rickyISking

October's Over: The 2014-15 MLB off-season thread.

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So the Dodgers got a new GM, Farhan Zaidi.

Good news Giants fans; because he's a Billy Beane "Moneyball" protege, expect even more frustrating and agonizing playoff-flameouts by the Dodgers. Ugh.

You love it. You've seen too many championships from your Lakers and Kings to be unhappy, but the Dodgers let you act like a tortured fan. The only thing you get to kvetch about anymore is the Dodgers. You secretly like that the Dodgers don't win.

The A's playoff flameouts aren't a characteristic of "Moneyball" and running your team using those tactics doesn't guarantee playoff failure. The Red Sox won a couple World Championships with "Moneyball"-like tactics, except they were able to spend for the best players that moneyball values. The Dodgers will be more like the 2007 Red Sox than they will be the A's. The A's postseason problems are because their lineups are built to squeeze the highest possible return out of cheaper players that work best as a cohesive team. This works in the regular season against 3-4-5 starters, but in the playoffs they have to see 1 & 2 starters and wins are tougher to come by. Also, the baseball playoffs are mostly luck, anyway, and the A's haven't had much.

The Dodgers will have none of the same cash-strapped problems that Billy Beane has to deal with in Oakland. So think Moneyball in the sense that he'll find market inefficiencies to exploit (which have changed in the 12 years since the book was released), but he'll also have more money to overcome mistakes.

I agree with you about the moneyball, Why I don't his case, I do know that the Dodgers are only team that I'm a fan of that hasn't won in my lifetime, because of this they are the team I care for the most. Trust me, I'm genuinely upset. I really don't you should say someone shouldnt complain just because other teams you follow have won.

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The Dodgers are a team I look at and say I'm not so sure if this year wasn't their best shot at bringing home a World championship with this squad as is.

As long as they Kershaw, Puig and Greinke they will be no worse then a 75 win team. But outside of those three guys I have a lot of questions about this team going forward, mainly how are they going to deal with the diminishing returns of guys like Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp? Gonzalez while still effective is clearly not the same player he was in San Diego, and while Kemp's bat may be back I don't think you can put him out in center field and not have him be a defensive liability.

You look at that lineup last year, outside of Dee Gordon everyone else had at least five years of experience. Looking at their farm system its okay, but not good enough to where you could say we have the makings of a future World Series team in AA. So as is now I think that's a team that will have some difficulty in replacing guys like Gonzalez, Uribe and Crawford and doing so without missing a beat.

So is this team that's going to try again to buy a World Series as they've been doing the past couple of years, or is it a team that takes a step back and tries to improve their farm system for a year or two before going crazy again in the free agent market?

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The Dodgers have just been spending money to be competitive and put butts in the seats. It was never about trying to win a championship with this team. It's always been about rebuilding the farm system to establish a core of players, and then spending around them. Everything up to now has just been for show.

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There's also the not so small concern about what they are going to do if they don't keep Hanley around. There have already been rumblings that they want to lower the payroll more towards the $180M-$190M range which, while still a ton of money in general, would represent a ~$50M drop from their 2014 figure. As someone who saw the Yankees try to trim payroll to try and get under $189M leading into 2014, lets just say it didn't work the way they hoped, they lost quality players and tried to replace them with broken down has-beens (their 2013 roster would've made a great team in 2005) and, predictably, these broken down has-beens were not as good and they got hurt a lot. The only reason they posted winning records the last two seasons has been because of Joe Girardi and an absurd amount of pixie dust.

Los Angeles is not in that type of situation, at least not yet, and I don't expect them to have the same issues either going forward because, at the very least for them, they are in a horrible division in the weaker league. The unfortunate for LA is that, as we got to see a month ago, there isn't a thing in the world they can do to safe-guard against October randomness, regardless how good their overall team is. They are all about winning in October at this point, but we all know how tough that is.

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So the Dodgers got a new GM, Farhan Zaidi.

Good news Giants fans; because he's a Billy Beane "Moneyball" protege, expect even more frustrating and agonizing playoff-flameouts by the Dodgers. Ugh.

You love it. You've seen too many championships from your Lakers and Kings to be unhappy, but the Dodgers let you act like a tortured fan. The only thing you get to kvetch about anymore is the Dodgers. You secretly like that the Dodgers don't win.

