Friday, November 8, 2013

My 2013-14 Los Angeles Dodgers off-season plan: Headley, Tanaka, Wilson

If you listened to episode 61 of "Dugout Blues," you've already heard most of this. If you haven't, consider yourself lucky (or unlucky, I suppose).

This is my 2013-14 off-season plan for the Dodgers -- you know, what I'd do if I were in Ned Colletti's position. I try to be as realistic as possible and try not to get too far out there. Most of the dollar figures are educated guesses.

Without further adieu, here it is. Critique away. Let me know what you like, don't like, would do differently, etc.

2013-14 Los Angeles Dodgers off-season plan

Mike Baxter - $500,000
Drew Butera - $700,000
Scott Elbert - $600,000
A.J. Ellis - $3.2 million
Kenley Jansen - $4.8 million
- The only players of significance are Ellis and Jansen. Both are getting healthy pay raises.

Clayton Kershaw - 8 years, $225 million
- This is coming before the end of the winter. I just wish it were done already. He's set to make $18.25 million in arbitration, if no long-term contract is agreed to before the season.

Dodger free agents
J.P. Howell - 2 years, $7 million
Nick Punto - 1 year, $1.5 million
Brian Wilson - 2 years, $11 million
- Think Howell and Punto could be had rather easily. Not so confident Wilson will come back because he could get more money and a closing job elsewhere.

Free agents
Eric Chavez - 1 year, $3.2 million
Alexander Guerrero - 4 years, $28 million ($10 million signing bonus)
Dan Haren - 1 year, $5 million (with incentives up to $8 million)
James McDonald - 1 year, $1 million
Masahiro Tanaka - 6 years, $63 million ($52 million posting fee)
Chris Young - 1 year, $3.5 million
- Tanaka is the big prize here. My $115 million commitment is probably a little on the light side. Haren rounds out a strong rotation while Chavez and Young give the Dodgers some much-needed pop off the bench.

Ronald Belisario (due $2.3 milliion in arbitration)
Elian Herrera (claimed by Milwaukee)
Brandon League - 2 years, $15 million remaining
- Belisario isn't worth what he'll make in arbitration. Herrera is already gone. And while I defended the League contract at the time of its signing, I couldn't have been more wrong about it.

Chad Billingsley (due back midseason)
Scott Elbert (due back midseason)
- Both should return in relief roles. Billingsley could crack the roatation later this season if his arm is healthy enough.

To New York Mets: OF Andre Ethier, cash ($23.8 million, 1/3 of remaining salary)
To Los Angeles: RHP Michael Fulmer, 1B Jayce Boyd
- The Mets need Major League-quality outfielders, but the Mets don't have a catcher or third baseman they'd trade the Dodgers for Ethier, so it's best to get a couple of mid-level prospects without having to pay all of Ethier's salary.

To Minnesota: RHP Josh Beckett, cash ($10 million)
To LA: SS Niko Goodrum
- Beckett should be healthy to start the 2014 seaosn and won't crack this rotation. The Twins just need guys who can eat innings. Goodrum is a nice high-upside prospect who probably won't ever become anything, but he's a middle-of-the-diamond player for the time being.

To San Diego: RHP Zach Lee, LHP Chris Reed, 1B Justin Chigbogu
To LA: 3B Chase Headley
- The Dodgers have been after Headley for awhile. After a down year and a projected $10 million salary, it's probably time for the Padres to trade him. They get two MLB-ready arms and a power-hitting prospect who's a few years away.

Chase Headley 3B
Alexander Guerrero 2B
A.J. Ellis C

Clayton Kershaw LHP
Masahiro Tanaka RHP
Dan Haren RHP

James McDonald RHP
J.P. Howell LHP
Brian Wilson RHP
Kenley Jansen RHP

Eric Chavez 3B/1B
Nick Punto IF
Chris Young OF

Remainder of 40-man roster
Mike Baxter OF
Drew Butera C
Dee Gordon IF/OF


That's it. Like I said, let me know what you think in the comments section or on Twitter.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue


  1. Pretty good for the most part Dustin .... just a couple of tweeks that I would make ....

    1. Ethier (+ $$) to NYM for minor league catcher Kevin Plawecki.

    2. Instead of Chris Young, I would go with David Murphy. While he has played the majority of the time on the corners, he did play some CF in the spacious Ballpark in Arlington, has some pop and some speed, and .... is a LHH. That way your OF bench would balance out better. One LHH (Murphy) / One RHH (Vanslyke) to go along with Crawford (LHH), Kemp (RHH) and Puig (RHH). Basically takes Ethier's place but at a reduced cost and used to being a bench guy.

    3. I like Dan Haren, but not if we get Tanaka. Two Japanese style pitchers (i.e. pause in wind-up) whose out pitch is a split-fingered FB. Too similar. With Tanaka, I would try Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay, or Phil Hughes.

    4. I also liked the trade brought up on the podcast regarding Jason Castro (LHH) to split time with Ellis behind the plate ... Depending on the cost of course.

    1. Obviously landing a young catcher in an Ethier deal would be great, but teams don't just give those guys away (even with D'Arnaud there). I'm intrigued by Fulmer's arm and think he could be a fast riser this season.

      I've always liked Haren and see the similarities in he and Tanaka. If the Dodgers space them out, it shouldn't be that big a deal.

      I'd love for the Dodgers to land Castro. Had a breakout season and is on the cusp of being a Top 7 catcher in baseball (if he isn't already).

    2. With Ethier and the Mets, from the rumors I am hearing/reading, there are two scenario's ....

      1. Trade: Ethier + cash for Top 10 prospect (Plawecki)

      2. Sign: Granderson for ~ same cash value + Lose 2nd
      Round Pick valued roughly at $0.9 m - $1.2 m

      ... Just depends on which scenario they find more attractive.

  2. Do you think the Dodgers could just dump Ethiers salary on another team or would teams rather give a couple prospects in order to not take on salary? Or not even attempt to give prospects and offer to take on some of the salary? I feel like the Dodgers have there backs against the wall with this crowded outfield.

    1. *Their backs against the wall.

    2. The Dodgers are going to have to pay a good portion of Ethier's remaining deal. If they paid it all, they could get a good prospect or two, but that also means the Dodgers are paying his full salary to play for another team, which is unappealing.

  3. If they make the moves you suggested that's the best rotation in baseball! The2asian pitchers are nothing alike at all, we would be ecstatic to have Tanaka to go with Ryu. I would overspend to keep Wilson although he gets more with the Mets, Any trade involving Ethier is great, do not give up on Kemp!

    1. Yeah, I'm not a fan of moving Kemp. His value is at an all-time low, he's owed a ton of money and he's still the best option in center field (not matter what Jared says).

  4. fyi: the link under the free agents heading is for chris young the pitcher, not the outfielder. i was thoroughly confused when i clicked the link!

    1. Yeah, didn't have control over that. The B-Ref Linker is finicky sometimes.

  5. Yeah why not a Andre Ethier for David Murphy swap?