Categorized | Justin Gunsaulus

Free Agency = Death

Why promoting from within the Dodgers organization is the answer.

And why Free Agency is not.

On the current 25 Man Roster, 44% of the players are from within the Dodger organization.  I define that as being drafted in the First Year Player Draft or they were signed internationally and go through our farm system. I define a Dodger as someone who has gone through the Dodger organization from single A through the Majors.  For an example, Hanley Ramirez was a Marlin traded to the Dodgers. He plays for the Dodgers but he isn’t a Dodger. Clayton Kershaw drafted by the Dodgers went through the organization and learned how to be a Dodger. A more recent example of a “Dodger” is Luis Cruz.  Works hard, plays hard that’s Luis Cruz and that’s what a “Dodger” is.

Free Agency and why we should avoid big spending.

Los Angeles Yankees. That’s what I see out of management at this moment. I see us going after Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, and god knows whom else. Sounds good right? Stud outfielder, Cy Young wining Ace and investing well over 50 million dollars a year for two players. I would much rather have management spend a quarter of that money on the Flying Hawaiian and arbitration eligible players and invest the rest on scouting.  Scouting is the key and the Dodgers have not had the money to invest while McCourt’s were in office.  We need more potential in the farm system. You cannot get there by spending on free agents. Signing free agents is taking away draft picks. It is taking away money that should be spent scouting and signing these young players (Clayton Kershaw) to extensions. 44% of our roster are Dodgers (it should be closer to 60%, yeah I’m talking to you Uribe, Kennedy, Rivera.) and 64% of the Tamp Bay Rays roster are from the Rays farm system.  People might say that “oh this guy wants to use to the Rays formula to win.” No, that formula is the Dodger way. The 80’s and 90’s Rookie of the Year Award’s were dominated by the Dodgers (Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, Todd Hollandsworth, and Fernando Valenzuela.) They found that sort of talent through scouting and teaching the Dodger way. We need quality young players to fill in when we need it and not lose any production just like the Rays have done this year. The Rays have a culture inside their clubhouse and that’s what the Dodgers organization needs.

Remember Dodgertown? Yeah I do – I went there the final year they had Spring Training. It was an atmosphere, it was a life style, and it was a way of playing baseball. I feel we have lost some of the Dodgers core values due to the McCourts and it is up to new management to set the tone and lay out these core values. Mike Scioscia has instilled what he learned from the Dodgers into his organization and the team has had a winning attitude ever since. We need more Dodgers and less of prima donnas and head cases. Kemp is a Dodger he went all out last year and almost won the MVP. Clayton is a Dodger he went all out and won the Cy Young. Luis Cruz is a Dodger and he is going all out and making management question if we need Dee Gordon.  We need hungry players and that’s what Dodger players are. The Dodger way is “work hard, play hard, win.”

We spend too much time now, waiting for the next all star to hit free agency or looking outside the organization to find talent when most of the time its in our own backyard. Grienke and Hamilton are not the answer because Hamilton will be out half the year and Grienke has proven he cannot pitch in big markets. Production can be affordable and obtained within our own organization. Clayton Kershaw replaced Derek Lowe, Kenley Jansen replaced Broxton, Luis Cruz replaced Uribe/Gordon, Dee Gordon replaced Furcal, Rubby De La Rosa replaced Lance Cormier and the list goes on and on. That’s what we need more of and the Dodgers can have that type of success through scouting.

The Dodgers have to start somewhere and now is the time. Resign Shane to give you outfield depth untill Joc Pederson or Puig is ready. We have enough young arms in the Minors and enough quality pitchers in the Majors to not have to worry about pitching at the moment. The only concern is first base. The Dodgers are going to non-tender Loney and look elsewhere.  I agree for the short term but, the long term  answer is Cory Seager

Scout, draft, and sign.


A-Gon a possibility? Too much farm to give up for a James Poney who hits 15 home runs.

Tolleson will be the eighth inning guy by the end of the year.

Matt you’re better than what you are showing. Quit filming TV documentaries and commercials and spend more time watching game film.

Nedsucks signing off

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

37 Responses to “Free Agency = Death”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nedsucks, I understand your point but is that the formula for winning baseball teams?

    Since 1988 (almost 25 years ago), how many world series have the Dodgers and Rays won?

    I know the Yankees have won 5. I would rather follow the Yankee way if it’s going to produce Championships.

    Victorino is batting .244 since he got here, you want to resign him?

    You never know what your going to get from the farm so you can not solely rely on it.

    Hanley is not a “Dodger”, but he has been a huge addition, just like a Greinke would be. It’s not our money, spend spend spend!

  2. Badger says:

    Interesting take. Well written.

    I respect your take and to a point I agree we need to develop our own. But I also respectfully disagree about a few points.

