Projected WARMarket Value
Projected WAR by grouping is from Fangraphs’ depth charts.
Historically each win is worth ~$9 million on the free agent market
- Chris Taylor, CF
- Corey Seager, SS
- Cody Bellinger, 1B
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Yasmani Grandal, C
- Joc Pederson, LF
- Logan Forsythe, 3B
- Chase Utley, 2B
- Clayton Kershaw, LHP
- Alex Wood, LHP
- Kenta Maeda, RHP
- Rich Hill, LHP
- Hyun-jin Ryu, LHP
- Dave Roberts
“Even though the offseason was quiet, the Dodgers still have 10 of their top 11 players in plate appearances returning, and nine of their top 10 pitchers. For the most part, the band is back together.
The starting rotation is strong, with Rich Hill, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-jin Ryu backing Kershaw, but not as deep as in recent seasons, a byproduct of the aforementioned desire to stay under that CBT threshold in 2018. Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart are next on the rotation depth chart, but the one to watch will be Walker Buehler, the club’s top prospect.
Buehler was drafted in the first round in 2015 out of Vanderbilt, but Tommy John surgery wiped out nearly all of his 2016 campaign. He showed flashes of brilliance in 2017 as he made his way up the minor league ranks, and got his first taste of big league action out of the bullpen last September.
But Buehler’s future, and present, is as a starting pitcher. With just 98 innings on his odometer from last year, the right-hander’s 2018 will probably be capped at 140-150 innings. It’s just a matter of where and when those innings will be deployed.
“We know he’s going to pitch meaningful innings for us at the major league level,” Roberts said. “We don’t know when.”
After three straight seasons of producing a rookie All-Star position player — Joc Pederson in 2015, Corey Seager in 2016 and Cody Bellinger in 2017 — including the last two NL Rookies of the Year, Buehler is the Dodgers rookie most likely to make the largest impact this season.”
—True Blue LA
—True Blue LA
With two All-Star campaigns in his first two full seasons and a top-three MVP finish in 2016 Corey Seager is already a household name in baseball circles. But the Dodgers shortstop has a chance to make the leap into superstardom in 2018.
Seager is a .305/.374/.502 career hitter and his 13.5 Wins Above Replacement through his age-23 season is the second-most in Dodgers history, behind only dead-ball era outfielder Jimmy Sheckard.
In the 135-year history of the franchise there have been three seasons of a Dodger hitting 20 home runs as a shortstop. Two of those were by Seager in his first two years. His 51 career home runs at the position are the most by any Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop. The club has been in L.A. for 60 years, and Seager doesn’t turn 24 years old until April.
Though the Dodgers are built on depth and the club did just fine in last year’s NLCS while Seager was out with a back sprain, Seager is the most indispensable position player on the roster, sort of the Clayton Kershaw among non-pitchers.
Elbow inflammation limited Seager over the final five weeks of 2017 and while the injury was said to affect him mostly while throwing he also struggled at the plate, hitting just .205/.280/.349 over his final 26 games. Seager avoided offseason surgery on his elbow, instead opting for an offseason of rest and rehabilitation. A methodical throwing program has impacted his spring training, limiting him to designated hitter duties through the first several weeks of camp.
March maladies are nothing new for Seager, who missed large chunks of time in the last two springs with a sprained knee and a sore oblique, only to answer the bell come opening day. The Dodgers expect more of the same in 2018.
—Eric Stephen, True Blue LA
—Eric Stephen, True Blue LA
The Dodgers led the majors in wins in 2017, and could easily do so again in 2018. Except for Yu Darvish, the central parts of the gang that nearly won the World Series last October is back, and they’re in a position to get one W better this time around. Maybe they won’t win at the pace they did for much of the summer before a horrid September dropped them from potential record-setting team to simple league-leader in victories, but this roster can absolutely crack triple digits in the win column once again.
The Dodgers last won a World Series 30 years ago, and that sure is going to be a topic of conversation all season long no matter how good the team is or not. That’s just a little bit of pressure to deal with, considering how close they got a year ago, that Kershaw is now finally going to be in his 30s and can opt-out at year’s end, and knowing that veterans like Rich Hill and Justin Turner can’t play at their current levels forever (especially considering Turner’s broken wrist). There is still time for this core, especially with all of its youth, but at the same time, there is no denying the sense of urgency.