Naughty and nice
The Dodger front office had a lot more nice than naughty in calendar 2017 but let’s give a brief rundown of a subjective review of Dodger front office actions.
Naughty – asking outfielder Brett Eibner to pitch and then releasing him outright after he blew out his arm.
Nice – giving a Sept callup to O`Koyea Dickson who subsequently got his first and possibly only major league hit. Dickson was a feel-good story but his game in 2017 didn’t exactly scream call-up. The Dodgers could have left him off the Sept roster and no one would have blinked an eye.
Naughty – Signing Sergio Romo on Feb 15th. The huge Dodger fan was unable to pitch his way onto a significant part of the Dodger bullpen and was traded to the Rays in July.
Nice – signing Brandon Morrow on Jan 26th. Morrow went on to become one of the greatest NRI signings for the Dodgers in the 21st century.
Naughty – Signed Franklin Gutierrez as a free agent on Feb 20th. Gutierrez was supposed to bring his big right-handed bat against left-handed pitching but he was predictably hurt just about all year and gave the Dodgers nothing of substance.
Nice – Signed Chase Utley on Feb 18th, just a few weeks before the start of spring training. Chase started out slow but gave the Dodgers a huge boost in the arm in May/June and overall had a fine year.
Naughty – I’m reaching here but the Dodgers signed Justin Masteron as a free agent and he put up a solid year for AAA but never got called up by the Dodgers. I’m sure the 40 man roster played a part but it must have been frustrating for the 32-year-old to see many pitchers in the major leagues that he was better than but couldn’t get out of the Dodger system.
Nice – Getting Tony Cingrani, Tony Watson, and Yu Darvish on the last day of the trading deadline. All of them played a significant part in helping the Dodgers get to game seven of the World Series.
Naughty – watching Yordan Alvarez turn into one of the best prospects in baseball after the Dodgers traded him in 2016 for Josh Fields.
While he’s just starting to prove himself on the diamond, Alvarez has one of the highest offensive ceilings in Houston’s system. He has a quiet left-handed stroke with advanced feel for the barrel and mastery of the strike zone, which helped him bat .351 in Cuba’s top league as a 17-year-old in ’14 and .341 in his short pro debut. He flashes plus raw power in batting practice and it began to show up in games in 2017 as he raced to high Class A much earlier than expected.
Naughty – trading for Curtis Granderson on Aug 19th. Granderson was as bad as a player could be giving Dodger fans visions of the 2016 August that Josh Reddick had after he was acquired. The Dodger front office has many strengths but maybe trading for left hand hitting outfielders in July/Aug is not one of them.
Naughty – letting a pitcher start the most important game of the year who had been clobbered by the same team just a few days ago and whose front office had heard whispers about his pitch tipping and were unable to spot the flaw before his start.
Not following the ascribed path of front office transactions.
Nice – scoring 12 runs in game five of the World Series
Naughty – giving up 13 runs in game five of the World Series.
Nice – being one game away from a World Championship
Remember, the Gutierrez signing was a band-aid to cover
for Thompson’s attempt to recover from the back injury.