Next in our Offseason In Review series, the Dodgers.
Major League Signings
- Vicente Padilla, SP: one year, $5.025MM.
- Jamey Carroll, IF: two years, $3.85MM.
- Brad Ausmus, C: one year, $1MM. Includes $1MM club option with a $150K buyout.
- Ronnie Belliard, IF: one year, $825K.
- Reed Johnson, OF: one year, $800K.
- Total spend: $11.5MM.
Notable Minor League Signings
- Justin Miller, Ramon Ortiz, Russ Ortiz, Josh Towers, Jeff Weaver, Nick Green, Argenis Reyes, Alfredo Amezaga, Garret Anderson, Brian Barton, Luis Ayala
- Andre Ethier, RF: two years, $15.25MM.
- Jonathan Broxton, RP: two years, $11MM.
- Matt Kemp, CF: two years, $10.95MM.
Trades and Claims
- Claimed Rule 5 P Armando Zerpa from Red Sox; returned 3/15/10
- Acquired Rule 5 P Carlos Monasterios from Mets for cash
- Acquired P John Ely and P Jon Link from White Sox for OF Juan Pierre and $10.5MM
- Orlando Hudson, Juan Pierre, Mark Loretta, Juan Castro, Jim Thome, Mitch Jones, Randy Wolf, Guillermo Mota, Jon Garland, Eric Milton, Jason Schmidt, Will Ohman
GM Ned Colletti chose to let key free agents Wolf, Garland, and Hudson leave, replacing them with cheaper options. Let's take a look at the team's biggest moves.
Wolf earned $8MM in 2009 and pitched like an ace for the Dodgers. He'd signed one-year deals three years in a row and was a near-lock to turn down an arbitration offer from the Dodgers. Colletti reportedly feared a $15MM reward for Wolf, but said, "Our decision was made strictly from a baseball perspective." The misstep cost the Dodgers a pair of draft picks. Hudson was also a Type A free agent, but the choice not to offer him arbitration was defensible. The Dodgers have more than enough options to replace him.
So, Colletti missed out on the #36 and #65 picks in the 2010 draft. The Dodgers will survive. Colletti's first big move of the offseason was to shave $3MM off the '10 payroll and $5MM off for '11 by unloading Pierre on the White Sox. Colletti went on to allocate $11.5MM to free agents, most of which will be paid in '10.
With a million bucks in innings incentives dangling, I think Padilla will have a decent year. Brett Myers and Jon Garland, who signed for similar dollars, don't seem any better or worse. Carroll's two-year deal was unnecessary. The 36-year-old is a useful player, but if you're pinching pennies there are better ways to spend $3.85MM. Saving the money for midseason acquisitions would've been a better move.
Colletti deserves praise for adding 2011 cost certainty with the Ethier, Broxton, and Kemp deals. He chose the right players and didn't overpay.
The Dodgers' offense appears respectable, with no clear area for upgrade. Getting sufficient innings out of the Billingsley-Kershaw-Padilla-Kuroda front four is a concern, though few teams are satisfied with their rotation depth. Colletti may need to make a deal this summer.