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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Coming off the books

These are the players and their salaries who are in their contract years (last year in their contract):

Player Salary($)
Rafael Furcal 13,730,196
Jeff Kent 9,814,117
Derek Lowe 9,500,000
Nomar Garciaparra 8,516,697
Brad Penny* 8,000,000
Esteban Loaiza 7,500,000
Gary Bennett 850,000

*Brad Penny has a club option at $8.5 million for 2009 that the Dodgers will definitely pick up.

The only person noteworthy enough for the Dodgers to resign is Furcal. Assuming that the Dodgers do resign him, the Dodgers will still free up over $36.5 million in their payroll. That is definitely enough money to sign another impact player. With Jones in his contract year + another impact player and the rest of the young Dodgers club, the Dodgers should have a legitimate shot at winning the world series in 2009.

I think there is going to be alot of debate over whether the Dodgers should resign Derek Lowe or not. Personally, I do not think they need to. First, Lowe is old, I believe he's going to be 35 by the end of his contract. Usually, pitchers do not get older when they get older (with exception of Clemens but he allegedly took a whole crapload of steriods). Secondly, his agent is Scott Boras who will definitely want a team to overpay for him. I don't think the Dodgers need to overpay in years and money to resign Lowe. Thirdly, we have three pitchers who should be ready for the majors by 2009: Kershaw, Elbert and MacDonald. Kershaw and Elbert (assuming he comes back from surgery in good condition) both have potential to be aces while MacDonald could be a very good #3 pitcher.

Once again, the future looks bright. extremely bright

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dodgers Salaries

With the lineup and rotation pretty much set, I don't expect the Dodgers to do much more during the off season except a couple more spring training invitees. So here's the salary for the Dodger players in 2008 taken from ESPN.

1. Jason Schmidt15,703,946
2. Andruw Jones14,000,000
3. Rafael Furcal13,730,196
4. Jeff Kent9,814,117
5. Derek Lowe9,500,000
6. Nomar Garciaparra8,516,697
7. Brad Penny8,000,000
8. Esteban Loaiza7,500,000
9. Juan Pierre7,500,000
10. Takashi Saito1,000,000
11. Joe Beimel912,500
12. Gary Bennett850,000
13. Scott Proctor445,923
14. Yhency Brazoban395,000
15. Jason Repko395,000
16. Jonathan Broxton390,000
17. Russell Martin387,500
18. Andre Ethier387,500
19. Chad Billingsley384,500
20. Hong-Chih Kuo384,000
21. Matt Kemp383,000
22. Wilson Valdez381,000
Total Team Salary: 108,704,524

The Dodgers rank 6th in salary behind Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, White Sox and Angels. Taking a look at this figure, I simply have to smile about the future of the Dodgers. Obviously, the Dodgers overpaid for a lot of veterans who are past their prime, yet the future looks extremely bright. As the salaries of the veterans on top come off the books, the Dodgers will have plenty of money to improve the club through free agent signings. Furthermore, since the Dodgers farm system is so stacked with talent, we won't need to worry about not having money to lock out our young players because there will always be cheap talent coming through the farm. Through it all, all the bad signings have been negated, at least in terms of effect on the payroll, by the efficiencies of the Dodgers farm system. The future looks bright.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dodgers get Kuroda

Sorry this is one day late but I was in palm springs when this happened and had no access to a computer but the Dodgers signed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a 3 year $35.3 million deal. This is a great move by the Dodgers and completes the Dodgers goal of signing a middle of the order bat and gaining pitching depth. Overall I think this is a great move and read my assessment of Kuroda in my previous post.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hiroki Kuroda leaning toward the Dodgers

Tony Jackson reports that Kuroda is leaning towards coming to pitch for LA and the decision could come very soon. Apparently, Kuroda might choose the Dodgers over the Mariners (the other contender for him) simply because of his close relationship with All Start closer Takashi Saito. The Dodgers' offer is believed to be around 3 years for $30 million a year. Personally, I have mixed feelings toward this deal. He had a great deal last year in Japan with a 13-6 record and a 1.85 era but that is in Japan. The Japanese baseball league is judged relatively in terms of talent to be somewhere in between the Majors and AAA.

