A different solution

So I’ve found a way to keep Matt Kemp in the lineup even if we add another center fielder. About two months ago, someone bought me a PSP as a gift and the only game they gave me was MLB ’07. So I’ve been playing out the Dodgers’ season from last year during late night baby feedings.

You’ll be happy to know that Juan Pierre leads the league with a .521 batting average, 75 hits, 34 runs and 28 stolen bases through 31 games. His OPS is 1.1107, the seventh-best in the league and his drag bunting is practically indefensible and he’s stolen about 90 percent of his attempts successfully. Luis Gonzalez is one of my top power hitters, so I can’t take him out of the lineup and Ethier is hitting about .440 with solid production.

However, Matt Kemp has homered four times as a pinch-hitter (he platoons with Ethier) and I’ve got to find a way to get him into the lineup more often, so I tried him at second base for the "slumping" Jeff Kent (he was hitting only .310 with one homer) and he’s a natural there! He turned a sweet double play recently and has about eight homers now…

Unfortunately, I don’t see this as a real solution, so I guess we’ll be looking for other ways to improve the team in ’08. Hence, why all teams are headed for Nashville and the winter meetings. The next time I write, I’ll be in the Opryland Hotel, as we depart tomorrow morning for Tennessee.

In the meantime, you’ve got to check out the "Sons…" blog, where there’s a priceless video from the 80s. Just about all the players I grew up watching in a horrific display of singing and dancing. That includes current Dodger coaches Ken Howell and Rick Honeycutt, broadcasters Rick Monday and Jerry Reuss and other lesser remembered Dodgers from 80s like Len Matuszek, who I think I saw in there.

And while you’re in the video watching mood, Dodgers on Demand has been busy keeping their site (and their On Demand service on Time Warner) up to date so check that out, too.

‘Til Tennesse…

54 Comments

As a father of 4 myself and huge video game/baseball fan i can apreaciate late night feedings and trying to log some quality time with your playstation. But are you on crack…. Matt Kemp at 2nd,its hard enough to keep video game stats some where close to reality. Why don’t you just bring back Kirk Gibson and start him at 3rd, We need someone there badly anyway. I think those late night feedings are getting to you. Good luck with the rest your season.

so it looks liek Santana is going to the Yankees for Hughes, Cabrera and either Alberto Gonzalez or Alan Horne.

Thats a dodger equivalent of Billingsley, Ethier and Either Hu or James McDonald.

Hey Josh, Some of us are in our 60s, I’m pushing 70. To much excitement brought on by the purchasing of a FA CF, while keeping both Kemp & Ethier can cause strokes & heart attacks, please be careful, Kemp playing 2nd, What’s wrong with that? He’s a right handed fielder ain’t he? I haven’t gone over all those goodies you presented in this latest Blog, but I’ll get around to it later on.

when i got MLB 07 for my playstation the first thing i did was trade Pierre, Gonzo and Nomar to various teams. I think i packaged Pierre and Schmidt for Andruw Jones. Kemp won the mvp that year as my right fielder and I won the world series.

Randy Wolf joining our rivals, the Padres on a 1 year contract…

Someone should send one of those MLB 07 to Colletti, for his playstation. He’s the one that can really use it. This should be some week coming up, the Dodgers have to do something and change nothing. That’s not easy to do,man.

While i agree with you regarding the equivalent of players Max, im sure if it was us in the deal they would demand either Kershaw or Kemp simply because we have the prospects.

haha josh… ur best post yet. i too enjoy building video game dynasties. I believe my 2nd baseman is Miguel Cabrera.

Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to OF Luis Gonzalez, C Mike Lieberthal, INF Ramon Martinez, RHP Rudy Seanez, 1B Mark Sweeney, LHP David Wells and LHP Randy Wolf.

Only Gonzalez, a Type-B free agent, would have brought back compensation. The Dodgers are considering re-signing Lieberthal and Seanez, who just missed being a Type B.

That Baseball Boogie video wasn’t quite the Super Bowl Shuffle, heh. Listening to the song, all I could see in my head (blinded by the satiny glare) was Dan Aykroyd chasing a gopher around a golf course with a box of dynamite.

Free agent Aaron Rowand indicated that he is holding out for a five-year deal.

The Phillies might be willing to spend the $10 million-$12 million per season it would take to sign him, but they’ve so far failed to extend an offer beyond three years. The White Sox have also been scared off by Rowand’s price, leaving the Dodgers as perhaps his top suitor right now. The Yankees still might be an option, even though they’re sending out word that they’ll go with Johnny Damon in center field if they trade Melky Cabrera.

