Everyone is busy considering who will make the Dodger’s 25 man roster this year, but that may be the wrong question.   Will Figgins win a job?  That’s not the question.  What about Turner and Gordon as a 2B platoon?  Not relevant.  Will Alex Guerrero be anything close to a starter at 2B this year?   Maybe… or not!  Pederson this,  Van Slyke that!   Hummmm…Will Kemp be ready?  When will they extend Hanley?  THEY WON’T!  It ain’t happening.  Sure he’s MVP material.  Sure, he could be awesome.  Too much risk!

Here’s what is going to happen:  Sooner than later,  Hanley is going to be traded to the New York Yankees.   He will immediately sign a 6 year deal for $200 million and move to shortstop with Derek Jeter moving to 2B to tutor Hanley his last year.  I don’t know who all will be involved in the trade, but I guarantee catcher Gary Sanchez is part of it.   The Dodgers aren’t going to give Hanley $200 million… nor should they – but he will get it!  This makes perfect sense.  This could be a 3 or 4 team deal and I think the Dodgers will look to restock the farm – Sanchez is a big step in that direction.  The Dodgers need a future catcher and he could be an elite one.

The Dodgers have signed Arruebarrena for starting shortstop money.  Alex Guerrero makes starter money at 2B and Dee Gordon is a possibility.  The Dodgers may start the year with Hanley Ramirez at SS, but they could end it with Arrrrr at SS.

The Dodgers won’t do the deal unless Matt Kemp is healthy.  By the way – Matt had better learn to tone it down a notch.  Quit running with reckless abandon and don’t be such a thief (i.e., quit stealing so much – stay on the field). 

The possibility exists that this could be the Dodgers lineup at the end of this season:

  1. Crawford  LF
  2. Guerrero/Gordon  2B
  3. Kemp  CF
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Puig  RF
  6. Uribe  3B
  7. Sanchez  C
  8. Arruebarrena  SS

Rants & Raves

  • Corey Seager is an amazing prospect.  I think he has a bright future, but I have no opinion as to where he will play – SS, 3B, 1B, LF – who knows?  Right now, he’s a shortstop.  Someone mentioned Billy Ashley in the same breath as Seager.  Please.  Not even relevant.  Ashly NEVER hit like Seager at lower levels.  All his power was induced by San Antonio and Albuquacky – all notorious for inflating power numbers.  Lots of players who were good at San Antonio and Albq never amounted to anything.  Look at the stats.  Seager struggled the first month at Low A and then tore up the league as it’s youngest player until the end of the season.  He struggled at High A for a short time, but never had a chance to finish.  The kid is  a hitter and may start at AA this year, even though he struggled at High A.  He’s one of the elite prospects in baseball.  Look it up…
  • Gordon with a jack yesterday?  That muscle-bound colossus!  I don’t have  a lot of hope for him and I hope I am really wrong about that!
  • The DH is coming to the NL… soon!  Right it down.  I said, it meant it and I’m here to represent it!
  • Play ball Wednesday!
  • I feel bad for Danny Granger, but the Pacers got better.  Danny is a class act.
  • I felt good for Dale Jr., as maligned as a driver he has been for the past 5 years!   Good for you, Junior!
  • Andre Ethier is being shopped.
  • Hey, didn’t you used to be Trayvon Robinson?

Punch-February-Mouth-Sale

  1. Badger says:

    You see, this is why you should not quit this. Every now and then you throw up some interesting, thought provoking, and off the wall Dodger thoughts.

    Sanchez is an interesting prospect, and listed as the Yankees #1. He is Minor League All Star but replacing Ramirez’ bat with this guy would be a serious drop off. But, like you, I can see the Dodgers and Yankees doing this. I give it about a 30% chance of happening. The Yankees need a star to replace Jeter. If Hanley is healthy enough, he could do it. And like we have talked about already, that’s also a place he could take a night off and DH. It makes sense.

    Seager is a kid who, once he figures it out, will likely be a star. He only has 100 at bats in the minors, low minors at that, and hasn’t done a whole lot with them other than a .350 OBP and an OPS over .800. Guess that’s something, but in my mind he has to have a .900 OPS at AA before I believe he might be ready. He should get there, but I don’t see it this year. Probably two more years.

