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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Lofton Completes the Revamp
2005-12-20 10:17
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

So Kenny Lofton, the guy whose No. 1-ranked basketball team blew a 21-4 lead at Maples Pavilion in 1988 and lost to Stanford, is coming to the Dodgers as a much-of-the-time starting center fielder for $3.85 million plus incentives, settling the lineup.

(S) Rafael Furcal, SS
(L) Kenny Lofton, CF (with Jason Repko and Jayson Werth spotting - maybe Delwyn Young?)
(L) J.D. Drew, RF
(R) Jeff Kent, 2B
(R) Nomar Garciaparra, 1B
(S) Bill Mueller, 3B
(S) Jose Cruz Jr., LF (with Ricky Ledee spotting)
(S) Dioner Navarro, C

The lineup looks promising top to bottom, as Navarro will not be an easy out at the No. 8 slot. The biggest, or should I say most important doubt remains at No. 5, where his two years of struggles and free-swinging approach make it unclear whether Garciaparra can really back up Kent. Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus echoes my concerns about whether the Dodgers have really improved themselves with Garciaparra:

Let's make this clear: the Dodgers are replacing (Hee Seop) Choi with a player Choi out-hit last season (and posted comparable numbers to in 2004), a player who's likely going to be inferior defensively, who will cost more money, and carry a greater risk of injury and decline. They're getting a more famous person in the deal, one whose aggressive approach at the plate may play better than Choi's disciplined one, but whose edges are all stylistic.

In other words, many people prefer Garciaparra's aggressive style to Choi's more tentative style, but for the past two years, the guy making outs more often has been Garciaparra. But the cases have been made, the Dodgers have chosen, and we move on. And what we find is that there isn't an obvious weakness in any lineup slot - all should post OPSes of .750 or above. That level, while not dominating, is still enough to cause trouble. By comparison, note how many hitters in 2005 didn't pull that kind of weight: Navarro, Werth, Oscar Robles, Repko, Paul Bako, Jason Phillips, Mike Edwards, Cesar Izturis. All have been jettisoned or benched, or are on an improvement track.

The small bench, to be culled from Werth (once he heals), Ledee, Repko, Robles, Olmedo Saenz, Coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., Willy Aybar and the other minor leaguers, is decent, which is a good thing because it's going to be used a lot given the brittleness of the team. (The Dodgers have four players on their 40-man roster above the age of 33 - Kent, Lofton, Mueller and Alomar, but a scroll of the roster's disabled list history would roll from here to China.)

The team does look like a fantasy draft from a couple years ago, but it has a lineup that looks like a contender.

So now, to the pitching ...

Comments (341)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-20 10:49:01
1.   Slikk
Thanks for the recap, Jon. This looks great.

Pitching ...

Lowe
Penny (health/weight concerns)
Perez (health/weight concerns)
Houlton (rookie concerns)
Billingsley (rookie concerns)
Jackson (rookie concerns)

We need someone with some stability. And now I just realized I said Lowe was stable ...

2005-12-20 10:50:11
2.   FirstMohican
If you're going to have a speedy 1 & 2, wouldn't you want a contact hitter in 3 to advance them? With Drew behind Furcal and Lofton, you're losing the advantage of having their speed when Drew hits a HR or draws a BB. I would stick Bill "GDP" Mueller in the 3 spot and push the rest down.

If Mueller has to stay lower in the order for some reason unimaginable to me, don't have Nomar hit in front of him. I don't know how fast Nomar is, but I don't want his fragile body trying to break up DPs every game. Put the relatively fast Cruz in front of Mueller.

2005-12-20 10:58:57
3.   J Rebel
Jon--like the Wildcat reference at the start of this..

Anyone know when we could expect our confirmation of the Dodgers' nontendered players?

2005-12-20 11:00:25
4.   Daniel Zappala
If the Dodgers are trying to work out a deal with any of them, then it might go all the way up to the deadline of midnight.
2005-12-20 11:00:43
5.   Vishal
i too would bat cruz in front of mueller, probably. and i would switch kent and drew for the L-R-L-R factor.
2005-12-20 11:01:41
6.   regfairfield
Just in case the Dodgers didn't already have enough players on the left side of the infield, Chris Truby has been signed to a minor league contract.
2005-12-20 11:01:57
7.   Slikk
Wow, you guys have some crazy ideas. You want:

Furcal
Lofton
Kent
Drew
Mueller
Garciaparra
Cruz
Navarro

???

All this speculation where people will hit is stupid anyway. All media speculation.

2005-12-20 11:02:44
8.   The Saul
Does this mean we're not getting Reggie Sanders then?

As for pitching, well, its not TOO bad, I feel that Hee Sop may be traded for a #4 pitcher with a overpriced contract, thats about as much as we can get for him.

2005-12-20 11:04:18
9.   regfairfield
8 Choi for Arroyo? Or is that asking too much?
2005-12-20 11:04:57
10.   blue22
Lofton - L
Furcal - S
Drew - L
Kent - R
Nomar - R
Mueller - S
Cruz - S
Navarro - S

Verstaile bottom of the order with all the switch hitters. Furcal batting 2nd takes care of the LLRR problem. Lofton has a higher relative OBP anyway, with Furcal providing more pop.

2005-12-20 11:05:44
11.   Jon Weisman
5 - I'm a huge L-R-L-R proponent - but I posted what I assume is the intended Dodger lineup.

8 - Yes.

2005-12-20 11:08:07
12.   blue22
9 - I believe that would be too much, yes.

How about Mota instead (only half-kidding there)?

2005-12-20 11:09:42
13.   bigcpa
Add Mueller to your over-33 list.

How did Stanford manage to lose to UC Davis in both sports this year? A rivalry is born?

Anyone else cringe at the idea of a Lofton/Repko platoon? I was surprised to see Cruz has hit better from the right-side most of his career. Against LHP I'd like to see a Cruz, Werth, Drew OF.

2005-12-20 11:10:17
14.   blue22
How long is Werth out for? Any recent information?
2005-12-20 11:14:51
15.   King of the Hobos
Seems we have all missed the other signing of the day, Chris Truby. I'm guessing he'll act as 3B at whichever level Laroche isn't at (AA or AAA). The fact that he's probably lower on the depth chart than Mike Edwards should mean he won't be in Los Angeles much. As far as i can tell, he's our 3rd NRI
2005-12-20 11:16:44
16.   Steve
Tracy would have had Mueller hitting third.
2005-12-20 11:16:44
17.   s choir
I like this opening day lineup:

Furcal (S)
Cruz (S)
Garciaparra (R)
Kent (R)
Drew (L)
Navarro (S)
Mueller (S)
Lofton (L)

2005-12-20 11:17:21
18.   D4P
16
Or Lofton.
2005-12-20 11:17:28
19.   oswald
i was hoping for nomar to play lf, and i still am. i think it's wierd that choi won't be given a chance for the first month with nomar in lf -- but maybe nomar doesn't want to get shifted around. still, it might be nice to have choi as a backup in cae nomar gets injured considering saenz can't hit righties consistently.

at the same time, though, i can understand the desire to have a free swinger at the 5 spot -- if you have runners in scoring position, you need hits, not walks. in those situations, i think you need a hitter who can make a lot of contact. guys of choi's caliber are more suited for 2 and 3 spots, imho.

2005-12-20 11:18:01
20.   Nolan
I just read Sheehan's piece on Nomar and it's pretty damning - especially the points made about Nomar's home/road splits and the disappearance of his triples/steals. It also made me feel for Choi - wondering whether he will ever get a chance or whether he'll just be another anecdote in a future Bill James book about the stupidity of baseball's collective mind.

My only response to Sheehan would be that the downside on this deal is very low, if not nonexistent. So what if Choi could be better than Nomar next year? We've got no expectations for the '06 season - it's all about '07. And, of course, there is the chance that Nomar could revert to his pre-millenium form and make this team something special.

2005-12-20 11:21:03
21.   CharlieBrown
Does anyone else feel that Kenny Lofton is about as close a Dave Roberts clone as you can get? Gets on base, not too durable, not much power, excellent percentage base stealer. Now what about the defense? Roberts had good range and an accurate but not particularly strong arm. Does anyone have a read on Lofton's D? BP has written in the past that he is pretty weak in CF.
2005-12-20 11:22:33
22.   oswald
choi's not definitely out, is he? they could still offer him arbitration and get him for under 2 million, i assume.
2005-12-20 11:25:28
23.   popup
Not a lineup I would put together. But unlike last year, there are no glaring holes at third or behind the plate. Being a GM must be a challenge: I can't imagine that Ned would have signed Mueller if he knew that Nomar was going to sign here too. I assume Nomar will sell some tickets. I will be surprised if he stays healthy.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-20 11:26:24
24.   J Rebel
17--Lofton in the 8 hole reminds me of a balanced slowpitch softball lineup. Love it!
2005-12-20 11:26:37
25.   Jon Weisman
13 - Oh yeah, forgot.
2005-12-20 11:28:15
26.   D4P
17
Hmmm...I'm not sure Nomah should be getting more plate appearances than Drew...
2005-12-20 11:29:09
27.   blue22
17 - Navarro hitting 6th is optimistic about his abilities.
2005-12-20 11:29:12
28.   Jon Weisman
22 - He's not definitely off the team yet but he has no spot in the lineup.
2005-12-20 11:29:15
29.   FlooHobbs
No matter how the lineup is written out, it is far more potent than last year. In a very short time, Colletti has put together a formidable lineup. Very impressive. What could have been a depressing 2006 season, is now very promising, even exciting.

Regarding Choi, there is a lot of love for the guy here in DT. And with good reason - he's a good guy with potential. However, he has not shown that he can be a consistent producer given his somewhat limited opportunities. Garciaparra can hit - he may be brittle, but he can hit. He has proven that. And he's a draw. The Dodgers desperately needed to improve their PR situation, and signing Garciaparra helps greatly in that regard.

2005-12-20 11:29:37
30.   Steve
When I read things like "We've added a lot of post-season experience" I want to rip my toenails out. I hear Gil McDougald has been keeping in shape.
2005-12-20 11:29:58
31.   King of the Hobos
The roster is a little crowded now, 42 names on it. Phillips is gone, and if they reach terms with Choi, looks like we could lose Myrow or Edwards.
2005-12-20 11:33:09
32.   Warren
I think there is every reason to believe that the pitching this year will be better than last. And for a good chunk of last year pitching wasn't the problem, it was scoring runs.

You have to assume that Derek Lowe will be better with a full year in the national league now and his off the field exploits (hopefully) behind him. He showed flashes of what he could be at points last year.

If Brad Penny is genuinely over his nerve injury and makes all his starts he can easily be expected to improve on what was a fairly solid 2005.

I'm not sold on Odalis Perez and if he gets traded it won't hurt my feelings. But if he is around maybe Grady Little and the new pitching coach will be able to deal with him a little better than Tracy/Colburn. The talent is certainly in him if you can get him to stay focused, make his pitches, and keep the weight in check.

Houlton is a respectable fifth starter but I can't see him as the regular #4.

That leaves one hole for me (assuming Weaver doesn't come back) and I'm not convinced that we should look to fill it via trade or free agent signing right now. My vote would be to invite a couple veterans to spring training and let Edwin Jackson, Chad Billingsley, and perhaps Jonothan Broxton fight it out. If none look ready you could easily pluck a #4 guy via trade just before opening day from our excess outfield/bench/prospects.

I think the everyday players were the major obstacle and I'm satisfied with what Colletti did. Pitching can wait I think.

