distinct possibility, maybe even a probability, that Montas will never throw a 95+ mph fastball again. He’s young, so he does have a chance at pitching again. And that is as far as I can this going until we know more – in 4 months.

      We’re looking like a M.A.S.H. unit here.

        1. It is weird that this came up now, because the pitchers and the catchers haven’t reported to spring training yet. This is not something you would rush in, and do, unless it was an on going problem, because they usually try therapy first. Do you think that the White Sox knew about this? I also heard that this same pitcher, has had two knee surgerys. They didn’t mention any of the symtoms, that some of the pitchers have, when this type of surgery is done, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have these usual symptoms. This could be the reason that Montas had control problems.

  6. All surgeries are a big deal!!! That’s why you sign your life away for a wart removal…
    Yimi and Baez both got another year under their belt, JP should be solid, Sierra gets a look see and Jansen is well, Jansen… Just read something where they may move C. Anderson to late inn. type of guy…
    We got about 8 weeks of auditions before we break camp… So many possibilities…

  7. I agree that someone missed this Montas thing. Again. How many misses do these guys get? If we did this, we would be fired by now. Between the failed Cubans and the medical miscues, this is quite a resume. The only thing that will keep these guys around another year will be if their pet Cuban carries the team to the World Series. The heat is on in 2016.

  8. Lolll, Watford, “part of the plan”, I love it…..

    This is such a joke, I’ve never been depressed about an upcoming season but this is finally the year, god help us.

    1. I find that pretty hard to believe. You don’t strike me as someone who has ever been an optimist about anything. Oh wait! I take that back! You are pretty optimistic about the Dbacks winning…what was it? …oh yeah! …109 games this year.

      Zack Greinke, singlehandedly, leading his team on a 30 win turnaround. Greinke the first single season 30 WAR player in the history of baseball. The Dodgers should have countered with DOUBLE the DBag bid….and done it for 10 years.

    2. As fans, we second guess the management – that’s what we do. I admit to being down on the Braintrust for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that they let Greinke get away. That being said, baseball season is almost upon us! It’s exciting – I have been going through withdrawal for months now. It’s easy to get down on the front office and to forget the joys of the game, even if we fear that we will have to endure yet another underachieving season.

      1. I’m excited. I am seriously considering a trip to Spring training this year for the first time ever. I don’t know how the team will do in the regular season, but I am cautiously optimistic. I too would rather have Greinke on the team, but I understand and agree with the decision to walk away from a potential albatross of a contract. The offered him five years at the annual asking price. There comes a certain point where you just have to say no to the price.

        The moves the FO makes haven’t always worked out, but all I ask is that they be rational, with an eye to getting maximum value and return with moderate to lower risk, and I buy into their long term plan of creating a self-sustaining Cardinals-esque way of being a perpetual playoff team and contender.

        I think I predicted the Dodgers winning 87-92 games this year. I’m sticking with that, but am hopeful that, with a healthy Ryu pitching like the solid #2 and borderline ace he has been the last two years, with the rest of the starters providing quality depth all the way to the #5 slot; and with a healthy Puig, a ROY candidate Seager instead of Rollins, Pederson splitting the difference between his first half and second half; and Hatcher and or Blanton being a solid lead in to Jansen, then the Dodgers could be on the upper end my prediction.

        Looking glass half full with losing out on Grienke, with all of our high priced players coming off the books in 18, what do you think the possibilities are in making a FA play for Harper when his contract is up? Have to resign Kershaw, too when he opts out. By 2018 the decision to not give Greinke all of that long term money might be looking pretty good.

  9. I’d be all in on Holland for the reasons above. Can’t have too much talent at the back of the pen, and I’d sooner take a chance on a guy who’s proven himself in the bigs than a bunch of Cuban players who have yet to play their first pro game. The fact that he pitched most of a season with a partial tear in the UCL tells you he’s a gamer.

