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DePo and Colletti: Frick and Frick?
2006-01-09 22:58
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

If a contrarian falls in the woods and no one is there to hear him ...

One of the arguments I've been making this offseason is that the biggest difference between former Dodger general manager Paul DePodesta and his successor, Ned Colletti, is not in philosophy, but how the media has covered them. Despite the perception that Colletti is a 180-degree reversal from DePodesta, my belief has been that in reality, the two are much closer in approach than we've been led to believe. Both prize the Dodger farm system. Both relied on veterans from other organizations - including veterans with considerable injury histories - to carry the Dodgers until the farm system matured.

To explore this admittedly seat-of-the-trousers analysis, what follows is a comparison of the team DePodesta had formed by January 2005 with the one Colletti has in place a year later. Keeping in mind that DePodesta had been on the job for several months longer, and that Colletti's moves have been influenced by what DePodesta had left in the pantry, I've tried to show, minimizing bias as much as possible, where their philosophies have converged and diverged.

Catcher
DePodesta
Dave Ross, backed up by Paul Bako
Colletti
Dioner Navarro, backed up by Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Comment
DePodesta lost his starting catcher in the Brad Penny trade, but picking up Navarro in the Green trade shows his concern for the position long-term. Colletti looks satisfied with the choice, especially with Russell Martin waiting in the wings. DePodesta and Colletti appear to have the same philosophy about veteran backups. One tends to doubt that Colletti would have gone into January with Ross as a projected starter, however.
Philosophical Difference, on a scale of 1-10
4

First base
DePodesta
Hee Seop Choi, with Olmedo Saenz as backup and occasional platoon partner.
Colletti
Nomar Garciaparra, with Hee Seop Choi and Olmedo Saenz as backups.
Comment
Garciaparra is very much a guy that DePodesta might have signed - but probably not for first base. Colletti is placing Garciaparra at a new position, showing some outside-the-box thinking, hoping that the ex-Red Sox star picking up the better part of his pre-injury form. The different choices represent two different kinds of gambles - the young player with potential vs. the rehabilitating player with a history.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
7

Second base
DePodesta
Jeff Kent, backed up by Antonio Perez
Colletti
Jeff Kent, backed up by Oscar Robles or Willy Aybar
Comment
DePodesta's most productive signing - two years, not overpriced, for a proven veteran with some personality questions - is one you could easily envision Colletti making - especially with Kent's San Francisco history.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
1

Shortstop
DePodesta
Cesar Izturis, backed up by Antonio Perez and Jose Valentin
Colletti
Rafael Furcal, backed up by Oscar Robles or Willy Aybar
Comment
Would Colletti have signed Furcal with a healthy Izturis in place? It's speculative, but I'm going to say no. The only evidence to the contrary is that it's clear Colletti was unhappy with what the Dodgers had at the leadoff spot - but Colletti might well have settled for Kenny Lofton there, followed by Izturis at No. 2 in the lineup. Conversely, had he kept his job, DePodesta might have very well have been attracted to Furcal as an alternative to an injured Izturis. So, no real difference in philosophy here? Well, you can make the argument that DePodesta would have bided his time with Robles or Antonio Perez as the starter. This is one of the biggest areas where you have to wonder what DePodesta would have done with the extra dollars Colletti has drawn from Dodger owner Frank McCourt's margin account. (Another similarity point awarded for Colletti pulling a DePo and giving big money to a player knowing he would need a cleanup operation.)
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
5

Third base
DePodesta
Platoon of Jose Valentin and Antonio Perez
Colletti
Bill Mueller, backed by Olmedo Saenz and Willy Aybar or Oscar Robles
Comment
DePodesta combined an educated risk in Perez with a prayer for a Valentin rebirth. Colletti went for something steadier, eschewing a gamble that Willy Aybar's September could be extrapolated for a full year. Major difference, right? Well, see the comment on starting pitching before deciding.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
3 or 8

Left field
DePodesta
Jayson Werth, with Ricky Ledee as major backup
Colletti
Jose Cruz, Jr., with Ricky Ledee and Jayson Werth (once healthy) as backups
Comment
An occasionally productive, streaky hitter with an injury history on both sides of the plate, coming in at plus or minus $2 million? Don't see much to contrast here.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
2

Center field
DePodesta
Milton Bradley
Colletti
Kenny Lofton, backed up by Jason Repko
Comment
DePodesta went for substance over tranquility and health, right? Well, yeah - but is the approach to sometimes pouty, sometimes injured Lofton different, except by degrees? Despite Colletti's newsmaking trade of Bradley, here's a case where the two GM's minds may be more in sync than people think.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
3

Right field
DePodesta
J.D. Drew, backed up by Jason Grabowski
Colletti
J.D. Drew, backed up by Ricky Ledee
Comment
Colletti wouldn't have given J.D. Drew a five-year contract 13 months ago. Instead, he probably would have kept Shawn Green for 2005. How that would have affected the 2005-06 offseason, I don't know. But like it or not, DePodesta saved Colletti from a decision here.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
7

Starting rotation
DePodesta
Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Odalis Perez, Jeff Weaver and Kazuhisa Ishii
Colletti
Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Odalis Perez, Brett Tomko and Jae Seo
Comment
Both GMs were/are counting on the Dodger prospects to make a difference starting in 2007. In the meantime, DePodesta spent some major capital to fill his rotation, while Colletti has adapted DePodesta's bargain approach to third base toward finding starting pitchers. Question: Does this reflect a significant philosophical difference, or the same strategy of picking one's battles, deployed inconsequentially in different spots?
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
4 or 8

Bullpen
DePodesta
Eric Gagne, Yhency Brazoban, Duaner Sanchez, Elmer Dessens, Giovanni Carrara, Wilson Alvarez, D.J. Houlton
Colletti
Eric Gagne, Yhency Brazoban, Jonathan Broxton, Franquelis Osoria, D.J. Houlton or Edwin Jackson, Kelly Wunsch or Hong-Chih Kuo
Comment
DePodesta and Colletti each have counted on Gagne and Brazoban while finessing the rest.
Philosophical Difference, 1-10
2

Conclusions
Gonna keep it short, folks. Yes, there are differences between DePodesta and Colletti. But 180 degrees? I'd say more like 45, tops. The main break between the two is that Colletti hasn't done any major alienating trades - yet. We'll see if that holds up.

Comments (157)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-09 23:37:16
1.   trainwreck
The question is, how much did Ned's staff influence his decisions? DePo and Ned have had the same staffs and I think both let their staffs have their say and of course make their own decisions (for instance I think Tomko was all Flanders).
2006-01-09 23:50:52
2.   LAT
And I'm guessing Frank is too stupid to realize he basicially fired and hired the same GM.

Did he do the same with Tracy and Little? Only time will tell. Of course, without Jason Phillips to put at first and Jeff Weaver to leave in too long it should be harder for Grady to shoot himself in the foot.

2006-01-10 00:16:40
3.   Uncle Miltie
Will Steady Eddie become the Dodgers next hitting coach?
http://tinyurl.com/9klq7
2006-01-10 00:57:20
4.   Strike4
Where's Manny Mota these days?
2006-01-10 03:07:13
5.   oldbear
DePo would never have signed Brett Tomko, or a pitcher similar to him (known quantity that sucks)

DePo would have never traded 2 in their prime MLB'ers, for a AA prospect.

Signing Nomar-- yeah
SIgning Lofton-- yeah
Signing Mueller-- yeah
Trading for Seo--yeah
Signing Furcal-- yeah (DePo knew how horrible Izturis was, although he probably would have tried for Giles more. Maybe AP would have been an option, but I doubt it)
Signing Tomko-- Definite NO
Trading Bradley-- Definite NO

They arent entirely alike. The Seo trade shows some DePo esque thinking from Mr. Ned. All his other signings seem resonable as well.

Tomko and trading Bradley were the two down spots of the off-season in my view.

2006-01-10 06:26:12
6.   D4P
2
And I'm guessing Frank is too stupid to realize he basicially fired and hired the same GM.

