Latest Dodgers Rumors Heading into Winter Meetings

Cody-Bellinger-Joc-Pederson-Alex-Verdugo
(Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

We’ve reached that time of year, the one that most baseball fans have looked forward to for months. No one liked last season where the biggest free agents waited until February and March to make their decisions of where their new homes would be.

This year’s Winter Meetings show promise of being a little more active than the last several years. Several free agents have signed with new teams already, and a couple trades have already gone down.

On the Dodgers front, there was a new tweet by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY this morning on what the front office’s thought process might be at the moment. He stated that Joc Pederson, who had been discussed as a possible trade candidate the last few seasons, was still in those same discussions. But, new to the rumors this winter are A.J. Pollock and Enrique Hernandez being available at the right price.

I’ve long thought that Kiké or Chris Taylor, for his part, would be attractive to other teams, as they both are so versatile on the field, and could be a starter or just as good off the bench. Hernandez is due for a pay raise via arbitration in 2020, and if the Dodgers do make Max Muncy a full-time second baseman, there isn’t much need for both Kiké and CT3.

But it’s interesting to me that Pollock is being shopped, just one year after the Dodgers made him their biggest offseason acquisition. One wonders if it’s because the Dodgers regret that decision, or if they would like to trade for someone along the lines of say, one Mookie Betts. (Do I think this is happening? No. Would I like it to? Heck yes). Pollock would probably be hard to move because of both his salary and his injury history.

The other little tidbit in Nightengale’s tweet was that the Dodgers are not really in on Gerrit Cole, but are definitely in on Anthony Rendon. Rumor is that the New York Yankees have decided that they want Cole, and no one else is going to get him but them. They have reportedly offered him a contract at seven years, worth $245M. That seems like a contract that the Dodgers could match easily, and given the Southern California connection, Cole could choose Los Angeles over New York. They could also offer slightly more or even an eighth year, with an early opt out for both sides. I think maybe they are ‘out’ on Cole for appearances only and might be silently working in talks with him, seeing as Stephen Strasburg is rumored to be likely to sign back with Washington.

The Dodgers are seemingly very much in the market for a new third baseman, from their interest in both Rendon and Josh Donaldson. As reported before, Justin Turner is open to moving to first in his final year of his contract.

Maybe as a fall back, maybe because they want him back, Jon Heyman has said that the Dodgers are interested in bringing back Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are also rumored to be highly interested in the Cy Young Finalist.

So here we are. Dodgers are in on everyone, and every other team wants Gavin Lux involved in a trade. Fans all over are praying that by the end of this week, there will be at least one new addition to the Dodgers’ 2020 season roster.

 

65 thoughts on “Latest Dodgers Rumors Heading into Winter Meetings

  1. Happy to see that AF apparently is saying “no” to all inquiries on Lux. From what I saw of him last year I think he could turn into something very special. I realize he could also flame out completely but I’m willing to take my chances.
    Through the years I’ve come to find that Rosenthal, Heyman and Joel Sherman are pretty reliable when it comes to baseball news but Nightengale is much more iffy. I’ve seen him be correct on stuff but also totally off base. That said, I’m not at all surprised that AF would at least listen on Pollock even though he’d have to include money or take back another questionable contract.

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  2. If Lux is untouchable, Muncy is not playing second full time unless they trade Seager. Then Lux would slide over to short. Otherwise, and only if they sign Rendon, Muncy will be the 1st baseman most of the time. Belli in CF, Verdugo in RF, and if he is not traded, Pollock will be in left in some sort of platoon with Beaty if Pederson is swapped. If on the off chance they get both Lindor and Rendon, then the infield, at least for next year, would be Rendon, Lindor, Lux and Turner with Muncy sliding all over the place or traded.

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      1. I was wrong, Turner would move to first. They would need to find a spot for Max. Turner is in his last year and it makes sense to move him. What I was really thinking is that Max would slide to second, and they kind of use Lux as a relief for him and Seager, since Lindor now seems to be off of the table…my bad. First big move of the meetings, Strasburg back to DC. 7 years 245 million dollars. WOW.

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  3. Okay, now the Indians are not inclined to wanting to trade Lindor. So there is one rumor shot down the tubes. Oh I do love inactivity on the home front.

