Universal DH Coming, Dodgers Sign Minor League Free Agents

Since pitchers won’t take at-bats regularly any longer, quickly what is your favorite Dodgers pitcher hitting moment? Personally, I’d have to go with Clayton Kershaw hitting a home run and pitching eight shutout innings on Opening Day against the Giants in 2013.

As far as the new draft lottery goes, that came out of the blue. The NBA has a draft lottery, for the sole reason of preventing teams from intentionally tanking their seasons.

Generally how the lottery works is they randomly select codes, the worse the record the better chance the team has for the number one pick. It will be interesting to see if the MLB will implement the same structure. There’s been times in which the order of the draft remains unchanged and there’s been times in which a team moves up ten spots.

The actual lottery takes place behind closed doors with only a few selected people to watch, and then they announce it publicly, opening envelopes with the team name.

It will be interesting to see how MLB approaches this method. While Rob Manfred has a tendency to mess up things that were perfectly fine, we’ll see how it turns out.

As far Dodgers news goes, they continue to fill out their minor league roster. Most recently they signed Chris Betts (no relation to Mookie Betts) to a minor league contract. The catching prospect was drafted in the second round back in 2015 by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers also signed former Angels pitching prospect Cole Duensing.

These moves usually go under the radar but who knows, as Justin Turner was signed to a minor league contract eight years ago and that was one of the best moves in Dodger history.

Let’s hope we can get the wheels turning ong Spring Training soon.

There’s a big football game this weekend and Kershaw is expected to be in attendance to support his good friend and Rams quarterback, Matthew Stafford.

Once this lockout ends, all Dodger fans surely hope Kershaw remains in L.A., but baseball can’t come soon enough.

45 thoughts on “Universal DH Coming, Dodgers Sign Minor League Free Agents

  1. Glad if there is a Universal DH. Pitchers are too valuable to risk at bat and on the basepaths plus it might limit Robert’s pitching substitution mistakes LOL. The game needs more offense and the game flows better without a pitcher at-bat and substitutions. A team like the Dodgers with a traditionally highly rated Farm Team and a high player budget can get a great bat in the DH spot.

  2. Originally MLB had suggested the draft lottery only include the bottom three teams. The players wanted more, if not all the teams included. Something else for them to argue about. An NBA style draft and show would be ideal, but not likely.

    Tomorrow will be a very important meeting. The players will have the next response and they’ll either come out of tomorrow indicating that at least a little progress has been made or that they think MLB hasn’t made concessions on any of the major points of contention. If MLBPA concedes that a little progress has been made, that would be a very good sign for things to heat up and get solved within the next 2-3 weeks. If not, we’re in for a very long winter.

    1. Three ping pong balls for the bottom 10 teams, 2 ping pong balls for the middle 10 teams, and 1 ping pong ball for the top 10 teams.

      No loss of draft picks if exceed CBT level or for signing a free agent.

      Put the CBT on individual salaries and not on team salaries. That would restrain teams from offering Scherzer crazy money and eliminate one restraint on signing veterans over using AAAA players on active roster.

      Revert to 154 game schedule and add more playoff games.

      Yes to DH and yes to electronic strike zone. Electronically shrink the strike zone after every pickoff throw exceeding 2 per at-bat.

      Restrict the time between innings and use more in-game ads.

      Pay the pre-arb stars a bonus for having an outstanding year. Other than history no one knows who or how many of those pre-arb stars will be so why put a specific amount in a pool? Use a bonus instead of increasing salary so that one year’s great performance doesn’t carry over to the next year automatically.

      1. I doubt they will ever implement a system where all teams participate in the lottery. MLB will probably want a low number like 3 or 4 while the owners of bad teams might lobby for all teams who didn’t make the playoffs.

        I also don’t think the union would ever sign off on a system that would restrict the highest salaries, as opposed to total payroll for a team. As it is, the CBT threshold will probably be one of the most difficult negotiations of the CBA.

        How would you go about shrinking the strike zone after 2 pickoff throws when the pitcher has no frame of reference like we do on the tv screen? If you want to bring back the stolen base, use what they’ve already suggested, that being a limit on pickoff throws per batter.

        They definitely need to start allowing the trading of future draft picks. It works fine and adds to the excitement in the NBA and NFL. Time to do it.

      2. A strike is a strike. It’s in the zone or it isn’t.

        Limited throws to first. How exactly does that work? You can’t throw over there again not only means an unlimited lead but it means gone on first move from that lead.

