Thoughts on the Dodgers’ Winter So Far & Rumors Going Forward


I will begin this post by stating the caveat that I know the offseason is not done, that it is only the 12th of December. The Dodgers front office is not done trying to make this team better, and that more moves are yet to come. But the fact that the Dodgers did not sign any of the Top 3 free agents this winter is a little mystifying.

I can give a pass to the Dodgers not signing Stephen Strasburg. Although he opted out of his contract with Washington, it was pretty evident that he was going to return to the team that drafted him for an even bigger payday.

Gerrit Cole, again, I’m not quite so mad about. The Dodgers did actually offer the biggest contract they’ve ever offered a free agent, $300M over eight years. Reportedly, the Yankees put the full court press on Cole, bringing in former players and the owner Hal Steinbrenner to close the deal. I don’t know what the Dodgers could have reasonably done, as the Yankees were not going to be denied in getting their man. And, it seemed all along that Cole wanted to be a Yankee, anyway.

So that brings us to Anthony Rendon. There has been talk about the Dodgers bringing in a new third baseman since October. Justin Turner had been consulted about a possible move to first base, the big brass said, and he was okay with this possibility. While the Dodgers were also said to be interested in Josh Donaldson, Rendon was THE third baseman out there. He’s proven himself to produce in the playoffs, wields a steady right-handed bat and is a great clubhouse guy. He checks all the boxes.

So why was there no offer made? It was reported that the Dodgers felt that Rendon didn’t want to play in Los Angeles. What gave them that impression? It obviously was wrong, since he signed with the Angels in Anaheim, unless he stated that he specifically did not want to play for the Dodgers.

I suppose in the coming days that it may come out specifically why the Dodgers didn’t even feel like they would offer a contract. But something feels a bit off to me. Heck, they even made an offer to Bryce Harper last winter, knowing that it would not be enough to sign him.

Nationals fans are grieving the loss of Rendon. Dodger fans are grieving the thought of their front office actually doing anything that would make a huge splash, giving confidence to their fans that after seven-straight failed attempts at wining the World Series, they are serious now about winning one.

I also am not all that excited about who is left in free agency, and who the Dodgers are rumored to be interested in. Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the top starting pitchers out there to be signed. While signing Bumgarner would have so many other implications, he and Keuchel are past their prime and leave much to  be desired. They would be a third or fourth starter for the Dodgers, who really need another stud pitcher behind Walker Buehler to propel them to the World Series.

The Dodgers are not being heavily linked to Ryu after he just spent his whole U.S. career with them makes me wonder if the Dodgers know something about him that they’re not letting on.

And, don’t get me started on the rumors that the Dodgers are in on Josh Hader. While he was dominant in 2018 and early 2019, he was prone to giving up the lead and the long ball as the season went on, and his past transgression with his homophobic and racist tweets don’t seem to fit the type of player the Dodgers sign.

Hopefully, I will be writing another post later today about how the Dodgers have made a big trade. No, it doesn’t even need to be today, it can be a week or two weeks from now. But please, front office, show me something. Both Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman are on the record saying that the roster is going to change, that the team could look drastically different come Spring Training.

Dodgers fans are waiting.


118 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Dodgers’ Winter So Far & Rumors Going Forward

  1. Bear, I’m confused. You posted before that you thought 7/245 was crazy money. What would you have done with Cole if you were in charge?

    1. 7/245 for a pitcher is crazy. 9/324 is insane, I am surprised that AF went to 8/300, which is also nuts, I stick to my guns Rich, Because of the nature of what they do, and the high frequency of arm injury, I do not give any pitcher more than 5 years especially a power pitcher who is almost 30. I do not see what is so confusing. And they lost out on Cole because of the fact that the Yankees offer was all cash, and the Dodger offer was one year less and had deferred money. Obviously that did not appeal to the So Cal boy who signed with his boyhood favorite.

      1. He feels the Dodgers sure too Hollywood and he wouldn’t fit. Apparently the Angels are Suburbian. You would think he would prefer to WIN.

  2. At this point, with the big guys signed, and other than maybe resigning Ryu, I’d rather stick with the guys we have and watch the younger guys develop and see what they are made of. To acquire a 3B, will push Lux to the bench and I would like to see him play every day and compete for Rookie elf the Year. Let’s see if Urias, May and Gonsolin can fulfill their potential.

    1. And Gray is right there behind them. The one area of the most need is the pen. So strengthen the pen, get RH bat with some pop, which can be done via trade, and they should be the best in the west again.,

  3. The dodgers reportedly offered Cole. $300 million ? Surely you dont believe this so why support a figure obviously put out by the Dodgers ” after he signed elsewhere”. Thdn they can talk about how they were in on the big free agents. We get enough bs out of this front office without perpetuating it.

