On Reported Dodger Interest in Torii Hunter & Everyone Else

In the midst of all the fun over the posting of Hyun-Jin Ryu and reported Dodger interest in Kevin Youkilis, now there’s this: the Dodgers are also interested in Torii Hunter, and may in fact have already offered him a two-year contract, which now frees them up to trade Andre Ethier & Juan Uribe to Seattle for Felix Hernandez & Dustin Ackley & Taijuan Walker & the 1994 version of Ken Griffey, Jr. and a big basket of puppies, and…

…and let’s just stop right there and try to regain some perspective.

We’ll return to Hunter in a second, but with the offseason rumor mill already working at hyper-speed  it’s important to step back and remember the rules of the road here. Hearing that “team X checked in on player Y” should barely even be reason to stop what you’re doing. Every team makes contact with every player they have even the vaguest interest in, because if they don’t, they’re not doing their job. Yes, the Dodgers checked in on Hunter. And Zack Greinke. And Anibal Sanchez. And Kyle Lohse. And Dan Haren, and just about everyone else. It’s the way things work. As Ken Rosenthal noted, at least ten teams have made contact with Hunter. Just because the Dodgers were one of them doesn’t suddenly mean Ethier is being traded, and Dylan Hernandez checked in to say that Hunter’s agent actually approached the Dodgers; I’ve verified independently that a contract was never offered, and Hunter himself confirmed that.

Nor, it should be noted, does this suddenly make Ethier a trade candidate. I know, I know: most of you don’t like his contract. While I was hardly a huge fan of it, the simple fact of the matter is that the team doesn’t view it as a bad contract, especially because this isn’t a leftover from the McCourt years, this was signed with the new regime in charge. Ethier’s done nothing since then to change our fundamental understanding of what he is, which is a fan favorite who murders righties, cannot hit lefties, and gets his share of bumps & bruises.

If you think that a team like Tampa is dying to pick up that contract and send back James Shields in return, think again; that’s just now how it works. Besides, I’ve long contended that if you simply stop forcing him to hit lefties, his numbers will skyrocket. While “platoon outfielder” may not be optimal for that amount of money, I doubt anyone’s complaining if he hits .300/.350/.500 next year facing mainly righty pitching.

Anyway, back to Hunter. While it’s very unlikely that he’d join a crowded Dodger outfield, since he’s coming off one of the best seasons of his career and likely wants a guaranteed starting job, the appeal here is obvious. The Dodgers clearly need A) an insurance policy for Carl Crawford in left, B) someone on the roster who can handle center now & then to keep Matt Kemp fresh, and C) a righty bat to make sure Ethier really can skip most lefties. Hunter is a perfect fit for each of those roles, he owns a home in Newport Beach, is good friends with both Kemp and Crawford, and after 16 years in the game, still hasn’t made it to the World Series. He’s not going to repeat his 2012, of course – helloooo .389 BABIP and declining K% & BB% rates – and at 37, there’s obvious risk of aging at a “guy who chooses poorly at the end of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade” rate, which makes him more suited for a role in which he may not need to play every day.

So if you can convince Hunter that ~400 plate appearances for a good team with his friends is better than ~600 plate appearances guaranteed elsewhere, it’s a hole that needs filling. If not, I won’t shed a lot of tears that some other team gave a multi-year deal to a 37-year-old coming off an unsustainable season.

Either way, it’s almost certainly not a precursor to an Ethier trade, nor should it be; if Ethier is used properly, he’s all but guaranteed to be a more valuable player over the next several years. But considering what we’ve heard in the last hour or so that the Dodger interest in Hunter isn’t anywhere near what it was originally reported, it’s a good reminder of how crazy things can get this time of year.

381 comments
KingmanofLodi
KingmanofLodi

Just in....DM...didn't win Mgr of the year...must be East coast BS again....some X Dodger Mgr in Wash came in first and some X Dodger player came in second, and yet some X Padre Mgr....came in third....and there is your story of the X's

