Just What Is It About the Dodgers?

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago White Sox
(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The offseason has been pretty full of trades and signings already. Dodgers fans had thought that maybe, the team they root for would be involved in more of them. One by one, fans have watched Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, and even Madison Bumgarner sign with someone else.

So far, all the Dodgers have done is sign free agent reliever Blake Treinen.

Now, of course, there are many caveats to go with the Dodgers not signing any of the above players. As we’ve gone in to detail here before, Cole was going to be a Yankee no matter what, and the same goes for Strasburg going back to the Nationals. While some fans would have accepted it, I don’t think the majority of Dodgers fans really would have handled MadBum in Dodger Blue well, at least in the beginning.

The thing that sticks with me is that the Dodgers were tied to all of these free agents. The players seemed to have interest and they all stated they wanted to play for a “winner,” yet they ultimately signed somewhere else. Do these and other players not feel like the Dodgers are actually primed to win a World Series soon? Or is it just a big coincidence that this is what players say, even when they already know what team they’d most like to play for?

The Dodgers have been rumored for years to be working on a trade with the Cleveland Indians for someone. The latest is that they are interested in Francisco Lindor and Mike Clevinger, and were in on Corey Kluber some, too. Talks are now rumored to have “stalled.” The Indians insist on Gavin Lux being the centerpiece of the trade if they were to fully engage with the Dodgers. Los Angeles has repeatedly said that Lux is a no-go in any trade talks.

According to some rumors, if the Indians were to include both Lindor and Clevinger, the Dodgers might budge on giving up their top prospect. It may also involve including Dustin May and a current big leaguer, along the lines of a Joc Pederson. Make no mistake, Lindor and Clevinger are worth a top-tier return. But with the Indians just trading away Kluber for what most agree was a less than stellar return, there is definitely some negotiations to be done.

But, probably nothing will come of this, because there is nothing wrong with the Dodgers. I know many fans will disagree with me, including some regular readers of this blog, but hear me out. As it stands now, the Dodgers should still win the National League West pretty easily. It’s much closer now, but the Dodgers are still the class of the National League. The farm system is stacked to keep the team very good for years to come. The Dodgers don’t need to do anything right now. The have the luxury of time.

Case in point, Dan Szymborski came out with a sneak preview of the upcoming Zips projections with the team’s current players, and yeah, it’s pretty good

So, while it sucks to see other teams making moves and trades and signings and the Dodgers mostly standing pat (although I do really like the Treinen signing), for now we can focus on the positive—that this team still is pretty darn good (as long as they show up in the postseason) and the Dodgers have the resources to make it better, when the time and price is right. Just as long as they do end up making the team better, I’m okay with however long it takes.


26 thoughts on “Just What Is It About the Dodgers?

  1. To trade or not to trade….that is the question, whether it is best to keep the status quo, or add more dimension to an already powerful team. Tis it nobler for OLAF the OAF to keep his jewels, or trade them away? Only he knows for sure.

  2. Like the article. No need to make trades just for sake of it… Lets see where we are after few months, lets see how everything works out…

  3. The Kluber trade and a possible Clevinger trade are million$ apart. Nearly 5 WAR apart to be more exact. Kluber is 34 year old damaged goods. Clevinger is 28 coming off a pretty good year. Cleveland let go of a former asset that projects 99 innings for two players that could be useful to them. The Dodgers weren’t interested in Kluber. Maybe he can turn it around but obviously the odds say – probably not. As for all those free agents that signed elsewhere, none of them appeared interested in what the Dodgers were selling. However Ryu is. Why the delay? Could it be Friedman doesn’t want him back? Yeah, it could be.

  4. I fear that if we trade now, we will overpay in the form of our best prospects. I’d like to see Lux, Verdugo, Smith, Ruiz, May, Gonsolin, Gray and Downs develop as Dodgers. We can always go after Betts in free agency next year and Lindor the following year if it makes sense. Signing Ryu would probably be a smart move soon, before another team does.

  5. Read an article in Dodger Blue about Kasten who is getting peeved because of all the press saying the Dodgers are cheap. He says you aren’t cheap when your payroll is close to 200 million. He says the moves they make are tax savvy. Oh well, the fans do not care, they want action.

