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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Garciaparra Press Conference Today
2005-12-19 08:56
by Jon Weisman

The Dodgers scheduled their press conference to announce the signing of Nomar Carciaparra for 2 p.m.

If the Dodgers send Hee Seop Choi off to a new home, does that eliminate the last hot-button issue from 2005? Jim Tracy, Milton Bradley, the shrinking Dodger payroll and Choi probably make up the top four.

The most that would be left from this year would be the debate over the value of some long-term contracts for J.D. Drew, Derek Lowe and others.

Update: Five scouts talk to Scott Miller of about where they would play Garciaparra in the field.

Update 2: "You go out and play (the position) asked of you," Garciaparra says at the press conference. So what position(s) will that be? Unbelievably, it appears no one has asked for on-the-record clarification. So we'll have to wait for the post-press conference stories to find anything out.

But we do learn that Garciaparra ate French dips from Phillipe's before going to Dodger games as a kid.

Comments (340)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-12-19 09:08:54
1.   Ben P
If we really are going to jettison Choi, then I'd also like to hear management's plan for Izturis. Assuming Nomar stays healthy, Kent stays at 2B and Cesar becomes a super-utility guy, right? Hindsight is everything, but it's a shame we didn't trade him when his value was probably overinflated (before the injury, obviously).
2005-12-19 09:10:39
2.   Robert Daeley
Don't forget player names on the uniforms. ;)

Actually IIRC, there was an interview with Jamie McCourt (T.J. Simers maybe?) in which this subject was brought up. She basically said she thought it was a mistake, but that because of MLB rules they wouldn't be able to change the unis back until season after next, so 2007.

(Take that with a grain of salt because I don't have a link to the story, but I'm pretty sure I remember it correctly.)

2005-12-19 09:12:44
3.   Bob Timmermann
We'll have another year of dealing with anonymous players.

In 2007, they'll be anonymous too, but they'll just have names on their uniforms.

2005-12-19 09:14:13
4.   blue22
1 - One of Robles or Izturis will be sent packing come midseason. Robles is cheaper, but will there be a market for Izturis?

Does Robles have options left?

2005-12-19 09:23:00
5.   Bob Timmermann
I'm not sure how Robles contract works now since he came from the Mexican League. The Dodgers bought his contract outright. But he's already been in the minors before, although I don't think he was on anyone's 40-man roster.
2005-12-19 09:26:16
6.   Ben P
Buster Olney (ESPN Insider only) has an interesting take on the Dodgers' offseason.

His argument is that Colletti overpaid for Furcal but that such a bold move helped convince other free agents (Mueller, Garciaparra, Lofton) that the Dodgers were going in the right direction. He also says:

"But what's interesting about what Colletti has done, in changing the direction of the organization, is that the Furcal signing, in the big picture, has helped the Dodgers into a better financial position. The commitments to Mueller and Garciaparra and Lofton are all modest, one year or two years.

This buys the necessary time for the forthcoming wave of highly regarded prospects from L.A.'s strong farm system to develop. Mueller, Garciaparra and Lofton are part of the bridge to the future. By 2008, the team will probably belong to players like Chad Billingsley, Andy LaRoche and Joel Guzman. This is smart business."

2005-12-19 09:29:59
7.   blue22
Come July, LA could have Robles, Aybar, and Izturis all competing for the IF utility role (maybe 2 spots). Izturis contract/injury status could make him difficult to move, though he should be the guy they actively shop. If Robles can spend some time in AAA, that would help bide some time until they can find a taker for Cesar.
2005-12-19 09:31:41
8.   Sam DC
Well, I think bunting JD Drew still sits pretty high on the list of past controversies that remain open for 2006.
2005-12-19 09:32:11
9.   jasonungar05
Free agent arms that are left.

Brian Anderson 33
Tony Armas 27
Pedro Astacio 36
Kevin Brown 40
Roger Clemens 43
Shawn Estes 32
Gary Glover 29
Kazuhisa Ishii 32
Jason Johnson 32
Byung-Hyun Kim 26
Al Leiter 40
Jose Lima 33
Joe Mays 30
Kevin Millwood 30
Ramon Ortiz 32
Brett Tomko 32
Ismael Valdez 32
Jarrod Washburn 31
Jeff Weaver 29
Jamey Wright 30

2005-12-19 09:34:18
10.   blue22
Let's bring Estes and Tomko in, and sign Sanders and Lofton.

The name "PacBell Park" is available too.

2005-12-19 09:35:15
11.   scareduck
6 - Olney gets one right, for a change. But that said, this is a very, very old team.

9 - Washburn signed with the Mariners.

2005-12-19 09:35:53
12.   Bob Timmermann
Washburn will likely sign with Seattle soon.

If Al Leiter joined the Dodgers, someone better make sure the 5-day waiting period for gun purchases in California is enforced rigorously.

2005-12-19 09:39:11
13.   SMY
This buys the necessary time for the forthcoming wave of highly regarded prospects from L.A.'s strong farm system to develop. Mueller, Garciaparra and Lofton are part of the bridge to the future. By 2008, the team will probably belong to players like Chad Billingsley, Andy LaRoche and Joel Guzman. This is smart business."

Yet when DePodesta was doing the same thing, Olney couldn't figure out what on earth he was doing. Since Colletti's doing it with recognizable names, it must be a genius master plan.

2005-12-19 09:39:25
14.   Bob Timmermann
If Al Leiter joins the Dodgers, I'm going to ride on a sled through six lanes of traffic with a sign on my neck saying "No one gets my organs" as Moe did in last night's "Simpsons".
2005-12-19 09:40:30
15.   blue horseshoe
Current lineup: furcal, mueller, drew, kent, nomar, navarro, (then pick 2: choi, ledee, cruz jr, werth)

old lineup: izturis, werth, drew, kent, bradley, choi, valentin, navarro

Seems to me we're upgrading with proven guys and signing them to short term deals while the prospects are developing. I like the strategy, especially in this division.

120-thousand people have voted on Nomah's potential if he stays healthy on the ESPN poll.

2005-12-19 09:42:28
16.   bearlurker
9--Thanks for posting this info. Not a very impressive list but not completely horrible. I guess I'd prefer Kim for MR and Tomko, Mays and/or Johnson...whomever we can get relatively cheap. Mays intrigues me because he'd be coming to us from the Homerdome, Tomko still throws gas and had awful run support last year and Johnson has been stuck on bad teams.
2005-12-19 09:48:08
17.   JJoeScott
15 - Plus it looks like Lofton is coming too, according to the Az. Republic.

So new lineup: Furcal, Lofton, Drew, Kent, Garciaparra, Mueller, Cruz/Werth platoon, Navarro ... that'll work.

2005-12-19 09:48:45
18.   Jacob L
I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with this off season, with one major caveat - we haven't touched the farm, and arguably improved it with the Bradley trade.

Until we add at least one decent pitcher, though, these moves makes us look like we're trying to compete without actually making us any more competitive.

Jon's usual warning about not jumping to conclusions obviously applies. Its only December 19, but right now, we're the Mets.

2005-12-19 09:48:56
19.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
11 - The team may be old, but we ony have to watch one season of Geriatrics on Grass.

6 - I agreed with Olney. An outbreak of hives ensued.

2005-12-19 09:48:58
20.   Jon Weisman
8 - I predict no bunts for Drew in '06.

I think Buster's right, and I think 13 is right with the critical difference in the eyes of the media being, Colletti has not let any division-winning heroes leave.

11 - The team isn't so much old as brittle. Outside of Kent and Mueller (and I guess Lofton), guys are basically in their 20s or early 30s. But yeah, along the lines of 13, it certainly isn't a more physically sound team than what DePodesta was constructing.

2005-12-19 09:52:43
21.   Bob Timmermann
As of now, these are Kenny Lofton's transactions (not counting DL stints) according to Retrosheet:

June 1, 1988: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 17th round of the 1988 amateur draft.

December 10, 1991: Traded by the Houston Astros with Dave Rohde to the Cleveland Indians for Willie Blair and Eddie Taubensee.

March 25, 1997: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with Alan Embree to the Atlanta Braves for Marquis Grissom and David Justice.

October 28, 1997: Granted Free Agency.

December 8, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.

November 5, 2001: Granted Free Agency.

February 1, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.

July 28, 2002: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the San Francisco Giants for Felix Diaz and Ryan Meaux (minors).

November 4, 2002: Granted Free Agency.

March 14, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

July 23, 2003: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Aramis Ramirez and cash to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later, Jose Hernandez, and Matt Bruback (minors). The Chicago Cubs sent Bobby Hill (August 15, 2003) to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade.

October 30, 2003: Granted Free Agency.

January 6, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.

December 3, 2004: Traded by the New York Yankees to the Philadelphia Phillies for Felix Rodriguez.

The Dodgers would be team number 10. Lofton has been to the postseason with 5 different teams.

2005-12-19 09:53:13
22.   Jon Weisman
Players who will be above the age of 32 in April 2006:

Derek Lowe (33 in June)
Sandy Alomar (40 in June)
Jeff Kent (38 in March)
Bill Mueller (35 in March)
Nomar Garciaparra (33 in July)
?Kenny Lofton (39 in May)

Five to six guys on the 40-man roster. I wouldn't call that an old team yet.

2005-12-19 09:53:44
23.   blue22
9 - The most interesting names on that list are Tomko and JJohnson. Neither strike out as many as they should, but Johnson is more of a groundball pitcher than Tomko. Tomko is a flyball pitcher who's had the luxury of pitching in SF recently (~1.0 G/F last 2 years). Those flyball outs could turn into homeruns in LA.

Johnson has had the same ballpark benefit of playing in Comerica, has given up about the same number of HR's as Tomko, but at least keeps the ball on the ground for the most part (~1.7 G/F last 2 years).

2005-12-19 09:54:08
24.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
18 - Is Mueller not an upgrade over Perez, Valentin, Nakamura, Edwards and the others who manned third base?
Is Lofton not an upgrade over Repko?
Is Furcal not an upgrade over Izturis and Robles?
About the only point I can argue is what everone else argues, whether Garciaparra > Choi + Saenz.
2005-12-19 09:57:46
25.   Jesse
18- We be the Mets if we'd given up the farm. If the Mets were doing what we're supposedly doing, I'd tip my cap to them. Choi is unfortunate from both a potential standpoint and a financial one, but if lofton, mueller, and furcal get on base like they should and nomar gets back a bit of his former glory, we should have a fun year.
2005-12-19 09:58:15
26.   blue22
24 - It seems that Ned's stopgaps have at least been more media-friendly, but they've also been more expensive. I'm not sure how up-to-date the $85M payroll is on the right here, but if it doesn't include Nomar, Lofton, or another starting pitcher, the payroll could be well into the $90M's.

Whether Depo was not allowed to increase the payroll last year, or he chose not to, it certainly seems that Ned is being given the financial freedom to bring in some names.

2005-12-19 09:58:32
27.   bigcpa
The order of our FA signings is giving me headaches. If we hadn't signed Mueller, wouldn't Nomar have been penciled in for 3b? If we knew Nomar would play 1b, would we have signed Saenz? Would Colletti have signed Lofton instead of Cruz Jr. if given the choice?

I don't see much downside in offering Choi arb and taking a month to sort out the lineup. I'd prefer we trade Saenz but the list of DH-types seeking work is getting long- Thomas, Piazza, Lecroy, Sanders, Durazo, maybe Craig Wilson.

2005-12-19 09:59:34
28.   blue horseshoe
Nomar's career BA is 320 and his ops are, dramatic pause, 9-1-1.
2005-12-19 09:59:50
29.   Jon Weisman
Two confusing things in this Randy Youngman column?

1) Is it possible to overhaul a shredded nucleus?

2) Why would you want to reacquire Steve Finley?

2005-12-19 10:03:51
30.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
27 - That struck me as well, the lack of discernable order.
Then again, perhaps Ned didn't want to get in a situation where he signed guys under false pretenses. "Nomar, we brought you in to play third... Never mind, we just signed Mueller."
2005-12-19 10:04:06
31.   regfairfield
24 Is Lofton an upgrade over Werth/Cruz?

The reports of the Lofton signing, if true, started giving me a Bill Stoneman vibe about Colletti. He's wiling to nuture the minors, but not enough to let them play.

We three talented young players in Werth, Aybar, and Choi, and two of them are guaranteed to lose their jobs, possibly all three. See the stories of Jeff DaVanon, and the developing saga of Casey Kotchman. When DaVanon was called up, he had a 1.030 OPS in AAA. He was given 30 at bats in 2001, then banished from the team to return as a bench player in 2003 and 2004. By the time he was given a starting job, he was 31.

Young players with an upside don't stay that way forever, if Werth and Choi are left to languish this year, it could have a very bad effect on the rest of their careers.