I think you (and Jon?) are missing part of "the point": McCourt wasn't looking for a GM who differed from Depo with respect to "philosophy", but rather a GM who differed from Depo with respect to personality and extroversion. McCourt wanted a guy that was fun for he and his wife to hang out with, and a guy with "people skills" who could schmooze with the press. If you recall McCourt's rationale for firing Depo, none of it (that I read) had anything to do with the players that Depo brought in* or Depo's philosophy on player evaluation (* with the possible exception of Depo's failure to consider "character" issues. But the fact that Flanders kept Kent and signed Furcal suggests that Depo and Flanders aren't all that different in this respect either).

Now, whether or not Flanders actually has better people skills and the like when compared to Depo is a separate question.

2006-01-10 07:04:42
7.   Izzy
6. Did I miss something on this Flanders guy? Don't know who he is.

On the major alienating trades, maybe only Gagne would fall into that category. Dodger fans seem like they are very partial to home grown, winner type players. LoDuca, Piazza, Gagne and maybe Karros are the only ones I can recall in recent years. Beltre took too long to come around for fans to really become attached to him, as I see it. But, something will have to be done about Gagne in the not too distant future, and how people deal with that will somewhat be determined by how he does this year.

I don't really see Depo and Colletti as all that different either. But, one fact that remains is that being a GM requires multiple skills.

2006-01-10 07:13:15
8.   King of the Hobos
So...

Manager-Grady Little
Bench Coach-David Jauss
Hitting Coach-? Murray?
Pitching Coach-Rick Honeycutt
1st Base/Infield Coach-Mariano Duncan
3rd Base Coach-Rich Donnelly
Special Coach-Manny Mota
Bullpen Coach-Dan Warthen
Bullpen Catcher-Ron Flippo
AAA Manager-Jerry Royster
AAA Pitching Coach-Kenny Howell
AAA Hitting Coach-Steve Yeager
AA Manager-John Shoemaker

Also, the Daily News mentions we're interested in Baez, and Colletti will ask Furcal to miss the WBC thanks to the surgery

2006-01-10 07:21:43
9.   timely2base
"DePo would never have signed Brett Tomko, or a pitcher similar to him (known quantity that sucks)"

Come on...Depo signed Scott Erikson to be the 5th starter. He may have come cheaper, but the reason for that was clear. I'll take Tomko over Erikson there.

In any case, I think the comparison over the types of players we're seeing signed is kind of missing the point. Thankfully, Colletti sees the same benefit in preserving the farm as DePo did...but was there really much of a choice for either of them? Even with an expanded payroll over what DePo was working with, there is still not a lot of room for Colletti to go out and lavish money on established stars we could acquire by trading our young talent, so I'm not sure he had any other sensible options other than going with reasonably priced veterans on short-term contracts, and the only reason those veterans would come reasonably priced is if they bore some injury risk or other issue.

Where I think many may see a more significant difference between DePo and Colletti is simply in getting these things done. Would DePo, even if he had wanted him, been able to sign Furcal? Would he have gotten Mueller? Would he have communicated as well as Colletti has about the moves he is making?

And then there is of course the matter of Colletti seemingly having more of a payroll to work with. Can we give Colletti any credit for that. Cajolling more investment out of the owner is an executive skill, certainly an important one in baseball.

As for whether or not DePo would have traded Bradley...I wouldn't be so sure he wouldn't have sent Bradley away for the best he could get in return. Would he have gotten more?...I can't think of any moves DePo made that really showed him to be a shrewd deal-maker. I still believe in his ability to recognize talent and understand what's important, but I'm not sure that given a situation of having to unload Bradley to prevent major clubhouse unrest he would have been able to get any more than Colletti did.

2006-01-10 07:27:01
10.   Sushirabbit
Jon, I agree with what you point out. Also, it's hard to realize before, during and after the meetings, but it's not a static situation where you wake up on the first day and get to choose who you want and how to get them. Plus Colletti came late. Unless someone here is an insider, we don't really know if the Dodgers were pursuing a starter (probably so with all the rumors, but they could just be smoke) or not. Maybe the team saw Furcal as an opportunity all along after Izturis' injury.

Also, I like the coaching lineup. I thought Warthen was pitching coach outright and I was a little curious about that, but I think Honeycutt will be OK, maybe better. We'll see, won't we?

Still devouring the book. And HBT.

Hey everybody, we might consider looking at the surgeries as a good thing as opposed to say letting Gagne go on, knowing that it was a risk. Sounds like neither Kent's or Furcal's were deemed "necessary". Maybe that's a difference. Maybe Colletti (or someone) is thinking "look what happened last year, let's do what we can to start as healthy as we can". Just glass-half-full-ing it....

2006-01-10 07:32:04
11.   Colorado Blue
5 - Bradley a definite No may not be fair. McCourt may have wanted MB gone unconditionally regardless of GM...

6 - Exactly! McCourt actually showed some PR accumen... he replaced Head 1 of 4 with one with a similar philosopy yet the schmoozing talent required by the MSM. The machine hardly skips a beat...

The real obtuse idiots in this whole thing have been the MSM (Plaschke, et. al.). Unfortunately, the general masses follow the flow of the MSM and repeat the driveling mantra word-for-word; and guess what folks? They be spending most of the $$$ at Dodger Stadium. Frankly, IMHO, McCourt made a move that was wise politically and pretty darn good (so far) technically.

2006-01-10 07:34:47
12.   Colorado Blue
11- Oh, and lest you think I'm a closet DePo basher, I own 2(!) Team DePo tee-shirts... just trying to read-between-the-lines as objectively as possible.
2006-01-10 07:54:56
13.   Jon Weisman
6 - None of what I wrote up top even approached the issue of why DePodesta was fired. If you do want to extrapolate, though, what I wrote would tend to support your point: that the differences between DePodesta and Colletti are more personality-related than philosophy-related. (Which, in turn, implies that DePo wasn't the robotic madman with the roster that so many believe, but that's been discussed plenty already.)

What I wrote was to address the widespread notion that the hiring of Colletti represented a sea change in approach to forming a roster, a notion that so far has not really borne out.

5 and 9 - I more or less agree with 9's response to 5. I don't know how you can say DePo would never have signed Tomko when he 1) like many GMs across the nation, overpaid (or paid generously) for pitching and 2) made an even bigger leap of faith for a "known quality that sucks" in Valentin.

2006-01-10 08:00:26
14.   D4P
13
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that what you said was incorrect, but that it was somewhat incomplete in that it didn't address the ostensible personality and "people-skill" differences between the two GMs.
2006-01-10 08:02:24
15.   D4P
14cont
Perhaps you could write an addendum to this thread that compares and contrasts the personalities and communication skills of the two...?
2006-01-10 08:02:45
16.   molokai
Great stuff Jon.
5
Can't agree with the MB comment. We all know that MB had to be dealt. When dealing from that weakness you get what you can. We picked up Oaklands number 3 prospect by throwing in A Perez who were not going to miss one bit. If MB can return and play CF the trade will be a tuff one swallow but in a few years Ethier could easily be putting up the same numbers as MB at a corner OF spot and he'll be less expensive. To think that Depo would have gotten more for MB is being naive about the marketplace for a troubled player coming off of serious knee surgery.

Other then signing Nomar to play 1st instead of 3b and signing Tomko I love what Ned has done and look forward to this season and the future. When Ned was hired we all held our breath about what he would do with the prospects and bringing in old lousy retreads. He kept the prospects, made a bold signing of Furcal, went hard after Giles, signed veterans but veterans who can contribute like Lofton / Mueller, signed one FA (Nomar) who has possible high upside at a position were covered if he falls victim to injury, and finished with a nice trade to pickup up Seo. Every bad rumor turned out to be false. We should all let out our breath and start to embrace the newbie. He's done a fine job in his 1st winter and did not make any panic moves.

