Categorized | Mark Timmons

Why Russ Martin is a Yankee

Why Russ Martin is a Yankee

Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times has a blog post about former Dodger, Russell Martin.  In it, he quotes Russ as saying

Future All-Star!

the following about the Dodgers’ decision to non-tender him:

“I wanted to see how much they really wanted me, because if they did, they would have tendered me a contract,” Martin said. “That was really it. I wanted to see how bad the Dodgers wanted me and if they still believed in me. By doing that, they kind of gave me the answer.”

Let’s see, Russell:  Your offensive game has declined for three straight years and then you break your hip when you are in line to probably get $7 million is arbitration.  Let me get this right:  You wanted to see if the Dodgers would overpay for you knowing that your game was declining (for some reason) and not being sure you could even catch again?  Borderline delusional is what I would call that.

The Yankees paid LESS than the Dodgers offered.  I guess that shows their commitment, huh?  People have called you “hard-headed” in that you didn’t change your hitting style when it obviously wasn’t working.  It seems that his hardheadedness outweighs his common sense.  He did get closer to home so I guess that’s one thing.   Turns out,  he also has to have knee-surgery – not a breeze for a catcher.

Evidently Russ feels disrespected by the Dodgers.  Here’s a guy who should feel disrespected  – Edgar Renteria.  After what he did for the Giants last year, they offer him a $1 million dollar contract?  I guess being a World Series MVP doesn’t mean what it used to.  I’d have to say Brian Sabean is classless.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE:  Brooklyn’s post got me to thinking and I am going to articulate what I am thinking about.  People have speculated that Russ Martin’s demise was the result of no longer taking PED’s.  I reject that completely.  Nothing I have seen even remotely speaks of that.   Russ Martin was one of the hardest workers I have ever seen.  His work ethic was legendary.  He came early and stayed late.  He was liked by his teammates and was a leader by example.  But Brooklyn may have hit the nail on the head:  Russell Martin is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  I have never had an long conversations with him, so I really can’t say.  This is simply conjecture on my part.  Maybe it was his failure to adjust that caused his offense to plummet over the last 3 years.  In the piece by Dilbeck, he admits that he wasn’t in shape last year.  After 2 poor seasons, that’s just plain stupid. Maybe his calling of a game was as predictable as his hitting had become.  Maybe it will be addition by subtraction.  Maybe we will find out why Navarro had the lowest CERA in all of baseball. Maybe we’ll figure out that Russ Martin wasn’t a bad guy – he just wasn’t very bright!

About Mark Timmons

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

78 Responses to “Why Russ Martin is a Yankee”

  1. Badger says:

    All of these guys have egos the size of Texas. After what the Dodgers have already paid him, and all the facts you mentioned, an incentive laden contract with a solid base was in order. And, it was offered.

    But, having said that, you can’t blame him for going out there and seeing what else might be available. He now plays for a team that wanted him, and has a real chance at a championship. I predict he will be their starting catcher, and he will catch more games than anybody we have.

    He got his answer. The Dodgers let him go, get nothing in return and now go with a guy who we know damn well won’t catch 150 games and won’t hit better than Russell Martin.

    I still wish Russell well. He was a hard worker and a good leader.

  2. Badger says:

    One more quick point…. the Dodgers non-tendered Martin, which by definition means no offer was officially made. There were talks, Martin wanted 5 million guaranteed, the Dodgers wanted to pay him less than he made last year. So, the point about the Dodgers offering more than the Yankees is not exactly true. They actually didn’t offer anything, choosing instead to just let him walk.

    And, the Yankees did give him an incentive based contract. He can make $5.3 million. The article Weisman wrote said Girardi is convinved he can help Russell get it back. I believe him.

  3. Corey says:

    If the Dodgers offered him more $ than he took from the Yankees as has been reported, how exactly did the Dodgers “let him go.” It would appear to me he wanted to go. I still don’t see how this is such a blow to the Dodgers. His .250 average and 5 home runs are replaced by a .240 average and 15 hrs. His “leadership” sure didn’t get Kemp and Loney to play better.

    • Badger says:

      Corey… look up the definition of “non tendered”.

