Winter Meetings, Day 3 (Updated)

Yesterday, I was stuck in a work meeting for two hours and then was out of touch with “real life” obligations for about three hours. Based on my history, I half expected to come back and find that James Loney and Jamie McCourt had been traded to Miami for LeBron James and Ricky Nolasco.

Instead, we got Tony Gwynn, Jr. Hmmph.

Let’s kick off the third day of the winter meetings with a roundup of a few things from yesterday. As I have all this week, I’ll update this post with rumors and news as they happen.

Update, 9:31am PST:

Jayson Stark with some disheartening news about Matt Diaz

Matt Diaz turned down more $ from #Dodgers than he got from #Pirates because he wanted to stay on east coast & train in Florida.

Not a whole lot you can do about the “prefers East coast and Florida” thing, and I suppose it’s good that the Dodgers at least put a dela out there. Just crazy to imagine that a player chose less money in Pittsburgh than more money in Los Angeles.

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Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts with an interesting thought about Gwynn’s one good aspect, his defense…

Defensively, Gwynn’s another story, as he was arguably the best center fielder in the National League last season.

So if the Dodgers plan on using Gwynn as more than a fifth outfielder, should they not play him in center field, either moving Matt Kemp to left field or Kemp to right and Andre Ethier to left?

Just as you shouldn’t bat a great offensive player eighth, shouldn’t you avoid minimizing the impact of a fine defensive player?

The Dodgers’ 2011 lineup may be the most OBP-challenged we’ve seen in Los Angeles in some time. If the plan is to win with pitching and defense, while hoping that Kemp, Ethier and others hit a few home runs along the way, the Dodgers should seriously consider using Gwynn in center.

This makes all the sense in the world, honestly, and it will of course be Gwynn in the middle when Kemp sits. I’m just not sure I can see the club pushing Kemp to LF (or RF, with Ethier to LF) for the sake of Gwynn. Kemp & Ethier may not be happy with the shuffling on a daily basis, and rookie manager Don Mattingly is already going to have to deal with as many as four time-share positions. That just means I don’t expect to see it, not that I don’t agree with it.

Buster Olney:

Russell Martin‘s negotiations have reached the point where teams are making offers to his agent, Matt Colleran; NYY, Bos center of mix

We also heard yesterday that the Dodgers haven’t spoken to Colleran since Martin was non-tendered. I’d say he’s as good as gone at this point.

Tony Jackson:

Trent Oeltjen, a seldom-used outfielder from Australia, agreed to terms on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to big league spring training. The Dodgers signed Oeltjen on July 6, four days after he was released by the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and promoted him on Sept. 7 from Triple-A Albuquerque to the majors, where he hit .217 with a .357 on-base percentage in 14 games for the Dodgers.

I’m pretty fine with this. Oeltjen mashed in the minors, and didn’t totally embarrass himself in the bigs. ABQ needs players too, and he’ll likely put up big numbers there. You could do worse as depth should injuries strike during the season.

Less interesting is the other minor-league news Jackson brings, from the same column…

Also, the Dodgers are in negotiations on a minor league contract with longtime major league infielder Juan Castro, who potentially would be joining the organization for the fourth time. Castro played in one game for the Dodgers on Aug. 15 after being released by the Philadelphia Phillies, then was sent to the minors. The Dodgers tried to call him up in September, but discovered he was ineligible due to a rule technicality.

What is the infatuation with Castro? He could never hit even at his peak, and he’ll be 39 this year. He’s not even a great fielder anymore, and while I get it would be just a minor league deal, we all know that veterans like this signed to minor league deals always find their way up to the bigs. If he takes even one inning of playing time away from Ivan DeJesus or Chin-lung Hu, in the minors or majors, it’s too much.

Jackson also reported that the Dodgers made a call to the Royals to inquire about Zack Greinke. I’m glad they’re doing their due diligence, but there’s just not a fit there. The Royals probably wouldn’t want Chad Billingsley, who’s getting expensive and closer to free agency, and while I’m sure they would want Clayton Kershaw, Kershaw is arguably as good or better than Greinke is right now. If the Royals want to take a package built around Dee Gordon and Chris Withrow then fantastic, but that just doesn’t seem reasonable. Don’t hold your breath on this one.