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    1. How do you drive up the price on a player? By announcing you “aren’t inclined” to trade him. “Aren’t inclined” is not the same as “we refuse to”. That said, our infield is certainly in good shape for 2020. We don’t absolutely need to sign Rendon or Donaldson or trade for Lindor or Correa or Story. What we do need is another veteran starting pitcher of high quality. Cole or Strasburg would be fine. Ryu would be acceptable. Madbum would be interesting although not necessarily a viable solution. And there are also trades for guys AF has identified that we haven’t even thought of.

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      1. I read somewhere this morning a more realistic estimation of our payroll is $176m. If we trade nobody that leaves $32m to spend. Getting nobody gives us a rotation of Buehler, Kershaw, Maeda, Urias, May, Gonsolin and Stripling. With our lineup remaining the same, the lineup that mashed a record number of home runs and led the league in scoring, I wonder if we would make the playoffs again?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 2022 is the year to look at. Dodgers projected to only have 33 million on the books. That is barring of course, long term deals for Belli, Seager, and possibly Buehler.

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      1. I believe you are close. Pollock is getting about 10 mil a year, but Maeda’s base salary is only 4 million. So I think it must include what they believe will be the raises accorded to Belli and guys under team control until then.

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  5. Did you ever really think they would sign Cole at all? I never have thought for a moment that they would. If they sign Rendon, that will be their huge move and you can forget adding to the rotation or pen by free agency unless they trade off some salary.

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  6. No matter what happens with Cole and Rendon, there is no way AF won’t make some trades this winter. They may not be huge trades but there will be some guys not here by opening day.
    In the meanwhile, call Boras right now and get Ryu signed by this afternoon. The original guesses were 3 or 4 years. Based on how the market is developing it’s now 4 or 5. The price and length of contract is going up by the hour.

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  7. If i were the ownership group, I lock up Bellinger, Lux and Smith right now. They will be a lot cheaper than they will be in a few years. I would also lock in Buehler. Makes a lot more sense than spending on a soon to be OLD guy.

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    1. Bellinger is a Boras client. No way in a million years does he sign an extension without even knowing what the new CBA looks like. I believe Buehler might be a Boras guy also. These guys will not sign extensions any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand that logic. Boras will do what he can to make them multimillionaires. That is his job. But he also has to do what his client wants most. Now, I am not saying Belli wants to be a career Dodger, but if he did a long term deal would make sense. No matter how tough they are agents are still nothing more than representatives for their clients. The final say comes down to the player himself.

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  8. In regards to Taylor or Hernandez not being needed, if Muncy played 2B full time, I would only point you to the fact that, in 2019 Muncy, Turner, Seager, Pollock and Verdugo all spent significant time on the injured list. If that happened again, then both are needed. Now if we sign Rendon, then Lux moves to the bench for a year until Turner likely becomes a free agent the next year and we could get by without one. Likely Kike, since his contract only runs one more year.

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  9. Here’s a hypothetical for you. Do you take Lindor, Ryu and Rendon if it means not signing Cole and giving up Seager, Ruiz and possibly Lux in trade or do you throw all the eggs in the Cole basket?

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  10. Strasburg just signed for 7/245. That has to put Cole around 8/300? AF not going there and I can’t blame him. Insane money! I still say Cole will be a stud through his mid thirties but not so sure about Strasburg! Interesting to see if AF serious about Rendon

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  11. If the Dodgers are going to do anything in the “big acquisition” area it shouldn’t be adding to their strength and not to their weakness. The Dodgers are strong in all every day players, their weakness is ST and bullpen. It makes no sense to spend on fielders, in fact it would be quite stupid, their need is pitching. If the Trash Man is serious about winning a ring, he will be solely focused on pitching, you’ll know he is clueless or just toying with the fans if he spends on fielders. It Just Doesn’t Matter if he isn’t in the pitching market.

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  12. I like Strasburg, I would have liked to see him here in LA, but I’m happy we’re not the team that is going to be paying him 35mil to pitch his last season at 38 years old. I originally thought he would get five years for sure, probably six, no way did I think he would get seven, Thats just crazy.

    Looks like the price of pitching just went up.

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    1. I live near DC and think the Nats kind of had to make that commitment to the fans and to try to keep up with the Braves and other teams in the East. Latest info I saw is that they are not confident about retaining Rendon.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. New report has the Giants and the Mad Bum meeting this week. I would guess he would love to go back to the Bay. I would also love to see Muncy tell him to go get it out of the water again.

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    1. Bumgarner can probably throw 175 innings until he’s 40. Might as well stay where he is.

