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Ten free agents the Dodgers should consider signing

The Dodgers need help. On that, all can agree. They have holes in left field and at catcher, and they could use an upgrade at second base. They need two starting pitchers and bullpen help.

The free-agent signing period is underway, and for the Dodgers and the rest, it is a regrettably weak field. There’s nothing ready in the Dodgers' system that can make a difference, so they have to take a strong look at a thin market.

Here are 10 guys for the Dodgers to consider. Maybe they really target only one or two. And this doesn’t take into consideration what they might be able to pull in with a trade, but these are guys worth taking a look at, in no particular order:

1) Carl Crawford, outfielder: OK, I’m starting with the most unlikely signing. He’s going to pull in a $100-million deal, and it’s not like that was Frank McCourt’s specialty even pre-divorce trial.

But if you are holding out hope that McCourt is willing to do something dramatic to renew fans' faith, this is the best option. Crawford's middling power makes him less than an ideal fit, but he’s a badly needed run producer, he plays left field, he can bat second or third in the lineup, and he is reasonably young (29).

The Dodgers can’t just surrender him to the Yankees or Red Sox without at least making some kind of effort.

2) Juan Uribe, second base: Come on, how much fun would that be, taking him away from the Giants? Would be a major upgrade over weak-hitting Ryan Theriot.

Has some pop (24 home runs), plays a decent defensive second base, is only 30, and did I mention it would be stealing him from the Giants?

3) John Buck, catcher: There is just no way the Dodgers can count on Russell Martin as their everyday catcher. There are several free-agent ways to go behind the plate (Victor Martinez, A.J. Pierzynski, Miguel Olivo), but this seems like a reasonable fit.

Buck is coming off his best offensive year (.281, 20 home runs, 66 runs batted in) and is strong defensively.

4) Hiroki Kuroda, starting pitcher: Yep, the Dodgers' very own. What he truly wants to do -- return to Japan, re-sign with the Dodgers, test the market -- remains unknown.

He has had injury issues, he will be 36 at the start of next season and he will have to sign for a lot less than he made last season ($15.4 million), but if he’s willing to re-up at a reasonable rate, he still makes an excellent No. 4 starter.

5) Jake Westbrook, starting pitcher: Would make a nice fifth starter. Seems recovered from elbow surgery, though it should still keep down the number of years for which he will be able to sign.

6) Rafael Soriano, closer: Maybe a closer doesn’t seem like a priority, but signing Soriano would have a nice domino effect. It would mean pushing Jonathan Broxton back to a set-up role and not having to depend on fragile-elbowed Hong-Chih Kuo.

Soriano turns 31 next month, but he might have been baseball’s best closer last season (45 saves, 3-2, 1.73 earned-run average).

7) Joaquin Benoit, relief pitcher: Soriano’s set-up man might have been the steal signing of the last off-season. He was coming off shoulder surgery and had sat out 2009, but he pitched 60 impressive innings and posted a 1.34 ERA and a 0.680 WHIP.

8) Adam Dunn, first base: Not likely, considering the contract he’ll probably pull in, but we’re talking about guys the Dodgers need to take a swing on. And since he hit 38 home runs and they need power, they at least need to take a look.

He’s fairly brutal in the outfield, so his signing would probably mean moving James Loney to the outfield or dealing him. Yes, Dunn and Matt Kemp might have a strikeout contest, but I repeat, he hit 38 home runs. In consecutive seasons.

9) Grant Balfour, relief pitcher: Because I apparently have a thing for Tampa Bay relievers. There also is his 2.28 ERA and 1.084 WHIP in 55 1/3 innings.

10) Vicente Padilla, starting pitcher: Because saying goodbye is so hard to do.

-- Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (19)

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OK free agents to go for. Among the starters, these guys, all who pitched for us before:

Kuroda
Garland
Padilla

Among the relievers, I think Fuentes and Soriano out of reach, so these guys:

Putz
Saito!

As for a banger, here we go:

Magglio Ordonez
Pat Burrell
Brad Hawpe
Juan Uribe!

Uribe is interesting, as he can play 2b, 3b, and ss. I say get a re-tread of and focus on Uribe, play him at 3b and ss. If we can get Uribe, we can afford to be cheap with the retread--maybe Hawpe? Ordonez had a broken leg, so may not be able to play the of anymore. I don't recall what Hawpe's injury was. Burrell is solid and unspectacular, of course. He'd be the most expensive, I'd guess, as he can still play every day.

Catchers:

Miguel Olivo
John Buck
Rod Barajas

I like them all and would be happy with Barajas, actually. Particularly if we end up re-signing Martin. If we DON'T re-sign Martin, I say we go after Buck or Olivo! And didn't I read somewhere Bengie Molina had declared? What about Bengie?

That's IT!

"... it is a regrettably weak field. There’s nothing ready in the Dodgers' system that can make a difference, so they have to take a strong look at a thin market."
.
At what point can I laugh hysterically at a GM who regularly turns over half his roster every year and who's traded away most of the farm for worthless rentals? A strong GM would know what years the FA market will be incredibly thin and not trade away the farm prior to it. In fact, a strong GM would've realized that they were going nowhere last July and traded his would be FA and other dubious vets to bolster the farm.
.
Frank & Furter - the blind leading the stupid.


You're just as delusional as McCrap if you think any one of these guys wears the disgraced Dodger uniform next season.

I think the best one of the 10 mentioned is Adam Dunn but that presents a problem with Loney unless they try Dunn in the OF, which I'd hope they would but I doubt it.
Juan Uribe would be a tremendous improvement at 2nd base and I'm all for resigning Kuroda and Padilla.
Going back to Loney, he seems to be presenting a puzzling problem. It would be great to see him hit 20 HRs, as least. Although he's a reliable clutch hitter, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Dodgers try to trade him, if they picked up someone like Dunn. Also I wouldn't want Loney playing the outfield because of his lack of pop.
I also think that having Barajas and Gibbons would give them plenty of insurance at catcher and in the outfield..

