Monday, February 23, 2015

Dodgers' Offseason

Oh no Matt Kemp is gone!
Let me start off by saying that I, for one, am relieved! Don't get me wrong, I love Matt Kemp and would have loved to keep him as a Dodger for the remainder of his career, but injuries have slowed him down. I agree that when healthy he is arguably the best player in the league and worth that massive contract awarded to him by Colletti. But that is a big if, I do believe in Kemp, but don't believe he can stay healthy for a long period of time. Yes, we could have gotten a bit more than Yasmani  Grandal and Joe Weiland, but it was more of a salary dump.
Now on to Hanley Ramirez..... this move made sense! We upgraded defensively by acquiring Jimmy Rollins, who is basically a rental, 2016 will be the year of the Seager! Corey Seager. We can be looking at back to back "Rookie of the Year" award winners in Joc Pederson and Corey Seager. And Julio Urias could win the ROY in 2017, if he isn't called up to the majors before then.
Dee Gordon was the trade that hurt the most to me, coming off of a career season and then watch him go. We got a great haul for him in Kike Hernandez and Andrew Heaney. Then, seemingly traded Heaney seconds later for Howie Kendrick. Now Howie is a big upgrade from Dee Gordon.  Howie, not the AL MVP, led the Angels in hits last season. He is a consistent hitter and solid defender, definition of professional. My only concern is signing him to an extension, with Yoan Moncada going to Boston and no real prospect in the Dodgers' farm system to take over 2B next year, not having Howie can leave a big hole in our line up and at 2B. Not to mention giving up a top pitching prospect in Heaney to get him.
Now for the pitching staff. I love the rotation; Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, and now McCarthy and Anderson. That is a very good rotation. I am still skeptical about Anderson, Zaidi knows him well from his Oakland days, but Anderson has had the injury bug the past couple of years. Nicasio is being trained as you read this to be a long relief man in Arizona, so their could be a chance that we see Zach Lee or Frias pitch quite a bit this season. I like the McCarthy signing, who seemed to find him self after leaving the Diamondbacks. The best aquesition in my eyes came just days ago, Brandon Beachy. Yes he is injured, and now on the 60 day DL, but Dodgers have a club option for 2016. If Greinke leaves and/or when Anderson is gone after this year he will fit right in to the rotation.
The bullpen can still use a bit of help though, specially now that Jansen might miss a couple weeks recovering from foot surgery. I don't believe that McCown is the answer to Jansen going down, Rafeal Soriano and K-Rod are still out there. To me K-Rod seems like a great option. He can close while Jansen in out and he has worked, and done well, as a set-up man before. I do like the addition of Joel Peralta to the pen, good, veteran, relief pitcher from Tampa Bay.
The club has changed, both on the field and in the offices. Friedman and Zaidi will show what "Money Ball" and money can do.All in all I, unlike Greinke, do believe the team has improved this offseason. There are a bit more contact hitters up and down the line up, not just big name stars aiming for the fences. Way better defensively, specially up the middle. And if you are one of those that doesn't believe in Joc, the Dodgers still have a back up plan in Andre Ethier. Yes, he is still around. I believe this team will win the NL West again and will have a great shot at the title.

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