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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Sour Milk on Sale at Record Prices
2006-11-27 10:00
by Jon Weisman

In response to Danys Baez getting a $19 million deal over three years from the Baltimore Orioles, a move that The Associated Press perhaps all too aptly states "further solidifies a bullpen that finished with the second-worst ERA in the major leagues last season," I'd simply like to link back to a column I wrote for earlier this year:

Imagine pouring yourself a glass of milk without knowing its expiration date.

Such is the gag-inducing reality of relief pitching in the majors. At any moment the pitcher can turn sour -- or already has, and you just don't know it yet.

Many teams find themselves in the market for relief help. Teams are always searching for relief help for a simple reason: There are not enough good relievers to go around.

If your team is lucky enough to get one of the good ones, pat yourself on the back and get back to looking, because almost no reliever is good from one year to the next. ...

People think good relief pitching is more valuable than ever, and they're right. That doesn't make relief pitchers any more reliable. And it certainly doesn't make Danys Baez $19 million worth of answers, even in this winter of financial nondiscontent.

* * *

The rumor winds are blowing Randy Wolf hard toward Dodger Stadium, but yet not hard enough to provide official word on a contract yet. The 30-year-old El Camino Real graduate - a freshman pitcher during the end of my Daily News writing days, as I recall - Wolf is a solidly average major leaguer who spent 2006 on the road back from Tommy John surgery. He won't knock you out - his ERA+ hasn't been above 103 since he was 26 - but he's an intriguing pickup, potentially the master of adequacy everyone wanted Jeff Weaver to be, at a surgery-discounted price.

The current Dodger starting rotation is interesting: Two vets in Brad Penny and Derek Lowe, two kids in Hong-Chih Kuo and Chad Billingsley and two demotees in Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko hover around. A free-agent signing would hardly be superfluous, allowing the Dodgers the opportunity to choose their starting five based on merit rather than default.

People may think or fear that Penny, Kuo or Billingsley is likely to be traded, but in this Sour Milk era, I don't know why Hendrickson and Tomko would draw no interest.

Presumably, Wolf's arrival would ensure Greg Maddux's departure, unless the Dodgers are planning a real blockbuster trade.

Comments (209)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-27 10:18:18
1.   StolenMonkey86
First, I'll say that I think Baez might be a bit more effective after Mazzone gets him throwing a changeup. The beauty of signing him to a 3 year deal is that he'll look better in the second and third year.

As for a blockbuster trade, I have no idea what to expect from Colletti. At all. The whole idea of signing Wolf seems unlike him: it's like he's going to buy low.

2006-11-27 10:23:14
2.   Jon Weisman
I think Baez will be what he is, what most relievers are: inconsistent. Mazzone might help, but I don't think he won't eliminate that.

The Orioles should let Mazzone teach the changeup to a $500,000 pitcher.

2006-11-27 10:27:52
3.   scareduck
One thing I'll be interested to see is how many players opt to get shorter deals because they and/or their agents believe the free agency market's thinness is a permanent condition caused by teams buying out arbitration years into the first few of free agency eligibility. That's what happened with J.D. Drew in essence, and with Randy Wolf appearing to go for a one-year career rehab sort of deal, maybe it's a trend. Or I'm just full of it.
2006-11-27 10:29:03
4.   scareduck
2 - The Orioles should let Mazzone teach the changeup to a $500,000 pitcher.

If they had any in their system that were worth a damn, they probably would. I haven't looked at any of the recent system rankings, but the O's have been in the bottom third in recent years with good consistency.

2006-11-27 10:29:47
5.   scareduck
3 - that should read "... into the first few years of free agency eligibility."
2006-11-27 10:30:15
6.   Eric Enders
Since the Orioles have displayed an affinity for acquiring pointless pitchers, perhaps we should see what they would give us for Tomko and Beimel. I think we probably have little choice but to trade Tomko anyway, given that a) He's obviously not good enough for our rotation, and b) He's made it clear that he's not willing to accept a relief role in 2007.
2006-11-27 10:30:43
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - A guy coming off surgery is a special case - he can't command big dollars over the long-term. Gagne's the same deal.

But for someone like Drew, I'd imagine he's going for another five-year plan.

Clearly, Soriano didn't go short.

2006-11-27 10:31:55
8.   underdog
I think Hendy is more like expired rice milk - not as likely to poison you, not as nauseating, but still likely to upset your stomach at some point. Tomko's spoiled milk is cottage cheese at this point.

Meanwhile, piece in the SF Chron this morning says the Giants are one of the teams hotly trying to work a trade for Manny Ramirez. That seems unbelievable to me unless the Red Sox are really desperate to get rid of him - what on earth do the Giants have of value to trade? (Besides Cain and Sanchez, who won't be traded)

2006-11-27 10:32:37
9.   JoeyP
Wolf hasnt been very good since 2003 or so. His HR rate's was quite high in 05/06.

He does offer more hope than Hendrickson or Tomko though. Still, I dont think the Dodgers improve themselves much with this acquisition if it happens.

2006-11-27 10:34:50
10.   Daniel Zappala
The Phillies need a fifth starter. They can have Tomko in a package that includes Burrell coming back.

Being an armchair GM is like trying to eat all the leftover Smarties my kids got for Halloween. A pretty empty exercise.

2006-11-27 10:36:06
11.   StolenMonkey86
The Orioles should let Mazzone teach the changeup to a $500,000 pitcher.

Well, yeah. I'm not saying it's a good move, but I think he'll be a bit better, especially because his biggest problem, at least in LA last year, was delivering on an 0-2 count.

2006-11-27 10:41:10
12.   natepurcell
Wolf hasnt been very good since 2003 or so. His HR rate's was quite high in 05/06.

he started having elbow problems in the second half of 2003. when he was healthy, he was a very good pitcher.

2006-11-27 10:43:38
13.   overkill94
9 Coincidentally, his elbow hasn't been healthy since 2003. I'm not expecting a return to his 2002 numbers right away - 3.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 172 K's in 210 IP - but I think it's definitely reasonable to expect an ERA in the low 4's along with better than average K numbers.
2006-11-27 10:44:23
14.   Eric Enders
9 "Wolf hasnt been very good since 2003 or so. His HR rate's was quite high in 05/06."

Not coincidentally, 2003 was also the last year before the Phillies opened their new launching pad. Wolf's the most extreme flyball pitcher around. The move from the Philly park to Dodger Stadium will, I expect, bring his HR rate down to acceptable levels.

2006-11-27 10:45:56
15.   Eric Enders
Following up on 14, I think Grady should do everything he can to make sure all of Wolf's home starts are night games.
2006-11-27 10:59:25
16.   fan 4 40 plus
LA Times article on possible Wolf signing
2006-11-27 11:15:49
17.   Bob Timmermann
Unless there is a full moon.
2006-11-27 11:20:58
18.   Peanuts in My Shoes

According to "Teen Wolf"*, that would be the BEST time to start him.

*The movie, not the magazine.

2006-11-27 11:21:01
19.   Robert Daeley
16 Dig it: "He was an All-American at Pepperdine, where he also batted cleanup as a designated hitter when he wasn't pitching. Wolf's best offensive season with the Phillies was in 2004 when he batted .267 with three home runs."
2006-11-27 11:37:51
20.   Bill Crain
12 That's interesting. I was very impressed with him the first times he pitched against the Dodgers, reminded me of a LH Hershiser. Always wondered where his career went.
2006-11-27 11:38:26
21.   dzzrtRatt
This near-the-bottom graf in the Times' Wolf story is illustrative of the zooming escalator this market has become:

"A source close to the negotiations said the Phillies, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have made offers to sign Wolf for three years, with the deals ranging from $21 million to $24 million. The Arizona Diamondbacks had a similar offer on the table before they acquired left-hander Doug Davis from the Milwaukee Brewers."

A three-year, $8 million/per deal for a pitcher you aren't even sure can still pitch? Gagne/Boras must be ecstatic.

This off-season is like that old SNL bit about Jimmy Carter wanting to impose the metric system come true. It's like working in an office where all the clocks disagree. We don't know what's what anymore.

Hear me now and believe me later: Very shortly, perhaps within a few weeks, and certainly no later than next off-season, the Juan Pierre deal will look like an average paycheck for an average post-arbitration-eligible player, or maybe even a slight bargain. The four-year contract he got won't be the albatross it looks like now. If his performance declines, or a better option comes around, there won't be any angst about benching him or releasing him; nor will his contract be a barrier to trading him.

Randy Wolf must be thinking he's going to pitch so well this coming season, he'll easily command a $20 million/per payday after '07. Fine with me if he can do it.

2006-11-27 11:38:29
22.   GoBears
19 So he'll be pitched around to get to Pierre?

Someone was gonna say it eventually - I figured I'd get it out of the way.

2006-11-27 11:40:05
23.   rockmrete
a guest this AM on 570 said JD Drew told him it was a surprise to him that he had signed with the Dodgers, the implication being that he did not have control of his own fate.
2006-11-27 11:42:49
24.   GoBears
21 5 yrs for Pierre, right? Not 4? And to me, that's the sticking point.

Well, hang on a sec. It might be true that the $9M/yr won't look that outrageous given the current market, but it's still $9M/yr that could have been added to a deal for a premier player (pitcher) while letting cheap kids play OF.

