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Dodgers That Would Benefit From A Change Of Scenery – 2019 Edition

Some players might want a new opportunity.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: Kenley Jansen #74 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after a 4-2 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

As the season has ended abruptly there are going to be cases of players that would be better off leaving the Dodgers. I did a similar article last year. This isn’t necessarily about benefiting the Dodgers but looking out for the players’ best interest first and foremost. The Dodgers have a lot of depth both at the major league level and all the way thought the minor leagues. For some, a new opportunity could greatly benefit a player.

Kenley Jansen

First up, Kenley will not opt out of his contract. He would not come close to getting 2/$38M on the open market. A combination of his performance and playoff usage indicates that he is on the outs with the Dodgers. My guess is that he will not be the closer for the Dodgers in 2020 and that will be a source of frustration for him. After the 2020 season he will also be able to veto a trade.

Now — for the good of everybody — is the time to trade Kenley. Either it will be for another large contract and/or will be a trade where money is thrown in by the Dodgers to get some prospects. Look at the Yasiel Puig/Matt Kemp trade to the Reds as an example.

Ross Stripling

I included Ross last year. He’s a player who just seems to be held back by the Dodgers. They won’t make him a starter so he bounces back and forth between starting and relieving. I think he can be a very good starting pitcher if given the chance. He could be a bargain for some team as his projected arbitration number is $2.3M. Stripling deserves a chance to make his mark in his career with another team if the Dodgers won’t let him.

Julio Urías

Julio is one of the top starting pitching candidates for the Dodgers but the 2019 season was awful for him. Yes, he had his innings limit but the domestic violence issue during the season means he’s no longer that “golden prospect.” I think he’ll end up staying with the Dodgers in 2020 but I don’t believe he is untouchable anymore. I could see him benefiting from a change of scenery as it is hoped he does not repeat any of the domestic violence issues.

Austin Barnes

With the Dodgers only using Barnes for 6 plate appearances in September, the writing seems to be on the wall. Barnes seems to have fallen off the radar for the Dodgers. Believe it or not, he will be 30 years old next season and he will get around $1.3M in arbitration. With Will Smith being the starter and Keibert Ruiz coming soon, Barnes will not get much playing time. Nobody would benefit for a change of scenery more than Barnes.

Kiké Hernandez

Some would say that Kiké has had more than enough chances to become a starter. I am not so sure. Has he ever been given more than a two month trial as a starter? The Dodgers have brought in other second basemen to be starters and have given them much longer leashes. He will be 29 years old in 2020 and is going to make around $5.5M from arbitration. He will be a free agent after the 2020 season. The best way for Hernandez to make the most money in free agency is to play every day. Will the Dodgers give him one more chance to do that? If not, then they should consider trading him or signing him to a 3 year contract for about $18M.

Corey Seager

Seager had a nice bounce back season after missing 2018 with two major surgeries. I include him here because he is two years away from free agency, his agent is Scott Boras and his salary demands for a long-term contract could be prohibitive. We also don’t know if the Dodgers want to have him shift positions. His approach as the plate also seems to be directly opposite of what the Dodgers preach to their hitters. MLB Trade Rumors has Seager making $7.1M next season but I’m guessing it will be close to $10M. I hope that Seager is a Dodger for life but I can see him being better off with a team that suits his style as a ball player. If the Dodgers were to get full value in a trade for Seager, having two years before free agency would be the best scenario.

A.J. Pollock

I never totally understood the Pollock signing and his first year was a mixed bag. He had some decent numbers (.266/.327/.468 (AVG/OBP/SLG)) but missed over two months of the season with injuries. I see the projected outfield as having Joc Pederson and a platoon mate in LF, Cody Bellinger in CF and Alex Verdugo in RF. The only spot I see for Pollock is as the right-handed platoon mate for Pederson. I believe his contract is moveable and that he still has value. It is probably good for both parties to move on.

