Thoughts on Some of the Latest Dodgers Rumors

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All of the baseball world is in a quiet holding pattern in the days leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting. Sure, there’s an odd signing or trade here or there, but overall, it’s all been pretty uneventful.

Numerous National League teams have made some improvements in the last month or two. The Cincinnati Reds are definitely going to be an interesting team to watch. With the addition of Nicholas Castellanos today, they seem to be a threat up and down the lineup. I’m sure they’ll figure it out defensively before then.

Also today, the Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly completed a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Starling Marte, in exchange for two prospects. They and the San Diego Padres seem poised to fight it out for second place in the division.

Rumors continue to abound of course, because people don’t really have anything else to talk about. Lately they have moved on from the Dodgers trading for Francisco Lindor, and on to trading for Mookie Betts and Nolan Arenado.

These are old hat, of course, and ones we’ve discussed here at Think Blue Planning Committee numerous times. We’ve talked about why the Dodgers should go for Arenado now, on Thursday. Today, Jim Bowden had a piece in The Athletic saying that the Dodgers were one of six teams with a viable opportunity to trade for Arenado, if they were willing to part with Gavin Lux, in addition to Keibert Ruiz and another pitching prospect, such as Josiah Grey or Gerardo Carrillo.

Would that be enough to make the Rockies trade intra-divisionally, and would Lux be enough of a return to make Rockies fans at least partly happy with that trade? Maybe?

The other little bit is that the Padres and the Dodgers are supposedly the last two suitors for Betts in Boston. I could definitely see the Dodgers making San Diego overpay to get Betts, if they thought they could get the All-Star outfielder instead of Los Angeles.

But today, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN sent out this tweet:

Now take that with a grain of salt, as the Dodgers have been proclaiming that since December, and still nothing to see. But the fact Friedman states that it could still be before Spring Training, and not just the playoffs is a tad bit more interesting. I do not believe that Lux would be involved in a trade for Betts.

No doubt the Dodgers could absorb the loss of their top prospect and still be a really good team for years to come. But the front office have made the right call on most other prospects up until this point, namely in Walker Buehler and Cody Bellinger. They both have definitely lived up to their hype.

The lone outlier seems to be Yordan Alvarez, whom the Dodgers traded to Houston for Josh Fields. Still, their overall track record is very good when it comes to this, so if they think that Lux will be the next big thing, then I would tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

But even with all that, the caveats that the Dodgers will still be good enough without Betts or Arenado, that the Padres still wouldn’t be at the Dodgers level if they got Betts, yada yada yada, I still feel they should go for it with one of these elite talents. Talk to them about signing a longer term extension.

After hearing how disgusted the Dodger players are with how the 2017 World Series went down, and the lack of remorse from the Astros players, the Dodgers should do everything in their power to build a team that just obliterates every other team in their path on the way to a World Series Championship.

To echo Thursday’s column, wishful thinking, but I think it’s what they, and we as fans, deserve.

 

25 thoughts on “Thoughts on Some of the Latest Dodgers Rumors

  1. I would not minimize the progress the Padres are making, especially if obtaining Betts. An offense with Betts, Machado, Tatis, Hosmer and Pham, could certainly compete with the Dodgers offense. They had the top closer in the NL last year and still have him leading a good bullpen. If their young starters start clicking, they can be a playoff caliber team and threaten the Dodgers as best of the West. I would think, with our depth, that we could better the offer for Betts. SD is including Myers. We should include Pollock, who is better and less expensive than Myers. We can include young pitching also. We have the depth to get it done. Then it is managements job to extend Betts to make the loss of top prospects worth while.

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    1. BoSox do not want Myers and his 61 million left on his deal. That is where that deal falls apart. They are intent on moving him. And unless they do their chances of getting Betts are pretty slim. If the deal with the Dodgers is just for Betts, and Price not a part of the deal, then the Dodgers have a better chance of getting him. They would no doubt include a MLB ready outfielder, Joc being the most likely since they do not want Pollock’s contract unless the Dodgers take on Price’s in return. Dodgers also seem ok with trading Ruiz since Smith is their #1 and there is a lot of catching talent in the minors. No doubt a young arm would need to go the other way, but since Betts has only 1 year left on his deal, I would not give up more than one of the top 10 on the list.

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  2. This is definitely the time for management to step up and make a deal for a difference maker, if for no other reason than to let the guys on the roster know that they feel their pain over the Astros thing and have their backs. I agree with Gary that a deal built around Pollock rather than Myers would definitely be more appealing to the Red Sox. This is assuming that Price is part of the deal. I don’t think we can assume that we could definitely extend or re-sign Betts so the deal can’t be based on that happening. If we take Price, maybe they would be interested in Maeda.

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    1. Some think that since they just went out and got Marte, that the D-backs post a threat to the Dodgers. Now, they obviously are better than they were last year. 20 games better? Not likely. But the Dodgers do not look like a 106 win team as constructed either. So they may not need to make up 20 games. Now with all due respect to everybody, I do not care what Friedman says to the press, until he actually pulls the trigger on a deal of this magnitude, I just do not believe a word he says. Sorry Schlemmings. I just do not think the man is sincere.

