Categorized | Mark Timmons

I have a plan… and it’s a good one… I think

In the beginning, there was the plan, and then came the assumptions and the assumptions were without form and the plan was completely without substance and the darkness was upon the faces of the employees and they spake amongst themselves, saying “It is a crock of $hit and it stinks!” and the employees went unto their supervisors, saying “It is a pail of dung and none may abide the odor thereof.” and the supervisors went unto their division managers, saying “It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its strength.” and the division managers went unto their system managers, saying “It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong.” and the general manager went unto the Board, saying “It promotes growth and is very powerful.” and the general manager went unto the Board, saying “This new plan will actively promote the growth and efficiency of this organization.” and the Board looked upon the plan and saw that it was good and the Plan became Policy This is how $hit happens. So here we go:

Acquisition #1:  I believe that it is likely that Jacoby Elsbury will be offered too much money for Boston this winter.  The Yankees woulod love to have him.  That means that they will have a hole to fill in their outfield.  I have a solution:  Andre Ethier, who could be re-united with his best friend, Dustin Pedroia. That could re-energize Andre.  Who would the Dodgers get in return?  Will Middlebrooks, who also had a disappointing year.  Both players could benefit from a change of scenery and Middlebrooks will be 28 at the end of next year, so he’s worth a chance.  There’s the possibility the Dodgers might have to throw in some cash, but so be it!  Middlebrooks has upside even after his bad season in 2013.

Acquisition #2:  If Hanley Ramirez agrees to move to 3B, NO…  if Hanley Ramirez “EMBRACES” a move to 3B, then I would do this:  Carl Crawford and Chris Withrow to the Rangers for Elvis Andrus.  Again, maybe some cash has to go to Texas.

Acquisition #3:  Sign Choo.  It goes against my idea of getting younger, but a .400+ OB% from a leadoff hitter sets the table.It’s going to take $100+ million over 5 years to get it done.  Get it done.

Acquisition #4:  Get Tanaka!  The posting fee doesn’t count toward the salary sap, so if the Dodgers have to pay $100 million that’s OK.  Get it done!

That’s it.  Done!

Lineup:

  1. Choo  LF
  2. Andrus  SS
  3. Ramirez  3B
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Kemp  CF
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Guerrero  2B (60-days will tell if he’s major-league ready.  If he’s not ready, put Middlebrooks at 3B and play Hanley at 2B)
  8. Ellis C

Bench:

  • Middlebrooks
  • Punto
  • Fed-Ex
  • Baxter
  • Van Slyke

Rotation:

  1. Kershaw
  2. Greinke
  3. Ryu
  4. Tanaka
  5. Pick one: Billingsley, Beckett, Fife, Volquez, Stripling, Lee

Pen:

  • Howell
  • Rodriguez
  • Tolleson
  • Dominguez
  • Belisario
  • Jansen

Other notes:

  • I’d love to have Wilson back at the right price.
  • DFA League
  • I’d consider Mike Young if he could adapt to pinch hitting
  • Maybe Marmol?
  • The Dodgers would be silly to give up a lot of prospects, including Seager for David Price – I say NO!

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About Mark Timmons

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

25 Responses to “I have a plan… and it’s a good one… I think”

  1. Badger says:

    Hilarious.

    Tis a plan, and tis good.

    but cept maybe for anyone taking Crawford off our hands. 4 more years at 20+ million per. That means at age 32-35 he would have to put up a collective 20 WAR points to earn his money. That ain’t gonna happen. How much money do you think would need to be sent over there to not only dump his contract, but to pick up one of their best prospects? Jed Clampetti is the only dope foolish enough to take on that contract AND give up talent. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually like Carl Crawford. But we are the only team that can swallow that choad and not throw up.

    The Ethier thing might actually work. Boston would be salivating to deal with Jed again. And he would get snookered in the deal, somehow someway, you can count on it. Middlebrooks would be an interesting piece to plug in, but does Boston have a step in?