2005-12-19 10:04:25
32.   Vishal
[24] sure, but it appears that colletti has an $20 million that depodesta apparently didn't have, and that's not even taking into consideration the dead weight of dreifort and green.
2005-12-19 10:05:45
33.   Peanuts in My Shoes
Is there anyone (an arm, especially) the Yanks could send back that the Dodgers would want for Choi/Sanez?

"Nomar Garciaparra's decision to sign with the Dodgers leaves the Yankees for now with unproven players in two positions in the lineup. In addition to Bubba Crosby, who will be in center field unless the Yankees can find an upgrade, Andy Phillips is currently set to share first base and designated hitter with Jason Giambi. The Yankees have expressed interest in free agent Eduardo Perez, late of Tampa Bay, for a similar role. Cleveland, San Diego, Florida, Tampa Bay and the Cubs are also believed to have contacted Perez."
-- Newark Star-Ledger

2005-12-19 10:05:45
34.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
30 - (Hit "Submit" too soon.)
Doing so seems like a sure-fire way to anger your new players.
2005-12-19 10:06:31
35.   Vishal
[32] well maybe not $20M but more, certainly.
2005-12-19 10:07:10
36.   blue22
Would Colletti have signed Lofton instead of Cruz Jr. if given the choice?

I think so, since Cruz Jr. can play RF (assuming Drew is insistant on playing CF), whereas Lofton cannot. Werth could play RF when he comes back.

Saenz is a strange one since he, along with Choi, loses a lot of value if not starting. He's strictly a RH bat off the bench now, with minimal defensive capabilities. At least Choi is left-handed (something LA lacks off the bench).

2005-12-19 10:09:16
37.   Bob Timmermann
Shredding a nucleus tends to lead to things that make mushroom clouds.
2005-12-19 10:09:49
38.   SMY
If Drew plays CF, why sign Lofton at all? I'm confused about the OF.
2005-12-19 10:10:45
39.   blue22
32 - The payroll ended up being about $88M last year. This year it looks to be in the mid-$90Ms.

Did McCourt authorize a higher amount last year, but Depo just didn't see the added value that increasing payroll would give (diminishing returns?)? Or was Depo held under stricter financial limits than Ned now has?

2005-12-19 10:14:07
40.   Vishal
[39] i thought it was around $83M? i guess there were different interpretations, depending on your accounting methods.

i figure if we're still going to get an outfielder and a pitcher, it'll bump us up to almost $100M.

2005-12-19 10:14:08
41.   blue22
38 - Lofton plays left. Lofton/Drew/Cruz seems to me the best defensive alignment. Ledee/Repko on the bench and Werth coming later in the season.

Seems that Ned would rather find playing time for Lofton than Choi/Saenz.

2005-12-19 10:14:51
42.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
39 - My guess is, the higher payroll reflects the fact MLB is flush with cash.
2005-12-19 10:14:55
43.   blue22
40 - i thought it was around $83M?

That could certainly be correct.

2005-12-19 10:15:17
44.   King of the Hobos
Tim Brown said Tomko is one of the few pitchers that we're interested in. Padres want him too

And if you wanted Steve Karsay or Danny Graves, they are no longer available

2005-12-19 10:15:32
45.   Jon Weisman
37 - Right. So how do you overhaul that?

33 - Choi in the New York media - that would lead to more shredded nuclei.

2005-12-19 10:16:17
46.   SMY
41 I guess I could see that. Although Lofton doesn't strike me as the type to move out of CF easily.
2005-12-19 10:17:57
47.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
All this talk about Werth, what's his health status? Last I heard, wasn't he expected to sit through spring training?
As much as I like the guy, you can't expect Werth to stay healthy - and that can be said for much of the roster. Keeping that in mind, what appears to be a roster surplus now may come in quite handy.
2005-12-19 10:18:04
48.   Ben P
It's entirely possible that McCourt authorized a higher payroll this year than he had originally planned because he has taken such a beating from the media recently. And if that was his strategy, it worked. Everyone is talking about the Dodgers' aggressive moves now instead of the previous dysfunction.
2005-12-19 10:19:09
49.   slackfarmer
24 Mueller is comparable with Perez and Aybar, not an upgrade except in cost and injury risk. His fielding is average and his hitting has benefited greatly from Fenway.

Lofton is a downgrade from Bradley and compareable to Werth/Cruz.

Furcal is an upgrade to Izzy/Perez/Robles, but at the cost of $13 mils per year. His fielding is as good as Izzy and his bat as good as Perez. Their respective WARP numbers will come in around 6 for Furcal, 4 for Izzy (if healthy), 2 for Perez. That's a marginal cost per win of $3 to $5 mils -- very expensive.

Garciaparra is a wash to a downgrade at 1B from Choi/Sanez. All Nomar's big numbers come from Fenway and occurred many injuries ago. He hasn't played 1B before, so he likely won't be an improvement on D. And he costs many mils more (depending on what incentives kick in).

2005-12-19 10:19:33
50.   King of the Hobos
43 That figure either did have Green's pay or Dreifort's entire salary (we weren't eligible for the insurance money until August), or both, I can't remember. But it was only correct if you count players who actually played, but it is not correct
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-12-19 10:20:32
51.   blue22
46 - I looked it up and Lofton has played the overwhelming majority of his time in CF recently. Surprising given his somewhat nomadic behavior over the last 5 years. Maybe he will stick in CF, Drew in RF, and Cruz in LF. Cruz hasn't played LF regularly since 2002.
2005-12-19 10:21:03
52.   SMY
Hey, Lofton's career OPS at Dodger Stadium is .505. He fits right in with Mueller and Furcal. Small sample sizes are fun.
2005-12-19 10:24:16
53.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
49 - His fielding is as good as Izzy and his bat as good as Perez.
Until baseball adopts football's two-platoon system, it's misleading to compare any player with the best half of another.
2005-12-19 10:25:17
54.   KLV
I wonder how much our somewhat redundant signings are a reaction to the spate of injuries we had in 2005, which left Dodgers fans with psychological scars that will not heal ("Starting in LF and hitting 7th, Mike Edwards"). One thing I will say for Colleti is he's stocking the 06 club with quite a bit of depth that will put us in a position to weather injuries. This may seem quite prescient come August.
2005-12-19 10:26:38
55.   SMY
Choi's Dodger Stadium OPS is .830. Too high.

Nomar is .517, but only 3 games.

2005-12-19 10:26:42
56.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
49 - His fielding is average and his hitting has benefited greatly from Fenway.
Mueller's OPS+, which is park-adjusted, in the last three seasons: 140, 106 and 112.
2005-12-19 10:27:03
57.   regfairfield
Remember when Steve Phillips said we'd get Nomar, Mueller, and Randa?

Maybe he was on to something.

2005-12-19 10:27:11
58.   slackfarmer
53 I think it's very useful to compare when evaluating. I didn't say that Perez could DH for Izzy. It's just a way to illustrate that Furcal is the complete (albeit expensive) package while Izzy and Perez are someone one deminsional.
2005-12-19 10:28:33
59.   blue22
49 - Mueller is comparable with Perez and Aybar, not an upgrade except in cost and injury risk. His fielding is average and his hitting has benefited greatly from Fenway.

Mueller is definitely an upgrade defensively over those 2. Aybar, in limited time, was a poor defender at 3B. Perez was slightly better than Aybar at 3B (still below average based on rate2), but rumor has it that he was not thrilled with playing there (he preferred 2B, where he put up Soriano-like numbers in the field).

Mueller has been consistently above average at 3B for a number of years now.

Agree or not, but it is apparent that defense is a priority for the new regime. Mueller, Lofton, and Furcal are all above-average to excellent defenders, in addition to being offensive contributors.

2005-12-19 10:30:42
60.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
54 - Yep.
2005-12-19 10:30:44
61.   Blue in SF
The myth of Lo Duca begins in New York:
2005-12-19 10:31:59
62.   rageon
54 It's the same old debate about whether you would want a superstar and two minor leaguers for $15M, or three $5M players. I lean heavily towards the former. I believe Depo does/did as well. Ned seems to be signing a lot of guys who fall into the later. Yes, our team is much deeper than last years, but at what cost? I'd rather turn Lofton, Werth, and Ledee into a single good outfielder, rather than having 3 mediocre ones.
2005-12-19 10:33:22
63.   FirstMohican
54 - "One thing I will say for Colleti is he's stocking the 06 club with quite a bit of depth that will put us in a position to weather injuries."

You need about 1900 abs from the outfield, so lets see where we're at:

Werth 337
Lofton 367
Drew 252
Cruz Jr 370
Ledee 237

Total 1563

Well if the outfield matches their 05 abs all the dodgers need is some contributions from a 6th outfielder and toss in a sept. call up or two and that outfield is solid!

2005-12-19 10:34:52
64.   Bob Timmermann

Nobody reads my Lo Duca posts.

2005-12-19 10:36:05
65.   Bob Timmermann
Hmm. My mock HTML tags in 64 got subsumed into the post.

There were was supposed to be sarcasm around my comment.

2005-12-19 10:37:18
66.   Blue in SF
57: Remember when Steve Phillips said we'd get Nomar, Mueller, and Randa? Maybe he was on to something.
He also thinks we need a catcher and predicts we will get Molina (Insider Only):

Updated: Dec. 15, 2005

Los Angeles Dodgers Need: Catcher
The Dodgers have talked about going with Dioner Navarro and Russ Martin behind the plate. Both players are young and inexperienced, which is a risky proposition for the Dodgers, as they still might be able to compete in baseball's worst division.

The catchers' free-agent market just disappeared on Bengie Molina. He had visions of signing a contract in the area of four years and $8 million per season, but when the Mets traded for Paul Lo Duca and the Diamondbacks traded for Johnny Estrada, two clubs that were thought to be big players in the catching market were eliminated. Ramon Hernandez signed with the Orioles, and then Brad Ausmus re-signed with the Astros. The Mariners also took themselves out of the catching hunt when they signed Kenji Johjima. The Padres also further reduced the market by trading for Doug Mirabelli. To add insult to injury, the Angels did not offer arbitration to Molina. Thus, the simple law of supply and demand has caught up with Molina.

He likely will take a one-year deal and try to score bigger in next year's free-agent market. He is a perfect fit in Los Angeles, but this time with the Dodgers.

2005-12-19 10:37:42
67.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
62 - I'd rather turn Lofton, Werth, and Ledee into a single good outfielder, rather than having 3 mediocre ones.
Lofton = good
Ledee = above average
Werth = good, but prone to injury
I don't think of those three as mediocre, not at all.
2005-12-19 10:38:14
68.   Jon Weisman
64 - Hurts, doesn't it?
2005-12-19 10:38:30
69.   popup
If I recall correctly Drew played some center last year when Milton had his hand injury, and Drew ended up having to sit out some games because of his knee. No way playing center is less stress on the body than playing a corner outfield spot.

Should be an interesting year. I will go on record as saying I would not construct the team the way Colletti has, but if Kent's wrist injury is not serious and he can get one more solid season out of his 38 year old body (neither of those are a given) and if Drew can play in the outfield for 140 games with his usual career production and if Nomar can play 140 games and return to his historical production, the 2006 Dodgers will score some runs. I don't like the starting pitching past Penny and Lowe, but the bullpen looks very good. I am sure I will be criticized for saying this, but it may be that the worst thing for the long term success of this franchise will be for all of Ned's moves to work. If the Dodgers go into 2007 with a World Series ring on their fingers, there is no way McCourt and Colletti will turn the roster over to the kids.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-19 10:40:32
70.   KLV

I'd be careful about taking defensive statistics as gospel truth of true defensive abilities. It's still an inexact science that people are working hard on improving. Also, FWIW, the defensive "gurus" on Baseball Primer put very little stock in the Prospectus rate 2 numbers.

The most-respected measure is probably UZR, but the guy behind that system (Mitchell Lichtman) got hired by the Cardinals a few years back and his numbers are no longer publicized, although he does occasionally disclose some numbers here and there on Primer threads. UZR had Mueller as a slighly below-average fielder from 2000-20003. Now take that with a grain of salt, as fielding stats are not like hitting stats, but I think our defense at 3B is an open question. At the very least, we'll have a 3B who is comfortable at the position, and is not trying to learn a new position on the job (like Perez or Valentin).

2005-12-19 10:40:35
71.   rageon
I'll throw Cruz into my jumble of mediocre OF's we have, as I forgot him the first time around...

Lofton: not good. A .350 OBP isn't "good" for a corner OF, and a .350 slugging is terrible for a corner OF. Not good. Not good at all.

Ledee: above average production + inability to play everyday = mediocre

Werth: (see Ledee)

Cruz: (see Ledee)

2005-12-19 10:41:00
72.   SMY
If the Dodgers go into 2007 with a World Series ring on their fingers, there is no way McCourt and Colletti will turn the roster over to the kids.

