Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dodgers sign Jamey Carroll to two-year deal, Ayala to minor-league deal

This is the move that will put the Dodgers over the top.

Career utility man Jamey Carroll signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday.

Carroll hit a respectable .276 last season for the Indians in a part-time role. That's the role he'll play for the Dodgers -- for now.

However, it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend $2M on a bench player of Carroll's "caliber" when there are perfectly good non-roster invites and/or prospects/young players who could do what Carroll will do -- Blake DeWitt, Chin-Lung Hu, Ivan De Jesus, etc.

The Dodgers just spent $2M on a part-time player when they just saved some money by trading Juan Pierre yesterday. With limited financial resources this off-season, $2M on a 36-year-old utility guy doesn't seem like the smartest move.

It makes you wonder where the Dodgers' priorities are this off-season. There hasn't been much noise about a potential starting pitcher coming to Los Angeles. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

But it doesn't look promising. Here's hoping the Dodgers are somehow able to prove me wrong.

Also, the Dodgers signed right-hander Luis Ayala to a minor-league contract. Again, another move that'll ensure a trip to the Series.

Still waiting on the big move. Here's hoping the big move hasn't happened already.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Juan Pierre, former Dodger

I never thought I'd see the day.

Juan Pierre has been traded to the Chicago White Sox for right-handed pitchers John Ely and Jon Link.

The Dodgers are paying roughly $10.5 million of the $18.5 million he is owed through next season.

Pierre came to the Dodgers in 2007 when Ned Colletti signed him to a 5-year, $44M deal. It was a mistake, as it forced the Dodgers to platoon young players who didn't need to platoon. It also tied up a lot of resources in an eventual fourth outfielder.

Pierre deserves a chance to start, so I'm happy to see him go to a team who plans on playing him everyday. However, he was quite effective last season in a part-time role, putting up a .365 on-base percentage and posting his highest adjusted OPS number since 2004 (105). On the flip side, he filled in admirably for Manny Ramirez when he was dinged for 50 games by MLB.

The White Sox' farm system was hit hard after the Jake Peavy acquisition, but they still found a way to acquire Pierre.

Ely, the Sox' No. 8 prospect heading into the 2009 season, posted a 14-2 record with a 2.82 ERA at Double-A Birmingham. He will be 24 years old in May. He was also rated to have the best changeup in Sox' system. Link is a reliever who had a 3.99 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte before putting up a 2.95 in the Arizona Fall League. He was rated as having the best slider in the Chicago system.

Not a bad return for a guy many Dodger fans wanted gone a long time ago.

Good luck, Juan.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 10 Dodgers of the decade

With the decade coming to an end, this is my list of the top 10 Los Angeles Dodger players of the 2000s.

1. Eric Gagne, RP (2000-06)
Averages: 3-3 W-L, 74 IP, 58 H, 8 HR, 24 BB, 86 K, 3.34 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 10.5 K/9IP, 121 ERA+, 27 saves
Highs: 7 W, 7 L, 151.2 IP, 144 H, 24 HR, 60 BB, 137 K, 1.20 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 15.0 K/9IP, 335 ERA+, 55 saves
The 2003 Cy Young Award winner had the greatest run of any closer in MLB history. His 84-consecutive saves are not soon to be eclipsed. His Dodger career ended with injury and with 161 saves.

2. Shawn Green, RF (2000-04)

Averages: 160 games, 602 at-bats, 101 runs, 168 hits, 37 2B, 32 HR, 101 RBI, 13 SB, 79:113 BB:K ratio, .280/.366/.510/.876, 130 OPS+
Highs: 162 games, 619 AB, 121 R, 184 H, 49 2B, 49 HR (Dodger record), 125 RBI, 24 SB, 93 BB, 121 K, .297/.385/.598/.970, 154 OPS+
Green came to L.A. in 2000 November 1999 with Jorge Nunez for Raul Mondesi and Pedro Borbon. It was a steal of a deal for the Dodgers. His first season in Blue left a lot to be desired. However, his next two seasons were two of the best by a Dodger hitter ever. He was traded away in the winter January 2005.

3. Gary Sheffield, LF (2000-01)
Averages: 142 G, 508 AB, 102 R, 162 H, 26 2B, 40 HR, 104 RBI, 7 SB, 98:69 BB:K, .318/.428/.612/1.040, 170 OPS+
Highs: 143 G, 515 AB, 105 R, 163 H, 28 2B, 43 HR, 109 RBI, 10 SB, 101 BB, 71 K, .325/.438/.643/1.081, 176 OPS+
Sheffield only played two seasons in the decade for the Dodgers, but they were quite productive. It is also the only reason he doesn't rank ahead of Green. Sheffield was one fo the most feared hitters in the game, despite his tumultuous time in Los Angeles.

4. Takashi Saito, RP (2006-08)
Averages: 4-2 W-L, 63 IP, 40 H, 3 HR, 17 BB, 82 K, 1.95 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11.6 K/9IP, 226 ERA+, 27 saves
Highs: 6 W, 4 L, 78.1 IP, 48 H, 5 HR, 23 BB, 107 K, 1.40 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 12.3 K/9IP, 317 ERA+, 39 saves
Saito was signed out of Japan as a minor-league free agent -- and what a signing he was. He continued the dominance Gagne left behind. Like many Dodgers, his time in L.A. ended after injury.

5. Derek Lowe, SP (2005-08)
Averages: 14-12 W-L, 213 IP, 208 H, 19 HR, 54 BB, 141 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 6.0 K/9IP, 120 ERA+
Highs: 16 W, 15 L, 222 IP, 223 H, 28 HR, 59 BB, 147 K, 3.24 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 6.6 K/9IP, 129 ERA+
Lowe was coming off a bad 2004 season when Paul DePodesta signed him to a 4-year, $36M deal. However, Lowe had great postseason success, as he won all three clinching games for the Red Sox that year. Lowe was nothing but consistent for the Dodgers.

6. Andre Ethier, RF/LF (2006-present)
Averages: 145 G, 491 AB, 70 R, 143 H, 33 2B, 19 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB, 53:87 BB:K, .291/.363/.490/.853, 122 OPS+
Highs: 160 G, 596 AB, 92 R, 162 H, 42 2B, 31 HR, 106 RBI, 6 SB, 72 BB, 116 K, .308/.375/.510/.885, 132 OPS+
Ethier came to the Dodgers in the Milton Bradley deal, and he has been quite good. He was hampered early on by being forced to platoon with old, overpaid veterans and another young guy, Matt Kemp. However, he had a breakout performance in 2009, clubbing a Dodger-high 31 home runs. He should be a fixture in the middle of the Dodger order for the forseeable future.

7. Adrian Beltre, 3B (2000-04)
Averages: 147 G, 546 AB, 71 R, 152 H, 28 2B, 25 HR, 84 RBI, 8 SB, 42:90 BB:K, .278/.331/.476/.808, 112 OPS+
Highs: 159 G, 587 AB, 104 R, 200 H, 32 2B, 48 HR, 121 RBI, 13 SB, 56 BB, 103 K, .334/.388/.629/1.017, 163 OPS+

Beltre's numbers were somewhat consistent until 2004, when he exploded for 48 HR, 121 RBI and nearly an NL MVP award. He was allowed to walk after the season and had numbers that were more in line with his career averages during his five-year stay in Seattle. The 2004 season was obviously a fluke.

