More honors for Russ and congrats to Lon Joyce

It was just announced that Russell Martin has also taken home a Silver Slugger Award, which completes his clean sweep. Starting catcher at the All-Star Game, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Wow. What more can be said about this kid?

Our congratulations go out to him and to all of the people in the Dodger organization (past and present) who have helped make him who he is today – from the scout who signed him, Clarence Johns, to those in player development and scouting on his way up the ladder (Jon Debus, Terry Collins, Steve Yeager, Kim Ng, Logan White, Chris Haydock), to his minor league managers (Luis Salazar, Dann Bilardello, Travis Barbary, Scott Little, John Shoemaker, Jerry Royster). 

It seems unfair to try and list all of these people because of course there will be someone left out who was involved in his development but the point is simply this – that players at the Major League level interact with so many people in an organization from the time they are drafted as teenagers until the time they see Dodger Stadium, there are so many people who deserve credit. Especially when you talk about a guy who was taken in the 16th round because obviously our scouts, cross checkers and supervisors saw something in this young Canadian that has helped and will continue to help the Dodgers for years to come.

Along those same lines, our sincere congratulations go out to Dodger scout Lon Joyce, who earned the annual Distinguished Scouts Award for 2007 at the Professional Baseball Representatives annual banquet last night in Whispering Pines, NC. Lon has helped find tons of talent over the years and two big league names that comes to mind are Edwin Jackson and Reggie Abercrombie, as well as current Dodger minor leaguers Brian Akin and Russell Mitchell and 2007 draftees Alex Garabedian (8th round catcher) and Franklin Jacobs (17th round first baseman), among others.

77 Comments

What else can be said?

One Word: Captain

Congratulations again Russ you’re the best. As for Miggy, I’m not saying I don’t want him , just not at the current asking price. Offer Pierre and pay half his salary ,and Meloan ,and maybe one of Either or Abreau. Then when Miggy outgrows third you still have options.

Wow, amazing! Congratulations to Russell Martin (again!) and Lon Joyce.

Congratulations to Martin!
He is the real cornerstone of this team, and that is something fine to build upon. I’m proud of his ability and his character.

As far as Miggy goes, I agree with fliegel, but only if we can get a window to negotiate a 4-5 year deal with him, so we don’t lose him to free agency at the end of 2009.

congrats martin…

finally the dodgers will have a true leader on the club!

Russell Martin is a Superstar!

If I might pick up from the last thread, Casinod and martinloneykemp were right that I am jumping the gun on calling Kemp a superstar. But I think max_power hit the nail on the head–they are in love with and demanding Jacoby Ellsbury play in Boston, and here we are talking about trading Kemp. And I think martinloneykemp is right that Kemp would be a superstar if he got to play everyday.

Jungar, once again, kills me with better statistics. Don’t you know it’s bad form to argue the facts? Just kidding. But I don’t think we disagree–I don’t doubt that Cabrerra is an excellent ballplayer, and I would love to have him. Also, people are really obsessing about his weight, and if that means that he’ll have to move to first base or left field. If he does, then he just creates holes for us, rather than filling holes, but I think it is likely overblown, or at least controllable, and if I had to bet, I would bet that he would spend a long time at 3B.

My only point is I can’t see it making sense to make the kind of deal for him that people are talking about. I think Bills is out because pitching like that is more valuable than hitting, and so rare. As for Loney and Kemp, who knows what their ceiling is (true, we don’t know for sure what Cabrerra’s is, either). But I could see Loney and Kemp both being his equal. LaRoche is a big unknown, and I could see a deal including him. Kershaw is also an unknown, but pitching again is so key.

The big problem is the economics. Cabrerra made $7.4 million last year. Imagine even a Kemp for Cabrerra trade (a thought I find horrible). That’s a $500,000 right-fielder with all 5 tools for a $9 Million player. That’s an $8.5 Million jump in team salary that might prove to be a wash, and it still leaves a hole in RF.

