Home > Uncategorized > The Dodgers Do NOT Need David Price

The Dodgers Do NOT Need David Price

July 6, 2014

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A lot of hoopla (by bored – and lazy – baseball writers) that the Dodgers will deal for David Price. In years past, when the Dodgers didn’t have that true ace, maybe, but now… why? I get the greed factor – “build a super rotation – that’ll show ’em” – but again, why? As it is, the Dodgers have played mostly mediocre or poor baseball and are one of the top teams in either league? Why? Because of the strength of their starting pitching – top to bottom, and yes, that includes Dan Haren, people. So if the Dodgers win the West and go into October play, it is largely due to that rotation, not the bullpen, not the offense, and certainly not the defense. So again I ask – why Price?

Would it surprise me if the Dodgers dealt for Price? No. The Guggenheim group came in declaring Frank McCourt’s farm was barren so they’d get that churning again. They drafted some good prospects, retained others, bought some International players and lo and behold, there is hope once again. To deal for Price would derail that hope – and for what? I don’t mean to diminish Price’s ability. If not hurt, like he was last year, he’s as good a pitcher as any in the game. But as it stands now the Dodgers are solid 1-2-3 and outside of an occasional lapse, Josh Beckett has learned to pitch and relies on smarts more than stuff nowadays. Haren is playing on a one-year deal and while uninformed and greedy “fans” complain, as a bottom of the rotation starter, he’s been mostly good, and certainly what you’d expect from a 4-5 starter.

So again, why would the Dodgers want Price? Well, who wouldn’t? Also, I can see Stan Kasten thinking, “easier to add another superstar to the group than do the hard work of benching or trading the superstars we have now.” I honestly don’t believe the Dodgers would be much better by adding Price. He’s a great starter, but 1-5 the rotation now is pretty dominant. Can Price field at SS, LF or CF? Can Price drive in runs consistently? I don’t think so, so adding another fancy pants starter seems redundant to me. Basically you’d be saying, “Haren isn’t a good option at 5, so we better deal for Price to upgrade.” Why?

In a post-season series you have 3 starters, and your other 2 go to the pen. So if the Dodgers added Price, Ryu would be moved to the pen. That’s saying Hyun-Jin Ryu isn’t to be trusted in important Oct games, which I don’t feel is the case. The bullpen currently has some deficiencies, mostly Brian Wilson, Chris Perez and Paul Maholm. In the post-season, a few of those guys wouldn’t even make the roster. So even if the Dodgers did nothing (I would opt for a good relief pitcher), the horses are present to win – the deck chairs just need to be rearranged a bit. Oct mandates such decisions, since 2 starters don’t have jobs.

A few other things bug me about the Price talk. First, it’s assumed by fans Tampa would give the Dodgers Price for nothing. Some say they’d part with garbage, but little else. If the deal this weekend between Oakland and Chicago didn’t teach you anything, you’re not that bright. Mid-season deals cost the front-runner a lot – or should. Chicago got, one most “experts” agree, to be a crown jewel for their infield, one of the games’ top prospects. In return – the price for doing business – the As addressed rotation deficiencies and are now set up to contend in the dog days and into the Fall. Both sides got what they wanted and no one put one over on the other. For Price, who’s markedly better than the 2 starters Oakland acquired, the price would be steep. The Dodgers don’t have the need to pay that kind of price and very little resources to do it anyway. In lay man’s terms, the price for David Price would be quite high and while improving the Dodgers rotation (again, already their strength), it would only improve it so much. The cost would be great in terms of next-generation kids, which I’d like to think is what Kasten is actually building towards, since this bunch of Dodgers is lackluster most of the time.

The other thing that’s funny is that Price is continually called a rental by those who oppose the trade to LA. I like the thinking but the getting there confuses me. If the Dodgers were fool enough to trade for Price, don’t you think the richest team in baseball would retain him? Also, wouldn’t Price, going from the outhouse (sorry, Tampa) to the penthouse, in a pitcher’s park, fitting in alongside Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Ryu, want to stay put? The term rental is used when Pittsburgh acquires someone, not the Dodgers. Not anymore. So I think that aspect of the conversation can be shelved.

Finally, I will say that while the Dodgers do not need another top starting pitcher, to humor those who are greedy and have been Lakers fans too long, I will throw out the name Cole Hamels. Hamels is not needed by the Dodgers any more than Price is, but if I were a GM and wanted to build the ultimate rotation, I would sooner deal with bottom dweller Philly. Hamels is a pretty outstanding starter and owed a lot of money. That money means Philly can ask for less than Tampa can for their star pitcher. So instead of moving Corey Seager, Joc Pederson or Julio Urias, the price would be more like Zach Lee, Paco Rodriguez, or some lesser prospects no one cares about anyhow. The Dodgers would be doing Philly a favor, so when you ask for favors, you can’t be as demanding. And before you complain about the contract Hamels carries, Price will have the same deal, or larger – once he was re-upped to stay in LA. i.e., it doesn’t matter. All things being equal, I’d prefer to keep the aforementioned kids, especially the position players, since pitchers can be had – as this mid-season is proving.

My hopes are that Kasten is smart and acquires a few relievers, perhaps a veteran for the bench and forces dumb Donnie to make the tough decision of playing the players who give the Dodgers the best chance to win over those who make the most money. If the team wants to seriously contend in Oct, they will need to play defense at shortstop and in centerfield. The best outfield combination, in my opinion, is SVS, Joc and Puig. The best defense at short is Arruebarrena or Rojas. Kasten and Donnie can let the inmates run the asylum, but in all my years of watching baseball, I know that the rotation is more than good enough now, the pen needs some tweaking, and the right players are on hand to fix the defensive shortcomings, they just aren’t being used. I hope Kasten and Donnie start using their heads for something other than holding their hats.