8. Kevin Brown, SP (2000-03)
Averages: 10-6 W-L, 155 IP, 132 H, 12 HR, 41 BB, 141 K, 2.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.2 K/9IP, 149 ERA+
Highs: 14 W, 9 L, 230 IP, 184 H, 21 HR, 56 BB, 216 K, 2.39 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 8.5 K/9IP, 169 ERA+
Brown signed the huge 7-year, $105M contract in December 1998, becoming baseball's first $100-million man. While his time in L.A. was tainted by injury, he had some of the best peripherals of any Dodger starting pitcher in the decade. He was traded away after the 2003 season.

9. Jeff Kent, 2B (2005-08)
Averages: 130 G, 474 AB, 70 R, 138 H, 30 2B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 2 SB, 52:67 BB:K, .291/.367/.479/.847, 119 OPS+
Highs: 149 G, 553 AB, 100 R, 160 H, 36 2B, 29 HR, 105 RBI, 6 SB, 72 BB, 85 K, .302/.375/.512/.889, 133 OPS+

Kent, the former Giant, came to the Dodgers prior to the 2005 season. His best season as a Dodger came at that time, when he hit 29 home runs and drove in 105 runs. His defense was always below-average, but his offensive production was something that was lacking at the position for quite some time.

10. Chad Billingsley, SP (2006-present)
Averages: 12-8 W-L, 158 IP, 146 H, 13 HR, 72 BB, 145 K, 3.55 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 8.2 K/9IP, 119 ERA+
Highs: 16 W, 11 L, 200.2 IP, 188 H, 17 HR, 86 BB, 201 K, 3.14 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 9.0 K/9IP, 134 ERA+

Billingsley was cruising through the first half. He made the NL All-Star team and was the Dodgers' ace. Then he just kind of fell apart. Because of that, people were calling for him to be traded in a big off-season deal. That would have been foolish. He still has put up respectable numbers after in his four years as a Dodger. He will move up on this list in due time.

Next five: Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Odalis Perez, Chan Ho Park

Top Dodgers by position for the decade

Russell Martin
Paul Lo Duca
Todd Hundley

First Base
James Loney - Best defensive 1B since Wes Parker
Nomar Garciaparra - A magical 2006 (first half) lands him here
Hee-Seop Choi - Three HR in one game, never got a chance to play everyday

Second Base
Jeff Kent
Orlando Hudson - Gold glove, all-star, hit for cycle -- all in just one season
Alex Cora - Mainly for his 2004 performance at 2B, always solid with the glove

Third Base
Adrian Beltre
Casey Blake - Teh Beard
Blake DeWitt - By default, as 3B has been a black hole since 2004

Rafael Furcal - He performs well every-other year, so he should have a great 2010
Cesar Izturis - Gold glover and all-star
Kevin Elster - Just for his 3-HR game at the Phone Dome

Shawn Green
Gary Sheffield
Andre Ethier
Matt Kemp - Will be in the top 10 next decade... maybe even No. 1
J.D. Drew - His 2005 was cut short by injury, put up good numbers

Starting Pitcher
Derek Lowe
Kevin Brown
Chad Billingsley
Odalis Perez - Was great in his first season in L.A.
Chan Ho Park - Made his money from his last two seasons in L.A., came back as reliever in 2008
Hideo Nomo - A warrior, his 2002-03 were great season, should hampered him in 2004

Relief Pitcher
Eric Gagne
Takashi Saito
Jonathan Broxton - Not as good as his predecssors, but still a very good closer
Paul Quantrill - A great two seasons in L.A., left for the Yankees and retired a couple years later
Guillermo Mota - Traded away at the right time, but was dominant... came back in 2009 for second stint

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The McCourts strike again

No arbitration for any Dodgers

The deadline to offer free agents arbitration came and went on Tuesday with the Dodgers offering nobody arbitration. That means whatever team signs the likes of Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson, the Dodgers will not receive any draft pick compensation in return.

This is an utter joke. The McCourts and their legal crap are hindering the Dodgers' abilities to improve the team. I mean, if you can't even offer arbitration to two guys who would have likely turned it down, how should the fans expect any type of acquisition that adds even a few million bucks to the payroll?

The Dodgers are collateral damage in the McCourts' legal war. Because Frank and Jamie can't possibly be civil or adult about the situation, the baseball team has to suffer. Thanks a lot you greedy scumbags!

I guess we should have known things were bad when McCourt had to borrow money to actually buy the team in the first place. The last time the team's ownership was in flux, the Dodgers lost a chance to sign Vladimir Guerrero, who signed with the Angels prior to the 2o04 season. Guerrero won the American League Most Valuable Player award that year and averaged .319/.381/.546/.927, 29 HR, 103 RBI and a 141 OPS+ (100 being league-average) in his six years as an Angel.

Oh, what could have been...

There is no Vlad available this time around, but guys like Roy Halladay and the afore mentioned Lackey aren't coming to Chavez Ravine with the current ownership still in charge. It's too bad we didn't see the signs earlier. You know, the whole trading Carlos Santana (the best catching prospect in the minors) so the Dodgers wouldn't have to pickup $2 million of Casey Blake's remaining salary in 2008 or the reluctance to go over-slot in the draft.

It's just flat-out ridiculous. I can somewhat understand not offering Hudson arbitration, but not offering Wolf is inexcusable. There is no amount of spin that can make it right. He is going to get a multi-year deal on the open market, as he's the best free agent starting pitcher available this side of John Lackey.

It's frustrating and frightening sign of things to come. For now, it seems the Dodgers are going to get the young arbitration-eligible players signed for this upcoming season and fill in the "blanks" with cheap options. That's what not offering arbitration to Wolf and Hudson screams.

Just sell the team already. If Bud Selig wasn't such a moron, Mark Cuban would already own the Cubs. Maybe that mistake by Selig will work out in the Dodgers' favor. Right now, however, it seems more like a pipedream than reality.

The McCourts just need to sell the team and continue the legal proceedings when it cannot hurt the storied franchise.

This is so infuriating.

Go Dodgers, I suppose. The McCourts need to GTFO! (Google it)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Top 30 Dodger Prospects

Here is a list of my top 30 Dodger prospects. Baseball America will release its Dodger top 10 list on Dec. 4. All players who have not reached 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the Major Leagues are eligible for this list. Ages are as of opening day, 2010.

1. Dee Gordon SS (5'11, 160 lbs., 21 years old)
Son of Tom, Dee Gordon nearly established himself as an elite minor league prospect after his 2009 season. He was named the 2009 Midwestern League Player of the Year. He has drawn comparisons to Jose Reyes. He is easily the Dodgers' best prospect.
2010 location: High-A Inland Empire ETA: mid-2011

2. Ethan Martin RHP (6'2, 195 lbs., 20 years old)
Martin had some flashes of brilliance (10.8 K/9, 0.4 HR/9, .232 BAA), but still has some work to do. He must improve his control (5.5 BB/9), but there's no doubt the 2008 No. 15 pick has the potential to be a front-of-the-rotation starter.
2010 location: High-A Inland Empire, possible call-up to Double-A Chattanooga ETA: mid-2011

3. Chris Withrow RHP (6'3, 195 lbs., 21 years old)
It's eerie how similar Martin and Withrow are. Both were mid-first-round picks, both have similar arsenals and both had breakthrough seasons in 2009. Withrow earned a late-season call-up to Double-A and actually had better numbers there, albeit a small sample size.
2010 location: Double-A Chattanooga, possible call-up to Triple-A or Los Angeles ETA: 2011

