December 18, 2004

Dodgers clean slate


If the Randy Johnson deal goes through, the Dodgers will have a new look, and a blank canvas, for GM Paul DePodesta to work his artistry.

In the Randy Johnson three-way deal, they’re shaking loose $16 from what Shawn Green would be owed in 2005, and $5.5 to Kaz Ishii, although they’re throwing in $2 million the Yankees’ way.

They also expected to resign Adrien Beltre and actually made the best offer, a guaranteed sixth year, which he turned down to be a free agent again at age 30. He signed with Seattle to a five-year, $64 million deal Friday.

So Seattle, which also signed slugger Richie Sexson, and LA are going to look very different next season. Steve Finley, Green, Beltre, Ishii, and pitcher Brad Penny are gone from LA, leaving some mega holes to fill.

Planting seeds with prospects
An existing hole that carried over from last season is at catcher, which hasn’t been adequately filled since Paul LoDuca was dealt to Florida last season. The Dodgers are treading on thin ice at that position even more than the Phillies, willing to start the season with David Ross as their catcher, a backup at best.

Only the Yankees wouldn’t blink about trading away their two best prospects as a throw-in, and that’s exactly what they’re doing by sending C Dioneer Navarro and 3B Eric Duncan to LA.

In Navarro, they could be getting the catcher of their future, no small prize in my opinion. Navarro was ranked the Yankees No. 1 prospect by Baseball America in 2004, coming off a monster ’03, in which he hit .341 for AA Trenton, and he’s only 20. Still learning, he couldn’t find quite the same stroke this season, but that was expected. Baseball Prospectus had rated his chance of collapse at 44 percent. And Eric Duncan, the Yankees No. 1 draft pick in 2003, could be the third baseman of the future. He’s been compared to Jim Thome and was named the No. 1 prospect in the Yankees’ farm club by Baseball America last month.


Dioneer Navarro

The Dodgers have certainly been the most dynamic team this offseason, and it isn’t over yet. In the last two days, the Dodgers find themselves in great position to allow GM Paul DePodesta to step on the gas and sign Carlos Beltran, or to a lesser extent, Carlos Delgado if owner Frank McCourt will let him.

At the very least, DePodesta has prevented his team from getting stale, something that cripples that Phillies.

Beane & DePodesta
What I would give to be a fly on the wall as the Hudson to LA deal unfolded, then unraveled. It would make a great springboard for “Moneyball II.”

1 Comments:

At 8:10 PM, Blogger mark said...

If they could pull off a Beltran signing.. wow, i'd be impressed. All of DePodesta's moves don't quite make sense yet, but I doubt he's anywhere far from done yet. There are rumors that once they get Vazquez, he'll be flipped to the White Sox, so who knows how that could turn out.

Also, they've inked Jose Valentin and Jeff Kent to shore up the infield. They won't make up for the loss of Beltre, but they are significantly cheaper options.

So, yeah, be on the lookout for "Son Of Moneyball" on bookshelves sometime in 2006. Heh.

 

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