Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes Heating Up

cole
(CBS Sports photo)

At the beginning of the weekend, we heard numerous reports that super agent Scott Boras and his crew would be asking teams across the league to submit their initial offers for his prized client, Gerrit Cole, at the beginning of this year’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Seemingly, the Yankees took the bull by the horns on Sunday, reportedly offering the 29-year-old righty a $245 million deal that would span seven years. Not only would those numbers pass David Price‘s $217 million record for overall dollars, but it would also surpass the AAV record of $34.4 million held by Zack Greinke.

According to reports, both the Dodgers and the Angels are still among the big players in the Cole sweepstakes. The Angels are desperate for a frontline starter and seem to be willing to spend as much as possible to build a formidable starting rotation. Conversely, as creative as front-office boss Andrew Friedman can be, it’s tough to see him offering anything that will be more persuasive than New York’s offer.

Recently, Friedman pointed out to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register the last thing he will do is lose his cool and get caught up in a bidding frenzy with the game’s top stars.

“I think it’s important to maintain some discipline whether it’s on the trade front or the free-agent market to find what works best for us,” Friedman said. “If you’re always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.”

In the case of Cole, it could be one of those instances when the Dodgers do indeed finish third. Nevertheless, an early exit from the Cole bidding could allow the Los Angeles front-office team to focus their efforts on someone else, specifically free-agent righty Stephen Strasburg.

As far as Cole goes, the native of Newport Beach finished with career-highs in just about every notable statistic last season. He went 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA, a 2.64 FIP and 326 strikeouts over 212-1/3 innings pitched in 33 starts.

There were some mediocre seasons, however. In 2016, the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder went 7-10 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.440 WHIP when he was fighting minor elbow problems with the Pirates, making just 21 starts. In 2017, he posted a 12-12 record with a career-worst 4.26 ERA over 33 starts. Nevertheless, his 12.4 and 13.8 K/9 over the last two seasons suggest his effectiveness might be as good as ever.

Cole features a heater which often exceeds 97 MPH and a plus-slider he uses as his “put-away” pitch. As indicated by Brooks Baseball, he throws his four-seam about 55% of the time and his slider approximately 23% of the time. Also, he occasionally throws a curve and a change.

In terms of projections for 2020, Baseball Reference predicts Cole will go 14-6 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP with 247 strikeouts over 186 innings.

Cole made $13.5 million last season with the Astros.

 

87 thoughts on “Gerrit Cole Sweepstakes Heating Up

  1. 0 % chance he signs with the Dodgers. 7/245 for a pitcher is nuts as it is. Dodgers even considering beating that number in years and dollars, even nuttier.

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  2. Is it worth 35 mil to win the next 2 WS? We’d be huge favorites with Cole and Buehler. With a couple of trades we’d still be right around the 208 mark. I think Cole could give us,similar production that Scherzer gave Washington. I think he’s worth it! If AF doesn’t make a move this year he never will. But the status quo isn’t good enough. Seven years in a row is proof enough

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    1. We were favored to make the Series last year.

      7 and $245m? Moreno will beat it. And it won’t matter. The Angels aren’t going to the World Series with or without him. The Yankees might.

      Ryu and Strasburg will put us over the cap. Might have to trade somebody

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    2. Rich, you are thinking with your heart and not your brain. It is not the 70 mil over the first 2 years that matters, it is being saddled with 35 mil for the next 5 after that with little chance of trading the guy and getting rid of the burden of his salary that is going to hamstring your efforts to win and sign your own players to deals they might deserve. Bellinger is projected to get over 11 million this year. And they would need to do more than just a couple of trades to stay under the tax. Get serious. It is not 7 years, it is 31 and counting. No pitcher is worth 35 million. Kershaw has 3 more Cy Young’s than Cole and he is what, 2 years older than Cole. And he is not worth the 31 million he is getting. but he has been here long enough to deserve it. Cole GUARANTEES you NOTHING. They still have to fix the pen. No need to blow all your cash on one frippen player.

