Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Live-blog: Farhan Zaidi talks post-deadline Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Farhan Zaidi is speaking to reporters today about the state of the Dodgers after today’s three trades that yielded Rich Hill and Josh Reddick, Jesse Chavez and Josh Fields, at the cost of Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas, Mike Bolsinger and Yordan Alvarez. We’ll live-blog his comments as they come, beginning shortly after 3:30 p.m. …

On how the deals came together: 

“It was kind of a slow buildup toward the last couple of hours here. The Oakland deal really started getting into the final stage late last night, and we were able to sort of start the medicals on that, so that wasn’t quite as frantic as some of the other activity going on. We really wanted to add another bat to the lineup and bring in a starting pitcher, and to be able to accomplish both of those goals in the same deal was really helpful.”

On how difficult the market was: 

“In the era of the two wild-cards, there’s a lot of teams out there that feel like they’re still in the playoff hunt and not that many teams that are really in pure sell mode. … I know the perception is coming in that on some of these deals, the buyers paid a high price. Maybe it’s not a high price – maybe it’s just the price of doing business these days.”

On whether the thin free-agent market this winter affected deadline deals:

“Even guys that are potential free agents, it’s possible just kind of just having them around your team and creating some dialogue around that gives you a little bit of a first-mover advantage in trying to lock them up. That’s certainly a factor in rather than waiting around for free agency, try to bring some guys in who can help you now and maybe retain them going forward.”

On how the uncertain status of Clayton Kershaw affected their approach:

“I wouldn’t say it did at all. Our position on Kersh is there’s still some optimism that he can help us, and he’s the most valuable player in the game, in my unbaised opinion. But beyond that, this team has played very well since he went down, so there was a real motivation to try to keep some of that momentum going and try to add a bat and an arm to help this team’s recent surge continue. … I think the most important thing was, we’re in a pretty good position to make a run, and so let’s go out and get the pieces we think can help.”

On Reddick and Hill: 

“Josh Reddick is a two-way player. He has power. He’s a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder. I think he’s gonna help this team a lot. I think he was as good as any position player available in this trade market. Rich Hill as a starting pitcher was just from a pure performance perspective as good or better as any starting pitcher traded today or in the last week or so. I think both of these guys can help us a lot, and I do feel like we were aggressive in going out and getting these guys.”

On how Reddick’s acquisition affects the starting outfield: 

“We’re just going to take it day by day and put out the lineup every day that has the best chance to win.”

On how soon Hill will pitch for the Dodgers:

“We don’t have an exact timetable on that, but obviously his availability in the short term was an important part of us moving ahead on this deal. So we feel pretty good about it, but we don’t have an exact date for when he’d be out there for us.”

On the bigger names that didn’t get traded: 

“A lot of the names that were out there that were rumored to be available did not get moved. That speaks to either erroneous reports about their availability in the first place, or the fact that no other team was willing to meet the price that was put out there. That’s not to say the price wasn’t fair, but none of those guys were moved.”

On the pitching prospects the Dodgers gave up: 

“I guess our broader philosophy was, this is a team that actually from a minor-league standpoint has a lot of pitching depth, particularly starting pitching in the pipeline coming up through Double-A and Triple-A. So the ability to meet our trading needs from our pitching depth, rather than going to our position-player side, was our preference. … We like the guys that we gave up. There was a competitive market for these two players that we got from Oakland. We knew we were going to have to give up pitchers we like.

“That’s the cost of doing business at the trade deadline. When your team is in a good position and you know there are other teams trying to prove themselves also, you’ve got to dip into that well and give the team across the table value. I certainly think we did that, but we obviously like the guys we got a lot.”

On whether Fields will go to Triple-A:

“We haven’t decided that. We have a day and we’ve got some moving parts.”

On whether Chavez will start or relieve:

“I think we view him as a swingman, and obviously another guy that I know from my time in Oakland, and actually did a good bit of starting for us there. What is valuable about him is he’s got a rubber arm, he can come in and pitch two, three, four innings at a time. On the flip side … if you need him to make a spot start, he can do that. That kind of guy is really valuable, and we’ve certainly gone through stretches this year where having that type of guy would have helped our pen stay fresh. So his versatility in that role is going to be a big benefit to us. We expect him to start in the pen, but he has the ability to swing over if we need it.”

On the Giants’ moves:

“We’re focused on our team and what we felt we needed to do to improve ourselves. It’s obviously a close race, and the two guys we got we think are certainly going to help us. We expected them, like every team that’s in the playoff hunt, to turn over stones trying to improve their team, and they did bring in a couple of players that they think will help them, and we brought in a couple of players that we think will help us.”

On whether the Dodgers are too left-handed at the plate:

“Our division’s pitching is actually pretty right-handed. Being left-handed leaning can actually be of some benefit in this division. We do have some right-handed bench bats that can come in and spell some guys and create a different look for the lineup. More than anything, we were looking for guys that can come in and help us and impact the division race.”

On how much Reddick will play against left-handed pitchers:

“I know he feels he’s an everyday guy. I have seen him play every day in stretches and have quality at-bats against left-handed pitching. And the fact that he brings quality, Gold Glove defense every day adds to value of his being out there every day. But that’s ultimately a question for (Dave Roberts) if he wants to address it, but frankly I think what he’s going to do, especially with this group that gives him different options and different looks, is just put the best eight guys out there on that given day.”

