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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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What Exactly Have the GMs Done Wrong?
2005-06-22 21:24
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Would you agree with this characterization of the acquisitions the Dodgers have made to help form their current 40-man roster (including the disabled list), along with prominent other minor leaguers?

Most of these are obvious, but a few are debatable. In any case, between Dan Evans and Paul DePodesta, the balance sheets seem solidly in their favor. Of course, the only things this list doesn't include are transactions that weren't made but should have.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts ...

Worth the Investment

  • Wilson Alvarez, signed as free agent
  • Milton Bradley, acquired for Franklin Gutierrez and Andrew Brown
  • Yhency Brazoban and Jeff Weaver (and Brandon Weeden), acquired for Kevin Brown and cash
  • Giovanni Carrara, signed as minor league free agent
  • Hee Seop Choi and Brad Penny (and Bill Murphy), acquired for Juan Encarnacion, Guillermo Mota and Paul Lo Duca
  • Elmer Dessens, acquired with cash for Jerome Milons
  • Mike Edwards, signed as free agent
  • Jason Grabowski, acquired for cash
  • D.J. Houlton, acquired for cash
  • Cesar Izturis, acquired with Paul Quantrill for Luke Prokopec and Chad Ricketts
  • Jeff Kent, signed as free agent
  • Ricky Ledee, signed as free agent
  • Antonio Perez, acquired for Jason Romano
  • Jason Phillips, acquired for Kazuhisa Ishii
  • Duaner Sanchez, claimed off waivers
  • Derek Thompson, acquired for cash
  • Kelly Wunsch, signed as free agent

    Low Risk, Low Reward

  • Paul Bako, signed as free agent
  • Oscar Robles, signed as free agent

    Maybe Not

  • Brian Myrow, acquired for Tanyon Sturtze
  • Odalis Perez (and Brian Jordan and Andrew Brown), acquired for Gary Sheffield
  • Jose Valentin, signed as free agent
  • Henri Stanley, acquired for Dave Roberts

    Can't Tell Yet

  • J.D. Drew, signed as free agent
  • Ryan Ketchner and Aaron Looper, acquired for Jolbert Cabrera
  • Derek Lowe, signed as free agent
  • Dioner Navarro, Dan Muegge, Beltran Perez and William Juarez, acquired for Shawn Green and cash
  • Cody Ross, acquired for Steve Colyer and cash
  • Jayson Werth, acquired for Jason Frasor (really tempted to put this in the win column based on 2004)

    Low Risk, Negative Consequences

  • Scott Erickson, signed as free agent (the paralysis here, keeping Erickson as a 12th pitcher, is the single most frustrating aspect of DePodesta's tenure)
  • Norihiro Nakamura, signed as free agent

    * * *

    Recent Costly Departures

    ?

    Recent Not-So-Costly Departures

  • Adrian Beltre
  • Alex Cora
  • Brian Falkenborg
  • Steve Finley
  • Jose Hernandez
  • Masao Kida
  • Jose Lima
  • Tom Martin
  • Hideo Nomo
  • Dave Ross

  • Comments (120)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-06-22 22:31:15
    1.   Jeromy
    DePodesta has done a very good job. It's clearly the injuries that are threatening the playoff run, not the GM decisions.
    2005-06-22 22:35:26
    2.   DougS
    No quarrels from me, Jon, although I wonder how much disagreement you'll get about Beltre being a not-so-costly departure. Has he started hitting yet?

    I think, though, that you could argue the point about Odalis Perez about whether or not you think that Sheffield was such an irredeemable pain the rear that any deal to get rid of him was a positive. My own opinion (which I am willing to be argued out of) is that yes, he was a pain in the rear, but he was also a pretty good hitter.

    2005-06-22 22:43:29
    3.   Jon Weisman
    2 - I actually felt Sheffield needed to be traded, and Odalis has been quite effective overall. But I think most people would find it hard to look at Sheffield's numbers and say that he wasn't worth keeping.

    I don't understand your Beltre comment. It's exactly because he hasn't been hitting that I put him as a not-so-costly departure. Of course, that could change.

    2005-06-22 22:52:42
    4.   Brian Y
    Just a correction or add on to this: Ryan Ketchner and Aaron Looper, acquired for Jolbert Cabrera

    We acquired Glenn Bott rather than Aaron Looper for some reason I can't remember but anyways, we got Bott and returned Looper to the Mariners so the trade was actually Ketchner and Looper for Jolby.

    2005-06-22 22:53:14
    5.   Brian Y
    Grr....I mean Ketchner and Bott for Jolby
    2005-06-22 22:56:44
    6.   Brian Y
    Oh and of course in the win column could be Bubba Crosby and P Scott Proctor for Robin Ventura who helped us immensely to push Beltre.

    Ventura's presence midway through 2003 was positive for the clubhouse but not on the field but he did serve as an alternative to Beltre who was dismal in 2003.

    Beltre had never been challenged and Ventura's presence as an alternative to him, seemingly pushed him to the next level (for 2004 at least).

    2005-06-22 22:59:36
    7.   Brian Y
    Also, not to make this a huge correction board but it was Jereme Milons not Jerome AND where was the Finley trade? Also, his departure hasn't hurt us at all.

    Ok, that's all for now...I Promise!

    2005-06-22 23:04:53
    8.   kngoworld
    "the only things this list doesn't include are transactions that weren't made but should have"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2005-06-22 23:04:53
    9.   dzzrtRatt
    Two players they could have obtained, and made misdirected attempts at: Randy Johnson and Vlad Guerrero. Understanding that the first deal would've opened some holes (I don't recall who the Dodgers put on the table for Unit), I think the Dodgers clearly outpace the division in '04 and '05 if those deals got done.
    2005-06-22 23:05:37
    10.   DougS
    Re: #3
    Jon, I guess I was flashing back to the off-season, and I haven't been too finely attuned to recent shifts of opinion about Beltre. I myself agree with your putting him in the 'not-so-costly' column, but I wasn't sure how many of the ill-informed might try to argue otherwise, especially since that hasn't been a stable part of the lineup this season. One fears the influence of Plaschkers, etc., even in what seems like a safe haven.
    2005-06-22 23:06:29
    11.   kngoworld
    #9 If we got Vlad, I find it hard to believe we would be able to get the Unit.
    2005-06-22 23:23:01
    12.   heato
    I think that Drew will have a good year next year and opt out of his contract, which would allow Guzman to move to right field. At least, I think that is what Depo hopes will happen.
    2005-06-22 23:25:10
    13.   Jon Weisman
    7 - see at the beginning where I say I'm only talking about current Dodgers.