2005-12-20 11:33:59
33.   regfairfield
29 By last year, do you mean the lineup we should have had, or the injury/Tracy induced abomination at the beginning of the year. I haven't run the numbers yet, but I'm not confident that this lineup is better than the projected 2005 linuep.
2005-12-20 11:34:03
34.   King of the Hobos
In the updated report card, Dayn Perry rates our offseason as A-, we're second only behind the World Series champs (A)
2005-12-20 11:34:24
35.   oldbear
Its a sad day when Jason Repko has a bigger place on the team than Hee Seop Choi.

The Dodgers are left paying more money to guys that produce less than their predecessors. Bradley is better than Lofton/Repko. Choi/Saenz is better than Nomar.

The only thing that can save this dumb idea from working is if Jose Cruz JR has a career season.

2005-12-20 11:35:54
36.   Adam
31. That'd be a real loss, wouldn't it?
2005-12-20 11:37:00
37.   blue22
33 - Less power/more speed that last year's intended lineup. It's pretty verstaile too, with the amount of switch-hitters and position flexibilities.

Maybe more importantly, there are no Izturis- or Valentin-sized holes in the lineup. Seems a little more consistent, top-to-bottom.

2005-12-20 11:37:00
38.   oldbear
34. Thats shocking because Dayne Perry is very sabermetric.

We've spent about 20mils bucks more to rearrange players, but havent gotten better.

Choosing Lofton/Repko over Milton Bradley will be the worst move of the off-season.

Choosing Nomar over Saenz/Choi looks dumb.

Choosing Jose Cruz JR over Saenz/Choi, well that might work out. We can all hope.

2005-12-20 11:39:38
39.   Linkmeister
If Hee Seop is traded and does well with his new team, can we indulge in Choidenfreude?
2005-12-20 11:41:06
40.   regfairfield
2004 Izturis: .288/.330/.381
2004 Furcal: .279/.344/.414

This concerns me. A lot.

2005-12-20 11:43:05
41.   oldbear
40. Choi would be best served going to the Yankees. They understand that having a big 1st basemen with power and plate discipline is a good thing. Ditto the Red Sox. Ditto the A's.

I'd rate the Dodgers off-season as a C-. Started out with an A, but they bombed the last two weeks.

2005-12-20 11:43:14
42.   Fearing Blue
Putting Garciaparra at 1B is the first move by Coletti that I strongly disagree with for all the reasons others have already listed. I expect the Dodger will still tender a contract to Choi, because neither Garciaparra or Saenz can really be considered dependable at 1B. There's a lot of time before Spring Training and it would be great if individuals in the Dodgers front office would come to their senses before then.
2005-12-20 11:43:22
43.   Jon Weisman
39 - LOL. I wish I had thought of that.
2005-12-20 11:43:32
44.   regfairfield
Heck might as well add
2005 Furcal: .284/.348/.429

Patience stays the same, and average and isolated power jump up .005 and .010, both easily within the realm of luck.

Furcal gets a little unlucky this year, he's not that much better than 2004 Izturis offensively.

2005-12-20 11:43:50
45.   FlooHobbs
33 - This lineup is better than last year's intended lineup. There were pretty big holes in last year's linuep: Valentin, Catcher, even Izzy leading off is not so strong - zero pop and not too impressive OBP. The 2006 lineup has no obvious weaknesses - no easy outs.
2005-12-20 11:44:26
46.   Kayaker7
40 Izturis has a career year in 2004. I doubt he'll repeat it.
2005-12-20 11:46:27
47.   Linkmeister
43 Feel free to use it.
2005-12-20 11:46:51
48.   regfairfield
46 I don't know, he might come close. It would be really interesting to see how 2005 would have turned out had he not gotten hurt. He wouldn't have hit .340, but it's certainly not impossible that he would repeat it.

The point is that saying we came into 2005 with a massive offensive hole at short, then saying the problem is totally fixed in 2006 just isn't true. Furcal's value largely stems from his defense.

2005-12-20 11:49:10
49.   s choir
27. I see Navarro and Mueller having similar seasons, so those two spots (6 & 7) could be interchangeable in my mind. I don't want him batting eighth because I'd like to see a veteran in that spot--it's a very important spot in the NL and best suited for someone who understands the game situation well.

Also, I'd like to see an aggressive bat in the eight-hole, and I believe Lofton fits that profile.

2005-12-20 11:50:28
50.   FlooHobbs
As I recall:

2005 Lineup

Izzy - SS
Choi - 1B
Drew - RF
Kent - 2B
Bradley - CF
Werth - LF
Valentin - 3B
Phillips - C

2006 Lineup

Furcal - SS
Lofton - CF
Drew - RF
Kent - 2B
Garciaparra - 1B
Mueller - 3B
Cruz - LF
Navarro - C

We are better at SS, 3B, and C. We are arguably better at 1B (although there is much disagreement from the Choi camp on this). We are arguably worse at CF. We are the same at RF, 2B, and LF.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-20 11:51:14
51.   Bob Timmermann
Lofton complained a lot about batting 9th for the Yankees. I doubt he would enjoy batting 8th for the Dodgers. It's not like it's not in Lofton's nature to complain about things.

I wonder if Lofton is going to be considered a "character guy".

2005-12-20 11:53:32
52.   al bundy
Because the Daily News seems to get some positive remarks by the posters on this board, I've started to read their sports page. Was I ever disappointed by today's column by Tony Jackson! First, he said, Choi "wasn't especially productive" this season. A few paragraphs later about Nomar he said, "After coming back from a severely torn left groin last season with the Chicago Cubs, Garciaparra finished with respectable numbers."

A-hem! Choi had better numbers than Nomar so why were Choi's "disappointing" and Nomar's "respectable"? To borrow a line from Berkeley econ prof. Brad DeLong, "Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?" (DeLong writes about economics and politics and if you are interested in those subjects he has a fine weblog at www.j-bradford-delong.net

2005-12-20 11:53:34
53.   jane doe
14 - His wrist is still unwerthy.
2005-12-20 11:54:24
54.   Fallout
51. Bob Timmermann

I'm not really that high on Lofton. He has his own head case moments.

2005-12-20 11:55:13
55.   bigcpa
2006 Fantasy Lineup that Wasn't

Furcal - SS
Nomar - 3B
Drew - RF
Kent - 2B
Bradley - CF
Choi/Saenz - 1B
Werth/Ledee - LF
Navarro - C

Nomar plays on the left side. Not signing Mueller/Lofton frees up $8M for pitching. You lose two of the 34+ guys and you'd pick up 40 more HR. Less is more!

2005-12-20 11:55:18
56.   s choir
51. If the Dodgers are winning, Lofton won't be complaining. If they're not, I really don't care if he's unhappy.
2005-12-20 11:56:23
57.   SMY
Are the Padres giving up on the season already, or just trying to keep up with Colletti in the transaction department?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2266394

2005-12-20 11:57:04
58.   jane doe
More: "Complicating the Dodger outfield is the uncertain status of left fielder Jayson Werth, who is not expected to be ready for spring training after having surgery on his left wrist more than a week ago. Zemel inserted pins to repair a complete ligament tear near the base of Werth's hand, which was put in a cast Monday for six weeks." (LAT, 11/30)

I'm more concerned about Drew's status. Drew "hopes" he'll be ready for spring training, but he's just coming off shoulder & wrist surgery. Might he need a second surgery? (Sporting News suggested he might.) If not, how long before his wrist is at full strength?

Anyone have updates on JD?

2005-12-20 11:58:19
59.   Nolan
17 - I wouldn't put a guy with Drew's on-base skills that low. I don't think it makes sense to hit him lower than 3rd...
2005-12-20 11:58:48
60.   Sushirabbit
Chris Truby is a great guy. I was amazed that he was with the Sounds for awhile, 2004 I think, and then Kansas City. Does this add a little more weight to the more moves are coming scenario?
2005-12-20 11:59:31
61.   Marty
57 Hmm...if even one of the moves SD made this off-season works out, I'll be surprised. I think they got a lot worse.
2005-12-20 11:59:56
62.   blue22
57 - That's a pretty good trade for them long-term. Chris Young figures to be an upgrade over Eaton over the next few years, and Gonzalez takes over for Klesko next year.

It would appear that they are conceding the division in 2006 though.

2005-12-20 12:00:43
63.   Steve
Looks like the Padres won that one pretty easily.
2005-12-20 12:01:47
64.   Fallout
What I saw with the Giants is that Lofton will get into a huff with an opposing pitcher and never let it go. Then expects his team to follow him in his personal vendatta.
2005-12-20 12:02:15
65.   Xeifrank
imho, the offensive lineup hasn't improved. It's a push. No better / No worse. All Ned/Frank have done is rearrange the furniture, spent more money to get a similiar output, and go after marquee names. Now they've dug themselves a hole in the starting rotation. The team will be decent, and playing in the NL west could easily be the favorite... as would Depos leftovers. The only edge I'd give Ned's team would be depth, but of course with higher payroll should come both depth and value, not just depth only. vr, Xei
2005-12-20 12:02:20
66.   rageon
If I have to play the expected 8 guys, I'd go with:

Mueller
Drew
Kent
Nomar
Cruz
Furcal
Navarro
Lofton

Yeah, I'm also doubtful that's the lineup we will see.

2005-12-20 12:03:16
67.   southpaw44
How much would you guys be willing to part with for Jon Garland?
2005-12-20 12:03:24
68.   greenchris
57 - I like that trade for the Padres. Young has an upside and Gonzalez has a great upside to replace Klesko. Think it is actually a good trade for the future.
2005-12-20 12:04:56
69.   Steve
Steve's Rule of Trade Measurement Thumb: The team acquiring the middle reliever has, with rare exception, given more value than it has received.
2005-12-20 12:05:44
70.   regfairfield
Taking Drew and Kent as a wash, here is the total isolated patience and power of the projected 2005 and 2006 lineups, based on their stats the previous year.

2005: Patience: .483 Power: 1.037
2006: Patience: .427 Power:.858

A lot of the 2006 lineup's value comes from average, which is very, very concerning. I've learned to expect the worst.

2005-12-20 12:06:03
71.   RELX
Regarding the Choi-troversy that rages on this site...

Since Colleti seems to be listening to Logan White, Kim Ng, Roy Smith and the rest of the Evans/DePo brain trust on most matters, i.e. not giving up the prospects, do you that White, Ng, Smith, all of who most everyone on this site respects, are down on Choi themselves? Or do you think this is strictly Colleti's call?

One of the things I like about Colleti is that he doesn't seem to have a huge ego--i.e. i have to have all of "my guys" in there, the result of which he has retained White, et al. (Unlike McCourt, who fired Evans in FEBRUARY of 2004, even though the smart thing to do would have been to let him run the team for a year, then make a decision at the end of the season when you have more info--we should have immediately known what we were getting into with McCourt from that move)That is why i wonder if the anti-Choi sentiment is centered around the White/Smith/Ng faction. On the very least, they don't seem overly supportive of Choi.

2005-12-20 12:07:38
72.   Jon Weisman
51, 54 - The impression I get from Boston is that Garciaparra didn't have the best personality either. For those who care about such things, Simers made it sound like today that he would have no shortage of targets for his clubhouse visits.
2005-12-20 12:07:40
73.   blue22
Not much - maybe a bullpen arm and a B-level prospect. Garland's K/9 has been on a steady decline, and his success last year was attributed to a sharp increase in K/BB ratio, unlike any other season he's had before.

He's due to get a pay-raise soon, so he's getting expensive as well.

2005-12-20 12:08:27
74.   blue22
73 - in response to 67.
2005-12-20 12:11:03
75.   Fallout
71. RELX

Firing Evans was a sign of things to come.
What about Ross Porter?

