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Dodgers Closing In On 2016 Roster

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Who will make the final cut this season?

As the Dodgers are getting ready to break camp on Wednesday and head home to begin the annual Freeway Series with the Angels, it is a perfect time to speculate on the final 25-man roster. Team officials are surely losing sleep over all of the injuries the team has endured throughout spring training and are crossing fingers the blood-letting is over. The 14-car pile-up that is the Dodgers current injury list (yes, that many) could make for some interesting roster decisions.

 

Starting Pitching Staff (5 spots)

One through four is an easy call with ace Clayton Kershaw (great spring, raring to go as usual) leading the way, followed by Scott Kazmir (luckily his abdominal issue turned out only to be a dehydration cramp the other day), then a very solid looking Kenta Maeda, an ever-improving Alex Wood, followed by, drum roll, please…the insert-a-new-name-every-five-days-guy. I am only half-kidding. Due to injuries to #5 frontrunners, Mike Bolsinger (left oblique), and Brandon Beachy (left arm soreness), and no clearcut winner for the job between Carlos Frias and Zach Lee, it looks like we will get a combination of the two depending upon match-ups. Then when Bolsinger and Beachy are ready, they, too, will probably join the #5 parade. This sounds a lot like last year’s “drive to find number five,” which was pretty much a disaster…

 

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Atlanta Braves State Of The Union For 2016

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans - starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future

Before the recent deal for Shelby Miller the Braves had been questioned on whether the rebuild they are currently going through was going to work. Now all of a sudden, the club going through trading of all veterans – starting with Jason Heyward a year ago, looks so much better. The next year or 2 is still going to be painstakingly to endure, but the organization now has a promising future.  Atlanta will enter a new park in Sun Trust Park, located in Cobb County, GA for 2017 after playing one more year at Turner Field in 2016.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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John Hart knows how to build teams in the Majors.  He was at the forefront of the Cleveland Indians in the 1990’s when they signed a bunch of young nucleus players to multi year extensions.  It was a trend that worked out for nearly a decade.

A pile of organizations copied this template.  I must admit I thought he may have been a bit past his prime when the Braves finally hired him on last year,  but he seems to carrying out the mission with Atlanta as well.

Of course taking over for Frank Wren – there was not much to go but up.  Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe and B.J. Upton ultimately cost the former GM his job, but it should be noted he did orchestrate 3 decent trades in acquiring  Justin Upton, Michael Bourn and Javier Vasquez much earlier.

The Braves did the right thing in dismantling the 2013 to 2014 squad.  It would have cost too much money to re-sign Brian McCann and Jason Heyward – and Justin Upton may soon reel in a 9 figure sum.

Atlanta also traded away Craig Kimbrel and Andrelton of late.  The haul for Kimbrel was nice, while Simmons was set to make $53 MIL over 5 years. Not huge cash, but for a guy more noted for defense, and with a team rebuilding, losing the dollars owed was a more significant move.

I also can’t emphasize enough how awesome it was to rid themselves of the Melvin Upton JR. contract. (more…)

Los Angeles Dodgers State Of The Union For 2016

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D'Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming - or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentelmen

The Dodgers need to start spending money like right now, otherwise they stand to jeopardize themselves winning a 4th straight NL West title in 2016. Both the Giants and D’Backs have signed ace pitchers this year, and added another good Starting Pitcher besides the point. The club does have several young pieces and Depth at Roster to pull off a blockbuster trade forth coming – or they still have enough resources to acquire players for their 2016 run. The clock is officially ticking gentlemen.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Dodgers are having the same kind of offseason the Baltimore Orioles had in 2014 – going into 2015.

If everyone remembers that year, they rejected a couple year contract with Grant Balfour, when he failed a physical, and they did the same thing with Grady Sizemore.

That club also traded back to back 50 Saves guy Jim Johnson.  By the way, the 2014 O’s won the AL East with a 97 – 65 record.

Key cogs in the wheel were new Closer Zach Britton, and Super Utility man Steve Pearce.  A lot of parallels can be made between that squad and the Dodgers.

Late last week, the Dodgers pulled out of a three year deal wish Hisashi Iwakuma because they had concerns with a physical.

For the whole winter they have watched the Giants sign Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks stole Zack Greinke way from them, while trading a kings ransom for Shelby Miller. (more…)

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