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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Dodgers Sign Saito for 2007
2006-12-05 11:52
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Takashi Saito will return to the Dodgers (on a one-year, $1 million contract with $300,000 in possible incentives), the team announced this morning. Saito, who outpitched National League Cy Young Award runner-up Trevor Hoffman in 2006, struck out 107 batters in just 78 1/3 innings pitched and led all National League relievers in opponent batting average with a .177 mark (minimum 200 batters faced).

Comments (240)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-12-05 12:01:10
1.   saltcreek
I heard its for one million...but I cant find a link. Anyone else hear anything?
2006-12-05 12:01:15
2.   Eric Enders
It's good that we got him signed. It's not so good that the rumored 2-year contract didn't materialize, so we'll have to go through this whole process again next off-season.

On the other hand, after Saito's almost certain regression in 2007, we may be able to get him cheaper for 2008.

2006-12-05 12:01:23
3.   LAT
Now trade Saito and a prospect not named Matt or James for Manny. They get their closer and we get to keep Broxton. I'm happy and Frank's happy. What more is there?
2006-12-05 12:04:26
4.   Eric Enders
Tony Jackson says $1m in today's paper.
2006-12-05 12:05:09
5.   saltcreek
3. I dont think we can trade Saito untill june
2006-12-05 12:07:13
6.   Eric Enders
5 I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Saito's a player with less than one year of service time who was not a free agent. In other words, he's in exactly the same situation as Matt Kemp and James Loney, whose names are being thrown around all over the place in trade talks.
2006-12-05 12:08:54
7.   we are infinite
Personally I dunno if I can take this Manny roller coaster ride any longer. Now this from Boston.com via Rotoworld:

"I don't see it happening," Francona said. "Everyone hears the whispers. I don't think it's any big secret that there are times of the year that he feels Boston is closing in on him. But he still shows up to play. You put that bat behind David [Ortiz], that's when we're rolling." The Red Sox haven't talked with the Dodgers since Monday, and little stock is being put into reports that the Nationals are involved in three-team scenarios regarding Ramirez. "The Nationals are putting that out," said one baseball official whose team has been involved in Manny talks. The Red Sox reportedly will stop actively pursuing a Ramirez deal on Wednesday.

2006-12-05 12:11:30
8.   Eric Enders
I am getting the feeling that the Red Sox never intended to trade Ramirez at all unless they got some sort of ridiculously one-sided deal like Broxton, Kemp, and Loney.
2006-12-05 12:15:33
9.   robohobo
8. It feels like Soriano and the Nats last year.
2006-12-05 12:16:13
10.   saltcreek
8. I have the same feeling. Its not going to happen. We still need an outfielder though. Neds not going to go into spring training with Kemp or loney in right.
2006-12-05 12:16:32
11.   jdm025
Bye Mr. Gagne. Thanks for 03-04.
2006-12-05 12:18:15
12.   jdm025
10
We will probably sign Gonzo, but I would love to see Cliff Floyd on a one-year deal.
2006-12-05 12:18:34
13.   LetsGoDodgers
I like the Saito signing. For one, it keeps with the thought process of cheap bullpens can offer just as reliable results as expensive bullpens, so try not to overspend. Also, it shows Boras that for Gagne to remain in LA, he won't get an over-the-moon contract from Ned.

Now if we could shed ourselves of Tomko and Hendrickson...

2006-12-05 12:18:49
14.   Eric Enders
10 Welcome to Gonzo World.
2006-12-05 12:20:06
15.   blue22
12/14 - Don't discount Baltimore making him an offer he can't refuse. They looove overpaying for mediocre veterans.
2006-12-05 12:21:26
16.   ToyCannon
From the Rob Neyer Chat:
Kevin (Hamden, CT): Robby - What are Theo and Co. thinking, honestly? Drew's AVG, SLG, OB% are all down three years running. If they were going to sign, him should've done it when they let Lowe and Pedro walk. Now it seems like they;re trying to play catch-up for the Renteria/Cabrera disaster and the Coco/Damon flop. What gives?

Rob Neyer: You're right, Kevin; we've probably seen the best of J.D. Drew. Signing an injury-prone slugger in his 30s to a long-term deal is exactly the sort of move the Red Sox would have scoffed at three years ago. But these aren't your older brother's Red Sox. They're yours, and they're not nearly as interesting as they were.

2006-12-05 12:21:48
17.   paranoidandroid
Welcome back Mr. Saito! If we get Gagne to return too, I really like the pen and we can consider making Broxton a starter or using him to make a trade.

From the sounds of it though, Gagne is getting a lot more interest at the winter meetings than expected. He might be a really expensive signing, but one I think we owe to him and our fans.

It would be hard to see him pitching against the Dodgers in another uniform. Very hard to watch that.

2006-12-05 12:22:06
18.   LetsGoDodgers
12 Ned may be dialing up his favorite trading partner again.

http://tinyurl.com/wv3sq

2006-12-05 12:22:20
19.   Eric Enders
12 Considering the age/fragility of those guys, I hope Kemp is ready to stay in the majors for good. We'll probably need him.

So the Dodgers' free agent transactions this year will likely consist of replacing Lugo with LuGo. (I'm still pretending Pierre didn't happen.)

2006-12-05 12:24:27
20.   D4P
So: is this our lineup for 2007?

Pierre CF
Furcal SS
Nomar 1B
Kent 2B
Gonzalez LF
Kemp/Loney/Overrated veteran RF
Betemit/LaRoche/Saenz/??? 3B
Martin C

2006-12-05 12:25:13
21.   paranoidandroid
Broxton:

I am not suggesting letting him go cheaply if at all. Great velocity, very young, tremendous upside. Can be a closer for a long time, another Gagne in the making really.

The Saito signing, for a very low price, is simply a great move and adds options into the whole scheme. Bravo! Good Dodger moves are always fun to celebrate. And if he turns into Baez this year, he didn't cost us any talent nor much money.

2006-12-05 12:25:15
22.   blue22
20 - Ethier?
2006-12-05 12:25:37
23.   ToyCannon
The only thing we lack is power. The only FA available with any real power is Floyd or possibly Trot Nixon if healthy. Gonzo like Pierre should be last on the list.

Course if we traded for Mench we could have the biggest head in baseball playing next to the smallest head in baseball. If we can't stockpile talent we might as well go for the freak show crowd.

2006-12-05 12:25:44
24.   LetsGoDodgers
20 flip Furcal and Pierre
2006-12-05 12:26:08
25.   Eric Enders
Rotoworld.com posted this two hours ago:

"Agent Scott Boras no longer plans to wait until January to take bids for free agent Eric Gagne.
The plan was for Gagne to work out for teams next month after he resumed throwing. However, there's enough demand for his services now that Gagne could be signed before the end of December. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Indians and Blue Jays are among those likely to show interest. Also, the Yankees, Mets and Rangers probably can't be completely ruled out."

Which leads me to speculate that rehab isn't going as well as expected.

2006-12-05 12:26:44
26.   D4P
Ethier?

Oh yeah, I thought I was forgetting someone.

2006-12-05 12:27:45
27.   blue22
23 - Trot's been on a 3-year free fall (SLG% since '04: .510 -> .446 -> .395). I think I'd prefer Gonzo on a one year deal over Trot.
2006-12-05 12:27:57
28.   D4P
flip Furcal and Pierre

I started that way, but then everything I've read has Furcal hitting 2nd or even 3rd. Pierre is known as a "leadoff hitter," and I think that's probably where he'll end up.

2006-12-05 12:31:38
29.   Eric Enders
Unfortunately, as someone pointed out the other day, all the potential outfield acquisitions are lefthanded, and we need a righthanded hitting outfielder. Our outfield right now consists of Pierre (L), Ethier (L), Loney (L), Repko (R), Kemp (R).

The possibilities are Gonzalez (L), Floyd (L), Nixon (L), Crawford (L), and Ramirez (R). This would severely limit Grady's platoon opportunities. Basically, unless we acquire Manny, Jason Repko is going to get way more playing time than he really should.