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  3. Well it was worth the money for Scherzer and I think Cole would give us the same type of production over a similar span. This is a guy who can win 2 playoff games by himself. That would finally put us over the top. I’m not sold on Strasbourg. I think he’s already in decline with his velocity. If we don’t sign Cole or Rendon when would we ever sign a top free agent? AF’s home grown strategy has made us good but hasn’t won us a title and without a top free agent then I think it continues. Some times you have to roll the dice and for me this is the time!

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  4. Bear, I’m fascinated that you have your limits for signing Cole. What are your $ limits for Strasburg and Rendon, or is it just pitchers that you’re concerned about? Would you go whatever it takes to sign Rendon?

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    1. I do not give anyone a deal that length. Not Rendon, not Strasburg and not Cole. If I am going to sign anyone for 7 years it has to be Bellinger. I am not giving that kind of money to a 30 or close to 30 year old player anymore. The metrics say there will be a drop off. 4 years is the most I would go for any pitcher period. Look at what happened to AZ with Greinke. They basically traded him for some used cleats. Scherzer? Are you nuts? They paid Scherzer 42 million plus last year to win 14 games. That is ridiculous. One thing for Scherzer, he has 3 more Cy Young’s, 76 more wins, and 2 more no hitters than Cole. Plus he is 5th on the all time list of most K’s per 9 innings. Neither Guarantee you a title. Anything can happen in the playoffs, we saw that up close and personal this year. You can win a title with very good players. Do they need some upgrades, obviously. But they do not need to sign just one superstar and all of a sudden they are going to win. They won 108 game counting the playoffs and did not win. You are dreaming if you think any of those guys are going to get you over the hump. There still has to be someone at the back end of that bullpen who can slam the door because no pitcher in this era finishes what they start anymore. You trust Jansen to be that guy? I don’t. Not considering how awful he was at times last year. The offense is fine, they are loaded at every position with new blood in the pipeline. The bullpen is the biggest weakness. You dreamers are going to be really disjointed when it does not happen.

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      1. OK, so you have your limits in number of years for all these guys. Lets assume that Cole, Rendon and Strasburg all sign for more years than you would give them. What do you do then if you’re Friedman? Does this only leave you with trades? If so, who would you trade and what would you give up?
        The reason for my third degree here is that you complain AF won’t make any big/expensive moves so I want to understand what he could do that you would agree with and still be possible given all the roadblocks we’ve just laid out.

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      2. Jeff, I am not the guy running the team. I do not have the information available to be able to say who I can get. Address the main problem first. That would be the bullpen. He has trade chips, but who is HE willing to part with and what is the return. I also said I doubt he will make a high dollar free agent signing, and I am not complaining, I am stating facts from what I have observed in the 5 plus years he has been in charge. Trades are the obvious option to free agents. If he strengthens the team, I am agreeable with that. But as to who he is targeting that fits the bill as an upgrade, none of us knows what is going on in his little mind.

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  5. I do not see them ever signing a star free agent Rich unless it falls into the contours of the kind of commitment they feel comfortable making. It does not matter to them how the fans feel. All that matters is how profitable the team is to ownership. Baseball is entertainment pure and simple, and owners want to maximize profits. So by keeping the cost down they can do that. They have not announced it yet, but what do you want to bet that the ticket prices rise again this year? They have gone up every year sing Guggenheim took over, and with the All Star game coming to LA, they are most likely headed north again. That is my brain making sense to me.

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  6. Pose me this oh great prognosticator, Houston had Cole, Verlander and Greinke, and a bullpen that on paper was better than DC’s A better more consistent offense, and they lost the World Series. The home team won all of the games. Nobody guarantees you a thing.

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    1. As far as I’m concerned the Dodgers can pay anybody as much as they want. I personally don’t have a ceiling on contracts. This is the Guggenheim group. They print their own money. I don’t care if they go back to $300 million for payroll. This conversation, to me anyway, is about what do I think Friedman will do.

