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What’s The Big Deal?

What’s The Big Deal?

Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts made a good point yesterday when he asked: 

Honestly, if the Dodgers had done nothing to this point except offer Wolf and Hudson arbitration — if they had gotten those draft picks as compensation, made no roster additions and were just waiting out the market to sign a No. 4 starter at a good price, I don’t think many of us would have complained, right?

He then went on to say:

The question assumes that Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson would have turned down salary arbitration, which I think was likely if not certain. If one or both had accepted, I suppose we would have seen what the Dodgers payroll was really made of. Possibly the Dodgers would have salary-dumped someone like George Sherrill for prospects — essentially reversing this summer’s acquisition of him — which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Possibly the Dodgers would have just sucked up the additional cost, even if it meant their off-season was over before it began.

I agree that it was likely that Wolf and Hudson would have turned down arbitration, but it was not certain.  That’s the rub – “likely” but not “certain.”   First of all, let’s get the part that the Dodgers didn’t want to pay a first round pick, out of the way.  Depending upon who Wolf and Hudson signed with (assuming they would have been signed), the Dodgers would have probably had to pay around $3,000,000.00 for the picks (combined, more or less).  If you think the reason was that they didn’t want to pay the draft picks $3 mil and that it wasn’t the possibility that they would have to pay $20 mil to Wolf and Hudson, then you might as well stop reading right here.  You have issues!    The Dodgers aren’t broke, but they are strapped for cash.  $3 mil they could handle.  $20 mil?  No way!

ArbitrationIt may have been a 10% chance that Wolf and Hudson would have accepted arbitration or it may have been a 40% chance they would have accepted it.  I don’t know and you don’t know and Jon Weisman doesn’t know.  We all have our own ideas, but NO ONE KNOWS!  That much is a fact!  Look, the Dodgers simply didn’t want to take the risk that Wolf and Hudson “might” accept arbitration, because it’s possible they would have gotten $20 mil between them and that would have tied 20% of the Dodgers payroll up with two players who are arguably “journeymen.”   It was a classic “risk vs. reward” and the Dodgers opted not to play a game of “chicken.”

I am also pretty sure that Milwaukee wouldn’t have offered quite the deal Wolf got had he been offered arbitration by the Dodgers – Wolf would have understood that an might have had to accept it.     How the arbitration would have impacted it is something we will never know, but if you think it wouldn’t have affected it, you are Pollyanna.  To date, no one has offered Hudson a contract.  Sure he was pissed off at Torre, but money talks and he could have gotten $7-8 mil from the Dodgers in arbitration.  Some say “Kim Ng has an excellent record at beating players in arbitrationbut any attorney knows that anything can happen in court (or arbitration).

The market has been pretty slow for Free Agents.  No one but the Cards have offered a contract to Matt Holiday (arguably this years’ best free agent).  No one is beating down Jason Bays’ door and there are lots of players out there who will not get offers unless they drop their demands.   Adrian Beltre is asking $10-15 mil a year and in my opinion, I think he will be lucky to get $5 mil.  Dodger attendance was not down last year, but “REVENUE” was.   Attendance is one thing, revenue is another issue entirely.  By refusing to offer arbitration the Dodgers are going to be in a good position come February and March.  Randy Wolf had a good year last year, but it was likely his “Career Year.”  He’s the same guy most of you weren’t excited about last year.  

Yes, the Dodgers are “bottom feeders” this year, and they may get just what they need by doing it.  Have you ever considered the “big picture?”  Wait until the off-season is over before passing judgement!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

23 Responses to “What’s The Big Deal?”

  1. lawdog says:

    If they had offered arbitration to the two, I’d agree with taking a “wait and see” approach because at the very least we’d come out with 5 picks before the 2nd round. Count ‘em again. That’s FIVE! So if we slumped this year we’d at least have revitalized the “traded away” farm system.

    But the point is, Perfectly is so cheap he didn’t want the picks! He is a cheap, bottom feeding bastard we cannot rid ourselves of soon enough! (Just my humble opinion.)

  2. Pollyanna says:

    Revenue may have been down last year, I sure don’t know that for a fact but it is possible. I know at ST the lines at the souvenir shop were 10 deep and the Dodgers drew more than anyone in baseball, all with a decrease of 20% in payroll.

