Categorized | Mark Timmons

Spring In The Air and In Your Step

Spring In The Air and In Your Step

Enough Already!Baseball seems to put Spring in your step when Spring is in the air.  It’s been a long, cold winter here – I usually enjoy the winter, but my surgeon told me that the first winter would be rough on my hip and it has been a bear.  Stiff, sore and constantly aware of it, I am.  I am counting the days until Florida – March 7th, and then Camelback on March 20-27th.  I will have the Spring back in my step when the Boys of Summer start reporting tomorrow. 

“Pitchers & Catchers, Start Your Engines.”

 Here are a few things to chew on until then:

  • Jon Weisman reports that Ned Colletti said he believed that Randy Wolf would have accepted the Dodgers offer of arbitration (which is something I have been telling you for some time now).  According to Jon, Ned offered the following:

“The reason (we didn’t offer arbitration) was we thought he would take it.  At $12-13 million a year, we weren’t prepared to do that. And you know what, the people I’ve talked to since, that are very close to him, say that ‘You know what, he would have taken it.’ And I wasn’t prepared to pay him $12-13 million for one year, nor was I prepared to pay him $8 or $9 million for three years.”

Now, I suppose if you have been in the camp where you have accused McCourtof being Cheap and now wanting to sign draft picks (which is absurd) you now have the options of choosing one of three responses in order to save face, especially after what happened with Orlando Hudson: 

  1. Ned is a liar.  He doesn’t really think that!”
  2. “Ned doesn’t have a clue.  He doesn’t know of what he speaks.”
  3. Maybe Ned know more than me.  Maybe he’s closer to the situation than me and knows more than I do.”

You pick it! 

  • Tony Jackson of ESPN/Los Angeles reports that the Dodgers have signed Eric Gagne to a minor league deal.  The question on the table, is not whether he is “Game Over” but whether his “Game is Over.”   You can speculate all you want, but we will see in the Spring or Summer.  It would be great to see him return to the mound in LA, but that seems like a long-shot.  In part, Tony writes:

Gagne received offers from the Dodgers and Colorado Rockiesafter separate throwing sessions in front of club officials, although multiple sources said his session for the Rockies was underwhelming. Not that it mattered, because Gagne had made it clear to the Dodgers that he preferred to pitch for them.

The move carries virtually no financial risk because it includes no guaranteed major league money unless Gagne makes the club in spring training, and it is difficult to envision him accepting a minor league assignment if he doesn’t. The deal contains an escape clause, allowing Gagne to again become a free agent if he doesn’t make the team, something that is fairly standard for minor league deals signed by major league veterans.

They say you can never go home again!  Who is “They?”

  • What better option than to have Joe Torre hit Matt Kemp #2?   30 HR/30 SB/40 Doubles/10 Triples to go with a .300 BA and 100 RBI would be nice in the number two spot!
  • There comes a time, when you have to just trust your minor league system to supply you with the answers you are seeking.  This is especially true with pitching and our #5 starter, in particular.  Starting this year, we have about 15-20 pitchers who will be “major league ready” by 2012.  They will start filtering in as soon as NOW.  I like Stults or Haeger for the #5 spot right now (subject to change).
  • Whether the Dodgers contend for the Championship will depend a lot upon which Manny Ramirez we get.
  • I believe the most OVERRATED team in baseball is the Colorado Rockies. 
  • As your stomach turns:  Jamie McCourt has asked for about $1 mil a month in temporary support, according to Bill Shaikin of The LA Times.  Sounds about right to me. 
  • If you pay players $25 mil a year and want to take $30 mil a year home, well that’s your business.  It is a business afterall…

About Mark Timmons

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

5 Responses to “Spring In The Air and In Your Step”

  1. GoNzO says:

    Interesting Notes

    -Dodgers want to build NFL stadium in parking lots

    The Dodgers remain interested in building an NFL stadium adjacent to Dodger Stadium, and in persuading City Hall to lift zoning restrictions and allow “over a million square feet of mixed-use developments” in the stadium parking area, according to the filing. — LA Times

    -Jamie McCourt wants to double her monthly support from Dodgers owner

    Jamie McCourt wants nearly $1 million per month in temporary support from her estranged husband, an amount disclosed in a court filing in which her lawyers allege Frank McCourt has engaged in a “carefully calculated subterfuge designed to mislead the court” about his financial resources. In filing for divorce in October, Jamie McCourt asked for $488,000 per month in temporary support.
    The revised request — for $988,845 per month — reflects property-tax bills as well as additional records that her lawyers claim can show the couple averaged $2.3 million per month in salaries, distributions and perks starting in 2004, when the McCourts bought the Dodgers. Frank McCourt still would have $1.3 million per month to maintain his lifestyle, her lawyers wrote. — LA Times

    -Dodgers intend to launch cable channels in English and Spanish in 2014

    The Dodgers intend to launch cable channels in English and Spanish in 2014, after the expiration of their contract with FSN, with annual profit projections of at least $150 million, according to documents in the filing. Alternatively, the Dodgers estimate they also could sign a five-year extension with FSN for $300 million, according to the deposition of a club executive. — LA Times

    -Dodgers owner wants to partner with Chinese and Euro soccer clubs

    Frank McCourt last year solicited a Chinese investment bank for a venture that would unite the Dodgers and a Beijing soccer club under the McCourt umbrella, with the intention of adding an English Premier League club to the mix. That venture appears to be on hold, according to the filing, because of the divorce proceedings. — LA Times

  2. Rory says:

    Jon Weisman reports that Wolf would have accepted arbirtation. We all know that is probably true. We have known that for some time. So what? That is not now, nor was it really then, the issue. Tim Lincecum, back to back Cy Young winner with an enormous upside, did not get the kind of money you claim Randy Wolf would have received. If Wolf asks for $12 million – HE LOSES! If he walks, we get a draft pick.