2006-12-05 12:31:57
30.   we are infinite
18 - Dude for real. But maybe they'll let us have a do-over this time and we can give them back Hendrickson and Hall for Carl Crawford.
2006-12-05 12:33:07
31.   Curtis Lowe
What about Huff?
2006-12-05 12:34:37
32.   Uncle Miltie
Great to have Saito back. He's one of my favorite players on the team along with Martin and Broxton.
2006-12-05 12:35:49
33.   robohobo
20. Marlon Anderson could be that over rated veteran RF/LF.
2006-12-05 12:37:25
34.   Eric Enders
Oh yeah, I forgot Anderson (L) in 29.
2006-12-05 12:39:59
35.   ToyCannon
Nixons free fall has been due to injury. Gonzo's due to age and Huff due to ???. I'd take the chance on Nixon if we have to sign a vet but I'd rather just go with Ethier/Kemp/Werth/Loney/Repko/D Young instead of any of the vet's.

I think Werth would play the Repko minutes.

2006-12-05 12:41:02
36.   ToyCannon
Mainly cause Nixon was a heck of a RF at one time.
2006-12-05 12:46:52
37.   robohobo
35. If Werth can make a come back, I don't think we will have any problems in right field. He was quite a hitter when he was healthy wasn't he? A platoon of Werth and Loney could produce 20+ HR.
2006-12-05 12:48:56
38.   natepurcell
new heyman update basically says..

-dodgers dont believe maddux is coming back. padres deal could be finalize by the end of meetings

-mariners and dodgers are top two teams for schmidt with the brewers as a suprise inquiry that hasnt been turned down yet. Also the schmidt sweepstakes "is not expected to drag on too much longer."

basically, nothing that new.

2006-12-05 12:51:08
39.   natepurcell
I like the Saito deal (1.3M if he reaches all incentives). I hope he doesnt regress tooo much.

I think we will definately see Miller and Meloan make an appearance on the big league club next year for sure though.

2006-12-05 12:53:51
40.   thinkblue0
Hearing all this Manny garbage is just getting plain old.

ESPN gets all hyped up over this every year and we all know the guy is not going to get dealt. What makes it even worse is you have columns with unidentified league sources saying things like "he'll get dealt in the next 48 hours".

Yeah, that's what we've been hearing for what, two years now?

Regardless, at this point it might be smart t either stay out of all this or zero in on Schmidt...just go with a Pierre/Eithier/Loney/Werth outfield.

2006-12-05 12:55:45
41.   blue22
38 - Rosenthal says Maddux is pretty much done (for real this time :) ), a 1-year deal + a club option.
2006-12-05 12:57:07
42.   paranoidandroid
41
To the Pads, right? I am guessing 10 million plus the same on an option year? I like him, but don't think he's worth that.
2006-12-05 12:58:44
43.   natepurcell
draft picks would have been nice. oh well.
2006-12-05 13:00:16
44.   blue22
42 - Yeah, the Pads.

The terms of the deal should be interesting, including the buyout of the option. If it is indeed only 1-year guaranteed, Ned witholding arbitration likely means he simply didn't want him back at any realistic amount.

2006-12-05 13:01:37
45.   Marty
I'm glad to see Saito back. One year is fine with me.
2006-12-05 13:02:36
46.   paranoidandroid
Can we find enough power from these questionable sources:

Eithier, Martin, Kemp, Werth, Loney.

All of them showed some flashes of power a bit. None of them showed any consistent power other than Werth when healthy and Kemp when given fastballs for that three week stretch.

Can Loney and Eithier add power to their swings?

As far as the lefty righty stuff mentioned above, let's remember that Eithier hit for a higher average against lefties than righties. A platoon isn't necessary if he can be consistent. Also Pierre plays every game and his slappy style can take the lefties outside pitch to the left side.

Repko and Anderson on the bench if Werth is healthy.

Martin hit the ball hard but didn't put it in the seats as often as he might in the future. But remember when LoDuca hit 20 plus and then never hit more than 10? That position wears you down.

2006-12-05 13:05:05
47.   paranoidandroid
44

I was hoping a two year deal for 14 million would get it done. Somebody is going to pay for the day when Maddux is just throwing batting practice.

In fact, game three of the NLDS looked like that in the first inning. He is a decent #5 starter in reality. He is a gamer and can keep hitters off balance, but he is good for 70 pitches now. He isn't Clemens and isn't worth 10 million a year I don't think.

2006-12-05 13:06:51
48.   blue22
46 - Repko and Anderson on the bench if Werth is healthy.

I think Repko and Werth are competing head to head. You'd have Ethier/Pierre/Loney/Marlon/Werth for the OF. Would LA carry more than 5 OFers?

2006-12-05 13:08:39
49.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
I like resigning Saito, too, for all the reasons others cited above, but also for sentimental ones.

August 20, 2006, Dodgers at PhoneCoPark

Lowe takes a 5-0 lead into the ninth, then, courtesy of AP:

"Randy Winn opened the inning with a single. He reached third when Jeff Kent allowed Vizquel's grounder to go through his legs, and scored on Ray Durham's single. Lowe then walked Todd Linden to load the bases.

"Takashi Saito came in and struck out Steve Finley before walking pinch-hitter Barry Bonds to force in a run. Saito then struck out Pedro Feliz and Alfonzo for his 14th save in 15 chances.

""That was the toughest situation I've faced," Saito said through an interpreter. "I just wanted to avoid giving up a home run. I couldn't imagine I would have succeeded like this.""

His three strikeouts in the inning were all swinging, and he made Alfonzo look like he had no business up there. The sensation of the crowd getting all amped up and the progressively deflated while I exhaled the greatest scream or relief was incredible. A dramatic performance that I'll long remember.

2006-12-05 13:11:23
50.   robohobo
48. Marlon is also an infielder. He may just be used as a backup to Kent.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-12-05 13:13:29
51.   Eric Enders
48 That's actually 4 outfielders if we count Anderson and Loney as half an outfielder each, which I think we should.
2006-12-05 13:14:04
52.   still bevens
49 Wasn't this also 'Beat LA' tshirt day? I dont think I was as nervous during this 9th inning than I was during any game during the season.

47 Im kinda sad we didnt get a Maddux deal done because going to his starts at Dodger Stadium tended to be electric events. Im also bummed hes going to the Padres, but I dont think I'll be too upset during those starts where he can't make it out of the 5th. (and yeah the NLDS didnt help my sentiments either)

2006-12-05 13:15:15
53.   blue22
50 - Assuming an 11-man staff, LA's positional breakdown currently looks like this(?):

IF (6) - Nomar, Kent, Furcal, Betemit, Ramon, Saenz

OF (5) - Ethier, Pierre, Loney, Repko, Marlon

C (2) - Martin, Lieberthal

That's only 13, so maybe there is room for both Repko and Werth (unless they carry 12 pitchers).

2006-12-05 13:16:45
54.   Eric Enders
53 I don't see how you can avoid carrying 12 pitchers, with Kuo and Billingsley unlikely to go deep into games.
2006-12-05 13:18:11
55.   robohobo
49. I remember that series. I listened to it on the Giants broadcast as I live in Northern CA. It was great to hear the broadcasters get excited when Bonds came up, thinking of a come-back only to be sadly disappointed as Saito made them all look bad.
2006-12-05 13:21:49
56.   paranoidandroid
Repko started as an infielder in the minors. I was wondering last year if they'd consider letting him take grounders to create options before Izturis came back and we picked up Betemit and Lugo.

Anderson is a second baseman too.

2006-12-05 13:22:24
57.   ToyCannon
46
Even with the Aug/Sept slump Ethier still posted a 477 slug%. JD Drew's was 498.
Ethier splits:
LHP - 351/378/468
RHP - 298/362/480

Don't see this guy as a platoon player.

JD Drew
LHP - 244/338/378
RHP - 296/410/536

Sure looks like a platoon player to me.

Andre Ethier needs to play everyday in LF.

2006-12-05 13:22:56
58.   D4P
Ethier, Pierre, Loney, Repko, Marlon

Yuck. A 3.5, a guy who can't hit, a first baseman, and two career backups.

Is that the best we can do...?

2006-12-05 13:25:10
59.   ToyCannon
If Werth is healthy he should be able to beat out Repko. I agree with Eric, in that they will carry 12 pitchers to start the season.
2006-12-05 13:25:36
60.   blue22
58 - You forgot Werth and his porcelain wrist.

And there are abundant "proven veterans" available in the Gonzo, Floyd, Jenkins, Monroe, Nixon crowd.

