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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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5) discussing politics
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'The Netherworld'
2005-11-25 21:02
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Go for it or continue rebuilding? Nate Silver had an interesting article this week about the topic at Baseball Prospectus.

He uses as a launching point the Florida Marlins, who he says projected to win 77 games in 2006 before trading Josh Beckett and Carlos Delgado, but the discussion could certainly be relevant for Dodger fans.

Silver writes:

For example, although a team that finishes with 77 wins will almost never make the playoffs, a team that we project to win 77 games will sneak into the playoffs about 11% of the time. But the question is not what an 11% chance of making the playoffs is worth in the abstract, but how the probability changes if a team adds or subtracts talent. For example, if the team buys a five-win player, increasing its win projection to 82 games, its playoff probability rises to 23%. On the other hand, if it sells (trades or fails to re-sign) a 5-win player, its playoff probability decreases to 4%.

Silver then goes on to divide teams into five categories: 1) 82 or fewer projected wins, 2) 82-87 projected wins, 3) 87-92 projected wins, 4) 92-97 projected wins, 5) 97 or more projected wins. The Dodgers currently figure to be in one of the first two categories. Here's what Silver says:

82 or fewer projected wins
Ordinarily, the teams in this group will be happy to trade what veteran talent they have if they can get favorable prospects or cash flow in return; a playoff appearance is just too unlikely.

However, the clubs toward the right-hand edge of Category I might consider becoming buyers if at least a couple of the following circumstances coalesce:

  • The team has a handful of good young players who might be capable of a breakout season;
  • The team plays in a weak division;
  • It looks to be a good buyers' market;
  • The team can build without compromising its future--that is, without trading good prospects, and without making long-term contract commitments to veterans.
  • There are external, economic factors that would tend to reward aggressive behavior, such as the negotiation of a TV contract or stadium deal.

    82-87 projected wins
    Teams in this group have a natural tendency to stand pat. The thinking seems to be: we're fielding a reasonable baseball club, and we think we can contend with a couple of good breaks. Look what happened to the White Sox last year. We certainly aren't about to break the bank.

    In fact, however, standing pat is the worst alternative for these clubs. Whether to buy or sell is conditioned on some of the same factors that we've described above, but either strategy is superior to holding. Buying is likely to produce a reasonably good return; although a team with 85-win talent will make the playoffs occasionally, a team with 90-win talent will make the playoffs more often than not. On the other hand, if buying isn't feasible, then selling needs to be considered. Going from 85 wins to 80 doesn't hurt as much as going from 85 to 90 helps, and there is nothing worse for a baseball team than to be caught in the 84-78 netherworld.

    It was this kind of reality that Paul DePodesta might have faced as general manager during the offseason a year ago - knowing that his team didn't project to 90 wins, he didn't dare stand pat.

    With a new general manager, a weak division and a public relations tempest in a teapot, there is little likelihood that the Dodgers will consider holding. But note that there might be many reasons for the Dodgers to consider a rebuilding posture.

    Silver offers much more, including a discussion about how a transaction can pay for itself many times over if it generates playoff revenue, but I don't want to steal any more from the article than I have.

  • Comments (297)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2005-11-25 21:38:23
    1.   King of the Hobos
    Seibu will post reliever Shinji Mori. His career marks include a 3.39 ERA and a 10.4 K/9. I'm not sure he's worth acquiring through the posting system ('05 was not his best season), but if a cheap bid and contract can get him, I wouldn't be opposed. He'd be 31 to start the season. I'm sure Matsuzaka is thrilled that his team is willing to post another of its pitchers

    http://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=937

    2005-11-25 21:51:25
    2.   rcortes04
    hey man i love your blog. im just trying to get the word out about my new blog about south florida sports teams
    southfloridasports.blogspot.com

    id greatly appreciate tellnig me likes/dislikes,or leaving a comment,or tellnig peopel about it. bu the way its me and my buddy lou and the heat post he did, i did the marlins firesale analyis
    thansk a bunch
    ryan

    2005-11-25 22:02:30
    3.   Xeifrank
    Interesting the way BP breaks down and describes the teams categorically by win projections. Personally, I don't understand it when people talk about the Dodgers and whether or not they should rebuild. It is my opinion that last years team was as good as or better than the previous years team. Keep in mind I am basing that on "both" of those two teams being reasonably healthy. I think last years team if healthy, and given a manager that played the correct positional players would've won the division just like the 2004 team. I think the 2006 team is poised for success if reasonably healthy, and if key components that will be lost to either free agency (Weaver) or trades (Bradley) can be replaced with equal value. Things can always change, as the new GM will most likely put his stamp on a few free agent signings and or trades. But I am already in "denial" about the Dodgers 2006 chances. The team is above average when healthy, which is a reoccurring theme in my post, and the division they play in is well below average. At the moment I would rank the NL West the following, but reserve the right to change these rankings as rosters change.
    1T) Dodgers, 1T) Arizona, 3T) San Diego, 3T) San Francisco, 5) Colorado.

    vr, Xei

    2005-11-25 23:23:15
    4.   Suffering Bruin
    And what, may I ask, does any of this have to do with character?

    :)

    2005-11-26 00:13:04
    5.   Bob Timmermann
    The problem with Seibu posting Matsuzaka is that he is Seibu's biggest homegrown star. Their other star is gaijin slugger Alex Cabrera.

    Matsuzaka was a much heralded star, sort of a Lebron James type prospect who was a high school hero. If Seibu lets him go early, they will really have a PR nightmare. Eventually they will have to, but they won't do it easily.

    2005-11-26 03:06:58
    6.   oldbear
    After careful analysis, I'm going to have to endorse signing Rafael Furcal for 4/40, over Brian Giles at 3/30. It may sound crazy, but here's my reasoning:

    Looking at this from a defensive perspective:
    Furcal + Werth/Cruz >>>> Izturis + Giles. I believe Furcal is better than Izturis at SS, and Werth/Cruz would be better than Giles in LF.

    Looking at this from a offensive perspective:
    In his prime Furcal is a 150pt OPS improvement over Izturis. Izturis ranked #37 of 38 shortstops in OPS this season.

    Would Giles at his age, be more than a 100 pt OPS improvement over a platoon of Werth/Cruz??? I dont think he would.

    Therefore, I believe Furcal + Werth/Cruz>>>>Izturis + Giles. Even in the Short Term.

    In the long term, I believe signing Furcal is smarter than Giles bc of age, and the scarcity of good Off/good Def being found in the middle infield. Furcal to me is more valuable than Brian Giles is in 2008. Especially when Furcal moves to 2b after Kent retires.

    So here's what I would do:

    Sign Raffy Furcal for 4/40.

    Then one trade: (Realistic Fair trade)
    Dodgers get: Adam Dunn
    Reds get: Chad Billingsley and Dionner Navarro

    SS- Furcal
    1b- Choi
    RF- Drew
    LF- Dunn
    2b- Kent
    CF- Bradley
    3b- Aybar
    C- Russ Martin

    #1. Signing Furcal may not look genius at up front, but he'll gain more value when we move him to 2b in 2007. And Joel Guzman is playing SS.

    #2. Dunn is worth Billz/Navarro. Dunn gives the Dodgers insurance should Choi not come through. We can always move Dunn to 1b, and then play Cruz/Werth in LF.

    #3. I maintain that Furcal is more valuable to the Dodgers than Brian Giles. Simply bc Furcal would be improving SS MORE than Giles would be improving LF.

    #4. Furcal, Giles, Burnett, Nomar, Dunn, Lilly, Millwood is the pool of players that i hope we pick from (and are available).

    2005-11-26 03:12:30
    7.   natepurcell
    we are not trading chad billingsley for adam dunn. if we were, it would have already happened.

    also, if we do sign furcal, we are not going ot move him to 2b for joel guzman. furcal is an elite shortstop, guzman, who isnt even in his league defensively, will be the one on the move.

    2005-11-26 03:37:53
    8.   oldbear
    8. Why do you think it would have already happened? Maybe the Reds want to field the best offers they can get. Last july, they wanted 2-3 grade A prospects. I think Billz + 2 lessers ones might get it done now.

    I think Furcal at 2b would be more to replace as closely as possible an all world offensive talent like Jeff Kent.

    Guzman/Furcal middle infield for 2007 still has a ton of upside. Especially if Guzman develops any patience this year. And Furcal is open to moving to different positions, according to his agent.

    2005-11-26 06:03:31
    9.   coachjpark
    Pavilion seats for single games rose from $6 to $8.

    Does anyone on here know how long Pavilion seats have been $6? I know it's been at least a decade. I think it's a mistake on McCourt's part to mess with the pricing with the pavilion. It's going to have a negative backlash, especially doing this after a losing season.... It would be better to raise the price of Dodger Dogs and Cokes by $0.50...

    2005-11-26 07:36:52
    10.   Kayaker7
    9 Not that it matters to me. I'm not going to another Dodger game as long as McCourt's the owner.
    2005-11-26 08:35:25
    11.   D4P
    6
    I understand your reasoning, oldbear, but I can't see paying a guy $10 million a year to average .284/.348/.409/.757.
    2005-11-26 08:44:01
    12.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
    8 I'm betting that a GM who is already on the record as not being impressed with Choi would probably not value a similar player such as Dunn either. So he probably wouldn't be Ned's first trade priority.

    Another reason Furcal might be the better signing is because it would make Izzy obsolete, thereby removing another out machine from our lineup. And we'll be able to get decent value for him in trade, I would imagine.

    2005-11-26 08:56:32
    13.   D4P
    12
    The biggest problem with Izturis/Robles being in the lineup is when they are batting anywhere other than 8th. Tracy insisted on batting them 1-3, which was ridiculous. If (and when) Colletti gets rid of Bradley, that would leave Drew, Werth, Ledee, and Cruz in the outfield. At that point, upgrading with someone like Giles would seem to be much more important than giving Furcal $10 million a year, particularly since Drew and Werth are both coming off broken wrists and multiple surgeries. It doesn't seem reasonable to expect them to be in the lineup for the entire season.
    2005-11-26 08:59:44
    14.   Telemachos
    Izturis is one of the big "Dodger names". Given the PR situation and Colletti coming in as DePo's replacement, there is no chance in hell that the Dodgers will trade or get rid of Izturis.
    2005-11-26 09:15:09
    15.   Bob Timmermann
    10

    More seats for the rest of us! Woo hoo!

    2005-11-26 09:19:38
    16.   willhite
    I was really happy to get last season out of the way and look forward to '06 but we seem to have more questions than answers as we go into next year.

    The injuries to Gagne, Drew, Izturis, Bradley, Werth and to some extent O. Perez will make it very hard to trade any of them before they prove they are fit to play, or to depend on any of them as starters before they are completely recovered (and no one knows when that will be).

    This team is still full of question marks and we don't really know that some of the more serious injuries from last year won't be just as bad this year. They are already saying that Werth may never be 100% again. What if Drew suffers the same fate. He can get rid of us after next year, but if he's hurt, we've got him for four more years.

    As I see it, it doesn't matter if we trade Bradley or non-tender him. The net result will be the same-------we will get nothing for him, because no one knows how he'll come back from his injury. At this point, that might be more of a trade barrier than his off the field behavior.

    There is no way McCourt will pay Gagne what he wants during free agency, so it might make more sense to trade him now, except that no one will trade for a pitcher after arm surgery, before he proves himself again.

    If the team gets off to a slow start the first half of next season, I could see the Dodgers pulling a "Marlins" and moving Kent, Gagne and (if possible)Drew, all for prospects. That way McCourt could go into '07 with a payroll that would make the A's look like the Yankees.

    2005-11-26 09:22:31
    17.   FirstMohican
    Other than pitching, here's my list of "holes" that I'd guess many people believe exist: 1B, 3B, SS, LF

    Here's the OPS and league rank for each: .828/10, .722/20, .648/27, .603/30

    Ignoring 3B, as I can't think of any FA or players avail. thru trade that can improve much upon 722 OPS, it would take about 10M to solve one of the three remaining "holes."

    Assume you had the choice of Konerko, Furcal, Giles and that they'd produce what they did last year and you have OPS improvements of 81, 129 and 302.

    I guess you could argue that Werth must improve over last year's performance, but he'll be off of surgery (again) and it wouldn't be that surprising if he had another rough year. Considering that I don't see why Giles isn't clearly more valuble to the Dodgers for 10M.

    2005-11-26 09:27:10
    18.   FirstMohican
    16 - If you assume that Coletti has taken anything from Sabean, it probably is that he's not going to trade away his roster for kids. Also, if McCourt is at least SLIGHTLY serious when he says he wants to continue "rebuilding" while maintaining a competitive team, it wont happen.

    Speaking of Gagne, It's cool how he's the only bullpen guy making a load of money. Considering how the Cubs (and perhaps other teams later in the offseason) are setting the price for relief pretty high, it's nice that the Dodgers have guys earning the min. and doing a decent job (that may be arguable). Well done Evans/DePo.

    2005-11-26 09:28:38
    19.   willhite
    17 -

    I would tend to agree with your conclusion. Konerko would certainly seem like the least value for money spent. If you factor age into the equation, some might prefer Furcal.

    Somewhere during my surfing the web yesterday I saw mention that an executive commented that the Dodgers had told him they had about 18 million to spend this off season, assuming they didn't bring Bradley back. No details were given so I don't know if they were factoring in arbitration or anything else, but if the number is correct, at least it gives us a starting point for conversation.

    2005-11-26 09:29:52
    20.   D4P
    19
    "The Dodgers continue to track free agents Brian Giles, Rafael Furcal and several pitchers, including Kevin Millwood and their own Jeff Weaver, and Florida Marlin center fielder Juan Pierre, and shop Milton Bradley.

    "Dodger executives are telling other organizations they have about $18 million to spend, assuming they trade Bradley or don't make him an offer."

    -LATimes

    2005-11-26 09:32:39
    21.   willhite
    20 -

    Thanks. I can't keep track of where I see anything anymore. Where would 18 mil to spend this year bring the total payroll figure to?

    2005-11-26 09:37:07
    22.   D4P
    21
    Well, based on Jon's payroll figures to the right of your post there, it looks like the Dodgers are currently at around $70 million, so adding $18 million (with no other changes) would put them at $88 million.
    2005-11-26 09:40:36
    23.   willhite
    22 -

    Big difference between 88 million and the 75 million other people have been mentioning. Of course, we don't know that the 88 mil figure is for real.

