Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What People Are Saying

- Eric Hz at Fake Teams has six sleepers for deeper AL/NL only leagues.

Two interesting names on the list are RP Dennis Safarte and OF Fred Lewis who could end up having value in mixed leagues if they are given enough playing time.

Since I'm counting on Lidge to provide 30 saves this year, I'm hoping that his stay on the DL keeps him fresh and healthy and doesn't serve as a precursor for more stays to come.  

I like Smoltz and had him last year, but I don't know how long he can continue to be a top ten or fifteen pitcher.  There's no way that each injury doesn't continue to nag him throughout the year.

I like Saltalamacchia and think he'll have a great career, but it doesn't seem that he's ready to be a major league catcher.  It may be better to move him to first base to get his bat in the lineup, but he still struck out 75 times in just 308 at bats in his first season in the major leagues.  He probably needs a bit more time in AAA, but I expect he'll be back up in Texas before the season is over.

As for Laird, I'm glad I don't have to rush to the waiver wire to pick him up, but it was only a year ago that Laird was the player being mentioned as a sleeper at catcher after hitting .296 with seven home runs in 243 at bats in 2006.  Laird has some good pop, so he's not a bad choice, especially if you are in a league that requires two catchers.

I do agree that we overpaid for Juan Pierre, who might be overtaken by Andre Ethier as the starting leftfielder, and Jason Schmidt, but I have to disagree with his other opinions.

Colletti signed Rafael Furcal for three years/$39 million, which is a lot of money, but Furcal was one of the Dodgers best players in his first season with the team, hitting .300/15/63/37. It's likely that Furcal could have repeated those numbers in 2007, but a spring training collision with teammate Jason Repko left him with an ankle sprain that hindered him throughout the year.  Now that he's healthy, Furcal should be one of the top ten shortstops in the league.

Nomar Garciaparra has little to no value now, but he was the Comeback Player of the Year in his first year with the Dodgers, hitting .303/20/93 in 2006.  Garciaparra is just taking up space now that James Loney is ready to take over at first, but he was one of the team's better offensive players in 2006.

I liked that the Dodgers were able to get Luis Gonzalez for 2007; he was a decent insurance policy in case Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier faltered.  Gonzalez's 15 HR were actually tied for third on the power deficient team.  It was just a one-year deal, so Gonzalez allowed the Dodgers to bring their young outfielders along slowly without blocking them long term.  

Derek Lowe has been the Dodger's most consistent starting pitcher over the last three years; he's pitched nearly 200 innings every year that he's been on the team, and he's averaged 13 wins with an ERA between 3.61 and 3.88.  I don't see how you can go wrong with having a rotation stalwart like that on our team.

Edinson Volquez, acquired from the Rangers for Josh Hamilton, has beaten Bailey out for a rotation spot by striking out 26 batters in 20 innings this spring training with a 2.70 ERA. Volquez is starting to pique everyone's interest and he's definitely someone to stash away if you can.  


Nathanael said...

you give coletti way to much credit.

yes signing nomar for 2006 was a good move - resigning him for 07-08was a horrible move that blocked loney and cost them $18M.

Gonzalez was a horrible because it made ethier and kemp platoon partners and apparently corrupted the clubhouse.

also lowe was signed by Depodesta not Colletti so the article is wrong (but yes he was a good pickup)

and obviously the pierre signing was just horrible on so many levels

Ben Westrup said...

I do agree that Pierre was a bad signing, and that Garciaparra shouldn't have been resigned, but I still don't think Gonzalez was a bad one-year pickup. He produced well for the playing time that he had. I'm not a fan of rushing prospects to the major, and I like it when players can be brought along slowly. True, Gonzalez was part of that veteran/rookie clubhouse strife, but so was Kent, and it sounds like Loney and Kemp weren't completely innocent in the whole affair.

Good catch on Lowe; I didn't think about the fact that he's been here longer than Colletti.

Mike Bock said...

The Juan Pierre disaster deserves more than a laconic "we overpaid" comment.

Furcal at thirteen million per was a waste of money. Consider that Tejada signed for about the same amount, and he had far more home runs, is far more durable, and has a better OBP and slugging percentage. What does Furcal do best? Supposedly, steal bases. Well, he stole 37 the year before last, but he was caught 13 times. That's 74%. He's below the mendoza line at which players should actually stop stealing bases. And that's not a fluke, as his career percentage is only about 77%. Thirteen million could have been better spent elsewhere.

Nomar Garciaparra would have received a guaranteed multi-year contract from no other team. He blocked Loney for a year. Sure, he was comeback player of the year, but that he only played in 122 games and accumulated his stats at 1B and 3B. Twenty home runs from your corner infield position isn't anything to get excited about.

Gonzalez blocked better OFs and cost too much. And one of the big reasons that the team was power deficient is that it wasted money on Rafael Furcal and money/playing time on Nomar Garciparra.

Derek Lowe is a fine pitcher. The Dodgers are paying him a lot of money. More than anyone else would. Which is not a good way to allocate resources for less than premier players.

Nathanael said...

I disagree about with your assessment of Lowe. He has an ERA+ of 114,124, and 118 in the first 3 years of 4 yr- $36M contract.

thats pretty good production that almost any team would pay for. The Mariners just signed Carlos Silva for a 4yr-$48M after he came off a year with an ERA+ of 103 (and 75 the year before). PLus think about the salaries of Meche, Odalis Perez, Zito, Matt Clement, Carl Pavano, Loiaza, etc.

So while I agree with that Coletti is an idiot and may have had the worst off-season ever prior to 2007... Derek Lowe does not belong in the "bust or waste of money" category (Plus he was a Depodesta signing anyway).