    This is a different era. I like the idea of our team being powerful enough to compete every year, fill up the stadium and have a legitimate shot at a title. The teams that do it without much free agency help don’t seem to be the teams that take home the Championship.
    A balance of new guys coming up, and veterans in their prime, is the way to make the play-offs every year. The Dodgers, like the Yankees, should have the leverage to do that. McCourt screwed up the process. The team had some success with him at the top, but, he wasn’t the right guy and now we all know it.

    I disagree about AGon. This guy has had positive WAR’s every since he was 23. Last year it was 6.7, making him more than worth that contract – if you buy into the sabermetrics models. He is off a little this year, but then look at Boston – the whole organization is off. We would be a better offensive team with him in our lineup and Loney gone.

    I still think this is an organization that can develop pitching and I don’t want to get away from that. You have an abundance of pitching, you will be able to compete – in your division as well as in the free agent market.

    We need a few pieces. To wait until we develop them is not, in my estimation, a winning strategy. Not when you actually have the leverage to go get what you need. I drive a Camry because that is what we can afford. If I could afford a Lexus, I would buy one. The Dodgers can afford a garage full of Lexus’.

    Why go to work on a mule when you can buy yourself a thoroughbred? You want to be humble, become a Royals fan. You want to compete with the best, you need to field the best.

  3. Steve says:

    I agree with most of what you are saying, but building a quaity, lasting competitive team needs to include all 3 facets: building from within, key trades, and free agency. I agree 100% that the Dodgers should avoid high priced free agents like Josh Hamilton. These types are generally just past their prime (early 30′s) and require expensive contracts spanning a ridiculous number of years (paying them for what they did with another team as opposed to paying them for what they will produce for their new team). Free agency should be used for players that can provide a short term stop gap and do not break the bank (i.e. Victorino). Use the big $ to retain your own superstars.

    Trades are also very important, especially when you can acquire a superstar like Hanley. These opportunities come along very infrequently, but typically you need a strong farm system to pull it off. The Dodgers just got lucky on this one. Trades are also very good for acquiring role players.

    Last, a strong minor league system will provide a team’s core and is the general foundation for building a sustainable winner over time. I believe Stan Kasten understands this. The new ownership has proven that they will spend money when it makes sense without giving away our farm.

  4. gionfriddo says:

    Gotta agree with you Badger, very well written and I agree 100% with the scout, draft, and sign aspect that the McCourt regime ran into the ground. For the last 3 years of the McCourt fiasco, LA was in the botttom 5 for money spent on domestic and international scouting and money spent on bonuses. Hence, the dearth of depth in the system in several areas.

    The “Dodger Way” that you speak about will always be talked about and written about— Jackie and the color barrier, Dodgertown, the ROY’s, bringing the Japanese import back to MLB after decades of not having any in our game, bringing the 1st South Korean to MLB, and the list goes on and on. However, time has passed and Dodgertown is gone and we now have Camelback Ranch. Sadly, gone are the O’Malleys (and with as much joy in that regard, gone are the McCourts). The Guggenheim mngt team brings in a new era for all of us Dodger fans, old and young alike. Luckily, these guys want to win and they want to WIN NOW–does that make us the Yankees of the left coast?? who cares if it does in IMO, I’d rather be on this side of the coin than the side that the McJackasses had us on..

    Adrian Gonzalez–”too much farm to give away for a J. Poney who hits 15 HR”??? respectfully I disagree with you here and for so many reasons.. These are some of the years A Gone had in SD with very little behind him (in ’09, ’10, he had NOTHING behind him)– 30,100 in ’07, 36,119 in ’08, 40,99 in ’09, 31,101 in ’10)… Last year in beantown he went .338, 27,117, 213 hits, .410 obp %, .957 ops!! Yes, this year he has fallen off with 15 HR, but he does have 86 RBI with 37 doubles AND he is hitting .302 vs LH with 6 HR (he’s @ .300 overall).. There’s a 5-10 % chance a waiver wire deal happens with him IMO. However, we get Gonzalez this offseason and we become THE team to beat in the NL. He is only 30 years old!! It will cost us Ethier, Lee, Reed, etc but with Kemp, Gonzalez, Ramirez we instantly have the best 3,4,5 in all of baseball… A Gone does what we all wish Ethier would do– he mashes LH and loves to hit with RISP (.398 this year, .327 for his career)…

  5. SpokaneBob says:

    Given the fact that we have money to burn I believe the best way to build our team is to buy proven position players that we need and grow our own pitching. Spending mega buck on “star” pitchers is risky at best – see Kevin Brown, Jason Schmidt and Darren Driefort. The same money would be so much better spent on Adrian Gonzales than it would be on cliff Lee.