2005-12-20 12:12:22
76.   blue22
70 - What about the net increase of about 50 stolen bases at a 80% clip at the top of the order? Does that factor in somewhere?
2005-12-20 12:13:05
77.   Jon Weisman
71 - That's a fair question. I think, ultimately, it may have come down to the Dodgers thinking that there's a decent chance Garciaparra will be awesome, and a great chance that he'll generate more widespread optimism than Choi, so let's just go with the more known quantity, despite the risks.
2005-12-20 12:15:34
78.   bhsportsguy
57, 61

If I were a Padre fan, I would recognize both the Loretta trade and this deal as salary moves, while they do get 2 young prospects and another outfielder, is Klesko next because Adrian Gonzalez won't do much just sitting. And who would take Klesko and his salary. Sorry for the Padre talk but for 2006, this deal helps the Dodgers. In one off-season the Padres get rid of 2 Dodger killers in Lawrence and Eaton.

2005-12-20 12:15:45
79.   D4P
77
I also suspect that McColletti aren't aware of the fact that Choi is a very popular player (among a subset of Dodger fans). In general, the types of fans that this administration appears to be concerned about are the Plaschkegans and others of that ilk, most of whom don't like Choi and would like to see him replaced. From McColletti's standpoint, getting rid of Choi is a "popular" thing to do.
2005-12-20 12:16:49
80.   oldbear
70. Thats a good point. This team really hasnt improved offensively. Its gotten worse defensively. Pitching which was the main problem, hasnt been addressed.

When will we know if Choi agreed to a contract or not?

2005-12-20 12:18:50
81.   bhsportsguy
77-
Another point, I will be very interested to see where Joel Guzman plays in AAA, now if Loney is promoted, than Guzman won't be playing a lot of 1B, however, since Loney's defense is not a question (many scouts have said for a couple of years that his glove is mlb quality already) what if Loney DH at AAA and Guzman played 1B.
2005-12-20 12:20:25
82.   regfairfield
76 Yeah, it does. Does it make up for the loss in both patience and power? I couldn't tell you for sure.
2005-12-20 12:24:47
83.   blue22
82 - Wasn't saying it would make up for it, but it's a plus for the new lineup.

If they're going with a new offensive approach (more speed at the top) it would appear that they at least got the right guys. No more Izturis/Robles going 3 for 25 in stolen bases.

2005-12-20 12:25:12
84.   oldbear
55. To quote Kramer, "Gidddy-UP!!!"
2005-12-20 12:28:24
85.   regfairfield
83 Give them some credit, they were 8 for 24 :)
2005-12-20 12:29:14
86.   Eric L
Neyer was on ESPNews...

He basically said he liked the moves because the future wasn't sacrificed. Lofton is a downgrade from Milton, but it isn't a terrible move because of the 1 year deal.

He also says he thinks that Izturis (paraphrase) will have a place to play when he comes back because of the brittle players, but if he doesn't play for them, it won't be a great loss.

Also, he liked the hire of Grady Little and thinks that he was a good manager that had to be fired because of what happened in the playoffs in '03.

2005-12-20 12:30:20
87.   slackfarmer
I don't see how this lineup is formidable or impressive. Seems pretty average to me. Many of the guys are on the wrong side of the age curve and have padded career numbers from playing in hitter friendly parks. Also the team seems built for anti-Dodger Stadium. Much has been written about how DS is place for three true outcome type hitters, but as regfairfield points out in 70, Ned has assembled a lineup with high average but low patience and power.

If both were fully healthy, the 2005 lineup would be better than this. And what could have been assembled for much cheaper could have been much better -- see 55 for example (though I would have keep Bradley and A. Perez).

Still the division is weak, so if the hitters stay healthy and the pitching is OK, the club will be competitive in the NL West. I don't see much hope past that until the uber prospects arrive (hopefully mostly in 2007).

2005-12-20 12:33:48
88.   oldbear
86. It just occurred to me that the GM (whomever it may be), will have some extremely tough decisions to make next year.

Drew opts out. RF??
Kent's a FA. 2b???
Lofton's a FA. CF???
Nomar's a FA. 1b???

Is next year's free agent class a good one?

2005-12-20 12:36:14
89.   regfairfield
88 I think it is. I couldn't tell you for sure, but I remember looking at it and being quite impressed.
2005-12-20 12:36:57
90.   blue22
88 - But that's $35M in freed up space.

Don't forget Gagne too! $45M!

2005-12-20 12:37:37
91.   greenchris
88 - I doubt Drew is going anywhere
2005-12-20 12:37:45
92.   oldbear
89. Adam Dunn and Jim Edmonds are FA's. Those are the two off the top of my head I wouldnt mind seeing patrol Dodger Stadium. Although Edmonds is getting up there in age.
2005-12-20 12:38:43
93.   King of the Hobos
The Padres now have given up Otsuka, Seanez, and Hammond, although with their park, they could throw any warm body into the pen and be successful. Eaton would be a loss, if they weren't getting a much cheaper pitcher who was better last year. I can't understand this deal from the perspective of the Rangers, they have good pitcher and they trade him for an underachiever who put up similar stats in a far better park. Young had durability problems, struggling in the second half, but that should wane as he gets older. Whoever the prospect is, it won't really matter, as the Padres have a terrible system with few, if any, top prospects. Add in Gonzalez and Sledge, and I think the padres win this easily

Now that the Padres have the 6'10" Young, I think we all know what needs to happen: trade Repko, or whatever Bowden wants, for Gigantor (who comes in at 6'11"). A Rauch vs Young game would be lots of fun

2005-12-20 12:39:09
94.   oldbear
91. He'll leave if he has a good year. Someone will pay him more than 3yrs 33mils.
2005-12-20 12:40:38
95.   King of the Hobos
88 Comparitive to the last 2 offseason, next year is very good. But we also have many prospects who could be ready at that time.
2005-12-20 12:41:24
96.   blue22
88 - http://www.mlb4u.com/0607FA.html

Edmunds, Cameron, Shannon Stewart, Sheffield, Bradley, Jose Guillen

Does look a little thin, no major-superstars.

2005-12-20 12:41:54
97.   oldbear
90. Considering Ned Colletti's past, I bet he exercises Gagne's option for 2007. I've come to expect the worst after the Choi/Saenz/Bradley decisions.
2005-12-20 12:42:02
98.   blue22
96 - I shouldn't say thin, just lacking star-power.
2005-12-20 12:42:51
99.   greenchris
I highly doubt any other team would pay Drew more than $11 mil per for the next 3 yrs. Plus if there are indeed solid FA's next year, that makes him even less marketable. Scratch him off the list, he's stuck with us for "FOUR MORE YEARS, FOUR MORE YEARS!"
2005-12-20 12:44:16
100.   blue22
99 - Giles turned down 3yrs/$39M from LA last month (and even more from TOR). If Drew plays in 140+ games, I wouldn't be shocked to see him leave.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-12-20 12:44:34
101.   regfairfield
99 Yep, I'm real sad we're stuck with a guy with a .400 on base and .500 slug.
2005-12-20 12:46:15
102.   oldbear
2007 Dodgers.

SS- Furcal
3b- Mueller
RF- ???? (Joel Guzman)
2b- (Andy LaRoche)
LF- Cruz
1b- ????
CF- (Justin Ruggiano)???
C- Navarro

2005-12-20 12:46:38
103.   natepurcell
dunn is not a FA next this season.

although derek lee, barry zito, jon garland, andy pettite and mark mulder are.

2005-12-20 12:47:27
104.   Dodger Fan
looks like a contender...

Really>? how so!!! Not a single star, save, maybe, Kent.

2005-12-20 12:48:04
105.   natepurcell
if colletti exercises gagnes option then that means gagne had a good year. if so, gagne would probably not exercise his side of the option and becomes a free agent.
2005-12-20 12:48:50
106.   greenchris
Re: Drew, perhaps because he knows he can opt out he'll put up another 04 season for us in 06...and then opt out...I'll take that.
2005-12-20 12:49:46
107.   bigcpa
99 Drew was offered 3yrs/$42M by Boston last fall. His .932 OPS this year won't reduce his market value from there. Plus he might prefer another 5/$55 over 3/$33.
2005-12-20 12:50:34
108.   oldbear
Putting Edmonds in CF, and Dunn at 1st would solve quite a few problems though next year.

Maybe even HOPING that Drew doesnt opt out and stays in RF.

SS- Furcal
RF- Drew
CF- Edmonds
1b- Dunn
LF- Cruz
3b- Mueller
2b- LaRoche
C- Navarro

Then sign Johan Santana (if he's a FA).

2005-12-20 12:51:49
109.   das411
81 - How would an NL farm team have a DH?

102 - No Ethier or Loney at 1B and OF?

2005-12-20 12:52:11
110.   natepurcell
personally, if kent has a good year, and wants to play some more, id sign him to another 1 yr deal.

the 2b of our future is blake dewitt. he wont be ready until 2008/2009ish anyways. if kent can be his usual self offensively, just keep resigning him and letting him play.

2005-12-20 12:52:30
111.   regfairfield
108 Didn't Johan extend for 4 years after '05?
2005-12-20 12:52:31
112.   Steve
If JD wants to opt out, he can borrow my pen.
2005-12-20 12:52:46
113.   oldbear
103. Derrek Lee at 1st would work too for 2007. I'd be shocked if the Cubs dont sign him long term though.
2005-12-20 12:52:52
114.   natepurcell
stop with your dunn dreams, he is not a free agent next year.
2005-12-20 12:55:28
115.   bhsportsguy
Looking at the career stats of the new aquisitions of this team, this team is beginning to look like a certain down south and I don't mean the Padres. High average, low strikeout rates, walk rates around 6-8% (except Nomar). If this team doesn't hit .270 or above, the pitchers better be able to hold teams to less than 4 runs a game.
2005-12-20 12:55:30
116.   oldbear
109. If Colletti is clearing space for James Loney, I think we're in trouble. I think Joel Guzman will get called up before Ethier. Of course, maybe Guzman plays 1st.
2005-12-20 12:56:04
117.   JJoeScott
Re: 2007 - I wouldn't be surprised if Coletti and Kent already have had preliminary discussions about Kent re-upping. Nomar is the big wild card, because he'd obviously stay if tendered a contract.
2005-12-20 12:56:55
118.   natepurcell
ethier is a more polished hitter then guzman. ethier probably gets the first call up next year.

him or loney if nomah goes down and choi isnt on the roster.

2005-12-20 12:57:54
119.   natepurcell
a pitcher that has a good chance of being non tendered is wade miller.

if he is healthy, he would be a good cheap back of the rotation option with the potential to be a lot better.

2005-12-20 12:59:04
120.   JJoeScott
112 - Concur. I think Boras sends him East (Baltimore?) for a new, five-year contract Drew has a big year this year. One of the kids will be in RF next year, no doubt. (Another reason I think the master plan involves Kent coming back.)
2005-12-20 12:59:40
121.   sanchez101
111. Johan was extended for 4 years after 2004, hell make $10 million though in 2007 so I wouldnt be suprised if Minnisota traded him after 20.
2005-12-20 13:01:50
122.   natepurcell
gil meche is another young pitcher who could be non tendered that we should look at
2005-12-20 13:01:57
123.   FirstMohican
I still have yet to see why batting Drew 3rd is a good idea. It makes Lofton's speed almost irrelevant. Guess it's assumed (based on something that's beyond me) that Drew and Kent will go 3 and 4 no matter what.
2005-12-20 13:02:06
124.   oldbear
120. I dont think Jeff Kent comes back to play with 3-4 rookies. I think Colletti appeased Kent this year by getting rid of Bradley and signing some vets, but it'd surprise me to see Kent stick around for the youth movement.
2005-12-20 13:03:45
125.   Xeifrank
112. That wouldn't be the exploding kind would it? vr, Xei
2005-12-20 13:03:52
126.   D4P
124
Yeah. This offseason was all about appeasing Kent.
2005-12-20 13:04:48
127.   bhsportsguy
Per today's OC Register, sorry if this has been reported already.