Randy Wolf’s deal with the Padres is expected to guarantee him $4 million with a chance to earn $5 million more in incentives.

Wolf, who is coming back from shoulder surgery, will have to pass a physical before the deal is official.

I don’t understand why Wolf wasn’t brought back for 1 year? It seems to me that Ned has no plan and no clue how to improve this team. If he wants to improve the team , start by getting rid of JP and work from there. Even thought the kids should be better, we still need an RBI guy and a pitcher or two. What are you waiting for Ned?

First priority is to unload Pierre. We automatically get better with him gone. I believe Ned is trying hard to get the Japanese pitcher for the middle of the starting rotation. Could work out well with Schmidt and Loaiza battling for the 5th spot.

Stay the course, Ned. So far I’ve got no issues with what you’ve done this year. The team has already improved by subtraction by freeing ourselves of clubhouse cancer Luis Gonzalez and saying goodbye to once-valuable pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz. (Thanks for the memories, Killer Tomato.)

To the extent that we need and “RBI guy”, we’ve already added one simply by giving an extra half-year each of playing time to Loney and Kemp.

No need to rush. Our best chance to really improve this team for the next four or five year hasn’t been ready to make a deal yet. I speak of Andruw Jones.

Aside from the fact that as long as we have James Loney — which should be about 10 to 20 years — there is no place on our team for a guy who can’t play third base, the outfield or any where besides first. Especially when the asking price for said fatso is along the lines of Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Jonathon Broxton, and Clayton Kershae. I speak, of course, of Miguel Cabrera. I can’t see how such a deal would help us in 2008 or ever.

No need to make a move just to make a move.

There will probably be a time for us to let one or more of our youngsters go to fill a true need. That time will be in July when we know where are true holes are.

Just a little more patience, my friends, and the World Series will be played at Dodger Stadium as early as 2008, and no later than 2010.

Why trade away our young players. Give LaRoche his well deserved shot. Santana and Cabrera will likely be available in July for much less and if not, they are free agents after this season and can be had for cash only. Unload Pierre at any cost Ned. Let Young and Repko play LF. I can live with Young, Kemp, and Ethier from left to right and Repko as the 4th outfielder. Or Repko in center with Kemp in right and Ethier in left.

martinloneykemp

You read my mind.

jhall1218@yahoo.com , Great POST, That’s exactly how it should be…..You make sense..

When you look at the whole picture Ned Colletti, and whoever his helpers are, are only part of it. All of baseball shapes every team. How this team finally winds up, depends on the satifaction of all teams involved. For example in order to come to a deal with the Marlins for Cabrera, both teams must come as close to being satisfied as possible. Like watching the scoreboard. *****For those who are in favor of this trade, I think the best thing that could happen is the Fish blink first fearing they will lose him to FA, and realize, they’re asking for too much. If we go the FA route, I personally favor Jones over the Ron Cey look alike, Rowand. I also think if we are going to lose Kemp, for Cabrera, we might as well pick up Jones. Money is not our problem it’s Mc Court’s. *****For those who are hoping for the homegrown look, I think the sooner we settle the above, the better, so we can start working on this club and hope they stop picking up the experienced and start putting more faith in our young and concentrate on having patience. We have to have better scouting when it comes to aquiring hitters with HR potential. Lets hope, right now the team we are looking for we already have. ME? I’m going to sit back and watch, because that the only thing I can do.

I will breathe a lot easier after the Winter Meetings are over. So far I am very happy by Ned’s lack of panic and staying the course. I hope he continues that!! Santana and Cabrera are both way too expensive in players who will be the heart of the Dodgers for years to come if they are only given the chance. And Jones and Rowland are too expensive in dollars and the years they are looking for. They both could be disappointments and then have years to go on their contracts.

Regardless of what the naysayers are saying, the team is already improved by subtraction, and if Ned is able to move Pierre and sign Kuroda and a middle reliever we should be okay. If things don’t go well, players can be obtained before the 2008 trading deadline. So please Ned, sit tight and don’t do anything foolish!!

I totally concur Redfox.

Furcal
Martin

Kemp

Loney

Kent

LaRoche

Young

Ethier

Pitcher

My batting order for 2008.

Notice: Pierre is not in there.

How did you manage to get rid of Pierre? Even Colletti couldn’t do that, if he tried. I mean beside replacing him with Young.

Wishful thinking.

