"Wait, What Are We Going to Complain About Now?" - The 2020-2021 Hot Stove Offseason Thread

grabarkewitz

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There is a lot of truth in what you say. LeMaheiu had only one season in Denver with an OPS+ above 93. Turner, meanwhile has strung eight consecutive seasons with OPS+ of 100+ with a career mark of 128. Yeah, he's 36, but guarantee him two years with a vesting option for a third or a fat buyout on the third and bring him back. With Rios and Taylor in reserve, he can get plenty of rest or DH if the NL pivots to that.
First off, until I see it in writing, I will not believe that the DH will come to the NL. They had the opportunity to make it universal and the owners decided to balk at the idea. Now, I am going to play Devil's Advocate for LeMahieu and most of what I have to say will not be about his offense. JT is limited to third base and his range is not exactly going to compete with Arenado or many of the present third basemen. Plus, it is not likely that he will stay healthy for a full season. One thing that seems to surround LeMahieu is that he will be in the lineup pretty much day in, day out. The other thing and this is something that Friedman is fond of, he is versatile. Now, I have only seen him play a few games at third base but he seems good there and he is very good at second and more than acceptable at first. My point being is that LeMahieu (or Turner) are likely a one year placeholder at third base. Kody Hoese is likely going to to get a real shot in 2022 unless he falls off of the map. Then you move LeMahieu to second unless Gavin Lux makes good on his potential. Even if Lux doesn't, we have Michael Busch who could be ready by September of 2022. So, by 2023, Max Muncy's contract will have run it's course and that would be LeMahieu's third position in three years. Of course, all this depends on LeMahieu continuing to produce in the batter's box.

I get that his last season at Coors was bad, but even Larry Walker and Nolan Arenado have had bad years at Coors. Thing is, while Yankee Stadium is a lttle league field, so are the ballparks in Philadelphia, Cincinnati and even Houston. The point is, not every game the Yankees played is at Yankee Stadium. Sure, the parks in the AL East are hitter-friendly (save Tampa's monstrosity), but one could use the same argument in pretty much every division. Sure, I don't see LeMahieu hitting .364 as a Dodger, but I don't think he will fall off of the mountain and sit closer to .250 than .350. Yeah, his walk rates aren't great but that could be the coaching with the Yankees. Not many of them were that willing to work many counts and that might be more about the outfield fences being an arm's length from the batter's box.

Lastly, if the deal is five years, it better come with deferred money. $100MM+ for a 33 year old infielder is more than I would pay. I would prefer four years and less than $100MM with that aforementioned deferred money. Now, I am speculating that the Jays will go higher but I am also thinking that the lack of knowledge where the Jays will be playing is going to cloud their offer. I figure it is between us and the Yankees and it seems like Prince Hal is leery of spending again a year after opening the checkbook for Cole and seeing that did not get him any closer to his latest ring. The ball is in JT's court, nevertheless, and there is no way a four or even a three year deal is going to happen with the Dodgers. There are just too many questions. Health, the sinking power numbers and Turner's heavy legs just not inspiring much confidence in a two year deal. But, if JT was going to take a two year deal, it is likely it would've been announced by now. I just think the JT train has passed the gate and he is either Atlanta, Mets or Toronto bound.
 

grabarkewitz

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With the NL DH a near certainty soon, I’d expect to see Turner filling the role of a modern day Manny Mota, and DH/PH until he’s at least 40... (lol)


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I am still thinking the universal DH will not happen until the next CBA is ratified and that is a huge maybe. Too many dinosaurs among the NL types to not see what is in front of their eyes. If it was going to happen, Marcel Ozuna would've signed with the Braves to be their DH in '21.
 

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From Rosenthal:

Turner’s logic
Free-agent third baseman Justin Turner might be unlikely to land a four-year contract at 36, but a source with knowledge of his thinking cited several reasons for him to seek such a deal:

A universal DH would figure to be in place for at least the final three years and possibly all of a four-year agreement, depending upon the outcomes of negotiations between the players and owners.

Advanced metrics portrayed Turner as slightly below average at third base in 2020, but he is certainly adequate at the position and also has played first and second.

Turner wants to win another World Series and seems willing to join a club that might be building to that point — for example, the Blue Jays — rather than bounce around on shorter deals.

Four years still appears to be a reach, and Turner might end up choosing between, say, a two-year offer from the Dodgers and a three-year deal from another club. One thing is for sure: He did not look old in 2020, batting .307 with an .860 OPS during the regular season and then, after going 2-for-18 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, .300 with a .964 OPS in the NLCS and World Series.
 