"Choi has been offered a one-year contract despite the fact that Garciaparra's signing, Olmedo Saenz's re-signing and Kent's availability to play first base make his value to the team limited.

If Choi does not accept the contract offer, he will not be offered arbitration.

Colletti wouldn't comment directly on Phillips or Choi, saying only that he expected to "use every minute of the day" until tonight's deadline."

2005-12-20 13:05:09
128.   sanchez101
123. Well, Bobby Cox claimed that Drew was the best 3rd hitter he's ever managed. Drew doesnt make Lofton's speed "irrelevant", Drew can hit for average, and the fact that Drew takes so many pitches only creates more opportunities for Lofton to steal.
2005-12-20 13:07:27
129.   King of the Hobos
115 This team isn't the Angels just yet, we have plenty of guys who will take pitches and draw the walk. That was the Angels biggest problem, they couldn't tire any pitcher, so if they couldn't hit it, they lost. Only 2 of our 8 projected players had an OBP under .350, which includes Furcal's .348. Only Nomar was under it by a significant margin. Whereas on the Angels, only Vlad had an OBP significantly higher than .350 (Kennedy was at .354 and Figgins at .352). If we include Mathis, he too was under .350
2005-12-20 13:07:42
130.   oldbear
127. Just say no Choi! I think Choi will find more at bats playing 1st for the Yankees.
2005-12-20 13:09:34
131.   FirstMohican
So what's the point of Lofton stealing 2nd if Drew is going to walk?
2005-12-20 13:09:49
132.   D4P
130
This is a tough decision. As much as I'd like Choi to stay (and possibly get the starter's role if/when Nomah gets hurt), I'd also like to see him be the OD starter somewhere else.
2005-12-20 13:11:00
133.   bhsportsguy
109 - When they play an AL team, they use the designated hitter rule.
2005-12-20 13:11:50
134.   D4P
131
Would Lofton, Furcal make more sense at the top of the lineup than Furcal, Lofton?
2005-12-20 13:11:54
135.   natepurcell
if werth's wrist is healthy, a werth/lofton platoon is actually pretty good.

werths 2004 non injured numbers against lefties:
290 .377 .624 93ABs

loftons 3yr splits vs righties:
309 .371 .439 983ABs

2005-12-20 13:12:48
136.   King of the Hobos
Rosenthal is reporting the prospect in the Rangers trade as catcher Billy Killian. He'll be 20 next season, and has no experience above low A. He's essentially the equivalent of Juan Apodaca, but hasn't hit nearly as good. I'm also not sure if he's as good behind the plate as Apodaca
2005-12-20 13:13:15
137.   Jon Weisman
123 -

Runner on first or second, Drew can take pitches, get on base and keep the inning alive.

Runner on third, Drew can hit a fly ball.

Bases empty, Drew is the best shot on the team at avoiding a 1-2-3 inning.

In 814 career games, Drew has grounded into 37 double plays. Some guys'll do that in a year and a half.

Does that help?

2005-12-20 13:13:50
138.   sanchez101
any claim that this years lineup is inferior to last years is failing to look at the facts. Isnt Mueller a significant upgrade over Valentin, isnt Navarro a significant upgrade over Phillips, Furcal is a significant upgrade over Izturis, and Cruz is a significant improvement over the Repko, Werth, Ledee, and Edwards. Not only is the lineup clearly better in 4 spots, but each player is also an improvement defensively.
2005-12-20 13:13:55
139.   FirstMohican
134 - I don't see why that's even an issue.
2005-12-20 13:15:30
140.   sanchez101
131. because drew also hits singles and doubles, and sometimes he hits a ground ball, and sometimes he makes outs and kents can hit singles and doubles
2005-12-20 13:15:45
141.   natepurcell
next years current lineup isnt bad, im pretty satisfied actually. i just wish we keep choi because he is a very good insurance policy if nomar hurts himself again or he is just awful defensively at 1b.
2005-12-20 13:16:59
142.   sanchez101
135. thats what Depodesta was thinking a year ago
2005-12-20 13:18:06
143.   fanerman
141 - Same here. It's certainly an improvement over 2005.

Although, what's best for Choi and what's best for the Dodgers are no longer the same thing.

2005-12-20 13:18:32
144.   natepurcell
this next years team is deeper then last years team. that is the biggest plus about next year teams. if we sustain the same about of DL time next year, we will have the players to back it up and the prospects in AAA to be called up.

so i basically see us doing better, record wise, then last year

2005-12-20 13:20:06
145.   natepurcell
Although, what's best for Choi and what's best for the Dodgers are no longer the same thing.

this is true :(

i am going to be selfish and say i still want him on the dodgers though. i dont want to enter into the AC (After Choi) era just yet.

2005-12-20 13:20:09
146.   FirstMohican
137 - Nope it doesn't help

Runner on first or second, Drew can take pitches, get on base and keep the inning alive.

How does that speak to my question about wasting speed? Anyone can do what you say Drew is doing.

Runner on third, Drew can hit a fly ball.

Kent can do that, and by batting Kent 3rd, you'll cut down on his GDPs.

Bases empty, Drew is the best shot on the team at avoiding a 1-2-3 inning.

True, but scoring runs is the goal, not avoiding 1-2-3 innings. (Yeah, okay, that's not to say that they're mutually exclusive.)

In 814 career games, Drew has grounded into 37 double plays. Some guys'll do that in a year and a half.

So why does he need someone fast in front of him. He doesn't. Mueller does, so does Kent.

2005-12-20 13:24:33
147.   slackfarmer
To compare the 2006 starters to what actually happened in 2005 is comparing apples and oranges. The likes of Repko and Edwards (and Phillips at 1B) wouldn't have seen any playing time if the 2005 starters were healthy and Tracy had a clue. Comparing players Dodger Stadium numbers with new guys numbers at other parks such as Fenway or Philly isn't a fair comparison either.
2005-12-20 13:25:30
148.   greenchris
145 - i dont want to enter into the AC (After Choi) era just yet.

I'm getting the explosives together as I am writing this...planning on bombing the First Congregational Church of Choi at 12:01am

2005-12-20 13:28:35
149.   natepurcell
dear greenchrist, choi NOT be with you.
2005-12-20 13:29:14
150.   natepurcell
oops, i meant greenchris. silly typos.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-12-20 13:29:25
151.   D4P
139
Do you mean "Yes, Lofton should clearly leadoff ahead of Furcal"?
2005-12-20 13:30:14
152.   greenchris
149 - LOL!!!
2005-12-20 13:30:20
153.   sanchez101
146. batting order doesnt make a big difference in the standings, the studies ive read show the difference between the most-optimal and least-optimal lineups to be little more than a win over the course of 162 games. Who's batting third, whether it be Drew Kent or Garciaparra, would probably make little difference.

Besides, you claimed that Drew batting third made Lofton's speed nearly irrelevant, which really doesnt make sence. The best case you make is for avoiding double-plays, but little else makes much sense.

2005-12-20 13:30:53
154.   natepurcell
how does kiera knightley look in her new movie pride and prejudice? if i went to see it just because she is in it, is it worth it?
2005-12-20 13:31:24
155.   underdog
138 I agree. And yes 147 if healthy their 2005 lineup would have been much more comparable. And yet even then, I think this lineup for 2006 will be better. We've upgraded at just about every position, while holding steady at the two we didn't need to. IMHO.

Meanwhile, I think someone asked early in this thread about Lofton's defense and there were some questions about whether it would be a downgrade. Although it's hard to know with someone in the twilight of their career, Lofton's a four-time Gold Glove winner with a .984 career fielding percentage. 7 OF assists in 97 games (third among major league CFs.)

I do have concerns about Nomar at 1B (not him as a person or a hitter, just fielding and injuries) and like a lot of you hope they can resign Choi just in case. But other than that move, I don't see how one can even think this lineup won't be better, not to mention at least as good.

Plus, there's depth on the bench and in the minors should anyone fall apart (and someone likely will).

Now who the heck do they turn as a SP? I say give the kids a chance for one spot at least, and then sign a reasonably priced veteran for another and be done with it.

At least we didn't sign Damon for a zillion years at a zillion dollars!

2005-12-20 13:33:20
156.   natepurcell
if meche is non tendered, we should go after him. then leave the rotation alone unless we can find a taker for odalis.
2005-12-20 13:35:40
157.   Jon Weisman
146 - Maybe I'm not sure what you're looking for.

I mean, if it were true that "anyone can keep an inning alive," I guess it wouldn't matter who bats there.

I think you also might be overestimating how often Lofton is going to steal a base. Unless you're planning on making Mr. Kent involved in a lot of hit and runs, it seems like it would be more of a risk to bat Kent behind Lofton, since Lofton's speed won't make Kent any quicker to first.

I don't really care much where Drew bats, I have to say. I still like alternating right-lefty most of all - that'd be my reason to flop things.

I think Drew is the best hitter on the team and if I were managing, I'd give some thought to batting him leadoff. Since that ain't happening, I think third is probably the spot for him.

2005-12-20 13:36:21
158.   oldbear
I dont think the speed of the runner at 1st has much impact on whether Mueller/Kent hit into DP's.

Unless that runner is in motion, it wont matter either way. Teams almost always get that force out at 2nd base.

So having a fast runner bat in front of Mueller/Kent doesnt seem like it would make much of a difference.

2005-12-20 13:38:24
159.   natepurcell
kent and mueller are high average hitters. if you have speed at first, you are more likely to go from first to 3rd on a hit and firs to home on a double. thats one advantage of having speed in front of high average hitters.
2005-12-20 13:38:58
160.   FirstMohican
153 - I'll clarify for you. If Drew hits a HR or draws a BB, then there's nothing gained by having your baserunners speedy.

I agree that the batting order won't make much of a difference, but this is the first time that I've seen you mention it. Nobody called out Jon for making his preferred lineup by saying that lineups are irrellevant.

2005-12-20 13:38:58
161.   King of the Hobos
156 From the sounds of it, the Mariners are choosing between Ryan Franklin and Gil Meche. Thus, I doubt Meche will be non-tendered

Nate, how do you feel about countering the Padres trade for Young with a trade for Gigantor? Somehow, I think I may know the answer

2005-12-20 13:40:42
162.   Jon Weisman
148 - disturbing image, that
2005-12-20 13:42:43
163.   Jon Weisman
160 - Just to clarify, that wasn't my preferred lineup. That's the Dodgers' preferred lineup.

My preferred lineup, for at least eight more hours, still would have Choi in it.

2005-12-20 13:43:10
164.   King of the Hobos
160 Last year, Drew had a HR or a BB 21.2 % of the the time. Kent had one or the other 15.9% of the time. Is that 5% difference really going to make much of a difference in the results?
2005-12-20 13:43:43
165.   GoBears
SIgh...the answer about "wasting Lofton's speed" is that it doesn't matter. The "what's the point of Lofton stealing 2nd if Drew is just going to walk?" question boils down to "what's the point of Lofton stealing 2nd?"

Lofton won't be on base enough for it to matter who is behind him, and stolen bases, even with a good success rate, are just not that important.

The last thing the Dodgers need to worry about now is wasting Lofton's speed. What they need to worry about is starting pitching and whether Drew plus a bevy of 4th and 5th OFers is going to be enough.

I really don't think lineup order matters. I think that's been shown over and over again. But I will point out that if Kent-Nomar hit 4th-5th, we're going to see a lot of GiDPs, at least until Nomar breaks his wrist on a HBP (he's injury prone, so that's guaranteed, right?) and Olmedo takes the job.

