For several reasons, we’re living in a either-or-either culture. You’re with us or against us, Republican or Democrat, Star Wars fanatic or Trekky. This offseason has been analyzed as such. Teams are either winners or losers, somehow, despite not having played a single game.
If the analysis isn’t up in an hour, it’s worthless. That doesn’t leave much room for nuance or proper perspective, but whatever; neither of those things get clicks.
The offseason might have gone poorly thus far, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Dodgers are a terrible baseball team all of a sudden. Nor does it take away from the efforts from the office to compete in years to come. How the offseason has gone also doesn’t mean more moves can’t be made, either.
Nick Lampe of Beyond The Box Score laid out the case for the work Andrew Friedman and his team have done thus far.
Looking ahead to 2016, the Dodgers are in an excellent position to win the NL West title for the fourth year in a row. At this point in time, FanGraphs depth charts have the Dodgers at 47.6 WAR, which roughly equates to a 95-win team. This total is the second-best in all of baseball behind only the Cubs (51.8 WAR), and it puts them eight games in front of the Giants and 16 games in front of the Diamondbacks.
There’s the “now”, and while we’ll likely get those mindless “RAWR STATS ARE STUPID NERDS DON’T GET GIRLS RAWR” comments on social media, the numbers should quell the some of the storm brewing around the organization.
Now, about that long-term future, which was often ignored by Ned Colletti:
They are especially deep in pitching talent, with elite arms like Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Grant Holmes, and Walker Buehler headlining a system that is strong from top to bottom… The Dodgers spent big in the international market this summer, signing the top two players available and six of the top 50 overall (according to Kiley McDaniel’s rankings).
He also goes on to the describe the financial flexibility the Dodgers just so happen to be lined up for in 2018’s insane free agent class. You know that Jose Fernandez guy who keeps coming up in trade talks this offseason? He’ll be available for cap space and (probably) a compensatory pick then.
The article is really, really good and spells out the type of in-depth understanding it takes to put the work the front office has put in since taking over only a year ago.
Patience doesn’t even need to extend to years from now. Moves can be made literally hours from now that would shift the narrative for more casual fans and while all won’t be forgotten right away, some good PR could go a long way right now.
Like it or not, the “nerds” or “geek squad” or however you want to put it will field a competitive team next season with the ability to become dominant when the value presents itself.