Dodger fans were elated to hear that Clayton Kershaw, Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig and Zach Greinke had made the All-Star team.  Really, there was no surprise in that all were very deserving.  I hope you watched the MLB video of Dee Gordon finding out – he is such a good kid.  I was high on him in the beginning and then got down on him, but he has worked hard and is now an All-Star.  I applaud your work ethic and hustle, Dee!

What is surprising is that the following highly paid “former stars” didn’t make it:

  • Adrian Gonzalez – $21.8 million
  • Matt Kemp -$21.2 million
  • Carl Crawford – $21.1 million
  • Josh Beckett – $17 million
  • Hanley Ramirez – $16 million
  • Andre Ethier – $15.5 million

This is a team which has a 5th starter and a set-up man making $10 million each!  Of course,  Zach Greinke makes big bucks too ($26 million), but considering that Kershaw, Puig and Gordon are making a COMBINED $10.7 million this year, should give the Dodgers pause about doling out big contracts to aging superstars.  You might want to re-think that Stan and Ned!  Sure, your plan put a few more butts in seats, but this absurd payroll is going to hamstring the team for a long time to come.  I warned you about it long ago and here we are!

Look at other teams who signed aging free agents: Angels (Hamilton & Pujols) and Yankees (A-Rod, Texieria, et al)… to name a couple, have come to regret it, but the Dodgers just did it bigger than anyone.  I realize they are trying to grow the farm, which is why they shouldn’t trade anymore prospects for aging superstars – JUST SAY NO TO PRICE!

Other Rants

  • Carlos Truinfel is Obviously a Mental Midget – Sorry, Bob Engle, but Carlos is obviously too cool for school.  He’s not a player.  We have seen enough!
  • Lots of players come up to the majors from AA.  Call up Darnell Sweeney – shoot – give him a shot in CF.
  • The rumor has it that once Corey Seager can consistentlyt hit .450 at RC, the Dodgers will move him up to Chattanooga!  <sarcasm>  The dude is tearing it up in high A!

ladodger-brought-to-you-by-uswater

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “You might want to re-think that Stan and Ned! Sure, your plan put a few more butts in seats, but this absurd payroll is going to hamstring the team for a long time to come. I warned you about it long ago and here we are!”

    You warned them? The Dodgers are just where they expected to be. And where is that? In contention because of the so-called overpaid stars they signed, raking in wads of money with an attendance that promises to bring them to or close to 4 million, a TV contract that Frank McCourt couldn’t even dream about, and on top of that, ever growing merchandise sales and promotional opportunities. Oh, and getting to the NLCS last year, in itself, probably paid for a large part of those contracts.

    Yes, you understand that the Dodgers are trying to re-build the farm system. Even Ray Charles could see that. But what you still seem to reject was the premise behind the deals that brought us those high priced stars. Building the farm system was always going to be a long term project that would take years to bear fruit. To make this team relevant, and bring the fans to the ballpark required spending big money upfront to put this team back on the map. And that has worked. Think without Agon, Hanley , Greinke, etc. the Dodgers would have reached the NLCS last year? No way that would have happened. In fact, they probably wouldn’t have reached the playoffs, period. And Beckett, who is having a nice year, will come off the payroll following this year.

    And unless Ned and Stan are both clairvoyant, there is no way they could have foreseen what happened to Matt Kemp. He was, after all, a big part of the plan. Had Kemp been healthy all of 2012, 2013 and this year, there is no telling where the Dodgers may have gone. But, of course, you knew way back in 2012 that he was going to crash into that wall in Colorado, and then stupidly injure his ankle last year. None of that could be foreseen, and there is no doubt that it threw a monkey wrench into the works.

