The Hot Stove League

The Hot Stove League

The hot stove league is off to an early start this year.

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161 Responses to The Hot Stove League

  1. 32and53fan says:

    Time to move the discussion to a new post.

    Now that Guerrero has been signed, will they pick up the option for Mark Ellis? Would Ellis make a good utility guy? What other bench players are available? Do they bring back Brian Wilson on a multi-year deal and make him closer if that is what it takes to sign him? Is that Twitter report a out Mattingly true? Do we trade for David Price and Steven Drew as some have contemplated?

    We have lots of questions to tackle.

  2. 32and53fan says:

    Mattingly’s public airing of saying just because he has an option for 2014 does not mean he’ll be back is enough for a post on its own. Politically, it would indicate that he is forcing the Dodgers to strongly consider dumping him now instead of letting him drag on as a lame duck for one more year.
    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/21/don-mattingly-says-2014-option-vesting-doesnt-mean-ill-be-back-with-dodgers/

  3. trublu4ever says:

    Once Mattingly is gone…things will fall into place,

  4. kahliforni says:

    Whining about an extension won’t play well in an organization where Alston and Lasorda managed under a succession of one-year contracts.

  5. Dodger4life says:

    Boy, I just read the news from today…

    So Donnie by beating the Braves, has his contract vested for 2014, but if he can’t get it extended, would prefer opting out and seeking employment elsewhere?

    I also don’t understand how management could walk into a press conference today, knowing this?? Was Ned thrown through a loop, was Kasten?

    I also agree that it won’t sit well with the fans, that Lasorda and Alston, managed, on one year contacts, their whole career. Albeit, in this day and age, I think that would be hard to do. Just saying most managers have multi-year deals these days don’t they?

    If Donnie is a players manager and he is unhappy, and it sure looks like he is unhappy… What kind of morale does this set with the players?

    • lbirken says:

      Lasorda and Alston are from a different era and worked for the type of owner that we will never see again. What manager today would take a one year contract?

  6. lbirken says:

    Reposted from previous thread:

    I just heard on the radio Mattingly made some interesting comments at a news conference with Ned sitting next to him. Apparently Donnie’s contract had an option for vesting if the Dodgers won the NLDS. So when asked if he would be back, Donnie mentioned the option but also talked about not wanting to be a lame duck manager again and he did not like that his contract was not extended sometime during the season. I do not think a decision has been made yet so Donnie could certainly be back but unless he gets some sort of multi year deal, I doubt now he would be comfortable taking another one year deal. There was also a question about the coaches. Donnie said he would want all of them back while Ned was non committal. Stay tuned.

    While some may think this is a positive development, I do not. Donnie chose to make public his situation, perhaps surprising Ned and Stan Kasten. We know now that Donnie’s job was in jeopardy earlier in the season when things were not going well but even when things turned around, upper management still did not seem confident enough to discuss a contract with Donnie. If they want Donnie, then work out a deal. If they don’t, the vested option means nothing except perhaps some payoff money. But I think it is embarrassing for the Dodgers to have Donnie spill his guts in public, something one would not expect from him but perhaps understandable since Kasten and Ned don’t seem to be sure what they want. It would have been far easier if the Dodgers had lost the series to the Braves and perhaps we can assume Donnie would have been gone for sure if that had happened. Even in this public scenario, Donnie did not say anything about being excited to get back to work preparing for next season. Now Donnie seems to have forced the situation and in a way, make his bosses look bad in the process no matter what they do. I find this all very surprising.

  7. lbirken says:

    After watching bits of video from the Dodger main page and reading transcripts of what Mattingly said today I am sure he did not say anything in public he had not already said privately to the decision makers. There is no look of surprise or reaction of any kind from Colletti when these comments are made at the press conference. Donnie does say he would like to be back and Ned indicates he would like to have him back. I suggest reading Tony Jackson’s Twitter comments that are linked to the right. I think he paints an accurate picture of what is going on with regard to Donnie’s status.

  8. Falsone’s gone? Guess too many hammies finally added up. Seems to me this team has been the most injury prone ever. Not going to lose any sleep over her leaving.

    As far as Donnie’s concerned, if he took half the chances managing this ball club that he does airing his dirty laundry in public, we might not be having a conversation about firing him.

    And we might still be playing.

  9. At least we got a 8 years younger (and faster) with this Guerrero kid. That too is a step in the right direction.

    • 32and53fan says:

      I heard (read) a scout say that he is a pull hitter who will have trouble with the number one and two pitchers, and feast on the rest. Also that he will go after the down and away sliders like Kemp and Puig.

  10. kahliforni says:

    Ned and Donnie are McCourt-era hires. Don’t blame Kasten if he eventually searches for higher-end talent. The front office and bench are no different than a 25-man roster. Get the best “athletes” possible. If one were to name the top ten GMs and managers in the game, would Ned and Donnie crack that list? I don’t have that answer. But my gut says this organization can do better.

    • JhallWally says:

      Hi’Ya Khali, nice post.. I agree, Nedcompoop and Dildon would only crack, no, they would be entrenched, in the bottom ten. Most likely, bottom 3….
      They both major league SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. kahliforni says:

    First domino may have fallen. Trey Hillman fired today….according to reports.

    Per L.A. Times: “When the Dodgers promoted Don Mattingly to manager three years ago, Hillman was his hand-picked bench coach. When the Dodgers spent much of the first half of the season in last place in the National League West, there was some internal discussion about whether dismissing Hillman might be an alternative to dismissing Mattingly…Hillman’s future appeared precarious in the playoffs, given the questionable in-game strategies used by Mattingly.”

  12. After hearing about Mattingly on MLB Network, yesterday, I have to admit that it came as a big surprise because I thought his troubles were over after such a successful season falling just short of the World Series.
    I know most of you were not happy with Donnie but now after reading that he’s unhappy with his one year contract, it certainly looks like your prayers have been answered.