  10. I certainly get what the plain talking to the point truth is concerned about. I share his concern. The simple fact that we increased an already bloated payroll and got 0 wins out of it should be enough to tell us SOMETHING went wrong. Now you get into the nuts and bolts of it, which we’ve done for months and rick recently summed up acutely, it’s only those who are FAZnatics that believe we are truly heading in the right direction. Hell we can’t even agree on what actually was, let alone what will be. I can’t help it now, with these FAZ guys pulling the triggers I feel like every day I am waiting for something is going to blow up.

    But, I’m an optimist. I’m going with Ryu, Puig and Pederson all rebounding. If that happens this team will be worth watching. If it doesn’t happen, this team could flirt with .500.

  11. I am probably the most upbeat, positive person you will ever meet., but I have a low tolerance for people whose first inclination is always to complain about things they have no clue about. No matter what it is, they spin it negatively because that’s who they are. They are generally sorry with their lot in life and enjoy spreading misery (because it loves company). You can’t be successful at anything in life when negativity rules your thought process.

    For some reason, baseball fans (especially some Dodger fans) are very irrational, unreasonable and blatantly negative when it comes to their teams prospects. Let me give you some examples:

    “It was stupid to sign Chase Utley – He’s toast. He’s washed up.” Chase Utley is 37 years old and of course when a player reaches that age, he is shot! Right?

    >Jeff Kent never hit 29 HR with 105 RBI and a .289 BA at age 37 did he? OK, I’m being sarcastic – he did.

    >At age 37, Joe Morgan was hurt and played 90 games while hitting .243, but at age 38, he came back with the Giants and hit .289 with a .400 OB%, stole 24 out of 28 bases and had 554 plate appearances.

    >Pete Rose hit .302 and .331 at age 37 and 38. I can go on and on.

    The fact is, Chase Utley was hurt last year so does that mean he will be hurt this year? It could, or he could be healthy. He has had 3 or 4 years of health issues, but it’s just as likely to say he’s past due to put up numbers like he used to as it is to say he is injured… unless you just love to be negative and I think a lot of you get off on that!

    I don’t know what Chase Utley will do this year, but I believe that if he is healthy, he can still be a force. Add Howie Kendrick back into the mix at 2B and it “could be” a real strength for the Dodgers in 2016. Who knows? But why focus on the negative? I enter each season with hope, but knowing injury and circumstances can change everything.

    I think some of you guys get a kick out of spewing half-truths or out-and-out lies about what Friedman has accomplished. Here’s the truth:

    >In February of 2014, the Dodgers were ranked 14th in Organizational Talent.

    > In November of 2014, Friedman was hired.

    > In February of 2015, the Dodgers were ranked #3 in Organizational Talent.

    > In February of 2015, the Dodgers are ranked #1 in Organizational Talent.

    Now they are number one – AFTER JUST BARELY ONE YEAR! That is nothing short of amazing! Now, I will steal your negative thunder:

    >”Friedman has never won anything like Epstien.” Quit being an idiot. He had the Rays Micro Budget and he’s been here 1 year. 1 YEAR! Don’t bring that weak stuff!

    > “Friedman didn’t obtain all (most) of the players.” No, but he kept them! That’s why we are number one. HE KEPT THEM! ALL OF THEM!

    > “Prospects are just that. They don’t mean much. Look back at the Dodgers Top 30 Prospects since 2000.” Hello, so would you rather have no prospects? The TOP THREE TEAMS in baseball in sheer development of number of prospects are 1. Giants; 2. Royals; 3. KC. Just because the Dodgers weren’t successful in developing prospects is a stupid argument, because other teams were and it’s why the Giants have been beating our asses! They develop their prospects and don’t trade them away.

    Last year, the Dodgers refused to trade any of their top prospects and now three are in the TOP 25 MLB Prospects. Some bitter moron suggested that we could have traded De Leon for Hamels (of course he pulled that idea out of his a$$ – there’s no truth to it), but even if that were true, as soon as THIS season, you will be glad that didn’t happen.

