Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Congratulations to St. Louis! Now Let's Fire Up the Hot Stove

With the Cardinals championship run now officially over, it’s time to light up the hot stove.  There are 128 days until spring training begins, and roughly a little over a month before we know the outcome of Frank McCourt remaining as owner.  What all this means is that I find it to be rather unlikely that the Dodgers make any major moves due to the uncertainty of the current ownership situation, for the third year in a row.
What the Dodgers do have now is 4 days to negotiate with any of their own free agents before they are tossed into the open market for all takers.  There are ten players that the Dodgers have an exclusive window of time to negotiate a new contract with.  I list them below with my take on what they will do.  What do you think?

Rod Barajas :
Colletti has already hinted in the press that he will pass on Rod and go with Ellis and Fedex behind the plate.  That’s sad for Rod because he loves being a Dodger.  I wish him the best and hope he doesn’t come back to play against us and rake.

Casey Blake
The serious neck condition seems to have forced Blake into retirement.  If he agrees to return and is willing to take a serious pay cut on an incentive laden contract, he may play again, but as a Dodger, I doubt it.  Its sad to see Casey go.  He brought great chemistry and is liked and respected by his teammates and the fans.  Good luck Casey, I hope you latch on with an American League club and get some decent playing time.

Jonathan Broxton
Big Jon will never be the flame thrower that he once was.  his agent has even said so.  What that means is that he needs to reinvent himself as a pitcher.  Honestly, I don’t see that ability in his mental makeup.  I could be wrong, but all indications in Brox’s career have shown otherwise.  I believe he signs an incentive laden contract and that the Dodgers will offer him one.  Whether he agrees to that type of situation, I don’t know.  He may just go the way of Eric Gagne and try his luck elsewhere, perhaps Atlanta, near his home.

Jamey Carroll :
This is a difficult decision.  Jamey will be 38 years old by Spring Training.  As gritty and hard working as he is, how long will he continue to produce and be a valuable asset to the club?  I believe an effort will be made to sign him.  The question is, will Carroll want to return to the Dodgers?  His career is coming to an end.  Will he want to move on to a contender in a utility role in a last ditch effort to get a Championship ring? I think he goes elsewhere.

Jon Garland :
I like Garland and I was hopeful that 2011 would be a great year for him in Dodger blue.  Unfortunately, he hit the D.L. for the first time in his career.  He won’t be offered a deal with the Dodgers and I see him signing an incentive laden deal elsewhere.

Hiroki Kuroda :
An offer will be made to Hiroki.  It will be another 1 year deal, probably for around the same amount.  Will family commitments force him back to Japan?  I believe so.  He tended to hint he was going in that direction at the end of the season, based on the “good byes” he was saying to teammates in the last week.  I hope I’m wrong.  Kuroda is a solid starter and one of the anchors to the starting staff.  If he doesn’t return, the Dodgers have a huge hole to fill.

Mike MacDougal  :
I have no idea what Colletti’s position is with Mike.  I believe that the Dodgers have plenty of relievers in the minors that could potentially take McDougal’s spot on the roster.  If he walks, I don’t see this as a big loss.

Aaron Miles :
I think they’ll offer him a deal.  I overheard Miles speaking with close friends in the stands at San Francisco before a game in September.  He was telling them that Mattingly is happy with him and that he believes he’ll be back in L.A. for next year.  That must mean that if he’s offered something fairly respectable, he’ll take it.  If it were up to me, I’d allow him to go elsewhere.  I won't say "let him walk” because we all know that Miles never walks...that’s my problem with him, his on-base percentage.  I’d much rather see him in a Giants or DBacks uniform.

Vicente Padilla :
Padilla’s injury history is troubling.  He’s too risky.  He won’t be offered a deal by the Dodgers.  Thanks for the 2009 playoff victories against St. Louis and Philly, Vicente.  The soap bubble goes elsewhere.

Juan Rivera
Sadly, due to the ownership uncertainty and the Dodgers precarious financial position, this may be the largest free agent deal offered by the team this off season.  Rivera had a great second half and was a key contributor, but he simply isn’t the marquee player that the Dodgers need to make a splash in off-season moves.  I hope he doesn't get big money because Rivera is ant a "Big Money" free agent.  Don't be foolish, Ned.

So my final tally is two. I believe the Dodgers re-sign Miles and Rivera.  
If it were my decision they would not sign Miles, and instead they keep Carroll for one last year.  Then they sign Rivera and Kuroda.  Losing Kuroda will be a major loss.  In my opinion, Kuroda should be Colletti’s primary focus for the next four days.

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