I don’t mean to get overly attached to prospects. I could see dealing a bunch of prospects for Cabrerra. But I don’t consider Kemp a prospect (OK, maybe not a superstar yet, but definitely a quality major leaguer).

So, I would love to have Cabrerra, but I just don’t see a deal for him that works–and certainly not along the lines that have been out there.

Even with Torre on board, I am nervous this off-season, because I still fear a fast-trigger in an effort to win now. I could suffer through another unsuccessful year if it meant giving a chance to the players we have–but mostly because if we keep the core we have intact now, I think we have the talent to win the division. I know people have mixed feelings on A-Rod, but I think that’s the only big move that makes sense for us as it fills the one hole in our order and field (that can be filled without dumping a $9 Million salary that we are likely stuck with), and I think it turns us into prohibitive favorite. But even without, I still like our chances.

To jspelk2 and lbirken, I appreciate your comments. I’m glad folks like my postings, because I sometimes feel like I’m rambling. I want to return the compliments, and to really almost everyone who posts their thoughts on the team.

Sorry for off topic.
Where’s Hu? We’re really worried. Please.

Leek:

Great Post!

Further congratulations go out to Russell Martin who has proven to be not only a great defensive and offensive catcher, but also an outstanding teammate. He uncomplainingly does anything and everything to help the offense and guide the pitching staff. Well, he will complain if he’s not allowed to catch both ends of a doubleheader, but I guess I can forgive that.

Great post Lee. If one of Kemp and Loney becomes as good of a hitter as Miggy we would be stoked. Miggy is Manny Ramirez jr IMO. His numbers are deflated playing at that park.

But I don’t want to trade those guys either so I here ya. I guess at least they are talking about him instead of trading for an older player.

I agree with you that A-rod seems to be the best bet, but the concern with him is that he will make 22 million more than Cabrerra next season! If we sign A-rod, will we be able to keep our nucleaus together? Bills ,Brox, Kemp ,Martin, Loney are all cheap now but will need to be given raises and long term deals soon.

Personally I don’t think we need a 3b guy. (I do think we need a in his prime bat) I think LaRoche is a top prospect and Nomar is decent insurance.

From Yahoo:

So then, let the offseason shopping spree begin.

“There are some intriguing bats out there,” Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. “We’re not looking at a long list.”

After finishing fourth in the NL West, the Dodgers could be one of the most active teams in the majors this winter. They’re a big-market club with money to spend and a popular new manager.

“We didn’t hire Joe Torre to help us finish .500,” Colletti said.

Los Angeles has holes in all the right places, too. Center fielder Juan Pierre’s defense has diminished, and he managed only 32 extra-base hits with a .331 on-base percentage this season. He had 64 stolen bases, but a more well-rounded player in center would help.

The Dodgers also hit just 129 home runs, ranking 15th out of 16 NL teams, so Rodriguez would be a perfect fit at third base. He’s almost sure to win his third AL MVP award this month after batting .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs for the New York Yankees.

I think the only way to improve the team is through free agency this year. If we trade Kemp or Ethier or Loney or Bills we’ll just end up with more holes.

The more and more Pierre gets talked about as being horrible the more i think he’ll have a diminished role on the team last year…at least i’d only hope so.

As soon as LaRoche learns to hit a major Leauge curve ball and a major league fast ball outside. and stops trying to hit the ball out of the stadium. he would be our guy. but until then we need to look elsewhere. We are better off with Nomar. LaRoche does not have the skills at this point.

Once again jungar you and I are on the same page. The only 2 moves that make any sense for me this offseason are aquiring Jones (Hunter as a fallback option) and trying to sign Pettite (the Torre angle might work). Then try to dump Pierre (and eating some $$$ if need be). If we can’t deal Pierre, I think Ethier is expendable and nowhere near as producive to us as a bonafide gold glove CF that can go yard with some consistency.

And yes Miggy is a young version of Manny but we don’t need him.

These are the moves I would like to see.

