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Top 5 Moments of The 2016 Season: 5- Chase Utley Owns The Mets

Chase Utley

Since there is not much to write about during this slow time of the offseason what better reason to countdown the top five moments of the Dodger 2016 season. The Dodgers certainly had one crazy and intense roller coaster ride of a baseball season. Despite them choking in the postseason and not making the World Series, the club still had an exciting and memorable season. Here’s to more great seasons of Dodger baseball.

  1. Chase Utley owns the Mets-5-28-16 at Citi Field

One of the most satisfying moments of the 2016 season was watching Chase Utley stick it to the Mets in Citi Field by hitting two home runs against Noah Syndergaard on a balmy night in June. One of those home runs was a grand slam which made the moment even grander. No not Yasmani Grander, but just grand.

This was sweet revenge for Utley. Ever since the take-out slide incident in game 2 of the 2015 NLDS he’s been villainized by the New York fans. All he was trying to do was break up a double play in that game but accidentally broke poor Ruben Tejada’s leg and instantly became public enemy number one in Gotham.

Of course us Dodger fans loved Utley’s grit and determination and certainly understood that no malice was intended. It was just an accident. Unfortunately many other people thought differently. Coming into this series there was talk of a lot of bad blood. How would New York receive Utley? Would there be any retaliation? Bean balls perhaps?

As it turned out it was Utley who turned the tables, as he raised both hands in the air and extended his middle fingers to the Mets and their fans. It was glorious to watch as Mets fans booed him unmercifully. He really stuck it to them.

What we feared would happen finally did in the third inning when Syndergaard threw behind Utley and was immediately ejected by the umpires. Mets Manager Terry Collins argued but it was to no avail. Later in the game Utley would go deep for a solo home run. The first of his two blasts on the night. Then in the seventh inning Utley would hit his sixth career grand slam to cap an unbelievable night for the veteran.

The Dodgers would go onto hit five home runs in the game and beat the Mets 9-1. What a night for Chase Utley and the Dodgers. Take that Gotham city!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

156 thoughts on “Top 5 Moments of The 2016 Season: 5- Chase Utley Owns The Mets

  1. What Utley did in that game and that series, showed that Mattingly made a mistake by not playing Chase against the Mets, in the previous post season series.

    Chase while playing for the Phillies, and playing in that league against the Mets all of his career, had always been a Met killer, but Mattingly didn’t have the guts to play Chase.

  2. I like Utley. Always have. Long Beach guy. I was born in Long Beach. Grew up near it. Played Connie Mack for a Long Beach team. Mack Calvin, remember him, moved me off shortstop to third base on that team. Guys from Long Beach got a lot of ‘tude. But I digress. Utley will make a great coach, but I think it’s time to move away from him as a player. He ended the season with a 95 OPS+ and in the last 28 days hit .214. Ok, if next year is a pause button year, he can take a roster spot. Maybe he starts like he did this year, .815 March/April OPS then late summer he’s replaced by Calhoun, or whoever else shows up on the radar.

    If Turner isn’t at third, who is? If Ruiz stays, where does Barnes go? Ethier is on this team until he isn’t and frankly looking at our outfield he’s one of the best professional hitters we have out there. He’s being paid $17.5mm the next two years. That’s 5 WAR we need to get out of him. That doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of happening unless he is on the field every day. And on this team, on the field every day is reserved for Seager and Gonzalez. I can see a Kemp-like move with him, but he has to ok it. He sure seems to like hitting at Chase.

    Again, we wait to see who stays and who don’t.

    1. Ethier is under contract next year but the following year has a buy out. According to Dodger Blue, Hill is very interested in staying a Dodger…..

      1. You’re right.

        Make that 3 WAR, next year. Still not gonna happen unless he plays every day, which ain’t gonna happen. Both parties might be better off with that Kemp trade.

        1. 10 and 5 guy so he has to approve any deal. But it would be to his benefit to go somewhere he can play everyday because unless Puig is traded the OF looks like Toles, Pederson and Puig.

          1. I don’t see Toles beating out Ethier in left field. If Puig is traded, then it makes it easier. Unless he’s traded for Braun. And maybe Braun goes back to third base when Turner leaves. He hasn’t played there in years which makes him a perfect fit. Never mind. I have no idea what the plan might be.

    2. Badger

      I love Chase but unless he takes on a role as a utility guy, I don’t think we should bring him back.

      But I am asumming that we will get a more productive second baseman.

  3. I agree. Keep Utley, maybe to share the job with a young guy. I don’t know if Kendrick can take the job of super sub. I don’t know if he wants to be used that way, but he might not have a choice. Kike would then be gone or demoted. That’s ok. Dodgers ranked #4 by ESPN behind the usual suspects. I think we can all agree that the team should be better next year. I don’t see regression except for AGon, maybe. That being said, it depends on 3b and closer being the same. To avoid slipping back, Turner and Jansen, or comparable replacements, must be around. If we don’t re sign them, I can see falling back a few places. Jansen should be an easy call because of his age. I don’t see much risk in the $ that will be spent to keep him. I think he’s better than the other free agent closers on the market. He is harder to replace than Turner. Kendrick could play 3b until someone else comes along and would probably be ok there. He worked out there in spring training last year, so he can do the job. We need to hope–again–that the wounded starting pitchers on the team, or a couple of them, are healthy enough to pitch 150+ innings. We might even find a couple of bullpen pieces among the group, if they buy into the notion that the bullpen may extend their careers, like it did with Blanton.