Even if $9M is the new $3M, it ain't the new league minimum.

Naw, thanks for the effort to make us feel better, Ratt, but I'm still bummed about the Pierre signing.

2006-11-27 11:44:00
25.   Xeifrank
With the new BCS out, my college football playoff format(s) now look like... I won't waste the space with my 16 team playoff. I realize though that we are lucky to atleast have a 2 team playoff system and that any improvement would probably be a four team set. I like 8 or 12 to give the underdog an outside chance, like the NCAA hoops does.

8 team playoff:
(8) Georgia Tech vs (1) Ohio State
(5) LSU vs (4) Florida
(6) Louisville vs (3) Michigan
(7) Oklahoma vs (2) USC

12 team playoff:
(1) Ohio State vs
(9) vs Arkansas
(8) Boise St.
(4) Florida vs
(12) Georgia Tech vs
(5) LSU
(3) Michigan vs
(11) BYU vs
(6) Louisville
(10) Oklahoma vs
(7) Wisconsin
(2) USC vs

2006-11-27 11:49:25
26.   still bevens
23 Do you mean opted out or signed in the first place?
2006-11-27 11:50:08
27.   rockmrete
Signed in the first place
2006-11-27 12:03:05
28.   Robert Daeley
22 Wolf's 2004 batting stats: 267/277/511 in 45 ABs, with 3 HRs.

Pierre's 2004 stats: 326/374/407 in 678 ABs, with 3 HRs.

2006-11-27 12:03:54
29.   Robert Daeley
28 The implication being, of course, that Wolf is the big bat we've been looking for. ;D
2006-11-27 12:09:41
30.   rockmrete
Then we're set, bring on 07
2006-11-27 12:10:23
31.   still bevens
Not enough ISO patience. Next. =)
2006-11-27 12:11:13
32.   dzzrtRatt
24 You're right, it's five. I goofed.

But to that point: The logic of the market now says teams benefit from longer contracts. Which is the reverse of what everyone thought last off-season. The more money/fewer years model Colletti pursued in signing Furcal is now, in just 12 months, reversed.

Look, I'm bummed about Pierre, too, but with each passing day of looking at this player market, I get a little less bummed, not because I like Pierre any better, but because the fiscal significance of the deal seems to be diminishing each day.

According to Henson, for example, we're still in the hunt for Schmidt even if we sign Wolf. Evidently, the $9 million hole Pierre put in our budget isn't such a big hole as we thought. I agree, I would've preferred an outfielder with power, but there weren't any on the FA market after Soriano got signed, so that pursuit is now about a trade, where whatever the new player we get will be under an old-style contract.

In short: The Pierre signing was not a good thing. But it's also not that big a deal.

2006-11-27 12:18:11
33.   Benaiah
It is always nice to see promises/expectations of Zito and Soriano turn into Juan Pierre and Randy Wolfe. Honestly, given the prices of the market compared to the talent out there I don't really mind, but I hate that we overpaid or paid at all for average to replacement level talent.
2006-11-27 12:19:41
34.   GoBears
32. I take your point about the finances. But unless you really think that Colletti would be willing to DFA or trade Pierre after 3 years if he stinks, then the 5 years and 162 games per means 800+ games of JP out there when younger, cheaper, and BETTER alternatives wither on the vine. The team might be able to absorb the financial hit, but playing inferior players is never a good idea.

For 2007 and maybe 2008, I'm willing to believe that JP will be among the top 3 or 4 OFers in the system. But not past that.

We're splitting hairs (or rather, I am). We mostly agree. Maybe I just don't wanna feel better yet. I need time to grieve. And with a 5-yr deal, I'll have time.

2006-11-27 12:24:28
35.   sanchez101
24. I think the problem with that outlook, as attractive as it seems, is that it is a lot harder than it looks to just funnel that $9 million towards a premier hitter or pitcher because those guys are pretty rare. You're talking about either signing a Soriano or Lee (I'd rather have Pierre at $9m than either of those two contracts) or trading 2-3 good prospects AND commiting a silly contract to a Vernon Wells-type.

I think Colletti has a higher opinion of Pierre than most around here do, but I don't think that Colletti thinks Pierre is as good as his salary would now indicate. I think that in the Pierre signing, Colletti is saying that he'd rather waste Frank McCourt's money than Logan White's prospects. I can live with that.

2006-11-27 12:34:41
36.   gpellamjr
Does anyone know Pierre's splits vs. righties and lefties? Would it be possible to see him in a platoon situation with, say, Repko or Kemp?
2006-11-27 12:35:28
37.   sanchez101
34. I don't see younger, cheaper, or better alternatives in the organization right now who are being blocked by Pierre. I guess if Colletti signs another OF, then Kemp would be effectively blocked, but if the season started right now the OF would be Ethier, Pierre, and Kemp with Repko, Delwyn Young and Marlon Anderson in reserve. I don't see a log-jam, in fact I think we're still short an outfielder.

And, there isn't really a pure CF prospect in the organization. By my estimation, the best full-season OF prospects in the organization are Xavier Paul, Delwyn Young, Raglani, and Jaimie Hoffman, only Hoffman has played much CF, and none of them project as every center fielders.

I think we have to assume that the current regime doesn't have much confidence in Kemp working out as a CF, and in that case, we might actually need a solid preence at that position well into the future. The sad thing is that we might actually need Pierre (to maintain respectability) for the next couple of years becuase the next best option is probably Jason Repko.

2006-11-27 12:38:25
38.   Xeifrank
I think that in the Pierre signing, Colletti is saying that he'd rather waste Frank McCourt's money than Logan White's prospects.

A very simple, but powerful point. Good job!
vr, Xei

2006-11-27 12:39:10
39.   sanchez101
36. I don't think Kemp would work well in a platoon situation, he seemed pretty lost at the plate last year as a pinch-hitter/spot starter. I think he needs the consitency of everyday playing time to establish himself as a major league hitter.

Besides, you don't pay a guy $45 million to be a platoon hitter.

2006-11-27 12:42:28
40.   Xeifrank
The sad thing is that we might actually need Pierre (to maintain respectability) for the next couple of years becuase the next best option is probably Jason Repko.

The next best option is probably being paid by another big league club right now, ala the Andre Ethier trade. Just because the cupboard is bare (CF) right now doesn't mean there aren't good options out there. vr, Xei

2006-11-27 12:43:57
41.   regfairfield
40 I still fully endorse Jose Cruz Jr.
2006-11-27 12:51:57
42.   rockmrete
40. Are talking about Mr. anger management?...
2006-11-27 12:55:33
43.   Fletch
Please remind me why Hendrickson is a Dodger in teh first place?
2006-11-27 12:56:53
44.   bigcpa
Wolf signing official for 1 yr. $8M with 2008 option at $9M per

2006-11-27 13:03:45
45.   Xeifrank
44. Thanks. I wonder if it is a club or player option. It will be interesting to see if that takes us out of the Schmidt/Zito sweepstakes or is one of our starters on the block.

My most likely not to be a Dodger next year chart of starting pitchers now looks like:
1. Maddux
2. Penny
3. Billingsley
4. Guo
5. Lowe

With Wolf in tow, one of these five are most likely out (Maddux) and if we are going to make a run at another FA starting pitcher then one other could be traded. Or Ned could be trying to perfect the strategy of just having a complete pitching staff full of starting pitchers. vr, Xei

2006-11-27 13:05:22
46.   regfairfield
44 Yay! Kind of scary that 1 year/8 million is a "take a chance on a guy" contract, but, I'll live.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Billingsley or Kuo if the Dodgers get another starter.

2006-11-27 13:10:14
47.   Jon Weisman
44 - Though there's little denying the signing will happen, there's nothing official about that SI report.
2006-11-27 13:13:14
48.   Jon Weisman
At, Sarah Morris says, "Arguably, Pierre is the best offensive catalyst during the 2000s."

I wish I could say Sarah is getting better with experience, but it doesn't seem that way.

2006-11-27 13:16:47
49.   regfairfield
48 She's right in the sense that arguably, Justin Morneau was the AL MVP.
2006-11-27 13:19:47
50.   underdog
If it is 1 yr/8 mil, with an option, I'm down with that. Not cheap but very little risk involved and he'd instantly be better than the backup options. I'm very happy with this - when/if it's official.

48 Poor Sarah. She tries, but... yikes.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-27 13:24:15
51.   Jose Habib
25. What about, instead of a playoff at the end of the season, having a dynamically generated regular-season schedule? A team who wins their game would play a harder team in their next game. Some sort of power rating would be maintained for each team, and the computer would determine the matchups each week. Then you wouldn't have to argue about teams who beat up on an easy schedule all year -- their schedule would automatically get harder if they are winning their games. Of course, this would make it tough for traveling fans....
2006-11-27 13:24:41
52.   Steve
Hendrickson should be pitching in Provo, Spain.
2006-11-27 13:25:24
53.   underdog
Arguably, Breakfast at Tiffany's is the best film of the 60s. Arguably, many other films are. Arguably, I'm wearing a pink tutu on my head, too.
2006-11-27 13:25:43
54.   overkill94
37 As of now it seems that Loney is the favorite to start in RF with Kemp in AAA. This could all change due to injuries, someone having a great spring, etc., but that's how it shapes up right now.
2006-11-27 13:28:18
55.   overkill94
50 Better than paying $8+ million a year for someone like Eaton, Meche, or Padilla, but for 3+ years. Plus, I think Wolf has the stuff to be better than any of those guys next year assuming all the rust has worn off.
2006-11-27 13:31:58
56.   Marty
At this time of the offseason, it appears that the Dodgers will look like their storied teams from the 1960s. I expect to watch them to have two bloops and a stolen base to produce runs.

