Dodgers Rumors: A Few Rumblings Ahead of the 2018 Winter Meetings

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It’s the first official day of Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, so let’s get caught up on happenings and rumors before things (hopefully) get going for the Dodgers.

On Sunday, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman announced that the team has hired Jeff Kingston to be vice president and assistant general manager. Kingston had previously held the same position with the Seattle Mariners since 2009 and started his baseball operations career with the San Diego Padres in 2001.

The Dodgers have lost four members of their front office in the last year and a half, including Alex Anthopolos, Gabe Kapler, Jeremy Zoll, and most notably, Farhan Zaidi. Friedman has stated that finding another general manager was not high on his list of off-season to-do list, but Kingston is a great hire, and will presumably fill some of the GM duties left vacant by the departure of Zaidi.

As it is the Winter Meetings and as it is the Dodgers, there are a bunch of rumors of who the Dodgers are said to be interested in. A few to keep an eye on –

The Mets are listening to offers on Noah Syndergaard, but they would have to be blown away. Dennis touched on the Mets’ interest in Yasiel Puig yesterday in his column. This doesn’t seem like a very likely match, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Thor in the original Dodger Blue, that is not mixed with orange.

While Friedman has publicly stated that the bullpen and a catcher are his top priorities this off-season, second base is also a need. The Dodgers are showing continued interested in free agent DJ LeMahieu, according to Jon Morosi. Another name to keep an eye on is Scooter Gennett. The Cincinnati Reds are looking to hear offers on their second baseman, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Gennett has averaged 25 homers and an .859 OPS in the last two seasons, and may be too expensive for Cincinnati to pay after his arbitration. Scooter is a Dodger killer, and another player I wouldn’t mind seeing in Blue.

Lastly, Los Angles has some interest in free agent reliever David Robertson. The right-hander appeared in 69 games last year with the New York Yankees, and went 8-3 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.83 average against and a 1.03 WHIP. Robertson would be a nice bridge to Kenley Jansen in the ninth, or a great option for the ninth if Kenley had been brought in sooner, or if God forbid Jansen has any issues with his heart next year.

Dodgers fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what moves the team will make in Vegas, betting they make the right moves to bring a world championship back to Los Angeles.

 

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17 thoughts on “Dodgers Rumors: A Few Rumblings Ahead of the 2018 Winter Meetings

  1. Well it starts. Kluber talks said to be in high gear and it seems the outfielder the Indians really want is not Yasiel Puig. They are hot for Verdugo. Yankees meeting with Machado, Dodgers meeting with Robertson and DJ LeMahieu’s agent. Billy Hamilton looks like he is headed to KC to play for the Royals.

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    1. Lots of different viewpoints around here. I vote “no” on Verdugo for Kluber, even if that means not getting Kluber. We have a lot of outfielders but as I look into the future, the only possible star I see out there is Belli and he might wind up at first base. I think Verdugo has a chance to be something special. Let’s find out while he’s in blue.

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      1. They have lots of outfielders. Unless they trade at least 2, I see no spot for Verdugo. I understand his potential, but at this point that is all it is. Belli belongs at 1st base. He is the best they have at that position and I do not care what Muncy did last year, he is not all that good at 1st. The primary target should be the bullpen. If they can get Kluber, great, but they are going to have to trade at least one of their starters. All those who think Wood is going to be happy out in the pen are nuts. He showed his dislike for it last year and was not effective out of the pen. They had also better find another catcher, because even as much as I like Barnes on defense, unless his bat can get back to 2017 levels, he is a weak link in the lineup.

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      2. Totally agree on Bellinger. As good a centerfielder as he is I think he’s more valuable at first. Agree that Wood needs to be traded and I think he will be. Outfield – as I mentioned above, no guys that are much above average and we’re talking about 3 positions out of 8. We may disagree here Bear but I say we need to see what we have in Verdugo because none of the others are exceptional. Kemp, Joc, Toles, Puig, Verdugo, Kike, CT3. Two of those seven will be gone and make that three if by some chance we get Harper. We both agree that we don’t like Muncy at first and even less at second, but I would really be interested to see if we can make a left fielder out of him, assuming he isn’t included in a deal.

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      3. Well Jeff, I do not think Verdugo is that much better than Puig. He does not have Puig’s power, he definitely does not possess his arm. He might be a contact hitter and that’s a plus, but he is no speed demon on the bases. He would probably be an upgrade in CF, but like I said, it is all supposition because he has not done it at the major league level. But I totally understand your enthusiasm for keeping the guy. I also think they are going to have a really hard time unloading Kemp. Even if it is only 18.5 mil on our side, unless they pick up half at least, it will be a hard sell. I think the smartest move with Matt would be try and get him to an AL team. I would trade Taylor. Keeping him and Hernandez is redundant, so ship one of them out. They have so many interchangeable pieces, that it makes sense to rid yourself of at least one so the other gets additional playing time and can improve his game. Either do that, or trade or sign a full time 2nd baseman. Andy has said that he feels Kike and CT3 can handle second, so let one of them have the job on a full time basis. I think Puig’s lack of success the last couple of years can be linked to the fact that the guy gets benched. The only way to improve is to play. And he killed lefty’s when he first came up. His injury’s and his attitude attributed to the lack of success. I keep him at least through this year.