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  3. That should read pose a threat. Damn spell check is not functioning correctly. Tomorrows Lakers-Clippers game has been postponed.

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      1. The Dodgers O/U was at 98.5. I saw one that said 96. RotoChamp has them at 93 today with Colorado 11 games back. I don’t think the snakes getting Marte will change any of those numbers. We will win the West, maybe not by double digits but I predict it will be by at least a week. And I think we will have home field in the NL again. The

        As for a big deal trade, yeah,sure. Maybe. I’ll believe it when I see it.

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  4. In a major blow to the Dodgers’ chances of landing a prime free agent, Kevin Quackenbush has signed with the Washington Nationals.
    “Kevin was our main focus” said Andrew Friedman to a large press gathering. “I guess we’ll now have to focus on lesser players like Betts, Lindor, Arenado and Bryant”.
    Friedman refused further comment and was seen mumbling to himself as he left the room.

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    1. You, with fake news Jefe? No.

      With each passing day what the Dodgers do or don’t do means less. Especially with what happened out here. So many other things are more important.

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  5. Looks like the Astros are going to hire Dusty Baker as their next manager. Just discussing the contract now. On this date in 1958, Roy Campanella was paralyzed in an auto accident in Glen Cove NY. He was driving home from his liquor store in Harlem. His rented 57 Chevy sedan hit a patch of ice and slid into a telephone pole and over turned breaking his neck. His recovery was documented in his autobiography called, “It’s Good to be Alive” . The book was later made into a movie starring Paul Winfield. I actually have this move and “The Jackie Robinson Story” which stars Jackie. The movie “42” about Jackie is excellent. Lucas Black plays Pee Wee in the movie, and Harrison Ford does a great job as Branch Rickey. Today also marks the anniversary of the Challenger disaster. One of my boyhood favorites passed away also, Bob Shane, the last of the original Kingston Trio. I met him at the LA County Fair in 1982, RIP Bob.

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  6. Outside of losing their starting catcher, I think Campy’s accident probably took a little of the heart out of the Dodgers their first year in LA. Just think about that natural pull swing playing in the coliseum with that net. Would have been fun to watch. LA was a team of fading veterans that first year. Snider hurt his elbow trying to throw a ball out of the coliseum. And the right field fence was so far away they used to say it was a short cab ride to it. So Dukes power was definitely sapped there and his string of 5 straight years with 40 plus homers was broken. Hodges led the team with 25. Furillo was a shadow of what he had been in Brooklyn, and was finished after the 1959 season. The kids were starting to come. Drysdale replaced Newcombe and Erskine as the ace. Koufax was still 3 years away from becoming the best there was. Reese was in his final year, and his heir apparent, Don Zimmer did not have a great year, and would be replaced in 59 by a 28 year old career minor leaguer named Wills. Newk was traded to the Reds, Erskine retired. Labine was still there. Podres would be there until 1964. The game honoring Campy in May 1959 had an attendance of 93,103. At that time the largest crowd ever for a MLB game. Proceeds were used to defray Campy’s medical bills. I have a bobblehead commemorating that game that has Pee Wee wheeling Campy out for the crowd. Campy is one of 5 Dodgers, Shawn Green, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson to hit home runs in 5 consecutive games. He later moved to LA and was employed by the team in the community relations department. Even though he was paralyzed, he helped coach the Dodgers catchers at Vero almost every year.

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    1. I was at that game in the Coliseum. Had box seats that my grandfather got from some Dodger exec. I was 11 and blown away by the whole night. The lights went out and then the place lit up. I didn’t know Roy Campanella before that night. I sure did afterward. It was most memorable.

      I have a lot of memories of that screen in left. Wally Moon shots over it of course but the most memorable for me was from a different player, one most probably don’t remember. We were in about the 7th row right above the opening to the Dodger dugout and Doug Camilli drilled an ankle high fastball right into the screen. It was hit so hard the left fielder never moved. He just turned around, fielded it off the screen and got it into second about the time Camilli arrived at first. It looked like a three iron shot. I believe it was the hardest hit single I ever saw. The only one that comes close was a shot by Eric Davis right at the SF shortstop that was on him so fast it handcuffed him and knocked his glove off. I can still remember the sound both those shots made off the bat – a crack so loud it was like a large firecracker going off. Which reminds me… hitters who most impressed at pre game batting practice or in Spring Training. I’ll get to that later. Anyone have any of their own stories?

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      1. Hardest hit ball I ever saw was a homer by Frank Howard that went into the left field pavilion and shattered the wood plank that used to be the bench seats out there. Total destroyed it. Ball sounded like a canon going off. The one spring game I have ever been to, Manny hit a shot foul that almost decapitated a guy about 3 rows from me. Scared the hell out of every one.