2006-12-05 13:25:56
61.   Bob Timmermann
58
I think the problem with the 5 men listed above playing outfield is that it would only allow the Dodgers two men in the infield and a lot of grounders would get through.
2006-12-05 13:26:52
62.   sanchez101
I hope Colletti's reluctance to meet Maddux's asking price is not an indication that he thinks the rotation is complete. The Dodgers need one more starter, as I never want to see Tomko, Hendrickson, or Dessens to start in anything more than an emergency or injury situation.

If not Maddux, then its basically Schmidt, right? If Seattle takes him, who are the other reasonable options? Is Zito still in the picture? Are there any other Wolf-type deals out there?

2006-12-05 13:27:22
63.   ToyCannon
58
Funny how the guy with almost a 100 point slug% higher against LHP is considered a 3.5 guy while the other one is going to be making 15 million by the end of the week. One guy is on the downside while the other is entering his peakk years. Go figure.
2006-12-05 13:29:54
64.   blue22
62 - I'm hoping it means they're going hard after Schmidt, and didn't want Maddux taking up a spot.

But, there's still Meche, Lilly, Batista, Mulder, Suppan, Chan Ho, and (hey!) Jeff Weaver available.

2006-12-05 13:30:02
65.   D4P
61
And while you might think having 5 outfielders would limit extra basehits, they wouldn't always have someone to throw to at every base. I'm not sure that's such a good idea after all...
2006-12-05 13:30:26
66.   Jon Weisman
62 - Right now the front five are Lowe, Penny, Wolf, Billingsley and Kuo, so already you wouldn't have Tomko, Hendrickson or Dessens starting unless something happens to one of those.

If the Dodgers acquire another starting pitcher, it just allows them to push one of those first five out.

2006-12-05 13:33:20
67.   D4P
Until he proves otherwise, I think Wolf belongs in the "Tomko, Hendrickson or Dessens" category
2006-12-05 13:33:30
68.   JoeyP
Are you comparing Andre Ethier and JD Drew?

Ethier doesnt really have much of a history to make that a fair comparison. Also, Ethier may be coming off his 'peak' year, when you consider his batting average and lack of walks.

Ethier reminds me of Werth, but with less power and more singles. Starting either is acceptable, if the other two OF positions are filled with good players.

But Pierre, Gonzales, and Ethier/Loney really is a poor OF. Defensively, offensively, just not good

2006-12-05 13:33:54
69.   ToyCannon
62
If we sign another starter who do you send to the bullpen?
I have no problem entering 2006 with Lowe/Penny/Wolf/Kuo/Billingsly in the rotation with Tomko/Hendrickson/Stultz ready in case of emergency with Elbert bubbling below the surface. He is considered the best LHP prospect AA and above.

To answer my own question if we sign Schmidt which I'm all for I'd send Billingsly to the bullpen if we don't trade anyone from the current rotation. I think he'd be great in the short run while we see how the rotation works out. Penny is going to bounce back after a winter of rest. Then I'd trade him in June at his peak value for whatever weakness we end up having due to production or injury.

2006-12-05 13:35:09
70.   JoeyP
67--Agreed.
Also, I'd be surprised if Bills/Kuo both open the season in the rotation. I hope it happens, but I doubt it does.
2006-12-05 13:40:57
71.   ToyCannon
68
Yes I am or didn't the names Ethier and JD in the same post give you the clue you were searching for.

While that may not be an ideal outfield it isn't bad when compared to what baseball is producing these days. The Cardinals just won a world championship with Encarnacion, Edmunds, Duncan, and Spezio in the outfield. The White Sox won the year before with Podboy, Rowand, and the 2005 version of Dye.

2006-12-05 13:43:12
72.   Marty
From AP: CHICAGO CUBS—Named Ryne Sandberg manager for Peoria of the Midwest League.

Maybe this means he'll stop his awful columns.

2006-12-05 13:44:13
73.   bhsportsguy
71 Torch me, ban me (not really) if you must but this is why I am in favor of the Manny deal, if it for only 2 key prospects.
2006-12-05 13:44:22
74.   sanchez101
66. Ive harped on this before, but how can you possibly expect Kuo to double his career high in IP and not either get injured or be terrible. Either way, you end up with Dessens/Hendrickson/Tomko starting. What are people really expecting out of Kuo next year? 32 starts and 215 IP are unrealistic. Let him come out of the pen, or pitch in AAA, or tandem start him with Billingsley for half the year.
2006-12-05 13:50:34
75.   Eric Enders
trade Penny and Hall for Burrell
trade Hendrickson for prospects
sign Schmidt, Lieberthal, and Gagne

1. Furcal SS
2. Pierre CF
3. Nomar 1B (Loney subbing frequently)
4. Kent 2B
5. Ethier RF (Loney subbing frequently)
6. Burrell LF
7. Betemit 3B
8. Martin C

BENCH:
Loney
Saenz
Lucille II
Anderson
Lieberthal
Repko or Werth or Kemp

SP Schmidt
SP Lowe
SP Wolf
SP Kuo
SP Billingsley

RP Tomko
RP Brazoban or Miller or Meloan
RP Beimel
RP Broxton
RP Saito
RP Gagne

The main problem with this is I've given us only an 11-man pitching staff when we probably need 12.

2006-12-05 13:51:27
76.   ToyCannon
74
Exactly how does a tandem rotation work with Kuo/Billinglsy? Not saying it is not a good idea just curious how you would implement it.

Yes, I'd love to have Schmidt but if we don't get him I'm not going after Meche and company. Lilly at 10Mill can go pitch for the Cubs.

2006-12-05 13:52:36
77.   sanchez101
73 You are aware that Manny is a DH? There is only one team in baseball that can play Manny in the OF, and its only because they have a tiny LF. (I suppose the Astros could pull it of too)
2006-12-05 13:52:50
78.   Eric Enders
If we fail to sign Schmidt I think Batista would be a reasonable fifth starter.
2006-12-05 13:53:48
79.   sanchez101
75. "trade Hendrickson for prospects"
- please tell me you're not serious
2006-12-05 13:57:30
80.   DodgerBakers
69
I'd love to see Penny, Lowe, Schmidt, Billz, and Wolf/Kuo in the rotation come spring. I'd let Wolf and Kuo battle it out.

Also, I'd like to see Carl Crawford come into the fold. Not sure who I'd want to see let go, but I trust Crawford waaay more than Gonzo, Floyd and Nixon.

2006-12-05 13:58:44
81.   sanchez101
76. Billingsley only goes about 5 innings anyway, so you have Kuo approach Chad's starts like his own. He comes in, generally, for only about 2-3 innings an appearance, but occasionally when Billz has an bad outing he's there to pitch more. That way you keep the innings off of Kuo's arm, and you have yourself 7-8 innings of solid starting pitching every day Billingsley starts. Presumably, about mid-season you give Kuo a regular spot in the rotation and flip the surplus starter (if were lucky enough to have one). Kuo can also come in and pitch a couple games should someone need some DL time.

I think Kuo can be a real asset to this team in this way. But you could also bring him out of the bullpen as a multi-inning MRP. Or you could just send him to Vegas' starting rotation.

2006-12-05 13:59:23
82.   JoeyP
The Dodgers need to make a decision:

Either go completely young.
Or trade the youngsters for a legit superstar.

Staying in the middle, keeping all the kids but only adding some mediocre free agents to the base, doesnt seem like a winning strategy.

2006-12-05 14:01:42
83.   Jon Weisman
74 - It's true that the Dodgers will need more than five starters to get them through the season. But there may be in-house candidates to be the spot starter.

For example, Hendrickson and Tomko, while not worth the expense of acquiring, aren't worthless once you have them. There's a difference between not being worth acquiring and not being usable.

And then, of course, Elbert is on the horizon.

None of this means the Dodgers can't get another pitcher. Just that if they don't, it's not the end of the world.

2006-12-05 14:05:00
84.   sanchez101
82. It didn't keep them from winning last year. Manny, or Carl Crawford, are not the final piece in a consitently competative ballclub and guys like Miggy Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Grady Sizemore aren't on the trading bloc. The Dodgers have been building around the idea of developing from within since 2002, they're not going to blow it all up 5 years later to get a 34-year-old DH.
2006-12-05 14:06:30
85.   Steve
There's a difference between not being worth acquiring and not being usable.