2006-01-10 08:09:15
17.   BrkEagle
Interesting discussion. Does anyone know if McCourt allowed Colletti to spend more money or did DePo not want to spend more money or just where did the additional freedom come from as far as $$?
2006-01-10 08:10:20
18.   SMY
9 In fairness, Erickson was an NRI (I think, I can't find it in my quick online search), and I'm pretty certain he was brought in to compete for a rotation slot, it's not like he was handed one. And I saw him pitch 3 times in spring training last year and he was dominant, so while it wasn't reasonable to expect him to continue that in the regular season, I thought at the time there was a decent chance he could pull a Lima '04.

Of course, he didn't, but that's a whole other story.

2006-01-10 08:39:43
19.   Sam DC
Does the Mets huge guaranteed money to Pelfrey following on the heels of the Upton deal suggest that Hochevar's demands were not so far off the market? I've never quite understood why the dollars at stake couldn't be bridged, although I understand the personal politics got messy in the extreme. Just seems odd to lose rights to a promising young pitcher in these circumstances.
2006-01-10 08:50:09
20.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
17 Does anyone know if McCourt allowed Colletti to spend more money or did DePo not want to spend more money or just where did the additional freedom come from as far as $$?

My theory is that hiring a "Moneyball" GM was part of McCourt's business plan, meaning a way to make a highly leveraged purchase and still field a winning team. (I hadn't discovered DT when DePo was hired, but I'm sure this isn't a new theory around here.) And now that McCourt has hired a non-Moneyball GM, he figures he has to up the payroll to field a winner.

And yes, maybe Colletti was able to finesse some more cash out of him. That's pretty plausible.

2006-01-10 08:50:54
21.   Michael Green
I agree with Jon's point about the similarities and the others who have pointed out that Ned C. is a better media schmoozer, which might help neutralize the critics.

I think we also may need to consider the Lasorda factor. I doubt DePo needed any of his "advice." I doubt that Colletti does, either, but he probably does a better job of making believe that he's paying attention to him. And with the media on Lasorda's side, and Lasorda possibly getting McCourt's ear as a result, that may have helped push DePo out the door. Don't forget that the original plan was to bring in Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine, both of whom Lasorda thinks he controls. And Colletti's presence has quieted Plaschke quite a bit, which means that Lasorda is happier, since Plaschke doesn't write about the Dodgers without checking with Lasorda--unless Lasorda actually is the columnist.

2006-01-10 09:00:40
22.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Others have touched on this, but I think one area of difference is, for lack of a better word, balls. DePo showed from the start that he was willing to take a chance on an unpopular player (Bradley, Drew) or make an unpopular trade. Colletti, so far, hasn't done anything that wasn't pretty safe.

If that means he's risk-averse like most of the other GMs in baseball, that could be a big negative at the trade deadline. We had enough years where our biggest deadline move was the equivalent of an over-the-hill Robin Ventura.

2006-01-10 09:02:24
23.   Sushirabbit
21 LOL, that's not too big of a stretch is it?

Appleman is at it again, in case you guys haven't seen it already "Daily Graphing: Jeff Weaver" :

http://tinyurl.com/7w3zn

2006-01-10 09:04:03
24.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
And Colletti's presence has quieted Plaschke quite a bit...

I think the only thing that quieted Plaschke was the off-season.

2006-01-10 09:05:56
25.   molokai
22
You don't think giving Furcal that contract took some brass balls. The safe route would have been to let Robles play SS until Izzy was ready. Instead he swooped in the last minute and stole Furcal from the Cubs and the Cubs never recovered and were forced to make a bad deal for Juan Pierre. That is not playing it safe, that is being bold.
2006-01-10 09:05:58
26.   Jon Weisman
15 - Addendum: Colletti seems to have better relations with longtime baseball folk. They are in turn inclined to buy what Colletti is selling. In contrast, they claimed DePodesta wasn't communicating despite the number of times he outlined his thought process.

That's about it, right?

2006-01-10 09:07:08
27.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I think Evans, DePo, and Colletti all deserve credit for preserving the farm, but perhaps the man we should really be talking about is Logan White. Unless Rob McMillan's right and our farm system is hopelessly over-rated, the coming influx of high-quality should be credited to White more than anyone else.

WWSH

2006-01-10 10:10:04
28.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Maybe that's another way Colletti has shown some cojones: By not using the prospects to win NOW. Pursuing a long-term strategy is risky, particularly in light of what happened to the last guy who tried it.
2006-01-10 10:30:11
29.   bigcpa
22 You came the closest to what I was thinking. Let's ask ourselves what Ned would have done if he were hired in February 2004. If he doesn't do the Bradley trade we probably don't win the West. I think we'd agree he doesn't do the LoDuca trade or the Green trade. DePo had the cajones to do several root canals on this roster.

Other differences- Colletti has shown a preference for batting avg. and speed over power (Lofton, Mueller, Nomar in - Bradley, Valentin, Choi out). You lose 60 hr's right there going in. Also I get the feeling Ned gave far less consideration to park effects. DePo would have preferred to give Choi 600 pa's over Mueller and stick Nomar at 3rd. You're paying $3.5M this year to have Mueller's bat in there over Choi.

Sabermetrics aside, I admired DePo most for his long-term view and in that regard Ned is sticking to the plan.

2006-01-10 10:43:38
30.   Jon Weisman
29 - I agree with most of your post. As far as Colletti's preference for speed over power - is that mostly spin? Mueller isn't fast, Garciaparra isn't fast, Lofton is a little fast, but he's 38. Furcal is the best argument that Colletti cares about speed. But I don't think Furcal and Lofton constitute a major committment to the running game vs. power. I think it more reflects Colletti simply not believing in best-case scenarios for Choi or Bradley (much less Valentin), at least in 2006 L.A.

I think if Colletti really believed that Choi, Bradley and Valentin would hit 60 homers more than Lofton, Mueller and Garciaparra, he would have stuck with those three. But Choi, Bradley and Valentin won't combine for 60 homers, period.

2006-01-10 10:56:45
31.   bigcpa
30 Just to clarify- Lofton/Furcal might bring 60 sb's where you were getting 15-20 from CF/SS. By penciling Lofton in at #2 it seems like a commitment to the running game to me.

I referred to the Choi/Bradley/Valentin trio as of April 1, 2005- not today. With platoon partners DePo could have hoped for 75 HR from those 3 positions. Nomar will be hard pressed to hit 25 this year. Maybe we're only down 40 HR from these 3 spots going in and we're up 10 at SS. Still you've swapped HR for SB and paid big bucks to do it.

2006-01-10 11:08:27
32.   Doug N
Bruce Sutter's in the Hall. Rice came in second, Dawson third. Hershiser & Garvey didn't come close.
2006-01-10 11:10:56
33.   molokai
31
Not sure where your coming up with 75 home runs for those guys headed into 2005. Valentin was going to take around a 20% drop in home runs coming from CWS to LA and figure in his age we would have been lucky to get 20 in a best case scenario. Milton has never hit 20 in a season and Choi has never hit 20 in a season so 60 seems like a much more likely guess then 75 and that would be considered generous.
2006-01-10 11:13:44
34.   Doug N
my mistake; the goose was 3rd.
2006-01-10 11:14:46
35.   molokai
Just not right that Byleven is still outside looking in while Don Sutton looks at him from the inside.
2006-01-10 11:22:36
36.   Sushirabbit
Ya know, getting traded from a team, only to meet that team in the WS and then getting beat, really, really has to suck.

Maybe you can get a chat/interview with Honeycutt? I forgot he was a UT grad, too, maybe he can talk some sense into Hochevar.

2006-01-10 11:24:15
37.   Jesse
re: 31

i think it was more a matter of getting guys who can get on base and steal without really hurting the team.

furcal and lofton should increase obp in the 1 & 2 slots by about 50 points or so.

2006-01-10 11:27:54
38.   MartinBillingsley31
It'd be nice to have 20+ home runs from all 6 spots in our lineup in 2007, excluding navarro/martin c, and furcal ss.