      And here, read something other than what Mark says about these things:

      http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5877878

      The Dodgers decided Martin was just not in their plans. They needed a catcher that only wanted a million bucks and were “pretty far down the road” with Barajas before Martin was non-tendered. They had what they needed in Barajas and cut Martin loose. It was a business decision.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Russell Martin’s comments reinforce what I’ve said about him before, that being, he’s no rocket scientist. “Borderline delusional”? Maybe. Not very bright? Without a doubt. Maybe his reputation for not calling a good game is directly related to his paucity of gray matter. Good luck Russell! But your comments softened the blow of losing you for me. Who knows, maybe Dioner Navarro will bounce back to something closer to his 2008 season.

  5. Badger says:

    Not very bright?

    Hey, he is now the starting catcher on the New York Yankees and is being paid $4 million a year with incentives that could bring him over $5 million. He got out of the mess that is the Los Angeles Dodgers and is playing on the big stage with a real shot at a World Championship.

    Paucity of gray matter?

    The Dodgers non-tendered him because they no longer believed in him. He made the right choice.

  6. Mark Timmons says:

    I just UPDATED the post above – check it out!

  7. Roger Dodger says:

    Today’s NY Times has an article on Martin, thought you might like to see it:

    Yankees Looking Toward Next Generation
    By DAVID WALDSTEIN
    Published: December 16, 2010

    With a broken hip on the mend and a torn meniscus scheduled to be surgically repaired Friday, Russell Martin officially joined the Yankees on Thursday. If his injuries heal as expected, Martin will be the team’s everyday catcher next season.

    Martin was signed to a one-year contract, postponing the prospect Jesus Montero’s day as the Yankees’ regular catcher and also confirming that neither Francisco Cervelli nor Jorge Posada is likely to be behind the plate on opening day.

    The Yankees had already told Posada that he would primarily serve as the designated hitter next year.

    “They told me that I’m the starting catcher,” Martin said on a conference call. “That’s what I expect to be; that’s what I’m training to be. Obviously, I feel like I need to earn that. I don’t ever feel like there’s anything owed, especially the way the last two years have gone for me.”

    An All-Star with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 and 2008, Martin experienced a decline in production the last two seasons. A hip injury that limited him to 97 games in 2010 did not help. After batting .293 with 19 home runs and 87 runs batted in in 2007, then hitting .280 with 13 home runs in 2008, Martin slipped. In 2009 he hit .250 and in 2010 he batted .248. He hit 12 home runs combined in those two years.

    The Dodgers did attempt to sign him, but Martin, who will turn 28 in February, rejected their proposals. He was not tendered a contract for 2011, making him a free agent.

    Martin is the son of a musician, and one of his middle names is Coltrane, a tribute by his father to the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. (Martin’s two other middle names are Nathan and Jeanson, his mother’s maiden name.) Coltrane’s groundbreaking song “Giant Steps” could serve as an inspiration for Martin as he attempts to stride back to prominence with the Yankees in 2011.

    “Talent doesn’t just go away,” said Martin, who was born in Ontario and went to high school in Montreal. “I know I can hit. I just want to get back to that consistency.”

    Martin, who won a Gold Glove in 2007, also said that, even as his offense diminished the past few years, he believed his catching skills had steadily improved. But the question of whom he will be catching remains, in part, a mystery.

    The Yankees’ bullpen is in a state of flux as the right-handed reliever Kerry Wood agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs for a reported $1.5 million, according to multiple reports. Acquired before the trade deadline last summer, Wood did solid work for the Yankees, posting a 0.69 earned run average in 24 regular-season appearances.

    Wood reportedly rejected an offer from the White Sox for more than twice the money to return to the Cubs, the team that originally signed him in 1995.

    The Yankees continue to search for bullpen alternatives and are negotiating with the former Mets left-hander Pedro Feliciano, who led the major leagues in appearances in each of the last three seasons. Feliciano declined the Mets’ offer of arbitration, and is seeking at least a two-year deal.

    With their American League East rivals, the Boston Red Sox, adding two elite left-handed hitters in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Yankees now have even more of a need to add a left-hander like Feliciano. SI.com reported that the Yankees were interested in Brian Fuentes, another veteran left-hander who had 48 saves for the Los Angeles Angels in 2009.

    The Red Sox, meanwhile, bolstered their bullpen by signing the former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks to a two-year deal.

    Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman is still awaiting word from the left-handed starter Andy Pettitte, who is deciding whether to come back for another season. Pettitte’s decision became even more important after the Yankees lost out on signing Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Cashman told reporters Thursday that Joba Chamberlain would remain in the bullpen and not become part of the starting rotation in the wake of Lee’s decision.