Sign A-Rod – this way we do not give up any of the kids.

Trade Pierre to the Whitesox for P John Garland. Chicago is interested in getting a leadoff hitter and are willing to trade Garland. He is a local guy with great stuff.

Sign one of the free agent center fielders. In order of preference; Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowand.

so we’re better off with nomar eh? i disagree, even for the fact that laroche can be far better defensivley, and has far more potential to become a good hitter, whereas nomar looks close to done or done. they’re both injury prone so that cancels each other out.

I think people are making too much of Cabrera being fat. I guess people wouldn’t want Prince Fielder either if he was offered up.

carcyn

what do u think of Matt Kemp right now?

What did you think of Matt Kemp before this season?

I thought he (Kemp) needed to learn to hit a major Leauge curve ball and a major league fast ball outside and to stop trying to hit the ball out of the stadium and then he would be our guy.

Thankyou Fr, Antonious, that was a bueutifal summation at the end: ‘Even If I knew nothing about God, just knowing Him would be enough’.Can I quote this phrase please off of you, since it is so relevant that we should not forget the bigger picture in life just for the minor, insignificant details?GBUUN:F [1.7.4_987]please wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)UN:F [1.7.4_987]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

I’d be happy to trade Juan Pierre for nothing. Seriously. But Todd man, if you can get Williams to give us Garland, make it so!

I hear actually that Damon is going to CHI for Crede.

http://mets.scout.com/a.z?s=228&p=2&c=699952

Andy LaRoche knows the Dodgers are busy talking to other teams about a third baseman with a big bat. Right now, he’s concentrating on showing them they have one right on their own roster.

LaRoche is playing third for Team USA which is currently involved in the World Cup being held in Taiwan. Thursday, he at least convinced the pitchers from Panama that he is a hitter of note.

With LaRoche providing the impetus, USA blew Panama away 7-0. That was its second win in a row in the tournament although in later play, they suffered their first defeat when Italy surprised them 2-1.

LaRoche got them going against Panama in the first inning when he came up after a two-out single and a walk to fellow Dodger Delwyn Young. He ripped a single to plate the initial run.

He got his second chance in the next inning, again with two out. This time he doubled for a pair of runs. In the sixth he did the same, a double that scored two more.

oops got cut off

Three hits, two of them doubles and five RBI. A pretty good day’s work

Todd if we could manage to do all of that, we would have the best line-up in baseball (Red Sox included). I don’t think we can make it happen, but could you imagine our line-up looking like this:

Furcal

Loney

A-Rod

Jones

Kemp

Martin

Kent

Ethier

Thats a lot of runs right there.

charris its a good lineup if that can happen.

i wouldn’t include Kent on the lineup! he is a clubhouse cancer!

put LaRoche at 2B! he is a good replacement for Kent!

While Yadier Molina of the Cardinals has a reasonable argument for the Gold Glove, Russell Martin’s Silver Slugger is unquestionable the right call. “What more can be said about this kid?” Front office management, the coaching staff, and the veteran “leaders” need to cite Martin explicitly as an example of a young player who really understands the game and how to play it. That would go a long way toward healing the rift and controversy (real or imagined) over the veteran vs. rookie chasm.

Dodger blog True Blue LA’s current entry is downright hi-freaking-larious.

http://www.truebluela.com/story/2007/11/8/18278/4747

I would love to have Miguel also but realistically I doubt it will happen. A nationals scout told me in July that there had been talks between Ned and the Marlins about a deal, but that all talks were dead because the Marlins wouldn’t pull the trigger unless it included Martin… I would still love to have ARod on the team… or even better BELTRE!!!!!!

Hu is back in Taiwan and getting ready to play in the World Games. He stopped playing in the AFL because of a slight hamstring issue but it was precautionary more than anything. The team knew that he would be playing in the World Games, so he was told to rest and prepare for the international competition.

Someone asked,”Where’s Hu?”

First base, of course.

