The Dodger Offseason Isn’t Close To Being Over

It’s been a slow week or so for the Dodgers and most every other team in baseball because of the holiday break, since so many executives are out of the office and off with their families. That’s going to change after the new year, perhaps significantly. Even though from all the noise it seems like the Dodgers may have completely remade their roster, all they’ve actually done is re-sign Brandon League and import Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, & Skip Schumaker.

Those four moves probably represent the bulk of the offseason spending in dollar figures, but there’s enough left to do that the winter is arguably less than half over when it comes to transactions. It’s easy to see five or six more moves coming in the next few weeks. Let’s go down the list:

1) and 2). Trade two starting pitchers, likely Chris Capuano & Aaron Harang.

We’ve been talking about this for so long that it’s barely even worth going back over again at this point. There’s a 100% chance that at least one is moved, and probably a 90% chance that both go. I’m sure the Dodgers would be happy to be rid of Ted Lilly too, but his age, contract, & injury history probably make him untradeable. With reasonable contracts and decent 2012s in their pockets, both Capuano & Harang have some amount of value, and one or the other is included in just about every Andre Ethier trade rumor I hear, both publicly and privately. No, I don’t know where they’ll end up. But it’ll be somewhere that’s not Los Angeles, clearly.

3) Add a veteran reliever.

This is another thing we’ve been hearing about for a while, and I know it’s unpopular with many because the Dodgers do have a good core of young arms and already spent big on League. Still, it’s clear that the team has interest in upgrading and so no one should be surprised when they make at least one more move here.

That might be a lefty reliever, which I’m fine with even though Scott Elbert & Paco Rodriguez have their share of fans. That said, between the two of them they have fewer than 100 career innings, and Elbert is coming off elbow surgery. It’s hardly the worst thing in the world to build up some depth there, and I have no problem with the incredibly raw Rodriguez starting his year in the minors. Earlier in the winter we heard about Matt Thornton as being a possibility; now I’m starting to hear a bit more from multiple places about potential Dodger interest in free agent lefty J.P. Howell, a California native who is married to a USC grad and who has been with Tampa since 2006.

It could be a righty too, since we know the Dodgers were in on Joel Hanrahan before he was traded to Boston. One other name on the Dodger radar to either be excited for or terrified about, depending on your outlook: Rafael Soriano, who has been a very effective reliever for a long time, but who won’t come cheaply and who would require the loss of a first round pick.

92topps_nickpunto4) Reduce the glut of redundant bench players.

Jerry Hairston & Schumaker are obviously going to be on the roster, and between them they can cover every non-catcher position except for first base. I suppose I’m stretching a bit to say that Hairston can really play shortstop, but with Luis Cruz & Dee Gordon both options if anything happens to Hanley Ramirez, it doesn’t really matter.

That makes both Nick Punto & Juan Uribe somewhat obsolete, because neither brings skills that aren’t already covered on the roster. (Other than diving head-first, but I’m guessing Schumaker would probably do in a pinch.) We heard a few weeks ago that the team was attempting to trade both, and I believe that’s still the case — one or both should be gone in the near future. Punto will probably manage to bring back at least a little something; Uribe’s probably just going to have to be jettisoned.

5) Add a backup first baseman and 6) a righty outfielder.

These could easily be the same player, but then again, perhaps not. Right now the roster doesn’t have a single player who can cover first base, and while Adrian Gonzalez is durable and plays every day, you can’t assume that he’s never going to get banged up or ever get ejected. While we’d all like to see Mike Morse come in to be a righty power option who can play LF / RF / 1B, that’s not going to happen unless Adam LaRoche returns to Washington first. Otherwise, this is going to have to be filled via trade, because the only righty free agents remaining who can play first base are Carlos Lee, who won’t come to Los Angeles, and Juan Rivera, who won’t be invited back.

The options there are just beyond sparse, and they’re tough to look at; one under-the-radar name I’ll throw out — completely my own speculation — is soon-to-be 30-year-old righty Steve Pearce, who bounced from Minnesota to the Yankees to the Orioles to the Astros back to the Yankees and then back again to the Orioles all in 2012 alone. To say that he’s dispensable is an understatement, but in parts of six big-league seasons he does have a pretty sizable platoon split, and he can play a little bit of outfield too.

In the outfield, well, frankly, I’m just terrified Ned Colletti is going to find a way to talk himself into Delmon Young.