  8. Badger says:

    I don’t follow the logic here. Why would you do this Mark? Attack his intelligence?

    You have no basis for saying this other than he decided to move on and now you are pissed. Attacking his intelligence makes you guys look lame.

    Russell Martin was an All Star in ’04 ’05 ’07 and ’08. He was considered being named the first captain of the Dodgers since Davey Lopes. He was liked by everyone and worked his ass off for the Dodgers and your parting shots are about his lack of intelligence?

    With this update, the IQ of this blog just went down several points.

    Russell Martin is now the catcher for the New York Yankees. The only people who don’t believe that is a huge step up are those who live in a blue fog.

  9. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Actually, I’ve questioned Martin’s intelligence in the past. And besides, sometimes it takes a while to get to know someone. Martin’s comments that he was testing the Dodgers to see how much they really wanted him are at the least, asinine. Admittedly, I don’t know Russell Martin personally, so my comments are just impressions. Maybe if I got to know him I would have a completely different opinion. It’s happened before in my life, and I’m sure it will happen again. Maybe I’m completely off base, and Russell Martin is the most intelligent person on the planet this side of Stephen Hawking. I just doubt it (actually, “doubt” is probably a bit–lot–weak). OK Russell, prove me wrong.

    On the lighter side: This from MLB Trade Rumors (above).

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/busy-offseason-for-the-dodgers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MlbTradeRumors+%28MLB+Trade+Rumors%29

    I didn’t recognize the name Alexis Pacheco, so I did a google search and came up with these videos. Take your pick.

    http://www.google.com/#q=alexis+pacheco&hl=en&prmd=ivnso&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=goYLTeagM4S2sAOqw_WXCg&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=5&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQqwQwBA&fp=9bb891c3868c87d6

  10. Corey says:

    Badger, I read the article you had linked, and believe it or not read everything I can find on the Dodgers. Living in Wisconsin being a Dodger fan, you have to look everywhere. In that same article they talk about the $ Martin was looking for….”Still, the Dodgers’ first choice was to bring Martin back if an agreement could be reached on a contract that would have paid him a lower base salary than what he received in 2010. Colletti said that in the final minutes before the 9 p.m. PST deadline, Colleran lowered Martin’s asking price to a simple $5 million guarantee, but the Dodgers weren’t willing to go that high.

    “We were willing to get to the same point with performance bonuses, but not with a guaranteed $5 million,” Colletti said.”

    I agree with Colletti on this one, I don’t get what the uproar is about. Maybe Martin was a great guy, I don’t know him. I know I haven’t been impressed with anything he’s done the last two years and can’t imagine how anyone can rationalize tendering him and having to give him a raise. Bottom line to me looks like his ego wouldn’t allow him to take a pay cut despite his declining performance and injury questions.
    It obviously worked out ok for him, like others have said, he’s catching for the Yankees who are always a playoff contender if not a world series contender. I don’t feel sorry for him. And as a side note on his defense he says he’s been improving, he did allow more passed balls last year than Barajas in a couple less games.
    And no I’m not a McCourt lover. I wish they would be forced to sell the Dodgers. I agree with you and others that they just use the Dodgers to finance their ridiculous lifestyle.

  11. Bill Russell says:

    Martin was a fan favorite and I am sad to see him go, however his unwillingness to change his approach at the plate over the past few years tells me that he may have been a difficult student. I also saw numerous passed balls that I felt he should have blocked over the last two seasons. There’s no doubt that he was a hard worker but if you work on the wrong things, you’ll never get ahead. I felt the Dodgers made him a fair offer not knowing if he will ever recover from this injury. He moved closer to the place he growup so it may work out for everyone. Farewell Russ .

  12. Ken says:

    Maybe an arbitration eligible player has to be nontendered in order to offer him a pay cut greater than 10%.

    Martin’s problem is ADD. His playing ability dropped after he went off of the stimulant – chew. Some very intelligent people have ADD and just can not concentrate very well, especially when they are unhappy.

    Torre was the intellectually challanged person who called the games not Martin.

    Renteria is available – Ned sign him for $2 mil, They gints offerred $1 mil, what a deal.

