Roster Moves and Notes from First Day of Offseason

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The 2019 MLB season has officially been put to bed, thanks to a 6-2 win by the Washington Nationals over the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series.

As Dodgers fans well know, it very well could have been the Dodgers, as Los Angeles was leading the game against the Wild Card Nationals in their own Game 5, when the bullpen once again gave up the lead.

The Nationals definitely had something special going on this season, a never give up attitude. While the Dodgers obviously didn’t want to give up, they did lack a certain pop, a certain player to put the team on his back and rally the troops.

Could an early exit to the postseason be the best thing to happen to the Dodgers? They had the rest of the postseason to sit and watch, mostly what the Nationals did right. I know that the Nationals were a bit of an outlier, but they relied on just six pitchers to get them through the whole World Series. But, as I’ve stated before, some makeup of the Dodgers needs to change. Somehow they have to have more players that don’t stop hitting in the postseason.

The majority of the Dodgers roster will be back next season. There are four players who became free agents today—David Freese, who will retire, and Russell Martin, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. There is a chance that one or both of Ryu and Hill re-sign with the team. Regardless, this team is still good enough to win the west for the eighth-straight time. But, the rest of the National League is getting better, and the American League is still going to have two juggernauts in the Astros and Yankees for at least next season, if not longer.

There were a few bits of Dodgers roster news today, in addition to the four players that became free agents.

In a surprise to no one, Kenley Jansen chose not to opt out of his contract. He had two years and $38 million left on his contract and would have been unlikely to find better money elsewhere.

The Dodgers added southpaw swing man Victor Gonzalez to their 40-man roster. He rose quickly through the Dodgers’ ranks this past season, starting in Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and ending up in Triple-A Oklahoma City. This will protect him from the Rule 5 draft in December.

In closing, I caught a quote by World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg today. He said something to the effect of: “We’ve been punched in the face enough times we finally fought back and won it all.”

Let’s hope that the Dodgers feel this way for next season—that the jarring early exit prompts players and coaches and front office alike to get that key player or two to win it all.

 

17 thoughts on “Roster Moves and Notes from First Day of Offseason

  1. As of right now there are 131 free agents. Over the next few days there could be as many as 53 more. ESPN had its first 2020 power rating list today. And guess who is # 1? Yep, the Dodgers who are listed at 5-1 to win it all. Astros are #2.

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  2. Management thought they added two players last offseason to get them over the hump, but Pollock and Kelly were fails and we are now stuck with them for a few years, unless we trade and pay a good portion of their salaries. A big splash or two have been discussed. Rendon, I think he stays in DC. Trade for Betts, would be a great acquisition but at what cost, for a likely one year rental? Could trade for Lindor and have for two years and again likely a high cost. Turner to first has been mentioned. He only has one year left, so OK. I don’t want Muncy at 3B, so I would extend Saeger and move him to 3B. In stead of moving Saeger in a trade, Package Muncy and say Jeter Downs, Gonsolin and Cartaya for Lindor and Brad Hand. Lux plays 2B and Beaty or Rios backs up Turner at first. In 2021, bring Bellinger back into play first. Sign Free agent Betts for OF. Try like hell to also resign Lindor. Just imagine and offense built around Bellinger, Betts, Lindor, Seager, Verdugo, Smith and Ruiz at C, Lux at 2B. Pederson and Pollock, Taylor and Hernandez May still be around as well. Maybe Turner signs low to basically be what Freeze was the last two years. I can dream!

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    1. Interesting trade idea GLP. If the Indians think they can compete next year (and they probably do) they would probably reject the deal because Downs and Cartaya aren’t MLB ready yet but they’re giving up two guys who are the heart of the team. Value wise, it would be very tempting for them because you’re offering some really good players/prospects.
      I wonder what it would take to go after Jose Ramirez instead of Lindor. He had a horrific first half followed by a great second half last year. Only 27, switch hitter, can play third base (thereby leaving Seager at short). Potentially 4 years of control left (2 years plus 2 team option years). He may actually be their best asset and the least likely guy for them to trade but it’s worth a thought.