Personally, I don't think there's much danger of that happening, but I could be wrong.

2005-12-19 10:42:16
73.   Marty
After reading that Loduca article, it's nice to know cosmic forces are the explanation for why he's a Met.
2005-12-19 10:42:42
74.   FirstMohican
69 According to Drew, stopping hard to avoid the seats next to right field is what bothers his knee. I don't think he cares for baseballs on his wrist either.
2005-12-19 10:43:20
75.   slackfarmer
56 I grant you that Mueller had a great year in 2003, but his numbers in 2004 and 2005 are only slightly above average; in fact, probably right about average for a corner IF. Perez's numbers in 2005 were comparable (Muller EQA .275, Perez EQA .274).

59 Muller's career Rate2 at 3B is 99. That is the definition of average -- not above average to excellent like Furcal and Lofton.

2005-12-19 10:43:51
76.   regfairfield
72 I think that it's still a safe bet, since our rotation is still "Penny and Lowe, then pray for snow."
2005-12-19 10:44:22
77.   Dark Horse
72--It's not likely, although it never is. I'd wager the chances are better than last year's though, and by a good margin.
2005-12-19 10:46:49
78.   Scanman33
The Los Angeles Giant Sox of San Boston will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
2005-12-19 10:47:47
79.   rageon
74 That's because JD Drew is a wuss. A real gamer wouldn't let a tiny little baseball tossed his way break any bones. And even if it did, it shouldn't prevent him from missing any time. After all, Biggio has been hit like 8000 times and you don't see him missing time, do you? But it's ultimately Depo's fault. With his history of knee injuries, it was almost certain that he would break a bone in his hand. After, he's injury prone.


2005-12-19 10:49:46
80.   bhsportsguy
49, 59 - Last year Mueller had nearly identical splits on home/road in about the same number of at bats.

Home 258 at bats .283/.358/.450/.808
Away 261 at bats .307/.380/.410 .790

He batted mostly 8th in Boston's lineup, with the Lofton signing, I see him batting 7th, when he played for Grady in 2003, he split between 2nd, 7th, and 8th.

It does appear that with these signings, nationally, the perception about the Dodgers has improved. In terms of the impact to Werth, Aybar and Choi, Werth probably has the best perceived value but with his off-season surgery, there was no certainity about his availability when spring training started. My hunch about Aybar is that the view from White, Ng, etc. is that he is projected as a utility player at best, and with Choi, well who knows, maybe only DePo supported him (like Antonio Perez), I still don't think he will be non-tendered but we'll know more today.

2005-12-19 10:51:48
81.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
71 - Where to start...
1. Lofton is playing CF, no??
2. Lofton's has never slugged lower than .365 in a full season. And that was in 1992.
3. Lofton's OBP last season was .392.
4. He's a great, not good, fielder.
5. In the last three years, Lofton stole 59 bases at an 80 percent clip. That's good.
2005-12-19 10:53:15
82.   bearlurker

Bob, I read your post at the Griddle. Keep up the good work. I'll continue to monitor the situation at the Griddle.

2005-12-19 10:53:29
83.   FirstMohican
79 None of Colletti's aquisitions have suffered injuries yet. Coincidence?
2005-12-19 10:54:29
84.   popup
72, I don't think it is likely either. Actually, instead of the World Series comment, I should have said if the 2006 Dodgers are successful, I don't see McCourt/Colletti going to a youth movement in 2007.

The beuaty of baseball is that you don't know what will happen. No way this time last year I would say that the
White Sox would be W.S. champs. An awful lot would have to go right for the 2006 Dodgers to win it all. Could happen, but not likely.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-19 10:57:10
85.   slackfarmer
80 "Last year Mueller had nearly identical splits on home/road in about the same number of at bats."

Oh, the beauty of small sample sizes. His 3 years splits for OPS: home .918, away .786.

Seems to me that the best argument for Mueller over Perez/Aybar is that the new guys are unproven, but barring injury, you can count on Mueller to deliver average production. Given his high injury risk and salary about $4 mils higher, I would have gone with the young guys and used the money on pitching.

2005-12-19 10:59:03
86.   Jon Weisman
84 et al - I think it's going to all blend. The Dodgers will improve next year, and then Kent and maybe Garciaparra will be replaced with youth. They'll improve the following year, Mueller will be phased out. They'll improve the following year, and Furcal will pass the torch. I'm oversimplifying, and being optimistic, but you get the idea. I don't think it's going to be a matter under Colletti of turning it all over to kids at once.
2005-12-19 10:59:27
87.   bhsportsguy
Another thing that is readily apparent, look at the players on this team that have relationships with either Ned or Grady:

Derek Lowe
Jeff Kent
Bill Mueller
Nomar Garciaparra
Kenny Lofton
Jose Cruz, Jr.

Ned has also indicated that he has been in close contact with Eric Gagne and J.D. Drew (apparently the only person he never talked to was Milton). Well I am afraid of the Dodgers becoming the Giants of 2005 (lots of vets who break down), this is a better projected lineup than we had at the end of the season.

2005-12-19 11:03:06
88.   Dark Horse
84--I actually see Colletti (I refuse to give McCourt credit for anything so prudent) doing exactly that. Allowing the kids to contribute in '07--and '06 even, in a few cases--because they won't be obligated to carry the load.

As for the rest, well it's unlikely for any team. It's "unlikely" for the Yankees, Indians, Braves or pick-your-team-of-choice. Less so for the D's because our pitching is still in arrears but it's not unreasonable to hope for this team to contend in the west and perhaps even a little further than that (if we get some pitching.) I had no genuine hope the '05 squad would do any such thing even in April, and none the '04 team would get through round one of the playoffs. Here at least there are glimmers, and I'll take those where I see 'em.

2005-12-19 11:03:11
89.   bigcpa
Has anyone heard of a single offer floated to Jeff Weaver? Could he accept arbitration today? If Weaver declines arb at today's deadline, Mr. Ned could move quickly to sign a starter. How about another 3 year overpay on Millwood?!
2005-12-19 11:05:28
90.   bhsportsguy
85 - First off, I love the give and take of this forum, second, I agree, who knows why Mueller hit about the same home and road last year when you would expect his splits to favor hitting at Fenway. And for the three years he hit at Fenway, the splits show that he was better at home than the road. But I do think that Ned wanted to put someone at 3B who, if healthy would be there everyday. My guess on the pitching would be that he wants to add at least one more veteran starter and then let Houlton, Jackson and Billingsley battle out for the 5th spot.

Anyone hear about Odalis this offseason and if he will be ready to go in February?

2005-12-19 11:05:28
91.   Sam DC
Hey Bob, I hear Ryan Freel re-upped with the Reds.
2005-12-19 11:05:39
92.   Dark Horse
85--Also, I wonder, where is the pitching we're supposed to be lavishing our money on? Washburn? Burnett? I'll wait and see what Mr. Ned does, but it doesn't seem to me he's misspending the money given what the FA market offers.
2005-12-19 11:06:26
93.   rageon

1 - I don't know, is he? What's the difference in having him in LF and Drew in CF, or vice versa? CF is covered already (by both Drew and Cruz), so his offense must be evaluated as it would be is he was a corner guy.

2 - Well, excuse me for shortchanging the power of a .400 "slugging" outfielder.

3 - Lofton's last 6 OBP's have been: 322, 348, 353, 333, 381, 346, and 392. I'd guess that he's far more likely to be below .350 than he is to approach .392 again.

4 - Sure...and I doubt those skills will get any worse, given that he's approaching 40. And does the difference between him and Drew make up for his offense?

5 - I can't argue with his SB numbers. But that adds, what, 5 runs to us over the whole season?

2005-12-19 11:08:30
94.   rageon

Homer: "Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm."
Lisa: "That's specious reasoning, Dad."
Homer: "Thank you, dear."
Lisa: "By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away."
Homer: "Oh, how does it work?"
Lisa: "It doesn't work."
Homer: "Uh-huh."
Lisa: "It's just a stupid rock."
Homer: "Uh-huh."
Lisa: "But I don't see any tigers around, do you?"
Homer: "Lisa, I want to buy your rock."

2005-12-19 11:09:00
95.   slackfarmer
70 It is too bad we don't have access to UZR numbers, but we do have ESPN's cheap knockoff ZR, and these are roughly in line with PB's Rate2 numbers. Compare career numbers for Mueller and A. Perez.

2B Muller Rate2 86, ZR .750; Perez 83, .753
3B Muller Rate2 99, ZR .769; Perez 97, .849
SS Muller Rate2 99, ZR n/a; Perez 115, .881

I think it's safe to say that neither one of these guys is gold glove material. Mueller may be more experienced/consistant and Perez may yet improve, but they both look pretty average to me.

2005-12-19 11:14:37
96.   slackfarmer
90 & 92 Good points about the pitching FA market being thin. Maybe Ned will yet add someone helpful (I'm not a Tomko fan), or maybe he will just have to give the young guys a shot and pick up an arm in July if/when necessary. Hopefully Weaver can be secured for one more year thru arb.
2005-12-19 11:16:09
97.   regfairfield
95 It's been a while since I looked at it, but isn't Perez's .849 at 3rd by far the best in baseball? (I think Chavez lead with something like .81).
2005-12-19 11:17:40
98.   popup
#84, Jon, we shall see. I agree Ned has not traded the farm, but he has not shown a willingness except for Navarro to go with young players. Bill Mueller is a decent player, but I would rather give his at bats to Aybar. The Furcal signing I guess is defensible, but I would have preferred Antonio Perez with Robles as a back up. If Perez could not handle a full time job, Izturis would be avaialbe to take over for Robles at mid season. Nomar at first does not make much sense to me. Give Choi the at bats and if Choi can't play, bring up Loney or let Werth get some time at first.

As I said earlier, all this may work out for Colletti. I am not so sure it will be good for the Dodgers long term if it does.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-12-19 11:19:04
99.   Dark Horse
96--That's my hope too.
2005-12-19 11:20:26
100.   FirstMohican
94 - That's actually a logical reasoning scenario in one of my lsat prep tests.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-12-19 11:22:17
101.   rageon
LSAT prep? And here I hoped that my complaining about studying for the bar this summer would scare anyone here away from going to law school.
2005-12-19 11:23:16
102.   bearlurker
89--I hope not re Millwood. I have no idea what Ned's budget is but I'd prefer not to overpay for starting pitching and roll the dice with lesser free agents and youngsters.
2005-12-19 11:24:37
103.   bearlurker
100, 101--Ah, the LSAT and the bar...Memories. Rageon, did you pass?
2005-12-19 11:28:20
104.   rageon
103 I took the Minnesota bar in July and passed. I'm clerking at the moment. You?
2005-12-19 11:28:56
105.   slackfarmer
97 Well, there's probably someone with a 1.000 who played one game at 3B. Perez's numbers a 3B and SS are similarly problematic because of the small sample size. Given this and the lack of perfection in denfensive stats, I think Perez's 3B and SS numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt. But I do think you can reasonably take from all of the stats that Perez is an average infielder, not the guy with stone hands portrayed in big media. Further, Mueller is in the same average category.
2005-12-19 11:28:57
106.   Bob Timmermann
64 91

Thank you. Thank you very much.

2005-12-19 11:29:08
107.   greenchris
Looks like we've seen the last of Izzy & Choi.

Anyone know what the deal is with Robles. I heard that the Dodgers had some provision that if he wasn't going to make the Major League team they had to send him back to the Mexican Leagues. Anyone else know anything about this, or am I dreaming?

2005-12-19 11:32:36
108.   Sushirabbit
Thanks for the answers to my question on UZR in the comments of the previous piece. :-)

I've been wondering if Mr. Ned might actually being going after a 'rental' pitcher, someone who hits FA next year, like Buehrle, Radke, Mike Mussina, Kline, etc. I'm sure there are others (and I might be wrong on some of these), but that kind of move would fall in line with the other short term signings. It looks to me like there are lots of pieces to move around now. Maybe it makes us nervous, but he might have a plan where the downside is having too many of these players and the upside is getting a much better pitcher for a year or two.

2005-12-19 11:32:53
109.   slackfarmer
100101&103 As a recovering lawyer, my advice to you-all is just to lay down the crack pipe.
2005-12-19 11:33:41
110.   King of the Hobos
107 That was part of the contract, but I'm not sure if it will be in effect next season. I can at least c onfirm that you weren't dreaming

Looks like Pierzynski will be getting 3 years, $15 mil for running to 1st on a strike out

2005-12-19 11:34:17
111.   bearlurker
104--Congratulations. Thanks to Barbri, I passed California in 94.
2005-12-19 11:37:04
112.   Bob Timmermann
I believe that clause in the purchase of Robles' contract from the Mexican League was for last year. I believe that Robles has no ties with the Mexican League now.

The Mexican League is part of the National Association with other minor leagues like the PCL. But they aren't affiliated with any one team.