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      2. I definitely remember Camilli. He wasn’t much of a hitter as I recall but he did manage to stay on the roster for four or five years so he must have been pretty decent defensively. He was the son of a pretty good first baseman, Dolph Camilli.
        I had a chance to see Frank Howard quite a bit and he is definitely the guy who stands out most in my mind for hardest hit balls I ever saw.

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      3. Yeah, Howard. Hondo. I saw him hit one the first year at Chavez Ravine that was a line drive right down the left field line into the second deck. It went out in about 3 seconds, hit empty seats and sounded like a cherry bomb going off. The crowd was stunned at first, then erupted.

        P.S. Just saw that post Bear put up. Might have been the same day!

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  7. One other story. I remember going to a Dodger-Phillie game, I do not remember which year, but had to be late 70’s when they had those pukey blue and maroon road unis, and back then they opened the gates so you would see the end of the Dodgers batting practice and all of the Phillies. I remember it because Luzinski, and Schmidt were peppering the left field pavilion with these monster shots that usually cleared the walkway and went to the second tier of the pavilion. Never had seen guys do that so many times in such a short period of time.

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    1. I remember Piazza doing that. The most impressive batting practices I remember were by Don Mattingly and Rod Carew. Mattingly was in Candlestick Park, driving balls down each line and in the gaps, wherever he wanted to go he hit shots with ease, including over the fence in left, center and right. I saw Matt Kemp do the same thing at Camelback Ranch, hitting 3 in row way over the centerfield fence. That same day on a side field I saw Puig and Ethier in a home run contest where they had to hit one over left, center, right, then back around again. Ethier went first and got 5 out of 6, then Puig went and got all 6. It was an amazing thing to watch. They were both having a great time, laughing and teasing each other as a group of maybe 30-40 people cheered them on. I remember thinking, this is what separates them from other guys who can hit. I was always a good hitter, at every level I played, but obviously I could never do anything like that. Hit it 400’ on command? No way. Major League players are obviously very gifted athletes.

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      1. I remember seeing Tommy Davis hit in 62 at a game at Dodger stadium. Impressive batting practice. TD was a line drive hitter and balls were banging off of the walls. It was like he was playing pepper with the wall.

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      2. Tommy was last Dodger to win a batting championship, right? Trying to remember did he do it in back to back seasons before the injuries? Would have been an all time Dodger great if he had stayed healthy.

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      3. Davis won the title in 62 and 63. He hit .346 in 62 and also led the league in hits with 230, and ribbies with 153. Still a record for a Dodger. He hit .326 in 63 and hit .400 in the series against the Yankees. In 64 his BA dropped to . 270. In 1965 he played 17 games before breaking his ankle. His replacement was Sweet Lou Johnson who helped spur the Dodgers to the pennant and a World Series win over the Twins. Davis only played 100 games in 1966, but he hit .313. Only had 11 homers though. He was traded that winter with Derrell Griffith for Jim Hickman and Ron Hunt of the Mets. He played for 11 more years. Finished with 2121 hits, over 100o ribbies and a .294 career BA. TD played for the Dodgers, Mets, White Sox, Seattle Pilots, Astros, A’s, Cubs. Orioles, Angels and the Royals. TD was a real Brooklyn Dodger because he was born in Brooklyn. His 153 RBI season was the only time he ever drove in 100 or more. I met him when I was about 13. He came to the home I was living at in Highland Park. He and Norm Sherry came to help them open our new gym. I saw him again at Dodger Stadium on autograph Sunday many years later and he signed my first baseman’s mitt.

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      4. Davis helped my swing by teaching me how to develop top spin on line drives. 7 out of 10 line drives are base hits. Sinking line drives are less likely to be caught. That’s what was being taught in the 60s. Not any more of course. But, most kids who play baseball aren’t over 6’ 200 pounds. If I were still coaching I’d teach it the same way I always did. Just hit it hard where it’s pitched.

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  8. Another Howard story, and i saw this on TV. In game 4 of the 1963 World Series, Howard was hitting off of Whitey Ford in the 5th inning. He hit a Ford pitch with one hand into the second deck right down the left field line. They would eventually score the winning run when Pepitone lost a throw from Clete Boyer in the white shirted crowd behind 3rd. Mantle hit his only home of the series off of Koufax to tie the game in the top of the 7th. The winning run scored in the bottom of the 7th. Koufax got the complete game win. It is still the only series win in Dodger history that was won at home. All of the other 5 titles won on the road. Game 3 was a 1-0 shutout won by Drysdale. Yankees hit .171 in the series and only scored 4 runs. In game 3 the game ended when Ron Fairly caught a Joe Pepitone blast against the RF bullpen. Ball would have been a homer in Yankee Stadium. Another Howard story that I loved, and I heard this one on the radio, Howard was in Philly with the Dodgers at old Schibe Park. Forget what inning it was, but Howard hit a blast to LF. As Vinny told it, the ball was still climbing when it went out of the stadium. They did not have the tools to measure distance back then, especially at night. Vinny opined that the ball was now orbiting the planet.

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