Unfortunately, we don't have Koufax, Drysdale and a higher mound to keep us in the game. A 1960's offense today will result in a lot of 5-1 losses.

2006-11-27 13:32:33
57.   underdog
55 Yup.

54 I still think it should be Loney at 1st, Kemp in RF by mid-season, but that does sound like how things will start.

2006-11-27 13:34:25
58.   FirstMohican
With Pierre's defensive skillset, maybe it isn't Pierre's team he's acting as the catalyst for.

Are the Dodgers no longer interested in Zito?

2006-11-27 13:35:51
59.   Penarol1916
51. Tough for traveling fans, tough for the travel departments of the Universities, and absolutely murder for smaller schools with a smaller staff and thus a smaller travel budget. How exactly are they going to book cross-country travel on a weeks notice for an entire football team at an affordable price? It would kill the athletic department budgets at schools that depend on getting the losing paycheck against big-time schools to keep their non-revenue teams afloat. Of course, this is completely ignoring what it would do to arguably the biggest draw of college football, the traditional rivalries and the conferences.
2006-11-27 13:37:38
60.   overkill94
57 Well, at least that could be the configuration during the unavoidable Nomar injuries.
2006-11-27 13:43:55
61.   Sam DC
This is a headline up right now at "Cold, wet rain screws up commute"

I'm kind of surprised that "screws up" is approved usage without any sort of pun or clever reference.

2006-11-27 13:44:49
62.   Marty
Sam, it certainly screwed up my commute...
2006-11-27 13:46:05
63.   Sam DC
Hadn't realize you'd switched over to web ops Marty. :)
2006-11-27 13:46:56
64.   Daniel Zappala
51, 59 The easiest fix is to have an independent entity (eg the NCAA) create the non-league schedules for the football teams. This could guarantee, at least based on past results, that no one gets a cream-puff schedule of a bunch of home games, while also allowing smaller schools the chance to play against a big team and get a big payoff. The small schools could even have a big team come to their stadium for once.
2006-11-27 13:47:41
65.   sanchez101
54. I forgot about Loney as an outfield option, which I think is kind of a desparate one.

I like the Wolf signing; finally a deal with some upside.

Would Pierre, Wolf, and let's say Cliff Floyd effectively replace Lofton, Maddux and Drew?

Pierre $9m
R. Wolf $8m
(Floyd $6.8m ???)
total= $23.8m

Drew $11m
Maddux $9m
Lofton $3.8m
total= $23.8m (2006 salaries)

I'd take Pierre over Lofton, if you disregard salaries. Would you rather have Wolf or Maddux? Can Floyd be signed for $6-8m and is he a suitable substitute for Drew (He's just as brittle as half the cost!)?

If this is an equitable trade (I don't think it is in talent or production, but if the salaries are about even, considering the market, it's good enough), with Nomar coming back, all the team has really lost is Lugo, who contributed absolutely nothing to last years team as the designated insurance policy.

2006-11-27 13:50:43
66.   Daniel Zappala
Personally, I liked the LA Times article on the Moscow Cats Theatre. I think Bob's cat should apply.
2006-11-27 13:52:38
67.   Jose Habib
59, 64.
Sure, I admit that it will never happen. Still, I'm sure that conferences, rivalries and travel distances could all be taken into consideration as constraints in the system somehow. To avoid the 1-week notice problem, maybe the result of a team's game could have a delayed effect - it determines your opponent 3 weeks from now rather than 1 week from now.
2006-11-27 13:56:09
68.   gibsonhobbs88
Signing Wolf is okay. Right now he is a #3 or #4 but could be a #2 if healthy. If they can also sign a Schmidt then you can flip Penny and Tomko or Hendrickson to Philly for Burrell. I don't think they will take Penny straight up and you aren't getting Burrell for slop. We can then have in our rotation:

I'll take that into the NL regular season with this lineup:

Furcal SS
Pierre CF
Nomar 1B
Kent 2B
Burrell LF
Loney RF
Betemit/Laroche 3B
Martin C

2006-11-27 13:56:56
69.   regfairfield
65 I don't believe they would. While normal Juan Pierre is better than normal Kenny Lofton, is normal Juan Pierre better than 2006 Kenny Lofton? Certainly not offensively, but maybe he gets the slight overall edge thanks to defense.

Even if you assume Wolf is able to replicate Maddux's 2006 with the Dodgers, it still leaves Cliff Floyd and J.D. Drew. Even if Floyd bounces back from his .727 OPS in 2006, he's still J.D. Drew minus 45 points of on base percentage and inferior defense. So, no Pierre, Wolf, and Floyd do not replace Maddux, Lofton and Drew.

2006-11-27 13:59:53
70.   Robert Daeley
68 Where's Ethier?
2006-11-27 14:01:43
71.   dsfan
Assuming the Dodgers get two draft picks for Lugo, do those draft picks, plus whatever value Lugo returned on the field equate to Joel Guzman? My guess is, yes.
2006-11-27 14:01:52
72.   trainwreck
Trading Tomko or Hendrickson could make my christmas.
2006-11-27 14:02:23
73.   gibsonhobbs88
You can also flip Burrell and Loney to break up three consecutive right handers also.

This way you have some high average-contact guys interspersed with a couple power bats that do K a lot in Burrell and Betemit.
We have two rabbits at the top that can create havoc when they get on to allow the 3-6 hitters to see more fastballs.

Of course, our bullpen is still a work in progress at this time.

What an offseason!! It is only the last week in November.

2006-11-27 14:03:13
74.   dsfan
Has it been verified that the Dodgers can trade Pierre without his consent? Would be troubling to hear that he recevied no-trade powers to go with the $44 million, but stranger things have happened.
2006-11-27 14:05:13
75.   dsfan
Conceivably the Dodgers could end up with three LHP in their rotation: Wolf, Kuo and, gasp, Hendy. When's the last time lefties made up 60 percent of the Dodgers' rotation?
2006-11-27 14:05:22
76.   Uncle Miltie
Pierre should bat 9th when Wolf is pitching
2006-11-27 14:05:47
77.   jdm025
I like Coletti's strategy to come into the season with at least 6 viable starters (Penny, Lowe, Wolf, Billingsley, Kuo, Hendrickson/Tomko). It gives him the ability to trade for a bat at mid season with the (hopeful) emergence of Elbert or Stults as a reliable fifth.

If we can add Schmidt, it would allow us to trade Penny or Kuo for a real bat.

For the record, I could do without Burrell. I would like to see Rolen or Vernon Wells for some combination of Penny and Betemit/Ethier/Loney if we could sign Schmidt.

2006-11-27 14:06:19
78.   gibsonhobbs88
70- Ethier will probably be your 4th OF spelling both Burrell and Loney when Loney needs a day off or when Loeny spells Nomar at 1B. This is just a hypothetical lineup assuming they get Burrell. If not, then Ethier is your regular LF.
2006-11-27 14:07:16
79.   jdm025
Don't forget about Elbert and Kershaw in 08 or 09
2006-11-27 14:11:29
80.   gibsonhobbs88
77 - I don't think Rolen would come here, he is a midwestern boy who is playing for his boyhood team. Even though, he and LaRussa had a tiff in the postseason, a WS title and an offseason most likely will heal those wounds. Vernon Wells might cost more in players then you are proposing and then you have to get him to agree his free agent status with an expensive long term contract extension. Burrell, I considered a less expensive solution to our power outage deficiency.
2006-11-27 14:17:30
81.   JoeyP
Assuming the Dodgers get two draft picks for Lugo, do those draft picks, plus whatever value Lugo returned on the field equate to Joel Guzman?

Lugo's value on the field was negative for one thing.
Then there's the chance that two draft picks ever reach as high of prospect status as Joel Guzman? I doubt that too.

2006-11-27 14:17:34
82.   jdm025
I definitely like his power, but I could do without his batting eye. Maybe if you bat him behind Kent instead of 4th behind Nomar...

The bottom line is that I suffered through the '03 season while I watched our ERA hover around 3.00 as a team. Burrell would be great if that is all we can get.

If I am playing GM, then the Phillies definitely don't get Penny. Maybe Kuo and Meloan or some second tier prospect. I just would hate to see us overpay for Burrell. I would rather overpay for Wells in terms of an extension and prospects than overpay for Burrell.

That said, he will wait to sign until next year. If Pierre gets 40 mil plus, then he gets about 125-140 mil.

2006-11-27 14:19:36
83.   jdm025
I like our chances in the draft. In hindsight, the Lugo deal was bad, but I think that it was a reasonable gamble. Sure wish I knew what he did to upset the front office to give up a guy like him for 1/2 a season of Lugo.
2006-11-27 14:21:50
84.   Xeifrank
Here's an alternative route for developing a CFer other than the 5 year $45 JP route.
vr, Xei
2006-11-27 14:22:25
85.   dsfan
81 --

How many of White's high draft picks became upper-echelon prospects? Seems to me, Billingsley, Edwin Jackson, Loney, Edlbert are among those who did and I guess the jury's still out on DeWite. Small point: Having extra high-end picks allows you take more gambles elsewhere in the draft. Weren't Martin and Kemp drafted after the first few rounds?

