Are the Dodgers done this off-season? Are we to expect some type of blockbuster transaction before pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch in February? Recent moves by Colletti have shored up the bullpen. Jamey Wright and Chris Perez have been added meaning that there are some young pitchers that may not see much major league action.
|Chris Perez, the newest Dodger. (photo by Mark Duncan/AP)|
Chris Withrow, Paco Rodriguez and Jose Dominguez will be fighting for a roster spot. Scott Elbert, who is due to be back sometime this season, also might have difficulty finding a spot.
So those questions about the Dodgers being done this off-season are a bit difficult to answer. The moves today almost make me believe that the Dodgers are about to deal some pieces off for a major acquisition. Perhaps a starter like David Price. On the surface, the team is set for next year. All the positions are filled with the exception of that number five starting pitcher spot.
As much as many think the Dodgers need to find a number five slot, the team still has a lot of credible options to fill it.
There’s Josh Beckett, who it is reported will be ready for the start of the season. He had a couple of ribs removed to alleviate a nerve problem. That’s some major surgery and for a guy that already has all the money in the world he needs, he must think that he has something left in the tank, otherwise he wouldn’t be trying this comeback after such a major surgical procedure.
|(photo by Mark J. Terrill/AP)|
There’s Stephen Fife, who struggled at the end of the season, but provided a credible fifth starter role for several weeks of the season. Questions remain about his shoulder and if his problems are more than the chronic bursitis that he was diagnosed with last season.
There is Chad Billingsley, who will probably be ready to return by the All Star break following his Tommy John surgery last year. Can we expect him to return to form before the season ends? We’ve seen a lot of guys return from ligament replacement surgery and year # 1 usually has a lot of hiccups.
There’s Matt Magill who struggled in his major league stints, did show some promise at times. The thing is, he has been awful in Puerto Rico in winter league play and he really struggled at Albuquerque last year as well.
Then there’s the kids: Zach Lee, Ross Stripling, and Chris Reed. All not quite ready for the show, but players that may be getting close.
The Dodgers entered Spring training with 9 options for the 5 starter spots last year. It looks like 2014 will be no different.
All this talk of trading several prospects for David Price makes little sense and I didn't expect anything of that order to happen, until the moves that happened the last 48 hours took place. Stan Kasten said repeatedly that the Dodgers need to hold on to their prospects. Could Dominguez, Withrow or Paco Rodriguez be dangled out there in addition to (dare we say it?) Seager for a player like Price. Would one of the four outfielders have to me included in such a package? When such contracts like Juan Uribe and Hanley Ramirez’s expire, players like Corey Seager should be ready to step in. They can’t be thinking of dealing him.
Pitchers like Urias, Stripling, and Lee will need time to develop and they are the future of the organization. I can't imagine that one of those three would be included.
That brings us to Masahiro Tanaka. That addition to the roster could be the lone blockbuster move this off season. If he is available, it’ll be interesting to see how interested the Dodgers really are in him. 24-0 pitchers don’t come along very often and I have to believe that the club will go all in on him. The next few weeks should be very interesting.
Suddenly that 40 man roster has filled up to capacity when just a few weeks ago there was so much room on it.
Hall of Fame voting is in it’s final stages and there should be some worthy inductions this year, such as Greg Maddux. I’m starting to come to the realization that steroid era players such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens shouldn’t be excluded from the hall. I’m thinking that as time goes on, the BBWAA members will come around and vote those guys in. Both those guys were hall of famers before they started juicing and tainted their legacy. I know there are many that disagree with my stance and I respect their opinion, but those players careers overall were HOF worthy.
|(photo by Dennis Poroy/AP)|
For what it’s worth, My Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) ballot had both Bonds and Clemens on it. Others I voted for this year were:
Larkin (hasn’t been inducted in the IBWAA HOF yet)
It should be noted that I voted for Piazza last year when he was voted in to the IBWAA HOF. I would have put first year balloters Jeff Kent and Frank Thomas on my ballot, but there simply were too many great players on this year’s ballot and it was limited to ten choices. I see both of those guys getting my vote next year.