    2005-11-26 09:45:15
    24.   King of the Hobos
    Somewhere around $85 mil (maybe a few mil higher)

    That means Colletti probably has 2 choices. Sign Giles/Furcal/Millwood, then sign a few cheap players as fillers (maybe Nomar, but that would leave us with little to nothingleft)

    Or, he could spend the money on cheap players and arbitration trades (Pierre, Marquis, Kip Wells

    Either way, Bradley is likely gone. Phillips and maybe Choi probably will be non-tendered if money probelms arise. Cruz at his salary will start. Izzy and Odalis could both be trade bait, although neither is worth much

    2005-11-26 09:46:34
    25.   D4P
    23
    For the most part, I don't see the Dodgers saving much money through trades. The most likely savings might come from Odalis and his $7 million contract. The other big dollar guys seem likely to stay.
    2005-11-26 09:48:37
    26.   King of the Hobos
    Now that I think about it, one of Colletti's specialties in San Francisco has handing heavily backloaded contracts to players. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens again. Of course we'll hate them when the player is 40 and earns $12 mil plus $2 mil deferred for the first 3 years of retirement
    2005-11-26 09:56:30
    27.   willhite
    24 - I'd be willing to take a chance on Giles and Nomar. It would fill two holes, although we would still have a major problem at SP.

    25 - I don't see them saving any money in trades. More than likely they would be trading prospects for established players. If they can actually get someone to take O. Perez they would have to eat part of his salary. At that point, it probably pays to keep him and see how he performs. After all, it's not as though he's never pitched well before.

    2005-11-26 09:58:55
    28.   King of the Hobos
    Where did Jon get the $7.5 mil figure for Penny? I have it as $4.5 mil + $1 mil of his signing bonus to be paid in January 2006
    2005-11-26 10:03:54
    29.   willhite
    26 -

    Once the baby brigade hits in '07-'08, he can reverse himself and frontload contracts. He can sign a couple of older players for "more now - less later" since the rest of the payroll will be very low. Then, when the veterans' skills decline, they'll be very tradeable because the bulk of their contracts will have been paid in the earlier years.

    2005-11-26 10:11:04
    30.   molokai
    Nate Silver is getting better and better.
    2005-11-26 10:17:26
    31.   Steve
    No signing overrated shortstops to outrageous contracts. Play Robles, bat him eighth, ship Izturis to the Devil Rays for John McLaren, then wait for JtD.
    2005-11-26 10:20:45
    32.   D4P
    31
    Yeah. What Steve said.
    2005-11-26 10:22:55
    33.   Steve
    Half of baseball's current misery stems from not just batting crappy shortstops eighth where they belong.
    2005-11-26 10:23:40
    34.   willhite
    31 -
    Steve, you seem to be the Jay Mariotti of DT, always finding the dark cloud in every silver lining.

    Take our newly found 18 million and let us know how you would spend it. I'm assuming you wouldn't use it all on McLaren's salary.

    2005-11-26 10:31:55
    35.   sanchez101
    if bj ryan is worth $47/5, i think that furcal may ask for considerably more than $4/40
    2005-11-26 10:34:30
    36.   D4P
    35
    If Darren Dreifort is worth $55/5...
    2005-11-26 10:39:21
    37.   Steve
    34 -- You start from an incorrect assumption. This is not simply a matter of spending "18 million." Take Furcal, for example. First of all, 4/40 is a pipe dream. Take the evidence:

    1) His agent has already come out and said that he wants a five year contract, presumably at 10 million a year.

    2) The Blue Jays just threw $50 million at a worthless closer, driving the price up for real, contributing baseball players even higher

    3) There are four teams bidding for Furcal, including a very stupid one in the Cubs.

    QED, you are going to pay 50 million + for Rafael Furcal.

    But that's not all, because you also get in the deal:

    1) A shortstop for the next five years, blocking any other candidates that may come up -- candidates that may themselves be able to post a .740 OPS (I'm thinking of Mr. Guzman and Mr. Hu here) for far less than the 50 million plus Furcal is going to command on the "open" market (since the market is not open or free, the idea of an open market merits quotation marks)

    2) The financial reality that you have committed one-tenth of your payroll (less if you have less than a 100 million dollar payroll) to one player (who only barely without even paying attention to the other. And that before you take into account that with the new Times-centric leadership in the front office, Gagne just won himself roughly 60 million, if not more.

    3) The risk/reward of paying a .740 OPS player like Furcal is ludicrous. What if he gets injured? You plug in...Oscar Robles, a .700 OPS? Why would you pay Furcal in the first place, much less take on all the risk of possible injury? You can see doing it for certain players who add a lot of value when they ARE playing, but the risk/reward is skewed on this deal.

    To answer your question, I wouldn't do anything with the 18 million that couldn't be done in a one year contract. The future health of the Dodgers, if there is to be any, lies in whether the minor leagues are really as good as people say. In fact, perhaps to answer your question, rather than waste my "18 million" on some 28 year old who will only get rich because of baseball's arcane and self-defeating free agency rules, I might take it and reopen that second diamond in the Dominican Republic.

    2005-11-26 10:40:44
    38.   willhite
    35,36 -

    The law of supply and demand is indeed fascinating.

    2005-11-26 10:46:18
    39.   FirstMohican
    37 - The DR doesn't even use USD, let alone millions of them.
    2005-11-26 10:46:39
    40.   willhite
    37 -

    Believe me, I'm not necessarily endorsing the signing of Furcal, but I would be interested to know if you owned the Dodgers, if you would be willing to spend money on any well-established current player, either by signing him in FA or by trading for him and assuming his contract.

    Doesn't have to be a shortstop. Could be any position.

    As owner of the Dodgers, are you concerned that if you wait for the kids and don't put a representative team on the field for the next couple of years that you might lose a lot of your fan base and drive yourself even further into a financial hole.

    Then what happens if only a few of the kids pan out. Steve, I'm not arguing with you, just interested in your opinion, because you seem so passionate about it.

    2005-11-26 10:47:08
    41.   Steve
    Like for instance, this guy could probably be had for one year:

    .283 .320 .452 .772

    2005-11-26 10:47:29
    42.   regfairfield
    21 Yesterday, the Times reported a 75 million dollar payroll.

    I'm confused.

    2005-11-26 10:49:56
    43.   FirstMohican
    The player doesn't exist.
    2005-11-26 10:50:56
    44.   FirstMohican
    42 - Well, if McCourt gets wind of the Times' projected payroll, then it probably end up that way.
    2005-11-26 10:54:21
    45.   willhite
    41 -

    You might be able to get him for one year if he was 39 yrs old and injured part of last year, but if he was 30 years old his agent would be demanding 3/18 at a minimum.

    2005-11-26 10:58:49
    46.   sanchez101
    40. The best values in the "FA" market have shown to be at the top and bottom. All-stars and guys that continually compete for MVP's are usually worth the money, and provide considerable upside; guys like Tejada and Guerrero. At the bottom you dont risk as much, but provide yourself with upside should they pan out. I think its all about the risk/reward balance and asking yourself the question, "where is the upside?" Its best to think of these contracts not as employment deals, but as quasi-venture capitol deals. A GM has to be thinking about getting more production than what he is paying for, the baseball version of making a profit.

    Where is the upside for a potential furcal deal? There is none, at best he performs at his current level where he would be worth the money hes getting paid but not more. But there is a great downside that furcal get injured, declines, or just doesnt perform up to expectations and is a albatross.

    Of course you could consider the PR/ticket situation or justify it by saying that the given player will put you over the hump and into the playoffs. But is furcal going to do that, and are there other cheaper options? I think all these questions need to be considered.

    2005-11-26 10:59:22
    47.   D4P
    41
    ...Nomah...?
    2005-11-26 10:59:42
    48.   Steve
    It is true that I would be mildly more comfortable if the discussion revolved around actual performing baseball players rather than refuse like Pierre, or mildly interesting but overrated shortstops, like Furcal. But the "open" market is completely gamed to players. So the answer to your question is probably no. That said, there are always gradations of no. I would be more comfortable with the signing of a Brian Giles, or, at the extreme, someone like an Adam Dunn.
    2005-11-26 11:02:35
    49.   Steve
    46 - well put. That is exactly right. That the Dodgers are even talking to Furcal is an outrage.

    Can Nomar not play shortstop any more? And when I say that, I don't mean, is he slow. I mean, Robles is slow.

    2005-11-26 11:02:39
    50.   willhite
    48 - Seems to me that ol' Brian is the DT number 1 choice for signing. Who has Colletti's phone number?
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2005-11-26 11:11:51
    51.   Steve
    I would feel more charitable to my fellow humans if the Cubs would finally finish their deal for Pierre. Until then, all stations are at red alert.
    2005-11-26 11:19:19
    52.   King of the Hobos
    There's a batter that hit .298/.356/.458 last year that could be had for next to nothing. He'll be 30 next year

    I'm not necessarily recommending Wes Helms, just found this interesting. He could be like Sanez but younger, healthier, and could actually play 3B, for about the same price as Saenz (the last 4 years he's hit .306/.400/.559 against lefties)

    2005-11-26 11:32:28
    53.   sanchez101
    52. on the same note, why pay a fortune for furcal when you could trade for lugo?

    2005
    furcal: 284/348/429 46sb 10cs
    j.lugo: 295/362/403 39sb 11cs

    lugo has one year before free agency and isnt going to be around for the first good dray's team. He could be had for a b-grade prospect or two.

    really, i think that the dodgers have to trade at least one b-grade prospects. the system has a couple of really good prospects, but is really strong in second tier or b-grade guys. if pierre can net a guy like reynel pinto, the dodgers should be albe to get lugo for orenduff or tiffany.

    2005-11-26 11:37:47
    54.   molokai
    The perception seems to be the Giants (Sabean/Colletti) trade most of their young pitching prospects. At the end of 2005 Matt Cain(20) / Noah Lowry(24) / Hennessey(25) were all part of the rotation in Sept. Their top prospect of 2003 was Foppert and they put him right into rotation. Going into 2003 he was as much a prospect as Billingsly with many scouts feeling he was the best pitching prospect of 2003. He of course blew his arm out and has since been traded. A trade that netted them Randy Winn who went on to have that incredible Aug/Sept. Kurt Ainsworth was also a top prospect who was allowed to pitch in 2002 and was a main part of the rotation in 2003 before he was flipped for Ponson and then he blew his shoulder out. So contrary to popular belief they actually gave their young pitchers a chance and it looks like they kept the right ones in Cain and Lowry.

    The terrible trade of Nathan/Bonser/Liriano looks much worse in hindsite. At the time of the deal, Nathan was no more then a setup guy with success about the same as Mota. Bonser was a struggling prospect who had stagnated in the minors. Liriano who is the star of the bunch had a great arm but struggled with injuries in the low minors and even going into 2005 he was a ???. Still it was a bad deal but you have to look at the history. They had just seen the top prospect for 2002 in Ainsworth become worthless and then the top prospect Foppert in 2003 become worthless. But the important thing to remember is that they did give Foppert and Ainsworth a chance after they proved they deserved it with excellent minor league credentials.

    Top 4 VORP starters in rotation in 2005
    Name Vorp/Salary Name Vorp/Salary
    Penney 31/5.1 - Schimdt 17/8.1
    Lowe 28/7 - Lowry 35/.3
    Weaver 25/9 - Cain 16/.3 (only 7 starts)
    OP 8/4.5 - Hennessey 10/.3
    92/25.6 78/9

    I don't think anyone will argue that Schimdt is the class of the bunch. Matt Cain is probably going to be the 2nd best pitcher of the group of 8 and Lowry might will be the 3rd best pitcher of the group of 8. Going forward I'd much rather have the young/cheap/mediocre now but possibly great rotation that Sabean/Colletti built then the veteran/expensive/mediocre rotation that Depo/Evans built. The 2006 Giant version could easily put up a VORP of 130 with Schmidt pitching a normal season for him and Cain being fulltime in the rotation. The Dodgers can only hope to replace Weaver with the same numbers given what is available and maybe OP pitches a full year giving us a chance at 100. The Cain/Lowry combo is what we had hoped the Jackson/Miller combo would become. I don't understand the doomsday forecasts. The day the Dodgers make one trade that nets them a Jason Schimdt and it will be the 1st one I can remember since the old Burt Hooten/Jerry Ruess steals of a different era. Colletti has the opportunity to create the same thing in LA with Billingsly/Broxton/E Jackson/G Miller/Orenduff/Tiffany. At least 2 of these will pan out and to think he will not give them a chance is not looking at the Giant history in the correct light.

    2005-11-26 11:43:57
    55.   molokai
    53
    Why do you think Lugo can be had for a B prospect? He has alot of value and the new TB management is not going to give him away. He is not a salary dump because his salary is very reasonable. Whoever does not get Furcal is going to be very interested in Lugo and I'll be shocked if he comes cheaply. Even Izzy would be worth more then a B prospect and Lugo is better then Izzy. Maybe not among baseball fans but certainly among general managers not named Bowden.
    2005-11-26 11:49:38
    56.   Bob Timmermann
    Steve is many things. He is not Jay Mariotti. No one should be besmirched with the mark of the Chicago Plaschke like that.
    2005-11-26 11:58:12
    57.   DaveP
    Bob,

    Next time you catch a game in Japan, be sure and get your permit first before playing the drums.

    http://www.sltrib.com/nationworld/ci_3253825
    "Japan's Pro Baseball Owners' Association decided in August that, beginning next season, leaders of cheering sections at its games will be required to submit to background checks and be licensed. Permits will be required for anyone who plays drums or trumpets at the game, waves flags or banners, or leads organized chants. Owners say organized-crime gangs were moving into the cheering sections and shaking down fans for tips."

    2005-11-26 11:58:57
    58.   King of the Hobos
    51 Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune says the Marlins will probably hold off dealing Pierre until after Damon signs. In other news, Boras has claimed he will take no offers for Damon until after the Winter Meetings start

    Can Giles just agree to come here, and then can we name Cruz the starter? The sooner we do that, the less likely we are to panic and deal Guzman for Pierre

    2005-11-26 12:00:50
    59.   Bob Timmermann
    57
    Fortunately, I don't sit in the organized cheering sections. It's too tiring. And too loud. It's a lot easier to just get a seat in the upper deck and sit quietly.