    Yes, Wolf and Hudson MAY have accepted. Probably not Wolf and certainly not Hudson. Not the way he was treated. But if they both had accepted so what? Is that an indication of how far the Dodgers have fallen? (it is by the way) So they gamble and lose – don’t you think it would have been relatively easy to do a Pierre/Jones kind of a trade and sell them both to someone else? These are both extremely talented players. Trading partners would have been easy, especially since everyone knows what kind of trouble the Dodgers are in. I think it would have been worth it to offer the arbitration if only for the message it would have avoided sending by NOT making the offer. Like Weisman said, had the offer been made none of us would be be asking “what the ef is going on?!”

    The Dodgers need new ownership and they need it yesterday. The fans need to speak up. It’s like writing letters to your congressman, sometimes you just need to let them know you are paying attention. The situation is visible, are we going to believe what they tell us or what we see?

    I still think this team can be competitive IF they get good pitching from everybody. But I don’t see it lasting too long, and when this team turns into a .500 club, and it will, and it will stay that way as long as McCourt owns them, what will the fans do?

    Stay tuned.

  3. ray says:

    Mark makes a good point. I was one who criticized McCourt for not offering arbitration and therefore losing out on some draft picks. But had both Wolf and Hudson accepted arbitration, the complaint in June 2010 would have been that the Dodgers can’t take on any more salary at the trade deadline because Wolf and Hudson accepted arbitration.
    Let’s assume they accepted arbitration, and went on to have very poor seasons in 2010, which could happen. Dodger fans would be blasting Ned for offering them arbitration when EVERYONE knew they couldn’t repeat their performance in 2009.
    Sound about right? I think so. EVERYONE would be saying that Dewitt could take Hudsons spot at 2b, and why didn’t Ned sign Padilla to take Wolf’s spot in the rotation and on and on.
    Let’s see how this offseason finishes before we lay judgment. Maybe Walt Jocketty will reduce his trade demands for Aaron Harang. Who would you rather have Harang or Wolf?

  4. Ken says:

    So should we call Franks Scaredy-cat or Scaredy-pants?

    I am not sure but I am looking for the right words to express my opinion

    biting nails,
    chicken heart,
    chicken liver,
    get vibes,
    have a hunch,
    have cold feet,
    have funny feeling,
    have stage fright,
    hung up,
    in a cold sweat,
    in a dither,
    in a sweat,
    lily liver,
    momma’s boy,
    running scared,
    white liver,
    worried sick
    yellow belly,
    yellow belly baby,

  5. Mark Timmons says:

    Polly said, and my response is in BOLD:

    Yes, Wolf and Hudson MAY have accepted. Probably not Wolf and certainly not Hudson. NO ONE HAS OFFERED HUDSON A DEAL – I THINK IT’S MORE LIKELY HUDSON WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED. Not the way he was treated. But if they both had accepted so what? WHAT? THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN IT FOR THE DODGERS!

    Is that an indication of how far the Dodgers have fallen? (it is by the way) TWO BACK-TO-BACK TRIPS TO THE NL Championship Game is falling?

    So they gamble and lose – don’t you think it would have been relatively easy to do a Pierre/Jones kind of a trade and sell them both to someone else? UH, IN A WORD “NO!” PAY HALF THEIR SALARIES TO TRADE THEM – THE DODGERS ARE ALREADY PAYING A LOT OF GUYS NOT ON THE ROSTER?

    These are both extremely talented players. Trading partners would have been easy, WRONG! NO ONE HAS EVEN OFFERED HUDSON A CONTRACT especially since everyone knows what kind of trouble the Dodgers are in.

    I think it would have been worth it to offer the arbitration if only for the message it would have avoided sending by NOT making the offer. IT WOULD HAVE GUTTED THE TEAM!

    You can think what you want Lawdog, but even Ray Charles can see that the $3 mil the draft picks would have cost the Dodgers are NOTHING! NOTHING! It was the possible $20 mil payout that was the dealbreaker. Read on and see why!


    I think you and Lawdog and anyone else who thinks the worst about McCourt should fly to Phoenix and visit Camelback Ranch where you can see what CHEAP is by looking at the White Sox Complex compared to the Dodgers (who spent $30 mil more than the Sox on the facility). Then tour the Dodgers training facilities. There is nothing like it at all in baseball.


    Did the Dodgers spend an additional $30 mil (mostly on the minor league development side) so they would not have to pay signing bonuses? Did they build a state-of-the-art facility which has 8 year-round employees because they didn’t want to pay signing bonuses? To say that is totally baseless. The Dodgers are made to develop young talent. NO ONE IN BASEBALL HAS THE SAME COMMITTMENT!

    The Dodgers minor league locker rooms at that facility are nicer than most major league locker rooms. Their medical equipment is state-of-the-art and there is nothing cheap about the place. Then look at the ChicSox side. It screams “CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!”