    1. While I realize your disgust is directed at the front office and not me, I am not a shill for them. I am saying it as I would say any other thing that reportedly has been said, in the same vein of what players the Dodgers might be interested in. You are free to take it however you want

    2. Well Gordon, that number was confirmed by Boras and some other sources close to the Dodgers. So whether you believe it or not is a personal choice.

    1. Not only are the Yanks after Hader, but we can’t even re-sign Yimi now. He just signed with the Marlins.
      The Dodger and Mets are also supposedly interested in Hader. AF just trying to decide if he wants to come in second or third in the Hader derby.

      1. They had no intention of bringing Garcia back. That’s why he was non tendered. They are hot after Dellin Betances, who fits the profile of a Fraudman signing, Guy coming off of an injury season, who has nasty stuff when healthy.

    1. Thanks for noticing Rich. I was planning on being out of my mind with excitement over AF’s moves this week. Instead I’m just using him as a resource for my snarky comments

  4. AF said he was looking at 12 players that were difference makers, we know three are signed, that leaves nine players. Let’s give Andrew a chance to work through the rest of his list.

  5. Word is out that we’re aggressively pursuing Betances. Similar story to Treinen. I’m up for signing him and taking a chance. Hopefully at least one of those guys works out.

    1. Ok, so we currently have a full 40 man roster including 16 MLB pitchers (I’m not including Santana or Sborz), so who gets dropped and which 3-4 pitchers don’t make the Opening Day roster. I mean as of now. Obviously some could get moved in trades. Is it just me or does it seem like we always sign pitchers that have an asterisk besides their names. Been injured, used to be good, but not lately, etc.

      1. They can carry 13 pitchers with the new rosters being set at 26. That is one of the new rules. No more than 13 pitchers on the roster. So, the locks would be Kersh, Buehler, Jansen, Urias, Baez, Kolarek, Stripling, Maeda, May, Treinen, the rest are up for grabs and will be determined in the spring. The Astros very interested in Barnes. Seems they love his pitch framing skills. And it is not just you Gary, signing injured arms is a Fraudman trademark.

      2. I think Kelly has to be a given as well, based on his salary and there expectations of him. With the new 3 batter min, Kolarek will not be able to get away with facing one lefty and then hitting the shower. BTW, I love that rule.

      3. Tom Verducci ran some numbers on the frequency with which teams use a LOOGY to pitch to just one batter and discovered that if you eliminated that option for a team (considering that it isn’t done every game) you would save exactly 44 seconds per game over a full season. I’m on the opposite side on this one Gary. Keep the LOOGY option and keep shifts. Batters need to learn to hit pitchers of either handedness and need to learn to hit against the shift instead of straight into it. That’s why they call them major leaguers.

      4. I agree with what you are saying about hitters, but I think the same with pitchers. They should be able to get batters out whether they bat left or right. Whether pitching or hitting, it’s all about making adjustments. The majority are now making millions and should be able to make those adjustments.

      5. Agreed. Both hitters and pitchers should be able to adapt to the other side’s strategy.

      6. Although the 40-man may be full, the following guys had better be looking over their shoulder (either the possibility of being traded or released): Chargois, Sborz, Kolarek (lefty specialist – new 3 man rule), Sadler, Floro, just to name a few. Most of those guys have some trade value and would be better than what a number of other teams have on their roster. New bullpen: Kenley, Treinen, Betances, Kelly, Ferguson,/Alexander, Baez, Stripling, Gonsolin. New rotation:
        Buehler, Kershaw, Ryu/Madbum/Kluber, Urias, May. Trade Maeda.

    1. He is maybe a difference maker or maybe an overpaid guy with his good years behind him that doesn’t really improve the pen.

  6. They need to sign Betances and Ryu and go get Josh Hader. Josh Hader is a must. I’m aware many people don’t care for him but at the risk of sounding cold, I really don’t care. He is exactly what this team has been missing, a dominant lefty setup/closer. This clubhouse dealt with Puig for years, they can handle Hader.

      1. C’mon Andy you’re going to crucify this guy over tweets he made as a 17 year old? I know how stupid and impulsive I could be at 17 and I’m sure today’s 17 year olds are probably even worse than my day. I just don’t think that’s fair. You don’t have to like him but it’s also not right to label someone forever over their actions as a kid.

      2. I feel that is absolutely within my rights, yes. Don’t see where he’s done much to rectify the situation. There is a total difference in being stupid and impulsive, like underage drinking or drugs or something like that. Saying the things he did do not fall under that umbrella. You may like him, I’m not stopping you from having your opinion but I’m more than entitled to mine, thank you. Also why do you feel that Puig is an equivalence?

