Update, 12pm PST: Well, that was quick. MLBTR is reporting that the Nationals have signed Adam Dunn to a two year deal. You may notice below that I wrote “the Dodgers are in big trouble if Adam Dunn signs elsewhere before Manny does.” Well, now this is happening. Boras has this team right where he wants it. It’s one thing to say “I’d rather sign Dunn for one quarter of the price”, and quite another to say “well, I’ll go with the barely major-league performance of Juan Pierre.” As I said over a week ago when Manny turned down the one year, $25m offer and I said it was time to move on:
What happens if Dunn and Abreu tire of waiting for Manny and each take the money they can right now? Then this team is stuck in one of two equally dreadful situations: having to pay Manny whatever he demands, or having to forgo Manny entirely and start Juan Pierre in left field.
Well, we’re now squarely in that apoctolyptic wasteland of a future. Hooray. Original post remains below.
Woof. Things are finally heating up after weeks of Manny-gate. So far I’ve managed to avoid one thing I don’t really care about (A-Rod’s steroid “surprise”, because really, who’s so naive that this is a massive shock?) and one thing I really don’t care about (Joe Torre’s book, which isn’t nearly as bad as people are making it out to be),
* Bobby Abreu is off the board! Because that’s what Anaheim needs: more outfielders. Just kidding, mostly, because signing him for $5m guaranteed is a steal for an OBP-challenged club, but I could really care less about the Angels. This really does start putting some pressure on both the Dodgers and Manny Ramirez, because now that Abreu’s gone, the Dodgers are in big trouble if Adam Dunn signs elsewhere before Manny does. The last thing we need is Scott Boras being able to say “your viable alternatives are all gone. Now not only do I want $100 million over four years, I want you to bow before me and acknowledge me as your GOD.” Conversely, this should also put pressure on Boras to negotiate, because if Colletti is worried about precisely what I just laid out, he might hustle to talk to Dunn before it’s too late. It’s almost as though the pieces are falling into place, which leads me right into…
You might have noticed that I didn’t mention the Dodgers. That’s because Los Angeles could make a big splash in the next 72 hours.
Don’t be surprised if the Dodgers not only sign Manny Ramirez but Orlando Hudson as well.
Los Angeles needs an everyday second baseman, and Hudson is still out there, unable to land the rich multi-year deal he thought he would get when he became a free agent. The Dodgers likely could sign Hudson to a one-year deal worth between $5 million and $7 million.
His “72 hours” ends on Friday afternoon, but that’s a pretty hefty claim to make. While I’m hesitant to believe that a no-name newspaper from the Arizona desert has really gotten the drop on everyone else, the Abreu signing does seem like it could serve to grease the wheels to get Manny going one way or the other. And at this point, isn’t a resolution – any resolution - the most important issue?
As for Hudson, I have to say I just don’t understand. Sure, he’s a nice player, and it’s not even that the money would bother me that much. But is he worth not only blocking Blake DeWitt for a year but more importantly, costing the 17th overall pick in the draft for? Hudson’s injury-prone, anyway (only once topping more than 150 games in a season and missing much of 2008 with a broken wrist), and guys don’t usually get more durable at the age of 31. I suppose I would be okay with it if it meant that DeWitt was part of a package to obtain a top starter like Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay, but I really don’t think DeWitt has that much trade value to other teams. Let’s pass on Hudson.
On the other hand, his middle name is “Thrill”, which is pretty rad… Okay, commenter “J” points out that his middle name is in fact, “Thill” and not “Thrill”. How disappointing. Oh well, I didn’t want him in town anyway.
* Eric Milton, it’s time to play the Feud! I kid about these, because I have no problem with bringing in a ton of old-and-busted veterans at no risk in hopes that one will pan out, as it’s worked out so well for the Dodgers in recent years, but seriously, how many of these guys are we going to see? Milton signs a minor league deal to join Shawn Estes, Claudio Vargas, and Jeff Weaver in this year’s “pillowfight to the death”. Milton hasn’t even been league-average (100 ERA+) since, wait for it, 2001, though I admit that he’s been in the 90s a few times. So hell, why stop there? Who else was serviceable in the early 90s that can be resurrected and brought into camp to be cannon fodder? Russ Ortiz? Tomo Ohka? Sidney Ponson? Jon Lieber? We don’t discriminate!
* Bring back Joe! For a while, we thought old friend Joe Beimel was a certain lock to leave town, because you just don’t pay big money for middle relievers whose mediocre peripheral stats don’t really support his glowing ERA. But it hasn’t worked out for old Joe…
He’s a job seeker coming off three consistently efficient seasons as a Major League reliever, and left-handed at that. He wasn’t looking for Manny Ramirez money, but when the comparable Jeremy Affeldt signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Giants in November, Beimel (who earned $2.045 million last year) figured he’d be fine.
He figured wrong. The free-agent market suddenly collapsed with the economy, especially at his position. He said he’s spoken with 16 teams, none making an offer worth accepting. Not even an offer in hindsight he’d accept.
Beimel actually heard from the Dodgers for the first time this week, so maybe there’s still a chance here – we know the Dodgers are still looking for another lefty, with Dennys Reyes on the list. Beimel’s no All-Star, but he’s been pretty reliable over three years in LA, so if the price is right, why not take a chance? The devil you know, as they say. Well, some people do. I would never say that.