Friday, December 19, 2008

Top Remaning free agents predictions

1. Mark Teixiera- Boston Red Sox.

2. Manny- New York Yankees.

3. Derek Lowe- Atlanta Braves

4. Adam Dunn- Washinton Nationals

5. Ben Sheets- Texas Rangers

6. Jason Giambi- Oakland A's

7. Milton Bradley- Toronto Blue Jays

8. Orlando Hudson- Seattle Mariners

9. Pat Burrell- New York Mets

10. Brian Fuentes- St. Louis Cardinals

11. Bobby Abreu- Cincinnatti Reds

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dodgers get Furcal.

Furcal gets $7.5 million next season, $9.5 million in 2010 and $13 million in 2011. The deal includes a $13 million team option for 2012 with a $3 million buyout.

It's a backloaded deal. So maybe Ned is intending on spending more on a starting pitcher now. I still think an incentive laden deal was best.

With roughly 8 million to Furcal, 6 to Blake, and 1.25 to Loretta we still have about 35 million to spend this offseason. We need a starting pitcher and I am afraid that Ned will waste a lot of money on ANOTHER outfielder. I hope not.

I don't think we're gonna get Manny and the next best option is Dunn. That said, Ned will probably settle with Burell at 16 million. BAH!

Update: The numbers are different. 6.5 next year. 8.5 in 2010 and 12 in 2011 with an option for 13 million in 2012. Even better.

Furcal update.

According to Ken Rosencrap Furcal has chosen to sign with the Dodgers. If it is true (don't hold your breath- consider the source) it appears that Furcal chose the Dodgers because he would be able to play short. Whereas playing in Atlanta meants playing second base. Dollar numbers would likely be very similar at about 10 million a year for 3 years with a 4th option year.

If this is true the Dodgers just got better. They still need an effective starting pitcher. That might be had by using our own resources more effectively.

Dave Cameron, writer at ussmariner, suggests using Troncoso as a starter. His groundball rates are Derek Lowe'esque, and his strikeout rates are Jake Peavey'esque. What a mixture! Don't let his ERA fool you. He does have a great power sinker and if he could mix a good slider and an offspeed pitch in there he really might be poised for stardom. Again: Don't hold your breath. He will be a nice addition to the bullpenn in a long relief role/ spot stater role to go along with Scott Elbert and James McDonald.

Our best option in the free agent market right now is to sign Randy Johnson. He doesn't block anyone from coming up in 2010. He is still effective and he is a veteran precense... which is worth an extra 6.75 wins per season (according to Colletti-logic). I think if we were signing an outfielder I'd still want someone with some defensive abilities. That rules out all the current free agent outfielders...

So lets just stick with Jones in center, Ethier in left (his natural position) and Kemp in right (his natural position). By saving runs defensively the team can manage to win more games. Manny would help, but having Kemp and Ethier out of position the outfield defense is abysmal. Kemp is league average in center and Ethier is terrible in right. They both have great arms no matter what position they are playing but their range and effectiveness suffers when out of position.

The difference between a good offense and a great defense is a push. Except we save the money used on Manny for another day. Or even possibly a better starting pitcher. I know having Jones play full time is not everyone's ideal situation, well it's downright lunacy, but it is our best option.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


So here is the contract I'd offer.

A 4 years 32 million dollar base salary with a games played incentive.

If he playes 140 games in year one of the contract he gets a 2 millon dollar bonus with a 2 millon dollar bonus after year 2. The same bonus would carry over to year 2, 3, and 4. Making it potentially a 4 year 52 million dollar contract if he plays in 140 games all 4 years. He is worth the money if he is healthy.

Adversely if he does not play 140 games in a year he only gets his base salary of 8 million. The problem is going to be if he starts to play hurt again like he did in 07. I still like having him around when he is healthy, but if he is not healthy I don't want to waste so much money.

I still think he signs with the Braves though. Cross your fingers.

And the mystery team is...

the Braves.

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.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Turn your back!

Ken Gurnick answeres some questions from Dodger fans at main site. This one touched me specifically, as I am more of an unrealistic fan. It's easy to see where other teams have made improvements in their respective front offices (Mariners, Red Sox, A's, Brewers, Rays) by adding a division that uses statistical analysis instead of/ or with typical scouting. The Mariners specifically will no longer have travelling scouts but use a video analysis system.

Do you think this will be the year when Dodger fans turn their backs on the team?-- Mike M., Riverside, Calif.

The Dodgers were in baseball's final four two months ago. The Angels weren't. The Yankees weren't. If fans are turning their backs on the Dodgers because they aren't spending more money than the Yankees, consider that the Dodgers spent wildly in the past on the winter's top free agent (Kevin Brown) and heaped tons of money to keep their own players from leaving. It hasn't worked.

