It’s no secret that the McCourts are in the midst of a messy divorce, but would things be any different if Frank and Jamie were still together?
Would that have caused the Dodgers to offer arbitration to Randy Wolf and/or Orlando Hudson? Would that have caused the Dodgers to sign Wolf? Well, no one can be sure, but do you really want 3 years of Randy Wolf? I mean, two years ago and even last year, many of you didn’t want him back.
Yeah, the Randy Wolf of 2009 was pretty nice, so nice that he earned the Type A Free Agent Rating, but what are the odds that he stays healthy or continues his level of success in 2010, 2011 and 2012? I would say the odds are not good. That’s just my opinion, but I don’t see him as a workhorse. I do see a guy who could say that he was a Type A Free Agent who had better stats that D-Lowe, and D-Lowe makes $15 mil a year. That was the most that Wolf stood to make – $15 mil a year, but if he would have asked for, say $13 million a year, he would have had a decent shot at it, especially if the Dodgers offered less than $10 million.
You might say that the Brewers offered him about $30 mil over 3 years, but what makes you so sure they would have offered the contract if they had to give up compensation? You don’t know, and there is no way to ever know, but it’s circular thinking to think it would have happened the same way. I think the Dodgers decided (change that – I know that the Dodgers decided that they did not want to give Randy Wolf a multi-year deal in the $10 mil per year range and they felt he would accept arbitration because (1) he knew he could get $11-15 mil in arbitration ($15 mil is probably too high, but maybe not); and (2) they did not want to commit to a multi-year deal with him. This is all conjecture, but offering arbitration would have changed the whole dynamic.
For similar reasons, Orlando Hudson, who did not want to come back to LA, would have jumped at a chance for a $10 million payday. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove 2B on multiple occasions, and again – a case could be made that he could command up to $10 million a year. Likely? MAYBE NOT, BUT POSSIBLE! It is an extreme example, but it’s possible that the Dodgers could have had 25% of their $100 million payroll tied up with two players. Again, it may not have been likely, but it was a scenario that the Dodgers had to consider as possible. If that had happened it would have crippled the Dodgers ability give raises to their youngsters.
Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson made us better in 2009, but I have reason to believe that one of our youngsters can step in and fill their shoes. McDonald, Troncoso, Elbert, Lindblom and Haeger are in the mix for the first 2 spots behind Billingsley, Kershaw and Kuroda. Again, come July, more arms will be on the market at a cheaper price. I see nothing wrong with trying the youngsters and then shopping in July, if necessary. Should Ned tell you that? Why play your cards? This team is going to be very good next year, if only because our players are another year older and more mature. Blake DeWitt is a “Ballplayer” at 2B, and I would not even sniff at Belliard or Carroll, unless it’s as a utility-man.
Manny Ramirez will also be playing for a new contract and I think he will return with a vengeance. I also don’t see the Dodgers buying-down Pierre’s contract. They will keep him or trade him for a pitcher with a “bad contract.” I still hope for Harang (because I think he has a higher upside than Arroyo), but who knows? The Dodgers still need bench help, but we already have Xavier Paul, Jason Repko, Juan Pierre and Chin-lung Hu. Brad Ausmus is a strong possibility again, and so all we need is another RH infield bat – not Craig Counsell who is LH.
So, back to the question first propounded – would things be any different if the McCourts were a couple? I can’t answer that, but I will ask, should things be any different if the McCourts were a couple? This is a business and is it prudent to sign players like Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones or, for that matter, Manny Ramirez? I say no. I am on record this time last year as saying the Dodgers should not sign Manny (something for which I was castigated), but Manny was mostly a “non-factor.” Go after “Blue Chip” Players, not “cow chip” players. If we had went after C.C. Sabathia instead of Manny, we would be talking right now about Hudson or Wolf, and we might have won the Series last year.
I say that when it comes to Free Agents – Go BIG or Stay Home! Think about it! There are no “BIG” ones this year, so we should stay home. Quit trying to “make a silk purse out of a sows ear.” So, if you are one of the naysayers who say “The Dodgers Won’t Win With The Pitchers They Have,” You are probably the same ones who told me the Dodgers wouldn’t win without Manny. They didn’t win WITH him.