December 12, 2014
After a dizzying 24 hour period during the Winter Meetings, the new sheriff and his deputies have run a few favorite Dodgers out of town and welcomed some strangers to Dodgertown.
Kemp, Gordon, Haren and others including FedEx and Rojas are gone. Brandon McCarthy, Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and some young pitchers and other prospects are now on the roster.
With Joc Pedersen expected to man center field in 2015, along with Rollins at Short and Kendrick at 2nd, it is widely agreed that the Dodgers will be stronger defensively up the middle. Offensively, the departure of Kemp and Hanley Ramirez left a big hole that has not been filled completely.
While Pedersen has been eagerly awaited, I am not convinced that he is ready for major league pitching, as evidenced by his huge strikeout rate in Albuquerque and his several plate appearances with the Dodgers last September. From all I have heard, his defensive play should be fine.
Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick are solid additions. According to Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, Rollins thrives in crucial situations and will take it up a notch when playing the Giants or other big games. Kendrick has been overshadowed on the Angels by big bats like Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but he brings a nice batting line with him. Brandon McCarthy is a good mid-rotation pitcher that should fit nicely behind Kershaw, Grienke and Ryu.
How do you feel about the changes so far? Stay tuned, Andrew Friedman and company are not done yet.
December 3, 2014
Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman have been busy identifying and obtaining second tier players to flesh out the Dodger’s depth chart. Eric Stephen has the story at his True Blue LA site.
All the new players added to the 40 man roster, except pitchers Joel Peralta and Juan Nicasio, have options remaining and can be sent to the newly rebranded Oklahoma City Dodgers.
According to Zaidi, this strategy will make it easier to obtain impact players later on, maybe even during the Winter Meetings that start this week.
In September, the Oklahoma City MiLB franchise was acquired by Mandalay Baseball, which is a joint venture between ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and an investor group led by Mandalay Entertainment Chairman and CEO Peter Guber, who is also a minority owner of the Dodgers.
November 25, 2014
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen from our new front office what on the surface many would describe as moves made by the old front office: Inbound players Kyle Jensen, Adam Liberatore, Joel Peralta, Mike Bolsinger, and now the newest acquisition, Juan Nicasio. Not exactly headliners. Outbound players Onelki Garcia and Jarret Martin (waivers), plus Greg Harris and Jose Dominguez (traded), all of whom were prime “prospects” at one point or another. Part of the moneyball philosophy is to upgrade the fringe players, which all of these names would certainly apply. The question is, did they? That can be widely debated and we may not know the outcome for some time, but for the most part these moves have been met with a resounding, whatever. It begs the question though, if they had been made by our former baseball sage Ned Colletti, would everyone be up in arms? Its an interesting adventure into psychology and perception to say the least.
November 15, 2014
Now that the General Managers meetings are over, Andrew Friedman and his mathematical minions are getting acclimated to their new surroundings and duties. They are also preparing for the next MLB get together. The 113th annual Baseball Winter Meetings will be held from December 7 to the 11th in San Diego, California at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
There has been lots of speculation about trades and signings, but not big news. The mandate for the Dodgers is to get cheaper and younger, but also to win the championship. Stan Kasten also mentioned that he wants the new roster to be “more nimble.”
The next few weeks should be interesting for the brain trust. And I trust that Ned Colletti’s brain will be out of the loop, and he doesn’t spoil the dynamics of the new group. Is there anybody here who wouldn’t like to be a fly on the wall for all the internal meetings?
October 31, 2014
The World Series is over. Now is the time for Andrew Friedman to step up to the plate. The next few months will set the course for the Dodger’s future.
The first decision will be what to do about Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers have until 2 p.m. PT on Monday to offer a qualifying offer to Ramirez, a one-year, $15.3 million contract that if he declines would give the Dodgers a supplemental 2015 draft pick in between the first and second rounds. It is a safe bet that he will decline the offer. All 22 players in the two years since the qualifying offer system was enacted have declined, though some wish they hadn’t.
With the departure of Logan White, Friedman has one more top lieutenant spot in his scouting and player development team to fill. White’s departure leaves the Dodgers with three key vacancies: Scouting Director (White’s former role), Director of Player Development (DeJon Watson left for the Arizona Diamondbacks) and General Manager (Buh bye, Ned Colletti).
While the core of the team is intact, Friedman and the rest of the Dodger brain trust need to bolster the back end of starting pitching, the bullpen, and, if Ramirez leaves, find a shortstop who can hit, as well as field. Finding a catcher who can provide offense, as well as handle a pitching staff, and trading one or more of the excess outfielders is also on the agenda.
October 20, 2014
The former thread was getting too long to scroll through quickly, so here is a fresh one.
The Dodgers kicked the Giants’ butts during the regular season, but the hated ones had that special something that works so well in the postseason. In a short series, the ability to execute plays, hit in the clutch and aggressively run the bases trumps a team that can’t deliver with the game on the line. So while the Giants are playing in their third World Series in the last five years, the Dodgers got an early vacation.
Most of the Dodgers will be kicking back, enjoying the warm California, Arizona or Florida sun golfing, swimming and maybe catching a glimpse of the games on their 80″ HDTVs or burning up the road in a $550K white 2014 Lamborghini Aventador, that shoots flames out the back. Don Mattingly, on the other hand, will be trudging through the snow, in freezing weather at daybreak, to feed his horses and shovel the shit from the stable.
I have enjoyed reading your detailed and well thought out comments, which I think represent a high point for this blog. With the demise from power of Ned Colletti and the hiring of Andrew Friedman, this promises to be a very interesting offseason, that will keep the hot stove burning.
Keep up your great analysis.