    Mark there are some good Dodger Prospect reviews on other websites (Especially the top 200 LOL)

  13. Funny how things get spun by some on this board…..If the Dodgers had signed someone coming off hip surgery and had a bad knee requiring surgery some here would have been blasting the Dodgers…now they are defending the Yankees and still bashing the Dodgers…..

    Some are just Bashers!

  14. Badger says:

    Corey, I lived in NW Wisconsin for about 7 years. So, I know what you are talking about. Where do you hunker down for the winter? All my friends went ice fishing in Polk and Burnett Counties.

    The Yankees valued Martin and think he can help their team. Heck, they could have gone after anyone they wanted really, and they chose Russell Martin. I think that speaks well of him.

    Good points Brooklyn. I don’t know him either. He may be dumb as a box of rocks, but, his leaving the Dodgers doesn’t make him stupid. This move seems to have worked out well for him. The Yankee doctors, and Joe Girardi, must have seen something that convinced them he is worth the money, and the prestige of being named starting catcher on that team. Like I have said, I think Martin made the right move here.

    Ken, you can correct me if I am wrong, but I read recently that the Dodgers are 70% in the win column when it comes to arbitration. Overall, I still think the teams win more than the players. Again, I stand to be corrected on that. There are no guarantees in arbitration, and Martin did have an off year, but, it would have ended almost exactly the same as the year before if not for injury, and the Dodgers gave him an increase from ’08. Worth $5 million? Not to the Dodgers, but maybe to the Yankees.

    Who knows really. Martin is now the Yankee catcher, and we have Barajas/Navarro. Let’s just see how it plays out.

    • Corey says:

      I live in New London, a small town in northeast wisconsin, about 30 miles west of Green Bay. It’s right on the Wolf River, so when I’m not trying to find some news on my Dodgers (my favorite mlb team since I was old enough to have one, and I’m not sure why)there’s ample opportunity for hunting and fishing right here. I was wondering if the name “Badger” had anything to do with that?

      • Badger says:

        It does. When I first joined a Dodger site I was living in Wisconsin so, I took the name Badger. Seemed to fit. I am actually from Southern California so, living in Wisconsin didn’t sit well with me. You have to be from an area that cold to really appreciate it. I didn’t really fit.

  15. BobbyD says:

    First of all, I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.

    I read you column on Russell and I read his explanation of “testing” the Dodgers. It’s obvious he’s not too bright and it appears that his personal mgt let him down. His logic is ridiculous.

    I have to disagree with you on PEDS. You say you saw no evidence. I obviously don’t know the man and don’t know whether he would stoop to cheating, but the fact that he went from an all star hitting 19 hrs to an awful offensive player, just as soon as they started testing , makes me wonder very hard.

  16. lawdog says:

    It wouldn’t matter if Matin were dumber than the proverbial bag of hammers if he were still going to catch for Torre. I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but watching the MLB Broadcasts of the Dodger games almost every night I noticed that Torre was calling all the pitches for our pitchers from the dugout.

    So, unless Mattingly wasn’t going to do the same his intelligence would be a red herring when it comes to being a Dodger catcher. If Martin is healed, I’ think he’ll do better for the Yankees because not much will be expected of him offensively–unlike in LA. His defense was never really the problem. If he can relax at the plate and hit the ball where it’s pitched instead of trying to hit homers to left center and grounding into a double play instead…

    If we were just a few lousy hundred thousands of dollars a part, I think we’ll regret just letting him walk for nothing. If he gets back in his old groove people will be whining, wailing and smiting their breasts for years to come over this “giveaway”. :shock:

    Of course, if he keeps hitting nearer the Mendoza line than .248 and has trouble not bouncing the ball on the shortstop side of second, we’ll all be congratulating Jed for listening to Fred and giving him the old heave ho. :roll:

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    I have always liked Russ Martin. I just could not justify the bigger contract he would have gotten, and if his agent had played it right, he would have gotten at least $7 million.

    I praised he work ethic, his leadership and his ability. I don’t think he was on PED’s.

    I just said that maybe he’s not the brightest guy. That idea is apparent to many people.

  18. Badger says:

    I still don’t follow you. What does “bright” have to do with what just happened?

    He is now the starting catcher for the Yankees. And, he has that job, closer to home, for about the same amount the Dodgers were allegedly offering. What do you find stupid about being named starting catcher of the Yankees?