    Completely agree that Guerrero should have been signed, but that was completely the fault of ownership and has nothing to do with the GMs.

    2005-06-22 23:28:32
    14.   regfairfield
    Since we are only looking at current Dodgers, it ignores Dan Evan's two most boneheaded moves, since all signs of those moves are obliterated from the team.

    Specifically, I speak of Victor Diaz, Joselo Diaz, Kole Strayhorn and cash for Jeromy Burnitz, and Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek for Todd Hundley.

    2005-06-22 23:43:23
    15.   the OZ
    I feel positive about putting Lowe in the "Good Moves" column. At least for now, compared to the other FA pitching contracts of last offseason (Milton, Wright, Pavano, Ortiz), Lowe is a big winner.

    The alternative was another replacement-level pitcher, and we got far more than that with Lowe.

    2005-06-22 23:47:01
    16.   bigcpa
    Dan Evans' list of coulda woulda shoulda deals is a doozey. He gets praised for not giving up on Beltre and not trading the future. But it's pretty clear by now that DePo could have pushed the 2002-2003 teams over the 90 win mark. Would Evans have even done the Bradley deal?
    2005-06-22 23:52:22
    17.   regfairfield
    16 - No. He refused to trade Guiterrez for Richie Sexson, I doubt Bradley is more desirable.
    2005-06-22 23:52:35
    18.   Steve
    There is no way Drew is opting out of the contract, which is a reason that option never mattered in the first place.

    Evans should have traded Mota eons ago. That he left it to DePodesta was part of why he is ex-GM Dan Evans.

    2005-06-23 01:10:35
    19.   CanuckDodger
    Evans is an ex-GM because his team was sold out from under him and the new broom swept clean, and no other reason.

    I don't fault DePodesta for trading away Mota when he did, and given the full deal that was eventually made, but there was no reason at all to trade Mota in 2003, especially without knowing what another team would have been willing to give us for him.

    Milwaukee did not want Gutierrez for Sexson. They wanted Lo Duca, Joel Hanrahan AND Gutierrez for Sexson. Considering how much use Arizona got out of Sexson in exchange for the quarter of a baseball team they traded to get him, Evans looks wise not trading for Sexson, obviously.

    By trading away Victor Diaz for Jeromy Burnitz at a time when the L.A media and idiotic fans were demanding short-sighted measures, Evans can be faulted for not telling everybody to shove it, because no trade at all was going to salvage that season, but really, I don't want to see any crocodile tears shed over the loss of Victor Diaz by the Evans detractors, since they were demanding that more and better prospects than Diaz be thrown into the wind. If Evans caved in to media and public pressure, he at least minimized the damage.

    2005-06-23 01:32:58
    20.   regfairfield
    The 2003 season was incredibly salvagable. We had, quite possibly, one of the best pitching staffs of all time, and we finished over five hundred, despite scoring less runs than the second worst team of the modern era. Had we gotten more help than Burnitz, Henderson, and Ventura, and gotten someone who would, say, hit over the Mendoza Line, then maybe we could have won a few more games. His acquisitions that midseason were Robin Ventura, Rickey Henderson, and Jeromy Burnitz, they combined for about a .210 average.

    In the 2004 off season, he could have actually repaired the worst offense in baseball. Who does he go get? Juan Encarnacion, Olmedo Saenz, and Jose Hernandez

    This is why Dan Evans never really looked bad, because he never did anything. The only big trade he made, the Sheffield trade, was forced upon him. It's pretty easy to not massively screw up your team when you don't actually do anything productive. Yes, he made some good trades, but his inability to address the weaknesses of the team is why I am glad he is gone.

    2005-06-23 02:38:12
    21.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    I actually think some of you need to cut Evans some slack. His conservative prudence with regards to giving up prospects was driven in part by the need to replenish a barren farm system. It didn't help matters that during his tenure, FOX decided to cut back on spending when we still had all this dead weight from Kevin Malone on the books.

    My only real regret with DePo is that he didn't find a way to sign Clement instead of O. Perez. He himself has admitted that like other GMs, the rapid escalation of free agent SP prices caught him off guard, and if he had anticipated that better, I think he might have been more aggressive with regards to Clement. However, no GM has everything go according to plan, so this is a forgivable offense in my view.

    WWSH

    2005-06-23 03:22:43
    22.   CanuckDodger
    Salvageable? You use that word in reference to a team you correctly say scored less runs than the second worst team of the modern era? That offense was not salvaegeable at any reasonable cost. Our line-up in 2003 had little margin for error going into 2003, we were soon decimated by injuries, and position players who remained healthy had very bad years. About three or four "big trades" unprecedented in baseball history in one season for one team might have repaired the dire situation, but even if those trades were possible (other teams would have had to be willing to cooperate for trades to be made, of course) that would have completely laid waste to a farm system only then getting back on its feet. And for what? To "win a few more games," as you put it? To roll the dice on 2003 while kissing the future goodbye? No thanks. A good baseball GM is like a good general. He does not mindlessly "attack, attack, attack" regardless of circumstances, his resources, or the strength of the enemy. A single baseball season in which too much is going wrong is like a similarly unfortunate battle: tactical retreat so that one can regroup later and fight again with strength beats fighting to the last man in a hopeless cause.

    Your refenece to Evans in the post-2003 off-season makes it clear you are not well-informed on this subject. Evans' hands were tied by the sale-in-progress of the Dodgers, but he did what little he could (which even he would admit was very little). Not that he didn't TRY to do more, of course. He actually got Vlad Guerrero to agree to sign with the Dodgers, and for less money than Vlad ended up getting from the Angels later. But McCourt, under preesure from Selig, nixed the whole deal.