2005-12-19 11:41:06
113.   rageon
109 - Clerking seems boring enough to keep me from losing my mind quite yet. And I don't have any ambition to do the 70-hour-week thing for a large firm. But never the less, I'll be surprised if I was still in the profession in 10 years.

110 Thanks to BarBri...
(a) I passed the bar
(b) I'm broke
(c) All of the above

The correct answer is C.

2005-12-19 11:49:38
114.   slackfarmer
111&113 I apologize to Jon in advance for going so far off topic.

I wonder how anyone (especially those like myself who went to law school out of state) passes the bar without barbri. The sad flipside is that I think that most reasonably bright college graduates could pass the bar after taking barbri and just skip the three years (and $100k debt) of law school.

2005-12-19 11:51:04
115.   Bob Timmermann

Or just help friends study for the bar exam. Personally, I'm all over the definition of felony murder in California.

2005-12-19 11:51:23
116.   bearlurker
Don't get sucked in with the big salary then, or do the big firm for two years and get out. I enjoyed working for a judge.
2005-12-19 11:53:59
117.   bearlurker
114--They usually don't pass without it and without committing the time. Just ask Kathleen Sullivan. You're right about law school--it doesn't do much to help you pass the bar. Maybe it's time to go back to the olden days, where you apprentice and just go take the bar.
2005-12-19 12:11:30
118.   King of the Hobos
If the MPL is any indication of how players hit in the majors, then things are not looking good for Robles. He's hitting .208/.234/.315 in 77 AB for Navojoa
2005-12-19 12:13:59
119.   Blu2
5 I think he would have to go through waivers; then if no one claimed him, he could be offerred a minor league contract.

12 Now 10 days

2005-12-19 12:14:23
120.   Steve
114 -- Alex Cora could do that.
2005-12-19 12:16:15
121.   rageon
120 Perhaps, but I'm no where near as scrappy as Alex Cora.
2005-12-19 12:22:06
122.   rageon
Side A - "Didn't Hee Seop pass the bar in Korea?'

Side B - "That idiot couldn't pass the bar!! He's an idiot, that Stupidesta traded for him proves it."

Side A - "I'm just stating a fact."

Side B - "I'll give you a fact, Choi is done in LA."

(and so on)

2005-12-19 12:22:14
123.   King of the Hobos
Back to the discussion of the Dodgers pickingup older guys...At leat we just gave them money, whereas San Diego gave up a good 2B and an innings eater for Mirabelli and Castilla
2005-12-19 12:42:11
124.   slackfarmer
123 Fair enough -- and the money is Frank's so I'm not going to miss it. I just hope the rotation doesn't miss it.
2005-12-19 12:43:18
125.   Jon Weisman
Five scouts talk to Scott Miller of CBS Sportsline about where they would play Garciaparra in the field.

2005-12-19 12:44:35
126.   Steve
"You know what, he is just like Jason Giambi. He's built his body up the same way.

That is what we call an accusation.

2005-12-19 12:46:32
127.   Jon Weisman

There's some irrational exuberance over at Cub Reporter, as they're dreaming of Shawn Green in right field.

2005-12-19 12:47:45
128.   regfairfield
127 Wow, Cubs fans really do have lowered expectations.
2005-12-19 12:50:27
129.   rageon
Anyone else notice that for every position on the field, someone has argued that he can't play it because of his injury history. First - too much stretching; Third - too many quick reactions; Left - too much running....

I've tuned it out at this point. Even forgetting Choi and Saenz, I think he's needed in the OF on this team, and I think that it's an easy enough position that anyone who can play SS can figure it out.

2005-12-19 12:54:40
130.   Vishal
Scout 3: "He is an athlete, No. 1"

sounds like an endorsement, doesn't it? nomar keeps himself in such great shape; he is a true athlete. but then he spends the entire rest of the time talking about how nomar doesn't steal bases anymore and he's too fragile, so he's "not the guy for me anymore". well, fine, that makes sense... but then what does the first sentence mean?!?!

2005-12-19 12:55:29
131.   Sam DC
126 Well, if you're gonna make accusations like that, best to do it anonymously. Very professional.

What a dispiriting chat -- some seriously grumpy scouts over there.

2005-12-19 12:56:07
132.   trainwreck
So the writing is on the wall for Izturis if you ask me (I guess we could just sit him this year and have him play second next year) and I really have not seen that many people seem to care that Izturis could be out of a job. Of course if DePo had done this he would have been burned at the stake.
2005-12-19 12:56:08
133.   Bob Timmermann
Isn't Shawn Green's family from Chicago? Will Chicago papers be writing about him returning to his "roots" like Lo Duca is getting back to his New York "roots"?
2005-12-19 12:57:31
134.   KLV
From Dayn Perry on Foxsports:

Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers
Current position: Shortstop
Possible new position: Utility

Garciaparra's very much in a state of decline, but he can still be a useful player. At the plate, he still has good gap-power skills, and he can handle lefties. On defense, he no longer has the lateral range to man a key infield position on a regular basis.

The best use for Garciaparra is as an uber-utility player who's in the lineup four or five days a week and is the pinch hitter of first resort on days when he's on the bench — Tony Phillips v2.0, if you will. Fortunately, for all sides, that's the role the Dodgers appear to have in mind for him.

2005-12-19 12:58:13
135.   blue22
I don't remember Nomar ever looking like he weighed 200 pounds. He's always had strong wrists and forearms, but his waistline and shoulders have been relatively slim. Unless that nose of his put on 15 pounds, I'd say that 200 estimate is probably a bit exaggerated.
2005-12-19 13:01:42
136.   regfairfield
134 Interesting. As of this moment, Nomar is clearly the best option for the Dodgers in left, assuming that he can play the position. Once Werth comes back, it get's interesting. But is anyone else uncomfortable with a guy getting 6-8 million dollars only playing seventy percent of the time?
2005-12-19 13:02:24
137.   DodgerJoe
Although I love the Nomar signing, I have a big problem with him playing first base.

He should be in left and we should utilize the Choi/Saenz platoon at first.

And Izturis should be the 2nd baseman when he comes back. Perhaps his injury might prevent him from coming bas at all next year?

2005-12-19 13:03:39
138.   regfairfield
How on Earth did I make gets a contraction?
2005-12-19 13:06:54
139.   alex 7
If he's as productive in that 70% playing time as he was in Chicago last season, then $6-8 million seems on par for that many win shares.

As for 200 lbs, I'm guessing those scouts have the Sports Illustrated cover photo of Nomar embedded in their brains. He did look about 190 to 200 in that pic. Pounds that is.

And that Giambi comparison, funny stuff.

2005-12-19 13:10:05
140.   regfairfield
139 True, but I thought the purpose of signing Nomar was stealing a potentially elite player for a low cost, with the acknowldeged risk that his groin would explode. Now you are getting the player you paid for, with the lessened risk his groin will explode.
2005-12-19 13:10:49
141.   trainwreck
Nomar is 6ft so not like he can't be 200 lbs and still be decently lean, he can be all lean muscle mass since he is supposed to be a really athletic guy.
2005-12-19 13:12:32
142.   blue22
can you be 6 ft, 200 lbs and still qualify as "lean"?
2005-12-19 13:19:14
143.   Marty
127 The argument over what Christian holiday would be comparable to a Jew taking Yom Kippur off was pretty amusing.
2005-12-19 13:22:31
144.   Kayaker7
142 Lean = low bodyfat.
2005-12-19 13:23:54
145.   Shmueli4
Bob, I thought Green was from So. Cal and that all our papers were writing about a home-coming when we got him...If you thinking is that his family is nonetheless from Chicago, then ignore the previous sentence
2005-12-19 13:25:16
146.   regfairfield
If you imply Nomar is on the roids, what about Izturis? 5-9, 180? That's massive.

I'm not saying the Izturis is roided, just being amazed at how huge Izturis is.

2005-12-19 13:25:19
147.   Bob Timmermann
I was thinking of Green's father. I don't think Chicago gets all worked up over hometowns as other places.
2005-12-19 13:26:45
148.   King of the Hobos
Nomar will get more than we thought if healthy. His base is $6 mil, but he earns an additional $500K for 400 PAs and for every 25 after that to 575, for a grand total of $10 mil possible.
2005-12-19 13:31:57
149.   Shmueli4
To be more exact, Green was born in Des Plaines, Ill.

His family moved (after a brief move to NJ) to San Jose and then to Tustin, CA where he lived from the age of 12...if you can believe this site

2005-12-19 13:36:09
150.   Bob Timmermann

If Green ends up with the Cubs, except tales of him telling how much he loved going to Wrigley Field and that Jerome Walton was his hero.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-12-19 13:38:16
151.   Kayaker7
146 I'm not in anyway supporting the notion that Nomar was on 'roids, but I don't think the absolute numbers are what matters, but the rapid rate at which he supposedly transformed his body. When I saw a pic of Nomar on the cover of SI a few years ago, I thought that he had one of those rare, lean muscular builds. Kind of like Brady Anderson.

I don't think we'll know the extent of steroid usage in MLB until years into the future. You'll never know about some individual players, but I think you can make some educated guesses about the league as an aggregate, by crunching some numbers. Anyway, I, nevertheless, thought it was pretty low of that scout to throw that kind of stuff out there anonymously.

2005-12-19 13:40:32
152.   alex 7
Yeah, I remember hearing stories of Shawn Green when I played Babe Ruth baseball in the inland empire. So he lived in the area through his teenage years.
2005-12-19 13:42:08
153.   Sushirabbit
Hey, maybe Nomar will be the second coming of Melvin Mora.
2005-12-19 13:45:24
154.   Ben P
After reading the Sportsline piece and other Nomar coverage, I'm starting to wonder what qualifies a player as "injury-prone." Garciaparra has had injuries the last two seasons but played 156 games apiece in the two seasons before that. In nine major league seasons (not counting his call-up year), Nomar has played 150+ games three times and 135+ six times. Does that mean there is some risk he will injure himself? Sure. But two straight rough seasons does not make him some colossal gamble. He's 32 years old, not 39, and he will be playing the least physically taxing position on the field.
2005-12-19 13:45:45
155.   DodgerJoe
146 - I'm 5'9" 175, does that make me on roids? I just like going to the gym.

I know that the use of steroids is widespread, but just because someone had gained muscle doesn't mean we can accuse.

2005-12-19 13:47:56
156.   regfairfield
155 As I clearly stated, I wasn't accussing Izturis of it, I was just more amazed at how huge a guy that looks so small is.
2005-12-19 13:49:53
157.   alex 7
(glaring at Ben P). Left field is not the least taxing position on the field.


2005-12-19 13:55:53
158.   King of the Hobos
The Rangers gave up Ricardo Rodriguez for Vicente Padilla
2005-12-19 13:57:50
159.   trainwreck
We can only listen to the press conference live, we can not watch I am a visual learner.
2005-12-19 14:04:20
160.   Jon Weisman
I just tuned into the Nomar press conference at 2:01. If they discussed positioning in the first minute, I missed it.

But I have learned that Nomar ate french dips at Phillipe's as a kid.

2005-12-19 14:06:58
161.   Jon Weisman
The press conference is apparently over at 2:05. Is it possible that no one confirmed for the record what position he would be playing?
2005-12-19 14:07:23
162.   ElysianPark62
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Philippe's! It's instant nostalgia whenever someone mentions that place. I was just there last weekend and am already craving it again.
2005-12-19 14:07:32
163.   King of the Hobos
Other than the last question about playing 1B or LF, he never talked about position. Unless I missed it, he never said anything about where he will play the majority of his time
2005-12-19 14:07:44
164.   bhsportsguy
Nomar greets the press, recalls his memories and his respect for the organization.

Jim Hill:
Something to prove question, doesn't feel he has something to prove, wants to contribute to the team and what they are doing.

Unidentified female question, what put the Dodgers over the top, recalls his first game with his parents, going to Phillipe's for french dip sandwiches, thinking about family atmostphere and class of the organization.

Grew up a local team fan, went to the 1988 World Series at the stadium.

Playing first or left field, looks forward to it, will play where the lineup dictates.

No other questions for Nomar. Puts the cap on for photo ops.

2005-12-19 14:12:16
165.   Sam DC
And Marty has a new favorite Dodger!
2005-12-19 14:12:51
166.   trainwreck
That was the most useless and shortest press conference ever, clearly Nomar is not to happy addressing the media.
2005-12-19 14:13:41
167.   atg12
Looks like his position is still up in the air. Possibly dependent on whether they sign Sanders? (At least that was the implication from this morning's Times.)
2005-12-19 14:13:48
168.   King of the Hobos
Looks like the Choi question will remain unanswered until tomorrow
2005-12-19 14:15:14
169.   bhsportsguy
The other thing, I thought we would hear from Ned about Lofton, a Jeff Weaver update, anything.
2005-12-19 14:15:16
170.   bhsportsguy
The other thing, I thought we would hear from Ned about Lofton, a Jeff Weaver update, anything.
2005-12-19 14:19:01
171.   King of the Hobos
Does anyone know what time the deadline is to accept arbitration? Midnight on the east coast?
2005-12-19 14:20:31
172.   MartinBillingsley31
It seems like from the l.a. times article and another article i read that nomar plays 1b only if the outfield is upgraded.
Now what if we just get sanders and not lofton, then what?
nomar,sanders drew outfield choi/seanz 1b.