  13. trublu4ever says:

    Let’s say Donnie is let go….who do you want? The one I don’t want is Dusty!

    • Dodger4life says:

      I wouldn’t mind seeing enchanted, with Juanpy (known during the enchanted administration, as Neddy’s Rainbow Bright over there) as his bench coach…

      Wouldn’t that be sweet…

      I would love to see the media photos of that!!

      • Dodger4life says:

        I’m just funning enchanted…

        • Dodger4life says:

          Since enchanted and khali, single handedly, are responsible for the Mattingly doubts… I was gonna say khali should be the bench coach… but somehow, I figure having Juanpy next to him on the bench, would bring better entertainment value

          • Dodger4life says:

            I imagine enchanted would say something like… okay Juanpy, just sit there with the tub of double bubble on your lap and be quiet

          • Dodger4life says:

            enchanted would no doubt, walk into practice one day, only to find Juanpy, teaching Puig how to hit the cutoff man… (JP): Okay Wild Horse watch me hit the cutoff man! Now you try… (WH): Underhand lobs a softball pitch to the cutoff man… Juanpy reports back to enchanted, he’s got it boss!

          • Nah, my mind wouldn’t be on the game. I’d be writing Juanpy songs all day.

  14. lbirken says:

    I will not be happy or upset if Mattingly does not return but I do not like the way this has been made public. I would like to see the Dodgers maintain some stability but I understand why new ownership might want to make changes. I do find it odd that they would fire the bench coach and still retain Mattingly. If they think a bench coach makes a difference then they probably have the wrong manager.

    If Donnie is let go, I don’t know who should be the next manager. I do think the idea that Mike Scoscia or Dusty Baker will ever manage the Dodgers has passed nor do I think Kirk Gibson will leave Arizona just to manage the Dodgers. These are all sentimental choices. The question is what kind of person ownership wants. Do they want a strong personality or do they want a quieter guy. Does Wallach have what it takes to manage and what makes him a better choice than Mattingly? Should the Dodgers try to go after someone who is already under contract or do they retread someone who has managed before but currently does not have a team? Is there anyone in the organization besides Wallach who deserves consideration?

  15. koufax1963 says:

    Im of the mindset, to rid the Dodgers of any Former Giants or Yankees, but that would be narrow minded. Conte should have gone before Falsone, and Donnie should be gone before Hillman, so what going on here in the ownership?, puppet beheadings instead of going after the root cause. Manager, tough question certainly not Dusty “162 and through” baker, I want a NL type thinker, small ball first and if something gets launched all the better, preach fundamentals and encourgement to all. Can’t put a name down, but I realize sometimes its just the scenery and organization, example Clint Hurdle, had it going with the rockies, then the rockies did get going, winds up with Pirates and makes a good show again.

  16. Dodger4life says:

    Don’t they have someone as Kasten’s adviser who was mentioned as an interim possibility back in May… If Mattingly was released, it would be hard for me to say who would be a good fit, without knowing who all is available?? I mean Jim Leyland? Bobby Cox?? Tony LaRussa? I do think Wallach would do a good job though!

  17. crash24now says:

    I want Ozzie Guillen….just for the pure entertainment value.

  18. Baseball America has announced their All-Rookie All Star team. Both Puig and Ryu were named. Congratulations!!

  19. 32and53fan says:

    I would take a look at Kevin Kennedy. He was a product of the Dodgers way of playing baseball and managed at all levels in the Dodgers minor league system, including three years at Great Falls, a year at Bakersfield and San Antonio, and three years at Albuquerque. He also managed the Texas Rangers and led the Boston Red Sox for two years each, winning the American League East with Boston in 1995 with a .597 winning percentage.

    Kennedy has deep roots in the Dodgers organization and traveled with Sandy Koufax as instructors for the minors leading to a friendship that has lasted until the present.

    A former catcher, Kevin has a great eye for the pitched ball and can tell what kind of stuff a pitcher has on a given day and how it changes within a game.

    His experience has served him well as a baseball analyst and made his observations on Dodger Talk and other shows both credible and entertaining.

    I don’t know if Kennedy wants to manage again, but an offer to skipper the Dodgers would require a lot of consideration.

    • kahliforni says:

      Agree…I’d prefer an ex-catcher…and Kennedy is that. Plus, he knows the organization and its ball players. Listening to talk radio right now, the Dodgers are in organizational meetings w/o DB…Donnie is on a plane back to Indiana. Tea leaves?

      For all the wild speculation and theories, the bottom line for me is that Kasten wants to go in a different direction. And I feel that goes for Ned, as well.

  20. lbirken says:

    I am sure Kevin Kennedy would be a popular choice with the fans and I don’t think anyone can question his knowledge of the game. I don’t know if he would be interested in managing again knowing the he would give up radio jobs that do not require all the travel and other headaches that come with managing but I agree he would probably have to listen if the Dodgers did come calling.

  21. trublu4ever says:

    Dodgers picked up Wallach, Honeycutt, Lopes and McGwire (who was under contract)….now, I’m worried…..if Donnie isn’t coming back, why wouldn’t a new guy have his say in coaches? Perhaps Wallach will be promoted?

  22. Dodger4life says:

    Enchanted and Juanpy are still in the running….

  23. Dodger4life says:

    It’s almost as if the club, locked up the coaches, before the manager…

  24. crash24now says:

    out: Peter Moylan. in: Alexander Guerrero.

  25. kahliforni says:

    If Mattingly needs a strong bench coach to guide his in-game decisions, then let’s just make that bench coach the manager instead. I never heard of anything so ridiculous.

  26. JhallWally says:

    Oh please great Dodger in the Sky, let the powers that be see that they need to fire Nedcompoop and Didon……

    If you are going to start a winning culture like the Cards, these two have to go…..

  27. grizzy says:

    Plaschke in the Times today is being the voice of reason. That’s just weird. Although he is another one that would look odd in blue, I’ve always thought Joe Morgan would make a good bench coach. Since that is not gonna happen, I think it should be me, GRIZ!!! and I want #23 or no deal.