4. Josh Lindblom RHP (6'5, 240 lbs., 22 years old)
Lindblom impressed the Dodgers in Spring Training, but ultimately never sniffed the Bigs in 2009. He worked as a starter in Double-A and a reliever in Triple-A. The Dodgers want to keep him as a starter because they know he can always go back to relieving.
2010 location: Triple-A Albuquerque with a likely call-up to Los Angeles ETA: 2010

5. Aaron Miller LHP (6'3, 200 lbs., 22 years old)
Miller, the Dodgers' 2009 first-round pick, surprised many folks, including myself. He wasn't the typical projectable high school pitcher scouting director Logan White is accustomed to selecting. He was drafted out of college, and some teams liked him for his bat more out of Baylor. Miller has a chance to top this list with a solid performance in 2010.
2010 location: High-A Inland Empire with a likely call-up to Double-A Chattanooga ETA: 2011

6. Andrew Lambo OF/1B (6'3, 190 lbs., 21 years old)
Lambo was my Dodger No. 1 prospect heading into the season, and he was also Baseball America's choice. Lambo got off to a hot start, but was rather pedestrian for a majority of the season. His numbers across the board fell, but is still the best pure hitter in the Dodgers' system. He was playing against older competition in Double-A and he'll need to bounce back from a sub-par performance in 2009.
2010 location: Double-A Chattanooga ETA: mid-2011

7. Ivan De Jesus SS/2B (5'11, 182 lbs., 22 years old)
De Jesus lost most of his 2009 season to a broken leg in Spring Training. He is one of the most polished prospects in the Dodgers' system, but he tends to try to do too much in the field at times. He has the best plate discipline of any Dodger prospect and could be in line to compete for the starting second base job in Los Angeles.
2010 location: Triple-A Albuquerque or Los Angeles ETA: 2010

8. Nathan Eovaldi RHP (6'3, 195 lbs., 20 years old)
Eovaldi is like Martin and Withrow, but not quite on that level. His ceiling is likely as a middle-of-the-rotation guy with a chance to be a decent No. 2 -- at best. However, he made strides this season and could improve his outlook with a good performance in 2010.
2010 location: High-A Inland Empire with a likely call-up to Double-A Chattanooga ETA: 2012

9. Carl (Allen) Webster RHP (6'2, 165 lbs., 20 years old)
Webster is another Dodger prospect who shot up the rankings after his 2009 performance. He didn't pitch a lot, but when he did pitch, he was quite good. He has a long way to go, but could be a sleeper-type prospect. He still hasn't filled out his frame, so he is projectable. Son of current Dodger scout and former Dodger Mitch Webster.
2010 location: Low-A Great Lakes with potential call-up to High-A or Double-A ETA: 2012

10. Trayvon Robinson OF (5'11, 175 lbs., 21 years old)
Robinson has always had the tools and ability, but he never put it together... until now. He had a breakout season in 2009 and has a chance to build on it in 2010. He's the Dodgers' best five-tool prospect since Matt Kemp, but he isn't even close to that level (nor will he ever be). He has a chance to be a regular in the Majors, if he continues to improve.
2010 location: Double-A Chattanooga ETA: 2012

The best of the rest

11. Anthony (Tony) Delmonico C
Could shoot up if his bat stays solid and he sticks behind the plate, has been a .300/.400/.500 guy in the minors; one of my personal favorite prospects
12. Kyle Russell OF
Too many strikeouts, but his power, glove are the best in the system
13. Garrett Gould RHP
First-round talent, fell to the late second round, could be in the top 10 next year
14. Scott Elbert LHP
Former top 10 guy, this is his make-or-break year
15. Xavier Paul OF
A nice fourth outfielder-type; could be a regular on a bad team
16. Blake Smith OF
Opposite of Miller, as teams looked at Smith more as a pitcher
17. Scott Van Slyke OF
Had a breakout year, but is already 23 years old and barely cracked Triple-A
18. Tim Sexton RHP
Probably profiles better as a reliever, but will stick as a starter for as long as he can
19. Pedro Baez 3B
Perhaps the most talented of any Dodger prospect, but hasn't been able to put it all together
20. Jon Michael Redding RHP
No. 4/5 rotation guy with solid control
21. Jeremy Wise C
Has a chance to be good, but he has to get it going now
22. Russell Mitchell 1B/3B
Had a breakout Arizona Fall League season, but is probably nothing more than a AAAA player
23. Javy (Luis) Guerra RHP
Has the stuff, but needs to get his control down; finally in the pen, where he belongs
24. Justin Miller RHP
Fringe-type guy; probably no more than a mi*ddle reliever
25. Austin Gallagher 3B/1B
The guy who fell the hardest from last year; just hasn't hit enough
26. Brett Wallach RHP
Son of Tim, Brett was a 2009 draft pick and is a work in progress
27. Lucas May C
He came into last season as the possible heir apparent to Russell Martin (if there's such a thing), struggled, went back to Double-A and hit well; probably no more than a backup
28. Kenley Jansen RHP
Converted catcher, has a rocket arm and could be a sleeper
29. Brent Leach LHP
Had a taste of the Majors this year, but is just a LOOGY... except he gets right-handers out more often
30. Tae-Hyeok Nam 1B/3B
Big time sleeper here; played in only three games after coming over from Korea; still very young (19 on opening day)

Best of the Dodger System

Best Hitter for Average Andrew Lambo
Best Power Hitter Kyle Russell
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Ivan De Jesus
Fastest Baserunner Dee Gordon
Best Athlete Dee Gordon
Best Fastball Kenley Jansen
Best Curveball Chris Withrow
Best Slider Josh Lindblom
Best Changeup
Best Sinker
Brent Leach
Brett Wallach
Best Control Aaron Miller
Best Defensive Catcher A.J. Ellis
Best Defensive Infielder Dee Gordon
Best Infield Arm Pedro Baez
Best Defensive Outfielder Kyle Russell
Best Outfield Arm
Best Five-Tool Prospect
Xavier Paul
Trayvon Robinson

Projected 2013 Lineup

Catcher Russell Martin
First Base James Loney
Second Base Ivan De Jesus
Third Base Blake DeWitt
Shortstop Dee Gordon
Left Field Andrew Lambo
Center Field Matt Kemp
Right Field Andre Ethier
No. 1 Starter Clayton Kershaw
No. 2 Starter Chad Billingsley
No. 3 Starter Ethan Martin
No. 4 Starter Chris Withrow
No. 5 Starter Aaron Miller
Closer Johathan Broxton

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Off-season preview, part IV

So far, we've looked at Dodger free agents, arbitration-eligible young players and free agent possibilities. Now it's time for the fun stuff: A look at trade targets.

Before the trading deadline, the hot name was Roy Halladay. Former Blue Jay general manager J.P. Riccardi was outrageous with his trade demands -- at least from the Dodgers' point of view. Now that Halladay is only slated to pitch for a team, Toronto or otherwise, for one season significantly decreases his trade value.

