Dodgers Prospects Setting Up Team for Long-Term Success

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A lot has been written about the lack of moves the Dodgers’ front office has made so far this offseason. In a recent article in the LA Times, part-owner and team president Stan Kasten took on the accusation that the team, up until now, has been “cheap.”

“We won 106 games and came a couple of outs away from beating the team that won the World Series, that doesn’t suggest to me a system that needs to be completely torn apart,” Kasten said. “What about the renewed pipeline, the old Dodger value of a player pipeline that I think we’ve had a reasonable amount of success at rebuilding? How about the kids that are homegrown Dodgers? We have a payroll of $200 million. How can you call us cheap? It blows my mind.”

While Kasten also states in the article that the current Dodgers roster is not what’s going to be the roster when the playoffs roll around in October, there is something to be said for waiting. Waiting, and not giving up those prize prospects just because the fans are clamoring for fresh blood.

One of the traditions that the Guggenheim ownership group revitalized when they took over the team was making the farm system prominent again, and full of ready-to-break-out players. They do this all having had a Top 5 team every season, and as such not having the best draft positions to start with.

Last season, the Dodgers’ farm system was No. 5 in all of Major League Baseball. Baseball America has come out with their top 10 prospects for the Dodgers in the 2020 season. Even more interesting, they projected where the team would be in 2023 with some of those prospects.

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Aside from Max Muncy, this would be a completely homegrown roster, and a pretty darn good one at that, even if some of the prospects don’t quite reach their level of potential.

Of course, this won’t be the Opening Day roster in 2023. I don’t think that Joc Pederson would be with the team then, given that he’s subject to trade rumors every season. I would love to think that Muncy will still be with the team, and starting, in four years. One doesn’t know if Edwin Rios or Matt Beaty might have made strides to take over the first base starting job.

An intriguing part of this also is Dennis Santana as closer. Dennis touched on his history in his column yesterday, placing him for this upcoming season as the No. 3 starter at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 23-year-old right hander has the ability to hit triple digits in terms of velocity. 2018 was a very good year for him, but after having rotator cuff surgery, he had a down 2019 season and was in OKC’s bullpen for the stretch of the season.

If Santana can’t ever quite regain his starting pitcher place, a full time move to the bullpen could very well be in the cards. Current closer Kenley Jansen will be a free agent in the 2022 season, and as we’ve seen his decline over the last two seasons, I’d be hard pressed seeing where he would be the Dodgers closer, let alone re-signed to another deal.

There is a prevailing worry among some Dodger fans that their window to win the World Series is closing, and that throwing a bunch of prospects at other teams for big name stars is the answer. While I have stated many times that I would like to see the Dodgers do more to get them over that World Series hump, I think that there are enough prospects to acquire some premium talent while making sure that that window does not close. It’s at times incredibly frustrating to be a Dodger fan, but they are set up to be super-competitive for a long time to come.

 

28 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospects Setting Up Team for Long-Term Success

  1. I do not see Seager here in 2023 since he is a free agent after 2022. Santana is an interesting guy, and could very well turn out to be a very good closer. But I think Gonzalez could fill that roll too. So I put Downs as my SS, and Hoese as taking over 3rd. He just looks like a ballplayer. Muncy? Iffy at best. I just am not to convinced he continues to rake in 3 more years.

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      1. Nope, I have Lux and Downs to carry the SS load. I think come 2023 the only 30 million dollar player will be Bellinger is he is still here. He is going to get a huge bump this year. Kersh will be retired, or moved to a lesser workload and he certainly will not get another 30 million a year deal. They might go that much for Betts after next season, but I doubt it. Buehler will be closing in on 20 mil a year with 2 more really good years.

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  2. With most teams you’re right scoop, but with the mlb money, the cable package, and the ball park revenue this team is probably grossing a half Billion dollars a year they can afford two of those types of players,I doubt they would do it, they are too financially responsible. The Yankees do it though, they have stantons money and coles money, they make a combined 60 mil + you just have to pay the LT, good for the Yankees, that don’t let the LT hand cuff them.( even though I hate the Yankees, I still respect them.)

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  3. Btw I’m talking free agent money, it would be suicide for our farm system to try to trade for both of them.
    I could see Dave Dombrowski doing something like that.

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  4. Hey what do you guys think, was Dave Dombrowski successful? The Bosox won a World Series under him, but now they are an expensive team that is either going to lose players, are add even more payroll next season. Their farm system was ranked 1st when DD came to town, now they are ranked last as he is being shown the door. The Sox will be competitive this season, if they keep Mookie, but I think after this season we are going to see some regression there.

    The reason I bring this up is we are kind of in the same boat, do you throw caution to the wind, gut your farm system for a better shot at a WS, And hope you win one, or do take the long play to have a little less chance for the WS, but have a chance every year?

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  5. This team is so close. We don’t need to gut the farm to win it. One more star player could put us over the top. Is it a bat like Lindor or Betts or an ace starter like a Clevenger. I’d rather have the starting pitching. Without adding another star we’d have to get a bit luckey to win it with most of the young guys developing beyond expectations for their first year

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  6. While I’d love to have another star batter rich, I think you’re right a really good pitcher would probably have a bigger impact than another bat, but man it would be cool to see a Lindor or a Betts in the line up.