    When you guys speak about how cheap McCourt is, you do so without the knowledge of how big a commitment he has made to the farm system. The Dodgers have one of the biggest staffs of player development personnel in all of baseball. All of their coaches and training personnel are in place for next year. When San Diego cut payroll, their scouts and minor league personnel were jumping ship like scared rats. I ain’t happening here. The only fear is inside the minds of people who have never seen Camelback! Do yourself a favor – go see it and you will feel a lot different!

    Look, the Dodgers have a $100 mil payroll, like I have been saying – they can’t tell you that, but they do. They are not selling players like the Padres did and they don’t have a $38 mil payroll. We can still win it all with a $100 mil payroll, it we don’t make dope-fiend moves. If, BIG IF, but IF, Hudson and Wolf had accepted arbitration, it would have eliminated our ability to make any deals. Most teams have a budget – the Dodgers do too. It just so happens that we are in the Top Third of payroll, so we haven’t fallen far.

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    Oh, and Polly,

    The lines were long in the Spring due to the Manny signing, but as the season progressed, MLB and the Dodgers’ sales of gear tanked. The Dodgers and MLB have been sending out DAILY E-Mail sale specials to bump up sales.

  7. Pollyanna says:

    Take a pill Mark. And please don’t yell. It frightens me.

    So they both accept, and we again have all the parts to compete for a NL pennent. You are acting like that is a bad thing. I for one would LOVE to have both Hudson and Wolf back. Are you kidding me? A 200 inning pitcher and a .280 hitting Gold Glove 2b would actually be a GOOD thing for this club. And had they not accepted, and I still say it was a 20% chance they would have, we have picks that could be use to strengthen the club in future. How can that WEAKEN the club?

    And if all that you say is true, then it just further validates the point that many in here have been proporting – the Dodger ownership is weak and MLB needs to do something right away, or we are going to be talking about this crap for months, or years.

    This slide has to be stopped. Where the hell is the commissioner? Oh yeah, he is in Milwaukee having dinner with Randy Wolf.

    And one more thing…… what Ken said.

  8. Pollyanna says:

    P.S. – my editor tells me proporting is not a word. So, I think it only appropriate that I take credit for making it up. It is a combination of propitiate and propose.

  9. train says:

    Lets just say MT is correct and the right decision was made on Wolf and Hudson. Well i still think mgt is playinng with fire and will get burnt. the tradeing of Bell and Santana cause we couldn’t or wouldn’t pick up the salaries of Shirrell and Blake still make me sure that this ship has a huge hole right in it’s bottom.Those salaries sure wernt any 20 mil.

  10. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, your comments about Camelback facilities are right on. The finest Spring Training facilities in MLB. As you say, “There is nothing like it at all in baseball.”

    You and I were both there, both got the tour, etc.

    But as great as the facilities are — I conclude they are not fan friendly. That is, as compared to Vero Beach — the new location and facilities were built for income in, and to keep fans at a distance.

    Last year the crowds were large every day. Folks from around the country, and even more from Southern California and around Arizona, and probably Mexico.

    Getting items signed by Dodgers was almost impossible. Be out there at 9 am. Wait along the roped off pathway where players will walk to get to the practice field. Now see, 300 then 600 then a 1,000 plus fans are pushing as close to the rope line as possible. Oh, here come some of the coaches — they smile and wave “we are on the way to practice . . . will sign on the way back.” Then the players start to come out. They wave and smile and say “we are on the way to practice . . . and will sign on the way back.”

    Here comes Steve Garvey, he smiles and waves and says, “Hi folks, I will sign when I come back.”

    That’s the early picture. Then we fans stick around that area and wait for almost 2 hours — but notice that the coaches, then the players, then even Steve Garvey start crossing over to another field to work out there. Not all at once, but over an hour or so.

    Then, a bit later, they begin moving into the batting cages . . . and then back to the clubhouse. Even Steve Garvey. But away from the fans. They are always moving on in the practice circle.

    While on the practice fields, chain-link fences (high ones) make it almost impossible to take good pictures. The damn wire is in the way. So some folks try placing their camera lenses in the small space of the wire. Terrible results.

    Now, do not get me wrong. A few players will walk back the same way they came in — and will sign. But with hundreds and hundreds of fans, now waiting some two hours in the very very very hot sun — only a handful will get an autograph or two.

    I saw “real” collectors with boxes of photographs they had taken, even the day before, went to some drug store to have prints made, large prints, and they could not even get close to getting them signed. Some of the folks I had seen in Vero, were just standing back, shaking their head, frustrated.

