You heard the narratives. The Dodgers were “ALL IN” when they traded James Loney (and a bunch of other guys) for Nick Punto (and pieces). The Dodgers were “ALL IN” when they gave Zack Greinke a massive contract of 147 million dollars. The Dodgers were “ALL IN” when they pursued Masahiro Tanaka. The Dodgers were “ALL IN” when they signed Brandon League, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, and Jamey Wright. The Dodgers are a team which wants to desperately win a championship.
Oh okay, cool. This means that if there are the players out there, the Dodgers will surely sign them because this is a rational team who, while does not want to give up Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, or Julio Urias, will use prospects as resources to improve the team one way or another, right?
Lets run through the events of the past month.
July 31st: John Lackey to the Cardinals, Andre Miller to the Orioles, Team makes late push for David Price, loses out, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels stay put, Bartolo Colon is still a met. Dodgers stand pat.
August 8th: Ned Colletti proclaims there’s another pitcher they’re trying to get.
August 13th: Hyun-Jin Ryu injures himself in Atlanta, placed on disabled list
*Several mediocre Hernandez and Correia starts transpire.*
August 24th: Bartolo Colon dominates Dodgers, Kevin Correia is absolutely putrid.
August 25th: Bartolo Colon clears waivers, can be traded anywhere
August 27th: Peter Gammons tweets this
Dodger interest in Colon apparently is more fiction than non-fiction
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) August 27, 2014
Which is really effin disappointing Mr. Colletti, and the entire front office. You willingly sign some of the worst arms in the major leagues this year in the last offseason (Wilson, Perez, Maholm, Haren), do nothing at the trade deadline (for reasons that were understandable at the time). Then immediately come back this past weekend while Kevin Correia turns in the worst start a Dodger has pitched this season, while simultaneously one of the most talented arms you will ever find during August clears, and can be traded anywhere, you stand pat because you just traded for ROBERTO HERNANDEZ AND KEVIN CORREIA.
There are some ways to explain this.
- Ned Colletti has faith in Roberto Hernandez and Dan Haren, and Kevin Correia as depth. To remind you of this situation: Dan Haren has a 4.96 ERA and 4.26 FIP in the past month when he’s been “good”. Roberto Hernandez has compiled .9 bWAR in the past 3 seasons, and Kevin Correia is one of the 4 worst starters in all of baseball. So continue on with this trio of mediocrity who have lucked out into 3 decent starts just at the right time, Ned. Go ahead.
- The price is too high. Okay I could see this. If and only if the Mets are immovable off of a potential asking price of Urias or Pederson or Seager for Colon, you’re damn right the Dodgers should turn it down and move on, sadly going on with what they have. But I just don’t see the case. The Mets are looking for some financial relief (hopefully something the Dodgers have some of), and some prospect package which presumably wouldn’t include a top 20 prospect or even a top 100 in all of baseball for a 42 year old pitcher. If the Dodgers are unwilling in dealing any two of Zach Lee, Scott Schebler, Darnell Sweeney, Tom Windle, Chris Reed, and maybe Chris Anderson, Ned Colletti should be fired on the spot right this second.
- The Dodgers are out of money Can you see it? They didn’t make a run at Masahiro Tanaka for a reason, they just gave out the largest contract in the history of pitching contracts to Clayton Kershaw, the TV deal that they negotiated isn’t being broadcasted or carried by multiple paying carriers, the payroll is well over 200 million. This may be more true than any of the above. It would make sense if they didn’t want to give Colon and Haren close to 22 million dollars next season if Haren’s option vests and they’re out of money. Of course, you have to look at the flipside. If they gave more money to the bullpen this offseason than the entire Houston Astros roster, then sure, whatever, but if signing middling veteran relievers and starters while compromising your ability to trade for a starting pitcher that you need, then that’s a big, big problem.
- The Dodgers want to manage their money supplies and contracts rationally. No one wants to pay Bartolo Colon 11 million next year. But if you’re the exact same team who gave out/traded for dead money to Brian Wilson, Brandon League, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Chris Perez, Paul Maholm, (more money to the Dodgers bullpen than the Houston Astros bears repeating again) etc, etc, and you suddenly decide “OKAY ENOUGH BIG MONEY CONTRACTS, NO COLON FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE A SMART FRANCHISE WHO WANTS TO BE SMART ABOUT OUR CONTRACT SITUATIONS”, then you have lost serious credibility from me
These are all terrible situations and exhibit some sort of hypocrisy or stupidity. And the thing is, I haven’t even delved into the possibility that Hyun-Jin Ryu might not be 100% for the stretch run or god forbid, the possibility that Kershaw might get injured, or some how, some way that Zack Greinke’s tender elbow, doesn’t cooperate and compromises severely his pitching ability, and even if none of these things happen, Haren or Hernandez or Correia will start a playoff game (and you KNOW that 2/3 of those players will inexplicably make the postseason roster). It just boils down to Colon to the Dodgers will be a smart move, it’s just not a particularly likely one, and it will really, really suck when the Dodgers stand pat because any one of the 4 reasons listed above, and we will all complain when Kevin Correia, Chris Perez, Roberto Hernandez, and Dan Haren lay an egg versus the Brewers or Nationals or the Cardinals, when Bartolo Colon could at least reduce the chances of this happening.
An acquisition of a starting pitcher would make the Dodgers clear favorites in the entire National League, neglecting to do so will simply be a very frustrating situation.