Los Angeles Dodgers – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-10-20T14:27:03Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Justin Turner Open To Position Change]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177437 2019-10-17T18:42:57Z 2019-10-17T18:42:57Z After a 2019 playoff ouster that left the Los Angeles fanbase in collective despair, Dodgers executive Andrew Friedman is likely to be faced with several challenging decisions this winter. However, in the event that his front office decides to pursue superstar third baseman Anthony Rendon, it appears they won’t face any opposition from incumbent third bagger Justin Turner. According to a report from Andy McCullough of The Athletic, Turner would be open to a position change if LA ultimately decides to seek a Rendon acquisition (link).

Before the Dodgers’ appearance in the NLDS, Turner was asked how he would respond if his team pursued Rendon–even if such a pursuit meant he had to change his spot on the diamond. “I’ve bounced around [the diamond] my whole career,” Turner responded. “I don’t care.” While this hardly registers as a ringing endorsement of the idea, Turner’s hypothetical openness is worthy to note when considering how Friedman could possibly retool a roster that went 106-56 in the 2019 regular season.

As McCullough notes, Rendon’s previously stated disinterest in playing deep into his 30s pairs well with the Dodgers characteristic aversion to long-term contracts. In a piece from The Athletic’s Rustin Dodds from a few weeks back, Rendon was asked to imagine what he will likely be doing at age 36, when he reaches the current age of teammate Howie Kendrick“Hopefully not playing baseball,” Rendon said. “Probably sitting on the couch hanging out with my kids.” If the Texas product is true to his word, then it’s likely he, at 29, will be seeking a deal of no more than six or seven years this offseason.

Turner, 34, is still a third baseman worthy of being mentioned in Rendon’s rarified air. His .290/.372/.509 line in 2019 was par for the course as far as his Dodgers tenure goes–since coming to Los Angeles in 2014, the CS Fullerton product has been a .302/.381/.506 hitter (141 wRC+). Turner has one year and $20MM remaining on the four-year, $64MM pact he agreed to with L.A. back in 2016.

If the Dodgers do indeed have an interest in bringing Rendon, a potential world champion, into their fold, they may have to do a bit of CBT rejiggering. With the 2020 luxury tax line set at $208MM, Los Angeles may say goodbye to impending free agents Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu this offseason; it’s worth noting that the club will no longer be on the hook for Homer Bailey’s salary moving forward, either. Still, arbitration raises are coming due to Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and a little-known upstart named Cody Bellinger. As McCullough notes, a hypothetical Rendon addition, its implications on Turner aside, might necessitate the departure of a player like Pederson or Enrique Hernandez if the club is intent on avoiding luxury penalties.

 

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Andrew Friedman On Kenley Jansen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177263 2019-10-15T03:17:33Z 2019-10-15T03:17:33Z Not long ago, it would been almost impossible to imagine anyone but Kenley Jansen serving as the Dodgers’ closer. But after an uncharacteristically pedestrian 2019 season for the long-dominant right-hander, Jansen may not be a lock for the role next year. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday that Jansen’s still the team’s closer as of now, but LA “will see how things play out” in regards to the job (Twitter link via Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times).

Whether the 32-year-old Jansen will even be a Dodger in 2020 isn’t necessarily etched in stone, as he could opt out of the remainder of his contract. In all likelihood, though, Jansen’s going to stay put. Abandoning what’s left of his deal would mean leaving two years and $38MM on the table, which would look like an ill-advised move in the wake of the season Jansen just had.

Jansen earned his current pact – a five-year, $80MM guarantee – on the heels of an otherworldly 2016 showing, and while he continued to thrive the next season, he has been closer to good than elite since 2018. At least in comparison to his past self, Jansen was fairly ordinary this year. He posted a 3.71 ERA/3.48 FIP with 33 saves on 41 tries over 63 innings, giving him a personal-high ERA and a career-worst blown saves total. While Jansen did log 11.43 strikeouts per nine against 2.29 walks – a ratio just about any pitcher would sign up for – it’s not as impressive for a hurler who regularly posted a K/9 in the 13-14 range during his halcyon days.

