Chat with Mark Saxon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Los Angeles Dodgers writer Mark Saxon will stop by to chat some baseball.
Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.
Send your questions now and join Saxon Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET!
Mark Saxon (4:30 PM)
Sorry for the technical issues last week. We're ready to get started on this week's chat, with the Dodgers scrambling to keep a toe hold in the NL playoff picture.
warrie (Redlands, CA)
How much change should we expect in the Dodger roster this offseason?
Mark Saxon (4:31 PM)
Well warrie, Probably less than on just about any other team. They'll probably go after a front-line starting pitcher (Can they beat out the Angels for Zack Greinke?), but they're largely set. Remember, Carl Crawford will be in left next year, Kemp and Ethier are locked up. Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis and Hanley Ramirez are all back. They've seen enough from Luis Cruz and A.J. Ellis to stick with them, I would think. Not a whole lot missing. They just have to play better.
Rob McMillin (Los Angelish)
Today's Bloomberg story about the Dodgers' terms from bankruptcy says that regional sports network TV revenue past $84M is protected from league revenue sharing. The league seems to disagree with this, so can we expect a court battle over these terms?
Mark Saxon (4:36 PM)
I'll go out on a limb and say yes, since we live in a litigious society, but I don't have inside information to that effect. You can see why the new owners are so sure they're going to get a windfall from the new TV deal. That money explains everything this team does right now. They could be looking at something like $250 million per year in TV money.
DMost231 (Los Angeles)
what impact has the poor bullpen play on the dodgers post season hopes?
Mark Saxon (4:38 PM)
I don't accept your premise, DMost, so I really can't answer the question. Opponents have hit .222 off Dodgers relievers this year. They're in the top three in ERA. How is that a bad bullpen? Lately, the bullpen and starters have been the only good parts of the team, actually.
Sergio (Long Beach)
If not Greinke in the offseason, then who else can we go for?
Mark Saxon (4:45 PM)
If you want to confine it to ex-Angels, Sergio, Ervin Santana and Dan Haren could be out there and, after sub-par years, could be gotten for reasonable salaries. Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, Brandon McCarthy and Kyle Lohse are all free agents.
Mike Trout (LA (sort of))
Just wrapping my best year in the bigs. Too bad I won't get the MVP. I can't believe you wouldn't advise my manager to trade me for Kemp.
Mark Saxon (4:45 PM)
OK, Mike. Thanks for that.
Do you think the Dodgers mesh in the offseason and become a true contender next year? What % chance do you give them for making the playoffs this year?
Mark Saxon (4:47 PM)
Second question first: 5 percent. They're just not playing well enough to win all their games and I think the Cardinals will win at least 2 or 3. Yeah, they will go into spring training viewed as serious contenders. Everyone is willing to believe that they just didn't have enough time to develop chemistry and an identity. They have too many good players not to contend in this division, I think.
With Billingsley likely out all of next year & Kershaw missing the start of next year most likely, which FA starting pitchers do you think we might go after of Greinke, Peavy
Mark Saxon (4:50 PM)
I just mentioned some names, Heath. I wouldn't assume Kershaw will miss the start of next season, by the way. I would assume, however, that Billingsley is out for the year. When it looks like Tommy John, it's usually Tommy John. The Dodgers could easily go into next season without adding a starting pitcher and still be contenders. But I think if they could find a legit No. 2 starter, they would be smart to get him.
Is it likely Uribe will be DFA'D this offseason?
Mark Saxon (4:50 PM)
Hmmm, Yeah, that's probably going to happen. I just don't think they want him hanging around all next year and playing once every 10 days.
Should The Dodgers go with Ellis & FedEx next year at catcher?
Mark Saxon (4:52 PM)
That's a tough one, because if FedEx (I still haven't figured out how to spell his real name) is viewed as a potential No. 1 catcher in the future. So, wouldn't you prefer to have him playing every day at Triple-A and learning and improving? I think they'll get a veteran backup catcher, which tend to be a dime a dozen, and let Matt Treanor take his .175 average elsewhere.
Ben Dover (Little Rock)
Hey Mark :) Thanks for taking the time out. What's your opinion on the dodgers chances for next season in making the post-season?
Mark Saxon (4:53 PM)
Ben, Personally, I wouldn't make them the favorites by any means. San Francisco seems to have figured out a winning formula up north and I don't know why Arizona was so disappointing this year. But they're in the mix with a few good -- no great -- teams.
Juicy J (LA)
Do Bands really make her dance?