But if ned gets both sanders and lofton, choi is out of a job.

I'm hoping sanders only.

2005-12-19 14:20:41
173.   Jon Weisman
I'm listening to Darryl Hamilton and Seth Everett on, which carried the press conference. Man, is that a cyncial pair.
2005-12-19 14:21:13
174.   Marty
165 LOL. He does gain points with me by knowing a good French Dip when he sees one. If he likes the lamb, I'll even let him play first base!
2005-12-19 14:21:16
175.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 161

Why is it so surprising that the position issue is still in the air? I haven't yet seen official confirmation of the status of Lofton and Sanders, and Nomah may mean what he says--that he'll play where he's needed. That may be dependent on various other factors, and it's reasonable to think that Ned's still undecided.

I didn't expect the press conference to be this short, but I always thought we shouldn't get our hopes up about how "clear" it would make the position situation. The real test will be if Choi gets tendered a contract, and even if he does get a contract (as I think he will), things will still be muddy.


2005-12-19 14:24:51
176.   Jon Weisman
I just can't see signing both Sanders and Lofton. And with only one of those guys (Lofton being more likely), I can't see non-tendering Choi. Trading him, maybe. The Dodgers aren't so deep that Choi is worthless.
2005-12-19 14:24:54
177.   trainwreck
Exactly what I was thinking. I had to stop listening. Hamilton clearly is not a fan of the Dodgers.
2005-12-19 14:26:21
178.   Marty
But the burning question is, does Choi like french dip sandwiches?
2005-12-19 14:26:59
179.   Jon Weisman
175 - I'm not surprised that it's still in the air - the fact is it should still be in the air. But it has widely been reported as not being up in the air, and so it's surprising to me that it wasn't discussed more. It was surprising to me that Colletti did not speak.
2005-12-19 14:27:32
180.   molokai
Looks like your right about his position being up in the air. I would have thought that he'd want a specific position but he seems open to anything. If that is the case I hope he plays some 3b against LHP and Mueller sits since he's a cipher against LHP.
Hope we only sign one of Lofton or Sanders and I'm rooting for Lofton because I think we need a CF.
2005-12-19 14:27:38
181.   Xeifrank
Maybe they are waiting to see who else signs before naming his position. Kind of like musical chairs, only the music hasn't stopped yet. But knowing how slow and clumbsy Choi is, I bet he isn't able to find himself a place to sit. vr, Xei
2005-12-19 14:28:23
182.   Jon Weisman
Catchermania: The Devil Rays have acquired both Mike Rose and Josh Paul this offseason.
2005-12-19 14:37:11
183.   Brian Y
182. And which one of those would you really call a Catcher? Well nevermind my 3 year old son could suit up in the gear and I guess we could call him a catcher too so we'll just stick with them being so-called catchers too.
2005-12-19 14:42:02
184.   blue22
Depth is an odd thing. LA has 4 players (Lofton/Nomar/Choi/Saenz) for 2 positons (1B/LF). It's like they're waiting for someone to get hurt, so the decision is made for them.
2005-12-19 14:43:33
185.   King of the Hobos
184 We don't really have Lofton, it's just been reported by one paper that he's agreed in principle
2005-12-19 14:46:04
186.   blue22
185 - If it's good enough for Rob...

2005-12-19 14:48:11
187.   Nagman
Did I miss the DT outrage over the incentive part of Nomar's deal? $500k per 25 appearances (from 400-575). The base amount seemed fair.

I guess it's similar to the JD Drew deal. We can only hope that the situations in question come into play (JD's opt out).

2005-12-19 14:51:40
188.   Bob Timmermann

All Tampa Bay catchers are allowed just 8 letters for their first and last names: Toby Hall, Josh Paul, Mike Rose.

2005-12-19 14:52:48
189.   Sam DC
They couldn't get Paul Bako?
2005-12-19 14:53:07
190.   King of the Hobos
Jacque Jones declined arbitration, too bad. I preferred that he signed soon, so that Ned couldn't go after him if he failed to get Sanders
2005-12-19 14:53:20
191.   D4P
My sources tell me they've been in touch with the agent of Dave Ross.
2005-12-19 14:55:09
192.   King of the Hobos
188 That's good for the DRays' best catching prospect, John Jaso
2005-12-19 14:56:15
193.   Johnson
That would seem to make the maximum value of the contract (assuming a $6 million base) to be $10 million rather than $8 million as has been reported. Were different numbers on the contract given at the press conference?
2005-12-19 14:58:27
194.   trainwreck
Nothing was given at the press conference other than Nomar went to his first baseball game at Dodger Stadium and he likes French Dips.
2005-12-19 14:59:15
195.   King of the Hobos
193 I'm not sure where they were reported, but Rotoworld has the numbers, although it's not sourced
2005-12-19 15:05:41
196.   Shmueli4
For an influx of "true Dodgers" it looks like Kaz Ishii is avaliable
2005-12-19 15:05:59
197.   jasonungar05
I am suprised that Nomar failed to mention that he loves corn fed pork and that the first ball he played with lit up with an orange glow.
2005-12-19 15:06:52
198.   Nagman
ESPN has the same numbers.

As a point of reference, ARod earns at a clip of about $900k per 25 PA's (assuming 700 PA's, $25M, I'm guessing on both).

Before doing the math I never would've guessed it was that high.

2005-12-19 15:08:23
199.   blue22
If Nomar is able to get to 575 PA's (maxing out the deal at $10M), LA would most likely be getting their money's worth. He OPS'd over .900 once healthy last year, and has been near or higher than .850 every year in the bigs.

Kent's OPS was .889 last year. Milton's was .835.

2005-12-19 15:10:22
200.   Bob Timmermann
So the Dodgers are the easternmost in quality and the westernmost in flavor?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-12-19 15:15:17
201.   Sam DC
Hey Bob, did you hear about Roy Oswalt and that D6?
2005-12-19 15:18:24
202.   Sam DC
Yes, I know, funny ha ha. What I meant to say was, that is one great story you dug up and linked at your new place.
2005-12-19 15:20:04
203.   Jon Weisman
201 - I totally scooped Bob on the Steve Colyer breaking news.
2005-12-19 15:34:40
204.   Bob Timmermann
Baseball Toaster: We have the Steve Colyer situation covered!
2005-12-19 15:44:45
205.   CanuckDodger
What are French dip sandwiches? Some sort of LA thing?
2005-12-19 15:47:58
206.   Marty
205 Two L.A. eateries claim to have invented the french dip, Phillipe and Cole's. It's made of a french roll, dipped in beef au jus, then piled with your choice of meat/cheese. Phillipe also has a terrific, intensely hot mustard to put on it as well.
2005-12-19 15:49:11
207.   Jon Weisman
206 - But they're now available at all Denny's and such worldwide, are they not?
2005-12-19 15:51:38
208.   Marty
207, Yeah, you can get them anywhere now. In fact, Langer's makes a pastrami dip that will blow you away. But I wanted to let Canuck know, that it DID start in L.A.
2005-12-19 15:52:57
209.   bhsportsguy
Nomar on the Big Show:

Again, repeats how he felt driving to Dodger Stadium, wearing the uniform, meeting the Dodger brass(LOL).

Another something to prove question, says LA is where he wanted to play and he wants to win and play.

Now we get a how was he named Nomar question, it is Ramon spelled backwards (his father).

Says his down years were due to injuries (no steroids revelation or emotional distress babbling for Nomar).

Who is going to be the leader of the team, his view of leadership on a team. Says it is a matter of respect and having one goal, winning. Says you lead by example, rah rah guys are just that way.

Now we have gone on to a Mia Hamm question, who gets more attention. Great sports journalism, no question of about his postion yet.

Comparison to A-Rod, Jeter, Nomar, how close was he to signing with the Yankees, says it was close.

Ends with a hint that he is going to need a first basemen's mitt.

An aside, the quality of interviewing or asking pertinent questions in this town in laughable.

2005-12-19 15:55:52
210.   bhsportsguy
205-208 BTW I agree with the post that if Nomar orders the lamb dip, my respect goes up for him a lot.

Phillipes for years sold coffee for about 5 cents but raised it to a dime (sorry no refills). Good breaksfast for value, I thought there was a really good deal when you could park at Union Station and take the shuttle to the game, go pick up some sandwiches and bring your food with you.

2005-12-19 15:57:24
211.   Marty
The coffee is actually 9 cents
2005-12-19 15:57:48
212.   Jon Weisman
209 - Whose hint? Nomar hinting? Or Mason/Ireland.
2005-12-19 15:59:04
213.   Robert Fiore
Well, I guess we know now why the Giants never have any first round draft picks . . .
2005-12-19 15:59:09
214.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 212

I still can't believe that those knuckleheads on the radio didn't just ask him the position question straight-out. Geez.....


2005-12-19 16:01:08
215.   D4P
From Ken Gurnick's mailbag:

What are the Dodgers planning to do with Hee-Seop Choi and Jason Phillips?
-- Johnny R., El Centro, Calif.

We'll know for sure by Tuesday, the date to tender contracts to unsigned players under the team's control, but the signing of Nomar Garciaparra to play first base essentially makes both expendable. Both are eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, which puts them in line for significant pay raises, but neither appears to figure in the club's plans for 2006. Phillips most likely will not be offered a contract. Choi's power probably makes him more valuable, possibly tradable, and he will be a tougher decision.

2005-12-19 16:01:13
216.   bhsportsguy
Ireland hinted but Nomar followed up by saying he may want to catch balls with his shortstop glove then Nomar was told that Karros lives in Manhattan Beach too, Nomar said he might have to give him a call about a first basemen's glove.

Nothing definitive but I think Nomar thinks he will be at first.

2005-12-19 16:01:33
217.   GoBears
FWIW, ESPNews/Olney list Choi and Phillips as two players who WILL be non-tendered. Not "might," but "will." Olney also said that the reason Nomar signed with the Dodgers was that they and the Yankees were the only teams that guaranteed him an IF position, and that in that race, hometown won out. Unless Olney just makes stuff up as he goes along (possible) that'd be a bad sign. Why in the world would Colletti guarantee such a thing?

Unless there's something about Choi that we don't know, this would be idiotic. You can argue about whether Choi should start, or platoon, or just be a pure backup. But it'd be tough to make the case that, at his salary, he's not valuable enough to at least sign and trade.

I've been saying all along, "so far so good" for Colletti. A choice of Nomar at 1b over the Choi/Saenz platoon, and for 2-3 times the salary, however, would be a clear mistake, and a totally avoidable one. If Choi and Nomar both stay, and Nomar becomes a better hitting version of Scott Spiezio or a latter day Pete Rose ("where do I play today, coach?") that'd be fine. Then it'd be Nomar over Repko, which is a no-brainer.

Part of the question there, of course, is what Little thinks. Colletti might think of Nomar as primarily a LFer, but if Little keeps pencilling him in at 1b, it's Jason Phillips all over again (albeit at a higher level).

I see a little value in Sanders if he can buck that up-down-up-down pattern he's had his whole career (last year was an "up" year). But I see zero point in Kenny Lofton.
He's a great defensive CFer like Nomar is a great defensive SS. In the way-back machine.

Which just goes to show you - it's really hard to lose a good defensive reputation. Finley, Ripken, Robbie Alomar, Snow. The list goes on.

2005-12-19 16:05:08
218.   Scanman33
Should anything be read into the fact that Nomaaaaaah's press conference jersey had no number?
2005-12-19 16:12:00
219.   blue22
To see Choi's expression when Nomar holds up his customary #5?


2005-12-19 16:12:02
220.   D4P
As much as possible.
2005-12-19 16:12:33
221.   Jon Weisman
218 - What?? First the names - now McCourt is dropping numbers from the jerseys????

Just kidding. No, there shouldn't be anything read into that.

2005-12-19 16:12:44
222.   27indigo
"An aside, the quality of interviewing or asking pertinent questions in this town in laughable."

As a former junior member of the L.A. sports media, I have to agree. Every presser/postgame I went to, 95% of the questions asked were total softballs. Not that you need to grill athletes each and every time out, but you might want to ask a tough question every now and then.

The worst culprits are the lead sports anchors, assuming they actually get out from behind the desk at any point.