  28. koufax1963 says:

    Can someone define what role a “bench” coach has? Regarding Donnie, he basically challenged Kasten to sign him long term, and from an objective stance, donnie should keep his mouth shut, because if you evaluate his moves from his first managerial role with the two step off the mound to get broxton axed from a game without throwing a pitch to pinch running for Agon recently, there is much to question Donnies managerial ability. I think he will be gone, dont bite the hand that feeds you, don’t show up your boss. Do I hear Wallach stepping in?

    • 32and53fan says:

      From Wikipedia:
      “The position of bench coach is relatively new in baseball. On most teams, the bench coach is the closest thing a team has to a second-in-command. The bench coach serves as an in-game advisor to the manager, offering situational advice, and bouncing ideas back and forth in order to assist the manager in making game decisions.[3] Should the manager be ejected, suspended, or unable to attend a game for medical or family reasons, the bench coach assumes the position of acting manager or if the manager is fired or resigns, then it is usually the bench who gets promoted to interim manager. The bench coach’s responsibilities also include helping to set up the day’s practice and stretching routines before a game, as well as coordinating spring training routines and practices.”

      A couple of articles about bench coaches:

      http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2008/03/23/more_than_just_a_side_job/?page=1

      http://www.thestlcardinals.com/roleofbenchcoach.html

  29. kahliforni says:

    My problems with Donnie are not really anything he’s done—goofy pitching changes, wacky bunts, questionable pinch running—mainly because everything in baseball is a crap shoot. My problem is what he hasn’t done. He’s a sit-on-your-hands kind of manager. He looks great in Game five NLCS when the Dodger crush four home runs. But he did NOTHING to scratch out runs in a very tightly-pitched series (as all playoffs are). Unless I’m crazy, I can’t remember ONE hit-and-run, run-and-hit, squeeze, safety squeeze…and the only stolen base I can remember was Hanley’s in the Braves series. Maybe I’m wrong; I just can’t remember any……

    I’d like to see a manager, any manager, who puts pressure on the defense most of the time. Don’t tell me about speed. A team that lacks a lot of team speed is exactly the team that needs to put runners in motion. How many DPs did the Dodgers hit into this year, let alone the playoffs? It’s probably less stressful for an opposing team to play against Donnie. Their defense can relax.

    So if the Dodgers must keep Mattingly (ugh) make Lopes the bench coach. Hell, he managed the Brewers once upon a time. He’ll yell in Donnie’s ears until they bleed to start runners.

  30. Dodger4life says:

    The more I think about this… The more I believe it is time to let Wallach have control of the dugout…

    I read enchanted’s comment about him not being able to coach 3rd base. But he was highly regarded in AAA as a manager, and whose to say… that he coached 3rd base, the way he would have his 3rd base coaches handle that position.

    After hearing Donnie’s comments and Ned’s rebuttal…

    It seems no one really has full control except Stan.

    Here is an excerpt from his wiki-page, where it states he gave full control of all baseball matters to his GM in Atlanta…

    Kasten would also become president of the Atlanta Braves in 1986. From 1987 to 2003, the Braves won more games than any other team in major league baseball. As president of the Braves, he delegated all baseball decisions to Atlanta GM John Schuerholz, who put together strong, talented teams that consistently competed for a world championship (although only one of them actually won one; see below).

    Ned doesn’t seem to have the same lee-way. Mattingly seems to think he is thought of as a puppet as well.

    I think there are differing opinions, as to how to run this club. From the top, all the way to the bottom, this would include, in the locker room with some of the players as well.

    • Wallach’s constant indecisions on whether to send a runner or hold him on the bag is what makes me question his baseball acumen (or at very least his depth perception.) Never in all the years I’ve watched baseball have I seen so many runners cut down at the plate on ill advised dashes on grounders to third or short. Then he’ll hold a speedy runner at third on a base hit they could’ve easily scored on. Maybe had I not seen him coach 3rd base I’d feel different, at least he has managed before, but I’m not very sure of his capability now.

      Ned’s a used Yugo up on blocks compared to the Porche Schuerholz was. Ned could’ve really proven himself over the McCourt years that he had a real feel for team building and an eye for talent. Instead he went out and got dud after dud after dud. As we’ve all said before, the money was there, the talent recognition wasn’t. That couldn’t have gotten lost on Kasten.

      I think to be fair, Kasten wanted to give these guys a chance after he took over, but now evaluation time is over and I think what we’re seeing are those that he feels can cut it and those that he feels can’t. I put a whole lot more faith in Stan knowing how to get where he’s going than I do dumb and dumber.

  31. Dodger4life says:

    The Dodgers should either fire Mattingly or trade him to one of the four remaining teams with a managerial opening, assuming that one of those clubs would even want him.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/don-mattingly-time-for-los-angeles-dodgers-to-decide-future-with-team-ned-colletti-stan-kasten-102213

  32. Dodger4life says:

    I still like Mattingly, I think he is a good guy. I just don’t know that he fits the way, some others may.

    • kahliforni says:

      Trade him and Ned to the Angels for Scioscia and a team physician to be named later. Scioscia would do back flips if he had the Dodgers pitching staff. He may be burned out in Los Aneles-Anaheim-Orange-County-California, but he’d be a new man in Dodger blue.

      • 32and53fan says:

        Mike Scioscia lives in Westlake Village (East of Thousand Oaks) and commutes to Anaheim Stadium. That is 72 miles and 1 hour, 22 minutes in normal traffic. Moving to the Dodgers would give him a 41 mile, 48 minute commute.

  33. trublu4ever says:

    Per Dylan Hernandez: Mattingly plans to honor his contract and be back next season. …….. Crap!

