You’d think after a long season (two weeks longer than usual) management, writers, and fans would want to take a bit of a breather. Maybe not that long, not with the offseason looming, but you’d think more than say, 30 hours after the final pitch, right? Hell no! Let’s jump on board the rumor train, and yeah, I got a lot of these links from MLBtraderumors…
* Hey, let’s trade for Jake Peavy!
Uh, let’s put this under “wildly unlikely”. Hey, don’t get me wrong, Peavy’s one of the five best starting pitchers in the game, and putting him at the top of the Dodgers rotation would be marvelous. But there’s a lot of problems with this. First of all, the only reason that the Dodgers are involved in these rumors is that Peavy named them as one of the few teams he’d waive his no-trade clause for, which doesn’t automatically mean there’s interest on the other side. More importantly, the return to the Padres would be immense. Think about the kind of names being tossed around last offseason for Johan Santana and Erik Bedard, and then double it. Unlike those guys, Peavy is signed to a relatively reasonable deal that keeps him under team control until 2013 – plus the Padres would certainly ask for more from LA than anyone else if they’re going to have to face him a couple of times a year in the division until then. Just look at this quote from that ESPN article:
San Diego, too, is said to be willing to deal with the rival Dodgers, who could conceivably have some excellent young players to dangle, like outfielder Matt Kemp and pitchers Clayton Kershaw and James McDonald.
That’s not necessarily what the deal would be, but you’d better believe it’d take at least one of those guys, if not two. The article states that the Padres are “seeking at least two young pitchers in return, along with someone who can become the team’s everyday center fielder sometime in the immediate to near future.” You really think that Scott Elbert, Ramon Troncoso, and Xavier Paul are going to get that done? No thanks. I really can’t see this deal going down, and if it does, any joy I’d get over adding Peavy is likely to be overwhelmed by what was going back to San Diego.
* Manny wants a lot of money!
Shocker. Talk about an unbelievably hard contract to nail down. We’ve got the Sabernomics blog saying Manny should get 6 years, $128 million. In the article linked above, Bill Shaikin says that Manny “has suggested that he might seek a contract of five or six years, and isn’t interested in a pay cut from his current $20 million a year”, while in the same article former Dodgers GM Fred Claire “said the Dodgers should offer Ramirez $20 million per year for three years.” I tend to think that Claire is the closest of the three, but he undershoots it. I really can’t see any team giving Manny five or six years – not with his character issues, not with his declining defense, not with his age, and not with one of the top big market teams (Boston) obviously not in play. I do agree that Manny won’t take a paycut from the $20m/year options he had, so my best guess? 3 years, $70 million, perhaps with an option on the 4th year.
* Why does everyone think pitching is this team’s problem?
I’ve said this on many occasions, so I won’t want to repeat myself. But here we have Joe Torre saying that pitching is a top priority this offseason, and Dylan Hernandez saying “the Dodgers will be forced to target a top-of-the-rotation arm if they can’t re-sign Lowe.” I’m not saying I wouldn’t like a top pitcher, who wouldn’t? It’s just that the free agent arms like CC Sabathia are going to be insanely expensive – and how many times did we show this year that the pitching was fine and the offense was holding it back?
* Juan Pierre wants out!
Well, of course he does, and I can’t even come down hard on him for it. We might not think he’s any good, and we certainly don’t want him being a starting Dodgers outfielder, but I can’t blame a guy for wanting to be somewhere where he’ll get a chance to play. I no longer think he’ll be impossible to move, because there’s now only 3 years and $28 million left on his deal. It’s reasonable for some team that needs speed and ignores OBP, especially considering LA will have to eat a little of it. But there really can’t be any movement on this until the Manny saga is dealt with. Knowing whether you have three starting OF (no, Andruw Jones doesn’t count) makes a big impact on how badly you need to get rid of JP. Top destinations: White Sox and Reds.
* Andruw Jones wants out?!
From the same article as the Pierre one above…
Teammates say Jones wants no part of a return to Los Angeles, where he was a target of angry fans for his poor performance.
Guess what, Andruw? We all want you out too. But what you’re forgetting is that you were so bad this year that it’s not even a case of “he’s owed how much?” – it’s a case of “should I even waste a roster spot?” I mean, you’re owed $18.1 million (update: according to Jay Jaffe in today’s Baseball Prospectus article, it’s actually $22.1m because it was backloaded. Great.) in 2009. Let’s just say that Frank McCourt would be willing to pick up $13 million of that to trade you (which, and this should go without saying, he would never ever do). After hitting .158 with 3 homers, you really think some team is going to spend $5.1 million on you when they could get any minor leaguer to far surpass that output for a tenth of the price? The Dodgers aren’t going to cut Jones, and it’s just not going to be possible to trade him. He’ll be back, unfortunately, in 2009.
* Greg Maddux, Padres player-coach?
This article says that San Diego has talked to Maddux about such a role, but Kevin Towers thinks Maddux will retire. Personally, if he’s willing, I’d rather see the Dodgers do this, especially with young guys like McDonald, Kershaw, and Billingsley around. He’s worth the money to just talk to them all season.
- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness