After the 2018 season the Dodgers moved on from a lot of players. From the 2018 World Series roster of 25, 7 were either traded or left as free agents. There were some other players that made some significant contributions that have also moved on. This article will look at where some of those players are and how they are doing. All statistics are from May 13, 2019 for the 2019 season.
Dozier was acquired at the trade deadline in a deal for Logan Forsythe, Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley with the expectation of providing some right handed power from the second base position. After some initial success he ended up with a triple slash line of .182/.300/.350 (Batting Average, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage). Once the season was over, he signed a 1 year/$9 million contract with the Washington Nationals. After 38 games played for the Nationals, Dozier is slugging .197/.301/.331. Maybe it wasn’t an injury that caused his 2018 season to be so bad after all.
Farmer was one of those players that fans seemed to like and he was one of the best players in dealing with the fans. He had some great moments with the Dodgers, especially his debut when he hit a double in extra innings to beat the Giants in 2017. Drafted by the Dodgers in 2013, Farmer never seemed to be in the long-term plans for the Dodgers. For the 2018 season he slashed .235/.312/.324 in only 73 plate appearances.
He was part of the Jeter Downs trade that sent him to the Reds and is slashing .231/.281/.538 in 55 plate appearances. His slugging percentage is higher due to his 5 home runs and he’s even playing some second base. It is good to see him get more playing time with the Reds that he’d never have gotten from the Dodgers.
The tenure of Yasmani Grandal was filled with lots of bat drops, slumps, passed balls and great pitch framing. During the regular season he put up WARs of 1.4, 2.7, 2.2 and 3.3 for a total salary of $16.9M over four years. That was an absolute bargain while also unloading some of Matt Kemp‘s bloated salary. For the 2018 season he slashed .241/.349/.466 but they lost faith in him during the playoffs. The Dodgers did extend him a Qualifying Offer (QO) but he declined it. He ended up signing with the Brewers to basically the same amount of money he was offered in the QO. For the Brewers he is slashing .258/.349/.430; pretty consistent with his recent history.
Kemp began the 2018 season with an unexpected start that landed him in the All-Star game. For Matt Kemp fans, it was a glorious first half and he personally seems to have ruined Archie Bradley in early September. The highlight for him must have been his first World Series at bat when he homered off of Chris Sale. Kemp ended the 2018 season with a slash of .290/.338/.481 but his WAR was only 1.1 due to his defense. He was also part of the Downs trade to the Reds and slashed .200/.210/.283 before his release. It could be the end of the road for one of the Dodgers’ all-time favorites.
Due to the Tommy John surgery for Corey Seager the Dodgers went out and traded for Manny Machado right after the All-Star game. It was the biggest trade during the season and the Dodgers gave up a ton of good prospects, including a higher-tier one, Yusniel Diaz. Machado immediately filled the gap in the lineup and played an excellent third base and a good shortstop for the Dodgers. Batting mostly third in the lineup he slashed .273/.338/.487 after slashing .315/.387/.575 with the Orioles. Clearly there is a legitimate difference in ballpark impacts on his statistics.
Despite my pleas, the Dodgers decided to not re-sign Machado as a free agent. Instead, he is getting paid $30M for each of the next ten years to live in San Diego. That is not a bad way to live. He was originally just going to play third base but with Fernando Tatis Jr. injured he is filling in at shortstop. For the year he is slashing .252/.325/.437, with a WAR of 1.2 (that’s a 4.8 pace). He’ll be a thorn in the Dodgers’ side for a long time.
vs Dodgers = 4 HRs in 14 ABs (3.5 AB/HR)
vs Rest of MLB = 5 HRs in 139 ABs (27.8 AB/HR)#Dodgers
— Rick Krajewski (@Rick_K21) May 15, 2019
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Ever since Puig burst on the scene in June of 2013 he’s been a fan favorite. His legacy with the Dodgers is filled with excitement, controversy, heroics and various issues. He was ready to be a World Series hero with his 3-run home run in game 4 that gave the Dodgers a 4 run lead. Some poor relief pitching and game management cost them game 4 and doomed them for 2018. Still, Puig was one of the better Dodger hitters in the 2018 post-season with a salary target of around $11M for the 2019 season. Instead, the Dodgers were ready to move on and he was traded to the Reds in the Jeter Downs trade. His last season with the Dodgers ended with him slashing .267/.327/.494 with a WAR of 2.1,
With a new start with the Reds came some poor comments about not working hard with the Dodgers because he wasn’t playing for a new contract. Many Dodger fans have been figuring out how they feel about him being on another team and he was warmly welcomed back in his Dodger Stadium debut with the Reds. However, along with the Reds, he’s off to a slow start as he’s slashed .217/.269/.392 with a WAR of just 0.2 (0.8 pace). He’s a candidate to be traded by the Reds before the trade deadline.
The Dodgers basically stole Alex Wood from the Braves at the trade deadline in 2015 and he had a fairly productive time with them. His 2017 season stood out as he had an extra uptick in velocity the first half of that season. He was also stellar in the 2017 World Series. The 2018 season was a bit of a letdown. He pitched from the stretch, exclusively, and never found the early 2017 velocity. He put up solid numbers in 2018 with a 3.68 ERA in 151.2 innings while giving up 143 hits, walking 40 and striking out 135. The post-season saw him shifted to the bullpen but he was not very good; giving up 3 home runs.
With a lot of depth in the starting rotation the Dodgers made Wood available in a trade. The main target for the Reds was Alex Wood as they ended up moving some other players and some big contracts to acquire him. So far, it hasn’t worked out as Wood has been sidelined all season with a back injury. If he gets healthy he will become trade bait for the last-place Reds.
Some others that contributed in 2018 but not covered in detail include Ryan Madson, Zac Rosscup and Pat Venditte. Madson never caught on with another team and is probably headed for retirement. He was good in the playoffs before the World Series, then imploded. Rosscup had a perfect inning in 2018 and seemed to be making some progress. He ended up a free agent and signed with the Mariners, where he’s been fairly good. I wouldn’t mind if the Dodgers tried to get him back. Switch-pitcher Venditte signed with the Giants but was sent down to AAA early in the season, and recently released.
The Dodgers really did make some serious changes to their offense this last off-season. For various reasons there were many players that moved on. Some are doing well while some are not. For the Dodgers they unloaded a lot of luxury tax money and replaced them with a lot less. Despite his mediocre numbers I still wish that the Dodgers kept Machado, but the rest are probably better off elsewhere. Not every move works out (see Joe Kelly and A.J. Pollock so far in 2019) but it is still early. Just about every player above, except Grandal and Machado, very well could see themselves on another team before August. Would the Dodgers want any of them back?
What are your thoughts about the players that have left and their replacements? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.