    At games in Japan, the cheap seats all fill in first and then later the expensive seats are filled.

    Picture going to a Dodger game where the pavilions would be packed and the seats behind home plate would be only about half-full.

    2005-11-26 12:19:56
    60.   Steve
    58 -- And the Sword of Plaschkeces hangs over us
    2005-11-26 12:20:30
    61.   slackfarmer
    55 Wouldn't it make more sense for the D-rays to hold onto Lugo for now and move him right before the trade deadline? Seems that they could get more from some desperate Bowden-type.
    2005-11-26 12:20:42
    62.   Steve
    I guess it would be Plaschkecles
    2005-11-26 12:26:14
    63.   dsfan
    My two cents:

    Sign Giles at $30 million if you can, but he'll probably get more elsewhere.

    Feign interest in Furcal but do not sign him. Lots of good points above about Furcal.

    Call me a radical, PR-dumb fool, but I also would:

    * Shop Kent. I love him but his value will never be higher. Someone will overpay. If not, keep him. I'd even see what the Angels would give for him -- say, Kendrick/Kotchman. Boston and Toronto would possibly overpay for him.

    * Keep Bradley if the medical outlook is solid for early next season. Even tempermental, immature CFs have good value. Repko or Drew can play a good CF until Bradley is healthy. If Bradley has two good months, he'll help the team and you'll have trade value.

    * Keep Aybar. This won't happen. The LAD don't seem to like him and LaRoche is pretty close. But Aybar could be special. He's got a broad skill set. Sure, his HRs are weak for a 3B. But he's got pretty good slugging numbers and he's only 22. He can do a lot of things. Oh yeah, he's shown he's durable. Durability is becoming more and more of an asset. Prediction: He'll be given away.

    * Trade Eric Gagne becuase you'll get someone to overpay. The B.J. Ryan contract shows just how loco the market for closers is. Whoever loses the Billy Wagner derby will overpay for Gagne, even with the medical risks. From the hyper and silly Mets, maybe you get Milledge/Seo/minor league pitcher and $20 milliion in payroll relief next two years. Form the Phillies maybe you get Cole Hamel/Gavin Floyd/good minor leaguer/payroll relief.

    * OK, so you don't want to trade Gagne. Fine. Then offer Brazoban to the loser of the Wagner sweepstakes. He's cheap and has a good record as a closer. As with Kent and Gagne, make them overpay or hold onto him.

    * Offer Joel Guzman for Red Sox Double-A LHP Lester and Triple-A C Shoppach. Guzman would help Boston replace Henley Ramirez and projects well for their longterm needs (RF/1B). Lester gives the LAD another bona fide starting pitching prospect at Double-A or above (I don't consider E. Jackson or Greg Miller bona fide prospects).
    When's the last time the LAD developed a few strong starting pitchers out of their farm sytem? Any? Right, many years. Well, if you've got Billingsley/Lester/Orenduff/Elbert someone's got to pan out, no? And you could add to this pool if you get an overpay or two on Kent/Gagne/Brazoban

    * Listen to offers for but do NOT trade Billingsley, Martin, Navarro, Kemp, LaRoche. Listen harder on Guzman, Broxton, D. Young, Tiffany, Elbert, DeWitt.

    * Strategic plan: Throw the fans a bone. Announce a token pay cut for peanuts, some seats, beer, antying. And do more giveaways. Admit to mistakes. Take some of the focus on winning in because the 2006 season so that you can better focus on 2008-08. I'm not saying to raise the white flag. Try to win in 2006, but not at the expense of 2007-08.

    2005-11-26 13:06:46
    64.   werthgagne31
    This from the L.A. Times.

    Dodger executives are telling other organizations they have about $18 million to spend, assuming they trade Bradley or don't make him an offer.

    2 top tier free agents is all we can get for 18 million (giles and a starting pitcher).

    2005-11-26 13:16:06
    65.   Bob Timmermann
    I'm bummed that Iowa State lost to Kansas sending Colorado to the Big XII championship game. Colorado is such an evil college football program that I would consider rooting for Notre Dame against them if they played.
    2005-11-26 13:20:12
    66.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
    I'll admit, I thought Furcal had a better OBP than he does. The Dodgers could use someone on base in front of Kent/Drew, but Furcal is barely making it to .350 OBP. So yeah, let's not give him $50 mil for the next five years.

    I'd really like to see them focus on pitching and outfield. I'm still far from convinced that Giles will be worth the money in his later years, though. To me it's almost a given that he won't be, which would make him a drag on the team during what could be the peak years of Guzman/LaRoche/Billingsley et al.

    2005-11-26 13:22:23
    67.   D4P
    66
    Well, Guzman/LaRoche/Billingsley et al. should all be pretty cheap during the final year or so of Giles' contract, so maybe now would be an ideal time to risk such a contract.
    2005-11-26 13:23:49
    68.   molokai
    Why would the Dodgers tell other organizations how much they have to spend? It is not a normal practice to tell your competition what your plans are. That is just undocumented noise and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Got my season ticket renewal today. They are keeping the 2 for 2 which is my plan so I'm happy. The list price for all tickets looks like they have gone up from 16 to 20 in my area but the season ticket price has stayed the same at 8. The most expensive season ticket price is 60.00 which I'm sure if you check around the baseball world is very competitive.

    You can buy the chairs for 250.00 per chair but you must buy them in pairs so the real cost is 500.00 to own a piece of history. 56,000 * 250 = 14 Million. That would defray the cost a bit but what are the odds they would actually find 28,000 fools?

    2005-11-26 13:24:30
    69.   D4P
    The scrappy Repko is up for an MLB award. His catch on July 1st is up for Play of the Year. Interestingly enough, I was actually at that game {the first game I had seen at Dodger Stadium since 1985}. I missed that play, however, as it occurred during the one time my buddy and I got up for refreshments.
    2005-11-26 13:33:43
    70.   molokai
    69
    Saw it on TV, it was one of the great catches I've ever seen. I think his brain was woozy the rest of the year.
    2005-11-26 13:38:22
    71.   natepurcell
    what does everyone think we can get for kent, odalis, gagne and drew at the trading deadline this season? :)
    2005-11-26 13:50:21
    72.   jasonungar05
    So our GM comes from a team that has had baseball's version of MJ for the last 10 years and never won a ring and now we are interviewing a bench coach from the Devil Rays who didn't even get promoted when Pinella bailed?

    And we think going or not going after Furcal (oh god NO for the record)will have anything to do with us ever winning?

    2005-11-26 13:50:45
    73.   D4P
    71
    You mean you're not getting them something for Christmas?
    2005-11-26 14:07:07
    74.   sanchez101
    71. If depo was in still in charge, gagne would be dealt in either july or november 2006. But with colletti, who knows. I could see gagne netting the dodgers something really good at that time. The yankees and the red sox would be prime targets, but i dont think either team has(or would have) the prospects to pull it off, it would take a third team to do it. Just for fun; gagne to boston, david ortiz to detroit, cameron maybin to LA.
    2005-11-26 14:31:17
    75.   fanerman
    So is B.J. Ryan really a Blue Jay? Last I heard (a couple days ago?), J.P. was denying it. Has it since been confirmed?
    2005-11-26 14:51:02
    76.   molokai
    So what did Billy Beane actually teach Ricarrdi and Depo? At least when Depo blew his money he did it on hitters and starting pitching not on someone who is going throw 75 innings a season.
    If that is not the worse contract of this winter it will probably be the Wagner contract. Yuck

    Trade Gagne NOW to whoever loses(wins) in the Wagner sweepstakes.

    2005-11-26 15:11:49
    77.   sanchez101
    you dont trade gagne now because there are questions abou this health and the bullpen is pretty young and inexperienced behind him. i really hope either kuo and/or broxton asserts himself as a dominating reliever, i think by mid season one of the two might.

    the dodgers have a lot of young relievers; kuo and broxton (if youre commiting to him as a reliever) are high ceiling strikeout guys, sanchez should be an effective setup guy going forward and brazoban still has promise in the same role, schmoll and osoria are solid ground ball middle guys, and then you have jose diaz, who was throwing in the upper-90's this season in his comback from TJ, and greg miller who logan white has claimed will compete for a role in the bullpen in spring training.

    unfortuantly only sanchez is really established as an effective reliever, and brazoban is the only other with any success in the majors, but by the trading deadline the dodgers should have releivers coming out of their ears.

    2005-11-26 15:54:16
    78.   dsfan
    In this goofy marketplace, it's the perfect time to see what you can get for Gagne and his $20 million IOU.

    I'd be on the phone right now to the Mets, Phillies, Braves and Indians.

    The B.J. Ryan contract will put Wagner in the $40 million range.

    Whoever loses out will view Gagne's contract as fairly cheap, even with the medical risks.

    If Wagner goes to the Phillies, Omar Minaya will be even more desperate.

    What have you got to lose from gathering information?

    Let the marketplace be your guide (something Depo grossly failed to do when he gave away Dave Roberts).

    Nor would I wait to see what I could get for Kent.

    2005-11-26 16:17:58
    79.   willhite
    78 -

    As you're sounding out the other GM's what are you expecting to hear back? What would you expect to be able to get for Kent and/or Gagne? If not exact names, what type of players?

    2005-11-26 16:38:12
    80.   Norm
    I wonder how much extra revenue is generated at the concession stands by fans sticking around until the end of the game, in the hope of seeing Gagne pitch. Is it possible that the McCourts wouldn't allow Gagne to be traded?
    2005-11-26 16:41:46
    81.   coachjpark
    70 I was at the game in which Repko made that catch, but it certainly wasn't all THAT great. Sure, he made a great catch, but it was more about how he crashed into the wall after he made the catch. A better outfielder probably would have caught the ball a lot more gracefully than Mr. Scrapko. Now, Ichiro's catch on Garret Anderson was amazing. He climbed the wall and had about 8 feet to give... he's so high up that he caught the ball in his mid-section.

    I voted for Belliard's no-look flip. Now, that was just sick.

    http://tinyurl.com/9j2ep

    2005-11-26 16:48:24
    82.   D4P
    81
    So you too were on hand to witness Edwards' historic first major league homerun? There's something to tell the grandkids about...
    2005-11-26 16:53:00
    83.   molokai
    Different types of catches. Ichiro's catch was incredibly athletic but even he misjudged the ball and had to turn back to make the catch which is what made it incredible. Repko's catch was just pure idiocy, slamming into the wall at full speed and HOLDING on to it. As you watch Repko play you realize his best atribute is his speed because he doesn't take the best routes and is not the best judge of where a ball is going to go. But then he's only been a CF for a few years.
    2005-11-26 16:53:20
    84.   coachjpark
    Funny how 2 performances of the year candidates are because of 1) Jason Phillips and 2) Inept Dodger offense
    2005-11-26 17:07:28
    85.   norcalblue
    >> In fact, perhaps to answer your question, rather than waste my "18 million" on some 28 year old who will only get rich because of baseball's arcane and self-defeating free agency rules, I might take it and reopen that second diamond in the Dominican Republic.<<

    How about sending the first $2-3m to Luke Hochevar?

    2005-11-26 17:12:54
    86.   Robert Fiore
    Trading Gagne would be like trading Piazza. I can't imagine that an ownership sensitive to public opinion would even contemplate it.

    Trading Kent is intriguing because to the right team this could be trading for a pennant. However, in this scenario you'd be trading Kent for prospects, wouldn't you? Who would give up a good starting pitcher for him?

    2005-11-26 17:16:32
    87.   D4P
    86
    If the ownership was so sensitive to public opinion, would they really have gotten rid of Lo Duca, Green, Roberts, Cora, etc.?
    2005-11-26 17:23:52
    88.   willhite
    86 -

    Gagne - agree with 87

    Kent - that was my thought when I posed the question above (79). Seems to me that we could probably only get prospects for Kent and I'm not sure we need any more prospects

    2005-11-26 17:26:40
    89.   D4P
    88
    The Dodgers could probably use some outfield prospects, no?
    2005-11-26 17:31:32
    90.   King of the Hobos
    The Dodgers do have Young, Kemp, Ruggiano and Raglani all within 2 years of the majors, they're just not Milledge

    On one of the Colletti interviews I heard, he said he had no intentions of trading Kent, saying he'd rather trade for 5 more Kents. Plans change, but at this point I wouldnt't think he's going anywhere

    2005-11-26 17:45:43
    91.   sanchez101
    86. trading gagne would be like trading piazza, which, contrary to popular opinion, was best for the dodgers, here are the warp's for piazza and sheffield:

    player '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05
    Piazza 7.9 7.6 7.3 4.1 2.5 2.8 3.0
    Sheff' 7.6 9.1 8.3 7.1 10.47.5 6.8

    while with the dodgers, through 2001, sheffield accrued 25.0 warp for appx. $30 million, while Piazza accrued 22.8 warp for $32 million druing the same period. After that period piazza was never again an elite player. Of course we received more than just sheffield in exchange for piazza, but sheffield alone justified the deal. Like piazza, gagne is a player more likely to decline going forward than match his previous levels of production while getting paid like a superstar.

    I doubt that mccourt/colletti will have the balls to trade Gagne, we can only hope that kuo or broxton can break through next season and someone in the front office can convince mccourt/colletti to do it. Hopefully mccourts cheapness can get the better of him then.

    2005-11-26 17:56:22
    92.   dsfan
    What would I want for Gagne or Kent?

    Bona fida starting pitchers from Double-A up. Someone like Boston's Lester. Maybe one of Toronto's legit guys.

    For all the buzz over the LAD prospects, the franchise hasn't been so hot at producing starting pitching the last 4-7 years.

    I think Billingsley's legit. Miller, no. Jackson, no. Tiffany, no. Orenduff is a No. 4-5. So, get another guy who projects as a 1, 2 or 3.

    I'd also look for a leadoff man/CF type such as Milledge if my scouts think he's legit. And I'd be brazen enough to ask the Angels for Kotchman/Wood/Kendrick.

    Colletti probably won't trade Kent, but finding out what his market value makes sense.

    Shopping Gagne makes even more sense, because there's so much desperation in the marketplace. You have leverage, why not see just how much? Minaya's pretty goofy as it is. If someone doesn't overpay, you hold onto him.

