Dodgers News: Bob Geren, Mark Prior, Gerrit Cole & More

(Chicago Tribune photo)

In spite of the 2019 World Series continuing to take center stage for the next 24-48 hours, the Dodgers have still found a way to weasel themselves into the news, at least to a small degree.

Although front office boss Andrew Friedman hinted at the idea quite some time ago, it is believed that Los Angeles is finally close to officially inking a deal with Mark Prior to become pitching coach. The 39-year-old Prior will succeed Rick Honeycutt, who held the post for 14 years.

Before assuming his current role with the Dodgers, Prior spent three years with the Padres as the organization’s minor league pitching coordinator. As a player, over five big league seasons exclusively with the Cubs, the 2001 first-round draft choice made 106 starts, posting a 42-29 record with a 3.51 ERA.

In a recent interview with Ken Gurnick of, Honeycutt had nothing but praise to offer about Prior.

“Mark’s extremely smart, always observing, very conscientious, very prepared,” Honeycutt said. “He’s a good communicator with the pitchers. He always wanted to be at every bullpen session, always listening. The continuity I hope will be very streamlined going forward.”

Consequently, Friedman’s new contract to oversee the team for the foreseeable future could be piggy-backed with Prior’s deal. While there’s been a ton of fan criticism regarding the way he has built his rosters in recent seasons, Friedman’s new deal is an inevitable formality. Still, there hasn’t been any public mention of an exact contract length or dollar amount.

After reports surfaced two weeks ago about current bench coach Bob Geren garnering interest from former Los Angeles general manager Farhan Zaidi for the Giants’ vacant manager spot, new information indicates that Geren has indeed interviewed for the position.

Even before the regular season ended, Geren was linked to the managerial job in San Francisco, as Bruce Bochy had announced his retirement  during 2019 spring training. Geren is believed to have strong ties to Zaidi—not just from their time together with the Dodgers—but also when the pair worked together in Oakland.

Additionally, folks in New York have been whispering Geren’s name as a potential candidate to replace departed Mets’ skipper Mickey Callaway. Geren was bench coach in New York from 2011 tthrough 2015, but apparently took the job in Los Angeles because of his family being rooted in Southern California.

The Dodgers are no strangers to seeing members of their coaching staff leaving for positions with rival teams. At the end of the 2018 season, third base coach Chris Woodward started an exodus that saw him accept the managerial spot for the Rangers. Within days, Turner Ward snagged the hitting coach job in Cincinnati. A short time later, Farhan Zaidi was named the new president of baseball operations for the Dodgers’ biggest NL West rival, the Giants.

Accordingly, there are reports of Zaidi having set up a second interview with former Philllies’ skipper Gabe Kapler.

The 44-year-old Kapler was let go by Philadelphia after completing just two years of a three-year managerial contract. Prior to arriving in Philadelphia, the Hollywood native was the Dodgers’ farm director from 2014-17.

Speaking of Philadelphia, the Phillies are expected to make a strong play for righty starter Gerrit Cole once the free agency period begins at the conclusion of the World Series. Just like any perennial front-runner in a new free agent class, there have been plenty of rumblings about a potential match with the Dodgers and Cole, although the righty’s future contract will probably be something well beyond Friedman’s comfort zone.

Coincidentally, the Phillies’ payroll has increased drastically recently, having climbed from around $95 million at the beginning of the 2018 season to upwards of $140 million in 2019.


30 thoughts on “Dodgers News: Bob Geren, Mark Prior, Gerrit Cole & More

  1. That was quite a smorgasbord of topics in the article, Dennis. I think I speak for every dodger fan when I say, I would be ecstatic if FA would make serious run at Cole, but don’t expect it. Not his style.

  2. Prior has some pretty big shoes to fill, sounds like they have been grooming him to take this job. I always thought Honeycutt was one of the best pitching coaches out there. Good luck Rick hope you enjoy your well earned retirement.