From the things I have read on Kuroda, he essentially has three decent pitches but his strike out per 9 innings rate cause an alarm. In his career he only averages a k/9 ratio of a little over 6;if he can't fool the Japanese hitters, I don't think he can fool the American hitters. Of course there are exceptions to this rule especially in Saito but it's highly unlikely that the Dodgers can get two Saito type players who are better in the US than in Japan. Furthermore, his career era of 3.69 is simply not impressive. At best, I see Kuroda as a 3rd or 4th pitcher in a rotation in the majors and at worse I see him as a Kaz Ishii type pitcher who starts off great and ends up horrible. Furthermore he is 33 years old so he is past his prime and should be in decline in the next few years. With this assessment there is definitely a decent amount of risk in signing Kuroda especially to a three year deal. Yet, there is a risk to every deal a GM has to make.

With all the negatives said, I feel that this deal does have many positives in it. First of all, he's simply the best pitcher on the market right now. Although he doesn't have a proven track record in the majors, the fact that he has the ability to be a decent to above average pitcher already makes him stand out in this thin market for players. The only other player who is still on the market with a lot of potential is Colon but the injury risk with him is simply too high (I still think that the Dodgers should have signed Wolf especially since he has my first name :D). Secondly, the fact that he's not a power pitcher should help him as he ages especially since pitchers tend to pitch slower with age. All the scouting reports of him reports that he has great command and command simply does not go away with age or with the country your pitching in. Thirdly, he's a fierce competitor and I bet that he is currently preparing himself physically and mentally for facing tougher opposition. I mean, which competitor wants to reach the end of his career knowing that he wasn't good enough to compete with the best. I know that I wouldn't want to know that. Lastly, the Dodgers have a relatively successful track record with asian players: Nomo, Park, Saito and even Kuo who provided some key victories. I have complete faith in the Dodgers scouts in the Asian market.

To conclude, I feel that this is the best move that the Dodgers could make in this market without giving up any of their young talent. Furthermore, if they could add Kuroda, then I wouldn't have to worry everyday about Colletti trading the future for another pitcher. In addition, Kuroda definitely solidifies a Dodger rotation of Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Schmidt, and Loaiza. His Presence would solidify the rotation and increase the Dodgers chances of winning the National League West.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dodgers Sign Jones

The Dodgers sign Jones for 2 years $36.2 million. I like the deal. Read more of my assessment of Jones in my previous post.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jones to the Dodgers? Possibility getting higher

Apparently, the Andruw Jones to the Dodgers idea has been warming recently though nothing is expected by the end of the Winter Meetings. As late as yesterday, Colletti has said that the asking price for the top tier center fielders Jones and Rowand are too high yet there apparently has been a change of heart. Whether that's because of the Dodgers warming up to the idea of giving Jones 3 years or simply because Jones finally realizing he is not going to get what he is demanding, I don't know. But I'm going to assess the situation of this possible deal.

Personally, I like the idea of adding Andruw Jones for 3 years probably around $55 million simply because he provides the big bat that the Dodgers need in the middle of their lineup. Additionally, the fact that he is the best remaining free agent allows the Dodgers to fill a hole without mortgaging the future like what the Dodgers would have had to do if it traded for Cabrera or attempt to trade for Santana, Bedard, or Haren. This allows the Dodgers to have a potential lineup next year of:

Furcal SS
Pierre LF
Loney 1B
Jones CF
Kent RF
Kemp 2B
Martin C
LaRoach/Garciaparra 3B

This lineup would greatly improve last year's lineup simply because of the maturation of the young players, the health of Furcal and the addition of a power hitter. The only person who I can see produce less than last year is Kent and we can always move Kemp into the 5th spot if he continues to develop at the pace that he is developing. Furthermore, the addition of a 10 time gold glove Center Fielder would greatly improve the outfield defense of the Dodgers. Pierre would not have a reason not to move to left field because he would just be stepping aside for the future hall of fame center fielder. Furthermore, opposing teams cannot simply run on the Dodgers outfield every time they hit something into the outfield because both Jones and Kemp have great arms. So in general, the addition of Jones would greatly improve the Dodgers team.