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  1. sdsu78
    July 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I have been following you on Twitter and love all your post. Today I road the link on Twitter to your wordpress account and have discovered the mother load. You write so well, better than most of the writers following the Dodgers or those wanna be bloggers.

    My first question is….is that a photo of you at the top of this page? My second question is how long have you been a Dodger fan?

    As for a trade for Price, you know from Twitter I agree that is a dumb idea. My season ticket would be diminished greatly to know I am a fan of such a stupid, shortsighted team. As for the Matt Kemp article, which you wrote on June 2, before he hit well over 300 for the month, I am not in total agreement. Yes, that boneheaded player when he broke his ankle pissed me off for weeks. I played through college and learned in little league you run hard everytime. In fact, in a big high school game I was on 3rd with bases loaded. John Lowenstein, who went on to play for Cleveland and Baltimore, was at bat with a full count. He batted left handed. I broke hard down the line with the pitch. My coach later took me aside and told me not to rush like a bull down 3rd because it bothered John. What a dumb rookie mistake. But when Kemp didn’t run it was the exact opposite of what I did and just as dumb.

    Kemp is not what he used to be. He came to us as a basketball player. I remember yelling at the TV, back when they were on TV, when he ran the bases as if he had never been past first base. He learned but still cut his career short with not running from 3rd on that play. i think he can be close to Matt of old. He needs to keep his focus however and not let the Hollywood lifestyle screw with his head.

    My wordpress address is oldenoughtoremember. Give it a look. I used to update it often but I am so busy with a blog like email system I developed for our 50th high school reunion that old enough to remember has taken a back seat. My email system is awesome as we now have 216 classmates on the list and we share stories and memories every week. A classmate has putt the emails together in a book format and it is at 456 pages and growing. We may print it out for our reunion in October.

    The aforementioned John Lowenstein will not be at our 50th. Our coach recently told me that John had told him he would love it if he could play in a major league park with no fans there. John was always a little weird but that boy could hit. He played SS for us but also pitched. When he pitched I played SS, LF when he was at SS. We finished 2nd in CIF our senior year.

    Keep up the good work with your Tweets and here. I subscribed and look forward to reading all the old post.

    • Freudy
      July 7, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, of course that’s my photo at the top of the page, who else would it be? I’ve been a Dodgers fan all my life, so many decades. It’s been a long run of headaches for any longtime fan of the team – especially those who know the game and don’t just want to have sex with the players. I’d say 1981 was the end of the greatness, as the end of the “infield” and other greats occurred. 1988 was a freak occurrence and no doubt had divine intervention, so I don’t count that as the point where futility began. The team had been sliding after the ’81 victory. Through the end of the O’Malley years to the sad sale to Fox and then ultimately handed to a dirt bag like McCourt, comas, bad TV deals, embarrassment of many different kinds, and here we are. Anyway, hopefully things improve. The pieces are mostly here for a long run, if only management would man up and play the players who give the blue the best chance to win any given day, not those mistakenly overpaid. It used to be long-term deals for pitchers was bad. Nowadays, with PED use and general apathy of modern celebrities, long-term deals for hitters is a bad idea as well. The Dodgers have to somehow move some of these bloated fat cats to other cities or the bench, or else… or else… or else the darkness will continue. To think the team hasn’t been to a WS since 1988 is shocking as a long-time fan. Even in the tough days of Brooklyn, the team went to the Series. They lost a lot to NY, but they were there. Guggenheim needs to get their shit together and do us right. End of sermon.

  2. sdsu78
    July 7, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Freudy,

    I am so glad to see your smiling face. I wasn’t sure because of the photo for Twitter. I have been a Dodger fan since 1957, before they moved to LA. My grandmother was a fan so I liked them too. Suddenly they were in LA and I have been to some very cool games through the years. For example, the Sandy Koufax no-hitter over Juan Marichal, 8-0. I was at a Cub doubleheader than lasted like 12 hours. I was at the ASG in 59 and almost got a Harmon Killebrew ball. But the most exciting moment was when Bob Welch struck out Reggie in the WS. That AB was the most excitement I have ever experienced and they have been some great moments. I had a great seat that day too, right behind home in Loge.

    I learned long ago to be a Dodger fan, not a player fan. When they traded guys like Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and Maury I realized I had to either support the Dodgers or be pissed off a lot. I decided the Dodgers trumped any player, even the great ones. My all time favorite was Dandy Don. I did indeed cry for a long time along the side of the road when he died. I didn’t know it would effect me so bu it did. I have a road jersey with 53 on the back.

    Keep up the good work. Do you attend many games? My season ticket package is a mini but I did get to see us kick Atlanta around last year and mock them with the tommy hawk chop chant, over and over. Piss on the Braves.

    As for the current team, Gordon has finally won me over. My son told me he would come around but I didn’t agree. I would like to consider him for CF because he covers so much ground. I prefer Kemp in LF but if SVS were given the job everyday perhaps he would blossom into an offensive force. I would like to see us trade Hanley for RP or perhaps a real veteran off the bench. Figgins will be DFA when he is healthy. Have to keep Rojas and Arra…. for gloves. Turner is a good off the bench guy. If and when Hanley moves to 3rd, probably next year, Uribe or Hanley will be a good off the bench guy too. Starters are exceptional. Herren in this rotation is not bad, after all, he is our #5 guy for pete;s sake. Perez and the lame lefty must go. Wilson probably has a bad arm but won’t tell. He could be a goner too. Too bad Whitlock broke down. He is good.

    Well, I have talked enough Dodger baseball for now. It is hot as hell in Riverside. Next game for me is Saturday against Pads. Reserved, section 8.

    Ters

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