    The thing is, I believe the Dodgers would like to win a championship before breaking up this current group. Ramirez is middle of the order thunder and the Dodgers need that to win it all. Letting him go early could be a mistake. That lineup you just listed has a lot of outs at the bottom of it, but I think it would be fine for a restart of a World Series winner.

    Good post. I’m sure there will be lots of typing on that one.

  2. Gonzo says:

    I also think this trade could be possible. But I also believe that LA will offer Hanley a 4 year contract in the 80-90 range. If he accepts that puts Seager in the show at 22 or 23. Without Hanley the road to the WS gets a lot tougher. When he’s right watch out. I see this happening if a few things happen:

    1. Guerrero is the real deal and pulls his weight.

    2. Yasiel is the real deal and pulls his weight.

    3. Key players play in 140-150 games (Crawford, Kemp, Gonzalez)

    4. Uribe plays like he did last year.

    And the sun will come out tomorrow.

  3. Bobbie17 says:

    These prospects have to hit at higher levels before anyone should get too excited about them. .300 at 2A is a good barometer. Until then they are just prospects, and the world is full of them. The best thing you can say about the Dodger top prospects is that all of the experts seem to agree. Usually the are right.

  4. Bob says:

    Since Stan has said several times that he hates no trade clauses, I believe that there is a possibility that Hanley is extended for 2-3 years at a high annual price, and then is traded after the season is over. A trade depends upon the health of the current major league ready players and the progress of the prospects.

    Nothing is more important than today and trying to figure out many pitchers have to be injured during spring training for Seth Rosin to make the club!

    I like Armbar.

  5. SpokaneBob says:

    As a Baseball traditionalist, I hope the NL does not adapt the DH. In addition, we probably have the best hitting starting rotation in the league. That’s quite an advantage.

  6. Badger says:

    Aruba. I like it. Armbar? clever, but the image is not one I prefer. Anyone else?

    What Bob said about Hanley. Sign him, allow him to help with the championship year, then trade him for a pile of prospects. Hope the Spankees like the idea.

  7. Mark_Timmons says:

    Hanley is not going to sign a 2 or 3 year deal. Why would he when it is likely the Yankees will give him $200 million? It makes no sense.

    Get real people! Think with your heads, not your hearts. I can see him taking a 5 year $150 million dollar deal from the Dodgers, but I think it’s too much!

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Get real people! Think with your heads, not your hearts. I can see him taking a 5 year $150 million dollar deal from the Dodgers, but I think it’s too much!”

    So… you think 30 million a year for 5 years is too much for a guy already 4 years past his prime?

    Uh, yeah, I think you’re right about that. So what is the smart move here? I thought I WAS thinking with my head when I made my suggestion. He’s already signed for this year. There’s no rule we have to offer him an extension now. That’s where the QO idea comes into play. That may be a problem because Hanley “wants to be a Dodger for life”. Of course he does. But let’s face it, if the Yankees are willing to give him that $150 million I’m pretty sure he would be just as happy to be happy there.

    Until we have a plan to replace his bat I don’t move him. Make him a reasonable offer (or don’t) and if he gets pissy about it call Cashman.

  9. DRomo says:

    Hanley will not be traded. Even with no extension the Dodgers will let it play out and at worst extend a qualifying offer to recieve the draft chooice in return. If he stays healthy money won’t be the obstacle in re-signing him.
    Before you go to the “Dodgers got outbid on Tanaka” card, The Dodgers didn’t want to spend that money on a 3rd starter or maybe even a 4th starter. They may break the bank again for an everyday , MVP caliber, SS/3B. But thats up to Hanley to stay healthy and earn it.