      3. Nobody said you weren’t entitled to your opinion. Opinions are like a**holes, everybody’s got one. I don’t know the guy so who am I to say if I like him or not? I sure as hell like wipeout stuff on the mound though and with a current closer going downhill faster than a John Deere tractor with no breaks I’d say having a guy who is a legit shutdown weapon is a must. I was 17 before the social media craze so I didn’t have to worry about making an ass of myself online but I also know I wouldn’t be want my children or yours or anyone else’s to have to be defined their entire life over a couple tweets regardless of what they said. I’m not perfect by any means and neither is anyone else. I grew up in the MOST segregated town in America where you can still see the shadow of where the white and colored signs in city hall hung. Still 2 drinking fountains. I’ve seen racism up close and what Hader tweeted doesn’t even hold a candle. I mentioned Puig because he was the epitome of clubhouse disfunction and the team still handled it and kept winning. I’m not saying they are the same person.

      4. We’re going to have to agree to disagree here. I don’t like it, I don’t care what age he was and that’s that

      5. Interesting conversation you guys are having with regard to Hader. I wonder how his teammates feel about him, for example Cain who is African American. I haven’t heard that his teammates have a problem with Hader but I guess it’s something they would try to keep quiet even if he did. As a self-confessed bleeding heart liberal on social issues, my feeling is if Hader’s teammates are OK with him, I’ll overlook what stupidity he uttered as a 17 year old, but I would damn well do some research before I traded for him.

      6. To me, he is not the kind of guy that the front office signs. They seems to stay away from any sort of controversy. But I guess we’ll see what happens

  7. Keith good thing you got that line in about giving AF a chance without bear noticing! You might be moved up to Chief of the lemmings!

    1. Bear saw it Rich, I see all, and sometimes believe it or not, I just do not care. AF did not surprise me at all except in the amount of money they offered Cole, and the fact that they did not even take a run at Rendon. Not make him an offer simply because they did not think he wanted to play in LA? And where does he sign? Down the 5 freeway in Anaheim. Which is about as close to LA as you can get. And the call themselves the Los Angeles Angels……..of Anaheim…..The only ones whining about his lack of activity are those who believed his bull from the get go. I am not so easily fooled. There is still plenty of time for him to do something dramatic. Whether he does or not is another question entirely. They still have a very good team with a potent offense, and they have decent pitching, The lost one major piece. Ryu. He does need to be replaced, but is the replacement on the roster already>??? Urias has huge potential, and he is one of the starters. So it will be Kersh, Buehler, Maeda, Urias and a cast of thousands. Say they trade for Kluber, or sign Mad Bum or Ryu. Then one of the kids gets pushed to the back of the line again. And most fans want to see what the kids can do. So that is one conundrum the Dodgers need to figure out.

      1. How do we know that Boras didn’t inform Friedman that Rendon had no interest in playing for the Dodgers?

  8. It’s December 12th. How many weeks are left in the off season? Too early for conclusions. Final exams aren’t until Opening Day. I can wait.

  9. The meetings are over. Andrew has left the building….empty handed again! Gotta love the guys consistency. If Barnes was that consistent he would hit .330.

  10. Hmmmmm , New rumor per Lindor has him coming to LA with Clevinger. Not sure who is being discussed as going to the Tribe, But that changes the dynamic a lot. Clevinger would be a huge get for LA.

    1. If they were supposedly talking Lux/May for Lindor by himself I can imagine what happens if they include Clevinger. Maybe something like Ruiz, May, Maeda, Joc, Downs. Still no Lux as far as I’m concerned.

      1. They would most likely have to include May for sure. Not sure how much else would be needed. But it is just a rumor. Peraza signs with the Red Sox. One year 3 mil.

    2. Well that would be a blockbuster. Stay tuned. Things seem to change by the day or hour on whether Cleveland is even shopping Lindor.

  11. I would think Lux, May and smith were untouchable as they all are pretty much set for starting roles in LA next year. Everyone else on the table.

  12. Andy, I heard the Lindor/Clevinger rumor, on MLB radio also. The talk show host mentioned it, but I didn’t hear them credit anybody with the rumor. I’d like to have both of them, but it makes no sense from the Indians side.

    I don’t think there is any way a deal goes down with Cleveland, that doesn’t involve Lux, I’m not saying we should trade him, I know he is real popular here. I get a feeling the Indians have targeted lux. I think that’s what’s motivating all of the trade talk in the first place.