    Since you acknowledge that Evans "made some good trades" you contradict your statement in the same paragraph that he "never did anything." Encumbered by Kevin Malone's stupid contracts, Evans had no money to spend and was rebuilding the farm from nothing, so where where the big moves you wanted going to come from? Evans DID improve the Dodgers and repaired weaknesses (the starting rotation, the bullpen), but with the constraints on Evans I already mentioned, the offense was never realistically going to be fixed in the mere two years Evans had as GM -- unless you would suggest he should have repaired the offense FIRST, and let the team struggle with horrible pitching till that could be addressed. I think making pitching the first priority was the correct decision.

    2005-06-23 06:36:52
    23.   Fearing Blue
    Extending my post from last night's game, here is my projected 2007 lineup, along with projected salaries (in millions). The estimates for the first-year arbitration eligibles (Choi, Perez, Werth, and Sanchez) may be out of line, since they're strictly guesses:

    Lineup
    C: Dioner Navarro / Russell Martin ($0.32)
    1B: Hee Seop Choi ($3.50)
    2B: Antonio Perez ($2.75)
    SS: Cesar Izturis ($4.15)
    3B: Andy LaRoche / Joel Guzman ($0.32)
    LF: Jayson Werth ($3.00)
    CF: Milton Bradley ($9.50)
    RF: J.D. Drew ($11.00)

    Bench
    2B/3B: Willy Aybar ($0.34)
    OF: Jason Repko ($0.38)
    C: Mike Rose ($0.34)

    Starting Pitching
    P: Brad Penny ($8.00)
    P: Derek Lowe ($9.50)
    P: Odalis Perez ($10.00)
    P: DJ Houlton / Derek Thompson / Ryan Ketchner / Eric Stults ($0.38)
    P: Chad Billingsley / Edwin Jackson / Justin Orenduff ($0.32)

    Bullpen
    Closer: Yhency Brazoban ($0.40)
    Setup: Jonathan Broxton ($0.34)
    RHP: Duaner Sanchez ($2.25)
    RHP: Franquelis Osoria / Justin Orenduff ($0.34)
    LHP: Eric Stults / Ryan Ketchner / Derek Thompson / Hong-Chih Kuo ($0.34)
    Swing: Eric Stults / Ryan Ketchner / Derek Thompson ($0.34)

    Including projected benefits costs (~$7.55), the total projected salary is $75.68 million for 2007.

    Assuming a cap of $95 million ($100 million minus $5 million for mid-season pickups), that leaves $19 million to fill the following holes:

    #1: Slugging left-fielder
    #2: Backup middle infielder
    #3: Pinch-hitter

    I would suggest signing a slugging left-fielder for approximately ~$12 million / year. The backup middle-infielder and pinch-hitter can probably be picked up for close to league minimum (~$1 million total).

    As can hopefully be seen, 2007 is the year where our farm system should help us fill multiple holes (C, 3B, & SP) with high quality players at a very low price (league minimum). Additionally, there are multiple prospects for each major hole, so the risks are mitigated. Needless to say, I'm very excited about 2007 and things only appear to get better beyond that.

    2005-06-23 07:40:50
    24.   Bob Timmermann
    I'm still wondering how come Dan Evans had the misfortune of picking up the version of Daryle Ward who wasn't just mediocre, but aggressively horrible.

    Picking up Fred McGriff for 2003 was something I (with absolutely no way for my statement to be verified) thought would end in tears.

    2005-06-23 07:52:02
    25.   db1022
    Can anyone provide details on when the top prospects not currently on the 40 man roster need to be included (Guzman, Billingsley, LaRoche, etc)?

    It was my understanding that a good chunk of them all become eligible at the same time, which could cause a bit of a roster crunch and be motivation to start packaging them for MLers.

    2005-06-23 08:22:09
    26.   jelmendorf
    I'm not sure why you put Drew & Werth in the can't-tell-yet category.

    Werth has been injured and lousy this year, but last year he gave the Dodgers a 115 OPS+ for the major league minimum, and all the Dodgers gave up was a good, but not great reliever. Even if he never gets another hit, that's "worth the investment."

    As for Drew, he's got an OPS of close to 900, which is his career average. I guess given his salary we won't truly know if he was worth it until he keeps this level up for four years, but he has nonetheless been one of the top hitters in the league. His tied for 8th in win shares among National League outfielders, and none of those above him were free agents within the last two years.

    2005-06-23 08:52:15
    27.   FirstMohican
    26 - Drew not only has a similar OPS, he's also, now, got a similar injury.
    2005-06-23 08:53:13
    28.   legrandbleu
    26-Jul-2001 Chicago White Sox traded James Baldwin to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Onan Masaoka, Gary Majewski and Jeff Barry.

    31-Jul-2001 Pittsburgh Pirates traded Terry Mulholland to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mike Fetters and Adrian Burnside.

    31-Jul-2001 Los Angeles Dodgers traded Kris Foster and Geronimo Gil to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Trombley.

    23-Jul-2002 Milwaukee Brewers traded Tyler Houston and a player to be named (Brian Mallette - Oct. 16th) to the Los Angeles Dodgers Ben Diggins and Shane Nance.

    28-Jul-2002 Los Angeles Dodgers traded Terry Mulholland, Ricardo Rodriguez and Francisco Cruceta to the Cleveland Indians for Paul Shuey.

    04-Dec-2002 Chicago Cubs traded Todd Hundley and Chad Hermansen to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Eric Karros, Mark Grudzielanek and cash considerations.

    27-Dec-2002 Fred McGriff - Signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    25-Jan-2003 Los Angeles Dodgers traded Ruddy Lugo to the Houston Astros for Daryle Ward.

    27-Jan-2003 Colorado Rockies traded Jason Romano to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Luke Allen.

    14-Jul-2003 New York Mets traded Jeromy Burnitz to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Joselo Diaz, Kole Strayhorn and Victor Diaz.

    31-Jul-2003 Los Angeles Dodgers Bubba Crosby and Scott Procter to the New York Yankees for Robin Ventura.

    2005-06-23 08:56:18
    29.   Rob M
    Re: 23 - I would hope with that salary space available, the money would be spent not just on a slugging outfielder but a frontline starter. Unless one of the prospects (or two!) have become Peavy-level major leaguers by then.
    2005-06-23 08:58:47
    30.   db1022
    #29 - It is sounding suspiciously possible that Weaver gets extended. That would put him in the rotation for '07 (probably making in the $8M neighborhood).
    2005-06-23 09:06:58
    31.   Jon Weisman
    I've said it before and I've said it again - no way Weaver gets a new contract without becoming a free agent.