Roy Halladay

Some players Toronto would be looking at:

Chad Billingsley, RHP - Who wouldn't want a 25-year-old all-star pitcher?
James McDonald, RHP - He might profile better as a reliever, but could still make it as a starter; was the No. 2 prospect heading into the season
Dee Gordon, SS - A Jimmy Rollins/Jose Reyes-type shortstop who had an outstanding season in the minors
Ethan Martin, RHP - First-round pick in 2008, Martin is one of the Dodgers' best pitching prospects and is in the mold of the afore mentioned Billingsley
Chris Withrow, RHP - Like Martin, a former first-rounder who had a breakout season and might be the Dodgers' best pitching prospect
Andrew Lambo, OF - He was the Dodgers' top-ranked prospect coming into the season and had a less-than-stellar campaign, but still has great talent
Josh Lindblom, RHP - The Dodgers' most MLB-ready pitcher, Lindblom had a solid season working as a starter and reliever
Ivan De Jesus, Jr., SS/2B - De Jesus lost his season after breaking his leg early in spring training, but has the best plate discipline of any Dodger minor leaguer
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP - Another of the Dodger right-handed prospects who had a solid season
Scott Elbert, LHP - Elbert still has talent, but his control is his only problem
Xavier Paul, OF - ML-ready outfielder who profiles best as a fourth outfielder
Chin-Lung Hu, SS - Like De Jesus, Hu could step in and play shortstop right now, but his bat will always be a question

The Dodgers would be awfully foolish to trade Billingsley in a deal for Halladay. If anything, they should be looking for Roy to mentor Chad, if acquired. Halladay's $15.75 million contract for 2010 could be a sticking point with the McCourt legal problems.

My proposal

To Toronto: Ethan Martin, James McDonald, Ivan De Jesus, Nathan Eovaldi
To Los Angeles: Roy Halladay

Why it works for Toronto: Martin is quickly becoming an elite pitching prospect while De Jesus could step in right now and play shortstop for the Jays. McDonald could slide into the bullpen or rotation, while Eovaldi could develop into another solid starter.

Why it works for LA: Roy Halladay is a horse and one of the best starting pitchers in baseball and could be a great mentor for Billingsley.

Another hot rumor that started up quickly before the deadline was Adrian Gonzalez. He would be an upgrade at first base and as much as I love James Loney, Gonzalez is about the only guy I'd replace Loney with (save Albert Pujols). The rumor was Loney, Russell Martin, Ivan De Jesus, James McDonald and Blake DeWitt for Gonzalez and Heath Bell. However, with the change of Padre ownership, trading the cost-effective Gonzalez without getting top-tier talent in return would be foolish.

Adrian Gonzalez

Here are some other guys to consider, as well as those already mentioned:

James Loney, 1B - With the acquisition of a first baseman, moving Loney is a must, unfortunately
Blake DeWitt, 3B/2B - A stellar third baseman, he was a key component in 2008 for the Dodgers, yet was lost in the shuffle last season
Russell Martin, C - Martin's bat has gone so far down that it's concerning, but he still draws a lot of walks and plays pretty solid defense behind the plate... not to mention how well he handles the pitching staff
Kyle Russell, OF - The Dodgers' best power prospect, Russell is in the mold of Adam Dunn, but with superior defense
Scott Van Slyke, OF - Had a breakout season and could shoot up the Dodger minor league rankings

My Proposal

To San Diego: James Loney, Blake DeWitt, Dee Gordon, Ethan Martin, Scott Elbert, Kyle Russell
To Los Angeles: Adrian Gonzalez, Heath Bell

Why it works for SD: Loney replaces Gonzalez while the Padres get two of the Dodgers' best prospects. DeWitt could step in and play 3B for SD, allowing them to move Kevin Kouzmanoff and his increasing price tag for other help. Elbert could slide into the pen or rotation for the Padres. Russell immediately becomes the Padres' best power prospect and it allows SD to trim the payroll a bit.

Why it works for LA: A 2-3-4-5 of Kemp-Ethier-Ramirez-Gonzalez is devastating. Plus, Gonzlaez is a great defensive first baseman. Also, Bell at the end of the Dodger pen makes it that much more deadly. The Dodgers cannot move Russell Martin without a viable replacement, which is why he isn't in this proposal.

Edwin Jackson

A speculative rumor out there is involving a former Dodger, Edwin Jackson. It's Jackson for George Sherrill.

My Proposal

To Detroit: George Sherill, Tim Sexton
To Los Angeles: Edwin Jackson

Why it works for Detroit: The Tigers are going to need a closer with Fernando Rodney likely to leave via free agency and Sherrill has experience closing in the American League. They also get a young, developmental arm in Sexton. In the long run, Jackson will end up costing more, money wise, than Sherrill will.

Why it works for LA: The Dodgers get a guy back that they should have not sold low on when they traded him for Danys Baez and Lance Carter. He could immediately step in and be the Dodgers' No. 3 starter.

Expanded Trade Proposal

To Detroit: George Sherill, Tim Sexton, Juan Pierre
To Los Angeles: Edwin Jackson, Carlos Guillen

Why it works for Detroit: Guillen is owed $26M over the next two seasons, while Pierre is owed $18.5M. This deal saves the Tigers money and gives them a lead-off hitter.

Why it works for LA: It works because Jackson is the main piece of the deal. Guillen would fit better at a corner infield spot, but would have to play 2B in LA.

Second base is going to be an issue for LA, as Orlando Hudson isn't likely to return. DeWitt could have a shot at the position, while Ronnie Belliard could be brought back. However, an upgrade at 2B is likely -- guys like Dan Uggla, Brandon Phillips and Carlos Guillen will be available.

Dan Uggla

I'm not an Uggla guy, but I could see the Dodgers getting him.

My Proposal

To Florida: Josh Lindblom, Chin-Lung Hu, Cole St. Clair
To Los Angeles: Dan Uggla

Why it works for Florida: The Marlins shed payroll and get two guys who can step in and play right away. Lindblom can serve as a starter or reliever. Hu could play SS if the Marlins decide to move Hanley Ramirez to 3B.

Why it works for LA: The Dodgers' second base hole is plugged, despite Uggla being a sub-par defensive 2B.

Brandon Phillips

Phillips is one of the best defensive 2Bs in baseball, has pop and speed. So, why do the Reds want to trade him? Because of his contract, of course. He is owed $23M over the next two years ($1M buyout in 2011, if necessary). I like him better than Uggla, basically because his glove is light years ahead.

My Proposal

To Cincinnati: Juan Pierre, Ivan De Jesus, Nathan Eovaldi
To Los Angeles: Brandon Phillips

Why it works for Cincinnati: The Reds save $4.5M, get a guy who could take Phillips' spot and a solid pitching prospect.

Why it works for LA: Fills the need at second base with a guy who can also hit.

Another rumor out there is A.J. Ellis for Alberto Callaspo. If there's any hint of truth to this, the Dodgers will get it done ASAP. Ellis is nothing more than a decent backup catcher and Callaspo had a great season last year for the Royals. He could be a valuable piece off the bench.

Now, there's no way all these trades happen, but it's just a look some of the guys the Dodgers should be targeting in the trade market, if they become available.

That concludes the off-season preview. I'll update the blog when there's any significant Dodger news. With the Hot Stove season quickly approaching, there should be lots of things to talk about.

Go Blue!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Off-season preview, part III

With the McCourt's impending divorce, the free agency period is going to be an uncertain time for the Dodgers.

If their legal issues don't prevent the Dodgers from making significant moves, the Dodgers will be in the hunt for a starting pitcher or two. John Lackey is by far the best starter available, with guys like Randy Wolf, Rich Harden and Erik Bedard could be other targets.

Lackey is going to command a huge pay day (some rumors say as much as $100 million), so I wouldn't exactly hold out hope Lackey hops on I-5 and makes the trip to the real Los Angeles.

Wolf had one of the best seasons of his career and is looking multi-year deal. He shouldn't be that unaffordable, though.

Harden and Bedard are injury risks. In fact, there are concerns whether or not Bedard will even pitch this season. Harden has some of the best stuff in the game, but he can he stay healthy?