    1. The problem is that Howie doesn’t provide the offense, that a team would expect at third base, or in leftfield.

      And his defense isn’t great at those two positions either.

      What they do with Howie, will answer a lot of questions.

      They have to sign Turner, there is no one out there, that will give the team the offense and defense that Turner provides.

      And Turner’s salary, won’t be unreasonable either.

      The fact that Turner is older, and wants to stay with the Dodgers, will give the front office a decent deal, by today’s standards in baseball.

      And after what Kenley did in the post season, he will be at the higher end of the free agent market, so I don’t know what is going to happen with him.

      But Hawkeye did make a very good point about Kenley, when he pointed out that the Dodgers were already paying Kenley, about the same amount that most of these multi year contracts have Kenley, and these closer’s getting yearly.

      If the market doesn’t get so unreasonable with Kenley, why not sign him to a multi year contract.

      The last guy that threw the same cutter that Kenley throws, did have a pretty long successful career, and Kenley is a bigger guy.

    2. And about Agone’s regression, it happens to most major league players, when they get older.

      But if that article in True Blue LA is right, after Agone came back from those three games he sat out, his numbers were back to the same numbers he had in the year before, and that includes his power numbers.

  4. Early last season, I cried for carrying 3 catchers on the 25 roster, all season.

    It paid off for the Cubs in that last W.S. game.

    Again, I like the idea of, when needed, pinch-hitting for one, pinch-running if called for — just flexibility with the catching situation. And one of them just more or less becomes a key bat when needed late in a game.

    1. Roger

      In this last series, I felt they should have had three catchers on the roster.

      Because that would be the only way, we could make better use of Chooch’s good bat, against lefties

  5. Time out . . .

    Over the last week, I watch all of the episodes of the TV show “Pitch” about the first female pitcher who broke in with the Padres that my DVR had recorded. Believe it or not, it has some nice story lines . . .

    Anyway — when the TV show called for watching the gal pitch on TV they would show the OTHER GAMES BEING PLAYED scores on the crawl of the screen. I kept watching for the Dodger score — until I remembered the season was over and this was a TV show and not the real thing.

    See how programmed we are. Show us a game, with scores on the bottom on the screen — and we want to know what the Dodgers did.

    1. They got him for a mediocre arm too…….Neshek traded to Phils for PTBNL. According to MLB.com, Kazmir is a free agent, but I have not seen any opt out announcement…..and I did read the story about him wanting out of LA……can’t take the pressure here I guess

      1. Kazmir is still on our roster, unfortunately. MLBTR has him on their free agent list but with this disclaimer: Scott Kazmir (33) — can opt out of remaining two years, $32MM on current contract
        We’re not going to get rid of him that easy.

        1. Wondering

          We can do a two for one with Kazmir and McCarthy, but it will take a bunch of great minds, to see the value with these two pitchers.

  6. Joc Pederson sent the Rams a video of him playing wide receiver in high school and asked for a tryout….no this story is not made up….it is in the Dodgers MLB.com page

  7. Kazmir has 2 yrs 32 mil left on his deal. If he really wants out, he can tell us that he will opt out, but only if we agree not to offer him that qualifying offer. I”m sure he can get 2-3 years somewhere else where he really wants to go, and the signing team will likely pay him more if they know they don’t have to give up a pick to us. It’s a win win for both parties.

      1. my team, Fresno St, sucks monkey balls. I may throw on a game here or there as background noise.

        Tonight at 5pm, though, the MLB channel is showing the Futures Game from the Arizona Fall league. We have Bellinger, Calhoun, and Verdugo there; I’ll definitely try to catch that one!

    1. He sent them a video of his high school career as a wide receiver. I think he misses the game some, but doubt the Rams would sign him with no way to evaluate his skills….

          1. It was a joke. Joc isn’t stupid. He stands to make $100 million playing baseball. You don’t ef with that.

  8. Several comments.

    1 – Utley hit .252 with .719 OPS and 14 HR. He had WAR of 2.0 for the season including 2.3 O-WAR and -.1 D-WAR meaning that defensive metrics put him a little below average for the season ( if you believe in them). He was 15th in WAR among all 2B in 2016, He’s 37 and he played worse as the season wore on. The Dodgers should upgrade 2B.

    2 – People who post here are engaged in wishful thinking if they think that Turner or Jansen will take less than market value. Jansen made $10,615 MM in 2016. He is projected to make $15MM/year for up to 5 years on his next deal. Who thinks the Dodgers pay this?

