Jul 302013

Update: Brian Wilson‘s deal is a guaranteed major league deal, according to Jerry Crasnick, and Jim Bowden says it’s worth $1MM plus performance bonuses. Not too big of a gamble for the Dodgers at this point. Anything on the trade market would have been a much bigger risk, plus this deal doesn’t cost the Dodgers any prospects.

Update: The tentative plan for Wilson is to begin at the Dodgers’ complex in Arizona, then go to Rancho Cucamonga, and then report to the Dodgers in two weeks, tweets Brown.  In theory, the signing should take the Dodgers out of the bullpen trade market. Thus, allowing them to focus on the infield and starting rotation again.

Well, that didn’t last very long now did it? It’s official. The Dodgers have signed free agent reliever Brian Wilson, tweets Tim Brown. The Beard will officially don the Dodger blue. Not sure how I feel about this yet. He’s had a long road to recovery from April 2012 Tommy John surgery. He’s been impressing scouts over the last couple weeks. Now, he’s a Los Angeles Dodger. After spending his his entire career with the San Francisco Giants, being one of the best closers in all of baseball, racking up a whopping 171 saves, Brian Wilson is a freaking Dodger. Go figure.

For me it is going to be tough to get on board with “The Beard.” It is like Barry Bonds becoming a Dodger. Something just isn’t right about it. I have literally despised this guy for the last six years. Now I’m suddenly expected to root for the guy? I don’t think so. He’s got a lot to prove in my opinion. I bleed Dodger blue, Wilson does not. He’s tainted with the orange and black. I’m not really sure how I should feel right now. Time will eventually tell. If he can do what he did in San Francisco here in Los Angeles, become the elite once again, fill the void left by Eric Gagne, then maybe I can eventually swallow my pride a bit. This is the game of baseball in 2013, I get it. No different than what happens with the Yankees and Red Sox. Still, it’s not easy. Maybe if Brian Wilson dyed his beard blue…

 07/30/2013  Posted by at 11:46 am Dodgers News, Thinking Blue No Responses »
Jul 232013

With eight days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers still have plenty of pitching options despite Francisco Rodriguez being traded today and Matt Thornton a few days back.

Not a trade candidate but you better believe the Dodgers will be watching when former Giants closer Brian Wilson throws sometime in the next couple weeks. Wilson threw for the Giants yesterday, according to Andrew Baggarly. According to the report it was purely a favor on the Giants part, no deal is close for now. Baggardly adds that Wilson looked Major League ready. Wilson should throw for other teams over the next couple weeks and it appears Wilson will get signed for a team in need of bullpen help down the stretch.

Other names on the trade block, Oliver Perez, Scott Downs, Javier Lopez, Joe Thatcher, Travis Blackley, Wesley Wright, Mike Dunn, Darren Oliver, Steve Cishek, Jesse Crain, Brian Duensing, Antonio Bastardo, Jose Veras, Tom Wilhelmsen, Huston Street, Matt Lindstrom, Jared Burton, John Axford  and James Russell.  I would also throw in Joba Chamberlain, Jonathan Papelbon, Glen Perkins and Alfredo Aceves into the mix, but that group is obviously going to be more difficult to acquire.

A lot of players are still available so it really shouldn’t be an issue for the Dodgers to acquire the bullpen help they need, right? I sure as heck hope not. After the disastrous performance by Carlos Marmol tonight I’m thinking the Dodgers are back on the phones as I finish typing this bad boy up. Right now, I’m hoping that the Dodgers don’t get too hard-pressed to acquire a bullpen arm or two and pull off bad deals. The Dodgers need to be smart over the next week. We have seen some good deals, and we have seen some bad ones, and I had better not see a deal go down that kills the Dodgers over the next several seasons.

 07/23/2013  Posted by at 8:57 pm Dodgers Rumors, Thinking Blue No Responses »
Jul 172013

The Dodgers currently sit 2.5 games back in the NL West behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. After being in last place on July 1, the Dodgers now find themselves in striking distance of first place after winning 9 out of the last 13. Standing in their way is the Washington Nationals who are in a very similar boat to the Dodgers. The Dodgers and Nationals will boast some of the best pitching duels we will see all year.

On Friday night the Dodgers will start their tough road trip in a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. Here’s a breakdown of the three games:

Game 1: (Ricky Nolasco vs Stephen Strasburg)
Game 2: (Zack Greinke vs Gio Gonzalez)
Game 3: (Clayton Kershaw vs Jordan Zimmermann)

After that the Dodgers head to Toronto to take on the last place Blue Jays in a three-game series. Then, without a travel day the Dodgers come home for a four-game series against the  Cincinnati Reds, before taking on the New York Yankees to close out the month of July at home.

Surprsingly, Dodger tickets remain available for the series against the Reds so scoop them up while you can. Keep in mind prices remain down, so now is the time. There are also Dodgers tickets still available for the showdown with the Yankees, they won’t last long, hurry up so you can see Yasiel Puig take it to Robinson Cano and the Yankees.

