November 24, 2014

Straight Dealin': Dodgers Go Big at the Trading Deadline

Hanley Ramirez.  Randy Choate.  Shane Victorino.  Brandon League.  Did the Dodgers really pick up all four of those guys at the trading deadline? Un-freaking-believable.  Say what you will about the Dodgers not landing Ryan Dempster (or any starting pitcher for that matter) after trading away starter Nathan Eovaldi, but this ownership group made a statement that that they are here to win – and win soon.

Before the game, Magic Johnson said (per Eric Stephen): “We definitely want to win this year.  We’re not sitting back waiting on next year or the year after.  We want to win now.  We had needs, and we feel like we upgraded our team.”

But best of all, General Manager Ned Colletti didn’t give up any of his top-tier minor leaguers, instead keeping those guys off the block and moving strong minor leaguers (along with Eovaldi and Josh Lindbloom) while stockpiling arms in the bullpen, adding outfield depth and an explosive (albeit temperamental) young third baseman/shortstop who will be with the Dodgers for another two years.

And with the NL West all tied up with the Giants and the Diamondbacks lurking in the shadows, this summer is looking really, really exciting.

Go Blue!

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Katoly Arvai

Thoughts on the Trading Deadline

With the MLB trading deadline coming up on Saturday, July 31st, it’s the time of year to talk about potential moves for the Dodgers. 

Many rumors have been floated, and will continue to be floated, over the coming four days, and while the Dodgers are clearly in the market for a veteran starting pitcher with some playoff experience, I think the emergence of Kenley Jansen takes some of the pressure off of the need for another reliever.  But there’s a far more pressing need than pitching right now.

In my opinion, the real need for the Dodgers is for an outfielder (Royals outfielder Scott Podsednik is the latest rumor).  Think about it: Manny Ramirez is back on the DL and we’re unsure what he’s going to be like when he comes back.  Reed Johnson is eligible to come off the DL, but hasn’t.  In fact, we haven’t heard a peep from Torre about the status of Reed, which leads me to believe that his return to action isn’t going to come this week.  That leaves Xavier Paul and Garret Anderson as our #3 and #4 outfielders for a critical stretch against the Padres and Giants.  Having the X-Man come off the bench is fine, but GA just should not be on this club.  I don’t like this combo…I don’t like it one bit, and the situation is compounded by the Dodgers inability to get hits with runners in scoring position (for example, over the four game series with the New York Mets, the Dodgers scored just seven runs with 22 hits and were an atrocious 1 for 18 with runners in scoring position.  And this series was at home in the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine).

We’ll see what happens over the course of the coming days, but don’t be surprised to see Ned Colletti add an outfielder that can start and come off the bench and who also comes with some pop in his bat.  If that happens, GA will certainly be designated for assignment or outright released.

Trade Talk

I love this time of year…usually, the Dodgers are in a position where they are looking to acquire a big bat or some arms for the stretch run…this year, I hope whatever moves they make will make them better for a DEEP playoff run…

The site I’m keeping my eyes on this week is this one –

While there was initial talk about the Dodgers and Roy Halladay, those seem to have gone by the wayside (along with Halladay talks to virtually every other MLB team)…Toronto is asking too much and they are in a position to do that (Halladay would be under contract for this season and next season, so a team would be trading for him and have him through 2010 rather than just having him for a couple months)…

Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians seems like the next best option…Cy Young award winner…great numbers…we’ll see where that goes…

The most recent rumors on the site indicate Baltimore is shopping their closer, George Sherrill…I know George from a fantasy baseball perspective (he’s on my team) and he puts up great numbers…sure, we have Broxton on the back end of our bullpen, but it would be great having an established closer in the fold to help with 8th inning duties, lefty-lefty matchups and best of all, be available if Broxton has pitched 2-3 consecutive games…and the better part is the rumor has the trade involving a minor leaguer, so we’re not trading anything from our current major league roster…

I love it!

UPDATE – July 30th
Of course, a day after this rumor came out, the trade happened…we got George Sherrill!…a nice addition to the bullpen which really needs some help in the coming days now that we went 15 innings in St. Louis yesterday and have no off days until next week…as I mentioned above, his numbers are great…will that translate to success with the Dodgers?…who will be the odd man out now that he’s on the team?

Manny Offer Is In; Penny Gone

So Ned reportedly made a play for Manny, but it surely is a two-year deal for $55 million.  A nice move, but does anyone seriously think Manny is going to take that?  Not with Boras as his agent!  Good thing the Dodgers cleared some salary by buying out Penny’s contract for $2 million (not a pretty penny! sorry, couldn’t help myself…) as they’ll need that for either Ramirez or Sabathia.

On a related note, Blue Notes had an interesting post relating to comments from Steve Henson at Yahoo! Sports on the Padres’ asking price for Jake Peavy:

The Dodgers would be long shots because the Padres are loathe to help their intra-divisional neighbors to the north. It would take Clayton Kershaw or Jonathan Broxton, plus DeWitt and Ethier, just to pique the Padres’ interest.

JUST TO PIQUE THEIR INTEREST!!! Whatever…could you seriously imagine playing the Pad’s and seeing Kershaw on the mound with DeWitt and Eithier behind him?  Unbelievable.

Let the Manny Ramirez Negotiations Begin!

So ESPN is reporting that the $20-$25 million per year isn’t the issue, it’s the length of the contract, with Ned pushing for two years instead of five or six.

My take is that this is a smart move by Ned for several reasons: one, this is a negotiation. We all know a five or six-year deal for Manny makes absolutely no sense for a NL team. Where’s he going to hit when his knees break down? At 33, Manny’s no spring chicken! Two, the team has been burned by long-term contracts in the past. Does Darren Dreifort’s infamous five-year, $55 million contract in 2000 ring any bells? Personally, I’d take Manny for three years at A-Rod money. He proved a lot to me during his short stint in LA, and the effect he had on the players both on and off the field was undeniable.

Plus, Ned has shown that he likes short-term contracts while in LA, and it probably kept him from getting fired this off-season. Could you imagine if the Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt deals were for 4+ years??

I’m sure we’ll now see Scott Boras start talking about mythical offers from “unnamed clubs” in an effort to get Ned to bid against himself, but I think we’re long past the Boras shenanigans of old working in 2008 (God, at least I hope we are).

Your move, Manny…