Jansen was a key factor for the Dodgers in past playoff runs, but that wasn’t the case this year during their first-round loss to the Nationals. He threw just 1 2/3 innings during the Dodgers’ five-game defeat, including two-thirds of a frame in the decisive matchup of the series. By then, the Dodgers were already down 7-3 after an implosion from Joe Kelly.

Even though Jansen seemingly lost some of LA’s trust in 2019, he’s still likely to return as one of the team’s top relievers next season. Jansen and the rest of the club’s bullpen faced their fair share of scrutiny throughout the campaign, though, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Dodgers make a noteworthy effort to improve the unit over the winter. If the Dodgers end up in the market for a new closer, Aroldis Chapman (should he opt out of his Yankees deal) and Will Smith stand out as a couple potential free agents who could give the club an end-of-game upgrade over Jansen.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Scott Boras Sets Sights High For Hyun-jin Ryu Contract]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177242 2019-10-15T00:55:47Z 2019-10-15T00:55:47Z This time last year, agent Scott Boras was waiting to see whether the Dodgers would issue southpaw Hyun-jin Ryu a qualifying offer at season’s end. The team did extend the offer, and Ryu accepted, betting that he’d be better off taking the big one-year payday and trying to turn in a big campaign in advance of a trip onto the open market.

That bet has paid off more handsomely than anyone expected, with Ryu turning in his best season as a big leaguer. Boras is understandably excited to market the starter at a high-point in value; the veteran agent tells Yonhap News that he’s angling for both a hefty salary and an extended length of contract. Is one more important than the other? “That’s like saying, with a car, do want the engine or the steering wheel?” says Boras. “You want both.”

Ryu couldn’t have scripted things better on the field in 2019. He was unbelievable for almost the entire year, outside of a few rough starts in late August. All told, Ryu spun 182 2/3 innings of 2.32 ERA ball with 8.0 K/9 against just 1.2 BB/9. Opposing hitters managed only an 85.3 mph average exit velocity and 30.8% hard-hit rate.

Now, Ryu will enter free agency on the heels of a fully healthy and productive season — and without the drag of draft compensation, since he cannot be issued a second qualifying offer. Boras says the southpaw was not only “the best pitcher in the league,” but “we’re just beginning to see the real Ryu.”

There has never been much question of Ryu’s ability, as he has been steadily excellent since coming over from his native Korea in 2013. But he hasn’t always been available owing to arm and other maladies. Ryu missed almost all of the 2015-16 seasons and half of 2018. That’s a red flag for a team considering a lengthy and lucrative outlay.

Never one to allow a bad fact to get him down, Boras posits a silver lining bright enough to blind one from seeing the storm cloud that renders it. Ryu’s injury history is, per Boras, a blessing in disguise: “He is, age-wise, 32, but the truth is, innings-wise, he’s probably about 26 or 27, because he doesn’t have many innings on his arm. That makes him very valuable.”

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the market situation plays out for Ryu. The Dodgers continue to make sense for him, particularly given the team’s predilection to employ highly talented but injury-prone starters. Which other teams will follow suit, and to what extent, isn’t clear. There’s obviously both upside and downside to a pitcher of this ilk — a premium vehicle with low miles but a lengthy history of time spent in the mechanic’s shop, to extend Boras’s auto analogy.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rick Honeycutt Retires From Role As Dodgers’ Pitching Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177231 2019-10-14T21:12:21Z 2019-10-14T21:12:21Z Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return to that job in 2020, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (via Twitter). Honeycutt is expected to remain in the organization in a special assistant capacity.

The departure of Honeycutt from the staff of skipper Dave Roberts will not necessarily kick off a hiring search for a replacement. Bullpen coach Mark Prior appears to be in line for a promotion, Friedman indicated. There’ll be at least one new coaching staff opening regardless.