Headline: Torre thinks Rodriguez could join Dodgers
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3102907&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines

“It’s possible,” Torre said Friday, repeating that phrase twice as a small grin crept across his face. “You’ve got four or five clubs maybe that figure to be in the sweepstakes. There aren’t a lot of clubs that are going to be able to pay the money.”

Also from that link:

Lee Mazzilli said he has decided to turn down Torre’s offer to be a coach on the Dodgers staff. Mazzilli, who is the lead studio analyst for SportsNet New York, recently lost his father and his mother, who lives in Connecticut, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “It is one of those years where I think staying home is a good thing,” Mazzilli said.

**********************

That’s sad news for Mazzilli; can’t blame the guy for wanting to stay out east and close by. I suppose that makes Mariano Duncan even more likely to stay as 1B coach.

I think Mariano and Honeycutt are staying on bored. With this news on Mazzilli I think it brings about the opportunity to get a former Dodger in that bench coach role. Kirk Gibson or even Orel Hershisher would be great. Groom them under Torre to become the next Manager.

board* hahaha

The Dodgers have been blessed with fine catchers and we know them by name. At present we have, in my opinion, and proberbly everybody elses, the finest catcher of them all. And the best is yet to come. I don’t think we seen everything yet. Congradulations Russell Martin.

Old Fogey…the rest of that quote is great..

“All I can tell you, I know the McCourts are certainly dedicated to putting the Dodger franchise on the right track. They understand the pride factor. We talked about that a lot,” Torre said. “But again, they’re business people. They’re certainly going to take into consideration what they can do that makes sense. And the fact that they have a lot of young players certainly could help make their decision, too.”

im not so jazzed about bringing over every ex yankee available..anyone else? i mean i know its arod but… i still don’t like it. its like we can’t form our own idenity, we have to keep taking from the red sox, then giants, the yankees… its getting old.

I heart Torre. That’s the most intellegent thing I have heard come out of Dodger management’s mouths in years. (I know there are some CONS…but keeping kids, getting A-rod and pitching help if possible and we have a good shot over the next 5 seasons..

We surround him with DODGERS.

By next season the only non dodgers surrounding him in the field would be ethier(sorta feels like a real dodger though), pierre(if still with us) ..trade LaRoche

loney

abreu

hu

kemp

martin

A friend was over my house tonight, former Dodger fan, now a Met fan. He notice the Dodger Media Guide on my desk and said, “Jackie Robinson was a Dodger”. So I said, “that’s right”. So he said,”so why doesn’t it say that on the cover?” So I said, “because everybody knows that” He was puzzelled. Some Met fans are dumb. He doesn’t know that Brooklyn or Los Angeles Dodgers are one and the same.

I bracketed out the word Brooklyn above and it should read Jackie Robinson was a (Brooklyn) Dodger is how he said it.

i know but if arod joins the dodgers it will be arods team. the casual fans (and media) won’t care about any of our young players and it won’t be “their” team, it will be arods. arod 24/7. i don’t like the idea of that. call me crazy.

IF we get A-Rod, It won’t be only his team it will be our team. No matter how well he does he is wearing the same uniform as everybody else. I root for the Dodgers. All the Dodgers and I’m sure all our fans do.

jspelk2 … You are crazy!

jk. a-rod would be good for the team. it will bring much national attention to the dodgers, and hopefully so titles too.

I understand where Jspelk2 is coming from, if you watch the highlights from the Laker game on ESPN, 90% of the them include Kobe in someway, even if the story of the game wasn’t him at all. The same would be true of A-Rod because he would be ‘the show’ here in Los Angeles. However, the other side of the coin is if A-Rod came here it would put a tremendous amount of national attention not just on A-Rod but the entire team. We would lead on most national sport shows and nearly all of the local shows. Which also means more ESPN games for the country to see our kids and A-Rod of course. Because I don’t think the national media really knows for the most part how good this young core can and will be. Especially with our captain leading the way behind the plate.