Joc Pederson

I included Joc in my article last year. This year it is with a different tone as I like the improvements Joc made this season. Pederson is now just one year away from free agency and he should get around $9M from arbitration this season for his age 28 season. If I were the Dodgers I’d offer him a 3 year/$30M contract. If he takes it, excellent. If not, it is much better to get some quality for him in a trade before they get nothing for him.

Final Thoughts

All of the players mentioned above can be key players for the Dodgers in 2020. However, a change of scenery might help these players either blossom or re-establish themselves. All players have a relatively short period of time to cash in on all of their hard work and success. The players who haven’t gotten paid to their potential, I want to see get paid. The players who have been derailed, I want to see them get a chance to get back to their former selves. Most importantly, players that have not been given a full shot at fulfilling their potential, deserve that chance.

Written by Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

41 Comments

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  1. Good article! And some good ideas on what to do with these players. I might have been the loudest in the off season re trading Joc, but I must admit, he helped the team alot. Bring Martin back for one more season as backup? Then as a coach.Either turn Kike into a contact line drive hitter or trade him.

  2. For once, there was a well written article on this site, with a lot of insight. I agree, Hernandez, Joc, and Barnes are prime pieces to move. Jansen would have to be a salary dump, which we know the Dodgers are not scared to do. However, IF Jansen would be willing to take a step back and become an 8th inning guy, and IF the Dodgers could pick up an elite-level closer, a lot of the bullpen issues could be sorted out. However, like we saw with Matt Kemp circa 2014, egos get in the way. I do not see Jansen taking one for the team, and becoming an 8th inning force. It is time to move on from these players, and get some new Blue blood.

  3. Cody Bellinger should be on top of the Dodgers trade list. His value is peaking they can get a lot in return, before having to pay him $300 million plus in a few years. Ship him to a team that can offer an elite ace around the same age. You can’t keep a guy that doesn’t come through in the post season. And let’s be realistic about this, he’ll never hit 47 homerun again.

    • You don’t trade away an MVP Candidate, All-Star and Gold Glover. If you do you don’t get to the post season. Bellinger would be better off with a little less loft and more line drives to all fields. So what if he only hit 30-35 home runs, but increased double’s, triples and had a better batting average more like he had when he came up. He needs to work on discipline at he plate. Other than that, at his age, you keep him around and build the team around him offensively for as long as you can..

      The real problem is Andrew Friedman. As long as Friedman is with the Dodgers you will never get what is needed; a top Elite Starter to go with Walker Buehler. He showed that when he didn’t get serious with Zac Grienke or at the trade deadline ever since. For all the credit he gets for building the team, it will never win a series until they learn that playoff games are not governed by analytics, and over reliance on shifts and that every hit or at bat is crucial. The Nationals did what they had to… get hits and keep moving the line forward. The Dodgers waited, waited, waited for someone to hit a home run. They left a ton of guys on base because of bad discipline at the plate. If they did nothing in the off season but pitch recognition from guys like Strasburg, Scherzer, Garrett Coles, and some other non primary fastball pitchers it might go along way for guys like Seager, Bellinger, Chris Taylor and a few others to really improve their plate appearances….

  4. Long time Dodger fan … luv your list & reasoning. I wish you could trade managers probably owe ours too much money for him to be fired ? For me this loss was a tough one !

  5. Lots of great concepts here, the challenge always is what impacts the clubhouse and chemistry. I too want to see Seagar stay, I love the vibe Kike brings and a lot of this continues to ride on how the the farm continues to develop more talent. However, there is a need for that been there, done that person.

  6. Article written from players point of view for players…As Fans we still want some loyal players who aren’t just for the money…(Yeah right) Don’t see half the trades happening….These kids improved for this year , and they will be better next year…Prediction: Dodgers sign Nats free agent third baseman…Turner to First…But Biggest off season question….Will Dodgers resign their Pres. or will he go to Boston???