    Your insistence that the Dodgers call up Darnell Sweeney to play CF makes absolutely no sense to me. Yes, he’s having a nice year in AA, and he’s definitely a prospect to keep an eye on. But you’ve been watching this game long enough to know that it’s a big jump from AA to the big leagues. Just take a look at what happened to Dee Gordon, who may have been rushed to the big leagues. Sweeney is just learning to play CF. Why not give him time to grow into the position? And what makes you think his bat is ready? More than likely he’s going to have to make adjustments, and the middle of a pennant race is not the ideal place to do that. It may well be that the Dodgers plan on letting him experience a full season at AA before moving him along any further. If he proves to be a prodigy and can make the jump as early as next year, that’s great. But he also may need time beyond that at AAA to hone his skills, both offensive and defensive. Besides all that, Sweeney is not on the 40-man roster, and probably won’t be moved there until the Dodgers absolutely are forced to do so.

    As for moving Seager up to Chattanooga, I trust that the Dodgers know what they’re doing. Like Sweeney, they probably want him to get the benefit of a full year (or most of it) at the level he’s at. I suspect that they’ll move him up later this year, just like they did last year when he moved up to Rancho, and then struggled at .160 in the 100 ABs that he had. And might I add, he also struggled in the AFL. The kid is only 20. Have a little patience. And remember, he’s likely to get higher level experience this coming winter, be it in the AFL again, or elsewhere. And rest assured, his earliest appearance in LA is not likely to occur until next September, or maybe in 2016.

    Like I said in an earlier post, Triunfel was likely just organizational depth, and probably is destined to have a short shelf-life in LA. And while he definitely has issues, he probably has enough talent to at least make him an interesting piece to keep around somewhere in the organization. Who knows, maybe his concentration problems can be fixed in the long run. In the meantime, he doesn’t belong in LA now, but perhaps has some value long term, if only as an occasional fill-in. So I don’t question Bob Engle. He didn’t bring Triunfel into the organization to play a major role with the Dodgers. He’s just a piece (a small piece) who may have some organizational value. If it turns out he doesn’t, he’s a cheap piece that can be jettisoned whenever the Dodgers see fit.

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Forgot in my last post to add a link to Sweeney’s stats. Here they are:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sweene001dar

    He’s shown a lot of progress this year. Why not give him a chance to continue growing instead of rushing him up to a level that he may or may not be ready for? And yes, there have been players who made the jump from AA to the big leagues. Some have even jumped from A to the big leagues. But for every one of those, there are many others who have struggled to make the transition.

  3. Badger says:

    Again the money. One would think a successful businessman such as yourself would understand dollars and sense but it is clear you do not so …… what Brooklyn said.

    I regurgitate, this team is becoming more and more interesting and more and more valuable. When everybody is healthy, hopefully for the stetch drive, we will put it together.

    btw Mark, I noticed your demand for an investigation into all theses injuries. How’s that going? I’m betting it has something to do with salaries. Maybe makin $100,000 grand a day makes these guys candyass soft. I know it would me.

  4. Pete M says:

    Great take Brooklyn… How many blue chip/cant miss prospects have we seen just manhandled physically and mentally at the Major lg. level and some never to reemerge… I’m in the group that say AA is the true test as whether you should keep grinding or look into State Farm…

  5. Badger says:

    Speaking of can’t miss prospects, some talk on the blogs about our rotation depth being suspect, I agree, and a serious attempt at landing Price will be made. Pederson, Lee and Anderson. I would do that but I don’t think Lee would interest anybody, it might have to be Urias. Does anybody here do that?

  6. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Starlin Castro’s youth and obvious talent level make him a player that any team would be interested in. However, he also has maturity problems, strikes out a lot, isn’t the most patient hitter on the planet, and has a negative dWAR (probably the result of his immaturity). In time, he could become a star, or not. The Dodgers, however, have solid shortstop alternatives, and would probably have to pay too much to get Castro. So unless the guy can also play CF, I doubt he’s a player the Dodgers have any current interest in, especially if the price is high. Now, if he can be flipped in a three or more team deal, that’s another story.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/castrst01.shtml

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, I’d have to think about that one. I think the Dodgers propensity to do such a deal would be based on their take regarding the overall talent inventory currently in the organization, including players none of us has even heard of. Urias makes the price high, but the stakes are also high. Getting Price would likely be a huge advantage in the postseason, and would certainly keep Price out of the hands of our rivals. I don’t think that Lee wouldn’t interest anybody, but he’d certainly not be the centerpiece of the deal. I hate to pass the buck, but I’d have to leave the decision on whether or not to pull the trigger on such a deal with Dodgers management. They know a hell of a lot more about the players in that package than any of us. And what else does Tampa Bay have that would interest us. Perhaps the deal could be expanded, and perhaps include a third team.

