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Report: Dodgers Discussing Multiple Blockbuster Names With AL Teams

Just two days before Christmas, the Los Angeles Dodgers are still in discussions on two major names. Jon Morosi has had frequent updates on the Dodgers’ alleged interest in Corey Kluber and Nick Castellanos. Moreover, that interest is still very ongoing and active.

Morosi takes to twitter to report the Dodgers are in talks with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers.

With Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp changing area codes, a name like Castellanos makes a bit more sense than it did a week ago. However, Morosi mentions the asking price is ‘high’. Equally important – Justin Turner is the current incumbent third baseman of the Dodgers.

Where would a player like Castellanos play for the Dodgers? He has 172 career games in the outfield to his credit. The Dodgers are no stranger to using some versatility in a player – but Castellanos is far from a slick fielding outfielder. Still, would he be worse than a recent name like Scott Van Slyke? He would not. Castellanos would likely hit enough to provide value that his glove counteracts.

Moreover, the more interesting name is still Corey Kluber. One significant piece in the rumored package to Cleveland just went to Cincinnati in Yasiel Puig. Indeed, Alex Verdugo and more would be on the move if the Dodgers could pull together a package for Kluber.

It will remain interesting over the next few days as you open your gifts to see if the Dodgers provide one of their own to the fan base. The trade phones are as warm as Santa’s sleigh.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Even though the writer’s keep talking about interest in Harper those are all speculation. Unless they have Friedman’s phone tapped they have no idea who he’s really talking to. But we can all be pretty sure he didn’t make the Cincinnatti trade without having 1 or 2 other related trades ready to go. The dominoes will start falling soon!

    • Hi Daniel. A few well placed guys with the team have said the team’s interest in Harper is genuine. I touched on this in some past pieces. Duarte is one of them. I trust him until I have a reason not to.

      • where there is smoke… Too many analysts saying that Dodgers and Harper have mutual interest to slough off as supposition.

      • Clint, can you or anyone here explain why Freidman would have the slightest bit of interest in Castellanos? I don’t get that at all. Harper? WSS but he very well could go to a team that is willing to go the full 10 years but IDK for sure.

      • Clint, I respectively disagree. Knowing managements patterns and past they have zero interest in BH. I have yet to read or hear anything that shows logic why they would sign him. From his contract, to his attitude, to him being left handed. None of it fits the Dodger’s wants/needs. Like every big name free agent since this owenership took over, all they do is wisely get their names involved and drive up the asking price. This is no different imo, and why fans think any different is confusing.

  2. Nice work Clint!

    Can you list by position where we’re at and a few realistic possibilities of what may be brewing for those positions?

    Also, I wonder how the Dodgers are stacking up by position for salary and WAR? Is there a good source to watch such summaries?

    • I really think it’s:

      SP: Kluber, Bauer
      OF: Harper, Pollock
      UTIL: Castellanos

      And reading between the lines they want a power RH bat

      • No catcher? I think Pollock would be a huge mistake for Dodgers to sign; Kiké is better offensively and defensively when you take Pollock out of Chase Field. Kluber or bust with the Indians — just say no on Bauer. If Dodgers sign Harper then Castellanos is not needed. If Dodgers want/need another utility player sign Marwin Gonzalez who can play every position on the infield and some OF.

    • Aw I love Young Joc ??
      I could see him as a 30 HR bat again from the left side. Good insurance if we don’t land Harper.

      • Sign Harper and Joc goes to Cleveland in package for Kluber, or to Marlins in package for Realmuto; keep Verdugo

      • If only Pederson could get more chances and learn to hit LHP a bit more. But as I see it, Joc will again be platooned and since he won’t necessarily be in there every day, he may not get enough AB’s to hit 30. One reason for that is simple…Dodgers will be facing tons of LHP in 2019 as it now stands.

  3. Pederson for Castellanos might be a good deal for both teams, but it seems that Tigers want more. Dodgers include Ed Rios and Brock Stewart? Certainly nothing more than that for MLB’s worst defensive regular position player.