    Some creative stuff going on here the last two days. I like it. Entertaining.

  2. Mark_Timmons says:

    $40 Million should get it done, because Andrus is owed over $100 Million.

    • Badger says:

      But Andrus is young, with a ceiling. Crawford will not likely exceed what he did this year. Do you think Crawford has DH value?

      Will Bogaerts stay at third? I kinda figured Drew was toast and Xander moves over. Do I have that wrong?

  3. Bobby says:

    All good ideas.

    I really don’t think Choo is worth 20 mil for 5 years. He’s also getting older, and leaving Cincy or Cleveland to the NL West will surely decrease his numbers. so basically we’re stuck with another Carl Crawford on our hands?

    Andrus could be a good leadoff hitter though? He’s young enough where he fits into our “get young and athletic” plan. Yes, he’s leaving that friendly ballpark as well, but I think his upside is nicer than Choo. Andrus/Guerrero could grow together in the middle infield.

    I can’t see both Ethier AND Crawford leave, only because that likely means 80-100 mil is being eaten just to get rid of both of them. They are still very good players, so it’s not like we’re improving by subtracting. And I think Ethier and his “smaller” deal will be easier to unload to an AL team where he could thrive.

    I’m all in for Tanaka for 2 reasons: 1) baseball wise it makes sense to plug a a stud right hander behind Kersh/Greinke/Ryu and he won’t cost as much as Price, and 2) global branding and marketing. To get Japan’s #1 pitcher after getting Korea’s #1 pitcher and Cuba’s #1 sensation would be fantastic for an LA team. All we need to do now is get the Great Khali and we have India locked up.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, nice piece of writing Mark. Puts you right up there with Plaschke.

    Actually Middlebrooks turned 25 in September. Here’s his stats.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/middlwi01.shtml

    He hit well in August after being recalled, and tailed off in September/October. From what I’ve read Boston probably lets Drew walk and moves Bogaerts to short. That would mean they would have to find a replacement at 3B for Middlebrooks if they traded him. Middlebrooks may well have upside (I don’t know enough about him to say anymore than that), but I still prefer to have Hanley move to 3B, because that’s likely where his current skill set says he belongs, and because short may be a bit too demanding on his body. And I do believe he would EMBRACE IT.

    If a move for Andrus is possible, whether it includes Ethier or Crawford, I’m all for it. Let the Dodgers decide how much salary they’re willing to eat. As for Choo, he will be 32 in July. I love his OBP, but not his defense. He’d probably be better in a corner outfield spot, but that depends on whether or not Kemp is ready to reclaim CF. If he can command a 5-year $100 million contract, I wouldn’t touch him. That would make him 36 in the final year. We need to get younger and more athletic. He doesn’t fit that bill. I’d rather give Pederson a shot. Besides, if we trade only one of Ethier and Crawford, then we already have three outfielders, with Pederson and who knows who else sitting in the wings.

    By all means the Dodgers should go all out to get Tanaka.

    Of course, with trades also a possibility, all of this may look completely different. Chances are that we don’t get a good look at what next year looks like until at least after the Winter Meetings in December. And stuff could happen after that. And finally, how healthy Kemp and everybody is come next season is of paramount importance.

  5. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, the Dodgers were willing last year to take on large contracts to make a statement, and to make this team competitive again. In the same way that they took on those contracts, I also believe they’re just as willing to eat a bunch of money if they feel they’re at the next step to be taken. A championship (by no means guaranteed) would bring in far more than any contracts they were forced to eat. Again, I’ll leave the math on that one to the Dodgers, since I’m sure they have a handle on the money situation.

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This year it’s Will Middlebrooks. Last year it was Mike Olt. I believe that Olt had some vision issues, but whatever the case, he crashed in 2013.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=olt—001mic

    I’d be careful for what I wished for.

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    I still like Olt.

    Brooklyn, I did not insult you.

    Why do you have to call me a Plaschke?

