A bunch of stuff to catch up on in this edition.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called the surgery a “minor situation” that won’t affect Taylor’s readiness to start the season. The Dodgers were aware of the surgery before they re-signed him. “It was like wear and tear over the years, but it was definitely something that was bothering me more in September and October,” Taylor said. “The worst was hitting, actually (not throwing). It was like the extension part of that. But it was something I could manage and just kind of get worked on and get it loose. Just kind of had to manage the workload more than anything.”
The Athletic: Gavin Lux basically doesn’t have a starting job now, but he saying all the right things about being a utility guy. Hope it works out because the Dodgers are likely going to need him this year, but moving around like CT3 and Enrique Hernandez do is tough.
MLB Pipeline: Their Top 100 Prospects list is coming out late due to the lockout and all, but they’re basically in agreeance with the rest on the Dodgers, putting five of them on the list. Diego Cartaya comes in at #28, Bobby Miller is #57, Michael Busch at #67, Andy Pages is #68, and Miguel Vargas clocks in at #94, presumably enraging Dustin.
MLB Pipeline: They also released their Top 30 prospects in the Dodgers organization. No big surprises, but quality scouting reports.
True Blue LA: The major league coaching staff for the Dodgers will remain intact.
True Blue LA: The coaches for the minors were announced as well.
The market for first basemen isn’t what it once was, and the market for players over 30 is a veritable ghost town compared to 20 years ago. It’s hard to imagine another first baseman signing a deal like this anytime soon now that Matt Olson is locked up long-term. You have to be a unicorn to get a six-year deal as a 32-year-old first baseman, and Freddie Freeman is a unicorn.
Sports Illustrated: Emma Baccellieri believes Freeman is poised to age well.
Still, Freeman is 32. It’s a tricky age to pursue a long-term deal in free agency; eventually, the reality of the aging curve will come for every player, no matter how long the record of consistency. Freeman reportedly placed importance on signing for six years, rather than five, and that surely played some role in shaping the details of his market. (As seen by the&nbsp;Braves, his former team, ultimately finding their first baseman of the future in Matt Olson—a player who is similar in many ways to Freeman but, crucially, is four and a half years younger.) But Freeman’s skill set is positioned to age well—both offensively and defensively—and it seems wise to count on this paragon of consistency to keep looking like one for at least a few more years.
ESPN: Bradford Doolittle focused on the impact that Freeman projects to have for the Dodgers.
To put some numbers to it, I ran some fresh simulations with Freeman on the Dodgers’ roster. Here are the gains Los Angeles made over those 10,000 simulated seasons:
-0.9 wins, bringing them to a baseline of 100.3 victories, 2.8 wins more than the second-best forecast in baseball, which belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays
-370 division titles, bringing them to a 76.3% probability of recapturing a very tough NL West
-307 pennants, raising the Dodgers’ probability of returning to the World Series to about one in three
-204 championships, bringing L.A.’s title probability to 19.9%, the highest in baseball
Battery Power: Demetrius Bell says the Braves should be fine despite losing Freeman, and I unfortunately have to agree.
If you’re feeling down about Freddie Freeman leaving, then that’s understandable. For hardcore Braves fans, he’s been a parasocial part of our lives for a decade and nearly a half. If you’re feeling concerned about the fact that he went to the Dodgers, that’s fine too. They’re going to be extremely tough to beat! The good news is that the Braves have beaten the Dodgers before and thanks to the work that Alex Anthopoulos and the front office has been doing so far, they can still beat them again. It’s all still incredibly weird, but it’s all still going to be fine around here. Freddie Freeman wouldn’t want it any other way for the Braves.
Oh yeah, speaking of Freddie Freeman, go buy this new shirt and support the site.
Honestly, I wear these all the time, and unlike other ones, this one is unlikely to be irrelevant anytime soon.