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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Multiple Reports Link Angels To Dave Dombrowski

Angels general manager Billy Eppler is in the final season of his contract, and with the Angels assured of a fifth straight losing season, multiple reports have linked the team to veteran executive Dave Dombrowski as a potential replacement. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal calls the Halos the “most likely” team to make a switch at GM, adding that Dombrowski is the most frequently mentioned replacement option. Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes that the “widely held belief” is that the Angels are in for yet another front-office regime change and that the “industry consensus” is that owner Arte Moreno will pursue Dombrowski.

It’s been five years since Eppler took over for Jerry Dipoto, who resigned from his post in the wake of a highly publicized rift with then-manager Mike Scioscia. Los Angeles has yet to return to the postseason or even put together a winning record in that time. Instead of postseason wins built around the game’s best player, Mike Trout, much of the focus has been on the Angels’ perennial struggles to keep an underachieving pitching staff healthy enough to take the mound.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2020 at 11:23 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, dave dombrowski

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2020 at 03:34 AM (#5978205)
Hmmm ... I guess if they get Expos DD or Marlins DD, they might find what they want but Tiger/Red Sox DD is not the guy I'd hire to take over an under-talented, over-priced team without much talent in the pipeline (or has that improved substantially)
   2. Rally Posted: September 23, 2020 at 09:17 AM (#5978223)
I would be quite fine with Red Sox DD. If he trades Adell and Marsh for veterans, and expands the payroll past the luxury tax, wins a world series, and then collapses into the worst team in baseball, well, Angels will have won a second world series. Getting Trout a ring. Then they can fire him and start a rebuild under someone new.

That's certainly a better outcome than watching each year's marginal additions fail to push the team into contention.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 09:18 AM (#5978224)
I dunno, in Detroit he took over the worst team in baseball, got them in the World Series in a few years, and they became perennial contenders for a decade, including winning another pennant. I think Angels fans would take that. And he won a title in Boston, so....what is the complaint?
   4. Rally Posted: September 23, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5978230)
I had forgotten just how long he ran the Tigers, from 2002 to 2015. In that stretch they played in 2 WS, and had 3 other playoff appearances.

If Angels get Tigers DD, then by 2033:

1. Trout will be retired, or at least his current contract will be up. He won't have a ring but will have some WS appearances.
2. Angels will probably have traded for or signed Juan Soto. He will have given them a pair of MVP performances in that stretch, but at age 35 will have started a Pujolian decline and he'll have 5 years left on the contract for a cool billion dollars.
3. They'll be the worst team in baseball for a bit, but the next man up can start a rebuild with multiple 1-1 draft picks.

I'd take it.
   5. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5978255)
If he trades Adell and Marsh for veterans,


One thing about DD in Boston is how good he was about trading the right guys. The only guys the Sox traded that really amounted to much are two seasons of Travis Shaw, maybe Mauricio Dubon and Yoan Moncada who has one good season in four so far. The Shaw/Dubon deal (Tyler Thornburg) was a bust but Moncada is a classic prospect for star deal and Chris Sale should as hell did his job in 2017 and 2018 and Dubon is just now having an impact.

In the meantime he kept Benintendi, Devers, Vazquez, Eduardo Rodriguez and got Xander Bogaerts extended. A lot of 2020 looks different in a non-COVID year I think (Rodriguez illness, JDMartinez and Benintendi being awful). On top of that I thought he did really well on smaller deals to add players mid-season (Brad Ziegler, Addison Reed, Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez, Nathan Eovaldi, Drew Pomeranz) without giving up a lot of substance.

All of which is to say if I were an Angel fan getting a couple division titles and a World Series berth would look pretty good. As of this moment they are only 3 1/2 games better than the down on their luck Red Sox and I'm comfortable as a Sox fan saying that I'm willing to concede that 3 1/2 games for three division titles and a World Series.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 23, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5978260)
I totally agree with Jose in #5.

The only trade, I believe, where DD gave up legit minor-league talent was the Sale trade - but he got Chris Sale. No Red Sox fan is upset about that trade.

Another trade that I did not like, as a Red Sox fan, but ended up being OK was the CRaig Kimbrel trade. They got Kimbrel for four prospects, all of whom were seen at that moment as somewhere between interesting and desirable (Margot, at the time of the trade, was rated anywhere from the #14 prospect in baseball to #56, depending on the rating service). But it turns out that only one of the four ended up with a career (Margot), and he's a below-average hitter with a very good glove, above-average baserunner...he wasn't going to play in the Benintendi/JBJ/Betts outfield.