Honeycutt spent two decades in the majors as a sturdy starter and then reliever. He mirrored that longevity as a coach, running the Dodgers’ pitching operations for a remarkable 14 years. It seems that serious back issues and the rigors of the MLB schedule have combined to lead him to a more relaxed role in the organization.

Prior’s playing career was the opposite of Honeycutt’s — brilliant but excruciatingly fleeting. He tried for years to make it back from arm injuries but never did. Once he turned to teaching pitching, Prior quickly proved his merit. After a stint with the Padres organization, he spent the last two years as Honeycutt’s understudy.

Friedman also confirmed that Roberts will indeed be back as the manager — as had already been reported. Indeed, he expressed surprise that some had questioned whether Roberts would return after another exceptional regular season. The skipper’s job security became an issue after his confounding management of the team’s pitching resources in the recent NLDS Game 5 loss. But Friedman said that the organization still sees Roberts as an “additive part” of the club’s effort to capture an elusive World Series title.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Andrew Friedman Expects To Finalize New Contract With Dodgers Soon]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=177222 2019-10-14T18:46:27Z 2019-10-14T18:46:27Z Dodgers president of baseball operation Andrew Friedman is unsigned for the 2020 season, but he said in today’s year-end press conference that he expects to wrap up a new contract with the team within the next few days (Twitter links via Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times). Friedman also confirmed that Dave Roberts will return as the team’s manager in 2020, as Castillo originally reported late last week.

Friedman, 42, jumped from his role as the Rays’ executive vice president and general manager to the Dodgers back in 2014, agreeing to a reported five-year, $35MM contract that at the time was the largest deal ever inked by a baseball executive. He aggressively reshaped the Dodgers, trading away the likes of Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon and Dan Haren in his first offseason at the helm (netting Yasmani Grandal, Enrique Hernandez and others, including Andrew Heaney, whom he immediately traded to the Angels for Howie Kendrick).

Friedman’s front-office group has been involved in some of the most complex trades in recent history, including not only the Kemp trade but the three-team, 13-player swap with the Braves and Marlins that centered around Hector Olivera, Alex Wood, Mat Latos and the remainder of Bronson Arroyo’s dead-money contract. Friedman even reacquired Kemp from the Braves in yet another financially motivated swap and then traded Kemp to the Reds this past offseason in a further example of juggling funds to remain south of the luxury tax line.

The Dodgers’ baseball operations group has, in some ways, become a pipeline for other organizations throughout the league. Former GM Farhan Zaidi was named Giants president of baseball operations last winter, while former vice president Alex Anthopoulos, who landed with the Dodgers after leaving the Blue Jays, became general manager of the Braves. Gabe Kapler served as the Dodgers’ director of player development before being hired as the Phillies’ manager, and one of Kapler’s top lieutenants, Jeremy Zoll, was hired away by the Twins to serve as their director of minor league operations.

On the field, Friedman’s penchant for aggressive, creative trades and his manipulation of MLB’s waiver/DFA process and shortened injured list minimum have helped the Dodgers to cultivate extraordinary levels of depth on their 40-man roster. That’s been a major advantage for the Dodgers, who have averaged 97 wins and taken home the NL West division title in all five of Friedman’s seasons atop the front office infrastructure. It has not, however, manifested in the form of an increasingly elusive World Series championship. The Dodgers appeared in the World Series in both 2017 and 2018 in addition to an NLCS berth in 2016, but they’ve yet to break through that final plane.