DodgerSSR

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First off, until I see it in writing, I will not believe that the DH will come to the NL. They had the opportunity to make it universal and the owners decided to balk at the idea. Now, I am going to play Devil's Advocate for LeMahieu and most of what I have to say will not be about his offense. JT is limited to third base and his range is not exactly going to compete with Arenado or many of the present third basemen. Plus, it is not likely that he will stay healthy for a full season. One thing that seems to surround LeMahieu is that he will be in the lineup pretty much day in, day out. The other thing and this is something that Friedman is fond of, he is versatile. Now, I have only seen him play a few games at third base but he seems good there and he is very good at second and more than acceptable at first. My point being is that LeMahieu (or Turner) are likely a one year placeholder at third base. Kody Hoese is likely going to to get a real shot in 2022 unless he falls off of the map. Then you move LeMahieu to second unless Gavin Lux makes good on his potential. Even if Lux doesn't, we have Michael Busch who could be ready by September of 2022. So, by 2023, Max Muncy's contract will have run it's course and that would be LeMahieu's third position in three years. Of course, all this depends on LeMahieu continuing to produce in the batter's box.

I get that his last season at Coors was bad, but even Larry Walker and Nolan Arenado have had bad years at Coors. Thing is, while Yankee Stadium is a lttle league field, so are the ballparks in Philadelphia, Cincinnati and even Houston. The point is, not every game the Yankees played is at Yankee Stadium. Sure, the parks in the AL East are hitter-friendly (save Tampa's monstrosity), but one could use the same argument in pretty much every division. Sure, I don't see LeMahieu hitting .364 as a Dodger, but I don't think he will fall off of the mountain and sit closer to .250 than .350. Yeah, his walk rates aren't great but that could be the coaching with the Yankees. Not many of them were that willing to work many counts and that might be more about the outfield fences being an arm's length from the batter's box.

Lastly, if the deal is five years, it better come with deferred money. $100MM+ for a 33 year old infielder is more than I would pay. I would prefer four years and less than $100MM with that aforementioned deferred money. Now, I am speculating that the Jays will go higher but I am also thinking that the lack of knowledge where the Jays will be playing is going to cloud their offer. I figure it is between us and the Yankees and it seems like Prince Hal is leery of spending again a year after opening the checkbook for Cole and seeing that did not get him any closer to his latest ring. The ball is in JT's court, nevertheless, and there is no way a four or even a three year deal is going to happen with the Dodgers. There are just too many questions. Health, the sinking power numbers and Turner's heavy legs just not inspiring much confidence in a two year deal. But, if JT was going to take a two year deal, it is likely it would've been announced by now. I just think the JT train has passed the gate and he is either Atlanta, Mets or Toronto bound.
First and foremost, the Dodgers aren't going to spend close to the kind of money LeMahieu is demanding. If you look at his career, he seems to be a different player in pin stripes, for whatever reason. He played in the most hitter friendly park in MLB with the Rockies and was barely league average in that time. Suddenly he became MVP material with NYY. He's turning 33 this season, so while he's younger and less impeded physically than JT, he has not had the offensive firepower over the whole of his career. I think Turner brings a lot of intangibles, and if he would be reasonable, I'd like to have him back. Admittedly, he's had some leg issues and those don't improve with age.
 

grabarkewitz

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First and foremost, the Dodgers aren't going to spend close to the kind of money LeMahieu is demanding. If you look at his career, he seems to be a different player in pin stripes, for whatever reason. He played in the most hitter friendly park in MLB with the Rockies and was barely league average in that time. Suddenly he became MVP material with NYY. He's turning 33 this season, so while he's younger and less impeded physically than JT, he has not had the offensive firepower over the whole of his career. I think Turner brings a lot of intangibles, and if he would be reasonable, I'd like to have him back. Admittedly, he's had some leg issues and those don't improve with age.
Intangibles are a wonderful thing but Turner is full of issues. Keep in mind, until Justin Turner signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, he was the 25th man on any ML team's roster and he likely dreamt of a career like LeMahieu had with the Rockies. Cut to 2021, he can't stay healthy, his power evaporated in '20 and he is limited defensively. I cannot explain LeMahieu's troubles at Coors other than a young hitter stuck at Coors and hearing about career stiffs like Ellis Burks, Michael Cuddyer or Preston Wilson putting up monster power numbers and thinking it had to be easy, just swing for the fences. Whatever the Yankees did, it worked. Probably nothing more than convincing him that he didn't need to hit a five-run homer every at bat.