    Are you guys clear on the premise of this piece? It's not designed to be a comprehensive look at DePodesta and Evans. It's to examine whether how many mistakes there were in forming the current roster.

    My conclusion is that other than a few minor errors and some TBDs, the only arguments you can make against the GMs is that though they made largely good moves, they somehow needed to make more.

    I will say that I always liked Clement and was hoping they'd get him.

    26 - jelmendorf, I was erring on the side of conservatism with those, especially because I had so many good moves listed for them.

    2005-06-23 09:13:07
    32.   stubbs
    Jon-
    There is a theme to all Depodesta's winning investments. Everything, save for Bradley, has been low risk low reward. You don't win anything major with those. His big gambles (Drew, Penny and Lowe) are still VERY questionable. Especially with JD taking some time off in the middle of an 8 game losing streak and depleted roster. Last year, Beltre didn't have that attitude when dealing with the bone spurs neither did Gibson in 88 with his bad wheels.
    2005-06-23 09:13:18
    33.   overkill94
    Re: 21

    Both the Angels and the Dodgers gave Clement better offers than the Red Sox IIRC, but he stated that he wanted to stay near the east coast. Unless blackmail was involved, I don't see any way DePo could have pried him away.

    2005-06-23 09:14:22
    34.   Rob M
    Drew and Lowe both have to be wait-and-see, due to the size and length of their contracts. I was solidly behind both of those moves from the start, though.

    There's a column over at the Depo for President blog showing what the roster would have looked like without the moves Depo made. It's pretty ugly, and the team surely would have been much worse off than it is today. Can you imagine Green, Encarnacion, and Beltre forming the heart of our lineup? It give me the shivers.

    2005-06-23 09:20:13
    35.   Jon Weisman
    32 -

    First of all, Beltre did take several games off. He never went on the DL - so far, neither has Drew.

    Secondly, it's precisely because they are big gambles that we don't know if they are paynig off yet. While they're not as automatic as Vladimir Guerrero would have been, the fact that Drew, Penny and Lowe are questionable is mainly an issue of time.

    2005-06-23 09:21:59
    36.   stubbs
    34-
    if evans was GM our lineup would look like this. Keep in mind that the two spots to fill are two OF spots or 1 OF/1B...positions which usually are bigger bats. Not so bleak imo. Also, the infield defense is the best in the league, something that everyone continues to ignore.

    1. Izturis
    2. Loduca
    3.
    4. Beltre
    5. Green
    6.
    7. Encarnacion
    8. Cora

    2005-06-23 09:22:06
    37.   FirstMohican
    Let us never utter the word "Encarnacion" again =)
    2005-06-23 09:27:15
    38.   stubbs
    I didnt like Encarnacion either, but check this out versus or beloved MB:

    2005 Stats:

    Bradley: .298 .345oba 10hr 26rbi 35r
    Encarnacion: .266 .345oba 9hr 39rbi 32 runs.

    2005-06-23 09:28:11
    39.   Jay Jaffe
    Most of their moves have paid off, particularly because they were low-risk ones, though I do think that Joe Sheehan was right the other day when he pointed out that the Dodgers should be able to do better than Repko and Grabowski (to say nothing of Erickson, ugh).

    However, it's DePo's quizzical desire to lock in the current starting pitchers -- Lowe, Penny, Perez and now maybe Weaver -- a riskier-than-average batch given past injuries and performance that's the most disconcerting part of the regime.

    Except maybe for letting Gagne throw this spring, which has me really f'ing angry right now.

    2005-06-23 09:28:41
    40.   fanerman91
    So did Encarnacion learn how to take a walk or something? Learn to take them and lots of them?
    2005-06-23 09:39:04
    41.   the OZ
    36 -

    Don't sell Cora short. He could easily fill the 3 hole in that lineup, yet you stick him 8th!

    2005-06-23 09:39:07
    42.   Rob M
    That Encarnacion OBP is shocking if true.
    2005-06-23 09:40:22
    43.   Rob M
    I don't think our defense has hurt us much this year.
    2005-06-23 09:41:21
    44.   Chris H
    Stubbs - Bradley is a CF and Encarnacion is a RF. Not exactly and apples to apples comparison.
    2005-06-23 09:43:25
    45.   Bob Timmermann
    Bradley has an 855 OPS to Encarnacion's 801.

    Also Encarnacion has been benched by the Marlins in favor of Jeff Conine so his production is equalling Bradley's production now.

    Encarnacion April OPS 912
    Encarnacion May OPS 772
    Encarnacion June OPS 713

    Bradley April OPS 911
    Bradley May OPS 802
    Bradley June Disabled list

    2005-06-23 09:44:27
    46.   db1022
    #39 - "Low risk" moves? The LoDuca trade, the Milton Bradley trade? Not signing Beltre? Signing Drew and Lowe? These are "low risk"?

    Maybe moves like signing Ricky Ledee, trading for Werth, etc were low risk but every team makes those types of moves to fill out a bench.

    2005-06-23 09:51:35
    47.   db1022
    #36 - So plug in a JT Snow-type at 1B, and a Moises Alou-type in the OF, and you think that's a good lineup? I beg to differ.

    Izturis
    LoDuca
    Beltre
    Green
    Alou
    Snow
    Encarnacion
    Cora
    Pitcher

    2005-06-23 09:54:07
    48.   Bob Timmermann
    47,

    That lineup is something out of Dickens!

    Or Steven King.

    2005-06-23 09:55:44
    49.   stubbs
    47-thats probably the best defensive team in the league and an offense that would an average amount of runs. I would MUCH rather have that team with the same pitching staff.
    2005-06-23 09:56:59
    50.   Icaros
    I can envision a lot of flyballs landing untouched in an outfield of Alou, Encarnacion (in center?), and Green.

    Good God, db, this is a family website...

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-06-23 09:58:13
    51.   db1022
    I agree the infield defense would be the best in the league, but the OF and C are way below average defensively.

    I also think that lineup has a real tough time scoring runs.