    1. I haven’t read the Dodgers are cheap. Who’s saying that and whoever it is should be ignored. The Dodgers have spent more, and won more games in the last 5 years than any team in baseball. I’ve read a lot of things about Olaf, and Roberts, I’ve said some things about them myself, but never that they are cheap. The question I would ask is how and why did the two best free agent pitchers, both Southern California guys, get away? Why am I hearing, and seeing, players go elsewhere? WTF is going on with that?

      1. I myself have never accused them of being cheap. I know they spend money and they only got under the tax 2 years ago. That was a goal along with being competitive all the time. What I do know is that a large portion of the fan base is getting pretty antsy. They want a championship and they want it yesterday. The other thing, and the reason I think the word cheap is being thrown around, is because they have had a star player, Kershaw, and not surrounded him with other stars of the same caliber. Yep, they made the trade and brought Gonzalez to LA, But I believe a lot of that had to do with wanting to bring the Latino fans in. They have traded or let some other popular players go. I think that AF and the ownership have some sort of plan that the fans know nothing about. I also think a lot of the anger stems from them saying they were going to be very active and then not signing one of the big 3 when the fans felt they had a shot at at least 2 of them. Now there is none of those guys left and the best pitcher out there is one of their own. So signing Ryu would not be bringing in that difference maker from out side the organization.

  6. Seems that the Nationals are driving up the bidding on Donaldson. They seem to really want him as a replacement for Rendon. Romo seems headed back to the Twins on a one year deal with an option.

  7. “Do these and other players not feel like the Dodgers are actually primed to win a World Series soon?” as posed by Andy. The answer in a word heard around senior retirement centers on a daily basis “BINGO”. I don’t necessarily think that that question is what motivates the BIG FAs, they are going to the money solely, however the others in the FA market can’t be too excited to go sign on with a team that will likely require platooning every other game. Why would a young kid who has played in every game since little league want to suddenly ride the pines every other day? Agents must be emphasizing to their clients that to sit now only hurts any future value they could generate on future contracts. AF thinks he is building a dynasty but I think he is actually setting in motion a never ending cycle of always losing their last game of each season. It’s truly a shame to being so close to dynasty status to just fall short by a player or two each and every year.

    I’m hearing from more and more Dodgers fans that they will not set foot in the park or buy any merch until the Dodgers match their mouth in approaching the championship assets required to put them over the top.

    “No rings while AF is in charge!”

      1. Don’t count on it, I think the analytics that AF comes up with are the key driver on all line-ups, anyone can go from penthouse to outhouse in a very short period of time.

    1. Good point Andy. The platooning might be a thing that is talked about among players and agents. We sure have that reputation.

      But all one has to do is show they can hit same side pitching. Turner isn’t platooned. Bellinger isn’t platooned. Neither are Seager and Verdugo. Muncy can hit left handers. Smith hit right handers better than left handers. Pollock’s career splits shows he can hit both sides. Lux can hit anybody. That leaves Pederson and he put 3.3 WAR as a platoon player. So….. what were we talking about?

  8. Once you get a reputation in baseball, it’s hard to undo it. Dodgers cemented their rep in the 2018 World Series and although things have changed quite a bit recently I think most people still consider them to be a platoon-happy team.
    I think the same could be said for Puig. He still seems to be viewed by many front offices and fans (not necessarily Dodger fans) as a clubhouse cancer and airhead. That may ultimately hurt his ability to sign a decent contract this winter.

    1. Most of our starters aren’t platoon players, and those players that are have been successful in their roles. We were 30-22 against left handers this year and 40-25 last year. This year we’ve OPS’d .777 against them. We had 1700+ at bats against lefties and 3700+ against righties. We won 106. Whatever they are doing it’s working. I would think with those credentials any free agent might want to be a part of it. And as for our post season lack of success, when you think about it there are 10 teams that make the playoffs every year and only 1 ends that tournament with a win. Any loss against the Astros shouldn’t count, the Red Sox were just better and if it weren’t for an 8th inning brain cramp by Roberts who knows how we might have finished this year. Excuses? Yeah, maybe, but also fact. I like being in the playoffs every year. Beats being a Rams, Lakers or Angel fan.

