Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, December 7, 2013

If Tanaka Isn’t Posted, Some Free Agent Options

Reports are that the Rakuten Golden Eagles are seriously considering not posting Tanaka to the U.S. Major Leagues because with the new posting rules in play, they won’t see as much of a return on their investment.  In the event that occurs, it would leave a Dodger rotation made up of Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Haren and one of the following:

Beckett, Billingsley, Fife, Magill, Zack Lee, Russ Stripling, Chris Reed, or a pitcher acquired via trade or free agency.

That Dodger staff is still rather formidable, but all this Tanaka talk had everyone thinking that the Dodgers were about to have a staff for the ages.  Without Tanaka, it might not even be the best in the division if the Giants starters pitch to their potential.

So looking at the free agent arms available, here are a few to consider as potential Dodger signees:
(Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)
Matt Garza
A tempermental guy who brings with him some maturity issues.  Garza was 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA between 24 starts with both the Cubs and Rangers.  He still brings the heat, striking out 136 hitters in 150 IP.  His WHIP was a respectable 1.23 as well.  As a number five starter, Garza may be a good addition, and he’s only 30 years old this coming year.  It’ll cost the Dodgers, as Garza earned $10.25 million last season.  Maybe coming home to California will be enough for Matt to accept a home town discounted contract.

(photo by Jeff Chiu/AP)
Bartolo Colon
Yes, he’s 40 years old and he has a checkered past with steroid use.  But few can argue with his 2013 season where Colon went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA.  He’s pitching to contact now and having remarkable success in the process.  A one year deal in LA for Dan Haren type money might be something to think about.  Plus, it would allow Lee, Stripling and Reed to have another year of minor league seasoning.  He’s a vet and he’d probably fit in well with the Dodger Dominican and Cuban players.  This might be a guy to think about.

Garcia went toe-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw in Game 4 of the NLDS. (photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Freddy Garcia
It’s not that I really would want this guy, but he did show that he had something extra in the tank while pitching for Atlanta in September and then in the playoffs against us.  Maybe a one year deal at $2 million would work.  Again, allows the young guys to develop a bit longer, and in Garcia’s case, there’s a possibility that Billingsley could slide over and take his slot about mid-season when he’s ready to go.

(photo by USA TodaySI)

Ubaldo Jimenez
You’d think with all that Jimenez has been through, he would be much older than 29 years old, but he doesn’t reach 30 until the season begins.  Ubaldo is a crafty veteran now of six full major league seasons and 2013 was a comeback of large proportions, as Jimenez was relevant for the first time since 2010, when he was 19-8 as a Rockie.  Jimenez has never made more than $5.7 million in a season, so expect him to ask for a big pay increase.  The Dodgers could give it.  Perhaps he could see a major resurgence by returning to the NL West.  This is a free agent to definitely think about.

(Getty Images)
Roy Halladay
He’s a big man with a big name and reputation, but injuries have set him back substantially.  Doc is 36 years old now and he can’t bring the heat like he used to.  Maybe a season in the NL West will do him good though.  If he’s willing to take a one-year deal at a big pay cut to try and resurrect his career, maybe Los Angeles is the place to go.

(photo by Ben Margot/AP)
Ervin Santana
He has always had good stuff.  2013 was a fine season for him in KC.  With a 1.142 WHIP and 3.24 ERA, Santana threw 211 innings.  He still gives up the long ball, (26 on the year), the price he pays for having good control.  Perhaps a year or two in spacious Chavez Ravine will work well for him.  He won’t come cheap though. The Royals paid him $13 million last season.
(photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Edinson Volquez
Bringing back Volquez might be worth the risk.  He pitched fine in September for the blue and seemed to adjust well following a few tweaks to his delivery brought to his attention by Rick Honeycutt.   Who knows?  Maybe he’ll be open to returning at a discounted rate.  This isn’t an ideal signing, but there could be much worse.

(AP Photo)

Barry Zito
He’s 35 years old and he was getting lit up time after time.  I don’t want him but a minor league invite could be a possibility.  Let him pitch his way onto the team in Spring Training.  In 2012 he pitched respectably enough to win two key post-season games.  Maybe he is crafty enough to still get it done.


  1. That's a tough one Evan.

    Say no to any more PED guys - Colon.

    Ervin Santna and Ubaldo Jimenez cost a draft pick.

    I like Halladay even with his risk. He still gave up less than a hit an innings in 2013. His control, usually very good, was not in 2013. 36 walks in 62 innings. He didn't give up that many in 200 innings during his career. Was he over the hill or not over his injury? He is one fierce competitor. Not sure what his asking price would be

    Say no to on the downhill side Giants.

    Tanaka is the secret ingredient. I agree that the Dodger staff right now is definitely not the best in baseball as claims are being made. Therev may be several better. As you say - maybe not even the best in the division.

  2. Harold, I knew there were a few that would cost a draft pick, and that fact alone cuts Ubaldo and Santana from the mix. Zito is done in my opinion, but I put it out there because you know how Ned is with former Gnats. Halladay wasn't even hitting 88 on the gun, after returning from his shoulder ailment, so I think he's done too. A one year deal to Colon would have to be at a discount. Breaking the bank for Garza or giving Volquez another shot are the options if the Dodgers choose to not let Zack Lee or Stripling make their debuts this season.