Tis the season for inflated contracts for mediocre or aging players, isn’t it? A few of the late season rentals the Dodgers picked up last season have landed themselves new deals with new teams in the past couple of days.
Shane Victorino managed a three-year $39 million deal with the Red Sox. All I have to say is thank you Carl Crawford. The Victorino Dodger era was short-lived, and I for one never accepted him in Blue. It didn’t help that he was quite awful during his time in Los Angeles.
Randy Choate, the lefty specialist, is signing with the St. Louis Cardinals for three-years and $7.5 million. Say what?! Choate will be 41-years old during the last year of his contract. It just goes to show you how valuable a left-handed reliever is during this offseason when there are few and far between available. As of right now, the Dodgers have Scott Elbert and Paco Rodriguez as lefties out of the bullpen. Elbert is coming off of elbow surgery, and Paco has only 6 2/3 Major League innings under his belt.
We also learned that Joe Blanton signed with the Angels for two-years and $15 million with an option for a third year. Better you than me Anaheim! The Angels rotation, sans Zack Greinke, is now looking like this: Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hansen, Joe Blanton, and Garrett Richards. They also have Jerome Williams, a potential starter. The Angels also signed reliever Sean Burnett for two-years and $8 million. They lost Dan Haren to the Nationals where he signed a one-year $13 million contract.
I’m content with these signings. Joe Blanton was all kinds of awful last season during his time with the Dodgers. I realized they were in a pinch when they lost Chad Billingsley to a torn elbow, Clayton Kershaw was battling a hip impingement, they traded Nathan Eovaldi away to the Marlins in exchange for Hanley Ramirez, and they sure weren’t going to allow Stephen Fife or John Ely to pitch more than a couple games. Yet Blanton was booed by Dodger fans for good reason. In his 10 games started for the Dodgers, he went 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA. He allowed 66 hits, 32 runs, and 7 homeruns in just 57 2/3 innings. One thing Blanton was supposedly heralded for before he joined the Dodgers was his low walk rate. He managed to give up 16 free passes in those 10 games with the Dodgers. It’s quite amazing that even a backend fifth starter can fetch $15 million. C’est La Vie.
The Dodgers continue to talk with other teams, but nothing has happened. Rumor has
it that Zack Greinke may get signed within the next couple of days. It seems to be that the Dodgers and Rangers are in it to win it. I’m not sure if it has any bearing on Greinke’s decision, but his wife, Emily Kuchar, is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Could she want to return to the Lone Star State? Don Mattingly met with the free agent last week. Let’s hope Donnie Baseball schmoozed with Greinke while talking up the Southern California lifestyle he could experience if he comes to pitch for the Dodgers.
Even if we don’t land Greinke, the good news is we didn’t sign Blanton.