  34. lbirken says:

    Sorry, but this is not the way to head into the off season. Yes, the Dodgers did not make the World Series and yes, this is certainly the goal. But compared to what we had seen the past few years, 2013 has to be considered a good season. Unfortunately, whatever good feelings there might be about this season going into next have been pushed aside by this silly situation with Mattingly. Clearly everyone involved knew this day was coming. Donnie could not do anything about it and deflected all talk about it. Ned might also not be in a position to do anything about it as well but as GM he should have a lot of say in the matter. He also deflected all talk. Yet they all knew the problem with a so called lame duck manager and they all knew Donnie was almost out the door earlier in the season. I can understand how Donnie feels even though I don’t like that it was brought up in public.

    So if it is true Donnie is coming back, how does he handle the notion that the Dodgers probably still do not have a lot of confidence in him? What if the Dodgers hit a rough patch next season? It seems this is not a good situation for either Mattingly or the organization.

  35. kahliforni says:

    Donnie’s agent saying Donnie will honor his contract simply means that if he’s fired, he’ll need to be bought out, as in money. Beats resigning for free.

  36. I don’t think Kasten and friends would have any problem eating a year of Donnie’s salary.

    As far as I’m concerned, Mattingly’s nothing but a whining biatch. Man up Donnie and own the fact that after three years you still have no idea what you’re doing. When you have to take advice on in game situations from a former manager of the dreaded Ham Fighters, it could be a sign you’re in a little over your head.

    Or in other words I say, let em crash.

  37. I know that I’m not in agreement, with most of you when I say that I’m happy to see Donnie return as manager. I do agree that he made some bad decisions but I think most of the time they were the right decisions and the players failed to excute. As for the wrong or bad decisions I’m sure he knows what they were and will improve as time passes. He most certainly should get some credit for the teams’ turnaround in June. Afterall he was the manager.
    Also the Dodgers have improved in the standings each year that he’s been at the helm and was just two games short of the World Series, this time, even if you think he’s the blame for not making it.

    • 32and53fan says:

      I too am not out for blood when it comes to Mattingly. His overall strategy seems OK with respect to keeping the core guys rested when needed and giving the bench players at bats. Some of his tactical decisions haven’t turned out well, but as you say, the players need to execute. If they worked out, we would all be praising him. I would like to see him trying some more aggressive small ball tactics as others have mentioned. He is more open and honest at times when interviewed than some other managers we have seen.

      I don’t think his statements at the press conference were wise politically, but I find his honesty refreshing. It was a dangerous thing to do and some owners would have fired him immediately. The Guggenheim Partners certainly wouldn’t quibble about a measly $1.4 million if they wanted him gone. Maybe they can get Jim Leyland as a bench coach if he want to stay in baseball in a position that is less stressful than managing.

  38. lbirken says:

    So it looks as if Donnie will be back to honor the option year on his contract that we would know nothing about if Donnie had not spoken up about his situation. I still think whatever he said in public he had already said in private to management. Think how you might feel if you knew your employer was ready to fire you if things did not change but when they did, the employer still did not convey any confidence going forward. That is what this situation looks like to me. It appears Guggenheim was willing to eat whatever might have been left on Donnie’s contract when it considered firing him during the season and would not be swayed from doing it again. So it seems Donnie will be working under even more pressure without a multi-year deal. The expectation for success will be higher next season. Does not sound like an ideal situation to me.

  39. Dodger4life says:

    I think with the job Donnie has done, not just this year, but during the turmoil that was prevalent with the former owner. He would get another job elsewhere. All we know so far, is that both sides have been posturing. Donnie say’s, he is going to honor his contract. Stan say’s, he fully expected Donnie to honor the contract. Yet, the whole thing was suspect enough to become public in the first place.

    Ray Schulte, Donnie’s long time agent said, they have an agreement to discuss this in the next few days.

    We shall see where those conversations lead…

    The makeup of this team will be changing in the future…
    Does ownership believe strongly enough that Donnie is the future??

    • lbirken says:

      You ask an interesting question. My first reaction is to say no, the Dodgers so far have not demonstrated a strong belief that Donnie is the future. Otherwise, and this still could happen, the Dodgers would have extended Mattingly already. Remember, Donnie’s job was in jeopardy earlier in the season only to be saved by that remarkable record after June 22. So far Donnie will be back for 2014 but not necessarily beyond that.

      But I took a look at your comment about the makeup of the team will be changing in the future. We have seen how different the roster is at the end of season compared to the beginning so the makeup will constantly change. But I surmise you are talking about a longer term change that has to happen as the current players age and the team hopefully begins the process of doing a better job of developing players rather than rely so heavily on free agents and so called PVL’s.

      So my guess is current management likes Donnie enough to want him for at least another year but has not decided if they want him much beyond that. I would not be surprised at anything that happens.

  40. What I find so interesting is, it’s seems to me that they are having trouble deciding how long they want to wait to feel confident in him to keep him long term.
    Maybe they’ll give him more than a year. How much more is hard to say. If winning it all is their goal and he doesn’t accomplish it in said time than it will be time for him to go.
    If he does, then they’ll reward him.
    Just my humble opinion.

  41. JhallWally says:

    Dildon is an absolute idiot when it comes to in game tactics and strategy….. And that is not just my opinion… I listen to sports radio and I have not heard one word of praise for Dildons’ game management…. I am sure this fact is not lost on our new owners…. This team needs a new direction with a skipper that knows the right way to play National League ball, and the balls to do it.. It isn’t Dildon…

    And, Ned should also be gone…. He is a buffoon…

  42. lbirken says:

    Dodger Eric had another letter published in today’s L.A. Times sports section and I suggest also reading A.J. Ellis’ column in the same issue. A.J. talks about the Cardinal hitters’ approach at the plate, giving a lot of credit to Mark McGwire. A.J. hopes the Dodgers can “put into practice pieces the Cardinals bought into.” A.J. also talks about the Sox as well. I find his comments interesting and insightful.