I can see this deal breaking even -- but I'm probably less impressed by Guzman than others are.

2006-11-27 14:23:08
86.   underdog
82 I have mixed feelings on Burrell but certainly wouldn't mind adding him to the team, either. But personally I think Kuo and Meloan would be overpaying for Burrell...
2006-11-27 14:23:43
87.   natepurcell

edwin jackson was not a whtie draftee.

2006-11-27 14:24:42
88.   dsfan

It appears the Dodgers also had concerns about the ability of Kent and Nomar to recover and stay recovered from injuries down the stretch. That could have added to the incentive to get Lugo, increasing the size of Guzman's perceived flaws.

2006-11-27 14:25:10
89.   natepurcell
If I am playing GM, then the Phillies definitely don't get Penny. Maybe Kuo and Meloan or some second tier prospect.

A package of Kuo and Meloan is worth more to me then Penny.

2006-11-27 14:27:19
90.   Xeifrank
77. Don't trade Guo (please!!!). In his late season role as a starter he put up "dominating" numbers. Yes, it's still a rather small sample size 50+ innings. But I'd like to see a list of the names that put up a better set 50+ (consecutive) innings as him. Guo still has some question marks (don't almost all pitchers), like has he really bounced back from the arm troubles he had earlier in his career and will is control in 2007 be more like the Guo who pitched out of the pen earlier in the 2006 season or the Guo who started later in the 2006 season (or somewhere in between). Either way, that 50+ innings should send up a "do not trade me" flag. Left handed power pitchers don't grow on trees. Though I thought about planting one this spring, as soon as I take out my "Good College Bowl System" tree.
vr, Xei
2006-11-27 14:28:39
91.   Robert Daeley
Manny trade talk "picking up steam" -- Giants, Padres, Dodgers, and Rangers are "involved in the conversation"

2006-11-27 14:30:58
92.   jdm025
I like Kuo also, but feel like he could be a Gagne/Driefort waiting to happen. I guess you could also say the same thing about Penny.

What could we get for the SP in the All Star game signed to a deal for less than what Ted Lily will make?

2006-11-27 14:32:15
93.   Benaiah
According to the Dodgers are a contender to get Manny, though the price (Loney, Billz or Kemp, though presumably not all of them) will be steep. I would love to get Manny, who would instantly be our best hitter since... ever? I would prefer to trade Ethier or Broxton or even Kuo, but I bet that it will take one of the big guns.

2006-11-27 14:32:58
94.   dsfan
Burrell would be a liability in LF in the spacious NL West parks. He also would have to consent to a trade and it's not clear that he would (presumably he would prefer LA to Philly). He is from the Bay Area and has said he would accept a trade to the Giants and there is talk he could end up being their 1B.

Just for fun, let's say the Giants trade Benitez and Sanchez for Burrell, put him on first and sign Bonds, Aurilia and Feliz.

What do you think of this lineup?

CF Roberts
RF Winn
1B Burrell
LF Bonds
2B Aurilia
3B Feliz
C Alfonzo
SS Vizquel

2006-11-27 14:33:25
95.   natepurcell
I like Kuo also, but feel like he could be a Gagne/Driefort waiting to happen.

difference is that kuo makes 400k or so and those two took up huge chunks of payroll. its different to take low salary risks on dynamic players like kuo then to rely on heavy financially invested question marks like driefort and gagne.

2006-11-27 14:36:40
96.   natepurcell

when olney states that teams like the giants and padres are in the running, teams with virtually no farm system or high end prospects, how does boston expect the dodgers to bend over and hand them all their stud prospects?

If Colletti can land Jason Schmidt, Penny is going to be the bait. A penny+ betemit or a Penny+ethier deal will blow any deal the padres or giants can offer.

2006-11-27 14:38:22
97.   Benaiah
91 - You beat be as I typed and talked to my coworkers. Pesky work distracting me from posting on DodgerThoughts.
2006-11-27 14:39:04
98.   Robert Daeley
96 Don't the Sox need a catcher? Throw in Toby Hall.
2006-11-27 14:40:08
99.   jdm025
I agree with you on the salary aspect of this, but trading a lefty power arm while his value is fairly high would make sense if he is an injury risk.

I would just like to see us thin out our prospects just a bit lest we become the Angels and covet prospects to the point that we refuse to trade one for legitimate needs. Just ask Stoneman if he should have made some of those proposed trades for Dallas McPherson/Casey Kotchman two years ago.

2006-11-27 14:43:10
100.   jdm025
That is interesting. We are paying somewhere north of $3 mil for Hall after arbitration. Be nice to see that payroll devoted to something more than a back up catcher.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-11-27 14:46:48
101.   Robert Daeley
97 Tell your coworkers they need to get their priorities straight. ;)

I don't know if this would make a difference to Manny or not, but there are a number of Dodgers players from the Dominican, including Furcal, Betemit, and Brazoban.

Also, I wonder if Grady Little, Nomar, and Derek Lowe being around would be of interest to him.

2006-11-27 14:47:09
102.   Jon Weisman
99 - That's an easy dig people make at Stoneman, but the fact is that he has hung onto a lot of good prospects, Jered Weaver among them. It's easy in hindsight to pick on the ones he perhaps should have traded - although I'd add that Kotchman isn't DOA.
2006-11-27 14:51:35
103.   jdm025
How good would this look:


There isn't a 100+ strikeout guy in the lineup. The Kent/Ramirez dynamic would certainly be interesting...

2006-11-27 14:55:12
104.   natepurcell
There isn't a 100+ strikeout guy in the lineup

why would that matter?

2006-11-27 14:55:31
105.   jdm025
I guess that my beef with Stoneman is that he has been in love with prospects to the point that it looks from the outside as if he is unwilling to sacrifice ANY of them.

Though some of his moves have been, uh, interesting, I like Coletti's seemingly balanced outlook between proven player and cheap prospect with upside.

2006-11-27 14:55:36
106.   Robert Daeley
Of course, this all presupposes the Dodger and Padre mentions weren't just the means to scare the Giants (who've been mentioned all along) into making a deal. ;)
2006-11-27 14:57:42
107.   ssjames
103 If the money is there to afford Manny and a starter, then this might just be the time to cash in some of chip (prospects) that we have been accumulating. Certainly this would fill our power void, and create a much more dangerous lineup.

The question is what piece would they want? And if we are getting Manny what pieces are we not willing to give up? To my mind, I say that we don't give up more than two pitchers. I would let them pick one of Kuo/Billingsley/Broxton/Penny and one of LaRoche/Betimit/Loney/Kemp.

2006-11-27 14:58:09
108.   jdm025
As a fan, I just like our chances when the ball is in play as opposed to someone who strikes out a lot. Not sure that I could track down numbers to draw some direct correlation between Ks and runs scored, but I hate a strikeout with runners on base.
2006-11-27 14:59:11
109.   ssjames
107 I meant to type more than 1 pitcher, unless they want a lower level guy, Alexander/Hoorebroke/Hull etc too.
2006-11-27 14:59:25
110.   Jon Weisman
As I recall, Stoneman gave up a second base prospect to Arizona in the last year that I think is fairly highly regarded. Someone can weigh in on that. At any rate, I think it's a myth that Stoneman is unwilling to trade prospects.
2006-11-27 15:04:33
111.   Sam DC
1. With the pitching market so tough, I just have a hard time seeing how it would make sense to trade pitching prospects. Seems like you've just got to plug along with these guys and hope you wake up one day with Scott Kazmir and Franscisco Liriano anchoring your rotation.

2. The article reporting the Eaton deal says that there is a "mutual option" for the fourth yearat aobut $9 mill. How does that work -- if both sides have to agree on the option, why does it count as an option?

2006-11-27 15:05:19
112.   overkill94
110 Alberto Callaspo for Jason Bulger - they figured Callaspo was buried behind Aybar and Kendrick, so they dealt him for a somewhat intriguing arm. Callaspo was thought of as a decent prospect, probably B-/C+ level.
2006-11-27 15:08:06
113.   overkill94
Like I assumed earlier, it looks like Eaton will get a 3 yr/$24M contract from the Phillies. Not outrageous, but I like Wolf's deal better. (news from ESPNews
2006-11-27 15:09:33
114.   jdm025
I know that he offered a package that included Ervin Santana for Tejada last year, but I can not remember the last time he traded someone of the Weaver/Santana/Kendrick/McPherson/Rivera ilk for needs the club had. I think that it is telling that you can not remember the last Grade A prospect trade the Angels made under Stoneman.

If anyone can correct me out there, feel free.

2006-11-27 15:12:18
115.   trainwreck
He offered Santana and Aybar for Tejada. I do not have a problem at all with what Stoneman does in regards to prospects. I think he probably should have traded McPherson when they got down on him and he still had good value, like I wish we traded Guzman for someone more valuable.
2006-11-27 15:13:39
116.   paranoidandroid

I think mutual option is either side can exercise it. Like Tom Glavine's deal that came up this year. Each side declined the option and they are working on a different deal. Not sure what the buyout was if there was one, but that is what I think a mutual option is.

