Furcal did indeed agree to terms with the Atlanta Braves today. Reports had Furcal being offered contracts from the A's, Royals, Dodgers, and a "mystery team".
Furcal chose the Braves and what they have done created some flexability for the future. If they aren't comfortable with Yunel Escobar they can make a misdeason trade and pick up a valuable pitcher. Meanwhile Furcal will move to second and Kelly Johnson will play left field.
The Dodgers hopes of fielding a playoff worthy team is slowly slipping down the drain. The good news is, the worse this team gets, the better the liklihood of Joe Torre and Ned Colletti getting fired gets. So, lets just play for 2010!
Hopefully we don't sign anyone else that could impact the team negatively for 2010 (Casey Blake, Manny Ramirez, etc). I can only hope that we also don't make any blunderous trades for players that will be free agents after next year. It seems Colletti is willing to trade prospects on the cheap and sign aging free agents to lucrative long term deals. This the exact opposite plan he should be taking at building a major league team.
Anyway, next years free agent crop looks a little better than this years. Considering we don't truely have a leadoff hitter anymore (unless you consider Pierre a leadoff hitter... and then I would consider you mentally challenged) next year Brian Roberts will be a free agent. Of course he would be blocking Blake Dewitt at second and Dewitt can't move to third because of the blunderous signing of Casey Blake. However, we could move Casey to the outfield (which I don't like) or we could have Casey be our roving right handed bat off the bench (a role he could fill now). Other options next year include Adrian Beltre, Placido Polanco, Freddy Sanchez, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Jermaine Dye, Miguel Tejada, and Jack Wilson... wait who? Scratch Jack Wilson. I wouldn't have him on my team if he was free.
Concentrating on the 09 team, what other options will help us both this year and the 2010 team.
1. Getting rid of Juan Pierre. That should be the first choice on anyone's team.
2. Signing a good, young, injury free, starting pitcher.
a. Oliver Perez- not the best option, but the best option was taken by the Yankees.
b. Ben Sheets- still not a good option as he has Jason Schmidt written all over him
c. rely on the youth. I like this option best.
3. Get that POWER bat!
a. Manny- Seems unlikely as the Yankees have now drawn interest in him. Though it is more unlikely that they sign him.
b. Wait till next year. I like this option best.
4. Find undervalued players that go unnoticed on other teams and make smart trades for them.
5. Use the rule 5 draft to find talented players that can't fit on most teams rosters. Good thing Colletti passed up his drafting spot by taking no one!
I just can't see us competing for a playoff spot next year. Not this team. Not with Juan Pierre AND Chin Lung Hu starting. The pitching staff should be pretty good no matter who we sign. We certainly need someone who can eat up innings. And we still really need a power bat.
Update: Apparently Furcal hasn't agreed to the terms of the Braves contract. His agent will be calling the Dodgers today to try and match or exceed it. No doubt Colletti will. And I for one think it is worth it. 3 years at 33 million with an option 4th year at the same rate. If he signs it just means Pierre has no place on the team.