Roundup: The ‘superteam’, the ‘pitching lab’, CBT stuff, Teoscar takes, Busch/Ferris trade, and lots of prospect content

(Via @Dodgers)

A bit of a lull in the news seems like a great time to catch up on a whole lot of writing that’s been done in the Dodgers since the last time we left off.


ESPN: Jeff Passan points out that while the Dodgers may be forming a superteam, now comes the hard part of overcoming the nature of baseball.

The sport’s playoff structure, now at 12 teams with a five-game series followed by a pair of seven-game series, makes the game almost superteam-proof. This is not the NBA, where three star players can breed a dynasty. This is not the NFL, where one elite quarterback can buoy a decade of championship aspirations. This is baseball, where the laughable disparity in payrolls hasn’t translated to the same teams vying for titles year in, year out.

The Ringer: Of course, it’s not just the money, and Ben Lindbergh looks into everything else that has helped the Dodgers this off-season to create the alleged superteam.

Los Angeles Times: Speaking of, Mike DiGiovanna wrote about the Dodgers’ pitching lab and what they do to put guys in the best position to succeed.

“I’ve been in other organizations that would look at the Rapsodo [device] and be like, ‘No, this is no good, I don’t like what the tech says about this pitch,’ ” Anderson, 34, said. “Because the numbers were probably about the same for my two-seam changeup as they were for the four-seam changeup.
“But [the Dodgers coaches] would stand in the batter’s box, watching from a hitter’s perspective. They’d watch from behind the catcher, from the side, from every angle to see how the ball is spinning, and they were like, ‘OK, we like this one.’ They’re putting more thought into it. The devil’s in the details, and they pay attention to all the details.”

As is a trend within the Dodgers organization, the key to it all seems to be communicating effectively and specifically not paying attention to just the metrics.

“It boils down to putting guys in the best position to succeed,” said Friedman, now the team’s president of baseball operations. “When we’re looking to acquire a pitcher by free agent or trade, I think our scouts, analysts and pitching coaches work really well together to identify the levers we want to pull to increase the likelihood of success.
“I think the secret sauce for us is how well our groups work together. The collaboration between our really talented pitching group to our performance group, to our training staff as well as the people who play a role in identifying the talent on the front end. … I think that communication and collaboration is a huge part of why we’ve had success.”

FanGraphs: For all the talk, ZiPS projections are here and see the Dodgers as only the second-best team in baseball, behind the baseball-ruining Braves. Still, things look great on paper, though.

Right now, ZiPS sees the Dodgers as the second-best team in baseball, behind the Braves. But they’re not in different tiers; it’s not a 90/10 probability, but something more along the lines of 60/40. Many writers and teams have made the mistake of underestimating them in spots where they don’t look deep in the past. The Dodgers aren’t just a dangerous team, but a creative dangerous team, one with a shockingly good record of turning straw into gold, making them a deadly foe.


Los Angeles Times: Jack Harris takes a look at how the Dodgers might actually be able to profit from Shohei Ohtani‘s record-setting contract.

Like Ohtani, MLB’s only two-way star, his contract is unique as an unprecedented business opportunity for the Dodgers, according to industry and financial experts.
He easily could net the club $50 million annually in additional marketing and advertising revenues.

“They’re getting a huge financial windfall for this contract [when compared to the $460-million present value disclosed],” said finance expert Morrie Aaron, founder and president of MCA Financial Group. “They’ll make a lot of money — a lot of money — on this thing.”

Thankfully, I think the signing of Yoshinobu Yamamoto already kinda helps answer this important question.

“Are [the Dodgers] going to take the money and invest it in players?” Aaron added. “Or are they going to take the money and invest it in their own pockets?”

True Blue LA: And it’s a good thing they’ll be making a lot of money, because they’ll now be paying the CBT for a while with no reset in sight.


Baseball Prospectus: Craig Goldstein looks at the Teoscar Hernandez signing and says it’ll be important for the Dodgers to get him to hit the ball in the air again.

The biggest aid the Dodgers and hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc can offer Hernández is the same one they’ve gifted to a number of bats who have filtered through the org: getting them to lift the ball more.

FanGraphs: Michael Baumann sees the value in the Teoscar deal for everybody, and he brings up a good point about the qualifying offer.

All in all, the Dodgers sticking a good hitter in left field on a lucrative one-year deal is a blindingly obvious value proposition for both player and team. Even Hernández’s down year in Seattle was worth 1.8 WAR. That’s not the kind of bargain that’ll get managerial efficiency porn written about your team, but it’s fine. Barring injury (and Hernández has no significant history of that), the Dodgers make out fine even in a realistic worst-case scenario. From an on-field perspective, there just isn’t that much to hem and haw about.

If Hernández hits, the Dodgers could drop a qualifying offer on him and receive a draft pick in Round 4C. In 2023, those picks landed from no. 132 to 137 in the draft, and each came with a pool value just shy of half a million dollars. For a team in perpetual win-now mode, like the Dodgers, every additional pick helps.

ESPN: David Schoenfield gives the move a B- grade due to pluses everybody else acknowledges, but also sees some red flags in the profile.

While all this is a glowing report so far, those strikeouts raise a red flag, so I’m dropping the grade a bit. There’s no doubt the Dodgers will score a ton of runs in the regular season — the top three guys alone ensure that — and the lineup now looks a little deeper. But it’s all about October for the Dodgers. How will Hernandez’s game play in the postseason? With Hernandez, Outman and Muncy, there’s a lot of strikeouts in the middle of the lineup — and if Betts, Freeman and Ohtani go cold at the wrong time, that will put pressure on those guys to make enough quality contact when it most matters. I’m not sure Hernandez’s high-chase approach will be optimal in October.

Baseball Prospectus: Craiggg also looked at the Michael Busch and Yency Almonte for Jackson Ferris and Zyhir Hope trade that was completed and sees the future upside in it for the Dodgers even if they are trading greater present value.

It can be a bit of an appeal to authority on stuff like this, but the Dodgers track record on producing gains for guys with the raw talents of Ferris and Hope make this less of a giveaway than it might seem at the surface.

The Athletic: Keith Law focuses more on just presenting the scouting aspect of the players involved in that same trade.


MLB: Going position by position to get the Organizational All-Stars for the Dodgers in the minors.

MLB: Executives gave the player development, scouting department, and farm system of the Dodgers a lot of praise, ranking them tied for second-best overall, the best at using the draft, tied for fourth-best at international recruiting, the best at developing pitchers, the best at developing hitters, and the best at finding sleeper prospects. Well … that’s good.

Baseball Prospectus: Their Top 101 is out, and the Dodgers on it include Dalton Rushing at #36, Josue De Paula at #48, Nick Frasso at #67, and Thayron Liranzo at #70.

Baseball Prospectus: River Ryan was named as a part of the next 10.

Baseball Prospectus: Ferris and Payton Martin made the list of prospects who were candidates to be Top 101 guys in 2025.

Baseball America: For their Top 100, it was Rushing at #50, Gavin Stone at #82, Andy Pages at #96, and Frasso at #97.

Baseball America: Of those among the next 15 were De Paula and Ryan, with honorable mentions being Kyle Hurt, Liranzo, Diego Cartaya, and Joendry Vargas.

Baseball America: They also say that if they ranked Yamamoto as a prospect he would be #3 at lowest and potentially #1.



Maybe a reliever more and I’m ready for the season.

About Chad Moriyama

Avatar photo
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times