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.
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.
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.
Matt Kemp - 8 years, $160 million
Clayton Kershaw - 2 years, $19 million (avoided arbitration)
- Yes, part deux.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.