    3 – Turner made $5.1MM in 2016. He is 32 but may be the best position player available as a free agent. Ben Zobrist got a 4 year contract last year even though he is older than Turner; both Beltre and Pablo Sandoval got 5. Beltre got $16mm/year; Sandoval got $19MM/year; Zobrist got $14MM/year. Even Chase Headley got 4 years/$52MM. My guess is that it will take at least 4 years to sign Turner and probably at least $15MM/year. anyone think the Dodgers will pay this?

    1. Dodger rick

      I do think they will pay it.

      Sandoval was a over paid, and everyone knows it, because his regular season numbers were not that great.

      Turner has his age and an injury, that goes against him.

      He also wants to stay in LA, if this front office can’t get this deal done, they don’t know what they are doing.

      Mark has said that Turner is going to be to much, but if they can waste money on there former A’s players, they better make this happen.

      Turner could always move to firstbase if they needed him to move, from third base.

      They were really lucky that this team won the west last year, because there starting pitching rotation, predictably fell apart, and even Kershaw couldn’t save it.

      I know they want to bring the luxary tax down, but they may not make it under the luxary tax, until 2019, so they need to bring Turner back.

      He represents more then just his stats, he is one of the team’s leaders, and has that grinder attitude.

      We need Kenley or a good closer, to keep this team, where they were last year, but who knows what they will do here.

      We still have Hatcher on this team, and he was worse then Baez!

  9. Congrats to our own Willie Calhoun, the MVP of the Arizona Fall League Futures game! He went 3-3 with a 2 run hr and 3 rbi. He hits the ball hard!! I didn’t see him have any chances at 2b, so couldn’t really gauge his defense, but apparently he’s only made 1 error so far this AFL.

    Bellinger went 1-5 with a 2 run hr as well.

    Alex Verdugo made this game as well, but didn’t play as he’s going to Tokyo to play for Team Mexico in some tournament over there.

    1. Bellinger doesn’t get shorted. He hit a hanging curve ball off a lefty for a HR. He also flew out at the wall in the first inning. Plus 2 k’s and a ground out. Like Joc he doesn’t have much of a two strike approach.

      Calhoun has a nice short swing and he destroyed the ball hit for a HR. I wish he had gotten some action in the field. He is so stocky I can see why he may not have a defensive position the way he is built.

      1. Kirby Puckett was stocky.

        Rick – I don’t. Three years with this option – “win a World Series MVP and we’ll consider a 4th”.

        Maybe you mathematicians can explain this to me – Utley hit .252 with a .716 OPS, a 95 OPS+ and a negative dWAR. How can that possibly add up to 2 wins above average?

        1. Badger

          I had just read that Utley’s defensive metrics were above average, because I thought if his defensive metrics is good, maybe it was Corey’s throws, that caused them not to make a lot of those double plays.

          I know you questioned Corey’s defensive metrics, but I think Corey gets some breaks from our official scorer at times, because it is Corey.

          And I want to keep Corey at short, where he is happy, so I am just being honest.

  10. Instead of complaining about FAZ today, can we complain about Standard Time/Daylight Saving Time instead? I don’t have a preference but I sure am tired of resetting the clocks twice a year. Before some of you young whippersnappers say it’s such a little thing, why complain about it, wait till you’ve been doing it for 50 or 60 years. And it is so unnecessary. Seventy five years ago it might have served some purpose. Now, I really doubt it. Our world has changed.

    1. I don’t have that problem. One progressive thing that Arizona has going for it, they don’t try to change time. And I actually found myself debating the idea that DST actually saves an hour of daylight. You buy them books, you send them to school….

      Back to FAZ.

      1. If any player can hit like that, they will find a place for him to play, at the Major League level.

        I don’t know about everyone else here, but I would take Murphy’s defense at second, to have his bat in the line up.

        If he makes all of the rountine plays I don’t care about about his defensive metrics.

        Really these defensive metrics are hard to gauge, with all of these shifts, and players not playing in there traditional positions.

        Bellinger has a long swing, and it looks like right now, that major league pitchers, will play havoc on his swing.

        It will be interesting to see how he does against good pitching.

        He did hit the ball hard and far, but the pitch was a hanger, that he could easily catch up to hit.

      2. How do you figure DST saves daylight? We get the same amount of daylight, and darkness, that the world has been allocating ever since it was created. All that we have managed to change is the mis-perception of daylight by telling ourselves we changed it by the artifice of a clock, one of man’s most deluding creations. By tying ourselves to artificial time, we have wasted more daylight, and darkness, than you would believe.

        1. Believe it or not, some do think by turning the clock back you save an hour of daylight. The dumbing down of America at work I suppose.

        2. Actually the days in the winter get shorter. Especially in mid December with the 21st being the shortest day of the year.

        3. That’s an odd statement. I don’t think anyone would presuppose that that DST somehow alters the speed of the Earth’s rotation. As an ordered society based on discrete concepts of measurement, we rely on the “artifice of a clock” to manage time in the most productive ways possible. DST merely tries to align people’s activities with the daylight hours under the rubric of a measurable system of defining time.

