Sep 292013

A striking blow to the Los Angeles Dodgers who are already playing without outfielder Andre Ethier, have now added that Matt Kemp will not appear during the post season.

Kemp apparently re-aggravated his nagging ankle injury and will be sidelined.  The tough news is as Andre Ethier attempts to return from his own ankle injury. He has been getting rehab in Arizona for the last several days.

The injury doesn’t doom the Dodgers, who went 42-8 without Kemp in the line-up. They’ve expected him out for the season several times during the year, so they can still win without him. What it does create is a massive hole in the lineup, if not supported by Ethier. The outfielder duty would move to light-hitting Skip Skumacher or the not often played Scott Van Slyke. There word is Ethier may make the roster but only come off the bench to pinch hit. Ethier is a stellar defensive player which has made up for him times of struggle at the plate.

Time will tell what direction the 25 man roster will go on, skipper Don Mattingly knows of all, it is running out.

 09/29/2013  Posted by at 6:21 pm Dodgers Injury Reports, Dodgers News No Responses »
Jun 252013

With half of your team of potential All-Stars playing like half the team the Bad News Bears, it is easy us Angelenos to get antsy in the trade department.

Greg Zawkin who heads the “Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle,” blog, took an opinion on trading recently. Mr. Zawkin feels that trading away your top hitting prospect Joc Pederson will help shore up some of the teams instabilities either pitching or infield, which the Dodgers do need; but Greg Zawkin is dead wrong. A team that is sitting last place does not trade away a top hitting prospect to get themselves out of last place, that is not how it works. The Dodgers problems are several-fold and cannot be addressed with a 1 for 1 swap.

Let us look at the Dodgers and what we can expect pretty soon before we start trading top prospects.

First: Look at the standings. Dodgers are sitting in last place,la-sp-dn-dodgers-yasiel-puig-matt-kemp-andre-e-001 yes, but are only 8 games out of first place, with the All-Star break still a couple weeks away. They are riding a 3 game win streak, all which have come against teams in their division. This division is still up for grabs for any team.

Second: Look at the DL. Matt Kemp is close to returning, maybe even in a week or so, plus Scott Van Slyke isn’t terribly far behind either. Chris Capuano just came off DL, and had two impressive starts yielding zero runs. Why don’t we try Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in the lineup before we complain about a power surge. That is coming soon.

Third: Don Mattingly is still the manager. I like Don Mattingly, but he should not be managing this club at THIS present time. So even if you throw more great pitchers in the bullpen or batters in the lineup it doesn’t mean he will utilize them correctly. A more stable manager would.

Fourth: You have someone who can get you more. You actually have a couple players that can get you more. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford or a number of other prospects waiting in the wings. Conversing with a fellow Dodger fan, I brought up Andre Ethier potentially being traded and I said “$15 million, that’s a lot of payroll to eat.” His reply was “$2 billion.” Well that is true. The Dodgers can eat contracts for breakfast if they wanted to. Management wants to win, the team wants to win. A prospect is a prospect, they are not proven. We know Ethier is a better hitter than he has been, even though he is acting like a James Loney (while he was on the Dodgers at least). He is also very durable and can play right field and center. Crawford is injury prone, but has had a nice season until getting hurt. Many teams can call for their services for the right amount of contract subsidiary.

Finally: Do not repeat the past. Trading away prospects for veterans or position stabilizers has not worked out with the Dodgers. I mean, it works out for the prospects they trade away though. Just ask Carlos Santana.

The gist is we need to allow this team to play as close to full strength as possible before we throw away a prospect. As much as the Dodgers can afford take a large portion of Ethier’s salary, they can also afford to keep it and him right where it is. The trade deadline is still a ways away, towards the end there will be a lot more time to assess how the team is doing.

The Dodgers need bullpen help. The Dodgers need Don Mattingly to manage like he’s been doing it for 10+ years. The Dodgers need to play consistently.

The Dodgers are still in it.


 06/25/2013  Posted by at 12:03 am Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Prospects No Responses »
Dec 232012

Update: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that the Indians have signed Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56 million contract.The deal also includes a $14 million option for 2017 that will vest based on his number of plate appearances in 2016.

