I had some trepidation reading ESPN's report of the alleged Juan Pierre signing by the Dodgers (5 years, $45M). But now that I've read Ned Colletti's take on it, on dodgers.com, I'm even more concerned. Listen to our GM as he rants and raves like Kramer at the Laugh Factory:
"Our priority is to get as many good players as possible," said Colletti. "We sought a power hitter for the middle of the lineup. There were three on the market. Two are gone [Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez] and the third [Carlos Lee], based on conversations I've had, is on his way someplace.
"We had pitching, good defense and manufactured runs last year and, depending the way the pitching [free agents] goes, maybe you get enough pitching and move one for a hitter.
"We lost 20 home runs with Drew, but our people feel there could be more power from [Wilson] Betemit [who hit 18 overall and nine after his acquisition], more from [Andre] Ethier , maybe more from [Russell] Martin ," Colletti said.
Okay, "getting as many good players as possible" may work when picking teams for Red Rover in second grade PE class. But it's not as good a strategy in the major leagues. (And even if it was Red Rover, a big strong guy with a power bat is still going to be a better player for your team than a speedy little guy who can't break the other team's chain of connected arms.) And Betemit and Ethier may be the real deal, but they may also be as slumpy as their second halves demonstrated; further, to pile even more expectations on Martin (a top-10 ROTY candidate) in his sophomore year is a little unfair.
It sounds to me like either Colletti is crazy, quasi-apologizing for the Pierre move already; or, this is just an appetizer for a trade-to-be-named-later. At least he is acknowledging the still unmet need for a power bat (or three). But I'm still hoping it doesn't come at the cost of one of the Dodgers' key young players, of whom he was so protective in the 2006 season.
Colletti also announces that he's in the hunt for Schmidt (good), and not in the hunt for Bonds (also good). Maybe Ned's strategy is to block all of Sabean's moves while slowly stealing the apples from the Giants' tree?