    • 32and53fan says:

      Both Mattingly and McGuire have been preaching taking a “professional” at bat for the past few years. Why couldn’t the hitters put it in practice starting in Spring Training? These guys get paid a lot of money, so the least they can do is take the coaching instead of going rogue, especially with a two strike count. Maybe the Kangaroo Court needs to reconvene and dish out some fines for swinging for the fences on a low and away sliders with two strikes. If they want be emulate the Cardinals, the players need to be playing for the name on the front of their uniform, not the back.

      • 32and53fan says:

        Adrian Gonzalez has stated that he may swing for the fence early in the count, but with two strikes, he shortens his swing and just try to put the ball in play, often going to left field on balls on the outside part of the plate.

    • kahliforni says:

      I saw Eric’s letter too and loved it. Exactly how I feel about Mattingly.

  43. JhallWally says:

    Here is Dads/DodgerErics published comment… Way to go dad….
    I totally agree, you are spot on….. Gee, you’re pretty cool for a grown up…

    “I’ve read with interest as Don Mattingly basically demanded either a multiyear contract or termination. If you had shown anywhere near that much courage with your play calling instead of having the least amount of imagination possible, maybe you’d already have had that new contract. Gee, Don, how in the world did Walter Alston ever handle the job with only 24 one-year contracts?”

    Eric Monson

    Temecula

  44. If anyone here is interested, MLBTradeRumors.com has an extensive writeup about the Dodgers. It’s worth reading.

  45. Dodger4life says:

    Well, since the Dodgers agreed to let Detroit interview Wallach, I suppose the safe money is on Donnie returning. I know this is what has been reported in the press, but giving Wallach freedom to search other avenues pretty much solidifies it.

    It was nice to read DodgerEric’s name is the times again and as always, he was spot on!!

    If you haven’t been reading the A.J. Ellis write ups in the times as well, I suggest you do. He is probably the Times best baseball scribe. Well done A.J.!!

    Where do we go from here, any thoughts on the winters coming and goings? Will we sign a big name free agent? Will we trade for some roster help? I have read that we are high on some pitcher from Japan, although I know nothing about him?

    As sparkleplenty mentioned above, MLBTradeRumors gave us a good rundown on what lies in the road ahead for the Dodgers. I am curious to hear what the always imaginative minds of this blog… have to say?

  46. kahliforni says:

    For me , I’d like to see pitching, pitching, and more pitching. I’d make Brian Wilson and offer he couldn’t refuse and let the chips fall where they may between him and Kenley. I’d find a lights-out 7th inning guy. I’d get a high-quality starter. I expect zero from Billingsley and Beckett. Anything else is a bonus. As far as everyday players, Kemp is the key. He needs to get well and stay well. That said, this team gets to get a lot younger; they’ve already done that at second base. If Hanley is going to nurse injuries again, put him at third and get a young defensive-minded shortstop. Nothing against AJ Ellis, but the Dodgers can do better, certainly defensively. I’m not sold on his glossy runners caught stealing stats. He commits a lot of passed balls and “allows” a lot of wild pitches. The bench was awful. Thank heavens most are gone. And if they must bring Mr. Boring back as manager, I’d make him take a class in National League Baseball 101. As for Puig, the haters out there are baseball-blind. Nothing that a little one-on-one teaching wouldn’t cure. He’s their future and their energy. Watching him flounder, I wonder, what exactly do Dodger coaches actually do? I mean, geez, put a giant paper bulls-eye between first and second base and see if Puig can throw the ball THROUGH the damn thing from deep right. It’s not rocket science.

    • I agree to signing up Wilson, which I understand will take a multi-year contract with enough money to satisfy him as other teams are very interested. And as you say let the chips fall as they may and see what happens between him and Jansen. I’m not sure about moving Ramirez to 3rd, which may be a good move but what happens to Uribe who had a fantastic season, let him go like they did to Beltre?

      • kahliforni says:

        Uribe will be 35 next summer…not sure he’s the answer, though he is a favorite of Hanley and Yasiel. Maybe Kasten will throw Juan a one-year bone, but I would think at his age, Uribe will want a few years–this may be his last contract. Play a kid at either short or third.

    • JhallWally says:

      Good read. But, it won’t make any difference what they do if they keep Nedcompoop and Dildon.. They better get their priorities in order…. This team needs a serious change. That starts with the manager and GM… Both of which are inept… It’s not like they are firing legends…. Good Grief!!!!!!

  47. lbirken says:

    Let’s assume for the moment that both Ned and Donnie will continue their current positions and look closely at the situation. After reading all the post season analysis of what the Dodgers should, might or could do, I think it important to look at how the Dodgers not just find a way to win a championship next season but stay competitive for seasons to come. It will not be easy and Guggenheim has already said it is committed to developing its own talent rather than rely on so many high priced free agents. It will take time for this to happen and there is no assurance it will. At the same time Guggenheim wants fans buying tickets, showing up for games and supporting all the other marketing efforts.

    So we all agree the team needs to get younger but where do we find quality players to fill the obvious needs of third base, second base, and eventually shortstop? Should the Dodgers trade what talent they have for the likes of David Price? With the uncertainty over Matt Kemp’s health, do the Dodgers try to move one of the outfielders for prospects or to fill a current need? If so, do they try to move Kemp or Ethier (unlikely anyone would want Crawford and it is way to early to give up on Puig)? Is Guererro ready for the major leagues or does he need at least some time playing in the minors?

    In an ideal world, the Dodgers sign Uribe for one year, Mark Ellis for one year, and do whatever it takes to sign Wilson. Kemp gets healthy and regains his form from two years ago, Puig rids himself of the bad habits and starts to learn the right way to play, Crawford stays healthy and Andre is happy not playing centerfield and/or not everyday (and possibly has to learn to play left field).

    I do find it interesting that while the Dodgers have said they want to develop home grown talent, the emphasis seems to be on foreign talent that is not subject to the player draft to which American born players are subject. There is still a risk but because there is a larger body of work to study, the risk seems worth the reward. I wonder when or if major league baseball will ever create a world wide draft and I also wonder if an American born player will one day challenge the draft.