    2. Wondering

      My alarm clock made the change last Saturday, so I had to fix that.

      You need to think like this, if that is the worse thing that you have to do twice a year, you are one lucky guy.

      1. Pessimists are really optimists, you know. Someday soon I won’t have to deal with problems like that anymore.

      2. Honestly, I was happy to get an extra hour of sleep today. I totally forgot about it though. I will bitch in the spring. I am happy when I can golf until 9 o’clock in June. The original idea was to save energy costs by adjusting our clocks. It’s a misconception that it was done for farmers.

  11. Someone probably asked Kazmir how he liked being with the Dodgers. He might have said,”I hate it”. They then may have asked if he hated it $32MM worth and he would have answered, “Uh, no”.
    It doesn’t seem that he opted out, does it?

    1. Wondering

      I guess the 32 million sounded good, until he was expected to perform at a decent level.

      I almost always felt like his heart was not into his pitches.

      At times, it looked like he was just going through the motions to pitch.

      He is the most defensive pitcher, I have ever seen.

      Anytime he got close to the best hitter on the other team, he started pitching very defensively, and he would walk the hitter before the best hitter, and then he would walk the best hitter, then he would get behind on the count of the next hitter, and that hitter, did him in.

      And at times he got lazy when a pitcher was hitting, with runners on base, and he would threw the pitcher to good of a pitch, and that pitcher would get a hit, and you know what happened after that.

  12. Kazmir must have looked like a good idea at the time. As did McCarthy. Anderson. Who knows, maybe all 3 start 30 games this year. Maybe Wood will too.

    1. Badger

      They should move Wood to the opposite side of the pitching plate, and make him even more difficult to hit.

      That is Bumgarner’s and Arrieta’s biggest reason that they are hard to hit.

      But they probably should move Wood before he gets hurt again.

      He already has had a TJ surgery, and with his awkward delivery, I would be afraid that he is going to get injured again.

      And he did get injured last year, so he is having advert affects already from his pitching motion.

  13. According to mlb.com………….the largest contract ever given to a closer will be broken twice. They predict that Kenley and Chapman will get larger contracts than Rivera’s 15 mil over 4 years. They also predict that Cespedes will sign with a west coast team. Either the Giants, Angels, or Dodgers. They expect some big trades and big names on the move. They expect the Yankees to be active since 3 huge contracts are gone.

    1. I believe it. I wouldn’t go $15MM for Kenly or Chapman. (I don’t understand that since it’s not coming out of my pocket….) Maybe put $10MM on a closer and add the other $5MM to whatever we’re spending on a right-handed bat. And I think we’ll see a lot of Cespedes next year but he’ll be in a Giant uniform….

      1. I would go $15mm, but not for 4 years. 3 years with an option, then make sure in that third year you burn him up with many multiple inning outings.

        1. Badger

          You smart A!

          That sounds like the description of the last post season.

          But it will be worth it for Kenley!

          I remember when the Reds wanted to make Chapman into a starting pitcher.

          The question is will the Dodgers allow Kershaw to pitch in that World Baseball series next year?

          1. Chapman wanted to be a starting pitcher and as of last season there were reports that he still did.

    2. Michael:
      I understand you don’t like Braun for obvious reasons but if we had a choice between Braun and Cespedes, I would take Braun in a NY moment especially if SF jumps the gun and signs Cespedes.
      Cespedes only costs money and Braun players, major and minor league. If you look at the stats Braun has it all over Cespedes in every category.
      I’m more interested in what the player does BETWEEN the lines and not that concerned with historical baggage.
      As I see it if we could obtain Villar and Braun in a package, it would solve our problems in a few places namely RHPH, LF, leadoff hitter, 2nd Base, SH base stealer, etc.
      What we would have to give up in return? I have no clue and neither does either one here. I do know we almost had a deal for Braun for Puig, McCarthy and two minor leaguers one of which was already agreed to but a sticking point on the 2nd when time ran out at the deadline.
      With Braun in the PS we may have gone further than we did. IDK but neither does anyone here.

      1. Villar is 25yrs old and made about $300,000 last year. Why would the trade him? He’s the exact type of player a mall market team is going to hang on to for dear life? If they were going to trade him those two prospects are going to be top prospects. So you would be looking at Puig, Calhoun, Deleon, McCarthy, and would have to add more. Say someone like Barnes to get Braun and Villar. They may ask for a Buehler or Alvarez instead of Deleon.

        1. MLB minimum is 500,000….so that is what he should have made unless he was not with the team the entire season.

      2. Braun is signed through ’20 with a $4mm buyout in ’21. I think the total owed is around $80 million. That’s a lot of cabbage for a guy turning 33. One could ask, of Puig and Braun, who would have the most accumulated WAR over the next 4 years?

      3. Hawkeye

        After seeing Chapman pitch in the post season, he really didn’t impress me.

        I thought Kenley did a much better job.