On the odds that the Dodgers make another move (in which players would need to clear waivers): 

“It’s hard to handicap. We have a team that, part of the reason we’ve been able to withstand (so many) injuries is because of the depth that we had going into the year, and I think we still feel pretty good about that depth internally. Because of the way the waiver rules work, you’re more likely going to be looking at depth-type options in terms of who becomes available and who gets to your place on the waiver order. Relative to the situation where we had more urgent needs, I’d say it’s a little less likely we do something, but we’re going to be very active on trade waivers looking for guys we think can help us.”


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  1. Surely someone asked about Puig, right?

  2. No comment? Rumor had it he stormed out of the stadium and the sports journalists let him get away with that?

    I gather he didn’t, but did anyone know that at the time of this conference?

    • Jon Weisman

      The rumor is false — are you saying he should have commented on the false rumor?

      • Well you’re conflicting a lot of reports then.
        My opinion, as small as it is, they really blew it with Puig. Best case, someone picks hi up on waivers and Dodgers let him go. Worst case, he never reports to OKC, the Dodgers suspend him, and eventually DFA him, not getting anything for him and still have to pay his contract. I see no way they get anything for him but salary relieve at best basically.

  3. NBC Sports just said that Puig was left behind as team went to Colorado and would be sent to the Minor league team because of the injuries and inability to Play and bad attitude.
    WHAT ??
    Who was it that just WON the Game for them the other night ?? Sorry but to me this just SUCKS !!!!!

  4. Jon Weisman

    Throwdeuce, your “best-case scenario” is really quite far from the best-case scenario.

  5. I think a long stay in AAA fine tuning his batting and mental approach to batting is a good,thing. He should have been sent down long ago to work on all those issues. Or that they are working on a waiver deal and his days are numbered with the Dodgers. When he came up he looked like the next coming of Ruth! So sad he regressed rather than reached his full potential!

  6. NBC Sports doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Rosenthal himself corrected his own tweet, so….. Don’t trust tweets. Is that a good lesson?

  7. Regarding Puig- I am trying to figure out a way in which the front office didn’t do Puig dirty here but I am having trouble. Now I am not a Puig apologist at all and I think there have been plenty of times his bone-headed base running or overthrowing of cut off men etc. has cost this team games. Some of that was easier to overlook when he was making exciting plays and hitting but he isn’t really doing that when he is on the field anymore, and thanks to his balky hamstrings, he is hardly ever on the field. He swings at the first pitch way too much, he is way pull heavy in situational ABs failing to move runners over…the list goes on.

    However, you have to remember Andrew Toles is still on this roster and Puig is not. The trade for Reddick should have squeezed Andrew Toles out, not Puig. Toles is a great player and has shown promise in his brief time with the team, but nowhere near the ceiling that Puig has. On paper, it makes much more sense to send Toles back down and see him in a month when rosters expand than Puig, simply because Puig is RH and a platoon option with Reddick where Toles and Reddick are both LH.

    So we are left with two options- Puig got done dirty by the FO or Puig did this to himself thanks to clubhouse chemistry/off the field issues coming back to the surface. Since I haven’t heard of any instances of the latter (and I think we would hear about it, right? This clubhouse isn’t exactly the tightest lipped) I am stuck believing the former is true. Maybe they are finally getting around to “teaching him a lesson” for some of his past transgressions?

    • I think there’s a third option. Puig is still a raw ballplayer and he can’t play everyday on this roster with his lack of full range mobility. If he was hitting any better, it may be different, but he isn’t, so he should go back to the minors and get his swing back.

      Nobody did him dirty. Puig isn’t doing this to himself. He is young, and he has always been raw. I’ve seen more growth out of Puig this year, and he continues to bring a smile to my face. He is an awesome ballplayer whom the FO isn’t going to just let go for cheap.

      • Is he rawer than Andrew Toles, a player who has about 350 less professional baseball games under his belt than Puig does?

      • Toles is a better utility player right now because he’s not focusing on improving his hitting. How do you expect Puig to improve his hitting if he’s not starting everyday? How do you expect the Dodgers to rely on Puig starting everyday if his hamstring is still sorta like jelly?

        It’s very logical that Toles is still up while Puig was sent down.

      • So which is it? Is he being sent down to let his hamstring(s) heal or is he being sent down to play every day so he can improve his hitting?

        Re: improving his hitting- you have seen his numbers since returning from the last DL stint, correct? In June he hit .333/.371/.455/.826 and in July .283/.389/.417/.806. Granted, this represents only 30 games total due to injuries but these are very passable numbers for a RF.

        Re: injuries- Puig should be platooning with Reddick (my original point) which would reduce his exposure to injury.

      • As with most of what you’ve posted, it’s probably neither. If you don’t want to accept the notion that Puig’s off year is a byproduct of his hamstring issues, and that it’s a condition the team can’t rely on right now, and that Toles is a good 4th outfielder that serves a purpose on the major league level, while Puig can use some in-season time working on his swing and plate discipline, then don’t. But stop behaving as if the FO is treating him poorly. The man is a millionaire, playing baseball in Los Angeles. He has a job to help the team win. I have a feeling when September rolls around, we’ll see another change. Rosters will expand, and the team will need to solidify the best of the 40 man roster to make a post-season run.

        Yay, Fandom!

      • Fine, and if you want to think that the FO telling a former All-Star that they are going to either trade him or demote him prior to even acquiring Reddick and preferring to keep a guy with 43 major league plate appearances instead is just them getting him “some in-season time to work on his swing” then you go on believing that.

  8. oldbrooklynfan

    I wondering if Puig has shown up in OKC.

    • OKC has a game tonight in Colorado Springs, which makes it even odder that they wouldn’t at least let Puig fly to Denver with the team and get him a car to meet up with the AAA team.

  9. No, I was questioning the reporters who didn’t ask him to clarify whether the rumor of Puig’s anger was true.

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