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Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hernández: The time has come for Andrew Friedman to push Dodgers’ reset button

With Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer free agents, they could have to rebuild their pitching rotation. With Corey Seager and Chris Taylor also on the open market, they could have to revamp their lineup. With their bench weaker this year than it was in previous seasons, they will have to restock on versatile role players.

Ironically, the most stable part of their team could be the group that’s usually the hardest to assemble: the bullpen. Even there, they could have to find a new closer, as Kenley Jansen pitched well enough in his walk year to warrant a multiyear contract.

Counting Bauer and arbitration-eligible players such as Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner and Julio Urias, the Dodgers are expected to have more than $200 million committed to the players already under their control.

Re-signing all of their free agents would push the payroll considerably over $300 million, something Friedman acknowledged might not be realistic.

It’s not as if that would solve all of their problems.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6053153)
The starting lineup seems set. Infield of Smith, Turner, Turner, Lux and Muncy. Outfield of Pollock, Bellinger and Betts. The bench is weaker but finding veteran role players shouldn't be that hard. If they sign one more starting pitcher they'll be a contender on paper.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: November 16, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6053156)
This is an insane idea.
   3. JRVJ Posted: November 16, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6053179)
Click bait.
   4. You can keep your massive haul Posted: November 16, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6053183)
They finished in 2nd place guys... to the GIANTS!!!
   5. Jay Seaver Posted: November 16, 2021 at 03:59 PM (#6053184)
Well, there's one tried and true method of doing it: Trading Mookie Betts & David Price for Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: November 16, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6053186)
"could have"?
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 16, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6053191)
He's been there since 2015, in the 6 full seasons they are averaging 98 wins per season. Am I missing something? Does that sound like a team that needs to be reset?

What they really need to figure out is WTF is wrong with Cody Bellinger? He looked ok in the playoffs but in the regular season, he looked broken in a bad, bad way.
   8. jobu Posted: November 16, 2021 at 05:44 PM (#6053200)
Ridiculous. The Dodgers are the Naked Gun Announcer Booth of baseball rosters.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: November 16, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6053221)
Does that sound like a team that needs to be reset?

Well, everybody needs to "reset" eventually. The Dodgers of the last decade have been very good at resetting on the fly and probably will again. Still J Turner is turning 37, Pollock 34 (and a fragile part-timer), Kershaw 34, Scherzer 37, Treinen 34. T Turner is FA eligible after next year and Bauer likely opts out of 1/$17 unless he doesn't pitch this year. There's a lot of talent to replace or pay for in the next couple of years.

Not that anybody should shed tears but as the excerpt notes, they're already at $200 M. Even the Dodgers have a budget. Some subset of Seager, Kershaw, Scherzer, Taylor, Jansen are gone. They're still left with the best lineup in the NL and, especially if May is healthy and Bauer's not in prison, the best rotation. (And if Bauer is in prison, that $40 M can be spent. If he remains on leave with pay, which seems unlikely, then the Dodgers are doubly screwed.) There's still plenty that can go right -- Lux could be a key piece for example.

Anyway, the Dodgers 2024 roster will have very little in common with the 2021 roster. They might still win 95+ games every year 2022-24 but they will have "reset" one way or the other ... or if they haven't reset, they will not be a particularly good team (but maybe still a WC contender).

The 2018 Dodgers had Bellinger, Taylor, J Turner, Seager (injured most of it) and the surprise Muncy on offense. Also Grandal, Matt Kemp, Pederson, Puig, Hernandez, Machado at the deadline, a bit of Verdugo, Freese, Utley, Dozier. The staff had Kershaw and Jansen of course, the rookie Buehler, Urias (injured most of it) ... and Rich Hill, Maeda, Ryu, Alex Wood, Stripling, Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, etc. Lots of important players remained in 2021 but probably only Buehler and maybe Bellinger and Urias will still be there in 2024.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2021 at 09:07 PM (#6053224)

The headline is pretty clickbaity. I just skimmed it, but the article itself doesn't seem to advocate for anything crazy.
   11. bfan Posted: November 17, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6053293)
"Their problem" is they ran into a very hot team at the wrong time; absent that, and bad pitching usage decisions by their manager, and they could be 2 time defending world series champions. I think Chris Taylor is great, but there has to be Chris Taylor equivalents or near equivalents at a much lower price. And as the Braves just showed, filling in around great players with functioning major leaguers can be a winning strategy.
   12. base ball chick Posted: November 17, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6053333)
bauer would have to be out of his mind to opt out of 17 mill guaranteed. even if he is not arrested eventually or forced to pay the woman off, he's just BAD pub

he's smart about pitching, but he rock stupid about females thats fer SHER
   13. Walt Davis Posted: November 17, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6053337)
there has to be Chris Taylor equivalents or near equivalents at a much lower price.

Not really, unless you already have them in your own system. Granted Taylor, Hernandez, Turner, Muncy, even good ol' Ben Zobrist and Tony Phillips back in the day were all guys that other teams had given up on or were just minor trades. The Dodgers have been disgustingly good at finding those guys and Matt Beaty or Zach McKinstry (both actually drafted) might be the next ones.

But over the last 5 seasons, Taylor has 15 WAR, 7 WAA -- a 4 WAR/650 pace -- while playing average defense at 2B/SS/LF/CF. While guys like that apparently do grow on trees, you've got to pick 100 of them to find a Taylor.

By WAA, over those 5 seasons, Taylor is 50th among position players, essentially tied with Gallo, Brantley, Starling Marte, Albies. Nelson Cruz, JDM, Donaldson are less than a win ahead. Brantley, 3 years older, got 2/$32 last year. Of course Hernandez is just 1 win behind and a year younger and he got only 2/$14. Baseball is a funny game. Anyway, a guy who's among the 100 best position players in the game is walking out the door; so is Seager who's even higher; so did Hernandez; potentially next year so does Trea Turner. Eventually you can't replace that much talent/performance.

Nobody's suggesting the Dodgers are gonna win 30 fewer games next year because Taylor and Seager leave. I assume nearly everybody assumes that Friedman with a $200+ M payroll will always put at least a competitive team on the field. The question is how much worse will they be or how much would they need to spend to maintain? If I added right, 13.4 WAR are FA this year (Taylor, Seager, Kershaw, Scherzer, Jansen). Hardly a tragedy if they get full seasons out of May, Bauer and a Bellinger bounce-back.

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