  48. Dodger4life says:

    Puig concerns me a bit… He got off to such a great start in 2013 that we were able to overlook all the stuff like throwing to the wrong base, missing the cut-off man, staring down umpires, walking out to take his position in the outfield. We chalked it up as him just being young and having fun. And don’t get me wrong he was fun… his rowing in the dugout with Cruz and Ryu, his antics with Hanley and Uribe in the dugout and locker room, seemed to inject life into the team, at a point when they were just strolling through games (remember the walk-off slide at home plate). What concerns me… is without the above average, batting average (which dropped some towards the end of the season), the fun stuff could and may easily become a deterrent. When, not if, he goes into a slump, it will be much better on the team as a whole if he has the rest of his game up to speed and doesn’t create unnecessary dissension.

    Wilson also concerns me a bit, only because he wasn’t around for the full season and is coming off his second Tommy John surgery… It has been reported that he wants to regain his closer’s role and will command a closer’s salary. That being said, he was outstanding for us when he was called upon… Although, so was Kenley!

    I understand khali’s comment about Bills and Beckett… Both were struggling in years leading up to their injuries… But if healthy, it is possible both could make a turn for the better. At least better than Cappy, Volquez, Fife, Lilly, etc… I would even throw Nolasco into the before mentioned etc… Bills and Beckett teeter on being exceptional, then, just when you think okay, this is what we signed up for… they go and let you down again.

    I also agree that we could upgrade at catcher and like khali, I have nothing against A.J., I just think we can improve in this area.

    And it seems there will be some options available
    Henry Blanco (42)
    John Buck (33)
    Hector Gimenez (31)
    Ramon Hernandez (38)
    Brian McCann (30)
    Jose Molina (38)
    Dioner Navarro (30)
    Wil Nieves (36)
    Miguel Olivo (35)
    Brayan Pena (32)
    A.J. Pierzynski (37)
    Humberto Quintero (34)
    Guillermo Quiroz (32)
    Carlos Ruiz (35)
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia (29)
    Kelly Shoppach (34)
    Geovany Soto (31)
    Kurt Suzuki (30) – $8.5MM club option with a $650K buyout
    Taylor Teagarden (30)
    Yorvit Torrealba (35)

    I would also like to see anything but a platoon at 3rd and for that matter SS as well…

    Give both position’s to someone who can handle the majority of the work, the majority of the time. (how many times did the opposing team take advantage of the platoon at 3rd and bunt for a base hit?) One of the most difficult plays to make for an everyday player, let alone a part time guy.

    I remember with Paco pitching, against the Rays (I believe), they were able to take advantage of the little hesitation in his delivery and steal on him. I think this should be addressed for 2014. (perhaps a bench coach with a better grasp on the running game could be of assistance here.)

    When it comes to trading an outfielder or not? I invoke my right to defer this thought to more knowledgeable minds.

    I will say that Kemp, has had shoulder surgery, ankle surgery and hamstring problems… So even know, I think he is young enough to rebound and be a big asset in 2014… despite these issues. It is possible they may eventually wear him down.

    Gordon who??? Or, should that be Gordon whom???

    The key… it seems every year, is how strong will the bully be… I will give Honeycutt some props in this regard, as he seems to keep this on the positive side, regardless, of whom Ned throws at him.

    I agree that we need to get younger… I would also agree that we are in pretty good shape with what we have… had Hanley, Kemp and Ethier, been healthy in the post season…we just might be having a different conversation right now.

    • Dodger4life says:

      One more thing… this leads to imagination… Remember when the Rays (I think), decided to put Puig on first base by intentionally walking him, but barely threw a pitch off the plate, tempting the youngster to swing… I thought this to be imaginative, and almost ingenious… The little league play where Uribe was picked off third, again, imaginative and ingenious… ingenious, only because someone was paying attention to the habits of they’re opponent and were able to expose a weakness.

  49. lbirken says:

    I would be surprised it the Dodgers tried to upgrade A.J. Ellis, especially considering the list above with the possible exception of McCann. Most of these players are at least as old as A.J. and I think you underestimate how important A.J. has been to the pitchers. Ironically, David Ross, a one time Dodger, is playing in the World Series.

    • Dodger4life says:

      lbirk, you are most likely right, as the Dodgers control him until after the 2016 season.
      .
      Although that may make him attractive in a trade as well???

    • kahliforni says:

      A.J. Ellis needs to improve 1) blocking the plate when runners are attempting to score (see Mike Scioscia), and 2) blocking passed balls and wild pitches. Way too many gift bases, especially in the playoffs…and some really hurt. His offense is fine and he seems to throw out base runners, though I’ve always considered his arm average. But lbirk, you’re right when you say he handles a staff well and has good rapport with the pitchers.

  50. Dodger4life says:

    Right after I typed “upgrade” in my previous comment, I thought about changing it to improvement. I decided to leave it be, mainly thinking that A.J. was approaching free agency, but after checking, I found out he is a free agent in 2017.

    I guess the mistakes made during the post season have had an effect on my judgement some. I also remember thinking he could have shown more authority and assertiveness when Kershaw was struggling in game 6. I remember thinking he is the field general here, he can’t show fear. He looked a bit lost to me. Although, with Kershaw struggling, I think everyone with the heart of Dodger looked a bit lost. I’m not passing judgement here, just saying… you have to have a confident field general.

    Here is an old article on A.J. written before spring training 2013.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/sports/baseball/dodgers-catcher-aj-elliss-long-climb-to-success.html?_r=0

    I think we need to do something at the catchers spot at least in the minors, as we have been shown by the signing of Hernandez and Butera. We are short of players who can man the spot at the big league level.

    • lbirken says:

      I am hoping the Dodgers are doing a lot of forward thinking, at least forming strategies and plans for improving the organization at all levels. As we all know, the current roster is a short term solution to getting the fans back and so far, it has worked.