    As for the PR fallout, I'm one of the few that thinks trading Piazza wasn't such a bad idea. Of course, the execution was inexcusably bad. Fox Ownership put a gun to Claire's head, made it very hard for him to get equal value. Done right, the LAD could've gotten more for Piazza.

    I'm also skeptical that Gagne will ever be as good as he was. He was worked very hard and rumors of Vitamin S were pretty thick.

    2005-11-26 17:58:11
    93.   D4P
    92
    Yeah, I've always suspected that Gagne was strong to the finish because he took his Vitamin S.
    2005-11-26 18:05:37
    94.   Andrew Shimmin
    Stanford's really making a game of it.
    2005-11-26 18:05:56
    95.   King of the Hobos
    Bruce Levine of some radio show in Chicago (Baseball 365) said the Dodgers are talking to the Cubs about a Bradley for Walker/prospect deal. Obviously, I have no idea if there is any credibility, but it's something more concrete than the other rumors ("Dodgers continue to shop Bradley"). Certainly better than non-tendering him, but that would be $2.5 mil gone from the $18 mil number (if that is true). Or we could flip him to a team that needs a 2B.

    Does Jon have any thoughts on posting rumors? Only ones with sources? Or none at all? Or whatever you like? I hate to post unsubstantiated rumors if I'm not suppose to

    2005-11-26 18:07:18
    96.   molokai
    No need to trade Kent during the Winter because he could be part of our pennant drive in 2006 or he could be traded for a nice haul if the 2006 team stutters and the RedSox or Yankee's or Twins or Tribe or Mets need a slug 2nd baseman for their pennant drive.
    Gagne on the other hand probably has his best value right now with closers and setup men going for silly money. That is 10 mill in 2006 and 12 mill in 2007 we could be saving besides what we would reap in a deal. He could be the best closer in baseball and he's not close to being worth 22 million over 2 years if our budget is going to be around 75-85 mill. Still ticks me off that Depo inked Gagne to that deal instead of trading him at the top of his value when we would have gotten a kings ransom for him. You can't be paying your closer 15% of your budget, I don't care who he is. Can anyone name a World Champion that payed their closer 15% of the budget? Bring in Gordon to watch over the kiddie corps, he would do just fine for a lot less money. I'll miss Gagne but he's never going to be what he was and we are going to be seriously overpaying for his historical seasons. If McCourt wants to raise the payroll to 100 million that is a different deal but at 75-80 we can't afford Gagne. JMO
    2005-11-26 18:12:15
    97.   D4P
    95
    Isn't Walker a 2B? If the Dodgers were interested in him, I suppose it might be as a 1B.
    2005-11-26 18:14:35
    98.   sanchez101
    95. i think its fine if you say that the rumor is unsubstantiated, most arent, but the ones that turn out to be true start out that way. We just need to keep that in mind.

    this one seems stupid, where is walker going to play, 3B? maybe, but it just doesnt seem likely unless there is another team.

    2005-11-26 18:38:58
    99.   dsfan
    Gagne is past his prime. His elbow is a ticking bomb. The knee problems are yellow flags. So are the Vitamin S rumors. And judging by his comments in the LAT, he's been drinking the Boras Kool-Aid.

    With the current feeding frenzy for closers, you could free up $20 million and get maybe two bona fide advanced prospects and a decent major leaguer.

    As a bonus, you shed another Boras client.

    You can bet a guy like Theo Epstein would be finding out what Gagne could fetch.

    Make the right deal, and you got about $40 million to spend, plus an incredible amount of young talent.

    I'd like to know more about Milledge.

    2005-11-26 18:56:14
    100.   Uncle Miltie
    I'd rather the Dodgers keep Bradley, but since that's not going to happen Walker would be fine. Walker is another good hit, no field 2B (like Kent). The Dodgers could flip him to a team like the Rangers or Indians for a prospect or two. I would not want to see Walker stay and play 1st base or 3rd where his offense would be average at best. I'd love to see the A's trade for Bradley.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2005-11-26 19:00:59
    101.   dsfan
    Todd Walker could be a great bench player, if he accepted the role.

    Bradley might have more trade value than commonly thought.

    The Cubs could get a lot of value out of him. Jim Tracy probably wants him, too. He needs a player with Bradley's upside.

    Colletti needs to pit the Cubs against the Pirates, drive the price up.

    Don't rule out Oliver Perez. The Pirates might move him.. The kid's erratic and he's a Boras client.

    2005-11-26 20:12:44
    102.   zappala
    Wow, Stanford has a chance at a huge upset here.
    2005-11-26 20:17:49
    103.   D4P
    102
    Go Cardinal! A Notre Dame loss would (presumably) help Oregon significantly, and would also make Bob T. happy.
    2005-11-26 20:18:41
    104.   fanerman
    Boooooo. Come on Notre Dame... (Go Bears!)
    2005-11-26 20:21:05
    105.   D4P
    It's not on TV here, but I see ND just completed 30 and 17 yard passes. NO!
    2005-11-26 20:21:49
    106.   zappala
    Stanford has about the worst CBs I have ever seen.
    2005-11-26 20:22:28
    107.   zappala
    ND at the Stanford 10 with 1:11...
    2005-11-26 20:24:01
    108.   fanerman
    YES!
    2005-11-26 20:24:04
    109.   zappala
    Oh drat, touchdown Notre Dame. I figured this would happen. Well, 55 seconds for another try at the miracle.
    2005-11-26 20:25:54
    110.   GoBears
    104 Damn straight!
    2005-11-26 20:31:57
    111.   zappala
    Sigh, a pitiful end again. First UCLA now ND. Let's hope for better times ahead.
    2005-11-26 21:09:38
    112.   Steve
    85 -- a little late here, but yes, yes, and yes. If you don't want to sign him because he's a Boras client, don't draft him. Otherwise, put your money where it might do some good.
    2005-11-26 22:03:08
    113.   natepurcell
    I'd like to know more about Milledge.

    milledge is an excellent athlete. projects to be a gold glover in centerfield. his bat speed is one of the best in the minors. He oozes tools. He could refine his walk rate more but i think that will come with his development. Because of his incredible bat speed, scouts project him to hit for 25-35 homeruns annually. His speed is legit, can eventually be a 30-30 guy.

    needless to say, i would love to have an OF prospect like lastings milledge.

    2005-11-26 22:12:51
    114.   das411
    113 - So Kent and Gagne for Milledge, eh Nate? :)
    2005-11-26 22:14:43
    115.   Steve
    "And judging by his comments in the LAT, he's been drinking the Boras Kool-Aid."

    Ding, Ding, Ding. I'll take Boras Zombie Talk (and the Idiot Sports Columnists Who Love It) for $200, Alex.

    2005-11-26 22:18:20
    116.   King of the Hobos
    Plaschke's new piece is quite the gem. He acts like many other Dodgers fans, 3 big trades were made, and none of them included the Dodgers (nor did they include 24 other teams, but Bill can ignore that). He thinks it's insane that with 13 days on the job, Colletti has done nothing. Because we all know that every other new GM makes a lot of moves immediately after being hired. You don't sit down, talk to people about the farm and the team, analyze FAs...no, you hand money out to anyone and trade anyone to get a name

    And this is great:

    "The place is a wreck. Jim Tracy left it in turmoil."

    The third 'paragraph' down from that: "There is one man who is perfect for the job. He is calm, smart, rational, and all this craziness would just make him grin. One problem. He now spends his summers in Pittsburgh."

    I may have misinterpreted that, but I find it hilarious nonetheless.

    Another good one: "Colletti would have had a veteran baseball adviser to help with trades." Yes, the advisor in question is Tracy. Because we all know Tracy likes to make trades. A team with LoDuca, Roberts, Mota, etc would be a great way for Colletti to start

    And lastly: "Colletti said the Beckett deal was too far along for him to intercept, but he has watched Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado go to the New York Mets for prospects, and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Jim Thome go to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Aaron Rowand.

    "Don't the Dodgers need a first baseman?" No, no we do not. And we need a "big money deal" to make this a winning team

    2005-11-26 22:22:04
    117.   natepurcell
    So Kent and Gagne for Milledge, eh Nate?

    thats too much to give up for one prospects. But a package around milledge for one of those players and i would be all over it.

    placshke is a moron, i hope he gets fired.

    2005-11-26 22:28:39
    118.   King of the Hobos
    Because I need to continue to beat the horse...

    "Throughout baseball, managers have filled hot stoves and sold season tickets with talk of future hopes and heroes."

    Do Ned Yost, Frank Robinson, and Buddy Bell sell season season tickets now? Is it now standard to make managers ticket vendors? Last time I looked, people don't buy season tickets to see Clint Hurdle manage. And what does filled the hot stove mean? They leak random rumors?

    2005-11-26 22:29:24
    119.   Suffering Bruin
    He is up: http://tinyurl.com/aq27o

    So I've got this kid in my class. I grant I'm a first-year teacher and I'll make a million mistakes over the next several months but when a guy falls asleep in my class two days in a row, I feel it's time for a teacher/student conference.

    Teacher: "You're sleeping in my class."
    Student: "No, I'm not, I'm paying attention."
    Teacher: "What video were we watching today?"
    (silence)
    Teacher: "Okay then. What's the problem?"
    Student: "I don't like literature. I like sports."
    Teacher: "Fine. I'll get a press pass to a college basketball game, you write up an article and that will be your non-fiction assignment. You'll be a sports journalist for the day. Give me a game report and a column."
    Student: (very excited) "Cool! Any advice on the column?"
    Teacher: "Yeah. The best columnists combine good writing with cogent analysis based on factual evidence and their own observations, along with working in the observations of others. It's your opinion, of course, but taking into account both sides and avoiding personal grudges is the best way to serve the readers."
    Student: "You mean like Bill Plaschke?"
    (long silence)
    Teacher: "I'm going to need to talk to your parents about sleeping in class."

    2005-11-26 22:30:17
    120.   fanerman
    117 - I've been hoping for a very long time.

    I wouldn't mind trading for the future (Kent, Gagne, etc). Even when the prospects come in 2007, they won't be "seasoned" for another year, so probably won't be contending right away anyway. But I doubt we're going to do that. I'm sure they want to win now while still being in position to win later, especially in the climate the Dodgers front office is in right now. Too bad.

    2005-11-26 22:31:47
    121.   Suffering Bruin
    119 is a true story, by the by.
    2005-11-26 22:33:12
    122.   fanerman
    121 - I hope you lectured the boy about the evils of Plaschke. No, not far enough. I hope you lectured the whole class about the evils of Plaschke.
    2005-11-26 22:34:01
    123.   natepurcell
    plaschke has brainwashed the the future of america.
    2005-11-26 22:34:37
    124.   Steve
    It took Plaschke all of a week and a half to turn on Colletti? What an idiot.
    2005-11-26 22:35:43
    125.   regfairfield
    124 Well what I gathered was that he was about to turn on him, then funneled that hatred towards DePo.
    2005-11-26 22:39:54
    126.   natepurcell
    if anything, he should be praising colletti for NOT making any stupid trades and giving away the future.
    2005-11-26 22:41:31
    127.   Steve
    I've actually decided that it is entirely rational that the worse Bill Plaschke hates the Dodgers, the worse his advice to them would be. It would be like me telling the Giants to trade for Juan Pierre.

    Let me guess without Rowand for Thome trade, even though everyone knows that had DePodesta traded Repko for Thome, Plaschke would have written his next day's column in his own blood.

    2005-11-26 22:42:02
    128.   Suffering Bruin
    122 I should amend and say the last line was fiction but everything else is word-for-word.

    It ain't easy. I've got three guys who love sports, two who want to write about sports and Plaschke is their reference. Did writing change as I got older? I'm sure it did but is Plaschke considered "good" by today's standards? Because yesteryear, he wouldn't have a job. I grew up with Jim Murray. Yes, Murray could be grossly illogical; he would take a position and hold to it with a grip of iron but I didn't care because the quality of the writing was so high.

    I grew up with Chick Hearn calling Laker games, Dick Enberg as the voice of the Angels and UCLA hoops and Vin Scully behidn the mike for the Dodgers, all at a a time when the LAT had the finest sportswriters in the country, east coast be damned. I'm sorry, but today's column by Plaschke is... well, I'd say it's his nadir but who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    2005-11-26 22:42:10
    129.   Steve
    Let me guess without reading that Plaschke endorses the...
    2005-11-26 22:42:33
    130.   King of the Hobos
    How many more days of non-activity will it take for Plaschke to turn on Colletti? And what move is fine with Plaschke?

    Would Colletti listen to Plaschke and hire Fregosi to join the front office? That has to be better than Fregosi as manager. And Plaschke mentions there are 2 more unidentified candidates, I thought there was only one. Could Plaschke be revealing information for once?

    2005-11-26 22:43:38
    131.   Suffering Bruin
    everyone knows that had DePodesta traded Repko for Thome, Plaschke would have written his next day's column in his own blood.

    That was good.

    2005-11-26 22:46:07
    132.   King of the Hobos
    128 I like sports and don't like Plaschke (I'm 17 so probably close in age to whoever you teach). My friend hates the Dodgers...and hates Plaschke. Maybe it's that I don't mind literature that much (I prefer sports, but can handle literature)
    2005-11-26 22:48:40
    133.   Steve
    If Bill Plaschke had a brain, he would be intellectually dishonest. As it stands, I'm not even sure if he can be responsible for his own actions.
    2005-11-26 23:28:42
    134.   LAT
    Bruin, get your students a collection of Jim Murray articles. After they have read a few of those, then have them read a Plaschke article or two. That contrast should prove your point pretty quickly.
    2005-11-26 23:29:28
    135.   fanerman
    134 - You can make an exercise out of it!
    2005-11-26 23:56:08
    136.   Bob Timmermann
    Plaschke called Fregosi an adviser to "the smartest organization."

    They are smart enough not to make him the manager too.

    2005-11-27 00:01:50
    137.   Andrew Shimmin
    The first pass Plaschke makes at describing Thome for Rowand, sounds like he's saying the Indians came out ahead. Then a few paragraphs later he's bemoaning Colletti's failing to get Thome. Unless he thinks Thome for Bradley was ever going to happen.

    Whoever edits his columns is falling down on the job. The whole piece could have been rendered: I, the Great Bill Plaschke, wish Ned Colletti had magical powers. Jim Tracy has them, why doesn't Colletti? BECAUSE McCOURT IS CHEAP!" Cut, print.