    ;)

  8. dpwtv says:

    I’d be very surprised if Ellsbury resigns with Boston. He wants a ton of money, he’s injury prone and they have Jackie Bradley Jr. ready to take over center field. JBJ struggled in his first season, but they still think highly of him. Ellsbury in my opinion will sign somewhere else…. maybe Seattle…. which is 100 miles away from his home town of Mankato.

    As far as everything else, the only person I’d trade from the outfield is Ethier. This team is so close as constructed right now to winning the World Series. We just need another pitcher and a better bench. That was what killed us last season. The pitching in general was fine.

    Injuries are going to happen…. our main issue was when the inevitable injuries happened… we didn’t have bench players that could step in and even do 50% of the production that the injured starters could have. Building a bench is probably one of the most difficult things to do. They’re bench players for a reason… but the Dodgers need to do that. Probably mostly young players and a few wily veterans

  9. Badger says:

    Mike Olt = Andy LaRoche = Blake DeWitt

    I like Plaschke.

    Choo might be younger than his age. He is Asian, they stay younger by eating a lot of ocean fish and………… never mind.

    I predict the Dodgers will not be outbid for Tanaka. It makes sense that he comes to LA. He is a Pacific rimmer and he belongs close to the Pacific……… never mind.

    My leaves are starting to fall.

  10. Bob says:

    In 2005 the Boston Red Sox franchise was rated as having the worst minor league system in MLB. Now, after 8 years, they are rated #1. At the beginning of the 2013 season the St. Louis Cardinals were rated as having the best minor league system in MLB. Now they have fallen to 8th, but only because they promoted so many of their young prospects to the MLB during the season. Two teams with very good minor league systems met in the 2013 World Series. Are either or both of them be on the verge of a dynasty?

    The LA Dodgers are now rated #19 in MLB. Does that mean anything? Hopefully that means that all Dodger fans should believe that Stan does have the right plan to develop the Dodger minor league system in a manner that creates a new Dodger dynasty within 5 years. If the Red Sox can do it, then why can’t the Dodgers?

    The 2013 Red Sox team was not developed from within. Very few of their key players were actually drafted by them. During the 2013 season they had 3 pitcher draftees with more than 30 innings and 5 position player draftees with more than 100 ABs.

    Hopefully the Dodgers will continue to properly transition to a farm built team through good drafts and wise trades, i.e. do not trade Seager for anyone, maybe not even straight up!

    Tanaka would be a nice and appropriate addition to the Dodger team, which needs many more players added during the off season before being ready to compete in 2014.

    Currently Ned is looking at the following team with some very obvious large holes:

    Kershaw-194 (ERA+)
    Greinke-135
    Ryu-119
    Beckett-69
    Fife-93

    Jansen-190
    Dominquez-173
    Rodriquez-154
    Withrow-138
    Guerra-88
    League-38
    Garcia-35

    Ellis-C
    Federowicz-C

    Gonzalez-1B
    Guerrero-2B
    Rameriz-SS
    Sellers-3B
    Herrera-INF/OF
    Gordon-INF/OF

    Crawford-LF
    Kemp-CF
    Puig-RF
    Ethier-OF
    Van Slyke-OF/1B

    The 2014 Hot Stove should generally be very interesting, and needs to be productive for the Dodgers to return to the playoffs in 2014.

  11. Bobbie17 says:

    At this point in the hot stove, it’s got to be pitching, pitching, pitching. Nolasco and Tanaka seem to be doable. Resign Howell. Figure out Paco. Find someone to do a Wilson. On the offensive side, get Young for the right price/terms. The stars can wait, for now. I would love Andrus. Is Ramirez going to get his back fixed before ST, or will he wait until opening day to do it.?

  12. Adam says:

    My prediction is that the Dodgers will not be “in” on notable free agents or trades, with the exception of Tanaka. Probably try to re-sign Uribe for 1 year, sign a FA bullpen arm to supplement a very young relief corps, and re-sign Punto or another utility infielder. SVS will back up first and OF. Otherwise, hang onto the prospects and build from within.