    2005-06-23 09:59:15
    52.   fanerman91
    In the words of comic book guy... Worst. Defensive. Outfield. EVER.

    Well, Encarnacion is probably an average-ish (slightly above?) CF given he's a good RF. Just guessing.

    But that line-up... well, probably not much worse than what we're throwing out there now though. That may be the scariest thought...

    2005-06-23 09:59:17
    53.   Bob Timmermann
    47,
    Who plays centerfield in that lineup?

    Encarnacion, I assume.

    I suppose Moises Alou fields better than Jason Grabowski and Jayson Werth, but I'm still fearful.

    The bottom of the order in that lineup would be a black hole. Sort of like the top of the order in this week's version of the Dodgers.

    2005-06-23 09:59:30
    54.   Icaros
    I would MUCH rather have that team with the same pitching staff.

    With a lineup on par with 2003, no outfield defense, and a pitching staff as average as what we have now, that team could lose 100 games.

    2005-06-23 09:59:44
    55.   stubbs
    am i missing something? when did encarnacion become a bad defensive outfielder?
    That IF defense is gold glove caliber at every position. Drew/Werth havent exactly set the world on fire with their d.
    2005-06-23 10:01:55
    56.   db1022
    #53 - I'd put Alou even with Grabs, but far inferior to Werth.

    And yes, there are serious voids in that lineup. Remember the "Encarnacion, Cora, Pitcher, Dave Roberts, Izturis" 7-8-9-1-2 that we used to feature. That's a 5-batter Club Med vacation for opposing pitchers.

    2005-06-23 10:03:31
    57.   stubbs
    54-
    yea, last years team did pretty bad?? Milton Bradley was average last year..Alou's ops last year was almost 150 pts higher, he had 20 more homeruns. Just to use the exapmple put up by 47.

    Lose 100 games??? are u serious?

    2005-06-23 10:03:48
    58.   db1022
    #55 - Drew is a phenomenal OF. I have really enjoyed watching him play center in Bradley's absence.

    Encarnacion is a good, above average OF (though not on par with Milton or JD). Bookend Juan E with Green and Alou, and you're looking at the '05 Giants OF.

    2005-06-23 10:04:06
    59.   Icaros
    55 - Drew has been a million times better in RF than Green ever was.
    2005-06-23 10:04:44
    60.   Bob Timmermann
    Encarnacion must have really impressed the Tigers during his one year as a center fielder for them in 2000. The next year, the Tigers signed Roger Cedeno and stuck him there and moved Encarnacion to right field.

    The Reds used Encarnacion in center field when Griffey was injured. The Marlins used him almost always in right field.

    2005-06-23 10:06:35
    61.   Icaros
    Lose 100 games??? are u serious?

    Yeah, I'm serious. And using Alou's Wrigley-inflated numbers from last year doesn't make for a sane argument.

    2005-06-23 10:11:18
    62.   JMK
    #55 - the lineup you thinking of costs a lot more than our current lineup. Given the budget you'd probably wouldn't have been able to afford Lowe or Perez in your starting staff and chances are it would be worse than it is now (as hard as that is to imagine).
    2005-06-23 10:13:58
    63.   Chris H
    It is also important to point out that the pitching staff would be even worse. Imagine a staff without Brad Penny (and probably without Derek Lowe as well).

    As bad as things have been this year we'll still probably end up at least .500.

    2005-06-23 10:15:11
    64.   Icaros
    I'm also realizing that this Evans All-Stars team would be without Brad Penny in the rotation, nor could it afford to have signed Derek Lowe, and probably couldn't have resigned Odalis Perez (which may have been a good thing).

    I can't think of a worse fate than having Jeff Weaver as my number one starter...but at least we'd have Mota to pitch in the 8th!

    2005-06-23 10:15:55
    65.   stubbs
    62-
    We are paying Green anyway. Drew-Beltre cancel out. Our lineup now is slightly cheaper than that lineup. I'll give up Ricky Ledee to cover the costs. My argument isn't based on Encarnacion...if he was playing poorly id trade prospects at the deadline for an OF bat. Much easier to do than add a bat at 3rd Base...but you guys will find that out very soon.
    2005-06-23 10:15:57
    66.   Jay Jaffe
    being displaced in centerfield by Roger Cedeno is like being told that your cat will be handling the financial affairs of your household instead of you. That's a pretty scathing indictment of your performance.
    2005-06-23 10:16:01
    67.   Icaros
    ...or what JMK and Chris H said.
    2005-06-23 10:16:41
    68.   FirstMohican
    Does anyone else here think that the Dodgers wouldn't be first if they'd only experienced HALF the injuries they have?
    2005-06-23 10:17:25
    69.   FirstMohican
    would*
    2005-06-23 10:17:30
    70.   Icaros
    We are paying Green anyway.

    Not $16 million, only $10, which almost covers the cost of Lowe or whatever pitcher you want.

    2005-06-23 10:19:32
    71.   Icaros
    Much easier to do than add a bat at 3rd Base...but you guys will find that out very soon.

    We'll find that out as soon as one of our two blue-chip 3B prospects comes up and outplays Beltre for the league minimum. Won't be more than two years from now.

    2005-06-23 10:19:34
    72.   stubbs
    So Evans wouldn't have been allowed to trade Mota (one of the most valuable trading chips in baseball last season) after the year to shore up the rotation. I forgot only Depodesta is allowed to make trades.

    Odalis, Weaver, Mota Trade Return, Free Agent, Not Erickson.

    This rotation would have been as good as the Depodesta allstars have been so far.

    2005-06-23 10:22:35
    73.   Sam NYC
    I think the only thing the GM has done "wrong" (if you can call it that) is overhaul the whole lineup so dramatically in such a short period of time. Izturis is the only opening day starter from 2004 to start on opening day in 2005. Only Izturis, Gagne and Perez remain from the 2003 team.

    Last year's infield was lauded for its defense but Loduca, Green, Cora, Izturis and Beltre had been on the same team for three years. These things matter because these are human beings, they have to get used to each, learn each other's capabilities and learn to trust each other. This may sound like the whole "chemistry" argument, but it's not. It's not about whether they have dinner with each other, it's whether they have an understanding of each other on the field.