The hot stove is burning in Los Angeles as as the rumor storm continues to brew in Dodgertown. We already heard today that Joel Hanrahan will be dealt to the Boston Red Sox and former Dodger Jerry Sands is indeed part of the return package. Well, at least he will get some playing time in Pittsburgh, and former Dodgers tend to thrive in Pittsburgh, so best wishes to you Jerry. Before Hanrahan was dealt we heard that the Pirates were wanting Dee Gordon in any deal for Hanrahan.

The Mariners recently spoke with the Dodgers about Chris Capuano, Jon Paul Morosi reports. However, it doesn’t appear that discussion went very far. We heard earlier today that the Mets were also in hot pursuit of Capuano and Aaron Harang.

The Red Sox asked the Dodgers about Andre Ethier at the start of the winter and heard he was “not available,” according to a recent tweet by Jon Heyman. For the millionth time there is zero chance Ethier is traded this winter, unless the Dodgers can pry the disgruntled Giancarlo Stanton away from the Miami Marlins. Apparently the Mariners also asked about Ethier, unsurprisingly talks didn’t get far.

Then there is Nick Swisher, who apparently has the Dodgers and Angels high on his wishlist. Jim Bowden is tweeting that Nick Swisher is giving “serious consideration” to the four-year, $52MM offer from the Indians.

In some not rumor related Dodgers info, the Dodgers signed 32-year-old journeyman third baseman Dallas McPherson. He will serve as organizational depth as a member of the Albuquerque Isotopes.

 12/23/2012  Posted by at 8:43 am Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Transactions No Responses »
Dec 192012

Last week we heard from Dodgers GM Ned Colletti saying the Dodgers are probably done spending, more or less, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA. The Dodgers still have some holes to fill and if the above is true, there is a major trade storm brewing in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers have Dee Gordon on the trading block and the Mariners have been the biggest aggressor in the pursuit of the Dodgers shortstop. The Dodgers have been putting out “feelers” to see what kind of return they could net for Gordon, but the Dodgers don’t seem very inclined to trade him unless the return is overwhelming. Gordon could probably net a big haul and I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t on the roster come next spring.

Chris Capuano, perhaps the Dodgers most sought after trade chip this winter. He has one guaranteed year left on his current deal with the Dodgers, so it makes a lot of sense for teams looking for rotation help without having to worry about spending big money on a multi-year deal. So far the Rangers are said to have interest, the Pirates remain in the mix as well, and the Dodgers are still interested in adding Joel Hanrahan to their bullpen via trade, according to Buster Olney. Jon Heyman also confirmed the rumor in his latest post. Hanrahan has one year left on his current deal as well, so a trade between the Dodgers and Pirates makes a lot of sense. As for the Rangers, I wonder if the Dodgers could pry Ian Kinsler away with Jurickson Profar waiting in the wings.

Heyman says the Dodgers could add Chris Perez or Bobby Parnell to their radar if things don’t work out with the Pirates. The Dodgers have been connected to Nick Swisher as of late, pointing to the fact that the Dodgers are not done revamping the roster.

Danny Knobler says the Dodgers are shopping Andre Ethier and looking to replace him with Michael Bourn. The Dodgers are looking for a leadoff hitter, further pointing to the fact that the Dodgers don’t envision Dee Gordon being the starting shortop/leadoff hitter in 2013. However, the Dodgers aren’t expected to trade Andre Ethier to make room for Swisher or anyone else in their outfield, Heyman adds. One person connected to the Dodgers said it’s almost 100% certain that Ethier will open the season as the starting right fielder, barring an injury of course. Nick Cafardo reports that a Dodgers official emphatically denied the recent rumor of a Ethier for Jacoby Ellsbury swap. Ethier’s name has been running wild on the hot stove and the Dodgers have repeatedly denied that they are not shopping their All-Star and have “zero intention” of trading him, tweets Ken Rosenthal.

Aaron Harang, has been reportedly shopped very heavy since the Winter Meetings, but Harang remains a Dodger with Christmas just a few days away. Perhaps nobody wants him for Christmas, I know I sure don’t. Interest in the Dodgers pitching surplus should heat up now that the Pirates, Mariners, Indians, Twins, and Blue Jays among the many teams looking for starting pitching.

