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The Dodgers hire Roy Clark away from the Nationals

Nov 12, 2013, 4:29 PM EDT

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The Los Angeles Dodgers spend a lot of money and the accusation has been flung around that they want to just buy a World Series title. But no sense going through life with one hand tied behind your back: the Dodgers are serious about building from within too. To wit: Keith Law of ESPN is reporting that they just hired Roy Clark away from the Washington Nationals.

Clark has been a Nationals assistant GM and v.p. of player personnel for the past four years. Before that he was the Braves longtimeĀ scouting director. He joined the Braves when they were a laughingstock in the late 80s and helped build arguably the best pipeline of talent in all of baseball over the course of 20 years. When he joined the Nationals at the end of the 2009 season they were thought of as a laughingstock too. They are no longer.

It’s hard to tell from afar how much input any one person has on the player development process, but Clark has been at the scene of a couple of pretty great turnarounds, and his eye for talent is considered among the best in the game. Ā The Dodgers just hired themselves a good one.

  1. jm91rs - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    He may be good at his job, but the Nationals turned it around because they started spending money and had 2 of the most cant-miss prospects ever to come along. The Dodgers won’t be getting any #1 overall picks anytime soon.

    • indaburg - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      I don’t know. I think this makes the Dodgers very dangerous even without the benefit of an overall #1 pick (which I think is overrated). In addition to being free spenders, they have a very good scout to help them build from within? Yowza.

      Looking at his list of draftees with the Braves, he seems to have an eye for talent. Craig Kimbrel, 3rd round. Adam Wainwright, 29th overall pick in the 1st round. Brian McCann, 2nd round. Freddie Freeman, 2nd round. Yunel Escobar, 2nd round. Jeff Francoeur, 1st round, 23rd pick. Hmm. On second thought…

    • David Proctor - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      That’s the narrative, but it’s overly simplified. I’m sure he had a role in the Gio Gonzalez trade. I’m sure he had also had a role in the Wilson Ramos trade. I’m sure he saw the talent in Ian Desmond when the fans were ready to run him out of town. Harper and Strasburg were key pieces to the Nationals turnaround, nobody disputes that one bit. But when people act as if those two are the only reason the Nats are good, that’s wrong. The Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann from a D-3 school and developed him. They traded nothing for Michael Morse, who turned into a huge contributor last year and who brought back a nice haul in a trade that will pay dividends in the next year or so. The list goes on. Now not all of that is on Roy Clark, some of it happened before he arrived. But still.

      So yes, while there was luck in the Nationals turnaround, let’s not pretend that the front office doesn’t deserve some credit. They do.

  2. Panda Claus - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    This sounds like a Kasten connection.

  3. rbj1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    So he’s not going to appear on Hee Haw anymore?

    • losangelesfan - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      He was great! What’s Buck gonna do now?

      • sportsdrenched - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        Introduce Conway Twitty, that’s what he’s gonna do.

        “hello darlin'”

    • gloccamorra - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Unfortunately, no, but he might play the banjo on player introductions at Dodger Stadium.

    • raysfan1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      Aw, y’all beat me to it.

      Doom, despair and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Doom, despair and agony on me.

  4. Anoesis - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    “…they want to just buy a World Series title.”

    The Dodgers are in a position to afford high-priced talent, maybe even flush enough to sign more than they need to insure they get what they want. But to assume a team can just buy their way to a championship ignores all the things necessary that money can’t buy. Money helps, but it’s no guarantee.

    After the dark years since the O’Malleys, through Fox and McCourt, I’d rather have my team accused of buying a title rather than never being in a position to compete for one.

  5. timaug - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    NOW IF THEY CAN GET BUCK OWENS,
    THEN THEY HAVE AN ACT.

  6. cdatzker - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    We’ll see what he can bring to Dodger Staduim. The Dodgers were known for home grown talent.

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