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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.