I like the Wolf move, want to know who has the second year option there, us or him. I would assume us (the team, I am part of the team you see)

2006-11-27 15:14:05
117.   jdm025
Maybe the problem is that high level trades involving A prospects do not work as often as they fail miserably. Maybe the better question is when did a team trade A level prospect(s) for an active player where you can say that both teams benefitted fairly equally?
2006-11-27 15:15:27
118.   paranoidandroid

Think what we could have had for Edwin Jackson if we parted with him sooner, like right after he beat the Big Unit.

Would have been more than Lance Carter and Batting Practice Baez. And we'd get to keep Tiffany too.

2006-11-27 15:16:57
119.   AlmostGagne

Last year the Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins for Josh Beckett. Ramirez went on to win Rookie of the Year in the NL, Beckett pitched pretty well until his second half collapse.

2006-11-27 15:19:16
120.   Sam DC
116 Ah, so either side can independently exercise the option, even if the other side would rather not. Not "mutual" in the sense that they have to both agree.


2006-11-27 15:19:22
121.   overkill94
Seems with the EJax and JtD deals that management had decided their investment was no longer worth it and cut their losses at .50 on the dollar. It may not be the best way to do business, but I guess it's better than waiting for their value to totally bottom out and get absolutely nothing.
2006-11-27 15:19:51
122.   jdm025
Now that I think about it, the Dodgers have had some pretty good luck with leftys in the draft. Check this list out:

Chuck Tiffany
Hong Chih Kuo
Scott Elbert
Clayton Kershaw
Eric Stults
Greg Miller

OK, maybe the last two are a stretch...

2006-11-27 15:20:55
123.   paranoidandroid
I think if we do get Manny Ramirez (who knows if he wants to come our way anyway), we will be asked to eat the Clements contract. I think Kemp and Billingsley for Ramirez and Clements could happen. Might take an additional player involved.

Why did the BoSox resign Alex Cora? 2 million per season? He isn't a projected starter there, is he? He is simply a reserve, no?

2006-11-27 15:21:25
124.   natepurcell

Greg Miller had and has the best stuff out of that list of lefties.

2006-11-27 15:24:17
125.   trainwreck
We had not soured on Edwin by that time. We clearly had soured on Guzman, but he was still valued a lot by scouts.

If it was up to me, we would still have Edwin Jackson on the team. I think we could at least develop him into a good reliever.

2006-11-27 15:24:22
126.   paranoidandroid

I think that is what the mutual option is, I could be wrong. Let the other weigh in on it, I'm not an expert or anything but I recall that is how it worked with Glavine. I think that is also what happened with Sheffield, but I'm not sure he had an option on his end. He negotiated that deal himself, no agent. Then was pissed when the Yankees exercised the option he gave them.

2006-11-27 15:26:28
127.   jdm025
I guess the problem with Miller has been his health.
2006-11-27 15:27:44
128.   trainwreck
Miller is our next Kuo.
2006-11-27 15:28:11
129.   paranoidandroid
I think we all projected Jackson to be a front of the rotation starter at the time his value was high. I also wonder what Guzman did to piss everyone off. He was a big time prospect with power and all the tools you want to see in a big guy and we dumped him for a rental. If we won the Series, it would have been worth it. And we could have gone all the way with a break or two. It was a wide open field of 8 this post season, we had a good shot and Lugo could have assisted with that if we got deeper into the postseason. Ah, I digress. I still wish it was early October and we can have Martin's ball either get caught by Green or go over the wall or....
2006-11-27 15:28:24
130.   overkill94
126 That's how it works, both the team and the player have to exercise their parts of their option for the contract to remain valid.
2006-11-27 15:29:04
131.   trainwreck
Nate made a great point, why would we need to give up that much when the Giants and Padres could never possibly match that? They could not even get close.
2006-11-27 15:29:42
132.   ssjames
125 You really think that Miller still has better stuff than Kershaw? If so, you are one of the few.

I hope you are right, but Kershaw sounds like he has the better stuff to me at this point after all of the messing with Miller's mechanics over the last two years.

2006-11-27 15:30:28
133.   overkill94
125 They hadn't soured on his personality or work ethic, just the odds that he would become a useful pitcher. After his Las Vegas disaster and very mediocre stints in the majors in 2005, the powers that be must have decided that he couldn't hack it as a major league pitcher.
2006-11-27 15:30:28
134.   bigcpa
If Ned is willing to enter into discussions for Man Ram he better have Gillick on the other line re: Burrell. Burrell is 4 years younger and would surely come cheaper. Are we even sure Manny wants to play baseball beyond 35? The Angels are such a better fit where he can DH 30-40 games.
2006-11-27 15:32:34
135.   ssjames
134 Manny is a far superior player to Burrell in almost everyway, with the possible exception of defense, at which Burrell is hardly a standout either.
2006-11-27 15:32:42
136.   s choir
I really hope the Dodgers don't trade for Manny. I have faith that some permutation of Ethier/Kemp/Loney will provide the power that Manny would.
2006-11-27 15:33:01
137.   CanuckDodger
I am not happy about the Wolf signing at all. The player and the contract are not as important as the Domino Effect I see coming. If this simply meant that our rotation is going to be Lowe, Penny, Wolf, Kuo, and Billingsley, and Loney or Nomar plays RF, great. But that is probably the LEAST likely eventuality. We are going to pursue another starter, and I see one of Kuo or Billingsley being removed from the picture, both of whom will likely be better than Wolf in 2007 at 1/20th the salary. ONE-TWENTIETH. I just can't wrap my mind around the idea of Billingsley being traded, so Kuo will probably be moved, even though, unlike Wolf, he is fully recovered from HIS Tommy John surgery. And what do we trade for? An outfielder to make Loney superfluous, and since Kemp is only a half-season away from being ready for the majors, our new outfielder will block him just like Loney, so we might as well get rid of Kemp too. So, what has the combination of the Nomar re-signing and Wolf signing accomplished? We have two older, bad-injury risk players making big money and making Kuo, Loney, and Kemp available for trade for the fabled "Big Bat" that has become as sick and ruinous an object of Dodger fan obsession as Moby Dick ever was for Captain Ahab. Next to re-signing Nomar and signing Wolf, Colletti's signing Pierre was positively benevolent. We at least NEEDED a CF, and getting one did not block a young talent projected to hold down the position for years (assuming that Kemp really is suited for a corner OF spot). Last week at Baseball Prospectus, Joe Sheehan said that Colletti is a GM who values experience over talent and looks at young players as nothing more than trade chits and insurance policies. A part of me refuses to believe it, because Ned has not YET traded a young player I consider untouchable, but Ned does so many other things that make me think that Sheehan has got Colletti pegged. Prove him wrong, Ned. Please.
2006-11-27 15:33:17
138.   overkill94
123 I don't think it'll take that much to pry Manny away. First of all, he makes a good chunk of change and second, Boston management just plain doesn't seem to like him. I think a package of Kemp and Chin-Lung Hu might get it done, though they might be looking for pitching instead in which case I'd probably do Elbert and Hu or something. I'd like to think Billingsley is still off-limits in anything but a Pujols trade.
2006-11-27 15:33:17
139.   jdm025
From everything I have read about Miller over the past year, they have the bullpen in mind for him because of the injuries.
2006-11-27 15:33:23
140.   Sam DC
130 Well, that's a little different. If both parties have to agree, then I don't understand what the option does. How is it different than the contract simply ending and leaving them free to come to new terms if they want (since either party can insist on that anyways). But if either party can exercise regardless of the wishes of the other, then I understand what the option does.
2006-11-27 15:34:13
141.   natepurcell
You really think that Miller still has better stuff than Kershaw? If so, you are one of the few.

Maybe in a few years, Kershaw will develop to have the better stuff but right now, Miller throws a bit harder more consistenty and millers breaking stuff is superior. Due to the shoulder surgeries and changing of arm slots, millers control has been inconsistent. But when Miller was rising through the minors back in 2003, his control was excellent.

2006-11-27 15:34:37
142.   trainwreck
I feel your pain Canuck, but I do think Penny has a good chance of being the one that is dealt, because Penny probably thinks he lacks character or something stupid.
2006-11-27 15:35:09
143.   trainwreck
*Ned not Penny thinks he lacks character
2006-11-27 15:36:20
144.   trainwreck
They have been extending him out and remember they thought the same about Kuo.
2006-11-27 15:40:41
145.   D4P
I waited in a car in a Walmart parking lot today. I felt dirty...
2006-11-27 15:41:36
146.   ninjavshippo
i went to my first walmart over the weekend in a futile hunt for a wii. it was AWFUL.
2006-11-27 15:41:52
147.   Bumsrap
I am not liking what I am reading here. Trading a couple of prospects here and one there and all of a sudden the Dodgers are old with no payroll flexibility.

We all want a Pujol, Santana, Howard and yet are willing to trade them away for the likes of Burrell or two years of ManRam?

I would be keeping Loney, Kemp, Martin, Maloan, Elbert, Billingsley for sure and I would probably keep Broxton, Ethier, Kuo.

I would not want to give up Miller or LaRoche if all they are are throw ins. Better to see if they can gain value before doing anything with them.

