The Dodgers Were Right to Pass on Cueto

4. The Dodgers have won the National League West for three straight years for the first time in their long and illustrious history by following a very specific plan to action. Dodgers President Stan Kasten has been preaching for a while that the plan was to buy talent (free agents) in the beginning to bridge the gap between developing talent. Why do we keep forgetting this?

Remember the first move the new Dodgers Guggenheim ownership completed was to purchase (trade for) the contracts of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto for prospects? Since that time, the Dodgers have been stockpiling prospects by holding onto to their best talent, drafting more talent, while purchasing less-than-free-agent-expensive controllable international talent from Cuba, Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

As Stan Kasten likes to say, the Dodgers have a nice core and are right to be excited. A full season of Corey Seager, an invigorated Joc Pederson, potentially Julio Urias, and a coaching staff that is excited and deep in talent in itself is nothing to scoff at.

Be patient—and is winning three straight division titles really a call for patience? It is a call for sanity in expectations.

5. Huge 2018 free agent class of talent. The Dodgers might be prepping to sign Bryce Harper and much more. Think the Dodgers might kick the tires around a bit?  As of today, only Clayton Kershaw’s contract will be on the books, and he has an opt-out clause that off-season, leaving only $3.5 million in money owed that winter.

6. Other teams can have the long contracts for a lot of years and money. How is CC Sabathia doing for the Yankees? Justin Verlander for the Detroit Tigers? Or Kevin Brown back in the day for the Dodgers?Kevin Brown

Let us ask that same question of Greinke, Price, and Cueto in the near future.

Why did the Dodgers pass on Greinke, Price, and Cueto, plus many more free agent pitchers in 2015? It is because the Dodgers have a surplus of starters under contract and one of the best farm systems in Major League Baseball with more starters and relievers.

Remember when the Dodgers won six World Series titles between 1955-1988? They won because of a stacked farm system based on the Branch Rickey model. We wish Greinke and Cueto the best, but their arms for the dollars and years requested was not a wise investment for the Dodgers.

As for Price, having four lefty’s (Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Hyun-Jin Ryu (when back from surgery), and Alex Wood) in a starting rotation is never a good idea with a Division and League stacked with right-handed bats.

We guessed that Greinke would sign elsewhere and for the most money available. We also opined previously why the Dodgers should be weary of Cueto with his age, arm, and post-season troubles.

7. The Big Fake! The Dodgers are in a great position to pounce or stay put. This is a luxury not seen with many sports franchises. Again, Stan Kasten has preached longevity and dynasty. These are great things to be excited about.

We would not be surprised if the Dodgers faked other teams into spending beyond their limits by driving up the price on free agents to benefit themselves in the short-term and the long run.  Wall Street money and mind, meet Moneyball.  Good work!

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Written by Jeremy Evans

Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles.


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