  13. Yeah I would be tempted to put Lux in a package for Lindor, and Clevinger, before Clevinger got hurt he was pitching really good.

  14. Bear I just read your response to my opening question today. if you wouldn’t have given those years andvthat money to Strasburg and Cole then why are you upset with AF when he didn’t? What would you have had him do?

    1. I am not upset he did not sign them. I knew he would not at the numbers that were being thrown around. Do not think you know my moods Rich because you do not. The only thing I am upset about is the fact that Dodger fans believe what this carnival barker is throwing out there. I get sick and tired of the same damn rhetoric. I get sick and tired of hearing people adore this guy. The only thing I give him any kind of credit for is not trashing the farm system. He and ownership have the sheep eating out of their hands. it gets monotonous. I love the game, and I look at the way it is now, all analytics driven and played by millionaires instead of just regular people. He took over a very good team and has kept it a very good team. One of the richest franchises in the game has become Ebenezer Scrooge and the fans are fine with that. Well some of them anyway. I have always like Dodger teams better that were built with home grown talent. They have some of that kind of players in their system now, and everyone is willing to trade them away on the oft chance that 1 year of Betts or 2 years of Lindor is enough to win a World Series. They gripe about the 31 years since the last title, and forget that baseball is nothing more than entertainment. The Giants went 56 years without a crown, the Red Sox 86, and the Cubs, about 100. 31 years is nothing. Plus, the teams have been pretty good, especially the last 19 years. Not one of those guys they did not sign makes them automatic winners. You still have to make it through the season without one of your best getting injured. You still need to win in the playoffs, and we all know what a crapshoot that is. Sometimes the best team does not win. I love the game. But I will tell you this, at this point, I really do not care who he trades, who he signs, or what the team looks like come April. Just for once, I would like to see him make good on something he says. He spouts the same tired rhetoric every off season. Bring in someone the fans can get excited about, or shut the hell up.

      1. Now you’re calling us sheep after first calling us lemmings. I hereby give you permission to refer to myself and my fellow Friedman-worshipping optimists as “Shlemmings”.
        When we trade for Lindor and Clevinger and follow that up with the Hader trade you may apologize. Andrew Friedman would never promise us something and not deliver. Would he?

      2. Sheep are the ones who trek to Dodger Stadium every night and lay down tons of cash to watch a collection of utility players take the field. Outside of Bellinger, the Dodgers have no position players who could be considered super stars and the kind of player who puts butts in the seats. If as you say OLAF the OAF does makes the aforementioned deals, I will gladly eat my words and you can say I told you so. And You Shlemmings can do the same when none of that happens.

      3. I ask again – what exactly did he promise?

        Frankly I never really believed the Dodgers would be the highest bidder on those top tier free agents, especially when the Yankees got involved. I predicted early Strasburg was going to stay in Washington. I thought we had a shot at Rendon but said repeatedly infield is not really a position of need. I’m not surprised we didn’t get any of them. I don’t see how any of them were really worth the money. Maybe to New York, but not to us.

        As for the talk, THEY ALL DO IT! Talk is what those at the top do and truth often has nothing to do with what is being said. It’s usually bent. Friedman said he was interested in certain players and I believe it was Roberts who said they were going to be “aggressive”. I think a $300 million bid shows interest and is pretty aggressive. As for further interest, we can see through the rumors who he is asking about. I’m interested in them too. I just don’t want to overbid for them.

        Patience. It will all unfold as it must.

      4. You speak wisdom Kemosabe. It’s not as though Andrew went chasing down the hallways at the meetings begging for reporters to take down his statement about wanting to be active this winter. They came to him for a statement. I can just imagine how a “no comment” would have gone down. It’s baseball tradition that reporters chase GM’s and GM’s make vague but promising statements that every so often are fulfilled. Winter 2019? Business as usual.

      5. I stand corrected (actually I’m sitting) and humbly apologize. Can you in language acceptable for this blog tell me what it means? I always assumed that Tonto had nothing but respect for the Lone Ranger and would never demean him.

      6. I don’t feel derogated by the word. I always thought it meant “my steely eyed white brother”. I just looked it up. It’s derived from the Ojibwe word gimoozabi which means “he/she looks out in secret”.

        No harm no foul. Carry on Jefe.

      7. Whew! I thought I might be looking at a lifetime ban. I was trying to get ahold of the Astros lawyer. Glad to know I won’t need him/her.

