What should we expect next season?
Who the hell knows?
OK, we do have a few clues. Some big money comes off the books, namely about $58.5 million or half of the Dodgers payroll. At least $12 million will be given back in the form of a raise for Clayton Kershaw, but that still leaves $46 million to spend.
- The way I see it is that James Loney, who hits the ball hardier than anyone on batting practice, but can’t jump out of a boat and hit water during a game, is gone. He will be non-tendered. Nice guy. Good fielder. Choke artist.
- I used to call Andre Ethier Mr. Softee. For a while it looked like I was wrong. I wasn’t! He is another choke artist. He’ll be traded. Hopefully! He is the weakest, softest #3 hitter in the game.
- Casey Blake will be traded this year. He’s gone. If not, he’s gone next year. Whewwww!
- Hiroki Kuroda will be 37 and you don’t pay those guys 12 million. $6 mil maybe maybe… not $12. Someone will pay him more. He’s gone.
- Rubby? Back in 2013. Forgetaboutit!
- Ted Lilly could be slipped through waivers to the RedSox or Yankees. Let’s hope he throws a shutout next start.
- Jamey Carroll has been great. Will he play for $750,00 a year? If not, he gone.
- Rivera? Will anyone pay him more? 40-60 at best!
Like it or not, he’s what the lineup is in 2012:
- 1B – Jerry Sands (and I am disturbed by his current paltry .269 BA)
- 2B – Ivan De Jesus, Jr. or Aaron Miles
- SS – Dee Gordon
- 3B – Juan Uribe
- LF – Tony Gwynn, Jr.
- CF – Matt Kemp
- RF – Free Agent – They have to sign a big bat
- C – AJ Ellis
So, that leaves the rotation with Kershaw and Billingsley to go with with Ely, Withrow, Eovadi and Webster approaching ready… or not. Yikes!
The point I make is that the Dodgers could have $40+ million available to sign Free Agents. If McCourt keeps the team, that will mean he was successful in obtaining a TV deal and could easily do that. The thing is: Frank wants to put butts back in seats and knows he has to bring in a few more good players. The 2012 Free Agent Class is not awesome – lots of aging journeymen, plus Pujols.
Memo to Frank: Give $180 mil/6 years to Albert Pujols, sign Michael Cuddyer and you’ll have instant offense. He would also have more butts in seats. Signing the soon to be 33 Pujols to a six-year deal is wrought with risk and might be a desperate move – sounds like one Frank might make! Starting pitching? Well, that’s another issue for another day….
This wouldn’t be a bad (although very RH) lineup:
- Gordon SS
- Miles 2B (hey he’s a .300 hitter)
- Pujols 1B
- Kemp CF
- Cuddyer RF
- Sands LF
- Uribe 3B
- Ellis C
That’s assuming Gordon will hit.
P.S. The Huffington Post picked up on my post about a new Dodger Stadium.