2005-12-20 13:47:37
166.   Xeifrank
It's certainly an improvement over 2005.
I think the best way to compare is what would Depo's lineup in 2006 be vs Colleti's starting lineup. Since we don't know what Depo may have added or traded for, we can really only go by what the roster was like the day Depo was canned. What's the purpose of comparing Colleti's starters vs the starters opening day of 2005.

Team Depo:
Navarro, Choi/Saenz, Kent, APerez, Robles, Cruz, Bradley, Drew
VS
Team Colleti:
Navarro, Nomar, Kent, Mueller, Furcal, Cruz, Lofton, Drew

From the studies I've done the two offenses are a wash. I ran a 2000 game H2H sim, giving both teams the same starting rotation and bullpen. The teams were within 8 games of each other. A statistical dead heat. I'm not saying this is proof, but it's as good as any other study anyone has put out there, and better than those that just shoot from the hip and say the 2006 lineup is better, without giving ANY numbers. Like I've said in the past, it is my opinion that Colleti at best has done two things. 1) Added depth, 2) Brought in marquee names that may help sell tickets... but most likely all he has done is rearranged the furniture. Who needs the expensive Pier 1 Imports end table, when the one you already have works just fine. vr, Xei

2005-12-20 13:48:18
167.   FirstMohican
163 - Your preferred, realistic lineup.

164 - I already responded to that type of arguement in 160.

I feel like the response I'm getting from everyone is "just accept Drew's a 3 hitter" because Cox said it and because "it really doesn't make a difference anyways." It would be nice to see some simulations run. If I had the time, I'd be more than happy to do it (big if).

2005-12-20 13:49:13
168.   blue22
163 - I like Lofton-Furcal-Drew-Kent, for various reasons, one being it alternates L-R until Nomar.
2005-12-20 13:51:14
169.   oldbear
If I were makign the lineup, it would be:

Lofton
Cruz
Drew
Kent
Nomar
Furcal
Mueller
Navarro

With that players that can straight steal, hopefully we wont need many risky hit-n-runs.

2005-12-20 13:51:18
170.   Monterey Chris
166--

Xei,

My guess is that neither GM would have had a choice whether to keep Bradley or not. How does your sim work if DePo was not permitted to keep Bradley either?

2005-12-20 13:53:58
171.   blue22
166 - Yeah, that's slightly unfair. Colletti didn't trade Bradley, McCourt did.
2005-12-20 13:54:55
172.   sanchez101
166. does defense or baserunning factor into your calculations?
2005-12-20 13:55:16
173.   oldbear
My reasoning for Furcal batting 6th is that he might find more opportunities to steal bases from that spot, than if he was at the top of the order.

Running at the top of the order leaves the potential of takign the bat out of your 3/4 hitters.

Kenny Lofton also has a better OBP than Furcal.

I know it sounds weird to have a 13mils SS batting 6th, but I think it would work.

2005-12-20 13:55:17
174.   Xeifrank
170. Yes, good point. But then we'd have to ass-u-me who Depo would've traded Bradley for, and who Depo would've picked up via free agency or another trade to replace him. Too many "what ifs", if you know what I mean. :) vr, Xei
2005-12-20 13:56:30
175.   Jon Weisman
167 - No, it's not my preferred realistic lineup, either. It is not my lineup, period.

I'm not the one who said it "doesn't make a difference." You're the one who said,, "Anyone can do what you say Drew is doing."

I feel like I responded in much more detail than you suggest, but I guess it's having no impact.

2005-12-20 13:56:33
176.   Xeifrank
172. Defense does not. Speed on the basepaths does. vr, Xei
2005-12-20 13:56:33
177.   blue22
173 - Why not have Mueller in the 2-slot then?

I would think that 2 of Lofton, Furcal, and/or Mueller will occupy 1 and 2.

2005-12-20 13:57:32
178.   Xeifrank
Q: As fun as it is to project batting orders, does it really matter?
A: Not really!
2005-12-20 13:58:02
179.   regfairfield
173 He has a lower isolated patience though. I suspect Lofton will get around a .330 OBP once his average drops back to .275.
2005-12-20 14:01:08
180.   FirstMohican
175 I didn't say you said it doesn't make that big of a difference. What I said is nobody criticized you for making what I thought was a lineup that you had arranged.

I apologize for assuming that you had taken any liking to that lineup whatsoever.

2005-12-20 14:01:11
181.   natepurcell
but if lofton strictly plays against righties, his OBP will likely stay above 350.
2005-12-20 14:02:36
182.   sanchez101
179. lofton hasnt had a OBP that low since 2001, and that was only time in his career that it was below .340.
2005-12-20 14:02:45
183.   regfairfield
181 Forgive me if I lack confidence in a 39 year old whose game revolves around speed.
2005-12-20 14:04:33
184.   oldbear
177. I just like having Cruz in that #2 hole. He has enough speed to stay out of DP's, he's a 3TO hitter. I'd rather have Cruz in the #2 hole bc of the DP risk involved with Mueller.

I'd rather have Cruz in the #2 hole instead of Furcal, bc Furcal would be too much of a risk to steal, and thus take the bat out of Drew's hands if he got on.

2005-12-20 14:06:17
185.   natepurcell
im not impressed with jon daniels second big trade as rangers GM. his soriano trade was a good one. this one blows.

giving away young and gonzalez for a pitcher who isnt better but will make more money and a middle reliever? come on dude.

2005-12-20 14:07:32
186.   oldbear
184. Furcal can run as much as he wants batting 6th. If he bats 2nd, I think he's restricted too much. I cant see him stealing 46 bases in front of Drew.

And like I said before with Mueller, he's too much of a DP risk for #2 hole.

Thats why I prefer Jose Cruz Jr in that spot.

2005-12-20 14:07:35
187.   bhsportsguy
neddy on KSPN today: Did not hear the interview but from a sound clip Neddy says that he is talking to "3 to 4 free agent pitchers of varying abilities" He says they need to add one for sure and two would be better.

Let's recap the spending:
39M for Furcal
9M for Mueller
6M for Nomar
3.3M for Lofton

Let's say that he adds 2 pitchers, figure that will cost at a minimum 6-8M per year. There is no way anyone thought the Dodgers would spend this much this off-season, now whether it was wise spending.....

2005-12-20 14:07:41
188.   D4P
183
I dub thee forgiven.
2005-12-20 14:07:44
189.   natepurcell
I'd rather have Cruz in the #2 hole instead of Furcal, bc Furcal would be too much of a risk to steal

umm... so what if furcal steals. he steals at almost an 80% rate. he SHOULD try to steal.

2005-12-20 14:07:54
190.   Langhorne
Stealing bases in front of your #3 or 4 hitter is akin to having Drew or Kent bunt. Never do it. At best, the runner is thrown out. At worst, he's successful and they pitch around our best hitters so that Nomar (or last year Saenz) can hit into a double play. Stealing is for the #8 hitter so you stay out of the double play with the pitcher. Then the top of the order can try to bring in the run. But Lofton is going to do whatever Lofton wants to do because, gosh darn it, he's Kenny Lofton. I predict this will cause some tension with Kent if it costs him at bats or decent pitches to hit.
Never get off the boat. Never get off the boat. Never steal ahead of your best hitters.
2005-12-20 14:08:36
191.   sanchez101
i like the lofton signing a lot more when you consider that lofton has had a .280 EQA over 193 games over the last two seasons, while Milton Bradley had a .279 EQA over 216 games since 2004. Not to bad considering that they'll make similar amounts next season.
2005-12-20 14:08:45
192.   blue22
184 - Take the bat out of JD's hands all day if it means Kent coming up with 2-on. Isn't that what protection is all about in a lineup?
2005-12-20 14:10:05
193.   Telemachos
154 Nate: yes. She's a fine saucy wench. :)
2005-12-20 14:10:43
194.   sanchez101
190.
At best, the runner steals second and then advances home on a single, or if the hitter hits a groundball it wont be a double play. There are other more desirable outcomes than the runner getting thrown out.
2005-12-20 14:11:07
195.   Winthrop
190 - This argument makes a lot of sense. I'm convinced. Just wondering: Does this argument represent conventional wisdom, saber-wisdom, or is it your own analysis?
2005-12-20 14:12:08
196.   blue22
Jon - The payroll at the right is only at $91M now, but I could've sworn it was at $86M earlier today w/o Nomar and Lofton. Was I seeing things?
2005-12-20 14:12:09
197.   sanchez101
192. apparently kent will automatically hit into a double play. there seems to be a lot of pessimists here today
2005-12-20 14:12:17
198.   oldbear
192. I'd rather my best hitter get the most at bats possible. I'm not saying Jeff Kent is a slouch. He's still good. But its a waste of JD Drew if he's going to be IBB everytime Furcal tries an unnecessary steal. Now what you could do is make Jeff Kent the 3 hitter, and then make JD Drew the 4th hitter. That could work.
2005-12-20 14:13:51
199.   slackfarmer
The most important thing to remember about batting orders is that the guys at the top get more plate appearances than guys at the bottom -- something on the order of 20% more for leadoff than 8th. So the better the hitter (depending how you measure that), the higher in the order, with the caveat that power tends to be wasted in the leadoff spot and somewhat less in the 2 hole.

One thing to be said for Ned's lineup -- it's pretty consistent. So batting order is even even less important here than in the case where there are some serious holes (such as hitting Izzy leadoff instead of 8th). The one batter than is far better than the others is Drew, so he should be high in the order -- say 2nd or 3rd. Kent also has power relative to the other guys so he should go higher up, like 3rd or 4th.

2005-12-20 14:14:07
200.   natepurcell
okay im off to see king kong, is there a lofton press conference today?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-12-20 14:14:30
201.   blue22
190 - So I would assume you would discourage Furcal or Lofton from getting extra base hits then?

Doubles and triples out of the top of the order is just begging to have the middle of the order pitched around.

2005-12-20 14:15:14
202.   sanchez101
190. lofton and kent didnt seem to have a problem in 2002. anyway, lofton is exactly who you want stealing bases, he stole 22 last year and got caught 3 times. Are you telling me that the 3 times he got caught were so bad that it outwieghed the 22 times he didnt.
2005-12-20 14:16:49
203.   sanchez101
198. ya right, opposing pitchers are scared to death of Drew, but would pitch to Kent
2005-12-20 14:17:09
204.   natepurcell
ill leave with my lineup that i think would work the best:

vs righties:
furcal
lofton
drew
kent
nomar
mueller
cruz
navarro

vs lefties
furcal
werth
kent
cruz
drew
nomar
mueller
navarro

2005-12-20 14:20:53
205.   oldbear
201. I know Jeff Kent/Jd Drew arent exactly Alber Pujols, but I'm fairly certain Tony LaRussa did not 'encourage' trying for the extra base out of his top of the order guys.

I dont mind seeing Furcal at the 6th spot, running to his heart's content in front of Mueller/Navarro.

2005-12-20 14:22:44
206.   oldbear
203. Good point. You're screwed either way. So thats why I would not run in front of those two players.

But if was to choose which hitter I wanted to have bat with runners on 1st/2nd, it would be JD Drew.

2005-12-20 14:23:15
207.   jasonungar05
King Kong was excellent BTW. In case any of you were looking for a little follow up.
2005-12-20 14:23:36
208.   blue22
Has Tracy and his traveling "Robles/Izturis Caught Stealing Circus" conditioned some of you so much that you forget that the stolen base, in the hands of a successful player, can still be a very effective weapon?

Everytime Furcal gets a hit or a walk, there is an excellent chance it becomes a double. This is bad?