      I don’t expect it, and I’m not saying I want it, but Rendon makes us better. 5 @ $40m is fine by me. We would have to move some money around, or pay a tax. What we do with Lux is a question. I wonder if Olaf intends to send him to Cleveland?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would think MadBum would like to go some place where he can win starting next year. SF isn’t that place. Also, he strikes me as very old school which doesn’t exactly jive with Farhan’s methods. The Giants certainly have the money to bring him back but I would be kind of surprised to see him return.
        I think it’s going to take more than 5/40 to get Rendon but that doesn’t mean AF won’t do it.
        Lux – AF has certainly been sending out vibes that he isn’t going anywhere. I hope that’s true.
        Someone just asked Alex Cora if Mookie was going to be in his opening day lineup. He delivered a beautiful statement about how good Betts is and how much he means to the Sox but he definitely didn’t say that he would be there on opening day.

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      2. Bumgarner showed his decline this year. I suppose it’s possible somebody else would offer him $100 million.

        Feels like an adjustment needs to be made to the cap.

        Some reports are saying Boras is asking for 7 years for Rendon and 5 for Ryu. Might be time to back away from the table. Develop your own until this nonsense stops. I welcome May and Gonsolin to the rotation.

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      3. Turner is a free agent in 2021, so Lux to From bench to 2B and Muncy back to 1B as they probably won’t resign A 36 year old Turner at anything close to the $20M he makes next year. Now at $5M to play part time, that would be fine. If Seager moves on after 2021, then Lux can move to SS.

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      4. According to all reports Scoop, Lux is untouchable and Lindor is not on the trading block right now. I do not think Olaf is inclined to send the kid away in a trade.

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  14. But we still have a huge hole at the top of our rotation and in the bullpen. The price and years just went way up on Ryu! This is crazy. We better hope Urias and May live up to and beyond their hype! At this rate Dick Mountain is gonna get a 5 year deal.

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    1. Yup, at least 5 years. Do you think he’ll get over 200 mil? Oh wait a minute, he won’t be back until June. We could probably get him for 5/180.

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  15. No way I even think about Madbum’s little crybaby ass. Nobody wants Cole more than me but $300 million is borderline crazy. I’d see if Ryu would bite on a 4 year $80 million deal and feel very good about a rotation of Kershaw, Burhler, Ryu, Maeda/Urias/May. I’d love to have a guy if Rendon’s character and hitting abilities but if the price is too steep I would try to get Lindor to be the new leadoff hitter and then use Seager to bring some prospect capital back to the farm or maybe boost the bullpen with a premium arm. This team needs a solid guy hitting atop the order everyday and Lindor would be perfect as a switch hitter.

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    1. I hear you Alex. But suffering is resistance to what is. This is where baseball is and the way this is going suggests to me teams better be very careful in dealing prospects. They are gold. When one guy can control nearly 20% of the payroll cap, you’d better have a stacked system. And if you choose to engage in this circus you’d better be damn sure about that one guy. We’ve been carrying insane loads of dead money for a long time. This is an opportunity to disengage from that practice. 7 year contracts to 30 year olds is obviously dangerous. I don’t know the stats today, but… how many Kemp’s are there for every Verlander?

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  16. I tend to believe that Lux is untouchable. I also do not think that the Dodgers truly need Lindor. And I also believe that Cleveland would rather keep him than trade him unless they could get at least a MLB ready SS back. Of course no matter what it is all guess work on our part. No one except AF knows what he has on his mind. There is a blurb on MLB trade Rumors that the Dodgers were looking at about a dozen players who could make a difference for them. We will see if AF acts on any of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure they are looking. What else do they have to do?

      I don’t think they trade Lux either. I just said that to emphasize the fact I have no idea what is about to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No one does and there is the conundrum of being a Dodger fan during the reign of Olaf the Oaf. Looking back over the last 5 off seasons we have seen one thing consistently. A lack of action on the free agent front. The only major trades have been of the salary dump type, or trading a player who was considered a cancer in the clubhouse.

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  17. Found this on Dodgers Digest. Don’t know how accurate it is but the guy writes like a baseball stat geek so I have no reason to challenge it:

    “If you project Cole out for 8 years, and it goes something like this, 2020 – 6.5 WAR, 2021 – 6, 2022 – 5.2, 2023 – 4.7, 2024 – 4.2, 2025 – 3.7, 2026 – 3.2, 2027 – 2.7 that’s 36.2 WAR over 8 years. I don’t know what the current $/WAR estimate is, or even how relevant that is, considering it’s harder to find concentrated WAR like in an elite player…but if it’s $9 million/WAR that’s $325.8 million in value over 8 seasons. Even at $8 million/WAR it’s $289.6, $10 million/WAR is $362.”