  7. The position players are not the problem the bull pen is, and the starting rotation will be.
    Next Year No Hill, No Ryu, so that leaves, the Dodgers with Kershaw, Buehler, May, and Gonsolin, Maeda should be converted to a reliever, he’s a much better pitcher, in that role.
    And then there is Urias, and Stripping.

    Many pen pieces should not be on the roster next year, it’s the most glaring need the Dodgers have, and needs to be totally rebuilt from the closer down.
    I think they should keep Sadler, and keep Kolarek as the team’s LOOGY. But Don’t trade Joc, 36 homeruns from a platoon fielder can’t easily be replaced. But with Verdugo coming back. I would trade Pollock, keki, and Barnes, and Seager is just coming back to health and he still has lots of potential, so I’d at least wait till the trade deadline.

    But why do you want to blowup the greatest lineup in L.A Dodgers history? The pitching has been the weak link since Andy has been here. That is the area that most concerns the fans. My 2 cents.

    That and Dave Sucks

    • Mike, the position players and their lack of hitting are why they have lost the last three years.

    • All these players except for pitcher Julio Uriás are above are average players and will not win us in LA a WS. ESPECIALLY Joc and Kike. Sorry Joc DOES NOT DESERVE a 3 year/$30M

  8. This team has lost two WS and now eliminated in the divisional Rd by a far less talented team overall. This is when serious action needs to be taken and bold moves cannot be ignored. It won’t get any better unless you get better and that means parting with some players who’d many believed to be Dodger Blue forever.
    This team is built for the long haul with it’s depth but sucks in short sprints.

  9. Here’s what I think of your ideas:
    JANSEN: his value is at an all time low. Would be better to send him to an interologist and have him looked over from stem to stern. If that doesn’t show anything, maybe they need to adjust his meds. Having a heart problem can not make things easy… Besides no one is taking over that contract…
    STRIPPLING: By all means, trade him. Time has passed him by and with May and Gonsolin in the wings his value only decreases. He still has enough in the tank (ala Matt Herges and others) to go to some other, not as pitching rich team as the Dodgers and make a place for himself. Maybe we can get Mattingly and the Marlins to take him off our hands. Or maybe Oakland would give us someone decent who also needs a new breath of fresh air and place…
    URIAS: I feel like Dodgers are grooming him to be the closer, He has great stuff for one inning, occasionally two. And this way he could quit hearing about “pitch count.”
    BARNES: Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out… Keep Martin for one more year and prepare for the Keibert Ruiz’ debut…
    HERNANDEZ: His value is not as a starter but as a play anywhere you need a quality utility player. The fact that he has some sock, some speed and a good glove are all reasons to keep him as long as possible. Along with Taylor, the Dodgers have two of the best in the major leagues.
    SEAGER: Lets face it, he had a rough year and a rougher post season. But with two years left on his contract you use that time to see if he can recover and be the player he was before all the injuries. Then you decide if he’s worth the payday. Scott Boras is Scott Boras. You can’t worry about about what he is going to do because you already know the answer to to that.
    POLLOCK: He needs another year to prove he can be who they signed. If it is full of injuries again, then he had his chance. He’s another that needs to quit swinging for the fences and become the line drive hitter that he was with Arizona. Hit is hard and it may still go out…
    PEDERSON: You were kidding, right? Unless he can go to a team who will put up with his wierd antics, the “Dave Kingman” of the Dodgers is probably staying right where he is for the near term. Maybe he can hit righties… might as well see if it is possible.
    NAMES YOU DIDN’T HAVE: RICH HILL and YIMI GARCIA: Sayanara Rich. It was good knowing you but its time for you to ride off into the sunset for the same reason as Strippling. You are keeping too much “more inning” talent off of the field. As for Yimi, if you didn’t make the Post season roster and have basically plateaued, then its time to let Sadler and Ferguson prove their worth and you would probably be happier somewhere else where you could pitch more often.

    • You nailed it ! Except I’m not sure what you mean re Jansen. His problem is either mental or medication. Question for you, do you keep a team together that has this post season losing string together or do you need to bring in fresh attitudes?