The money part is irrelevant, if an owner is willing to drop stupid money and it doesn't preclude other moves than so be it. I am sure the Dodgers offered JT a fair salary, likely less than he received last year but still very fair for a 36 year old with bad knees. If Turner actually expected to be paid like his last contract, then he is a fool. I am even betting it is more than any other team has offered him. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, but this is likely Turner's last contract and he would be among the few who took less money out of loyalty if that is why he turned down allegedly bigger money. I am thinking the Dodgers have offered him the most money but the least guaranteed years. I know some are stuck on two years, but I am betting that Friedman has likely offered one and an option. He isn't going to block Hoese and even though the wonks seem to feel the universal DH is fait accompli, until it happens I will go with the idea that there are too many dinosaurs running this game starting with Manfred for this rule to change that easily. Hoese is a Friedman draft pick and therefore he is golden until he becomes Jeren Kendall. The Dodgers did not give the kid $2.7MM to carry JT's bags until he hits forty.

I get what JT has accomplished as a Dodger and I am appreciative, but loyalty is a misplaced reason to run a baseball team. Too often, we have held onto guys who have outlived their usefulness and lost any value besides the one felt when one reminisces. I remember the return on Ron Cey and Davey Lopes was barely pedestrian because we held onto them way past their expiration date. I am just thinking that JT is too near his expiration date, either by injury or depreciation of his skillset, and it might be the time for the Blue to just say no. Let's face it, Justin Turner has done more with his skills than most have done with more ability and talent, but keeping him on for loyalty's sake is the kind of thinking that nearly killed this franchise from mid eighties (saving one miracle season in 1988) until Friedman brought his approach to the Dodgers. Too often, we were hamstrung by moves by our GM's who rewarded friendship and had eyes blinded to reality when given the Dodger checkbook. Or are we going to say that Ned Colletti, Kevin Malone, etc.... didn't throw away money and prospects on guys who they had relationships with or were fond of for the wrong reasons? I stray here, but not far. If the numbers back up LeMahieu being worth four years and X amount of millions over giving JT the contract he demands, then far be it for me to not buy into it. On the other end, if Friedman feels Turner is worth his contract demands, then he must know something I have not seen. I just can't imagine that scenario. I just figure that Turner has a limited window and dollar point that the Dodgers will make. Now, it may not be LeMahieu, but I don't buy into the rumored Bryant, Suarez or Arenado to the Dodgers moves even though each has its own appeal. For all I know, third base will be manned by a platoon of Edwin Rios and Chris Taylor come 2021. But, each day that JT doesn't take the Dodger offer is closer to a day when JT will get a pat on the back and told good luck with the ____________ (fill in the blank).
 

NewportDodger

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With the exception of SD and CHI, teams have put away their checkbooks for now it seems. Guys like JT are in the wrong year to cash out. I am ok with a short deal but I agree that his shelf life is short.

I just feel his body is aging and it’s going to be reflective in power numbers, range at 3B and injuries. He really needs to be on an AL team in the NL doesn’t go with the DH.

Guys like JT end up out for weeks with things like hamstrings, groins and other elements because the body takes longer to heal with age.

They have to be careful with the money here and the length.
 
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It’s a business of course but the only team any Dodger should avoid is Houston just in my opinion unless there are no other offers. I can stomach San Francisco even more than HOU.
 

DodgerSSR

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Intangibles are a wonderful thing but Turner is full of issues. Keep in mind, until Justin Turner signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, he was the 25th man on any ML team's roster and he likely dreamt of a career like LeMahieu had with the Rockies. Cut to 2021, he can't stay healthy, his power evaporated in '20 and he is limited defensively. I cannot explain LeMahieu's troubles at Coors other than a young hitter stuck at Coors and hearing about career stiffs like Ellis Burks, Michael Cuddyer or Preston Wilson putting up monster power numbers and thinking it had to be easy, just swing for the fences. Whatever the Yankees did, it worked. Probably nothing more than convincing him that he didn't need to hit a five-run homer every at bat.

The money part is irrelevant, if an owner is willing to drop stupid money and it doesn't preclude other moves than so be it. I am sure the Dodgers offered JT a fair salary, likely less than he received last year but still very fair for a 36 year old with bad knees. If Turner actually expected to be paid like his last contract, then he is a fool. I am even betting it is more than any other team has offered him. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, but this is likely Turner's last contract and he would be among the few who took less money out of loyalty if that is why he turned down allegedly bigger money. I am thinking the Dodgers have offered him the most money but the least guaranteed years. I know some are stuck on two years, but I am betting that Friedman has likely offered one and an option. He isn't going to block Hoese and even though the wonks seem to feel the universal DH is fait accompli, until it happens I will go with the idea that there are too many dinosaurs running this game starting with Manfred for this rule to change that easily. Hoese is a Friedman draft pick and therefore he is golden until he becomes Jeren Kendall. The Dodgers did not give the kid $2.7MM to carry JT's bags until he hits forty.