    2005-11-27 00:10:59
    138.   overkill94
    Please, enough about the "trade Gagne" campaign, it ain't gonna happen. Doesn't likeability have a place in being a fan anymore? Gagne not only seems to be the nicest guy in the world, he's the face of the Dodgers right now. Someone mentioned the Loduca trade as proof that McCourt doesn't care about player PR, but I'd have to assume that this is another one of the reasons DePo got fired; McCourt was tired of hearing all the PR backlash from his moves.

    Plus, get Gagne's contract straight - he makes $10 million next year and then has an option year for $12 million in 2007 with a $1 million buyout. If he's still not healthy this year then it'll be easy to cut bait and the PR nightmare averted.

    Plus, are we comfortable with our bullpen without Gagne? Sanchez could be a decent enough closer, but who would set him up? Yhency "5.33 ERA" Brazoban? The unproven Broxton? Some expensive free agent?

    While Ryan's contract was pretty ridiculous, there are only a couple of teams (Philly and NYM) actively pursuing a closer, and Wagner and Hoffman are still out there along with potentials like Farnsworth and Gordon, not to mention the always available Danys Baez.

    2005-11-27 00:16:50
    139.   scareduck
    119 - so, you then rammed your fist down the lad's throat, extracting his huevos through that same oriface? Yes?
    2005-11-27 00:41:12
    140.   CanuckDodger
    I live in Canada, so I can't wait outside the L.A. Times' offices till I see Plaschke and then run him down with with my car. Most of you guys live in L.A., so what are your excuses?
    2005-11-27 00:41:57
    141.   GoBears
    Just this morning, I was thinking that Colletti so far has been all I could have hoped for, in that he hasn't made a single bad move. Beckett might have been a good guy to pursue, but I'm not sure I'd have liked the price. And all these deals he's NOT making have raised him in my estimation. Now, it could be that he's making the right (non)decisions for the wrong reasons, but so far, not so bad.

    I don't read the Times, so my exposure to Plaschke over the last 18 months has only been through the deconstruction here (and previously, on FJT). But to hear that he has exactly the opposite evaluation of Colletti's inaction makes me feel good. Nothing like invalidation from the moron brigade.

    2005-11-27 02:04:01
    142.   Louis in SF
    Suffering Bruin, I like you grew up in LA when Hearn, Enberg, Scully and Murray where some of the icons of LA Sports media and journalism, Bud Furillo was also good for a laugh.

    The level of sports journalism and great writing in most newspapers has slipped for many reasons too numerous to mention. I do agree that some of the stuff on the sports blogs, especially this one are often far better.

    Saying that I think many of you that are bashing Plaschke in this article are missing his crucial point even if it is not as clearly written as we would all like, or perhaps Murray would have written. I would argue the problem is not Colleti yet, the problem is McCourt and the money. Payroll seems to be going down, we have capricious firings of baseball people and administration people. These are all McCourt decisions. While Plaschke maybe wrong on the recent series of moves, I wonder if he is not really calling McCourt out for the lack of money being spent.

    2005-11-27 08:33:49
    143.   scareduck
    142 - then maybe he could say so. The lack of an acquisition of a quality right handed bat is most definitely the purview of the GM, however, so until and unless that changes, Plaschke can be accurately accused of being a hypocrite and of childish impatience.
    2005-11-27 09:02:04
    144.   Steve
    John McClaren, indeed.
    2005-11-27 09:55:03
    145.   King of the Hobos
    From the NY Daily News:

    "At the same time, Brian Giles, by his indifference to their [Yankee's] reported three-year $30 million-$33 million 'understanding' of an offer, appears to be merely keeping them on his docket while he attempts to get the offer he's looking for from another West Coast club, believed to be the Dodgers"

    2005-11-27 09:57:39
    146.   D4P
    145
    I think the Dodgers appear to have a very good chance of signing Giles, if they want to. I've read more than once that he wants to stay near his home in San Diego, and since it appears as if the Padres aren't going to resign him, LA* would seemingly be a good fit.

    *Not Anaheim

    2005-11-27 10:15:26
    147.   Linkmeister
    Here's a collection of Murray's columns from the 90s:

    http://tinyurl.com/dlq9w

    I like Tom Boswell's "How Life Imitates the World Series" as another example of good sportswriting. Then there's Angell.

    2005-11-27 11:00:33
    148.   overkill94
    Mmm, Giles, hopefully that would shut some of the pundits up. It it's true that Giles truly wants to stay on the west coast then you'd have to think we're the favorites and I don't see why we couldn't give him 3 years, 33 million or so if that's what it takes.
    2005-11-27 11:03:54
    149.   D4P
    148
    It would be interesting to see the reaction of BITGODs and Plaschkegans to a Giles signing, since he is the type of player that would probably appeal more to Depo and his followers.
    2005-11-27 11:19:56
    150.   the OZ
    I'm surprised that this quote was lost amid this morning's Plaschke-fisking:

    "'The talent going back, coupled with the contracts, made those trades something I wasn't inclined to do,' Colletti said."

    [while explaining to Plaschke why Rowand, Thome, Delgado, and/or Beckett aren't Dodgers].

    Assuming Colletti isn't just making excuses for why he wan't able to land players he coveted, this is a reassuring quote. The idea that he values (1) young talent like the prospects exchanged in the deal and (2) had an aversion to the potentially franchise-crippling contracts of Delgado and Thome makes me feel a litle better

    But like Steve, I'll be more at ease when Pierre is a Cub.

    Show/Hide Comments 151-200
    2005-11-27 11:21:43
    151.   Bob Timmermann
    Since I liked my analogy the first time, I'll repeat. I'm also devoid of original thought.

    Juan Pierre is the iron pyrite of baseball players.

    2005-11-27 11:44:10
    152.   overkill94
    The more I look at Giles' stats the more I drool over him. This is a guy that averaged a 1.000+ OPS in his 4 2/3 years as a Pirate. Then factor in that his road OPS was over 1.000 last year and I'm having visions of a very potent Giles/Kent/Drew middle of the order. How many teams have two outfielders with career OPS's over .900?

    My faith in the organization (Colletti especially) will get a huge bump if he's able to get this one done. Conversely, if he gets snatched up by someone else I'll be quite disappointed.

    Assuming an $18 million budget for the offseason and giving Giles $10 million this year (increased salaries the next two years), I'd give Jason Johnson 2 years / 8 million and Bill Mueller pretty much the same and call it a day. All the other starting pitcher options scare me too much to give up a lot for them, why not go bargain shopping?

    2005-11-27 11:45:41
    153.   Bob Timmermann
    152

    But what about the "hole at first base"?

    Excuse me while I run for cover.

    2005-11-27 11:51:19
    154.   overkill94
    153 We'll plug it with an eel, seems to be about the right size.

    If Saenz isn't coming back, Julio Franco would be a nice cheap platoon partner at 1B. I'll take another top-10 OPS from my 1B spot again any day of the week.

    2005-11-27 11:58:11
    155.   D4P
    Assuming Bradley is gone:

    Giles RF
    Choi 1B
    Drew CF
    Kent 2B
    Cruz/Werth/Ledee LF
    Nomah 3B/SS
    Navarro C
    Izturis/Robles SS/3B

    Giles' 2005 Road Split: .333/.463/.545/1.008

    2005-11-27 12:01:06
    156.   Bob Timmermann
    Off topic thought, but the announcer at the Chargers-Redskins game said that Marty Schottenheimer has "the best success percentage on replay challenges".

    Doesn't this mean that it's just happened that the Chargers have played in more games that have had close or bad calls than other teams this year? It's not like he's some sort of super genius.

    2005-11-27 12:03:46
    157.   D4P
    156
    The success percentage theoretically shouldn't depend upon the number of challenges.
    2005-11-27 12:10:42
    158.   fanerman
    156 - He's 5/7, so small sample size? Though maybe he has good booth guys that check replays for him.

    I'll feel a lot better if Giles comes. That means the chances of us getting Pierre go down if we have another OF, and the chances of us getting an expensive 1B goes down since we'll have less money to spend. Of course this means no trading Kent or Gagne, but do we need to? According to the BP article Jon mentions, the marginal benefit of a 97+ win team over a 92-97 win team isn't that great. In a couple years, we SHOULD have talent in the farm (and ability to attract free agents, hopefully) to become perennial World Series contenders anyway, so is there a downside to trying to win SOMEthing now? Other than if we lose now, the McCourts may be more inclined to leave.

    2005-11-27 12:20:57
    159.   regfairfield
    152 The problem is that that version of Brian Giles is gone. Brian Giles in his prime is one of the best players offensively of all, but he's not that guy anymore.

    Yes, he'll still put up a ridiculous on base percentage, but can he really slug more than the low .500s? This is why I covet Jason Michaels so much. You lose 20 points of on base and 50 points of slug, but you gain incredible defense, all for about a sixth of the cost of Giles. As a bonus, he should be avialable.

    2005-11-27 12:54:05
    160.   Bob Timmermann
    157 158 It's a small sample size AND close calls in the NFL aren't exactly something that you can plan for. They just happen. Sometimes they happen to some teams more than others. Sometimes teams because of the score will challenge something just because they have nothing to lose.

    It's somewhat like saying that A.J. Pierzysnki has a good record of reaching first on dropped third strikes.

    2005-11-27 13:24:00
    161.   the OZ
    I'm a little worried about Giles' power drop and how he'll age over the life of a contract, but signing him certainly isn't the worst move that could be made.

    Will Carroll's 2005 Preseason Padres Team Health Report at BP:

    Brian Giles
    "Fading mesomorphic outfielders don't age well. They tend to break down, usually knees and backs breaking down first as their power is sapped. He can only hope the breakdown happens after he signs a new contract."

    Giles didn't break down as far as missing time on the DL, but his drop in power suggests that there is some physical slowdown in effect. That said, he still would represent a significant upgrade in the outfield and is probably the best use of $10M to upgrade the team considering what else is available on the market.

    2005-11-27 13:28:24
    162.   the OZ
    This chunk of the lineup has the potential to create a ton of runs:

    2 Giles
    3 Drew
    4 Kent
    5 Bradley (?)

    Two .400 OBP guys ahead of Kent could be a lot of fun next season.

    2005-11-27 13:42:12
    163.   D4P
    162
    Who's your leadoff hitter?
    2005-11-27 14:00:31
    164.   trainwreck
    I would make it Aybar
    1.Aybar
    2.Giles
    3.Drew
    4.Kent
    5.Bradley
    6.Choi
    7.Navarro
    8.Robles

    Very left handed heavy lineup which might be a problem. If Nomar were signed I would change it to...

    1.Bradley
    2.Giles
    3.Drew
    4.Kent
    5.Choi
    6.Nomar
    7.Navarro
    8.Robles

    2005-11-27 14:06:11
    165.   D4P
    If Giles is in fact losing power, but also still an OBP machine, why not put him in the leadoff spot? Also, Choi's splits in the #2 spot last year were .316/.391/.646/1.037. That's why I like

    1. Giles
    2. Choi
    3. Drew
    4. Kent

    2005-11-27 14:13:30
    166.   trainwreck
    I was thinking about doing that but I wanted Choi farther down just so there could be some pop in the bottom of the order. But I would have no problem at all with that lineup. Too bad Bradley is probably gone.
    2005-11-27 14:15:55
    167.   D4P
    Some people think that Tracy made a mistake in moving Choi down in the lineup to take advantage of his power. Hee really struggled after Hee was moved out of the #2 spot.
    2005-11-27 14:20:15
    168.   trainwreck
    I totally understand that but adding Giles I think makes the difference. We needed Choi at the 2 last year because he could get on base ahead of Drew, but with Giles he can also get on base and provide a little pop.
    2005-11-27 14:33:16
    169.   trainwreck
    Think we could get someone like the Orioles who need a closer to take Odalis's contract off our hands if we offer them Brazoban?
    2005-11-27 14:41:32
    170.   Rob M
    167 If Choi can't find success at spots other than the two-hole, he probably isn't the answer at 1B. We've made too much of his success there compared to other lineup spots. If he is in the lineup everday at the 6 or 7 spot, he'll be fine.
    2005-11-27 14:46:58
    171.   D4P
    170
    Do you think the difference between his performance at #2 vs. other spots was systematic or random?
    2005-11-27 14:54:02
    172.   slackfarmer
    I'm a big Giles fan, but I'm afraid that in this market he will be overpriced. More worrysome than the $/year is the length of the contract.

    If he can be landed for $10 mils per year for 2 or even 3 years, then great. But if it takes 4 or 5 years, then I hope some other club gets him.

    2005-11-27 15:02:00
    173.   D4P
    172
    Everything I've read has involved a 3-year contract.
    2005-11-27 15:09:49
    174.   still bevens
    171 I think an in interview during the season Choi said he preferred batting second because he got better pitches to swing it. I guess pitchers throw more strikes in the zone he likes.. dunno.
    2005-11-27 15:09:58
    175.   trainwreck
    I understand it when Drew is behind him because Choi should see better pitchers, but once Drew went down it did not really make sense to me why Choi would see better pitches when he had people like Robles hitting behind him. I really do not have a definitive answer, but I think Choi can produce outside that spot. I think his mindset should be no different and perhaps he gets challenged less hitting so low, so he would walk more.
    2005-11-27 15:12:10
    176.   Rob M
    171 I think it's partly due to the fact that the only regular playing time he got was at #2. I also think he should be able to adjust if he's as solid a hitter as we believe him to be. I think he'll be fine elsewhere if he get's regular playing time.
    2005-11-27 15:13:46
    177.   sanchez101
    Brian Giles road stats: 333/463/545
    Brian Giles BP translated 2005: 314/440/514

    I dont see a big drop in power, sure he isnt the .600 slugging guy anymore, but Giles is essentially the same player JD Drew is, but more durable.

    As far as his aging, corner outfielders with low K rates and good speed scores age better than anyother type of players, and giles fits the bill perfectly.

    If you want to improve the dodgers offense, getting giles is the best way to do it, and as long as he stays in the 3 year, $10-$11 per year range, its good gamble. Keeping in mind that a win is roughly worth $2 million, and giles is worth 5-8 wins per season i think its worth it.