  10. Do not care what is good for the players. They make enough money where they are well taken care of. Care for the advancement of the Dodgers. !st get rid of Pollack. Terrible p/u along with Kelly. Send them both packing. Dump Barnes, Jansen and kiki for whatever you can get. Barnes is a good catcher but can’t hit, Jansen is no longer the closer and Kiki is a career 230 hitter. Add Kershaw to the mix as he is only going to get worse. Ross(to unpredictable), Joc and Cody(get the most while you can. Profit from Joc’s best season and Cody will never have another 2 months like he had). Hold onto Julio and give him a chance. Biggest thing is trade Roberts and Freidman for a hot dog vender and get a hitting coach that teaches the basics instead of swinging for the fences every time.

  11. Nice piece. Not sure I agree with everything but I sure did se a very unhappy Jansen take the mound in Game 5. He was clearly pissed, and rightly so. Only one person on the face of the earth thought Kelly should go back out for the 10th.

  12. Tim always enjoy your articles. I agree with some of the players mentioned but disagree on Urias and Kike. I would trade Taylor as he is a strikeout waiting to happen.
    Seager should, when Turner is gone, move to 3rd. Lux, Estevez and possibly Downs can play SS. If Seager is unwilling to move to 3rd I would think about trading him. Seager is a solid SS but not a great fielding one.
    Pollock I believe was a mistake and should be traded if possible. If Taylor and Pollock are traded then there is room for a Bellinger, Verdugo, and Pederson and ? Rios, Peters or ? outfield.
    Muncy can play 1st, 2nd or 3rd and that leaves a slot for Lux. Do you keep Barnes or sign Martin for another year? I would sign Martin and trade Barnes as the Dodgers have high caliber catchers on the Farm a year or so away.
    I would trade Kershaw to a Texas team. THE Dodgers have young arms to fill the starting rotation.
    I would also fire Roberts. The Dodgers will never win a WS with Roberts as manager. Roberts is too concerned about managing with his heart than his head. Fire him now…Hire Scioscia or Maddon both have won championships and mange pitchers well.

  13. Roberts is the best excuse maker in the history of baseball. There will be no World Series as long as he is back. He completely misused his pitching again.

      • Isn’t it sad Paul? This team was really good and may have won 115 games or so without the horrible decisions of Roberts. I read a lot about well they won divisions or that they won 107 games and that kind of stuff. It gets boring. The goal is to position a good team to get to the WS and Roberts failed. There were so many mistakes it is hard to even discuss.

  14. The Dodgers led 3 to 1 in the 8th. Roberts used the wrong guy 2 times after that, Kershaw after giving up the first Home Run, then Kelly in inning 2, seems like everyone except Roberts knew Kelly wasn’t good for 2 innings.. He used Darvish in 17 after a bad outing and pulled Rich Hill in 18 after only allowing 1 hit. If Roberts is back it really doesn’t matter what happens to the Roster the Dodgers can not win the WS with Roberts in charge. Seriously….It’s pretty clear Roberts has to go.

  15. Dodger fan all my life. Won’t go to another game until they get a new manager, or they win a world series. Terrible moves in the playoffs. We knew it was over when Kershaw returned in the 8th? Also, find a new hitting instructor- launch angle is fine against mediocre pitching- limited success against quality pitching.

  16. Well written article. And my 2 cents goes like this, Fire Roberts and Freidman, because we’ll never win a WS with those two clowns. Get rid of Kershaw, Jansen and trade Turner, Garlick, Gyorko,Negron, Pollock, Barnes and we have to clean up the Bullpen, ridding ourselves of the bottom 4 pitchers. Make Urías our Closer, acquire Rendon from the Nationals to play 3rd, have Muncy play First Base, Lux play 2nd, Seager play SS, Pedersen in RF, Bellinger in CF and Verdugo in LF, keeping Kiké & Taylor as floaters. Hire a hitting coach that will teach the Boys better discipline at the plate, so as NOT to strike out as often and bring in a coach that’ll teach the Boys how to steal bases!! Lastly, hire Joe Girardi or John Farrell as manager!!! That’s all I got. Love my Dodgers!!! Go Blue!! ??????