The A's playoff flameouts aren't a characteristic of "Moneyball" and running your team using those tactics doesn't guarantee playoff failure. The Red Sox won a couple World Championships with "Moneyball"-like tactics, except they were able to spend for the best players that moneyball values. The Dodgers will be more like the 2007 Red Sox than they will be the A's. The A's postseason problems are because their lineups are built to squeeze the highest possible return out of cheaper players that work best as a cohesive team. This works in the regular season against 3-4-5 starters, but in the playoffs they have to see 1 & 2 starters and wins are tougher to come by. Also, the baseball playoffs are mostly luck, anyway, and the A's haven't had much.

The Dodgers will have none of the same cash-strapped problems that Billy Beane has to deal with in Oakland. So think Moneyball in the sense that he'll find market inefficiencies to exploit (which have changed in the 12 years since the book was released), but he'll also have more money to overcome mistakes.

I agree with you about the moneyball, Why I don't his case, I do know that the Dodgers are only team that I'm a fan of that hasn't won in my lifetime, because of this they are the team I care for the most. Trust me, I'm genuinely upset. I really don't you should say someone should complain just because other teams you follow have won.

I think I follow what you’re saying and that’s not what I’m saying. DBA is overly dramatic and loves to play the tortured sole role. He started a thread about the most long suffering fan bases, for example. The Dodgers, unlike the Lakers and Kings, allow him to be a part of this group of "long" suffering fans and he gets to write things like “even more frustrating and agonizing”. Obviously he would rather see the Dodgers win, but I think deep down there’s a part of him that enjoys the “misery”.

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So the Dodgers got a new GM, Farhan Zaidi.

Good news Giants fans; because he's a Billy Beane "Moneyball" protege, expect even more frustrating and agonizing playoff-flameouts by the Dodgers. Ugh.

You love it. You've seen too many championships from your Lakers and Kings to be unhappy, but the Dodgers let you act like a tortured fan. The only thing you get to kvetch about anymore is the Dodgers. You secretly like that the Dodgers don't win.

The A's playoff flameouts aren't a characteristic of "Moneyball" and running your team using those tactics doesn't guarantee playoff failure. The Red Sox won a couple World Championships with "Moneyball"-like tactics, except they were able to spend for the best players that moneyball values. The Dodgers will be more like the 2007 Red Sox than they will be the A's. The A's postseason problems are because their lineups are built to squeeze the highest possible return out of cheaper players that work best as a cohesive team. This works in the regular season against 3-4-5 starters, but in the playoffs they have to see 1 & 2 starters and wins are tougher to come by. Also, the baseball playoffs are mostly luck, anyway, and the A's haven't had much.

The Dodgers will have none of the same cash-strapped problems that Billy Beane has to deal with in Oakland. So think Moneyball in the sense that he'll find market inefficiencies to exploit (which have changed in the 12 years since the book was released), but he'll also have more money to overcome mistakes.

I agree with you about the moneyball, Why I don't his case, I do know that the Dodgers are only team that I'm a fan of that hasn't won in my lifetime, because of this they are the team I care for the most. Trust me, I'm genuinely upset. I really don't you should say someone should complain just because other teams you follow have won.

I think I follow what youre saying and thats not what Im saying. DBA is overly dramatic and loves to play the tortured sole role. He started a thread about the most long suffering fan bases, for example. The Dodgers, unlike the Lakers and Kings, allow him to be a part of this group of "long" suffering fans and he gets to write things like even more frustrating and agonizing. Obviously he would rather see the Dodgers win, but I think deep down theres a part of him that enjoys the misery.

I've had this feeling for quite some time now that dba is actually the guy from the Lakers sunglasses gif. He's pretty much a dead ringer for the stereotypical Southern Californian.

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I think without question what to do with Hanley Ramirez is the biggest decision the Dodgers will face this offseason.

I think he's someone the Dodgers need in order to be a playoff team in 2015. So if they're serious about this year they have to resign him.

That being said he's basically turned into the NL's version of Derek Jeter. As good as he is at the dish, he's such a defensive liability he's only an above average starting shortstop. And like Jeter seems to be in complete denial over his defensive ability at short.

Is that someone the Dodgers really want on their team beyond this year given their advanced age and middle of the pack farm system?

