Dodgers, Justin Verlander, Padres discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
When I look at our fan graph steps charts, it's rare when the starting where the current starting player in a contender is a player who's not even completely positive how to pronounce their name. That's kind of where the Padres are. I don't actually know if it's Taylor Coley or Taylor covey or coal fire, whatever, because I can't remember hearing his name ever said. And I can't imagine that the Padres went and go into the 2022 season with him as the starter and left field on a contending team. But wouldn't the judge and Soto corner outfield be a lot of fun? Yeah, right. And I think another team that I wanted to ask you about that missed out on someone here. So the Dodgers did finalize the Clayton Kershaw contract that had been reported some time ago, but they missed out on Justin Verlander, so the mets have outbid the Dodgers for another old ace. It was Max Scherzer last time, former Dodger, this time the Dodgers were reported to be meeting with Justin Verlander and very interested in Justin Verlander. And they have lost out on fur lander and now they have lost trade Turner. So that's a pretty big hit to take even when you're the Dodgers and Meghan I talked about when we ran down your projected preliminary standings that there was a little less daylight between the Dodgers and the Padres and the Giants other teams in the NOS, the Diamondbacks right up there too, then I think there has been certainly going into seasons. I don't know about at this point in the off season, but it seemed like the Dodgers were maybe a bit more vulnerable and now that it is official that they have lost tray Turner and that they're not getting Verlander and they're not going to have walker Bueller this season. I think a bit more vulnerable than the Dodgers have been for a while and they could still make some major move, of course. You never count out the Dodgers that they could very well go get Aaron judge or go get someone else of that kind of caliber because not that they're any other players of that kind of caliber, really. But they have room to spend. I mean, relative to recent Dodgers payrolls, they are way down there, like they're at the point now where they could try to reset their competitive balance tax penalties if they were to stay under the threshold this year. And that might be appealing to them. I mean, any ownership group, like if they can get by and win without triggering those penalties and in their case, resetting those penalties, which benefits you for years to come, I could see how that might be alluring to them, especially because they just put together one of the best regular season teams of all time. And then they got bounced in October, which is nothing new for them. So, you know, if the Philly's example sends the message, well, everyone should spend enough to get into the tournament because after that, all bets are off, the Dodgers examples sort of sends the opposite message, which is, yeah, like get there, but there may not be that much benefit to winning a 110 games as opposed to winning 90 at this point, right? So I don't know. They may very well restock and recharge and enter as a prohibitive favorite and a juggernaut again. But it seems like they might be taking a step back here and I will be curious to see whether they decide to go for more of an austerity like our core is good enough that we can contend and we can make the playoffs and then we'll see or whether they do bring in some top talents because they certainly have been willing to spend for the elite players, but there are only so many of those guys left. The Dodgers are a team that they are very willing to spend, but they're also a team that's willing to spend on their own terms. When things happen, they don't tend to panic. When they had a rash of injuries early in 2022, they did not sweat, you know, going into a season with Tyler Anderson getting a lot of stars. As you hear me getting starts, that did not phase them at all. And so I could see them spending on, say, Carlos rodon and there's that additional value of poking the eyes of the Giants kind of like with the Brett butler signing, I guess, 25 years ago now, more than that, God. But I can also see them either go the surprise trade route, like what if they convinced the White Sox they had to part with Lucas giolito or something. The White Sox, I think, might be prone to doing something that you wouldn't expect is a good idea for them. Or the Dodgers could pick up a couple guys for 5 million apiece and turn them in number two starters for a year because they seem to have as good a track record of doing that kind of crazy stuff that works out is as any team in baseball. Again, pallor Anderson Andrew heaney. So it's a team that's not too predictable. And I think with having Kershaw locked up for a year, they might be more inclined to roll the Dyson something like that. Maybe they sign Michael waka and turn to him, and he has an area of two and a half for a year. That's Chris archer, Luke weaver. There's just a lot of opportunities for the Dodgers to pick up someone cheaply. Yeah, and you know, they have waited sometimes for their moment to strike and they will go get Mookie betts or they'll go get Freddie Freeman late in an off season, so as you said, they're not necessarily in a hurry and they have the talent that gives them the luxury of waiting for the right moment, but you look at their depth chart in their projected lineup right now and I don't want to say holes, but by Dodger standards, there are some question marks and certainly putting some trust in some less proven players, right? Trace Thompson becomes great when he's a Dodger, of course, but if you're trusting Gavin Lux at shortstop and then that kind of weakens you elsewhere so that well now you're maybe starting Chris Taylor at second and then you're going with Miguel Vargas at third and you have maybe James outman in a corner like I mean these are players that could certainly start for a lot of teams and could be very good and could add to the Dodgers depth, but it just seems a little unlikely that they go into the season with half a lineup that is sort of shakier or unproven thus far players. So I would expect that they will do something. Will that be cars Correa level something? I don't know, but something. They have a lot of room to spend if they want to do that. I think Correa would be a fun fit with Los Angeles. He's kind of one of those modern analytics friendly players who I think the Dodgers would do very well with. I think that there'd be a good give and take between him and the front office. I think he'd be more open to being used in a creative way than say he might be with other teams. I don't think you want to sign with, say, the rockies. And the rockies say don't worry, we're going to be creative about using it. You'll think, oh God, I'm going to be a starting first baseman aren't I?