Ned Colletti discusses the myriad holes that the Dodgers have retooling for 2007, according to dodgers.com. Of note are the candidates on our “short list”:
The list is believed to include pitchers Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt and hitters Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. The Dodgers also have made contact with Mark Mulder (coming off shoulder surgery) and Gary Matthews Jr., among others. Colletti has said he wants to add a front-line starting pitcher, a middle-of-the-order bat and bullpen depth.
What Colletti has made clear is that the offseason is like a game of dominoes, where each decision dictates the next.
"Every time you acquire a player, it changes how the club looks," he said.
For example, if a Soriano is acquired to play second base, Kent could move to first and leave no room for Nomar Garciaparra or James Loney. Because of that, it would seem that a decision on Garciaparra would be delayed until after big bats like Soriano and Ramirez are either acquired or ruled out.
If a Ramirez is added, both Wilson Betemit and Andy LaRoche become expendable or candidates to change positions. Or the Dodgers could acquire a center fielder like Matthews Jr., which would leave the infield intact. If they don't, Colletti has indicated Kenny Lofton could return.
Okay, I may not be Gladys Knight, but I'm smart enough to get the domino analogy. What's lost here though is that the order of the dominoes, and how they might fall, is not entirely under our control. Here’s hoping Colletti makes a bold move at the GM meetings (Nov 13-17) to start the dominoes falling, rather than let other teams cherry pick either the best candidates (I’d argue that Soriano is pretty compelling) or our current “fallback options” (Garciaparra and Lofton are also going to be reasonably compelling for other teams as well).