Even if we eat half his salary, we win.

Juan Pierre is the biggest mistake since trading Pedro Martinez for Delino.
Ned should be held accountable for that huge mistake.

Lots of teams need center fielders right now. Ned, eat the contract and get something for Pierre. I would take a case of bottled water right now.

Geez Ned, use your Giant connects and unload him on the Giants. Even if we pay half his salary, we will come out on top by saddelling them with him for the next four years.

Heck, pay all his salary and the Giants will **** for years with Pierre in center.

Wouldn’t it be nice if teams ask other teams to swap garbage. Like say, ” I got a load of junk, do you have some junk for me?” after they make the exchange, they each dump their garbage. That’d be one way to get rid of players you don’t want. Only in this case does Colletti see the same junk as garbage?

I think not resigning Wolf was a big mistake, especially since the Pads are only guaranteeing $4mil + incentives…We NEED a LEFT hander on our staff…We must have one or I don’t think we can be successful…Why would you pick up Loiaza for 7 mill and not get WOLF for 4 mill guaranteed…If he’s healthy he’s a much better choice..and you know the Pads always make good pitching decisions…That is a big mistake by the Dodgers..especially since he’s going to the hated Pads..

They’re proberbly thinking of using Kuo & Stults again. Or this kid Greg Miller.

Wolf is a huge question mark. With Schmidt and Loaiza both big questions, I don’t see the Dodgers going out on that limb. Sign Kuroda. Similiar money, just more years.

No big left handed starter. something must be up. If Schmidt comes back good, That’s 4 right starters. 5th Starter?

Hendrickson?*********Beimel???lol just joking

Why do you need a lefty in the rotation to win?

“I think our offer is the best offer,” Steinbrenner said. “We have the best young pitchers in the game, even better than Boston.”

ummm Hank Steinbrenner I’d like to introduce you to Chad Billingsley.

And we have the #1 pitching prospect….Even better than that Max, what about Cain and Lincecum, what about King Felix, the young CO starters, the young Detroit starters, the young Angel starters Im sure Im leaving a ton out… and that’s without even touching the east coast. I don’t blame him for hyping up his own players, but…. its like theres only two teams in baseball. Lol.

The twins played this really really well. They would be crazy to not trade the guy considering they;re losing him in a year– to be honest I’m surprised (in that i think its exceedingly stupid) that Boston and NY are both going to give up so much talent. I suppose at this point though they are almost obligated so as to try and prevent the other from getting him. Its really not worth the players that are being considered though. More power to the Twins i say.

greg miller is not a top prospect anymore… he had more BBs than IP last year, and he pitched primarily as a reliever.

Dodgers Step Up Interest in A Jones.

New Gurnick article on dodgers website.

cool! now just get rid of pierre and we’re set!

NASHVILLE — The Dodgers have stepped up talks with free-agent center fielder Andruw Jones, a club official confirmed Sunday.

Jones is coming off the worst season of his career — .222 average, 26 homers, 96 RBIs. Even with those numbers, Jones would immediately become the most potent proven bat in the Dodgers lineup. Management envisions a batting order with the potential for five 20-homer players — Jones, Jeff Kent, Russell Martin, James Loney and Matt Kemp, even though the latter three have never hit 20 homers in a Major League season.

Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove and five-time All-Star, is believed to be seeking a contract in excess of the five-year, $90 million deal Torii Hunter signed with the Angels. But there is concern among some clubs that Jones, still 30, might be tailing off.

The Dodgers apparently are not interested in a contract guaranteed longer than two years, but that would allow Jones the opportunity to revisit free agency with greater leverage after a more productive season. Jones’ acquisition would create a surplus of outfielders and probably force the relocation of Juan Pierre’s vulnerable throwing arm to left field.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and his staff are expected to arrive at MLB’s Winter Meetings on Monday afternoon. Colletti has downplayed the likelihood of a blockbuster trade while indicating an unwillingness to package multiple top prospects for the premier trade targets on the market, Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Minnesota pitcher Johan Santana.

The Dodgers, however, are aggressively pursuing Japanese free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who would provide starting pitching depth after Brad Penny, Derek Lowe and Chad Billingsley. Jason Schmidt and Esteban Loaiza are also in the mix for starting spots, depending on their health.

From the L.A Times:

Dodgers’ Colletti says he’s worried about more than future

General manager, already reluctant to trade prospects, doesn’t want to compromise present by giving up multiple major leaguers, either.