If you’d like to grab a couple seats to see the boys in blue, click on the links above or visit TiqIQ.com.

 07/17/2013  Posted by at 5:26 pm Dodgers News, Thinking Blue No Responses »
Jul 162013

The Dodgers have been very vocal about their desire to add a third baseman this summer. However, the trade market isn’t all that great. Beyond Aramis Ramirez and Michael Young, there hasn’t been one whisper of another solid third baseman being available this summer. Not that Ramirez and Young are either. The Dodgers have no need for a 37-year-old third baseman. Yes, this means you Aramis and Michael. Struggling veterans at the end of their careers isn’t a good fit for the Dodgers these days. We’ve got one of those already, his name is Juan Uribe.

Looking around, I see one fit. Mind you, this is pure speculation combined with a bit of history on my part. For the last couple seasons the Dodgers have kicked around the idea of putting Chase Headley in Dodger blue, probably coming pretty close to pulling off a deal last summer, before they ended up trading for Hanley Ramirez.

Here’s why it’s a good fit. Headley is only 29-years-old and he’s currently under contract until 2015, which would help solidify the hot corner for the Dodgers for the next couple of seasons.  Headley makes all kinds of sense for the Dodgers, he’s a huge defensive upgrade at third base. He currently ranks eleventh overall among MLB third baseman offensively, and that’s after his rough start to the 2013 season. Since 2011, Headley is among the elite ranking 5th overall among all third basemen offensively. Defensively, Headley ranks third overall among MLB third basemen, owning a .801 RZR, a 8.9 UZR while playing .727 innings.

Headley has had a rough start to his 2013 season, hitting .229/.330/.359, with seven home runs, and 31 runs batted in heading into the second half. I tend to think he could improve those numbers outside Petco Park, especially inside Dodger Stadium, where over his career he has hit .318/.394/.513, with 12 doubles, six home runs, and 25 RBI in 175 plate appearances.

I’m thinking the asking price is going to be steep for the Dodgers to acquire Headley. Joc Pederson and two or three other prospects  would do the trick. Zach Lee and Garrett Gould are two of the pitching prospects I am often seeing mentioned in trades that may go down in the next couple weeks, and really it will come down to how much money the Dodgers are willing to absorb from the Padres.

Mattingly has primarily used a combination of Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe, and the departed Luis Cruz at the position leading up to the All-Star break. The Dodgers need for a third baseman is obvious, with the Dodgers ranking 16th in MLB with a combined .712 OPS. However, pulling off a deal with the NL West rival Padres will not be easy as the Padres aren’t going to slide any favors to the Dodgers, as they are in position to win the division this season. On top of all that you better believe the big hitters will be involved in talks to acquire Headley. Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, you know the list, and they will at least drive up the price on the Dodgers. Colletti may get another opportunity to put Headley in Dodger blue. If he does, strike first, and leave as much quality as possible down on the farm.


 07/16/2013  Posted by at 10:06 pm Dodgers Rumors, Thinking Blue 6 Responses »
Mar 272013

The Dodgers have announced their opening week starting rotation, but as we know things are always subject to change in Dodgertown. April 1st is just around the corner and the Dodgers opening series is against none-other than their arch rival San Francisco Giants. Still looking for Los Angeles Dodgers Tickets? Opening week tickets are still available, don’t wait. It is looking like the Dodgers will go with only four starters for now, and it appears that right hander Chad Billingsley is going to spend the beginning of the season on the DL. But not for his elbow injury, the good news. The elbow appears to be healed as of right now, which is nothing short of a miracle at this point. Billingsley is recovering from an elbow injury that usually requires Tommy John surgery, but he seems to be in the clear, unfortunately a fingernail bruise on his pitching hand is causing some trouble, so to the disabled list he goes.

Opening day, April 1st, the Dodgers will be going with 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Free agent signee  Hyun-jin Ryu will get the start on April 2nd, and Josh Beckett will start the third game of the series on April 3rd. The Dodgers have an off-day on April 4th, and then begin a three game set with the Pirates on April 5. Here’s where things get tricky, Zack Greinke, assuming he’s cleared to start will make his Dodger debut on April 5th. Greinke has been dealing with elbow pain over the last few weeks, but the Dodgers got some good news after pitching pain free last Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, Clayton Kershaw would make his second start on April 6. From there is a complete mystery at this point. The Dodgers have off-days on April 4, and 8, which means they won’t need a fifth starter until the 13th at the earliest. That should give Billingsley’s nail plenty of time to heal and then the Dodgers would then slide him into the rotation.

Where does that leave Ted Lilly, Aaron Harang, and Chris Capuano? So far not even a whisper, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s fair to assume that at least one of the trio will be dealt. The Dodgers also have to decide what to do with the bullpen if they do decide to hang on to the surplus of starting pitching. Of course, Scott Elbert and Ronald Belisario are both out of options, so that brings a whole other issue as it pertains to the Dodgers 25-man roster crunch. Who should stay, and who should go?