And it'd be nice if we could have billingsley joining penny, lowe, perez in the rotation plus add a top free agent starting pitcher in 2007.

And have gagne, brazo, broxton for the last 3 or 4 innings of games when necessary.

Mueller, tomko, seo are the only ones blocking the above, but they might be tradable.

Gotta root for billingsley, guzman, laroche, martin, broxton to have good seasons in 2006 wherever they are and hope ned is able to sign 4 top free agents in the offseason between 2006 and 2007.

2006-01-10 11:35:35
39.   s choir
38 - What will likely happen is that either Penny or Perez will go down, and either Tomko or Seo will be ineffective, allowing Billingsley or Jackson to make some spot starts in mid-2006.
2006-01-10 11:37:17
40.   s choir
addendum: I believe either Billingsley, Jackson, or both, will be fixtures in the rotation by the end of this year.
2006-01-10 11:49:33
41.   MartinBillingsley31
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2006/01/baez_to_dodgers.html

A rumor about jackson and navarro to tampa for baez and hall.

2006-01-10 11:54:32
42.   Monterey Chris
26--

I agree, Jon. And isn't making the long-term baseball folks feel like you are listening to them an important part of an GM's job? It doesn't seem that any GM coming into Dodger Stadium is going to succeed if his method is to alienate Lasorda.

2006-01-10 11:54:48
43.   regfairfield
41 Or: Hey, let's get older and worse for no reason.

Notice that something like the Seo deal just happens, while these rumors are likely just someone in the chain making something up.

2006-01-10 11:56:11
44.   Kevin Maxwell
...how the media has covered them."

Colleti comes accross as a friendly guy - if nothing else he talks a lot. DePo came accross as removed, intellectual, and secretive.

DePo reminded me of the guy that didn't have a heck of a lot of social skills that I might have competed with for the top grade in the class.I think could still BS with Collieti and compete too. DePo/Beane had Beane's personality guiding the perception of their stategy.

I think Colleti would receive better coverage by the media even if he made the DePo moves. I also think the Colleti/Grady tandem made the Dodgers an attractive team to play for again.

2006-01-10 11:57:35
45.   Steve
LOSE THE D-RAYS' PHONE NUMBER AND MAKE JACKSON A RELIEF PITCHER! "PROBLEM" SOLVED.

Geez.

2006-01-10 11:59:30
46.   Curtis Lowe
41- I wish that said Odalis Perez, Werth and Braz for Baez and Huff.
2006-01-10 12:02:09
47.   MartinBillingsley31
Don't kill the messenger, just delivering a rumor.

I don't like the rumor, because the bullpen can be built within the farm in my opinion.
And i like the idea of having 2 SOLID CATCHERS(martin navarro) because catchers need way more days off than other position players, and i hate seeing kreuters, bakos, alomars showing up in the lineup frequently.

2006-01-10 12:04:29
48.   molokai
I hope were not going to get worked up over another lousy trade rumor. If were talking to TB it won't be for Toby Hall. No GM would trade an up and coming catcher for Hall. If he is not comfortable with using Navarro in 2006 as his starting catcher all he has to do is look south and give B Molina a one year deal.
2006-01-10 12:04:31
49.   Steve
That was for Ned. He hasn't bit on any of these so-called "deals," but everytime the D-Rays show up (again) with their refuse looking for a free handout, it enrages me.
2006-01-10 12:08:03
50.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
44 DePo reminded me of the guy that didn't have a heck of a lot of social skills that I might have competed with for the top grade in the class.

Of course, Plaschke and Simers et al were portraying him this way before they even had a chance to form an accurate opinion, so it's tough to separate the media portrayal from the truth. But DePo uses a laptop, so he MUST be a nerdy wallflower!

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-10 12:12:18
51.   molokai
49
Why, if they can get quality players for the likes of Hall, Baez, Gathright more power to them. The new regime in TB is going to do some damage. They just need to complete the Marte/Lugo deal and get on with an infield of Huff/Cantu/Upton/Marte and on outfield of D Young/Baldelli/Crawford with Gomes at DH. I'm sure they would love Navarro to give them the young catcher they need but Ned hasn't looked like an idiot yet. If Navarro can be flipped for something good from TB then we can sign Molina for one year while Martin percolates.
2006-01-10 12:12:59
52.   Curtis Lowe
I'm suprised that noone has mentioned that Colletti undoubtedly has a much better story than Depo.
2006-01-10 12:20:29
53.   fawnkyj
Man whomever is working for the Drays front office is really egot a hard-on for our prospects.
Everytime you hear about the Drays making a trade we have a to be a third partner or we have to give prospects to the red sox or the mets so can they can get some one for themselves.
2006-01-10 12:26:40
54.   FirstMohican
52

... or that he has a killer 'stache. Maybe he'll renegotiate Kent's contract to include incentives for regrowing his storied moustache by the trading deadline.

2006-01-10 12:29:11
55.   Kevin Maxwell
50
I agree with you about the Plaschke and Simers comment. I wish DePo would have had a been able to overcome those first impression labels. I think he made a lot of tough choices that weren't publicly popular - he had grit for sure.
2006-01-10 12:38:07
56.   DougS
Isn't the prospect of Mariano Duncan returning to the Dodgers as a coach worth a "!" ?
2006-01-10 12:43:48
57.   GoBears
I don't think we have any idea yet whether or not Colletti is bold or risk-acceptant. He came into this in a no-lose situation, once he got past the idea of working for the McCourts, that is.

He could have fielded exactly the team that he inherited, and easily won more game due to better health alone. He gets a pass on Bradley because that seemed like an order from the top.

So the easy route was to stick to DePodesta's plan, replacing some of DePo's "safe veteran stopgaps" with some of his own, so that it would be "his" team, and not just a healthier DePo team, pick is own manager (he walked into that gift of an opening) and otherwise just schmooze schmooze schmooze.

I agree with those who say that the Furcal signing and the Seo-Sanchez trade were something other than safe and obvious, though both will matter only on the margin. But all in all, I'd say that the fact that last year's horrible injury luck was blamed on DePodesta meant that Colletti walked into a no-lose situation. Probably the only thing he could have done to upset people would have been to trade Gagne - otherwise he could do no wrong.

2006-01-10 13:06:44
58.   s choir
The Baez/Hall trade rumor makes no sense unless Colletti is a double agent and took his GM job to undermine the Dodgers.
2006-01-10 13:07:24
59.   MartinBillingsley31
I don't know who's fault it was, but our holes last season other than injuries were at:
Lf
3b
Ss
C until navarro arrived
#5 sp
And I'm not counting phillips at 1b because that was a tracy thing.

This season my predicted holes are going to be at:
3b
Cf
#5 sp
And to a lesser extent:
Lf
#4 sp

Basically, I think lf is going to be slightly better than last season but still a hole, same exact thing for 3b, ss is upgraded, #5 sp stays the same as last season(tomko=erickson/houlton), #4 sp is a downgrade, and cf is a huge downgrade.

Cruz is adequate for a 3rd starting outfielder, but he's our 2nd best outfielder.
Seo is adequate for a 5th starting pitcher, but he's our 4th ahead of tomko.
Mueller has a nice obp, but doesn't have enough power for a 3b.
Lofton and tomko completely blow.

2006-01-10 13:10:00
60.   Curtis Lowe
59-If Lofton can repeat last season then the only thing he'll be blowing on is the crow you'll be eating.
2006-01-10 13:14:38
61.   Curtis Lowe
59-How is CF downgraded?
2006-01-10 13:16:14
62.   GoBears
One comment on 58. As unenthused as I am about Kenny Lofton, remember that Milton Bradley, for all his potential and enthusiasm, did not produce much last year. Mostly because of injuries, sure, but he's always getting hurt, and if we're comparing Lofton 2006 to Bradley 2005, I'd actually be surprised if Lofton doesn't win that. if we're comparing Lofton 2006 to what one might hope Bradley could do, then we're probably fooling ourselves.

