Friday, December 12, 2008

Why I like the A.J. Burnett signing.

Because I hate the Yankees.

Inevitably Burnett will take the spot that Pavano left as overpaid, injury riddled, starting pitcher in New York.

Undenaible evidence shows that Burnett is a bomb waiting to explode.

The concept of "scapular loading" comes with certain rules that must be kept to not just keep from serious injury but also help in control.

O'Leary explain the process pretty well, but to take it step further, I've always felt that limiting your extra movements will always help your pitching ability. The reason that the Inverted "W" is so bad is because of the stress the elbow and shoulder go through when transitioning from the "M" (inverted "W") to the fast movements when the front foot lands of actually throwing a ball.

It reminds me of Eric Davis and his high step/low hands combination that created a ton of power and created a huge loop in his swing while delaying his timing.

Timing is one of the finer keys to pitching. Having a detailed loop in your delivery not only creates added stress to your elbow and shoulder, but it also creates a timing hitch in your delivery. If your hitch is off just a little bit, your all over the place and can't locate. For 16.5 million, the Yankees could have done better.

Personally I would have targeted Teixiera first. Then a lower tier pitcher, maybe Ben Sheets for 3 years 42 million'ish. Lowe at 16 million over 4 years simply isn't worth it. He's good, reliable and old. He'll produce well, but he wont be worth 16 million. He's worth what you give him... but he's not worth what Borass wants. Maybe 12-14 million. maybe....

Overall, if Burnett can be healthy over 3 years of the course of the 5 years of the contract its a push if he pitches like he can when he is healthy. I only like the signing because it means that the Yankees are out 82.5 million bucks and have a potentially huge hole in the rotation.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Add Trevor Hoffman to the list of available relief men that wont cost as much but might still be able to produce effectively. I'm not sure I'd give him the ball in the 9th inning, but he would be nice contrast to have on a night when any of our burners (Bills, MacDonald, Kershaw, Kuroda... anyone really is a "burner" compared to Hoffman) are pitching.

On my list

I have a list of guys that, if I were GM, I'd make contact with and try to sign to relatively cheap deals.

First of all let me say that I am shying away from Manny Ramirez and thinking that just sticking with Jones is center might work out as he is playing for a contract again... maybe he can hit .222 with 25 homers. If he does that... well... he still sucks, but there is an outside chance that he steps up this season and we see the real Andruw Jones. I think, as a fan, were going to have to count on him to bat cleanup for us.

Naturally Rafael Furcal is #1 on the Dodgers list. We need a true leadoff hitter and sparkplug in the field. He has all kinds of range and a cannon arm that will cover most of what Blake can't at third. Sign him to 2 years with roll over incentives for a 3rd and 4th year if that's what he wants. I don't have any problem paying the man as long as he is healthy. After Furcal there really is no one else. He holds all the cards and as far as I'm concerned I really think he will sign with us eventually.

Then we need to start looking at bullpenn help and 1 or 2 spots in the rotation.

Ben Sheets stock seems to be dropping and if the Yankees sign Lowe, his stock as a 3rd or 4th starter may fall even further. I can't see him taking a deal less than 12- 14 million range, but if he dropps that low it's worth knocking on the door.

Randy Johnson. His asking price to play in Arizona was 8 million. If the Dodgers offer 10 he should accept and I think I would be happy with that. He is approaching 300 wins and 5000 K's. He would be the pitching version of Manny for about 12-15 home games next year.

Pedro Martinez. I'd only consider it if he were to accept 1. a very small contract (2-4 million) and 2. the possibility of having to pitch out of the bullpenn. More of it relies on his production and the production of James McDonald and Scott Elbert as I have both of them on the team in some role, long relief, set-up, or starting. Martinez might even be an acceptable closer.

I think I'd target both RJ and Pedro and let Sheets go because of his injury history. He has "Jason Schmidt" written all over him.

Keithe Foulke at one time was a legit closer. If he would accept a minor league deal he'd be worth signing.

Tom Gordon is old and resembles what type of player Ned Likes to target. Injury problems and old: lets give him a 3 year deal worth 21 million.

Julian Tavarez. A few poor seasons with the sox doesn't mean he can't come back to the NL and be a successfull mop-up man on a minor league deal. I certainly wouldn't sign all 3 of these relievers, but getting one of them would be a sign typical of Colletti.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playing for a contract.

You hear the talk about free agents having a big year the same year their contracts end so they can sign a big contract the following year. Last year Manny Ramirez really increased his stock after he was traded to the Dodgers by hitting just about everything out of the park and also setting records in the post season! Before the trade he was looking at 20 million from the Sox or declining his option and probably getting less than that (17 million'ish) over the next 3 years.

As a Dodger he proved he wasn't done just yet and is likely worth more than the 17 million GM's were willing to give him. His agent, Scott Borass, is now demanding a 6 year deal. He certainly isn't worth it, but that's negotiating. He'll likely get at least 4 years with an option on the 5th year averaging at least 20 million a year. After the Andruw Jones project blew up in our face I can't see Colletti going anywhere near Manny and settling with Pierre in left and as our lead off hitter. (Hang on... I have to clean my desk after vomiting all over the place.)

The same concept comes into play with GM's. Next year Ned Colletti will be playing for a contract. If he can put together a team that will go to the playoffs in 2009, he may see himself getting a 3 year contract extension from Frank McCourt despite the signings of Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent's extension, Andruw Jones, and now Casey Blake.

We can determine if Ned is signing players for the benefit of the team or for his own benefit this year by evaluating the signings he makes.

Casey Blake- While Blake will help the Dodgers next year simply because we have no one else who could possibly play third (Dewitt) or second (Loretta) then we absolutely need him and all 3 years of this contract. Casey might help us reach the postseason this year, but the next year or the following he most certainly wont. His declining defense and age make him a canidate for a contract that nears something that the twins offered him. 2 years for 14 million. I'd be willing to spend 10-12 million on him just for next year so long as we dont have him in 2010-11 clogging up the bench with Pierre. This type of contract has Brett Tomko written all over it... with one exception. It's for 3 years!

Hypothetically if Ned extends his options on Manny, Furcal, Sabathia, or anyone else to 4+ years he is essentially playing for 2009 and a contract in 2010.

Who then would Ned target if he is looking forward to what the Dodgers might be able to do with the future. According to management the Dodgers are looking to going head first with the youth movement. What short term contract are available that would help the Dodgers for 2009 and free up the possibility of letting the youth have the opportunity to move their way up to a starting spot in the future?

My suggestion is Adam Dunn. 1 year @ 15 million is worth more than what Manny could give us over the next 5 or years.

I'd also like to see players like Delwyn Young, Chin Lung Hu, Ivan DeJesus, and John McDonald get a decent shot at a full time job. We were short at 3rd base and second base and signing someone like Mark Loretta was essential at least for the bench.

Signing someone like Casey Blake means that Ned Colletti is playing for a contract. If that is true then we should look forward to rumors of signing Manny, Furcal, Sabathia, and others to huge contracts.