That said, the Dodgers are well-positioned for long-term success. Much of the team’s young talent, including Walker Buehler and Cody Bellinger, is under club control for the foreseeable future. Top prospects Will Smith, Alex Verdugo, Gavin Lux, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin all reached the Majors in 2019, giving a glimpse at what the future may hold. The ample resources provided by ownership, paired with the apparent annual tradition of dropping some salary and luxury hits on the trade market, should give Friedman’s Dodgers room to be active in free agency. The Dodgers certainly have needs to address as they look to return to a third World Series in four years, but it doesn’t sound as though there are any plans to change who’ll have final say over how those needs are addressed.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dave Roberts To Return As Dodgers’ Manager In 2020]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176902 2019-10-11T02:01:07Z 2019-10-11T01:42:05Z After losing to the Nationals in Game Five of the NLDS last night, the Dodgers will be missing the World Series for the first time since 2016.  The heartbreaking nature of Wednesday’s defeat has already led to some speculation among fans and pundits that a change could (or should) be coming to the Dodgers’ dugout, though none seems to be on the way.  Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dave Roberts will indeed return as the team’s manager in 2020, “according to two people with knowledge of the situation.”

Roberts has an outstanding 393-256 record over four seasons as the Dodgers’ skipper, a resume that includes two National League pennants, four consecutive NL West titles, and a 106-56 regular season mark in 2019 that ranks as the winningest season in the Dodgers’ 136-year history.  Despite all of this success, however, a World Series championship has remained elusive.  L.A. dropped the 2017 Series to the Astros in seven games and then absorbed a five-game loss to the Red Sox in 2018, before making an unexpectedly early exit in this year’s postseason.

There were also whispers about Roberts’ future employment after last year’s Series loss, though the Dodgers exercised their option on his services for 2019 and ultimately signed him to a three-year extension that runs through the 2022 season.  While Dodgers ownership certainly has the resources to eat the money owed on three years of a manager’s contract if a change was deemed necessary, that recent long-term commitment made it seem pretty unlikely that Roberts would be fired, despite the controversy over the last 24 hours.

Of course, nothing short of a World Series will ultimately satisfy Los Angeles fans, especially since the most common complaint directed at Roberts (his late-game bullpen management) perhaps reached its apex in Game Five against Washington.  Dodgers supporters will forever bemoan the decisions to bring Clayton Kershaw out of the bullpen, and then to leave Joe Kelly on the mound for a second inning of work — just as they’ll always wonder why Roberts removed a dominant Rich Hill after 6 1/3 frames during Game Four of the 2018 Series.  Roberts’ heavy focus on platoon switches and lefty-righty matchups have also received criticism, though this would seem like a more specific organizational focus rather than something Roberts is personally responsible for (and, this same flexible roster depth is a major reason the Dodgers have won so many games in the first place).

There are already eight teams looking to hire new managers this offseason, and while there is some debate over which of those jobs is the most attractive, one would imagine the Dodgers’ opening would have immediately zoomed to the top of the list if Roberts had indeed been replaced.  The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, as part of a subscription-only piece wondering about Roberts’ future with the Dodgers, also made the point that Roberts would surely be a sought-after candidate for one of those eight other open jobs, given his track record and ties to other executives on those manager-needy franchises.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rich Hill Hopes To Re-Sign With Dodgers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176890 2019-10-11T05:14:37Z 2019-10-11T01:25:36Z The Dodgers’ season came to a bitterly disappointing conclusion Wednesday, but left-hander Rich Hill hopes it wasn’t the last time he dons their uniform. The pending free agent said after the club’s NLDS-ending loss to the Nationals that he wants to remain a Dodger in 2020, Andy McCullough of The Athletic tweets.

Hill’s weeks away from another trip to the open market, where he cashed in with the Dodgers entering the 2017 campaign. The late-career breakout hurler, whom the Dodgers acquired from the Athletics the previous summer, re-signed with Los Angeles on a three-year, $48MM contract. When Hill was healthy enough to take the mound, he lived up to that payday, evidenced by a 3.30 ERA/3.89 FIP with 10.68 K/9 against 2.97 BB/9. The problem is that injuries have consistently haunted Hill, who tossed just 327 regular-season innings over the life of his deal. He only amassed 58 2/3 in 2019, during which he totaled a mere 8 1/3 (including 2 2/3 in the playoffs) from June 20 onward.