Tomko, maybe. Not Hendrickson.

2006-12-05 14:06:46
86.   Eric Enders
You could have Kuo and Billingsley share a spot in the rotation:

Billingsley goes 5, Kuo goes 3 in relief
5 days later, Kuo goes 5, Billingsley goes 3 in relief
5 days later, Billingsley goes 5, Kuo goes 3 in relief

etc etc

Of course, this would be much too experimental for the Dodgers to actually consider doing it. And it would definitely require a 12-man pitching staff.

2006-12-05 14:08:06
87.   Eric Enders
79 In a world where Danys Baez gets $18 million, Hendrickson is far from a worthless commodity. Just because we can't use him doesn't mean nobody can.
2006-12-05 14:09:51
88.   sanchez101
83. Im not arguing that Kuo should be used as the spot starter because Tomko or Hendrickson are useless or anything of the sort. Im arguing that Kuo can't be expected to be a 32 outing starter, and he should only be considered a ~150 inning pitcher for 2007. Spot starting is just one option for his usage.

The problem with Kuo is that, if you want to develop him as a starter, he can't be in the regular rotation the whole season. I think people are allocating the 5th spot for him without considering his limitations.

2006-12-05 14:11:18
89.   sanchez101
86.
"Of course, this would be much too experimental for the Dodgers to actually consider doing it."
- Completely correct and its a shame that its true.
2006-12-05 14:12:35
90.   robohobo
85. Hendy was a serviceable reliever at the end of the season.
2006-12-05 14:12:53
91.   goblue1
Sammy for 1M?

Move of the year.

2006-12-05 14:13:26
92.   sanchez101
87. Oh, you can find someone who'll take him, but you ain't finding someone who will give up a legitamite prospect for him. Your either looking at a minor league reliever or a bench player for Hendrickson (or a challenge trade for another terribly mediocre reliever, but we already have Dessens and Tomko and Carrara seems to be always hanging around Dodger Stadium.)
2006-12-05 14:14:15
93.   robohobo
88. A 5th starter isn't going to pitch 200 innings. Not with days Grady taking advantage of days off to get Lowe/Penny extra starts. I don't think it will be a problem as long as he is handled appropriately.
2006-12-05 14:14:53
94.   saltcreek
86. 89. Kuo was terrible coming out the bullpen remember?
2006-12-05 14:14:58
95.   ToyCannon
A fine design, due to be relegated to the backburner until the next Earl Weaver somehow shoves his head into the pile and rises above the abomination of major league managers.

Yes, Kuo should only be counted on for about 150 in 2007. I'd hate to see those innings wasted in AAA.

2006-12-05 14:15:23
96.   LA Native
I'd agree with Jon. I think the only reason we are going after more starting pitching would be in a prelude to a deal for a power hitting outfielder (rightfielder). Unfortunately, there really aren't any available free agents to fill this and if we do get the power hitting outfielder we need it will block Eithier or Kemp.

I would much have preferred do a deal for a Vernon Wells or Andruw Jones and go with Anderson/Werth/Loney in right until Kemp is ready, hopefully mid-year. Instead, the whole Pierre thing blows this up.

I'd like our current starting five with Gagne back as well to cover Bills/Penny/ and Kuo short outings. Money that would have otherwise gone to Schmidt can be used to extend Jones or Wells contract. We'd then have a potential power hitting lineup by midseason with Kemp, Wells/Jones, Betemit/LaRoche, Nomar, Kent. Of course, I am not sure what we would have to give up to get a Wells or Jones. Likely Loney, Hall, and some other valuable piece - maybe LaRoche or Broxton, both of whom I would hate to give up.

Of course, it is all a dream with Pierre's signing.

2006-12-05 14:15:47
97.   Dark Horse
89-Not that it isn't an interesting idea, but that doesn't automatically, necessarily make it a good one. Nor is it a shame exactly that the Dodgers--like every other franchise in baseball--wouldn't opt to do it. It would be, if the alternative were starting Tomko or Hendrickson, but that doesn't appear to be the case either.
2006-12-05 14:17:32
98.   50 years a Dodger Fan
82 But mediocrity is the Giant way. That's what Ned was taught.
2006-12-05 14:17:49
99.   LAT
91 Shhh. Don't even speak of such things.
2006-12-05 14:19:06
100.   sanchez101
For the record, I'd rather keep Hendrickson. When Wilson Alvarez came to the Dodgers he was in the exact same predicament: grossly oversized (in a different way), LHP from Tampa Bay who is semi-useful as a starter or reliever. Occasionly magic happens ... let's hope Ben has the Final Countdown on his IPOD.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-12-05 14:19:42
101.   blue22
96 - I would much have preferred do a deal for a Vernon Wells or Andruw Jones and go with Anderson/Werth/Loney in right until Kemp is ready

Kemp is most likely included in any deal for either of those 2 though.

2006-12-05 14:20:16
102.   blue22
99 - "Sammy" = Saito. :)
2006-12-05 14:21:08
103.   Eric Enders
94 He was terrible coming out of the bullpen because (by his own admission) it was tough for him to get properly warmed up. Under the system I outlined he would already know exactly when he was coming in, so he could warm up accordingly, as if it were a start.

Also, in 2005 he was spectacular coming out of the pen.

2006-12-05 14:21:32
104.   sanchez101
93 Grady used Penny and Lowe so much in that way to keep Sele/Perez/Tomko/Hendrickson from the mound. Besides, a full-time fifth starter is still taking the ball upwards of 30 times a year.
2006-12-05 14:21:44
105.   ToyCannon
94
Yes, but he needed rep's and he got those by pitching in the rotation in AAA and the bigs. He might be able to be a power LHP out of the bullpen now that's he's gotten his control under control. He's always had the stuff, it was just his control that killed him. It is very possible that his control will desert him again but the good news is that he's pitching winter baseball and still showing solid control.

If we sign Schmidt only Billingsly and Kuo would be candidates for the bullpen from the current rotation.

2006-12-05 14:21:55
106.   Eric Enders
102 Although actually, given our current situation, signing the other Sammy for $1 million would also be worth a shot.
2006-12-05 14:22:57
107.   Paul B
Perhaps it was just a statistical blip, but upon moving to the pen Hendrickson did pitch 11.2 innings with a .84 ERA, giving up 6 hits, walking 3, and striking out 12. I don't see why he would necessarily be any less serviceable as a lefty in relief than, say, Beimel.
2006-12-05 14:23:23
108.   sanchez101
96. If Colletti wanted, or could, get Jones or Wells why would he have signed Pierre?
2006-12-05 14:23:43
109.   LA Native
101

Probably right in that we would have to give up Kemp, which is why this wasn't done, which would make it not worth it.

2006-12-05 14:24:51
110.   sanchez101
105. IMHO, Kuo has Broxton potential as a reliever
107. 2 words: sample size
2006-12-05 14:26:42
111.   blue22
107 - Because that 12 K's in 11 IP ratio won't hold, for one. It's all downhill from there.
2006-12-05 14:27:10
112.   blue22
106 - Please, I just had lunch.
2006-12-05 14:28:06
113.   Eric Enders
I'm not sure giving up Matt Kemp for 2 months of Vernon Wells would be worth it. I wouldn't mind signing Wells as a free agent after the '07 season, though.
2006-12-05 14:28:24
114.   LAT
102 Duh. I am really slow on the uptake these days.
2006-12-05 14:29:24
115.   Eric Enders
112 If he can still play, he's exactly the type of player we need to fill out the roster. If he can't, then you haven't spent much finding out.
2006-12-05 14:30:46
116.   sanchez101
How do people here feel about Meche? Ya, he'll be 'overpaid' whatever that means, get over it, pretty much every pitcher is overpaid. He has front-line starter stuff, survived the last two year without any significant injury, and won't be completely rediculas $$$-wise. If we could have him at 3yrs/25m, I'd take it.
2006-12-05 14:30:50
117.   ToyCannon
The Pierre deal will be a burr in our side for the rest of this decade but he will be fun to watch play except when he throws, or when he gets caught stealing, or when he weakly taps the ball 3 times out of 4, or when........
2006-12-05 14:32:06
118.   saltcreek
How about a trade for willy mo pena. He will strike out 100+ times but he could hit us 30 home runs and is pretty cheap and only 24. Considering he wont have a spot in the red soxs outfield next year(unless they end up trading manny) he shouldnt be as hard as burrell to get.
2006-12-05 14:32:36
119.   adraymond
102
Was I the only one who thought Sosa? LAT?
2006-12-05 14:33:41
120.   KAYVMON
Not that our bullpen is solidified, I think the Dodgers should settle on finding themselves a consistent "average" pitcher. Even without Schmidt, the Dodgers' rotation should be better next year or possibly much better.
I say it SHOULD be better for the following reasons:
The Dodgers had the fourth-best ERA in the NL last year, innings 1-6 at 4.43. (according to ESPN.com) Solid but nothing remarkable, except when you consider the amount of atrocious starts thrown by Dodger pitchers last year. Between O.Perez early in the season, then Tomko, then Hendrickson, then Penny, the Dodgers had more than its share of inconsistent pitchers. The problem last year was that there was nobobdy to replace them when they were on their bad pitching streaks.