The question wasn't about spending money. The question was about management overall and the fans turning their backs on the stupid Dodger management. I will always be a Dodger fan, but if they sign any more high priced free agents over the age of 35 it will be easy for me to never watch another game knowing that they can't win that way.

Also, you can't possibly make the case that the Dodgers were a better team than the Yankees or Angels because we made it further in the playoffs. We made it further because we faced the rest of the "nancy" NL West and a Cubs team that fell asleep at the wheel sometime in late July when clinched the NL Central.

The Dodgers are trying a different approach, dependent on the continued improvement of their younger players. A lot of fans never will be happy with that approach. They only want the biggest names that come with the biggest salaries, and they will be satisfied with nothing less.
None of last year's highest-paid free agents signed with the Phillies or the Rays, who met in the World Series. If spending the most always meant winning the World Series, the Yankees would have won rings over the last eight seasons. They didn't.

I for one will be happy if we take the "go young" approach! I've always felt that we need players from both free agency and our farm system, but the only way we could develop a winning additude was to play players that we drafted. Signing Jones, Schmidt and Pierre didn't work. 2 out of the 3 we knew it wouldn't work. And Jones was questionable at best. We certainly need to fill our holes with free agency. But to try and develop excess through it is ridiculous. We'd have 5 full time outfielders with Manny. 2 of which would be on the bench making a combined 30 million dollars. I'm not in favor of that. But at the same we would still have a hole in the outfield if we didn't sign Manny.

Logan White has done his job in the draft. Taking great players and loading up our system with uber-talent. Ned has traded some of that away in mostly questionable deals. Whatever system he has for the Dodgers (I don't think he has one) isn't working and we do need a change before he ruins what little hope we do have.

The McCourts are running a business, not only a team. There always will be fans resenting that, especially when the Yankees seem to have no limit to their resources. But it's reality.

I totally understand that baseball is a business. There is a huge amount of money being passed around and it can't go overlooked. The reality is, when passing around such huge amounts of moeny, why would they do it so unwisely? Why would they invest 125 million in the ideas of a mad man named Ned Colletti? Oh the humanity!

It will be easy for me to turn my back on the Dodgers when they raise ticket prices, parking prices, and concession prices, and they can't even field a winning team. It will be easy to change my colors to a blue more aqua (Seattle).


So, Rafael Furcal is set to sign a contract tomorrow no matter what. Apparently he has offers from the A's, Dodgers, and Royals. He has come out and said specifically that he does not want to play for anyone but the Dodgers. This is likely his way of jacking the price up for the Royals and the A's. And it has worked so far. And with this I could only suppose that he will eventually sign with the A's.

The Dodgers on the other hand have apparently offered him an incentive laden deal. Probably a 2 year deal with 2 option years. I think I'd rather have Furcal at short than Pierre in left. That's what it comes down to. If we sign Furcal you can close the door on Pierre as an everyday player. However, if Furcal isn't signed the likelyhood of Torre starting Pierre everyday in left is a disturbing thought. But he'd do it to have his "leadoff hitter".

I'd rather just sign Furcal, Dunn, and (name your starting pitcher here) and settle with trading Pierre and Jones for nothing and a lot of cash. But that's unlikely.

My main goal would be, "How can I keep Joe from starting Pierre at all costs?"

Unfortunately, Colletti is the guy who thinks Pierre should be starting... so... go figure. We also paid 45 some odd million for 6 games of Jason Schmidt knowing he was injured... and 36 million for a 172 hitter and anything over 2 million for Pierre is ludacris. And now we have shafted Saito!

And now there are rumors of Omar Vizquel. Of course. He is an ex Giant. Where all of this comes from I have no idea. But Colletti is retarded. So get ready for the 6 year deal for Manny and the 3 year deal for Pettitte. I wouldn't be surprised... nor happy. But that would be typical of the worst GM in baseball. I also wouldn't be surprised if he overpaid for another starter. I think he will eventually sign Pettitte and another starter at 2-3 years similar to the Brett Tomko deal a few years back.

Back to the point. I think Furcal will sign with the A's. Somewhere in the 4year X 44 million range. If they can add Giambi to DH they would all of a sudden be able to contend with the Angels.

My crystal ball says the Dodgers overpay for Orlando Cabrera, Andy Pettitte and Pedro Martinez all getting multi-year deals and blocking 17 prospects that are better than them allready which Ned trades for Alfonso Soriano. Then my crystal ball laughed at me for being a Dodger fan...