Some lesser options include Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla or a reclamation project like Ben Sheets.

It seems the trade route could be better for the Dodgers when it comes to starting pitching.

Second base is also going to be something for the Dodgers to explore.

The signing of Orlando Hudson in February was brilliant and paid off. Hudson brought solid offense and gold glove defense -- the latter of which is something the Dodgers have missed for quite some time. However, his benching toward the end of the season likely spelled the end of his time as a Dodger. He was great and I'm going to miss him.

Ronnie Belliard, acquired in August, is a candidate to come back. However, if the Dodgers think he'll be a viable option for an entire season, they're sorely mistaken. He's a good part-timer and he should be brought back for that purpose.

Felipe Lopez is an intriguing option. He wouldn't cost a lot and would provide some solid offense, as he did this year with Arizona and Milwaukee.

The Dodgers could just as well hand the job to Blake DeWitt or see if Ivan De Jesus, Jr. is ready for the job. However, as is the case with starting pitching, a trade might make more sense to fill the second base need.

Next up: Potential Trade Targets

Monday, November 2, 2009

Off-season preview, part II

The flood of arbitration-eligible young players is finally here for the Dodgers. Coming up through the ranks, we all heard about the Billingsleys, Kemps and Loneys -- well, now it's their time to cash in.

Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Hong-Chih Kuo and Jason Repko are all eligible for arbitration for the first time -- which means substantial raises from the peanuts they made in the past.

Well, for everyone except Repko, who will undoubtedly be non-tendered.

Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier and Russell Martin will be eligible for a second time, as will George Sherrill, but it will be his first time as a Dodger.

With all the players eligible and approximately $40 million coming off the books, the Dodgers should have no trouble covering the raises.

However, with the pending divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt, it might not leave a lot of money left over for free agents and/or trade acquisitions.

Here are the numbers, in terms of what the Dodgers paid the afore mentioned players in 2009 (save Sherrill):


Broxton - $1.825M
Ethier $3.1M
Martin - $3.9M
Sherrill - $2.75M

Billingsley - $0.475M

Kemp - $0.467M
Kuo - $0.437M
Loney - $0.465M

Ethier, Martin, Billingsley and Kemp are likely to get the largest raises, which will have an adverse effect on the payroll.

If Manny Ramirez doesn't exercise his option, it would be a blessing. Ramirez isn't the same player he was before the 50-game suspension and can't hit an inside fastball with authority anymore.

Saving his $20M on the payroll would be a long way to improving the team. However, I don't expect that to happen.

Next up: Potential Free Agent Targets

Monday, October 26, 2009

Off-season preview, part I

I've decided to break down the off-season preview into four parts: Dodger free agents, arbitration-eligible young players, potential free agent targets and potential trade targets.

The Dodgers have 15 free agents, not counting Manny Ramirez, who is all but a lock to exercise his $20M player option for 2010.

Dodger Free Agents
Brad Ausmus
Ronnie Belliard
Juan Castro
Jon Garland ($10M mutual option, $2.5M buyout if team declines, $1M if player declines)
Orlando Hudson (Type A)
Mark Loretta
Doug Mientkiewicz
Eric Milton
Guillermo Mota
Will Ohman
Vicente Padilla ($12M club option, $1.75M buyout)
Jason Schmidt
Jim Thome
Jeff Weaver
Randy Wolf (Type A)

Hudson: Many have said Hudson will not be back, especially after his benching toward the end of the regular season and in the playoffs. If it comes to be, his signing will have been well worth it. He hit for the Dodgers' first cycle since 1970 and played Gold Glove-caliber defense at second base -- something the Dodgers haven't had since 2004. The Dodgers need to offer him arbitration. The worst thing that can happen is he accepts and the Dodgers are "stuck" with a great team player for another season. Arbitration: Yes

Wolf: Randy is an interesting topic. He had a career-year in 2009, and the Dodgers needed every bit of it. He is likely to command a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal on the open market. The Dodgers should be in the hunt to re-sign him, but don't be surprised if he cashes in on his fantastic 2009. Arbitration: Yes

Garland/Padilla: First of all, neither of these guys will have their options exercised. However, the Dodgers could look to bring back one or both of these guys on the cheap. The Dodgers need an ace, but these guys aren't aces. They're decent back-of-the-rotation guys. Perhaps there is only a need for one. Arbitration: No

Belliard: Belliard was a late-season spark off the bench and, eventually, as a starter. However, if the Dodgers think he'll perform nearly as well as he did with the Dodgers in a full-time role, they are sadly mistaken. The Dodgers should bring him back as a utility/part-time guy, though. Arbitration: No

As for the rest, no other player will be offered arbitration. And if I'm the Dodgers, the only guys I consider bringing back are Doug Mientkiewicz and Jeff Weaver. Doug didn't play as much as expected, due to injury, and Weaver was a pleasant surprise as a spot-starter/long reliever.

Next up:
Arbitration-eligible young players

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And just like that, the season ends

The Phillies defeated the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS, 10-4.

The Dodgers' pitching didn't show up but for one game the entire series (Game 2). And it was painfully evident that after Jimmy Rollins came through for the Phillies on Monday night, the series was all but over.

The Dodgers weren't going to be able to out-hit the Phillies, especially since they had a red-hot Ryan Howard. The lack of quality pitching was the Dodgers' undoing.

It was a quality season overall for the Dodgers, finishing with 95 wins and another NL West title. However, they have yet to win more than one game in a postseason series against Philadelphia.

Now it's on to the off-season -- an off-season filled with many questions.

The only sure thing is, the Dodgers will be bringing Ned Colletti back as GM, as he signed a contract extension on Tuesday.

One other sure thing is the pending divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt will play a roll in what the Dodgers do -- or don't do -- this off-season.

My next post will be an off-season preview.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dodgers trail NLCS 3-1

The Dodgers are just about done.

They dropped two games in a row in Philadelphia, 11-0 and 5-4.

Monday's Game 3 was never much of a contest. The Dodgers started a rusty Hiroki Kuroda, with which I had no problem. However, it backfired.

Tuesday's Game 4 was a heartbreaker. The Dodgers, trailing 2-0 after a Ryan Howard two-run home run, clawed back to tie the game at two. They took the lead on a fifth-inning Matt Kemp homer. The Dodgers tacked on one more run in the sixth, as did the Phillies.

The ninth inning rolled around, and Jonathan Broxton had already been in the game. This was a must-win game for the Dodgers and they had their all-star closer on the bump.

He got Raul Ibanez to ground out to start the inning. He then, inexplicably, walked Matt Stairs on four pitches. Broxton even admitted he was pitching around Stairs.

"I wasn't going to give him a fastball down the middle," said Broxton.

I know Stairs hit a home run off Broxton in last year's NLCS that has yet to land, but to pitch around a 40-year-old Matt Stairs is cowardly and stupid. And it came back to doom the Dodgers.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Broxton hit future Giant or Padre (because he's a Dodger killer), Carlos Ruiz on the first pitch.

Broxton was able to get Dobbs out for the second out before grooving a fastball to Jimmy Rollins, which Rollins hit for a game-winning, two-run double. With that hit, the Dodgers' season is effectively over.

I've been a Broxton supporter, even though I wasn't totally convinced when he took over for Takashi Saito last season. He was flat-out dominant this season and there wasn't much of a reason not to believe in him.

Boy, was I wrong.