  8. BOB says:

    Last blog someone mentioned that they were surprised that Perez came out for the second inning. Me too. That got me to thinking about Fat Perez pitching more than one inning and what is the real cause of so many losses by the relievers. Lets assume that Dummy had not mismanaged the bullpen so many times this year and that the Dodgers won 4 of those mismanaged games. Their record would be 55-36 and they would be tied with Oakland for the most wins in MLB.

    Chris Perez – My theory is that he is far too out of shape to ever pitch more than 1 inning and he will lose several games while pitching 1 inning because he just isn’t very good.
    On April 18th he gave 2 runs in 2 innings, both in his 2nd inning, and threw 26 pitches. The Dodgers lost by 2 runs.
    On May 22 he gave up 2 runs in 1 1/3 innings and threw 26 pitches. Dodgers lost by 2 runs.
    On June 7 he gave up 1 run in 2/3rds inning and threw 15 pitches. Dodgers lost by 1 on a walk off.
    These limited facts tend to prove my theory about Perez should never pitch more than one inning and Dummy does not know how to manage Perez.

    Brian Wilson – My theory is that he is another reliever that either has it or does not have it and should be pulled immediately when he does not have it.
    On March 3oth he gave up 3 runs in ZERO innings and threw 25 pitches, The Dodgers lost by 2 runs.
    On April 24th he gave up 4 runs in 1/3rd inning and threw 28 pitches. Dodgers lost by 4 runs.
    On July 2nd he gave up 3 runs in 1/3rd inning and threw 25 pitches. The Dodgers lost by 1 run.
    These limited facts tend to prove my theory about Wilson that he either has it or doesn’t have it and Dummy does not know how to manage Wilson.

    Jansen – My theory is that he is another reliever that either has it or does not have it and should be pulled immediately when he does not have it.
    On April 9th he gave up 1 run in 2/3rds innings on 19 pitches in extra innings. Dodgers lost by 1 run
    On May 11th he gave up 3 runs in 1/3rd innings on 22 pitches in extra innings. Dodgers lost by 3 runs.
    On June 20th he gave up 3 runs in 2/3rds innings on 15 pitches. Dodgers lost by 1 run.

    I understand that there are not really enough situational facts to prove my points but I do believe that there is enough situational facts to convince most people that Dummy has no idea how to manage individual relievers just like his mentor Torre.

  9. bobbie17 says:

    It’s easy, now, to feel the division is in the bag. It’s not. As bad as the Giants have been, it is still the team to beat. I doubt that the Giants will make any big move to get an impact player. It is too cheap and still young. So, the Dodgers have to get deeper and healthy. I agree that the farm may not be too much help. But now is the time to see what some of these guys can do. I am not familiar with contract status rules/call ups, but barring any of those type issues, let’s see what Pederson can do. Or even Paco again. The next 30 days is a good time to see what we have down there. Before things start to heat up. I’m for bringing up any pitcher that has a chance to help. Who knows? We could find one who is actually good.

  10. BOB says:

    Long term the Dodgers do need more starting pitchers so who should they pursue if they do no go after Price? Maybe they should go after some young talent, although that could be very expensive, because their depth in the minors is currently so poor.

    Haren, Lee, and Pederson for one of the following young pitchers?
    Ross (SD)
    Alvarez (MIA)
    Eovaldi (Mia)
    Quintanta (CWS)

    • Badger says:

      Are those guys available?

      Feel the same regarding your analysis of our relievers. Wilson and Perez are a problem. I could live with Wilson. He isn’t missing his spots by much. Perez is just bad. Haren looks like he needs a vacation. And now there is talk that since Tampa has such a “high” payroll, and are playing better, they may keep Price. We really don’t have an in house answer for a starter, which is weird, but we are going to need one not long after the break. Red Patterson? Lee should be ready for a spot start but I don’t see it happening. If it doesn’t happen you can bet other GMs will take notice. It will get interesting very soon.

