Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again… so I’m just going to talk about The 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers
First things first, I’m not a super crazy analyst with metrics everywhere, I just call ’em like I see ’em. So below are just my opinions as a Dodgers fan:
I’m not going to lie… 2018 was a rough year for my Dodgers.
Without the resurgence of Matt Kemp and the surprise production from my boy Max Muncy, the Dodgers probably would not even have seen the playoffs. Their ability to fend off the Milwaukee Brewers in 7 games, which were a good (albeit young) team was a testament to the depth of their roster.
Now I’m going to say something that will probably make some Dodgers fans angry.
The Dodgers didn’t deserve to win the World Series.
Honestly, they may not have even deserved to be playing against the Boston Red Sox. By pretty much all measures, the Boston Red Sox was simply the better team. Then when you consider they beat the Houston Astros relatively easily — the team which beat the Dodgers last year, well it wasn’t too hard to make a guess as to what was going to happen.
If you take away the 18 inning marathon Game 3 where my boy Max Muncy hit a walk off home run, there really wasn’t much to talk about Dodger wise. In Game 4, a game which we really should have won, our bullpen just let us down. By hey, it happens sometimes — if you’re going to talk about depth then you need to talk about the different parts of the game picking each other up. Bullpen gives up a few runs, so your team has to score a few more to help. Or, your team can’t seem to get anything off of the opposing team, so bullpen steps up and doesn’t allow any runs.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, there was always something out of place for them to capture the win. If you the offense gave them a few runs, the bullpen stumbled. If the starters faltered a bit, they couldn’t muster runs to keep it close. So on and so on.
Well.. where do we go from here?
Well, the first thing that has happened so far is that we signed Kershaw again. 3 years for $93 million may seem like a lot, but to be honest, it’s very reasonable. It’s almost like a 3rd year extension on his current contract with a small discount on the 3rd year. I love Kershaw, but he’s not the young fireballer he was before and not quite as dominant as before. However, he is a very smart pitcher and understands he has to adapt to the game to get people out.
I like keeping Kershaw in Dodger blue — I think it speaks a lot to the fans about loyalty. It would be great for Kershaw to start and finish with the Dodgers. However, this isn’t just a goodwill move. Kershaw is still a very, very good pitcher with mountains of experience. Some of these young Dodger arms will learn a lot from him and Rich Hill — like Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, and Caleb Ferguson. Alex Wood isn’t really “young” by pitcher standards, but he could still learn a lot from Kershaw as well.
Long story short, signing Kershaw again was a good move and it solidifies the starting rotation. I’m not sure if Ryu will stay on, but I think the starting rotation will still be very good. Kershaw, Buehler, Hill are a strong 3. Then add back in another 2 from Alex Wood, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda, Caleb Ferguson or Ross Stripling and you have a good rotation.
Well, Farhan Zaidi already left for the San Francisco Giants. This kind of hurts. He was a very smart guy and ran operations pretty well. However, I’m sure the Giants gave him a good amount of money and the Dodgers just didn’t feel the need to match it.
We’re also lose Turner Ward and Chris Woodward. Turner Ward will go to Cincinnati as a hitting coach and Chris Woodward will go to the Texas Rangers to be their manager. I like both of them, so I’m kind of sad to see them go. However, once again they probably received better offers.
I don’t think Yasmani Grandal and Hyun-Jin Ryu will accept their qualifying offers and they will leave the Dodgers.
Who we getting?
I think Manny Machado was always just an expensive rental. It is very doubtful that he stays with the Dodgers in his free agency. I think the Dodgers will make a play for Bryce Harper, but I just don’t know if they want to drop $400+ million on him. The truth of the matter is that we don’t really need another outfielder and if we get Bryce Harper we will likely have to give up someone. We have a lot of players who can play outfield, including Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig. You can throw Kike Hernandez in the mix too.
If Yasmani Grandal leaves then I really think we should put a play in to get JT Realmuto. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll get him. Maybe someone like Kurt Suzuki will fit in with the Dodgers. We do also have some good minor league prospects though Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz.
I really think we should sign David Freese for the $6 million. He slots into the lineup pretty well — especially if you want to split right/left between him and Muncy.
We do need to shake up the bullpen though. The bullpen was not nearly as dominant as it was in 2017. If we want to be contenders for 2019, we need to make the bullpen scary. Get a starter to give 5+ good innings and then leave it the bullpen to close the door. As to how they do that, I really don’t know. It will depend on what their plans for starters is.
Will the Dodgers be contenders in 2019?
Yes… at least I think so.
However, it remains to be seen as to how dominant they will be. We need some bigger bats and a stronger bullpen. Only after all the trades go through will we see how things are.
Also, try to give Alex Verdugo more playing time… he can play at the big league level and has good plate discipline.
Maybe also see how my boy Max Muncy looks in spring training and consider starting him everyday. His right/left splits aren’t that bad.
Kershaw is staying.
Machado, Ryu, Grandal won’t be here for 2019.
Sign Freese, please.
Get us a new catcher, an offensive threat in the middle of the lineup, and strengthen the bullpen.
Give Verdugo some more playing time.
Believe in my boy Muncy.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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