Not only has a lack of durability hampered Hill, but as someone who’s set to turn 40 in March, he’s going into free agency as one of the oldest players available. However, even though free agency has been unkind to many aging players in the past couple offseasons, it shouldn’t preclude Hill from securing another guaranteed contract. After all, he’s still a bear to deal with for opposing offenses when he takes the mound, as he showed this year with a 2.45 ERA/4.10 FIP, 11.05 K/9 and 2.76 BB/9 and a 49.6 percent groundball rate.

While Hill’s plenty useful even in an injury-limited capacity, it’s unknown how serious the Dodgers will consider keeping him around. Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw are sure to remain part of their rotation in 2020, while Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Dustin May, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin also represent in-house options who could factor into the mix. And with the offseason ahead, the Dodgers may pick up an outsider(s) in lieu of bringing back Hill and/or fellow soon-to-be free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Who’s Going To The NLCS?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176672 2019-10-09T06:09:58Z 2019-10-09T06:09:58Z If you like baseball (you’re reading this, so you probably do), Wednesday evening already looks rather promising. All four of the National League’s remaining playoff teams will square off then in win-or-go-home contests to conclude their thrilling NLDS matchups. The top-seeded Dodgers will take on the Nationals in Los Angeles, while the Braves will host the Cardinals.

To many, a third straight pennant for the perennially dominant Dodgers looked like a foregone conclusion entering the playoffs. But the 106-win club has had its hands full with the Nationals, a 93-69 team that needed a miraculous comeback over the Brewers in the wild-card game just to reach the NLDS. The Dodgers have led this series twice (1-0 and 2-1), but they’ve been unable to stamp out the Nationals, thanks in part to the heroics of Washington co-aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The latter’s slated to take the ball in Game 5 against Walker Buehler, who has supplanted Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw as LA’s most valuable starter. Buehler put forth his latest ace-caliber effort in the Dodgers’ Game 1 win last Thursday, when he fired six scoreless, one-hit innings.

In Atlanta, the Braves will send Mike Foltynewicz to the mound to battle Jack Flaherty, who – like Buehler – has burst on the scene as an elite young arm. Foltynewicz entered the season as one of the Braves’ clear-cut top starters, though it nonetheless may seem hard to believe they’re turning to him with their season on the line. After all, the team did demote the 28-year-old to the minors in late June on the heels of a horrid few months. To his credit, however, Foltynewicz has rebounded since his early August return, and he continued to roll with seven shutout innings during a Game 2 victory over the Flaherty-led Cards. He’ll again contend with a St. Louis offense that has gotten exceptional production from Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna in the series.

The 23-year-old Flaherty will deal with an Atlanta club that has seen outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. continue to stake his claim as one of the sport’s up-and-coming superstars in October. Runs may be hard to come by for Acuna & Co., though, as Flaherty hasn’t yielded more than three in a start since July 2. Dating back to then, Flaherty has given up a ridiculously low 14 earned runs in 113 1/3 innings and 17 starts.

Of course, it would be foolish to only mention the starters who are lined up for these two games. With all four clubs’ seasons on the line, they’ll likely be in all-hands-on-deck mode (or something close to it) as they attempt to reach the final round of the NL playoffs. As is often the case in the postseason, the teams’ bullpens will probably play integral roles in the outcomes. Which clubs do you expect to advance Wednesday?

(Poll link for app users)

(Poll link for app users)

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Looking Back At The Yordan Alvarez Trade]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176461 2019-10-06T16:32:23Z 2019-10-06T16:32:23Z The Astros and Dodgerswere at an impasse” in trade negotiations over reliever Josh Fields at the 2016 trade deadline, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow said, before Luhnow decided to aim beyond L.A.’s farm system.  As Luhnow tells MLB.com’s Alyson Footer, the Astros had had interest in Yordan Alvarez as an international signing before he agreed to a deal with Los Angeles in June 2016.  “Really, it wasn’t until the day of the deadline that I remembered the Dodgers had signed Alvarez, and I thought, ’Well, if we can’t get a minor league player that we’re really excited about, why don’t we just take a flier on this young guy that they just signed that I know we like?’ ” Luhnow said.