Mark Saxon (4:54 PM)
For those wondering about this reference, I asked on Twitter what the heck the dude is saying in Hanley Ramirez's walk-up music and was told, by Josh of the Dodgers that it is, "Bands that make her dance." Still not sure what it means.
Adrian Beltre (Texas)
Gagne ratted me out. He's gotta be lying right?
Mark Saxon (4:55 PM)
He didn't rat you out by name, but he didn't rat anybody out by name. A bunch of guys on that team were already named in the Mitchell Report, so it's not such an out-there claim by Gagne that 80 percent were using. I think it's fair to say more than 50 percent of players at that time were using something they shouldn't have been.
Mike Hawk (Buffalo)
Mark, where do you think after Kemps contract is over (7 years after this year) he will be on the Dodgers all time homerun record. Karros holds the record at 270
Mark Saxon (5:01 PM)
Mike, I think he'll be on top. In fact, if he stays healthy I would bet on it. He's still in his 20s and might even get a little more power in the next few years. He doesn't have to pull the ball to hit it out because he's so strong, which will allow him to maintain his good swing.
Luis Cruz (Chavez Ravine)
Do you think Ned will sign me to an 8 year extension in the offseason?
Mark Saxon (5:02 PM)
No, but I expect a one-year extension, Cochito.
Don Mattingly (LA)
How did I do this year?
Mark Saxon (5:03 PM)
I was thinking about that the other day. I went on the radio about a month ago and Max Kellerman said Mattingly should be frontrunner for manager of the year. Now, everybody thinks he forgot how to manage. The truth is the manager is such a tiny percentage of the team's effort that it's almost impossible to quantify. For someone still learning on the job, I think you did fine, Don.
If you were Don would you resign League & Have him close or go with Jansen?I prefer leagues experience
Mark Saxon (5:08 PM)
That's a really great question, Fred. Jansen did really well in the role and he's going to get the heart procedure that should take care of his issue. League has been great, but his history is to be so streaky. He's either great or awful and you would prefer semi-steady in that role. I would probably ease Jansen back into it.
Who made the better trade? Angels for Pujols or Dodgers for all their trades this year?
Mark Saxon (5:09 PM)
Technically, the Angels didn't trade for Pujols, Jared, but I get your drift. Jury is still out. My feeling is that both will look bad in about five years, but if it gets them to the World Series next year, who cares? And who cares what I think anyway.
Make fetters (LA)
Where the heck does Puig fit in? Is he trade bait? The kid is a stud
Mark Saxon (5:09 PM)
He's at Single-A, so this isn't exactly burning question du jour, but if he continues to develop he will allow the Dodgers to think about either trading him or trading one of the veterans.
Who do you see taking over the closer spot for the dodgers next year ?
Mark Saxon (5:10 PM)
We just touched on that. I'll say Kenley Jansen.
Where will Dee play next year? platoon at 2nd? More minors seasoning?
Mark Saxon (5:10 PM)
I'm guessing he'll spend a lot of time at Triple-A, but he'll be up when they have an injury on the infield. He just didn't hit enough to hold down a regular job and I doubt they think he'll be a premium bat.
Jake the Snake (Right Behind You)
Hey Mark. Who was the worse acquisition the Dodgers made this year?
Mark Saxon (5:12 PM)
Probably Nick Punto, who is overpaid at $1.5 million and signed through next year, but he may prove a small price to pay if Adrian Gonzalez gets back to being his 2010 self.
Billy Beane (Oakland)
I would have traded Trout for Kemp. No brainer.-Billy
Mark Saxon (5:15 PM)
Hmm, comparable players, but one is seven years older than the other and paid about 30 times as much. Seems like Trout would be the keeper, no?
Marky (New Zealand)
Kasten hired the lady that did the renovations for Camden Yards, & dodger stadium is set to get a facelift. Do you know anything about it regarding what might be taken out / demo'd?
Mark Saxon (5:17 PM)
Hey Marky, I can't remember all the details but the gist of the renovations is they're going to try to make everything more comfortable at the stadium while preserving the funky, mid-century feel. I like their thinking. Dodger Stadium has a special feel to it and it would be a shame to see it turned into a generic, state-of-the-art park.
James Loney (Tampa bay)
Predict the starting 5 for LA next year
Mark Saxon (5:18 PM)
Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, Josh Beckett.
Mark Saxon (5:19 PM)
All right guys, you rallied for a great chat. Let's do it again next week, probably for a post-season dissection.