  19. Badger says:

    From April of this year:

    http://thedugoutdoctors.com/2010/04/power-rankings-mlb-catchers/

    Where is Martin? And, where do you find Barajas and Navarro?

    This may answer a few questions on why the Yankees value Martin.

  20. GoNzO says:

    Mark you say that Russ has a tremendous work ethic and you are correct. But so did one Roger Clemens. His offseason work outs were second to none. So although you doubt it that Martin juiced I doubt that he didn’t.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    He’s starting catcher for the Yankees if he’s healthy, and produces. Remember, the Yankees # 1 prospect is the highly rated catcher Jesus Montero. There are some who have questioned Montero’s catching ability, but on the whole he gets rave reviews. If Montero develops like the Yankees hope, and he’s not included in any trades, then expect that it won’t be long before Martin is no longer the starting catcher in NY. If anything, the Yankees are gambling that Martin still has something left, and buying time for Montero to continue to develop, if necessary. It’s a risk that they can afford to take, since $5 million is pocket change to the Yankees. Not so for the Dodgers.

    I will grant Martin this. Tony Jackson reported that the Dodgers offer of $4.2 million wasn’t fully guaranteed (see link below). That being said, there is more than a little logic in Martin and his agent accepting the Yankee offer. But the part about testing the Dodgers to see whether or not he would be non-tendered, that part is beyond stupid. Non-tendering Martin had nothing to do with whether or not the Dodgers wanted or believed in him. It had everything to do with whether or not they wanted or believed in him to the tune of $6 million, maybe more. And given the risk the Dodgers would have run (after all, they’re not the Yankees), I’m sure they considered that the money saved could be put to better use elsewhere. Barajas, Navarro, A.J. Ellis isn’t horrible. Might even be better (or worse) than many project.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/news/story?id=5927337

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    You know full well that those power rankings things can change dramatically from year to year. Where exactly did the SF Giants rank at this time last year?

    I didn’t go through the list methodically, but randomly chose Jason Kendall. These are some of his stats from the last three years, respectively: BA = .246, .241, .256 OBP = .327, .331, .318 HR = 2, 2, 0 SLG = .324, .305, .297. How did he get so high up on the list? And without checking further, I am guessing that the rankings going into 2011 will be different, to say the least.

  23. Bobby says:

    oh well. he’s gone. time for see who in our system can develop into a full time starter (wallach? wise? delmonico?)

    in other, better news: bill hall will sign with houston, so we don’t need to worry about bringing him in!!!

  24. Jaydavis says:

    What does NC have left to spend?
    With Bill Hall out of the picture, maybe NC will go after Beltre before he signs with the Angels. If not, Brad Hawp still avaiable.

  25. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    Go back and read what I wrote. I didn’t say he was stupid – just not extremely bright and it has nothing to do with where he signed. It has to do with his approach to the game.

    Gonzo,

    I’ll admit I don’t want to think Martin juiced… That would explain a lot, but I think his decline is more related to being bullheaded. But, you never know…

  26. Mark Timmons says:

    Ned plays his cards close to his vest. I think there’s a deal or two in the works.

    Maybe involving Broxton and Loney….

  27. Badger says:

    Brooklyn, have you ever had a fantasy team? Just askin’.

    Yes, it made sense to the Dodgers not give Martin $5 million. Why? Because they obviously have a limited budget. The Yankees aren’t handicapped like that. I do agree that it could be possible Martin is a one year seat warmer. But then, Martin is still a young player. If he does well, why wouldn’t they keep him? Maybe then we can put together a package for Montero.

    Wait a minute. I just checked his minor league stats. He is already thumping at AAA and he is only 20 years old. His numbers are Posey-like. Maybe if Martin works out, they will move Montero to 1b. How come we don’t have any prospects like that?

    Oh…. nevermind.

    Still hoping for Beltre hey? Well, we’ll see how that goes.

  28. Ken says:

    The Dodger’s obvious plan for 2011 (as of today and before any trades)

    Pods hit .300 with 80 SB
    Furcal hit .300 with 60 SB
    Kemp hit .300 with 50 SB
    Either hit .350 with 10 SB
    Loney hit .325 with 30 SB
    Uribe hit .275 with 20 SB
    Blake hit .275 with 15 SB
    Barajas hit .275 with 5 SB
    Pitchers hit .200 with 10 SB

    And Dave Lopes will run for President after the GOGO Dodgers win the WS

  29. Badger says:

    “Russell Martin is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”

    You could actually say that about 39 of those on the 40 man roster.