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Alex Verdugo “Very Unlikely” To Play In Postseason]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176226 2019-10-04T00:34:20Z 2019-10-04T00:34:20Z It doesn’t appear as though Alex Verdugo will factor into the Dodgers’ October run, as manager Dave Roberts told The Athletic’s Pedro Moura (Twitter links) and other reporters that “to see him ready at all this postseason [is] very unlikely.”  Verdugo himself said that he is still hoping to be available for the World Series, though while he has begun conditioning exercises, he has yet to begin swinging a bat.

Verdugo hasn’t played since August 4 due to a right oblique strain, and he was also hampered by a back issue that developed when the outfielder was on a rehab assignment.  Given such a long layoff, it would be difficult to imagine the Dodgers immediately throwing the rookie into the cauldron of World Series play, especially if Verdugo is still at less than 100 percent.

It’s a tribute to the Dodgers’ depth that they have enough outfield options to make do without Verdugo, though the 23-year-old is still missed given how well he played in his first extended taste of Major League action.  Long a highly-touted prospect, Verdugo hit .294/.342/.475 with 12 home runs over 377 plate appearances in 2019, continuing the solid contact skills he displayed in the minors by posting only a 13 percent strikeout rate.  Beyond his hitting prowess, Verdugo also displayed some strong glovework at all three outfield positions, with a cumulative +7.1 UZR/150 and +13 Defensive Runs Saved over 756 innings on the grass.

Rookie Matt Beaty, another left-handed hitter, may have been the prime beneficiary of Verdugo’s absence, as Beaty was named to the Dodgers’ NLDS roster against the Nationals.  Neither Beaty or Joc Pederson, however, were at all productive against left-handed pitching, whereas Verdugo was actually a bit better against lefties (.327/.358/.485 in 109 PA) than against righties (.281/.336/.471 in 268 PA).

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Announce NLDS Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176167 2019-10-03T17:50:52Z 2019-10-03T17:50:52Z The Dodgers have announced their 25-man NLDS roster, which will kick off with Walker Buehler facing Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin in Los Angeles tonight. They’ll carry a total of 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Here’s the full breakdown:

Right-handed pitchers

Left-handed pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

With the Dodgers more than perhaps any other team, the classification of “infielders” and “outfielders” is somewhat subjective. The Los Angeles organization has compiled an enviable collection of defensively versatile players, leaving manager Dave Roberts ample opportunity for creative lineup construction and in-game maneuvers. Each of Hernandez, Bellinger and Taylor, in particular, could be utilized in the infield or in the outfield — with Taylor and Hernandez both capable of playing nearly any spot on the roster.

Smith’s emergence as the team’s primary option behind the plate, paired with the veteran Martin’s still-excellent defensive skills, pushed Opening Day catcher Austin Barnes off the postseason roster. Martin is set to become a free agent at season’s end, meaning Barnes could be back in the fold as a backup option to Smith next year, but Smith’s .253/.337/.571 batting line and 15 home runs through his first 196 big league plate appearances point to him being the top option moving forward.

On the pitching side of the coin, the omission of impressive rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin will come as a surprise to some. The 25-year-old debuted with great success this past season, pitching a total of 40 innings with a 2.93 ERA and a 37-to-15 K/BB ratio. But the Dodgers opted to carry May, another impressive rookie, and the veteran swingman Stripling to round out their collection of right-handed arms.