  11. BOB says:

    Nice to see that the Dodger Top 3 prospects have improved in the rankings so far this year. However, I believe that based upon the player stats most, with a couple of exceptions, of the other Top 20 have regressed. Glad that a good report came out just before any trades occur and presumably during any preliminary discussions with rival GMs.

    I still think that there is a high possibility that Seager will receive a promotion after the break and Sweeney will be tried full time in CF, both at AA. Sweeney needs to prove that he has sufficient potential at the right position before being determined more important than Robinson and/or Figgins, so that one of them can be DFA’d and he can be added to the 40 man roster.

  12. Watford Dodger says:

    I seem to remember about this time last year someone in here saying we should make a run at signing Altuve from Houston. A year on and that looks like it would have been a sound piece of business.
    As I said before – I can’t see us trading for Price when we didn’t make a strong play for Tanaka.

  13. idahoal says:

    In my opinion, there are four players in the minors who I would not trade under any circumstances. They are Seager,Urias, Arruebarrena and Guerrero. To answer your question Badger, I would not make that trade with Urias in it. Our farm system has been weak. They are trying to upgrade. Do not trade our top prospects.

    I am not that worried about our starting five. Yes, Haren may be a problem. Our bull pen needs help. I believe we have players in the farm system that can help, if they were given an opportunity. We just have too many outfielders. One has to be traded. I listen to Kemp the other day and he still thinks he should be in center field. I would move him back. I had a problem understanding why he was so bad in center field. Then trade Crawford or Eithier.

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Based on that piece re: the top 50 prospects, it appears that injuries are not just something that happens to the Dodgers.

    I do not expect Sweeney to be added to the 40-man roster before he has to be. The Dodgers are not going to subject a young, inexperienced player to the pressures of a big league pennant race. The best course for him is probably to allow him to develop at a normal pace, and not think that a good half season at AA suddenly qualifies him for a promotion to the highest level of baseball, playing a position at which he has practically no experience. And if Sweeney is so good (and I’m not saying he won’t be), how come he’s not on that top 50 list?

    Dodgers could definitely use another starter along with bullpen help. And the starter doesn’t have to be Price.

    • Badger says:

      Sweeney huh. Looks like maybe a light went on. Sort of like what happened with Seager. Sweeney was average at RC last year (.275 .329 .784) but has improved and appears to be getting better as the year progresses. But again, this organization is going for it THIS year. Sweeney is likely 2 years out. In fact, maybe Tampa would be interested in him. Pederson, Lee and Sweeney.

      I really have no suggestions as I don’t know who is available. Bullpen help should be all over the place. The White Six have 2 decent LHers mentioned on Rumors. Paco and Yimi. Dominguez and Baez. Anybody but Perez. Starter? I don’t know. Maybe Haren will be good enough.

      Go A’s.

      • t.o.dave says:

        I agree, there are options out there and in our system for relievers. We can swing something. The hard decision is to stand pat on starting pitching or to make a run at Price. I made the case last week. Now it seems even more likely we’d have to give up top prospects after the A’s/Cubs deal. I don’t see any other starter to go after. If we stand pat, I hope it works out this year as well as in the long run with the guys we have that are highly rated (Urias, Seager, Pederson). However, I think it’s worth the gamble to give up 2 of our top 3 prospects to land Price if that is what it takes. If we had won a couple of World Series in the last five years, I’d have a different opinion. We need to win now, and I think if Price is available, we need to go and get him. A quarter century without the Dodgers as World Series Champions is too long. We are a big market team and can/should behave like one. Never thought I’d say that, but I remember the dominance of the Yankees not so long ago.

        • Badger says:

          Yeah dave, I’m inclined to agree with that. If we don’t get him St Louis just might. And I don’t know what the midgets could offer but I do know they don’t want him landing in the middle of a stacked LA staff. They seem to be able to do things at the deadline every year. Probably not that big but you just never know.

