Ok, so we are 79 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting. That's the good news. The bad news? We are 79 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and we have an owner going thru a VERY messy divorce. Do the words San Diego Padres mean anything to any of you?
The Dodgers made the most of the season that they were dealt. Do I think that we would have done more if Manny had not taken a 50 game vacation? Probably not much more. Not with the pitching we have. Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp vaulted themselves in the national spotlight and figure to do more in 2010. Clayton Kershaw is well on his way to becoming an ace, but he is not there yet. Chad Billingsley still could become an ace but not sure if he will EVER get there.
All that being said... here is one man's humble opinion on what the Dodgers need to do to at worst go beyond just being a division winner.
1. I say go all in and make the deal for Roy Halladay. I think if you include BOTH Billingsley and Russ Martin with 2 high level prospects, that deal gets done.
2. If we lose out on Halladay, then make a play for John Lackey. He probably will cost less than Doc to sign long term.
3. Resign Vicente Padilla. I think he needed the change of scenery and he pitched very well down the stretch for us. I could easily see 12 or 13 wins from him as a #4.
4. If the Yankees let him go, sign Chien Ming Wang. Of course only if the trade is NOT made for Halladay. Torre loves him and the feeling is mutual. Make the contact contingient on numbers of starts, innings and such and no more than about 5 million total for 1 year to see what he does.
By doing that we have a rotation that will look one of 2 ways
Plan A would be Halladay,Kershaw, Kuroda, Padilla and Wang
Plan B would be Lackey, Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda, Padilla
either set of 5 looks good.
In the bullpen, we need to make sure Sherrill comes back and we will fill spots depending on deals that get made. McDonald, Elbert and Troncoso could all be chips for deals to be made, so we may have spots to fill then.
Ok, now on to the offense....
1. If the deal for Halladay does NOT get made, we MUST make a play for Adrian Gonzalez. I understand that any deal for A Gone will include James Loney but we need more power in the lineup and A Gone does not equal a HUGE drop in defense from Loney.
2. If the deal for Halladay does happen, you play Name That Molina... and I say Jose is the better option. Cheaper and younger.
3. The Royals have inquired about AJ Ellis and Cory Withrow and are willing to send Alberto Callaspo this way. Even if it means sending another low level prospect with them, get that deal done. Callaspo is young and can get on base and is going to be paid about 10% of what Hudson, Belliard, Scutaro or DeRosa will command. Makes financial sense.
4. Make a firm choice between Andrew Lambo and Xavier Paul and then use the other as a trade chip for Halladay or Gonzalez..PERIOD!
BTW... i myself would choose Paul.
5. Look at the veterans still left around February 1st. Belliard might still be out there and would be a great utility guy even for the money he might still command.
so for the offense Plan A looks like this
and plan B shapes up like this
Ok... 1 last thing that the Dodgers need to do. This is upstairs. We all know what is going on with the McCourts. Jackie says she has financial backing to buy the team from Frank. Rumor has it that her financial backing is MARK CUBAN!!! I, for one, love the idea of Cuban owning this team. He turned an almost completely dead Dallas Mavericks team into a consistent winner with a Steinbrenner like passion for spending money to win at all cost. Sometimes he was right, sometimes he was wrong...just like Steinbrenner. It is a good business deal for Cuban because he wont have to try to put butts in the seats... we already draw 3 million a year. But if he goes out and Gets Halladay or A Gone or god forbid BOTH.... he will make money hand over fist because there will not be an empty seat... all the way to the first week in November.