Personally I would love for A-Rod to sign the dotted line and come to the Dodgers no matter the cost. Far more so than trading off the kids to fill one hole, while opening up more along the way in the process.

If you put a winning product on the field Los Angeles will come and watch, regardless of ticket prices. Heck even when we’re losing we still draw 45,000 a night. A-Rod will come with a big contract, but he’s box office. And he’d be coming to a team headed in the right direction.

If there were any doubters before, the cat is definitely out of the bag now. We’ve got the best catcher in the nat’l league and you could make an argument for all of baseball. I’d like to repeat what I said during the season: Russell needs a multi-year contract for a lot more money and to be rested more often. There are only so many games in those legs. Although I was in favor of Little continuing, I think Torre might do a better job of resting Martin.
Given the Dodgers history of trading catchers to the Marlins, I honestly would not trade Martin for Cabrera and Willis. He’s the real deal.

Just an off-the-wall thought, as long as everybody is speculating. What if we returned Martin to his original 3rd base position and signed Posada as the catcher for 3 or 4 years? Don’t think that would damage our productivity at catcher, and it would fill the hole at third without giving up the farm for Cabrera or $350 million for A-Rod.

Josh – I think the Dodgers need to re-think their ST schedule. Staying in Vero a month is downright horrible. Those fans need to be treated better if this is going to be the last season at Dodgertown. Most people consider it the best ST camp of all time.

Just an off-the-wall thought, as long as everybody is speculating. What if we returned Martin to his original 3rd base position and signed Posada as the catcher for 3 or 4 years? Don’t think that would damage our productivity at catcher, and it would fill the hole at third without giving up the farm for Cabrera or $350 million for A-Rod. messagebear, I had the same idea in the middle of last season and people told me it was ridiculous. I still think it makes sense. It would prolong Russ’s career and he’d probably be an even better hitter.

You do that when Martin is getting older, not at this point when he’s the best catcher in the league.

i am reading so much **** about A-rod this A-rod that. That is going to be all about A-rod 24/7. That the the kids are going to be over shadow by A-rod. All that is bull. A-rod is going to make the dodgers twice the better team they were last year. We will provide the power that they lack.
He will be a leader in the club house. The kids are going to look up to him. He hit over 300 54hr. over 145 rbi. The kids will follow right behind.

Kemp

Looney

Martin

Kent

All these guys have the potential to hit 20+ homeruns.

Now throw in 60hrs. for A-rod.

I can’t wait for the announcement of A-rod coming to the Dodgers. It’s in the bag it is all about Scott Boras who is an attention hore to be in the spotlight for a few more weeks. Then the announcement will come.

A-rod coming to the Real LA Team.

slikkrikk@aol.com You’re right about Martin being the best catcher in the league, and I myself am not really sure if moving Russ is a good idea or not, but it has been done before with young catchers notably Todd Ziele when he came up with the Cards.

MESSAGEBEARER: How do you guy come up with this stuff? I never thought of it. Martin back to 3rd, and Posada behind the plate. Messagebearer, You’re the man. I thing Jorge has a mancrush on Torre and it could happen. You got you’re wish with Little so you never know(Maybe you do). I thing he along with Mo will stay here in N.Y. But like I said Mes, your wishing well does have some magic.

If Messagebearer’s wishing well doesn’t respond and the Rodman ends up at third, it proberbly would be great for old Dodger fans like me in Brooklyn. Like it’s being said A-Rod will make headlines all over, including here and maybe the N.Y. papers will have more than a paragraph everyday on what the Dodger’s did the night before. I of course will be interested, not only in A-Rod but the entire former N.Y. team.

If you take Martin out from behind the plate you go from having the best cather in the league to having a merely above-average third baseman.

As far as Posada goes, he’ll be 37 by mid-season ’08 and it’s hard to imagine him continuing to hit and especially catch at a very high level for much longer.

This idea should be a non-starter.