I get what JT has accomplished as a Dodger and I am appreciative, but loyalty is a misplaced reason to run a baseball team. Too often, we have held onto guys who have outlived their usefulness and lost any value besides the one felt when one reminisces. I remember the return on Ron Cey and Davey Lopes was barely pedestrian because we held onto them way past their expiration date. I am just thinking that JT is too near his expiration date, either by injury or depreciation of his skillset, and it might be the time for the Blue to just say no. Let's face it, Justin Turner has done more with his skills than most have done with more ability and talent, but keeping him on for loyalty's sake is the kind of thinking that nearly killed this franchise from mid eighties (saving one miracle season in 1988) until Friedman brought his approach to the Dodgers. Too often, we were hamstrung by moves by our GM's who rewarded friendship and had eyes blinded to reality when given the Dodger checkbook. Or are we going to say that Ned Colletti, Kevin Malone, etc.... didn't throw away money and prospects on guys who they had relationships with or were fond of for the wrong reasons? I stray here, but not far. If the numbers back up LeMahieu being worth four years and X amount of millions over giving JT the contract he demands, then far be it for me to not buy into it. On the other end, if Friedman feels Turner is worth his contract demands, then he must know something I have not seen. I just can't imagine that scenario. I just figure that Turner has a limited window and dollar point that the Dodgers will make. Now, it may not be LeMahieu, but I don't buy into the rumored Bryant, Suarez or Arenado to the Dodgers moves even though each has its own appeal. For all I know, third base will be manned by a platoon of Edwin Rios and Chris Taylor come 2021. But, each day that JT doesn't take the Dodger offer is closer to a day when JT will get a pat on the back and told good luck with the ____________ (fill in the blank).
I understand where you're coming from when you talk about JT's fragility and advancing age, but when you try to use Ron Cey's career to make your point you are way off base. Cey never had an OPS+ under 100 with the Dodgers, and in fact, his last years with the Dodgers were 134-142-122-143-111. Cey played five more years after leaving the Dodgers and put up four years with OPS+ >107. He often was overshadowed on the Dodgers by Steve Garvey, but was a much better producer both offensively and defensively, but not as good a self-promoter.
 

beefchopper

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Can I ask where the hell the Padres are getting all this money??
Tanaka Time in the Bronx could be coming to an end.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports free-agent right-hander Masahiro Tanaka might be bound for the San Diego Padres.

Even after trading for left-hander Blake Snell and righty Yu Darvish, the Padres are doing background work on multiple free-agent starting pitchers, sources say. One of those pitchers, righty Masahiro Tanaka, has connections to two significant members of the organization – Darvish and pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Darvish and Tanaka are friends and Rothschild was Tanaka’s pitching coach with the Yankees from 2014 to ’19. Tanaka suffered a partial elbow tear in ’14, chose rehabilitation over Tommy John surgery and remained largely durable, ranking 18th in the majors in starts since ’15.
 
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Baseball America 2020-2021 International Prospects Signing Period Preview by Ben Badler - 1/14/21

Los Angeles Dodgers

SS - Wilman Diaz – 6’2" 165 – R/R – 11/15/03 – Venezuela
CA - Jesus Galiz – 6’1" 180 – R/R – 12/19/03 – Venezuela
SS – Rayne Doncon – 6’1" 177 – Dominican Republic
OF – Roger Lasso – Panama
CA – Carlos Avila – Venezuela
LH – Jorge Carpintero – Venezuela
RH – Misael Soto – Dominican Republic
RH – Miguel Angel Vilchez – Curacao


The Dodgers signed catcher Diego Cartaya in 2018 and outfielder Luis Rodriguez in 2019, giving them the top-ranked Venezuelan prospects in their respective international signing classes. Now two more prominent Venezuelan prospects are expected to lead the Dodgers' 2020-21 class when the signing period opens on Jan. 15.

The headliner of the group is Wilman Diaz, who trained in the same program (Alexi Quiroz) as Cartaya and is one of the elite prospects for the upcoming class. He's an athletic 6-foot-2 shortstop with a loose, low-maintenance swing from the right side, showing good bat speed with the ability to hit and hit for power in games. Diaz has the defensive actions and arm strength that give him a chance to stick at shortstop, though depending how big he gets, he might end up at third base.