        1. I certainly prefer Kenley’s demeanor and attitude after watching Chapman half-ass it in game 5 of the NLDS. You have to wonder how Kenley would have held up if they continued to ride him the way the Cubs did Chapman for another series. Even Miller was showing cracks.

          1. That is true, but I think Kenley and Miller, both threw more innings then Chapman.

            I think after Chapman was brought in a inning early against the Giants, Maddon didn’t use him much before the ninth inning, until the World Series.

            Because remember Chapman didn’t pitch that well against us, in the top of the eighth, and Maddon choose to go to the pinch hitter, instead of keeping Chapman in the game.

            And that always reminds me of why didn’t Blanton change to his fastball, and pitch a high fastball, just out of the strike zone to that catcher.

          2. And Hawkeye

            Neither us or the Indians, had close to the starting pitching the Cubs had.

            So I think it was pretty amazing that the Indians almost stoled that series.

            And the Cubs have more quality starters, then probably any team in baseball right now.

          3. Yet the Cubs were yanking their starters early too. Madden trusted Montgomery and Chapman that was about it. Edwards at times I guess. I would rather they sign Kenley. I think a guy who throws over 100 is more likely to be the guy who blows out his arm in a multi-year deal.

      4. When the trade was almost made in July, it was like 5 for 2 with Puig and Braun the center pieces. McCarthy was part of the deal too with I think 3 minor leaguers. I know Braun has a great bat, but his age, and contract are deal breakers for me. I think trading Puig is a huge mistake. But that is up to the FO. I also think Puig is far superior in defense.

  14. Kemp won’t be coming home…
    Barring an offer of “something crazy” from another team, Coppolella isn’t looking to deal outfielders Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp or Nick Markakis. Not only are the Braves “not out there shopping” these players, “in fact we’re not really even listening on guys. Because these are players that we really like and we feel like they fit us well on the field as well as off the field.”

    1. Hawkeye

      I agree especially since we probably won’t be paying Kenley a lot more a year, then we have already been paying him, like you pointed out to me.

      Kenley is built a lot stronger then Chapman, and he seems stronger mentally too.

      I got on Kenley a lot this year, but after this post season, I am pretty impressed, with what he did.

      1. I actually thought Hendricks pitched better then Lester did.

        But I wasn’t impressed by Maddon’s moves either.

        They said maybe he was looking to much at stats, instead of watching his starting pitchers.

        They said he was also worrying about his pitchers facing the line up, the third time around.

        Lester doesn’t look like he has good stuff, but he just keeps his balls down, and keeps his team in the game.

        That sounds exactly what Hendrick does, but I think the umpires must have been giving Hendrick to many low pitches out of the strike zone, this year, especially in Chicago.

  15. The Brewers won’t be trading any young team controlled players who are any good so that is a pipe dream. Jansen and Turner won’t take less than market value, nor should they. If the front office won’t pay Jansen more than 3 or 4 years and less than $15MM per he will be wearing a different uniform next year.

    1. I can and do criticize the FO’s moves. But I’m glad I don’t have their responsibilities. I might do different but it might not be better…

    2. Dodger rick

      There are players that don’t try to get carried away with this contracts, if they want to be with a certain team.

      I have also wrote that the front office better not low ball Turner, and insult him either.

      Turner isn’t the typical free agent.

      He is a late bloomer, and has had injury problems, so he won’t be getting a contract that a younger player will get.

    3. May not be a pipe dream. Stranger things have happened and if we could get Villar for DeLeon, Calhoun(who Villar would replace for the next who knows how many years) and another cost controlled prospect, I think the Brewers would be interested. JMO

        1. Bellinger has got serious pop since he has been getting bigger and stronger it would appear every year. Those huge swings he took last night made Joc Pederson’s huge swings that he takes look like little half swings!

  16. Carlos Ruiz traded to Seattle

    I”ll go out on a limb here and say it’s not for Felix Hernandez or Kyle Seager

  17. Per True Blue LA (prior to the Ruiz trade):

    “The Dodgers have $119.3 million committed to 12 players in 2017, which includes three players not on the 40-man roster. In addition, the club has $29.5 million in dead money for players no longer in the organization.”

    Obviously, this does not include players under team control who work for close to the minimum nor does it apply to any arb eligible players.

  18. Here is the 2017 payroll (so far):
    Grandal – arb eligible
    Gonzalez – $21.5MM
    Kendrick – $5MM ($5MM deferred to 2019)
    K. Hernandez – team control
    Seager – team control
    Toles – team control
    J Pederson – team control
    Puig – $6.5MM
    Ethier – $17.5MM
    T Thompson – team control
    Van Slyke – arb eligible
    Taylor, Culberson, M Johnson, Barnes – team control
    Kershaw – $33MM
    Kazmir – $8MM ($8MM deferred to 2020)
    McCarthy – $10MM
    Ryu – $7MM
    Maeda – $3MM (plus $6.6MM payable to his former Japanese team in 2017)
    Wood, Avilan, Hatcher, Tsao, Fields, Coleman – arb eligible
    All other Dodger pitchers on the 40 man – team control

    Dead money
    Kemp – $3.5MM
    Crawford – $21.5MM
    Guerrero – $5MM
    Sierra – $2.5MM
    Toscano – $1.3MM
    Arruebarrena – $4MM

    So – not that much actually dedicated to payroll. Any guesses what they do next?