Teams have come back from 3-1 deficits before, but the odds are not good -- especially for this Dodger team, which has shown a lack of spark since leaving Los Angeles.

It has happened 11 times in LCS history.

I'm not giving up all hope, but most of the hope I had was dashed when Rollins won the game for the Phillies.

The Phillies are now the Dodgers' new Cardinals. Let's just hope it doesn't take six years to get over Philly as it did St. Louis.

Go Blue.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dodgers split first two games of NLCS

After a disappointing performance on Thursday, the Dodgers bounced back Friday to defeat the Phillies, 2-1.

Vicente Padilla pitched his best game as a Dodger, going 7 1/3 innings, allowing only a solo home run to Ryan Howard.

The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the eighth inning and Jonathan Broxton slammed the door shut in the ninth.

The Dodgers are going to need Hiroki Kuroda and Randy Wolf to step it up in Philadelphia.

Many people criticized Joe Torre for sticking with Clayton Kershaw too long in game one. Normally I would agree. However, I liked the decision to see what the kid could do. It's unfortunate it didn't work out for the Dodgers, but it won't be the last time the phenom has a chance to prove himself.

Go Blue!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dodgers on to NLCS!

The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, defeating the Redbirds, 5-1, on Saturday.

The Dodger attack was fueled by Andre Ethier (3-5, HR, two RBI) and Manny Ramirez (3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI). The Dodgers got a great pitching performance out of Vicente Padilla, who went seven innings, allowed four hits and struck out four.

After Thursday's dramatic win, it seemed like any momentum the Cardinals had built leading into the ninth inning on that day was gone for good. The Dodgers took care of business and will now await the winner of the Colorado/Philadelphia series.

Three down, eight to go.

Go Blue!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dodgers win 3-2 in dramatic fashion!

Wow, that was a hell of a game. The Dodgers, who mustered only one run against Adam Wainwright, scored two in the ninth inning to stun the Cardinals and take a 2-0 series lead.

Clayton Kershaw, in his first postseason start, gave the Dodgers a solid outing, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing 9 hits, two runs, one walk (intentional to Albert Pujols) and four strikeouts.

Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez flied out to start the ninth. James Loney hit a fly ball/sinking liner to left field, where Matt Holliday apparently lost it in the crowd, which resulted in Loney ending up on second.

A walk to Casey Blake was followed up by the game-tying single by Ronnie Belliard. Russell Martin walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Mark Loretta to come through with the biggest hit of his career.

He singled to center on an 0-1 pitch to give the Dodgers the win. It was the Dodgers' 13th walk-off win of the season.

The Dodgers travel to St. Louis on Saturday, where Vicente Padilla takes on Joel Pinero.

Go Blue!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dodgers take NLDS opener, 5-3

The Dodgers, behind a somewhat surprising offensive performance and a great bullpen showing, defeated the Cardinals 5-3 in the first game of their NLDS series.

After allowing a run in the first, the Dodgers took the lead back on two pitches: A single by the red-hot Rafael Furcal and a mammoth two-run home run to Matt Kemp.

Kemp's first-inning two-run shot

The Dodgers tacked on single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings, while the Cardinals added single runs in the fourth and ninth innings.

The Dodgers send 21-year-old Clayton Kershaw against Adam Wainwright, a 19-game winner and NL Cy Young candidate.

Go Blue!

Dodgers start playoff run tonight

The Dodgers start their playoff run tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals -- a team which has completely owned the Dodgers in recent memory.

The Dodgers are going with Randy Wolf in game one, Clayton Kershaw in game two and Vicente Padilla in game 3. The Cardinals are countering with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Joel Pinero.

The key for the Dodgers this series is the offense. Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier slumped for the past couple of weeks. The Dodgers won't be able to beat the Cards without each one of these guys contributing.

It's going to be tough, but the Dodgers must erase the stigma that they cannot beat St. Louis. If they get past the mental block, it'll all be about the play on the field.

Go Dodgers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dodgers acquire Jim Thome and Jon Garland

In a somewhat surprising move, the Dodgers acquired Jim Thome from the White Sox for minor league middle infielder Justin Fellers. Fellers, a 26-year-old Single-A player, doesn't have much of a future in the Big Leagues, and the Dodgers are only paying $1 million of Thome's remaining $2.4 million salary for the season.

Thome will not take away any regular plate appearances from current Dodger 1B James Loney. Thome will be used strictly as a late-inning pinch hitter.

The Dodgers also acquired RHP Jon Garland from the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later. Speculation is that 2B Tony Abreu will be the PTBNL. The Dodgers will not pay any of Garland's contract, nor the $2.5 million or $1 million buyout for next season. Either the Dodgers just wanted another inning-eater for late in the season or the Dodgers are concerned about Hiroki Kuroda's ability to return to form this season.

While I'm not thrilled with Garland as a pitcher, the Dodgers didn't exactly give up a lot for him. Abreu has been in the Dodgers' doghouse for the last three years after experiencing injuries -- some of which the team felt he could have played through.

Despite Orlando Hudson not guaranteed to return to the Dodgers after the season, it's rather clear Abreu wasn't going to get much of a chance to be the everyday second baseman for LA.

Overall, these are two solid trades that didn't cost the Dodgers much in terms of talent or money.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dodgers sign RHP Vicente Padilla

In a move that is a direct result of Hiroki Kuroda getting nailed in the head with a line drive last weekend, the Dodgers have signed former Ranger, Phillie and Diamondback Vicente Padilla to a minor league deal. The Dodgers will only have to pay approximately $100,000 as part of the prorated veterans minimum.

Padilla has good stuff... well, had good stuff. He's turned into a very hittable pitcher and playing in the Rangers' launching pad didn't help matters. But there's one thing that has been consistent of Padilla throughout his career: He is a Grade-A douche bag.

Case and point: August 5 at Oakland, Padilla's last game as a Ranger, he hit Kurt Suzuki with a pitch after giving up a two-run home run to Scott Hairston. Two innings later, A's starter Chad Reineke beaned Rangers All-Star Michael Young. The camera switched to a shot of Padilla in the bullpen... laughing. He was laughing about Young being hit! What a joke! I'm sure Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are ecstatic about this move.

This is nothing new for Padilla. He's notorious for hitting batters -- he led the American League with 17 HBP in 2006 and had 15 last season.

I know the Dodgers need SP depth and this about the best they could do at this time in the season. And I'm not one to harp on the "chemistry" issue, but I really hope Padilla doesn't upset the flow of the clubhouse.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Dodger trip

I recently returned from beautiful Southern California from what is quickly becoming my annual So Cal/Dodger trip. I went to the game on Saturday night, putting my in-person six-game winning streak on the line.

I had the absolute privilege of watching Clayton Kershaw pitch, and pitch he did. Kershaw went seven innings, allowing two hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts. It was a flat-out dominant performance. It's too bad the offense didn't show up.

The game went to the 10th inning in a scoreless tie. Guillermo Mota, who has pitched so well for the last couple of months, gave up a two-run home run to Braves' 2B Kelly Johnson. The Dodgers tried to rally, getting an Andre Ethier RBI double in the bottom half, only to have Matt Kemp ground out to end the game, a 2-1 loss for the Dodgers. The Blue had plenty of chances, but just couldn't cash in.

Despite the loss, it was still a great experience. I absolutely love Dodger Stadium. I wish I could live there. It is traditional, the seats were great and the Dodger Dogs can't be beat.

The Dodgers are scuffling a bit recently, which was bound to happen. As long as they get back on track by October, it'll be OK.

