grabarkewitz wrote:Agreed on the SSS. And it seems everyone is either forgetting or just not mentioning Andre Ethier on purpose. Put Thompson and Van Slyke (who had a down year - can be expected from a guy with his role, having basically a SSS every single year) in that mix along with Verdugo and Bellinger, and we have a lot of options in the OF. I'm guessing Cain/Bautista are just ruses or gamesmanship to keep the gnats and Rockies (I think they're gonna be the 3rd place NL West team in 2017) on their toes.
I know you wrote this a couple days ago, Torg, but I'm traveling... but color me sold on Toles. Totally cool with him getting the nod in April, saving money in that spot, etc. We need a lead off hitter, and the dude fits the bill perfectly. I think he's got a great approach at the plate, has a good rep for being a hard worker and good listener, so room to keep growing. Go ahead and deal Puig for Braun and put Toles in RF if the deal comes up, but I say let's see what Toles can do.
Hey, l love Toles, also. The thing is, Toles is still a question mark. He did great last year and I would be happy with him leading off, but he is a lefty stick and his .365 BABIP seems unsustainable even though his hard hit numbers seem to indicate he could maintain that number. I just don't want to mortgage the farm on a SSS. I doubt that Braun is even a consideration anymore, combination of salary and commitment would seem make that deal a non-starter. I think that Puig is saying and doing the right things this winter and the front office will give him a short rope this spring. If he tanks or becomes Bad Puig, then either Bellinger or Verdugo gets an early start on their MLB careers.
It is hard to remember Andre because last year was a lost year and of the guys we could/should trade with bloated salaries and slim chance of contributing, Andre is there with Kazmir and BMac. I think we can agree that Andre's defense is downsliding and even if his leg is 100%, age and rust could be a huge issue regarding his playing time. Seeing as how his 2018 option will not be execrised and he will be bought out, this is his walk year. I just think the Dodgers will find a team in the AL who needs a lefty stick for DH/corner outfield platoon player, eat about $10 million of remainder of his contract and trade him. Oakland, Tampa, the Yankees could all be destinations for Dre, if the Dodgers can't find a role for him on this team. I mean, he could stick, but will he be happy with 250 or so plate appearances? Figure, if no more moves are made, that Toles, Pederson and Puig are getting most of the playing time with Trayce being the fourth outfielder and then a nice Spring Training battle between Andre, Ruf, Segedin and SVS for the last spot out there. Given that Segedin can handle third and first, I would think he gets a leg up on everyone as Pigpen and the FO value guys who can play multiple positions.
Got to laugh about the Rockie's idea of playing Desmond at first. Grant Bisbee of McCoveyChronicles.com had a hilarious line about Desmond. Basically he likened it to using a brand new PlayStation to toast a slice of bread. Sure, the Rockies will hit (in Denver, at least) but defense could be a problem (first basemen are important) and pitching is still an issue.