And, as I've argued before (with actual data), Bradley is just not that good with the bat. He looks in flashes like he could be great, but he has never produced at better than a "solid but unspectacular" level for a whole season. One partial breakout year in Cleveland, but that's it.

This is not an argument that Bradley should have been dumped, just that if he really does have all this great potential, I'll believe it when I see it on the field, AND if the simple comparison that MB31 wants to make is between Dodgers 2005 and Dodgers 2006, then I'd say anyone who stays healthy all year is likely to outperform Bradley 2005. Well, maybe not Repko for 162 games, but you get the point.

2006-01-10 13:16:23
63.   MartinBillingsley31
Lofton vs bradley is a downgrade.
2006-01-10 13:19:51
64.   Curtis Lowe
63-Oh I thought you meant CF output from 05.
2006-01-10 13:21:54
65.   Curtis Lowe
Disregard comment 64.
2006-01-10 13:22:05
66.   MartinBillingsley31
62
That's why i said "other than injuries"
If bradley plays the same amount of games as lofton, bradley is clearly the better player.

I don't believe ANYONE can predict injuries, and i don't believe in the injury prone stuff.

And i'm not blaming ned or depodesta for any of this, because i don't know how much money it would have took to get giles and even if we could have gotten giles, i'm just a guy in front of a computer, not working for the dodgers.

2006-01-10 13:23:03
67.   oldbear
I dont think you can put Jose Valentin in the 'known quantity that sucks' pool at this point. At the time he was signed, he was supposed to be in a platoon against RHP at 3rd base. His #'s were averaging 800+OPS against RHP for the 3 previous years. He was also coming off a career high in HR's. So I dont think Tomko equals Valentin. Valentin was considered at least average or above in the role he would play.

Scott Erickson wasnt signed to be the 5th starter. He was a NRI. NRI's arent signed expected to make the team. If they were, they'd be giving MLB contracts.

Blame Tracy for Erickson starting. He had Houlton on the team all along.

2006-01-10 13:25:17
68.   blue22
66 - Lofton produced a VORP of 33.0 in 406 PA's last year.

Bradley produced a VORP of 24.0 in 316 PA's.

2006-01-10 13:25:55
69.   oldbear
"The safe route would have been to let Robles play SS until Izzy was ready. "

How is playing Robles safe? THey were both horrible. Once Mr. Ned missed on Brian Giles, he has to get Furcal. It was the only other spot on the club that could be upgraded greatly through free agency, after Giles.

2006-01-10 13:32:43
70.   Mark
Garciaparra isn't such a big philosophical difference. Witness Scott Hatteberg, pickin' machine...
2006-01-10 13:33:17
71.   MartinBillingsley31
68
Lofton had a career year or close to it last year.
And lofton will be 39 years old in the beginning of the season.
Do you really think he will produce the same as last year?
And do you really think that a healthy bradley is not better than a healthy lofton?
2006-01-10 13:35:09
72.   molokai
66
Good thing your not our GM. Seems very concrete that certain players cannot handle the rigors of a 162 game season as much as other players. Baseball Prospectus and Will Carrol would certainly beg to differ as would Bill James with your assessment.

I think you underestimate how good Lofton still is as a CF and underestimate how much the knee surgery will effect Milton's career going forward. For one thing he will no longer be a CF and his value as a corner outfielder is no more then any other average player.

2006-01-10 13:41:22
73.   molokai
68
Ah, but the fact is that Milton is not healthy so why make the comparison.
You must not have paid much attention to Lofton's career if you think last year was a career year. Even just going back to 1994 Lofton has had 9 years better then last year based on WinShares. Alot better years but no I don't expect him to repeat 2005 but he doesn't have to. The only bad year Lofton has ever had was 2004 and maybe that is where you get your prejudice against him. As a CF, Lofton is still a solid choice and we should be happy that Ned snagged him.
2006-01-10 13:42:05
74.   oldbear
How is it that the same people that complain about Milton Bradley getting hurt, are also the ones that believe Kenny Lofton is an upgrade despite Lofton only playing 110 games last year?

Puzzling Indeed.

2006-01-10 13:43:57
75.   oldbear
73. "The only bad year Lofton has ever had was 2004 and maybe that is where you get your prejudice against him."

My prejudice comes from Lofton's birth certificate.

I tend to 'pre-judge' 39yr old OF'ers whom have no power and rely on speed to succeed.

I guess I'm just crazy like that....

2006-01-10 13:45:39
76.   blue22
74 - I'm not expecting Lofton to play 162. In fact, I expect Lofton to eventually settle into a platoon with Cruz or Werth (or Nomar) if he struggles against lefties.
2006-01-10 13:45:52
77.   MartinBillingsley31
72
I don't know who the dodgers should have in cf this year between bradley and lofton due to the fact that i'm not bradley's doctor, so i don't know his health status and haven't read anything either.
All i'm saying is that the production that we got from bradley last year while we got it will be better than the production we will get from lofton this season, in my opinion.

I know that 316 at bat's from bradley last season plus 250 at bats from repko/edwards is not as good as 566 at bats from lofton this season.

I'm just comparing 600 at bats from a healthy bradley vs 600 at bats from a healthy lofton.

2006-01-10 13:48:07
78.   Dello
unlike many of you, I do blame Depo for last year. I even blame him for the injuries. He didn't seem to have a back-up plan. I was worried about several positions going into last season - 3b, C, 5th starter,etc. - and when injuries or ineffectiveness occurred, he didn't do anything. And worse, we didn't have any capable replaccments. Colletti seems to be taking similar risks on veterans, as Jon stated in his post, but he also seems to have a plan B. For example, if Nomar ends up on the 60 day DL, then Choi/Olmedo is a credible plan B. A GM s/b like a good Chess player, always looking a few moves ahead.
2006-01-10 13:49:51
79.   MartinBillingsley31
I agree with oldbear, about old guys with no power that rely on speed to suceed, not my type of player.
2006-01-10 13:52:38
80.   molokai
69
He doesn't have to do anything. He went out on a limb to bring in Furcal at 13 mill per year. No one else was in the ballpark at that price per year. I call it bold and at the time of the signing so did most of the sabermetric community. Depo went the safe route and signed Izzy to a long term deal. Ned said Izzy isn't what I want from my SS and got Furcal and can now flip Izzy later in the year. You and I totally disagree on what Ned has accomplished and when we win the pennant you'll be saying it should be Depo who gets the credit and you might be right depending on who does what to get us there. I just hope that if Nomar/Furcal/Mueller/Lofton/Seo play a big part that you don't forget what Ned built this winter.
2006-01-10 13:53:45
81.   blue22
79 - What about power hitters (Milton) with no power (career 54 HR's in 1900 AB's, .426 SLG)?

Those guys bug me too.

2006-01-10 13:54:09
82.   MartinBillingsley31
78
I agree with you that its better to have a plan B, but ned has the luxury of top prospects knocking on the door vs depodesta not having that and having to use nobodys like repko edwards myrow ect.

But i still don't believe ANYONE can predict injuries.

2006-01-10 13:57:19
83.   Curtis Lowe
82-I predict the Lofton plays more games than the Bradley next year.
2006-01-10 13:58:58
84.   King of the Hobos
I like Lofton more than some of you, but I don't like his signing as much as a lot of people. At his age, he's an injury risk, and at the very least, will take a lot of days off. And when that happens, it seems as if Repko will play.
2006-01-10 13:59:33
85.   MartinBillingsley31
81
Bradley 1 hr in 35.1 at bats career.
Lofton 1 hr in 59.7 at bats career.

Bradley isn't an ideal power hitter but clearly way more of a power hitter than lofton.