  10. Quasimodo says:

    Most times my heart is smarted than my brain and my heart ain’t so sharp. Thinking with one’s heart should be the 1st part of the test before reason being the final. My heart told me Figgins may really want to leave baseball on a better note. That’s powerful stuff. The Marlins have no heart. Stores open every year with that club. Its why they can’t build a fan base. I’m able to look at several seemingly smart moves turn out disastrous. Would Kershaw have the lowest ERA 3 years running without A.J.? He’d still be the best but there’s a chunk of Kershaw’s success that he’s renting from A.J. Yeah, we’ve gotten our hearts broken probably many more times than our heads. My brain wasn’t too at risk – it never worked anyways. I tried looking for ways to justify the NL adapting DH. It can’t be. The unwritten rules of Little League Baseball wins that one. When the ‘working for your ups’ rule was broken it happened by a manager. It was a dirty mover in the kids hearts. But in Little League the pitcher was usually also the best hitter we’d let him know that too calling him ‘glory’. I feel if the only thing you can do at the plate is make an out there should be NO WAY to change that. We can always one up the AL with just granting pitchers 1B. But then they’d have pass the running test. Most of the time I have no brain to work with and I thank my friends here who are able to still grasp the meaning of what I try to express. Sometimes I look at a yesterdays post and it reads the complete opposite to my thoughts. And I appreciate you all for seeing past that.

  11. Bobby says:

    I KNOW we aren’t stupid enough to give Hanley 5 yrs 150mil. If that makes him “happy”, then I guess go be happy in NYC

    Angels on verge of offering Trout 6 years 150? Wowwwwwww

    • Badger says:

      Trout is worth the money. He’s on his way up. Ramirez can still hit, but he can’t do it the way he usta did. If he wants 5 more years we could do it with 4 and an option. It can work for the Dodgers. Just make the last two years a tradable contract. If that won’t work he is asking too much. I want him in the lineup but if we keep giving huge contracts to guys passing their prime the we won’t get the Trout’s and the Cabrera’s. I would rather give that money to somebody like Stanton.

      You write with your heart Quas. I’ve always liked that about you. I know you’re going through some tough times. Hang in there my friend.

  12. Frank A says:

    Arruebarrena is NOT going to play this year in the Major Leagues. The Dodgers are NOT going to trade Hanley this year. The fans would revolt! Simmons, come back to Earth, now. Arruebarrena (however it’s spelled or pronounced) may never be a starter. I think Kasten and Colletti saw what was happening to the bench player market and decided they actually needed to look at that issue long term. Better to sign a youngster to fulfill that bench defense player need than to pay two or three year contracts for 30+ year old vets.

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    If Hanley goes one way or another (walk, trade, etc.) — best to find a real hitter like him to take his place. Or the Dodger lineup will stink.

    As been said here earlier this week — IF Kemp is healthy and returns to his hitting form, ok, that helps.

    Puig may or may not be the Puig we remember and love. Lot of Ifs there.

    Uribe, Elis cannot tork it up any more than they have. Crawford is at his best of what he has left in the tank. AGon is floating nicely, but I expect injuries and some loss of power each year from now out. Ethier is Ethier and if he stays, will do fine, but not be the driver of the team.

    That leaves only whoever is on 2nd base, and do not expect big numbers from there.

    This might be a tougher year than we think.

    But, sign Hanley and it begins to fall in place better.

  14. Quasimodo says:

    Really, Roger? So many of the things you’ve said have fallen into place. Is the worry about health only because we’re too used to being the front runner on the DL? Even if health problems revisit in 2014 they couldn’t top 2013 and there’s more answers at hand. I’m gonna stay optimistic until I can’t. I think HanRam doesn’t put money near the top of his list and he’s even more on a mission this year. If things don’t start off great I’ll really be shocked. I can’t see any other team with more ducks in a row.

  15. Quasimodo says:

    Cards never get caught with their pants down. They don’t explore wild experiments. The franchise keeps the same formula as always. Cards and Pirates are in a tie for 2nd favorite and Mets close behind. Its not really the team that makes my opinion, its what I think about their fans. I have to admit I’m a little jealous of Cards fans. With Pirates its sorta just remembering some really fun to watch games several years back. I’m really beginning to feel the threat of not being able to catch the new channel in time. Sucks, huh?

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    The team that finishes the season is almost always not the team you begin with. Nothing new about that.

    Gary Sanchez? Might be the Yankees #1 prospect, but then, so was Jesus Montero. Maybe stats don’t tell the whole story, but those linked below don’t impress. Still hasn’t played above AA. If he’s in our lineup at the end of the season, it’s likely because the Dodgers are out of the race.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sanche001gar

    The Dodgers want to win this year, so I don’t see them trading Hanley unless the return in players is overwhelming and helps now. The Dodgers have some good prospects, and are out and about signing lots of new ones. Last I heard, I think the number of international signings this past year was about 47. So while Hanley could likely fetch a bunch of nice prospects, the Dodgers are already adding to their prospect stable.