2005-12-20 14:25:28
209.   overkill94
185 I'm glad someone finally pointed out what a horrible trade this is for the Rangers. Young put up better numbers than Eaton last year while their home parks were extremely different. Considering those two to be approximately even, the trade then boils down to Otsuka and a low-A catcher for Adrian Gonzalez and Termel Sledge? I thought this new GM was supposed to be sharp...
2005-12-20 14:26:55
210.   King of the Hobos
196 Jon corrected Penny's salary (he had $2 mil extra due to signing bonus confusion), and removed Choi's estimated $500K
2005-12-20 14:28:18
211.   overkill94
208 Agreed, all this SB hatred is way out of line. You're assuming the guys will get thrown out (which doesn't happen often for these two), but also assuming that they would be stealing during favorable hitters' counts. Aren't a lot of steals done on 0-2 or 1-2 counts where an offspeed pitch is expected? It goes along with the success rate argument, but people are making it sound like these guys are getting picked off before Drew or Kent even come up to bat.
2005-12-20 14:29:22
212.   oldbear
208. It is if it means Drew/Kent are going to be walked.

I'd rather Furcal stay at 1st, and let Drew/Kent both get a chance to hit.

Rather than Furcal at 2nd, Drew IBB'ed, and then Kent with the only shot to do something.

2005-12-20 14:30:31
213.   Sam DC
Does Kaz Ishii still get his $1.3 million if he flees the country?
2005-12-20 14:30:41
214.   Berkeley Doug
As I look at the suggested lineups, I'm struck that there is not one projected starter who was with the team in 2004 (unless you count Navarro being with the organization). Of course long ago, I've reliazed in sports today you root more for the uniform than for the players, but I can't recall when a team has had this much turnover in such a short time. Can anyone think of any other instances?

BTW, Jon - As always thanks for the wonderful commentary.

2005-12-20 14:32:22
215.   blue22
210 - Ah thanks. I had assumed the payroll was at $97-99M (depending on Nomar's eventual salary) meaning the final payroll would be over $100M with a new pitcher.
2005-12-20 14:32:25
216.   King of the Hobos
I may be confusing my unspoken rules, but isn't it generally accepted you don't intentionally walk a better early in the game? If you're going to pitch to Drew, I'd much rather the batter on 2nd. Late in the games, the SB is not as smart, similar to the Bradley bunt. Remember, most managers do listen to thi, they just do everything as they've always done it
2005-12-20 14:33:59
217.   King of the Hobos
213 Yes. The Mets had to buy him out to get him off the roster, where our money comes in. They then had to release him because he was still under their control
2005-12-20 14:34:24
218.   Xeifrank
199. You make good points!
162 games in a season / 9 slots in a lineup
162/9 = 18
For each drop of a position in the batting order a player loses 18 at bats on the average over the course of a complete season. If your leadoff slot gets x number of at bats then the other batting order slots get:
1st: x
2nd: x-18
3rd: x-36
4th: x-54
5th: x-72
6th: x-90
7th: x-108
8th: x-126
9th: x-144
That's why some people say put your batting order in order of OBP or OPS and go from there. Others say, start a relief pitcher and pinch hit for him the first time through the order, then bring your starter in. Jim Tracy says bat your two worst hitters 1st and 5th (Izturis/Phillips). I've also read that you want your best hitter to lead off as often as possible, and whoever hits 3rd in the lineup tends to lead off the least amount of innings. Lots of interesting theories out there, but over 162 game season batting order doesn't make much of a difference if any at all. As long as you stay away from Jim Tracy's strategy listed above. :) vr, Xei
2005-12-20 14:34:36
219.   King of the Hobos
217 That's how I interpret it anyways, I could be wrong
2005-12-20 14:35:07
220.   Vishal
[214] penny? :) and choi for a few more hours at least, though he's not starting. it's ironic that the guys from The Trade are the only ones left. izturis too i guess but he's not starting anymore either. werth might be a starter when he comes back...

the point is still valid though, of course.

2005-12-20 14:36:14
221.   King of the Hobos
214 Why would Navarro count? We acquired him after Kent and Drew, so they would have to count too
2005-12-20 14:37:54
222.   blue22
Navarro was acquired on Jan 11, 2005.
2005-12-20 14:41:08
223.   molokai
We should be thrilled that we have Ken Lofton to replace Milton at the same price. Lofton is not Pierre, he has the same career slug% as Milton at 425. His RC/G was one of the best last year for CF and even with the expected drop in park effects he will be at least average which is great for a one year rental. Ned has said that he will be platooned so he understands that Kenny can't hit lefties. Lofton was a much better signing then Nomar because we needed a healthy CF headed into 2006.
2005-12-20 14:41:55
224.   trainwreck
I think the Padres got a steal today. Chris Young is a good pitcher and will only do better in Petco and he is under contract longer and is cheaper. Adrian Gonzalez can hit, maybe without a ton of power but he can hit and besides Petco is not the greatest place for power hitters anyways. Sledge is also a decent outfielder. Eaton has good composites but he never pitched as well as he should have in that ballpark and I think he will face problems going from NL West to the AL in a hitter's park. Eaton also is going to be a free agent after this past season. Otsuka is solid and as for the prospect... he's a Padre prospect so he probably sucks.
2005-12-20 14:42:27
225.   Berkeley Doug
221 222

My apologies, Navarro shouldn't count either.

218 Perhaps some of the more astute DT baseball historians may know the specifics, but I thought one manager once tried to bat his best hitter 1st in the lineup based on the theory that he would get more at-bats during the course of the season, but found it didn't really make a difference.

2005-12-20 14:46:35
226.   molokai
With A Gonzalez gone to the Padres I expect Texas to make a pitch for Choi. Eaton must not be happy to be heading to Texas in his walk year. I guess they taught him a lesson about mouthing off. He couldn't be in a worse place for a flyball pitcher unless they sent him to the Rockies.
2005-12-20 14:48:58
227.   slackfarmer
If you really want to beat the batting order thing to death, check this out: http://www.pankin.com/markov/btn1191.htm It is the best discussion of batting order I've seen.
2005-12-20 14:51:13
228.   slackfarmer
226 Could Ned be thinking Eaton for Choi?
2005-12-20 14:51:54
229.   Robert Daeley
226 Do they have a pitcher to send us though? I assume that's what we'd be asking for.
2005-12-20 14:51:58
230.   King of the Hobos
Brad Wilkerson has batted leadoff fairly often, although I'm not sure he's the Nats/Expos' best hitter

As for Chris Young, he averaged 5.33 innings per start, and according to Rangers fans, he made a lot of pitches. So, trying my best to prove how this is bad for the Pads, they now have a bullpen of Hoffman, Linebrink, and some assortment of Brazelton, Breslow, Hensley, Brocail, Andrade, and Etherton, and possibly Park or Stauffer.Compared to last year's pen, that's not nearly as impressive, and they'll be called on often in Young's and Park's starts

2005-12-20 14:52:10
231.   blue22
226/228 - I think Texas will be ok going with Teixeira as their fulltime 1B.
2005-12-20 14:52:24
232.   Langhorne
202 What I'm saying is the 22 times he was successful were 22 times the opposition didn't have to give the next batter anything good to hit. If that batter is Drew or Kent I'd rather Lofton stay put and give the best hitters on the team a chance to do what they're there to do. I'd like to see how many times the stolen base resulted in a run scored. Of course, this has alot to do with production down the line up.

201 No, but with one or two outs an extra base hit would be less troubling to the opposition because they can be more careful with the next batter.

The situation matters also. With nobody out teams aren't going to pitch around any hitter as much. I think that it is conventional wisdom that stolen bases are more valuable at the bottom of the line up where you are more likely to need to manufacture runs. And it's very old school to give your best hitters the chance to hit. Although, I believe the more sabr-minded feel that stolen bases are somewhat over-rated. I do know this, with our pitching a question mark, if this team needs to scrap and steal to get runs it's going to be a very long season.

2005-12-20 14:55:42
233.   King of the Hobos
229 Texas projects to have a rotation of Eaton, Kameron Loe, Juan Dominguez, and Benoit? Dickey? Volquez? Wasdin? CJ Wilson? I'd say no
2005-12-20 14:55:43
234.   trainwreck
I guess I will throw my two cents in when comparing last year's team to this year's. I think there is almost no difference. If you ask me we are more likely to have injuries with all these old players and players such as Drew, Werth, Nomar, and ODP who have had recent problems with injuries, not to mention I am still worried about Gagne. Our pitching is worse. So that and the possible injuries off-set possible improvements with the offense. Also players like Mueller, Lofton, and Furcal will probably see a drop in numbers because of Dodger Stadium and Nomar will probably have a lower average, but he can still hit his home runs. So I think we really have not done a whole lot, but we have a chance because our division is terrible. Colletti had to make some changes just to save face publically. We kept our minor league system in tact and that is all I care about. I care much more about the future of this team than the present because I want to win championships and I want a team that can be a potential NL West dynasty.
2005-12-20 14:56:17
235.   King of the Hobos
233 Vicente Padilla is their #2 pitcher behind Eaton, forgot about him
2005-12-20 14:56:55
236.   trainwreck
233-
Padilla
2005-12-20 14:57:23
237.   trainwreck
Apparently Rangers are talking to Milwood.
2005-12-20 14:59:47
238.   Warren
For whatever it's worth Ned Colletti was on the MLB channel on XM this afternoon with Rob Dibble and Ronnie Lane. Most of the interview was missable but they did ask him if the Dodgers were done acquiring players. Colletti said no that he wanted at least one and perhaps two starting pitchers and would sign free agents or seek them in trade. So I guess that's confirmation that he isn't going to stand pat until Spring Training.
2005-12-20 15:00:29
239.   Xeifrank
Saying that you wouldn't want Lofton or Furcal or whoever it is to have a successful stolen base in front of Drew/Kent doesn't make much sense to me. You take the extra base when they give it to you. Using that logic, what would you do if it were a wild pitch instead of an assured successful stolen base? Stay at first base, because Drew/Kent wouldn't get anything good to hit? I don't think we are talking about Barry Bonds here. :) vr, Xei
2005-12-20 15:00:47
240.   King of the Hobos
237 With their rotation, I figure they'll be crazy enough to give Boras his money. Even with him, Millwood, Eaton, Padilla, Dominguez, and Loe aren't much of a rotation at Petco, much less Ameriquest
2005-12-20 15:01:24
241.   Chris H
Lofton
Drew
Kent
Garciaparra
Furcal
Cruz/Werth/Ledee
Mueller
Navarro

Putting Drew higher in the lineup gives the Dodgers more chances to score runs.

2005-12-20 15:02:12
242.   trainwreck
I say Padilla is their best pitcher by far.
2005-12-20 15:02:37
243.   slackfarmer
234 I agree with your analysis, but I think Ned has three things going for him compared to last year: 1) he still has time to get more pitching, and I think this is really important, 2) even though 2006 has more injury risk than 2005, the chances that luck as bad as 2005 striking twice are pretty slim, and 3) the uber prospects are closer to being ready, so they may be able to fill some of the inevitable holes that arise during the season.
2005-12-20 15:03:43
244.   Xeifrank
Stolen bases don't correlate all that well with "runs scored". The importance of a stolen base vs risked involved in getting thrown out really only comes into play in the late innings when you are looking for one run, much akin to the sac bunt. I'm not saying stolen bases are not important, they do have their place. They are just not as important as OBP,SLG,OPS etc..., not even close. vr, Xei
2005-12-20 15:04:32
245.   King of the Hobos
The Padres have non-tendered David Ross (and Pete Laforest), but tendered Olivo a contract. Really, this shouldn't surprise anyone, but now we can resign Ross!
2005-12-20 15:05:08
246.   Robert Daeley
Has anybody heard anything about Flordia getting rid of Dontrelle Willis? They are in talks for a 1-year/$4 million deal:

http://tinyurl.com/98a9p

which both parties seem amenable to. And even if Willis's agent would be "surprised" at a trade (according to the above story), I wonder what it would take to pry him out of there.

