Why Don’t the Dodgers Sign Rudy Seanez?

Update: Great, so right after I post this, MLBtraderumors posts that Seanez has indeed signed with the Angels. So ignore the parts where I say “the Dodgers should sign him” and concentrate on the parts about how Guillermo Mota is awful, and that the Dodgers should have signed Seanez.

Every time I take a weekend off, something interesting happens. Last June it was getting no-hit by the Angels, yet still winning. Last July, when I headed out on tour, it was the trades for Casey Blake and Manny Ramirez. And this time, it was Clayton Kershaw nearly throwing a no-hitter of his own, plus the continued incredible resurgence of Juan Pierre.

The lesson, as always: any time I’m out of story ideas and I need the Dodgers to do something noteworthy, I just need to head out of town for a bit. Done and done.

So without recapping all that I missed this weekend, there’s one thing I’d like to touch upon: the continued employment of Guillermo Mota. We’ve mentioned how horrible he is before around here, and I’ve hardly been alone in that – even before Sunday’s disaster raised his ERA to 9.00, with 11 ER in his last 8.2 IP.

But whether or not Guillermo Mota is a terrible pitcher right now isn’t really the issue, nor is the thought that he hasn’t really been effective in nearly five years – or one steroid suspension ago. No, the question is, why haven’t the Dodgers done anything about it?

Well, perhaps the time has come where they should. A few weeks ago, when (likely pre-emptively) awarding Jeff Weaver the 2009 “I’m Not Dead Yet!” award, I went through some of the previous winners, including…

2007 – Rudy Seanez. Like Park, Seanez returned to LA after years of bouncing around with limited success, yet at age 38 put up a fantastic year, setting career highs in games and innings pitched. Actually, he was pretty decent in Philadelphia last year too, and last I heard he’d still like to pitch. Give the man a tryout!

seanezandsomegirl.jpgI said that jokingly at the time, but after really looking at his stats, he was more than just “pretty decent” in Philadelphia. Moving to a tougher pitcher’s park, he somehow improved his ERA, HR/9 rate, and H/9 rate (though his strikeout rate did drop). You really think he’s not better than Guillermo Mota, especially when he could be had for free?

Apparently the Angels think it’s a good idea:

The Angels, looking to bolster a bullpen that began Wednesday with a 2-9 record, a major league-worst 6.90 ERA and five blown saves, are close to signing veteran reliever Rudy Seanez to a minor league contract.

Seanez, a 40-year-old right-hander, last pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, going 5-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 42 games.

If he signs with the Angels, he would probably be sent to the team’s extended spring training camp in Arizona before joining triple-A Salt Lake.

This is from a few days ago and I haven’t been able to find anything that says he’s actually signed with Anaheim just yet, so why not jump in and see if he’d prefer to be a Dodger again? The price is almost literally zero – I mean, he’s going to sign a minor league contract – so if he bombs out, cut him with no loss. Even if he’s not that good, just getting rid of Mota for him would be addition by subtraction.

Let’s bring him back. RU-DY! RU-DY!

Does Anyone Really Miss Rudy Seanez?

Me neither. So why does Rotoworld think we do?

Broxton might have a lat strain similar to Rich Harden’s. He’ll miss at least tonight’s game. If he’s forced to the DL, the Dodgers could call up Yhency Brazoban or Ramon Troncoso. The decision to cut Rudy Seanez at the end of the spring is looking more foolish by the week.

Really? It does? I don’t remember a single Dodger outlet – blogger or traditional media – complaining about letting Seanez go. Not one. And as you may or may not have noticed, we love to complain about things!

Besides, the Dodger bullpen has, on the whole, been outstanding this year.