By Dylan Hernandez, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 3, 2007

NASHVILLE — Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said that more than an unwillingness to compromise his club’s future has prevented him from trading for a middle-of-the-order bat or top-of-the-rotation arm. Because the deals discussed to date would cost the Dodgers multiple major leaguers, he said, they would also compromise the present.

“Whether they’re young players or established veterans, if you don’t have suitable replacements, it doesn’t matter if they’re 23 or 33,” Colletti said.

From today to Wednesday, Colletti and other Dodgers executives will be searching for more agreeable proposals during the winter meetings at the Opryland Hotel.

Colletti and Manager Joe Torre strongly suggested last week that if the right deal can’t be found, they would be comfortable heading into spring training with a club short on experience.

Colletti, who won’t have Torre at his side at the meetings, admitted he would be less reluctant to part with his club’s prized young players if he had adequate replacements in hand. But there are few such candidates on the free-agent market, and those who are come with hefty price tags.

The top prizes, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Lowell and Torii Hunter, already signed elsewhere. And the two center fielders who interest the Dodgers, Andruw Jones and Aaron Rowand, are asking for more than the club is willing to pay.

“We have an understanding of what they want to do, what they think they should be paid and for how long,” Colletti said. “We aren’t at the same places.”

If Jones and Rowand don’t scale back their demands, the Dodgers could turn their attention to Mike Cameron, who will sit out the first 25 games of next season for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

Whether the addition of a center fielder would make Colletti comfortable enough to part with the likes of Matt Kemp remains to be seen.

The Dodgers are among the teams interested in Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera, but the Marlins asked them for a package that included Kemp, first baseman James Loney and top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw.

A baseball source said the Marlins have no intention of backing down on their demands.

The Dodgers have also found the asking prices for left-handers Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins and Erik Bedard of the Baltimore Orioles to be too high.

Making a deal for Santana less likely is that his contract expires at the end of the 2008 season and he has a full no-trade clause, meaning he would probably have to be signed to a long-term extension. The extension would probably be for six years and be worth around $20 million per season.

With Santana and Bedard likely out of their price range, the Dodgers will probably ask the Oakland Athletics this week about Dan Haren or Joe Blanton.

The Dodgers haven’t shown strong interest in any free-agent starting pitchers other than Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who on Friday declared his intentions to leave his homeland to pitch in the majors.

The Dodgers were interested in re-signing left-hander Randy Wolf at a reduced rate after they paid $500,000 to buy out his $9-million option for next season, but not enough to move as quickly as Wolf wanted.

Wolf, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, has agreed to the terms of a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres that will reportedly pay him a base salary of $4 million and an additional $5 million if he meets all of his incentives.

Relief pitching is a need that could be addressed on the open market.

Colletti said he isn’t expecting to have to fill a hole at second base; the general manager spoke to Jeff Kent last week and remains convinced he will return. Kent said at the end of last season that he might forgo his $9-million salary and retire.

“If he doesn’t come back, we’ll have another player or two,” Colletti said. “But I don’t foresee that.”

And to complete the trifecta, Tony Jackson from the L.A Daily News:

There was a time when the words “winter meetings” meant the flame in baseball’s so-called hot stove was about to reach its crescendo. The annual convention of the game’s front-office staffs would set off a weeklong flurry of activity in which teams would essentially set their rosters for the following season, after which club officials were basically free to sit back and wait for the start of spring training some two months later.

This is not that time. Especially for the Dodgers.

General manager Ned Colletti is looking at several options for upgrading the club, some on the free-agent market and some via trade. By all accounts, though, nothing is imminent, and there is little reason to think the Dodgers will leave Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday looking much different from the way they look now.

“I think there is a chance that we’ll find out a little bit more about who is serious about trading pitching,” Colletti said. “But without a (league-imposed) deadline, teams always find reasons not to do a deal. There has been a lot of anticipation with these meetings because of the names being bandied about, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a lot of trades, I don’t think.”

Among the players about whom the Dodgers are known to have engaged in trade talks are Minnesota left-hander Johan Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera, arguably the most sought-after offensive player known to be on the trading block this winter.

With the Oakland A’s reportedly letting it be known on Friday that they are willing to trade Dan Haren, the American League’s starter in this year’s All-Star Game, and possibly Joe Blanton, the Dodgers also are believed to have interest in both of those pitchers.

But in every case – especially those of Santana and Cabrera – the asking price has been far too high so far. The Twins want three or four players from a pool that includes pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, third baseman Andy LaRoche, outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw. Even then, the Dodgers would have to give Santana an expensive, long-term contract extension to get him to waive his no-trade clause.