2005-12-20 15:05:26
247.   trainwreck
243-
True, if he improves the pitching then our team can be better, but not someone like Tomko. He definitely has the benefit of calling up the prospects if we are in dire need, but I do not expect them to pull an Atlanta Braves type deal. I think they struggle a bit if they come up this year.
2005-12-20 15:07:06
248.   King of the Hobos
Take Breslow and Brazelton off that list of possible Padres bullpen pitchers, at least for now, as both have been non-tendered
2005-12-20 15:09:46
249.   King of the Hobos
Corey Patterson, Juan Pierre, Jerry Hairston Jr., Carlos Zambrano, Mark Prior and Will Ohman have all been tendered contracts.
2005-12-20 15:11:34
250.   Johnson
248
Not that it was big loss, but why did the Padres trade Burroughs away if they were just going to non-tender the returning Brazelton? Couldn't they have just non-tendered Burroughs?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-12-20 15:12:56
251.   Vishal
[231] dude, i hear they have something called a "designated hitter" in the american league. maybe choi could be that guy.
2005-12-20 15:15:16
252.   Vishal
[246] $4 million, that's it?!?! the dude could've won the cy young last year. though i guess it is one year and he'd be stuck playing for the marlins anyway, if he's not up for free agency yet.
2005-12-20 15:16:02
253.   King of the Hobos
The Marlins have offered contracts to 37 of their 39 players. Moehler and Amezaga already have contracts. Even after their firesale, the fact that those are their only signed players amazes me
2005-12-20 15:16:52
254.   D4P
251
Is that related to the "designated sitter" position Hee played last year?
2005-12-20 15:17:06
255.   King of the Hobos
252 First year of arbitration never brings much money.
2005-12-20 15:21:17
256.   Langhorne
To put it another way; in the long run, I don't think the #1 or 2 hitter on second base with nobody out results in more runs than if he were on first. In most cases, if the run scores it would have scored with out the stolen base anyway. If you steal you are playing for a one base hit. If you get two the stolen base is unnecessary. In both scenarios the run scores but one has the risk of the runner being thrown out. If in the long run this doesn't lead to more runs is any risk worth it? And the number of times the stolen base leads to a run you wouldn't have gotten otherwise is evened out by the hits the #3 hitter didn't get because he was pitched around.
2005-12-20 15:23:25
257.   blue22
251 - What is this "designated hitter" you speak of? :-P

Actually, I was thinking that Texas currently has Tex, Wilkerson, Dellucci, Nix, and Blalock all hitting from the left side in the starting lineup. Lefty sluggers don't necessarily seem to be a need for Texas.

2005-12-20 15:23:59
258.   trainwreck
246-
Dontrelle Willis wears Giants jerseys all the time out in public. I went to a Warrior game and he was sitting front row with a Giants jersey on... and he is on the Marlins. Imagine the scrutiny if he did that as a Dodger. Not that I am saying I wouldn't want him because of that, but it would be funny.
2005-12-20 15:25:27
259.   Robert Daeley
258 I guess he'd fit right in with all the Giants on the field. ;)
2005-12-20 15:25:35
260.   blue22
252 - Gagne got $5M from his post-Cy Young arbitration hearing.
2005-12-20 15:31:38
261.   Bob Timmermann
260

Gagne asked for even more at his arbtiration hearing but lost because he was way out of line for a pitcher with his experience and stats.

The arbitrator isn't allowed to pick a number in between what the player wants and the team offeres. I saw the Dodgers case against Gagne and it was pretty persuasive.

2005-12-20 15:33:21
262.   blue22
261 - Was that his first year of arbitration?

He only made $550K during his Cy Young year, which was a follow up to his 52-save, 1.97-ERA first year as a closer.

2005-12-20 15:34:41
263.   Vishal
[246] oh no, d-train's a giants fan! i was hoping he'd at least like the A's since he's from the east bay. tsk, tsk.

even if he wears it at NBA cames, i hope he never gets to wear orange and black on the diamond.

[257] ah, that makes sense.

2005-12-20 15:38:36
264.   Suffering Bruin
I am deep in Han at the moment...

I like Tony Jackson a great deal but he never liked Choi, not one bit. Saying Choi was "not especially productive" implies something, I'm just not sure what. Choi outhit his current replacement, just like the previous season. Unlike most of his teammates, Choi stayed healthy. His attitude, from what we know, was very good.

It would be interesting to study in coming years just why it is that Choi invited such barely disguised contempt from most people. I think part of it has to do with DePodesta and the visceral hatred fans and press had for him. But Jackson wasn't one of those guys... I always thought he was very fair in writing about DePodesta, which makes his dislike for Choi as a ballplayer all the more baffling.

I think that as a Dodger, people focused on the things Choi is not and let that stick in their craw. He is not aggressive, either personally or as an athlete. He does not have a pretty swing. I maintain that someone knows something that's not being said because too many people in the game are implying not too subtly that Chop can't play. But it's just as likely that these people are all wrong because the evidence of his productivity is plain to see by anyone willing to look.

I suppose I'll have to move on (sigh) but the way Choi was treated in this town by press, field management and fans just doesn't make a whole heckuva lot of sense.

2005-12-20 15:39:24
265.   Uncle Miltie
Dewon Brazelton was non tendered by the Padres today. I'd definitely offer him a minor league contract. He's still only 25 years old and looked very promising in the few games I saw him pitch in 2004.
2005-12-20 15:40:24
266.   trainwreck
Alfonso Soriano is a piece of garbage and I hope he sucks so bad this season that he gets a terrible contract. He keeps saying how he will never move from second base and that he only wants to play in the AL because he knows the pitchers and it would take too much time and work to learn NL pitchers. Your'e a baseball player, do your job you lazy, self-serving, overrated, turd.
2005-12-20 15:46:50
267.   King of the Hobos
Can you imagine if Colletti had given up Broxton for him? I shall always remember Bowden for saving the Dodgers from Soriano
2005-12-20 15:49:05
268.   King of the Hobos
Yet another pitcher added to the markey along with Brazleton: Ramon Ortiz. Rotoworld seems to think he might be a good fit for us. If he could pitch like 2002, I'd completely agree. However, I'd rather just stay away
2005-12-20 15:49:52
269.   molokai
257
And the best hitter is Tex who you didn't even mention. Nix is either a CF or he's not playing. He's not good enough to be a DH. Just because you have a lot of lefties doesn't mean you let Phil Nevin bat these days and that is who the DH is right now.

The trade with the Padre's is not that one sided. Otsuka is heck of a pitcher and gives the Rangers a dynamite 1/2 punch out of the bullpen. Eaton will do the same as Young if not better. Young had a nice 1st year, very doubtfull he repeats it but Petco will certainly help him. A Gonzales will be nothing special. For a 1st baseman he had never posted a > 500 slug% until he repeated AAA for the 3rd year in a row. He will die in Petco. To me this trade weakens the Padres. They exchange starting pitchers but lose a key pitcher in Otsuka and they also lost Seanez to free agency. That is 2 key bullpen pitchers they have lost. Sledge will be a nice backup outfielder but I dont' think that will makeup for the loss of Otsuka.JMO

2005-12-20 15:53:52
270.   Uncle Miltie
269- Otsuka is signed for 1 year and is close to 35 years old. Eaton will be a free agent next year. Chris Young, who is at least as good of a pitcher as Eaton, is under the Padre's control for 4-5 years. Adrian Gonzalez is similar to James Loney. This is an absolute steal for the Padres.
2005-12-20 15:54:35
271.   blue22
269 - Tex was actually the first name I mentioned. I'm a big fan of his.

My point wasn't that they would all compete for the same position, but that they had a versatile enough stable of position players, tthat a rotation of their current roster would fill the OF, DH, and 1B positions without Choi.

2005-12-20 15:57:15
272.   molokai
Couldn't we swing a deal for Scott Olsen? They are talking with Tampa and trying to get Gathright. Repko is Gathright with a better arm, more power, less ability to get on base but probably plays a better CF. Until last year I had heard nothing but bad things about how Gathright played CF. I am so glad that we signed Lofton and did not go after Gathright. Repko and Aybar for Scott Olsen, that would be my offer. Gives the fish a CF and a 2nd baseman. If they are going to give away Olsen they might as well give him to us.
2005-12-20 15:58:15
273.   Vishal
[268] "markey"?

wait, do you mean "marquee"?

2005-12-20 16:00:40
274.   blue22
273 - Hmmm...by the context I assumed "markey" meant a "list of undesirables".
2005-12-20 16:01:58
275.   oswald
fwiw, i really like what coletti has done so far:

1. he has not traded away youngsters
2. he has improved the infield defense, especially on the left side
3. he has gained credibility for the organization in the free agency market
4. he has operated with an obvious plan
5. he hasn't spent a lot of money

besides the loss of choi, which may or may not be a mistake in the long run, what's not to like about this. the team's still injury prone, but at least there's hope for this year and the future is cleared for the kids.

2005-12-20 16:02:11
276.   King of the Hobos
273 Market. I wasn't sure if I should correct it with another post after I notcied it
2005-12-20 16:03:21
277.   King of the Hobos
274 Let's just assume a markey is a market wherein lies nothing but undesirable players. See, I made a new word
2005-12-20 16:11:07
278.   s choir
I'd like to see Navarro given more responsibility for offensive output this year. I was looking at his vs. pitcher stats, and he is not just making his living off of no-name guys... he is getting hits off the big guns.

See for yourselves:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7276/batvspit;_ylt=AujRh6kRVMhD5FECrDmS3veFCLcF

2005-12-20 16:12:29
279.   King of the Hobos
The Arizona-ChiSox deal is official, just in case you thought it might hit a snag and fall apart
2005-12-20 16:14:23
280.   sanchez101
269. Chris Young had a lower era in Texas last year than Adam Eaton has had in MLB career. Im not sure you can make an argument that Young isnt as good as Eaton. He's also much cheaper and farther from free agency. Adrian Gonzalez and Termell Sledge may not be anything special, but theyre usefull benchplayers. This trade makes SD immediatly better and gives them financial flexibility.
2005-12-20 16:14:49
281.   blue22
278 - Typically young catchers (Joe Mauer excluded) are only asked to work on their defense and pitch-calling, developing a repoir with the staff, during their first full season. Offense is a bonus. I think it'd be a lot to ask of Navarro to hit 6th, especially on this veteran-laden team. He also isn't projected to be a superior offensive player in the first place.

Give him 130 starts, bat him 8th, and see what happens.

2005-12-20 16:15:38
282.   Xeifrank
256. In your scenario, it call comes down to stolen base percentage, score of the game, what inning are you in, and who are the next couple of hitters.

I don't think the #1 or 2 hitter on second base with nobody out results in more runs than if he were on first.

is this a typo, or did you mean to say that having a runner on 2nd with nobody out would produce as many runs as a runner on 1st with nobody out? vr, Xei

2005-12-20 16:16:19
283.   sanchez101
278. Navarro is one of the most underrated young players in the game. People seem to wright him off because he has little-to-no-power. I think his career will look at least as good as LoDuca's before he retires.
2005-12-20 16:16:22
284.   Johnson
265
Sign Brazelton to a minor league contract? Heck, he only went 1-8 with a 7.61 ERA and a WHIP over 2 last year. I suppose we could send him to Vegas where he could try to post an ERA greater than his age.