2008 MLB Bullpen ERA
1. Tampa Bay 2.56
2. Florida 2.56
3. Arizona 2.56
4. Philadelphia 2.77
5. Oakland 2.82
6. Dodgers 3.18

Sixth out of thirty teams. Fourth in the National League. The bullpen is a problem how? Every reliever currently on the team has an ERA below 4.00 except for Scott Proctor’s 5.14 – and even for him, all 8 of his earned runs this year came in 2 disastrous outings, leaving him with 10 scoreless appearances. Sure, Rudy’s been good thus far in Philly (although, while a 1.00 ERA in 9 appearances looks nice, the 8 walks vs. 3 strikeouts in 9 innings certainly doesn’t back it up, so I can’t imagine that nice ERA stays anywhere near that low.)

Besides, if another arm is needed to bolster the ‘pen? Yhency Brazoban’s been dominating the minors (0.83 WHIP and a .591 OPS against), Ramon Troncoso had four scoreless outings in LA before getting hit hard in his last two, Jon Meloan (yes, he’s starting again in AAA, but there’s no reason he couldn’t come back to the pen if needed) has a 2.49 ERA in notorious hitter’s haven Las Vegas – and it’s by no means out of the question that uberprospect Clayton Kershaw (currently allowing batters a .482 OPS – not a typo, that’s OPS) in AA couldn’t follow the Johan Santana career path and debut in the bullpen.

No, you’re right, Rotoworld. We definitely should have held onto the almost 40-year-old reliever who’s masking the fact that he’s nearly walking three times as many as he strikes out behind a pretty (lucky) ERA.

What were the Dodgers thinking?

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg

RU-DY, RU-DY, RU-DY

Delino DeShields, Brett Butler, Henry Rodriguez, Orel Hershiser, Roger McDowell, and Jim Gott. Intrigued yet? Try this:seanez.jpg

1. Jerry Browne 2b
2. Paul Zuvella ss
3. Joe Carter 1b
4. Cory Snyder rf
5. Danny Gonzalez dh
6. Brook Jacoby 3b
7. Joey Belle lf
8. Brad Komminsk cf
9. Andy Allanson c
p. Tom Candiotti

That would be selected teammates of Rudy Seanez on the 1994 Dodgers, his first go-round in LA, and the starting lineup of the Cleveland Indians on September 7, 1989, for whom he made his major league debut.

That’s right: according to the LA Times, the Dodgers are bringing back the guy who played with some figures of ancient history for another shot at it in 2008.

Right-hander Rudy Seanez has re-signed with the Dodgers, inking a non-guaranteed major league contract that could be worth up to $1.3 million, according to a baseball source.

The one-year contract calls for a base salary of $550,000 and a $150,000 bonus if the 39-year-old Seanez makes the Dodgers’ opening-day roster. If Seanez isn’t on the roster because of an injury he sustains in spring training, he will be paid the entire base salary. He will receive about a quarter of that as a termination fee if he is cut for performance reasons.

Seanez could earn up to an additional $600,000 in bonuses based on his number of appearances. Seanez will collect $75,000 for pitching in his 45th game, another $100,000 for his 50th, $125,000 for his 55th and $150,000 for both his 60th and 65th.

Seanez pitched in a career-high 73 games last season for the Dodgers, posting a 6-3 record and 3.79 earned-run average. He earned $1.2 million last season, including $500,000 in bonuses, and became a free agent this off-season.

First of all, I like that this info came from “a baseball source.” It’s one thing to have your source call you and say, “I hear the Dodgers are signing Andruw Jones!” or “Santana’s definitely going to the Mets!” What’s your reaction when you get the breathless call about “hot Rudy Seanez info!”?

As for the signing itself? Sure, why not? It’s non-guaranteed, it’s only for $1.7 million even if he collects all of his incentives, and it’s not like you can ever have too many arms in the pen. Besides, with the top 4 in the pen pretty well set (Saito/Broxton/Proctor/Beimel), and either Loaiza or Schmidt likely to claim a spot depending on health and who wins the 5th starter spot, Seanez isn’t exactly auditioning for a high-pressure role here.

Area of concern: Seanez is 38, pitched a career-high in games last year, and was markedly better in the first half (3.12 ERA) than after (4.54 ERA).

And to the end of the previous sentence, I’ve now written 452 words on a mediocre elderly middle reliever who just got a non-guaranteed deal. Just ten more days, people!

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg