Friday, February 10, 2012

Grading the 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers off-season

Now that pitchers and catchers are reporting soon and any major transactions will likely wait until the trade deadline, I'll take a brief look at the Dodgers' off-season moves.


To Baltimore: LHP Dana Eveland
To Los Angeles: LHP Jarret Martin, OF/IF Tyler Henson

- This was a surprising move, as Eveland was arbitration-eligible and the Dodgers had other plans for the starting rotation. Eveland was nothing more than roster fodder, so for the Dodgers to get anything for him -- especially young players -- was rather amazing.
Grade: B


Andre Ethier - 1 year, $10.95M (avoided arbitration)
- Ethier signed a contract to avoid arbitration -- a contract some thought was a little cheaper than expected. I thought he'd get $12-plus million contract, but coming off knee surgery, he got a little less than that. It's a good number (a tradeable number if necessary) who seems poised to have a comeback season.
Grade: B+

Tony Gwynn - 2 years, $2 million (avoided arbitration)
- I actually really like this deal, as Gwynn is a defensive specialist and good base-stealer. He's the perfect guy for the Dodgers to have coming off the bench. To get him for a million bucks a year, despite the limited resources, is a great deal.
Grade: A

Matt Kemp - 8 years, $160 million
- Yes.
Grade: A+

Clayton Kershaw - 2 years, $19 million (avoided arbitration)
- Yes, part deux.
Grade: A+

James Loney - 1 year, $6.375 million (avoided arbitration)
- This deal is in line with what a lot of people thought he'd get, but it's a bit much for a guy who didn't do much until the last two months of the season. The Dodgers took too long to get into the Prince Fielder bidding that they had to tender Loney a contract. Unless he breaks out in a big way, this could be his last season as a Dodger.
Grade: C-

Mike MacDougal - 1 year, $650,000 ($350,000 buyout)
- I understood MacDougal on minor-league deal last year, but to give a guy with a shiny ERA a million bucks guaranteed is suspect. I don't think there's any way he matches last season's performance.
Grade: D+

Juan Rivera - 1 year, $4.5 million
- When I was drafting my off-season plan, I actually had the Dodgers re-signing Rivera on a 1-year, $4 million deal. At the time, it didn't look so bad. Now, it's terrible, especially since he'll be taking valuable playing time away from Jerry Sands. He was solid for the Dodgers after they acquired him in July, but the re-signing wasn't necessary. At least it's just a 1-year contract.
Grade: C-

Free agent signings

Chris Capuano - 2 years, $10 million
- For the price, this is actually not a horrible signing. The fact that it prevented the Dodgers from re-signing Hiroki Kuroda, however, makes this a poor signing.
Grade: C-

Todd Coffey - 1 year, $1.3 million
- Coffey is a solid reliever and isn't making a lot, but it was a totally unnecessary signing. If there's any one position the Dodgers have quality and surplus at, it's right-handed relief pitchers. This also came after re-signing MacDougal. If I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Coffey easily.
Grade: D

Mark Ellis - 2 years, $8.75 million
- I'm actually not opposed to this deal, as middle infielders -- for whatever reason -- got paid this off-season. Ellis is a great defender at second base -- something the Dodgers haven't had since Alex Cora in 2004. His bat has taken a dive, though. Despite that, he could be the team's No. 2 hitter. Hitting in front of Kemp could benefit him greatly.
Grade: C+

Jerry Hairston - 2 years, $6 million
- The Dodgers needed a utility player, but did they really need to $2.25 million on one this off-season? This was a luxury signing for a team that doesn't have a lot of money to blow on utility players (at least, not right now).
Grade: C

Aaron Harang - 2 years, $12 million
- Like the Capuano deal, this isn't a bad deal. The fact that the Dodgers chose these two instead of Kuroda doesn't sit well with me. If Harang can pitch like he did last season or like he did for a few years with the Reds, this could actually be a decent deal.
Grade: C

Adam Kennedy - 1 year, $800,000
- This is the Dodgers' worst signing of the off-season. There are a hundred different players who could do what Kennedy will do -- and probably do it for cheaper (and possibly better).
Grade: F

Matt Treanor - 1 year, $1 million
- We know Ned Colletti likes his veteran catchers and giving a guy $1 million to be the team's backup catcher is questionable. Treanor has no stick whatsoever, so don't expect anything from him at the plate.
Grade: D


The Dodgers' off-season started off great, inking Kemp to a long-term deal was priority No. 1. The off-season could have been bookend by nabbing Fielder, but Victor Martinez and his torn ACL prevented that. The Dodgers made a bunch of mediocre signings that could have been made later in the off-season for cheaper. Hopefully off-seasons for the foreseeable future will be a lot more interesting and productive than this.
: C-


  1. I don't see anyting...*anything*...positive in signing Harang or Capuano, especially if it cost us Kuroda. They didn't wait too long on Fielder, unless you thought he'd sign for the 7 years if they had moved earlier. I think they offered 7 years a while ago, but he wanted 10 years. And they should have given him that. Too bad for both. There would be euphoria in LA with Fielder in and McCourt out.

  2. I don't mind the two pitchers, but choosing one or both of them instead of Kuroda is downright stupid.

    If the Dodgers had truly moved earlier on Fielder, he might have signed for seven years. If they expressed interest in him before Martinez tore his ACL, he could very well be a Dodger. The market for him wasn't as big as some expect (Boras and Fielder included).

  3. Yes, they obviously should have moved before Martinez got hurt. I think they should have offered 7 years and $150 million early on. Maybe they did. Maybe Boras wanted to wait it out. In any case, I really wanted the Dodgers to sign Fielder, and this isn't said out of frustration, but 10 years is probably too long for a guy with his weight issues. He could easily break down...*seriously* break down...about 5-6 years from now.

  4. Oh yeah, I wouldn't have gone near 10 years. I think I originally said seven with options would be my max.