    1. Good read.

      He doesn’t think what they did is repeatable. I think maybe it is. A little luck, some more black magic thrown the giants way, those Boston guys flounder in the desert and the West is ours with 90 wins. Do the chants, throw that pixie dust in the air and voilà! We can do it again. But I say we can make it more interesting – instead of only being 29th in IP by starters, we can do it being 30th. You have to set goals.

    1. I bet Chooch wish he never left the Phillies, and agreed to go to the Dodgers.

      They just said that Kazmir’s agent probably talked to a lot of different teams, and found out he couldn’t get a better two year deal then he has now, even in the worse free agent class of pitchers.

      1. Chooch is a pro. He knew the Phillies are going thru a major rebuild. Writing was on the wall, and he got on a playoff bound team and will get extra cash. Not getting that in Philly. Now he is in Seattle a team that was oh so close…….as for Kazmir, other teams scouts can see how ineffective he was at times, and his late season back issues did not help.

    2. 5’11” 210 pounds……stocky lil guy…….he is a lefty………they have 4 LH relievers now……..with Howell leaving….

  19. Chooch for Vidal Nuno……who? Never heard of this guy. Kazmir better be good this year or the natives will revolt……..Of course maybe they can pay 75 % of his and McCarthy’s salary and ship them anywhere…..

  20. I re read Kazmir’s injuries, and it said it was affecting his back, his neck, and his ribs, with the chronic disorder that he has.

    It sounds like he is just getting old to me, except the rib issue.

    I don’t understand why he isn’t happy being on the Dodgers.

    That is hard to understand.

    1. Maybe the light is too bright in LA.

      Perhaps he should join some of those young pitchers in the DriveLine program. It might help him get to 180 innings again. Might. Might not. Probably more likely might not. 150 innings may be a more realistic goal. Expectations? I have none.

      1. This pitching staff scares no one. Other than Kershaw it is the biggest collection of walking dead in the league…….great for a TV series….not so much for the MLB.

    2. I am old. He is just fragile….30 something and all those aches and pains with the medical care they get? Just a bunch of over paid wimps.

  21. Come on. I haven’t been a fan of the Braintrust’s plan to sign the old and infirm and call it “depth” for the rotation but Kazmir had been pretty good 3 years in a row before the Dodgers signed him. He had a history of disappearing after August 1 rolled around though.

    Last year he walked more than usual, struck out more than usual and allowed 21 HR in 136 ip, so he didn’t have a good year. We forget though that before he went on the DL he and Maeda were the only guys taking the ball every 5 days and he had some good games.

    As of now, he is the #3 guy in the rotation after Kid K and Maeda. I have no problems if the team trades him but think that he has a chance to be better in ’17 than last year if he is healthy (a big if). Given the lack of other starters available as free agents he’s a better option than many.

    By the way, while Hill pitched well when he pitched, he started ONLY 6 GAMES during the regular season after the Dodgers acquired him on 7/31 – so 6 starts in 2 months. He had 20 starts last year between Oak and LA and 4 in 2015 for the Bosox, so that is his recent track record. While he is effective when he pitches, he just won’t pitch that often, so I am in no hurry for him to join Anderson, McCarthy, Wood and Kazmir in the Braintrust’s walking wounded starting pitcher’s brigade.

    1. 3 good years in a row? I beg to differ……2013…with the Indians. 10-9 with a 4.08 ERA. 158 innings pitched with 162 hits and 47 walks. 162 Ks and a 1.32 Whip…2014, a year he was actually pretty good with the A’s 15-9 3.55 ERA 190.1 IP 171 hits allowed and 50 walks. WHIP was 1.16. 2015 7-11 with 2 teams….3.10 ERA, over 4 after the trade to Houston. 183 innings, 162 hits and 59 walks. 155 K’s and a 1.21 WHIP……..other than 2014, pretty close to what he did last year. He sucked rocks after the trade from Oak to Hou. Has had injury problems, did absolutely nothing to warrant that big contract he received.

  22. It seems that the team just wanted to dump Ruiz. What was once an ok catching corps of Grandal and Ellis is not. Barnes is not as good as Ellis and probably never will be, and that is not saying much. Stupid move unless it is one of many more. I would love to be a young catcher in the Dodgers’ organization right now. Kyle Farmer? I think that backup job is open for spring training. Whomever can hit will get it. With Grandal’s injuries, our backup catcher will have a lot to do. Kazmir can be a #3 but probably will be a #5, along with about 5 others. Even when healthy, he is a puzzle within an enigma. Except for the $, he could be beat out by some of the young guns. But with that contract, they almost have to play him. Or trade him.