    2005-11-27 15:26:06
    178.   underdog
    According to ESPN, Grady Little is likely the next contestant in the Dodgers managerial sweepstakes. Thoughts? He seems okay to me, if relatively unexciting; was fired after Boston lost in the champ series against the Yanks.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2238705

    2005-11-27 15:27:25
    179.   sanchez101
    espn.com is reporting that the dodgers are going to interview grady little, not sure if hes any different that jim tracy
    2005-11-27 15:28:21
    180.   trainwreck
    I never understood why Little did not get another chance. He made one mistake by believing in Pedro when he was done. Aside from that mistake he did a good job with that team.
    2005-11-27 15:33:54
    181.   trainwreck
    I really think that Tracy and Wallach tried to get Choi to be more aggressive which hurt him. If Choi is his normal patient self he will see a lot of pitches and get a lot of walks. Hitting lower in the lineup one would think he would get more chances to walk as he would get challenged less. If he qas quoted as saying he saw better pitches to hit while hitting in the two spot, it means when hitting lower he should have just let those bad pitches go and walk and force them to throw him strikes. If that made any sense at all haha. In simple terms Choi should have a high OBP wherever he hits in the lineup.
    2005-11-27 15:50:16
    182.   LAT
    I vote for Little (by far) over the other retreads who have been mentioned. At least he was within an out of the WS and although he was wrong, leaving Pedro in too long isn't the stupidest mistake in the world.
    2005-11-27 15:51:53
    183.   Rainman
    Re: Grady Little, I'm not even so sure that he DID make a mistake by leaving Pedro in the ALCS game. After all, as well as Pedro, his ace and the guy who got them there, had pitched, if he had pulled him and Embree or some other reliever had blown it, he'd be ridiculed as the dumbest over-manager of his generation. He just caught a bad break in a no-win situation, and the over-zealous Boston fans needed blood, so management appeased them by canning him.

    I always perceived him as a pretty decent manager, although probably not a huge difference from Tracy.

    2005-11-27 15:54:20
    184.   Steve
    Little should get a thorough background check for Tracy-ism. However, he, like Valentine, has been blackballed from major league baseball and the press, and that gives him credibility that other candidates wouldn't have.
    2005-11-27 15:54:53
    185.   trainwreck
    From what I remember he seemed to understand the limitations of his players and understand what they were suited for. That is all I want in a manager really, someone who understands what works best for his players not just making them do what you want them to do.
    2005-11-27 16:10:57
    186.   Bob Timmermann
    The 2003 Red Sox had 24 sacrifices. And they scored a paltry 961 runs. Damon had 6 sacfricies, Varitek had 5 and Mueller had 4.

    Ramirez and Ortiz had 0.

    In 2002, the Red Sox had 22 sacrifices.

    2005-11-27 16:31:28
    187.   D4P
    186
    In 2003, the Dodgers had an impressive 71 sacrifices, but somehow only managed 574 runs. In 2002, they had 67 sacrifices, and scored 713 runs.

    Geez: if I didn't know better, I'd almost think that sacrificing doesn't help score runs...

    2005-11-27 16:59:51
    188.   A Slo
    187

    That's not a fair comparison when you compare NL and AL teams, for the obvious reason of the pitcher sacrificing a lot.

    2005-11-27 17:02:20
    189.   Steve
    188 -- It's a fair comparison if you compare the 2003 Dodgers to the 2002 Dodgers.
    2005-11-27 17:05:55
    190.   D4P
    188
    Good point.
    2005-11-27 17:17:57
    191.   Jesse
    totally random question in the realm of black balled managers...

    what ever happened to cito gaston?

    2005-11-27 17:45:13
    192.   A Slo
    189, 190
    I guess my mind naturally put 186 and 187 together.
    2005-11-27 18:26:26
    193.   Jesse
    little pro: 2002 third in AL beane count, 2003 second.

    little con: this probably had more to do with the front office/ previous regime giving him the players to succeed. On reading some about him, the Pedro deal seems to be more of a quick excuse to fire someone that they'd been wanting to fire for a while. he seems like a tracy.

    2005-11-27 18:27:59
    194.   Bob Timmermann
    The Blue Jays hired Gaston as a hitting coach in 1999 and fired him after 2001.
    2005-11-27 18:35:27
    195.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    I'm okay with Little, but posters around here should remember that, like Tracy, he is not a sabermetric type of manager. The Boston front office would supposedly give him reams of stats, which he would chuck out the window, and then proceed to manage by his gut. And like Tracy, his MO in Boston was to leave his starter out a bit too long, on the grounds that he needed to show "confidence" in his SP.

    All that being said, I'd be okay with him as manager. He's dealt with a very hostile press situation before, and a difficult clubhouse in terms of managing personalities. Also, since our front office doesn't look to be very stat-driven--probably a hybrid of sorts with both Colletti and DePo's old assistants--I don't think we'd have the same org. conflicts we had between Tracy and DePo.

    As much as I am a believer in DePo's methods, I think the org. is anything but done for, if McCourt would just stop firing people right and left on impulse. Colletti can say whatever he wants about character, as long as he stays away from foolish trades, crazy contracts, preserves the farm, and keeps Logan White around. I think a sabermetric approach lends itself better to all those sorts of things, but that need not be the only way to arrive at those principles. Even in the best case scenario, I don't think Colletti will be able to maximize market inefficiencies like DePo, but even with a lower payroll this year, we still have more money to spend than a true small-market team like the A's.

    I think like other posters that Giles may be the big test. I think he's obviously the best fit for our needs, especially since we're weak on the farm at OF outside of Kemp, and this will show if McCourt is willing to spend a reasonable amount of money.

    WWSH

    2005-11-27 18:36:34
    196.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Re: 195

    BTW, I knew BoSox fans complaining about Little leaving in SPs too long long before his famous fiasco with Pedro.

    WWSH

    2005-11-27 18:38:22
    197.   Bob Timmermann
    Was Little managing the Red Sox before they hired Bill James? Didn't they have the equivalent of a fantasy baseball expert advising Duquette at one point?
    2005-11-27 18:40:07
    198.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
    Yes, I'm pretty sure Little was a holdover from previous ownership and the previous GM, much like Tracy.

    WWSH

    2005-11-27 18:43:05
    199.   the OZ
    187 -

    Just to beat a dead horse, I decided to quantify EXACTLY how much bunting correlated to run scoring in the 2005 NL. So, with n=16, sacrifice bunting accounted for about 19% of the variance in runs scored at the team level.

    AVG = 34%
    SLG = 57%
    OBP = 64%
    OPS = 78%
    3OPS = 82%

    (3OPS uses a rough normalizing technique of multiplying the OBP by 3 and the SLG by 2).

    The correlation coefficient for sac bunts is negative. It is positive for all other variables listed.

    2005-11-27 18:46:23
    200.   Bob Timmermann
    [Joe Morgan]

    Yes, but can your cold-hearted numbers help a team manufacture a run in the playoffs? The Reds team I was on could bunt a runner over to win a game.

    And then interfere with the catcher like Ed Armbrister.

    [/Joe Morgan]

    Show/Hide Comments 201-250
    2005-11-27 18:47:47
    201.   D4P
    199
    Hmmm...I'm not expert, but did you include AVG, SLG, OBP, and OPS in the same model? If so, I would have major concerns about collinearity. For one thing, OPS is a perfect linear combination of OBP and SLG. OR, are the numbers you list just the pairwise correlation coefficients between the variable and runs scored?
    2005-11-27 18:51:09
    202.   Steve
    199 -- so outs are bad and non-outs are good?
    2005-11-27 18:53:19
    203.   King of the Hobos
    As annoying as he was, Ozzie did a good job with his pitchers. He didn't stick with one guy from the pen like most managers, and he seemed to have a good idea when to call it a game for the starters. As good as their pitching was, I think Ozzie contributed a little. If Grady Little can't control the pitching very well, I don't see great things happening, unless all the pitchers do good with the strange workloads

    At this point, I guess my favorite is McLaren. While he says he is essentially Piniella, I'm willing to give him time to prove he won't carry an insane grudge against rookies like his mentor. Really, he's only a little better than Little. Fregosi is in a distant 3rd

    2005-11-27 19:00:48
    204.   trainwreck
    I hope Flanders choices for manager are not a sign of things to come because they are terrible for the most part.
    2005-11-27 19:18:15
    205.   D4P
    204
    In his defense, it seems as if the pool of applicants isn't that great to begin with. It's not as if there's some great Sabremetric Manager Guru out there that we're all hoping will be hired, is there? I imagine the roster moves will be more telling and meaningful than the manager choice.
    2005-11-27 19:21:11
    206.   King of the Hobos
    Someone like Washington? He's as good as McLaren, plus he adds an incredible ability to add defense and is respected. He's on a "moneyball" team, but he seems to fit Colletti's qualifications just fine
    2005-11-27 19:22:28
    207.   trainwreck
    Not even sabremetric just someone who is actually appealing. We are in the mindset at least around here that we hope he just takes the person that sucks the least. Larry Dierker, Ron Washington, Lovullo, Rick Peterson, some other young person would all be more appealing to me.
    2005-11-27 19:44:17
    208.   D4P
    What about Collins (aka The Ostensible Reason Depo Was Fired)?
    2005-11-27 19:50:37
    209.   trainwreck
    Haha when DePo was ready to hire him I was not that thrilled, but I will take him now haha. My how things change. I am still not enamored with him (mostly because he seems to have a short shelf life before players backlash against him), but I will take him for some short term success and who knows maybe he has changed.
    2005-11-27 19:52:41
    210.   D4P
    I see that the Lakers scored 28 points in the first half of their game against New Jersey. How long until Phil pulls a Rudy Tomjanovich?
    2005-11-27 19:55:11
    211.   D4P
    209
    I know you can get shot for talking about such intangibles as "character" around here, but I can't help but think that Depo should have paid at least SOME attention to personalities and the like. Putting Kent and Bradley on the same roster was asking for trouble, and then to favor a manager who has such a history of player backlash, well, I don't know.
    2005-11-27 19:55:15
    212.   trainwreck
    Thankfully the Nets only scored 36. The first quarter there was sincere worrying on my part they would not reach double digits. Think things are bad with the Dodgers, at least Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are not running things.
    2005-11-27 19:58:25
    213.   trainwreck
    The Kent and Bradley thing I do not care much about. I do not care about having volatile players as long as they play hard and do not think they are bigger than the team, but when it comes to managers I want a person who can work with people, but knows when to make people accountable for their actions and will not put up with garbage. Collins may have those qualities, but he also seems to just make players mad which means he seems to be a jerk.
    2005-11-27 19:59:47
    214.   Steve
    Putting Kent and Bradley on the same roster was asking for trouble

    I have never understood why this was necessarily so, except for the fact that it ended up being trouble.

    2005-11-27 20:02:31
    215.   D4P
    214
    Were you surprised that it ended up being trouble?
    2005-11-27 20:03:11
    216.   Steve
    By the way, to put a coda on the earlier point about bunting, for all the blather about the conceits and self-importance of the "statheads," there is no greater conceit than the one where self-delusional managers (and their enablers around MLB and the gullible press) believe they can, through their own guile and strategy, turn an out into a good thing. One might as well declare oneself fifty feet tall.
    2005-11-27 20:05:23
    217.   the OZ
    201 - No, just a bunch of different linear regressions. It wasn't supposed to be particularly meaningful, other than to give a rough guess of how each category plays out against total runs scored in 2005. It only took about 5 minutes and seemed to be a good excuse to put off my financial accounting homework for a little bit. I would never suggest that the results are meaningful in any kind of scientific way, because they aren't.
    2005-11-27 20:05:46
    218.   trainwreck
    I could understand if people said having Jeff Kent and Manny Ramirez on the same roster was asking for trouble because Ramirez takes plays off and messes around, which would drive Kent crazy, but I never thought of Bradley as someone who takes plays off. Bradley perhaps cares too much and puts too much pressure on himself.
    2005-11-27 20:10:29
    219.   D4P
    217
    I don't know if any of the baseball stat experts have ever considered this before, but it seems as if there's a possibility that, in addition to things like AVG, OBP, SLG, etc. causing runs to be scored, the opposite could be true in some cases. For example, once a team has scored a number of runs in a game, the quality of relief pitchers they face is likely to be less than the quality of the starter, and if they have scored a lot of runs and have a big lead, they might very well face the other team's worst relievers. If so, then facing a bad reliever can be expected to have a positive impact on AVG, OBP, SLG, etc. Thus, while those variables, initially contributed to scoring runs, the scoring runs then also (indirectly) contributed to increases in those variables.

    What do ya think?

    2005-11-27 20:19:04
    220.   Bob Timmermann
    USC is a 22 point favorite over UCLA.
    2005-11-27 20:20:48
    221.   Steve
    215 -- At that point in the season, stuck with an imbecile manager, the Ziegfeld Follies lineup, the use Jeff Weaver like every start is a gang initiation, etc., etc., I would have expected to see dead bodies in the clubhouse. Sort of like how it went down in Florida.
    2005-11-27 20:23:19
    222.   the OZ
    219 - You're absolutely right. If we were to accept the premise that scoring runs leads to scoring even more runs, it would imply a polynimial instead of linear regression. But there are a lot of problems with running linear regressions and expecting to get absolutely meaningful results from them. It also requires us to make assumptions that hold true 99% of the time. If it were true that higher team OBP and OPS provided nonlinear increasing returns on runs scored, wouldn't that make things like high OBP and OPS even that more important from a teambuilding perspective?

    It's also important to be careful what conclusions you draw from this type of analysis. In this case the data showed a negative relationship between sac bunts and runs scored over the course of a single season. However, this doesn't mean there is never a place for bunting. Much has been written here and elsewhere about the importance of scoring a single run in the 8th or 9th inning and the expected value of a bunt decision in those cases. I don't really want to rehash it, but I'm sure you could find a good article on BP; maybe look at their expected runs matrix.

    2005-11-27 20:28:58
    223.   willhite
    Is it possible that teams which tend to score fewer runs tend to bunt more. In other words, a lack of runs leads to sac bunts instead of vice versa?
    2005-11-27 20:30:55
    224.   the OZ
    223 - That too. There are a lot of potentially valid interpretations of what the data means. But Steve is right. Making outs is almost always bad. Not making outs is always good.
    2005-11-27 20:32:34
    225.   das411
    Does anybody know what Davey Johnson is up to these days...?
    2005-11-27 20:34:50
    226.   willhite
    224 -

    Is it too late to get Steve an interview with Colletti?