I would trade Penny, Lowe, Betemit, Tomko, Hendrickson if the Dodgers were to sign a few more pitchers. Wolf, Schmidt, Billingsley, Kuo, Maddux works for me because I think Elbert will be ready by no later than June 2007 and Maloan beginning 2008.

Betemit, Lowe, Penny for maybe AROD would make much more sense than getting ManRam and losing a potential star.

Here is speed atthe top of the lineup.

ss Furcal
cf Pierre / Repko
rf Kemp
lf Garciaparra
2b Kent
c Martin
1b Loney

and if the Dodgers could trade Kent to the Angels for Shields....

2b Furcal
cf Pierre/Repko
rf Kemp
3b Garciaparra
1b Loney
c Martin
lf Ethier

2006-11-27 15:42:29
148.   ssjames
141 Here's a question I was wondering about Nate: Do you know what pitch(es) Miller has trouble controlling right now? Is it everything, i.e. just rusty, or does he lack command over his specifically slider, curve, or fastball?

I would love Miller to be the next Kuo, because he could be one of if not the best pitcher in all of baseball with his stuff and mindset.

2006-11-27 15:42:58
149.   trainwreck
Angels have Howie Kendrick.
2006-11-27 15:43:47
150.   Marty
Tim Brown leaving the Times for Yahoo on LA Observed...
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-11-27 15:44:14
151.   overkill94
140 When you phrase it that way, it does seem kinda silly. Usually there's still a buyout to the option, so it might be the case where if the player declines his side then he doesn't get the buyout, but if the team's the one that declines the option then they do have to pay it. That would be the only difference it would seem.
2006-11-27 15:45:52
152.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 137

Canuck, I see your point, but I also think that one can never have too much pitching. The Wolf deal is reasonable, and I actually think that Grady will more-or-less go according to performance, versus veteran status or lack thereof. I think that Kuo and Bills will both get their opportunities to seize the moment, even if we make a move for Schmidt, because they both contributed well enough last season. Grady probably waited too long to exile Tomko to the pen, but he did eventually do it, even with Tomko's deceptively hot start.

And if Ned does make a move for Schmidt, that's another older starter who may go down. Furthermore, I really don't think we should count on Kuo's health over a full season, although I'm pulling for him as much as anyone else.


2006-11-27 15:46:10
153.   bigcpa
135 The key phrase in there was "come cheaper." I would settle for 80% of Manny if we could keep the crown jewels as well. As it stands now I don't expect them to move Burrell since the goal was to find better protection for Howard and the big FA bats are off the board.
2006-11-27 15:48:02
154.   overkill94
147 We could have Manny for 4 years if we want to pay him $20M in 2009 and 2010.
2006-11-27 15:50:53
155.   Bumsrap
We could have AROD for four years as well and if the Yanks took Lowe, Penny, Betemit that would be win win for me.
2006-11-27 15:54:12
156.   jdm025
I also like the idea of as many pitchers as possible to start the season. If we could get Schmidt, here is what our rotation could look like


Just in case:

The further down the In Case of Emergency list we can put Tomko/Hendrickson the better. Besides, how hard is it to unload a starter for a bat in the middle of the season or during this offseason?

Penny for $9 mil? Lowe at $9 mil? The Yanks/Rangers would slobber all over themselves and give up hitting for a legit arm under the $10 mil mark if Bills/Kuo/Elbert all work out.

2006-11-27 15:55:33
157.   CanuckDodger
Miller was touching 95-98 MPH in instructional league after the season. (Kershaw has never thrown over 96.) Miller's curve was devastating. And supposedly his comand was better than what it had been during the season. Miller is supposed to be starting in Vegas in 2007. In 2003, the Braves Double A manager, Brian Snitker, told Braves' fan Bill Shelley, author of the book "Scouts' Honor: The Braves Way To Build A Winning Team," that Greg Miller is the best minor league pitcher he has ever seen. That's a guy you don't give up on.
2006-11-27 15:57:32
158.   Steve
150 -- Seems like a rather extreme way of getting out of having to say nice things about Gary Matthews Jr.
2006-11-27 15:58:42
159.   natepurcell
the Braves Double A manager, Brian Snitker, told Braves' fan Bill Shelley,

bill shanks right?

2006-11-27 16:00:37
160.   Bumsrap
If I can read here that the Dodgers could give up Kemp, Loney, Bills, etc. then why can't the Nats give up Zimmerman?

The Nats have one pitcher, Patterson, and he is coming off injury.

Penny, Lowe, Betemit/LaRoche, Hendrickson, Tomko for Zimmerman. Surely that has to tempt the Nats.

In the mean time the Dodgers would have to have: Bills, Kuo, Schmidt, Maddux, Wolf backed up with Elbert, Miller, Maloan soon enough.

2006-11-27 16:01:01
161.   D4P
i went to my first walmart over the weekend in a futile hunt for a wii

Not sure what a "wii" is, but if you couldn't find it at Walmart, it must be pretty nice.

2006-11-27 16:02:12
162.   ssjames
157 I never said give up on Miller, I would love it if it is true that he can make it through next season as a starter unhurt. I just wonder what messing his mechanics has done to his stuff if anything. I wasn't saying he wasn't good, just questioning if he still would be considered to have better stuff than Kershaw.
2006-11-27 16:03:50
163.   Bumsrap
Does anyone want the gum I scrapped off my shoes from the last time I visited Walmart?
2006-11-27 16:04:04
164.   Benaiah
Like the Pierre signing, the Dodgers adding Randy Wolfe doesn't kill the team and might in some marginal way help the team. The problem is, with tons of money to spend and your best hitter to replace, the Dodgers are picking up average players and longshots for what our current staff ace (Lowe) makes.

17 million dollars of next year's salaries will be going to break even talents, when cheaper options or the farm shines are better alternatives. If indeed Zito or Schmidt follows Wolf to blue (or heaven forbid Lilly or Padilla comes instead) then Kuo is now insurance and Elbert is effectively blocked (barring Penny, Kuo or Wolf's arms falling off). I see a couple of expensive middle relief deals in the making too, just to ensure that Greg Miller and Mark Alexander have to start the year in the minors. I really really really don't like Colletti, and at this point I am a like Chicken Little everytime I check DT or 6-4-2, just waiting for the sky to fall (Billz, Kemp and Elbert traded for Manny).

2006-11-27 16:05:17
165.   D4P
Does anyone want the gum I scrapped off my shoes from the last time I visited Walmart?

I think Andrew might want that back...

2006-11-27 16:06:33
166.   CanuckDodger
159 -- Yes, sorry, Bill Shanks. Bill Shelley covers the Dodgers for
2006-11-27 16:08:30
167.   jdm025
I think that would be a deal along the same lines as Liriano, Bonser, and Nathan for Pierzynski. If Coletti did that I might just have to become a Kevin Malone fan.
2006-11-27 16:14:53
168.   Benaiah
160 - Why in the world is anyone talking about trading Lowe? His current contract is pretty much the definition of a bargain and given the way things are going I think he has a decent shot of getting a significantly bigger contract in two years when he is 35. If Juan Pierre is worth 5 years/45 million (he isn't) then Lowe is probably worth... 15-16 million a year easily. Lowe had 5 times as many Win Shares Above Bench according to the Hardballtimes. Penny at least has some question marks, but Lowe is the best pitcher on our staff, so stop throwing him in on make believe trades!
2006-11-27 16:16:47
169.   natepurcell
With the Wolf signing, i have the payroll at around 95 million now.
2006-11-27 16:21:25
170.   trainwreck
Well that gives me a high that not even drugs can replicate.
2006-11-27 16:23:00
171.   jdm025
Wanted to give this one some thought, but I want to defend Ned just a bit here. The bottom line is that we have limited number of roster spots. If he does not do something to fill those spots with his view of the best combination of overpriced veterans and underpriced rookies.

We simply have way too many unproven (but still potentially fantastic) prospects to play all of them. Talk all you want to about all of the good arms we have (I do all the time to my brother who is a Cubs fan), but only 2 of them have any solid experience with the club (and I am being generous with Kuo).

If he goes out and gets an overpriced veteran, we kill him in the press and on the blogs. If he goes with a youth movement, then we kill him by saying that this is not the Cleveland market and that we should be spending every penny of the $100 million or so available for the best possible players.

Like everything else regarding the offseason, I don't know what he should do, but stockpiling pitchers seems to be a very reasonable way to leverage our lineup into something that will help us later on. After all, we are one of the few teams that, now that Wolf is in the fold, has an excess of starting pitching, though it would be nice to see a #1 signed.

Just ask a fan of the Cubs, Astros, Cardinals, Yankees, Giants, Phillies, or Red Sox how much they would like to have seven or eight decent pitchers, none of whom are signed to bad contracts going into Spring Training.

2006-11-27 16:24:03
172.   dsfan
Love Manny's bat, dislike everything else about him. Defensively. He also has said he doesn't want to go to the NL. So if the Dodgers wanted him, they'd probably have to kick in another $20 million for the 2009 option. That's about $60 million, plus prospects and probably Penny. I'd bid up the price but would pass. He should stay in the AL.
2006-11-27 16:24:06
173.   bigcpa
DeLucci to Cleveland 3yrs/$11.5M.