Then there is the other Dodgers’ starter on the outside looking in, Ted Lilly. Once one of the better left-handed pitchers in the game, he’s now coming off an injury plagued season and is no doubt highly favored to have a new team come next spring. Although I wouldn’t rule out the Dodgers moving him to the bullpen at this point if they can’t find a serious buyer right away.

Nick Punto is one of the newer names to hit the Dodgers’ trade block. The Dodgers have a huge surplus of infielders on the roster, so changes are coming way. The Dodgers have Jerry Hairston, Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers, Dee Gordon, the newly acquired Scott Schumaker, and then of course…

Juan Uribe, well, we could never get that lucky. The Dodgers upgraded their rotation to the best in all of baseball, at least on paper. So that took care of one item on my Christmas wish list for 2012. Now if we could only trade Juan Uribe, but I just know he will somehow remain a Dodger. A trade or release of Uribe and his $7MM is all I want for Christmas Santa.

 12/19/2012  Posted by at 9:17 pm Dodgers Rumors 7 Responses »
Sep 172012

Below is a complete list of every trade orchestrated by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti through September 1, 2012. This is the most complete and accurate list of all the trades completed during the Ned Colletti era on the web.

Colletti became the 10th General Manager in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the 5th General Manager for the team in the past 8 years when he was hired prior to the start of the 2006 season. He came in replacing Paul DePodesta, when he was fired after a very disappointing 2005 season. In his first ever trade as Dodgers GM, Colletti traded headcase Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to the Oakland Athletics for Andre Ethier. So much for Moneyball eh Billy Beane?

There is no denying that Colletti has made some very questionable trades since his arrival to Los Angeles. However, landing Andre was Ethier either the luckiest move ever, or he really did his homework, and stole Ethier right from under Beane’s nose. That was by far his best move, but Colletti has had some other brilliant moments, especially when he landed Manny Ramirez in 2008, only giving up Andy LaRoche. One of my other personal favorites was the Juan Pierre for Jon Link and John Ely trade. That one worked out pretty well. Ely was just named PCL Pitcher of the Year as a member of the Albuquerque Isotopes. Winning.

Colletti also acquired Alex Castellanos for Rafael Furcal, who was done in Los Angeles, with the Dodgers ready to start the Dee Gordon experiment. That brings us to 2012, the year where Colletti acquired Hanley Ramirez, Randy Choate, Brandon League, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto, and Josh Beckett. Of course the Dodgers gave up some quality prospects to make that happen, but the top 3 prospects were still with the Dodgers organization after the dust settled on all those trades. Job well done? I tend to lean on the side of yes.

Before 2012 we saw Colletti give away players like Cody Ross, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, James McDonald, and Trayvon Robinson. How many of those guys would you like to have on the Dodgers current roster right now? Just sayin’! The sad part is we have nothing to show for Ross, Jackson, Santana, Bell, or McDonald. At least we got three decent prospects for Robinson. Tough pill to swallow, no doubt.

Sure the Dodgers found success in 2008 and 2009, due in large part to Colletti. But along the way were some very bad baseball decisions.

The Dodgers of 2011 barely put together a winning season going 82-79, finishing 11.5 games out of first place. A season filled with Frank McCourt and all of his reality series drama led to a very frustrating season for fans. From the brutally public divorce, the embarrassing battle with Bud Selig, the bankruptcy, and his eventual agreement to sell the team. The Dodgers were plagued with all sorts of misfortune in 2011. There were a few bright spots for the Dodgers though, the MVP caliber season turned in by Matt Kemp, and watching Clayton Kershaw dominate the National League, and eventually win his first Cy Young. Perhaps the brightest spots though was the way Colletti and Mattingly committed to the youth of the franchise. Going with players like Justin Sellers, Jerry Sands, Nate Eovaldi, and Javy Guerra. In years past we would have seen Ronnie Belliard, Scott Podsednik, and Octavio Dotel brought in at the deadline. Yuck! The Dodgers found a ton of success in the second half going 41-28 after the All-Star break. But the season was considered a huge disappointment as the Dodgers failed to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. To make matters worse the Dodgers had one of the highest payrolls in baseball at a whopping $119MM. This winter Colletti has fallen right back to his old ways as we have seen the signings of a few old men and a complete waste of $24MM.

