Dodgers: FanSided Mock Off-Season Recapping the Dodgers Moves

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: Ryan Braun
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 26: Ryan Braun /

Last week I made an announcement that myself and Michael Wittman were acting as the Dodgers front office in FanSided’s second MOCK Winter Meeting. We assumed the roles of Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi and made some moves that we felt would improve the Dodgers next season. Here’s a summary of the moves we made on behalf of the Dodgers front office.

First off, I’ll say this was a wild experiment. There were so many moving parts and there was definitely a lot to keep track of. Nonetheless, it was a fun experiment to gauge the interest level of other team’s fans and see how the market reacted to the players available.  In the end, the Dodgers were fairly silent in the free agency market but made a big splash on the trade market.


Wittman gave an update two days ago announcing that we had re-signed Brandon Morrow. Morrow was really one of our main targets in free agency. He had a great season for us last season, but we didn’t want to overpay for him given his health concerns. But we were able to lock Morrow up for a 2-year deal worth $18M.

Where we made our big splash was trading for Ryan Braun. It was a pretty huge deal in a trade Mock Winter Meetings that saw a lot of big names traded. Once we saw the big names being shipped around, Michael and I decided to get creative and that’s where Braun came into play.

Every GM was flocking to find trade pieces for Giancarlo Stanton. In the end, the acting GM of the Marlins valued Stanton too much to find a deal to send him out of Miami, so Stanton stood put. We never really engaged in trade talks for Stanton because that doesn’t fit the realistic managing style of Friedman and Zaidi. If we would have made an offer for Stanton, it would have been centered around some combination of Joc Pederson, Yasmani Grandal, Yadier Alvarez, and potentially Brandon McCarthy to offset the big contract. BUT that did not happen so let’s shift the focus back to Ryan Braun.

The Dodgers have been linked to Braun in the past. He’s not exactly in his prime as he was during his MVP campaign, but is relatively affordable for the value that he brings to the team. He fits the need of a right-handed outfielder that provides power and good ability to make contact. He’s still under contract through the 2020 season, which his final three years average out to be a little over $17.5M per season. That’s not too steep of a price for an MVP caliber player. We felt that Braun fits in perfectly with the young core the Dodgers have and will be a nice veteran addition to this young core.

Here is the Trade Summary:

The trade is a bit of a blockbuster. Three MLB players all of which are capable of being starters in the league.

The first reaction may seem like we gave up a lot. But when you’re working with a team that has depth and versatility, you have the ability to make moves that appear over the top. Here’s a quick reason why we traded each player away.

Yes, Joc Pederson is coming off of a great World Series where he hit 3 home runs. But before that, his season has been a huge headache for Dave Roberts to manage. Pederson lost his starting job in center field and would eventually be sent down to Triple-A. Pederson was once the Dodgers highest touted prospect. The Dodgers were right to hold onto Peterson in the past as he brought big home run upside. The issue is that he hasn’t yet put it all together yet.

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Pederson is arbitration eligible next after next season and will likely receive a contract upwards of $2M. He’s a young player that still has the opportunity to turn into an All-Star someday. But he won’t do that by being a platoon player for the Dodgers in left. The Dodgers have an excess of outfielders and we felt they could use some lineup commodity and that’s what Braun brings. Losing Pederson was not easy because we’re selling low and giving up on him before he reached his prime years. But this is a move that will stay with the Dodgers for the next three seasons.

Moving onto Yasmani Grandal. Grandal is highly regarded as one of the top catchers in the game. His defensive abilities are atop the league and he brings some pop from the right side of the plate. The issue here is, he’s no longer in his prime. He’s 29 this season and is in the final year of his contract.

With an expiring contract and an aging player who has yet to truly meet performance expectations, he wasn’t a deal breaker here. We saw in the postseason that Roberts was not hesitant to give the starting catcher to a younger, more productive Austin Barnes. If you have concerns about Barnes’ durability as I do, that should stop the Dodgers from making Grandal expendable. The Dodgers are deep at catcher starting with Barnes and Kyle Farmer. Their depth trickles down into their farm system with Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith.

The price of two MLB starters for one seems like a lot. But when you have a team that has as much depth as they do you can afford to make moves like this. Let us know what you think about the trade.

Some other smaller moves that we made on behalf of the Dodgers are below.

Signed Doug Fister, Starting Pitcher, to a 1-year $3million contract

Signed Joe Smith, Relief Pitcher, to a 1-year $4million contract

Next: Could Maeda be a Trade Asset

Overall, we stayed true to what we wanted to do. We brought back a backend of the bullpen arm and solidified our outfield with a trade. The one thing we regret losing out on Mike Minor. We offered a 4-year contract worth $28M but just missed the deadline before he signed with Toronto for a 3-year $23M contract. If we would have signed Minor this would have been an A+ offseason for us.

Instead, I’ll give us a solid B. We had over $50M come off the books and still improved the team without spending all that money. The Braun trade is a cap hit of a $13M, but outside of that and the addition of Morrow’s contract ($9M), we were able to improve the team while only spending $29M of the $50M + the Dodgers had available.

What do you think about the deals? Do you think we failed miserably as Friedman and Zaidi? Or did we improve the team enough to secure yet another NLCS appearance? Let us know!