        Received CBT revenues are for player development and payroll. There should be a way to implement a minimum payroll. Players are already pretty much guaranteed lifetime benefits for making a ML roster. Minimum salaries are over half million a year and going up. Minor League players should be given more consideration. There’s plenty of money available to provide a living wage to all.

      3. Limited throws to first was brought up by MLB and I haven’t heard MLBPA reject it yet.
        Basically it means a massive increase in stolen bases. If that happens, we need to pay Trea whatever he wants.

      4. This is how and why it could actually work:

        Limit pickoff attempts to two per plate appearance. After two pickoff tries, the pitcher has to either go home or successfully pick off the runner. If not, it’s a balk.

      5. I agree but why let my guess as to what anybody agree to stifle my craziness.

        Reducing the strike zone is easy. It’s electronic. Click a button and it automatically reduces by the agreed upon amount. The pitcher doesn’t have a reference box with or without the reduced strike zone.

      6. He doesn’t have the reference box but he has a rule book that says at the knees and under the armpits, or whatever. So in the middle of the at bat you’re going to tell him, it’s now one inch above the knee and 3/4″ below the armpits? If you want to increase the possibility of disputes that would be one way to do it.

      7. I will be thrilled if they adopt the electronic strike zone. Baseball needs to be pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Arbitrary strike zones and umps being termed a hitter’s or pitcher’s umpire is not acceptable and the truly incompetent umpires are erratic throughout the game. And of course, questioning these paragons of arbitrary strike zones is cause for ejection.

  3. They lottery is a great idea, I don’t know how many teams, 5 sounds right to me.

    The DH is a good idea. Long overdue.

    ABS. Yes.

    I’m ok with the runner on second and limited throws to first. There are better ways to save time, but the advertisers don’t really want to speed up the game.

    I’m also ok with trading picks. Why not?

    Great piece in the Athletic about how crazy it will be once the agreement is reached. Lots of activity in a short amount of time. At first I thought this could go on into the season, and it might, but I’m reading a lot about what could be lost by the drawn out stupidity of these two groups. I think this gets done before any extended loss of season.

    1. Don’t know but if one third of the teams are tanking each year ( some more obvious than others ) include them all in the lottery. As I said the other day, it’s about reducing payroll and has little to do with the draft pick so take that away from them. Like whoever built a team on draft picks anyway? OH YEAH HOUSTON followed by ????

  4. Babe Ryu finally hitting a homer in a real game and not batting practice. If memory serves, he hit it against the Rockies.

    1. That was fun to see. I remember Joe Davis went out of his mind because they’d been rooting for it all year and then I believe it happened in Ryu’s last game as a Dodger.

  5. In determining who makes an active roster, is the skill set for pinch hitting the same as for a DH? There will be less need or a pinch hitter with the DH. Would a Manny Mota or a Dave Hansen, or a Lenny Harris make an active roster that included a DH?

    1. That is a very interesting question, Fred. Probably all depends on the other options on the roster but there is certainly less need for pinch hitters with a DH in the lineup.

      1. Very interesting. I wonder how many times a pintch hitter is used in a game with a dh compared to the national league. Only Bear would know that.

      2. So basically the DH cut PH appearances by 2/3.
        I wonder if that will encourage teams to add a defensive specialist or two and eliminate one or two guys who would normally have pinch hit but weren’t very good fielders. For example, might Outman replace Beaty on the roster?

  6. Rockies signed Zach Lee with an invite to spring training. He is now 30 and hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017. Meeting between players and MLB lasted less than an hour. Players not impressed with MLB’s offer. Spring training is going to be delayed, bank on it.

  7. Many pundits happen to think that the Dodgers have the inside track on signing Freddie Freeman when the lockout ends. I am fine with this since adding any type of class A bat is ok with me. He can more than make up for the loss of Seager. And since no one knows when Muncy will be ready to go, it makes sense to me. If you have Muncy and Turner share the DH duties, you have a solid hitter in that spot. Lux can either play second, or become the LH hitting version of CT-3. It also opens up many trade options. And they need some pitching and bench help.

    1. Can’t argue that Bear. Not knowing if Muncy is going to be back at 100% makes it impossible to know if Freeman is needed. Max actually had a higher WAR last year, he’s a year younger, and costs less. The team has an option of $13 million in ‘23. If Freeman doesn’t mind DH’n on occasion, yeah, sign him up. That would be a fun lineup to watch night after night.