    The myopic among you think the Dodgers have no plan. They do have a plan – they got to the playoffs last year and were beaten. They have gotten better this year… a lot better and hopefully they can take the next step, but the plan is to build the farm and grow from there. The plan is clear and they spent out the wazzzzzooo last year to try and win, but they stuck to the plan. The plan was not to spend as much in 2016. Someone said that I predicted they would spend less in 2015 which I never did, because Friedman said they would spend more in 2015 than 2016. I was paying attention but he wasn’t. Now, I was shocked that they spent $300 million but I guess that shows their depth of commitment. They want to win, BUT WILL NOT TRADE TOP PROSPECTS! PERIOD!

    This year, they have acquired more talent and other youngsters are another year closer to stepping up. The carousel is about to start.

    On Montas: Why do you insist on “Blaming” someone all the time? Is your existence so miserable that it makes you feel like a big man when you can blame someone? Does your wife beat you? There’s nothing that indicates Montas had any issues with his rib. Even an MRI won’t show damage. You have to do the dye test and all that and if Montas never reported or complained about the problem, how can anyone know? Don’t show how stupid you are and say “The Dodgers should have found it!” How? Explain how… Seriously, explain how… or shutup!

    Did it ever occur that the Dodgers medical staff uncovered this and hopefully saved his career? I don’t know that is the case but you have no clue either. Why blame someone other than it makes you feel important? I am a champion of people who are smart and run a company in a brilliant fashion and that’s why I like FAZ! It’s barely a year and a half into their plan and they are doing amazing things.

    Sorry, but I don’t play well with people who always are negative. Matter of fact, they are usually so very wrong. Now back to your regularly scheduled husband beating…

    1. Wow – talk about negative! There is a difference between arguing a point of view and name calling, and you have engaged in the latter.”Irrational, unreasonable, beaten by your wife…”

      We have a difference in opinion about the accomplishments of the front office. You think that they are brilliant; I say that I am underwhelmed thus far. In response, you call names and belittle people. That must make YOU feel like a big man but doesn’t make you reasonable or right.

      You can’t have a discussion with someone whose response to a point of view is to call names or yell.

      And by the way, if you are directing your screed with me, my wife is my sweetheart – who has survived 2 major strokes and has had to do dialysis for 7 years. So leave her out of it.

    2. Hey Mark, You are one arrogant piece of bully crap. Why can’t you just debate and discuss rather than be like you are. You have more baseball knowledge in your middle finger than 51% of the people on this site. Tone it down a bit please. This ain’t your site, you took your punk ass bully marbles and went home. Now eat a big piece of humble pie and become one of us again…. Please…. Just fans.

  12. How often have the optimistic Dodger fans been right since 1988? We hope for the best. If Friedman can make the team better, good for him, but we don’t have to cheer every move good or bad. I feel like having the #1 organization is a weak consolation prize for not getting past the first round of playoffs. It’s like being picked by the “experts” to win the World Series in February. The only thing that counts is who’s still standing at the end of October. I hope for the sake of the great Vin Scully it’s our boys in blue.

  13. Mark, anybody that spends as much time or words trying to position someone else as they do stating their vision or opinion always turns me off. Why not just support your opinion with data and ignore what others have said?

  14. My diatribe, which is negative to those who believe it is, was not aimed at anyone’s wife. Of that I am positive!

    If it doesn’t apply, then one should not take offense. “If the glove doesn’t fit….”

  15. The Dodgers probably wanted to move Guerrero anyway but now that Kendrick signed, Utley makes Guerrero the odd man out. The advantage Utley has over Guerrero is that he will add WS experience to the clubhouse. If one of them were going to get lots of playing time, the Dodgers might prefer to keep Guerrero and trade Utley.

    I was okay with a platoon of Hernandez and Utley at second but now that Kendrick is here I don’t see Hernandez getting much time at second. Therefore, maybe it would be best if Hernandez spends most of his time at 3rd and short this spring training.