      And on a side note, these star players are valued at cost per WAR. To break even on them they must put up at minimum 1 WAR per $10,000,000. Scherzer put up 5.8 WAR this year and not less than 5.7 in the previous 6 years. Gerrit Cole is not in the same league WAR wise. In the previous 6 years before this years 6.9WAR he averaged 2.9 WAR. And that is through his prime years. What are the odds he averages 3.5 WAR until he’s 35? I think it’s a big risk. A risk I don’t see Friedman taking.

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  7. I’m not talking about a guarantee but greatly increasing your odds Right now this team is no where good enough to win a WS. Starting pitching, bullpen and the offense are all playoff lacking. Good enough to get to the playoffs since west is so weak but this team is not winning a WS. So what do u do? The market is what it is for theses elite players. I’d rather spend the money on a Cole who again is more than capable of winning 2 playoff games by himself than dividing it up on more depth players. Sign Cole, trade for some bullpen help from all our depth. Any way I see it we need an elite starter for the playoffs and I don’t consider Ryu playoff elite. Our offense would be of less concern for me. That’s my two cents and I’m stricken to it

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    1. That’s horse manure Rick. Those guys won 108 games total. They got there and they lost. But they were good enough to cruise to the west title. So except for a hiccup in the playoffs, who says they are not good enough to win. Verlander, who is world series tried and tested lost in the playoffs and he is one of the best post season pitchers around. You want a guy with a great post season record? How about the Mad Bum. His playoff record is better than Cole’s and he would be cheaper. You cannot have it both ways there bud. You want them to sign Cole knowing there is no guarantee they will win the title. One injury to a critical player can ruin the whole thing. Say Bellinger goes down, now your offense is hamstrung, but you have really good starters and because you signed a really expensive piece, a half assed bullpen. You are not winning anything. They do not need an elite starter. They need starters that keep them in the game and do not allow the opposition back into the game.

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  8. Bear you are right on. We have offense and again I sound like a broken record. Bullpen,Bullpen.Did our starters lose the playoffs NO the bullpen & lack of offense not hitting in the clutch did.
    I believe Kenley will find it again but today with starters going a max of 6 innings we need some class to hand the ball to Jansen. Why can we bring some wonderful starting arms to the show and can’t produce wonderful relievers????

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  9. I agree with scoop, I don’t care how much money they spend, the team is probably grossing over a half a billion dollars per year, they have the money to spend. They had a payroll of almost 300 million a few years ago, And it didn’t seem to be to big of a problem. we can afford whoever AF think he needs.

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  10. Bear, under your premise we will never be able to sign a free agent. I’m not trying to be a smart ass but why do you care how much the team spends on free agency. If they have a cheap payroll, they aren’t going to lower ticket prices.

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  11. Because Larry, relievers are highly volatile, look at Trienan, Diaz, Jansen, Iglesias, knebel, etc, etc, etc. nobody knows what these guys are going to do from one year to the next. I don’t think the GMs have figured out which ones to sign, and who to back away from.

    You are right though, a great bull pen would make a huge difference for the Dodgers

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  12. I’d much rather give Cole 35-37 mil a year than Wheeler getting 21 for being nothing more than an average pitcher. Now that’s a gamble! This is the reason you develop cheap young homegrown talent so you can sign that one free agent that can put you over the top. Those are AF’s words when he first came here. So pony up AF!

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    1. It is not just up to him Rich. Again you are missing the point. He needs the ok of ownership before any big dollar deal gets done. That is my last word on this subject. Quit dreaming, face reality and wait for what happens, and I would bet it won’t be what you want. Cole is not worth 37 million for 7 years period.

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    2. I thought we would be the team signing Wheeler. He’s figured something out and is spinning the ball as well as anyone, putting up 4.2 and 4.7 fWAR the last two years. He’s the kind of guy Friedman prefers and at $23.6 AAV should earn the money over 5 years. My guess is he didn’t want to pitch out West. He’s from Georgia.

      Maybe Friedman is waiting to land Cole or Strasburg. It’s possible. Both those guys are from Southern California.