I say the starting pitching could be much better because we have two relative unknowns in our staff. The quality of pitches that Kuo and Billingsley throw indicate that they have the potential to be great pitchers and attain great results. Just as likely though they could go out and walk 5 guys a game and throw 100 piches in 5 innings and essentially become league-average pitchers. I just get the feeling that their worst right now is better, results-wise, than Penny, Hendrickson, and Tomko when they go through a bad stretch.

Last year San Diego had the best ERA in the NL through the first six innings of a game at 3.97. I think the Dodgers have a 15% of matching that simply because of the talent in the rotation. Obviously, thats a best-case scenario and Kuo and Billingsley in particular would have to start a lot of games. And of course Grittle would have to tell Penny to sit down when he cant throw a curveball. Thats the optimist in me.

The pessimist in me says that the Dodgers, if they dont sign another starting pitcher, are one injury away (if Lowe goes down) from having 5 unknowns in their rotation. Not unknowns in the sense that they dont have a history, unknown in the sense that their history is short (Kuo, Billingsley) or is particularly inconsistent (Penny, Tomko, Hendrickson).

Right now I like to think of the Dodger's starting pitching like the Lakers' frontcourt. In this analogy, Penny, Tomko and Hendrickson are like Kwame. Flashes of real talent but plenty of the history suggests poor play. Kuo and Billingsley would be Bynum. Great promise but results have not yet reflected talent as a consequence of young age.

2006-12-05 14:34:33
121.   LA Native
82

That sums it all up for me. We have so many kids, we don't even have to give them all up to make a major deal to bring a big time power hitter here. I just can't get a read on Ned to see if he really believes in the kids or not. I don't like the mediocre strategy at all though. Pierre, Hendrickson, Tomko all detract from making this team a potential superpower in the near future.

2006-12-05 14:34:55
122.   ToyCannon
Not high on my list. He would basically be insurance because on talent he shouldn't even crack the current 5 man rotation. Career ERA of 4.65 pitching in one of the best pitching parks in the AL. Wouldn't cry if we got him since it is not my money but if were going to give him 8mill per year, I'd rather double that and give it to Schmidt. I want Schmidt pitching game one of the playoff series. JMO
2006-12-05 14:36:22
123.   regfairfield
I think Sosa's in the "not even worth taking a flier on" category. He hit .221/.295/.376 in 2005 and has been doing God knows what for the last year. I'd never thought I'd say this but why take Sammy when we have Repko?
2006-12-05 14:38:22
124.   KAYVMON
Oh and offensively I just want to know if y'all think that the loss from the Drew-Pierre trade-off can be made up by the other seven positions. Because if you do (as I do), I think we are fine considering how good our offense was last year.
2006-12-05 14:40:04
125.   LAT
119. I thought it too. See 114.
2006-12-05 14:40:17
126.   regfairfield
124 From where, it's the exact same guys we ran out there last year, just Nomar and Kent are a year older. I hope that Martin and Ethier improve, but they exceeded expectations by so much in 2006 that I don't know how much better they can get?
2006-12-05 14:40:41
127.   sanchez101
What are the chances that Pierre ends this deal in a Dodger uniform? Who was the last FA signee of the Dodgers, for more than 3 years, that actually spent the life of the contract in LA.

121. I'm not entirely clear on how Hendrickson or Tomko detract from the Dodgers becoming a "superpower." Because they're mediocre? I don't get it, even the best teams carry at least a half-dozen mediocrities on their bench. If Hendrickson and Tomko were in the rotation, I might see your point, but they aren't.

2006-12-05 14:42:51
128.   regfairfield
127 Dreifort.
2006-12-05 14:44:55
129.   LA Native
127

All I am saying is that we gave up talent to get Hendrickson and a fair bit of money for Tomko and especially Pierre. Tomko and Hendrickson (Pierre will start every game theoretically) may just be taking up space in the back of the bullpen now, but we wasted money and talent on them that could have gone towards a big time player.

2006-12-05 14:45:34
130.   Eric Enders
127 All signs point to Kent and Lowe doing that.

Prior to that, Darren Dreifort.

2006-12-05 14:45:53
131.   sanchez101
124. I agree with you. The Dodgers can even afford a hit on offense (they were 2nd in the NL in EQA as a team) if they can make it up on the pitching staff. Remember that last year Tomko and Odalis Perez started the season in the rotation and our closer was Baez and our setup guy was Carter. Aaron Sele got 15 starts for God's sake!
2006-12-05 14:46:23
132.   robohobo
104. Good point. I do think Lowe is best used in that way. He has a rubber arm and is better when he has a tired arm. Kuo could start in the pen and move to starting later in the year. Tomko has a history of being a good starter early in the year and if he blows it, it is just May or June when Kuo is inserted in the rotation.
2006-12-05 14:49:30
133.   sanchez101
129. Oh, I see. Ya, overpaying (in talent or $$$) for mediocr ity rarely works. I think it's easy to overstate the importance of this, though. Wasting Navarro, Seo, and the money paid to Tomko isn't going to keep the Dodgers from competing.

Pierre, though, is a different situation. (Im going to really dislike this guy next season)

2006-12-05 14:50:33
134.   D4P
Veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez, cast aside by the Arizona Diamondbacks after eight seasons, will decide soon between the Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals, his agent, Gregg Clifton, said Tuesday afternoon. The Dodgers appear to be Gonzalez's first choice, as he would remain in the NL West and have ample opportunity to haunt the Diamondbacks. Gonzalez would prefer two years guaranteed, but might not receive more than one guaranteed with an option
2006-12-05 14:51:27
135.   robohobo
124. We have just as good an offense in 07;
If Kent stays healthy...
If Werth hits 16 home runs again...
If Nomar stays healthy...
If Either and Martin maintain their offense...
If Marlon Anderson has found and can maintain an All Star hitting skill set from out of nowhere...

Lots of ifs, of course, if Drew was still a Dodger, I'd say if he could stay healthy...

2006-12-05 14:52:05
136.   sanchez101
132. If Colletti was savy and gutsy enough to start Tomko for a month, watch him post a sub-4 ERA, and then trade him, I would never question any of his moves again. It would be reversing the Hendrickson trade ... and it would save millions.
2006-12-05 14:53:24
137.   regfairfield
136 Or, Tomko posts a six ERA, and then we all call Ned/Grady stupid.
2006-12-05 14:53:38
138.   paranoidandroid
Quick thoughts:

Kemp, Loney, Werth, Ethier get this year (or until the trade deadline) to prove themselves or we go for a legit free agent for the future like Wells or Andruw.

Makes sense on a lot of levels.

Sign Schmidt and KEEP Penny. He is perhaps tradable IF Kuo and Billz are the real deal. We can find out by the end of June. We'll also know if we are in a race by then.

Makes sense to stay AWAY from Manny and other big deals at this point. Unless you can land a Carl Crawford type, we have enough pieces to play with and just wait.

2006-12-05 14:53:42
139.   robohobo
How about this for a pitching strategy?
It's called the "Go with the hot hand round robin starter strategy".

All starters other than Lowe are only given consecutive starts if they produce a quality start. If they don't, they are sent to the bullpen and the next guy in line gets there spot until he has a poor showing. Grady was doing this sort of thing last year any way.