      Will the team bring back Jansen and Kershaw? I think so, but that would be a lot of cabbage for two guys standing on the cliff.

      1. We don’t know if Max will be ready to start the season, but Andrew probably has a pretty good idea at this point. That could very well have an effect on how hard he goes after Freddie.

        If he signs Freeman it might lead to using Muncy at first, second, third and DH. I don’t like that idea at all, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen. With guys who are naturally good fielders (Kike, CT3) it’s not a problem but with anyone else I think the extra concentration on defense ultimately hurts their offense.

      2. I think they might bring back one of them but not both. Kersh would be the sentimental choice, but Jansen would be the smart choice.

      3. Totally agree. CK has a lot of medical uncertainty. Kenley seems healthy and really seemed to reinvent himself the last half of last year. Give me Kenley every time if I only get one of them.

      4. I read somewhere Kenley for 2 years and $40 million. I think that would do it, but, $20 million for a one inning guy? Yoiks.

        I’ve said for a few years now put Muncy at first and leave him there. They did and it worked. If he’s healthy we just don’t need Freeman. I’d like to have Freeman of course, but if Muncy is our first baseman I think Freeman is going somewhere else. If Muncy isn’t 100%? Hello Freddie, welcome home.

      5. Kenley – I don’t think anyone, including AF, will give him 20 mil per year. I could see something like 2/35 but at that price maybe 2 or 3 teams competing for him. I have no idea how he feels about the Dodgers at this point but assume if they match the high offer he would come back. Of course, for all we know Andrew has no interest in bringing him back except at a bargain price.

        Freeman – totally agree with your thinking on this. Whomever signs him is going to spend a minimum of 180 million dollars. He’s not exactly young so that signing would not be without risk. And if signing him means you have to move one of your most productive players and a very good defensive first baseman off his position, well………………………

    1. Sounds good. Make it so. Where’s my glove? Oh yeah, in the closet. And no Jefe, my glove is not gay, but it’s happy.

      I see this lingering into March, but not into April. These guys shouldn’t need more than two weeks to get ready. Remember 2 a-days? We were ready in a week.

  8. After the very short “Meeting” on Saturday I think losing 1/4 of the season is the low guess. I don’t see them figuring this out quickly as they are not talking. Hope I am way off. I think we may lose half the season as too many substantial issues they are not close on according to reports.

    1. Hang in there Tmax. It won’t be as long as you think.
      I predict we’ll see some real movement by the end of the month, players will be in camp by 3/15 and the season will start by 4/15.
      There has been relatively little movement from either side so far and there won’t be………………….until there is. Neither side wants to lose the income they derive from having the games played. The players need to get back some of what they gave away last time and the owners realize that. They just don’t want to appear to be giving up too much because that makes the negotiations very difficult next time.

  9. I am going to go totally against the grain here and say there will be no baseball until May at the earliest. I simply believe the players are not going to budge much from where they are now, and the owners have billions, so they can hold out a long time, and write off their losses. Middle of the road MLB players, cannot do that and any lengthy lock out is going to hurt the middle tier free agents. Joc is likely to have to take a minor league deal and make a roster. Also going against the grain and say that signing Freeman should be a priority. I like him better than Muncy at first, and his bat is as good if not better since he hits for average and Muncy is barely a ,250 hitter.

    1. Sounds like you and I are ready for another epic battle, Bear.
      Remember Bear against the Shlemmings? Here’s your chance to get even.
      Actually, I think most folks here agree with you. A week or two into May would mean a quarter of the season. So I’m the outlier here. Opening day by April 15th. Something to take the sting off of tax day.

      1. Here is another creative but crazy thought. Put small market teams in one League and the large market teams in the other. This guarantees a small market team reaches the WS and squashes some of their complaining about big market teams buying championships.

      2. Yes, very creative Fred. I approve of your attempt.
        However, I think the next realignment of MLB will be done on a geographical rather than market size basis.
        But I applaud your creativity and, in a vacuum, I think it has some real potential.

      3. If there is a Universal DH go to completely geographic leagues cut down n the travel & have true local rivals.

      4. That’s been suggested, but there is no way they work that out in this CBA. Maybe eventually.

    2. I agree Freeman is a more complete hitter average & power. If they get him he more than makes up for the loss of Seager. Muncy once he is healthy can play other places. I continue to believe this will be a long lock out.

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