2. John Buck
The Dodgers are losing two of their catchers this offseason. (Rod Barajas is lost to free agency and Brad Ausmus has retired.) They are in desperate need of a good starting catcher and the one that makes the most sense to me is free agent catcher John Buck from Toronto.
Buck started his career with the Kansas City Royals in 2004 at the age of 23. From the moment he put on a big league uniform, you could tell Buck would a good power hitter. In only 71 games in 2004, Buck put up 12 homeruns and drove in 30 RBIS. He finished 8th in the rookie of the year voting for the American League. After 2004, Buck continued to become a power hitting force at the catcher’s position. He posted 41 homeruns in the next three years which was one of the best in baseball among catchers. However he obtained his greatest season in 2010 where he smacked 20 homeruns and appeared in his first all star game. His .281 batting average was also a career high. The Dodgers should consider signing Buck to help bolster their lineup.
3. Javier Vazquez
Despite coming up short with the New York Yankees last season, I still feel that Javier Vazquez should be a productive starting pitcher in the big leagues. The Dodgers should consider signing Javier if they can’t resign Vicente Padilla.
Vazquez is a constant pitcher in the Major Leagues. Despite going 10-10 with an ERA over 5.00 last season, you can still count on him to be an innings eater. That is what you need out of your number five starting pitcher anyway. Vazquez has been pitching in the big leagues since 1998 and has averaged 12 wins per season. His best season may have come in 2009 while pitching for the Atlanta Braves. He posted 15 wins and struck out 238 batters in 219 innings. He has 152 career wins and can help mentor a good pitching staff.
4. Jose Contreras
The Dodgers bullpen is pretty solid with closer Jonathon Broxton. However having too much bullpen help can never hurt. That’s why signing a guy with the experience and the will to win like Jose Contreras can only help your ballclub.
Jose Contreras came to the Major Leagues in 2003 as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. In his rookie season, he went 7-2 with a 3.30 ERA to help lead the Yankees to the American League pennant. However, his time in pinstripes would be cut short due to a midseason trade in 2004. He would go the Chicago White Sox where he would pitch his best baseball of his major league career. In 2005, he went 15-7 with a 3.61 ERA. His 204.2 innings pitched were a career high. Contreras was able to lead the White Sox to the World Series title in 2005 as one of the top pitchers for the ballclub.
He would continue to play in Chicago until 2009 where he was traded to Colorado. In the 2009 offseason, he was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies to help stable their bullpen. Contreras proved to be more than a match for National League hitters in 2010. He went 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA. He pitched 56.2 innings and struck out 57 batters. If the Dodgers were to sign Jose Contreras, the bullpen would become one of the best in baseball.
Dodger fans, the future looks bright for the club. However if the team could sign these four free agents, the future could look even brighter than ever!