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Here's an opening-day pitch: Vicente Padilla as Dodgers' swing man

'Tis the season to go shopping … unless, of course, you're the Dodgers and have done the kind of early-buying thing that can make your neighbors all envious.

Those busy little elves in Chavez Ravine have almost completed their shopping list, what with the signings of starters Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland, catcher Rod Barajas, outfielder Jay Gibbons and infielder Juan Uribe.

Having it done and almost having it done, however, are two completely different things. So as the winter meetings begin Monday, could the Dodgers' next move actually be an old one?

Vicente Padilla, back once more?

At first blush, this seems an odd one, the Dodgers having already completed their rotation without inviting Padilla back for a third term. One moment you're the opening-day starter, the next you can’t make the cut.

Still, it has to be understood that five starting pitchers are never enough, several typically finding their way to the disabled list at some point. It only becomes more likely when a pitcher gets up there in years, and did I mention Garland is 31, Lilly turns 35 next month and Kuroda turns 36 in February?

Padilla went 6-5 with a 4.07 ERA with the Dodgers last season, and took two trips to the DL. When he was healthy, however, he could be very impressive. He had a seven-game stretch between June and July where he went 4-1 with a 1.13 ERA.'s Ken Gurnick
first reported the Dodgers were still in discussions to re-sign Padilla even after signing Garland. I actually like the idea, assuming he comes at a reasonable price. Which would be a lot less than the $5.025 million he made last season.

Padilla has been exclusively a starting pitcher for the last nine seasons, but would seem an ideal candidate to be a swing man. Gurnick also floated the idea that Padilla's stuff is good enough that he could close games, should Jonathan Broxton continue to falter.

Starting pitching is getting very thin on the free-agent market, so Padilla may yet find what he feels is a more appealing offer. Still, he didn't always enjoy the best of times with teammates at his other stops and had things going in a better direction with the Dodgers.

General Manager Ned Colletti would still like to add a left fielder and some help for the bullpen.

Vicente Padilla, bullpen help. Shoppers have done a lot worse.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Vicente Padilla. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (12)

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I'd like to see Padilla throw a perfect game, with Barajas providing all the offense he needs.

Do you really think "the Dodgers have done the kind of early-buying thing that can make your neighbors all envious." Perhaps this is true if your neighbors are cellar dwellers. The Dodgers need(ed) a slugger and a true Ace. What we got was the same ol Dodger blue sky snake oil as they rushed to the market place to try and salvage season ticketholders who have finally grown tired of plunking down thousands of dollars for McCourt's illusionary tactics. McCourt's family and his "family owned business" are an embarrassment not to be envied.

What good's pitching when they still can't score? Unless everyone steps up, this team couldn't score in a women's prison holding a fistful of pardons.

When healthy, the two words that seem to define a Dodger generation, Vicente Padilla is as good as it gets, his effus bubble nowithstanding. This is a man's man who sports a frightening para-military menace on the mound and can give you a solid number 6 pitcher. This would insure that the Dodgers, on paper, would have the most starting pitching depth in the league. It should be done, without question.

Great off-season by Colletti thus far.

Six starters wise these days for any club. And Padilla, when he's not injured, or biting people in the neck, can be a very effective pitcher. He's had the former problem with the Dodgers, but not the latter.

Of course, signing Padilla could also allow Colletti, if he wished, to explore moving Billingsley for the "big bat" people here are always screaming about. In that same vein, I found it interesting that the Dodgers made a serious offer for Huff, who is primarily a first baseman. We already have a first baseman. Don't we?

To Mr. Coletti and Mr. Moreno,
Jayson Werth is no Carl Crawford.
I look forward to meeting with you at the bank of your choice.

You can't sign Padilla until you have a left fielder or a third baseman. If the Dodgers get a third baseman, then you can platoon Gibbons and Casey Blake. That's actually a pretty decent platoon. Gibbons hits well against righties, and Blake hits well against lefties. I'm gonna go ahead and say it.... sign Adrian Beltre.

Starting Lineup:

Rafael Furcal (SS)
Matt Kemp (CF)
Andre Ethier (RF)
Adrian Beltre (3B)
James Loney (1B)
Juan Uribe (2B)
Jay Gibbons/Casey Blake (LF)
Rod Barajas/AJ Ellis (C)

Starting Pitching:

Clayton Kershaw
Chad Billingsley
Ted Lilly
Hiroki Kuroda
Jon Garlanda

I like this team's chances in the west. Our only competition would be the Giants.

He's got attitude. Make him a late innings man and the closer when Kuo needs a day off.

so numb Ned is going to over-spend for a middle reliever? typical.

Great idea!

GREAT idea. I'd be stoked to see him do long relief, close, etc. GREAT acquisition for WHEN (yes its going to happen) once someone drops to the DL or begins to consistently provide sub-par performances.

two words, Re ... Treads



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