    1. Ruiz made too much money for their taste. Also agree that Barnes will never be good enough to be a #2 but his unique blend of qualifications make him useful as a #3 if a team chooses to carry one. FAZ will probably pick up a cheap backup catcher over the winter. Doesn’t have to be much, same philosophy they have for all their players, they aren’t going to be around long enough to make a difference.

    2. Barnes isn’t an upgrade over AJ? we don’t know that. I can almost guarantee that he’s an upgrade over AJ offensively. AJ had 1 good season hitting. Barnes is considered one of the top receivers in AAA and has been mentored by AJ, Yeager, and Honeycutt when it comes to defense and game planning. What skills AJ has(and they were very limited) are diminishing quickly. If the Dodgers think it best to trade a guy who still produced against lefties and threw out 42% of base runners then they must feel Barnes is ready. Let’s not forget with the young guys like Urias, Deleon, and Stewart coming Barnes has worked with them.

      It’s also $4.5 million that can go toward a free-agent at a more pressing position.

      1. The interesting thing about moving Ruiz is that if they really thought that Barnes was ready they could have dumped Ellis last year and just played Barnes. Instead, they played Ruiz and he played relatively well (Except for some important passed balls) and he hit in the post season.

        Now, they are dumping a guy that it was so important to get that they risked the on and off field chemistry between Ellis and their best player (as well as his value in the clubhouse) for a nothing to play a guy who wasn’t good enough to rely on last year.
        I must admit that this confuses me.

        1. Maybe they didn’t think trading Ellis would risk the on and off field chemistry.
          Maybe they think Barnes is ready now, that does happen with young players. They get better.
          Maybe they wanted to get something back, not lose Ruiz in a year (or so) when he retires.
          Maybe they weren’t happy with Ruiz
          Maybe they were very happy with what they saw with Barnes in the playoffs

        2. Their team chemistry was just fine without AJ. There was no way they were going to pick up AJ’s option at the end of this season. Let’s not forget that Barnes was hurt when Ruiz was picked up. It’s time to find out what Barnes has got or trade him.

  23. I think Barnes might have got one at bat in the post season, and he was used as a pinch runner too, so what did they see?

    1. They’ve watched him for 2 years at AAA and spring training work with pitchers just like every other prospect that gets promoted. I’m not predicting great things or failure for Barnes but I am sure it will be better than what AJ brings to the table at this point.

      1. What AJ brought was more intangible. He has something neither Barnes nor Grandal have and that is a great knowledge of the leagues hitters. Barnes has not yet proved he can hit MLB pitching. AJ is 37 years old, so his skills were on the downward slide, but I would love to see him back in the system as an instructor or coach.

        1. That’s where AJ should be at this point. A minor league instructor. Of course they have a much better defensive catcher in Steve Yeager doing that already.

    1. I was content with Chooch but it would have been for one more year. They chose younger, more versatile, and cheaper.

        1. Do we know that? Youth and long-term control may have been first. Versatility may have come before the price tag. I guarantee that all of those factors are factors for every team in the MLB.

          Also, keep in mind that I believe Farmer has to be on the 40-man this year or be left available for the rule 5 draft. Seems minor, but if any of the young catchers in the Dodgers system are going to develop they can’t all be stuck in the same place because of higher priced veterans blocking their development. I like Ruiz and I was content if he was the backup next year, but AJ had to go.

          1. Hawkeye

            This is going to be a tough year, because we need to bring Turner, and Kenley back, just to stay the same.

            And we need a number two pitcher, and another bat, to balance the line up, and to have a better showing against leftie pitchers.

            And we don’t know what the front office will do.

            I feel that they won’t get under the luxary tax, until after 2018, so they should just sign Turner and Kenley.

            At the most Turner and Kenley will be signed just one year beyond 2018, if they get four year contracts.

        2. It is typical with this FO. They are trying to reduce payroll. But still have well over 35 million in dead money on the books.

          1. I’m a little confused to the “reduce payroll” narrative.

            Is it to imply that the league high payroll was indeed too high, and the team is trying to settle into a more sustainable level.

            Or is it that ownership doesn’t want to run the team like a large market team?

            Or somewhere inbetween?

          2. Not confusing at all. Has been stated by Kasten that one of the things they want to do is get younger and cheaper. The payroll in their minds is absolutely too high and they want to get below the Tax thresh hold.

          3. “younger and cheaper” can mean a lot of things. You’re taking a statement that is more general and applying a specific financial objective, which has never been stated and is an assumption on your part.

      1. Hawkeye

        I didn’t mind that he was traded, because I thought he was showing age defensively.

        But I just noticed that he had very patient at bats, and he did come through, more then once in the post season.

  24. Perhaps FO should look into getting Shawn Tolleson who is best friends with CK. Wasn’t one of them the best man at the other’s wedding? It may help the hurt CK felt when Ellis was traded. They are both from Texas and Tolleson will only be 29yo in January.

    1. I think CK will be just fine without AJ. Grandal caught him more than AJ last year anyways. Both AJ and CK knew that AJ wasn’t going to get extended beyond this year or it was at least unlikely. Tolleson would be interesting if brought in on a cheap deal but being buddies with CK should have nothing to do with it.

