“Padres-Angels-Dodgers–What’s Next Move”
It’s been a busy 10-days in baseball, in free agency, in trades, and more is about to happen.
Swinging around Southern California to look at these teams, what they have done, should do, might do next.
PADRES….Active with rumors everywhere they are not done dealing. The addition of veteran right-hander Zach Davies, coupled with the return to health of Garrett Richards, means veteran experience at the front end of a very young rotation. There might be value in the bullpen acquisition of Drew Pomeranz, if the forearm issues which plagued him for a couple of years, are gone. The pitching staff is better right now than it was at the end of the season. Still be decided, are they bringing Craig Stammen back to team with Pomeranz as a setup reliever?
Next up is the acquisition of Jurickson Profar, once highly regarded, but now headed to his third team in less than one calendar year. His relationship with AJ Preller won’t mean much if he hits (.211) again, but he has power, and has played well in the past. Buy low, maybe get high results.
Did they give up on Luis Urias too soon? I think so, they don’t. We’ll find out how he does moving over to SS-in Milwaukee.
Next, the impending trades of C-Austin Hedges and OF-Hunter Renfroe. They better get the right players back in the next couple of trades they make. Cleveland, Oakland, Atlanta and Washington were all looking for catching help. That door has closed. If you move Renfroe are you creating another hole on the roster?
No one wants to take on Will Myers 20M a year contract at this point, but maybe that changes once a couple of the big free agent bats come off the market. Maybe you add a sweetener, a young prospect, in a Myers package, but what do you get in return?
Deals are coming, betting sooner than later.
DODGERS….When you draw nearly 4M per season, when you are in the second biggest market in the country…when you keep increasing ticket prices, no one in LA wants to hear you talk about the 208M luxury tax threshold as the reason you don’t want to go sign big name players. But maybe that changes, if the attitude of agent Scott Boras and his clients change.
The secret meeting with Washington superstar Anthony Rendon, and then his teammate Stephen Strasburg was unique. The Dodgers might be willing to offer Rendon the highest average deal in baseball, 33M per year, if he’d accept a 3-year deal. If not him, maybe the same offer Strasburg. They’d never go to 7-years as Boras has dropped hints.
The Dodgers are shopping power hitting OF-Joc Pederson, and could clear 8M off the books, coupled with the 18M they won’t pay Hyun Jin-Ryu if he exits, and the savings on the Rich Hill contract. There’s the 33M you could spend of either one of the Nationals.
They have more kids coming in the farm system, still have a great core of players, so maybe letting 3-leave to add the right one, is the game plan they’d like to pull off in the next couple of days.
ANGELS….Disastrous off season deals, plus bad injuries have knocked the Halos off track. They so desperately need healthy starting pitching. They just got one in ex-Orioles first round pick Dylan Bundy, but he has to be the prospect he used to be, rather than the suspect he became pithing at Camden Yards, the one who allowed 71-homers the last two years. The Halos traded 4-lower pitching prospects to get him for the rotation.
They have the money to make a run at Gerritt Cole, but then again the Boras factor is part of the equation. It is interesting that last week, Cole made the statement, ‘Boras works for me-I don’t work for him’, so maybe the pitcher makes the choice, not the agent. Maybe it is more than just a dollar decision.
The Halos need help lots of areas, but if they can land a pitcher first, they can then patch in other needs with so many players available for one year rentals on the open market.
The winter meetings roll out on Monday. Bet on more deals being made before all the teams get to town on Sunday night.
The free agent sighings have come at a quicker pace. The Braves signed Giants relief ace Will Smith. Catcher Yasmani Grandal went to the White Sox. Mike Moustakas bolted Milwaukee for Cincinnati. The Phillies spent a ton on Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler, and Cole Hamels wound up in Atlanta.
This could be the most interesting off season week each of these teams has had in recent years.