2005-12-19 16:13:03
223.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers don't know what number he is going to wear?
2005-12-19 16:18:47
224.   OaklandAs
218 Since Nomar has always worn #5, I'm afraid it looks like Choi will be non-tendered.
2005-12-19 16:21:51
225.   Steve
224 -- Absolutely. If they weren't going to n-t him, they would have given NG a new number.

The first disaster of the Colletti Administration. It had to come sooner or later.

2005-12-19 16:23:20
226.   OaklandAs
225 I guess there is still the possibility that Choi will remain, and will just be asked to change his number.
2005-12-19 16:24:57
227.   blue22
217 - Lofton looks like he's still well above average in most defensive stats. He may be more suited to LF considering the wet rag he has in place of an arm, but he sure looks like he can still go run 'em down.

And I'm not sure what you meant about "Jason Phillips all over again" but I think I can safely say that only starting Sandy Alomar at 1B would constitute a rehash of that argument. All other possible players in this whole go-round are much better than players than Jason Phillips. Lofton is not that much of a fall-off from Choi (if any).

2005-12-19 16:25:53
228.   bearlurker
217--I like this signing by Ned even if, as is apparent now, Garciaparra is slated to play 1b. I think that he is an upgrade over Choi. Folks keep saying Choi/Saenz platoon is preferable. But this overlooks that Saenz probably will see a lot of time against LH even if Garciaparra plays 1b. Garciaparra actually hits RH better than LH. From 02 to 04, his OPS was 44 points higher; last year his OPS was about 130 points higher against RH.

Also, Garciaparra has a career .911 OPS, which exceeds what Choi has done. I am not a Choi hater and think Tracy used him foolishly last year, but so far he is just an average 1b.

2005-12-19 16:29:04
229.   molokai
Kenny Lofton earned 15 win shares last year compared to Reggie Sanders 11. Stats courtesy of the Bill James Handbook. He may not be the CF of his youth but he has plenty of value against RHP. Lofton/Werth could make a solid CF platoon. Lofton's rc/g was 6.99, his career is 6.24 and the league average for a CF is 5.11. In his worse year he's been above the league average. Stats courtesy of the hardball times.
2005-12-19 16:35:14
230.   Winthrop
While we're all busy telling Nomah to learn the outfield, is theer any hope in presevring Choi by putting him out there?

Makes some sense to teach a young healthy player an entirely new position in order to preserve his bat in the line up.

2005-12-19 16:36:41
231.   blue22
Both the Red Sox and Yankees are both in need of a lefty-hitting 1B. Both have the RH-half of a platoon going (Youkilis - may also be needed at 3B - and Andy Phillips).

The Red Sox (who admittedly have Roberto Petagine, but c'mon) may admire Choi's stat lines. The Yanks have that short porch in right, and lefties have typically flourished in NY.

Can't either one of those teams pony up something to get Choi? Seems like a waste to non-tender him.

2005-12-19 16:38:30
232.   Winthrop Rumor Central reports Dodgers out of running for Sanders. Joy in Mudville!!!
2005-12-19 16:41:21
233.   Andrew Shimmin
Going to the big scoreboard CF (assuming Lofton) is now a good deal worse than it was last year. RF is the same but older and coming off an injury. LF is marginally improved if we believe that Cruz is actually any good, or, at least, that he can hold off turning back in to a pumpkin till next year. 3B is marginally improved. SS is improved, unless Furcal's contract year was a Beltre-esque outlier. 2B is the same but older. 1B could be better or not. C is about the same, but the back-up is worse. The rotation is worse. The bullpen is better.

This team will probably wind up with a better record, but most of that will be due to not losing everybody to injury for months on end. It's to be hoped, anyway.

2005-12-19 16:41:22
234.   blue22
232 - But you missed this golden nugget:

Kevin Appier threw for the Dodgers on Monday in Arizona as part of his attempt to make a comeback at age 38, Insider Jerry Crasnick reports.

4th slot solved!

2005-12-19 16:41:31
235.   Winthrop
On the other hand, ESPN reports Kevin Appier threw for the Dodgers this week-end. Maybe Mo Vaughn is available too.
2005-12-19 16:41:59
236.   Winthrop
You just beat me top the punch Blue!!
2005-12-19 16:42:34
237.   blue22
Scooped! :-P
2005-12-19 16:43:48
238.   Jon Weisman
230 - Nuh-uh.
2005-12-19 16:46:00
239.   Kayaker7
238 Adam Dunn plays OF, but is he that much faster than Choi? Just a question. :)
2005-12-19 16:47:13
240.   Winthrop
238 - Is that a nuh-uh "no" or nu-huh "yes". Just clarifying.

BTW, great site, Jon. Your essays are outstanding and you seem do a really good job of encouraging pretty intelligent discussion. MMM-HMMM.

2005-12-19 16:48:09
241.   bearlurker
233--I think that CF is vastly improved. A Lofton/Cruz platoon will perform extremely well. In LF a Cruz/Werth platoon is improved. At 3b, we had horrendous production from that position and now will get above-average production from Mueller. Ditto at SS. C is also improved, as Navarro is better than Phillips. 1b ought to be improved also, with Garciaparra/Saenz outperforming what we had there last year.

I don't see the reason for gloom.

2005-12-19 16:51:00
242.   blue22
Just in case anyone wants the gory details, Kevin Appier's last season was 2003:

23 starts, 112 IPs, 55 K's, 43 BB's, 21 HRs (!), 5.40 ERA. Opponents OPS'd .823 against him. G:F ratio was a poor 0.65.

2005-12-19 16:52:28
243.   Xeifrank
Posted this on the wrong board (Coyler) earlier...

CMII'MW, but Choi or the switch hitting Mueller seem to be the only left handed hitting options at firstbase. I think the addition of Lofton (given a one year contract) would be a good signing and would make up most of Bradley's OPS in the OF. I just hope Nomah can hack it in LF... well, maybe hack isn't the best choice of words in this case. An OF of Nomah/Lofton/Drew and Saenz/Choi at 1B would be the strongest starting lineup imho. Now it may come down to who Colleti thinks is better... a platoon of Choi/Saenz & Nomah roaming LF or Cruz starting in the OF. This of course is ass-u-ming Lofton signing and Sanders not.
vr, Xei

ps - anybody know how many innings pitched were logged by left handed pitchers and right handed pitchers in all of MLB in 2005? I'm interested in knowing the split. Bob probably has it memorized.

2005-12-19 16:52:55
244.   bhsportsguy
No on Appier, we don't need to go down another Scott Erickson path, also I have not seen Appier's wife but I am guessing that she is not in this month's Playboy.

Billingsley comps compare to Matt Cain, who Ned is very familar with, I see Chad pitching half a season in AAA and coming up after July 1.

Again I repeat, any word on Odalis's progress this winter, will he be ready in February?

2005-12-19 16:53:21
245.   trainwreck
We are the new organization for washed up pitchers to try to re-start their careers. I do not see Appier getting as far as Erickson and Lima did.
2005-12-19 16:55:49
246.   blue22
I see Chad pitching half a season in AAA and coming up after July 1.

Do we know if Billingsley is pitching in Vegas this year, or would he start the year in AA if he doesn't make the big club?

I'd keep Vegas stocked with the Appier, Mahomes, and Erickson-types, and not subject the gems to that environment.

2005-12-19 16:55:57
247.   bhsportsguy
Okay the Playboy comment was a throwaway line but I do think that the Dodgers do not waste 6 - 8 starts to someone who was paid off by the other local team not to pitch for them.

Let's at least wait and see what everyone does tomorrow at the Arbitration/Non tender deadline before go into any Appier or similar pitcher threads.

2005-12-19 16:58:41
248.   Jon Weisman
240 - It was a no. Was that "MMM-HMMM" a Sling Blade "MMM-HMMM?"
2005-12-19 16:59:18
249.   Xeifrank
I just ran a 2000 game simulation adding Lofton into our outfield, which dropped Ledee from the lineup, and putting Nomah at 1B which dropped Choi from the lineup. I played 2000 games with Coletti's team vs a healthy DePodesta team. It was a statistical tie, with Depo's team winning 1006 games and Flanders team winning 994. Which leads me to think that all Flanders has done is rearrange the furniture. Hasn't your wife ever told you the couch would look better on the other side of the room and the TV should go over here and face this way and that you should drapes instead of blinds, when the blinds were much more effective at blocking the light. Well, it looks like Choi was that old end table that everyone kept stubbing their toe on that got replaced with the $599 Pier One end table, and Milton Bradley the house cat that kept peeing on the carpet. Izturis? He's the slick fielding remote control with half the buttons missing. vr, Xei
2005-12-19 16:59:33
250.   Winthrop
248 - Uh-huh.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2005-12-19 17:00:10
251.   Mark
Does Kevin Appier have a good-looking wife?
2005-12-19 17:00:35
252.   trainwreck
You shouldn't done that, he's just a boy. Poor little feller.
2005-12-19 17:04:56
253.   Fallout
249. Xeifrank

If your computer didn't break or throw a tantrum and crash half way through and spit out Bradley, it wasn't very realistic.

2005-12-19 17:05:26
254.   bhsportsguy
246-Two of the biggest pitching prospects pitched last year in PCL AAA

Felix Hernandez 9-4 2.25 88IP 62H 48BB 100K
Matt Cain 10-5 4.39 145.2IP 118H 73BB 176K

Not comparing Chad with King Felix but if he is a top prospect, he should pitch up at AAA because he will face better hitters both prospects and fringe major leaguers and more importantly he will be only an hour away from the big club. Also he will be pitching to Russell Martin.

2005-12-19 17:06:39
255.   Mark
249 Alternatively, your algorithm is only as good as a coinflip unless the teams are extremely skewed?
2005-12-19 17:07:40
256.   Jon Weisman

Jason: Don't you find it kind of strange how the whole Orel Hershiser saga played out in the offseason? The whole Dodger soap opera and Orel being in limbo was weird enough but now he's Jeff Cogen's assistant. It just seems odd that he went from being a potential GM or manager to now working in the business operations. I was just curious if there was more to the story and how Orel went from a perceived rising star in the organization and throughout baseball to now being out of the baseball side of things?

Evan Grant (beat writer): Most everything I've heard on the Hershiser situation has been heresay and it wouldn't be fair to anyone to report that. Rangers officials also thought Hershiser might have been a bit too ambitious in his pursuit of the Dodgers job. When L.A. decided to hire Ned Colletti as GM, it seemed to cut Hershiser completely out of the Dodgers' plans. To me, the interesting fact is Colletti asked for permission to speak to one of his former pitchers (Bud Black) about the managerial job. He did not interview Hershiser, who, at that point, was not under contract to the Rangers. I believe Hershiser wants a manager or GM's job, but he hasn't yet displayed the credentials to earn one.

2005-12-19 17:23:57
257.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 256

Whatever happens with Choi, at least McCourt has had enough good sense (shocking!) to give Ned full authority as GM and do away with all this Tommy nonsense from before. I do feel bad for Orel, though.

Assuming Olney really isn't full of it, I do think Nomah at 1B would be a mistake, but I don't think it would be an irretrievable one. And it's not like DePo didn't have his own set of avoidable errors. I can live with an OF of Drew/Lofton/Cruz with Nomah/Saenz at 1B.

What I want to see is how the pitching situation works out. Of the available candidates, Tomko seems the best to me, unless Weaver's willing to accept arb.


2005-12-19 17:34:47
258.   King of the Hobos
254 Tacoma, where King Felix pitched half his games, is the best pitcher's park in the league, and actually had a lower park factor than Dodger Stadium. Fresno served as a slight pitcher's park last year, whereas Las Vegas is an extreme pitcher's park. Only a few parks were worse, Colorado, Albuquerque, Tucson, Kane County, and a few others. At best, our top prospects will pitch around Cain's mediocre level, and several are subject to falling apart like Edwin Jackson and Joel Hanrahan
2005-12-19 17:37:31
259.   D4P
Jon -

Can I assume that you're planning to title your "Choi is officially gone" thread something along the lines of "No Choi in Mudville"?

2005-12-19 17:46:15
260.   Fallout
...Nomar signed with the Dodgers was that they and the Yankees were the only teams that guaranteed him an IF position

That is kinda what I figured. Nomar was in demand and could pick and choose his best option. I don't think that playing the OF was his first choice. He probably got the guaranty to play the infield so he picked the Dodgers.

2005-12-19 17:48:44
261.   LetsGoDodgers
FWIW, I hope to see Choi in an Angels uniform next season, splitting 1B/DH duties with Kotchman and Erstad playing for another team. I hear the Yankees need a veteran center fielder...
2005-12-19 17:49:34
262.   oldbear
I keep getting back to this point:

Choi/Saenz are better than Kenny Lofton.
Choi/Saenz are beter than Jose Cruz.

Could it be any more apparent that the right thing to do is put Nomar in LF?

