I can repeat that again, if you'd like.
The Dodgers are playing well. They have won nine in a row, including a sweep of the
Here are the pitching matchups for those two games:
The July 31 trade deadline is still two weeks away. But the market is already starting to move. On Thursday, the Cubs sent four prospects across the city to acquire White Sox starter Jose Quintana. On Sunday, Washington pried relievers
The moves do not exactly put pressure on the Dodgers. They do remove a few useful targets from the market. Questions about the deadline make up a significant portion of this week's mailbag. As always, you can send them to me on Twitter @McCulloughTimes. Let's do this.
I do not think he would make the team significantly better, and I think it would likely require a significant commitment in terms of both prospects and money.
I can expand on my previous, general point.
This is not what the Dodgers need.
The Dodgers are an elite team. They have a double-digit lead in their division. They are on pace for a franchise record in wins. They employ the best pitcher on the planet (Clayton Kershaw), a guy with a 1.56 ERA (Alex Wood) and, in
Is Verlander that player? McCarthy has a lower ERA, a lower FIP, a better strikeout-to-walk ratio, a much lower WHIP. Verlander strikes out more guys and makes a lot more money. The Dodgers owe McCarthy $12 million in 2018. The
OK, now, obviously, Verlander has a more impressive resume. He won the
To get back to the earlier point: The Dodgers are not thinking about acquiring someone because they need to soak up innings. They want someone to pitch Game 4 of the NLCS and Game 4 of the World Series. Is Verlander a better option than McCarthy? Maybe. You could make an argument either way, but for me, McCarthy has been better in 2017.
Is it worth it to sacrifice the money and prospects to make a marginal improvement, at best? I suppose we'll see. But it doesn't seem like the sort of the move the Dodgers will make.
The Dodgers are generally considered one of the sport's more active clubs, at least in terms of generating dialogue with other teams. Whether they consummate anything that significantly improves the roster, that I cannot predict. But, probably.
It’s possible, but more likely that the team concentrates its resources on acquiring impact relievers. A lot depends on how McCarthy performs over the next two weeks, and whether more impressive starters —
I don't buy the Dodgers making a serious run at Justin Verlander, as previously mentioned.
J.D. Martinez makes sense, but he made a lot more sense before Chris Taylor emerged and Yasiel Puig stabilized. Martinez is probably the best hitter on the market, and other teams have a more acute need for his bat than the Dodgers. Plus, the team is not crazy about his defensive ability. If the Dodgers do pursue an impact bat, keep
Justin Wilson is definitely a name to remember.
Sonny Gray? He's been ineffective and injured for most of the past two seasons. The cost will be prohibitive. It's a tough one to figure, because he has been pitching better lately, with a 1.33 ERA in his last four starts, and because other teams (Cleveland, Milwaukee) have a more pressing need than the Dodgers.
It's the same argument as Verlander: If it's not a definitive, sizable upgrade, what's the point? It's one of the benefits of maintaining the deepest 40-man roster in baseball.
Marcus Stroman? Jump with both feet into the discussions, if he's even available, but understand that the cost for acquiring a player like Stroman will be quite painful. The same logic applies to St. Louis theoretically putting Carlos Martinez on the market or with Tampa Bay and Chris Archer.
No prospect can be considered untouchable. If Billy Eppler called up
The only one that comes to mind is the three-team swap with the
This front office has whiffed on some free agents — Scott Kazmir and the second go-round with Brett Anderson (bless Brett's heart, a very nice man) did not work out — but they've generally done well in trades.
No. I miss my friends in New York, but I like my current employers very much. I hope they are reading!
To my understanding, his fielding is not reliable enough to say that. It could improve, of course, but there was a reason the team liked having multiple years of control for Logan Forsythe, despite Calhoun's impressive numbers at the plate in the minors.
Sure, it's possible. He might not be playing for the Dodgers, though. Even if he was still on the Dodgers, there aren't many spare at-bats to go around.
Adrian Gonzalez outlined his approach for the final months of the season in a conversation with Dylan Hernandez before the break. Gonzalez will have to accept a reduced role. He can force his way onto the roster — and the team wants him to be healthy and productive for the final months of the season — but I can't see him taking that many at-bats from Cody Bellinger. Gonzalez, as Dylan wrote, has made peace with this.
Brock Stewart will remain a reliever, Dave Roberts has said on multiple occasions. The team believes Stewart can help them as a long reliever, but also could handle higher-leverage situations later in the season. I figure Stewart will stretch back out at the start of 2018.
It's an interesting conundrum with pitchers like Stewart and Ross Stripling. You could argue that both would be better starters than Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu, but they have minor-league options and the ability to be flexible, so they have a less traditional role.
No. I watched the first three seasons, but lost interest. I don't watch much TV.
I buy my jeans from Levi's and The Gap. I do not know why I am answering this question.
We don't have many rules in this Mailbag, but this is one: No creeps allowed.
Enough to fill a closet.
Here is a hot take: Yes.
I'm a couple weeks out of the loop, but coming out of Dominion and the Long Beach shows, I recall Dave Meltzer saying it looked like it would be Tetsuya Naito. I could be wrong about that, obviously. I am not in regular contact with Gedo. I'm not a booker, but it seems like the move would be to set up Omega v. Okada III for the Tokyo Dome in January.
I donated some money to the local economy playing $2 to $5 no-limit hold 'em at the Seminole Hard Rock.
No, but I realized how intense my poker nerd-dom is when I was walking through the Rio about 1 a.m. to register for the next day's tournament and I said to myself, "Whoa, that's Rami Boukai." The same principle applies to similar reactions later in the trip: When I saw Sam Phillips registering for the $1,100 bounty tournament at the Venetian; when I watched Mohsin Charania disgustedly leave the Rio; when Dominik Nitsche stormed past me speaking rapid-fire German; and, of course, when I noticed I was using the urinal next to Pierre Neuville. It was a good trip.