    2005-11-27 20:34:54
    227.   D4P
    223
    Yeah, I've wondered about that too. What if "the lack of weapons that lead to runs" (e.g. power-hitters) is the reason teams bunt more, rather than bunting being the reason they don't score runs? In reality, both are probably true to some extent.
    2005-11-27 20:38:04
    228.   Bob Timmermann
    Davey Johnson is managing Team USA's Olympic squad.
    2005-11-27 20:38:59
    229.   Steve
    227 -- I think it's both. They don't score because they bunt, and teams without power dig themselves deeper holes by bunting because their managers are dumb (see Rockies, Colorado 2005).
    2005-11-27 20:41:30
    230.   Rob M
    Re: Grady Little. I think you guys are forgetting how horrible a choke it was for him to leave Pedro in that game. Pedro was SO done, he had proven many times that year that he had no stamina, and the bullpen had been absolutely lights out. If that game had been played in Fenway, fans would have stormed the field and replaced Pedro themselves. That was a complete and total brain cramp, and it stunk of "gut feeling" and "going home with them that brung ya" and every other loathsome old-school cliche. He may have learned from his mistakes, but I really don't want him on our team.
    2005-11-27 20:42:19
    231.   Steve
    I should be more clear. It's not that bunting keeps you from scoring, it's that it doesn't matter to whether you score. The bunt is an ex-parrot. The conceit is the self-back-slapping that the manager engages in after "his strategy" is "successful."
    2005-11-27 20:44:59
    232.   willhite
    229 -

    I realize that the majority of DT posters are very much against sacrifice bunting, so I assume there has been a study done with regard to sac bunts vs. swinging away and hitting into DP's. I think most managers would say that they are bunting to get the runner to second but also to stay out of the DP. Are there stats which prove this to be a bad strategy?

    I guess what I'm really asking is what pct of the time, with a runner on first and the hitter swinging away, does the hitter hit into a double play?

    2005-11-27 20:49:10
    233.   D4P
    232
    Paul Scott (formerly of the 4th Outfielder blog) has referred me to some stats that show that:

    (1) the average number of runs scored, and
    (2) the probability of scoring at least one run

    are both higher with a runner on first and no outs than with a runner on second and one out. Thus, it is inferred that sac-bunting with a runner at first and no outs will lead to fewer runs than simply letting the hitter swing away. Of course, this relationship may not hold for all situations (e.g. when the pitcher is hitting).

    2005-11-27 20:50:56
    234.   willhite
    233

    Thanks. That answers my question, at least enough for me to be on the "no bunt" side.

    2005-11-27 20:51:35
    235.   Steve
    Pitchers are usually, but not always, exempted from the no bunting rule. I would generally not bunt with a runner on second and no one out. Particularly if Cesar Izturis was coming up next.
    2005-11-27 20:55:34
    236.   willhite
    233

    When they compiled the stats with runner on first and nobody out, I wonder if they included they guys who were ultimately sacrificed to second, and, if so, did that screw up the results? If that runner was included in both categories would that lead to invalid results, or maybe not? As you can see, I never did well in stat classes.

    2005-11-27 21:04:49
    237.   Bob Timmermann
    236
    The figures are for anyone on first with none out and then scored. Whether or not they were bunted over shouldn't make a difference in the stats. You want to include all situations.

    About all you can say is that a sacrifice helps a team score ONE run. It keeps them from scoring SEVERAL runs. So you will see a fair amount of bunting in extra innings because teams usually just want ONE run.

    I think that Guillen subscribed to a theory that he wanted his team to get ONE run so they could have a lead.

    2005-11-27 21:05:03
    238.   D4P
    236
    I wondered about that too. I'm pretty sure the runner was included in both categories. However, I don't think that would screw up the results. If anything, it would only obscure (and cause to appear smaller) the discrepancy between the two situations. In other words, having a runner at first with no outs is even better than it appears.
    2005-11-27 21:07:16
    239.   D4P
    237
    About all you can say is that a sacrifice helps a team score ONE run.

    Actually, Bob, I was told that the probability of scoring at least one run is lower with a runner at 2nd and 1 out than with a runner at 1st and no outs, such that bunting in that situation is NOT good for scoring one run either.

    I don't know the stats for bunting in other situations besides runner at 1st with no outs.

    2005-11-27 21:28:01
    240.   overkill94
    I've brought this up before, but are the non-bunting-enthusiasts proposing abolishing the strategy totally or only minimizing its use? From the current torch-bearing it seems like the former.

    My stance has always been that pitchers should bunt almost every time there's a runner on base with less than two outs except when the pitcher is a pretty good hitter. Any other bunts should be based on the person bunting, the people coming up, and the inning/score of the game.

    I'd hope that if I were the manager you guys would accept my strategy. In fact, we should have informal polls during games to establish what percentage of posters are in favor of bunts in specific situations. Should make for interesting discussion at least.

    2005-11-27 21:31:51
    241.   D4P
    240
    I don't think anyone is advocating a complete abolition of bunting. I would like to see some research regarding the characteristics of a batter that make him a good/bad candidate for bunting. In other words, what is the cutoff point in a batter's "AVG/OBP/SLG/whatever the relevant statistic is" at which he should no longer bunt?
    2005-11-27 21:32:34
    242.   the OZ
    239 - Here's the rub:

    A team will score more runs in a given inning, on average, if they don't ever sacrifice bunt. This is true no matter what, no matter who, no matter where. The problem with using this type of game-state data in an argument against a sac bunt is the likelyhood of scoring multiple runs. If you look at an expected runs matrix like the one at BP, it shows a team will score more runs in the game state where a runner is on first with no out than a runner on second with one out. It may be tempting to conclude that since a bunt moves you from 1-- and 0out to a -2- 1out situation and the latter state has a lower expected run value, it is a poor strategy.

    In reality, the occassions where 2, 3, 4, or more runs are scored in an inning potentially drive up the mean number of runs scored even if the number of innings in which a run is scored is the same as if a bunt were to have occurred.

    Look at this fictional data set. The numbers represent the number of runs scored in each of ten innings:

    Set with no bunts (A)
    0 1 0 2 3 0 0 0 4 0

    Set with bunts (B)
    0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 2

    The average of set A is 1.0 runs per inning, vs. 0.7 runs/inning for B. So is A the superior strategy? Team A only scored in 40% of its innings, vs 50% for Team B. So is B the superior strategy?

    Proponents of the bunt argue that is means you are more likely to score in a given inning, even if the total expected value of runs is less than is the bunt had not taken place. It's a mean vs. median argument. This is true in my fictional data set. I have no idea whether it is supported by historical data.

    It's important to know whether the Paul Scott data referenced above is an expected value of total runs in an inning or just a count of innings in which a run was scored or not to make arguments about bunting.

    2005-11-27 21:40:42
    243.   D4P
    242
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I've addressed your question already. Paul Scott told me that BOTH the average number of runs scored AND the likelihood of scoring at least 1 run are higher with a runner at 1st and no outs than with a runner at 2nd and 1 out. I take that to mean that you not only score more runs, but you would score in more innings as well. So, if you only need to score one run (e.g. you're tied in the bottom of the 9th), you would still be better off not bunting (on average).
    2005-11-27 21:54:15
    244.   Steve
    Nobody ever mentions run inflation. One run doesn't go as far as it used to.

    240 -- Speaking for myself, I am open to a plan for sensibly minimizing the use of the bunt, but since most managers are addicted to it, that seems to me like telling crackwhores to use only on weekends.

    2005-11-27 21:55:02
    245.   sanchez101
    i think bunting should be thought of like intentional fouls in basketball; they're usefull in very limited circumstances, despite being self-destructive in an absolute sense.

    i never understood the attitude of bunting to avoid the double play, still possible to bunt into a double play so it only decreases the possibility. Joe Morgan often says that "a manager should manage to prevent the worst possible thing from happing", which is just stupid, you manage to win not to "not loose". By bunting you may lessen the possibilty of the double play, but you eliminate the possibility of an extra base hit. I think it was Earl Weaver that said, "if you practice one run strategies, you'll only score one run." It makes no sense to sign and develope hitters based on their abilities to hit, then take the bats out of their hands.

    Tracy oftern said he kept starting pitchers out too long to express his "confidence" in them, but shouldnt that apply to hitter as well, doesnt making your hitter sac bunt reveal a lack of confidence in them.

    its fun to rail on tracy again

    2005-11-27 22:19:16
    246.   sanchez101
    6-4-2 mentions that the Red Sox are trying to get the dodgers to take david wells. I think its a good idea, i the dodgers would have to give up much to get him and at a base salary of $2.5 million he's worth the risk.
    2005-11-27 22:30:59
    247.   King of the Hobos
    I don't mind getting Wells if we can convince McCourt that it will only cost $2.5 mil. However, half his signing bonus must still be paid ($1.5 mil), and to get the extra $5 mil on his contract, he only needs 30 starts ($200K for every start 11-20, $300K for 21-30). So we could owe him $9 mil very easily. As for 30 starts, he's done it 9 of the last 10 years (2001 being the off year)
    2005-11-27 22:53:38
    248.   regfairfield
    Here's the equation for bunting that I came up with:

    ([Batting Average]) + ([Isolated Patience] .882) + ([Double Play Rate] .275) + ([1-Batting Average+IsoP+Double Play Rate] * .425) > .648323

    I show my work here: http://dodgermath.com/?p=158

    2005-11-27 23:02:27
    249.   dzzrtRatt
    Been gone, and away from most media input for about 5 days.

    Does anyone know why Colletti is going so slowly in identifying and interviewing managerial candidates? I thought Ned was Mr. Baseball Relationships.

    This is not an accusation; I'm just not up to speed. Grady Little is both a Proven Winner and a Disgraced Loser. The other guy was TB's second choice. And then there's Fregosi. Come on, he's got the real candidate up his sleeve, no?

    2005-11-28 00:25:24
    250.   slackfarmer
    Regarding Wells, I think the Sox are just trying to create an auction environment so the Pods will bite early.

    Regarding bunting, it is pretty well agreed (at least by stats-types, not by Tracy) that bunting will normally reduce the overall number of runs scored. Nonetheless, there are two instances that bunting still makes sense: one is the rare instance that it actually does increase runs scored (say with a good bunting, horrible hitting pitcher at bat) and the other is when it would increase the chance of scoring one run (even at the cost of scoring less runs in total) when such increase in the chance of scoring one run increases your chance of winning more than than the additional runs lost would have -- such as in the bottom of the 9th in a tie game.

    Tangotiger and others over at hardball times have done a lot of work on this, so check it out for more detail. But the super summary is that these two instancs occur rarely and so should bunting.

    Show/Hide Comments 251-300
    2005-11-28 00:40:57
    251.   slackfarmer
    Following up, here's a link to Tangotiger's win expectancy chart: http://www.tangotiger.net/welist.html
    2005-11-28 02:17:06
    252.   alex 7
    some info I've gathered from BP and saved in the last few months:

    With a DP opp, you would GIDP about 11% of the time.

    In James Click's series on the sacrifice bunt, we learned that the threshold for a bunt in a runner on second, no out situation is .249/.305/.363

    Unfortunately it's a ridiculously late hour and I can't find the threshold for a runner on 1st no out situation.

    2005-11-28 04:52:29
    253.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
    James Click at BP did a lengthy 3-part analysis of this earlier in the year. Here's part of his conclusion:

    When the probability of scoring at least one run is paramount (late in a close game, in a low run-scoring environment, or facing a dominating pitcher, etc):

    * Similar to the run maximization situation, only pitchers should sacrifice a man from first. Given that a pitcher would likely rarely be batting in this situation where runs are at a premium, this situation is likely to never occur.

    * Most of the league should sacrifice a man from second with no one out. While a line of .277/.350/.451 is slightly above average, recall that the skill set of the second batter due up should also be taken into account. On the whole, this finding is in the greatest agreement with conventional strategy.

    * When runners are on first and second, sacrificing is, again, not a good idea, a finding that is due almost entirely to the opposing manager's propensity to intentionally walk the next batter to keep the double play in order. This 10% decrease (approximately) in the scoring probability of the situation is enough to reduce the threshold across a great deal of current hitters.

    * If a manager is certain that the opposition will not intentionally walk Batter Two, the validity of the sacrifice is increased in these situations.

    Therefore, in the broadest conclusion possible, we can say that sacrificing is a good idea when pitchers are batting and, for most of the hitters in the league, when there is a man on second, no one out, and a single run is the goal.

    Here's the whole thing: http://tinyurl.com/8zg3o

    2005-11-28 07:06:27
    254.   Sam DC
    Wow, that's a lot of talk about bunting.

    I think Ratt's question is a good one. Also, given the notional focus on PR, it's odd that the search would be so poorly run from a PR perspective. Floating random uninspired name after uninspired name wouldn't really seem to ramp up the fan.

    Grady Little is an interesting case. On the one hand, seems like a PR bust since he's burned into the national casual fan consciousness as a guy who made like the biggest managerial blunder ever. On the other hand, my sense is he's respected as a "baseball guy," so giving him a shot at redemption would probably sit well in a lot of corners.

    2005-11-28 07:09:14
    255.   Sam DC
    Oh -- interesting article about Bobby Valentine and Japanese baseball culture in the Washington Post today. This ran in the front section, not sports.

    http://tinyurl.com/aytvu (or go to Washingtonpost.com and the article is under the "World" tab).

    2005-11-28 07:10:00
    256.   Sam DC
    And last, if you missed it, Alex at Bronx Banter, citing Ken Rosenthal, has us in the lead in the Giles sweepstakes.
    2005-11-28 07:28:01
    257.   blue22
    256 - Good to see the Dodgers in the news for something positive, and actually relating to player movement rather than front office shenanigans.

    I think an offseason of short-term veteran options including Giles, Nomar, and David Wells could make for a competitive 2006, while maintaining a long term commitment to youth:

    Aybar
    Drew
    Kent
    Giles
    Nomar
    Cruz
    Choi/1B
    Navarro

    Penny
    Lowe
    OPerez
    Wells
    Houlton

    2005-11-28 08:16:32
    258.   FirstMohican
    If there's any pitcher in the majors that is dying to fall off of a cliff, I think it might be 43-year-old-to-be David Wells.
    2005-11-28 08:30:26
    259.   blue22
    258 - Last year with the Sox was very close to his '03 year with the Yankees. His '04 with the Padres was even better, his only recent time in the NL.