          C John Buck just hit the wires. I think he would be an improvement over Butera. Not much else I see going on yet this morning. Still early.

          • t.o.dave says:

            Buck wouldn’t hurt I guess as depth, if he can regain some of his hitting/power. Not so good defensively. I prefer your idea to get Suzuki. Minnesota might even want Butera back in a deal as depth. He was well liked there. How about a B level prospect (Lee?) and Butera for Suzuki? I wonder if that could get it done. As we know, however, this is the time of year that pockets get picked for prospect talent in exchange for proven big league talent.

  15. Pete M says:

    OK… We get Price for a boatload of prospects, some damn good I say and then after our run at Detroit in Oct., Now what???
    Kersh is locked… All of a sudden Zack G. wants to continue his residence… Price says “lets negotiate”… l cant imagine what damage a dream 3 +Ryu could do to the NL…
    I know it’s not my money and I’ll still have Sweeney, but what about injuries??? I’m a supreme optimist, heck I like the Bruins and ND, three power pitchers going out every 5 days (still sounds funny to me) and you better go to daily mass…

  16. Roger Dodger says:

    Injuries happen, and I think if the Ryu gets tired or over worked (he seems to like 5 days off and pitch on the 6th day) — K & G cannot do all of the post season. Price is needed.

    The Giants will play tougher now that Belt is back . . . it is a tie basically now for the west.

    Ned has to do something.

    • Badger says:

      I understand the hesitation on making the big move. But Roger is right. Injuries happen. You can’t have too much great pitching so I get Price if – well, you know, if the price is right. They will ask for everybody. Hold the line Jed.

      As you know, I’m all for Suzuki. He’s + on both sides of the ball. Wait, maybe that doesn’t work in baseball. You know what I mean.

      Belt does make the midgets better. But what’s with Lincecum? I liked him better when he was sucking.

      In spite of Marks concerns about money, the Dodgers can afford all that pitching. They pack the parks everywhere when they are winning. Even on the road the stands are filled with Dodger Blue. The Dodgers strong is good for everybody. Make it happen Clampetti.

  17. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I agree, go after Price if the price is right. The only prospect I’d be reluctant to surrender is Seager. He’s looking more and more like the real deal. And we will need a third baseman in the not too distant future. Pederson looks good, but there are questions about how good he’s actually going to be, and outfielders are easier to get than third baseman. He’s definitely expendable for a pitcher like Price. Urias looks like he has a future, but still he’s only 17, and quite a few years away. The Dodgers are currently limiting his innings to the bare minimum (only 51 so far this year). That will obviously pick up in the coming years, but don’t expect him in LA anytime soon (2017 at the earliest, and maybe later). I’d do it reluctantly, but I could see including him if it becomes a deal breaker.

    Suzuki sounds good to me, as long as the price is right.

    I have to go along with Dave, who said: “If we had won a couple of World Series in the last five years, I’d have a different opinion. We need to win now, and I think if Price is available, we need to go and get him. A quarter century without the Dodgers as World Series Champions is too long. We are a big market team and can/should behave like one.”

    I don’t like giving up multiple top prospects, but I also believe that the Dodgers are committed to re-building a quality farm system, and will go all out to replace what they trade away. There are no guarantees in anything you do, but Price adds quality, and for that you have to surrender some quality. And although I think the Dodgers’ long term objective is to build form within, I doubt if they would hesitate to add to the payroll to bridge the gap between the talent currently available in our system and our current needs.

    And let’s not forget that we are surrendering “prospects”. And if we know anything, it’s that prospects often become suspects. As much as we would like to imagine that all of our top prospects are going to become stars, experience and reality tell us that’s not likely to happen.

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    Well said Brooklyn, and —- prospects do not come up, take over and hit .310 or drive in 115 runs, or hit 32 HRs their first season. Or, pitch to a 21-4 record.

    Well, most, the Puig was close — but he came in with big bucks . . .

    Most find it takes a year or two or three to get going with a solid record.

    Thus, the need for Price because the AGon team is a now thing.

Click Here to Leave a Reply