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In the Pause
2005-01-05 09:40
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Though the East Valley Tribune reports a snag in the negotiations between Shawn Green and Arizona, perhaps once again unlocking this locked deal, my hunch is that Green will go through that door.

On the other hand, this news, combined with the reports that Odalis Perez's return to the Dodgers is contingent on the savings from Green's departure, does raise some questions.

If Perez's return is dependent on Green's leaving, and Green stays, is there any hope for the Dodger rotation beyond a couple of miracle seasons from organizational soldiers or prospects? Is there a $950,000 pitcher like Jose Lima 2004 out there?

Maybe not.

If Green stays, the Dodgers retain a player who is certainly not worth $16 million, but who would certainly strengthen their lineup. He would once again give them considerable depth at the outfield/first-base positions, allowing Jim Tracy to mix in - as well as rest - Green, Jayson Werth, Milton Bradley, J.D. Drew and Hee Seop Choi, while a trade from the surplus remains a possibility. Can that compensate for the apparent pitching shortfall?

Maybe?

One thing I'd like to say about those who criticize Paul DePodesta for not having a plan is that the current situation illustrates that nothing ever goes according to plan, no matter how perfectly designed it is. You simply can't control everything. This does not excuse DePodesta from any poor decisions, should his decisions turn out that way. But the constant chanting of the plan mantra is way beside the point. Plan is the wrong word. A more appropriate concept would be "philosophy," and there is no doubting DePodesta has that.

In any case, there are benefits to Green staying and benefits to Green leaving - some more obviously short-term and some more obviously long-term. Histrionics will not be in order, no matter how this turns out.

P.S. Read The Fourth Outfielder for some deep analysis from the past two days, including how the Dodgers are stockpiling so many highly regarded prospects that by the time the next Rule 5 draft comes along, in about 11 months, there may well be more than the Dodgers can protect - meaning either that DePodesta will be cashing in some of those chips, or that he will need to maintain most Dodgers on short-term contracts in order to have roster spots to accomodate the prospects.

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