Yet, it does creates the problem of where is the Dodgers going to do with Ethier. Personally I like Ethier alot because I feel he provides consistency and has the potential to be a cheap man version of Luis Gonzales in his prime. I think that Ethier has the ability to hit 20 homeruns with 40 doubles in a season and I simply can't see the Dodgers using him off the bench. If the Dodgers actually do sign Jones, I wouldn't be surprised to see Colletti move Ethier for either a minor league prospect or pitching (as he always say, you can never have enough pitching). In final assessment, the addition of Jones would probably help the Dodgers win 5-7 more games with his offense and his defense. If he can return to his previous form and shake off his off year (the LA times article states that he played with a hyper extended elbow), then the amount the Dodgers paid him might even look like a bargain. Additionally, if Jones could return to form, then the Dodgers would have added a bona fide power hitter without giving up any of its farm system. This is getting more and more rare in today's market simply because teams lock up any superstar talent to long term deals. In conclusion, I like the idea of this deal and feel that Ned should definitely pull it off.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blockbuster Trade! Tigers get Cabrera and Willis

The Detroit Tigers has acquired Cabrera and Willis in a 8 player blockbuster deal with the Florida Marlins. The Marlins will receive Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, Eulogio de la Cruz, and Dallas Trahern. The Tigers obviously gave up a lot in this trade especially in Maybin and Miller who both have potential to be all stars. Additionally, de la Cruz was reported to hit 100 mph on the radar gun and Rabelo played in 51 games in the majors last year. In total, the Tigers trade 4 out of their top 10 prospects according to the preliminary rankings at Baseball America. Although they gave up alot, the Tigers obviously got a lot in return in Cabrera and Willis.

With Cabrera, the Tigers now have a lineup that can potentially match up to the firepower filled lineup of the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Tigers has a murderers row of Sheffield, Ordonez and Cabrera. Each one of these guys would be batting cleanup on any other club. Furthermore, this frees up Brandon Inge for a super utility guy status or a trade bait. With the addition of Willis, the Tigers now have one of the best rotations in all of baseball with a delicate mix of 3 left handers and 2 right handers. The three left handers are Willis, Rogers and Nate Robertson while the right handers are Verlander and Bonderman. Willis, Verlander and Bonderman all have cy young potential while Robertson and Rogers will make great number 4 and 5 starters in the Tigers rotation. The best part of this trade is that both Cabrera and Willis don't hit free agency until the end of the 2009 season which makes them extremely affordable for the next two years. Generally, I feel the Tigers won this trade because it made them an instant World Series contender.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wolf and Santana! Needs and Mistakes!

Randy Wolf reached a one year deal with the Padres this weekend. This deal is believed to be a heavily incentive based deal. Wolf also received interest from the Phillies and Astros with the Phillies being Wolf's biggest suitor. Yet, Wolf opted to stay on the West Coast to stay with his family. What I don't understand is why the Dodgers did not try to sign Randy Wolf. Granted that the Dodgers signed him last year and he ended up injured, but Wolf could be the biggest bargain of the off season. As every Dodger fan saw last year, when Wolf is healthy, he has lights out stuff. He definitely still has a above average curve-ball and a good fast ball. Furthermore, Wolf posted a 8.24 k/9 ratio last year. That fact shows that he is still fooling batters and is able to get out of jams. The fact that Wolf opted to stay close to his family shows the relative willingness for him to resign with the Dodgers as his family lives in Los Angeles. This is one gamble that I would have liked to see Ned take and I'm rather disappointed that Ned did even try to resign Wolf. The fact of the matter is that our current rotation consists of Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Schmidt, and Loaiza with both Schmidt and Loaiza coming off a season filled with injures. Essentially, the Dodgers only have three reliable starters going into next year with temporary stop gaps in Houlton, Erickson and Kuo. Honestly, I really don't see the risk in signing Wolf. LA is not a small market city so the Dodgers can definitely afford to take a gamble. In addition, if Wolf remains healthy, then he would become a great bargain. For these reasons, I feel the Dodgers definitely missed out on an opportunity to upgrade their team.

In regards to the Santana situation, it looks like the Yankees and Red Sox are having a bidding war. Now that the Red Sox are willing to part with center field prodigy Ellsbury, I find the situation to be extremely interesting. Now, the Twins get to choose a deal between a center piece of Ellsbury or Hughes. Personally, I see the Twins to take Ellsbury over Hughes because the Twins are loaded with pitching prospects but they need hitters in their lineup, especially with the departure of Hunter. Yet, the rest of the package between the two clubs falls in the Yankees favor. By including Hughes and Melky Cabrera, the Yankees are putting out two bona fide blue chip prospects out there. Furthermore, the Twins can control both of them for cheaper and longer than a combo of Ellsbury and Coco Crisp. I have no doubt that both Ellsbury and Hughes are going to be superstars in this league as long as they stay healthy, yet if the twins opt for Ellsbury, the situation might get interesting.