    Guerrero, Ethier, and Lee are the most likely to be traded before spring training starts. Wood might also be part of a package to get a better pitcher.

    1. I don’t know about that Bum, because they have talked about Howie and Chase filling in, and playing third base. They will use Kike to give players breaks, and as a backup, in case Puig, or Joc don’t hit. Kike would be a good person to platoon with Turner, when a lefty is pitching, if Turner doesn’t hit that well against leftys, like last year. Kike is the back up for Cory, but good luck with that. The bad thing about signing Howie, is that Kike will not be playing as much. I never thought that this front office would make Kike a regular, because they value utility players, way to much. And Kike himself, boxed himself in, by using this specialty to get on a major league team quicker. Once he shared his ability to play all over, he put that label on himself. And these saber metric front offices, value these utility players, much more, then most.

  16. It’s what Mark knows. Calling people idiots and morons has been his calling card for as long as I’ve known him. That and bizarre trade proposals. He couldn’t back any of his opinions with facts because the facts just didn’t, and don’t, support his argument. Maybe it all works out with our best prospects leading the way. But the top 3 he keeps referencing were already here, as was everyone that had anything to do with actually winning last year. The evidence says the moves made on the ML team resulted in fewer wins and an early exit. Those of us who wanted a stud #3 watched as the two guys FAZ picked up both ended their post season with an identical 18.0 ERA. Those who saw it coming are the ones Mark refers to as morons.

    We are all hopeful. But some are less clear on “what is”. e.g. – Montas had a rib removed as a preventative measure. There was nothing wrong with his rib. He didn’t really need that procedure done, but let’s not take any chances. That’s like having a tooth removed because some day you might get a cavity in it. Something was amiss. And now a promising bullpen piece is not available. Who knows when he will back. I’m waiting to hear the whole story on this. The Dodgers said only he had a “stress reaction” in his rib. I wonder what that means. They took the rib out. Last year he had surgery on both knees. 3 surgeries in one year.

    It just seems to me that these guys deal in broken players. Their background, both of them, is shuffling prospects. Most prospects don’t amount to much, but I guess if you stack them up, you have better odds that a few will be good.

    So, we wait.

  17. I am not as “colorful” as Mark, but I too am an eternal optimist when it comes to the Dodgers. I do not know how a true Dodger fan can be so negative even before ST. Many of you like being anti FAZ, and that is fine, as it would be boring to only discuss things that you are passionate about with people you only agree with. I have not blindly accepted everything they have done and supported its outcome. I would have preferred that the Dodgers retain Greinke, but I certainly understand why they did not. Six years at an average of $34.33M for a 32 year old seems risky. They already have three contracts that cannot be moved. I would have strongly considered keeping Todd Frazier rather than taking the Chisox three prospects. Maybe the Dodgers could then have traded Turner to the Chisox for prospect(s).

    I do think that FAZ are a little gun shy to pull the trigger on more substantive transactions that involve more risk, and I think that ownership has some of the same concerns; thus AA. I think they look for the “perfect” solution, and perhaps some deals may slip through. But there is no way Badger or anyone else can convince me that the Phillies would have traded Hamels to LAD with De Leon as the centerpiece. Urias and Seager would have to have been considered. So who else did they miss on? The Dodgers cannot improve their OF unless they can move 1 or 2 of the logjam. Are the Dodgers willing to trade Ethier and assume $$$? Sure if they can get a Grandal type out of the transaction. I have not heard of a deal that involves Ethier that they have turned down. Nobody is going to take CC involving any prospect no matter how many $$$ LA throws at them. The Dodgers do not have a Corey Dickerson or a Khris Davis to trade, who are both team controlled for multiple years. They have Ethier, CC, and SVS. They cannot afford to move Pederson or Puig because of potential. They apparently cannot give Guerrero away. If I am the Rays, I am taking Dickerson for Jake McGee over anybody the Dodgers may have been willing to trade.