On March 26, 2012 the Dodgers were purchased by Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Guggenheim Baseball for a record-setting $2.2BB. It officially began a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and with Colletti’s history as GM for the Dodgers having mixed reviews to say the least, most fans and insiders believed Colletti would be sent packing. Immediately upon the new ownership group’s arrival, they made it very clear Colletti will be given a chance to really manage this franchise. Something that for the last 5 months Colletti has done very well. Colletti’s first big order of business in the Guggenheim era was extending Andre Ethier to a five-year $85MM deal. It’s impossible to ignore everything that Colletti has done to the Dodgers during the McCourt era, but with the new owners around it’s also hard to argue that Colletti is solely to blame. Colletti has made some bad judgment calls along the way, no doubt. Looking back though, I tend to believe Colletti was handcuffed into a lot of the decisions that were made. It’s easy to point the finger at McCourt for a lot of those bad trades, but looking at what Colletti has pulled off in 2012, I just think it came down to money, and McCourt didn’t have any. So Colletti was forced to part with better prospects in efforts of trying to win the division. Tough spot to be in. Sure glad those days are over.

You will see once you dive in that Colletti has made a few good trades. But the far more of the majority has been one bad baseball decision after another. Some very big names that would really help this team right now, gone, and nothing to show for it. 2012 was a big success in my opinion, no matter what the outcome of the season is. The Dodgers are built to win now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This winter will be Colletti’s first, real true test, with rectifying the two-year deals given to Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Jerry Hairston, and Mark Ellis. There is certainly a logjam in the starting rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Josh Beckett under contract already. Sadly that rotation isn’t going to cut it. Three lefties for crying out loud! What is Colletti thinking?

So, Lilly should and will likely be traded this winter. Dodgers will eat some cash, and get some prospects in return. If Billingsley has Tommy John surgery, this could get much worse, so fingers crossed there. I think the Dodgers have to trade Lilly and Harang regardless to be able to really upgrade the rotation. We can’t have three lefties in the rotation, that is just ridiculous. I don’t really care if it’s Capuano or Lilly at this point, but one of them has got to go. Harang could be used as the imaginary sixth starter, just a fat waste of money in my opinion. I would like to see John Ely if that’s the case. The Dodgers have $188.68MM committed to the 2013 payroll already, so a few trades are definitely going to be in the works.

The infield is even more of a mess, Mark Ellis, Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, and Nick Punto are already under contract. Then you have Hanley Ramirez, Luis Cruz, and Dee Gordon. Ummmmm…hello McFly…think!

Those two-year deals to Ellis and Hairston aren’t looking so smart now are they Ned? Sheesh! So, it’s easy to say toss the garbage out, but I just don’t see the Dodgers doing it. Uribe is immovable at this point, so we are just stuck with him. I am sure he cleared waivers with a chuckle from around the league this season. I don’t really see how we can sit Cruz at this point, the kid is just too good. Moving Hanley back to shortstop was a huge mistake in my opinion, so hopefully we move him back to third, and put Gordon back at shortstop. Yes. Gordon back as the starting shortstop. You can’t expect for him to develop in one season, you could say the Dodgers rushed him a bit, so growing pains are to be expected. Put the kid back at short and roll with the punches. You can not develop young players if they are sitting on the bench. Putting him back in the minors? We already know he can hit down there, so what good does that do? So Hanley to third, Dee to short, and start Cruz at second. That leaves Ellis, Punto, Uribe, Hairston for the bench. Yikes! Can we get a do-over? Logjam in the middle infield. Couple trades should do the trick though. Curious to think if the Dodgers will explore a Dee Gordon trade this winter?

So here is it is, the complete list of all of all of Ned Colletti’s trades. Take a look. Post your thoughts in the comments section. Do you think Ned deserves that extension the Dodgers just handed him?

Ned Colletti Transaction History: Trades

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 09/17/2012  Posted by at 10:22 am Thinking Blue No Responses »