    His walk rate and HR rates are low, and he's pitched at least 180 in 10 of the last 11 seasons.

    If its a choice between having Wells on a $4M, 1-year deal or giving someone like Esteban Loaiza 3yrs/$25M to be our 4th starter...

    2005-11-28 08:35:35
    260.   CanuckDodger
    And why are those our choices? It's a false dilemma. Billingsley and Jackson, or one of them plus Houlton, should be our #4 and #5 starters in 2006.
    2005-11-28 08:40:55
    261.   blue22
    Penny and Lowe should be fine next year, and I think OP bounces back nicely.

    I think it would be a mistake however to go into next season intending to compete for the division with our last two slots occupied by a combination of CBill, Edwin, and DJ.

    If the Wells talk has any basis in reality, I think it would be a good move to make. If he can't go, he's only on a one year deal and you have the kids to turn to then.

    2005-11-28 08:41:42
    262.   FirstMohican
    259 - I'm not arguing that he had a bad year last year, or the year before.

    He's going to be 43. He's not going to be pitching until he's 50. Maybe there's a reason why the BoSox are shopping him.

    "How lucky were we to get 30 starts out of a 42 year old man? Time to sell high (and old)."

    2005-11-28 08:45:07
    263.   FirstMohican
    Does anyone else agree that going after simply above average pitchers might not be in our best interest and that we should either shop our kids for a Santana or a Sheets or let them see if they can become one?

    Not that those are our only two options (ahem), but that signing more Derek Lowes (which wasn't necessarily a bad thing) or Jeff Weavers might just cement our rotation in mediocrity. What was the last team in the playoffs with a bunch of #2 and #3 starters?

    2005-11-28 08:47:40
    264.   blue22
    262 - I see your point, however at $4M I think he'd fit nicely at the 4-spot. Any left hander that successfully pitches half his games at Fenway still has something left in the tank, 43 years old or not.

    I think the Sox are shopping him because of Wells' desire to return West, and they feel that they've got a decent replacement for him in Josh Beckett.

    2005-11-28 08:53:17
    265.   FirstMohican
    264 - If 247 is true then count me out.
    2005-11-28 09:03:38
    266.   underdog
    Does anyone else get the feeling the first names in the Dodgers manager search are only token choices and the "real" candidate(s) have yet to emerge? I only suggest this because it often seems like the person who gets the gig is one of the last to be interviewed. Or not.

    Plus, they haven't even named a possible minority candidate. Might be nice to at least talk to someone like Ron Washington, and hopefully, seriously consider them. Seems like old school white boys club at the moment, though, again, I wouldn't be opposed to Grady Little.

    As for David Wells, the less I say about that idea the better. ;-)

    2005-11-28 09:04:01
    267.   blue22
    265 - It is. Wells would make $9M if he made 30 starts. That does change things, however it is still a 1-year deal. I guess I'd still take that over giving a 3 year deal to the Loaizas of the world.
    2005-11-28 09:04:43
    268.   overkill94
    264 Don't fall in love with that $4M amount, that's only his base salary (2.5 + 1.5 signing bonus). If he makes 30 starts then we'll have to pay him $9M. I'm not so sure he's a guy I'd take a chance on, especially since we'd have to give something up (though not much) for him.

    here's a link to the specifics:
    http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2004_12_29_mlbcontracts_archive.html

    263 I'm pretty sure we're gonna give our kids a chance to prove themselves, just not quite yet. Billingsley should get a shot sometimes this year with the others not far behind. Santana is pretty much untouchable since he just got signed long-term and Sheets would be very tough to pry away as well.

    2005-11-28 09:09:21
    269.   razzle nugent
    263
    The 2004 Cardinal starting rotation was considered a bunch of #2 and #3 starters at the time. They had a spectacular bullpen that year.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/STL/2004.shtml

    The 06 Dodger bullpen will surely be better than the 05 Dodger bullpen, but how much better?

    2005-11-28 09:16:30
    270.   FirstMohican
    269 - True. However, there's a reason why 4.72 Morris was 15 & 10 and it rhymes with "Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, Walker, and Sanders."

    If the Dodgers want similar results with the staff they have now, we better find 4 more Jeff Kents.

    2005-11-28 09:16:44
    271.   overkill94
    267 Even though it's a 1-year deal, you'd have to assume that McCourt would assume that $9M is the assumed amount for Wells, thus crippling our chances of getting any impact hitters with only $9M left in the budget.

    My vote's still for Jason Johnson. He's cheap, durable, will only probably require a 2-year contract, and seems to be somewhat of a ground ball pitcher (1.7:1). His only problem is that he seems to wear down as the year goes on (3.87 ERA pre, 5.34 post last year), maybe we could spin him to another team if Billingsley's ready by then? Plus, he seemed to have the most trouble with inter-division teams, maybe having not faced the NL will do him good?

    2005-11-28 09:55:27
    272.   Mark
    Whoever suggested David Wells must be a part owner of the Hamburger Hamlet. Come on, are you kidding?
    2005-11-28 10:13:37
    273.   underdog
    Jason Johnson does make more sense to me than David Wells.

    But then, Lyndon B. Johnson would make more sense to me as a pitcher than David Wells... ;-)

    2005-11-28 10:24:41
    274.   razzle nugent
    Rosenthal at foxsports.com is reporting that Loaiza will sign with the A's for 21 million over three years.
    2005-11-28 10:29:54
    275.   das411
    So apparently this year's HOF ballots are about to go out, according to MLB.com:

    http://tinyurl.com/94o5r

    Interesting names of first-timers include Doc Gooden, Ozzie Guillen, and your very own Orel Hershiser.

    "The other first-year candidates are starting pitcher Alex Fernandez, relievers Rick Aguilera, Doug Jones and John Wetteland and infielders Gary DiSarcina, Gary Gaetti, Gregg Jefferies and Hal Morris. "

    2005-11-28 10:37:18
    276.   dsfan
    Many of us seem to think Giles is the best fit among the free agents.

    Fine, but understand that you'll have to overpay.

    The Blue Jays are liable to offer him $36 million or more. I wouldn't go that high. If I could get him for $32 million, I'd frontload it a little so it's easier to trade him to an AL club in the third year, when he will be 37.

    By all means, go after David Wells. You need to bid up his price. The Padres are in the mix. You don't want Wells going there for nothing.

    By the way, the Red Sox are obligated to pay the $1.5 million signing bonus to Wells.

    Here's the exposure: $2.5 million base, plus $5 million for games started 11-30.

    Last year, Wells was 15-7 with a 4.50ish ERA competing in the rugged AL East. For a Dodgers starter, that translates to an ERA of about 3.90, I'd say. In late July, he'd probably have trade value.

    2005-11-28 10:38:27
    277.   D4P
    275
    You could have bolded just about everyone on that list.
    2005-11-28 10:50:15
    278.   das411
    Yes but there is a reason I bolded Gary Gaetti, who wants to link D4P to the coolest website on the internet? :D
    2005-11-28 10:50:27
    279.   Bob Timmermann
    What's the big deal with Gary Gaetti being on the HOF ballot? He won't get in, he might get a vote or two. He had a solid career.

    Gary DiSarcina and Ozzie Guillen are different matters. Gary DiSarcina's principal accomplishment is helping to force the Angels to trade Jim Edmonds to St. Louis for Kent Bottenfield.

    Ozzie Guillen has a lifetime OPS+ of 69! Gary DiSarcina had a lifetime OPS+ of 66!

    The two most comparable careers to Guillen's according to BBref are Alfredo Griffin and Bill Russell!

    2005-11-28 10:53:08
    280.   dsfan
    McCourt is a terrible owner, but I cringe when self-annointed populist pundits say McCourt needs to jack up the payroll.

    You're better off having a dumb cheap owner than a dumb owner who throws money at every problem.

    If he's investing some of the loot in the farm system and the ballpark, so much the better.

    Spending gobs of money last year created more problems than it solved. Allowing a rookie GM to dance with Boras wasn't so wise. While Depo's trade record was respectable, many of his contracts weren't so great.

    As for Colletti's deliberate pace, that speaks well of Colletti.

    2005-11-28 10:54:11
    281.   sanchez101
    271. David Wells requested that the Red Sox trade him to the west coast, that is why they are trading him. Also, his base salary is $2.5 million, Boston already paid him his signing bonus. He would only get paid $9 million if he makes 30 starts, in which case he would likely be worth the amount (LA paid that amount to jeff weaver for 200 league average innings), if he gets injured then he gets paid less, thats the beauty of incentive contracts.

    I am also in favor of jason johnson, i also like the idea of Kim as could be moved to the bull pen if necessary, he could replace wilson alvarez in the swingman role.

    2005-11-28 10:56:01
    282.   Bob Timmermann
    But Colletti isn't moving fast enough to satisfy Bill Plaschke who wants the Dodgers turn in to the NY Mets West.

    Why do I think that despite all the Mets acquisition that at the end of the 2006 season we'll see something like this

    Atlanta 95-77
    New York 90-72 5 GB

    2005-11-28 10:57:17
    283.   overkill94
    276 I have a feeling the Blue Jays talk is just another way for Giles' agent to jack up his price tag. I'd be willing to go as high as 34 million for him, but if 36 will get it done and we're not bidding against ourselves, I wouldn't be angry about that.
    2005-11-28 10:59:30
    284.   overkill94
    281 I wouldn't be so worried about Wells' contract if I thought that it wouldn't hurt our chances of getting Giles. Considering a lot of people thought the $18 million budget was surprisingly high for McCourt, I doubt we could go over it, meaning Wells would take up a big chunk of it.
    2005-11-28 10:59:57
    285.   dsfan
    257-

    I agree that Giles/Wells/Nomar would boost 2006 club while allowing several young players a better chance.

    We also agree on Aybar. I love his broad skill set and durability. But we're in the minority. The LAD probably will give him away.

    2005-11-28 11:00:44
    286.   dsfan
    Wells' max income for 2006 is $7.5 million, not $9 million.
    2005-11-28 11:00:51
    287.   FirstMohican
    280 -

    You're better off having a dumb cheap owner than a dumb owner who throws money at every problem.

    I'd rather be a Yankees fan than a Royals fan.

    If he's investing some of the loot in the farm system and the ballpark, so much the better.

    Just closed a field in the Dominican Republic.

    Spending gobs of money last year created more problems than it solved.

    If we didn't sign Lowe and Kent we would've been dead last. (And I know you're not arguing that it was bad that they kept us from getting a high draft pick.)

    While Depo's trade record was respectable, many of his contracts weren't so great.

    This wont be a complete list but:
    -Lowe's/OP's contracts, when compared to what the 06 pitching market will be, will look pretty decent.
    -If Drew wasn't hit by that ball he might've had an incredibly productive year - and for 11M (what Giles will get) that aint bad.
    -Penny will be considered a steal after this offseason FA spree comes to a close.
    -According to Blue Jays, Gagne is a steal at 10M.

    2005-11-28 11:04:46
    288.   das411
    277 , 279 - You guys asked for it...

    Back by popular demand (where is Hobos? he would back me up here):

    www.garygaetti.com

    Bob, you missed this the first time?!?

    2005-11-28 11:21:24
    289.   slackfarmer
    Russ Martin for Joey Gathright? Hopefully this is just D-ray dreaming and not something Colletti is actually contemplating.

    http://tinyurl.com/dtwp2

    2005-11-28 11:29:13
    290.   D4P
    288
    Sweet.
    2005-11-28 11:30:17
    291.   D4P
    289
    Ugh.
    2005-11-28 11:34:44
    292.   underdog
    289. I hope that's wrong, too. Gaithright could be good, but not for Martin, please God... and why then would LA be asking about a TB catcher?? That article sounds like a lot of space-filling nonsense.
    2005-11-28 11:40:40
    293.   regfairfield
    289 That move makes no sense for both parties involved. Gahtright's value is higher now than it ever will be, but he's not a good fit for the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay desperately needs arms, and if they acquire some,they could actually be a decent team.

    2005-11-28 11:43:15
    294.   fanerman
    289 - It better be wrong. But since Navarro is now a "proven commodity" after last year, Ned may be thinking it's not so bad to get rid of the other catcher in our farm system. Of course I hope it's all TB talk.
    2005-11-28 11:48:04
    295.   blue22
    294 - And by targeting Gathright, Colletti could be trying to find his Podsednick/Figgins/Roberts-type player (to gain Joe Morgan's approval?). Hopefully this is not emblematic of the new direction of the front office, rather just wishful thinking on behalf of TB.
    2005-11-28 13:21:19
    296.   dsfan
    287

    I won't defend the McCourts, who deserve only contempt, but not fair to compare him to the Royals as you do, if obliquely.

    As for closing a field in the D.R., I reserve judgment. The LAD facility there remains first rate. Where the McCourts screwed up is in losing their top scout there, Francisco, to the Braves. The guy wanted to stay with the LAD, but with all the firings, he jumped ship.

    C'mon, you hurt your credibility when you defend Depo's signing of Drew at $55 million. Just an awful price. Drew had way too many major medical/makeup issues for that sum. I'm not saying Drew doesn't have some premium talents -- but Boras swindled a rookie GM there.

    I believe LAD could've landed Drew for a whole lot less.

    Same for Perez and Dessens. I'm not ripping Depo. He was just out of his depth there. He gave Boras too much leeway. He let Boras string him along on Beltre. Rule No. 1: Never allow Boras to string you along.

    The jury's out on the contracts for Lowe and Penny. We shall see. I tend to agree with you on Lowe, but still, I believe a better negotiator gets him for less.

    Gagne was a major injury risk at the time Depo invested in him.

    And I'm all for finding out what Gagne can bring in a trade. Why not gather info? An overpay appears likeley. It's a great time to shop a closer, especially one with Gagne's medical risks. After Wagner, there's a steep dropoff in the market.

    2005-11-28 20:39:25
    297.   dzzrtRatt
    "The Marlins view Gathright as a younger and cheaper version of Juan Pierre, whom they would like to trade as quickly as possible…"
    from Evan Brunell at All-Baseball.

    That just gets ya drooling to see the guy in a Dodger uniform.

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