2006-12-05 14:54:52
140.   robohobo
137. And Kuo saves the day and doesn't pitch 200 innings.
2006-12-05 14:56:19
141.   sanchez101
134. Good news.
Id much rather have Gonzo at one year, or even Cliff Floyd, rather than some outlandish trade for Manny. Gonzalez can be moved aside easily once Kemp is ready (Spring Trainging?) and isn't terrible if he needs time (.271 EQA last year). Also, he might be a weapon against the DBacks like Green was against the Dodgers.

This is coming from someone who has always, and will continue, to dislike 'Gonzo.' Man, I even hate that nickname, doesn't he know that gonzo is a muppet.

2006-12-05 14:56:23
142.   regfairfield
139 I'm not one for chemistry, but that seems like it would result in both a mutiny, and a bad rotation. Is there any concievable reason why Hendrickson would ever deserve a spot in the rotation instead of Penny?
2006-12-05 14:57:04
143.   sanchez101
137. Thats were the guts comes in. I wouldn't have the balls to do it.
2006-12-05 14:57:09
144.   blue22
Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Maddux got a 2nd year player option, in addition to the one-year guaranteed. That's surprising.
2006-12-05 14:57:33
145.   Steve
Is there any concievable reason why Hendrickson would ever deserve a spot in the rotation instead of Penny?

or Juan Pierre

2006-12-05 14:57:38
146.   trainwreck
Forget Gonzo! Just play Ethier! Players cannot improve and get a chance to prove themselves if you do not let them play.
2006-12-05 14:58:47
147.   Benaiah
While I am of the opinion that it will take a Herculean effort from the kids not to have an inferior offense next season, I also think that our pitching should be improved. Hopefully, we won't give any starts to pitchers on the level of Tomko or Hendrickson next year and our bullpen could be absolutely filthy with Sammy, Broxton, Greg Miller, Brazobahn et al. This was a good signing all the way around. Good for him to get the raise he deserves and good for the Dodgers since he is an absolute steal at that price in this market.
2006-12-05 14:58:55
148.   sanchez101
139. An interesting idea, but its purely academic.

In the NFL and NBA, experimental strategies are allowed, but not in "America's Pastime." Apparently, America doesn't stand for experimentation.

2006-12-05 14:59:02
149.   KAYVMON
126. Well, for one, having Kent and Nomar in the lineup more. Then there is the fact that we have legitimate options at 3rd base this year.

The big thing though is that being a year older helps us because we have more young guys than old guys. And our old guys are Kent and Nomar who I personally dont expect to have large dropoffs. And we have more depth, whether on the major league team or on the farm, to make sure we dont have any gaping holes.

The thing about last year though was that the Dodgers were really lucky. I mean Cody Ross OPSed like 1050 for a week, Ethier OPSed 950 for almost two months, so you have the right to be skeptical. I am confident though that Ethier and Martin will not drop off and those expactations will be changed.

2006-12-05 14:59:02
150.   blue22
141 - Man, I even hate that nickname, doesn't he know that gonzo is a muppet.

Have you seen the beak on him? It's more than just a play on his last name.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-12-05 15:00:10
151.   sanchez101
145. I bet you if Hendrickson did hit every day, because of hit hieght alone, he'd probably walk more than Pierre. Now if we could just teach the big guy to steal bases ... then he'd be worth $9 million!
2006-12-05 15:06:13
152.   KAYVMON
Is there some study I am unaware of that explains lots of people's seeming expectation of a "sophmore slump"?

Remember, Martin was still hitting at the end of the season and Ethier never got a chance to play out of his slump because of the crazy magician.

2006-12-05 15:06:26
153.   Robert Daeley
148 Ask that question again when the NFL and NBA are 100+ years old apiece.
2006-12-05 15:09:52
154.   robohobo
139. Alright, Lowe and Penny are locked in, but everyone else, round robin. Grady essentially did this most of last year. He wouldn't leave a struggling starter in the rotation, and he shouldn't.
2006-12-05 15:09:56
155.   regfairfield
149 Can Jeff Kent stay injury free at age 39? Can Nomar play more than 122 games for the first time since 2003? The answers to these questions are not definately yes.

Third base seems no better than it was last year, at least offensively. Betemit VORPed a whopping .5 for the Dodgers last year, worse than anyone else who manned the position, save Izturis. While I think he'll on base more than .306, will his sudden surge in power remain? LaRoche seems like the answer, but when will he be ready?

I don't think Martin will drop off, but I don't seem him getting much better, at least next year. Ethier could still drop.

2006-12-05 15:10:43
156.   Curtis Lowe
My fiance thinks Gonza looks like an alligator man.
2006-12-05 15:10:43
157.   blue22
144 - According to Rosenthal, Maddux is getting $10M next year, with a player option worth $6M. The $6M option has escalators based on IP (200 IP = a $10M option). Yikes.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6239728

2006-12-05 15:11:02
158.   regfairfield
152 At least for me, it's because they performed so much better than expected. I don't expect them to decline much (maybe Ethier) but I think looking for improvement is asking a bit too much.
2006-12-05 15:11:20
159.   Eric Enders
152 I'm not aware of a study, but just go down the list of ROY winners at Baseball Reference. At least 60% of them, and probably closer to 75%, regressed in their second season. Non-toolsy hitters in particular have a tendency to be really good the first time around the league and then disappear (where have you gone, Joe Charboneau and Shane Spencer?)
2006-12-05 15:13:19
160.   ssjames
159 Or Ben Grieve?
2006-12-05 15:14:13
161.   trainwreck
160
Mr. GIDP.
2006-12-05 15:14:53
162.   bigcpa
146 Gonzalez goes in for Loney/Kemp/Anderson not Ethier I would think.
2006-12-05 15:15:24
163.   regfairfield
Even Pujols "only" hit .314/.394/.561 in his second season.
2006-12-05 15:15:28
164.   robohobo
The Dodgers do have some home run potential.
Kent when healthy 20+ HR
Nomar when healthy 15+ HR
Betamit when playing regularly 15-? HR
Furcal will hit 10ish HR
Either and Loney could hit double figures if given playing time and of course who knows about Werth. He looked at one time like he could hit 20-30 or more in an entire season.
2006-12-05 15:15:52
165.   sanchez101
152. I think the 'sophmore slump' phenomenon is due to the fact that (like all players) a certain percentage of rookies play over their head and have no choice but to come down the next year in what it percieved as a slump. Until you can explain how it works, its just a silly myth ... just ask Ryan Howard.

153. Age is no excuse for stupidity. If you accept that, then does that mean baseball is only going to get more and more entrenched in silly 'traditions'. If that's true, I better just trade in my baseball glove for a soccer ball.

2006-12-05 15:17:32
166.   trainwreck
Is Ethier right for RF?

Gonzo may have a worse arm than Pierre so he certainly is not.

2006-12-05 15:18:34
167.   trainwreck
The Cards may turn Braden Looper into a starter. I have a feeling that will not go to well.
2006-12-05 15:18:40
168.   blue22
166 - Is Ethier right for RF?

He's going to have to be, right? What about between Ethier and Loney? Who plays right field there?

2006-12-05 15:23:17
169.   50 years a Dodger Fan
As unsettling as these rumors and speculation are to us, think how upsetting it must be for the young players.
2006-12-05 15:24:27
170.   saltcreek
Gonzo and Pierre...the two worst outfield arms in baseball..please gonzo pick baltimore
2006-12-05 15:24:28
171.   D4P
169
Yes. Think about the children...
2006-12-05 15:25:31
172.   Eric Enders
165 It's not a silly myth. Taking the last 30 ROY winners...

Improved significantly:
Howard
Bay
Rolen

Improved slightly:
Nomar
Jeter
Mondesi
Knoblauch

Regressed slightly:
Street
Pujols
Ichiro
Sasaki
Grieve
Nomo
Cordova
Salmon
Piazza
Bagwell

Regressed significantly:
Willis
Crosby
Berroa
Jennings
Hinske
Furcal
Williamson
Beltran
Wood
Hollandsworth
Hamelin
Karros
Listach

2006-12-05 15:25:51
173.   saltcreek
167..I think thats just a ploy to not seem desperate for starting pitching in the eyes of agents....Looper would never last as a starter.
2006-12-05 15:27:24
174.   Eric Enders
169 I asked Billingsley about that in August and his response was something like "I already was traded once, for Randy Johnson, and then it fell through, so after that experience I learned not to let any of the trade talk bother me."
2006-12-05 15:29:12
175.   saltcreek
Steve Phillips is saying Lugo will join the red soxs for what thats worth...hello draft picks
2006-12-05 15:29:36
176.   KAYVMON
155. Its not that I expect Kent to stay injury free, but that I expect him to be injured less and that to be boost to the Dodgers.

