Dec 102012

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Dodgers “are finished in the market for starting pitching.” Unless the unexpected happens of course. This obviously crushes Anibal Sanchez‘s dreams of winning the World Series with the Dodgers next year.┬áThe Dodgers were known to have interest in free agent right-hander Anibal Sanchez even after inking a record-setting six-year, $147MM contract with Zack Greinke, but then the Dodgers added$61.7MM to the starting pitching budget by signing the Korean phenom Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Also falling to backburner is Kevin Youkilis, as the Dodgers seem to have soured on the former AL All-Star, according to Nick Cafardo. Youkilis wasn’t my first pick either, so I am not a bit upset that we aren’t wasting money on this guy. Luis Cruz is slotted to open the season as the starting third baseman. But that’s not all folks, the Dodgers are still in the market for a starting infielder, according to Jon Heyman. He adds that Youkilis is no longer on the Dodgers’ radar. The Dodgers certainly have some trade chips to work with so anything is possible at this point.

The days of thinking small in Dodgertown are officially over. What’s next? That’s the million dollar question now isn’t it?

 12/10/2012  Posted by at 9:34 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Jun 292012

A few days ago I suggested the Dodgers should turn their attention towards Chase Headley, after missing out on Kevin Youkilis. To my surprise I see that Jon Heyman is writing about the Dodgers talking business with their division rivals about acquiring the young third baseman.

Let me preface what I am about to say, by saying that I don’t think Headley is the answer to all of the Dodgers problems, far from it. The Dodgers need help, one bat isn’t going to be enough, not with the activity the Dodgers disabled list has seen all season. Headley is a solid piece that helps form a great lineup, but the Dodgers need someone if front of Matt Kemp, and behind Andre Ethier to help the Dodgers build one of the most feared lineups in baseball.

The Padres have already admitted they are willing to consider making an in-division trade, so that definitely puts the Dodgers into play. We know the Padres are listening to offers for Headley, it’s safe to assume at least a half-dozen teams are in on these talks. The Pirates, D’backs, Dodgers, Indians, Orioles, and Angels could all be players here. Heyman also notes the Padres are saying they would need to be overwhelmed to deal the switch-hitting stud, who is batting an impressive .273/.373/.422, with eight home runs, and 38 RBI.

Heyman also passed on a quote, “The Dodgers like Headley a lot,” one baseball executive on another team said. There could definitely be something brewing here, but overwhelming the Padres may be easier said than done. The Dodgers have some trade chips to work with, but most of it is in the pitching department, Zach Lee, Shawn Tolleson, Allen Webster and plenty of others. The Dodgers also have some position prospects as well, they just isn’t a lot of depth, and what they do have isn’t in the top-tier. Though the signing of Yasel Puig could make an outfielder like Jerry Sands, Scott Van Slyke, and Alfredo Silverio available.

Headley, great offensive numbers, especially inside Dodger Stadium. Well respected player both on and off the field, above average defense at the hot corner, and the dude is only 28. Keep an eye on this one ladies and gents, I got a feeling something is brewing.

 06/29/2012  Posted by at 12:25 pm Dodgers Rumors 5 Responses »
Jun 282012
It was just eleven days ago, we heard from Buster Olney that the Dodgers did not have the Cubs slugging first baseman Bryan LaHair on their radar. I remember calling this report “silly” at the time because of the obvious fit between LaHair and the Dodgers, and because he’s an obvious upgrade over James Loney.

Fast forward to June 28 and Buster Olney is tweeting that the Dodgers recently scouted Bryan LaHair, conflicting with his previous report. With Loney and Uribe struggling, Ethier and Kemp out for a minimum of two weeks, perhaps the Dodgers have shifted their focus, especially after losing out on Kevin Youkilis.

The Dodgers have some concerns about LaHair’s defense, but the flip-side of that is James Loney, and that hasn’t worked out very well. The defense concerns shouldn’t matter per Olney, as the team obviously needs help, and can’t afford to pass up the opportunity with corner infield options being so limited on the trade market.

LaHair is an obvious upgrade, the numbers speak for themselves.

Bryan LaHair ($480K| 29 yrs old)
.281 AVG | .364 OBP | .532 SLG

James Loney ($6.375MM | 28 yrs old)
.244 AVG | .312 OBP | .333 SLG

Here’s the other big plus, LaHair is under team control until 2018, while Loney is set to be a free agent after the conclusion of this season. Loney is also a non-tender candidate and figures to be traded at some point over the next 30 days. The Dodgers need a quality bat, consider this a upgrade over Loney and nothing more. The Dodgers are also reportedly targeting Carlos Lee, but he’s approaching 40 years of age, and is making $18.5MM this season. LaHair seems to be the better available option, but I would say another bat would still be needed. Chase Headley handling third base duties for the Dodgers anyone?


 06/28/2012  Posted by at 10:57 am Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Jun 012012

Why wait? Look for that to be the slogan for the Magic Johnson led Dodgers over the next couple months or so. The Dodgers have been dealt their fair share of injuries so far this season, and yet the disabled list claimed another victim today as Matt Kemp is headed to the disabled list for a second time this season. Yep, just two days after being activated, he’s headed back to the DL after re-aggravating the same left hamstring in last night’s game.

The Dodgers have been widely speculated to pursue roster upgrades after the Magic era began in Dodgertown. Well, with the signing of Bobby Abreu, and failed attempt at signing free agent Roy Oswalt, the Dodgers will look to continue those efforts in the coming weeks.

