Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dodgers cut ties with Casey Blake, Jon Garland

The Dodgers today declined options on third baseman Casey Blake and right-handed pitcher Jon Garland, writes Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com.

Blake is coming off an injury-riddled season, batting just .252/.342/.371 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI. This likely spells the end of his Dodger career, as the 38-year-old will probably head back to the American League.

He received a $1.25 million buyout, per the terms of his 3-year deal signed prior to the 2009 season.

In 406 games for the Dodgers, Blake posted a solid line: .262/.338/.431, 49 home runs, 192 RBI and a 107 OPS+.

Blake, while solid for L.A., will forever be brought up among the worst trades in Dodger history, as general manager Ned Colletti foolishly traded Carlos Santana (and Jon Meloan) for Blake in the summer of 2008 -- just before the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez.

Since the trade, Santana has posted a .244/.362/.459 line with the Indians.

Great trade, Ned.

The Dodgers also parted ways with Garland, who was viewed as a bargain signing last offseason.
"This deal appears to be good for the Dodgers. To get Garland for one year plus a vesting option is almost a steal. The terms are still unknown."
It was later reported Garland had signed for $5 million and $3 million in performance-based incentives.

It was also later reported some teams were leery of Garland's shoulder. He injured his oblique in Spring Training, causing him to start the season on the disabled list. After the injury, he was only able to muster 54 innings with poor peripherals (1.39 WHIP, 9.2 H/9, 4.7 K/9, 1.40 K/BB) due to -- you guess it -- a shoulder injury.

It was still a worthwhile signing and a relatively low-risk, high-reward proposition.

Unlike Blake, the Dodgers don't owe anything more to Garland, as his option was simply not exercised by the club.

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The worst player to ever don the Blue is gone -- mostly.

Eugenio Velez was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque after his historic 0-for-37 2011 (0-for-46 dating back to 2010).

He's not completely off the roster -- yet -- so there's a chance he's back in New Mexico to start 2012. If he is, it's a horrible, horrific mistake.

Good riddance, I hope.

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Zach Lee and Garrett Gould made the Midwest League Top 20 Prospect List from Baseball America. Lee finished No. 7, while Gould finished No. 17. I'm a little more bullish on Gould than most, so I think his rating might be a little low. Lee is slotted just about right.

Allen Webster made the California League Top 20, checking in at No. 8. He had a great run with Rancho Cucamonga and started off well for Chattanooga before struggling mightily down the stretch.

The Southern League Top 20 goes up tomorrow. I'm not sure how Baseball America does it all the time, but one guy who will certainly make the cut is Nathan Eovaldi. Rubby De La Rosa, Alfredo Silverio, Shawn Tolleson and Scott Van Slyke could all be in contention for a spot, but I wouldn't hold my breath on the position players. De La Rosa might not have pitched enough in the league, so the best bet is Tolleson, who was left off the Midwest and Cal League Top 20 lists above.

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