The market on FA's is thin this year. The largest & thus the most affordable is relief pitching. So that is where I would focus seeing as it was also one of the 2 largest weaknesses and we can get more bang for our buck so to speak. So I would go after 2 of the 3 mentioned (6,7, & 9).

Then I would go after Uribe. He would serve as a backup for 3rd and ss and I'd start him at 2nd. Uribe now has 2 rings in something like 5 years so he is a winner. If I didn't get him at least I'd of driven up the cost for the Giants.

I also agree with 3. I wouldn't want AJ though. I would also look into Yorvit Torrealba is also potential.

I also would look to Eric Hinske & Hawpe.

For SP I would go with Kuroda & Jorge De La Rosa & Jon Garland & Andy Pettitte & Chris Young. Which ever of those 2 I could get I would. I like Pettitte to help the youngsters.

The best would be for Frank to sell the team and the new owners fire Ned & Conte.

But the key moves to me would be for the bully moves as well as Uribe.

YES, TOTALLY concur w/several of these, as have been advocating to close friends/associates that Duds ought to sign each of Uribe, Buck, Dunn, & closer Soriano, butt not sure abt any of the others men-shunned above (though certainly Crawford would be GREAT, butt neva gonna happen)

& w/signing those above, it would render Theriot as useless, so just let him go/walk, & then could trade Loney, Martin & BroX-the-TON, & get perhaps a quality starter in return?

Really? No Jayson Werth?

No Adrian Beltre?

I can see not having Cliff Lee on here, that's reasonable, but those two are obviously perfect fits in L.A. and if we're already dreaming and playing with house money mentioning Crawford, why not mention them?

The following link is to the article on MLB.com regarding the depth of the RP pool.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101029&content_id=15910214&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb


Steve left out Werth & Beltre because he didn't want to waste ink. All kidding aside I think both those guys would cost a ton and they are in the catbirds seat due to where they played last year -- or in Werths case the last few. I don't think Werth would want to come back to LA with this ownership group and Conte A's I recall he didn't agree on their treatment of him & his wrist.

I would love to see Crawford but I doubt that will happen. Of course they will say they went after Lee & Crawford and in a year or 2 those guys will disclose that they weren't even contacted by the Dodgers.

Well, we all know money is/will be a problem when it comes to acquiring good players, so that eliminates Crawford, Dunn and several others on the list. Hmm, I hadn't seen Buck's name mentioned before. I think he'd be a pretty darn good addition, but it probably won't happen. That's OK, Barajas and Ellis can handle the catching chores. And yes, I also think Uribe would be a good addition. Oh, one more thing: I don't want Loney to go anywhere. He's the first baseman. As long as he drives in 90-95 runs., it doesn't matter if he doesn't hit 20 homers...14-15 will do. Plus, he's excellent with the glove.

As good of an OF as Crawford is, he is one player the Dodgers should avoid. With this team, they need hitters with proven power to go along with Ethier and Kemp. I can see the Dodgers spending big money for Dunn and his power, but he hasn't exactly helped the Reds, DBacks or Nationals win either. You could just as easily go after Mark Reynolds and get similar power and strikeout numbers at third base.

I like the idea of Uribe, and they should go after catchers like Olivo or Torrealba. The concern on Buck is that he had career numbers, so he's going to be asking for more than he's probably worth. Not sure if Werth would come back, he didn't sound too excited about having his name linked with the Russian healer.

Steve,
Good poinst. I agree with all your choices except for Grant Balfour. Regardless of what his statistics show, he always seemed to choke in the Rays' big pressure games (whenever I watched them) the past few seasons. Plus, does the Dodgers bullpen really need someone whose last name is pronounced "Ball Four"? Not exactly the best karma.

It's almost like we exist in a Fantasy Baseball world. We all know we will get none of those players. It's a fantasy. We are headed for fifth just below an improved, healthy Arizona Diamondbacks. However, all of the above names will continue to be promoted especially as we get closer to the season ticket sale deadline. Then Colletti will come out and say its not over. That we will be signing stars by spring training. When that doesn't happen Colletti will come out again and say we will be looking for big names at the trade deadline. HA.

I agree on a number of you assessments, Steve. You can use Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, Jonathan Broxton, and James Loney all as lynchpins for upgrade. Until you move these losers, then you are not a serious GM.

Ted Lilly? Please!

For one prediction of how all the free agent signings might play out, try http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/11/2011-top-50-free-agents.html

The predictions there have Juan Uribe as a Dodger, with the Padres' Yorvit Torrealba as the catcher. It also has two key free agents I mentioned, Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano signing with the Angels.

Have not been here in awhile and I see that the manic depressives and the negative "we suck" people are still hanging around. I guess nothing to do or whine about in the off season. This must be their security blanket or something.

What about 3rd base? That's our weakest field position by far next to catcher. Beltre is available so make a stab at him for a nice 4 year 40 million dollar deal. He is coming off a very good year in Boston and would be a major upgrade over Blake. Uribe and Beltre would be enough to improve our dwindling power numbers substantially. Left field could be manned by anyone with some decent pop and on base percentage.

Wow those are some really bad players the Dodgers don't need, they really need pitching and there are plenty in the system. Loney isn't going anywhere Adam Dunn are you crazy

Headline: Cashman heads to Arkansas to speak with Lee: McCourt heads back to court. Oh well, we've still got George Sherrill....


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