Buster Olney is tweeting that the Dodgers are actively making calls in pursuit of acquiring position players via trade. The Dodgers have found “no real match” in what is being called an “extremely limited market,” writes Olney, who notes that the team had been seeking to upgrade their roster even before the announcement of Kemp going on the disabled list.

So I look at the roster, beyond Andre Ethier in right field, A.J Ellis at catcher, and Matt Kemp in center, I see nobody else that has proved to be a bonafide starter on this roster right now. I know that seems ridiculous when you are the best team in the league, but that’s been in large part to a very young package of surprises, like Herrera, Van Slyke, De Jesus, and Eovaldi, who will no doubt have their ups and downs as they get their feet wet in the majors.

The biggest problem I see is first base, more notably, James Loney. He’s been a bust once again in 2012, I don’t care how many hot streaks this guy has left in him, he’s not the long term solution at first base. Colletti should have non-tendered Loney last winter, but the Dodgers are trying the James Loney experiment once again in 2012, and what do you know? The same results. In 2012, Loney’s stats are far from impressive, proving once again an upgrade is needed, because his glove is simply not enough.

Year Plate Appearances
When available, we use actual plate appearances from play-by-play game accounts
Otherwise estimated using AB + BB + HBP + SF + SH,
which excludes catcher interferences.
When this color click for a summary of each PA.”>PA
R H 2B HR RBI BB SO Hits/At Bats
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played”>BA
(H + BB + HBP)/(At Bats + BB + HBP + SF)
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played”>OBP
Total Bases/At Bats or
(1B + 2*2B + 3*3B + 4*HR)/AB

For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played”>SLG
On-Base + Slugging Percentages
For recent years, leaders need 3.1 PA
per team game played”>OPS
2012 173 13 39 11 2 16 17 22 .250 .324 .359 .683
162 Game Avg. 622 65 161 32 13 85 51 77 .286 .345 .428 .773
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 6/1/2012.

2012 may prove to be Loney’s worst offensive season yet. What lies ahead for Loney? Honestly, I believe Loney will be traded, or he will stick around until he is finally non-tendered after this season. If Loney is traded mid-season look for an outfielder, the Dodgers have the flexibility to move Rivera or Abreu into first for the duration of the season. I think Loney can still be a hitter at the major league level, but I think a change of scenery is necessary will certainly do him some good at this point. The Dodgers rumor mill is sure to be swirling over the next several weeks, and potential trade candidates could consist of Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Lee, Mark Reynolds, and Adam Dunn.

The Dodgers are said to have lukewarm interest in Youkilis, at this point seem neither willing to take on his large salary, or handover a top prospect, tweets Ken Gurnick. Well that makes perfect sense to me, why overplay your hand? It’s barely June for cryin’ out loud. I don’t see one reason to go all-in on Youkilis when one he has been on the DL quite a bit recently, and hasn’t performed anywhere close to the level we have grown to expect from him. Um, hello McFly, think! Meanwhile, Jon Heyman says the Dodgers have stepped up their scouting on Youkilis. Yeah, you go ahead and read between those lines. It’s seriously like a game of chess this time of year.

Of course this all just speculation, but there are some obvious scenarios where it could make a lot of sense for all of these guys to be moved by July trade deadline. Of course according to Danny Knobler, the Red Sox definitely intend on trading Youkilis by the end of July. So you can take that for what it’s worth. But I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the Dodgers pull off a clever move to land Youkilis, much like they did a few years back when they brought Manny Ramirez to Dodgertown.

Third base, yikes. This is another gaping hole, temporarily plugged by the surprising performance of Jerry Hairston, who’s been getting it done all season long, minus his brief stint on the disabled list. Juan Uribe just can’t seem to stay healthy and on the field at this point, seeming like he is destined for more of a part-time role moving forward. Youkilis, Reynolds, could be thrown into this category as well, and perhaps David Wright, if an extension isn’t reached with the Mets, but I find the Mets moving on from Wright highly unlikely at this point.

The outfield is pretty solid and there is a some quality depth there where there isn’t a lot of cause for concern. I do think left field is one of the easier positions to upgrade and I am certain the Dodgers realize that as well. Outfielders are always easier to come by, so it just naturally makes sense. I see the Dodgers exploring that market right away and I expect there have already been conversations with the Chicago Cubs about Alfonso Soriano. I could also see the Dodgers checking in on Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Carl Crawford, and Shane Victorino should these names hit the trade block. Of that bunch Soriano stands the highest chance of being traded.

As far as the pitching goes, well, the Dodgers will land a big time pitcher, and I guarantee it. Take it to the bank, the Dodgers will get someone to stick at the top of the starting rotation. Right now my money is on Cole Hamels, as the Dodgers are infatuated with this guy. Danny Knobler agrees, saying that “They love him, and they’re saying they’ll do whatever it takes to get him,” one person told Knobler. That’s good enough for me. Knobler also confirms that money is not expected to be an obstacle for the Dodgers. GM Ned Colletti should have the backing of the team’s new ownership group, Guggenheim Baseball Management.

Some other names to watch this summer are Ryan Dempster, Shaun Marcum, Zack Greinke, Wandy Rodriguez, and Matt Garza are just a few big name pitchers to keep an eye or two on over the next several weeks.

The Magic ownership regime has already made it abundantly clear that they are willing to spend. Of course that comes with their terms. There are not making moves just to make moves, but they realize that they are a serious contender this year, so upgrading the roster is obviously a high priority. It doesn’t seem like they are going to be afraid to spend big dollars as long as it is a smart business decision and not just a band-aid move.

 06/01/2012  Posted by at 5:09 pm Dodgers Rumors No Responses »