Finally, Matt Diaz signed with Pittsburgh, which is unfortunate for those like myself who wanted him as a righty outfield bat. With Gwynn in the fold, the Dodgers absolutely have to get a righty outfielder, but the choices are dwindling. Bill Hall? Jeff Francoeur? Austin Kearns? Lastings Milledge?

Winter Meetings, Day 2 (Updated)

Yesterday was a ton of fun, right? As long as you realize that 99% of what you hear is an outright lie, this can be a hilariously entertaining time of year. Just try to remember not to completely kill teams on rumors that may be totally unfounded until the deals actually go down, okay?

Just like yesterday, I’ll keep updating this with Dodger-related news and rumors throughout the day. Don’t forget, there’s an added bonus today, since we expect that Judge Gordon will hand down his decision on the McCourt divorce case.

Updated, 10:30am PST:

Jon Morosi with some news

#Dodgers could sign a RH-hitting OF this week. They’ve looked at Diaz, Frenchy, Billy Hall. #LA

Once #Dodgers sign a new outfielder, Xavier Paul could be available via trade. #LA #MLB

I’ve been saying Paul would be gone for weeks. Still believe it.

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Updated, 8:56am PST:

Well, this is a thing that happened…  (via Molly Knight)

Breaking: Judge in Dodger divorce trial rules for Jamie McCourt, throws out marital property agreement.

Obviously, that’s a decision that will need a lot more analysis, but basically it means that the judge didn’t buy the document that said the Dodgers belong to Frank while the properties belong to Jamie. This is probably good news if you were hoping for a sale, but this is going to drag on forever before anything like that happens.

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Updated, 7:57am PST:

Per Buster Olney, it’s a done deal…

Vicente Padilla and Dodgers have an agreement on a one-year, $2 million deal, pending physical.

Love this, love this, love this. (Now wait for the incentives to add up to $8m).

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Updated, 7:22am PST:

Ken Gurnick with news on Padilla…

The Dodgers and free-agent pitcher Vicente Padilla moved close to agreement on a one-year, $2 million (plus incentives) contract that would bring this year’s Opening Day starter back to the club as a swingman, according to multiple baseball sources. Padilla, who missed time with arm and neck injuries, would essentially become the sixth starter and long reliever, capable of spot starting, pitching multiple innings of relief and even providing insurance for the late innings should closer Jonathan Broxton struggle as he did in the second half this year

If this is the deal – one year, $2m (plus incentives) – then that’s outstanding. I love it, becuase Padilla was excellent at times last year and would provide amazing depth. I’m just shocked that he’d really take such a small guarantee. There’s not better out there for him?

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Let’s kick it off with notes from a few of our preferred sources…

Molly Knight:

Source: Dodgers and Padilla getting closer, deal should happen soon.

We’ve been hearing the “Vicente returns” rumors for a while now, and most of them say he’ll be in some sort of hybrid starter/reliever role. Jon Heyman did say yesterday that he’d return to the rotation, but that could just be a communication breakdown over the short form of Twitter. Since you’re obviously not trading Clayton Kershaw or the three guys you just signed, that’d have to mean that Chad Billingsley was on the move, and I just can’t see that happening.

Tony Jackson:

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ search for a left fielder has been narrowed to free agents Matt Diaz and Scott Podsednik and a third outfielder whose name remains a mystery, according to a well-placed source.

I’m not going to say anything here you haven’t already heard me say this week, but the two being in competition makes no sense. Diaz is younger, much more powerful, better at getting on base, and at least as good (if not better) in the outfield. Podsednik is better than Diaz at precisely one thing – stealing bases – but he gets thrown out so much that it’s barely even worth it.

Besides, as I’ve said ad nauseum, the Dodgers need at least one righty outfielder and preferably two to spot for Andre Ethier and Jay Gibbons. Signing yet another lefty outfielder makes no sense at all; with the way the roster is coming together I’m not even sure I’d put Xavier Paul (another lefty, one who’s out of minor-league options) on it right now, but if you do need another lefty Paul is certainly preferable to Podsednik..

As for the “mystery outfielder”? We don’t know for sure, but Knight did mention Austin Kearns yesterday.

Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA:

On latest @JonahKeri podcast, A’s AGM David Forst said Oakland offered more $$ & more yrs to Jamey Carroll than 2/$3.85m he got from Dodgers

Didn’t expect to be talking much about Jamey Carroll this week, but I believe this qualifies as “news we did not know”.

