What can we expect for 2013. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but 2012 has been somewhat of a disappointment. Which is odd to think on. Our expectations were tempered, given that the team finished in 3rd place last year with a meager 82 wins. The additions of… well, really no one from free agency meant that we should expect an 82 win team again for 2012 and another October playing golf. Mark Ellis has been a nice surprise, a reliable contributor. Chris Capuano started the season on fire before fading late in the season and Aaron Harang hasn’t been as terrible as I thought he would be. Which is a compliment.
However, if money is no object, then what can we expect for 2013? Josh Hamilton? Zack Greinke? Is there anyone in free agency worth having that I am forgetting? Dan Haren? Edwin Jackson? Given that Billingsley, Kershaw, and Lilly will at least start the season on the DL, it appears as if the Dodgers will need to add at least one starter to the rotation to at least make the 162 necessary starts next year without having to rely on Stephen Fife,
Allen Webster , or Zach Lee to contribute more than is necessary.
Greinke automatically shoots to the top of the list. Right? The payroll is nearing the 200 million dollar mark next year, and that’s before adding Greinke. Between Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang, I have them generously sitting at 125 starts at a total of 65 million dollars. Greinke will probably cost top dollar. Anywhere from 17-20 million a year depending on how the bidding goes. And I don’t mind adding him at that price. He’s the complimentary ace that matches Clayton Kershaw. So, that leaves approximately 7 starts for our minor league system to have to cover.
The pressing question that is applicable for 2012, then, is if money is no object, how come Juan Uribe is still on this team? Its not like we have a shortage of crappy hitting infielders already on this roster. If it comes down to Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston Jr., or Juan Uribe; who would you rather have gone? And if Punto or Hairston miss a few weeks and go on the DL, haven’t we seen Herrera, Castellanos, Sellers, and Gordon produce just as much if not more from a similar position? Why is Juan Uribe still on this roster if not because there is hope that the 7 million owed to him next year isn’t a total waste? The previous 15 million between 2010 and 2011 has been a waste, not to mention the roster spot that could have gone to literally ANYONE else.
That leads me to a more controversial question. Again, if money is no object, why isn’t Andre Ethier platooned against lefties? I get that no one wants to see Ethier benched in place of Juan Rivera. And its not like Rivera’s wRC+ of 96 against lefties is any good. But it is demonstrably better than the horrible James Loney‘esque 67 wRC+ that Ethier has put up against lefties. And next years heir apparent in left field, Carl Crawford, can’t hit lefties either. I know my plan would be to platoon Ethier and Crawford as much as possible with Yasiel Puig and Cody Ross (wRC+ against lefties 180! Cody Ross reserves a post all to his own the way he handles lefties!) These are baseball decisions! However, this is a management failure. One of many that Don Mattingly has made over the last two years.
Speaking of managers. What would it cost to get Joe Maddon out of Tampa? If we have unlimited cash, why can’t we have the best manager in the game? Maybe a management team with no regrets? Ned Colletti himself has laid out his regrets for us. Certainly his “old school” style is cramping the new age of baseball. A new age that involves winning. Of all things.
I couldn’t be more excited about the new ownership we have in LA and the BILLIONS of dollars they have to throw around to make it seem like we have a winning team. However, I have to ask, is it money well spent? So far, it hasn’t paid off.