For a long time, the Yankees were expected to sign Jesus Galiz, a Venezuelan catcher who is one of the top prospects in the class. That changed in November, and now Galiz appears headed to the Dodgers instead, for about half as much money as he was expected to get from the Yankees. There are no age, drug test or medical issues with Galiz, who is still considered one of the top catchers available for Jan. 15, earning high marks for his skills on the field and overall makeup. The Yankees' loss is the Dodgers' gain, making them set to add another Venezuelan catcher to join Keibert Ruiz, Cartaya and Yeiner Fernandez already in their farm system. Galiz is a strong bet to stick behind the plate, where he has soft hands and receives well with good athleticism, quickness and flexibility behind the plate. Scouts highest on Galiz also liked his ability to hit in games with a line-drive approach now and a chance to grow into 15-20 home run power.


A third key player to watch for the Dodgers is Rayne Doncon, a shortstop from the Dominican Republic. Doncon is 6-foot-1, 177 pounds with long limbs, a high waist and big physical upside, with a variety of paths his future could go depending on his physical development. He has the body type where early on it looked like he could outgrow shortstop, but so far he has remained lean and agile enough for the position while getting stronger, showing good defensive instincts and a nose for the ball. He has fast bat speed and as he's gotten stronger he has quieted down some of the extra noise with his hands starting his swing, showing a knack for hard contact on fastballs with the strength projection to grow into more power.


Other notable players expected to join the Dodgers' signing class include Panamanian outfielder Roger Lasso, Venezuelan catcher Carlos Avila and Venezuelan lefthander Jorge Carpintero.


Another player to watch for the Dodgers is Misael Soto, a former shortstop whose best tool was his arm before he converted to pitching. He's an athletic Dominican righthander with a quick arm and a fastball that has gained velocity into the low-90s, with a chance to throw significantly harder in the future. Miguel Angel Vilchez from Curacao is another righthander linked to the Dodgers.
 
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grabarkewitz

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I understand where you're coming from when you talk about JT's fragility and advancing age, but when you try to use Ron Cey's career to make your point you are way off base. Cey never had an OPS+ under 100 with the Dodgers, and in fact, his last years with the Dodgers were 134-142-122-143-111. Cey played five more years after leaving the Dodgers and put up four years with OPS+ >107. He often was overshadowed on the Dodgers by Steve Garvey, but was a much better producer both offensively and defensively, but not as good a self-promoter.
I think you misunderstand my point. We could've traded Cey after a year earlier and likely would've gotten a king's ransom. His last year as a Dodger was disappointing for him. That was the thing, management and ownership seemed to take the loyalty thing a step too far in the eighties. The thing with Turner is similar in that giving him the contract close to what he desires is a bad idea. I am just saying that we have an opportunity to let him go with no hard feelings instead of signing him and likely regretting it all through the length of the contract. Granted, maybe LeMahieu is not the guy we sign and if he is stuck on the five years and an AAV of $25MM per, then it won't be him. But, if LeMahieu takes one less season and about $5MM less on the AAV, then I can see a deal.
 

grabarkewitz

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Interesting talking points out there. Reports from the Dominican have Marcel Ozuna and the Dodgers talking. Unless Friedman has some inside information regarding the dinosaurs who are against the DH changing their minds, I think this is using the Dodgers as a straw man, I wonder if this is Ozuna's agent feeding a reporter something akin to manure to get a team like the White Sox Braves to bid against themselves.

Also, the Phillies found their checkbook and signed Archie Bradley to a one year, $6MM contract. On the surface it is a good move for the Phillies as he would get to close for them and he is better than the roster of stiffs they have in their pen. But, I think they could've paid Brad Hand $2- $3MM more and it might've been a safer move. Add that into the talk that the Phillies are targeting Freddy Galvis to play short and one has to wonder just how bad are the finances in Philly. Of course, the lowballing could be saving all the money they can to resign Realmuto. I am still thinking that Realmuto's other option, the Nationals, will come through with the money eventually. I just wonder how much the Phillies will offer Molina if Realmuto ends up in DC?
 

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The Dodgers finally extract revenge on Houston.
Average time of Minute Maid games just increased by 5 minutes, 15 seconds. See you, Pedro.

Baez seemed to have found good results with his changeup late in the season, but it usually looked very hittable. Let's see how he does without the surprise factor.
 
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I am still thinking that Realmuto's other option, the Nationals, will come through with the money eventually.
Don't sleep on the Angels for Realmuto.

When they fail to once again upgrade their rotation, watch them turn to upgrade their offense
again (see Rendon, Anthony).


There catching depth on the MLB roster is pretty bare, and they don't have any even lukewarm
catching prospects in their system.