We have some answers

Back in November, I asked these questions and while we don’t have all the answers we have a few:

  • Will the Dodgers go hard after their free agents since they don’t have any current replacements for either player and both players were at least in the top five at their position? – Yes, they signed all of the main free agents, bringing back Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, and Rich Hill. This shocked me. I didn’t think they would spend the time and money on Jansen but they did. Turner’s price came down to such a level you had to sign him. Rich Hill was not cheap and once again the Dodgers are counting on a pitcher with a ragged healthy history to be a large part of the rotation. 
  • If they don’t re-sign Kenley Jansen will his replacement come from within the organization, free agency, or trade? Question became moot
  • If they don’t re-sign Justin Turer will his replacement come from within the organization, free agency, or trade? Question became moot
  • Will they roll the dice once again with Chase Utley and a platoon partner or look for a full-time second baseman via free agency or trade? Ah, this question is still up in the air. Dozier wasn’t being discussed back in November but he’s been discussed just about every day since the month turned to December. 
  • Will they show confidence in Puig and once again make him the full-time right fielder, or continue to peddle him as they did this past summer? The buzz on Puig has been quiet so if the Dodgers are trying to move him, they are doing it quietly. We still don’t know if they consider him a full-time right fielder or the platoon player they used in Sept/Oct.
  • If they sign Rich Hill, will that be the extent of their moves related to the rotation? They did sign Rich Hill, and that does appear to be the end of their moves for the rotation but that could still change. 
  • If they don’t sign Rich Hill, will they be searching for another pitcher via free agency or trade? There are no “quality” starters in the free agent market so they can go back end or trade for a high-end starter.They did sign Rich Hill, and that does appear to be the end of their moves for the rotation but that could still change. 
  • If they go the trade route to fulfill their needs, which prospects will they be willing to let go? One has to assume the Julio Urias is just about untouchable but you never know. Jose De Leon seems to be the one top prospect the Dodgers are willing to trade for an upgrade. Alvarez seems to be off limits for now. 
  • Do they consider Cody Bellinger the heir apparent to Adrian Gonzalez? I think the answer is Yes.  Cody had an outstanding AFL and has even jumped to number six in the MLB top prospect list.  
  • Do they think Willie Calhoun can be an NL second baseman? I think the answer is still unknown. Willie had a great AFL but the question about his glove remains. 
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8 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    Sign FA
    Eric brought up a good one recently.
    Bautista. He played 91 games in RF in 2016
    .855 OPS vs RHP, .883 OPS vs LHP Career
    .835 OPS vs RHP, .752 OPS vs LHP 2016
    .932 OPS vs RHP, .834 OPS vs LHP 2015

    Someone mentioned the other day that Thompson has not been cleared to swing the bat yet.
    With a big question mark like this hovering over the RH OF bat, signing Bautista to a two year contract could fit. Bautista could pair with Ethier in the old man LF in 2017.

    Second base looks like Dozier or the scenario we played with earlier
    Utley followed by Calhoun later in the season. Who would be the RH bat paired with them?

    Puig is priced right for a platoon player. I feel the Dodgers will keep him, and keep him in this role, considering the question mark regarding the availability of Thompson.

    Starting Pitching.
    The last mega contract the Dodgers signed, the guy gets injured. Kershaw.
    Trying to think of a big long term contract the Dodgers signed for a pitcher who did not get hurt.
    Nomo? He of the seven needle acupuncture in the neck.
    Long term or short term, seems any SP the Dodgers sign gets hurt.
    Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias, Kazmir, McCarthy, De Leon, Ryu is what the Dodgers depth chart shows today. Then Wood, Stripling, Stewart, and Frias are in the wings. The 2015-2016 formula for assembling a SP staff sounds kinda crazy, but it has been crazy good for the regular season. Expect more of the same.

    Bellinger will make his MLB debut playing OF for the Dodgers in 2017.
    His real destination will be 1B, when the time comes.

    OF Today
    Pederson, Toles, and Puig are healthy and ready to play.
    Ethier (right leg), Van Slyke (chronic back and wrist problems), Thompson (compression fractures in vertebrae) are question marks. Ruf might be the next Olmedo Seanz.