    1. His physical condition dictated his retirement as much as anything else. He was noted for picking up mechanical issues and fixing them with a lot of success. Prior was a high draft pick who’s career was derailed by injuries. But he is a pretty smart guy, and the pitchers know him so bringing someone in from another organization does not make much sense. You go back through the years and the Dodgers have had some really good pitching coaches. Joe Becker, Perranoski, Red Adams, Honeycutt. Cole is not coming to LA. Anyone who thinks AF is going to change his spots and sign a premium free agent pitcher to a 200 million plus deal is delusional. All the Lindor talk is just that, talk. Rumors are just baseball writers throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks.

      1. I have an old friend from college who is tight with a key exec in the Indians’ front office. He said that in order for Cleveland to even start negotiations, they would probably ask for a package resembling Gavin Lux, Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May. Based on that, I would agree—yeah, just talk.

      2. You know that is where they would start unless Cleveland wanted a vet or two. Everyone who has brought this up seems to think some package with Seager in it would work. I think that is a pipe dream. Why would Cleveland, who are trying to win now trade one of their best offensive and defensive weapons for an injury prone guy who is not the same type of player? And if they did want a package of kids, the Dodgers could do that, but would they”?> Doubtful. I do believe though that Ruiz is more available than one might think because of the way Smith performed this season. That’s just my opinion, and with Cartaya probably a couple of years away, they only need a temporary back up to Smitty, and I do not think that kind of thing would do any good for Ruiz’s career. He is more of a contact hitter than Smitty, and his defense is about the same as Smith, so what are they gaining holding onto a guy who is more or less blocked>??

      3. You’re probably right Bear, but I think something big is more possible this coming year than any year in the past. I say that for two reasons, neither of which are all that sound. 1. We’ve got more money to spend. Yeah, it’s true, we’ve ALWAYS had the money to spend, but this time we can do it without getting fined 2. I think it’s remotely possible Friedman is feeling the heat for so many years of not closing the deal. Fans want something big. Obviously we need more better pitching in October. Who will that be? Also, is Corey Seager going to get to the level we all expected? In 6 post season series his slash line reads .203/.275/.331. That’s some serious All League suckage. It’s quite possible Friedman wants to move on from this guy. That would be big.

        But, all that said, would I be surprised if we barely move the needle? Nope. Soon this who gives a s*** World Series will end and the business of off season will begin. It will be similar to off seasons many of us have experienced for over 30 years. I still love this game, and I still root root root for the home team, but this is getting old. I was 40 in ‘88 and it felt then like it had been a long time since my team won a Championship. It had been 7 years. I’ve seen 5 championships, all between ‘59 and ‘88. I’ve also seen 19 losing post season series, which includes 6 World Series losses. Wait til next year? Yeah. Sure. I’m sure next year will be different.

  3. I admire your optimism. I think the fans feel there is more pressure on AF and he needs to do something more dramatic than in previous years, but from his statements, I do not see him feeling any pressure at all to do anything except sign his next contract. Then, and I do not care how much money they have freed up, it will be back to business as usual. If he does anything to improve the team, I am of a belief that he will do it trough trades, not free agents. And I also think the brouhaha about Seager’s playoff failures is just a puff of smoke since he was far from being the worst culprit in that department…Any one want to dump Bellinger after another epic fail in playoff stats? I don’t think they pursue Cole or Rendon, resign Hill or Ryu or any other move that is going to cost them money. Over the next few weeks their main order of business will be deciding who to protect from the rule 5 draft, who to non tender, and what free agents, if any, they might target this winter. They will buy out Gyorko. I think Negron and White will be non tendered, Barnes a good candidate for that also. Trades and fringe free agents, that is my guess.

  4. As for what Cleveland is asking, it’s not really relevant is it. It’s like what Bora$$ is asking. It’s just the ask. What they want is somebody who can take his place in the lineup for several controllable years, plus another positive WAR player. They are attempting to replace roughly 5 WAR. That’s why Verdugo would make sense for them. He steps right into the lineup. In 377 plate appearances he put up 3.1 WAR. He gets the 654 PA’s Lindor got, he puts up 5 WAR. I can understand why people might not want to do that but that’s what it will take. We get Lindor for only 2 years? Will he stay? No guarantees. If the Indians wait til next year the price goes down.

    The Indians won’t trade for Seager because he’s on the same FA path. We could trade him for some good prospects and use them, but do we really want to do that?

