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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – September 13, 2016

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Norm Hall/Getty Images North America

The difference between winning and losing for the Giants recently has just been chance. But why not slightly improve their chances by batting the red hot Hunter Pence higher in the order for a few weeks?

Plus some no hitter thoughts on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Kyle Hendricks, Yasmany Tomas, David Price, Rougned Odor, Carlos Gonzalez, Starlin Castro and  Jake Odorizzi all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

 

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Odds To Be The 1st MLB Manager Fired In 2016: Who Is On The Hotseat?

a hot seat

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part Owner – Chief Writer) 

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Every year there are certain managers that have a ton of pressure to win.  This is always a tough process to think of who will be nixed first.

On one hand, many clubs that should be in contention for the playoffs will see an axe come to their tenure, however sometimes clubs are so bad record wise (even though they were projected to be) that the franchise will just slay the field general in the name of mercy.

As far as under the gun goes. guys like Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and John Gibbons.  are tops on the list. 

Ausmus doesn’t have a track record of any postseason series wins like the latter two here, so he is going to be the #1 favorite out of this group of skippers that could go fast with playoff aspirations if their team struggles out of the starting block.

Gibbons did a great job with Toronto in 2015, but a slow start would really put his name on the block. Say if they are 6 or 7 games behind the playoff bar near Memorial Day.

Farrell has put up back to back 5th place finishes in the AL East after winning the World Series Title in his 1st year of being the skipper in 2013.

Then there is a perennial bad losing club that have long tenured coaches like Walt Weiss and Robin Ventura. I am not sure they should not have been shown the door following last years campaigns. 

Weiss has losing years for every year under his belt, and Ventura rode out 2013 with his late season collapse, but his club has underachieved in every other year.

Still the two most managers on the hot seat are Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves on top of the favorite list at +331, followed by Bryan Price at +441. But I hate putting money on either of these gentlemen with their clubs both being on track to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year.

Heck, Gonzalez’s predecessor Bobby Cox was the well into his 3rd decade with the “Tomahawk” Choppers when he finally stepped down to a front office job. Gonzalez at least had the Braves in the playoffs in 2012. 

Price can’t really be expected to do anything with this anemic Pitching Staff, and all veterans except for Votto may be available for trade at any point.

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The Dodgers Make The Right Move To Re-Sign Kendrick

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31 year old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL - where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31-year-old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL – where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Dodgers are running pretty good today with the status quo on the offensive side of the ball anyway.

Since it was agreed on that Howie Kendrick would sign a 2 year deal for $20 MIL – this is an economic win.

1st off, the Dodgers avoided the $15.8 MIL Qualifying Offer they extended their 2015 2B, then only had to pad $4.2 MIL to the total for a 2nd season.

This is a loss financially for Kendrick, who must have thought a multi-year offer of 3 – 4 campaigns must have been out there for the same kind of money that Daniel Murphy signed for (3 years at $12 MIL per AAV).

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn't really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn't come calling for his services - considering the lower AAV.

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn’t really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn’t come calling for his services – considering the lower AAV.

Not only did the Dodgers brass finally reel in their Starting Second Baseman, they were able to add Chase Utley as a backup/quality bench hitter for $7 MIL.  If you combined Kendrick and Utley salaries, it is just $1.2 MIL over what would have happened had Kendrick accepted the QO.

Love Kendrick as a professional hitter.  The man is a .293/.333/.423 career hitter – and his 2015 season closely resembled this at .295/.336/.409 in 2015 for the Dodger Blue.

It shows that the Dodgers management/ownership is also willing to fork out the necessary dollars to keep up their NL West Division prowess.

As the 3 time defending Division Champs,  they are in prime position to challenge the Giants for a 4th year in a row in 2016.

This contract vaults the Dodgers up to around $245 MIL in total team salary in 2016, yet it was a necessary move.

Los Angeles is also staring at a 50% penalty for going over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a 4th straight year.  They will pay around $28 MIL with cash situated as it is now.

For the fans that wanted the organization to dole up for the bigger Free Agents, it is hard to fathom paying that 50% penalty for years upon years at the present rate.

This approach has had the super management team of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and newly appointed Alex Anthopoulos under heavy scrutiny, but may work out better in the long run.

Had the club inked Zack Greinke to his $34.42 MIL AAV, that would have put them so far in committed $ over the Luxury Tax, that they would never be able to get under for a reset.

With the 2016 season concluding without a CBA after, it is also wise not to be so far over the Luxury Tax mark when they don’t know what the new deal between the MLBPA and the owners will look like.

2017 has them over $203 MIL in contracts guaranteed to 12 guys already, but 8 players will become Free Agents after the 2016 season, and after 2017’s end comes the best news for Dodger fans.  Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford will finally be off the books!

The Dodgers have a ton of young talent coming into the fold here.  Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are under team control for a long period of time here.  You still have Julio Urias just coming up to the Major Leagues for service time as well.

The Infield is definitely going to be clogged up with Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Guerrero on the depth chart.  Guerrero is out of options and will need to be kept on the Major League Roster (or be released, waived or DFA’d).

Of course Justin Turner is listed as the Starter at 3B for now.  Micah Johnson and Utley may join Hernandez as guys that could spell him at the hot corner.

