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Response to the Lilly Signing

Response to the Lilly Signing

On this blog, Jon Weisman asked yesterday if people were really saying that the Dodgers would not sign any free agents.  Jon, here’s the best example of a tirade against McCourt:

McGoo actually made one major draft signing this year–probably as a requirement from Selig’s office to try and stimulate fan interest. Our farm system is in the toilet and has been going deeper down the lue since we gave away Santana for a little pocket change for McGoo’s weekend international junkets aboard his private jet. He refuses to offer arbitration to players who are obviously going to turn it down just so he won’t have to play for multiple first round picks. Too expensive. So our farm system’s cupboard is bare and we have holes all over the lineup.

Watch and see. If McGoo had any hope of rebuilding the farm anytime soon, he’ll offer arbitration to Lilly and Kuroda and any other player who’ll bring high draft picks if they turn him down and leave. No player in his right mind would now accept a contract that basically pays him 10% now and the rest is spread over the next 30 years ala Manny and Jonsey. Only a fool agrees to work full time for an insolvent owner who wants to leverage most of your salary into the future when he has no real assets with which to secure the “dollar down and chase me around” scenario. Is Selig going to guarantee all the leveraged contracts? If not, McGoo will have no choice but to put together a team on the cheap, and as we all know–”If it’s on the cheap, we won’t compete!”

McGoo’s idea of rebuilding the club is to bring in some geezers, neverweres and wannabes who’ll play for the league minimum. He’ll count on the lemmings continuing to pay to see .400 baseball just like last year. If he draws 3.5 million fans again, he can maintain his decadent, criminal life style and make the lawyers play his familiar: “Dollar down and chase me around” for the rest of their ill gotten loot.

No player in their right mind will stay here any longer than they are required to do so under the collective bargaining system. Expect an exodus, not only of martin and Loney, but also Ethier, Kemp, Broxton, Billingsley, Kurshaw and everybody else once they are eligible for free agency. And Dumbo McGoo will be too cheap to offer them arbitration anyway.

Now, a few days earlier, I wrote the following:

On October 29th, the Dodger season ticket holders have to pay at least 1/5th  of the cost of their season ticket.

That’s less than 2 week away.

How do you do that?

There are a few ways:

  1. Make a trade for an impact player (kinda’ hard to do now);
  2. Sign some of your free agents; or
  3. Lock up your best young players with long-term deals.

Frank almost has to do at least one or two of the above.

Myself, I wouldn’t not have targeted Lilly unless he gave the Dodgers a discount, but maybe he did.  When Lilly was traded in 1996 by the Dodgers, he said he was devastated at the time by the trade, so maybe he wanted to come back to his roots and that was why he signed so quickly.  Just like Randy Wolf, it’s hard to predict what is out there for this years free agents.

So, am I elated?  No, but I am hopeful.  Lilly is what I said he is:  A number 3 or 4 starter.   The Dodgers now have 3/5th’s of a starting rotation.  I would look for Kershaw and Bills to be tied up next.  I think it is also likely that Kuroda will be offered arbitration, even though that may cost the Dodgers $13 mil, and it’s also likely that Padilla will be re-signed.

That wold leave the rotation as:

#1 – Kershaw

#2 – Billingsley

#3 – Kuroda

#4 – Lilly

#5 – Padilla

Padilla ain’t a bad #5!

I rather have Greinke than Kuroda, however!  If Ned could swing Greinke for Loney, Broxton and two top prospects, I am all in (NO, the Royals would not get Brox or J-Lo – it would have to be 3 or 4-way deal).

Russ Martin will be non-tendered unless he also wants to offer a “discount.”  He has been my favorite Dodger for a long time, but I think he needs to move on.

Dodger Notes:

  • Steve Dilbeck of The LA Times discusses Ronnie Belisario HERE
  • Here’s what Jon Weisman said about signing Lilly a month ago, and I don’t disagree.

About Mark Timmons

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

25 Responses to “Response to the Lilly Signing”

  1. Badger says:

    Interesting. I have been trying for the last 10 minutes to post that Weisman article on the other thread and it just would not show up. I think it’s a great read, including the comments that follow.

    You want to make a guess as to whether the Dodgers got a discount? Let’s see, he made $26 million the last two years, $13 million each year. I’ll take the under on that figure. And you?

    Arbitration to Kuroda? I don’t know. He would likely take it and that would cost the Dodgers another $13 million. If they didn’t offer Wolf arbitration, why would they offer it to Kuroda?

    Padilla at 5? That means for at least 10-15 starts we will need another 5th starter. Who you got in mind for that? Haeger? Ely? Windblown? Slicksting? Harpo Minusch?