And even if Nomar only plays 122 games, I think the guy who plays the other 40 games will be better than last year.

Youre right though that third base (along with right field) is the real question. Im actually more confident in third base simply because I think two things happen. Either Betemit does better than what we had last year or theyll put somebody else there. Whether thats LaRoche or Nomar shifting I dont know.

Right field is the real question but we dont need them to match Drew's production. All we need the right fielder to do is make up some of what we lost in the Pierre-Drew tradeoff by outproducing what Lofton did last year. I truly believe this is the make-or-break position for the Dodgers next year. If we can find someone to be around .850 OPS well be fine, and then only one of Loney, Betemit, and Laroche will have to be better than last year's third base production. If we dont find anyone, essentially we are relying on Kemp or Loney to OPS .850 in right field next year, AND Betemit or LaRoche to improve production at third base from last year. But honestly those guys have the talent to do it so its by no means the end of the world.

2006-12-05 15:30:10
177.   LAT
157. Good luck Greg. For $10M with a $6M option next year the Pods can have you.
2006-12-05 15:34:38
178.   KAYVMON
172. Im calling both small sample size and selective sample on that one. By definition, ROYs exceeded expactations. If not, they would have been rookies a year or two earlier.
2006-12-05 15:37:00
179.   Robert Daeley
SI.com calling the Drew deal done: 5/70.
2006-12-05 15:38:41
180.   KAYVMON
By the way, you guys are giving me anxiety about Ethier turning into a pumpkin. I know Oakland's scouts had him pegged as a 4th outfielder but I like to think that the trade happened because Logan White saw something more in him.
2006-12-05 15:39:25
181.   Eric Enders
178 "By definition, ROYs exceeded expactations."

No fair making Roberto Alomar jokes.

Seriously, though, that's exactly the point. Almost by definition, any player who had an outstanding rookie season exceeded expectations, and is therefore a prime candidate for decline.

2006-12-05 15:39:42
182.   Curtis Lowe
179- Wow,

5/55 after a career year, 5/70 after 1 okay season preceded by an inuury filled one.

You go boi!

2006-12-05 15:41:59
183.   blue22
182 - I'm happy for JD. I liked him as a player - he was really a treat to watch at the plate and in the field - but I'm sure happy LA isn't on the hook for him for 3 more years.
2006-12-05 15:42:06
184.   RELX
179. With an opt-out clause after each week of the season.
2006-12-05 15:44:21
185.   Eric Enders
At those prices, the Sox can have Drew and the Pads can have Maddux. Good luck contending in 2011, Theo.

I think SD actually did us a huge favor by blowing most of their budget on a 41-year-old pitcher who's pretty close to mediocrity. And if they really did give him a player option for '08, that's even better.

2006-12-05 15:45:15
186.   KAYVMON
181. Right, but there's reason to believe that Martin and Ethier were kept in the minors despite high enough expectations for them to succeed as major leaguers. For Martin, the fact that he changed to be a catcher and needed to fully learn a difficult defensive position. For Ethier, the fact that he was in another team's farm system. If Ethier was in the dodger's system all along, last year could have been his second season.
2006-12-05 15:45:16
187.   Robert Daeley
Here's a direct link to the Drew story:

http://tinyurl.com/yberfk

2006-12-05 15:45:36
188.   Eric Enders
Anyone seen the picture on BA's front page? I think we've found the next Bond Villain.
2006-12-05 15:46:10
189.   Snowdog
Those wondering about the health of Kent in 2007 may be interested in this tidbit from today's Times:

Second baseman Jeff Kent, who sat out 47 games because of injury last season, informed the Dodgers that he wants to come to spring training in the best condition of his career. Now he's doing something about it.

Doug Jarrow, the team's strength and conditioning coach, is spending the next two days at Kent's Texas ranch, helping him implement a rigorous off-season training program.

"Kent doesn't like players who get injured," one Dodgers official said. "He doesn't want to continue being one of those guys."

2006-12-05 15:46:24
190.   trainwreck
579
Nice money for Drew, but he is going to be eaten alive by their fans.
2006-12-05 15:46:33
191.   GMac In The 909
179 God bless J.D. and his money.
2006-12-05 15:48:55
192.   blue22
188 - He just needs a cat to stroke on his lap.
2006-12-05 15:50:44
193.   Eric Enders
189 "Kent doesn't like players who get injured," one Dodgers official said. "He also doesn't like players who stay healthy. He doesn't like black players, white players, or Latino players. He hates guys who wear their socks high. And also guys who wear their socks low."
2006-12-05 15:50:47
194.   regfairfield
Is Drew's contract the best 20 million dollar+ signing off the off season? Mussina at 2/23 is the only one other one that's reasonable.
2006-12-05 15:52:19
195.   Curtis Lowe
"Kent doesn't like players who get injured," one Dodgers official said. "He doesn't want to continue being one of those guys."

Kents bad.

2006-12-05 15:54:16
196.   robohobo
177. I wish to God that he wasn't in the NL West. He shut us out last year the only time we faced him in Dodger stadium. Then again, the Padres could have a priest from the local mission pitch and they would still shut us out.
2006-12-05 15:54:25
197.   blue22
194 - Well, yeah, probably since you arbitrarily said "$20M" so as to exclude Baez at $19M.
2006-12-05 15:54:51
198.   Curtis Lowe
With Manny sitting out whenever he pleases and Drews need to be sat frequently, how often are Drew and Manny going to be playing OF in the same game. How often will 31 mil worth of OFers not be in the game?
2006-12-05 15:56:32
199.   Eric Enders
194 I kind of like the Carpenter signing.
2006-12-05 15:59:04
200.   bigcpa
197 Good one.

Drew 5/70 looks brilliant vs. Lee 6/100.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-12-05 16:00:38
201.   natepurcell
weighing on the Kuo stuff..

hes going to be the 5th starter if any starter. 5th starters get skipped all the time. hes not going to amass more then 150IP as a 5th starter. so all this talk about piggybacking him with billingsley is a little bit of paranoia.

2006-12-05 16:03:09
202.   still bevens
190 I think Boston fans will eat themselves alive because of Drew. I doubt the environment will phase him one bit. He needs to look out for batteries if their relationship goes south.
2006-12-05 16:04:26
203.   GMac In The 909
The Manny deals are dead. Long live the Manny deals.

(From rotoworld.com)

Red Sox officials told SI.com on Tuesday that hopes of a Manny Ramirez deal were all but dead.
It hardly seems like a bad thing for the club, assuming that Ramirez comes around to spending another year in Boston. Still, it's going to be tough for the Red Sox to find room for Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Daisuke Matsuzaka and maybe Julio Lugo and Eric Gagne and still stay in the vicinity of the luxury tax cutoff. According to SI.com, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein talked directly to the Dodgers, Angels, Mariners, Giants and Indians about Ramirez and also brought in other teams in proposed three-way deals. No further talks are expected if a deal can't be struck by Wednesday.

2006-12-05 16:04:28
204.   jasonungar05
Would everyone here rather have JD Drew for 70 Million than Pierre for 50 Million? I know I would. And I am not a JD Drew fan (i have no problem with him either, I am totally neutral).

Also, is Jason Schmidt really an ace. Heck Derek lowe seemes to be better than him at least in obvious stats (era, wins and IP) over the last 2 seasons. And wins are meaningless I know, but Maddux has more wins over the last 5 seasons than Schmidt does without the injury worries. I would love an ace but does he really qualify as such anymore?