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      1. What numbers? His WAR is 5 times higher. His innings pitched was over 2x higher. His fastball is faster. Wait, there’s a couple, Stripling k/9 is better and his WHIP was a little lower. I wonder what Stripling’s numbers would look like if he had thrown 195 innings.

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  13. Boy, you read but you do not compute what I am saying. I do not care if the Dodgers have a salary base of 500 million. Not my money, I do not care. But Guggenheim does. No team is close to a 300 million payroll now. I am stating facts and the fact is that as long as the ownership group dictates that they stay under the tax no big ticket player is going to be signed. That is fact, not fiction. They can sign all of them for all I give a crap. I just am seeing the big picture and you lemmings have tunnel vision. Get your head out of the clouds and wake up

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    1. I agree. Guggenheim does care. That’s why they hired Friedman. But I think it is possible for the right guy they would go over the LT, but not by a lot. Trout would be the right guy. Arenado would be the right guy. Rendon might be the right guy. Cole? I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

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  14. NO one is talking 300 million! We could sign Cole and make some trades and stay right around the 208. You can keep saying we’re good enough as is to win a WS but seven years in a row says otherwise. And enough with the petty insults just because you disagree with me.

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    1. I read we have somewhere north of $40 million to spend before the crossing the LT. A poll in October said 58% were against signing Rendon or Cole. That was two months ago. Not sure where it stands now but it’s probably not far from that. 7 years is a long time. $35m per is a lot of money.

      NY is a long way from Newport Beach. Strasburg is from the San Diego. Maybe he’s the guy Friedman wants. Maybe he wants none of them. Media reports we are “interested” but it may not be true. Re-sign Ryu and tee it up again. We can win the West. Heck, we are already World Series favorites and we haven’t done anything yet

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    2. I am not insulting you. If i was insulting you,you would know it. You were the one who brought up the 300 million thing not me. Yes, they could sign Cole. Yes, they could make some trades and stay close to the Tax threshold. I get that. More than you know, but I am saying you are expecting a move like that makes it more likely that they can win a title. That is just not something one can predict. Your passion is admirable, and I under stand the frustration you must feel with the last seven years. But how much better does Cole make them? How does he adjust to pitching in the west. Just because he had the best year of his frippen life, does not mean he is going to be the same pitcher or better next year. Yes, he has talent and is a very good pitcher, but he is not worth the kind of money he is being offered and frankly, AF has already said more than once that he is not getting in a bidding war for anyone, So unless Guggenheim is down with spending more than 245 million bucks over a 7 year period on one player, I see no chance he comes close to signing with LA. He is not an option.

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  15. Bear, I was the one who mentioned 300 mil, I was only trying to make The point that the dodgers payroll was close to that a few years ago, so they should be able to spend more than just the 208 mil LT amount. If they have went over the LT in the past, they can afford to do it again, when or if they ever decide to do it.

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  16. Boras asking for initial offers for Cole, before the winter meetings start, is a little out of character for him. Cole must want to get this behind him. I’m going to predict Cole signs before the winter meetings are over.

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    1. Well i am sorry Rich that I mistook you for the one making that claim. It is cool Keith. I get it. Look, I know they can spend the money and that they have money free. The Yankees already offered Cole 7/245. An exec told MLB.com that he believes the bidding will end up being like 280 million. Now my friend, be honest, do you see AF or the Guggenheim group doing that? I do not question the passion you guys have. Not one bit. What I question is the trust you have in Friedman, who has never made a huge splash in the free agent market, to do so this time. It is so unlike his character. The other thing Keith is this. The ownership told AF a couple of years ago, and they actually sent out a letter about this, that they wanted to stay under the Tax for at least 4 years. That means there are 2 more years in that mandate. I think Friedman will try to go around it a little and be creative in his signings, but no way he gives that kind of money to any one player. You simply have to look at the way he has operated in the past and know what his modus operandi is. He s nothing if not consistent. Didn’t we hear the same rhetoric last year when Harper was on the boards? I have been a Dodger fan for a very long time. I want them to win a title as bad as anyone, but I am not fooling myself thinking that this guy is going to do something spectacular on the free agent market. As a matter of fact, a story on MLB trade rumors tonight suggested they are more likely to bring back Ryu than sign either Strasburg, or Cole.

