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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Bargain Day
2004-01-07 08:39
by Jon Weisman

A 32-year-old outfielder who hit 25 home runs with a .276 EQA for San Diego and isn't Daryle Ward, signing for the major league minimum of $300,000 (with the Yankees paying $1.25 million)? Yeah, Bubba Trammell is a good signing for the Dodgers. He doesn't get hit by pitches the way Mike Kinkade does, but he should serve to replace the Japan-bound Kinkade sufficiently.

I am taking at face value the fact that charges were not pursued against Trammell following a police report filed in September that he had allegedly threatened to kill a friend of his estranged wife, according to the New York Daily News.

Trammell does not hit for a high average, but draws an occasional walk and has decent power. Perhaps only Ward had a worse season for an outfielder than Trammell did in 2003 (55 at-bats, 0 home runs), but Trammell isn't too old for a rebound. Hopefully, he has received counseling for his emotional state.

* * *

I know I wasn't the only one shocked to realize that second baseman Alex Cora will earn a higher base salary in 2004 than Hall of Fame candidate Roberto Alomar, who signed a $1 million contract - $350,000 deferred - with Arizona on Tuesday.

Alomar turns 36 in a month, however, has been a below average hitter for the past two seasons and a below average fielder as well. He earned 12 win shares combined with the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox last season, while Cora earned nine. I'm not saying that I wouldn't prefer Alomar to Cora for 2004, but I'm not saying I would, either. In any case, the difference between the two players is nothing like their reputations would suggest.

* * *

The Dodgers might have done well to get 34-year-old Juan Gonzalez at the $4.5 million he signed for with Kansas City, even if Gonzalez were to play only half the season, as he has done the past two years. Gonzalez hit 32 home runs in 152 games over 2002-03, admittedly while playing home games in hitter-friendly Texas.

His 2002 EQA, on the other hand, was lower than Trammell's that year. Gonzalez's recent performance is closer to his reputation than Alomar's, but again, he's aging and not the hitter he used to be.

If the Dodgers were to sign Vladimir Guerrero, there would be little reason to have Gonzalez. But the Dodgers need more power from somewhere, and passing on Gonzalez tightens the noose another stitch.

Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record writes that the Dodgers have a five-year offer on the table for Guerrero, but I haven't seen that confirmed elsewhere - certainly not in the Los Angeles papers. Klapisch adds that Guerrero is adamant in wanting seven years, but coming off his back injury, that is unreasonable in this climate. Klapisch's article notes that the Mets hope to woo Guerrero with a lower offer than anyone else's.

* * *

Dodger non-roster signee Bill Simas, a six-year major league veteran with the White Sox, had a low ERA for AAA Las Vegas last season, 1.96, and allowed only one walk every five innings, but struck out only 25 in 46 innings - a ratio that does not necessarily imply major-league success. However, depending on Darren Dreifort's availability and Edwin Jackson's maturity, there may be a role on the major-league roster for Simas.

Fellow returnee Troy Brohawn looked promising with the Dodgers before he was sidelined with season-ending surgery. He and Steve Colyer will be the prime left-handed candidates to fill the last slot of the bullpen.

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