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  2. Here is a little tidbit for all of you clamoring for Harper. Puig is a better post season hitter than Harper. Harper is at .211 in 4 playoff series. Puig is at .280. Harper has more strikeouts than hits in the playoffs. Puig has more hits than strikeouts. Harper is over rated. He is projected to hit .265 with 27 homers and 87 ribbies. That is a projection, not what will happen, but those are certainly not the kind of numbers one should expect from a 26 year old so called game changer. They are not much better than what is expected from Puig.

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  3. Verdugo may not have Puig’s arm but he’s not far off. If you have never watched that kid throw you should. He has an absolute cannon. He reminds me of a young, more athletic Andre Ethier. To be honest I don’t like his attitude and I think he’s a bit of a punk but I want to see what he can do. I want Puig in RF so that means either start him in LF where you are wasting his ridiculous arm a bit or move Bellinger back to 1B where if you ask me his true value is. If we can get good value for Max Muncy which is very possible especially from AL teams that can DH him then I say do it. Let Cody come back to play 1B with Freese spelling him against tough lefties and start Puig in RF, Verdugo in CF and some mix of Joc, CT3, Kemp (if he’s still here) and Kike in LF. Kike would be your primary backup to Verdugo in CF with CT3 capable of playing there also. I would be just fine going into opening day with Taylor starting at 2B also but I’m 99% sure they will sign a free agent or make a trade for 2B. Kike deserves a starting spot but he’s just flat out too valuable as a super utility player to tie him down at one position.

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    1. That’s cool, and like I said I understand everyone wants to see what the kid can do. The thing is, he is an unknown quality. He is a great minor league player that has not had the opportunity to prove what he can do at the major league level. If he brings you a starter of Kluber’s caliber and he is the center piece, you trade him. He is still nothing but potential. Kluber and Puig are proven quality. With Puig you are getting a 260 to 270 BA, 20 plus HR’s and close to 75 RBI’s. Verdugo is no where near that power wise and he is no speed threat on the bases.

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  4. I know Robertson likes the Yankees and the east coast but they need to make a strong effort to convince him to come west. They don’t come much more durable and consistent as this guy and that’s exactly what our bullpen needs. Andy can try to look like whiz kid all he wants bringing in 1,000 reclamation projects and hoping one turns out good but he needs to pony up and find a proven quality arm to man the 8th inning.

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  5. Bear, I’m not saying you’re wrong on Puig, but does his attitude worry you at all, considering the latest rumblings, and the fact Ward is no longer around to work with him? I’ll go along with you about verdugo being the price for a pitcher like kluber. If Andrew decides he wants another starter, it’s going to take a player like verdugo to get it done, if I was the Indians that’s what I would insist on.

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    1. I do not have a problem with Puig’s attitude because it began changing when Roberts took over as manger. Rumblings are just that. I do not believe everything that is written. Is he pissed at the FO? Probably. Wouldn’t you be? All the rumors all the time. But the guy has undeniable talent. He is a known asset. Verdugo is not. If they do trade Puig, I do not have a problem with it. Puig is no longer that undisciplined player he was when he was younger, He still misses the cutoff man now and then, but I still think he is the best RF in the game. I also understand why the Indians want Verdugo over Puig. Puig is in the last year of his contract. Verdugo has a ways to go before that happens. Kluber is under team control for 3 years. Cleveland wants someone along those same lines.

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  6. It’s my opinion Verdugo is good enough to play centerfield. He was scouted as a pitcher with a fastball touching 94. His arm is better than Puig’s in that he throws as hard and can throw strikes with it. He won’t miss the cutoff by 15’ as Puig is known to do. It’s his time. If not here then trade him to Cleveland.

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    1. Neither would I, but at this particular point in time I am inclined to believe it will not be the Dodgers. They are loaded with outfielders and he is their most marketable chip.

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  7. New MLB prospects ratings have Verdugo at 32, Ruiz at 39, May at 71 and Lux at 82. 4 in the Top 100 is ok, nobody in the Top 30 isn’t. San Diego has 4 there, and 10 in Top 100.

    It’s going to take our Top prospect and a bunch more to land a talent like Kluber. Not sure I see it. Maybe if a ML pitcher (Wood, Stripling, Maeda) and Smith/Wong plus lessers (Alvarez) are included. If Kluber is indeed available, the bidding will be high. Friedman in grass that tall? I doubt it. Where’s Matt Harvey these days? Lincecum? Homer Bailey? Jordan Zimmerman? Bartolommeo Colonius? Rocky IX?

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