Winter Meetings, Day 1 (Updated)

How can you not love the Winter Meetings? It’s that special time of year where rumors fly like crazy (99% of which are proven false) and everyone in baseball gets together to wait around in lobbies for bits of news, yet still finds out about them via Twitter at the same time we do.

Anyway, rumors are half the fun of having a blog and they’re flying fast and furious about the Dodgers, so let’s do a round-up. I’ll update this as more come in today. 

Update, 2:23pm PST:

Steve Henson, buzzkill:

Source: dodgers have zero interest in prince fielder.

Have to love the winter meetings, right? Where nothing is true, unless it is, but even then it isn’t!

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Update, 2:08pm PST:

Tony Jackson with our first “HOLY CRAP!” moment:

Multiple sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Tony Jackson on Monday that the Brewers are talking to the Dodgers about a deal that would send Prince Fielder from Milwaukee to Los Angeles for Loney and embattled closer Jonathan Broxton.

Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes.

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Update, 1:51pm PST:

Knight checks in again with a post full of WIN:

Heard the Dodgers are unlikely to bring back Podsesnik to play left, as they’re looking for (even modest amounts of) pop.

WHOO!

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Update, 1:32pm PST:

Molly Knight checks in with some outfield talk in a series of tweets:

Heard this: Matt Diaz is the Dodgers first choice to fill the hole in left field.

But I think everyone recognizes how thin the available talent is at LF.. Sands should get a decent look next summer.

Feeling is Diaz could get a two-year-deal while the team waits (and hopes) for prospect Jerry Sands to hit. Option B would be Austin Kearns

Glad to hear Matt Diaz is popular, though I know other teams are into him as well. Kearns, not so much.

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Update, 12:05pm PST:

Steve Henson clarifies his earlier tweet to confirm that his $95m figure does not include deferred salaries. If that’s true, then we’re looking at a $112m cap with them included, which means the Dodgers have about $5-$7m left to spend.

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Update, 11:13am PST:

Hated the Rod Barajas deal? How would you have felt about this, via Tony Jackson?

Los Angeles Dodgers came tantalizingly close to signing free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract before the Chicago White Sox added a second year to their offer, resulting in Pierzynski accepting a two-year, $8 million deal to remain with the White Sox.

A source with knowledge of the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the Dodgers were close to a deal last week that would have paid Pierzynski in excess of $4 million to join the Dodgers as the deadline neared for offering a contract to catcher Russell Martin.

Pierzynski confirmed to ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine that people had no idea how close he was to bolting the White Sox before they offered two years.

Pierzynski would have cost more than Barajas; though he had a similarly poor .300 OBP last year, his career mark is at least .324, higher than Barajas’ .284.

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Update, 10:26am PST:

Steve Henson

Dodgers source: loney won’t be traded because he’d be too expensive to replace on free agent market

Boooo. There’s a logjam of decentish 1B out there. Loney’s going to get at least $4m in arbitration and possibly more. That doesn’t seem to fly.

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Update, 10:21am PST:

RT @washingnats: #Dodgers want #Nats SS Ian Desmond and RHP Jordan Zimmermann for James Loney

HAHAHAHA. Um, and I want a pony.

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Jayson Stark:

#Dodgers hope to add 2 relievers. Working on Padilla as one of 2. Other clubs wondering if they add right arms whether they’ll move Broxton

Sounds as if Matt Guerrier is another reliever on #Dodgers radar screen.

We’ve heard about Padilla before, and I’ll admit it’s an interesting possibility to have him back as a relief ace/starter insurance type. I’m just not sure I see Padilla accepting that role when he could certainly get a gig as a fulltime starter elsewhere.

Guerrier’s a useful enough arm – 70+ games four years in a row, WHIP below 1.100 in three of the last four years – but you know how I feel about spending big money on non-elite relief arms. They almost never pay off, and Guerrier’s 32 coming off a year in which he made $3.1m. He’s probably going to get something like a 3/$13m contract, and I don’t think that’s what the Dodgers should be spending their remaining money on.

As for Broxton, I’ve been over that before. I have no problem with trading him if the deal is right; I just think it’ll be hard to find that as his value is lower than ever, and you can’t just give him away.

Ken Rosenthal:

While both the Cubs and Nationals are focused on free agent Carlos Pena, Loney is available, according to major-league sources.