If the Twins inform the Yankees that they have a X amount of time to up their offer to prevent the Twins agreeing to the Red Sox offer, then I feel that the Twins can get a significantly better 3rd prospect from the Yankees. Personally, I feel that the Yankees have to do anything they can to beat the Red Sox in the deal for Santana. Imagine the Red Sox having a rotation of: Santana, Beckett, Schilling, Dice-K, Buchholz and Lester as the 6th man in case of an injury. In that rotation there's 2 out of the top 5 pitchers in the League right now in Santana and Beckett, with another former Cy-Young winner, one World Baseball Classic MVP and one 23 year old stud who recently pitched a no hitter. That's five potential number one pitchers right there. Furthermore, the Red Sox will continue to have strong rotations in the future with Santana, beckett, Dice-K, Buchholz and Lester. Personally, I don't see the Yankees ever matching up to that rotation.

If the Yankees do not get Santana, they will have to rely on a rotation of Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy and Pettite (assuming that he comes back). In that rotation, your relying on three youngsters who have not pitched a whole season. Wang is an above average starter yet he does not have ace stuff. His win total is largely due to the largest run support margin. Furthermore, his strike out to walk ratio is extremely low and that shows that he's been getting awfully lucky with where the balls are hit. In fact, I expect him to hit a reality check and win less than 15 games next year. I feel that the Yankees need to get Santana especially if they want to do anything in the post season. Even with Pettite, the Yankees will have no one who they can rely on in a game 7 situation. For these reasons, the Yankees need Santana and should do whatever it takes to get him.

Don't be surprised to see the Yankees up the package because they will need to if they expect to be competitive in the playoffs next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Interested in Kuroda?

LA Times is reporting that the Dodgers have an interest in Japanese Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. To be honest, I don't know too much about him or the Japanese baseball leagues but I do know that he's probably a better option than anyone else in the US free agent market right now. Furthermore, he had a career year last year posting a 13-6 record with a 1.85 ERA. Personally, I would much rather see him in the #5 spot in the Dodgers rotation and have Loaiza be an emergency backup. If the Dodgers can lure him to sign with them (of course with the help of All-Star closer Saito) then I think it will be a good move.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Is the price right for Santana?

Wanting Santana in blue? Well that could be had this off season with a package similar to the one needed for Cabrera and probably a 7 year $140 million+ contract! With that said, I want to analyze the pros and cons of the Dodgers acquiring Santana.

The Pros:
-It's obvious that Santana is the BEST pitcher in baseball. Even in a off year last year, he was tops in the league in every single pitching category. Santana would bolster the rotation of any team
-He's extremely durable. In the past 4 years, he's averaging 33.5 games a year and 228 innings per year.
-With Santana, the Dodgers will have an amazing rotation of Santana, Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Schmidt. If Schmidt can post up an era of around 4.2 after his surgery, then the Dodgers could have one of the best rotations in the Majors, with at least 3 aces in Santana, Penny and Lowe
-A pitcher of his caliber probably would not become available in the free agent of trade department for a long time
-He's only 28; he still has many prime years left as a pitcher
-Considering what the Giants payed Zito, signing Santana at $20 million per seems like a bargain

The Cons:
-He would cost at least two of the following-Kemp, LaRoach, Kershaw, Loney and LaRoach- and a few of these lesser upside prospects: Ethier, Hu, Abreu, MacDonald. The cost of prospects in huge and could leave the Dodgers holes in positions that would have to be fixed through the free agent market later on.
-He is seeking at least a contract in the $140 million range. That amount of money spent on one player takes up a significant part of a team's payroll (even though I do believe that Santana is worth the money)
-He's a pitcher and there is a relatively negative track record for pitchers who received large contracts (Darren Dreifort, Kevin Brown, Mike Hampton, Chan Ho Park etc)
-If a receives one single arm injury, it could have a significant negative impact on the rest of his career.

