Friday, August 24, 2007

Dodgers' Youth Movement Train Has Left Station; Are Colletti and Little On Board?

Curious article in USA Today mentioning that the Dodgers are committed to the youngsters on the squad:

Years ago when Colletti was a young sportswriter in Philadelphia, he'd hear Paul Owens, the late Phillies GM, preach, "Sometimes the best deal is the deal you don't make."

Colletti agrees with that. He adds, "Year by year, the ways to build your club become more limited. The free agent market continues to get thin, the cost of free agents continues to rise and the ability to trade for an accomplished player usually has strings attached. It always entails moving not one prospect, but in our case multiple prospects who're sitting in the big leagues. I don't know how you replace the youth."

Little insists "holding on to the young players will pay off in the future."

I guess we'll never really know if Colletti's stance on not trading prospects was deliberate or not. It is pretty clear though that his penchant for veterans, which may have yielded more benefits earlier this season, is not translating to on-field success late in the season (case in point: Luis Gonzalez' declining offensive and defensive play of late).

But even though we have veterans aging before our very eyes, and youngsters like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney breaking out the bats, Grady Little seems staunchly determined to play the old guys--logic and recent results be damned. His quote that "holding on to the young players will pay off" is curious...they'll only pay off in the 2007 season if you play them, Grady!