      8. According to Johnny Depp, who was Tonto in the Disney Lone Ranger movie it means wrong brother….

      9. That’s flippin hilarious. That was not a well received movie but I sure liked Depp in it.

    2. I think you are missing the point that Bear and others of us have with AF, it’s not that he doesn’t do anything, it’s that he talks shit like he is going to do things then he always wiggles out. AF is a smoke and mirrors guy. If he isn’t really going to do what it takes to pull off the big one, then quit talking like you are serious about pulling off the big one.

      1. Put it this way Scoop. It is not so much what he says, it is the way he says it. Smoke and mirrors is a good analogy.

      2. Well, as you know I’m not crazy about the guy. But I don’t listen to what they say, I watch what they do. He’s been busy since he got here, if you check the history of his moves there are hundreds of them since October of ‘14. Most have gone pretty much unnoticed, some have been head scratchers, but, we keep winning. I believe we’ve won more games in the last 5 years than anybody. That’s something. Haven’t won the championship, and that too is something. What’s it going to take? I don’t know, but a more confident manager would help. Maybe this is the year Roberts doesn’t outthink himself. Show them what they need to do, get them to believe, then trust they can do it. Good managers don’t push, they pull. Ultimately it’s the players who succeed or fail, but a good manager will put them in a position to succeed. It’s my opinion he didn’t do that in the last game of the year. They won 106 doing it THIS way, then he asked them to do it THAT way. Big mistake.

    1. Trust me Rich I have many moods. Most of the time, although you might not believe it, I am just easy going and not grumpy at all. When I am playing my music, that is my comfort zone. You cannot be angry and perform effectively in front of people. The moods I have when talking about the Dodgers can change as quick as Roberts line ups. That comes from being a serious fan for so long. Some times I see people suggest trades and moves that just make no sense. And sometimes OLAF the OAF will make one of those head scratching moves, and it can be frustrating. I know why they make salary dumps, but i can’t stand that stuff. He made that trade last year, and everyone expected a big name signing and all they got was Pollock and Kelly. So it is easy to get irritated and to lose any kind of faith in a guy who has done that kind of stuff ever since he took over. Small market mind in a large market town, does not go over too well with the fan base. If you think I am kidding, look on some other blogs, or twitter, AF is getting raked over the coals.

      1. That stupid trade last year netted us 2 of our top 10 prospects while dumping players we didn’t want and saving salary. None of the guys we traded had decent years. That trade was one of the best of the year made by any GM.

      2. I don’t think anyone thought it was a stupid trade. I surely didn’t. I didn’t know the prospects so I did have questions about it. They look pretty good. Now? Take them both and use them for Lindor and Clevinger and it’s an even better trade.

  15. But if you want superstars bear then you’re going to have pony up and pay those superstar salaries which you call crazy. The market isn’t going to get cheaper going forward.

    1. I know that. The point is, he NEVER does. They are a collection of multi position utility players period. I mean even the catchers can play somewhere else….Smith played some 1st base in the minors. They have NO stars except Belli, and the now fading Kershaw, It is LA not Tampa, LA loves stars. One reason the Lakers went out and did what they did.

  16. Kemp actually had a pretty good year. He cooled off in the second half, but carried the team for most of the first two months. He was used sparingly in the second half, why I do not know, he made the all star team and was a valuable offensive piece, He also was probably the only real friend the smirk had on the team…excuse me, Machado. I do not think paying Homer Bailey 25 million dollars to pitch for the A’s is very prudent. Yes, Gray and Downs proved to be decent pick ups, but no one received in that trade contributed anything to the big club. Kemp also hit the Dodgers first homer of the World Series and then never started another game even when the Sox started a lefty. Another brilliant move by Roberts.

    1. You’re talking about Kemp’s performance before the trade, which doesn’t count. I’m referring to what he contributed to the Reds which was absolutely nothing. True, we picked up Bailey’s salary but that was in order to dump players and salaries we didn’t want and pick up two very good prospects. As far as I’m concerned it was a big win for our side.

      1. In his defense, he was injured. I think that had more to do with Matt’s’ performance than lack of skill

      2. I was always a Matt Kemp fan. The only time I ever made it down to Vero Beach at Spring Training was in 2006 when I retired from DOD service. I’ve never been big on getting autographs, but I did get a ball autographed by two prospects, Matt Kemp and Andy LaRoche. Kemp really got screwed out of the MVP in 2011. I don’t think he has retired. Maybe he will reappear in AL as. DH.

      3. I’ll grant you that. Injuries played a bigger role in his performance last year than lack of skill but let’s face it, he hasn’t been quite the same since he crashed into the wall all those years ago. I’ve always been a big Kemp fan so I take no joy in my analysis that Kemp contributed nothing to the Reds. I also agree that since Downs and Gray haven’t contributed at the big league level yet, the jury is still out, but I’ve got my money on the Dodger side of the trade going forward.