    For example, you play with a guy for a couple years. You know what he can hit and what he can't: you've seen him in batting practice a hundred times and talked to him about pitchers. So you can get an idea of what to look for based on how he bats. Or in the field: you know where he likes to catch the ball on the double play turn, or what kind of range he has. Fielders get a sense of where the balls are going to be hit after they get to know their pitchers and how their pitchers move and spin.

    In a game that turns on such little things, examples like these are endless. And they are often the difference between losing 2-1 and winning 2-1. But there are virtually no people on this team that knew another person on the team in 2003.

    So when you break down each move on paper, as much as I don't like the overall direction of the team, I have to admit the moves are solid when viewed objectively and in isolation. And I also have to admit that I haven't gotten to actually watch the games as much as you guys have, so I don't really know. But something is wrong and this is the only logical explanation (to my mind) that I can think of.

    2005-06-23 10:23:14
    74.   Icaros
    You aren't getting a starter for Mota unless you include Mr. Heart and Soul, and you can't afford to bring back Odalis or sign your mystery free agent with the lineup you have.
    2005-06-23 10:24:59
    75.   Icaros
    74 in response to 72.
    2005-06-23 10:25:04
    76.   db1022
    #72 - What makes you think Evans would've traded Mota? Nothing in his tenure as GM suggested that he trades him. In fact, Mota's trade value really diminishes as the year goes on, so what would we expect in return for him?
    2005-06-23 10:25:42
    77.   Sam NYC
    BTW,

    DePo had the chance to trade Mota straight up for Beltran last year and passed. He didn't want to tamper with the bullpen in June. Just for the record.

    2005-06-23 10:27:41
    78.   Sam NYC
    Sorry, Izturis and Bradley were the only two to start 2004 and 2005.
    2005-06-23 10:28:41
    79.   db1022
    #77 - When? Straight up?
    2005-06-23 10:29:33
    80.   Icaros
    73 - If a ball is out of Cora's range, even if Izturis and Beltre know it will be from years of experience, no one's getting to that ball, are they?

    I also don't understand how there needs to be a lot of trust built up for one guy to catch a ball that another guy has thrown.

    But something is wrong and this is the only logical explanation (to my mind) that I can think of.

    To me, the ton of injuries is the most logical explanation.

    2005-06-23 10:30:44
    81.   Fearing Blue
    #25: I posted this in another thread, but here is the repost, with slight modifications:

    I looked up the rules for the 40-man roster and the Rule 5 Draft: If when a player is originally signed, he would have been 18 or under the previous June 5th, he gets 4 years of minor league service time before he's exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. If on the other hand, we would have been 19 or over, he's exposed to the Rule 5 Draft after 3 years of minor league service time.

    Then, I took a look at the service time for all of our top 30 prospects according to Baseball America, as well as other players who are performing well. I split them into 4 categories: A) already on the 40-man roster, B) will be exposed to the December Rule 5 draft if not added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season, C) still have another year or more of minor league service time before being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft, and D) still have a year or more assuming years spent injured the entire season do not count. For the players in category C and D, I've also noted how many years they have left before being exposed. If I missed anyone, please let me know.

    A)
    Edwin Jackson
    Russell Martin
    Dioner Navarro
    Joel Hanrahan
    Delwyn Young
    Steve Schmoll
    Willy Aybar
    Franquelis Osoria
    Jason Repko
    Derek Thompson
    Ryan Ketchner
    DJ Houlton
    Cody Ross

    B)
    Joel Guzman
    James Loney
    Jonathan Broxton
    Chin-Lung Hu
    Eric Stults
    Eric Hull
    Hong-chi Kuo
    Beltran Perez
    William Juarez

    C)
    Chad Billingsley (1 year remaining)
    Andy LaRoche (1 year remaining)
    Blake DeWitt (2 years remaining)
    Chuck Tiffany (1 year remaining)
    Scott Elbert (1 year remaining)
    Julio Pimentel (1 year remaining)
    Xavier Paul (1 year remaining)
    Cory Dunlap (1 year remaining)
    Tony Abreu (1 year remaining)
    Blake Johnson (1 year remaining)
    Justin Orenduff (1 year remaining)
    Javy Guerra (2 years remaining)
    Matt Kemp (1 year remaining)
    Jaun Rivera (2 years remaining)
    Justin Ruggiano (1 year remaining)

    D)
    Greg Miller (1 year remaining assuming 2004 does not count)
    Mike Megrew (1 year remaining assuming 2005 will not count)

    So, it's 9 - 11 new players who would need to be added to the 40-man roster. Giovanni Carrara, Elmer Dessens, Scott Erickson, Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Weaver, Kelly Wunsch, Paul Bako, Oscar Robles, Olmedo Saenz, Jose Valentin, Mike Edwards, and Jason Grabowski could all be dropped off the 40-man roster after this year or sooner. That would free up 12 slots, though I expect 3 - 5 of those roster slots to be filled externally (starting pitcher, third baseman, pinch hitter, backup middle infielder?, left-handed outfielder?). Additionally, we'll gain a slot with Gagne on the 60-day DL to start the season. Thus, 8 - 10 slots for 9 - 11 prospects. Worst case, that leaves a few prospects we'd have to worry about at the end of the year, but I'd be surprised if the number is that high by the end of July. If there is a problem, Beltran Perez and William Juarez could end up being left unprotected because they're older and playing in Vero Beach / Jacksonville.

    This year is not as bad as would be expected, because a) our system was very weak prior to 2002, b) most of our 2002 - 2003 draft choices were from high school, giving them 4 years of minor league service time, and c) we should be able to start plugging pitching prospects into our bullpen this year and next.

    Of course, at the end of the 2006 season when another 12 - 14 players are exposed, it's going to get very tricky.

    2005-06-23 10:31:01
    82.   Sam NYC
    In June 2004, Billy Beane was desperate for a closer and was willing to send the prospects needed to KC to get Mota. Dodgers, obviously, would have gotten Beltran in that deal.
    2005-06-23 10:32:34
    83.   fanerman91
    Sam NYC,
    DePo admitted there may be a lot of short term pain because of the overhaul (ripping off the band-aid slowly or quickly analogy), but our outlook for the future is much brighter now in terms of minor league prospects and salaries and core players (nearly all of which are young).

