Ned Colletti: 2014

By on June 8, 2014
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Through the time of this writing, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a winning record of 722-637 since the hire of GM Ned Colletti in 2006. The Dodgers have had only 1 losing season during that time, which is a remarkable feat (even with nine-digit payrolls).

Free Agency at the international level truly is Colletti’s calling card, with international talent such as Yasiel Puig, Hiroki Kuroda, Hyun-Jin Ryu & Kenley Jensen having contributed at the major league level. Colletti has proven himself adept acquiring talent at the major league level from outside the organization: the short list includes All-Stars such as Manny Ramirez, Hanley Ramirez, Zack Grienke & Adrian Gonzalez. Inserting that much raw talent at the major league level doesn’t guarantee playoff success – loud rumblings have been occurring under manager Don Mattingly for years now.

By far, Colletti’s biggest struggle has been the amateur draft. In his 9th year in charge, only 12 of his draftees have debuted for the Dodgers! The lack of development with a large payroll & high expectations puts pressure to “Win Now” – and overpay for veterans. Every World Series champ, arguably, since 2008 has been built on homegrown talent.

Moving forward, there are a couple options for Colletti: acquiring proven talent to fit around his superstars better, or draft better so to not be stuck with overpriced veterans.

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About Daniel Stern

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  • drewryce

    Isn’t some of this a push-pull?
    i.e. “drafted outfielders don’t start” is caused by “outfielders acquired via free agency or trade”. I’m pretty sure that Van Slyke and/or Pederson would be starting except that the Dodgers have a mountain of money invested in Crawford and Ethier (both acquired by trade). Crawford at least was an unwanted throw in for the player (Gonzalez) the Dodgers needed.
    Similarly, Nathan Eovoldi would be a starter in the rotation this year (he compares very favorably to Maholm and even Heron) except he was traded to Miami for Hanley).
    I’m not knocking the trades, per se, just pointing out that some of your catagories are cause and effect. Trades and free agency pick ups by definition lose high draft picks and then clog up the promotion ladder.

    • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

      Every move a GM makes is a causal factor, correct? The point of this is not to judge his moves, rather point out that after nearly a decade is a trend in his decision-making. Saying Pederson “would be starting” is different than “is starting”; likewise VanSlyke is not intended to start on this team. If anything, Colletti’s history indicates he will trade Pederson which would continue the cause-effect of not never having a drafted OF being a regular.

      • drewryce

        Yes, I understand now and see what you are doing. I have to agree with you about the recent trend toward free agent over draft. All the more clear in contrast to previous administrations that only dabbled in the free agent market.
        Yours was an interesting analysis. Please keep up the good work.

        • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

          Thanks Drew. Wrapping up Sabean & Wren, would appreciate your thoughts when they come out!

  • rcw

    What no mention of all the crap hirings of ex giants that Colletti has made that were a disaster for the Dodgers and boon dogles for the ex giants players. All in all Colletti has sucked as GM for the Dodgers and I can’t wait until he gets fired.

    • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

      Haha, Schmidt was particularly bad. Eugenio Velez particularly bad. Kent was decent & Uribe has been ok the past two years. Any others worth mentioning?

  • Nick

    I tried to post earlier…anyhow more concise.

    clumsy stats in here. How much thinking required to point out big $ for relievers is bad.

    what do you consider Andy van Slyke? Not an outfielder the dodgers drafter and debut? Wasn’t Joc on opening day roster this year? What are your statements based on?

    more interesting would be war of the gm. Not pretty charts of a bunch of nothing.

    • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

      Thanks for the comment, I love breaking down GMs. This is about his transactions and how he accumulates major league talent. Pederson is a huge prospect but that is all, a prospect which by definition when dissecting talent is an asset that is not contributing at the major league level, nor an asset Colletti has relied upon at the major league level. Van Slyke was regarded as a backup to begin the season & will most likely move back to the bench once everyone is healthy, so no he is not a regular …. WAR is great as a generic stat for individual contribution but does nothing to prove/disprove how teams are built or why decisions are made. Scott Van Slyke could end up with a 2 WAR but what does that prove about how Colletti has built teams after 8 years?