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  7. Free agents are free to choose where they want to play. Cole, Strasburg, Wheeler. None of them wanted to play here. Go figure. All of them now get paid large to play for a Championship. Not much you can do about that. We’ve still got a good team and barring some calamity we win the West. Nobody knows who might become available and nobody really knows who among our prospects might step up.

    I don’t believe Lindor or Betts is coming here as it would be like us trading Seager. We aren’t going to do that and neither Boston nor Cleveland is going to trade their best player. If it falls apart for them there could be a deadline move and though either of them make us better, neither of them are a position of need. I think we will hit. If Seager and Verdugo are healthy I think we hit big. What I’m not so confident in is our pitching. It’s possible we could be good. We could be lead the league again good, but I have my doubts about that.

    The sky isn’t falling, but clouds are gathering. For the first time in a long time I saw a power ranking that had us third in the NL. A trend? Maybe. Maybe not. I still believe we will do something before the season starts.

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  8. This chart isn’t really up to date but from all I’ve read it’s not much different from ‘10-‘19. There are a few pitchers who pitch well into their 30’s, but the odds are like 2:1 they will have their most productive years before 30. I wonder about the correlation of $/WAR AFTER they sign the lifetime guarantee of luxury beyond your wildest dreams contract. Once you have guaranteed money…. from where does the motivation come?

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  9. Who says free agents don’t want to play here? We’re signing Jimmy Nelson to a one year $1MM contract with incentives. It doesn’t say, but I’m assuming it’s a major league contract.

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      1. I don’t think so Scoop. I lived 3-4 blocks from the Nelson’s when I was a kid and I never saw Jimmy there.
        You realize anyone reading this who is under Medicare age has no clue what we’re talking about.

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  10. Maybe they had a cousin named jimmy.

    Is this what we’ve sunk to, talking about the Ozzie and Harriet show?
    Spring training can’t come soon enough.

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  11. Two new reports on the cheating front. Jeff Passan is reporting that the commissioner is expected to hand down his ruling on the Astros scandal in the next couple of weeks. Front office and coaching staff are in the crosshairs but no players are expected to be penalized. I’d sure like to know why. After all, they broke the rules.
    And this morning Kenny Rosenthal has a story in the Athletic saying that the Red Sox were also apparently doing bad stuff, although maybe not as bad as what the Astros did. Other teams might also be involved. I would say Alex Cora should make other plans for the period between February and November this year. I don’t think he’ll be on an MLB playing field.

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    1. Because the players are the draw.

      Not a dollar is spent to see a coach or a manager. This will be the proverbial slap on the wrist and it won’t even sting. Coaches and front office personnel are all replaceable. There are obviously those above the law, we see it every day. Houston will be right back in the mix. Is anyone really surprised?

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  12. There is no way the players could pull this off by themselves, even if this was all the players idea, they would have needed help from the tech guys, and the coaching staff to turn a blind eye. A responsible party above the players should have Told them no, that’s why the players aren’t being held responsible.
    This should all land on the coaching staff, the GM, the president, and ownership.

    I was listening to the radio a little this morning, the MLB is looking into the Sox for the 2018 season, we’re probably going to find out the Sox cheated in the WS against the dodgers that season also.
    Looks like Alex Cora has hosed us twice now, hope he gets a two year suspension, one year for each season he was involved in. The penalty can’t be too severe IMO.

    Your probably right scoop they are going to find some low level guy to dump this all on, coaching, and management will get a slap on the wrist, and Houston will lose their 32nd round draft pick, and get a $ 2500 fine.

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    1. Let’s see who dreamed up the Astros plan. Was it a tech guy, was it someone high up in management, was it a couple of players who then had help from everyone else in carrying it out.
      Were the players who did it told they had to do it even though it was illegal?
      Absolutely the front office guys and tech guys and coaches/managers who were involved should be punished but I think it’s ridiculous to ignore the players who actually carried it out.
      And by the way, before we point the finger at the Astros and Bosox for stealing a couple of WS from us, we’d better be sure we weren’t doing it also.

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  13. I’m might be wrong Jeff, but I would think if the dodgers had been doing it also, it would have come out by now. I would think when MLB was reviewing the WS tapes they checked the dodgers out while they were looking at the Astros. If it was me I would have checked both teams.

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    1. Actually I wasn’t thinking so much about the Astros situation as the one that came to light about the Red Sox today. I may have read too much into it, but I got the idea that Rosenthal was indicating they probably weren’t the only ones guilty of that. On whatever scale we want to use, most people seem to think it isn’t as serious an infraction as what the Astros did, but I’m guessing there will still be penalties involved.

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  14. Don’t forget the Sox were the ones that got caught in 2017 using the Apple Watch technology to steel signs, which caused the commissioner to come out with his warning about using technology to cheat was going to bring stiff penalties. My guess is the commish is not going to be happy with the Sox, after he let them off the last time with a slap on the wrist.

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  15. I hope, the dodgers were not using technology to steal signs, I would be so disappointed, but who ever is caught up in this mess, deserves to be punished severely, this shakes the trust all of us fans have in baseball, that the game is won or lost on the field, not in the video/technology room.
    I know I’m naive but I’d like to think the best team wins, not the best cheater.

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