    Manager is different. The Cubs are interviewing Ausmus. Theo Epstein knows what he’s doing. Wanna bet Theo wouldn’t be interviewing Mattingly if Don was available? L.A. should have an elite manager; Mattingly is not elite. This town is used to Lasorda, Alston, Phil Jackson, John Wooden, Pat Riley, Pete Caroll, John McKay etc. Maybe we’re snobs but I don’t think the Dodgers should settle for a second tier manager.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark, I actually put that in to get a rise out of you. Actually, you’re kind of Jon Weismanesque.

    Forget the ratings. They change with the weather. The Dodgers are currently in the process of re-building the farm system, and that’s what counts. And the purpose of a farm system is to 1.) provide a talent pipeline to fill spots on the MLB roster, and 2.) to provide a talent pipeline that provides the team with a surplus of talent that can be traded for more advanced big league talent and/or prospects that fill immediate needs. And not being willing to trade Seager for anyone is just plain shortsighted. If Seager can be used in a deal to fill an immediate need, then use him. I’m not suggesting just any deal, but one which would demonstrably improve the team. In other words, don’t give him away. So if the Dodgers were to make a deal with Texas to get Andrus and Texas insisted that Seager be included in the deal, I’d probably do it. Andrus is young, has a big league track record, and would fill an immediate need. Seager on the other hand is just potential. He might fulfill his potential, might exceed it, or just might not measure up. And hopefully if the Dodgers are doing their job, they will fill up the pipeline behind Seager, and so on, and so on, and ….

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If the Dodgers are really hot after Tanaka, it could be that they’re saving all their bullets for that bid, and will seek help elsewhere via trade. If not successful in getting Tanaka, then we might see some heavy activity by the Dodgers in the free agent market. However, I don’t expect that they really want to be bidding for players that get qualifying offers, since such offers carry with them the price of a first round pick.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, I should have said that qualifying offers bring with them the price of a draft pick. First signing is a first round pick, second signing is a 2nd round pick, and so on.

  16. Badger says:

    The system is getting restocked. A lot of it is international talent. I still don’t see any of our guys in the top 25. And as we know, this is about NOW. If the Dodgers can use somebody, ANYBODY, to get a piece they figure helps us to win it all, then I say do it.

    I don’t see Andrus as that piece. I may be wrong about that. I like him but the piece I am talking about would be a 4-5 WAR guy at a position of need. And who would be available? Price is. That could happen if we don’t get Tanaka. If we get either if those guys we could win it with who we have now – IF they all come back healthy.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I don’t see Andrus as necessarily THE piece, but I think he would be an extremely important piece. I don’t know how he’s rated defensively, but I’m guessing he’s pretty good. He certainly has speed, as attested to by his his 42 steals in 50 attempts. He’s also young, so maybe there’s still an upside to what is already a pretty good player. Also, the acquisition of Andrus (or another player of the same ilk) would enable the Dodgers to move Hanley to 3B, where he is probably best suited. So in effect, Andrus would help solve the Dodgers 3B problem, while at the same time allowing Hanley to move over to a less stressful position.

    I looked at Andrus’ stats, and although he gets on base at a fairly good clip, it would be nice if he improved on that. He also strikes out too much. But overall he’s a good player, and at 25 (26 next August) he can probably get better as he continues to mature.

    And really what improvements are needed to win it all? Andrus, as I noted, may not be THE piece, but he can be an important incremental piece, which when added to other moves, can add up to a championship. I think he helps to lengthen the lineup, and as we all know, that’s extremely important in a game without a clock, where a team isn’t retired until 3 outs are recorded. And tell me that a player like Andrus couldn’t have made a difference in the NLCS where every game (except the last one) was extremely close. I don’t think he’s a small addition, but even he were, we all know how important little things can be.

