Dodgers Fan Friday: Morrow, Stanton, Darvish, Otani & More


With all the regular season awards having been handed out, we are officially into the offseason. Here at Think Blue Planning Committee, that means the return of Fan Fridays. Our first installment begins with what fans see as the most important off season move the Dodgers‘ front office should make.

Surprisingly, although there has been much discussion about it, there was not one person who replied with “trade for Stanton.” Giancarlo Stanton, he of the Miami Marlins, and this year’s recipient of the NL MVP award, is said to be one of the players the Marlins see as trading to rebuild their roster. The huge slugger sent a mere 59 pitches over stadium walls this year, had 132 RBI and a 1.007 OPS. The problem with Giancarlo is his contract. He is currently signed for 10 years, $295M. That’s too hefty a contract for most teams to take on.

The Dodgers would be one team that would be able to do it, conceivably. They have a lot of excess payroll coming off the roster soon, and they have the farm system to be able to send to Miami what would be a fair exchange. Stanton also has a no trade clause, and has stated that Los Angeles is number one on his wish list of places to land. A lot would have to happen for this to take place, though, and as fun as it is to imagine Stanton in the lineup with Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig et al, he is an extra, not a must have. I have a hard time believing he will end up in L.A., but the front office has surprised me before.

There were a few mentions of re-signing Yu Darvish, or signing Japanese phenom Shohei Otani. Darvish had both a rough start and ending to his limited time in Los Angeles, but the middle part gives hope that he could be a solid part of the rotation for the next few years. More time working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt could help with his pitch tipping issues. He has started that his time with the Dodgers has reignited his love of the game, and he would be very happy to return.

Otani is a very hot offseason commodity, having been granted the posting issues get resolved. The Japanese pitcher can throw in excess of 100 MPH, and loves hitting, posting a .322 BA with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2017. He also plays some outfield. Who wouldn’t want a player of that caliber?

But the overwhelming amount of answers about what the Dodgers number one focus of the offseason should be was to re-sign reliever Brandon Morrow. After years of being a starter and struggling with injuries, Morrow has finally come into his own, having a fabulous season with the Dodgers. He had a 6-0 record and a 2.06 ERA, and was an absolute workhorse out of the bullpen and into the playoffs, appearing in every game except for one, including all seven World Series games.

Morrow could provide the consistent bridge to closer Kenley Jansen that the Dodgers need. Now that starters are going five to six innings more often than going seven to eight, an elite bullpen is needed more than ever. Morrow, along with the other relievers the Dodgers currently have could provide that.

Other clubs are interested of course, namely the Chicago Cubs who would be interested in making Morrow their closer. That role could be more appealing to the righty, although he did tell MLB Radio that “all things being equal, I’d probably be going back to the Dodgers.” As the Hot Stove has not yet begun to heat up, it will be interesting to see how everything plays out.



28 thoughts on “Dodgers Fan Friday: Morrow, Stanton, Darvish, Otani & More

  1. Morrow – “All things being equal” – Cubs (and probably others) would make him their closer, therefore all things wouldn’t be equal. If the Dodgers pay him like a closer he might still prefer L.A. We should know by this time next month.

  2. They need to sign Morrow, or get someone equal to him. I hope they don’t just take flyer on some other reclamation project, how many times can you get as lucky as they did last year. I know they put a lot of time into looking for guys like that, but the odds of them finding someone like that every year have to be slim.

    1. I agree that they should try to sign Morrow but we need to remember that they really put a lot of stress on that arm in the WS and he has a history of injury. Just because he had a pretty spectacular 2017 doesn’t mean he would have a great 2018 and beyond. Even so, I think it’s worth the risk but I would also like to see them bring in one additional proven reliever along with Morrow.

  3. It would be tough to watch Morrow play for another team next year after he has stated he would like to come back. Speaking of that, he wants to come back, we all know Stanton wants to be here, JT, Kenley, and Hill took less money to resign here last year. It’s starting to look like this is a team other players really want to play for, the Fox, and Mcourt years are finally behind us. It’s a good time to be a Dodgers fan.
    btw, I don’t think we will end up with Stanton, but that’s a good topic for another time.