      1. Yeah the Lakers are the top team in the NBA, that makes them difficult to watch, what?!!!

  9. Most disappointing part of this winter so far is checking the transactions page, seeing our opponents making moves and there are none by the Dodgers. Some teams are signing guys to minor league deals, and the Dodgers have not even done that.

  10. According to the president of the Cleveland Indians, Francisco Lindor is not going to be traded. So, that ends that discussion. Ryu and Kuechel the 2 best pitchers left out there.

  11. Reading projections this morning. First search was for which system has proved to be the most accurate and not surprising its fangraphs and Steamer, and a couple I didn’t recognize that focus on all sports. Then researched Steamer and fangraphs for what they had to say about our players. Interesting read of course, but raised a lot of questions, some of which I’ll share here.

    Maeda 150 innings of 2.0 WAR. Urias 144 innings of 2.0 WAR. May, 110 innings, 1.3 WAR, Stripling 127 innings of 1.9 WAR, Buehler 197 innings 4.3 WAR All these pitchers except Buehler (3.49) show ERA’s in the 4 range. Gonsolin, after 40 innings of sub 3 ERA last year is projected to throw 63 innings of 4.75 ERA. I don’t get that one and am inclined to disagree, but the algorithms I use, those that exist independent of any formulas, in my unreliable head, are no doubt less sophisticated than the ones used by the fantasy sites. All those pitchers are cost effective. Ryu projects 171 innings and 2.9 WAR. Not sure how they arrive at these numbers for free agents, so looking at FIPs is no doubt warranted. Ryu’s FIP ERA is virtually the same. Kershaw is the only guy projected to throw 200 innings, with an ERA projected at 3.57.

    The numbers suggest to me some decent, but not spectabulous starting pitching. They suggest to me we better bring Ryu back. Personally I expect May to throw more than the 140 innings he threw last year and all of them at the Major League level. Is Gonsolin a reliever? Those innings suggest so. And, those numbers suggest our bullpen is going to be quite busy. It also tells me Friedman isn’t done yet. Change may or may not come this winter, but it will come by the deadline next year.

    1. I don’t think you understand Friedman at all. What you say might make some sense but it doesn’t make Andy sense.

    2. So I wonder what the projections said last year and then were any of them close. I will suggest, they are all WAGS (wild ass guesses)!

  12. This year there were only 3 elite free agents. Strausburg wasn’t going anywhere. He wanted to be a Nat. Cole since he was a kid wanted to be a Yankee. Did any of you really think we were going to get Cole? I didn’t. $324M, that’s stupid money. I’m surprised AF bid $300M. I was thinking $250 max. Rendon, what are you going to do if he doesn’t want to be a Dodger? You go in another direction. Next, AF tries to make a trade or two but the other teams want the ruby slippers and AF doesn’t want to give them up. He thinks they might have magical powers. So hopefully AF plays it smart and doesn’t make a trade now just to please the masses. We’re not the Baltimore Orioles. We’re in pretty good shape. We should be able to win our division again. Patience is needed. There’s always the trade deadline and there’s always next year. Mookie will be available next year for just $$$, no prospects needed. I would really like Clevinger and Lindor, especially Clevinger., but AF has been pretty spot on in the past so I’m going to trust him and hope those ruby slippers do have some magic power in them.

    1. The latest Betts trade rumor would have Seager, May and Cartaya to Redsox. Makes no sense to me. The Redsox don’t need a SS or 3B. They would need an OF to replace Betts. On the Dodger side, they would have a major excess in the OF. So substituting Pederson for Seager or even Verdugo, would make much more sense for both sides.

      1. In my mind, that trade would be absolute insanity from the Dodgers side. An excellent shortstop with 2 years of control remaining, a young pitcher with almost unlimited potential and years of control and a great catching prospect for one year of Betts? No thank you. If I’m the Sox, I take that deal before AF can reconsider and worry about what to do with those guys after I have them.

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