    Ethier/Bautista LF, Pederson CF, Toles/Puig RF,
    Puig gives Pederson rest in CF, Van Slyke spot starts in RF on those days.
    When one of Ethier, Van Slyke, or Thompson hit the DL, Bellinger arrives.
    It would not surprise me if Thompson is unable to continue his career in the MLB.
    If he is good to go, then Thompson pairs with Pederson in CF.

    Absent Dozier, expect Calhoun to make his MLB debut at 2B after the AS break.

    This is my BOLD OUTLOOK for the early January Hot Stove!

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  2. No one likes Kemp anymore but if Bautista is the answer to the question about who will provide the RH outfield bat the Dodgers need why does Kemp get so much grief. Using your own numbers:
    Kemp
    Career – .928 OPS against LHP, .792 against RHP
    2016 .954 OPS against LHP, .761 against RHP
    2015 .824 OPS against LHP, .736 against RHP

    They both can’t play RF very well, Kemp crushes LHP which is what the Dodgers need. Bautista hits RHP better than Kemp. I’d expect Bautista to get 2/40. He’s also going to be 37, Kemp is going to be 32.

    I understand that Bautista will help this team, I guess I just don’t understand how Kemp is considered so horrible simply because of defense which is the same problem for Bautista. I don’t think they spend 20 Mill on Bautista and platoon him with Andre or Toles. If he signs here, he signs to be an everyday player. M

    My long way of saying I don’t think the Dodgers would be in on Bautista, I don’t think he’s a NL player at age 37 and 38.

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  3. 68elcamino427

    You are probably correct regarding Bautista. That would be a really expensive band aid.
    Of course, many felt that Turner would get a bigger deal than he did.

    Remember, Kemp departed LA under a cloud.
    Refusing to play LF … etc., hence his open letter to the fans of Atlanta upon arrival there.

    We will see what develops. Lots of other possible scenarios could play out.

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  4. Kemp finished his career in LA as the best hitter on the team after he finally got his head on straight. From the point he played RF to the end of the year he hit like a monster. His OPS as a RF was .981. He had an OPS of .971 for the 2nd half. The Dodgers made a nice trade to get out from under his contract but they have missed that right handed power bat that punishes left hand pitching. They thought Puig would do the job, he has not. They still need that bat and if Bautista drops low enough he could be the guy, but ideally it has to be Puig unless they trade for a more known quantity (Braun).

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  5. 68elcamino427

    heh
    The Dodgers traded one head case and replaced him with another one.
    Kemp used to glide across the outfield, now he plods.
    Ted Williams did love Kemp’s swing.
    And Kemp fought through the shoulder injury and then the ankle injury too.
    Kemp was one of my favs. I have a number 27 Majestic in my closet.
    I wouldn’t characterize Kemp as having his head on straight in his last season with the Dodgers, but he did hit.
    Kemp, Puig OPS vs LHP
    .853, 1.001 2013
    .781, .736 2014
    ..824, .924 2015
    .959, .784 2016

    So, we will see how this comparison plays out moving forward.

    Meanwhile, if the Dozier trade falls through, there has been plenty of time for the Dodgers and the Rays to prepare a mega trade. At this point, Forsythe is looking pretty good. The Dodgers have some great young arms to offer the Rays for their established pitchers, if the Rays want to reload and/ or players like Calhoun and Verdugo too. The combinations match up like good cribbage hands.

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  6. CRIBBAGE – that was the game I played the most with my Dad. I miss not being able to play that with him now. The last visit he couldn’t do it anymore. I went online and we played together. Maybe I should visit an assisted living place and see if anyone wants to play cribbage.

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  7. 68elcamino427

    I have been playing on game colony, for free.

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  8. 68elcamino427

    I have been playing on game colony, for free.

    I remember you mentioning this about you father.
    So sorry you and your family are dealing with this.

    My mother is in a similar situation and very frail.
    We have gone through a lot these last several years.
    This deal with my mom is really dogging me.

    Like

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