    In Vero, never crowds like in Camelback, easy for items signed. Practice fields were much more open. Fences were low, you could even rest your arms and hand on them. In Arizona, no. More like fencing the players in, and the fans out. Not fan friendly in AZ. Pretty, nice, but not fan friendly.

    But that is what most of the players want, and it is what the Dodger brass want.

    There is more . . . but I have to go. Maybe later.

  11. Mark Timmons says:


    I am not yelling – just using bold for emphasis. I know you have been to Cmelback, but maybe now you will get to see behind the scenes like Roger and I did. It’s a short drive for you. ;)

    We could have worse ownership than McCourt – try Fox. Now, I agree that things are shakey, but a $100 mil payroll does not warrant an investigation.

    Come mide-season and if the court side with Jamie on ownership, then McCourt WILL have to sell the team. I can’t give you odds, but there is a chance Jamie will lose.

    The Dodgers front office and farm operations is among the best in baseball. Ned has made some bad moves, as has Frank and I think they have learned.

    Train says that the Dodgers were cheap in getting rid of Bell and Santana. All I can say is that so far, in the Logan White Era, no minor leaguer that has been traded has turned into a star. Logan White was on board with the Bell and Santana deals. Does he know something that we don’t?

    Time will tell…

    Carlos Santana and Josh Bell have never taken a swing in the majors. The odds are either become stars are long. Again, time will tell…

    Tiffany, Guzman, Meloan, LaRoche and others left go have not panned out.


    You are right about the fan access in Glendale, but I was in Vero for the last game ever and the crowd was out of control – it was as big as Camelback’s crowds. I think there is a valid concern about fan problems at Camelback. I don’t mean to stereotype, but the demographic of the fans at Camelback was dramatically different than what was in Vero. The Middle-Aged Dodger fans from the Midwest and East Coast were dramatically in stark contrast to the young, thug-looking, gang-color wearing youngsters at Camelback.

  12. Ken says:

    “.. the Times’ sports blog, “The Fabulous Forum.” In the featured poll, 94% of voters don’t believe the Dodgers’ party line: the divorce isn’t affecting baseball and business decisions. That’s pretty amazing to me. While it’s easy to play off that kind of disparity as the result of an intelligent and discerning public (which is true), I think there’s something more fundamental at work.

    I believe the McCourt regime has lost the fans. I think Frank McCourt could publicly say that charitable giving is a productive use of extra cash during the holiday season and most Dodger fans would react skeptically. The relationship between the organization and its fans is broken, and Frank and Dennis must be mindful that the folks who buy tickets and merchandise aren’t supporting the club’s leadership, but rather the team on the field and the Los Angeles community in general.”

    From dodger Divorce

    I guess 94% of the fans are wrong

  13. Ken says:

    Back to Reality

    I give Frank credit for trying his best, yet failing, in his attempt to win the World Series by “going all in” and then going bust. He made economic and player moves for 2009 that adversely effected the near term Dodger ability to win. Sometimes you have to take that risk. However, how he will take no risk because the dodgers are not financially able to take the risk in 2010 to make it to the World Series. Rather 2010 is a year to just “Tread Water”. Will the kids swim like a dead mule or like a navy seal. We will see by June.

  14. New guy says:

    Broke and strapped for cash is the same thing…dont have money to spend…

  15. Bill Russell says:

    I guess there’s only so many different ways to argue the Dodgers non arbitration stance to Wolf and Hudson, the lack of activity this offseason, the need for starting pitching and the need for new ownership in LA. There’s just nothing else to talk about.

    2010 will be Manny’s last chance to win a WS in Dodger Blue. I hope he’s developing a new way to take steroids without detection so the Dodgers can get the most out of his last year in Blue and he can maximize his contract year. We will see if he can go yard with an off balance swing out off the front of the plate like he did two playoffs ago against the Cubs. I still can’t believe he could get enough wood on that swing. It had to be the roids talking.

    I find it hard to believe that 94% of the people doesn’t feel that the divorce is affecting the Dodgers this year. One has to wonder if the Dodgers hired people to vote all day long or if Mark was the only one casting a vote and rather then declaring 100% they went with 94% to make it sound legit.

    I do agree that the Dodgers Spring Training facility is top notch. The merchandise shop had lines waiting to enter and was completly packed when you entered the store. That was before Manny signed last year. I was also there after Manny signed and it was even worse. I am betting that merchandise sells were down this year for Christmas. I normally get and give Dodger shirts, hats, slippers and so on. I only received Lakers stuff this year. Like Mark said, I was and still am receiving daily e-mails with 20%-50% discounts from the Dodgers for their merchandise online.