  51. Dodger4life says:

    Fast forward to 2015…

    Josh Beckett (35) – Free-Agent
    Chad Billingsley (30) – $14MM club option with a $3MM buyout
    Clayton Kershaw (27) – Free-Agent

    Hanley Ramirez (31) – Free Agent

  52. Dodger4life says:

    Anyone have any questions for Hanley???

    http://www.hanleyramirez.com/ramirez/index

  53. JhallWally says:

    This team has a lot of holes and issues that need to be addressed.

    Does anyone out there think Nedcompoop is the guy for the job??

    Good Grief!!!!!!

  54. kahliforni says:

    Dee Gordon to play centerfield in winter ball…sounds like they’re trying to increase his trade value to me.

  55. kahliforni says:

    Happy Halloween!!! Looks like the home-grown, no-fun-allowed team from St. Louis will end up in the 2013 post-season dumpster, right along with the Dodgers.

  56. trublu4ever says:

    Dodgers declined options on Mark Ellis and Chris Capuano.

  57. trublu4ever says:

    Happy Halloween.

  58. lbirken says:

    Let the free agent season begin. Will the Dodgers try to resign Mark Ellis to a one year deal? Should they? I think he still has some value and would be a good insurance policy in case Guerrero does not work out as hoped. I think playing Dee Gordon in center is interesting but does not address his so far unproven ability to hit major league pitching. I still hope the Dodgers can resign Wilson but it would be understandable if he went elsewhere. Should Puig be playing winter ball somewhere? Do the Dodgers have an alternative at third base to Uribe? Would he even accept a one year deal to stay if he can get a better deal somewhere else? Sounds doubtful but then again, is there a team that will give him a 2-3 year deal given his production while with the Dodgers? Stay tuned for further developments.

  59. 32and53fan says:

    According to:
    Dylan Hernandez  @dylanohernandez

    Clayton Kershaw is “open-minded” about contract talks, said he is “curious” about free agency: http://lat.ms/1e5O8pc
    ————————————————————————————-
    WTF does that mean? 300 million dollars over ten years is not enough? Maybe he wants to play for the Rangers so he can be close to home.

  60. Dodger4life says:

    Always was my favorite John Wayne movie…

  61. Dodger4life says:

    Just another of my fave’s…

  62. kahliforni says:

    2 PM PST, deadline for qualifying offers to free agents from current team. After that, window closes and player becomes free agent.

    “A qualifying offer is a one-year contract offer for the average salary of the 125 highest paid players in the game. If an offer is not made, there is no restriction on a player’s free agency status. If an offer is made and the player accepts, the player will essentially be signed to the one-year deal. If the player declines, the player gets a compensation tag attached to his name–meaning the signing team surrenders its highest available non-protected pick to the team that lost the player. This season, the value of a qualifying offer is worth $14.1 million. Players can accept a qualifying offer and continue negotiating with the team.”

    So what will the Dodgers do with Brian Wilson???

  63. kahliforni says:

    P.S. I think Brad Ausmus will be an awesome manager for the Tigers. As a Dodger fan, I’m jealous.

  64. kahliforni says:

    The Dodgers made no qualifying offers to any of their 12 free agents…as per Ken Gurnick.

  65. Dodger4life says:

    So, now that Gordon is a center fielder, Herrera has been claimed by the Brewers, Punto and Uribe are free agents, who is backing up short in 2014???

  66. Dodger4life says:

    Who is the backup third baseman…
    .
    If your answer is Hanley… Or even if your answer isn’t Hanley, name a starter.

    • Dodger4life says:

      It seems we had this debate last winter… and now five of these guys, are free agents.
      .
      Yuniesky Betancourt (32)
      Wilson Betemit (32)
      Jamey Carroll (40)
      Eric Chavez (36)
      Luis Cruz (30)
      Jerry Hairston Jr. (38)
      Brendan Harris (33)
      Brandon Inge (37)
      Brent Lillibridge (30)
      Casey McGehee (31)
      Placido Polanco (38)
      Cody Ransom (38)
      Mark Reynolds (30)
      Chad Tracy (34)
      Juan Uribe (34)
      Ty Wigginton (36)
      Kevin Youkilis (35)
      Michael Young (37)
      Nick Punto played 3rd, 35 times last season

  67. Dodger4life says:

    Who will be the back up second baseman…

    If your answer is Hanley, well, never mind that…
    Name a starter just for fun.

  68. Dodger4life says:

    Manny Ramirez is officially off the payroll as of 2014… Andruw Jones is in his final season as far as payments go… He has a little over 3 million coming. Cappy, Uribe, M.Ellis and Guerrier will all received 1 million… And to offset some of this, we will recieve 3.9 million from the Red Sox in 2014.

    • Dodger4life says:

      According to the dodgers.com depth chart… Mark Ellis is the 2nd baseman, as there is no mention of the new guy and there is no mention of Matt Kemp in the outfield, either.

  69. kahliforni says:

    Not too many checking in…now that Wallach has been passed over for managerial jobs, they’re talking he might become bench coach…not bad idea as he is a National League guy. I just wonder if Mattingly might feel “compromised” with Wallach “suggesting” moves. Too many teams are eying The Beard as their potential closer…most prominently the Tigers and Evil Empire of NY. So Beard, it was fun for a short while. I just think he’s too competitive to settle for a set-up role. But I do think he enjoys the Dodgers and, of course, LA. As for the Puig haters out there, too bad: “Prosecutors in Tennessee have dismissed charges of reckless driving and speeding against Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig (from April 28).

    • crash24now says:

      Wish I could get my tickets written off too!

      • 32and53fan says:

        Neal Pinkston, executive assistant district attorney for Hamilton County, says the charges were dropped Wednesday. Pinkston says Puig has completed at least 12 hours of community service in Los Angeles.

        I would gladly do 12 hours of service in lieu of a massive fine for 97 in a 50 and reckless driving.

  70. 32and53fan says:

    Congratulations to Zach Greinke for winning the Silver Slugger Award.

