2017 Transactional review part one
The 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers had their most successful regular season since 1974, and their most successful postseason since 1988. They came within one game of achieving the goal of every major league franchise, the World Series Championship.
Slowly I’m going to review all the moves that got them there, with columns for the big moves. Today we will look at the free agents they let walk one year ago.
On November 3rd, 2016
Brett Anderson was allowed to leave as a free agent. Brett had followed up his successful 2015 season with an injury filled 2016 season. The winter of 2015 the Dodgers had made the ill advised tender and Brett either having a smart agent or being smart himself accepted and it only cost the Dodgers 15.8M to realize they had made a huge mistake. Not only in money but with opportunity cost. With Brett Anderson in their pocket for 2016 they didn’t pursue another starting pitcher. They did not make the same mistake last November and Brett Anderson was free to ply his trade with other teams. Brett signed with the 2016 World Champion Cubs to be their fifth starter. That didn’t work out and he ended the season with Toronto. He only pitched 55 innings in 2017 after throwing only 11 in 2016. None of the innings were good.
Joe Blanton was allowed to leave as a free agent. Joe Blanton wasn’t quite Brandon Morrow in 2016 but he was close. The Dodgers had signed him to a one year deal for 4M and he earned it. They did not re-sign Blanton for 2017 and it was a great move. Whatever Blanton had discovered in 2015/2016 was nowhere to be found in 2017. He was so bad the Nationals had to make quite a few upgrades to their bullpen and Joe never pitched an inning in the postseason for them.
Jesse Chavez was allowed to leave as a free agent. Chavez was acquired on Aug 1st, 2016 to bolster the bullpen but didn’t leave a positive impression and did not pitch in the postseason. He was signed by the Angels to a one year deal for 2017 at 5.75M. He made 21 starts for the Angels and was ineffective. The price for Chavez was only Mike Bolsinger so other than the fact they could have targeted a better relief pitcher in 2016 by giving up more, no harm done. Good choice to let him walk.
Rich Hill – will get his own column
J.P. Howell the long time Dodger was allowed to leave as a free agent. JP had been a Dodger since 2013 so he had been on all four National League Western Division winners. At times he was brilliant, other times, not so much. By 2016 he was 33 and was an ineffective left handed specialist. He did not pitch in the 2016 postseason and it was a no brainer that he wasn’t coming back for 2017. He signed with the Blue Jays and was horrible. His career might be over.
Kenley Jansen will get his own column.
Josh Reddick was allowed to leave as a free agent. Reddick had been acquired in the Rich Hill trade in the summer of 2016 to be the Dodgers starting right fielder. He had replaced Yasiel Puig who had been sent to AAA. He had a horrible August, a pedestrian Sept, and a unproductive postseason. The Dodgers let him walk, and he was signed by the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros where he proceeded to have a career season. I will admit to scratching my head when Houston gave him a 4/42M deal but it sure paid off in the first year. I still think the Dodgers made the right move in letting him walk given the contract he received but of all the free agents who have left the Dodgers, Josh Reddick had an excellent first season.
Justin Turner will get his own column
Chase Utley will get his own column.