Frankly, there’s no better way for Frank McCourt and the Dodgers organization to overcome the perception that the divorce is having a negative impact on the team’s cash flow then by trading for one of the two biggest names rumored to be on the trading block. Both guys do have significant salary issues, with Oswalt due $39.5 million over 2 1/2 years (assuming the Dodgers pick up his 2012 option) and Lee is due $4.5 million for the remainder of this season. Then, of course, there is the price in terms of players both clubs would want in return.
And let’s be realistic, for the Dodgers to make a serious run at a World Series title, they absolutely, positively need a veteran starting pitcher. I love the up-and-coming tandem of Billingsley and Kershaw along with the surprising duo of Carlos Monasterios and John Ely, but as Bill Shaikin notes, none of these guys are older than 25 and the elder statesman of that quartet is Bills, who was struggled with his confidence in the playoffs and was left off of the NLCS roster by the Dodgers. And yes, the Dodgers do have Vicente Padilla coming back soon, but while he and Hiroki Kuroda are solid starters, they’re not #1 starters that can make the Dodgers a truly elite team.
In other positive news, Ramon Ortiz has finally left the Dodgers, after being designated for assignment today. Reliever Justin Miller thankfully takes Ortiz’s spot on the roster. Miller has a 2.22 ERA in 22 games for the Albuquerque Dukes.
Elymania continues as well, with the rookie starter going 7.1 innings, giving up just four hits, two walks and one earned run on the road in Chicago (his hometown). Are you kidding me? The kid threw 98 pitches with 68 of them being strikes. Ely continues to show excellent discipline and control of his pitches. Pretty remarkable stuff, and undoubtedly, a lot of the credit for Ely’s development goes to Russell Martin and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Unfortunately the Dodgers lost the game due to a complete lack of offense, but Ely’s continued development should not be overlooked.
Roy Oswalt Photo Credit: UPI
John Ely Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2010