2005-12-19 17:53:50
263.   oldbear
Also if Weaver accepts arbitration, that would put the payroll well over 100mils, would it not?

This team looks like an early 2000 type of team. Older vets that you can probably count on to win 85 games, but not really a championship level team. But paying over 100mils for it, instead of 80.

2005-12-19 17:56:37
264.   LetsGoDodgers
262 - right or wrong, it's not going to happen:

2005-12-19 17:57:37
265.   King of the Hobos
Bernie Willaims declined arbitration as was expected. Leiter, for the good fo the Yankees, declined as well. They re-signed Ramiro Mendoza for some reason, but it was a minor league contract

Can't Weaver just decline already? Three hours until the deadline

2005-12-19 18:00:21
266.   King of the Hobos
264 We finally get our quote:

"As of today, he's a first baseman," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.

Of course, that "as of today" could be contingent on the following:

Meanwhile, Colletti continues to pursue free agents, specifically outfielders and starting pitchers. The Dodgers appear close to an agreement with free-agent outfielder Kenny Lofton.

"A possibility," Colletti said. "Not today. Until he's done, he's a possibility."

2005-12-19 18:01:20
267.   Kayaker7
264 From the link: "As of today, he's a first baseman," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.

That's pretty disheartening.

2005-12-19 18:02:05
268.   GoBears
1 interesting Q&A in a recent BP chat by Jonah Keri:

singy111 (Miami, FL): With many middle infield prospects in the Dodgers' system, do you feel that Furcal may only spend 1 year in LA? With a Delgado-like deal (Furcal is only 4 million this year, with the balance owed in 07-08) do you feel this is just a year rental? Even though he would have a high amount owed for the last 2 years, for such a short commitment it may be worth it for a team that could afford it (especially with the high probability that the Dodgers would eat some of what was owed)

Jonah Keri: That would actually make a lot of sense not only from the salary perspective, but also in that Izturis won't play more than half the year in '06 and may struggle when he does come back, but should theoretically be fine in '07 and beyond. The key will be finding a team with the will to absorb the last two years of his contract after this year. Of course there's always Omar Minaya.

2005-12-19 18:02:38
269.   D4P
Yeah. I couldn't read anything past that.
2005-12-19 18:09:50
270.   LetsGoDodgers
As the rumor mill goes the Dodgers are on the verge of signing Kenny Lofton. This makes a starting outfield trio of Cruz, Lofton, and Drew. Ledee, Repko, and Werth come off the bench.

For Nomah to start in LF, thereby keeping the Choi/Saenz tandem in tact, 2 out of the 3 reserves I listed above need to be sent packing. This is just not likely to happen.

It sucks eggs, but it appears the Choi era is over in Dodgertown.

2005-12-19 18:10:24
271.   GoBears
Here's another, and then I'll stop.

InBillyWeTrust (Oakland, CA): Any thoughts on the Milton Bradley deal? Looks to me like Colletti got taken in his first deal.

Jonah Keri: Bradley and Antonio Perez for Andre Ethier...

Ethier's numbers last year look pretty nice. But he was 23 and hitting in the Texas League and didn't even slug .500. Meanwhile Bradley-Kotsay-Payton is the defensive outfield in baseball. I don't think Payton's offense will repeat itself in '06, but I see Bradley's production landing somewhere between his monster 2003 and his very solid 2005. Straight up I already love the trade for Oakland. Throw in Antonio Perez, who's just 26, cheap, decent bat and versatile, and I think the A's just added 5-7 wins to their team for a good-not-great outfield prospect.

2005-12-19 18:12:26
272.   King of the Hobos
Lowe, for one, is not unhappy

"The bottom line is, they're doing a tremendous job of getting guys," said Lowe, who said he attended Garciaparra's press conference as a show of support.

"We're getting baseball guys. These guys are winners and they wanted to come here, to play for Grady. It's made us better. Sure, it's hard to have that much turnover and you hope it stops. You don't want to have to keep opening the program, wondering, 'Who are these guys?' But, the difference from two months ago to now is truly tremendous to see. I'm in full support of what they've done."

Also, Colletti talked to Izzy today about keeping an open mind about his future role

2005-12-19 18:12:33
273.   GoBears
270 Correction: The Choi Era never happened in Dodgertown. We saw the trailers, but the movie was never released.
2005-12-19 18:41:10
274.   fanerman
So now the only question is whether Choi will be offered a contract or not....

It makes sense to still offer him a contract. Garciaparra is always an injury risk and Saenz isn't a regular 1st baseman.

Of course it's in Choi's best interest to go to a team that will actually give him a chance, but if I were GM, I'd still tender him a contract. Of course if I were GM, I'd give him the starting job.

2005-12-19 18:46:16
275.   King of the Hobos
Well, it appears that we will give Lofton nearly $4 mil to supplant Choi

But the former Red Sox shortstop, signed to be the new Dodgers first baseman and No. 5 hitter for a $6 million contract plus incentives, isn't the newest acquisition.

That will be Kenny Lofton, whose signing to a one-year, $3.85 million contract to be the center fielder and No. 2 hitter is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

2005-12-19 18:49:43
276.   Robert Daeley
Take it for what it's worth, Gurnick on

"...The club is not expected to tender a contract to catcher Jason Phillips and could choose the same route with first baseman Hee-Seop Choi. Garciaparra's arrival makes Choi expendable, but because of his power and youth, the Dodgers are trying to sign him to a salary considerably below what he could earn through arbitration. If he does not agree, [they] would probably non-tender him and make him a free agent...."

2005-12-19 18:53:31
277.   Andrew Shimmin
Choi OPS+ed 132 (about as much above average for a 1B as he was below averag, this year) in 2004 over 340 PA with the fish. If he'd done that last year, he'd have been the 10th best starting 1B in MLB, just behind Paul Konerko. Choi OPS+ed 98.5 (OPS+ times PA 2004 plus OPS+ times PA 2005 divided by total PA; if that's a bad method for some reason I can't see, I'm open to hearing why) in L.A.

Paul DePodesta aquired a young, cheap, better than average 1B. Colletti is about to dump a fairly average, fairly young, cheap 1B who also happens to be a remarkably bad PH. Hell is too good for Jim Tracy.

2005-12-19 18:54:54
278.   King of the Hobos
Well, at least they're trying. If they non-tender Choi over a contract, then it will be more understandable.
2005-12-19 19:02:06
279.   Vishal
so, assuming he doesn't stay with the dodgers, where does everyone think choi's most likely destination would be? to the red sox as david ortiz v. 2.0?
2005-12-19 19:04:55
280.   jasonungar05
I can just see this playing like a movie. (Nomar and Mia)

"you made the decision for the right reason -- you made the decision with your heart,"

...yeah, well..."I could have played short for a couple teams."

2005-12-19 19:06:06
281.   oldbear
I hope Choi becomes a FA and signs with a new team.

The Dodgers are dumb.

Welcome back to the late 90's and early 2000's.

2005-12-19 19:08:15
282.   fanerman
I hope Choi goes to the Red Sox, too.
2005-12-19 19:08:46
283.   fanerman
282 should finish like (assuming he's not getting a chance here, assuming he'll get a chance there, yada yada yada)
2005-12-19 19:09:12
284.   King of the Hobos
I preferred the original version of 276 where Choi was in charge of non-tendering himself, rather than "[they]"
2005-12-19 19:14:04
285.   Vishal
i don't HOPE he goes to the red sox, i just think it's likely. though i think it'd probably be a good place for choi.

i hope he follows his buddy milton to oakland :)

2005-12-19 19:18:35
286.   Robert Daeley
284 Heh I almost left it in, but my internal editor wouldn't allow it. ;)
2005-12-19 19:19:09
287.   oldbear
I just had a lot more faith in a Choi/Saenz platoon, than Jose Cruz Jr as an everyday player.

Oh well.

Paying 100mils for mediocre vets is nothing new to the Dodgers.

2005-12-19 19:20:56
288.   Vishal
[259] "there is no choi in bum-ville -- mighty hee seop was kicked out"
2005-12-19 19:22:20
289.   Vishal
[287] cruz is still a starter, right? cruz, lofton, drew?
2005-12-19 19:24:50
290.   King of the Hobos
Is anyone else afraid that Choi's roster spot could be handed to Repko?
2005-12-19 19:25:33
291.   fanerman
290 - Fear is not the emotion I'm feeling right now.
2005-12-19 19:26:55
292.   molokai
Still hoping they non-tender Choi so he can sign with whoever is going to give him at bats.
TampaBay-could trade Huff for needed pitching and sign him to be the DH or 1st baseman if T Lee does not accept arbitration.
Boston/NYY - would they let him be the 1st baseman? I don't think so.
Texas - they could trade A Gonzales for Eaton and then sign Choi to be the DH.
Seattle - could sure use a low price slugging DH
Twins - could sure use a low price slugging DH
KC - need I say more

Choi has lots of options. If no one signs him to be the starting DH or 1st base then we know that he has been labeled as a AAAA a player much like Roberto Petagine before him and it will take some luck for him to get another fulltime chance and then he better do something with it.

2005-12-19 19:33:03
293.   Steve
Hell is too good for Jim Tracy.

What is Pittsburgh?

2005-12-19 19:33:22
294.   King of the Hobos
I may have missed it, but does Colletti own any other jackets? He always seems to be wearing that light brown one, unless he just owns many of them. Or it could just be his press conference jacket I suppose, as I haven't seen him much elsewhere
2005-12-19 19:36:34
295.   fanerman
292 - There has to be a moneyball GM that would give him a chance. I don't think he's doomed to that fate just yet.
2005-12-19 19:38:40
296.   Robert Daeley
294 Considering he's living out of a hotel room, it's quite possible he doesn't have a lot of clothing options on hand yet. :)
2005-12-19 19:40:22
297.   Fallout
At this point I don't really care about Choi...other than I hope he gets a chance to play somewhere. I'm ready to move on.

I think that it is interesting that the Dodgers have chosen Lofton over Sanders. They must be concerned about Drew's health and figured that another CF was more important than LF.

2005-12-19 19:52:43
298.   Andrew Shimmin
CF, SS, and 1B PC(olletti)/AC by 2005 OPS+

MB 121
Lofton 107

Izturis 68
Furcal 100


That's a net pick up of 5.5 OPS+. All for the low, low price of, what? Around $20 million?

*PA weighted composite

2005-12-19 19:54:02
299.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I think the BoSox would be a good fit for the Big Choi. I think Youkilis is their current 1B, and he doesn't seem to have enough power for that position.

I hope Choi's agent is smart and refuses to sign a lowball contract. Let him have his chance to play.

I think this is a mistake on Ned's part, but it's not the same as making dumb trades and gutting the farm, so I will still count the off-season as a relative success.


2005-12-19 19:54:24
300.   Andrew Shimmin
Darn. That should be BC, like Before Colletti.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2005-12-19 20:08:58
301.   King of the Hobos
Armas, Eddie Perez, and Brian Jordan have all rejected arbitration. Will Weaver be next?
2005-12-19 20:15:42
302.   ecblues
With all this banging on about Choi, you'd think he were one of the league's brightest young players. What seems clear to me is that there are a lot of regular DT posters who believed in DePodesta and want badly to see one of his key singings succeed, if only to show McCourt that if he'd had the patience to wait things out Depo would have built a juggernaut (and that the Marlins deal was not a complete bust).

Time will tell (obviously), but Colletti's done a decent job so far, without trading away any of the kids.

Who ever thought that Hee Seop Choi and Olmedo Sanz could get so many people excited?

2005-12-19 20:18:44
303.   King of the Hobos
302 Choi or not, the Marlins trade was hardly a bust. And Choi was considered one of the league's brightest young players, and has yet to prove that.
2005-12-19 20:28:24
304.   greenchris
303 - "Choi was considered one of the league's birghtest young players"

From the opportunities he was given, few they may be in the opinion of many on this board, I would say he did not live up to that claim. I hardly think he was/is one of the league's brightest young players based on his stats and first hand impression of him. Unlike many on this board, if he is non-tendered I do not hope he succeed's elsewhere...sorry, it's Dodgers or burst for me.

2005-12-19 20:34:32
305.   King of the Hobos
304 His minor league stats were very good, he hit .285/.388/.532. BA felt he was the best Cubs prospect, claiming a future slugger who was a good defender. It's not BA just guesses, and they don't really use stats

This post is just in reaction to the sentence "I hardly think he was/is one of the league's brightest young players" assuming you structure it the same way without the "is"

2005-12-19 20:36:07
306.   Mark
1. Mueller 3b
2. Lofton cf
3. Drew rf
4. Kent 2b
5. Garciaparra 1b
6. Furcal ss
7. Werth/Cruz/Ledee lf
8. Navarro c

That's a powerhouse. Holy crap, the team looks fierce if they stay healthy.