    I saw a TMZ interview of Matt Kemp with the guy from TMZ asking Matt if Manny would be the next person to hook up with Kate Hudson. Matt just smiled and said he could get some A-Rod power if he did.

    That’s all I’ve got. Peace

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    I’m not going to dig up the old posts, but when the Dodgers signed Randy Wolf last offseason, it was generally “So What? He’s not all that!” And I maintain that you are right – he’s not all that.

    Look at his IP and ERA:

    2009 – 214 IP 3.23 ERA
    2008 – 190 IP 4.30 ERA
    2007 – 103 IP 4.73 ERA
    2006 – 57 IP 5.56 ERA
    2005 – 80 IP 4.39 ERA
    2004 – 137 IP 4.28 ERA
    2003 – 200 IP 4.23 ERA
    2002 – 211 IP 3.20 ERA
    2001 – 163 IP 3.70 ERA
    2000 – 208 IP 4.36 ERA
    1999 – 121 IP 5.55 ERA

    Look at the pattern – he has had two pretty good years in a row, which got him classified as a TYPE A Free Agent, but he’s really a guy who averages 148 IP a year and has a career 4.13 ERA. I would expect a huge decline from last year from him. Yet some of you talk like he’s Sandy Koufax. Some of the same ones who were saying “He’s not all that” last year!

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    Back to Spring Training at Camelback Ranch, Glendale.

    The stadium holds 13,000. Vero Beach Holman Stadium holds 6,500, or 1/2 less.

    Bigger crowds, more parking to fool with. Less access to the players. Prior and after games, players enter from the left field entrance and walk along the left field stands. Some will stop and sign for fans, some jog in and pass the fans up. But 100s of fans are waiting, and it is really tough to get a Dodger player to sign at the location. Be a small, young, girl, with a great smile — fight to get to the rail — and you might have a chance.

    Food from the snack bar or food locations. Lines are long. No shade to stand in. Plan on a half inning or even an inning to get served if you go up to the stands. They need twice as many locations.

    Gift shops. Very nice with lots of stuff. But as Bill said above, lines wait to get in to the the gifts shops. So, again, wait in the hot sun, no shade.

    At Vero, they had a store with women’s stuff, and a tent for the rest of the stuff. But half the crowds.

    At Glendale, the stores have to have 1/2 White Sox items and 1/2 Dodger items. So for most of us, only 1/2 of the store is what you are interested in.

    At Vero, they almost always had a rack of older used Dodger jerseys with the player’s names removed and sold them for $99. Practice jerseys, game jerseys, home, away, really a nice buy if you are looking for them. At Glendale — they do not carry the used jersey’s. At Vero I purchased one and had my last name placed on the back — looks great, feels great.

    Now the best thing at Camelback Ranch are the restrooms. Cannot compare with Vero. Period.

    Last thing for today — Camelback Ranch is so new, planted in the desert — there are no trees for shade. So be prepared to be in the sun the entire time. And if you are out there at 9 am for practice, till after the game — say 3:30 or 4 pm. Best have on layers of sun block, and a hat with a large brim. Your skin will be hot.

  18. Mark Timmons says:

    Joe Jackson was kicked out of baseball for allegedly throwing a game.

    Jim Caldwell should be kicked out of football for throwing the Colts game.

    Total BS!

  19. Roger Dodger says:

    Now from the Dodgers point of view.

    More seats, more money in. More food, sodas, water, beer sold, more money in. More Dodger stuff sold, more money in.

    Closer to L.A. and Southern California and the Dodger base.

    The best Spring Training came in MLB. Total class. Mark mentioned some of the fan base, he is correct. It surprised. I felt I was in Mexico. But that is okay, I like Mexico. I buy my everyday pants at Costco and they are made in Mexico. Most of my DVDs are made in Mexico. I grew up not far from Mexico.

    Will I go back for more heat with no shade? Crowds with lines and more lines. Limited access to players. Tough to get great up close pictures with no fence wires in the way? I do not know. But Spring Training is the best experience of the year for me. At least half of the Dodger games are in other places around the greater Phoenix area. And those are nice as well.

  20. Table says:

    If Wolf or Hudson accepted arbitration they could be traded, easily.

  21. Mark Timmons says:

    Table, I know you feel that, but let me ask you “If a team wasn’t willing to give up a draft pick to sign one of them, what makes you think they would trade actual players for them?” That makes no sense!

    I think you will find fewer people who agree with you about that than those who agree with me (and not many agree with me, but I think that idea has NO merit). I seriously doubt they could be traded for anything of value! That is unless you want to pay half their salary…


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