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    2. If the Yankee offer is true, then I agree, there is not much reason to prolong negotiations. The other teams can make their offers, he can then decide and be done with it. After all, how much freaking money does one guy need? Back in the old days, when Koufax and Drysdale held out for $100K, players were definitely underpaid for their talents, but today salaries are out of control.

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      1. The tv money has changed everything. If teams were losing money this paradigm would shift. They are not, so it continues. It’s generally accepted that star free agents are worth $10 million per WAR point. This is how negotiations are bargained. $245 million over 7 years is 35 WAR, most of it expected to be produced in the first 5 years of the contract. Cole is averaging about 5 WAR a year through his prime years. He’s about to leave those prime years, but you never know. There are numerous examples of pitchers producing into their 30s. Verlander is way passed prime but still producing. Scherzer put up 8.7 WAR as a 33 year old, 5.8 as a 34 year old. It could happen with Cole.

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      2. Additionally, when I see that Walker Buehler is tied for 70th in WAR for 2019 among all MLB pitchers, I find it to be very suspect as an evaluation,tool.

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    1. A lot of teams would be interested in Cy Young candidate free agent pitcher. What is he interested in? Minnesota? I doubt it. SF? Sure. And Farhan throwing that out there is probably an effort to get Olaf to spend more bringing him back. Ryu is probably comfortable in LA. If the money is close he will stay.

      No shortage of opinions everywhere you look. What makes sense to me? Well, the point about the next 5 years at third base does. Sign Rendon! Or not, whatever. The need for “a right handed hitter” doesn’t. We led the league in scoring and set a record for home runs. We need a right handed bat so we can what, do it again? The need for a second ace? Ok. I’m in on that. Strasburg or Cole! The need for bullpen help? Sure, but those guys are arbitrary. We may be able to get that done with guys we already have. If somebody becomes available, ok, but I wouldn’t give too much for them.

      I look for good years out of Seager, Lux, Verdugo and Kershaw. Turner will play 130 and put up 3.5 WAR. I think May, Gonsolin and Stripling will make a solid 4-5 rotation. Bring back Ryu, give our arb guys their deserved raises and charge to deadline prepared to trade for what is needed and I’m cool with it.

      Or sign Cole or Strasburg to a ridonkulous contract. I’m cool with that too.

      Just get it done please.

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  17. Well no action so far, but it seems that AF is making an attempt to move Kike, Pollock and Pederson. Lux is untouchable as the Dodgers have rebuffed all discussions about him so far. They are very interested in bringing back Ryu. I think, and this is me alone, if they move Pollock, they are going to have to eat some of that money. Kike and Taylor are redundant pieces so one could move very easily. Kike’s versatility makes him a player that a lot of teams would covet. He is consistently inconsistent. That is why I like the idea of keeping Taylor more. Kike has shown a little more pop lately than Taylor, but I think Taylor is just one of those guys you want on your team. Things will get interesting the next few days, hopefully LA will be part of that. Oh, the Mad Bum wants a 9 figure contract. Not sure Minnesota will touch that since they seem to be the team pursuing him the hardest.

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    1. I agree that I’d rather keep CT3 and move Kike. I’ll be very interested to see what Ryu winds up signing for (whether with us or someone else) because he might prove to be the biggest bargain of the off season if he can stay healthy.
      If we don’t get Cole/Strasburg or Ryu we could always offer Pollock to the Giants for Cueto. Same total contract $ but Cueto is over 2 years instead of 4. It would be a very chancy trade but if Cueto is healthy it could be a huge get.
      Angels might be interested in MadBum depending on who else they get or don’t get. They’re desperate for pitching.

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    2. The giants should give Bum what he wants. He was extremely inexpensive for years.

      We don’t need the Pollock that continues to be injured. I can see him leaving and becoming injury free and we pay him for playing somewhere else. A lot of that going around. Kiké and Taylor have been a redundant piece for a few years now. With Verdugo every day in left or center we don’t need both those guys anymore. A Joc Pollock platoon in left is what we have now but I can sure see that changing.