    You give us three choices on Ned and say “choose”. Let me, once again, give you the fourth choice – 4. Ned was instructed by the owner to let both of these players go. From a pure baseball strategic standpoint the process of letting these two Type A free agents walk without compensation is bonehead. Who would do such a thing? Answer – an owner about to be nuetered in a divorce.

    I just don’t know why that point of view is so hard to understand. I get it. I think ken and ldog get it. Many fans all over the blogosphere get it. At least, that is what I have been reading.

    They say you can never go home again! Who is “They?” In this case, the “They” is me.

    What better option than Kemp in the two hole? None I guess. Once again I look for a lh hitter with the ability to bunt and run. I don’t really see that amongst the Dodger hopefuls. Maybe Ethier comes as close as anyone. I think he would add .25 points to his average hitting there, but, he isn’t the ideal choice either.

    I agree with you about Manny.

    Who is it that is overrating the Rockies? I haven’t seen anything yet, but, I do like their lineup and see them about even with S.F. – 88 wins.

    Excellent notes GoNzo. You don’t need to be a psychic to read between those lines.

    • Andrew Wagner says:

      Rory…while I agree with you that Wolf accepting or declining arbitration is NOT the issue, your reasoning using Lincecum is faulty. Lincecum was arb-eligible for the first time, and got a 2 year deal for 23 million and change. Accepting arbitration as a potential free-agent and being an arbitration-eligible player under team control are two very different things. The argument on the player’s behalf is different as well. For Lincecum, the argument is that he deserves 12 mill per year because his only comparable player, based on service time and accomplishments, was Ryan Howard, who got 10 mill. A potential free-agent requests in arbitration what he would recieve on the free-agent market. After making 8 mill in 09 and performing as well as he did, Wolf very easily could have asked for 10-12 million and gotten it, as the Dodgers would have probably countered with 8 milion. There is no way Wolf wouldn’t have gotten a raise based on his season. While Randy Wolf doesn’t DESERVE as much as Tim Lincecum based on skill and performance, Lincecum doesn’t have the leverage, being a 1st time Arb guy to make much more than Randy. Just because Lincecum is getting 12 million per year, doesn’t mean Wolf wouldn’t be awarded the same. In this case, service time is the ultimate factor, not raw performance alone. You are comparing apples and oranges with Wolf and Lincecum, since the arb process is very different for both.

  3. Mark Timmons says:

    I just got back and Andrew beat me to the punch.

    What Andrew Said!

    Wolf was in line to win 12 to 13 mil.

    Maybe Ng would have won, but it wasn’t a risk that Ned was willing to take. If Wolf accepted, the Dodgers would have ended up signing him to something like a $24 mil 3 year deal. NO WAY!

    We got Padilla for $5/1 year and I’ll bet he has a better year than Wolf – then we wait for our youngsters.

    Well said, Andrew!

  4. Badger says:

    Well, I say Wolf winning $12 mil is nonsense. Good points about the distinctions Andrew, and I understand the process, but the point was not that the arbitrator would look at Lincecum’s contract - IT HADN’T EVEN COME DOWN YET! The point was, you think Randy Wolf would have been awarded the same money Tim Lincecum was given. I say great pitchers make $12 million a year, not good pitchers. The arbitration process is not an automatic raise – it’s to decide what value a player has. Does anyone here, on this site, out there in baseball, or on this planet for that matter, believe Randy Wolf is worth $12,000,000? The answer to that is an obvious HELL NO! I have talked to writers and baseball people all over the place and nobody believes Wolf would have been granted $12 million. Nobody but you. He got a great contract from Milwaukee, just under $10 million a year and good for him, but he is not worth that either – you know it, I know it and the American people know it. You offer what is a good contract for a good year, he asks for $12 mil and HE LOSES!!!!! If he still signs with the Brewers, which in all likelihood he does, the Dodgers get a pick.

    Colletti was quoted in the Times as saying he feared that by offering arbitration to Wolf, it might have cost the Dodgers as much as $15 million. (I can get that article up here if you don’t believe it) That tells me this – if Colletti really believed that he is an idiot, and since he is no idiot he is blowing smoke. Randy Wolf won 11 games, not 20, and he threw 200 innings for the first time in 6 years. What moron awards him $12 million for that?

    On December 9 Weisman said this in his column:

    “Barely a week after the Dodgers cut him loose without a salary arbitration offer, Randy Wolf signed a three-year contract with Milwaukee valued at just under $10 million per year.

    As much as I appreciated what Wolf did for the Dodgers this season, I’m glad the team didn’t try to match this deal — but still disappointed that they didn’t take the small risk of a salary arbitration offer in order to get draft-pick compensation.”

    Disappointed. Yeah, me too.

    Tyler has it spot on:

    Now you want to talk about Hudson again?

    Face it, the Dodgers are financially handcuffed and will be until this divorce is over. We really don’t know how this will eventually shake down, but these tea leaves are easy enough for me to read.


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