Dodgers 2019 Roster: To Spend or Not to Spend?

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Aside from the signing of Joe Kelly, the Los Angeles front office did little at the Winter Meetings to make fans of the Dodgers feel better about the team heading in to the 2019 season.

Many rumors have abounded on Twitter this past weekend, with quite a few unverified accounts with ‘sources’ swearing that the Dodgers and free agent Bryce Harper have a deal in place, and that they are just waiting for the team to move some of its surplus of outfielders before they can announce it. Supposedly, Harper has stated that he wants to play in L.A., and the allure of playing deeper in the playoffs than the opening round is surely there.

While many Dodger fans would be excited by this, the chance that these accounts are correct is very slim. This front office is not going to give Harper what he is wanting—a long term, record breaking contract. The interesting thing to watch play out is if the front office somehow offers a contract to Harper that is shorter, but maybe a higher AAV. Still, staying under the luxury tax seems very important to this front office, so if I was a betting woman, I’d say the Dodgers do not ultimately sign Bryce Harper. (Prove me wrong, nerds).

Wilson Ramos, who the Dodgers have had discussions with last week, signed with the New York Mets over the weekend. He supposedly did not want to sign for only one year, which the gig with the Dodgers would be. The Angels are looking into Yasmani Grandal. The Atlanta Braves are also reported to be out on J.T. Realmuto, so the Marlins are going to have to decide if they really are going to part with their catcher and come down on the asking price for the remaining teams that are still looking for a catcher, or not.

In the end, I’m guessing the Dodgers make a lower-key trade for someone like Francisco Cervelli of the Pittsburgh Pirates. This is kind of what I see overall, too—trading their surplus of outfielders for smaller moves that solidify the team, but no big moves being made. Despite the fact that the Dodgers have lost two straight World Series, this front office’s MO is not going overboard on spending, or in trading of prospects. The Dodgers could and should win the NL West easily again next year, and they very well may be content to see how things shake out throughout the first half of the season and re-evaluating in July. I am bracing myself for this, while again saying, prove me wrong, nerds.


23 thoughts on “Dodgers 2019 Roster: To Spend or Not to Spend?

  1. Dodgers said to be willing to trade Ruiz or Smith along with Dustin May and lesser prospects for Realmuto but Bellinger and Verdugo appear to be off the table.

  2. if you look at the payroll as it stands right now, they really do not have much wiggle room to spend. Now if they clear payroll, then maybe. That is why I think them signing Harper is in no way a lock unless the dump a bunch of salary and right now teams are not inclined to take the Dodgers cast offs. Re: Puig, Hill, Kemp and Wood. Moving those 4 would really open the payroll up. But no one wants Kemp at 18.5. They also seem disinclined to take on Puig. Wood and Hill seem to be the easiest of the bunch to move, but so far….nothing.

    1. I think the Indians would be smart to trade for Puig. They still need outfielders and it would only be a one-year commitment if it didn’t work out. He would want to show everyone that AF was wrong to trade him and he’s playing in a contract year. Furthermore Francona would be the ideal manager for him. We’re no longer talking Kluber/Bauer here but maybe a half-decent AA prospect if the Dodgers are really determined to dump some salary obligations. There should also be a number of contenders who could use a fifth starter so Wood shouldn’t be that hard to move at his salary.

  3. Most reports have the Dodgers not wanting to meet Harpers price. The Dodgers picked up another Red Sox cast off. They signed Tim Neverette to their broadcast team. He will sub for Charlie on the radio side and Davis when he is doing the national broadcast.

  4. I’m curious to know Puig”s trade value. It can’t be much since hearing Washington was going to just waive him if they let Harper go last August. And Wood has decent numbers. What can we get from these two packaged together?

    1. I think you are undervaluing Puig a little. I think they could get at least a decent reliever for him because for what he brings to the table, Gold Glove caliber defense, power and speed, he is a bargain at what he is going to be making.

    2. You cannot believe all the hype or bad press. Puig is at least 3 years removed from being a problem. And although I cannot stand the guy as a manger, most of the credit needs to go to Dave Roberts. He brought Puig in the office the first day of spring and told him exactly what he expected of him. Credit also to Turner Ward who changed Puig’s way of thinking at the plate and actually got results. Before those two, Puig was pretty immature. They said Kemp was a clubhouse cancer too. Funny thing is after he left the Dodgers, you did not hear that stuff, and when he returned, he was a model team mate last year. And I saw a lot of joy on both of those guys faces most of the year. Kemp even kept it up after Roberts drastically reduced his playing time in the 2nd half. I attribute that to two reasons. Kemp went into a slump after the all star game…it lasted about 12 games. Because of that, and because that was precisely when Joc Pederson got hot and began hitting more HR’s. That combined with the asinine notion that Kemp was having trouble with RHP, which he hit at a .301 clip kept him being a part time player. He hit 1 more homer vs lefty’s than RHP. Pederson hit all but 1 of his homers against RHP. But, with those 24 homers he drove in 1 less run than Kemp did with just 10. As for Puig’s value, well I think teams are underestimating the guys impact. He would be adored in Miami with it’s large Cuban population, and he certainly would improve their outfield. He would hit 30 plus homers if he was playing in Cincinnati or Cleveland. Those ball parks are great for RH hitters, and neither has a huge RF to patrol. His defense would save them a lot of runs. I think part of the problem trading him was the one year factor, and he will get close to 12 mil this year. But, he is only going to be 28. Plus the Dodgers were not trying to move him in a 1for 1 or 2 for 1 deal. All the trades that I saw proposed were salary dumps, or Puig paired with prospects. Now that the field is thinning out some, you might see Andrew make some deal that has Yasiel in it. Myself, I think I would rather have him stay a Dodger because IMHO, he is by far the most exciting player the Dodgers have. You never know what the Wild Horse will do, and I appreciate that on a team that is as dull as the day is long.

