When Andrew Friedman took over the Dodgers in 2013, he was told to win immediately and win in the future. He was given a blank checkbook to build up all areas, so he built up the scouting, the analytics department, the coaching staffs and of course the roster. He traded for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, and everyone laughed at him for taking the contracts. Eight straight division titles later, any one still laughing? He used those guys as temporary bandaids, while building up his system for the long haul. That is our goal also.
First thing I tell Sandy Alderson is to hire Billy Owens to stock talent into the minor leagues. Second, call Tom House and see what it will take to get him on our coaching staff to build up our pitchers to their full potential. Then, I tell Alderson to call Ron Darling, Pedro Martinez, Phil Regan and Al Leiter and tell them we would like them to be guest coaches in the spring. Another thing the Dodgers do well is they bring their stars back to work with the present players and instill in them the Dodgers mystic.
Now the fast track rebuild. When evaluating the roster, we see the deepest position on the major league roster is first base with two very good players (Smith and Alonso) and two good players (Davis and Cano). There is no center fielder, no MLB catcher if we do not pick-up either Chirinos’ option or Ramos’ option, several second base candidates, two young shortstops of different strengths, a shortage of starting pitchers and a plethora of underperforming relievers. Our decision makers have decided to reward Davis’ hard work and give him more time to continue his improvement at third base as he started off very impressively but fell off defensively. Also, it was decided that due to Thomas Szapucki’s advanced age but relatively little professional pitching experience, he would be in the MLB bullpen to be brought along slower than a starter, but to not use up his years of control in the minors while getting his MLB experience and knowledge.
Free Agent signings:
James McCann: $7 per year for two years
George Springer: $19 per year for four years
Brad Hand: $9 per year for three years
Tommy Hunter: $2.5 per year for two years
Chris Owings: $2.5 per year for three years
Robbie Ray: $12.5 per year for three years
Michael Brantley: $15 per year for two years (if the DH is passed for 2021)
Trade Dominic Smith, Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Jeurys Familia and $5.5 cash to Cleveland for Zach Plesac and Francisco Lindor. Smith and Plesac are very close, maybe an edge to Smith, but the rest of the deal is structured around what Los Angeles gave up for Mookie Betts last year while allowing for the consumption of Familia’s final year.
Trade Pete Alonso and Robert Gsellman to Tampa for Ryan Yarbrough and Brent Honeywell, Jr. Yarbrough is a lefty mid-rotation arm with four years of control and Honeywell is a former top prospect with five above average offerings that has been hurt for a couple of years, but has potential to be an ace. Problem: Honeywell has not pitched since 2017 because of TJ surgery and then breaking his pitching elbow in spring training of 2019 and so he is out of options and needs to be on the big league squad – if he’s healthy. Acquiring Honeywell makes it necessary to put Szapucki in the minors if Honeywell is healthy, but we couldn’t pass up on the arm.
Going into 2021 season:
Edwin Diaz $8.5*, Corey Oswalt $0.6, Dellin Betances $6, Tommy Hunter $2.5, Thomas Szapucki $0.6, Brad Brach $1.25, Jeurys Familia $5.5, Brad Hand $9, Chasen Shreve $2.5*, Seth Lugo $4.5*, Honeywell $0.6 = $41.05
Jacob deGrom $21.78 (AAV for Luxury Tax because he took a salary of only $9 the first year of his deal, his real salary is $36), Steven Matz $5.5*, Noah Syndergaard $10.5*, Ryan Yarbrough $0.7, Zach Plesac $0.6, Robbie Ray $12.5, Walker Lockett $0.6 = $52.18
Total Payroll: $209.18
SP: deGrom, Plesac, Ray, Yarbrough, Matz, Lockett, Syndergaard
RP: Diaz, Betances, Oswalt, Hand, Hunter, Lugo, Shreve, Brach, Honeywell, Szapucki
First Baseman: Cano
Second Baseman: McNeil
Third Base: Davis
Left Field: Nimmo
Center Field: Springer
Right Field: Conforto
Backups: Nido, Guillorme, Rosario, Owings