Raining bills, bills, bills on the field and in the front office.
Every day until Opening Day, Baseball Prospectus authors will preview two teams—one from the AL, one from the NL—identifying strategies those teams employ to gain an advantage. Today: the cash-strapped Rays and cash-rich Dodgers.
Whether or not Andre Ethier bounces back, he's the sort of luxury a rich team might get from the 25th spot on its roster.
The Dodgers want to trade Andre Ethier. Even if Ethier weren’t agitating for a deal (failing the promise of a full-time job in Los Angeles), and even if he weren’t due $56 million by the end of the 2017 season, we could all be pretty sure the Dodgers would like to trade him. He’s a poor fit for the roster, and the guys building said roster weren’t the ones who gave him the promise of all that money.
Just in case we were unsure of the team’s commitment to moving Ethier, a Jon Heyman report late last week confirmed it: Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi would take a $30 million bath (or thereabouts) in the right deal for Ethier. Daniel Rathman broke down the corner into which the team has painted itself in Friday’s rumor roundup.
We hope you enjoyed Kershaw day, and if you haven't, there are 13 swell articles for you still to enjoy here. Now, I've thought a lot about Clayton Kershaw fun facts in the past week, and I think I've finally settled on my favorite:
Clayton Kershaw has faced some hairy situations and close shaves and okay you get it, this article is about his beard.
There are a lot of angles to cover when you devote an entire day of articles to one person. You’ve got your analytics and your scouting, your infographics and your macro view of micro aspects. Those are all great and good and necessary. What is none of those things is what you’re about to consume. It’s just a classic coming-of-age story.
This is the story of Clayton Kershaw running a two-plus year experiment on his face while we all just pretended not to notice. Well, one man is through pretending. Wake up, sheeple. It's time to pay attention.
In early 2007, David Laurila interviewed Clayton Kershaw. At the time, Kershaw had thrown just 56 pro innings, most of them for the Dodgers' complex team. Nobody knew at the time that in just 13 months Kershaw would be staring down Albert Pujols in the first inning of a very strong major-league debut. This interview originally ran on May 6, 2007.
A 19-year-old left-hander, Clayton Kershaw is the top-rated prospect in the Dodgers organization. The first high school player taken in last year's draft and the seventh pick overall, Kershaw relies on a mid-nineties fastball with excellent command, an above-average curveball and a circle change. A native of Dallas, he has an advanced pitching approach for someone beginning just his first full professional season. Kershaw debuted in the Gulf Coast League last year, posting an ERA of 1.95 while holding opposing batters to a .201 average. He is starting this season with the Low-A Great Lakes Loons, managed by former Tigers great Lance Parrish. At the time David Laurila sat down with Kershaw, he was off to a good start, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA while striking out 28 in 19 innings through April 29.
Because we don't believe in our power to jinx things, we bravely ask where Kershaw would rank all-time if he retired today.
Time will tell whether Clayton Kershaw can add to his collection of Cy Young Awards or not, but it’s a safe bet that the best pitcher in baseball has plenty of all-star games, playoff appearances, and magazine covers ahead of him. All pitchers are injury risks, of course, but Kershaw’s age, build, and track record of health suggests that he’s among the sport’s most dependable arms. He will probably have a long career.
It's a treacherous path one travels from teenaged prospect to Cy Young winner to Hall of Famer, further than the journey from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, or from Highland Park to Los Angeles, or even from Culiacan, Mexico to Los Angeles. To be a left-handed pitcher in the fabled Dodgers organization, the path is more treacherous still, thanks to the landmines of expectations that history has laid down.