    The Dan Evans team wasn't going to win a World Series this season anyway.
    There's a bigger picture than the team we're fielding now.

    2005-06-23 10:33:57
    84.   molokai
    1. I've been a big detractor of Werth this season but since Frasor is just a middling middle relief pitcher I'd put Werth in the Win column based solely on what he did last year even if he flames out this year and never does anything ever again as a Dodger.

    2. I'm a fan of Depo but that is based more on trust and what he did last year. Every move he made last year I liked except for the dump of Roberts. Roberts had value and he just gave him away. Almost like he was doing Epstien and Roberts a favor but the Dodger's should be his only concern. His moves this winter other then Jeff Kent did/do not inspire me. His use of cheap talent like Rose/Repko/Grabo/Robles/Bako/Erickson might work in Oakland but these are the Dodgers and I'm not sure why were dicking around with this kind of talent if were supposed to be a contender.

    3. I think Dan Evans did a fine job as our GM and I'm glad he didn't glut the future in 2003 just so they could lose in the 1st round of the playoffs. The offense was pathetic and the pitching was good but not good enough for a playoff run. Trade rumors that he could have made are just rumors. We really have no idea what the real offers were. No GM worth his salt will ever divulge what really transpired no matter how much Peter Gammons thinks he's connected. Everything should be a smoke screen to confuse the competition.

    4. I wish Depo had not fallen in love with Gagne and traded him like many of us felt he would. He had already alienated all of LA he might as well gone all the way and really rebuilt this team.

    5. I may be the only Beltre supporter left here but I think his 2nd half will show that while he had a career year last year he still has plenty of talent.

    6. The pickup of DJ Houlton is looking to be inspired. Very very few rule 5 pitchers pan out but he has already been worth the pick even if I jinx him with this praise.

    2005-06-23 10:34:03
    85.   Bob Timmermann
    What good comes from if everybody knows one another for a long time, but no one is particularly good?

    Would Al Campanis have broken up Garloprusey if someone had offered him a better player in return? That infield just stayed together so long because they all happened to be close in age. I doubt Campanis had a sentimental attachment to any of them as he jettisoned all but Russell once he thought he had someone younger and cheaper.

    2005-06-23 10:36:35
    86.   Icaros
    82 - Show me the phone transcripts where Beane is trading the prospects required to get Beltran but instead only taking Mota and I'll believe that.

    It makes no sense. That's saying that Mota and Beltran are of equal value. Beane has never been that dumb.

    DePo would have had to send Beane some blue chips.

    2005-06-23 10:37:03
    87.   molokai
    # 81
    Great Stuff, thanks for the info.
    2005-06-23 10:38:27
    88.   Jon Weisman
    84 - I'm with you all the way on many of your points, but I wanted to emphasize point 5 as one of them. You aren't alone there.
    2005-06-23 10:40:30
    89.   db1022
    #81 - Hanrahan being left off the 40 man? What's happened to him?

    Thanks for putting this together, btw.

    2005-06-23 10:42:58
    90.   db1022
    #86 - The same deal was done in reality, only Dotel went to Oakland instead of Mota. I could see that feasibly being discussed, as Mota is about equal to Dotel.
    2005-06-23 10:43:12
    91.   Sam NYC
    I should probably clarify the whole "knowing one another" thing. I'm not suggesting that the 2003 team should have been kept together or that the Dodgers are not better off for the moves. I'm only suggesting that understanding and knowing your teammates greatly contributes to the team's overall success. So I'm not blaming DePo so much as I'm just trying to wrap my head around why they've been so bad this year.

    Re: 83,
    I think that's right. Short term pain for long term success. But making rash moves and overhauling the team at the first sign of failure is a mistake.

    Bob,
    None at all. But if the players are good and have been together for a while, they can beat a team that is composed of great players who are hired hitmen for one year. In other words, the collection is more valuable than the sum of its parts. I'll take the Yankees of the late 90s as an example. Nobody on the team was a superstar really (especially if they played outside of NYC). But O'Neill, Martinez, Williams, Pettite, Jeter, Rivera, etc. had been together for at least three years when they won in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Granted, a very good collection of talent but so are the Yankees of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 and they haven't played nearly as well as the Olney Yankees.

    2005-06-23 10:45:02
    92.   Sam NYC
    Icaros,

    GMs don't always trade players of equal value. They sometimes trade according to need ... and what #86 said.

    2005-06-23 10:45:29
    93.   Steve
    Encarnacion is the Alex Cora of outfielders.
    2005-06-23 10:48:26
    94.   db1022
    #92 - Beane was "that dumb"! Except he got Dotel instead of Mota (which is a wash in my book).
    2005-06-23 10:50:16
    95.   fanerman91
    Re: 91
    The line-up DePo inherited was not a team at the first sign of failure.
    A core of Green, Lo Duca, Mota, were all older than we would have liked to believe and making a ton more money than we would have preferred.
    It hurt to trade them then but it was gonna hurt more to keep them and deal with their age/financial status later.
    2005-06-23 10:50:28
    96.   Bob Timmermann
    The Olney-era Yankees had a nucleus of players who had been around for a while, but they were also very good.

    I don't think a nucleus of Lo Duca, Green, and Beltre would lead a team to any Promised Land, but merely just to the Valley of The Dry Bones.

    2005-06-23 10:51:22
    97.   fanerman91
    To add...

    I wish Beltre stayed, but I don't know what went on in those negotiations so I can't really assign blame on anybody. I hope he does well for Seattle though...

    2005-06-23 10:52:31
    98.   Fearing Blue
    #89: Hanrahan was listed as our 17th best prospect by Baseball America prior to this season. But, he's 23 years old and currently pitching in Jacksonville. Additionally, he's pitching worse than any of the other prospects in Jacksonville who are all younger than he is. I guess we may not leave him exposed, but he could very well be traded for not much in return.
    2005-06-23 10:53:30
    99.   Steve
    Rather than a JT Snow type at first, maybe we could have gotten a Darin Erstad type at first.
    2005-06-23 10:53:50
    100.   Icaros
    84 - Molokai,

    Good post. I am mostly in agreement with you the whole way. One place I'd take issue with is here:

    His use of cheap talent like Rose/Repko/Grabo/Robles/Bako/Erickson might work in Oakland but these are the Dodgers and I'm not sure why were dicking around with this kind of talent if were supposed to be a contender.