    “The Dodgers won’t do the deal unless Matt Kemp is healthy.” Actually, they’re more likely to do something like that if Matt Kemp isn’t healthy. Because if Kemp isn’t healthy, the Dodgers chances of winning will diminish considerably, and they might be more open to adding new younger talent. If Kemp is healthy, together with Hanley, Agon, etc. the Dodgers lineup is much more dynamic, and much more likely to produce the championship that the Dodgers are seeking.

    Finally, what would make anyone think that the Dodgers would trade part of the heart of their lineup just as they’re about to launch their new network, and have raised ticket prices considerably?

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Of course, anything is possible, but I’m not holding my breath. And even the Yankees wouldn’t pay Hanley $200,000,000 for 6 years, an average of over $33 million/year.

  17. Watford Dodger says:

    Brilliant take there Brooklyn – absolutely agree. No need or reason to trade Hanley. If he stays healthy & Kemp comes back strongly, plus a full year of Puig & good fortune with our collective health – we are much stronger than last year. For me it’s all about getting & keeping our best players on the park – and we have a new medical team to help with that.
    I’m really optimistic.

  18. Badger says:

    I’m inclined to agree Brooklyn, but to the point of Mark’s post, what will the Dodgers be willing to give Hanley AFTER this year? Since it’s a contract year, I’ll do what I always do in that case – predict a productive year out of Hanley. Looking at the numbers, the last time Ramirez played over 150 games he had a 2.9 WAR. Fangraphs is all over the map trying to predict what he will do this year, but nobody is willing to predict 150 games. Again, contract year, so I’m going to say 135 games with a near 5 WAR. I think that’s being generous. After this year, the next 5 are his 31-35 years. For a guy who has already shown he can get dinged up, what can we expect AFTER he is given an enormous guaranteed contract? Remember, his 7 WAR years were in his early 20′s. What are you willing to pay him for those 5 years.

    I agree with Mark. No matter what he does in this, his last big contract year, I don’t break the bank for the next 5. If he won’t sign a reasonable extension, I put him out there every day this year and give the QO next off season. May sound cold, but we have seen what happens to over 30 players in the post steroid era. We will see no more Barry Bonds in this game. A players best years clearly happen in their 20′s.

  19. Pete M. says:

    Badger… I’ll take the thought out of thought provoking and stay with ‘off the wall’…
    How is our bench rounding out thus far??? FedEx – SVS – Dee – Turner and ???
    Is MLB really blacking out game tommorow night here in So-Cal and will not provide LAD coverage during the year??? It is time to gather the resistance… I’m good for a couple inn’s on the radio and then I slip into the land of nod…

    • Badger says:

      I would think that the cable systems would be throwing a wide net with the Dodgers broadcasts this year. I don’t understand the politics of this one – there is money to be made and these bozos appear to be blowing it.

      The bench should be ok Pete. It would be great to have a stud infielder to step in, but we have an All Star outfielder as first off the bench in late innings. Not everyone can claim that. Between Turner, Gordon, Figgins and Aruba, somebody will step up and be pretty good. I have confidence in the Cuban players. Guerrero should give us at least what Ellis did last year, I suspect much more. Uribe, not in a contract year, hopefully cares enough to give 130 games. AGon is who is is. We are a 100 win team IF our starters all stay healthy to the end of the year. If they don’t? Who knows.

  20. Badger says:

    I find the following interesting:

    “The Twins are a very unlikely landing spot for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Diaz is looking to land a deal like the five-year, $25MM contract given Arruebarrena, says Wolfson, but Minnesota does not believe he is as good as his countrymate.”

    btw, I am not predicting 100 wins. I am still going with the over-under of 96. Not sure which way I go with that bet. 96 wins means a lot went right. I hope that happens, but, in this game, you just never know.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I suspect the Dodgers would be willing to give Hanley a nice contract that extends him for 4-5 years, bringing him to his age 34 or 35 seasons. And I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that he can be productive until age 35. No guarantee, but that wasn’t all that unusual in the pre-PED era. It’s being productive into the late 30′s and early 40′s that distinguished Bonds. Also, the Dodgers don’t need Hanley to be productive throughout the full length of any contract. If he’s the difference in garnering a championship or two in the early years of his contract, he will have paid for himself. By the time he gets towards the end of his contract the Dodgers will hopefully have a deep pipeline of prospects, which collectively will be able to replace Hanley’s production.

