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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
Pitcher

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.

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