      4. I would agree with that.. I actually think Gray will make some contribution this year, or at least get a cup o coffee ala Gonsolin and May. Downs is blocked by some very good players. You are definitely right about Kemp. He never was the same guy after that crash into the wall at Coors Field. He was a beast before that.

  17. You’re right Jeff. We traded nothing for nothing and got 2 great draft picks. Bear you’re the only one who doesn’t see that as a big win for AF.

    1. Until both of those guys are in the majors and contributing to wins, it is a wash. If they are used in a trade that brings a difference maker to the Dodgers, then it is a win. Your putting the cart before the horse again. They are good prospects, and that is the definitive word. They are not productive major leaguers yet. And all 4 of the players sent to the Reds were. And paying Bailey to play for someone else., sorry, that is not a great thing in my eyes. And despite what you might think, I know a lot of Dodger fans who feel the same. Just because they do not post on here does not mean their opinion does not count.

  18. Looking like there is a good possibility that the Mad Bum comes to LA. There is a mutual interest there. Ryu stated that he had not heard anything about the Dodgers having an interest in bringing him back. Supposedly the Dodgers have talked to Boras, but Ryu disputes that. Surprise, Puig is one of the outfielders the Marlins are considering signing. That ought to make DM very happy.

    1. I would say that there is “some” possibility that MadBum comes here, because we are far from the only ones talking to him. You can probably eliminate non-contenders but that still leaves other possibilities like SD and St Louis, the Phillies and the Braves just to name a few. I would have absolutely no problem with him in Dodger blue. I love his competitiveness and I’ll bet you that he and Muncy (another big competitor) become good friends if he comes here. We definitely need another high end pitcher. I’m leaving it to Olaf the Magnificent to figure who and how.

  19. I look at it this way. We are not all going to agree on everything Olaf does. I might like a trade, and Rich might hate it. That’s the way it is. I have never made any bones about the fact that I do not really care for the way Friedman does things. It is not my money so I don’t care if he spends it or not. He has his own way of doing the business of baseball, and we have to live with it. But there are a lot of unhappy fans, and not just the ones on here. He is heavy into analytics and a lot of that goes into his baseball decisions. He has made some decent moves, we can all agree on that, and like anyone making the big decisions, he has made some stinkers and some head scratchers. My idea of a good deal is when the player acquired actually contributes at the big league level. If you trade for prospects, I do not consider that a win until they are actually in the majors and contributing. When the salary dump trade was made last year, it was supposedly made to create salary space for the signing of an impact player. That was the word and the buzz at the time. That never happened. As in previous off seasons, AF did not sign a single player from another team that would be considered a difference maker. They did make an offer to Harper, but it was no where near what he got from the Phils. And I doubted from the beginning that he would consider it at all. So all the hype and BS about signing some big name free agent happened again. This time they had 3 targets that were considered big fish, and whiffed again. Many praise him for not being drawn into a bidding war. Some are so mad they could chew nails. I am in the middle. I did not care if he signed any of them. Why? Because I was not going to get my hopes up and feel dissapointed once more. I have no favorite Dodgers anymore, simply because spending your career with one team is becoming a thing of the past. Only the elite do that. The ones who are bonded to their organization by a superior performance over their careers. Guys I felt should have spent the entire career in blue were either let go, or traded away. The first time it happened and it broke my heart, was Duke Snider being sent to the Mets. He finished his career in 1964 in a Giants uni. To me, that was the worst blow ever. The Duke of Flatbush in Giant black and orange. The next one was Willie Davis. Loved the 3-Dog. But he went to Montreal. Others followed. Fernando, Lopes, Cey, Garvey. And when they traded Piazza, that was it for me. Any loyalty to any Dodger player went out the window that day. Now I may love the team. but the pieces are so interchangeable. So you can like AF if that is your thing. But don’t expect me to do the same.

    1. I have no expectations Bear. Neither you nor the Dodgers can ever disappoint me.

      Well, that’s not true. Roberts disappointed me. Jansen has in the past. The offense went to sleep at home in Game 7. Kershaw has been inconsistent in the playoffs. There was McKazderson. There was Hill and his blisters putting up 34 innings in 2 months after the trade. People seem to forget that.

      I could easily focus on what has gone wrong since Olaf arrived. But I’ve got enough going wrong in my life now to let the Dodgers ultimate failures be an up front issue. We win every year. We won 106 and led the league in home runs and runs scored. We led the Majors in pitching. Not sure how we did that but we did. We coughed up another hair ball against Washington, and it was an embarrassing, butt ugly loss. But I’m content blaming that one on Roberts , not the players. I don’t usually do that as I believe the players win or lose but this isn’t 20/20 hindsight. I was screaming “wtf are you doing!” as it unfolded. In my memoirs that will go down with Little leaving Pedro in too long in a Game 7, McNamara’s Game 6 Follies, Baker leaving Prior in too long and Showalter not going to Zach Britton.

