Even though they’re likely to make the postseason, the Dodgers are one of the 10 most disappointing teams in baseball, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. From the mouth of one NL executive, “they have done the near impossible – they have a $300 million payroll and yet they haven’t gone all in for 2015.” Of course, they still have time to find a patch or two for their beleaguered bullpen. While they aren’t my vote for most disappointing, it’s fair to wonder why they’re only 1.5 games up on the Giants.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Of Sherman’s 10 disappointing teams, the Nationals, Tigers, and Red Sox are likely to receive the most attention. Boston struggled from day one. In retrospect, nobody was surprised by the shoddy pitching staff. However, the vaunted offense never arrived after March. The Nationals and Tigers are surprising candidates. Detroit is only four games out of the second Wild Card, but they packed up shop at the trade deadline by cashing in on Yoenis Cespedes, David Price, and Joakim Soria. The Nationals are viewed as the more likely of the two to reach the postseason, but they’re 4.5 games behind the Mets and 9.5 back from the Cubs. However, they do have better roster cohesion and only one team to leapfrog in the standings.
- The Marlins also appeared on Sherman’s list, and slugger Giancarlo Stanton expects to see “big changes” over the offseason, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Meanwhile, club president David Sampson mentioned a non-personnel change that could be coming for 2016. The fences may be lowered and moved in prior to next season. Miami is a tough park for home runs, but run scoring is roughly neutral. Closer walls could help Stanton and others bash even more home runs.
- The Astros and Dodgers are among the most forward thinking teams in the game, writes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The Dodgers obviously have a much larger war chest, but money doesn’t solve every problem. Per Los Angeles president Andrew Friedman, “more resources help you, at least in theory, more in the free-agent market. You look back over time, and it’s very hard to invest wisely. So coming from the Rays, you were almost insulated from making those mistakes in the free-agent market.” Both clubs are emphasizing the value of young, cost controlled stars. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow also commented on the process of discovering marginal advantages over other teams and hoping to hide them for as long as possible. The article itself is well worth your time with excellent quotes from several executives.
If the dodgers are having a disappointing season, then the padres must be having a great season after their off season moves
There was a lot of high hopes coming from San Diego fans after all of the moves Preller made.. Most of the expert talking heads questioned the outfield makeup and had serious doubts about them dramatically improving over last season.. Plus, no one thought Wil Myers would go down so quickly for the entire year.. He was supposed to be one of their major contributors this season.. You can say that the offense has underperformed somewhat especially without Myers but their biggest problem has been their starting rotation taking a major step backwards.. Given a year to develop chemistry and with Myers returning to full strength next year I would not count them out as being playoff contenders next year.. If Preller had taken the time to see what he had in Turner I doubt he would have traded him..He put in a ton of work in the off season to put on muscle and improve his game. Going off of his prospect rankings to start the year I don’t think anyone saw how much of a step forward he would take.. So, I agree with you that they are disappointing but the Dodgers and Nationals were supposed to run away with their divisions and the Padres were only expected to compete for a wild card at best..
The fact that Myers was supposed to be one of their major contributors was part of the problem to begin with. Even if he turned it around offensively, expecting him to play competent defense in Petco was ridiculous.
All a GM can do is try to deal themselves the best hand they are able within their resources. You can argue whether or not Preller did, but how that hand plays out is much less in a GM’s control. I give the Padres ownership if not Preller credit for trying to fix problems with this team that were long in the making. It’s unrealistic to expect them to be fixed all at once. As for the Dodgers, at this point I don’t see them making the postseason. They hold a great hand but are playing it so poorly that it seems to me they are sleepwalking from one game to next. No team makes or deserves to make the postseason that way.
You’re kind of identifying some of the issues in SD. Like you said, its hard to expect them to fix everything at once….but that’s precisely what Preller tried to do. He made a few decent moves, but then he seemed to fall for the bait of massive change and went crazy like a rube pouring quarters in a slot machine….then had no real exit strategy. I can see ownership saying to Preller…”go get us a few players”…but Preller has to be in charge of quality control.
Jorge Soler Powered
How many times can the Marlins make big changes before the fans give up?
Coming from a Cubs fan… How many years are you guys at again?
How long did it take before Cubs fans gave up?
Oh they’re back now. I see more “diehard” Cubs fan wearing their hats and sherseys in one day now than I used to in a full season.
Cubs fans historically have a greater chance of dieing of old age than giving up…so… I guess death is giving up…quitters!
I don’t know…maybe we.should as him.
“At the same time, I think they’re trying to use the money as best they can with the information that they have. They’re not spending recklessly”
This is one of the funniest things i ever read.
That contract is going to be a huge albatross for the Marlins Why a small market team ever signed a contract like that, I will never know.
To appease the fan base. His contract is back-loaded and the high dollar years, about, “coincidently”, about the same time as his opt-out. The Marlins may make attempts early on to put a winning team on the field. As his contract nears the big-money Loria will sell off the team piece by piece, Stanton will get upset, by then the market will be such that he can sign a contract for even more money and Loria will blame Stanton for giving up. The only way the Marlins lose is if Stanton falls off the map due to injury or such.
I figure Stanton triggers the opt out…someone like LA will try to take him.
Miami is not a small market… low attendance is not a reflection of market size
It might not be a small market, but low attendance can possibly give an indication of popularity in the region. Of course teams like the Rays do very well on TV. Games are extortionately expensive…many people are fans bit never go to games. Very similar to the NFL…baseball is becoming more and more a TV sport.
Miami is a top 10 market. Market size is determined by the metropolitan population. By comparison, Tampa Bay is among the league’s smallest ranking 19th.
Popularity is a relative term. The Marlins have the ability to be a top 10 attendance team based off their history.
“Games are extortionately expensive…many people are fans bit never go to games.”
What? Sorry but that’s just utterly false. Baseball has the lowest average ticket price compared to NFL, NHL and NBA. That’s a difference of over $50: NFL – $84.43 versus MLB – $29.94.
There’s nothing to suggest that baseball is a more TV sport. Attendance numbers demonstrate otherwise…
How pathetic is it that a 303 million dollar payroll only gets the dodgers 1 game up on SF in the standings
Brad, its also fair to ask how the Giants are only 1.5 back of LA. Sure, LA should by all rights be up further considering spending… But perhaps SF is doing things right