2006-11-27 16:27:50
174.   trainwreck
Leave it to the Indians to make possibly the smartest signing yet.
2006-11-27 16:28:52
175.   dsfan

I don't see Elbert or any other worthy pitching prospect ever being "blocked" by the Dodgers or anyone else. Baseball's scarcity of pitching is such that if you're the goods, you will get the ball. If you have to wait a bit, so much the better for your arm. Very rarely is there a surfeit of pitching within an organization, and it there is, it tends to be fleeting.

2006-11-27 16:32:00
176.   jdm025
I don't think there is any pitcher in the Dodger system that will be blocked either. If we ever had 5 #1 starters, then we could talk about this, but until then, ANYONE is expendable. Just ask Jeff Weaver and his $9 million the Angels gladly paid to pitch for the Cardinals so that little bro could pitch.
2006-11-27 16:34:57
177.   Jon Weisman
171 - "If he goes out and gets an overpriced veteran, we kill him in the press and on the blogs. If he goes with a youth movement, then we kill him by saying that this is not the Cleveland market and that we should be spending every penny of the $100 million or so available for the best possible players."

This isn't true. Depends on the veteran. And I think fans are much more willing to be patient with a youth movement than they are given credit for.

I happen to be fine with some of Ned's moves, but if he's signing Juan Pierre just to keep people from writing negatively, he's wrong. (Not that I doubt he genuinely thinks Pierre will help the team.)

Ned is not, by any means, in a no-win situation.

2006-11-27 16:36:30
178.   Benaiah
175 - My point is, with the signing of one more pitcher there will suddenly be two or three backups between Elbert and the bigs. I personally would like to have him spend as little time in Vegas as possible.
2006-11-27 16:39:55
179.   trainwreck
I have no problem with a youth movement in the least.
2006-11-27 16:40:05
180.   natepurcell
My point is, with the signing of one more pitcher there will suddenly be two or three backups between Elbert and the bigs. I personally would like to have him spend as little time in Vegas as possible.

Elbert still needs to spend some time in 2007 in AA jacksonville to work on stuff. most notable, his control.

2006-11-27 16:42:00
181.   dsfan

Nor am I a fan of sending pitchers to Vegas, but if his work load is managed properly, I'm all for it.

2006-11-27 16:43:36
182.   jdm025
I think that Ned is actually in a really good situation with the team. My statement is based more on the media than the fans. I remember some bad press that DePo got a couple of years ago when the Dodger payroll dipped a bit.

Ned should not base moves on what the media thinks, but I think that stockpiling pitching is a good move and that Pierre's contract is not.

2006-11-27 16:44:47
183.   trainwreck
Media hated DePo though and they seem to love Ned, well in LA at least.
2006-11-27 16:51:40
184.   Benaiah
Stockpiling pitching is one thing, for instance, I would love to see a staff that looked something like this:
Zito, Lowe, Wolf, Billingsley, Penny, Kou, Broxton, Saito, Tomko, Dessens, Miller. Kuo or Penny might be in long relief to start the year due to injury/seniority and everyone except Miller can start. However, my fear is that Ned will sign two semi-expensive vets for the pen and trade one of Billingsley or Kuo (if he trades Penny then adios).

There is a difference between stockpiling arms, which everyone should be in favor of, and taking the ball out of the hands of promising talent in favor of giving innings to mediocre "major league pitchers."

2006-11-27 16:56:32
185.   D4P
Perhaps the highlight of Ned's first season was finding (cheap) pleasant surprises like Saito and Sele. On the flip side, he paid way too much for "proven" veterans like Baez and Tomko. It seems pretty clear that paying a lot for relievers is not worth the risk, and that the best approach is to invite as many cheap arms to spring training as possible and to keep the ones that look like they can pitch reasonably well.
2006-11-27 16:58:07
186.   jdm025
Do you think that trading Kuo would be a good move if we could get a proven hitter like Burrell?

I think the best move would be to sign Schmidt/Zito and trade Penny for the hitter that is needed, but I would probably give up Kuo for a decent hitter who would be under our control for at least two years.

2006-11-27 17:01:19
187.   sanchez101
I'm a big believer in Kuo, I hate the idea of trading him, and I think the worries about his health are overstated. That said, I think we should understand his limitations. He pitched 113 innings last year, we shouldn't expect him (nor even want him) to start 30+ times next year. A more reasonalbe expectation, IMHO, would be ~150 innings. I would have him shadow start behind Billinglsey, and let Kuo take over a regular turn in the rotation mid-season (preferably sometime around late-July). Regardless of what they intend to do with him, we shouldn't be simply thinking of Kuo as a member of the rotation. He shouldn't be relied upon to pitch a full, 200 IP, work-load yet.
2006-11-27 17:03:29
188.   Benaiah
186 - Not really. Burrell is bad on defense and somewhat injury prone. He has had two very solid years and would replace most of Drew's production, but I think its better to try and trade Penny and/or Ethier. Penny is flakey to say the least and with Ethier at least you are trading in the same position. Right now I think you have to blow me away to trade Kuo. Power pitching lefties don't grow on trees.
2006-11-27 17:05:10
189.   StolenMonkey86
187 - so basically, we should treat him like he's the best 5th starter in the league
2006-11-27 17:08:24
190.   sanchez101
185. The problem with that mentality, and the reason why 'proven' veterans get paid so much, is that there is no gaurantee. What if none of the non-roster invitees work out? Then you don't have a bullpen, and your forced to make a stupid trade mid-season (see, Cincinatti) or loose a bunch of agnozing close games, and if you work in LA, NY, or Boston, the press kills you and you get fired.

That is why, I believe, that so many smart GM's make so many seemingly stupid decisions; we aren't smarter than them we just don't have to live with same repercussions they do.

2006-11-27 17:22:53
191.   D4P
I'm a big believer in Kuo, I hate the idea of trading him

Me too. His numbers as a starter last year were great. But it is true that he may have durability issues.

there is no gaurantee. What if none of the non-roster invitees work out?

But are the "proven" millionaire relievers (e.g. Danys Baez) any more reliable than the Saitos and Seles of the world? I think I'd rather spend money on players that are relatively reliable (e.g. hitters, and to a lesser extent, starting pitchers), and take my chances in the bullpen.

And another thing: if one reliever is making $4 million and the rest are making the minimum, managers feel pressure to use the $4 million man whether they should or not.

2006-11-27 17:31:03
192.   MMSMikey
does anyone read "Sarahs Take" on she is wrong about 90% of the time. she praises every dodger move regaurdless.
2006-11-27 17:50:10
193.   Jon Weisman
192 - See 48.
2006-11-27 18:03:33
194.   MMSMikey
haha, i hear ya, jon. I never seem to agree with anything she writes.
2006-11-27 18:10:14
195.   greenchris
Re: 173, Dellucci signing

I agree, I was hoping he would sign with LA for a 2 year deal while the younger guys get some more grooming. He was cheap, but can't hit he goes out with one of the Barkers Beauties from TPIR, that alone should have made him want to come to LA!

2006-11-27 18:31:14
196.   Jon Weisman
195 - Former Miss USA Brandi Sherwood, later a Barker's Beauty, used to be my upstairs neighbor.
2006-11-27 18:39:51
197.   PadreJeremy
I know the money isnt completely endless in L.A., but I think it would make more sense to bring up a AAA pitcher from Vegas, pay him his 500k or whatever, and take the extra 8 mil that they want to spend on Wolf, and go get Manny Ramirez. The difference between Wolf and the AAA pitcher is minimal compared to the excitement and vast offensive improvement bringing in Manny would generate. Paying 8 mil type money for mediocre pitching makes the Juan Pierre deal look like a great signing.
2006-11-27 18:48:43
198.   StolenMonkey86
Hey, I didn't realize this, but Jim Street at says that if Matsuzaka doesn't get a deal with Boston this year he can become an unrestricted free agent next year.
2006-11-27 18:50:40
199.   natepurcell
Paying 8 mil type money for mediocre pitching makes the Juan Pierre deal look like a great signing.

people have short memories. He was mediocre with an injured elbow. when he didnt have an injured elbow, he was a very good pitcher. It usually takes until the second full year after TJ surgery for pitchers to regain the command and consistency they had before the surgery. Next year will be Wolf's second year after TJ surgery.

Last year he showed that he regained hid stuff but his command was off and because of that, he got roughed up. I think paying 8mil for one year is a good gamble for wolf at only age 30, to regain his form before he got injured.

2006-11-27 19:03:58
200.   thinkingblue
Although Pierre has been a leadoff hitter for his entire career, with the Dodgers he will hit second or third

I really want to like Sarah's articles, but there are just so many things wrong with them. And Juan hit's third, I will label Grady as officially insane.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-11-27 19:15:53
201.   Aug C
Not to be annoying, but if you can bat Julio Lugo third, it's not really a stretch to bat Pierre third.
2006-11-27 19:22:16
202.   Xeifrank
188. Yes, good point for us all to remember. Power pitching lefties don't grow on trees.
vr, Xei
2006-11-27 19:56:07
203.   PDH5204
Cruel irony here, re the Manny trade. The Sox will be trading Manny so they can afford Drew and Lugo. So we ought not have to give up too much. Think of the Sheffield deal. Of course, we'll see what Ned does. Juan Pierre does not bode well, and I never thought that I'd have this compulsive obsession to give Kenny Lofton a hug and never let go, but that's been the compulsive obsession following a certain FA signing. And the truly cruel irony here, well, when have we had a truly good CF since Wynn in '74? But that didn't stop '77, '78, and so on. And so the post-'88 flailings certainly cannot be blamed on our lack of some great CF.