2005-12-19 20:36:55
307.   Andrew Shimmin
303- Zealot! Stop stifling his dissent.

302- May your brave words out-live the sun.

2005-12-19 20:40:50
308.   King of the Hobos
306 Is there a reason why you switched Furcal and Mueller? And am I missing some sarcasm?
2005-12-19 20:42:42
309.   Mark
308 Well, I think Mueller, Furcal, and Lofton could all fight for the 1-2 spots.
2005-12-19 20:46:00
310.   ecblues
307 - I fully expect to have people jumping all over me. I used to post in here fairly regularly (pre-Toaster days), then got so down on the team last year that I could barely stand to poke my head in here (or stay up late to watch a weekday game on the box).

McCourt probably pulled the trigger on Depo a little early, and he should have known what he was getting when he brought a Beanie in as GM. I started souring on Depo as soon as I read that Ayn Rand was his favorite author ;-).

I think it's only fair to give Colletti the opportunity to build his own team, and if he does not feel that Choi/Saenz is the answer at 1B, then so be it. The moves he has made so far seem smart to me (no real long-term deals, with the exception of Furcal).

I feel a lot more optimistic about next season than I did going into 2005.

2005-12-19 20:47:23
311.   hick
I have nothing against Choi and always hoped he would succeed, however, I can't figure out the infatuation so many posters have with him. I know OPS and other stats are considered so important now, but I still like some of the old ones like anything dealing with RISP. Last year Choi's line was: 79AB .203/.323/.329 .652 OPS 20K's
Compare that to the hated Jason Phillips:
107AB .299/.347/.523 .870 OPS 17K's
And then compare to Nomars 2002-2004:
321AB .283/.350/.470 .820 OPS 44K's
Those stats back up what my eyes have beheld, that Choi has problems hitting when it really counts. He takes pitches and looks for walks as others have stated. On the other hand, Nomar swings the bat and makes things happen. That's why pitchers fear him and they don't Choi.
2005-12-19 20:54:11
312.   Steve
Oh good lord.
2005-12-19 20:55:03
313.   Andrew Shimmin
Why are Nomar's RISP numbers, 311, are over three years, when the two other examples are one year? Could it be because his one year line looks like this: .250/.304/.704?
2005-12-19 20:55:39
314.   Xeifrank
311. Duck.
2005-12-19 20:55:59
315.   molokai
RISP is a useless stat as it varies from year to year and has been proven time and time again.

Gee, I can't imagine why they would be worried about the health of a guy who just had 3 surgeries and is recovering from a broken wrist which wasn't one of the surgeries and has a chronic knee problem. Other then his left shoulder, both wrists, and one knee he's in great shape.

Didn't Mueller get added or did you just not include him in a comparison against Valentin because then your numbers wouldn't have looked like you wanted them to?
We each have our own favorite stat to tell the story we want to tell. I've always liked RC/G and Choi blows in that one but Lofton soars when looked at from a positional perspective. Another favorite is WARP1 but BP doesn't have the database available for sorting so unless you like to manually enter data I only use it for specific comparisons like
Choi - 2.0/275
Nomar - .9/263

Milton 3.8/291
Lofton - 4.5/288

Izzy - 2.4/226
Furcal - 8.2/276

Valentin - .2/234
Mueller - 5.2/288

And of course all of this is meaningless because one season makes not a career. That could have been Furcal's career year and the last year that Lofton will be that good, or it could be the start of a HOF career for Furcal while Milton may have had his last productive season before leg problems bring him down. Or Milton could mature with the birth of his child and his knee could heal and he could become a solid CF for years to come. When I look at Nomar's career if he's healthy he's going to mash and he was unable to get enough at bats last year to moves his ops to his normal level to make up for his horrible start.

For me I'd rather be starting the season with Nomar/Kent/Furcal/Mueller then
and I'm glad to know that we have Lofton to play CF. If Nomar repeats 2005 next season and Choi breaks out then we could have problems but I think Nomar will come close to his 2002/2003 seasons minus the park effects and that is why he's starting over Choi. Lofton is as good a CF as Milton when facing RHP and his contract is about what you would have expected Milton to make in arbitration.

2005-12-19 20:56:09
316.   Vishal
[311] that sounds like a cogent point until you realize that in 2004 season choi had a line of .222/.380/.481 .861 OPS with 10 extra-base hits in 81 at-bats with RISP.

look, people can nitpick, slice and dice, and choose any sliver of data on choi that they want to advance their particular argument, but i think it's most fair to say that the jury should still be out on him. i think it'll take a full season of him being a full-time player to say for sure whether he's a good player, a bust, or something in between.

2005-12-19 20:58:21
317.   Fallout
309. Mark

This team has many lineup possiblities.
What if Nomar hits like he did a few yrs ago. He could be in the 3 spot.
Drew 4 and Kent 5.

2005-12-19 20:59:03
318.   Steve
that sounds like a cogent point

No, it doesn't.

2005-12-19 21:02:25
319.   Steve
Consider this a pre-emptive strike. I guess it has to be re-posted every four hours to ensure everyone sees it. Again, this was WWSH, not me.

Although I think Choi should start at 1B, a 110 OPS+ at a traditional power position for a league average fielder isn't actually all that much to get excited about. I know Choi looks okay in the NL (I think Jon had some figures on this), but just because we don't have as many traditional slugger corner IFs in the league today doesn't mean that 1B isn't still a traditional power position. I think it's fine in our circumstances, especially when you've got a potential HOFer at 2B and a stud at SS, but as a 1B at least, I think it's defensible to say that Choi's raw numbers have not been what one would normally expect out of that position.

I actually think those numbers should be adjusted for misuse by Tracy, and the hope that Choi will improve, but really, the way certain stats were bandied around here on this thread as objective truth to support one position seems a bit much at times. The raw stats only show that Choi has so far been an okay player--his career OPS+ is 107 and his fielding Rate2 is 99. His career EqA is 275, league average being set at 260. Assuming one didn't have a Kent and Furcal in the IF, and that Choi didn't improve (a debatable but possible proposition), Choi would be a below-average 1B. That's all the raw objective numbers say so far.

2005-12-19 21:02:58
320.   hick
Choi's career BA w/RISP is .203. That is Shawn Green-esqe. You WON'T drive in a lot of runs getting a hit 1 in 5 times coming to the plate w/RISP.
2005-12-19 21:03:51
321.   Vishal
well not everyone has as sophisticated a BS detector as you, steve. i bet it sounds like a reasonable argument to most people. especially when it favors their biases.
2005-12-19 21:05:06
322.   Steve
Who cares what anybody's career batting average is in anything?
2005-12-19 21:06:26
323.   Vishal
[320] it's .194 according to yahoo. but his OBP still .362

and again it's still a SMALL SAMPLE SIZE, and one with no year-to-year consistency.

but even then you can say he hasn't been making a ton of outs with RISP. he's not a liability.

2005-12-19 21:06:27
324.   Steve
I can't understand why people actually use Jason Phillips to make a point! Jason Phillips disproves the thesis! It's like being told that the moon is green, and the proof is that Neil Armstrong brought home blue moon rocks.
2005-12-19 21:08:03
325.   Steve
323 -- What's even funnier is that in 2003, his OPS with RISP was .852. How many stolen bases did Choi have with RISP?
2005-12-19 21:12:29
326.   Andrew Shimmin
315- I actually did address that point in the thread one place up, as I thought this one was dead. Since there was no way Valentin (or Edwards) were coming back, comparing Mueller to them doesn't make much sense. Comparing Aybar to him is no good because there's no way he's as good as his number. If the point is comparing the team to the one last year, you're dead on. But if the point is comparing the players from last year to the ones who, but for the grace of Colletti, would be here this year, I think I'm on the side of Truth and Justice.
2005-12-19 21:15:59
327.   Andrew Shimmin
Dead on right, I mean.
2005-12-19 21:20:19
328.   Xeifrank
Looks like Jim Tracy got bored in Pittsburgh already and created a DT ID. We might be in for a few scrappy and arm angle posts.
vr, Xei
2005-12-19 21:21:29
329.   Andrew Shimmin
Also, I only use OPS+ because I understand what it means (more or less; I don't know how to compute it) and it's park adjusted. I'm willing to plead ignorance on the point, but it isn't malicious.
2005-12-19 21:32:39
330.   Andrew Shimmin
319- The average OPS+ (see 329) difference between AL and NL over the last twenty years is 2.6, A.L on top. Even on that point he was right, if not by as much as I'd have guessed.
2005-12-19 21:38:53
331.   King of the Hobos
I'm not sure which of these are the most active (they all seem unactive), so...Weaver rejected

Travis Lee and Tony Graffanino accepted

2005-12-19 21:40:32
332.   Steve
Whose idea was it to give Travis Lee arbitration? GMs are so dumb.
2005-12-19 21:43:29
333.   King of the Hobos
Maybe Chuck Lamar was kept on as secret advisor to Friedman and Hunsicker. Hence the ridiculous expectations, like Broxton/Martin for Gathright and Verlander/Granderson for Baez
2005-12-19 21:43:56
334.   Xeifrank
Offensively Flanders team is slightly better than the one Depo could've put out in 2005 without making any roster changes or spending an additional buck. Flanders still hasn't addressed the starting pitching need, and has spent quite a bit of money. So far, the only things Flanders has done is spent alot of money to give the offensive a very slight boost and the pitching have a slight degradation (if someone like E.Jackson replaces Weaver). Overall, the team isn't all that much better but he did pickup alot of recognizeable names and from a PR standpoint and a put the fans in the seat perspective it's a significant upgrade. Team strength wise, alot of the moves are window dressing and akin to rearranging the furniture. To give Flanders some credit though, this was a very tough free agent market, not the type of crop you would want to sign too many players to long term contracts. He managed to probably get some of the better players possible that went for 3 years or less, and two pretty good ones for 1 year (Nomar and Lofton if/when he signs). There is going to be alot more turnover in the next two years. Let's see, it is possible that:
Kent is retired
Nomar is a free agent
Lofton is a free agent
Drew opts out
Cruz free agent?

Mueller is a free agent

So next year we could easily have openings in CF, RF, LF, 1B, 2B along with Russell Martin replacing Navarro behind the plate. Do we have that many minor leaguers ready to fill in for those 5 positions? Or more likely something like 3 of them would fill in and sign 2 more free agents? That's alot of rookies to be breaking in at the same time. And you thought this offseason was busy! Flanders has his work cut out for him.
vr, Xeifrank

2005-12-19 22:06:02
335.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 334

It's possible that the OF could be handled by both Guzman and Young (assuming the latter is converted to LF). If Drew does opt out, that would cause a problem, so I suppose we'd need a CF via free agency. Kemp may also be part of the equation then.

Aybar could replace Kent at 2B, and if Loney isn't ready in 2007, then we could have Mueller move to 1B, assuming LaRoche can man 3B. Furcal stays at SS.


2005-12-19 22:14:00
336.   molokai
Steve you might find this interesting:
2005-12-19 22:18:26
337.   Xeifrank
335. So that could make our 2007 starting lineup something like...
CF-Free Agent/Ethier

that just seems like too youthful (all at once). Thoughts? vr, Xei

2005-12-19 23:09:26
338.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 337

Why not, assuming all the prospects work out? If they don't, that's what free agency is for. You can also trade mid-season if a kid really seems to struggle. And there is some depth on the farm for miscues. I think the important thing is we have farm options for the positions.

Besides, even in the lineup above, you still have a premier CF anchoring the OF (e.g. someone like Drew), a solid if declining veteran at 1B, and a player in his prime at SS. Aybar would've gotten a full season of MLB seasoning by then, and I think someone like LaRoche might also get some seasoning this season against MLB pitching. I at least don't feel that that specific lineup is too young.

The more important thing is pitching, and there we have some veteran starters in Penny, Lowe, and Perez, assuming the last one isn't traded, to give us some leeway for the growing pains of young pitchers. That's another argument for trying to work some kids into the rotation this season.


2005-12-19 23:39:19
339.   molokai
Atlanta just picked up Matt Diaz. They now have the perfect platoon for LF with Langerhans/Diaz.
2005-12-20 00:37:37
340.   blue2thebone
337 - I am as excited about our stud prospects as anyone, but I seriously doubt that we'll start 3 rookie outfielders in one season.

It's kinda fun to imagine all the kids coming up in '07, but I think the reality is that Colletti will opt for a mix of youth + experience (which he should IMO).

It's very possible that Drew won't opt out of his contract & Kent and/or Nomar could sign contract extensions during the's LAT article suggests that Nomah wants to finish his career here, so if he's mashing & the team is winning you might see him here long-term.

I'd give best odds that LaRoche/Guzman/Ethier/Martin could start regularly in '07. Of course, I hope Billingsley/Broxton/Kuo make major contributions in '06!

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