    Speaking of Gonzales, I would give up anything we have in the minors to get 6 years of him in our line up. Anyone remember the effect the crime dog McGriff had when Atlanta got him from San Diego? Adding Adrians bat to the middle of our ordre would be transformational.

  6. Badger says:

    So Steve, does you do or does you do not, trade for Gonzalez?

    Who really knows if he is available. The Red Sox may just reboot this off season and keep him. But, if they do offer him, that contract eliminates just about everybody, and takes him to age 36. I would think if the Red Sox do decide to move him, it would preferably be to a NL team. Who in the NL can a. afford him and b. needs a first baseman? The Dodgers are the most logical landing place for the guy. I wish it could be done now, but, like you said friddo, it ain’t very likely.

    Most of us kinda figured it would take some time to build this right. The team’s start had us all going, but, most of us have been around long enough to know starts often don’t mean much. It’s how you finish. And for a while now, we have been nothing but a mediocre .500 team. On July the 1st we were playing at .550 and were 1 game behind the gints. Now we are at .536 and are 3 games behind them. Obviously, they are playing better.

    Ellsbury is on waivers. Anyone interested?

  7. Bobby says:

    “A James Loney who hits 15 home runs”.

    Your article lost all credibility when you wrote this ridiculous statement.

    • Nedsucks says:

      Exaggeration is a representation of something in an excessive manner.

    • DRomo says:

      I agree. If you think Gonzales is Loney and only hits 15 HRS I don’t think you should be writing on this blog.

      1) Since when does Loney have 15HRS?
      2) Gonzales is a 20+ (low ball figure) HR hitter .300avg 90+ RBI guy year in and year out.

      What is missed is he would lengthen this lineup considerably. He would bat 4th Hanley 5th Ethier 6th. Imagine that? Ethier doesn’t get the lefty specialist anymore. They use it on Gonzo that is an improvment also.

      I get improving from within but we need a bridge to our talent in single A ball. Most scouts cal our AAA and most of our AA talent just so -so.

  8. Gonzo says:

    “You want to be humble, become a Royals fan. You want to compete with the best, you need to field the best.” Love this quote Badger. I too believe that a successful MLB team needs to have equilibrium n all facets, free agency, draft, and scouting.

    While I commend you for writing on this blog you calling AGonz a James Poney is ludicrous. This guy is a studs stud. He just so happens to be playing in the best division in baseball this year where the Orioles have caught lightning in a bottle and the rays have played good ball and have just put it into 5th gear. The yankees..need I say more. The only sore spot are the BoSox and maybe that is the reason AGonz is having a hiccup, – by his standards I salivate for those numbers combined by the two chumps that are playing 1B for us.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Respectfully Justin, I don’t think you understand how much money our new owners have, and the potential for them to make a lot more. A new TV deal (very likely an extremely lucrative regional network) promises to bring in several hundred million per year. Spending on impact players like Gonzalez would likely fill Dodger Stadium every night, and result in over 4 million passing through the turnstiles each year. Sponsorship money would go through the roof. It could well be that instead of the Dodgers aspiring to be the Yankees of the West, that the Yankees will aspire to be the Dodgers of the East.

    And spending on free agents, or picking up the contracts of expensive players in trades doesn’t preclude the Dodgers from spending big to re-build their farm system. It appears as if this ownership has the ability to do both. Not only did the Dodgers spend $42 million on Yasiel Puig, but they also signed upwards of 25 international players (maybe more that I don’t know about). Stan Kasten has a history of being a development oriented guy. That’s not going to change. You build a winning organization not just by building from within, but rather by being flexible, and able to build in multiple ways. And a farm system isn’t just to develop young players that will be the Dodgers of the future. It also is a source of talent that can be used to acquire established big league talent. If the Dodgers have the kind of resources I think they do, then they can afford to give up some promising young talent to acquire established big league stars, because they will also have the resources to replenish the farm system via the draft and the signing of promising international talent. Under McCourt that wasn’t the case.

    This appears to be a new Dodger era, one in which they can afford to build both from within and from without.

    As for the players being Dodgers, you said it yourself. “The Dodger way is “work hard, play hard, win.” If Luis Cruz is a Dodger because he does all that, then so will anyone else coming from another organization who does the same. And a player doesn’t have to be developed by the Dodgers to do that. It comes from within, no matter what organization you’re developed in. And who would you rather have at first base, the Dodger developed Loney or the current outsider Adrian Gonzalez? Was Kirk Gibson any less a Dodger because he started out with the Tigers?

  10. Kevin says:

    We were awareded the claim on Gonzalez. Doubt we get him but still….

  11. SpokaneBob says:

    Again, this is a game changer.

    Make it happen Ned.

  12. Bobby says:

    I wonder if Ned brought RDLR up a few days ago, just to make him a MLB player, and thus not available in an August trade since he has to be put on waivers before he can go anywhere?