For Cabrera, the Marlins are asking for four players from a pool of Billingsley, Kershaw, Kemp, LaRoche and first baseman James Loney.

There was one Internet report last week that the Dodgers rejected a Twins proposal of Santana for Kershaw and Ethier, but a Dodgers source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, vehemently denied that claim. Fact is, had such a deal actually been made available, the Dodgers would have quickly jumped on it.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ brass is comfortable with the idea of standing pat – all winter, if it comes to that.

“Our young players continue to get better,” Colletti said. “As we search for a power hitter, a middle-of-the-order bat, there might be two of them already sitting there in Loney and Kemp. To overpay in the form of three or four prospects – three of which are big-league players today – for one man, one player, I find that excessive.

“It would make for an interesting headline, but it wouldn’t necessarily improve our club.”

A stunningly thin free-agent market won’t necessarily improve it, either.

One player the Dodgers are known to covet is scrappy center fielder Aaron Rowand, who is coming off a career year with Philadelphia in which he hit .309 with 45 doubles, 27 homers and 89 RBIs and captured his first Gold Glove. But Rowand is believed to be seeking a five-year contract worth about $70 million, far more than the Dodgers are willing to pay at this point for a guy who had never driven in more than 69 runs in any season until this one.

“The teams I talk to most of the time, just in general, are of kind of the same mind,” Colletti said. “They are taken aback by the free-agent prices and by the asking price going back on players in trades. But that can all change from day to day.”

The Dodgers might come home with a new backup catcher, something Colletti picked up at each of the past two winter meetings. The club hasn’t closed the door on re-signing Mike Lieberthal. The Westlake Village resident said at one point this season he would retire if the Dodgers didn’t pick up his option, but he seemed to back off on that late in the year.

Even if the Dodgers don’t re-sign Lieberthal, there is no shortage of journeymen and career backups – Rod Barajas, Gary Bennett, Mike DiFelice – still available on the free-agent market.

The Dodgers also are looking to add another middle reliever to help bridge the gap to Broxton, their setup man, and closer Takashi Saito.

Colletti said new manager Joe Torre, who frequently stayed away from the winter meetings while managing the New York Yankees, might be a no-show this time, as well. But Torre will be a phone call away and will have input into all discussions.

Man how i would love to sign Jones and ship Pierre out… Sign Kuroda. Hope Schmidt/Loaiza/McDonald/Kuo can make it happen and we have a really beastly team… Especially with Yhency coming back to the pen and hopefully Tsao can stay healthy….

A lineup of:

Furcal

Ethier

Kemp

Jones

Loney

Russ

Kent

LaRoche

is the best in the NL other than probably the Mets.

Now I would love a Jones signing. I’ve always been a fan of his. Yes, he had a bad year last year,but he was injuried part of the year if I remeber correctly. So I think he is due for a bounce back years.

He is 30 years old. There is no reason to support to the argument that he is trailing off or beginning to lose his touch other this most recent season, in which he still put up numbers. I wouldnt give him a 5 year deal either, but the guy is still in the prime age range for a contemporary athlete,

And i’d like to take back what i said about the Mets lineup being perhaps better.

Who is playing the corner outfield spots for them ?

Delgado was horrible last year.

Ryan Braun/J. Estrada vs. Russ is a joke.

Kent is a much better hitter than Castillo.

If we sign Jones, him and Beltran are a complete push.

stoked!!

Sign Jones, I’d give him 3 years, like the Furcal contract. Get rid of JP, he’s a pinch runner at best. Also Kemp and Loney are both great young players but right now neither one is a cleanup hitter. I remember Kemps ABs with the bases loaded last year. Getting Jones and getting rid of JP would instantly improve the club.

If Jones and Rowand don’t scale back their demands, the Dodgers could turn their attention to Mike Cameron, who will sit out the first 25 games of next season for testing positive for a banned stimulant.

-Now that’s scary! Signing Cameron would be a HUGE mistake!

Can’t we just sign Kuroda already so there won’t be any temptation to trade the farm for a SP?

The Texas Rangers are said to be interested in Coco Crisp of Boston to play centerfield. Perhaps the Dodgers could unload Pierre to them if they eat part of his salary. I don’t believe Crisp is any better than Pierre and we don’t need to ask for much in return. Just take Pierre so we can move on and field a decent outfield.

dodgers need to do something, i just read that ned is not willing to go after Jones or Rowand anymore.

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