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Tigers re-sign V-Mart. 4 years-70 mill. A lot of cake, but he's a consistent, much-needed power hitter. Now we need an outfielder and somehow by the grace of Mike Ilitch, re-sign Scherzer.

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I think without question what to do with Hanley Ramirez is the biggest decision the Dodgers will face this offseason.

I think he's someone the Dodgers need in order to be a playoff team in 2015. So if they're serious about this year they have to resign him.

That being said he's basically turned into the NL's version of Derek Jeter. As good as he is at the dish, he's such a defensive liability he's only an above average starting shortstop. And like Jeter seems to be in complete denial over his defensive ability at short.

Is that someone the Dodgers really want on their team beyond this year given their advanced age and middle of the pack farm system?

I share the concern about Hanley at SS; I don't think he's going to be there much more than 1-2 more seasons. I think my bigger concern about him going forward is that his offensive production has also begun to slip. Lets take a look at this:

2006-2010: .313/.385/.521/.906, 136 OPS+

2011-2014: .277/.351/.464/.816, 125 OPS+

But even then, 2013 sticks out as a half-season sore thumb. Lets look at those four years individually:

2011: .243/.333/.379/.712, 95 OPS+ (92 games)

2012: .257/.322/.437/.759, 105 OPS+

2013: .345/.402/.638/1.040, 189 OPS+ (86 games)

2014: .283/.369/.448/.817, 132 OPS+

2014, by OPS+, is actually a little better than I thought it was, and I get the feeling Hanley was battling some kind of injury in 2011-2012 that I simply don't remember anymore. Nonetheless, those numbers do indicate a general decline, and those numbers look better at SS than they do at 3rd base. Given the contract Hanley is going to get (it's gonna be at least seven years, right? Has to be), I would have quite a few reservations about doubling down on him long-term.

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Tigers re-sign V-Mart. 4 years-70 mill. A lot of cake, but he's a consistent, much-needed power hitter. Now we need an outfielder and somehow by the grace of Mike Ilitch, re-sign Scherzer.

Right, lets see if he can keep it going when he is 38-39-40

On a tiger sidenote, i def. hope Cabrera drops 50+ lbs this winter, his legs and feet will give up if he don´t loose some weight.

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Stanton, Marlins Talk $300 Million Deal

.

I will see it before i belive it !

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In other news, Clayton Kershaw got a haircut

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Happy to see Kershaw won the award and if you go back to the awards topic he was my pick as well, but not so sure he won it for the right reasons.


I gave it to Kershaw because I thought he was the best player in the National League in 2014. That's how I interpret the award.


But people seem to want to put Kershaw's 2014 season up there as being one of the greatest of all-time. To that I would say it depends on where you draw the cut off line to being one of the greatest seasons by a pitcher of all-time. If you think that's anything in the top 100, then yeah, Kershaw had one of the greatest seasons by a pitcher ever. Anything more restrictive though and I think you start getting away from where Kershaw is.


The reason I can't put him much higher is very simple. He missed 6 starts this year. He didn't even crack 200 innings, and wasn't even in the top 40 in the majors this year for innings pitched. For a position player it would be almost the equivalent of a guy playing in 120 games. You can do it and still be considered one of if not the best players in the game. But you'll never compare to the guys who were just as dominant and played a whole season. Such as I think the case is here with Kershaw.


Dwight Gooden in '85, Randy Johnson in '02, Greg Maddux in '95, Robin Roberts in '53 and Steve Carlton in '72 all in my opinion had far better seasons then Kershaw and none of them won MVP. Okay granted in some of these years like 2002, Johnson didn't deserve to win the award over Bonds. But Johnson didn't even come close in '02. He only finished 7th that year. 7th, for a guy that led the NL in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts. Gooden who did the same thing in '85 only managed a 4th place finish. And Carlton who did the same thing in '72 only got 5th.


Without calling past MVP voting into question, you would have to conclude that not only was Kershaw as good as all of those aforementioned pitchers, he was better.


But I don't think that's the lens we should be looking at this through. I think it is perfectly acceptable to give the award to Kershaw this year under the guise that more pitchers should have won the MVP and many of those past voting were mistakes. But that brings up another issue, why were those past MVP votes wrong?


