Among the Dodgers news on Wednesday was paying competitive balance tax for a second year in a row, to the tune of $32.4 million for 2022; and old friend Kevin Pillar finding a minor-league deal with the Braves.
Six Dodgers prospect were named to the Baseball America top 100 prospects in MLB, about which the quartet of Kyle Glaser, J.J. Cooper, Geoff Pontes and Carlos Collazo podcasted about on Wednesday afternoon.
Diego Cartaya headlined that group of highly-ranked Dodgers, checking in as the No. 18 prospect in baseball, per Baseball America. Also on Wednesday, MLB Pipeline tabbed Cartaya as the second-best catching prospect in the sport, behind only Francisco Álvarez of the Mets.
For comparison, Baseball America hasn’t unveiled any position-specific prospect rankings, but on their top-100 list, Álvarez was ranked ninth and new Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno is 12th, both ahead of Cartaya at No. 18. But that’s partially a technicality, as MLB Pipeline no longer considers Moreno a prospect while Baseball America does, adhering to baseball’s playing time qualification (Moreno has 69 at-bats, shy of the 130 needed) rather than service time (61 days for Moreno, over the 45-day limit).
- Elsewhere, Jeff Passan at ESPN gave his takeaways from this year’s free agency period. This is how he described the Dodgers’ “patience” this winter: “The Los Angeles Dodgers, who are willing to enter 2023 as a lesser version of themselves because having won 111 games last year they can afford to do so while still making the postseason.”
- Baseball America also shared the signing scouts for every prospect in the top 100.
- Jayson Werth, who played for the Dodgers in 2004-2005, is on the Hall of Fame ballot this year, and likely for the only time, as he had yet to receive a vote among the 158 publicly-available ballots per Ryan Thibodaux’s tracker. It takes at least five percent of the vote to remain on the ballot. So Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs made this profile of Werth count.
- At Baseball Prospectus, Russell Carleton looked into the gradual decline in bunting in recent years, and found the decline mostly came from teams simply avoiding the types of players who might bunt the most. “The ideal bunting environment is bunting with a bad hitter in front of a good hitter (and even then you basically break even),” Carleton wrote, “but more and more, teams are asking why they should bother hiring a bad hitter to begin with. If you’re that bad that bunting makes sense for you to do, why are you on our roster?”