    Of those players, only Grabowski and Bako were projected to make the 25-man, and only as backups. The rest of the guys are on this team due to injuries. Erickson made the team because Penny, Perez, Alavarez, and Gagne weren't ready in April and has stayed on the team because of injuries to Dessens, Alvarez (again), Perez (again), and Gagne (again).

    If Bradley and Valentin (and earlier Werth and Antonio Perez) weren't hurt, Robles and Repko would not be here. Rose is only here because of Bako's injury.

    The injuries have been devastating, but unless DePo goes out and makes a bunch of panic trades, I don't know what else he can do other than hope for the best with these stiffs until his primary players are healthy.

    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2005-06-23 10:55:43
    101.   Sam NYC
    Fanerman and Bob,

    I'M NOT SAYING THAT IT WAS WRONG TO BLOW UP THE 2003 DODGERS. I'm not saying that they would have won anything, EVER. I'm NOT criticizing DePo here. It's very possible that the team was like a broken leg that had been set incorrectly. Perhaps dismantling the whole team was necessary. We won't know for about three years. I'm only trying to explain the current miserable season and why a group that has as much talent as this one does can't seem to put it together.

    2005-06-23 11:03:44
    102.   Icaros
    92, 94 - Well, if Beane was the dumb, he's certainly paid the price for it.

    My only rebuttal would be that DePo didn't want to use a trade commodity like Mota for a half-year Beltran rental, because he knew he wasn't going to get into the New York bidding war to retain his services.

    Personally, I'm glad he used Mota (along with Heart and Soul) to get a starting pitcher and good first baseman instead (arm blow-up and Tracy benching notwithstanding), especially since we still have those guys for years to come.

    2005-06-23 11:04:26
    103.   Steve
    Serious question here: When does The GM Who Shall Not Be Named's statute of limitations run out? He's still on the hook for Dreifort and Green, and having Weaver around at 8 per is an indirect result of Kevin Brown, and he was the main cause of a minor league situation where any substantive prospect is no higher than Jacksonville. Does time ever supersede his reign of terror?

    Dan Evans is sort of like Gerald Ford in the Dodger history books. Got things under control, put things on the right course. I disagree with some things he did, and would have done some things he didn't do (trade Mota, trade Mota, trade Mota), but all in all, Victor Diaz wasn't going to save us anyway.

    2005-06-23 11:05:23
    104.   db1022
    #98 - Interesting. I don't follow the development of the minor leaguers that closely, only getting my info from places like this. I had thought Hanrahan was a better prospect than that.
    2005-06-23 11:05:37
    105.   Jon Weisman
    103 - 2006
    2005-06-23 11:06:06
    106.   Bob Timmermann
    Sam,
    Got it now. I was mainly looking for a chance to use my "Valley of the Dry Bones" reference.

    I'm feeling Ezekiel-like today.

    2005-06-23 11:07:08
    107.   Jon Weisman
    I didn't realize how little Victor Diaz had done since April. But I guess not having heard his name since April should have told me something.
    2005-06-23 11:07:59
    108.   Steve
    To me, Victor Diaz looks like the Alex Cora of backup outfielders.
    2005-06-23 11:09:02
    109.   Jon Weisman
    Since Eric Enders isn't here, I will point out how Springsteen uses "Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones" in the wonderful "Black Cowboys" on his latest album.

    The Boss rides again on Dodger Thoughts!

    2005-06-23 11:09:47
    110.   Icaros
    I'm only trying to explain the current miserable season and why a group that has as much talent as this one does can't seem to put it together.

    Aside from the injuries, there have been some questionable lineups, pitching changes, and bunt calls :-)

    2005-06-23 11:11:31
    111.   fanerman91
    Emphasis on bunt calls?

    Sam,
    I meant no disrespect or anything. In all honesty I haven't been reading very carefully. Just looking for a distraction from work so I don't fall asleep.

    2005-06-23 11:11:37
    112.   db1022
    #103 - Last pitch of the World Series, 2005? Green and Dreifort are off the books, Weaver is either gone or re-signed voluntarily by Depo (at which point its his problem). Todd Hundley is long gone.

    Jim Tracy should be fired soon after.

    What other kind of damage did he do?

    2005-06-23 11:13:59
    113.   Icaros
    What other kind of damage did he do?

    Instilled permanent sadness and distrust in the fan base.

    2005-06-23 11:16:26
    114.   bokonon42
    Reading the SCOTUS opinions today, I've come up with a plan. It may be the greatest plan ever:

    We get some 'friendly' judge to declare the Oakland As blighted. Then we eminently domain Barry Zito and Eric Chavez. Then the NL West is ours!

    2005-06-23 11:34:50
    115.   Sam NYC
    Re: 114

    Unless Plessy v. Ferguson is still good law, that may be a problem ... but I like your aggressive legal mind.

    2005-06-23 11:36:24
    116.   Sam NYC
    Not Plessy, I meant Dred Scot, sorry.
    2005-06-23 11:40:37
    117.   Marty
    Bokonon, that's what I call thinking outside the boxscore.

    Which reminds me. Jon, what's up with the T-shirt project?

    2005-06-23 11:53:59
    118.   brendan glynn
    #81

    Excellent Post, Fearing.

    Adam Dunn for some of those prospects looks even better to me.

    2005-06-23 12:12:27
    119.   Jon Weisman
    117 - I still don't have a design, and haven't had time to seek one out. But it is very much a desire of mine to get it done.
    2005-06-23 12:21:19
    120.   Fearing Blue
    #118: I'd consider trading for Kearns instead of Dunn, for the following reasons:

    1) He can play defense in the outfield (he has a career 101 Rate2 as a CF and RF). Adam Dunn is a 93 Rate2 in LF, which is 2 worse than Grabowski at 95. A Rate2 of 100 is league average.

    2) He should come much more cheaply, since he seems to be on the outs with the team. Perhaps straight up for Edwin Jackson?

    3) He's arbitration eligible for 2 more years instead of 1 more year for Dunn.

    4) He's 6 months younger than Dunn and still has a lot of upside. He's been held back so far by a string of freak injuries.

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