Guerrero could also play the OF, but I am sure that Dave Roberts would love to use Scott Van Slyke as 1st on the taxi squad.

Los Angeles has also strengthened its bench with this move.  The one thing they could still use it Relief help.  That may be obtained by signing more Free Agents, or perhaps this may clear the deck for another trade to happen.

The Dodgers were 10th in the NL during 2015 – with a .250 Batting Average, and losing a .293 hitter last year would have been tough for this years lineup.

With Corey Seager for a full year, and a return to prominence for Yasiel Puig, this squad could really put up some runs and improve all facets of the offense.

While the club wasn’t so great at Batting Average, they were 3rd in the Senior Circuit in Slugging Percentage at .413.

One has to also think that Chase Utley will be a lot better in reserve role – compared to his .202/.291/.363 3 Slash Line with the team last year.  I would say he could be 80% like his worst year (prior to 2015), where he hit .259/.344/.425 in 2012.

For the record, baseballreference.com has Utley hitting .247/.315/.398 in 2016.  I am sure the club would take that.

Whether the implementation of a lot of players on the roster – as opposed to having a limited bench and depth if they would have signed Greinke projects well to the upcoming season is yet to be determined. 4

No doubt they are not as strong in the Rotation at the top. But perhaps the addition of Scott Kazmir, the return of Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood for a full year, and a surprise comeback from Brandon McCarthy could pick up the slack.

Signing Kendrick was the right move all day long.  This is one less position with the team having questions for.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 - 2020.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman. They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years  in the future, by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 – 2020.  Right near they are at a 50% penalty for every season they are over the Luxury Tax ($189 MIL) until they get under.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their other partners.***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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The Dodgers Should Not Stop Acquiring Players Even After Signing Kazmir And Maeda

Scott Kazmir has revived his career over the last 3 years after seeing it almost end after his days with the Angels. The LHP has gone 32 - 29 record wise, but has dropped in ERA over the last 3 years from 4.04 in 2013 - 3.55 in 2014 - and 3.10 last year for both the A's and Astros. Kazmir, who will turn 32 later this month, signed a 3 Year deal worth $48 MIL that he can opt out after next campaign. If that is the case he will collect $16 MIL in 2016 for salary at hit the open market in a Free Agent class where he could really garner some big dollar offers.

Scott Kazmir has revived his career over the last 3 years after seeing it almost end after his days with the Angels. The LHP has gone 32 – 29 record wise, but has dropped in ERA over the last 3 years from 4.04 in 2013 – 3.55 in 2014 – and 3.10 last year for both the A’s and Astros. Kazmir, who will turn 32 later this month, signed a 3 Year deal worth $48 MIL that he can opt out after next campaign. If that is the case, he will collect $16 MIL in 2016 for salary at hit the open market in a Free Agent class where he could really garner some big dollar offers.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Dodgers have finally entered the Free Agent Starting Pitchers frenzy this offseason  In two moves over the last week they have inked Scott Kazmir to a 3 YRs/$48 MIL and NPBL stud Kenta Maeda to an 8 year pact – where terms were not disclosed until mid last week ($24 MIL is guaranteed – with incentives on performance that could bring that up to $10 MIL per year) .

These are decent deals to counter what the D’Backs did in picking up former Dodgers hurler Zack Greinke, and then trade for Shelby Miller, while the Giants inked Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to help bolster both of their clubs.

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Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twitter 

The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 23, 2015

Fox Sports/MLB

Fox Sports/MLB

The Red Sox fan in me is thrilled to see Dave Roberts take over the role as Dodger manager.

It means they are going to play his stolen base in the 2004 ALCS on a loop.ring to his collection.

He has his work cut out for him in LA, but if he does his job, he could add another

It is a turn around to a title  episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Reds One And Done In 2013?

The Reds had high expectations coming into this 2013 season and things haven't gone according to plan. Between injuries and many other things, the Reds sit in third place in the National League Central.

The Reds had high expectations coming into this 2013 season and things haven’t gone according to plan. Between injuries and many other things, the Reds sit in third place in the National League Central. Ryan Ludwick has finally made his return to the lineup in the last week or so but even he isn’t tearing up opposing pitching. Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart have had below average seasons at the plate and it has hurt the Reds in the clutch. The Reds are leading the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second Wild Card spot but they need to get hot going into, what will most likely be a one game playoff.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

Coming out of last season’s meltdown in the first round of the playoffs against the Giants, you would have thought the Reds would want revenge this season.

It has been the complete opposite. This team doesn’t have any drive and are always playing with zero enthusiasm.

Injuries to Johnny Cueto, Ryan Ludwick and Sean Marshall have really hurt them this season. It has put pressure on other guys to do things they have never done in their career.

For the most part it has been good, but then again there are times where they just seemed inexperienced and it comes back to hurt them.

JJ Hoover has gone from awful at the beginning of the season, to great in the middle, and now back to awful. He is in a role he has never been in before so you can’t blame it all on him.

In the last week and a half he has given up two Grand Slams in big situations, one to Paul Goldschmidt and the other to Allen Craig. Granted they are both MVP candidates, but you can’t give up Grand Slams in the situations that he did so.

Brandon Phillips Goes Off On Reporter: Parental Guidance Advised! Explicit Language! 

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