Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and that bright light in the sky Saturday night was a sign from the baseball gods to the Dodgers, telling them to sign Zack Greinke or else.
Next year’s roster
We’ve looked at the position players already, so let’s examine the pitchers, of which there aren’t many on the roster right now. In fact, the starting rotation looks like this:
And that’s about it, because no one really knows the status of Hyun-jin Ryu, and Brandon McCarthy won’t be back until the All-Star break.
Let’s break down all the players on the NLDS roster, and see what their status is (projected 2016 stats supplied by baseball-reference.com):
Kershaw: The best pitcher in baseball is in the middle of a 7-year, $215-million deal that ends in 2020, so he’s not going anywhere. Projected 2016 stats: 15-6, 2.34 ERA.
Wood: A lot of fans are really down on Wood because he didn’t pitch that great after the Dodgers acquired him, going 5-6 with a 4.35 ERA. But he’s not even eligible for arbitration yet, so he will be back at an inexpensive price. Projected 2016 stats: 10-10, 3.51.
Greinke: I covered Greinke in the most recent Dodgers Dugout. Projected 2016 stats: 15-6, 2.54 ERA.
McCarthy: He will be in the second year of a four-year, $48-million deal, but he won’t be back until the middle of the season after having Tommy John surgery after only four starts. Projected 2016 stats: 5-6, 4.35 ERA.
Ryu: The left-hander is in the middle of a six-year, $36-million deal that ends after the 2018 season. Projected 2016 stats: 6-4, 3.48 ERA. He missed all of last season after shoulder surgery, but hopefully he will be ready by spring training.
Brett Anderson: The Dodgers made a qualifying offer to him, which means he can accept a one-year, $15.8-million deal or he can sign with someone else, which would give the Dodgers a compensatory draft pick. In the three years since the qualifying-offer system began, not one player has accepted the offer. If Anderson rejects the offer, he can still negotiate a multi-year deal with the team. If another team offers him a nice multi-year contract, I think the Dodgers will let him walk and be happy with the draft pick. Projected 2016 stats: 8-8, 3.81 ERA.
Mike Bolsinger: The forgotten man down the stretch, Bolsinger was a good fifth starter the first half of the season, and because he is still ineligible for arbitration, look for him to battle for a rotation spot in spring training. Projected 2016 stats: 6-8, 4.01 ERA.
Carlos Frias: Another guy under team control who will fight for a rotation spot in spring training. Projected 2016 stats: 5-5, 4.19 ERA.
Kenley Jansen: He’s still one of the most underrated closers around, and Dodgers fans don’t seem to appreciate him, as I get a lot of negative email about him. But in the last four seasons, he has a 2.33 ERA with 133 saves and 391 strikeouts in 259 1/3 innings. He is arbitration-eligible, so he should get a nice raise over the $7.425 million he made last season. Projected 2016 stats: 3-2, 3.10 ERA, 23 saves.
Juan Nicasio: He went 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA, and he made $2.5 million. He is arbitration-eligible, but will the Dodgers want him back? Probably. Projected 2016 stats: 4-4, 4.50 ERA.
Yimi Garcia: A power arm under team control, he will be on the team next year unless he has a horrible spring. Projected 2016 stats: 3-3, 3.60 ERA.
Pedro Baez: He pitched OK, provided you don’t bring him in with runners on base. Plus, he is under team control, so he will be another pitcher fighting for a bullpen spot in spring training. Projected 2016 stats: 3-2, 3.57 ERA.
J.P. Howell: The left-hander exercised his option for 2016, so he will be back at the cost of $6.25 million. Last season, he went 6-1 with a 1.43 ERA. Of course, it’s easier to have a low ERA when you only face one or two batters a game. Projected 2016 stats: 4-2, 2.94 ERA.
Chris Hatcher: He went from getting bombed (1-4, 6.38 ERA in first half of season) to being the team’s most reliable setup man in the second half (2-1, 1.31 ERA). He is eligible for arbitration, so look for him to be back, but making more than the $522,000 he made last season. Projected 2016 stats: 2-4, 3.96 ERA.
Joel Peralta: The Dodgers declined his option for next season and removed him from the 40-man roster, so it’s unlikely he will be back. Projected 2016 stats: 3-3, 4.11 ERA.
Luis Avilan: I’m not as enamored with him as the Dodgers are (he was 0-1 with a 5.17 ERA with them), but expect him back. He is arbitration-eligible. Projected 2016 stats: 3-3, 3.86 ERA.
In Part 3, we will look at the available free agents out there, and I will tell you what I would recommend the Dodgers do. In the meantime, which free agents would you sign? Email me and let me know, but remember the Dodgers already said they don’t want a $300-million payroll again next season.
Times Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck takes a look at why the seemingly haphazard managerial search is a good thing. You can read his take here.