  25. MLB Trade Rumors projects that both Turner and Jansen will cost 5/$85MM ($17MM/yr.) and that Hill will cost 3/$50MM ($16.67MM/yr). They project that the Dodgers will keep Turner but not Jansen or Hill, but that the Dodgers will sign Cespedes to 5/$125MM! (obviously a wild guess for the ultimate landing spots for all players, but the projected salaries are more than that.)

          1. I don’t gamble. I just like to see what it is the nerds who run the numbers think the odds are. Nate Silver has some success behind his predictions and he’s a baseball fan. His 538 Sports site I find interesting. Others may not. To each his own.

            And I don’t know what a tout site is either. I thought maybe it was a misspelling.

  26. Wonder – Seattle over Buffalo, Clinton over Trump and Cubs again.

    Have you ever read 538?

    5 and $85mm for a reliever? Who does that?

    Cespedes is not worth $25 million a year.

  27. Six months ago, I remember being mocked when I said Kenley Jansen would get close to $100 million. Of course, we all know who did thet… the guy who is never wrong! There is no way anyone with a modicum of sanity should sign him to that kind of deal. Some would – that’s my point!

    Secondly, the Dodgers aren’t going to forfeit their draft pick for Cespedes… or anyone for that matter. If a draft pick is attached, they are not going to LA. Write it down! You should understand how this works by now.

    Thirdly, if it makes you feel good, then denigrate Grandal all you want, but pitchers really like pitching to him. Two come to mind: Greinke and Kershaw! But what do those stiffs know? AJ who? Good guy but not missed on the field.

    Fourth, Austin Barnes will impress you a lot next year. He could be the backup catcher. He could also play 2B or 3B. He’s ready. He is a solid player. Yeah, you haven’t seen much from him… maybe you don’t know where or how to look.

    Fifth, Justin Turner is 50/50. If he gets a big offer he is gone.

    Sixth, Dustin Nosler is getting smarter as he ages (ain’t that the truth?). He posed a lot of ideas today (none of which may happen) but it was well thought out and concise:


    It’s pretty interesting, but he is giving up a lot. Well reasoned, unlike lots of other stuff though.

    Seventh, I do think Willie Calhoun will be traded. I especially like this deal:

    To TB: Pedro Baez, Willie Calhoun, Kyle Farmer, Jordan Sheffield
    To LA: Brad Boxberger, Logan Forsythe

    Forsythe will play 3B for the Dodgers next year. Calhoun is a DH.

    Eighth, after lots of deliberation, we do only trade for Braun if we get Villar too (bad with the good). Richie suggested that and I buy in. Of course Milwaukee will get rid of him ONLY if we overpay. So, it’s Puig, Verdugo, Taylor, Meises, Stewart and whatever else for Braun and Villar.

    Ninth, that’s all I can handle. It’s a lynch mob mentality in here. Peace out. .. which is better than peace off!

    1. Mark

      Here is the problem why trade good prospects instead of just using money to get Turner?

      We are all tired of former A’s, and now you suggest a former Ray.

      Sorry I don’t see the Rays working with Friedman.

      They may not say it publically, but they are still not happy he left the Rays.

      They didn’t deal with him at the trade deadline, and they in fact stuck it to Friedman, when they traded with the Giants.

      And Mark I was wondering where you have been.

      I was expecting you to pop in pretty soon.

  28. I’m all for Braun and Villar if it can be pulled off. Still skeptical about the Brewers doing it though. I think it would look more like Puig, Calhoun, Deleon, McCarthy, Farmer, and Rhame. It would beat the crap out of trading young assets for Ian Kinsler and Logan Forsyth. Sign JT!

  29. Jeez Mark, you’ve said a lot of stupid things over the years. Saying Jansen would get $100 million was just one in a very long list. Do you remember when I started listing them? That was fun. It was also the first time you censored me.

    How is Braun and Villar “bad with good”? I don’t see Villar in LA. Sounds like the Altuve dream several have had here. Milwaukee has no reason to let him go and will team him with Arcia for a standout up the middle combo. Scooter Gennet could be out of a job, but not Villar.

    1. It’s unlikely. They would have to be in love with Calhoun’s ability to step in plus and overpay on the Dodgers part. Of course all of the scenario that we throw out, including mine, are unlikely.

      1. Didn’t we sign Howie for 2 years? And isn’t he a second baseman? If he isn’t part of the plan, why 2 years? When he gets tired, sometime in the summer, we have the other guy we traded for, Austin Barnes. These are the 2 that management wanted just a year ago. Now we want to second guess the great and powerful FAZ?

        Second verse, same as the first – keep everybody.

        1. Seems like the plan keeps changing all the time. I’m beginning to think with money to spend Ned might have done a better job than FAZ. Can you believe MLBTR predicts Reddick to get $16MM for two years? I’ll eat my hat….

    2. I have nothing against Badger except for the fact that he is a confoundedly licentious half-wit and a myopic air-polluting mass of loathsome repulsiveness.

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