Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dodgers to make move with recent SP acquisitions?

Dodgers about to bring back Dioner Navarro

Editor's note: This is my own speculation. There is no factual basis behind this post.

With the Los Angeles Dodgers signing four starting pitchers this off-season -- Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla -- could the Dodgers be getting ready to make a big, unexpected trade?

I realize Padilla was signed to be a "utility" pitcher, but it still begs the question.

Two of the names the Dodgers have been linked to in some way, shape or form are Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke.

I posted yesterday about the Fielder rumor and didn't give it much life. For the Brewers to trade the slugging first baseman, they'd have to certainly get a good, young starting pitcher in return. While I wouldn't trade two cost-controlled years of Chad Billingsley for one year of Fielder, a deal of some sort would make sense for both teams.

To Milwaukee: RHP Chad Billingsley, 1B James Loney
To Los Angeles: 1B Prince Fielder

The Brewers just traded their top prospect -- 2B Brett Lawrie -- to Toronto for RHP Shaun Marcum, so they are committed to signing current 2B Rickie Weeks to a long-term extension. If the Brewers could get a pitcher like Billingsley for Fielder, they'd have to seriously consider it.

If they acquired Billingsley, their rotation shapes up like this:
  1. Yovani Gallardo
  2. Chad Billingsley
  3. Randy Wolf
  4. Shaun Marcum
  5. Manny Parra/Chris Narveson
That is not the worst 1-5 out there. The offense suffers with Loney replacing fielder, but the starting pitching is much better. The original rumor (which was shot down by many sources) was Jonathan Broxton and Loney for Fielder. Billingsley has a much higher trade value than Broxton.

Also, Fielder is a free agent after the season. I'm sure the Dodgers would try to lock him up long-term, but it's going to take a lot of money to do so.

Greinke is being "seriously" pursued by five teams, Ken Rosenthal writes in his latest article.

While most would rather build a Greinke package around prospects, the Dodgers might not have enough to get it done. I suggested a prospect-only package last month, but it probably isn't the best deal Kansas City could get for the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner.

If the Royals want to get Billingsley in a package for Greinke, something like this could work:

To Kansas City: RHP Chad Billingsley, SS Dee Gordon
To Los Angeles: RHP Zack Greinke

Let me just say, I would not do the above deal. However, the Royals are asking for a lot for Greinke. It might take something like this (if not more) to get something done.

Now, if you're getting 2009-esque Greinke, this is a solid trade. If you're getting any other other year of Zack Greinke, it's a lateral move.

Like I said, this is my own speculation from the reports out there right now. The vast majority of what is reported at the Winter Meetings is rumor or flat-out false, so I wouldn't get too worked up about this.


Updating a piece from yesterday, OF Matt Diaz signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates last night -- 2 years, $4.25 million. Jayson Stark, renowned Philly homer, said the Dodgers were prepared to make a larger offer but Diaz wanted to stay on the east coast and train in Florida. Pittsburgh also offers him more playing time.

Well, Mr. Diaz, enjoy your time in Pittsburgh. It isn't going to be the best experience of your career (win-wise) and you're likely to be traded before your contract expires.

Oh well. The Dodgers move onto other options, including Bill Hall and Austin Kearns. I'd gladly take Hall, as his versatility is a plus. We'll see what happens.

Update (2:38 p.m.): Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets the Dodgers are looking at Hall for the LF vacancy. He'd presumably be platooned with Jay Gibbons and/or newly-acquired Tony Gwynn, Jr.


This just came down: The Dodgers are close to signing former Dodger catcher Dioner Navarro to a 1-year deal.

Navarro was an all-star with Tampa Bay in 2008 (.295/.349/.407) but had a miserable couple of seasons in 2009 and 2010 (.212/.263/.306). This will ensure two things: Russell Martin will not return and A.J. Ellis -- who could put up comparable numbers to Navarro for likely a cheaper price -- will again start in Triple-A.

The Dodgers traded Navarro, RHP Jae Weong Seo and minor-league OF Justin Ruggiano to Tamap for LHP Mark Hendrickson and C Toby Hall in June 2006.

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