      A couple of names that have surfaced I recent research: Brett deGues and Victor Gonzalez. In house relievers. We’ve got a few.

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      1. Well Verdugo will not be playing center. That will be the home of Cody Bellinger. He is the better arm, and is much faster than Verdugo and can cover more ground. I see Verdugo in RF every day especially if Pederson is moved. New suitor in the Cole sweepstakes;…….yep, the Giants. Reports surfacing that they are in on Cole, but Passan thinks he is going to the Angels on an 8 year deal. Talk about an albatross of a contract! Passan also thinks Rendon is going to sign a 5 year deal with the Dodgers for 200 million. That deal if made would make me eat some crow….i do not mind,, but I simply do not think their biggest need is a 3rd baseman.

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      2. I agree Dennis. Lots of reasons to make Belli the centerfielder, but many believe Verdugo has the stronger arm. After all, he used to be a pitcher and many teams were thinking of drafting him as a pitcher.
        Verdugo staying healthy next season is going to be very important.

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      3. Regarding best arm, that is debatable. Verdugo’s might be better. But I agree, Bellinger in CF and Verdugo in RF, but has nothing to do with Joc. Joc only played RF regularly when Verdugo was injured. Do we need a 3B in 2020? Well no, but Turner will be a FA after next year and it would be great having Rendon there for next 5 years. Sure Seager could move or Muncy could play there. But neither would provide as good a defense and help with balancing the lineup better. To me though, the biggest drawback, is holding Lux back as he has a legitimate shot at Rookie of the year next year if playing full time.

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      4. An outfield of Pollock, Bellinger and Verdugo would be as good defensively as any. All 3 can play center. And all of them can throw, but Verdugo has the better arm.

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    3. Well, making those three available for trade makes sense, considering two will be free agents after next year. And Pollock was a disappointment as he was again injured for half the season. He was somewhat productive for the half year, but very bad in the post season. If they could move, Pollock, then I would try to extend Joc. While you prefer Taylor, I think they are both valuable bench pieces that can play both infield and OF well. I like Kike better myself, and I’m not sure what we could get in return if he was traded. Maybe as part of a package for a significant return it would make sense. Obviously all three of these guys cannot be moved, or we would have a great void in the OF and the bench.

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      1. Kike is way too streaky. He has more power at this point, but had Taylor not been injured, he might have come closer to 20 homers than he did. Kike, although a very good glove, and very versatile, is not the same player as Taylor, who I think is better at SS and CF than most players who play there regularly. Had Kike performed as well as expected, and not been so inconsistent, he would have been the full time 2nd baseman. That was the original plan. My thinking is that they are not comfortable paying two utility players 5 million plus apiece.

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      2. At least by fielding pct. kike is better than CT at both SS and 2B. With CT better at 3B, but neither very good there. In any case, I understand the salary bit, but as I said in a prior post, both are needed if Seager, Muncy, Turner, Pollock and Verdugo miss games due to extended injuries again. And you point out, that Taylor was also injured.

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      3. They do not need them both with Lux slated to be on the 26 man. They have options in the outfield with Beaty playing as well as he did. Muncy has been pretty good as to not getting injured, and Seager, other than the beginning of the year played almost all season. 134 games and Muncy was in 141. They had almost the same amount of plate appearances. As for Pollock. Pollock’s biggest problem was that the pins from his surgery caused some infection and a lot of soreness. Once those were removed, he was healthy the rest of the way. I do not see that problem repeating itself, and Pollock himself said he had not felt that good in years, and it showed during the last couple of months. He was an offensive force. He and Turner were the only ones who hit 3 homers in a game. Verdugo’s injury was a little weird, and not one I think that will linger. The Dodgers were none to happy with him and the way the injury was handled. He ended up not playing the last month and a half. I get the amour you have for Kike, I just think he is way to inconsistent with the bat.