  71. trublu4ever says:

    I’ve been checking in here everyday but, alas, nothing much to say….Hot Stove so far is boring as hell.

    • JhallWally says:

      Hi’Ya Tru… Yep, not much cooking around the Hot Stove. Hopefully it will pick up steam soon. The Dodgers have a lot of issues.

      Catch ya later…

  72. kahliforni says:

    “The Los Angeles Dodgers are discussing a new, multiyear contract with manager Don Mattingly, two sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com.”

    Maybe this will work out like Ned and Stan…Ned is the PR face of the front office, while Kasten makes the tough moves. Mattingly can be the figurehead “good guy” of the team, while the new bench coach can bring in-game intelligence to the mix……

  73. It’s seems like we’re more excited in seeing who the next bench coach is. Wallah or someone from outside the organization.

  74. Dodger4life says:

    So does anyone have any thoughts as to what the Dodgers should do this off season. If it was your call… who would you go after in free agency? Who would you try and make a trade for and with whom?

    • I’ve read that Alexander Guerrero may be slated fo play shortstop insead of 2nd base with Ramirez moving to 3rd base. If this is true, why not take a shot at Robinson Cano to play 2nd base.
      I know that it’s more than likely that Cano will sign with the Yankees but you never know what this ownership has up it’s sleeve if he doesn’t.

  75. lbirken says:

    Not too surprised it is quiet so far this off season at least with regard to player moves. With all the complexities of today’s player contracts, luxury taxes, arbitration rules and such making moves is not all that easy. The Dodgers still need to stay on course to build up minor league talent while still trying to stay competitive. My guess is the Dodgers will try to find some bargains to fill the holes but honestly there were few players on the free agent list posted above that excited me. I would love for them to sign Wilson but his deal has to make fiscal sense for both of them. It would be awesome to have Jansen and Wilson and I don’t care which one of them is the closer.

    As far as who manages this team next season, I am ok with Donnie and would welcome Wallach as the bench coach.

  76. grizzy says:

    I see where Nolasco is seeking $80 mil for five years. Seriously?

    • lbirken says:

      Why not ask? With the way MLB general managers and their owners throw money around Ricky might get lucky.

      I am not sure about moving Hanley to third base unless he buys into such a move 100%. However, I still think it would not be prudent for the Dodgers to take on yet another huge free agent such as Cano.

    • Dodger4life says:

      The thing that gets me is he (Nolasco) wants a 5 year contract, he couldn’t pitch well for half a year… Besides we have Beckett and Bills whom are equal, if not better than Ricky.

      A few short years ago Ned was like a Quarter Horse out of the gate…resigning our own guys before the ten day grace period was over, then jumping on free agents early. Of course, things were different then with Frank being so called, broke… I would think that if we were going to resign Wilson, with the Yankee’s and several other teams in need of a closer. We would have done it already??

      Hanley should be moved to third if it makes the infield stronger, regardless of what his preference is… Just my opinion.

      Cano’s bat would be sweet, although, Kershaw and the Japanese pitcher will require a nice sum of money if they ever get those things worked out. So, Cano and his 300+ million asking price, may prove to be too spendy even for the Dodgers?

  77. enchantedbeaver says:

    Guerrero was playing 2B in the Dominican last night (Dee was in CF.) Didn’t get to see him swing the bat or make a play in the brief time I watched. Doubt they’d move Hanley right now. Might be a brutal DP combo next year, but at least they might hit. Cano would be just another aging expensive vet like we have in the OF. No thanks.

    • It’s very interesting but I doubt very much that the team is thinking about trading Puig at the present time. I think they’re still thinking of him as more than a tremendous find.
      Ethier or Kemp, wouldn’t surprise me much if they or one of them were used in a trade, maybe even Crawford but Puig? Naah.

      • trublu4ever says:

        I don’t think they would trade Puig…after all, he saved Donnie’s ass! And, if we’re stuck with Mattingly, we will have Puig too.

    • messagebear says:

      I think Stanton is a very poor example to offer for Puig.
      Other than that, I don’t know that there’s such a thing as not tradeable, but with Puig I’d say very unlikely.

  78. lbirken says:

    I find trade talk about Puig intriguing but I too doubt the Dodgers would do so at this time. But the idea does have merit if in fact the right deal could be found. I like what Puig did to energize the team and the fans but my baseball sense tells me to show some caution in getting too excited about his future. There are some players who just stand out for the right reason when you see them for the first time, and it is not necessarily what they do but how they go about it. When I first saw Kershaw pitch I had this sense he was the real deal. When we all first saw Matt Kemp we felt he could be a special player (even if management at the time was reluctant to see it). When you watch Bryce Harper or Mike Trout, don’t you see something special about the way they approach the game? Remember Fernando? Do you see any of this in Puig? I concede his situation may be different considering how little he really has played and his background but there is just something about him that makes me step back a little. I love the energy and enthusiasm and the way he interacts with his teammates but I wonder what really is going on between the ears. Is he in fact listening to his coaches and teammates? Does he understand what he needs to do to get better and eliminate the mistakes? Does he have the work ethic I know the players mentioned above have? Does he want to get better? What drives him? I hope he does something to change this image I have and perhaps he will.

    Still, I would not expect the Dodgers to trade him quite yet. They have invested a lot of money in him and his popularity is still quite high. He does have more talent than any player the Dodgers have brought up in quite some time. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

  79. kahliforni says:

    The sports media geeks are trying to create a story, because in my opinion, the Dodgers chances of trading Puig are zero. How long has he been in the majors…all of 3 1/2 months or so? You can teach a player to hit the cut-off man or run the bases with intelligence, but you can’t teach a player to possess the five tools of a superstar.

  80. grizzy says:

    kahli is correct. They have to write about something.

  81. I saw this in NY’s Daily News this morning by sports writer John Harper. He suggests that the Mets trade Daniel Murphy and Zack Wheeler to the Dodgers for Ethier, Joc Pederson and Zack Lee. Just thought I’d sprinkle it in the stew.

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