    The simplest solution is to just move the infield around. Lux to short, his natural position, Seager to third, Muncy to second and Turner to first. I don’t see Lindor and I don’t see Cole. I see Friedman. But like I just said, maybe this is the year he surprises us.

  5. Bear, I think Andrew will spend up to the luxury tax which gives him somewhere around 40 million to spend on someone, or someones, The dodgers have been saying for a couple years the budget was 190 million or so. The front office has given no indications they are lowering the budget.

    As for Cleveland, they were already over their budget, trying to win it all last year, and the year before. They are looking to cut payroll somewhere, and there is no way they can afford to resign Lindor when he becomes a free agent. They are being good business men by acting like they don’t want to trade him, but they would jump at the chance to get some good prospects for Lindor. The Cleveland window is starting to close, they may have already missed their best shot at a WS appearance a couple of years ago. When Lindor refused the Indians extension,he signed his trade papers, its just a matter of when. The Indians can’t afford to let him walk away at the end of his contract, with nothing to show but a draft pick at the end of the first round in 2022.

  6. Sorry guys, i am sticking to my guns. I do not believe AF has the balls to pull the trigger on anything major. Just not his style, if they improve, it will be through a trade, not free agency. Sad news, Ron Fairly passed away at the age of 81.

  7. I’m just saying AF will spend 190 million plus on players, whether any of the players are big name, your guess is as good as mine, but he does have money to spend, and chips to trade.

    1. The cap is going to be 210 I think. And that might end up being the final payroll, but he is not going to spend a huge chunk on a major contract. Face it Keith, he has never done it since he has been here. Is that so hard to figure out. You have to factor in what he will have left with the pay raises some players will be getting in arbitration. Yeah 25 mil from Bailey, 17.8 from Ryu and what ever comes off from Hill. Does not mean he is signing a 30 million a year guy. They did not do it last year, and it ain’t happening this year. Yeah, they have the cash, but I tell ya, it is not going to happen. He has chips, yes, and he will trade some, but he loves his farm system and trading the cream of the crop is not his style. Here is one for you. Bellinger made about 650 thousand last year. According to most estimates, he is going to rake in 11 million in arbitration. There is 10 of that 40 gone already.

      1. Knowing Friedman, maybe he’ll try to sign Danny Hudson to a three-year deal on the cheap. Head into 2020 Cactus League play as Kenley’s set-up guy. 😮

  8. Congratulations Nationals, let the hot stove season begin.
    I almost enjoy all the rumors and stuff as much as the season

    Dennis get us some more rumors, even if you have to make them up yourself.😀

  9. I read somewhere the forty million+- was after the team pays all the estimated arbitration players. So we’re back to forty mil. How would you spend forty mil bear?

  10. I go after needs. Some quality relief arms, a solid back up catcher and at least 1 power RH bat. As a luxury I sign a starter. Cole and Ryu are going to be too expensive. If he does not re-sign with the Mets, I would consider Zack Wheeler. I would have to wait to see the entire free agent pool before I made any choices. But they can improve withough going after the high priced spread.

  11. I just checked on some estimated 2020 payroll numbers
    Guaranteed salaries. $ 86,458,333
    Arbitration estimated. $ 53,000,000
    40 man minors. $2,250,000
    Club controlled. $ 4,600,000
    Player benefits $ 15,000,000

    Total. $ 161,308,333
    2020 luxury tax. $ 208,000,000
    Estimated $ available. $46,691,667

    2020 luxury tax draft pick. $248,000,000
    Estimated $ available. $ 86,691,667

    So now you have 46 mil to spend bear😀

    1. Available does not mean it will all be used. You can sit here surmise and pontificate, and guess. But no one knows which way AF will go. He has a track record and my take is that he is not going to stray very far from what he has done in the past. And like I said, I need to see who all the free agents are, and will start learning that shortly, before I chose those I feel would really help the team.

  12. Some old friends getting out righted off of rosters. Trevor Oaks and Brock Stewart. Stewart got lit up after the Jays claimed him on waivers at the deadline this year. He gave up 9 homers in 21 innings.