That's why I was so confused about San Diego non-tendering him. They traded for him, so you'd assume they had major-league-minimum interest in him. With numbers like Brazelton's, how much could he possibly make in arbitration? To win the arbitration hearing he'd almost certainly have to submit a number lower than San Diego's!

2005-12-20 16:17:15
285.   blue22
282 - That's what he meant. For real.
2005-12-20 16:19:29
286.   Xeifrank
285. I was hoping it was a typo. :)
vr, Xei
2005-12-20 16:21:05
287.   King of the Hobos
284 The Devil Rays gave him a lot of money after 2004, and you can only take so large a paycut. This way San Diego saves a little ($300K?)
2005-12-20 16:21:35
288.   King of the Hobos
287 "you can only take so large a paycut in arbitration"
2005-12-20 16:24:55
289.   blue22
284 - He was the third overall pick in 2001, which is what explains the intrigue around him. "If only we could get our hands on him - we'd figure him out where everyone else failed to!"

Call it Kwame Brown Syndrome.

2005-12-20 16:25:06
290.   Nagman
Sorry to interrupt, but since this was talked about recently and a few people regretted missing it, and in case it hasn't been mentioned, it appears that NBC is repeating the hilarious "The Office" Xmas episode tonight.

Please return to your discussion.

2005-12-20 16:27:18
291.   s choir
281 - I'd like to see a more aggressive hitter, speedier baserunner, and more experienced player in the 8-hole. How about 7th for Navarro?
2005-12-20 16:39:03
292.   Johnson
288
Ah. I guess that makes more sense, then. If he's not eligible for the major-league minimum via arbitration then maybe it is better just to cut him loose.
2005-12-20 16:40:28
293.   blue22
291 - I'd like to see a more aggressive hitter, speedier baserunner, and more experienced player in the 8-hole.

Nomar? :-)

I prefer to put the worst offensive player in the 8-spot. That'd be Navarro. Of course, for an 8 hitter, he's pretty good. That's the biggest difference in the lineup as compared to last years - way fewer holes.

2005-12-20 16:46:09
294.   bigcpa
SEOUL, KOREA - 9:45AM

HEE SEOP awakes and walks to fax machine. He sees an incoming fax
from 323-224-1-HIT. A 1 year contract for $575,000.

                HEE SEOP
     $575,000?!?! I owe more than that!

2005-12-20 16:48:38
295.   King of the Hobos
Wade Miller and Chad Bradford have been non-tendered
2005-12-20 16:50:13
296.   alexx
Why doesn't anyone think Werth has "giant holes in [his] swing"? Every time I watched him bat last year he looked horrible - like Beltre pre-bone spurs when he couldn't resist the outside curve ball.
2005-12-20 16:54:10
297.   blue22
296 - I watch a lot of baseball, and let me tell you, Werth is a "ballplayer".
2005-12-20 16:55:04
298.   sanchez101
295. Wade Miller is certainly worth a look, but I wouldnt count on him to fill a spot in the rotation anymore than Jackson or Houlton. Bradford we can leave alone.
2005-12-20 17:00:53
299.   jasonungar05
Eaton vs the dodgers......................

W-L: 10-3
ERA: 2.37
WHIP: 1.04
Opponents' BA: .212

Enjoy Arlington, my friend.

2005-12-20 17:01:00
300.   King of the Hobos
Grant Balfour has been non-tendered, although is expected to miss the majority of next season. He has good strike out numbers...
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2005-12-20 17:02:26
301.   TheDictator
It has been posted on Choi Central that Hee Seop signed a contract for 725,000 to play for the Dodgers next season.

http://choicentral.blogspot.com/2005/12/d-day.html#comments

I hope this news is not redundant

2005-12-20 17:03:00
302.   scareduck
283 - maybe it's all the lead that's surrounded Yankee-bred players lately. Their farm system has been just awful for years now.
2005-12-20 17:11:00
303.   blue22
301 - I want to believe, but unsourced comments by anonymous posters in a blog...
2005-12-20 17:11:29
304.   blue22
301 - I want to believe, but unsourced comments by anonymous posters in a blog...
2005-12-20 17:12:01
305.   King of the Hobos
301 I'm both excited and saddened at the same time. If it's true, it's great that Colletti actually wants him, but it's too bad that he won't start. I feel bad rooting against Cruz or Lofton (or any Dodger), so I'll just hope for the best for Hee-Seop
2005-12-20 17:12:50
306.   Jon Weisman
301 - First I've heard. Let's see what happens.

I meant to write this in this morning's post, but this acquisition of Kenny Lofton now makes it a trifecta of aging, somewhat fleet, ex-Brave CF pickups since 1988. Brett Butler, Otis Nixon, Lofton.

2005-12-20 17:13:13
307.   TheDictator
Looks like Jacque Jones is a Cub

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5185442

2005-12-20 17:13:41
308.   King of the Hobos
303 Well, it's sourced to the agent. Somehow I don't trust that, but I'd like to

Another obstacle avoided, Jacque Jones has signed to join the Cubs, so that the Cubs still have no ability to walk

2005-12-20 17:14:10
309.   sanchez101
301. is there any source to that
2005-12-20 17:14:37
310.   Marty
If I remember correctly, Otis Nixon had Walter Brennan disease. He looked 75 when he was 35.
2005-12-20 17:16:44
311.   blue22
310 - "Walter Brennan" disease is a euphemism for a coke problem? I did not know that...
2005-12-20 17:18:00
312.   King of the Hobos
309 He sourced it to Choi's agent. He did name Choi's agent correctly if that means anything. He's represented by Chi Lee
2005-12-20 17:18:14
313.   Bob Timmermann
301
I looked somewhat high and somewhat low for news of Choi, but I have not found anything official.

We might not know until the deadline around 9 PM.

2005-12-20 17:20:50
314.   Dark Horse
296--Werth looked awful last year, worse even than Choi did at times. Then again, he was hurt and looked better in '04. But last year certainly tempered one's hopes a little.
2005-12-20 17:20:54
315.   bigcpa
If Choi gives Nomar his #5, I propose he takes on #16 in honor of his eternal bond with both LoDuca and Jim Tracy.
2005-12-20 17:21:59
316.   TheDictator
309 - The person cited Choi's agent.

This particular person on that cite usually gives Choi updates about once a week. Given the Choi is in Korea added to the fact that the poster is always citing Korean newspapers, I feel pretty good about my guess that the person is either a Korean-American or lives in Korea. So, his sources are probably Korean also.

2005-12-20 17:23:49
317.   King of the Hobos
Well, rotoworld is reporting that he re-signed:

Dodgers re-signed first baseman Hee-Seop Choi to a one-year contract.
Maybe he needs a better agent, among other things. Sure, Nomar Garciaparra is probably going to get hurt at some point, but until then, Choi isn't going to play at all. He might even be sent to the minors. He should have taken his chances as a free agent. The Dodgers would have non-tendered him if he didn't agree to a cheap contract.

2005-12-20 17:24:00
318.   Albert in Hong Kong
It's official on Dodgers.com.

http://tinyurl.com/796mh

2005-12-20 17:24:22
319.   TheDictator
OK, another source has acknowledged the same thing. This time mlb.com

http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20051220&content_id=1285247&vkey=pr_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la

2005-12-20 17:24:30
320.   greenchris
301 - WHAT! He is signing with the Dodgers...The First Congregational Church of Choi should sleep very well tonight.
2005-12-20 17:24:33
321.   King of the Hobos
317 No source was given, maybe they used Choi Central, or even DT...
2005-12-20 17:26:32
322.   trainwreck
317-
Maybe we work to keep him as a long term backup in case Loney goes through growing pains.
2005-12-20 17:27:50
323.   Uncle Miltie
Ouch..hopefully the Dodgers deal Choi for a pitcher. Choi for Matt Clement?
2005-12-20 17:28:23
324.   molokai
280
We shall see. I'm glad the Padres have Young instead of Eaton and Otsuka.
2005-12-20 17:29:00
325.   blue22
It's pretty obvious that he wants to stay in LA. That's good - maybe Ned is planning on a modified platoon situation (with Choi sitting against lefties and righties with tricky arm angles).
2005-12-20 17:29:05
326.   Sam DC
313 I thought you don't look too hard?

(Gosh, hadn't realized this would be so much fun.)

2005-12-20 17:29:35
327.   Gen3Blue
As strange as all these signings are, I have a generally good feeling that
1) we didn't rush the prospects and turn them into Konerko's
2) we didn't trade most of the prospects for has-beens.
3) we didn't bury the prospects behind long term contracts.
Almost any other result would have felt worse. OK, many of us may have had a favorite youngster who is likely to lose out. But there was no blood bath. Like Lasorda trading Konerko,those pitchers, and every other prospect he could get his hands on. I'm relieved. (hoping the big one won't hit tomorrow!).
2005-12-20 17:29:50
328.   King of the Hobos
I guess we can assume that Colletti doesn't share Tray's dislike for Choi. But really, we have no room for him unless he's starting, and he could started somewhere else. Either he has a bad agent, he really wanted to be a Dodger, or he was afraid he wouldn't get a contract elsewhere. I sure hope he doesn't end up in the minors
2005-12-20 17:30:17
329.   blue22
323 - Or maybe Saenz is the one on the way out. At least Choi distinguishes himself by being left-handed.
2005-12-20 17:31:19
330.   Uncle Miltie
How long do the Dodgers have to wait before they can deal him? I think it's different than signing a free agent.
2005-12-20 17:33:39
331.   King of the Hobos
The A's tendered Bradley a contract. They did not however tender a contract to former Dodger Hiram Bocachica, who, thanks partly to the Dodgers, was eligible for arbitration
2005-12-20 17:34:32
332.   Steve
One of the things I learned from last year is that trust should be earned, not given. Trust has been earned tonight -- Jacque Jones is now a Cub (cementing possibly the worst off-season of the decade), JT Snow is surplusage, and we retain a useful part, first base insurance, and a possible trading chip. This justifies the Garciaparra signing, and if the worst mistake Colletti makes is to sign Kenny Lofton to a one-year contract, then I was very, very wrong about him....indeed.
2005-12-20 17:36:27
333.   King of the Hobos
The DBacks could have claimed Jeff DaVanon off waivers. But, because they didn't feel like it, they signed him to a 2 year, $3.5 mil contract instead
2005-12-20 17:37:09
334.   trainwreck
http://tinyurl.com/9tc65

Dotel a Yankee... he screwed the A's so I hope he screws the Yankees.

2005-12-20 17:38:18
335.   blue22
332 - www.retainnedcolletti.com?
2005-12-20 17:41:14
336.   King of the Hobos
333 Nevermind, the agent denied it apparently
2005-12-20 17:42:57
337.   Screwgie
Man, the depth of this team now is scary.

Of course we have no pitching, but we can play 5 guys at first base on any given night. It might come in handy when pitching to Bonds.

2005-12-20 17:44:37
338.   Steve
335 -- I am becoming convinced that Ned Colletti does in fact have positive attributes other than not being Jim Bowden.
2005-12-20 17:45:27
339.   Sam DC
Sort of makes Jon's whole post about the limits of reporting and the importance of waiting til something happens before you are sure you know what is going to happen all the more apropros. How many times have I read in the last 2 days that Choi would be or was likely to be non-tendered.

Anyhow, who knows what ultimately happens with him, but am very happy that he was not dumped for nothing, an outcome that seemed to make no sense, whatever one's view of Choi's ceiling.

2005-12-20 17:51:13
340.   Jon Weisman
339 - That's what I was going for.

New post up top.

2005-12-20 17:57:18
341.   dodgerscool
Wade Miller is non-tendered by Boston. Does anyone think he is worth to take a chance on? He might be a pretty good addition to our rotation.

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