  4. Hey Jeff, what do you think of Profar as a lefty hitting utility guy? Or do you think they need a more veteran type. Profar still has 3 years of control, he was a high draft pick, and he sure looks like a guy that needs a change of scenery. Been trying to think of a lefty utility guy , but haven’t come up with much.

    1. Funny you should mention him Keith. I was just thinking about him the other day and although I agree he would probably be greatly helped by a change of scenery, I’m not sure L.A. is the place for him. I think he needs to go somewhere that will give him more playing time in the hopes that he could reach the potential everyone saw in him when he first arrived. I think the Dodgers definitely need someone to replace Utley (assuming he won’t be back) but probably need to look for more of a sure thing even though the potential ceiling might not be as high.

    2. If they go get Stanton for the OF, they won’t need a lefty platoon partner for Forsythe, because in that scenario, they move Taylor to 2B full time and Forsythe joins Kiki as super subs. Pederson, Toles, Verdugo (unless one is traded in Stanton package) can cover CF or even Bellinger for a year if Gonzalez is healthy for the last year of his contract. Otherwise take a good look at Locastro as a backup. Speedy and makes good contact, though does not bat left handed.

      1. Interesting scenario but it all depends on the price of Stanton as to whether the Dodger front office would go ahead with the deal. I have a hunch someone else will be more desperate. It would sure be nice if we could get them to take back Agon’s contract as part of a Stanton deal. In any case, no way Joc, Toles and Verdugo are all on the 25-man at the same time. One of them would certainly be included in a Stanton deal.

      2. The whole reason Miami is considering trading Stanton is to reduce payroll, so they are not going to take AGon. I think something like Verdugo, Alvarez, Stewart could get it done.just imagine how much having Stanton behind Bellinger could help Cody.

      3. If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re suggesting they take on Stanton’s entire contract plus give up 2 of their top 3 prospects. I could be wrong, but I’m guessing if they were ready to do that Stanton would already be a Dodger. My figures might not be perfect but I think Agon has about 21.5 mil left on his contract while Stanton has 285 mil (assuming no opt out). That would mean by taking on Agon’s contract Miami would basically be paying 7-8% of Stanton’s remaining contract. I don’t think that’s too much to ask if you’re giving up those three prospects. Actually I think the Dodgers would not be willing to give up both Alvarez and Verdugo if they were left holding a contract of over 260 million. My guess is that we don’t wind up with Stanton, but you’re absolutely correct, the thought of Stanton behind Cody in the batting order is mouth watering.

      4. Whether it’s two or three prospects and/or all or most of Stanton’s contract it would go along way in fixing the offense. With Buehler, Urias, Mitchell White and Caleb Ferguson coming along, as Hill, Ryu and McCarthy depart, the starting pitching will be fine. And just imagine adding forty plus homers per year to this lineup. If Stanton was a free agent right now, you can bet he would be getting 25-30 million a 6ear in a new contract! The prospects basically amount to depth, so they should get the trade done, IMHO.
        Line up might be: Taylor, Turner, Seager, Stanton, Bellinger, Puig, Pederson, Barnes/Grandal.

      5. Another young pitcher in the system to watch out for is Dennis Santana. I definitely wouldn’t mind trading Alvarez at this point and would include Verdugo in the right deal, but that should mean the Marlins pay down some of the contract. As in all commerce, it’s a matter of supply and demand. Your projected lineup looks very intimidating although I think I would prefer to sub Toles for Joc. Another thing to think about, if Barnes is the catcher the only guy over 30 is JT. Most of the others are in their mid 20s. By the way, I think if Stanton is a free agent today, he gets a contract much closer to 10 years than 6.

      6. That 6ear, was meant to be year. My darn IPAD keyboard keeps inserting numbers ! But, my main point was he would get just as much or more in a new contract if he were a free agent now and you are right he would likely get 10 years. Toles and Pederson would compete. Toles was certainly off to a great start last year before his injury and Joc has to show that his post season success wasn’t a fluke. If he would hit .250-.260, he would add 30 homers to the lineup. One advantage with Toles, is he has hit lefthanders in past. Joc, not so much.