2006-01-10 14:00:17
86.   s choir
78 - well said.
2006-01-10 14:02:08
87.   King of the Hobos
78 The only added depth is Nomar. If anyone, save Navarro, is injured, Nomar would replace him and Saenz/Choi plays 1st. If there's a 2nd injury, then Colletti has the ability to use top prospects, whereas DePo did what most teams are forced to do in the Dodgers position, bring the AAAA guys up.
2006-01-10 14:02:44
88.   Curtis Lowe
82-While I agree that some injuries are unpredictable, Drew/Werth HBP on the wrist resulting in major fractures, others such as Nomars hamstrings, Drews Knee, Bradleys Knee and now Izzy's elbow greatly increase the chance on future injury thereby making any prediction that much more likely to happen than not. Which is why when going after a player like any of those you hope they burn bright before they burn out for a limited amount of cashola and have someone waiting in the corner to take their spot till the rekindle.
2006-01-10 14:03:34
89.   molokai
74
Because Lofton was a platoon player not a hurt player. He had 352 at bats against RHP and only 47 against LHP. I imagine he missed a few games due to age but the man has had over 500 at bats every season except for the 2004 disaster. At this point he should only play against RHP and hopefully Werth can do some LHP mashing.

75
I guess you are considering the man who relies on speed has an almost identical slug% to Milton. It could all come crashing down in 2006 given his age but I think it is worth the one year gamble.

2006-01-10 14:04:33
90.   GoBears
Sigh. MB31: you're stacking the deck, and you're still making claims based on hopes, not facts. We don't need half a season at Bradley rates. We need a full season. Lofton outproduced Bradley last year. Rates don't matter - totals do. If half a season of Bradley and half of Repko add up to more than, say, 2/3rds of Lofton and 1/3rd of Repko or whomever, then you're right. But last year, they didn't. Bradley may have more talent than Lofton and better upside, given the age difference. But you were the one who framed the comparison as 2005 vs. 2006. My bet is that we get better production from CF this year than we did last year.

Look, I don't like Lofton much either. I think we agree on his current age-39 mediocrity. Where we disagree is that I don't see Bradley as anything better than flashes of brilliance and long stints of inactivity. I like the guy. I hope he learns to avoid all those missed games in future years. But he didn't last year, and last year is the ONLY relevant year in comparing 2005 to 2006. Anything else is a logical fallacy: Bradley's 2005 could have been better than Lofton's if not for injury, therefore replacing Bradley with Lofton will result in less production than in 2005.

To predict that Bradley 2006 will be better than Lofton 2006 is a different question. And that might be correct. I was simply taking issue with the prediction that CF2006 will be worse than CF2005.

And double sigh on the "Depo had no backup plan" jag. Yes he did. The catastrophe last year was that the backup guys got hurt too. Ledee and Werth were supposed to platoon. Both were injured. Bako was out for teh season. Valentin was supposed to platoon - basically out for the season. Hell, even Grabowski was hurt for a while. No team is going to have a plan C that will involve anything other than minor league callups, and since our prospects were mostly too far away, the decision to rely on AAAA retreads (Grabs, Edwards) rather than starting the kids' clocks was understandable, even admirable for its forebearance.

2006-01-10 14:05:22
91.   MartinBillingsley31
87
Exactly what i said in my 82 post.
2006-01-10 14:06:12
92.   bigcpa
81 Bernie Williams hit 50 HR in his first 2,119 AB's and didn't top .487 slg. From age 27 on he slugged .535, .544, .575. Pre-AS Break Bradley put up .298/.345/.511 so I think that was more indicative of his 2006-2010 than his career slg. Plus when Bradley he hit HR's they went really far!
2006-01-10 14:13:39
93.   molokai
The only thing Bernie and Milton have in common is that they are both CF, SH, Black. Bernie kept his speed until late in his career, Milton will have lost all his speed before he is 30. We did not lose a Bernie Williams, we lost a Carl Everett and that I can live with.
2006-01-10 14:13:49
94.   blue22
92 - To paraphrase: "Who's to say that Bradley doesn't become the next Bernie Williams?"

Is that what we've come to? "Who's to say"'s? ;-)

Bernie also topped 550 AB's in 3 of his first 6 seasons. At this point in his career, it seems unlikely that Milton will ever have a string like that.

But who's to say he won't?

2006-01-10 14:15:37
95.   oldbear
90. "To predict that Bradley 2006 will be better than Lofton 2006 is a different question"

Isnt that the whole point? That is the decision Mr. Ned made.

2006-01-10 14:15:43
96.   oldbear
90. "To predict that Bradley 2006 will be better than Lofton 2006 is a different question"

Isnt that the whole point? That is the decision Mr. Ned made.

2006-01-10 14:24:58
97.   bigcpa
>> The only thing Bernie and Milton have in common is that they are both CF, SH, Black.

That's funny. There are only three people on earth that meet these criteria. Gary Matthews Jr. is the other one.

2006-01-10 14:27:12
98.   FirstMohican
You can argue that he downgraded or upgraded or broke even, but Colletti probably felt like he didn't have a choice. When factoring in the chances that the Dodgers afforded Bradley, the bad blood between him and teammates, and the fact that McCourt had to know about the good media coverage he was missing out on by not dropping MB, Colletti probably felt compelled to trade him regardless of whether or not he was able to match or beat his production.
2006-01-10 14:31:09
99.   MartinBillingsley31
98
True, and i don't blame anyone, because i don't work for the dodgers, i'm not an insider.
Just like i'm not bradley's doctor.
2006-01-10 14:33:38
100.   dzzrtRatt
78 I look at 2005 this way. If the Dodgers had been extremely lucky, that team might've won its division. But injuries disproportionately slaughtered the Dodgers' chances. For most teams, their "backup plan" resides at the AAA level--from a combination of AAAA players, one or two prospects who step up to fill the void, and one or two others who can be dangled to trade for a stop-gap major leaguer. DePodesta didn't have that luxury. He had the budget and leverage to fill huge gaping holes on the major league club with one great, a few good, and a few mediocre players. To ask him to, on top of that, populate Las Vegas with backups to all those players is asking for the impossible.

The expectations after 2004's division win were just too damn high. Looking back, that success seems almost freakish. Looking back, I bet DePo wishes Steve Finley had popped up.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-01-10 14:36:36
101.   GoBears
96
90. "To predict that Bradley 2006 will be better than Lofton 2006 is a different question"

Isnt that the whole point? That is the decision Mr. Ned made.

Well yes, that is the more important comparison. But that's not the way MB31 framed it. He framed it in terms of 2005 vs. 2006, not 2006 with Lofton vs. 2006 with Bradley.

In any case, I agree with 98. 2006 Bradley was not an option. Colletti was likely under orders to move Bradley. So the even better (more relevant) comparison is, say, 2006 with a Lofton/Drew/Cruz OF and Nomar at 1b vs. 2006 with a Drew/Cruz/Nomar OF and Choi/Saenz at 1b.

So the Lofton/Bradley tradeoff is probably irrelevant. It's the Lofton/Choi tradeoff that matters. And there, I think Lofton is likely the wrong choice.

2006-01-10 14:38:56
102.   oldbear
In an ideal situation, Colletti would have made the best use of his resources, which I think DePo did.

Brett Tomko- 4.5--
Bill Mueller- 4.5--
Kenny Lofton- 3.85--

Thats almost 13 mils. I'd rather have spent all of that on Brian Giles.

Houlton could have replaced Tomko.
Nomar at 3rd, Choi/Saenz at 1st.
Bradley instead of Lofton.

2006-01-10 14:39:45
103.   MartinBillingsley31
101
And i agree that a drew cruz nomar outfield choi/seanz 1b is better than a drew cruz lofton outfield nomar 1b.

No doubt better power with choi/seanz vs lofton.

2006-01-10 14:40:33
104.   BrkEagle
The question may not be Lofton vs Bradley since Kent said, "I go if Bradley stays." That makes it Lofton vs Repko or someone else.
2006-01-10 14:43:30
105.   blue22
102 - How much of that $13M is earmarked to buy the gun to be put to Giles head to make him sign the LA offer?

The guy wanted to stay in SD - what can you do? He took less money from SD, and by all appearances simply waited until they made any semblance of a competitive offer to him. At that point he jumped at it, not even allowing LA to make a more competitive offer.