    I think we both know that signing Lilly now was aimed at the October 29th deadline. I wonder if it will work?

  2. Ken says:

    Mr. McGoo’s wannabe has no clue. Bank of America will not allow any new deferred contracts.

    Greinke’s contract is extremely backloaded, therefore he will be traded to a rich team, or to a team for many players/prospects. $27 mil over 2011 – 2012. The Royals probably do not want an NBA type salary swap. Greinke coming to the Dodgers is very unlikely.

    Mark – How many times have you said that Kuroda isn’t coming back?

    One stupid way of affording another starting pitcher is to not give Kershaw the long-term contract that he deserves and makes business sense in the real world. This way when Lily leaves Kershaw will be paid more in 2014 then he will deserve then and when Frank can actually afford to pay with the Cable revenues. This is how Frank just might get around the payroll limits of Bud and the deferred comp limits of B of A. Not good long term business sense, but a likely pragmatic solution.

    Frank must spend money on salaries up to the limit that Bud imposes or the Family Law judge can, who has not yet decided that the Dodgers are not community property, can go after Frank with a charge of breaching his fiduciary duty to the marital estate. Not spending the money on salaries will cause attendence to drop and profits to drop and Bud’s tolerance to drop and will result in a endless spiral downhill requiring Frank to sell the team.

    What a tangled web he doth weave in a land of vultures.

  3. lawdog says:

    Well said Ken. Wow! Mover couldn’t have called me an “asshole’ any more clearly than what he just did on this thread. I feel just like Wally Simpson! :mrgreen:

  4. lawdog says:

    Hey Jon! Notice how well I express myself? Mover decided to quote my feelings about McGoo to call me an “asshole” without using that specific word, again! He called me a liar and delusional in an earlier article and post.

    I don’t know why I put up with this crap! :shock;

    But where else am i going to post freely? :mrgreen:

  5. lawdog says:

    I have to admire the style of the fellow who is quoted abovve by Mark. Elecric prose! Terrific writing! :shock:

  6. T says:

    Greinke to LA for Broxton, Loney and two prospects with one or two other teams involved seems extremely complicated. Let’s create more complicated deals. How about trading Broxton, Loney, Ethier and four prospects for Felix Hernandez and Ichiro in a 5 team deal? Maybe a Loney, Kemp and 3 prospects from single A for Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez in a 6 team deal where we also get Zack Greinke and Soria?

    Let’s not talk about any deals that resemble fantasy baseball.

  7. Mark Timmons says:


    I had always heard that Kuroda was going back to Japan if he didn’t get a multi-year deal, but now I have heard that he might want to play on a one-year deal, so I would consider that. That’s why he’s on my radar.


    I wish you could comprehend the English Language. I don’t think you are a liar or an a-hole, but you are delusional. You continue to confirm that. It is good writing, however.


    So, nothing too complicated, even though one of the Elite pitchers in baseball is available? Since you may not understand, I’ll break it down:

    1. Broxton to Atlanta for one TOP prospect and one Mid-Range Prospect;

    2. Loney to Houston for one Top Prospect and one Mid-Range Prospect;

    3. Next the Dodgers give the Royals Two Top Prospects and the Royals get the prospects from ATL and HOU.

    4. For the mathmatically challenged that’s 6 prospects for Greinke, including 4 TOP prospects.

    5. That might get the job done and whenever a guy like Greinke is available, you have to take a shot.

    6. What is fantasy is that the players you mentioned are not available and Greinke is?

    7. Why do you say dumb things?

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    My problem with the above Greinke deal is that I’m not willing to surrender four players (Broxton, Loney and two top prospects) for a player who followed a stellar Cy Young 2009 season with a less than stellar 2010 season. I see it as paying a premium for a pitcher with a somewhat checkered track record (nothing noteworthy before 2009). And he’s scheduled to make $27 million over the next two years. Greinke is no doubt a good pitcher, but maybe not nearly as good as the hype.

    Kuroda back on a one-year deal? I’m fine with that as long as the price is right.

  9. Bobby says:

    Actually I gota agree with Mark. Greinke isn’t Halladay or Lee, but he’s really really good.

    He would THRIVE in the nl west. and i mean THRIVE!!! a young trio of kersh bills and greinki (whoever of the 2 righties is the 2 and the 3), along with Lilly, would be fantastic. Throw in Kuroda a the 5?!! wow

    I’d trade TOP prospects anyday for a 26 yr old pitcher who’s already won a cy young.

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    Greinke’s best days are ahead of him and he has FILTHY stuff.

