The Dodger roster is finally coming together and now the discussions are changing from where is the rest of the team to why did they sign these slugs. For the 2010 season the Dodger management, more than ever, must attempt to simultaneously win the NL West, delay the major league start dates of the future prospects (and their higher salaries), and have a fresh batch of players ready to graduate from the minors to the majors in case any of the players on the 25 man roster go on the DL for any significant length of time. This is no small task to simultaneously accomplish these, and possibly other, partially contradictory objectives.
Most of us are of the opinion that the Dodger management is behaving as if without trading a player like Sherrill, the Dodgers do not have the budget, or the prospects, to go out and find replacements during the 2010 season. Supporting this view is the Dodgers stockpiling of veterans on the 25 man bench, has beens in AAA, and prospects in AAA and AA.
In my opinion this is the correct approach for the 2010 season. One factor is the increasing salary of the Dodger’s young stars. Even with Manny, Kuroda, Padilla, and a few others probably not coming back for 2011 or 2012, the Dodger projected player salaries for those two future years is already more than $80 mil. With a 2011 team salary of $85 mil that is missing at least 2 starter pitchers, 1-2 position players, and several bench players, I conclude that the Dodger’s organizational Budget and Payroll is going to be a major issue for several years.
Therefore, the Dodgers can no longer afford to sign multiple free agents. Now they must develop the young players. This approach may cause consternation among those of us that hope for a World Series title this decade. The current economic reality is the new reality and I for one will not be an ostrich and pretend otherwise. (I am not a Politician) Maybe we can hope for another season with players who play most of the season in the zone like 1988. Who will rise to the top this year? Will the Coaches allow the players to pace themselves in 2010? Will the pitchers learn how to trust their stuff, use the same correct pitching motion more than 50 percent of the time, and will the starters be forced to maintain a level of endurance that is necessary for them to actually make more than 90 pitches in a game?
Considering the Dodger’s unfunded future payroll obligations I am content with the following pitching plan for 2010:
- Weaver (Add to 40-man roster at the end of spring training)
- Monasterios or Zerpa (Waive one of them at the end of spring training)
- Sherrill (Candidate for a Trade)
Starters building innings at AAA or AA for 2011 rotation opportunity
Starting Pitching alternatives in case of a starter going on the 15 day DL
Starting Pitching additional alternatives in case of a starter going on the 60 day DL
- Josh Lindblum
- Russ Ortiz
- Ramon Ortiz
- Alberto Bastardo
Relievers building experience for 2011 bullpen opportunity
Reliever alternatives in case of a reliever going on the 15 day DL
Reliever additional alternatives in case of a reliever going on the 60 day DL
- Justin Miller
- Luis Ayala
- Francisco Felix
- Josh Towers