      And I say again, let’s wait until the off season is over before we judge it.

      PS – the Phillies just got better.

  20. Bear, I know that you are old school when it comes to baseball and I respect that. But you can’t blame just AF for the move towards analytics. Most of baseball has gone there especially the top organizations. With that and all the insane money being made by everyone it seems like big business now and not the “kids” game we grew up on. I know that trade with Cincy supposadley cleared money for a big signing but would you really want either Harper or Machado with their contracts on the Dodgers. I wouldn’t! The only big signing I wanted was Cole because I think he was the missing piece for this team to win multiple championships. I think he will age well because he has great mechanics and great command of 4 pitches. Even if he lose some velocity in 3-4 years he’ll still be a great pitcher. Some times if you want to be great you have to go all in and AF had the money this year. Time will tell if I’m right and the Yankees win championships with him

    1. Rich, I do not blame AF for his use of analytics. It is the way things are done in baseball today and we all are stuck with them. But I do think you can over think them. Roberts bases a lot of his moves on analytics, he does not trust his players to get out of trouble. In that way he somewhat reminds me of Sparky Anderson who’s nickname was Captain Hook. It is on the players to produce, and the managers job is to put them in a position to excel. I also believe a GM, or in this case Friedman, can over think a players value simply because he is basing a lot of his decision making on analytics. If Pete Rose was a rookie in a farm system today, he would be less likely to get a shot because he was not the most skilled player ever. What he was, was a hard nosed player who never gave up and played hard every day. That gets lost sometimes. My distrust and dislike of Friedman comes down to his head scratching signings, some trades that at the time to me made no sense. When they traded Kemp, Puig and Wood, how much money did they actually free up? Kemp was in the last year of his deal and so was Puig and Wood. Farmer was not even eligible for arbitration. It wasn’t like they were clearing 40 million off of the books. Could not have been since they ended up paying 24 million plus of Bailey’s contract. And considering the fact that he won as many games for the A’s as Ryu did for the Dodgers, they might have been better off keeping him. I disagree with you on Cole based on the fact that he is a power pitcher. Unless your name is Nolan Ryan, once the velocity dips 2 or 3 miles an hour as that kind of pitcher, you start getting hit more. CK is a prime example of that . He was never considered a finesse pitcher. Cole is no Greg Maddux. Maddux was one of the smartest guys to ever play the game, and he pitched that way. Plus, Cole is in the Bronx, and NY has a habit of bringing out either the worst of you or the best. He is the man in NY. He would have been the same thing here. But if he does not pitch like an ace, and he has done that before in Pittsburgh. The Yankee fans are going to eat him alive. Almost as bad to suck there as it is in Philly.

      1. Speaking of Ryan, he was the first pitcher to make $1M per season. Now they are being paid $1M to $1M+ per start!!

  21. Bochy back to the dugout. He will manage France in the WBC qualifier. The Japanese first baseman the Dodgers expressed some interest in is going to Tampa. 2 years 12 million. He would not really have been a fit in LA. LH bat, with so so power.

  22. You’re right Bear Cole has a lot to live up to and no where tougher than the Bronx. We’ll see what he’s made of.But listening to,a,lot of evaluations on Cole he is a very intellectual guy who wants to be great. His mechanics are excellent which speaks well on the injury front and he’s not just a power pitcher. He has great command of a slider, curve and change up. Even if he loses a couple mph’ in a few years and is throwing 94-95 he’s still,gonna be great. I think he’ll go down as the best big free agent signing ever. Time will tell. I’m done talking about Cole. We’ll have to agree to disagree and see where it all shakes out at the end of next October. I’m moving on to AF’s next second place finish on a big deal!

    1. Well we can agree to disagree. I would like to see the percentage of the time that Cole throws a fastball. Anyway, on to AF who is having a war of words of a sort with Ryu. Ryu is saying that if the Dodgers really wanted to sign him, he would have heard from them. Friedman is saying that he has been in contact with Boras about a new contract. I tend to think that Ryu has no reason to lie about not being contacted, and that AF is just covering his butt.

  23. I did love a quote from Bill Plunkett on twitter that he posted right after the meetings ended….” The Dodgers haven’t struck out this much since the NLDS” Pretty funny, and unfortunately for the Sclemmings, true.