  4. Any player acquisition that would reduce our need to platoon, and would add a high-caliber starting pitcher and catcher, has my vote. Not only were we overloaded with outfields up until last Friday, but we are also heavy in starting pitching!!!!! For Friedman, deal days may last through spring training. Great Holidays ALL!!!

    • BLUE LOU!!!! Castellanos, I say no way, especially since he would probably just end up in a platoon and as a hitter being in the AL these past years, he most likely struggles against NL pitching to begin with. And he would be only a 1 year rental and Dodgers have already given up too much in the past for rentals only to end up with nothing, like they will end up with when Machado signs elsewhere .

      • Castellanos hits LH’ers and RH’ers, no need for a platoon. Defense is the problem. If Dodgers think they can help improve his defense, perhaps moving him to LF or 1b, then he is a legit hitter who crushes LH pitching.

  5. It would be a departure from Friedman,s MO. I think it should be stated as “the Dodgers have a genuine interest in Harper if the price is right”. It doesn’t see reasonable to work so hard to get under the salary cap only to go above it as as soon as the do.

    • Hey Jim, good to see your comments. I think your comment in quotes is spot on 🙂 Regarding CBT threshold, Dodgers may have worked hard to get below the 2018 threshold so it could pursue Harper, or Machado knowing that it would only be a one year of tax considering how much money comes off payroll after 2019 season.

    • I think it’s just legit interest at this point and there are too many overwhelming signs to ignore. They’re gonna pay him high AAV, just not 10 years.

  6. Castellanos would be a mistake. Take him out of one of the most hitter friendly ballparks, and with his defensive deficiencies, and this is a guy who won’t be happy platooning after hardly missing a game in the last 2 years and playing for his free agency in 2020, it doesn’t add up.

    • Check his splits last season, more home runs on road than home. And, he hits both RH and LH pitching, no need for a platoon. Defense is the problem.

  7. Hey Clint:

    I’ve read hundreds of comments regarding the Yasiel Puig trade between the Reds and Dodgers but the crux of the problem has yet to be discussed.
    Most of the Dodgers alleged payroll problems come from the foolish decision to offer Hyun Jin Ryu (sp.) salary arbitration. When Ryu accepted the Dodgers had a problem on their hands, a 17.9 million dollar problem.
    By accepting arbitration the Dodgers were placed in panic mode and forced to dump salary.
    The contracts of Yasiel Puig (est. 12.5 million) and Alex Wood (est. 9.5 million) had to be expunged all resulting in a measly savings of 4.1 million dollars.

    • With all do respect you could not be anymore wrong. The Dodger’s fully expected Ryu to accept that offer. It’s no secret, all of baseball did, as arcticles everywhere indicated. Are you aware of his stats last year? His stats we’re pretty equal to a guy named Clayton Kershaw, who made 30 mil last year. When healthy, Ryu is one of the most elite pitchers in the game. As a Dodgers fan I cannot fathom not having him in our rotation.

      • SPOT ON! Dodgers FO are not in panic mode, this is a well planned strategy to keep Dodgers in the World Series and hopefully win.

    • This is a really interesting point on Ryu man! Honestly at his age I don’t know if he earns that $18M. He was phenomenal last year but to me I would have kept Puig the less volatile asset. I will be sick if Ryu pulls a groin and makes 8 starts or something. Great post Marv

  8. Hey Clint I am OK if they can pull off a trade for Kluber but I MUST SAY A BIG NO ON Castellanos. Is Freidman that much of a dunse? Listen, Castellanos, along with his defensive liabilities would be a 1 year rental and would only platoon for the most part. Dodgers certainly can find a better RH bat for crying out loud. I acannot imagine that Dodgers would give up a high price for someone who probably will be a huge bust against NL pitching. Castellanos certainly by himself will NOT solve the hitting against LHP.