jd32315
jd32315

My thoughts are to sign the following free agents: Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez, righty reliever Casey Janssen (UCLA guy), starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (Cali kid), and 3B/1B Kevin Youkilis. I know this doesn't sound all that Hollywood, but these guys are gamers and will fill our needs. As far as fourth/fifth outfielders go, we already have Alex Castellanos to go along with Kemp, Ethier and Crawford. Work with Castellanos on his D and we are good to go. On the infield go with AGonzalez, Ellis, Hanley, and Youk. Back-ups are Hairston, Cruz, and possibly Punto. AJ and FedEx behind the plate. Starting rotation of Kershaw, Lohse, Bills, Beckett, and Lilly. Bullpen of: League, Jansen, Belisario, Janssen, Gonzalez, Wright and Guerrier. We have Paco, Elbert, Tolly and Ames one phone call away for bullpen hlp. In another year Zach Lee, Matt Magill, and Chris Reed will be very close to breaking into the starting rotation, and Joc Pederson and Puig are coming fast as 4th/5th outfielders. We can trade Cappy and Harang for prospects to beef up the farm system, release Uribe and place Dee back at AAA for more seasoning. I am not giving up on him. Remember Dee is a great athlete who was rushed up and who played more hoops than baseball as a kid in Florida. Opening Day lineup (if Crawford is healthy): 1) Crawford; 2) Ellis; 3) Kemp; 4) A Gonzalez; 5) Ethier; 6) Ramirez; 7) Youkilis; 8) AJ; 9) Kershaw. If Crawford is not ready start Castellanos or Hairston and have Mark Ellis lead off.

Nineteen84
Nineteen84

The Dodgers will be connected to just about every name FA going forward, this is taking some getting used to...remember going days waiting for a Dodger rumor, now it's impossible to sort out the credible ones

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

Looks like a solid night for the late show.  I'm curious how @Kewldood69 's texts went over.

KirkDavenport
KirkDavenport

Is it more than a coincidence that Chan Ho Park is a current teammate of Hyun Jin Ryu on the Hanwha Eagles?

Did Chan Ho improve the chances of the Dodgers to bid and win? Did Chan Ho communicate with the Dodgers to prompt their interest? Can Chan Ho influence Ryu to come to the Dodgers÷

Got to believe that Chan Ho Park is due some gratitude for this happening.

On paper, Chan Ho and Ryu are listed as the same size (6'1', 215 lbs) but they sure do not look the same girth

*VND*
*VND*

Well then. Looking over this blog I am glad everyone else got shit faced. I will be seeing your livers sometime in the next 25 yrs. Hopefully by then I'm retired so if your liver blows up after that good luck. 

HiiiEVERYBODY!
HiiiEVERYBODY!

I WENT TO A BAR TOO. TALKED TO SOME GURLS AND WHAT NOT AND CAME TO A VALID CONCLUSION. SLEEP.

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

I think Im being trolled on twitter

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

When your wifi is slower than your phone...

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Really Magic did his job. He brought some good will to the new ownership so that fans gave them a chance.  That allowed enough time for the real forces behind things to show what they can do, namely Stan with his know how and plan and Mark with his financial might.  This is the Stan and Mark show. Everyone else is kinda just guest stars.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@ThtsaPaddlin @Kewldood69 Another wild night for the night crew. ALL THE HOT WOMEN.

Cold Pumpkin (loves "willow tree")
Cold Pumpkin (loves "willow tree")

@KirkDavenport

One thing I know for sure is that Chan Ho influenced Ryu to go to America. But whether Chan Ho made dodgers bid to Ryu or not is I don't know. We all don't about this before dodgers front say,

 

Here are some pictures of Chan Ho and Ryu.

 

http://cfile29.uf.tistory.com/image/162484364FA7763F1ED5FA

http://i2.media.daumcdn.net/photo-media/201201/26/osen/20120126105004341.jpg

http://imgnews.naver.net/image/277/2012/11/05/2012110508294086237_7_59_20121105123003.jpg

http://cdn.mydaily.co.kr/FILES/201111/201111191530332228_1.jpg

http://img.sbs.co.kr/newsnet/espn/upload/2012/10/04/30000158981_700.jpg

 

It seems like Ryu is a little bit taller than Chan Ho. Of course Ryu is more heavier than Chan Ho. haha. According to KBO homepage, Chan Ho is 6'1'', 205 lbs and Ryu is 6'2'', 216 lbs. But I think Ryu's weight is not correct with that. lol.

 

*VND*
*VND*

 @EephusBlue but did he save a flag? Cuz he deserves another bobblehead just for that if he did. Jaime Jarrin didnt do jack shit these past 50 years

*VND*
*VND*

yeah but we still have Laker head Magic Johnson sitting around doing nothing but talking about Phil Hackson while at Dodger Stadium

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @LA Woman She may have made an account to do that. But I dont have a mustache and am not a sports type blogger

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @VietnamDodger I like bobbleheads, they make me feel better about getting something free every time I bring the $11 beer to my lips

*VND*
*VND*

hahahah. yeah. Hunter Killaz

*VND*
*VND*

 One was for @LA Woman but then she was all yelling at me

*VND*
*VND*

 @EephusBlue I only have one Bobblehead. Well, two. I bought two of HK. 