Go Blue!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Clayton Kershaw, ace

Before last night's rough outing against Milwaukee, Clayton Kershaw had been one of the best pitchers in the Majors since May. Even with the hiccup, he still has been one of the best pitchers over the last few of months. Kershaw is going through a similar progression as Chad Billingsley, but he's actually further along than Billingsley was at the same point of their respective careers.

Kershaw's Line from May 1 - July 29:
8-3 W-L
1.81 ERA
99 2/3 IP
91 Strikeouts
1.18 WHIP
.187 BAA

These are some superb numbers, and it couldn't come at a better time for the Dodgers. It seems once Kershaw picked it up, Billingsley hit a rough stretch.

Billingsley's Line from June 1 - July 29:
4-3 W-L
5.29 ERA
64 2/3 IP
55 Strikeouts
1.41 WHIP
.252 BAA

However, Billingley's outing on Sunday Night Baseball is very encouraging. He threw five scoreless innings, walking one and striking out nine before having to leave early with hamstring cramping. He will be OK to make his next start.

If the Dodgers can get these two guys on track at the same time, then the inability to land an ace before the trade deadline will be an afterthought. However, doom and gloomers like The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plashcke, perhaps the worst columnist in the country, thinks otherwise. But he's a tool who inexplicably still has a job. But that's another topic for another time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez and the effect

Many say myths exist about great hitters making other hitters better, especially when the hitter in question hits in front of the superstar. For the sake of my argument, I'm talking about Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez. After Ethier's leadoff HR in the sixth inning of today's game against the Braves, I got to thinking about what kind of effect Manny has really had on Mr. Ethier.

Since acquiring Ramirez on July 31, 2008, he has done nothing but help improve Ethier's overall numbers. This breakdown is of every game Ethier has played while Ramirez was in the lineup -- either hitting directly in front of Manny or when Manny was in the lineup since August 1, 2008:

Ramirez in the lineup and Ethier not hitting directly in front of him (66 games):

.309 AVG (75-243)
.411 OBP
.547 SLG
.958 OPS
46 Runs
18 2B
2 3B
12 HR
41 RBI
40:34 BB:K Ratio

Ramirez in the lineup and Ethier hitting directly in front of him (28 games):

.398 AVG (47-118)
463 OBP
.737 SLG
1.200 OPS
29 Runs
9 2B
2 3B
9 HR
28 RBI
15:22 BB:K Ratio

Here are Ethier's career numbers batting second

It's obvious that, despite the smaller sample size, Ethier enjoys more success while hitting directly in front of Ramirez. However, his numbers since the Manny acquisition aren't too shabby by themselves. So, Mr. Torre, please do not remove Ethier from the second spot in the lineup, as it can only benefit the Dodgers when Ethier is hitting out of his mind.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Lots of deals, nothing big for LA

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went at 1 p.m. Pacific time with a flurry of moves. However, there was no other significant move for the Dodgers. The Dodgers were in on Roy Halladay, whom is staying in Toronto due to the foolishness of Blue Jay GM J.P. Riccardi. There was a late rumor that said the Angels could be getting Halladay, but that fell apart.

There was also a report for the always accurate (lol) Ken Rosenthal, stating the Dodgers were trying to get 1B Adrian Gonzalez and RHP Heath Bell from the Padres. If Dodger GM Ned Colletti thought the price for Halladay was expensive, he must have been off his rocker to think LA could acquire both Gonzalez and Bell.

The biggest deal of the day was the White Sox getting Jake Peavy, again, from San Diego. The teams agreed to a deal a few months back, only to have Peavy block it. Now that Peavy has been injured for awhile and the rumors of San Diego trying to trade its other stars, Peavy probably thought it was time to say good bye to the Padres. It was a post-deadline deal that seemingly came out of nowhere.

Here is a rundown of all the deadline day trades and winners:
  • Detroit acquired LHP Jarrod Washburn from Seattle for two prospects: LHPs Luke French and Mauricio Robles. Winner: Detroit
  • Milwaukee acquired RHP Claudio Vargas from the Dodgers for C Vinny Rottino. Rottino is a 29-year-old Double-A catcher who has no value. Vargas was moved to clear a roster spot for the newly-acquired George Sherrill. Winner: Milwaukee
  • Minnesota acquired SS Orlando Cabrera from Oakland for SS Tyler Ladendorf. Winner: Minnesota
  • Boston acquired C/1B Victor Martinez from Cleveland for RHPs Justin Masterson, Bryan Price and LHP Nick Hagadone. The Indians got a better return here than they did for Cliff Lee. Winner: Push
  • Atlanta acquired 1B Adam LaRoche from Boston for 1B Casey Kotchman. Winner: Atlanta
  • N.Y. Yankees acquired INF/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. from Cincinnati for C Chase Weems. Winner: New York
  • Colorado acquired LHP Joe Beimel from Washington for RHPs Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian. Winner: Colorado
  • Cincinnati acquired 3B Scott Rolen from Toronto for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, RHPs Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart. Winner: Cincinnati
  • Florida acquired 1B Nick Johnson from Washington for LHP Aaron Thompson. Winner: Florida
  • Chicago White Sox acquired RHP Jake Peavy from San Diego for LHPs Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard and RHPs Adam Russell and Dexter Carter. Winner: Chicago
Like I said, a busy day. Trading isn't completely over, though. Players can still be traded if they pass through waivers. Don't expect guys like Halladay and Gonzalez to be traded, but some of the lower-tier players will easily clear waivers and could make a small impact on divisional/wild card races.

The Dodgers end up as losers in this deadline season. The Sherrill acquisition was solid, but without a big addition (a workhorse SP or the Bell-Gonzalez combo), it is going to be tough for the Dodgers to compete with Philadelphia and St. Louis. The Cardinals absolutely own the Dodgers. I'm disappointed, especially since this seemed to be such a buyers market. The Phillies, Cardinals and Red Sox all won this trade season. We'll see what happens in October.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dodgers acquire George Sherrill

The Dodgers have acquired LHP George Sherrill from Baltimore for 3B prospect Josh Bell and RHP Steven Johnson.

On the surface, this looks like a good, even trade. However, the Blue Jays were said to be interested in Bell in a potential Halladay package. Unless the Dodgers also acquire Halladay by 1 p.m. tomorrow, this trade will look a lot worse. I don't believe Dodger GM Ned Colletti would blow a chance to get Halladay by trading Bell for a reliever, so there's still hope, I suppose.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Trade round-up from Wednesday

There were many trades on Wednesday, just two days before the Major League Baseball non-waiver Trade Deadline. Here's a look at the deals and the winners:
  1. Philadelphia acquired LHP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco from Cleveland for RHP Carlos Carrasco, RHP Jason Knapp, C Lou Marson and SS Jason Donald. My previous entry has my thoughts about this deal, suffice it to say, the Phillies killed this 0ne. Winner: Philadelphia

  2. Seattle acquired SS Jack Wilson, RHP Ian Snell and cash from Seattle for SS Ronny Cedeno, 1B/C Jeff Clement, RHP Aaron Pribanic, RHP Brett Lorin, and RHP Nathan Adcock. Despite none of the prospects being ranked higher than No. 24 by Baseball America to start the season, Pribanic and Lorin are having excellent seasons, while Adcock is struggling a little. This trade is somewhat baffling, as Seattle had been rumored to be moving Jarrod Washburn. The trade with Pittsburgh shows Seattle thinks it can still contend in a load American League. Wilson is a solid defender at short and Snell has great stuff, but he hasn't been the same since his breakout 2007 season. Winner: Pittsburgh

  3. San Francisco acquired 2B Freddy Sanchez from Pittsburgh for RHP Tim Alderson. This was my favorite trade of the day. As a Dodger fan, it's always nice to see the Giants give away talent for decent players. Alderson was ranked No. 4 by Baseball America to start the season and was ranked as a Top 50 prospect in all of baseball in its mid-season rankings. It isn't everyday the Pirates get over on a team, let alone twice in one day! Winner Pittsburgh

Dodgers miss out on Cliff Lee, goes to Philly

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired LHP Cliff Lee and OF Ben Francisco for four prospects. The four prospects the Phillies dealt were RHP Carlos Carrasco, RHP Jason Knapp, SS Jason Donald and C Lou Marson. Lee is the reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League.

