Ned Speaks

As I sit here watching another uninspired Dodger performance (down 4-0 to the Reds in the top of the 6th, with only 3 hits), I find myself browsing Dodger GM Ned Colletti’s online chat from earlier today – and as you might expect, a few things caught my eye.colletti.jpg

COLLETTI: We’re sitting in the dugout in Cincinnati and are ready to start taking your questions.

Dodgers89: Hi, Mr. Colletti. I am a good friend of Steve Sax and a big fan of yours. I believe you are doing a great job right now but was just wondering about a few things. Will you try to add a starter through the waiver wire?

Wow, Ned. Way to start off with a friendly question. Why didn’t you take the one about how in your spare time you bring puppies and flowers to elderly women in your neighborhood? Anyway, as for the question, Ned replies that there’s not much out there, it’s been hard to find anyone without trading prospects, etc. etc. – all valid points. But Ned, why did you let Arizona claim Joe Kennedy when you could have had him for practically nothing? Kennedy’s nothing too special, but he’s been almost exactly a league-average pitcher (99 ERA+) in the AL this year, which would likely make him slightly above-average in the NL, and he was excellent last year as a reliever (191 ERA+ in 35 innings). In his last NL go-round, he went 9-7 with a 3.66 ERA in 162 innings for a crappy 2004 Rockies team. You’re telling me a 28-year-old lefty that you can claim on waivers isn’t worth giving a shot to instead of Brett Fucking Tomko??

gelomac: Mr. Colletti, how do you feel about signing Juan Pierre? Do you think it is a mistake or do you think you did the right thing?

COLLETTI: One of the things you have to take into account is the makeup of the club at the time the deal was signed. We see Juan Pierre as a very good complimentary player. When we signed him, we didn’t expect him to carry the club. Our expectations were for him to be on base over 200 times and steal 50-plus bases. It’s also only four months into his first season in a new city, and I think we have to wait a little longer before we make judgments on what he can or can’t do.

“A good complimentary player?” You gave 5 years and $45 million – or more money than is currently committed to any player on this team – for a “complimentary” player? 

1baddesire: What was the craziest trade offer you received this year?

COLLETTI: We had one American League club that offered us a middle reliever in exchange for two of our everyday players who are not yet 25 years old and are playing at the big league level. Needless to say, it was a short conversation.

I’m going to throw out a guess – and this is based on no solid information – that either Tampa Bay offered Al Reyes (who’d be a middle reliever on just about any other club), or Texas offered Joaquin Benoit (who is a middle reliever on his own crappy club) for James Loney and Andre Ethier, if for no other reason than they have young GM’s desperate to make a splash and ask for the moon. It’s too bad Ned said it was an AL GM, because I’m sure Washington’s Jim Bowden offered up Jon Rauch for the low, low price of Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, a star on the Hollywod Walk of Fame, and a date with Jessica Biel.

shachory: Hi, Mr. Colletti. Did you ever consider trading any of the Dodgers top prospects for a power bat?

COLLETTI: In at least one deal, there was an impact player available. But the asking price of four prospects, including two or three from our current 25-man roster, may have filled one area while creating a void or two at the big league level. If the right deal presented itself, we would be open minded to moving anybody. But we’re not going to gut the farm system for one or two players.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about this question and answer, but as I don’t want to only beat up on Neddie here, I’ll say it again - he did a great job by not giving up our highly-rated prospects for veterans we did not need.