2006-01-10 14:43:32
106.   MartinBillingsley31
102
I agree 100%.
And if ned HAD TO trade bradley, i would be fine with cruz taking bradley's place.
2006-01-10 14:47:32
107.   molokai
100
Why were the expectations to high? We all know that injuries were the reason for the teams demise. I don't think anyone questions that. If that team had stayed normally healthy they probably would have won the West. Normally healthy means that Drew misses 40 games not 90. Milton misses 30 games not 87. Werth misses 40 games not 60 and is actually usefull and not Werthless. Valentin plays 120 productive platoon games. I think most of us felt this was a better team going into 2005 then ended 2004. I also think this team is better in 2006 then in 2005.
2006-01-10 14:50:27
108.   blue22
104 - I don't really remember Kent saying that. He said he might demand a trade if he didn't like the direction of the team, or some nonsense.

If anything, trading Bradley would've been counterproductive to his public demand.

2006-01-10 14:56:57
109.   bigcpa
Diamond Mind simulations projected 2005 this way:

LA 90-72
SF 88-74
SD 81-81
CO 70-92
AZ 68-94

And our very own Jon Weisman predicted 80-100 wins which was another way (cough/cop-out) of predicting 90 wins as well.

ZIPS had it this way:

LA 94-68
SD 83-79
CO 77-85
SF 75-87
AZ 74-88

I hate the fact that they have to decide these things on the field!

2006-01-10 15:05:12
110.   Bob Timmermann
When Russell and Lopes were nicknamed "Frick and Frack" do you think that Vin Scully was the one person with the Dodgers who probably had seen those men perform?
2006-01-10 15:11:30
111.   Eric L
106 According to the D-backs fans over at BTF, Cruz was horrible in CF last year. I seem to remember in one of the threads that a couple of the defensive metrics also backed up their observations but I could be wrong.

He is a fantastic corner OF according to the metrics (again, going off of memory) but he was terrible as a CF.

2006-01-10 15:14:18
112.   GoBears
I also expected a division winner in 2005, but nothing more. I opined back in April that the team should win a weak West, but was not a WS contender, not without lots of good luck (and bad luck for better teams).

But I think the MSM, and lots of fans expected more. It's funny how people sort of understand bad luck (injuries, slumps, bad calls in crucial games), but don't account much at all for good luck. The 2004 team was very lucky. The 1988 team was outrageously lucky. But lots of people see good luck as really "playing to potential," or "wanting it more than the other guy" (puke), and don't get why DePodesta would make any changes to a team that won the division (next year would have been even better!). Witness Plaschke on Cora and Beltre as Exhibit A.

2006-01-10 15:17:39
113.   MartinBillingsley31
111
I didn't necessarily mean cruz taking bradley's place in cf, just in the lineup.
In that post i was agreeing that drew giles bradley or cruz would be our best outfielders.
Whatever way defensively they are put is fine with me.
I guess giles lf or rf, drew cf, cruz lf or rf.
Actually defense doesn't matter to me unless there is a big difference.
2006-01-10 15:19:21
114.   thinkblue0
long time listener, first time caller...

I just can't handle the regular dodger board anymore.

Not to blatantly change the subject, but can someone explain to me why everyone is so sky high on Aubrey Huff? Is he really THAT much of an upgrade over Cruz? Maybe I'm missing something here....

2006-01-10 15:22:00
115.   MartinBillingsley31
114
He's an upgrade over lofton.
2006-01-10 15:24:01
116.   Andrew Shimmin
There should be some shorthand way of establishing whether, when we're comparing DePo era to Colletti era teams, we mean strict 2005 to projected 2006, or projected 2006 to projected 2006. This isn't the first time that this semantical tangle has slurried up a comments section. It's clear what Jon was doing, but not so clear (hence the back and forth) what MB31 (good thing you didn't switch Martin and Billingsly's billing) was.
2006-01-10 15:24:46
117.   MartinBillingsley31
114
I also lost interest in that board too.
Too many old fashioned (heart and soul, intangibles, speed defense over power ops) people over there.
Too many pro-izturis, pro-repko over there.
2006-01-10 15:25:32
118.   thinkblue0
okay, but is he that much of an upgrade that it's worth giving up a good prospect?

For example, is Huff > Lofton - Jackson?

I like Huff...but he's average. To get him we'd have to give up a good prospect and he simply isn't worth it. I'd rather have Lofton for a year and not have to give up the prospect for a guy who is really overrated.

2006-01-10 15:27:58
119.   GoBears
I think we should put to rest the idea that either Giles or Bradley was a possibility for 2006. Ditto 105 on Giles, and we've been over the Bradley ground a thousand times.

So sure, Bradley-Giles-Drew would have been nice. But it was never in the cards. I think we should stop blaming Colletti for letting something get away that he never had as an option.

That doesn't make Lofton a good choice, but it changes the counterfactual enough to make Lofton not seem such an obvious bad choice.

2006-01-10 15:28:26
120.   MartinBillingsley31
118
Personally i'm not high on jackson, so jackson for huff straight up i would not hesitate doing, but tampa will want more than jackson.
2006-01-10 15:30:52
121.   OaklandAs
If Huff hits like he did in 2002-2004, I think he is definitely above average.

2002: .313 AVG/.364 OBP/.520 SLG, 23 HR, 59 RBI (113 Games)
2003: .311 AVG/.367 OBP/.555 SLG, 34 HR, 107 RBI
2004: .297 AVG/.360 OBP/.493 SLG, 29 HR, 104 RBI

But 2005 was a down year for him.
2005: .261 AVG/.321 OBP/.428 SLG, 22 HR, 92 RBI

2006-01-10 15:32:32
122.   Marty
Counterfactual. Nice GoBears
2006-01-10 15:34:01
123.   oldbear
Aubrey Huff had a real bad year last year. I'd only take him if it was a 1yr contract. I wouldnt give up anyone of note for Huff. Is Danny Baez coming too though? I might consider it then bc the team does need a good reliever.
2006-01-10 15:34:28
124.   Andrew Shimmin
114- Huff wasn't very good last year, but the three years prior he was significantly better than Cruz. He's also three years (more or less) younger than Cruz. He's more better than Cruz than Lofton is better than Bradley (which could well be a negative quantity). He could well be more better than Cruz than Mueller is better than Aybar.
2006-01-10 15:38:10
125.   oldbear
109. ZIPS had San Diego/SF/ pegged almost perfectly.

Have they came out with anything on 2006?

2006-01-10 15:40:09
126.   oldbear
121. I hope Huff wasnt on the Vitamin S.

.555>>>>.493>>>>>>>.428

2006-01-10 15:44:53
127.   blue22
FWIW, Huff is due to make $7.5M this year. I think he's finishing up a multi-year deal in 2006, and will be a FA this offseason.
2006-01-10 15:45:50
128.   dzzrtRatt
107 If by "we" you mean the Dodger Thoughts community, I agree with you. Maybe I should've been clearer. The 2004 division win raised expectations in places dangerous for Paul DePodesta: In the owners' suite, in the media, among the baseball establishment and among paying fans.

Overall, the DT crowd was clear-eyed about both '04 and '05. But we wouldn't have fired DePo. I'm sure if Jon put up a poll today that asked if McCourt did the right thing firing DePodesta, DT readers would come out 75-80 percent against. But we don't represent the fan base.

2006-01-10 16:12:00
129.   thinkblue0
what scares me about Huff is that his numbers have gone down. By previous years he was above average...if you go by last year was absolutely average. Which Huff is the real Huff? The guy who started out blazing in his first couple years or the guy who played last year.

I have no against Huff, and while I realize he's better than cruz I don't see him as enough of an upgrade to warrant giving up top level prospects. Now, if Baez is included in any deal for Huff then we can talk.

I guess what it comes down to is that I'm simply not sold on Huff as a 30 HR threat year in and year out.

Post Script: what's the latest on the David Wells situation?

2006-01-10 16:16:10
130.   gvette
May be too soon to tell, but at this point it doesn't appear that Ned shares DePo's fondness of picking up loads of AAAA players with interesting OBP numbers.

