Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh, NOW the Dodgers Want to Save Money

Running for cover
The Dodgers officially became the Yankees of the West when they signed Zack Greinke before the 2013 season. They got the ball rolling when they traded for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and seven cups of New England's finest clam chowder in 2012. Now it seems that they wouldn't mind dumping a little bit of their $223MM payroll. Just a thought, maybe they should have thought of this before they handed out contracts that may be impossible to move.

Per the SB Nation post above - and the Ken Rosenthal report that it links to - the Dodgers are trying to move a member of their highly overcrowded outfield. Which, of course, to this blogger, sounds impossible.

Matt Kemp is the big name, but he hasn't played a full season since 2011 and is still owed $126MM. The Dodgers have a better chance of getting the Hollywood sign relocated to the left field bleachers than they do moving Kemp without eating a significant portion of that contract.

Carl Crawford had himself a nice bounce back season after drowning in the media fishbowl that is Boston, MA. He triple slash'd .283/.329/.407 and put up an fWAR of 2.9. He's still owed $82.5MM through 2017, and has already proven that when the going gets tough, he goes into a coma.

Andre Ethier is owed $67.5MM through 2017 with a player option for 2018 (an option that vests with 550 PA in 2017). But, like the other two, there's a bit of an issue with Ethier. He can't hit lefties. Like, not at all. His platoon splits are so obvious that he should be duct taped to the bench when a lefty is on the mound. How much of a split is there? How about a 140 wRC+ against righties and a wRC+ of 73 against lefties. Good start?

A better move? Trade Yasiel Puig.

Whoa. What? That's crazy-talk.

Yeah, I know, but hear me out.

Puig is as exciting a ballplayer as you will find in baseball. He's just as likely to hit a home run as he is to steal the mustache off of Al Hrabosky's face and Velcro it to his forehead.

In 104 games he posted an fWAR of 4.0 and a wRC+ of 160. He's good. Very good. He's so good at the plate that the other 29 teams in baseball will be happy to overlook his fielding inconsistencies and dump Brinks trucks full of prospects on the front lawn of Dodger Stadium.

This is also probably the reason why most Major League Baseball teams refuse to return my calls. Either way, the Dodgers have an over-abundance of outfielders, but they have handed or traded for contracts that don't look as good now as they did when they were written. If the goal is to move payroll - my guess is that that does not happen. If the goal is to fill an area of need through trades - then they are using the wrong players as bait on the trading block.

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