The Dodgers were said to be very interested in Lee, but apparently a deal could not be struck. The Phillies made out like bandits in this trade. Carrasco is the best prospect in this deal, but he's had a really tough season at Triple-A Lehigh. Knapp is a high-ceiling guy, but there are concerns about his mechanics, injury concerns (he is on the DL in the minros right now) and profiles as a reliever. Donald is a utility infielder and Marson is a decent catching prospect. However, the Indians have Carlos Santana, whom the Dodgers traded to Cleveland last year for Casey Blake. He is one of the best catching prospects in all of baseball.

The question now, is, what are the Dodgers going to do before Friday? I think they had their sights set on Lee, but that option is gone. Roy Halladay is likely too pricey, though, I think the Dodgers could still explore that option. George Sherrill seems to be atop the list of potential acquisitions for L.A. However, time is running out. The Dodgers are almost forced to counter the Lee trade if they want to compete with the Phillies in the postseason.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dodgers linked with George Sherrill

Before tonight's beatdown from the Cardinals, a report from Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, via Twitter, said the Dodgers are "in" on Oriole closer George Sherrill. It says the Orioles are interested in Scott Elbert, but are concerned about his past injury concerns (missed the majority of the 2007 season with a shoulder injury).

Elbert was the 17th pick in the first round of the 2004 MLB Draft out of Seneca High School in Missouri. Elbert boasts a starter's arsenal and great athletic ability. He has a fastball that sits in the low 90s and can get up to the mid 90s, a slurvy-type breaking ball that is in the low 80s and a fringe change up. Presumably, the Orioles would want another decent prospect in return, which is more than do-able for the Dodgers. Sherrill would be an awfully nice addition to the bullpen, which just got Hong-Chih Kuo back from a nearly season-long absence. Sherrill isn't an overpowering guy, but he knows how to get lefties out and is especially tough with runners in scoring position.

I think if the Dodgers make any trades before Friday, this will be the one.

Ethier named NL Player of the Week

Congratulations to Dodger RF Andre Ethier, who was named NL Player of the Week for the second time this season. He put up an Albert Pujols-esque line: .545/.630/.1.045, while helping the Dodgers to a 4-2 record. Ethier boasts a .272/.358/.508 line with a team-leading 20 home runs and 62 runs batted in.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

About Feelin' Kinda Blue and myself

My name is Dustin Nosler. I'm a senior journalism major at Sacramento State University. I have been a Dodger fan and baseball lover for as long as I can remember. Baseball has -- and always will be -- my passion.

This blog is a platform for me to voice my thoughts and opinions on the Dodgers, baseball and anything else I see fit.

Bloggers have a bad reputation for not being journalists. As journalists are delving more and more into the social media world, that is becoming less and less true. I am a member of the Sacramento State student-run newspaper, The State Hornet. I am entering my fourth semester and have been a staff writer, sports editor and online managing editor.

As an aspiring journalist, I know how to write, report and not libel people. Unfortunately, I don't see myself doing much reporting on this blog, but I will do my best to give my opinion on everything Dodgers.

I hope to gain a following and put out quality thoughts and opinions.

Thank you for reading. Go Blue!

Updated: 1/20/11

Trade rumors abound

I just don't understand the Dodgers sometimes. I understand the need for a workhorse starting pitcher (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee), but why in the world are the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley being mentioned in these rumors?

The Blue Jays and Indians have every right to ask for the players in any deal, but the Dodgers need to do a better job of coming out and saying, "These guys are not available." While Halladay and Lee are great starters, subtracting Billingsley or Kershaw and adding Halladay or Lee would be an upgrade, but not enough of an upgrade to mortgae the future. And I'm not sure where the interest in Victor Martinez came from, but James Loney isn't exactly chopped liver at first. He doesn't hit for a whole lot of power, but his glove is one of the best in the game. The same cannot be said about Martinez, who has spent a great majority of his career behind the plate.

The Dodger farm system isn't what it used to be, but there are some quality prospects with pretty high ceilings:

  • Ethan Martin (RHP, Low-A): First-round pick in 2008, he is the Dodgers' best pitching prospect. He has a ton of upside with his low-90s fastball and power curveball. Sounds like another former Dodger draftee (Billingsley). He is still raw and learning to pitch, but Billingsley drew similar reviews on his way up.
  • Dee Gordon (SS, Low-A): Formerly known as Devaris Strange-Gordon, he is enjoying a breakout campaign in Low-A, hitting .299/.361/.369 with 55 stolen bases. If he reaches his peak, he could be comprable to Jose Reyes.
  • Chris Withrow (RHP, High-A): First-round pick in 2007, Withrow got off to an inauspicious start with the Dodgers, suffering a freak injury which helped to cost him most of his debut season. He has 102 strikeouts in 83.1 innings and has only progessed as the season has.
  • Andrew Lambo (LF/1B, Double-A): Rated as the Dodgers' best prospect by Baseball America, Lambo got off to a hot start this year before cooling off. However, he has recently picked it up and is playing well in Double-A as a 20-year-old. He is still the best hitting prospect in the system and will likely get better with experience.
  • Josh Lindblom (RHP, Triple-A): Lindblom had an impressive showing in Spring Training, almost winning a spot in the Dodger bullpen. He has put up decent numbers this season after being drafted just over a year ago between Double-A and Triple-A. He is a wildcard in the Dodger system, as he could be a sinker-balling innings eater as a starter or a hard-throwing, late-inning reliever.
The media continues to insist that guys like Kersahw, Billingsley and Kemp must/should be included in a deal for a top-flight starter. It also says the Dodger system isn't that strong and that all the top talent is in the lower-levels of the minors. As I recall, they said the same thing when guys like Edwin Jackson, Billingsley, Kemp, Loney, Jonathan Broxton and Russell Martin were making their respective ways up the ladder. Jackson, Billingsley and Broxton were all-stars this year, Martin was an all-star the past two seasons and Kemp was an all-star snub this year.

I'm not saying the prospects profiled above will reach the level of these established Major Leaguers, but I think Logan White, the mastermind behind the Dodgers' current glut of young talent, knows talent when he sees it. If I'm the general manager of a team, I would be extremely interested in any high school pitchers the Dodgers have taken in the past few years (Martin, Withrow, Scott Elbert, etc.).

After Friday, the trading frenzy will have come and gone. Let us, as Dodger fans, just hope they can acquire a front-line starter without giving up some of the core players. It is possible. I think the Dodgers will end up with either Halladay or Lee, with my money on Lee.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Dodgers don't grab a starter. I expect them to grab a reliever, regardless of what happens with the starting pitching situation. They have been linked to George Sherrill and he is likely the primary target for help in the pen.

Go Blue!