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      1. From my look at the Indians players, if they don’t have a stop gap plan at SS to wait for Downs, they would probably demand a Lux in return. We could certainly do that, with Muncy, Hernandez and Taylor available to play 2B and have Downs, Estevez and others arriving in a year or two, but I would want assurances that Lindor would extend. Yes, Ramirez is great. Haven’t heard any rumors that he was available. Indians also need OF help. Strong pitching staff, so they aren’t rebuilding.

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      2. Here’s a question: The so-called 2019 “altered” baseball. Was it just flying farther off the bat or were pitcher spin rates also down?

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      3. I think it behooves MLB to let the teams know exactly what’s going on with the ball and whether they plan to do something for next season. For the heaviest stat using teams it could definitely have an influence on the players they go after in free agency and the trade market. It might be a real risk to go after guys who had a real positive jump in power last year if they actual try to reverse whatever they did to the ball last year. Of course, since MLB insists they didn’t do anything, this may be a moot point.

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      4. There are so many extreme examples. One that stands out to me is Mitch Garver, C for the Twins. Averaged about 7-8 HRs per 300 at bats in his minor league career. Never exceeded 17 in a season. He then hit 7 in 302 at bats in the majors in 2018. In 2019 he hits 31 in 311 at bats. Suddenly he is Babe Ruth! Ridiculous IMHO, not good for the game.

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  3. I posted odds yesterday that had the Astros #1 and the Dodgers #2. Of course, Cole will be leaving Houston. That will drop them a notch or two. I might even put the Yankees in front of us. This Dodger group has shown they can’t get it done, Kershaw is older and another tick slower, Ryu will probably leave. If he stays and gets paid he will probably go Jansen on us. Hill is gone and Kelly is still here, as is Pollock. The money likes us because we have more of it than anybody. But ‘cept the Yankees maybe. Vegas and ESPN must figure we can buy our way through our October maladies. Not the way Friedman does it. He buys old Chevy’s.

    This is going to be a long, dry off season.

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    1. I tend to agree with you Scoop. Knowing the track record of AF I do not see him pulling off anything major. Of course the rumor mill is in full swing and Dodger blogs are calling for some big changes. I think there will be a trade or two, they might even kick the tires on trading someone like Seager, but unless they get something of equal or better value back, I believe that kind of deal is unlikely. Of course Ol Andy might go off the tracks and do something dramatic. But with the All-Star game next year at the new Dodger Stadium, my bet is that they keep perennial fan favorites to boost the chances that a few Dodgers will be on that roster. I think Betts and Lindor are pipe dreams. Andy likes his prospects in blue. He is already lamenting trading Alvarez to the Stros. Alvarez will probably be the AL ROY.

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      1. I just posted at the whine site and got immediate feedback. I see it the same way you do. There’s money to spend so he will spend it. Some of it anyway. Some might be kept in reserve for a deadline move. The Dodgers, without doing much will be interesting and in it all the way to the All Star game. Andy will want a share of Dodgers in that game and we have the candidates for that already. Bellinger, Muncy, Buehler, Seager could all be starters. A few others could come out of the gate hot too.

        We won’t know what the plan is for a while. In the mean time, we wait.

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      2. I read that post. When I do post there, I rarely respond to the others except Paul, Package or Yueh, who I think posts some good stuff when he does write something. Beltran the new Mets skipper, and Matheny gets the job in KC.

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  4. Standing pat can also be exciting. The Offense can be better with a better approach with two strikes and with runners in scoring position. Lux is a potential ROY, if they play him full time and having Smith all year is an upgrade. A healthy Turner will hit in his final year, and Seager will improve now a year out from his surgeries. An infield of Muncey, Lux, Seager and Turner and Of of Pederson/Pollock Bellinger and Verdugo can again lead the NL. The bench is still solid with Hernandez, Taylor, Barnes and Beaty. Pitching can still be best in NL with Outstanding young guys like Urias, May and Gonsolin moving into rotation. A lefty like Will Smith or Brad Hand would be welcome additions to the bullpen.
    And I hope the hell the FIX the baseball!

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    1. We don’t need a lefty reliever. In must win games we can just go with Kershaw. Or Kolarek. I think Doc has a lot of confidence in that deadline pickup. .

      I agree we can do what we always do and win the West. If that’s the goal let’s save some money and go with the same group. Urias can step in for Ryu and May can step in for Hill. 3.7 million fans $3.2 million in tv revenue. Dodger fans are easy. They’ll show up.

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