Dodgers Notes: Manny, Schmidt, Offseason's Ken Gurnick takes a look at what he figures to be an "exciting" offseason for the Dodgers. Let's go over the highlights:

  • No surprise that Gurnick lists Manny Ramirez as the biggest question mark heading into 2010. Manny's 37, and while many feel he's a lock to pick up his $20MM option for 2010, Gurnick cautions not to be too sure. As Gurnick points out, Manny is as unpredictable as they come, as is his agent, Scott Boras. Gurnick reminds us of 2006, when no one thought J.D. Drew would walk away from $33MM guaranteed, but he and Boras did just that, securing more years and more dollars with the Red Sox. Additionally, Manny's told his teammates that the pounding on his legs is getting to him, and that he ought to be a designated hitter.
  • The Dodgers are set to have up to $40MM come off the books this offseason, which should more than cover the arbitration raises due to Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, and Hong-Chih Kuo.
  • Jason Schmidt accounts for $15.5MM of that $40MM sum. Gurnick says that Schmidt is "expected to retire."
  • The Dodgers did extremely well signing Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf to one-year deals last offseason, but now find themselves right back where they started, writes Gurnick, with second base and starting pitching as the biggest needs.
  • Gurnick lists outfielder Jason Repko as a non-tender candidate.
  • Rather than give the second base job to Blake DeWitt, Gurnick feels that an acquisition for second base is "almost a certainty."

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