Torre and A-Rod have been exchanging phone messages lately.

http://www.courant.com/sports/baseball/hc-yankees1110.artnov10,0,4863725.story

Whatever the Dodgers do, they should not trade Martin, Loney, Kemp, Billingsley, and Broxton. Period. They should be considered untouchable. They are the heart of a future Dodger dynasty, and Dodger fans should not be deprived of the privilege of seeing home-grown talent mature into big time stars. Ethier should be retained, too, if at all possible. Build around these kids and good things will happen!

while i do understand why so many of you would really want miggy, i don’t understand how he is a better alternative to arod.
sure, for one or two years, the pay differential will be great (10-20m), but over the following 5-10? i’m sure he’ll command 20mil/yr as well.

i just don’t like the idea of trading 3 bluechippers for miggy and creating more holes.

by signing arod (and yes, it IS a lot of money and perhaps even a small part of your soul), you still retain a cheap core of young talent to build around him… or if you please, chips to deal to build up pitching.

trading for miggy (i presume will HAVE to include loney or kemp) just doesn’t make us THAT much of a better team overall, given what we have available as replacements at those positions.

though arod costs a bunch, there’s probably 30mil that will come off the books in the next year or so (lowe – who appeared wanting to leave, furcal to make room for hu unless we can get rid of pierre’s leadoff “bat” instead, and kent).

so why couldn’t we sign arod for that 30mil, deal with kent for a year, and then move guys like furcal and lowe and some bluechips to build up that pitching staff? we’d still have an OF of pierre/kemp/ethier/dyoung. and IF of arod/hu/abreu/loney/martin and hopefully a pitching staff built or re-built around penny/bills/kershaw/xx/xx in 2009?

I think that acquiring A-Rod will ultimately be a McCourt decision. Although I’m not thrilled with the idea, I would prefer that to trading two or three top talent young guys for Cabrera. If we trade good prospects, I’d rather do that for Santana, but only if we get an extended years’ contract in the bargain.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Andy LaRoche hit two two-run homers, powering the U.S. team to a 12-2 win Sunday over Spain at the Baseball World Cup.

LaRoche, a third-base prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers, homered in the first and seventh inning. He also drove in four runs in the 7-0 victory against Panama on Thursday.

“I spoke to Jeff Kent on the phone yesterday, and Jeff’s really enthused,” King said on Saturday at his 2007 King of Hearts Awards Gala, a black-tie affair in the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom. “There was a question if he was going to play out the last year of his contract — no doubt about it.” “He’s looking forward to playing for Joe Torre,” King said. “The community will be very happy with Joe Torre.”

Kent coming back *****!!
Selfish *******.

When did Larry Kind start breaking Dodger stories?

Anyway, I’ll take a .375 OBP and 20 HR’s from a second baseman any year, we have a coaching staff that won’t let it hit the fan. For eight million it’s a freaking steal.

King*

Kents little tirade and calling out teammates is unaccecptable and unforgiveable. Kinda like Jane Fonda cohorting with the Viet Cong. Never goes away.

I would still rather have Kent back and Grady gone though. Pierre is a bigger problem.

Kent will be much better suited to batting 6th or 7th in the order if we can get a big bat for the cleanup spot.
Kent is no longer a cleanup hitter.

id like to see the dodgers grab kenny loften. sign him to a one yr deal would be great. he’s be a good vetran to join the team and help guys like pierre and kemp. a perfect outfield reserve, pinch runner, and pinch hitter

Good to read that Kent will be back for another year.

He bounced back this year after an injury riddled year in 2006 with a nice .302 average and 20 hrs. That’s not bad production from a 39 year old 2nd baseman.

It was unfortunate that Kent had that hamstring/leg injury in the middle of the season, otherwise, you never know what would have been. HE was hitting .500 for an entire month, and our club was doing pretty well in the middle of a division race.