    Many of you skeptics are already sending Pederson back to AAA. He wasn’t getting any meaningful help from McGuire after his 2014 September callup, so he went back to the one coach that did previously help him. That produced the long uppercut, swing for the fences approach, which seemed to coincide with what Mattingly and McGuire wanted, so why change. Maybe Turner Ward can help Pederson. A.J. Pollock sure seemed to take to Ward. Both Pollock and Goldschmidt were very upset that Ward left. I am not saying that Pederson is going to be an A.J. Pollock, but he is 4 years younger, and Pederson did have more HRs and nearly as many RBIs in his rookie year that Pollock had in his 1st three years combined. Pederson’s 2015 OBP is identical to Pollock’s 4 year career. Yes he did have 170 K, and that is a concern. But Chris Davis’ 162 game average is 200K for his 8 year career, and he is $150M player. I am willing to give Pederson more time than ST to try and turn his career around. It took Moustakas how many years???

    No matter how many times people say the Dodgers should make a specific trade, the A’s are not trading Sonny Gray or Josh Riddick, the Indians are not trading Kluber, Carrasco or Salazar, the White Sox are not trading Sale or Quintana, the Mets are not trading Harvey, DeGrom, Matz, Syndergaard, or Wheeler. I do think the Dodgers will make some moves before April 4, but it will not be for a starting position player, or a legit #2 SP, or lockdown 8th inning setup relief. My guess is that the Dodgers will get some additional prospects to replace some of the OF and ML ready SP.

    The Mets did not FA their way to their rotation. Those are all young players that came up through their system (either as drafted or traded for as prospects). The Cardinals have developed their system over yeeeeaaaaarrrrssssss. The Dodgers are in their 2nd year of their makeover, and the naysayers say that the turnaround isn’t quick enough. Next year the Dodgers will have two prospects vying for the rotation, maybe more. Urias and De Leon for sure, with Cotton and Montas potentially. Holmes, Buehler, and De Jong the year after. Rhame, Sborz, and perhaps Chris Anderson as potential back end bullpen prospects. Bellinger and Verdugo about ready to assume starting spots in the lineup just as the OF clears up and 1B opens. Scavuzzo and Diaz not far behind (Heredia and Miesas and Hanson???). The Dodgers went how long without a solid catching prospect? Now they have a young Grandal, and Barnes ready to assume for Ellis. Farmer also considered a solid prospect. They have two solid hitting 2B prospects who lack plus defensive abilities (Johnson and Calhoun). They are lacking in SS and 3B prospects, but FAZ has only been at it a year, so perhaps they will address this shortcoming this year.

    Regardless, many of you will see a below .500 team simply because they did not re-sign Greinke. Some have stated (perhaps tongue in cheek – perhaps not), that the DBacks are going to win more than 100 games. Me, I choose to believe the Dodgers are still the class of the NL West and will win more than they did in 2015, and will go on and win the 2016 WS (perhaps naively so). But it isn’t even ST, so why would I not believe that?

    1. Greinke won 19 games last year – the team went .500 in games not started by Greinke or Kershaw. Greinke is gone – would the Dodgers of the 60’s have been the same team with Koufax but no Drysdale and a bunch of so-so or injury-prone pitchers instead? And to lose him to a team in the division!

      I agree that the D-backs resurgence is overstated – they will probably finish 3rd. But they will be better this year and with the uneven schedule, the Dodgers play the D-backs 19 times this year meaning they will face Zach 4 or 5 times. Not great.

      As to the team being better – why? They have mostly the same team. They have Seager instead of Rollins (a huge upgrade), but Kazmir instead of Greinke. All of the maybes that everyone has talked about are still there. Maybe Puig, maybe Pederson, maybe Ryu, McCarthy and Maeda, hopefully the bullpen…a frail reed. If the other teams in the division are better you have to get better too to compete – can you honestly say that they are?

      Hope springs eternal in the breast of the Dodger fan. I would love to see them win 100 games and go all of the way – I just doubt it based on the current roster and the track record of the past few years.