DD has almost always traded the right prospects, and kept the right prospects. His MO, in my opinion, is that he goes "all in" more than anybody, which means he will err on the side of giving the extra year on the contract, or the extra $5m/yr. It also means he will throw in one more prospect to get the deal done, like he did with Kimbrel. The good news is, he won't "throw in" the next Jeff Bagwell. The bad news is, he'll trade more tradable prospects into fewer deals, so that your team will have fewer assets for subsequent deals. In the Kimbrel trade, it seems hard to believe he had to give *four* prospects to get the deal done...but you get the sense that he said to the Padres, "You still thinking about it? F**k it, take Logan Allen, too. Just get this done."

Logan Allen wasn't going to help Boston's major league team - but if they had kept some guys like that, he could have used them for subsequent trades. When he is done, the cupboard is *bare*.

Flags fly forever - I'm cool with what DD did for my team.
   7. villageidiom Posted: September 23, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5978269)
I would be quite fine with Red Sox DD. If he trades Adell and Marsh for veterans, and expands the payroll past the luxury tax, wins a world series, and then collapses into the worst team in baseball, well, Angels will have won a second world series.


Red Sox DD did the following:

- Traded 6 years of Manuel Margot (and others) for 3 years of Craig Kimbrel.
- Signed David Price to a ludicrous contract.
- Traded effectively nothing for 2+ years of Drew Pomeranz.
- Traded 6 years of Moncada and Kopech for 1-3 years of Chris Sale.
- Traded 6 years of Mauricio Dubon and 3 years of Travis Shaw, for effectively nothing.
- Signed Mitch Moreland.
- Cut Sandoval.
- Signed JD Martinez to an effectively untradeable contract.
- Cut Hanley.
- Traded 6 years of Jalen Beeks for 2-3 months of Nathan Eovaldi
- Traded essentially nothing for 2-3 months of Steve Pearce
- won the WS
- signed Pearce and Eovaldi
- extended Sale
- extended Bogaerts
- got fired

What Red Sox DD didn't do:
- replenish the farm
- keep the team close enough to the threshold for penalties to be able to duck under without pain
- trade away the "wrong" prospects (mostly)

Flags fly forever, and we root for teams to win championships rather than win the ZiPS projections five years out, and we want them to win games instead of budget meetings, and all that. So it makes sense that some of the particulars of the above are of no concern from where Angels fans sit today.

Personally I'd draw a line just between cutting Sandoval and signing Martinez, and say most of everything above the line was a good move that improved the team, while results vary more below the line. But:

(a) they might not have won the WS in 2018 if not for the stuff below the line.

(b) they lost 5 good young (or for Shaw, young-ish) players in those transactions, so if you don't have those kinds of players in your system you might not get near the same results.

(c) they already had a pretty damn strong roster before DD came on board, not counting those 5 young players. As mentioned he generally kept the more promising prospects - and promoted them - but the key thing is he had them to begin with.
   8. Rally Posted: September 23, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5978280)
So far Kopech has amounted to about zero from the White Sox, and with his injury has used up two of those service time years. I think so at least, not sure if he gets service time for this year.
   9. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5978287)
Baseball Prospectus had the Red Sox with the sixth rated system in 2015 when Dombrowski took over mid-season. They had the fifth ranked system in 2016, which might be a more accurate depiction of what Dombrowski had to work with. He parlayed that well-stocked system into players who could help the team win in the immediate future. I have no problem with that philosophy at this point. I just want to see Trout get to the postseason.

However, he won't have nearly the assets at his disposal. The Angels' system is rated somewhere in the low 20's. The team's best prospect is coming off of a very lackluster debut that has to take the shine off for a lot of teams. Moncada had 20 plate appearances before he was traded. He didn't look good, but that sample size is easily written off. Adell's 125 plate appearances have been much worse, and his defense has been inconsistent at best. After that, there isn't much that teams are going to want. I don't think the Angels can afford to trade Detmers, their selection this year, since they need pitching so badly. And, aside maybe from Brandon Marsh, there isn't much else in the system to pique teams' interests.

So is the Red Sox Dombrowski the right guy for the Angels? He's got a lot of experience and has done some great things, but I can't help but think this is like hiring an electrician for a house that's been built and then giving him a hammer to work with. What the Angels need is someone to completely build up the organization's infrastructure - scouting, player development, and analytics. If Dombrowski can convince Arte Moreno to spend money in those areas and can hire the right people, hire him right now. But I'm not sure that's his strength.

And don't even come in here with any "Jeff Luhnow" is available comments. Screw that guy. I want him nowhere near the Angels.
   10. asinwreck Posted: September 23, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5978296)
Kopech opted out of 2020 due to the pandemic, not because of injury. He does not get service time for this year.

Three decades ago, Dombrowski and Gary Hughes helped assemble an amazing collection of young talent on the cheap in Montreal. They began to duplicate that with the Marlins, then Dombrowski got to play with a larger budget for about ten months and won the World Series. Since then, even his rebuild of the Tigers involved spending big on Ivan Rodriguez. He's an astute enough talent evaluator that he should be able to break the Angels' streak of sub-.500 seasons. Whether he has to convince Moreno to get into spectacular luxury-tax trouble is going to be fascinating to watch.
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5978298)
I just want to see Trout get to the postseason.
So, you’re saying Dombrowski should trade him?
   12. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 23, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5978299)
So, you’re saying Dombrowski should trade him?