    “Maybe his calling of a game was as predictable”

    Seems to me that the game is called by the bench these days. I think it’s been that way for quite a while.

    “In the piece by Dilbeck, he admits that he wasn’t in shape last year. After 2 poor seasons, that’s just plain stupid.”

    I hadn’t read that, but if it’s true he didn’t stay in shape then yes, that was stupid behavior on his part.

    I have no explanation for Martin’s drop in offensive production. I do think his getting out of L.A. and going to a place with a winning tradition, and being surrounded by such great talent, could be a very good move for him. I still say on that team, in that lineup, he will get a lot of strikes. Let’s just see what he does with them.

  30. Dusto says:

    I’m with Badger. The IQ of this “blog” has reached Joe Morgan comical. It’s “point and laugh at the fat kid” funny.

  31. Dodger Dude says:

    Dusto Dude,

    I think your mommy is calling. Why do you read what Mark writes if you don’t like it? It’s stupid that you keep doing the same things over and over and then complain about it. You are sick, Dude.

    I would advise you to just be alone, but that would put you in bad company.

  32. Badger says:

    Dude…… you sound like OD. And that ain’t a compliment.

    It’s the off season and with the Dodgers obvious troubles things are more heated than usual. Some day we will look back on these days and remember them like we do the Fox years….. with disfavor.

    Mark, feeling better after todays signing?

  33. Roger Dodger says:

    Well, the catching side of thing seems to be over now.

    We cut a catcher with a low offer, and he is now the starting catcher for the New York Yankees. Interesting.

    We have a starting catcher that was cut by the New York Mets toward the end of last season, when the Mets were terrible. Interesting.

    We have two back-up catchers. One is really a nice average AAA catcher, the other was cut by his last team after hitting under .200. Interesting and Interesting.

  34. Badger says:

    The actual catching part of it is going to be fine. But, the offense part of it was not improved.

    Not much else new is going on this morning.

  35. Badger says:

    Well Greinke is in the headlines again so I suppose somebody in here will kickstart the conversations on getting him here. Might as well be me since I say no way in hell we take on $13.5 mil a year. Found this in my reading this morning. You will need a few minutes but, it’s worth the read:

    “you never really know what’s going on in anybody’s head, and that often includes your own.”

    How true.

    http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2010/12/being-there-with-greinke.html

  36. Roger Dodger says:

    I cannot take the suspense any longer.

    Who will be the third outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers to go along with Ethier and Kemp???

    I remember about a year ago, some folks were saying that the Yankees might trade Cano for Kemp. The Yankees liked Kemp for their CF.

    Most Dodger fans laughed at it expressing that Kemp would be better. Kemp was coming into his own. Awards and all.

    Then, this past season, Cano jumped out ahead. Yes, he is about 2 years older, with 1 more year in the majors — but his lifetime average is: .309, Kemp is .285.

    This past season alone: Kemp .249 and Cano .319.
    HRs: Kemp 28 and Cano 29.
    RBIs: Kemp 89 and Cano 109
    Slugging Ave: Kemp .450 and Cano .534

    We still have great hopes that Kemp will stop swinging and missing so much, and get his hits. But Cano has developed into a really great player

    In case you have not heard the news yet, Russell Martin is now a teammate of Robinson Cano.

  37. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    But Sir Jon can’t believe he’s saying it. I guess it’s possible that Gwynn could start in center with Ethier in left and Kemp in right. It certainly would improve the defense. And if a solution was found for third base, it might not even be too bad. But it’s only December, and lots can happen twixt now and opening day. Stuff does happen in January, February and March. The last thing we want is a GM in a hurry to make moves just to satisfy the press or the fan base. I would rather the right moves be made later than the wrong ones sooner.

    It may well be that Colletti has a plan to take this a step at a time. It appears as if the pitching has been addressed, and for all the criticism, 2B has probably been upgraded. Unlike some, I don’t think 1B is an area that needs to be upgraded, but upgrades at 3B and the outfield would be welcome. I’m guessing that Colletti is addressing the issues in discussions with agents and other teams. I was glad to see Bill Hall taken out of the Dodgers picture, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to say the same about Scott Podsednik.