But if we get Manny, then the pithers have to do their job and ensure that when men are on, if he hits one, he hits it to right. Which brings us to that gaping hole in RF...

Oh, and for the soul who made the Moby Dick comparision, kudos to you, as you made plain by fitting allusion/analogy that which I already knew to be true. I suppose that we could otherwise modify the one NT passage to read, for the love of power is the root of all evil, in the world at large and in the microcosm that is baseball.

Lastly, re the Wolf deal, hopefully, some are right, but we'll see, as some surplus pitching might mean that some other gives us more than we deserve just before the trade deadline in exchange for some pitching help for that stretch run, and that might be the best that we can do in the current circumstance [it certainly beats overpaying for mediocrity now].

Sorry, one more. Benaiah, I had found myself in agreement with very nearly everything that you'd written here so far today, but sorry, friend, Burrell is no J.D. Drew. Let me put it this way, Burrell will never have a .436, a .414, and a .401 OBP season. I am otherwise almost ready to renounce my Dodger fanship, since the futility of the last two decades speaks to new now continuing order of things and not aberration, and so maybe I ought to move on, I mean, I have physically already done so, so why not make the exercise complete? Maybe I can join that Red Sox Nation that I've heard so much about, but I get my pick of the litter since my city has no major league team in any sport. Sorry, I will have to make an exception for the Lakers, since they have kept to form, with strong team, rebuilding, strong team, rebuilding, and so on. Well, there's that, and I also find the Resurrection of Kwame Brown rather intriguing. Maybe I should borrow more here from Cory Aquino, modify her somewhat, and simply say that Kwame's resurrection is my team's glorification [Cory said, striking a sincerely religious chord while referring to her husband's murder on the tarmac at the airport in Manila that now bears his name, his death was my country's resurrection].

2006-11-27 20:37:55
204.   overkill94
I think Burrell would be quite the pick-up since he'll cost much less than Manny if the Phillies are still actually shopping him. He'd be a good fit in the 5 spot behind Kent to clean up whoever's left on the bases. He strikes out a lot, but also draws a lot of walks and has pretty dang good power. His defense may stink, but no one's perfect. Is it possible to trade Ethier straight up for him?
2006-11-27 20:53:57
205.   PDH5204
197 Manny is a liability. You usually don't say that about someone who can hit good, and to satisfy Joe Morgan, great pitching, but Manny was at times absent when needed most. And since some here were noting J.D.'s time on the DL and/or out of the lineup for a purportedly injury-avoiding rest, Manny only started 9 games in the last six weeks last year, and his 130 games was next to next to last for his career [3rd worst]. And it was tendonitis, which sounds more chronic to me than some other medical conditions, especially when he's not exactly what one would call a spring chicken. If we could otherwise arrange for teeth and a jaw of steel, and some associating baseballs with frisbees, a frisbee catching dog would field LF better than Manny. The best deal for Manny would be if the Phils played in the AL, and so Manny could then DH and provide Ryan Howard with all the protection he is claimed to need. Who does Manny even protect in our lineup? And that, properly understood, is his superior value to any team, and so while J.D. and Mo will see some better numbers this year, Mr. Ortiz won't [i.e., Ortiz had to be pitched to, since Manny hitting next does hit great pitching].

Have you ever otherwise asked yourself why the Sox would be willing to let Manny go? I mean, as I have said and as the Sox would admit, Manny does hit great pitching. And you saw what Soriano and Pierre signed for, so how bad is Manny's contract? But they're looking to move him, and even more so now, since with Soriano and Pierre, Manny's deal isn't apparently so hard to swallow anymore.

In essence, you're asking us to trade J.D. Drew for Manny Ramirez. Given the recent history, it seems that the Sox know more about the evaluation of baseball talent than my team's management does, so why should I think that we'd be getting the better end of that Drew for Ramirez deal?

So why do I want Manny again?

Besides, let us suppose that you are right, what makes you think that our team is that smart? We just signed Pierre for 5 for 45. When Loney outperforms Pierre, how do we not give him more? Surely, the arbitrator will, after Loney's counsel points at both sets of numbers, then Pierre's contract, and then says something about drawing the appropriate and rather reasonable conclusion? My team just shot itself in the foot, since not only did we ensure overpaying for mediocrity in Juan Pierre, we just set the new low that all of our better players will surely and reasonably wish to rise above, and what can the team say in response, since it was my team and not some others who decided to pay Pierre 45 mil for 5 years? By the way, that's the answer to any claim that the FA market is "insane." "Insane." Exactly, so if you are the sensible GM, you tell Scott, Scott, we're not that stupid, so if you want stupid, have your guy play for Ned in L.A., but when you're ready to talk reason, I'll be here to listen.

2006-11-27 21:38:57
206.   Robert Daeley
205 " why should I think that we'd be getting the better end of that Drew for Ramirez deal?"

JD Drew 2006: 283/393/498
Manny 2006: 321/439/619

JD Drew Career: 286/393/512
Manny Career: 314/411/600

Olney has updated the Dodgers section of his Ramirez story:

"The Dodgers, who are starved for power hitters, loaded with prospects and could probably offer the best possible package of youngsters, from third baseman Andy LaRoche to pitcher Chad Billingsley to outfielder Matt Kemp. Before the August 31 trade deadline, the Red Sox tried to pry first baseman James Loney from L.A. in return for pitcher David Wells, but the Dodgers refused. The Red Sox may resume their pursuit of Loney and perhaps relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton."

2006-11-27 23:26:56
207.   PDH5204
206 I know the numbers, but .321, .439, and .619 don't mean much when you only started 9 games in the last 6 weeks of the season. And while J.D. has no one thinking of Willie Mays and Vic Wertz, he's certainly not the run producer for the other side that Manny is. And so the gap in those numbers is not so big as some might think. And to that add going from Fenway to Dodger Stadum.

I had otherwise already read the update that you posted, but thanks for posting it anyway, and if we trade either or both of those for Ramirez, well, I'll be a DRays fan the moment following.

Let me just say it again. The Sox have Ramirez but want to rid themselves of him for Drew and whatever Ramirez brings in return. What does that say? And have you considered their circumstance? They have a need at short, but they won't get a shortstop from us, since the one they want became a free agent and so now they will be dealing directly with him. They also need a decent reliever, and so Broxton. But those are their two most pressing needs. So why are they even thinking of trading Manny? Couldn't something less than .321, .429, and .619 get them Broxton? For that matter, why would you trade .321, .429, and .619 for Broxton, unless those numbers don't tell the whole tale? They aren't that stupid, and so they're signing the guy that we decided to replace with Juan Pierre.

But for the answer to why they wanted Loney, answer, because Manny is unreliable as of late, and so should Manny not show up, Wily Mo plays left, Coco center, and Loney right.

And by the way, we haven't signed Saito yet, right? And maybe for him, wife and kids matter more, and he's had his day, and did well, and so now he can go to his grave knowing that he could and did. So maybe for reasons other than money, he stays home? And his old fans can now call him "Sammy"? So how can we afford to let Broxton go, at least until we know what Saito decides? Or does Tomko simply close?

Lastly, my word to the Red Sox Nation, or part of it, can be found here at the third comment under the "Discussion" link for the Savings Per Inning Pitched article. How dare they and some others slight my man Saito. Anyway, the link:

2006-11-28 00:08:21
208.   StolenMonkey86
Why would the Sox let Manny go?

1) He asked to be traded.

2) He's got value. The free agent market kind of sucks, so if Boston can get their team a boost through some other means, they'll gladly do it. Ramirez right now would probably get around $20 million if on the market now, if not more. That said, they can get quite a bit more for him, and the move is not a mere salary dump. They could use pitching, and Broxton would make Papelbon's return to the rotation much more bearable. Rather than risk Eric Gagne for more than 20 times the cost, they might be interested in the big fella who's not eligible for free agency for 5 more years.

3) They get plenty of production out of Ortiz. The figure they can survive with only one 40 homer guy. Besides, Ortiz's confidence won't get any higher, and you can put a few guys in there that would be fine. Don't forget that even though Lugo was awful as a Dodger, he is not only unlikely to repeat that little blip, but he is definitely likely to beat Alex Gonzalez's .299 OBP from last year.

4) According to, Boras might screw them out of Matsuzaka. Negotiations are not going well, and according to the report if they fall apart: Matsuzaka would then return to the Seibu Lions become an unrestricted free agent after the 2007 season -- allowing his agent, Scott Boras, to negotiate with any Major League organization. My original impression was that he would have to be posted again, but if that is the case, then the Red Sox may come up empty.

Play with this: If Matsuzaka takes $2 million to pitch next year, and then signs a 3 year, $60 million contract next year, he'll make $62 million over 4 years. He'd have to get $15 million a year from Boston to match that, which would take Boston's total to $111.1 million for a 4 year deal, costing them $27.8 million a year for a guy who's never pitched in the majors. So they'll need something big.

2006-11-28 04:23:09
209.   Andrew Shimmin
I gotta tell you, I'm feeling pretty invincible, right about now. Looks like one-thirty is going to stand for all of eternity.

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