    • Azul, as usual, you are right on point!!!!!! Bringing back another Van Slyke type player is not going to cut it. We do need a right hand batter with power. Presently, Friedman is doing his due diligence regarding many players. It may not be Harper as many of us think. Frankly, as I have said repeatedly, if we can obtain Kluber, great!!! I prefer Cervalli of Pitt. to Realmuto simply because our young catchers should be ready shortly. If we can land Harper, fine. With the loss of Puig and Kemp and possibly Grandal, we lose 60 plus home runs. That needs to be dealt with, and is a priority as I view it!!!! Go Blue!!!

      • Only 2 options for Castellanos on Dodgers; LF or 1b and that only happens if Harper is not signed.

      • Clint…your article leaves only talks about Castellanos as an OF guy, with a through-away comment about Turner being the 3B guy. Just what position would he play? I would assume LF due to his defense, and an occasional 3B to spell Turner. No?

        • I have to assume he would spell Turner at 3b only. Play LF and who knows where else. That is the part that makes him not a fit.

  9. Keep Verdugo..been off limits by Friedman so why now? If he’s as good as the organization say he is don’t trade him for a 30 yr. old plus pitcher or outfielder!
    Catcher is a priority. Why keep Taylor & Kike if they’re not going to second full-time?

    • Because Taylor and Kike are ELITE defenders and most all positions on the field. Guys like either of them are extremely rare. I agree we may not need both of them but, but in a sport filled w injuries their extraordinary defensive versatility wins as many games as a stellar bat.

  10. Trade for Kluber and Realmuto and sign Harper. Once those get done we are the best team in baseball come late October.

    • Dodgers all-time team stuff if that happens. I can see the Sports Illustrated preview issue now with “BLUE HEAVEN” on the front.

  11. If the plan all along was to bring up prospects from the farm, then Verdugo is the new RF’er. Granted, LA needs a right hand hitter or two, to replace the two they shipped of to the Reds and Verdugo bats from the left side but perhaps they feel they’d as soon have good hitters period. That does fly in the face of analytics, however.

  12. I like Verdugo, but I’d like to see him traded to a team that will play him regularly. Time flies and I’d hate to see his prime years as a bench warmer.

    • If we don’t sign another OF; he’s going to get his ‘cup o coffee in the big time’ to quote Macho Man Randy Savage (R.I.P.).

  13. I say find a team that will take Pederson (the rally killer) and Taylor (the strikeout machine) in a trade. I think if the Dodgers could get Kluber using those players and maybe send the two minor
    leaguers we got in the deal with the Reds and keep Verdugo it would be great. That would open a spot for Harper if the Dodgers wanted to pursue him. Forget Realmuto, the Marlins want too much for him and we have some good prospects a year away. With a rotation that includes Kluber and an outfield that has Bellinger, Harper, and Verdugo starting – the Dodgers could win 100+ games again next season.

    • I like your thoughts other than Taylor. Even with his 178 K’s he finished the season with a 4.1 WAR and currently he and Kiké are needed at 2b and backup Seager at SS. If the Dodgers new hitting coaches can cut Taylor’s K rate from 30% to 20%, and assuming that he maintains his .345 BABIP (it was .375 in 2017), then Taylor’s slash line would return to his 2017 range of .288/.354/.496/.850 with 20+ home runs — those are All Star quality numbers. Taylor is a keeper!

    • My old man loves Chris Taylor. One of the Goodfellas! Does an everyday OF of Bellinger, Harper and Verdugo with little platooning bother you? Not me

      • Works for me, Harper’s splits against LH pitching are good and you can use Kiké as the 4th OF’er/floater for 2 or 3 games a week and backup for Seager at SS. Taylor becomes the regular at 2b.

        MERRY CHRISTMAS!

      • I like that idea, but what do we have to offer the Indians for Kluber now that part of what was being talked about in a trade is now in Cincy. I would hate to see someone like Stripling go and I don’t think Cleveland will take just prospects.

  14. I am sorry to see Puig go. He is entering his power yrs. I also do understand the need to bundle him for a bigger and better team. Verdugo seems to be the mystery guy to me. Is Freidman ready to give him a chance as so many fans think he is a great player. But does the FO agree? WSS

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