The Dodgers’ decision to back out of last December’s agreed-upon Aroldis Chapman trade wasn’t solely the mandate of ownership but was a collective consensus between the baseball operations staff and the ownership group, writes Jon Heyman in his latest notes column at FanRag Sports. By the time the baseball operations staff reached out to managing partner Mark Walter about the domestic violence allegations with which Chapman was faced, they’d already decided the deal should no longer be pursued, and Walter agreed. Heyman also adds that the three prospects that would’ve gone to Cincinnati in that deal ultimately wound up in the Reds organization anyhow, as the proposed package was Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Brandon Dixon for Chapman. Those three all went to the Reds in the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox. (The Dodgers received Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson and Frankie Montas from the Sox in that deal.)
A few more notes on the Dodgers…
- Heyman also reports that there have been some “very preliminary contract talks” between the Dodgers and impending free agent Justin Turner, though there’s been nothing serious enough to indicate that Turner will forgo the open market this winter. Turner has said he’d love to remain with the Dodgers, but on the heels of a monster season, he should find widespread demand for his services. The 31-year-old (32 in November) batted .275/.339/.493 with 27 homers in 151 games this season and erased a dreadful first April/May with a torrid four-month stretch to close out the season. He also grades out as a premium defender at the hot corner, all of which contributed to his 4.9 rWAR and 5.6 fWAR in 2016. He’s also been a brilliant performer thus far in his short postseason career, hitting .405/.519/.667 in 52 plate appearances. While that doesn’t necessarily do much for his free-agent stock, it certainly can’t hurt him and figures to be brought up by his agents as they seek the best deal possible for their client this winter.
- Manager Dave Roberts tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he told Kenley Jansen before the 2016 season even began that he planned to get him at least a half-dozen outings in which he pitched more than one inning over the life of the regular season as a means for preparing him for the postseason, and that indeed played out. Jansen was also candid with Rosenthal in explaining that he felt his trust was betrayed when former GM Ned Colletti signed Brandon League to a three-year deal in the wake of Jansen being diagnosed with and treated for an irregular heartbeat. He didn’t mind the possibility of the Dodgers adding Chapman this winter, stressing that he only asked that Friedman be up front with him about what might happen. And it should be noted that former teammate A.J. Ellis also spoke to Rosenthal about how frank Jansen is when discussing free agency. Ellis compared him to Zack Greinke in some respects, noting that Jansen feels he’s earned his one opportunity at a lucrative free-agent deal and figures to go to the highest bidder.
- Yasmani Grandal’s struggles at the plate this postseason are reminiscent of his offensive woes last year in the playoffs, after which he underwent shoulder surgery, but the catcher tells Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times that he’s not injured this time around. Grandal isn’t letting his lack of offense so far get to him, as he clearly laid out to Moura that his priorities are his defensive work/game-calling behind the plate, then drawing walks, then slugging at the plate. “I’m hitting seventh, and there’s a reason why they have me hitting seventh,” he said. “They want me to make sure I run the pitching staff like it’s supposed to be ran.” Grandal also talked about his frequent visits to the mound this October, explaining that the Dodgers are keenly aware of which players on opposing teams can relay signs to hitters at the plate when they’re standing on second base.