      1. I am not denying that Greinke is a big loss. But I think Kershaw is better than he was in the beginning of 2015, and better than 16-7. I also believe that Ryu, Kazmir, and Maeda as a trio are better than Greinke, Frias, and Bolsinger. I also think B. Anderson will be better than .500 in a contract year.

        I think Grandal is more like the 1st half player than the 2nd half. They have Jansen for the full year, and I think as a whole the bullpen is better without Peralta, Johnson, Nicasio, Tsao, and all of the others that were so bad. I think Hatcher is more representative of the post-injury pitcher than the pre-injury pitcher. I think Puig is ready to show everyone the player he truly is; the 2013-2014 vs. the 2015. I believe he also can opt out of his contract and go to arbitration if he has a good year; another incentive.

        While Pederson is probably not the 1st half player, he is certainly better than the 2nd half. And he is probably closer to the 1st half than the 2nd half. It’s a contract year for Turner. You already mentioned Seager who is far better than the 2015 version of Rollins. And I think Chase Utley brings a Kirk Gibson type mentality to the clubhouse.

        But the biggest difference, and the single most important change is the loss of Mattingly, McGuire, Lopes, and Bundy. While they will miss Roenicke, they will be better with Roberts, Woodward, Lombard, and Ward. I also think that Maddux and Ibanez will be very beneficial for player development (mentally more than physically).

        While that is a lot of “ifs”. The WS favorite Cubs have a lot of questions also. Can Heyward play CF as well as he can RF? Will Jake Arrieta have another CY type year? Kluber didn’t follow up with a CY year last year. Is Lester really a .500 pitcher? Is he the 2014 or 2012 pitcher? He is not consistent. Will Lackey still be able to pitch 200 innings at 37? Will their #4 (Hammel) and #5 (Hendricks) be quality pitchers? Will Zobrist be better than Castro was after he moved to 2nd? Will Schwarber be able to play LF better than Ryan Luzinsky, or will he hit enough to make everyone forget how bad of an OF he is? Or will they finally stick him behind the plate? If so what do they do with Montero? The bullpen in total is suspect. Rondon is outstanding and Wood and Warren will be good. But I think the LAD bullpen in total is better than the Cubbies.

        Every team has “ifs”. I just believe the Dodgers ifs will turn out to be more positive than many others do.

        1. Well argued as usual, AC. I do believe Theo and Madden will do what it takes to address the problems you outlined and I just hope that our brain trust is ready to do the same with our “ifs.” Go Dodgers!

        2. AC I agree that the fact that Mattingly is gone, is the best and biggest move of the off season. That is why I feel the Dodger’s offense will be much better, even though this is almost the exact same team, except that Greinke is gone. I do think that Roberts have to be the most optimistic manager, that the Dodgers have had, since Lasorda. And I do know that there is more then being positive, to be a good manager, but this is a good start, especially for Puig, and Pederson. I also believe that if Ryu is fine physically, then the Dodgers do have a decent number two pitcher. And I think Madea is going to suprise everyone, and be a much better pitcher, then people think. And I do think that Grandal is a good hitter, and the only reason, he wasn’t able to hit in the second half, was because he was hurt. And I don’t understand why people are judging him on how he hit in the second half, because he was hurt, and should have not even been playing. I also don’t think a lot of the moves by the front office, were as good as some think, but I do try to look at everything, in a honest way. I’m not one to think any one way.

  18. I’m always TrueBlueThru&Thru but regardless to how I feel about the front office or the manager (thank God Mattingly is gone btw), I will continue to be optimistic. I don’t see or sense any lack of optimism when someone complains about the front office, I see intense love and desire for the Dodgers. I think it is convenient to accuse others of not being optimistic when they don’t like what they see, I hate those damn straw man tactics, that was should be left behind with your debate teams days in college, Big Boys don’t need straw men to win a discussion.

    Great takes by many, Always compete, Badger and DRick to name a few.