One I think people tend to not view pitchers in the same light as position players. A pitcher only plays every five days as opposed to a position player who is basically out there every game. If that's the case, then why are guys like Zack Greinke earning in excess of $20 million? Again maybe not the best example to bring up, because nobody thinks of Zack Greinke as the best pitcher in the majors. But there are plenty of pitchers who make salaries comparable to the best position players in the game that nobody bats an eye at. Unless all of these GM's are wrong about how to value pitchers, then you would have to say that it is very well possible for a pitcher to be considered the best player in the game in any one season.


The second point I think carries a bit more weight to it and that's that pitchers have the Cy Young award and there is no position player award that carries an equal amount of weight. So we should just give the MVP to the best offensive player and just assume the Cy Young award winner is on average equally as good as MVP winner in terms of overall skill. For awhile that's how I viewed it as well. By why can't we have a Cy Young equivalent for position players and have the MVP truly represent the best player in baseball? I would have no problem with saying this year's NL (insert great position player) award goes to Jonathan Lucroy for being the best overall position player in the National League. It would guarantee at least one pitcher and hitter a year was recognized and based on those two players only, we would select who was more deserving of the MVP.


I think if you did that it would go a long way in getting people who think a pitcher should never win the MVP award on board with the idea that they can and in some years should.

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FWIW, I think there is supposed to be an award that is the position player equivalent to the Cy Young (Ted Williams Award I think?) but it's really no-where near as relevant or celebrated as the Cy Young award, obviously. and I have no clue who won that award in either league this season, or if it's even been awarded at all anyway.

With that in mind, I'm generally in the camp of "pitchers =/= MVP" but I made an exception for this season because Clayton Kershaw was so much better than everybody else, and because was there really an MVP standout candidate otherwise in the NL this year? You mention Jonathan Lucroy, and it's ridiculous how underrated he is, but I can't really say it ever struck me that he's having an MVP-calibre season. I didn't get that feeling from anybody else in the NL this season. In fairness, that could also be a reflection of just how much offense has nose-dived in this sport in the past few years, to the point where I'm still having trouble re-calibrating what I consider to be great offensive production, good production, bad, etc. I mean, a .700 OPS is league average these days and I still can't look at a .700 OPS myself and think "gee, now there's a hitter I want in my everyday lineup". It's an annoying adjustment.

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Only one I'm aware of is the Hank Aaron award, and that's purely for hitting.

Someone like Josh Donaldson who I thought was the second best position player this year after Trout, wouldn't even be in the discussion for that type of award.

What you mentioned about Lucroy I would say is pretty accurate. But if not him, then who? Anthony Rendon? Giancarlo Stanton? Andrew McCutchen? Nobody in the NL really blew anyone out of the water and I include Kershaw on that list as well because of the missed six starts.

He was the most dominant player in a year where the standard deviation between a great player and good player was low.

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Diamondbacks acquire Jeremy Helickson from tbe Rays for a pair of minor leaguers

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Diamondbacks acquire Jeremy Helickson from tbe Rays for a pair of minor leaguers

Hmm. Pretty good pickup for the D Backs. Hellickson has some issues, but he's still got a pretty high ceiling, specially for that price. I was hoping the Giants could turn a few prospects into him, but I figured they probably didn't have the ammo.

Corbin

Miley

Hellickson

Bradley

Collmenter(?)/Cahill(!)

Well, it's not the best rotation in the NL West. Still pretty far behind Los Angeles and probably even San Francisco. But barring a rough recovery from Patrick Corbin, definitely a solid #3 :P

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Stanton, Marlins Talk $300 Million Deal . I will see it before i belive it !

Report is $325,000,000 over 13 years, with no-trade provisions and Stanton having an opt-out clause once he turns 30. And if anyone in South Florida buys a single ticket thinking Stanton's going to be around until 2027, they should be committed.

More interesting to me though is A.J. Burnett, who appears to have walked away from roughly $4.5 million (when he opted out of his Phillies deal) solely to return to... the Pittsburgh Pirates, who'll be paying him "a mere" $8.5 million for 2015. Apparently his agent said not only did Burnett want to play for the Pirates next year, but he wanted to only play for the Pirates.

It's the sixth sign of the apocalypse. The 7th is a Pirates World Series victory. The rapture is nigh! :D

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