ESPN Breaks Down Dodgers Future Success – If They Don’t Make Another Move

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 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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  1. Clint thank you for the excellent referrals on Fivethiryeight and ESPN articles. The Fivethirtyeight article as it is older does not reference the emergence of Buehler or Muncy in 2018 and the promise shown by Gonsolin, May. Lux, Downs, Estevez and other Minor League players the last year.

    I have maintained through this winter the Dodgers were in good position to win for a long period of time. Pitching as we all know is extremely important. Last years Angel team and their start this year illustrate that in no uncertain terms.

    We cannot predict the future too accurately but the projection of a Dodger future Pitching Rotation of Buehler, Urias, Gonsolin, May with Stripling, Ferguson, Santana, White and others fighting for roster spots looks very promising going forward.

    Also with guys like Seager, Muncy, Bellinger and Verdugo now on the 25 man roster the future looks bright. I am very happy that Barnes so far found the “hole in his Swing” and has had professional at bats. If the new hitting coaches can help Jeren Kendrall and DJ Peters with their lack of contact issues the Dodger Outfield could be solid for many years.

    A future infield of Bellinger/Muncy, Hernandez, Seager with guys like Lux, Downs, Estevez, Beaty and Rios not to mention the “future star catchers” in Smith and Ruiz the Dodgers are stacked.

    Plus next year the Dodgers will have more money they can spend as some large contracts come off the books and will be replaced by guys like Gonsolin and others. They will have more financial flexibility to cherry pick the free agents they need if necessary.

    So far AJ Pollock has shown how valuable he can be and how much we missed Seager. With Pollock, Seager and Turner being players that are willing to make contact to move or score the runners the Dodgers become not just a HR threat but a run scoring machine. In sports that type of play is contagious and can inspire other guys to play the same.

    So far I hope the guys screaming for Harper or Realmuto learn not to swallow the Agent and Sportswriter Hype and look at numbers and towards the Future. Huge long term contracts do not pay in the long term leaving teams paying huge sums to older ineffective players. We saw that with the Dodgers with Crawford and others. The Angels are still suffering through their mistakes. The Diamondbacks are attempting to shed Greinke and his contract.

  2. first a great post–Now then–I think we are good for 5 more years–now Turner is 34 and still doing great–maybe 2 more years–Kershaw is for 3 more years and i think will be good for 2 more after that–he would be 36–Ryu is a question-Hes pitching better than he ever has and is 30 so 5 more years? Ross & Maeda will be in the bullpen eventually–Caleb is pitching great–Urias is pitching great–May & Gonsolin are possible great pitchers–5 Yrs? Kershaw-Ryu-Buehlor-Urias-Caleb—maybe May or Gonsolin or Yaddier Valdez?–Jansen still has 5 yrs left in him–If Kelly comes around hes here 4 yrs—Our pitching is set for 5 yrs–However we may still have more coming also—-Seager-Cody-Pollock-Kike-Verdugo-Muncy-Turner ( 3 yrs)( Barnes-Ruiz-Smith) Maybe Joc if he doesnt leave for free agency–Then there is-Lux-D J Peters and a couple other big ones–Sure looks to me like the FO has done great here–And ive been a big critic also–Now 5 yrs? We should win 5 divisions and maybe 2 or even 3 World Sieries–I love where we are

  3. The Cubs are in trouble–The Cards arent good yet–Looks to me that the Phillies are the team to watch–The Brewers & Mets have both done great even the Padres are pretty good—-its early but the Phillies right now look to be our biggest competition and we are better than they are–also the big 3 in the AL are all doing bad–2019 might be our year–BUT lets remember we have played 3 bad teams—Lets keep it going

  4. Have you people seen our pitching staff?………….We are relying on 3 often injured pitchers to come back, we have 2 regressing young stars, and a poor bull pen…………..Have you seen Joe Kelly pitch. Heard so much about our new offense, looks like the old one except now we do not have the pitching we had. The platooning cooled off Pederson and our reserve catcher is a disaster. There has to be an expected decline after 2 great seasons and now a record of 6-14 in the WS………..Really think CK, HILL, AND RYU will be healthy enough to make a difference??