    Cole is worth $300 million. Sign him up. And start saving now for the tickets to any game you might be planning to attend. FCI is going to go up.

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      1. War is proof humans haven’t evolved——— me

        Wins above replacement is metabewildering. I’ve read all the formulas, but remain unclear on exactly how UZR, RAA, UBR, wRAA and USC correlation coefficients are weighted. I think I understand that a team of replacement level players would win 52 games out of 162 but how exactly is that statistically significant? I mean…. we are told Wins = 52 + fWAR? It does? Of course it does. That’s probably obvious to guys like the one who wrote what I posted earlier but to me it’s clearly a regressive coadjutant, not a synergistic cooperative. But, hey, that’s just me.

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      2. And that is unacceptable. Save money…. drink the beer before you drive to the ballpark.

        Wait, maybe that’s not such a good idea

        Dodgers FCI was $275 last I looked. 4th highest in MLB. Angels was 24th. I suspect that might change. I’ll tell you how old I am….. I remember $2 beers at Angel Stadium.

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      3. “It just doesn’t matter!” —————————– Bill Murray , Meatballs

        “God save the Queen, she ain’t no human-being” ——————————- Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen

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  18. Well it is now day 2 of the meetings. No earth shaking moves made as of this moment 9:20 mountain time. Story on Yardbarker.com says the Dodgers have not had contact with Cole or Rendon. Yankees offer to Cole is supposed to be delivered sometime today according to reports, and I would bet it is a deal breaker as far as LA is concerned. Only the Angels and the Yankees are considered as still in the hunt. Not a peep or a loud rumor coming from the Dodger camp. I am adopting a little different approach this year. A more of a wait and see where they are when the dust settles. We won’t know who is coming to camp until they get there, and we won’t know the final 26 until they list that roster on the day of game 1. Then we can reasonably make some sort of evaluation of where they stand in the power struggle.

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  19. Now the Angels have jumped into the Rendon race. Hmmm. Ya think Moreno might want to beat the Dodgers to signing an impact player? He uses the :A logo, so you might think he wants some of the LA hype.

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    1. The Angels have the flexibility to make something happen player wise. They’ve got the best player in baseball taking up a quarter of the payroll. They’ve also got Pujols taking up 20% of the payroll. And they still have room to add Cole or Rendon. They’ve got solid tv revenue and are among the lead leaders in attendance, even with a sub .500 club. What they need is better players. Would Cole or Rendon put them over the top? Of course not. They need a serious improvement in their organizational ranking. They have only 2 players that are considered Tier 1 players, with their top player, OF Jo Adell, not yet ready to step in, though he might get a call up quickly next year. Their system ranks 21st. It’s just not going to help. What to do? Beats me. They won 72 games last year. Cole will only get them to .500 maybe. That’s a lot of cheddar to get to average. An argument could be made it’s time to start the rebuild until Pujols is gone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes, you have to make your move when the player is available, in order to build toward the future. That’s why Rendon to the Dodgers makes some sense. Lock up a star 3B man for 5-6 years since Turner is about to become a 36 year old free agent in 2021. In the Angels case good moves over the next couple of years might make them serious contenders in 2-3 years if not next year.

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      2. Rendon, Seager, Lux and Muncy for about 5 years sounds good to me. Turner can get 350 at bats subbing for those guys. Make it so.

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  20. White Sox are deep in talks with the Rangers to get Nomar Mazara, a left handed hitting outfielder with more control left than Joc has. That window may be closing for AF.
    Preller going hot and heavy to convince the Royals to trade him Merrifield. That would be a huge addition for them and the Pads have the farm system to get it done.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Bill Plunkett
    @billplunkettocr
    Dave Roberts said he thinks #Dodgers roster could change as much this offseason as any winter since he became manager.
    19 minutes ago

    Ok. Let’s see it.

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  22. John Heyman, reports on MLB channel that the Dodgers are still in the running for Cole, when the Yankees made their offer I thought AF was out on Cole

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  23. Yanks get Cole, nine years 324 mil, I wanted Cole, but not at that price. I’m sure there is a better way to spend 324million dollars. Oh well there is still two days left, let’s see what happens.

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