2006-12-05 16:05:40
205.   robohobo
200. Only time will tell.
In five years Lee could be averaging 20-30 HR and playing 150 games a year while Drew likely will be averaging 10-20 HR and 110 games a year Then Drew 5/70 will look the same as Lee 6/100(if you ignore defense, which you can if Lee is DHing for several of those years).
2006-12-05 16:06:23
206.   blue22
202, et al - Somehow I don't think this whole "JD doesn't perform in the clutch even though every stat in the book disproves that" rep that Drew got slapped with here will fly in Boston. I think he'll be fine as long as he continues to produce.
2006-12-05 16:06:26
207.   bigcpa
199 Did you see Joe Sheehan's take on this? Since they already had him for $7M in '07 and $8M in '08, they're effectively giving him $50M for his age 34/35/36 seasons. Pedro got 4/53 around the same age. Seems scary to me.
2006-12-05 16:11:15
208.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
FWIW, I figured out Pierre's baserunner kills per 162 games. It's 4.7.
That's better - slightly better - than notorious rag-arm Mickey Rivers, at 4.2
Willie Wilson was at 6.1
2006-12-05 16:12:37
209.   bigcpa
205 "Time will tell" is a bit like the DT classic "who's to say?"

1) Why would you ignore Drew's defense? 2) Lee will only DH 8 gms/year in Houston. Lee is a career .275 EQA guy to Drew's .305. You're paying a $30M premium for the 30-35 HR but giving it back in defense and OBP.

2006-12-05 16:13:26
210.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
203 - Good for the Dodgers, not forking over the farm.
2006-12-05 16:14:37
211.   s choir
Maddux to the Pads at $10m without draft pick compensation for the Dodgers is an unmitigated disaster. I am bitter about this one.
2006-12-05 16:15:27
212.   GMac In The 909
210 Exactly. As much as I'd like to see Manny in blue, I am much more excited to see Kemp, Loney, Broxton, etc. (hopefully) turn into studs right where they belong.
2006-12-05 16:16:00
213.   robohobo
209. Right, Lee isn't a Texas Ranger any more.

My bad.

2006-12-05 16:17:31
214.   natepurcell
from henson. I think ned is taking this a little too far.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Dodgers had conducted cursory negotiations with Maddux's agent, Scott Boras, through assistant general manager Kim Ng and special advisor Bill Lajoie. General Manager Ned Colletti hadn't spoken to Boras.

2006-12-05 16:18:08
215.   D4P
Maddux to the Pads at $10m without draft pick compensation for the Dodgers is an unmitigated disaster

If Maddux had accepted arbitration, Ned was expecting to have to pay 13-14 million for him.

Rejecting arb > Not offering arb > Accepting arb

2006-12-05 16:18:29
216.   still bevens
We have an emo GM. =\
2006-12-05 16:20:23
217.   DodgerHobbit
206
He is already dead in boston and hasn't arrived there yet.
A player could have the ability to walk on water in Boston and the Herald would criticize that player for having a reputation for not diving after balls.
2006-12-05 16:21:04
218.   Curtis Lowe
I wish I could send Boras to my next job interview to represent me.
2006-12-05 16:22:34
219.   GMac In The 909
216 What do you think Ned's favorite Dashboard Confessional song is?
2006-12-05 16:26:18
220.   overkill94
I'm a bit hurt that I mentioned Saito being signed in the last thread but no one said anything about it until Jon posted the new thread. I must have lost all my credibility when I claimed that Kemp and Billingsley had been traded for Neifi Perez ;)
2006-12-05 16:28:43
221.   Eric Enders
So we have lost our only player whose name is a sentence. A friend of mine likes to keep track of these players. The player's full, commonly used name has to be a complete sentence. Homophones don't count (sorry, Elmer Dessens).

J.D. drew.
Pete rose.
Bill Mueller.
Rollie fingers. (sorry)
Davey lopes.

2006-12-05 16:31:14
222.   s choir
Ned was expecting to have to pay 13-14 million for him.

Probably not, but even if so, I think Maddux is worth it for another year. He may only go six innings, but what a great six innings they usually are. And especially to prevent him from going to the Padres.

2006-12-05 16:32:17
223.   robohobo
222. I agree. He is going to kill us for the next 2 years.
2006-12-05 16:35:09
224.   s choir
221 What about Mark Hendrickson?
2006-12-05 16:36:13
225.   mountainmover
$10 mil is a lot for a #4 or #5 who has a 4.22 ERA and only goes 5 or 6 inings.

Of course, those stats will improve in San Diego, if the Padres have ANY defense at all!

2006-12-05 16:37:10
226.   mountainmover
Our #4 and #5 guys may pitch as many innings for 1/10 the price and as much success!
2006-12-05 16:40:45
227.   blue22
222 - Perhaps Ned had a change of heart on his strategy to acquire lots of veteran pitching in order to deal Penny for an OFer. Maybe he wasn't liking the market for Penny. Whatever the case, Ned apparently soured quickly on Maddux.
2006-12-05 16:40:51
228.   s choir
221 And it's too bad about the homophone rule, otherwise we'd still have Olmedo Saenz (signs).
2006-12-05 16:41:30
229.   still bevens
219 "I Love You (but I will keep crying in my Cardigan)"
2006-12-05 16:43:13
230.   KAYVMON
222,223. Woah, I think Maddux to the Padres is great. Who's he going to replace? Probably somebody who outspitched him last year. Remember, over a whole season, he is not a great pitcher these days. And the Padres need a great staff to win with their banjo hitters. The Pads basically dropped a bunch of money on something they didn't really need. Whether they got good value is something completely different but Ill doubt that they got good value on a starting pitcher, considering today's market.
2006-12-05 16:48:25
231.   blue22
230 - I think he effectively replaces Woody Williams who pitched well for them last year (12-5, 3.65 era).

Peavy-Young-Maddux-Hensley for now.

2006-12-05 16:48:36
232.   Robert Daeley
OK, call me crazy (you won't be the first ;) but check it out...

This story was posted about 40 minutes ago on MLB.com:

Padres awaiting Maddux's decision
http://tinyurl.com/y2dwcs

"The Padres were eagerly awaiting a simple "yes" from Greg Maddux courtesy of agent Scott Boras on Tuesday evening, having extended what general manager Kevin Towers called their best offer to the free-agent pitcher with the Hall of Fame resume."

Of ESPN.com, FOX, and SI.com, only ESPN has an AP story saying Maddux reached a deal -- the other two say "on verge" and "likely" to sign.

I know it's a long shot, but maybe Maddux is on the phone with Ned?

2006-12-05 16:50:07
233.   jdm025
227
It is curious that none of the rumor columns in the last couple of days have mentioned Penny. Maybe Ned is waiting until Schmidt and Zito are off the market before pushing Penny. By my count, these teams (and there may be others, but I am focused on teams who can afford $8-9 mil) still need drastic help in their rotation:

Houston
St. Louis
Seattle
Toronto (when Lily leaves)
Texas
Philadelphia
Tampa Bay
New York Yankees (once Pavano and Johnson go down)
Cleveland

Once Zito and Schmidt are off the board (especially if Ned gets Schmidt), Penny becomes by far the best value on the market at $27 mil for 3 years.

2006-12-05 16:51:15
234.   D4P
jdm025

Does the "j" stand for "Jared", by any chance...?

2006-12-05 16:53:29
235.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2006-12-05 16:54:25
236.   blue22
233 - I don't think there's much to offer amongst those teams, unless Ned upgrades Penny with a prospect?

There's Raul Ibanez, Reed Johnson, Brad Wilkerson, Pat Burrell, Casey Blake. Anyone else? Milwaukee is trying to trade one of Jenkins or Mench.

I wouldn't trade Penny for anyone in that group except perhaps Burrell.

2006-12-05 16:55:18
237.   robohobo
230. It's mostly just superstitious Dodger Karma. It seems like the Dodgers are terrible against Maddux.

Also, Maddux won 15 games last year. Nobody won more than 16 in the entire league. 9 wins were on the Cubs (one against the Dodgers). Wins are a meaningless stat I guess but he has so many and continues to win every year.

2006-12-05 16:56:46
238.   jdm025
236
I wonder, even though I have posted this before, if Rolen is expendable enough to allow Jockety to trade him for Penny, Betemit and perhaps a spare part or two (Repko?)
2006-12-05 16:59:09
239.   blue22
238 - Rolen is great now, but you have to wonder when all the injuries will catch up to him (he's 31 now). Plus he's signed for 4 more years at $13.5M per. Not cheap.
2006-12-05 17:09:40
240.   Uncle Miltie
194- I think the Giants got Ray Durham at a pretty reasonable rate ($7 million per yr. for 2 years)

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