After the 2017 Dodgers’ World Series loss, I read an article that provided me with a lot of hope. Furthermore – over at FiveThirtyEight – they said the Dodgers would win more games over the next five year window than any team in baseball. It’s a great read, and I expect you to click it and check it out. I bought in after reading that article and thinking about things logically.
Furthermore, that’s why I don’t worry too much about the current Los Angeles Dodgers. They’re solid, they’re steady, they’re dependable. Coming into this season I felt that they would get off to a fast start – and win around 95 or so ballgames. Indeed, I think they’re headed back to the World Series.
Now, Alden Gonzalez has a great read over at ESPN that preaches a similar focus. Gonzalez posed an interesting question. If the Dodgers were to make no moves how long would the current roster be projected to win 90-plus games?
The Dodgers could do nothing — no trades, no draft picks, no signings — and still be projected to win 90-plus games for three more seasons. A look at their sustainability, built through prudence (projections by ?@bbdoolittle?) … https://t.co/KKBiNQstVh
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 5, 2019
The answer may surprise you.
The answer, according to the projection model used by ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle, is three more years, through 2021. It means the Dodgers, as they sit, have a strong chance of capturing three more National League West titles in succession, an uncommon level of sustainability that has extended itself through Friedman’s prudence — a prudence that is often met with disdain in a star-driven city like L.A.
So there you have it. If the Dodgers rolled into the MLB season with the very same chess pieces they display today, they would continue to compete for three years. Still, that seems kind of short, right?
I encourage everyone to click through to the article and take a look at the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) chart ESPN posts within the text. There’s a pretty thorough breakdown of how the Dodgers arrive at their winning ways. Moreover, you’ll see that some guys start to age quickly and decline in value. Lastly, it shows you how the mind of a GM needs to be cognizant of popular veterans no longer being in their prime.
Take Home Messages
There are two take-home messages I want people who invest in this article to remember. First, time flies in the game of baseball. We are living in fortunate time to follow or cover the Dodgers on a daily basis. Times are good, but they won’t last forever. Players age quickly – so know that the Dodgers have about a three year window to get after it. Soak in each day, and savor it.
Second, this article parrots the one I linked in the opening paragraph. The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be right in the thick of things for the next three years barring something really catastrophic. Beyond that, things like trades, free agent signings, and farm system development will dictate how long the window to compete stays open. Health and performance of current young players on the roster will also play a factor
For that is the question no one knows.
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