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      4. Amour? That made me laugh. I like both, but I agree that having Lux and Beaty help alleviate the need for both Kike and CT3. But Kike does really hit Lefties.

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      5. So does Verdugo, Taylor hit the same amount of homers, 7 against lefty’s as KIke did. His average was a little lower, not by much. And his WAR is higher. So, that means more to AF than anything.

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      6. I guess you are implying that Verdugo should play everyday? I agree. I am not a fan of platooning, with possible exception of C position, but even that I would say that would be about a 2/3 vs 1/3 split in most cases. Most catchers need more days off, but I don’t agree with platooning for most positions.

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  18. Mat Latos turns 32 today. A buddy of mine umped one of his games when he was pitching for Southern Maryland in the Independent League last season. Said his stuff was crazy wicked. Apparently, not good enough for the MLB, though. 🙂

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    1. Don’t tell us, tell Andrew. After all, Rich Hill came back from a stint in the I. League to be a big asset for us. That said, my niece’s ex-boyfriend spent some time as a pitcher in the White Sox farm system. Said Latos was a total jerk, and as I recall he wasn’t alone in his opinion. Don’t want to ruin our perfect clubhouse.

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  19. Logic says, you put your best arm in right. If you feel Verdugo has the best arm, then he should be the right fielder. Great arms in RF have been a Dodger strong point for years. Furillo. Mondesi, Ethier and Puig. Stats say, Belli has the better arm. 10 assists from RF last year. Verdugo had one.

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    1. Actually Verdugo had 6 OF assists. 3 in LF, and 2 in CF. 6 in 97 games in OF. Not saying this is the case, but sometimes base runners are hesitant in testing the top arms. Fact is, they both have great arms.

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      1. Good point Gary, and you can pretty well bet that Belli’s assists will go down next year because runners now realize they can’t run on him.

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      2. I get that, but the stats say 10 s better than 1. Personally, I would rather see Cody in CF. I think that besides being a better hitter, he is a much more polished outfielder than Verdugo. He made some really great catches out in CF, and the one he made in the playoffs, was a highlight reel all by itself.

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  20. Oh they will think about it more, but some still try it. I have seen them run on Puig, and he had a cannon out there. But Belli and Verdugo make better decisions on when to throw than Yasiel did.

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      1. Some think he will end up in Tampa. Not sure that is a fit since they just traded for Renfroe who is usually a RF. But we will see, It won’t be Miami, although he would be extremely popular down there with the Cuban fans. He and DM do not get along.

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  21. Market for Donaldson is heating up. Most now think he will get a 4 year deal. Probably somewhere north of 19 mil a season. Narrows the field some. Also a slight rumor that the Braves may be targeting Bryant in a trade.

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    1. You heard Braves in on Bryant, I hear Phillies. These meetings have created more action in 1/2 day than the entire meetings did last year.

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      1. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that hotel and listen in to all of the talk, which is what most of it ends up being, although some seeds are planted for later trades. That happened last year when AF traded Puig, Kemp, Wood and Farmer to the Reds. The initial talks took place at the meetings, and the deal went down about a week or so later.

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  22. I still cannot understand the Giants cutting Pillar loose. He filled a huge need for them last year. Giants now said to be in the Cole sweepstakes. Remains to be seen if the Giants ownership would make that leap since it is looking like 7 or 8 is the only way to beat what the Nats gave Strasburg, and Cole is younger.

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    1. I don’t see Cole going to Giants, even if they are highest bidder. No chance to win. Angels aren’t great either, but they do have a better chance to turn into winners than the Giants.

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      1. Well with Cole and Cueto they have 2 pretty good starters. I can;t spell that other guys name, but he can be nasty too, and they have some kids with skills. It is still California if that is what he wants. The Angels with Cole are barely better. No where near a contender against the A’s and Astros.

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      2. Cueto hasn’t been Healthy since 2016, so he is a huge question mark. Plus he will be 34 in February. And Samardzija has had an up and down career, so again They will be lucky to get 10-12 wins from him. They are old at several positions, have a weak farm system, so again I would be very surprised for Cole to sign there.

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