Kolarek, meanwhile, was an under-the-radar deadline pickup who thrived in a brief sample with the Dodgers. The former Tampa Bay Ray allowed just a run on nine hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings with the Dodgers, but even beyond that 0.77 ERA, the most eye-catching number he posted was a ridiculous 73.5 percent ground-ball rate as a Dodger. In all, he’s totaled 55 innings in the Majors this year and compiled a 3.27 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 66.3 percent grounder rate while holding opposing lefties to a pathetic .178/.221/.262 batting line.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[David Freese Almost Retired After 2018]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=176007 2019-10-02T06:34:00Z 2019-10-02T06:34:00Z
  • The Dodgers re-signed first baseman David Freese for $4.5MM last offseason, though the veteran nearly retired after their World Series loss to the Red Sox, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. In the end, however, the “deep mutual interest” Freese and the Dodgers had in a reunion won out, Castillo writes. “I came back because this was everything I wanted to be a part of. And it was worth another year to get up for 180 games and just get after it,” said Freese, who, as Castillo details, seems universally respected in the organization. It doesn’t hurt that the 36-year-old has thrived with the bat this season, having batted a spectacular .315/.403/.599 with 11 home runs in 186 plate appearances. The former World Series hero with the Cardinals will have another chance at a memorable October this year, though this postseason could prove to be the end of the line for Freese, Castillo suggests.
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    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Rich Hill To Start Potential NLDS Game 4]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175767 2019-10-01T00:17:53Z 2019-09-30T01:40:21Z
  • Dodgers manager Dave Roberts hasn’t yet announced the full pitching lineup for the NLDS, but he tells Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Time that he is “feeling really good” about trusting Rich Hill with potential Game 4 duties (link). Hill was only activated from the IL on September 24th but did strike out five Padre hitters in just two innings of work in that appearance. As the number-one seed in the National League, the Dodgers will host the winner of the Nats-Brewers Wild Card play-in matchup. The Dodgers, in fact, will play at home throughout the postseason, unless they face the Astros in the World Series–by posting an MLB-best 107-55 record, Houston clinched homefield advantage through the Fall Classic.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Andrew Friedman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175694 2019-09-29T08:39:31Z 2019-09-29T06:07:37Z
  • There hasn’t yet been word about Andrew Friedman’s status with the Dodgers, as the president of baseball operations will reach the end of his contract when the Dodgers’ season ends.  The involved parties didn’t provide any details about negotiations, though there seems to be general optimism that a deal will be reached, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times writes.  Friedman said he wants to return, while team president Stan Kasten said he is “pretty confident” Friedman will be back, and “expect him to be here for a long time.”  Manager Dave Roberts also feels Friedman will remain in L.A., saying “everything I hear is [a new contract] is imminent, that it will get done.”
  • Tim Wallach is leaving his job as the Marlins’ bench coach to be closer to his family in California, though one rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal (in his latest FOX Sports video) that Wallach could be a possible candidate for the Padres’ managerial opening.  It wouldn’t be the first time that Wallach has been linked to San Diego, as he interviewed for the last managerial vacancy before the club went with Andy Green.  Wallach has over 12 years of MLB coaching experience and has also managed at the Triple-A level in the Dodgers’ organization, though he hasn’t been a big league skipper.  In the wake of Green’s firing, Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could prefer someone with Major League managing experience rather hire than another first-timer.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Corey Seager Leaves Game With Hamstring Tightness]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=175392 2019-09-26T05:57:01Z 2019-09-26T05:51:55Z THURSDAY: Seager’s fine, according to manager Dave Roberts (via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com). He’ll return to the Dodgers’ lineup Friday.

    WEDNESDAY: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager exited the team’s game against the Padres on Wednesday with left hamstring tightness, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNetLA reports. The Dodgers replaced Seager after the third inning with Enrique Hernandez.

    The Dodgers say they pulled Seager as a precautionary measure, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets. Still, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Dodgers fans to be nervous about his departure. After all, Seager missed a month from mid-June to mid-July on account of a left hamstring strain. LA fared well without Seager then, but there wasn’t nearly as much at stake at that point. Having since locked up the No. 1 seed in the National League, the Dodgers are a week from beginning the NLDS. They’d surely like to have a healthy Seager on hand when their first-round series opens.

    Despite the time Seager has missed this year, he has bounced back nicely from an injury-limited 2018. After missing most of last season because of Tommy John surgery, the 25-year-old has returned to slash .274/.338/.481 with 18 home runs and 3.2 fWAR in 528 plate appearances.

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