No.
   13. DFA Posted: September 23, 2020 at 04:36 PM (#5978324)
It's tragic (in the baseball sense) that through the first 10 years of his career, Mike Trout has only had 15 postseason plate appearances, and carries a batting average of .083. He is the Ted Williams of our time.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5978334)
The point is that the Angels are already the post-WS DD team -- a couple of expensive stars locked into long-term contracts, but 500 anyway and no talent on the way. They are the 2019-20 Red Sox (with Mookie extended), the 2016-18 Tigers (hopefully without Rendon turning into Miggy too soon), the post-WS Marlins (without the fire sale), not the types of teams that DD took over.

That's where the Marlins come in. He won in Miami on a 1-year mission of high-priced vets. That could work with the Angels, then ride back into mediocrity. That's similar to Boston I suppose but in Boston he took over a team with rising young players and supplemented through trades, the Angels don't have that young core but they do of course have Mike Trout as you might have heard.)
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 23, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5978336)
That's where the Marlins come in. He won in Miami on a 1-year mission of high-priced vets. That could work with the Angels, then ride back into mediocrity.
I don't think it could. Most productive high-priced veterans won't sign one-year deals, and the DD Marlins era was back when you could still trade big contracts for significant prospect hauls. That's not so much the case anymore.
   16. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 24, 2020 at 12:23 AM (#5978417)
One thing about DD in Boston is how good he was about trading the right guys.

You could say the same about DD in Detroit, though it's somewhat different because the guys he held on to didn't really do anything either. But almost none of the "big" prospects that DD traded from the Detroit system went on to become stars, and if they did, it was several years/a couple of teams down the line (Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin briefly). Willy Adames looks like he's going to be a pretty good player, but might peak somewhere below All-Star level. Eugenio Suarez for Alfredo Simon was a huge miss, but that's the only one that looks like a real disaster.
   17. Rally Posted: September 24, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5978453)
I don't think it could. Most productive high-priced veterans won't sign one-year deals, and the DD Marlins era was back when you could still trade big contracts for significant prospect hauls. That's not so much the case anymore


Market value of prospects has gone up, true. So in theory, someone willing to trade their best prospects should be able to get a higher quality of expensive veterans for their haul. Maybe DD can bring in some great players even if he doesn't have a SD/TB quality farm system to deal from.

And if it doesn't work? Well, another expensive team for Arte Moreno and another year that Trout misses the playoffs. We've already been there.
   18. villageidiom Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5978498)
What if a new GM trades away Trout for prospects, and the team is regularly in at least the ALCS four years from now? I would say "wins the WS in a few years" but it's not like any scenario could guarantee that.

I mean, I can't imagine a possible scenario where DD is the GM, and he trades away Trout. I'm just saying, would you rather take DD as the GM knowing that DD is at his best when he has resources that he wouldn't have with the Angels, or someone else as the GM who turns the team into a perennial WS contender but trades Trout to make it happen?
   19. Rally Posted: September 24, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5978502)
If you trade Trout, you better not miss on the prospects you get back.

I don't trust the judgment of anybody that Arte Moreno would hire enough to do that, so any ideas on how to make this team better starts and ends with building a team around Trout.

Astros lost last night. If the Angels are highly motivated and the Dodgers play a bunch of scrubs while resting for the playoffs (tough scenario because even Dodger scrubs tend to have .850 OPS), and the Astros lose 3 out of 4 against Texas (very unlikely but you never know, and Astros have not played well lately) the teams would be tied with 29-31 records.

This would not result in a game 61, but instead send the Angels directly past Cleveland and Toronto into the #6 seed by virtue of a 6-4 head to head record against the Astros.

   20. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: September 24, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5978512)
This would not result in a game 61, but instead send the Angels directly past Cleveland and Toronto into the #6 seed by virtue of a 6-4 head to head record against the Astros.


Knowing the Angels, the Astros would actually lose all four, putting the Angels one game ahead. But then the Mariners would sweep their series with the A's, leaving the Mariners and Angels tied with identical 29-31 records. They split the season series, but the Mariners would have the better divisional record and would take the tiebreaker.

The Angels win just about any tiebreaker scenario except one that leaves them tied with only the Mariners. They win the tiebreaker with the Blue Jays, the Astros, and a Mariners/Astros/Angels trifecta. To force these tiebreakers, though, the Angels need the Rangers to be great and they need the Dodgers to decide to enact retribution against the Astros by completely tanking these weekend games. Or they need Baltimore to sweep the Blue Jays.

There's hope, but it's a very, very thin hope.

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