Personally, I see adding Santana as a HUGE addition to the Dodgers, yet I do not think they should do it. Instead I think the Dodgers should simply stick with the kids. Kershaw, if he stays healthy, has the potential to be like Santana. Furthermore, if Elbert can rebound from his surgery, then the Dodgers future with pitchers looks great with these two lefties. If those two can progress and possibility be in the rotation by 2009, then the Dodgers have no need to look and pay for pitching through external sources. Furthermore, I am extremely skeptical of the notion of signing pitchers to long contracts. The risk factor involved is simply too great especially with the Dodgers (all the long contracts they gave out in recent years have been complete debacles)

If the Dodgers feel like the need to make a move, then I feel that they should attempt to trade for Erik Bedard, Scott Kazmir and Miguel Cabrera. All three have service time avabilable before they hit free agency but they would cost an arm and a leg in prospects. Ultimately, I feel that the Dodgers best bet is to stick with the youth movement. I feel that the club will be significantly improved just with the kids!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Angels sign Hunter

Angels signed Torri Hunter to a 5 year $90 million deal. This could mean that they are out of the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes since they have someone to protect Vlad. If that's the case the that is certainly good news for the Dodgers because that means the price for Cabrera should come down。 But the bad part about the deal for the Dodgers is that it certainly increase the price tags on Rowand and Jones if the Dodgers choose to pursue either one.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Erik Bedard?

According the Yahoo news, the Dodgers are discussing a trade with the Orioles in regard to Erik Bedard. The Dodgers will be offering a trade package centered around Matt Kemp. Of course, Kemp would not be the only player sent to the Orioles if they trade goes through but if the price is right I feel that this would be a great trade for the Dodgers. With any trade for a top end talent, the Dodgers will have to give up some great prospects but I feet that Bedard would be worth the price if the Dodgers do not need to give away too many of their top end prospects. Bedard is one of the up and rising pitchers in the major leagues. Last year, he posted 221 strike outs in 182 innings despite pitching in only 28 games. This fact gives him a 10.93 k/9 ratio which is exceptional for any pitcher. He also limited opposing batters to a .212 average while posting an ERA of 3.17. These numbers show that Bedard definitely have cy young potential written all over him. Furthermore, he has two more years until he hits free agency, which means that the Dodgers would be able to afford him for a cheap price. Assuming that the Dodgers do not resign Derek Lowe when he hit free agency at the end of next year because of age and the price, the Dodgers will need another front end pitcher to replace him in the rotation.

Furthermore, the price for Bedard is bound to be less than the price for Cabrera. If the Dodgers can get him by without giving up Loney, Martin, Kershaw, Billingsley or Broxton then I say the Dodgers should definitely do the trade. By trading Kemp, the Dodgers will open up a position in the outfield which will solve the problem of a log jam if they sign any one of the three gold glove center fielders on the market this year ( Torri Hunter, Aaron Rowand, Andruw Jones). Personally I would prefer the Dodgers sign Torri Hunter who could probably be had with a 5 year $75-$80 million contract. Hunter not only brings his bat but also brings his experience and leadership. That's exactly what the Dodgers need right now in their young club house. With Torre guiding the club through his coaching and Hunter leading the club through his actions, the young players who were described as "arrogant" will definitely be humbled. Eith these moves, I feel that the Dodgers could significantly improve the club without mortgaging too much of the future. With Kershaw and Elbert (if he recovers well from surgery) coming up in the minors, the Dodgers future looks great.

If the Dodgers make those moves, then they will have a lineup of:

Furcal SS
Pierre LF
Martin C
Hunter CF
Kent 2B
Loney 1B
Ethier RF
LaRoach/Garciaparra 3B

Wiht the rotation of: Penny, Lowe, Bedard, Billinsley and Loaiza/ Schmidt

This could potentially solve all of the problems the Dodgers had in the past year. With Hunter the Dodgers have a legitimate 30 home run threat in their lineup batting cleanup. Furthermore, with the maturation of Loney, who I believe can hit 25 home runs next year, and Martin and Ethier, who I believe can hit 20 home runs each, the Dodgers will not longer be a team that have to depend upon constant prayer to get a long ball. With the addition of Bedard, the Dodgers have a great front 4 in their rotation. If Schmidt can come back in decent condition, he will be able to win a lot of games in the number 5 slot in the rotation. With Chan Ho Park, Loaiza and Kuo, the Dodgers have a decent amount of depth especially since Kershaw and McDonald are coming up the minors fast. Personally, I think the Dodgers could be serious contenders in the National League with or without this trade but with this trade, they become one of the top contenders for the World Series.