The Dodgers would need to find a replacement for Loney if they traded him, but that should not be a problem in a free-agent market deep in first basemen.

Interest from the Nationals in Loney makes sense — the team recently hired Bob Schaefer as a special assistant in its front office. Schaefer previously was Joe Torre’s bench coach with the Dodgers.

The Cubs and Brewers also have inquired on Loney, sources said.

Similar to Broxton, I’ve been through this one before. I’d be happy to trade Loney, I just don’t see the demand. If he’s not likely to out-produce a FA 1B you could get for 1 year (say, a Derrek Lee type), then why would the other team want to give up pieces for Loney when they could just sign that guy?

Ken Gurnick:

The Dodgers have expressed interest in Matt Diaz, the outfielder non-tendered by the Braves last week. Diaz hit .250 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 2010, but missed two months with an infected thumb. He would give the Dodgers a right-handed hitting complement to lefty Jay Gibbons for a platoon in left field. Diaz received $2.55 million from the Braves this year. He has an .806 career OPS.

Another non-tender, pitcher Jeremy Accardo from Toronto, also has hit the Dodgers’ radar. The right-hander has battled through three seasons of injuries, but in 2007 had 30 saves for the Blue Jays.

Love the idea of adding Diaz, as I’ve mentioned a few times over the last few days.

MLBTradeRumors:

Adrian Beltre‘s agent Scott Boras is seeking five years and north of $70MM, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney

And that ought to be the end of any faint-hearted hope you were getting Beltre back in blue.

Steve Henson:

Source: dodgers payroll will be $95M.

As I already mentioned, this is only possible if the Dodgers stop signing and start trading (unlikely) or if Henson is counting only the players on the roster in 2011, neglecting the $17m in deferrals still on the books.



 

So What Now? (Updated)

Hey, remember when the Dodgers were just being cheap? Uh, yeah, about that. After initially signing three free agent starting pitchers, last week’s $21m commitment to Juan Uribe and $3.25m deal with Rod Barajas have surprisingly put the Dodgers among the big spenders of the offseason so far. We haven’t liked every deal, but credit where credit is due – as each starting pitcher falls off the board and as the market quickly skyrockets (I’m looking at you, Jayson Werth), moving quickly to re-up Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly, & Jon Garland is looking smarter by the day (sure, I wasn’t thrilled with Lilly’s deal, but I’m not arguing that he won’t be an asset in 2011).

Yet despite all of the spending, they still have holes to fill. So it’s a fair question to ask: what’s left?

Well, before we can get to that, let’s try to figure out what’s been spent. In my 2011 plan, I gauged that the team had $60m in hard money already spoken for this year. That’s $43m in guaranteed contracts to Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, and Jamey Carroll, and $17m in dead money owed to ghosts of Dodgers past like Juan Pierre, Manny Ramirez, and Andruw Jones.

The Dodgers have now added approximately $28m in 2011 salary in signing Kuroda ($8m), Lilly ($7.5m), Garland ($3.5m), Uribe ($5m), Barajas ($3.25m) and Jay Gibbons ($0.650m). Garland’s also got $3.5m in 2011 incentives, which he can max out by hitting 190 IP. I usually wouldn’t include incentives, but since 190 IP is a mark he’s made for the last nine years, I’m going to include it here, and that makes $31.5m for 2011. (Trying to save the “but they could have had Adam Dunn for less than that!” comments for now). That’s $91.5m spoken for without even considering arbitration cases and filling out the roster with 0-3 players.

As we know, Chad Billingsley, Hong-Chih Kuo, and James Loney were tendered contracts and all are headed to arbitration unless they reach contract agreements first. You can expect the three of them to make about $12.5m unless they strike longer deals.

That puts the club at about $104m before considering 0-3 players making at or near the minimum like Clayton Kershaw, Ronald BelisarioA.J. Ellis, and Kenley Jansen. Let’s say that about $3m will go to the collection of guys like that, and so the rough estimate here is that the 2011 payroll is at around $107m today.