  5. Those are good points, he probably needs to go somewhere he can play full time, I think he could come around in the right situation, and was thinking what our staff has done for other struggling/ no name players. I guess a guy like Utley is not so easy to replace.

    1. I’ve been trying to think of a replacement and haven’t come up with anyone either but I’ve decided to put this in the capable hand of the Friedman Gang. After all, they got us Taylor, Barnes and Kike in trades.

  6. I think Stanton only comes here if he tells Miami, the dodgers are the only trade he will accept. With this, the front office could work a deal that they could stomach. Trading for Stanton goes against the way they are building this team. It ties up the roster and payroll flexibility that they are striving for, but I am also a fan, and dream what the team would be like in if he were in right field. If he comes, I think Puig gets moved, then Taylor stays in cf, Kike, Toles,or Belly in left, Agon at first if he is healthy, Forsythe stays at second. But your point about Forsythe becoming a super sub may be a new way to look at things. Still need a left handed batting infielder for the bench.

    1. Fun stuff to contemplate, although I really love watching Puig play. Would rather move Joc, keep Puig in right and use Stanton in left. Can anybody out there think of a left handed hitting utility infielder we could pick up, or for that matter someone in our farm system we’re forgetting about?

      1. Under the scenario, that they trade for Stanton and Taylor moves to 2B, less of a need for a lefty hitting IF. However, I read earlier this week they might give Jose Fernandez a good look in spring training. He can play 2B and 3B. Another of the Cuban’s they signed, in 333at bats at AA he hit .306 with 16 doubles and 16 homers.

      2. Another in the system is left handed hitting Matt Beaty who was batting champ at Tulsa. But he is a 1B-3B and I think you are thinking more about 2B.

      3. Believe it or not, I think they released Fernandez this past week. Can’t figure out why except that he’s almost 30. The press release I read said that Tulsa released him so I assume that means he’s no longer in the Dodger organization unless it’s just some sort of paperwork thing and he’ll be put on the OKC roster. Beaty has been kind of flying under the radar. I hope he gets a ST invite so we can get a closer look at him.

      4. Beaty hit .352 against righties! If nothing else, he will provide depth at AAA. I will have to research Fernandez.

    2. It certainly helps that Stanton’s preference is LA and the NL. I strongly disagree that they move Puig and if acquired Stanton would play LF. Actually they should extend Puig as soon as possible. They will have payroll flex, as Crawford and Ethier are now off the books and next year Gonzalez, Kazmir and McCarthy and Ryu come off. Barring injury, Taylor would be everyday 2B, so need for a lefty hitting infielder is minimized. With Barnes taking over majority of catching starts, bench might include Grandal, Forsythe, Hernandez, Toles, Pederson and Gonzalez. Under my lineup they either have Bellinger at 1B and Pederson in Cf or Gonzales at 1B and Bell8nger in CF. Either way there are two lefty hitters and a switch hitter on bench for pinch hitting.

  7. IMO, Stanton would be a mistake. He is a great player when healthy but is prone to breaking as we have seen in the past, ’17 notwithstanding. If his contract was a bit more reasonable then maybe. But, along with a ridiculous contract and opt outs every year after ’20, no way. Besides, the only guy I could stomach giving up the farm system for is Trout.

    1. I’m very conflicted about the Stanton issue but leaning in favor, although I can certainly understand your feelings. I think the opt out is just the one year (2020) not all the years after that. If he stays healthy, his contract after 2020 will be about 208 mil for the 7 remaining years. That would probably look quite reasonable considering Machado and Harper will have signed somewhere after 2018 at a ridiculous rate and Trout will be a free agent in 2020, probably looking for about 500 mil. So if he’s been healthy and productive, he’ll definitely opt out. Question is, will he remain healthy and productive.

    1. IMO, the Dodgers have both the payroll and organizational flexibility now to get a Stanton trade done. His addition to the current ;lineup could lead to multiple WS Championships. On the flip side, they wouldn’t be facing him if the Astros, Nationals or other contender makes the move.

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