Now that we have gotten over our annual Thanksgiving turkey coma, let us recap the Dodgers Hot Stove, and take a look at what is next on the Dodger’s Christmas list.
The offseason started with the Dodgers signing and bringing back Juan Rivera for 4.5 million dollars. This seemed to outrage many people accross the interwebs, even though lesser players were being offered more money by other teams and other GMs. After Big Rod left for Pittsburgh, to the tune of over 4 million dollars as well, angering the same people. Next we saw Jamey Carroll leave and score 6.75 million for signing with Minnesota. With Carroll and Big Rod gone, we needed a second baseman and another catcher.
With the choice between a handful of mediocre aging second baseman and Justin Sellers, the Dodgers chose the one with the best defensive metrics, Mark Ellis, former Athletic and Rockie, known for his solid glove and propensity for being injured. Ellis recieved an 8.75 million dollar contract to play second base for the Dodgers for the next two years. I could have been annoyed about Mark Ellis getting 8.75 mil, but the next announcement made me forget that. It was the big announcement of Bison’s well earned mega deal. 8 years, 160 million dollars, and our home grown star franchise player locked up for the rest of the decade. We all know who the real MVP is, now dont we? Anyways, after the wonderfulness of Bison’s contract extension, the Dodgers signed backup catcher Matt Treanor to pair with A.J. Ellis. So what’s next for the Dodgers?
They have two needs: starting pitching and another infield bench bat. First, we will need one or possibly two starting pitchers if Kuroda does not come back. We think he will, but if he does not, then we’re gonna have to sign someone. The free agent market this year is barren. The Dodgers reportedly don’t have much money left, and are looking in the 1-4 million dollar range. According to reports, they have been talking to Aaron Harrang’s agent, and have also been interested in Chris Capuano and Jeff Francis. So let’s talk about this group of starters the Dodgers have their eyes on.
Jeff Francis? hell no! no thank you. He is the former Colorado Left hander that hasn’t been healthy in years. I’m serious, He missed all of 2009 and most of 2010 with injury. He does have very good BB/9 rates, but his strikeout per nine rates have gone down each year. Still, no thanks. Chris Capuano is ok. The 33 year old former Met, was 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA last year. He’s been decent, but is seems the Dodgers are most interested in Aaron Harang. He is also 33 and pitched for San Diego last year. He was 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA. He had a pretty decent year. Let’s take a look and compare each pticher’s WAR, ERA+ and other stats.
Aaron Harang-95-94 4.25 BB/9- 2.6 SO/9- 7.4 ERA+101 WAR-1.9
Chris Capuano-57-64 4.39 BB/9- 2.9 SO/9- 7.5 ERA+97 WAR-1.7
Jeff Francis-61-66 4.78 BB/9- 2.7 SO/9- 5.86 ERA+98 WAR-1.4
Now all three of these ptichers actually have very similar numbers. Harang’s numbers are slightly better, Francis walks the least amount of batters, but Harang and Capuano put up higher strikeout numbers. Francis is hurt too much. Aaron Harang is probably the best choice out of these three.
What the Dodgers should do is just resign Hiroki Kuroda, I dont know why it hasn’t happened yet. Let’s take a look at Kuroda’s numbers real quick…..
Hiroki Kuroda-41-46 3.45 BB/9- 2.1 SO/9- 6.7 ERA+114 WAR-3.7
Big difference isn’t it? Big difference between Kuroda, a real effective Major League pitcher and the three mediocre bums above. Now if one of those three are going to be pitching in the number five spot, behind Kuroda, then I’m fine with that. Remember, the number five spot is not as important as people think it is. Most team’s number five starters suck anyways. Now if one of those three are replacing Kuroda? Then we will have a problem there. Look Ned. just please give Hiroki a contract. We need our Hiro to return, or we are looking at a full season of the likes of Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano and the rest of the dredges of the barrel of the free agent market for starters. Also note, we have Nathan Eovaldi who was pretty good last year as an internal option. The Dodgers may want him to spend more time in Albuquerque though.
Kuroda and Harang are both type B free agents, and Harang was offered arbitration from San Diego. Next post I will look at the Dodgers need for an infield bench bat. Join me next time as I will be scouring the free agent market for a bench bat. According to scources, the Dodgers are interested in Jerry Hairston Jr.
Kuroda hasnt decided whether he will stay with the Dodgers or going back to Japan, however, we have heard his family and him have set up roots here in Los Angeles. I’ll take a Hiro any day. I haven’t even gotten into the most important shopping list of all, the shopping list for a new owner! Check out our poll and let us know who you would like to see buy the Dodgers. Until next time….Go Blue.