    So I think he’s an important incremental piece, who will take on added value if we add Tanaka, Guerrero shows us he can play, Matt Kemp returns healthy, Hanley returns healthy, Crawford stays healthy, and so on, and so on, and …. Just like it’s one game at a time, it’s also one piece at a time.

  18. Badger says:

    I like Andrus. I just wouldn’t give up much for him. He hasn’t hit a 100 OPS+ yet and if he can’t do that in Texas, he probably won’t do it here. But if we get him and Hanley moves, we’re better.

    Pitching. Kemp and Ramirez on the field for 150 games. I would even give Uribe another year if we don’t find the right fit.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I guess I’m just totally biased against Uribe. There is no way I give him another year. Last time he had a good year in 2009, when he hit .289, he followed that up with .248 the next year. Has never put together two consecutive good years. I don’t trust that he’ll duplicate this year, and except for the defense, this year was not all that great anyway, and certainly not what you’d like out of your third baseman, at least the third baseman on a championship team.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/uribeju01.shtml

    Of course, I’m hopeful that some stupid team out there will give him a multi-year deal (2 or 3 years), and that he won’t even consider the Dodgers. And again, the fact that he’ll be 35 next year makes him that much less appealing.

    I don’t think I could take another year of watching him step in the bucket time after time. He’s gotten somewhat better at hitting the ball up the middle and to right, but not enough to satisfy me. Nice guy, nice in the clubhouse, wonderful defense. And with all of that I still want him somewhere else.

  20. Badger says:

    Peralta?

    Or are you counting on Ramirez moving? Guerrero could play short, though I don’t see him there. I’m not crazy about Uribe either, but maybe….. one more year?

    Well we have months to talk about this stuff. I just want to hear Kemp and Ramirez are healing.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Ramirez only moves if the Dodgers acquire a shortstop. So really, I’m not counting on anything. And like you said, we have months to talk about this stuff, and the Dodgers have months to go about their business. Everything here is just speculation based on stuff none of us can verify. I just know what I’d like to see, and hope that what I actually see is a reasonable facsimile. There will probably be stuff that happens that none of us is even thinking about.

    Like you I too want to hear that Kemp and Ramirez are healing. Actually, I don’t just want to hear about it. I want to witness it next year. Whatever happens there is one thing of which I have no doubt. The Dodgers will be active this offseason. I also have no doubt that I don’t want to see Uribe in a Dodger uniform next year. Just not seeing him will be a sign that we have move that much further on from the McRoach era.

    I think I read somewhere a while back that Guerrero is not a very good shortstop. If true, we’re not likely to see him over there, except in an emergency.

    This is a Ben Badler scouting report from Baseball America from July of this year.

    “After several strong seasons of offensive performance in Cuba’s top league, 26-year-old shortstop Alexander Guerrero is now a free agent in the Dominican Republic.

    Throughout the industry, Guerrero is not viewed as a premium talent, but it would not be a surprise if his contract ended up exceeding the scouting consensus on his talent level.

    Background

    In his final season in Cuba, Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs, 39 walks and 30 strikeouts in 328 plate appearances for Las Tunas. The Cuban league is a supercharged offensive environment, but he had strong numbers in Cuba for five straight seasons, so his performance wasn’t a one-year fluke.

    Scouts saw Guerrero at Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands last summer, when Guerrero went 0-for-4 with a strikeout as he and Aledmys Diaz were the backups to slick-fielding shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena. The Cubans seemed to value other shortstops like Diaz and Arruebarruena ahead of Guerrero when it came to selecting players to travel for international tournaments.

    Scouting Report

    At 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Guerrero’s best tool is his righthanded power. It’s not outstanding raw power, but some scouts have given him above-average raw power and say his pop seems to have increased since he arrived in the Dominican Republic.