      This focuses on profiling GMs to understand the moves they make every offseason and what to expect at the trade deadline.

      • Nick

        I understand you looking at the team assembled now, however you really need to look at him as 2 different gms.

        if the team was still under ownership of mccourts we would be watching a pitching rotation with ruby de la Rosa and evaldi. An outfield with puig, kemp and Pederson. Infield of god knows what…

        however the resources provided by new ownership allowed him to sell future assets for current ones. Hence, his goal has changed mid-tenure- the assets developed when he began compiling when he was gm were no longer needed.

        what would be interesting is to look at costs v reality. What did victarino actually cost, league, the blockbuster…all these things would take a lot more insight than looking at current roster of mercenaries. But just one annoying guys opinion here

        • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

          Haa not “annoying”at all, I’m always down for intelligent discourse that doesn’t resort to name calling. I appreciate you taking the time to discuss.

          The money allocation & moves follow him from 2007-2014, well before new ownership. Have some moves been a money grab, such as taking on Josh Beckett? Definitely. But there is more history of him PRIOR under Frank McCourt than during the Guggenheim ownership group.

          It would be interesting to hypothesize “what if McCourt still owned”. Do you think Eovaldi would be in the rotation & Pederson would be starting today? His history says otherwise c/c Pederson

          • Nick

            I’d say the mcourt tenure saw him spend “high ceiling” prospects for mediocre veteren help during playoff runs.
            I didn’t see a continuation of the playoff runs as feasible. As it was we were heavily reliant on below average vets and underwhelming pitching prospects. The well had run dry using the McCourt equation, limited funds = Stephen fife and no greinke, no puig but we would have Pederson,dee at Ss, no either, no gonzo…so pick your favorite ex giants to fill those roles (Huff and Torres need work).

            just an alternate universe fortunately. I’m not the biggest fan of coletti for where he has put funds towards in the past (namely Jones and Pierre, uribe wasn’t wise either but I’ll give a pass), but you have to figure this guy had to have been walking a tight rope financially from day 1 and became overly reliant on using the farm (which was weak when he started) as a credit source each season.

            all in all, I’m pretty such a movement towards cultivating more players is occurring. Once an outfielder is traded (not sure who or how) Pederson will Wally pip one of the remaining guys. Then a year or two away from young seager or arrencibia taking over left side of infield. The handling of Hanleys contract will illustrate what dodgers future plans are, do we over commit to an aging star or allow opportunity for our home groomed prospects. Should be interesting.

          • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

            Definitely, I bet Colletti (or ownership overriding him) will spend major $$$ to retain Hanley. New ownership reminds me of Steinbrenner in the 70s – all about “names” instead of on-field cohesion. Hanley wants to be paid like an elite SS but clearly his defense is awful. Will they pay him like an elite 3B?

            Historically, 1/3 of prospects reach the hype. For every Mike Trout who is playing beyond the hype, there are way more Jason Heyward’s, Tyler Skaggs’, Jay Bruce’s. Until they play everyday, Pederson & Arcen & Seager are just prospects. 8 yrs under any owner, a better farm would prevent the overpays (Zach Lee draft bonus was ok’d under McCourt, so we can’t just blame this all on McCourt being cheap). Dodgers have always been Win NOW but his lack of development is noticeable. It’s a pattern of ineptitude especially when you see other WIN NOW teams such as the Cardinals, Red Sox, Giants, Braves not have *too many* awful contracts because they have someone coming up the pike.

          • Barry Diamond

            I think you must also look at why the Dodgers went to a “Win Now” mode. When McCourt had them they went downhill and people STOPPED coming to the ballpark. The new ownership HAD to go to win now to bring back the crowd (no matter how late they arrived). They had to start putting butt’s in the seats so why not go into win now mode to get the people back.

          • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

            Yeah, it always starts at the top for any organization. Makes me wonder how long Mattingly will hold onto his job.

          • http://www.nltheory.com/ Daniel Stern

            Finishing up a profile on Sabean, would love your input next week!