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Dodgers reward Jay Gibbons' perseverance with major-league contract for next season

While one outfielder may have been slipping away Thursday when Scott Podsednik became a free agent, the Dodgers were at least securing their bench strength with the signing of Jay Gibbons.

The Dodgers signed him to a one-year deal for [Updated numbers] $650,000, plus incentives that could add another $150,000 based on plate appearances.

Gibbons gave the Dodgers some much-needed power off the bench last season after he was called up Aug. 8, batting .280 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 75 at-bats.

He was a major upgrade over Garret Anderson at the plate, plus he can play some first base.

Gibbons doesn’t figure as an everyday left fielder -- his defense is what you might politely call fair -- but he’s a solid addition as an occasional starter and left-handed pinch-hitter.

He turns 34 in March, so he’s far from a long-term solution. Still, after being out of the majors for almost three years after being named in the Mitchell Report, it’s a long ways from retirement.

Gibbons had bounced around since the report on performance-enhancing drugs in the majors, even trying a stint in an independent league. He sent letters to every club asking for another opportunity, but received no offers.

He was set to retire when the Dodgers offered a chance to play in their minor league system last spring. There was no guarantee of a job back with the Dodgers, but after hitting .347 with 19 home runs at triple-A Albuquerque, he finally earned his call-up.

And now, a major-league contract.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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Gibbons is a classy character guy, no doubt. But will he become next year's Reid Johnson, Garret Anderson, or the previous year's Xavier Paul and Jason Repko....and, given the on going McCourt divorce fiasco, perhaps that money would be better spent in signing Carl Crawford.

I have to take umbrage with the last post. If Paul is "light hitting", then what was/is (since that's still on the table with Ned) Pathednik? What scares me even more, is that when Ned signs now free agent Puds to a 2-year guaranteed contract for $5 mil, Little Joey is going to lead him off every single game.

I'm cool with Gibbons though as long as he doesn't catch SweeneyAnder-itis.

I hope the best for this guy. In his short time with us, he definitely delivered. GREAT acquisition for the money. He'll provide many a moment where we are glad to have him.

It is obvious to me Jay is hungry and wants to play in LA and do his very best for Dodger fans.
That is the only type of player we want here wearing The Blue.

I have nothing bad to say about this signing. In fact, I think it's a pretty darn good signing...and $400,000 isn't really that much. Yeah, he'll be the left-handed bat off the bench, and he should do OK as an outfield reserve.


I'd be more excited if we followed up on ol' patch key's words and got Davey Lopes back. That's the best thing we can do for our outfielders - both of them. The LF vacancy isn't going to be settled anytime soon.

Again I hear in the post that we have nothing to trade.

For crying out loud, I wish someone would tell the honest truth on that. Talking heads said it all during trade deadline season, then posters on here said we do have talent to trade, and now Steve again says we don't. I tend to believe Steve on this one. If we had something to trade, we'd probably have an option for a young LF'er. Which we don't.

One more time - I just go ape over Gibbons!

Now that he's re-signed, what or who is left?

Lots of leftovers.

Left's have a look.

Gibbons bats L, Paul bats L, Oeltjen bats L, 16blows bats L... and, before he left Podsednik batted L too - we'd better re-sign him quick or we'll be left out. Almost left out Trayvon Robinson who bats L - and R - he'd be left to choose.

Personally, I think it's too left leaning by George, and that's not a Bush-league sentiment on my part.

It gets worse.

Looking at what's left out there free agency, Adam Dunn is available: he bats L too but as our outfield is not left wanting at this point let us look at the infield (tho Dunn could play 1b let us look at the left side, starting at first with 3b.)

3b - no L; Blake R. Mitchell R.

2b - no L; Theriot R. Carroll R. DeJesus? R. Hu? You heard me: right again.

Ss - Furcal left a lot to be desired healthwise, but he does bat L as well as R - that's not true... he bats better left when he is feeling right.

1b - Loney bats L but management is left wanting more power that spot. If we signed Dunn and left him there at 1st base instead of moving him to left field, Loney becomes an leftover could trade for something else we left out.

Prince Fielder is available, has power, bats L... wouldn't wait too long to trade for him though - dudgers might be left empty-handed.

C - This position is best left to RH hitters & throwers... nothing else left to say.

Have I left out anything?

$400K is an incredible bargain. isn't this close to the MLB minimum? i wonder how much the incentives are worth and whether they are attainable. makes the $2M option for Podsednik look kind of ridiculous. well, even without the Gibbons signing, $2M for Podsednik is ridiculous and the prospect of giving him a multi-year deal for more money is just plain stupid. what is going on with ned? he hits .300 and steals 30+ in 2009 and can't get more than $1.75M with the Royals. Now he's a year older, coming off injury and had a worse year, and ned is thinking of giving him a raise? if no team was interested last year, why would anyone be interested now? this is insanity!

I like this signing. You're paying $400K for a guy who is grateful to be playing in the majors and has incentives to produce to earn more money. Compare that to a guy who earned $1.65 million last year and now says $2 million isn't enough. I like Podsednik's established leadoff ability, but he's not the ideal left fielder in this lineup, they need more power.

Big deal; let's go rush & renew those season tix--Dodgers got Lilly & Gibbons! Wow!


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