It’s important to remember that Kent, and his relatively cheap salary (for his production) is just a piece to the puzzle, along with the other Dodgers we have, young and old, and hopefully with the new skipper in charge with Torre, we can be playing deep into october, and parading in the streets of Los Angeles soon enough! :)

For all of you who are pushing for A-Rod, here is is an article worth reading:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2007/11/11/2007-11-11_scott_boras_talks_big_bucks_but_arod_lac-8.html

http://tinyurl.com/3529qc

I agree. I don’t know if Santana will be available though. But get A-rod and get some pitching. It would be foolish to belive that Scmidt and Lozia will even be MLB Average and healthy for all of 2008. Henderickson is usless.

I would rather have pitching then A-rod but we can have both. No excuses anymore.

Both the nydailynews and the dodgers.scout articles hit the nail on the head. Please pay attention to them, Ned. Don’t go out and do anything foolish like last year. This team can win without giving up the great talent that LA has in the kids. Give them a chance!

Here’s the latest on LaRoche:

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Andy LaRoche hit two two-run homers, powering the U.S. team to a 12-2 win Sunday over Spain at the Baseball World Cup.

Team USA, managed by Davey Johnson, advanced under the seven-inning mercy rule. The U.S. leads Group A with a 4-1 record.

LaRoche, a third-base prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers, homered in the first and seventh inning. He also drove in four runs in the 7-0 victory against Panama on Thursday.

Young is showing his stuff, too.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Delwyn Young hit a three-run homer in the first inning to lead the United States to a 5-1 victory Saturday over Japan at the 37th Baseball World Cup.

Jungar–you brought up a key point about whether if we sign A-Rod we can keep our nucleus together. That was a big worry of mine, but one of the reasons that I decided it could work is that our current contract situation makes him affordable.

This is the last year that we pay $7.5 Million for Odalis Perez. We lose Gonzo’s salary of $7.5 Million (or so) this year. Nomar’s $8 Million comes off after 2008, along with $9 Million due Kent. That’s $32 Million for guys we know will be gone.

We’re also dropping a million a piece on Saenz and Martinez, both of whom are likely to be replaced in terms of roster sports with kids. And if we re-sign Wolf, it will be significantly less than he was paid this year. But let’s just add these guys up as a million dollar savings.

Lowe and Loazia are free agents after 2008 (Loazia has a 2009 club option). I don’t think we lose both of those guys, and if we do, we are likely to replace one of their salaries. So that’s another $7-9 Million after 2008. Bringing our total to $41 Million in savings from current salary levels in 2009.

Now, some of that in the future years has to go to starting to lock in some of our top notch young guys–Martin, Loney, Kemp, Bills, Brox. But while the team might not have the resources to simply add a $30 Million salary for one guy, with the money coming off the payroll, we can afford it. I don’t expect us to have the Yankees payroll, but with the salaries coming off in the next year or two, we definitely can afford the bump in payroll that would come with A-Rod.

In addition, depending on how LaRoche develops, A-Rod may be able to play shortstop, or Hu could develop into a shortstop. That leaves Furcal’s $13 Million contract gone after 2008. If that happens, it’s a $54 Million contract savings.

This is also the benefit of having a good farm system–in the classic “Dodger Way.” Let’s take Ethier as an example. Plenty of people think that he might be a superstar too, and we can definitely see how that develops. But let’s say he’s a consistent .280 hitter with 20 home runs. Nice production, to be sure, and a key role player, but probably not an All-Star. So, come 2010, he becomes eligible for Arbitration. By then, there should be someone coming up through the system that we can count on for .280 and 20 Home Runs. Certainly by the time he is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

It’s why despite my reservations of A-Rod as a teammate, and the salary concerns, it seems like it’s actually the perfect storm. We need a middle of order hitter, we have a hole (potentially) at 3B, we are getting (mostly) disentangled from large salary obligations, and likely replacing them with quality kids who will not have big salaries for several years, and we have the best farm system that we have had in well over a decade.

All that being said, I maintain my earlier position–I think our chances are still very good even without making a move, as I agree with Jungar’s idea of LaRoche with a Nomar insurance as a potentially good situation.

Congrats Russ !!!

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