$107m is far above where any of us thought the team would go this year, and that’s a nice surprise. But that’s a team with a subpar catcher, a hole in left field, and underperforming incumbents at first and third base. It’s a team that is absolutely dependent on their bullpen returnees to look more like 2009 and less like 2010, and it’s a team that has several young players who still need longterm deals. Now that’s a team which is probably better than last year (less Ryan Theriot, less Garret Anderson, more Kenley Jansen and less George Sherrill, less #5 starter confusion, hoped-for improvements from Kemp and Kershaw), but not one which you can honestly say is among the favorites to win it all.

Since the signings we’ve seen are obviously “win-now” moves, the question is, what’s left above $107m in the coffers to fill in the blanks? One would think, “not much”. Yet Colletti hasn’t given up on Russell Martin, may yet bring back Vicente Padilla, and was rumored to be in on relievers Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier. On top of that, they’re going to need to sign at least one righty outfielder (preferably two), and decide if they can really live at the infield corners without upgrading from Casey Blake and James Loney.

All of that costs money, and I just cannot imagine the Dodgers can extend themselves much further than $107m, especially if Padilla and/or Martin do get a few million to come back. That means that you shouldn’t be expecting Adrian Beltre to come in to play 3B, you probably shouldn’t be expecting a big-money addition in the bullpen (which I find to be a positive development), and sadly, you probably won’t see a long-term deal for Clayton Kershaw this winter, given that they can ride out one more year of him at the minimum salary before arbitration.

I think all you might be likely to see is one cheap veteran outfielder brought in for the LF mix, unless they surprise us all with a Loney deal. As I’ve said before, I’d love for that to be a right-handed lefty masher like Matt Diaz, Lastings Milledge, or Jeff Francoeur (or even two of them, given that neither Gibbons nor Ethier can hit lefties), but I’m mostly terrified that it’s going to be an over-the-hill lefty like Johnny Damon or Scott Podsednik, which would not only be a poor fit for the team’s needs, but which would then almost certainly be the end of Xavier Paul‘s Dodger career.

Now, I’ll admit that we’ve been surprised more than once by the Dodgers this offseason, and it could certainly happen again. It just seems as though the bulk of their shopping is done, and I just can’t see them going above $110m at the absolute most. Is that going to be enough to win? We’ll have to see. Let me hear it – what other moves do you think they could still make?

Update: Well, here’s a possibility. Ken Gurnick reports

The Dodgers have expressed interest in Matt Diaz, the outfielder non-tendered by the Braves last week. Diaz hit .250 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 2010, but missed two months with an infected thumb. He would give the Dodgers a right-handed hitting complement to lefty Jay Gibbons for a platoon in left field. Diaz received $2.55 million from the Braves this year. He has an .806 career OPS.

Another non-tender, pitcher Jeremy Accardo from Toronto, also has hit the Dodgers’ radar. The right-hander has battled through three seasons of injuries, but in 2007 had 30 saves for the Blue Jays.

If you’ve been reading me at all over the last few days, you know that going after Diaz is a huge YES from me. Accardo I’m less sure on, but if it’s on a minor-league contract with a spring training invite, then sure, what’s the harm.

Update #2: Steve Henson is reporting that “sources” claim that the payroll will be $95m this year. Obviously, that’s not possible unless he’s not counting the $17m in deferred payments, so the more realistic number is $112m – if true.

Other Teams Non-Tendered Players Too

With all the hoopla around the Dodgers and Russell Martin, it’s easy to forget that other teams had to make some tough decisions as well. In a lot of cases, players were non-tendered not because they don’t have any baseball value, but just because they weren’t going to be worth what they’d make in arbitration.

There’s not a lot of star power on the list – Martin is probably the biggest name alongside Bobby Jenks - but there’s definitely some players who could be useful in the right situation. Just remember, even though it sounds bad that a player was non-tendered, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to come for the minimum salary. It just means the team didn’t want to go to arbitration, and in some cases the player may actually end up making more because he can now negotiate with all 30 teams, not just his own.

Let’s take a look at a few of these new free agents who could fit in on a Dodger club which is likely close to its payroll limit, yet still has a few holes.

Players we should be into:

Matt Diaz, OF, and Lastings Milledge, OF. Back when I laid out my 2011 plan, one of my top priorities was getting at least one (if not two) righty outfielders who could mash lefties, since Andre Ethier and Jay Gibbons are both poor against southpaws. At the time, I settled upon Ryan Raburn and Jeff Francoeur. Frenchy’s still an option – Raburn’s likely not – but let’s toss Diaz and Milledge into the same conversation.