    Hanley certainly had some problems staying on the field last year. However, the thumb injury was simply a freak accident that could have happened to any player. Also, it appears, just like Agon, it took Hanley two years to recover from his shoulder surgery, which I believe was the major reason for his unproductive period in 2011 and 2012 in Miami. He began to pick it up in the second half of 2012 with the Dodgers, and appeared to be all the way back once he got on the field last year. If handled correctly, I see no reason why Hanley can’t be productive until 34 or 35. And I’m hopeful that the Dodgers will be deep enough to give him some time off. Maybe Seager will turn out to be good, and will initially get some of his playing time spelling both Hanley and Agon to keep both of them fresh. And I’m sure there are an infinite number of other scenarios.

    Speaking of shoulders, it’s the recoveries of Hanley and Agon from their shoulder surgeries that gives me hope for Kemp, assuming his ankle turns out to be OK.

  22. Quasimodo says:

    I’ve seen Mattingly pamper Hanley after taking HanRam out of a game. It was pretty clear Hanley really had his feelings hurt. Part of a manager’s job. Ozzie Idiot would of probably yelled at him. This kid loves baseball more than money. Yankees won’t be able to buy him. He loves LA and LA loves him back. I’m more worried about his feelings than his bones getting hurt. When he finally came off the DL it was obvious what he does for a lineup – day and night obvious. To have him at the start of the season is exciting. Well, I’m about to head across the street to the sports bar and see if they’ve got sportsnetla. If they don’t I’ll be missing the launch. Good time to toss down a couple drinks, I guess.

  23. Badger says:

    As a former umpire, I don’t see this as much of a rule change. And I see a potential interpretation problem. The catcher can still block the plate as long as he has the ball (that’s a change) So he receives the ball in front of plate then steps into the baseline preventing direct access to the plate for the runner who by rule is allowed a direct line to the plate. Runners are not required to slide….. so….. there is a stand up collision and the catcher is knocked ass over teacup – what’s the call?

    http://www.mlb.com/news/article/la/mlb-institutes-new-rule-on-home-plate-collisions?ymd=20140224&content_id=68267610&vkey=news_la

  24. Quasimodo says:

    Nope, not yet. That’s with having SportsNetLA in the bar yet. It would be if the owner were there. I’d probably not find it all that exciting anyways. So I’ll watch it by proxy. (meaning you all can fill me in) The beer cost too much anyways.

  25. Bobby says:

    Well kids, no matter what team finishes the season, the team that starts the season will start in about 20 hours!!

    Finally, after that horrible Kersh-led game in StL where we got our butts handed to us, we can begin dissecting each spring at bat.

    Cannot wait!

  26. Badger says:

    Report at MLB says Kemp will start the year on the DL. DIsappointing- yes. Surprising – no. That bonehead play last summer continues to punish. He isn’t even running yet.

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    Ankle, foot injuries are serious . . . and I keep thinking of all that weight from his body running hard . . . it will take some time. Most likely more than till April 1, or May 1, maybe even later.

  28. Quasimodo says:

    We’ve all seen a few double-jointed people do things with their bodies that look impossible, at least I’ve seen several on TV. If one was double-jointed at their ankles their walking days would end at an early age. What happened with Kemp that night was beyond freakish. It appeared to be impossible to get hurt so bad. But it was also obvious he was. Mike Petriello must of gotten an exclusive of that footage because I haven’t seen it anywhere else. Badger and I were on the same page that it was very serious but I never thought it would be this much so. Now I hope this isn’t a career killer but I’m beginning to think Kemp is done in center field. Geez, hope I got it wrong.

  29. Badger says:

    An MRI on Friday to determine when he can start running. Unless it says that afternoon I’ll be disappointed.

    “Gotta feel sad for the good players who are not yet with a team.”

    Nope. We all have regrets. One of mine is I didn’t play professional baseball when I had the chance. All the guys on that list are extremely fortunate individuals. I wonder how many of them actually know that.

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