  38. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I know he’s had problems, but I’m wondering if Lastings Milledge isn’t an option for the Dodgers outfield considering that we now have Davey Lopes around. Milledge is still young, and despite all the negativity that surrounds him, he plays with enthusiasm and lots of energy. There’s a risk, but you never know when a person might suddenly reach an inflection point in their life, or when night might suddenly turn to day. But with Lopes around, and if the Dodgers have done their homework, I’d be inclined to gamble given Milledge’s talent and upside (assuming that their homework doesn’t argue against a signing).

  39. Badger says:

    Talk on other blogs about Milledge being the guy we will look at. His numbers are better than the others and his ceiling is still considered high.

    He and Kemp together could create both incredible potential and trouble for coaches.

  40. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I thought about Milledge being together with Kemp. But unlike some others, I have never considered Kemp’s attitude to be a problem. Actions speak louder than words, but at least Kemp said the right things at the end of the season. I’ve got some real hope that we’re going to see him step up a notch or two in maturity. And as I mentioned, having Lopes around could turn out to be a real asset. Who knows, maybe a Kemp who’s learned his lessons could turn out to be a positive influence for Milledge.

    What I don’t like are the players named in that MLB Trade Rumors piece up above: “Dodgers in Contact with Three for Left Field”. The thought of the brothers Hairston and Marcus Thames sends shudders up my spine.

    Another player I’ve thought about is B.J. Upton. I recall reading quite a while back that he could be had in a trade. His numbers have been down the past couple of years, but he still steals 40 bases, probably could hit between 12-15 HR, and is a defensive asset. I’m not sure, but I believe he also has a strong arm. I don’t know if Tampa Bay is actually seeking to move him, nor what it would take to get him. Just something to think about.

  41. Ken says:

    Sign Milledge from the free agent pool or Trade Broxton for a real LF off some other team’s 25 man roster.

  42. Roger Dodger says:

    Mark and I first saw Milledge in Spring Training games in Florida, like, 4 or 5 years ago — and he looked scary then. Electric on the field. Looked like excitement waiting to happen.

    Just our take then . . .

  43. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    No doubt that Milledge is electric. I saw him more than a few times while he was with the Mets. But he has had issues (the details escape me). Despite hitting .277 with the Pirates last year he was non-tendered. Not something the Pirates would do with a young player with his upside. Apparently, they’re not too enamored of his downside. He was also recently involved in an altercation playing in Venezuela. From what I saw, there were words, he was shoved, and then all hell broke loose.

    All that said, I think he might be worth a look. Again, as I mentioned above, it would require the Dodgers to do their homework. But if Milledge grows up a bit, he is without a doubt a high energy, electric player. Certainly, in any circumstances, a better bet than Podsednik, Hairston/Hairston, Thames, and anyone else of their ilk. In fact, I would prefer to hand over an outfield job to T-Rob than to any of the latter players. At least T-Rob is a prospect. The others have no prospects.

  44. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I meant to say that if Milledge grows up a bit he’s worth a look.

  45. Badger says:

    Mets fans think he is an idiot with a craptastic attitude. He is evidently Andrew Lambo squared.

    But there are a few things about him that I bet the average fan doesn’t know:

    http://milledgefacts.blogspot.com/

  46. Badger says:

    From the Royals to the Brewers.

    What to step into the spotlight Zack.

  47. Roger Dodger says:

    Probably a great place for him to go. Not lots of pressure there.

  48. Ken says:

    Bud must really be working with the Dodger brass because there are still 41 players on the 40 man roster.

  49. Badger says:

    Maybe Bud is giving the Dodgers a break because there really aren’t 40 real players among the 41 listed.

    Roger, did you read the Joe blog I put up yesterday? According that, Greinke says he wanted to take the ball on the big stage. But, then you look at his “no trade” list and most of the big cities are on it. Small town boy with small town aspirations. He won’t see a World Series in Milwaukee, unless he uses some of his $13.5 million to buy a flat screen t.v..

  50. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, he has some excitement issues . . . and did not want the big cities with some of those crazy fans — those fans who turn on their own, and eat their own.

    He is probably in the right place for him. He will make money, be among nice folks, make the All-Star team. And then call it a career.

    Kind of like some folks retiring to Florida or Sedona.