    This way, RDLR can’t be part of any A-Gone deal, and it’ll HAVE to be minor leaguers like Lee, Webster, etc?

    If so, brilliant move by Ned. If not, I’m just thinking out loud

    • Badger says:

      Mark said it was because RDLR is better than Guerra, end of discussion.

      But, I think what you just said makes sense. If they insist, he can be a PTBNL. Offer them Guerra instead. Guerra, Webster and Pederson. We’ll take Beckett and his contract as part of the deal just to make it easier for them to make the decision.

  13. Badger says:

    Well said gentlemen.

    And kudos to Justin Nedsux for throwing his opinion out there. On reading it again, I can see what he is getting at and I agree with him on a lot of it. We do need to develop our system, bring up our own now and then and blend them in. We have had 5 straight ROY’s twice. If we could get back to that practice, I would love it.

    As for FA’s, no more Kevin Brown types. Let’s make sure guys we get are stand up guys who want to be here and be a part of a great organization. I would think there would plenty of good, or even great, players that would be begging to be a part of this. Go after them. If we have to convince somebody to play for the Dodgers?…… ef ‘em.

    • Nedsucks says:

      Thanks Badger. This article wasn’t meant for the extreme of not ever signing a free agent. Hanley was a great trade and it is production we needed. But If our farm system was built like it should Cole Hamels should be pitching tonight. I’m more upset with the Dodgers for not getting and elite pitcher to pitch behind Clayton and before Beardingsley. I agree Loney is terrible and A-Gon is an upgrade but the cost in prospects has to be right. Gutting the farm system for one player is what got the 09 Cubs and the 2012 Red Sox in the position they are in.

      If we have the money spend it wisely.

      And spend it for production we need.

      Thanks everybody this was a fun read today.

  14. Gonzo says:

    If the Dodgers accepted to take on Crawford’s contract and/or Beckett’s, thats close to 200 million off the books plus Gonzo’s salary would be about 350 mil over 7 years combined. Why wouldn’t the BoSox want to do this? Maybe Crawford regains his form being a small fish again and batting lead off. I would take two years of Beckett at the 3 or four spot rather than Lirch, Capuano or Lily.

  15. DRomo says:

    Beckett claimed by unnamed team! Some say it may be the Dodgers.

    Interesting could this sweeten the deal for Boston? I’d take Beckett. $16 MM/yr I think for 2 years? + Gonzo?
    Boston needs a SS. I would hate to see Dee Gordon go BUT I love Hanley at SS I say Gordon, Webster or someone not named ZACH LEE maybe Rivera and all of the salary owed to Gonzo and Beckett? Am I dreaming?

  16. DRomo says:

    Confirmed it is the Dodgers who claimed Beckett!

    Something is going on here. Beckett is a 10/5 guy and could block the move.

    Some have speculated the Red Sox could have demanded the Dodgers claim Beckett as part of a package for Gonzo.

    Hell I don’t know what to believe but this stuff is getting interesting!

  17. Bball says:

    Mock my words Beckett and AGON are coming to LA.

  18. Bball says:

    Me to bobby Im just so excited.

  19. DRomo says:

    Gonzo will be great off the bench for late inning replacement for Loney…..
    No? Anyone??

  20. Michael says:

    Maybe I’m eager to spend someone elses money but I don’t want to wait for 5 years before the harvest comes in from replanting the crops and I don’t believe our billionaire owners are either.

  21. Bball says:

    Agree Michael. And I’ll say this, even if we don’t get AGON you have to love what this new ownership is doing. Yankees of the west coast. I love it

  22. Roger Dodger says:

    Remember when Manny came to the Dodgers – the team woke up and played better.

    Right now the team is playing terrible.

    If a guy like AG came over – would the team wake up???

    Or, it it really more than just one hitter than will turn the team????

    I think it will take more.

    If AG came: then it is a solid 1B, SS, LF, CF, & maybe RF.

    That leaves holes at C, and 2B, 3B and maybe RF.

    But there are holes in the starting pitching, and we all hold our breath when the pen comes out.

    But heck, it is only money.

  23. Bball says:

    Roger I here you but have u seen the first basemen up for free agency. The dodgers would control him till I think 2018. Ned has to make this happen if not for this season the next and next. Just heard the sox and dodgers are really close to getting punto , Beckett, AGON and Crawford. WOW

  24. Bball says:

    Worded that wronge but u get what I’m saying

    • Nedsucks says:

      This just in Loney out of the lineup. either mentioned in trade talk.

      Get rid of them both for Crawford AGon and Becket?


  1. [...] behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East. Then more… Free Agency = Death – 08/24/2012 Why promoting from within the Dodgers organization is the [...]

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