  19. MJ: The pet Cuban is the only one that has made this team and played. The one that won’t be traded. The one who could have gotten them over the Mets last year. The one who could protect AGon in the lineup. On the other site, some of us called him a knucklehead. 3 guesses. The first 2 don’t count.

    1. Bobbie17 I don’t think Puig is anybody’s pet, but I understand your frustration with Puig. When someone is blessed with the talent that Puig has, and doesn’t take advantage of there great talent, it is hard to understand there behavoir.

    2. Bobby17 I do feel for what your saying, and I can just imagine how Guerrero feels. I don’t think Puig had played in the big Cuban league, before coming here, and Guerrero had played for about four years, in the big league. I know they say that Guerrero can’t play third that well, but I think he would make all of the routine plays, and would hit well enough, to play third. I just think he was being overly careful, because of the way they have questioned his defense, and that is why he looked kind of slow at times. He was trying to be to deliberate, when he played third base. And he was use to playing everyday. And when your playing everyday, you have much more confidence in yourself, and everything, becomes second nature. And when he played leftfield, he was actually learning to play leftfield in the bigs, and that isn’t easy, and that is why he didn’t look that good. It is to bad, because Guerrero isn’t like Puig, he is more mature, and more a team guy. I hope he gets traded to a team, where he gets a chance.

  20. I think it will be a three team scrum to the end. The Dbacks had one of the best offenses in the league last year. What they needed was pitching and they got it. The midgets are always going to compete.

    I think we still need what we’ve needed for a few years – more better pitching, a leadoff guy and a keep the butts in the seats thumper.

    I wonder why Seager still doesn’t project all that highly. Could it be because he’s a rookie?

    As for Hamels AC I don’t believe the Dodgers were ever interested. They wanted something different, and boy did they get it. Hamels came with a contract that doesn’t fit their goals. It seems clear to me how they want to do this. That could change, but at this point I would be very surprised to see a bold move from them. Bold ain’t their style.

    I still think we could be very good this year. There are enough quality players still here that could turn it around. If the team buys into new leadership and everyone stays healthy, yeah, I like our chances. But then, I look up and we already have another going under the knife. Good health doesn’t follow this team around does it.

    1. Badger the Dbacks offense is going to miss that outfielder, that they traded to the Braves, as well as his good defense. And a lot of there offense, was because the way they were coached. There manager, and there coaches, took advantage of the few good offensive players they had, with getting there players moving on the bases, and causing the other team’s defense, to have to adjust to this movement. And I think Roberts and his coaches, will be doing the same thing, hopefully this year. Mattingly never got the most out of anyone, or anything, with the way he managed.

  21. 1. Puig returns to his rookie form;
    2. Pederson is the Joc of the first half;
    3. Utley returns to form;
    4. Grandal is healthy;
    5. Ryu is healthy;
    6. McCarthy is healthy;
    7. Madea stays healthy;
    8. Kazmir is healthy;
    9. Wood returns to his ATL form;
    10.Seager is s budding superstar;
    11.Ethier or Crawford stays healthy;
    12.Adrian doesn’t age;
    13.Turner is healthy;
    14.Kendrick hits his usual .285 to .295;
    15.Kershaw is still Cy Young;
    16.De Leon or Urias steps up;
    17.Blanton pitches like he did for Pittsburgh;
    18.Anderson pitches at least 190 innings;
    19.Beachy is healthy and returns to form;
    20.Four relievers step;
    21.Johnson of Thompson break out;
    22.Kike Hernandez continues to dazzle;
    23.Roberts and his staff can change the culture;
    24.Turner Ward can teach these guys how to hit as a team; and
    25.Austin Barnes is MLB ready.

    If some or all of those things happen, here is the probability of the Dodgers winning:

    5 Things – 75 Wins
    10 Things – 85 Wins
    15 Things – 92 Wins
    20 Things – 98 Wins
    25 Things – World Series

    Like all teams, there are lots of IF’s!

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