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The Primaries
2003-11-10 08:46
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

My feeling is that you've got a better shot predicting a winner of the 2012 presidential election than predicting the Dodgers' key acquisition for the 2004 season.

On a quick count, there are 309 free agents that have opted onto the Do Call list and are waiting to be contacted by an operator near them about exciting offers that will change their lives. Add in the many players who will not be tendered a contract by teams that want to avoid salary arbitration. And then there is the remainder - nearly every other major leaguer and minor leaguer - that does not have a no-trade clause and is available for barter.

Oh yeah - and we can't bank on anything about the Dodger owner or general manager for 2004.

Honestly, there are so many possibilities out there, would it surprise you that much to see Mary Carey or Arianna Huffington at Vero Beach next March?

In August, I talked about the holes that the Dodgers needed to fill for 2004, and not much has changed since then. Paul Quantrill pulled an apparent Jody Reed, turning down a guaranteed $3.1 million to join the free agent flood. Adrian Beltre again tantalized with a power-heavy (but nearly walk-free) second half, perhaps reinserting himself in the plans of a Dodger team with many holes to fill and few other third basemen to choose from. Other than that, the state of the team today is like it was when it was still pretending to contend three months ago.

I've also discussed the Dodgers No. 1 need being a power-hitting left-fielder, more than the admittedly problematic areas in the infield.

Beyond that, is there really much more to talk about on November 10?

Case-in-point update: ESPN.com predicts the Dodgers will sign Miguel Tejada ... and Javy Lopez. With the Dodgers already sporting Paul Lo Duca and David Ross behind the plate, if they end up signing Lopez - even assuming that Lo Duca or Ross must have been traded to create an opening - it will have been because the team threw a dart that landed on Lopez' name.

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