All's Quiet in Dodgerland

There hasn't been any major news in Dodger land in the past few days but I do expect things to pick up which we get closer to the Winter Meetings. If you guys have some time on your hands, then watch this Amazing Blockbuster Deal by the Dodgers! I think you will get a good laugh out of it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Pierre, now Rowand

Apparently, Ned Colletti has a fettish for overpaying for center fielders. Dodgers and Rowand have expressed mutual interest with Rowand seeking a long term $15 million a year deal with a complete no trade clause. On one hand getting Rowand would improve the Dodgers both defensively and offensively as Rowand is a gold glove center fielder and hit more home runs last year than any Dodger player. His veteran leadership and good character will also help out the often described as "quiet" Dodger club house. But on the other hand, getting Rowand but create more problems with the Dodgers logjamed outfield and would be a waste of money.

The Dodgers already have three major league outfielders in Ethier, Kemp and Pierre. Jason Repko is rehabbing from his injury suffered last year and there is also Young in the minors. With five available outfielders on the club, why would the Dodgers want to overpay for another outfielder who is just getting the benefit of the market. Personally, I think if Colletti just let the outfield crew of Ethier, Pierre and Kemp play for one full season together, then the Dodgers would be getting a lot more production from the outfield than last year. Furthermore, I see Ethier as a solid contact hitter with 20 homerun potential throughout the course of a whole season with consistent play. With Ethier, Kemp and Loney, the Dodgers should be getting more power just from their cost efficient young kids. There no point to overpay for a power bat if the kids are going to provide that. If the Dodgers are so worried about the center field defense, then they should just move Pierre to right and Kemp to center. This way the Dodgers can save money up to sign Johan Santana when he becomes a free agent.

Goodbye Boras

Kenny Roger just fired Scott Boras as his agent. This coming after the whole A-Rod debacle for Boras might just bring down his facade of invincibility. Sure, Boras still has many high ranked agents but this is one of the first times in recent history (aside from the Andruw Jones incident) that a player actually stood up to Boras (twice in a week actually). With this, I think it is a big plus to GMs who often get outmaneuvered by Boras by paying ridiculous contracts to players who do not deserve it. Just look at Zito, he's going to be rich man but he's not going to win a ring with the Giants. I feel that this whole situation is a plus especially if the Dodgers wants to go after Andruw Jones who just happens to be represented by Boras. The weakness exposed in Boras's image should be used to the Dodger's advantage.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let the Bidding for Lowell and Cabrera Begin

A-Rod Has agreed to a 10 year $275 million deal according to various media outlets. The fact that the best free agent and best third baseman has signed a deal greatly increases the bargaining position for the Mike Lowell and Florida Marlins in terms of their desire to trade Miguel Cabrera.

Mike Lowell had a career year last year with the Red Sox posting career highs in hits, batting average, RBI, and OBP. Hitting 21 home runs, Lowell is clearly the best free agent third baseman out there now that A-Rod is gone. Personally, I do not feel that he is not going to be worth the money that he will get. He's already 34 years old and not he's going to be demanding a 4-5 year deal with at least $12 million a year. Furthermore, there is a rumor out there that the Yankees have a deal out to Lowell for 4 years, $55-$60 million. With the Red Sox already having a deal on the table to him as well, it seems that Lowell will be staying on the East Coast unless a West Coast Team who needs a Third Baseball, like the Dodgers and Angels, decides to grossly overpay for him. With the current situation, I feel that the Dodgers will not get into the bidding war for him even though that only leaves one option in Cabrera if the Dodgers want to improve in the third base position.

With the situation for third basemen go, it seems like any team that tries to trade for Cabrera has a give up the holy grail of prospects. I no longer think the Marlins will accept the package I proposed in the last post for Cabrera and Uggla. Presently, I think the best course the Dodgers could do is to stay put and wait for the prospects. I would actually be kind of shocked to see the Dodgers now trading for Miguel Cabrera. Unless, Colletti can somehow magically pull off a trade with in which the Dodgers get Cabrera and Uggle with the package in the previous post, then I don't want to trade for him. I think the angels will land Cabrera and that might propel them into a legitimate World Series Contender with him and Vlad back to back in the batting order. Next year, I see the Dodgers platooning Andy LaRoach and Nomar at 3rd and I think that will lay the way for LaRoach to take over 3rd base full time for the 2009 season. Even if the Dodgers do nothing more this off season, the club is still improved with the addition of Torre and his staff and the maturation of the Rookies on the team. Personally, I would like to see how Loney and kemp comes back next year and perform with the way they finished their seasons.

