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Corey Seager

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From 1979 to 1982, the Los Angeles Dodgers produced four consecutive Rookies of the Year. From 1992 to 1996, the Dodgers upped the ante with five consecutive Rookies of the Year.

The truth is, for people who have been around baseball, the success of the Dodgers has long been founded upon a strong farm system. You don’t produce nine Rookies of the Year in 17 seasons by accident (and that doesn’t include trading the likes of Pedro Martinez, Paul Konerko and others during that time period).

But to the more recent fan, the Dodgers reputation has become far different. The reality is that most people think of the new Dodgers the same way people think of the New York Yankees — forget the farm system, we’re just going to outspend you.

After all, can you blame them? Guggenheim ownership’s first major move was to trade four prospects for more than $250 million in salaries that came in the form of Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.

The theory is confirmed even further when you look at the Dodgers’ farm system rankings from Baseball Prospectus over the past five seasons:

2010 — 21st

2011 — 18th

2012 — 19th

2013 — 21st

2014 — 14th

To someone who followed baseball in the 80’s and 90’s, the idea of the Dodgers not having an elite farm system for more than five seasons would have been insanity. It would have been the equivalent of the Yankees boasting a middle-of-the-pack payroll for half a decade.

CONTINUE READING: Guggenheim Group Focusing On Prospects

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3 Responses

  1. Tmax

    It is also the way to make record profits. IF the Dodgers only have to pay one or two big free agent salaries per year they will make huge profits which is why Guggenheim bought the team. That is the reason the Dodgers were not active in the big money free agent market. And they will not sign, I believe, unless forced to by injury, any free agent that costs them a draft pick. That is why no play for Shields etc. They will trade for prospects and draft picks but they are fixated on building from within. It is the Braves blueprint from Kasten and it WAS the Dodger way when I was growing up. All the Dodgers of that Era came from the Farm, Garvey, Cey, and earlier Wills, Koufax etc.

    Reply
    • Michael N. Norris

      I agree it is getting better and also agree that big name free agents are not the way to go, but also do not want to trade top prospects for guys like Hamels, who would cost you 2 first rate guys

      Reply
      • Tmax

        Yes did you see that the Phillies wanted to open up discussion about Hamels with the Dodgers and named Peterson, Seager and Urias? They are apparnetly not in a panic to trade him as they are asking for 2-3 A Plus Minor League Prospects and no takers. On the other hand I would love to get Shields in the #4 or 5 spot and put Anderson in reserve. We look to be very think up there with a bunch of guys with injury histories.

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