Diaz is older than you think – 33 in March – but he’s shown excellent on-base skills with Atlanta. His career mark is .350, and in the three seasons in which he’s received at least 290 PA, he’s put up OBPs of .364, .368, and .390. The Braves let him go because he slumped to .302 OBP this year, he’s regarded as a poor outfielder, and they didn’t want to pay him the $3-$4m he might make in arbitration. He’s also all-but-unplayable against RH pitching, with a .633 OPS this year and .710 career. But good lord, can he hit LH pitching, because he was at .830 this year and .907 in his career. It may not be sexy, but you could do far worse than a Diaz/Gibbons LF platoon – and you could probably do it for about $3m total.

Milledge is a bit different, because he’s still young (26 in April) and still has time to reach the potential so many saw in him. Like Diaz, Milledge has a pronounced platoon split, though never bigger than in 2010 – .926 vs LHP, .602 vs RHP. He also spent 2008 as Washington’s center fielder, so while he may not be a plus glove there, he’s at least an acceptable backup for Matt Kemp – something which this team doesn’t have right now.

Honestly, they could sign both Diaz  and Milledge to play the corners against lefties, and I’d be okay with that.

Players who I’d like on the team, but don’t want to see a lot of money poured into:

Bobby Jenks, RP. I think Jenks is actually pretty underrated, because of his lousy ERA. He also dealt with some injuries, and had to fight off an excellent Chicago bullpen full of vultures like Matt Thornton, Chris Sale, and J.J. Putz. But his fastball velocity was higher than it’d been in years, and his K rate was the highest since his rookie season of 2005. His ERA is inflated by a few bad outings (I won’t go through again why ERA for relievers is silly), and he was victimized by a career-high .368 BABIP, which is why his FIP was only 2.59. I’d actually quite like Jenks in the bullpen, but he’s not going to come cheaply and the pen is the last place the Dodgers ought to be spending money in right now.  

Players who may be interesting if the Dodgers didn’t already have nine starting pitchers:

John Maine, SP, and Chien-Ming Wang, SP. Each have been injured for most of the last two years, and Wang never did make it back last year. They’ve had past success, so I’d be willing to toss them a minor-league deal with a spring invite, but they’ll likely prefer a team where they have a better chance of making the cut. 

Players who people are asking me about, except, hell no:

Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Hideki Okajima, RP, Dioner Navarro, C, Lance Cormier, RP, Jack Cust, OF. Encarnacion has power (five double-digit HR seasons) but that’s about it. He’s a poor third baseman who doesn’t really play anywhere else, and while he’s got a strong platoon split, it’s exactly the same as Casey Blake‘s so it makes no sense on this team.

Okajima had some nice moments on the Red Sox, and the Dodgers do still need another lefty in the pen. But he’s old (35 on Xmas Day), his velocity is failing, he’s declined in each of his seasons in the bigs… well, just read Mike Axisa at River Ave Blues about him. I’d rather just bring back George Sherrill, or hope Scott Elbert is ready. PASS.

Navarro gets mentioned because he’s a former Dodger and the team has zero catching depth, but I’m not seeing it. His OPS+ the last two years came in at 54 and 48, and he left the team after being left off the playoff roster this year. PASS.

Cormier comes up because he had a 3.92 ERA this year. He also had a 1.648 WHIP and walked four more guys than he struck out. Uh, no thanks. PASS.

Believe it or not, someone really did ask me about Cust. He’s basically only a DH, and even if you did want to stick him in the field, he’s a LH outfielder, which the Dodgers don’t need. PASS.

And two bonus names…

Andy LaRoche, 3B, and Delwyn Young, IF/OF. These don’t technically count as non-tenders, as they were DFA’d last month, but they’re free agents all the same. I’ll freely admit that half the reason they’re even mentioned here is my affinity for ex-Dodger farmhands, and let me be clear that I’m not advocating signing either to a guaranteed major league deal. Neither one did all that much in Pittsburgh, particularly LaRoche, whose career has spiraled at an alarming rate. I’m just saying, ABQ needs players too, and LaRoche has only just turned 27. His 2010 was horrendous, but he was almost league-average in 2009, and the Dodgers have no one coming up in the minors to play 3B, other than Russ Mitchell, who I consider a bench guy. Why not stick Andy in ABQ and see if he can get back on track?