    He hates KC!

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    He certainly had filthy stuff in 2009, but his K/9 ratio was down significantly in 2010. He was only “really really good” in 2009. No doubt he’s a good pitcher (stats indicated very good control), but for four players and a $27 million price tag for the next two years, I have my doubts. And I know that some people don’t see Broxton as a loss, but exactly how is Loney replaced? Maybe he hasn’t met power expectations, but he’s still a good hitter and a gold glove caliber first baseman. If you can get me something else of value in this deal, maybe I consider it. Kansas City may well want to tag Greinke with a premium price in players, but they are probably very anxious to rid themselves of his also premium price tag. So maybe I make the deal, i.e., if Kansas City is willing to sweeten the pot to get salary relief.

    Oh, and for the record, Greinke is 27 (October 1983). But what’s a year?

  12. Bobby says:

    watching the giants with 4 great young arms: we need another dominating young arm as well to compete.

    i have no doubt our offense can beat theirs (these ross/burrell types won’t do this again), but we gota match their arms.

    Plus, watching lee, halladay, oswalt: guys that we could’ve should’ve had the past 2 yrs…….. i cant stand seeing another good available arm get away from us!!!!

  13. Ken says:


    Please prove that there is no statistical relationship between attendance and Greinke’s ERA before signing him. He does have that pyschological problem regarding being around too many people.


  14. Mark Timmons says:

    Jansen is the closer. Yeah, it’s soon but he’s ready. The Dodgers also have Kuo and Belisario (look you always have to hope someone figures it out).

    Loney is a below average 1B. But he might find his power… no but’s – he is what he is.

    KC will want a lot for Greinke – 6 prospects is a LOT!

    How to replace Loney: Gibbons would put up decent numbers – close to Loney, or sign Beltre and platoon Blake and Gibbons at 1B.

  15. Mark Timmons says:


    Everyone is Nuts. Some are just more Nuts.

    I hope he is over it.

    If not, we will be screwed!

  16. Mark Timmons says:

    Who knows? Who knew Sax wouldn’t find 1B or that Anikel would not be able to pitch?

  17. Badger says:

    The one thing that stands out about Greinke is the two years and $27 million still owed on his contract.

    Am I the only one that sees the problem with that?

    Keep spinning though. This is the off season.

    Good one Ken.

  18. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Gibbons isn’t even a shadow of Loney. Loney’s not only a better hitter than Gibbons (who by the way tailed off at the end of the season–and I doubt it was only because he was hurt–which has happened a lot in his career), but his defense at first base is far superior than anything Gibbons could be expected to exhibit. And as I’ve noted in the past, first base defense is extremely important. A good first baseman saves a lot of infield errors, and creates confidence throughout the infield. I observed it first hand in NY when the Mets lost Keith Hernandez and then John Olerud. And I wouldn’t count on Blake either.

    The Dodgers need to improve their offense, not weaken it. No guarantee that you’re going to sign Beltre, especially since the Dodgers also need an upgrade in the outfield. And please, no Gibbons in left to remind us of Manny’s defense. And signing Beltre only significantly improves the offense if you don’t further weaken it at first base.

    And let’s not give too much credit to the Giants pitching staff. Sanchez and Cain are very good at times, and not so good at other times. And although Lincecum finished strong, his second half was anything but awesome. Actually, if you examine the numbers, Kershaw was a better pitcher than Lincecum in 2010. Lower ERA, lower BA against, and less hits per 9 innings. Strikeouts were also pretty close. Bumgarner pitched well, but still has lots to prove. Who knows, maybe RDLR is as good.

    And Jansen may well be ready, and maybe not. Besides, if Broxton can get turned around (and I think it’s reasonably possible) then the back end of the Dodger pen becomes just as valuable as the Giant rotation. Or am I the only one who sees the value of having three shutdown pitchers at the back-end of the pen?

    And the money saved by not taking on Greinke’s salary might well be better used to bring in an impact bat or two (maybe one of them is Beltre). Or even another solid pitcher who might be available, but not on anyone’s current radar.

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    You’re not the only one who sees he problem with that. But if the guy had had more than one great year I might argue for a way to fit it in (which may or may not be possible). And Greinke’s past psychological problems (which I totally forgot about) only add to the doubt. It’s not quite Jason Schmidt or Darren Dreifort, but I believe caveat emptor might apply.