  13. I think that Ryu’s shot to win the Cy Young was pretty much shot down with the way Strasburg has pitched in the post season. He should have been the loser in game 5 of the NLDS but Roberts screwed that up. Poll. How many think he goes ahead and opts out of the 4 years 100 million he has left on his deal. Hinch channeled his best Dave Roberts impersonation and pulled Greinke who had only made 80 pitches and had DC flailing away. Relief pitcher comes in, 1st pitch, Kendrick hits a 2 run bomb off of the RF foul pole.

  14. I think the Cy Young is voted on before the playoffs Bear. That said, Ryu still won’t win it. No way Strasburg doesn’t opt out but I think the Nats will try very hard to keep him. Boras will make sure they have to bid against everyone else though.
    Old friend Matt Herges just named D’backs pitching coach. Spent the last two years as the Giants bullpen coach.

  15. 2020 World Series Odds
    Houston Astros +400
    Los Angeles Dodgers +450
    New York Yankees +600
    Boston Red Sox +900
    Washington Nationals +1000
    Atlanta Braves +1200

    As iffy as things are for us, the money still likes the Dodgers.

    Houston’s bats went to sleep in a Game 7 at home. Sounds like karma to me. They were, and still are, the best team in baseball. As Beane and the Bear so a judiciously observed, the postseason is a crapshoot.

    So what do we do? Nothing for a while. This is THAT time of year. Again. The Dodgers and their fans lick their wounds and we wait for the Rams and the Lakers to eventually cruise to a similar fate. We put the summer clothes away and prepare for winter, though it’s a damm site easier here in Southern California.

    Hill and Ryu are probably gone. Kershaw needs to work on getting in better 32 year old shape. He looks a little soft to me. I’d recommend the Brady diet and a winter of cross fit. I’d also recommend spin lessons. Those who throw 91 need to spin, find corners and change speeds. Greinke was doing that until for some reason he was yanked after only 80 pitches. Hinch went Doc on him. Wouldn’t have mattered. Houston’s bats looked like they were soaked in Prozac.

    So, my plan? A morning jacuzzi followed later by a nice Mod Pizza lunch with the wife.

      1. It’s a chain of designer pizza. You create your own, it’s wood fired at high temps. It’s kind of a thing here in the OC. It’s really good.

        A lot of chatter around the blogosphere regarding what the Dodgers must do. Nobody knows how to go from the best team in regular season to a team that can beat the hottest teams in the playoffs. The Dodgers are built to win over 162 but they are not built to win in October. A lot of ideas on how to make the leap. The thing is, as I see it anyway, the Dodgers are enormously successful financially. It’s a business and because of the success, maybe come October they just aren’t as hungry as a Washington or Houston franchise is. Those two franchises together might be worth what the Dodgers are. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know as long as they are drawing near 4 million every year there isn’t a driving need to change anything. I also know Friedman is happy with things as they are so, though I’m ready for something big, I don’t expect anything but more of the same. Win the West, then lose the final game in October. It’s who we are, it’s what we do.

  16. In a major surprise decision, Kenley Jansen will NOT opt out of the remaining 2 years/38 mil on his contract. Who would have guessed that?
    Dodgers add Victor Gonzalez to the 40-man.

  17. Well it has started. Lots of minor transactions happening. Biggest name non tendered, Edwin Encarnacion. Some small. No real big names moved but SD traded Jankowski to the Reds.

  18. Geren reportedly out of the running to manage the Giants. There was a story the other day that Bochy would consider coming back to manage after 2020. Seems to me he just wanted to leave a sinking ship and take a break from the stress.

    1. Bochy might be happy to take a break but I’ll bet the decision was more Farhan’s than his. Zaidi definitely wants someone younger and more stats oriented. His three finalists are all in their 40’s.
      If Bochy decides he wants to manage again in 2021 he might get an offer, but the way things have been going most GM’s are getting younger and they aren’t looking for old school managers. Dusty won’t get a job, Showalter isn’t likely to and I’m guessing one of the main reasons that Girardi got the job in Philly is because the owner likes to interfere in the running of the team. Bochy will almost definitely get into the H of F but his lifetime record is below .500.

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