*VND*
*VND*

 @Kewldood69 with that church is out and I need to *sigh* get back to effing Skype. FML. Night

*VND*
*VND*

 @Kewldood69 Hippocratic Oath does not apply on a Saturday night after you are lording over me with multiple Sapporros and talking of beautiful north Asian women. I have feelings too. 

*VND*
*VND*

 @Kewldood69 its... that youre saying his girl is a fuckin hottie and you wanna make out with her

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @VietnamDodger I am an equal opportunity girl checker outter. I like da asian ladies too.

*VND*
*VND*

 @EephusBlue but i love you. you suck. jerk. should look at asian women you 75% asian guy. ah who am i kidding i am guilty of the same shit

*VND*
*VND*

 @EephusBlue I shall not HF you since you came up with HF. You get a Anh cut di ><

*VND*
*VND*

 BIG ASS FROWN FACE FOR YOU :(

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

@VietnamDodger Funny... like I actually want to meet a girl at a bar 7 drinks deep... Or do I? Oh fuck Kewl, go to sleep

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Gilbert_Vengeance Just thought you were taking me more seriously than I actually was. I like to yoke, holmes. Kewl dude, good looking girls at 1:30 am? The only ones you may find are the ones you have to pay for. Plus, you've had whiskey and many beers, most girls should be looking somewhat attractive

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @VietnamDodger  @Kewldood69 I saw some smokin hot ladies out tonight near the Metreon. HATCHI MATCHI! lonnnnnnng legs and short skirts. Man they were beautiful

*VND*
*VND*

 @Kewldood69 good looking girls dont go out. and when they do theyre single and looking for a BF. which means they last about 2 weekends. You have a small window

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

Walked 2 miles home... Not a good looking girl out tonight.

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @Deuces Wild  is it cuz the response was long? i got a whoa buddy? lol. I wasnt bitter at all or anything... i just have a chance to sit near him all the time and he seems like a cool dude to the players thats all.

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

Kewl sees stars... Oh, I had some whiskey too.

Kewldood69
Kewldood69

@VietnamDodger @Deuces Wild Kewldood just saw this and drank 8 sapporos. Um... That's all I got

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Gilbert_Vengeance  @VietnamDodger Whoa buddy, I was mostly joking. He's relevant as a PR kinda guy, but not as far as front office is concerned. Plus, he's portrayed as a way bigger piece of ownership than he really is just because of his popularity in L.A.

*VND*
*VND*

 @Deuces Wild I wish I was able to have a beer right now. I need a beer. its cold and im getting sleepy

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @Deuces Wild  @VietnamDodger just cuz we dont see him outside of ESPN NBA shows dosnt mean he's not a big part of the team. Kasten is the baseball guy and Magic seems to float around making the players laugh and talking to them about the right way to go about doing things in life outside baseball. Ive sat near Magic alot at DS and aside from he fact i see him alot, ive overheard his talks with some players and he give advise. Listen he only payed 50mil or something like that. No one from the start thought he was going to be a major factor in the organization but the fact is we truly dont know and cant pass judgment.

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @VietnamDodger Well dang, your compassion and generosity kills any kind of humorous rebuttal. Good for you though, you're doing a great thing, I'm just watching TV with my dog and drinking a beer

*VND*
*VND*

 @Deuces Wild Im actually on Skype playing doctor to my friends in Vietnam. I'd be more irritated if it was work.. and its not. The country is just so poor it makes my heart hurt :(

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @VietnamDodger Yay, someone else is awake! I keep checking MLB rumors, but no updates. Insomnia and boredom is a cruel combo

*VND*
*VND*

 @LakerDodger24 but he adds such little value and his interests and knowledge are so far away from baseball its almost like we are being treated like airheads. 

*VND*
*VND*

 @LakerDodger24 hes kind of a small name among the company he keeps in Dodger ownership. but yeah I guess so

*VND*
*VND*

 @LakerDodger24 Magic is letting me down as an owner. He is not what I wanted. Id rather have just Guggenheim as my owners. Magic is kinda like a dumb figurehead. Yea yea what else did I expect