  5. I agree about his physical talent but do other clubs view him as clubhouse cancer and want no part of him? I would think if we got any kind of decent offer for him he’d be gone by now. No way Dodgers extend him after this year so this is the time to maximize his value.

  6. Puig unfortunatley is cursed by his actions from his first 2 years in the big leagues. He has been a much better teammate lately and produces very good numbers but he still has no trade value because he’s blackballed as a clubhouse cancer which he isn’t. For this reason I just hope we keep Puig and play him full time, no platoon, and see if he shines in a contract year. Worst case he puts up good numbers and takes a big contract somewhere else but we at least get the benefit of a good season.

    1. Platooning is all Dave Roberts knows, so as long as he is manager this will happen. Puig is a good player and if he is traded we will see a everyday player that we wish we had back. Dodgers will never win a World Series under Roberts. I hope he proves me wrong, but I doubt it.

  7. It’s my opinion if the emphasis is to win next year we should get more better pitching and fill the other two holes with upgrades. Somebody asked me yesterday would I be ok with Taylor as our starting second baseman. Yeah, sure. I would feel the same about Hernandez. But honestly I don’t look at either of those players as upgrades. Pick one as the starter and the other as utility. Or trade one for pitching and sign a veteran positive WAR can really pick ‘em second baseman. Upgrading at catcher? Only 1 catcher had a higher WAR than Grandal, and you know who it is. If it’s about winning it all next year go get him. You’ll have him 2 years. I also think if we are going to lean on Kershaw again we may be kidding ourselves. I wanted Kluber or even Bauer. Not happnin. Who is available to lengthen the starting rotation?

    But it isn’t up to me. Looks like Friedman may want to change things up. Appears he may want to transmogrify the outfield. Ok. Go for it.

    But….. it may not be about next year specifically. The goal here is to be competitive every year. In today’s baseball world that is difficult to do. Many teams have to tank just to compete cyclically. It’s already been motioned and seconded that we could do nothing more than we’ve already done and win the West. Heck we are already early favorites to get to, and lose, the World Series again next year. Why make significant changes? A tweak here, Quackenbush, a tweak there, Kelly,and wait to see who might surface. The Zen approach….. let it all come to you organically.

    That said….. it feels like they may want to do something large. Clearing payroll should be easy enough, and in doing so a handful of prospects, or even affordable ML players, could come exchange and be used in trade. There are still a few directions Friedman could go including jacking up the price on certain free agents and standing pat. It’s winter. Jackets, no leaves on the trees, wood fires, lousy weather and no baseball. I think bears have the right idea.

    1. Don’t panic guys. Still a long long time until opening day. Let’s give Andrew a little more time to get all his ducks in a row and then, when we least expect it, he’ll pull off that 12 player/6 team trade. Also, I believe we’re underestimating the effect that Quackenbush will have on the baseball landscape next year.

    1. Quackenbush has had some good moments in the bigs. One thing to remember is that the guy is only 30 years old. He spent most of last year in the Reds minor league system. He had a sub 3 ERA. He is not a closer, but he can also be a bridge to Jansen. I would like to see what he does in spring.

  8. I’d like to see what Marshall Kasowski could do in the big league bullpen. He has dominated the minors so I don’t see much more for him to do down there. It concerns me that he only throws one pitch but his fastball has been just about unhittable.

    1. If he can spot that fastball, he could get away with one pitch for isolated situations. One pitch pitchers don’t typically make it to the bigs and certainly don’t last long if they do. A change up thrown at the ankles would help. It’s just the same motion with a grip change. At the level he’s reached I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t have at least one more pitch. Maybe he didn’t really need it where he’s been, but he definitely needs it where he is going.

      1. He has a curveball and a changeup but I believe he threw his fastball something like 93% of the time last year. It’s not even overall fast at 93-96 but the deception in his delivery is what gives him success. Regardless he could still be valuable in short bursts. I really hope they finally give Joe Broussard his shot this year. He may not throw 101 like Joe Kelly but he attacks hitters and pounds the strike zone with that heavy fastball. I think he would be a very good middle reliever if given an opportunity.

      2. 93% low mid 90’s fastball probably won’t work at the ML level. He must be spotting it well where he is. What I saw of his splits was troubling. 9 ERA v Left, 6.0 ERA RISP. Only 10 games at AA, only 50 games in the system, but he pitched in college. He will be 24 in March. He’s one to watch early.

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