  51. Bill Russell says:

    I’m with Ken, sign Milledge or get someone via trade. I do not like the names of the other FA outfields besides Manny.

  52. Badger says:

    If you are right Roger, the Greinke is not the guy a contending team wants to take the ball in a pennant race.

    So, he is in the right place.

    OK, Bill, I am on board. Go get a real left fielder Jed.

    And we’ll just wait.

    I wonder how season ticket sales are going.

    • Ken says:

      Regarding hot stove and season ticket sales, Mark says that Ned keeps everything close to the vest or in other words Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!

      • Badger says:

        Every Dodger fan from Burbank to Bangor is asking who is going to play left field, but so far I am the only one asking about season ticket sales. Guess I am the only one who figures the early signings of Lilly and Kuroda were done to sell tickets. I can’t help it, it’s the Negative Nellie in me. Without 3.5 million BIS, how does this team compete with the other top 10 ten teams in the league? We don’t know how to do it the A’s and Ray’s way. All we know is “win now” – and that hasn’t worked.

  53. Roger Dodger says:

    Ken, is McCourt or his wife a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell type of person. Well, I never . . .

  54. Badger says:

    They certainly are “don’t tell” type of people. If it weren’t for the disclosures in the divorce, would we know that McCheesey spent $1500 for a hair cut and the viper needs $650,000 a month to support her lifestyle?

  55. Roger Dodger says:

    Are we closed down here?

  56. Bill Russell says:

    For the Holidays….

  57. Ken says:

    Mark is keeping his writings close to the vest.

    MSTI has a good article regarding trading for a LF.

  58. Ken says:

    Kearns goes back to the Tribe for more than the Dodgers could afford???

  59. Roger Dodger says:

    Hudson is down south near the boarder.

  60. Badger says:

    Saw that article Ken. I never heard of the guy, but, I say go for it.

    So, who has the better year, Hudson or Uribe? Who has the better year, Kearns or Gwynn?

    that last part was a joke………….

  61. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    The Austin Kearns of 2006 wouldn’t be bad, and I would definitely take the Bill Hall of 2006. I wouldn’t have wanted either of them for 2011.

    This could take a while. Now that I’ve said that, the Dodgers will probably sign an outfielder tomorrow. Or maybe they’ll sign Beltre (smile) and go in-house for an outfielder.

  62. Roger Dodger says:

    Dodger fans, we just missed out on Craig Counsell. He signed with the Brewers again. Darn, and he could have brought the Dodgers a ring.

  63. Bobby says:

    ya it would have been pretty intriguing to see the battle between counsel/hu/castro/carroll for that backup middle infielder job!!!!

    however, nothing will beat ellis/barajas/navarro

  64. Ken says:

    We also missed out on Mota and Park. Maybe the pitching staff is set and Ned can concentrate on LF. LOL Pods to the Angels – HURRAY if true! I should go to some of those LA Angel AAAA PCL games.

    Will the Dodgers be able to afford Bills in 2012? Marlins just paid $8 mil per year for a lesser pitcher.

  65. Roger Dodger says:

    Ken, it is going to cost bunches more for many of the Dodger players.

    If some of them have those jump up seasons coming up — Kemp, Ethier, Loney, etc. their agents will have big smiles — and expect the Dodgers to pay.

    That is when we will find out if the Dodgers have truly become the new KC, Pirates, Baltimore, etc. type teams. Just fielding 25 players, and good luck.

  66. Badger says:

    I expect ELK trio to have bounceback years and I too expect their agents to make the Dodgers pay. They are all approaching free agency so it would behoove them to make it happen this year.

    I doubt, under the current circumstances, that the Dodgers can keep them all (Kershaw and Bills is in the group) so, any guesses as to which ones will stay?

  67. Joe says:

    I have been reading this blog for about a year and thought about posting comments to them now. I picked an older article as a test post for myself.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Dodger fans fell into hysterical fits across Los Angeles when the Yankees acquired catcher Russell Martin. Martin had been a disappointment the last two seasons, both behind and at the plate. Well, apparently this native Canadian simply needed a return to chilly weather to find his swing. So far he is hitting a very respectable .293 with 6 homeruns. In fact, those numbers are all star worthy for a catcher, so if he is able to remain consistent, Martin should be returning the all star game for the first time since 2008 (and this will not just be a case of Yankees fans stuffing the ballot box!). [...]


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