  24. happy 93rd birthday to “Da Oiosk. Dodger legend Carl Erskine. Held the Most K’s in a world series game record of 14 until a guy named Koufax struck out 15 in game 1 of the 1963 world series…..On this day in 1956 the Dodgers traded Jackie Robinson to the Giants for Dick Littlefield and 35,000 bucks. Jackie response was to instead, retire and go to work for Chock Full o Nuts coffee. In other words, you are chock full o nuts if you think I am playing for those guys! The trade was nullified as soon as he retired. Bavasi and O’Malley could not have been very happy. News worthy, That 1956 season was their last NL championship in Brooklyn. In 57 they played 22 games in New Jersey. And then moved to LA. Roy Campanella broke his neck in the winter, and never played in LA.

  25. Kris Bryant, or Josh Donaldson? Who would you prefer? Szurzur signs a minor league deal with the Phillies.

    1. I’m conflicted on the Bryant vs Donaldson question. Donaldson only costs $$. Bryant would probably be fairly costly player/prospect wise but we could play him both at third and in left. My preference would be to leave the infield intact, play Bryant in left and trade Joc and Pollock. I’m still ready to send AJ to SF for Cueto if we can’t get any other veteran starters. I guess I’m holding up my vote until I see what the Cubs would insist on for Bryant.

      1. I think that’s already twice today that you’ve agreed with me. Would you like to become an honorary Shlemming?
        Just shows you that if we aren’t talking about Olaf the Magnificent we have similar views on certain things. Not really sure who that says worse things about. 🙂

      2. I am never going to be all in as a Shlemming..sorry Jeff. We will agree sometimes. By the way, I knew that rumor about the Indians deal was BS. Just had to let y’all know what some real idiots are thinking.

  26. Bear, do mean straight up with no money, or prospects considered? Or do you mean Donaldson for four years(which is what he’s looking for) or Bryant and the prospects he would cost.

    1. Yeah, I get it. 3 strikes and you’re OUT!

      But…. there’s more than one out in an inning? Oh. And how many innings in a game?

      It. Ain’t. Over. Yet.

  27. I meant it the way I said it. Who would you prefer the Dodgers go after. We know Bryant would cost some prospects, and Donaldson only money, There is also a rumor floating around that Seager’s brother, Kyle is on the block also. Cubs reportedly were shopping Darvish, but he maintains he will not waive his no trade. Old pal and one of AF’s worst deals, Brett Anderson signs a 1 year deal with the Brewers. Here is one I read on twitter that I do not believe at all. Some one, I believe it is MLB insider, is saying that the Dodgers and Indians will announce a Lindor trade later today. But they did not cite a source. Therefore I think it is pure BS. They had Lux and May and one other player headed to the Tribe. I will believe it when I see it.

    1. Me too. If Clevinger is in the deal, it changes it for me. Is it real? Iontkno, but it makes it more interesting.

    2. If we trade both Lux and May for Lindor, you’ll actually get me to say some bad things about Friedman. I’m not having it, unless the deal includes Lindor, Clevenger, Ramirez and Hand. Even then I might have a hard time including both of those guys in the deal, especially Lux.

      1. Lux and May for Lindor and Clevinger does make some sense. It’s who else that goes along that will tip the scales – one way or the other.

  28. I think Clevinger is breaking out, all he needs is one healthy year, and he will be one of the better pitchers around.
    While the thought of him and Lindor is exiting, it’s also scary, a trade like that would probably gut our farm system.
    Is 2 years of Lindor, and 3 years of Clevinger , worth our top 3 or 4 prospects?

    1. Not 3 or 4 top prospects. 2 plus 2 more mid range. Or, 2 and a Major League player. Like Pederson, and a few names from A ball. Frankly I don’t see how this gets any purchase. It’s just something to talk about.

  29. I saw an interview with David Vassegh, he was talking about Clevinger, possibly being part of this Deal.
    I don’t think DV knows exactly what AF is doing, but DV works for the Dodgers, so I’m sure the rumor wouldn’t have been reported unless the front office wanted reported. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s not a made up rumor

  30. Last year, if memory serves, the Kemp-Puig deal was announced on December 21st. So, I would think, and past trends would say so, that if AF is going to make a December move, he will do it right before everyone heads home for Christmas. Another weird thing, all three times he was included in some sort of deal involving the Dodgers, it was in December. Kemp cannot be to fond of that month. I found out another interesting tidbit about Kemp that I did not know. Even though the deal was a salary dump, the main part of that could not have been Matt’s contract. Of the close to 20 million he received last season, the Dodgers only paid him 3.65 million, the Padres were on the hook for about the same, and the Braves paid the rest.

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