  20. Bobby says:

    If i’m not mistaken, cliff lee had some avg years, then won the cy young, and then THE VERY NEXT YEAR got sent down to the minors?!!!

    then the year after he was up rebuilding himself, and most dodger fans wanted to send the moon to get him! he was also a “caveat emptor” risk, but he turned out to be well worth it.

    this guy greinke is even younger than lee! and we’d have him for 2 seasons tied up.

    now i’m not saying overpay for him, or create more holes just to get him, but he’s well worth trading for.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Cliff Lee was sent down in 2007 BEFORE winning the Cy Young in 2008. And prior to being sent down he won as many as 18 and twice won 14. However his ERA’s in those years was never lower than 3.79 and as high as 5.43. But Lee was never a power pitcher. He simply learned to pitch. Nobody says Greinke couldn’t turn it around, but it’s a risk at $27 million for two years, and the cost of four players. And although Greinke could reprise Cliff Lee, he could also mimic Barry Zito.

    And if you can make the case that Greinke will return to Cy Young form, then I can just as easily make the case that Broxton will stage a big time comeback.

    And keep in mind that what we predict is not always what we really believe so much as what we hope for. And the same can be said for what we think. Too often people say they think this or that will happen, when in fact they’re just hoping.

    And there is no issue about overpaying Greinke. You either believe he’s worth the $27 million or you don’t. His contract is set in stone. It is what it is, and everyone has to decide for themselves whether or not he’s being overpaid. And holes are being created to acquire him. The question is, does he bring more than the holes take away? I’m guessing that depends at least partially on how well the holes are plugged, and at what cost.

  22. timber says:

    “He hates KC!”

    Where the F do you get that??? Greinke has said multiple times that he likes Kansas City, enjoys playing there, thinks the fans are great and that it’s the “perfect” city for him. He’s just not thrilled about a losing team. Who would be?

    Oh, and I’m wondering why you think Loney is going to get the Dodgers a top prospect plus a mid-level prospect. Just askin’.

  23. Mark Timmons says:


    I guess I should have elaborated. He hates losing and that there really is not a prospect of winning very soon. He is very frustrated with the organization.


    Not only does Brox have to make a comeback, but he’s got to become a clutch pitcher in really tight games, which he hasn’t in the past. It’s not so much the number of games he has blown (even as a setup man), but it’s the magnitude of those games. Greinke had some BIG problems, but dealt with them and while he is a risk, I think he’s a worthwhile risk.

    On Loney, I defer to this fan on Weisman’s blog:

    Believe me, I’m an expert in the art of irrational fandom. I liked Heaven’s Gate, The Sheltering Sky, John From Cincinnati, Vince Evans, Mazio Royster, and Cesar Izturis. I worshipped Jimmy Lefebvre as an 8 year old kid and argued through the night with my cousin from Houston that he was better than Joe Morgan. Sometimes you’re a fan of something just because you like it or them. Just admit that you like James Loney becuse you like James Loney. Don’t think you have to justify it statistically, because the numbers just don’t wash. He’s had a string of poor to mediocre years. He is one of the worst offensive 1st basemen in baseball. His BEST full season was, by a variety of accepted measurements worse than Matt Kemps WORST full season.

    But that’s ok. You can like him just because you like him. That’s what being a fan IS. Just don’t try to apply a varnish of logic and rationality to it, because that’s when it all falls apart. Just say you like the cut of his jib and let it go at that.

  24. Badger says:

    If Loney is indeed one of the worst first baeman in all of baseball, what makes you think we can get anthing for him? I happen to believe both he and Broxton would generate a lot of interest but the way you talk about them suggests nobody would want them.

    I do understand why you want to improve the first base position, and I don’t understand why Loney’s BA has gone downhill the last three years, though he is a great defender and did hit extremely well WRISP (.327 – .408). He should be getting much better and he is not. Why? Who knows. Maybe he doesn’t like it in L.A.. But, put his name out there and watch what happens.

    I lived there once and Kansas City is an ok town. The Royals are not ok. I agree with Mark. Greinke is cranky about the Royals, not where they play.

    And really, do you guys believe we will take on $13.5 million a year in salary? Come on. Did you read how Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness went about his trade scenarios? It’s going to have to look like that and we will have people in here some of us have likely never heard of before, or guys that come cheap because they have had some down years or are at the end of their careers. While you “Think Blue”… better “Think Parsimonious”. We aren’t shopping Gucci, we are shopping garage sales. Sometimes you find value amongst someone else’s castoffs. This is why I said Jed will be challenged like never before.

  25. Badger says:

    By the way, I read we are already paying Padilla a million deferred next year from $5 million last year. If we knew he was going to be healthy, he would be worth $5M. But, he hasn’t thrown 200 innings since ’06 and he threw 147 in ’09, only 95 last year. Is he worth the risk?


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