One trade scenario I would like the Dodgers to explore is a trade for Kazmir. The Devil Rays did declare that theywill listen to offers for Kazmir. How closely, I don't know but I think if the Dodgers can get him with a package centered including Kershaw, Hu, and Kemp (which i think is highly unlikely), then they should definitely do it. You could argue that Kershaw has so much more potential upside than Kazmir but Kazmir is a prove ace. Between now and the day Kershaw makes him Dodgers debut, he could just blow out his elbow and require surgery (knock on wood), as in the case of Greg Miller. With Kazmir anchoring the rotation, the Dodgers will boast a rotation of Kazmir, Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Schmidtz/Loaiza. If Schmidtz can recover to be at least a decent number 4 form then the Dodgers will definitely have the best pitching staff in the National League if not all of baseball. Kazmir is also under contract for three more years which makes him worth so much more than a one year rental. Furthermore, by trading Kemp, the Dodgers can add a power hitting center fielder without creating a logjam in the outfield. If they can sign either Hunter or Jones, then the Dodgers would solve their power problem in the lineup. With Hunter, they will also solve their veteran leadership problem.

As I said earlier, I do not expect a Kazmir trade to go through but if it does happen without the Dodgers only needing to give up one out of the Loney/Billingsley/ Martin/ Kemp group, then I would definitely jump on that trade. Aside from that happening, currently I do not think the Dodgers need to do much in this off season except to re-sign Wolf back on a one year incentive based deal. Like a famous saying, doing less is more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Miguel Cabrera Situation

Presently, it looks like the Yankees will have the inside edge on the whole AROD signing situation. The Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes will begin to heat up. Honestly, I feel that signing Miguel Cabrera will have a much higher upside than signing Alex Rodriguez. First of all, AROD is demanding $30 million a year. No matter how big of a market Los Angeles is, the Dodgers does not have an unlimited payroll. Paying $30 million to one player greatly decreases the amount of money the dodgers can invest in other players. Secondly, AROD is 32 years old right now and if he wants a 10 year contract, then he will be 42 at the end of the contract. Even though he keeps himself in top shape, I do expect him to decline in numbers once he hits the 37-38 age range. No doubt that he'll still be a good player, but he will not be a player who is worth $30 million a year. Furthermore, in a ten year span, there is a high possibility of AROD getting hurt. If a major injury occurs, then the Dodgers will have another Darren Dreiford situation except wiht a player getting paid $30 million. Personally I don't want to see that happen.

Miguel Cabrera on the other hand has a huge upside to him. Aside from the weight problems (which I believe will get resolved especially with Joe Torre as the manager), Cabrera still has a lot of potential inside him. I think he will continue to improve especially at the plate. A talent like him very rarely comes around especially since he still have 2 more years until he hits free agency. I think if the Dodgers can get him and Uggla, whom Florida said they're willing to throw it the deal, with a package of Ethier, Kershaw, LaRoach and Loney then they should definitely do it. With the money saved from not signing AROD, the Dodgers should go after Torri Hunter and sign him. Along with his bat and defense comes the clubhouse leadership and other intangibles that could only help the clubhouse tension that devastated the team last year. Furthermore, this allows the Dodgers to move Pierre over to right field and have the former gold glove winner Hunter play center field. The defense in the outfield would definitely improve. Assuming that Kent returns, the Dodgers could now move him over to 1st base which eliminates his horrible range from second base.

Now the Dodgers would have a potential lineup of

SS- Furcal
RF- Pierre
C- Martin
3B- Cabrera
CF- Hunter
1B- Kent
2B- Uggla
LF- Kemp

That lineup along with a rotation of Penny, Lowe, Billingsley, Schmidt, and Loaiza, the Dodgers become a world series contender next year.

The start of another Dodger blog

Hello everyone,

This is the launch of this blog about the Los Angeles Dodgers. Everything posted in here will be my opinions and I appreciate all feedback for your thoughts on my opinions because i know everyone has different opinions. Please do not bash and be respectful but remember that these are only opinions of mine.