  17. I disagree about the Julio Urias reasoning. He has barely started since his rookie season, he exceeded expectations coming out of the bullpen after transforming from a starter. Also the domestic abuse case (shoving) it’s getting a bit overblown.

    • Yes and please DO. ?. HOW disappointing for all those paying fans ! Glad i can turn the channel on the TV

  18. Unfortunately Roberts and Friedman aren’t going anywhere. We keep hearing, “Sure they gagged in the postseason again but hey, they won a team record 106 games this year.” Great article but you should have included your theory of who will be sacrificed in place of Roberts, Kershaw, etc. Will it be Honeycutt? Pollock and Kelly? Someone has to go so management can deflect some of the surface of the Sun heat coming at them right now. More likely Hill, Ferguson, Garcia, Negron, a bullpen catcher, the gal who empties trash cans in Section 104 and the guy who decides what time the right field sprinklers come on will be shown the door. That’ll make a real big difference in 2020. Real big difference.

  19. The decision to start Hill instead of Gonsolin, to go to Kershaw instead of Maeda, to send Kelly another 1/3
    to not have a lead off hitter who can steal bases, or know how to hit behind runners, or hit the ball where it’s pitched lies not only with Roberts, but with the front office as well

  20. The problem may be too much discipline. They wait for the perfect pitch thus the high number of pitches thrown by the opposing pitcher leading to high Ks and walks. Works well for regular season pitching. Doesn’t against better pitching. Dodger games take forever cause of this. A game I attended went for 4 hours cause of the long pitch counts. To beat the Dodgers in the playoffs, throw quality breaking pitches. Dodgers had nothing on Stras once he hit his spots with his breaking pitches. Don’t know how good any of these hitters are. They do He-man hitting. Rely on launch angles, in other words, trying to hit a homer every at bat. Didn’t work for the Twins in the post season and didn’t work for the dodgers. It’s fine for a regular season game but you got to try to do anything you can to get as many runs. Maybe this team doesn’t have those type of hitters who can. The offense failed just as much if not more than the pitching did.

  21. It is time for a major shakeup. Taylor and Kiki have had moments but waiting for that to return gets you 2 really good defensive players who will max out at a 240 average and a weak lineup. Pollock and Kelly were flat out mistakes just get some draft picks for them, then give Rios a shot and make either of May or Tony G your closer/set up guy. The Rays have done a good job of having some real good arms for 2 to 4 innings and they are from mostly their own young core. Sink or swim with Lux at 2nd base. If he falters just give him the same chance you give to all the failures like Taylor, Kiki, Pederson. Get a good relief guy for Pederson, Verdugo is better and makes plenty of contact to be a leadoff guy. And please no more Baez, Yimi, Chagouis, Stripling, then use Kenley as a set up guy.

  22. I’m kinda in a unique situation relating to CK and Kenley.I had a heart issue in my early 20s and back surgery at 23.I don’t know if he’s taking meds now but I promise you it changed me.I stayed lethargic and finally said screw it I’m not doing this and it worked itself out.I very much hoped CK wouldn’t lose his stuff but that injury takes away from more than just your back your whole lower body is affected too.I just don’t ever see those 2 being super hero’s anymore and I love both of em.Swinging out of ur shoes,ignoring BP help and a computer for a manager is the problem for us.Honestly,the reg season feels like a super incredible movie and the playoffs feel like the shitty B movie sequel every year now.Im baffled why Roberts is back.I just don’t get it

  23. Good article and the points are well made. The one thing I think the Dodgers can do is start fining anyone who even mentions “Launch Angle”. Swinging for the fence doesn’t play well in the playoffs.

  24. Well I’ll tell ya one thing. Keep bringing up all those damn rookies and build a lineup full of rookies and we still won’t have a world series next year.

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