******

That’s potentially six moves right there — more if both Punto & Uribe go, and if Colletti does bring in a veteran catcher to battle Tim Federowicz in camp —  and that doesn’t even address the Ethier rumors that just won’t go away. I’ll say this: they’re real, and while I think it’s more likely than not that Ethier remains with the Dodgers, we can’t be sure until Michael Bourn lands somewhere else.

Stay tuned. January should be fun.

561 comments
The Monocle
The Monocle

Happy new years, dudes and dudettes. Been in Mammoth snowboarding for the last four days. I'm tired and hungover as shit. Hope you all had an awesome one.

*VND*
*VND*

OMG FISCAL CLIFF. Patient dies of multiple gunshot wounds on NYE...

*VND*
*VND*

Love your families.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

welp, that happened. is 10AM here. i has a bit of a headache. 

 

 

happy new year, earth people!

Cochito Commish
Cochito Commish

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I have no idea who liked my last comment but holy shit, 10 people? That's like a record, right? Anyways, once again, you're all the fucking coolest and let's tear 2013 and the rest of MLB a new one.

MSTIer: Jake
MSTIer: Jake

i dont want michael bourn and i dont want matt kemp to ever move to right field

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

Happy New Year,.ya filthy animals ;) 

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

Happy New Year everyone, best wishes to all! Now to spend the next 3 months writing 2012 and having to change it to 2013

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

HAPPY NEW YEAR YOU GUYS! BEST DAMN DODGER BLOG EVER!!!!

Lobo
Lobo

Man, at this time last year who would have thought that MC Hammer would perform with a Korean rap star on New Year's Eve?  Gotta love Gangnam Style!

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

Wait. Did we go over the fiscal cliff?

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

 @Antonio_G Well I didn't want to brag or anything, but since you brought it up....

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @EephusBlue

Kevin Zeese: The fiscal cliff is a self-created bi-partisan drama that demonstrates the failure of traditional politics and the need for mobilized resistance and a new independent political movement. The mass media and operatives from the Democratic and Republican parties have raised all sorts of imagined fears to provide cover to unnecessary cuts to health, retirement and social programs, while marginally increasing taxes on the wealthiest. But watch out! THIS IS REALLY ONLY THE SET-UP FOR THE PAYBACK TO BIG BUSINESS INTERESTS THAT BANKROLLED THE 2012 ELECTIONS. [emphasis mine]

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/12/politics-as-usual-doesnt-work/

 

Margaret Flowers: The so-called Fiscal Cliff is the current attempt to convince people that we will have to accept cuts to important programs. If enough people can be convinced that the sky is falling, then President Obama can make the cuts he has sought to make for years. No doubt giving Wall Street what it has wanted for a long time will be rewarded with high-paid speeches to big business when his presidency ends.

http://itsoureconomy.us/2012/12/stop-obama%E2%80%99s-ongoing-grand-charade-to-cut-social-insurances/

 

Cheri Honkala, VP candidate of the Green Party: The “fiscal cliff” is an artificial crisis created by Congress as a ploy to dismantle the safety net programs the American people have built up and relied on for generations. In their own words, corporations want to “use the fiscal cliff as an opportunity” to push for tax cuts for themselves and benefit cuts for the rest of us.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/28/manufacturing-poverty/

 

etc. etc. etc. (Hopefully I won't get banned for posting these, but you asked...)

 

 

Gilbert_Vengeance
Gilbert_Vengeance

 @LA_Woman "Ethier has historically been "unclutch", possibly due to opposing managers getting him to face lefties in high-leverage situations. Or possibly due to nothing! You can't dismiss the possibility of nothing!"

 

Umm Ethier was a few years ago considered the most clutch athlete on the planet next to Kobe. 6 Walk-off Hits most of them by HR. Yes i agree LOOGYs fuck him up, but i dont think theres a baseball person out there that thinks of Ethier as "unclutch".

 

 

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

@Disgruntled Goat @Amy Wong, Ph.D. Candidate Humans...:/

Cochito Commish
Cochito Commish

 @darknesssss It's 2013's record. Happy new year to you too. By the way, I saw your Christmas baseball glove, shit's dope. Do work. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

 @Omer  @EephusBlue Wait, the Dodgers traded Andre Ethier for the Fiscal Cliff?

EephusBlue
EephusBlue moderator

 @Gilbert_Vengeance  @LA_Woman Y'know I am not a fan of walk offs. Exciting sure. Amazing to experience yeah. But can we just win from the first inning for a change? i'd love some "boring" baseball where we score a shit ton of runs and dont give any up and just win.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

@darknesssss @Catfishin So do you run into a lot of walls?