Does that mean we'll be spared next year's version of Grabowski,Jose Flores, Mike Edwards, Mike Rose, etc?

If so, who will be around for Steve to focus an irrational hatred on?

2006-01-10 16:35:42
131.   MartinBillingsley31
Foxsports offseason grades.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5234734

Lofton can still be a useful fourth outfielder. Brett Tomko doesn't help in the rotation, but Jae Seo does.

Needs: Starting pitcher

Exactly what i've been saying, we need to replace lofton with a power hitting outfielder and replace tomko with a better starting pitcher.
Seo is a usefull #5 starter.
I'm fine with lofton as a backup/pinch hitter.

2006-01-10 16:39:24
132.   MartinBillingsley31
Adding to 131, but its too late to do what i think should be done, because it will take trading top prospects.
But we could still move nomar to lf to replace lofton in the lineup and give choi/seanz 1b, but thats up to ned and grady.
2006-01-10 16:43:02
133.   bigcpa
131 How did Dayn Perry overlook that Arizona lost their #1 starter? That should drop them to a C. On top of that he omits Bradley and Antonio Perez from our subtractions. Eek. Regardless no way SD and LA both get B's.
2006-01-10 16:50:38
134.   King of the Hobos
133 It's probably best he forgets about Bradley/Perez. From the A's report (they got a B+): Loaiza helps, and getting a solid player like Milton Bradley and a strong reserve like Antonio Perez for a middling outfield prospect is a low-grade theft
2006-01-10 17:44:47
135.   hedgemytickets
Simulations from Diamond Mind aren't out yet, but here's the inferred probabilities to win the Division from the gamblers at TradeSports:

NL WEST

GIANTS 37.7%
DODGERS 34.4%
PADRES 14.8%
DBACKS 9.8%
ROCKIES 3.3%

2006-01-10 17:54:02
136.   King of the Hobos
I was just informed that Dan Warthen (the new BP coach) was pitching coach for Norfolk the last 2 years. Other than spending some time with Ken Oberkfell (BA's manager of the year), he also spent time with Seo. I'm hoping that's good news for Seo's sake. Considering he did not get along with Rick Peterson, I'm guessing he actually likes Warthen.
2006-01-10 18:01:30
137.   regfairfield
133 But Arizona got so much better everywhere else. What team had a better offseason than the Diamondbacks?

Off the top of my head, I'd give these grades:

Arizona: A
Dodgers: C+ Spent a lot of money. Didn't do anything boneheaded, but didn't get much better.
Giants: C Morris' deal was dumb, but it does make them a better team in 2006. Did they get anyone else?
Colorado: C They didn't get worse, but they signed Jose Mesa. They also got the steal of the offseason in Kim.
San Diego: F Two massively boneheaded trades. If they don't deserve an F, no one does.

2006-01-10 18:03:03
138.   regfairfield
I just actually read the article. I downgrade the Giants a full letter.
2006-01-10 18:06:50
139.   YLT
So what do y'all think of the Eddie Murray hiring?
2006-01-10 18:14:58
140.   regfairfield
137 I'm also grading on a very low curve when I say the Dodgers didn't do anything boneheaded. When I say boneheaded, I mean signing Russ Ortiz for 33 million dollars.

The Dodgers had four moves that I don't really like this offseason, but none of them (with the possible exception of the Bradley trade) will hamstring the team long term.

2006-01-10 18:46:53
141.   trainwreck
Baez has to be the most overrated player around. There are so many trade rumors about this guy and they always include really good prospects and big names. It makes having depth in the bullpen such a luxury and makes me think maybe it was possible we could have gotten even more for Sanchez.
2006-01-10 18:54:57
142.   TheDictator
Ok, I have missed the Dodgers news so far. Who announced that they are having preventive surgery today?

Nomar could have preventive surgery to replace something. Com'on you can do it.

2006-01-10 19:24:32
143.   caseybarker
139-

I remember Eddie Murray grounding into a double play against the Giants during the playoff chase in 1997. I'm pretty sure it was in September. It might've even been the same game as the Brian Johnson Homerun.

2006-01-10 19:28:16
144.   caseybarker
That was a particularly heinous runners in scoring position, inning ending double play. But I'm sure he was a fine hitter...
2006-01-10 19:50:14
145.   Andrew Shimmin
PSA: A working firefox search plugin for The Baseball Cube is now available.

http://tinyurl.com/84bry

2006-01-10 20:11:52
146.   dsfan
Reg,

The Padres deserve better than an F for their offseason moves.

Getting Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady was a B-plus, A-minus move. Cameron is a very good centerfielder. He strikes out a lot but hits homers and draws walks. He's probably the best CF in the NL West, a division with big outfields.

Getting Chris Young in the Adam Eaton deal flew under a lot of radars, but Young had a better year than Eaton in 2005 and costs a whole lot less money. Time will tell, but that trade looks promising; Adrian Gonzalez gives the SDP a Loney type who is further along.

The Padres made other trades that are head scratchers, but I'd give them a C for their offseason.

2006-01-10 20:17:24
147.   dsfan
Jon Weisman,

Thanks for the Depo/Ned analysis. Gives us a lot to discuss.

Good point on Nomar being the kind of player both GMs would sign. For what it's worth, that's more than speculation. Gammons reported that Depo offered Nomar a three-year, $27-million deal to play second base. After Nomar (stupidly) turned it down, the Kent deal got done.

Not sure I'd say Kent won't be overpaid in 2006. Clearly he returned strong value in 2005, but I could see him breaking down in 2006, or displaying a statue's range.

2006-01-10 20:21:59
148.   Steve
We got what the Mets were offering for Baez. In that sense, Omar deserves credit for at least figuring out that he could get the same thing somewhere else. Of course, that doesn't explain why one would want it in the first place.
2006-01-10 20:57:44
149.   Andrew Shimmin
148- I see someone's going wobbly on Omar Minaya. If you love him so much, why don't you marry him?
2006-01-10 21:05:22
150.   Steve
149 -- Would you want Danny Graves living in your basement?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-01-10 21:59:48
151.   King of the Hobos
Has anything happened with the Thurston trade? I may have missed what happened... If not, the deal must be completed by the 29th. Don't know about all of you, but I can't wait to find out if we get a low level roster filler or cash considerations
2006-01-10 22:02:40
152.   alnyden
Great summary, John. Personally, I think the biggest difference between the two GM's is that DePodesta was much more willing to risk uncertainty at multiple positions. Starting the season with Valentine, Choi and Ross felt like big holes to me at the time. Colletti seems more determined to put a player at each position with proven production. Both GM's seem equally willing to risk injury-prone players, however.
2006-01-10 22:16:36
153.   Andrew Shimmin
So I watched the Scrubs, tonight. DT sit-com recommenders are two for two, by me. At some point, I'm going to have to watch Arrested Development. If I ever decide to start signing off each post, the way Stan from Tacoma and Xeifrank do, I may well use, "num-num-num-num-num-num."
2006-01-10 22:22:06
154.   D4P
153
Does that mean this was the first time you've watched Scrubs? If so, I highly recommend you go back and watch from the beginning. The first 3 seasons were better than the 4th, and while it's too early to say for sure, probably better than the 5th as well.

And yes, you HAVE to watch Arrested Development (again, from the first season on).

2006-01-10 23:24:57
155.   CanuckDodger
154 -- Season 4 of Scrubs was a bit better than season 3, I say. Seasons in order of quality: season 2, season 1, season 4, season 3.
2006-01-12 16:27:56
156.   thinkingblue
102. Oldbear, the dodgers offered a more lucrative offer to Brian Giles than the Padres, he CHOSE the Padres.
2006-01-12 16:31:29
157.   thinkingblue
There is not way that Depo and Colleti are "Frick and Frick." Colleti actually values speed, and chemistry. Also I doubt we will ever hear "We will have to think long and hard before we ever deal with that organization again" about Ned.

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