    Several scouts have reservations about whether that power will translate against major league pitching. Guerrero takes an uppercut stroke and he loses his balance against breaking pitches. It’s a pull-oriented, swing-for-the-fences approach that scouts think he will have to change to hit quality pitching. Scouts have also noted that the holes in his swing leave him susceptible to good velocity.

    “He has raw power, no doubt, but I don’t see there being enough hitting ability to make that raw power that usable,” one scout said. “It’s a real rigid swing with stiffness.”

    Guerrero didn’t show much speed when scouts evaluated him during international competition or with his stolen base totals in Serie Nacional. In four seasons from 2008-11, Guerrero went 0-for-7 stealing bases, then last year he went 2-for-7 stealing.

    Since arriving in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero has shown improved speed with above-average times in the 60-yard dash, which is highly unusual for a 26-year-old to start running faster. Even still, scouts aren’t convinced that his 60-yard times will carry over to baseball speed going home to first, stealing bases or in the field.

    One thing Guerrero has going for him is that some scouts think he can stay in the middle of the infield, although shortstop is probably out of the question. His hands and actions are playable but he doesn’t have the first-step quickness or range to play shortstop and he can be a bit stiff in the field. Second base could be an option for him and a team that likes him a lot will probably play him there.

    Future Projection

    Once Guerrero signs, he will likely go to Double-A or Triple-A, with the hope that he can get to the major leagues quickly. Several teams aren’t convinced he has the ability to either reach the majors or stick there as an everyday player, but whatever team signs him will probably see him as an offensive-oriented second baseman.

    While Yoenis Cespedes showed in his first season that the scouting hype was merited and Yasiel Puig has developed faster than anticipated, several scouts believe that Guerrero’s talent level is more in line with players like Leslie Anderson, Juan Carlos Linares, Jorge Padron and Adonis Garcia, four Cuban players who also performed well in Serie Nacional but have yet to reach the majors.”

    According to this report at least, “His hands and actions are playable but he doesn’t have the first-step quickness or range to play shortstop and he can be a bit stiff in the field.” So he’s probably not a candidate for short. Who knows, he might not hit either.

    I guess I could be interested in Peralta, but only if he doesn’t cost a draft pick. I imagine he won’t, because I can’t see the Tigers making a $14 million qualifying offer to him. But if they did, I wouldn’t touch him. Still rather have the speedy Andrus. Might even prefer the younger Profar.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Just looked at Peralta’s stats. Sorry, not interested in a 32 year old with an occasional good season mixed in with a lot of mediocre seasons. The Dodgers can do better than that, or at least should do better than that. Peralta looks to be the type of player the McDirt owned Dodgers would pursue.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/peraljh01.shtml

    I’d rather make a trade for someone like Andrus, Profar, or some other similar player. I don’t guess that the Braves would be interested in trading Andrelton Simmons.

  23. Badger says:

    Yeah, I read all that (and more) and I read a few similar defensive analysis’s of Ramirez. Guerrero has been a SS and projects as a 2b. I get that. And I know you don’t like Peralta (I’m not that crazy about him either) but we are looking for a two year fix until Seager is ready. There doesn’t appear to be anybody out there. The last time I heard Andrus’ named as a possible trade candidate was in July. Is he available? The Rangers might be interested in Ethier, and like I have said more than once, I think he puts up a 4 WAR down there. Can that trade happen? I haven’t heard anybody talking about it. Just in chat rooms. And you can bet all over this country there is chat going on about how any given team can trade a couple of AA players for Puig. Hell, I would like to trade Pederson, Lee, Garcia and my two cats for Longoria. But that won’t happen. The wife would veto that trade.

    The more I think about Price for our 4 best the more I don’t like it. The Rays don’t have to move him yet, so if somebody wants him it will take a top 10 talent +, which we don’t have, or all of our best, which at this time I wouldn’t do. Wait and see what happens with Tanaka. If we get him, there are #5′s out there that would come cheap, including a couple we have in our own system.

    So we wait. Who knows what other players might be available that nobody is talking about.

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