Saturday, January 16, 2010

So The Dodgers Aren't The Only NL West Team Idling?

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports says that the Dodgers' signing of Jamey Carroll reflects our complacency--but the Giants haven't done anything to take advantage of the situation this winter:

So far this offseason, the Dodgers have added one veteran to their 40-man roster. His name is Jamey Carroll.

I happen to have a high opinion of Jamey Carroll. He’s a pro. He plays all over the diamond. Still, he was last seen appearing in 93 games for a lousy Indians team in 2009. While he may start at second base for the Dodgers, he has been a utility infielder for much of his career, and utility infielders are like long snappers. You need them. You value them. But if you see them surrounded by reporters after a postseason game, it’s generally because they messed up.

I mention Carroll to illustrate a point: The Dodgers have spent very little this winter. That is partially because they have a fairly established core of young players, partially because the team’s ownership doesn’t lead the league in stability or cash on hand. [...]

Manager Bruce Bochy told reporters this week that he expects Pablo Sandoval, Huff and DeRosa will bat third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Not bad, but I’m sure Dodgers fans (and Dodgers employees) feared for months that the rival Giants would come away from the winter with Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. There was no Big Splash to make McCourt’s financial frostbite sting the Dodgers even more.

“We’ve been hearing it for years: ‘They need a bat, they need a bat,’” one American League scout said this week. “Well, they got Aubrey Huff and DeRosa. They’re good players, sure. But another big bat would be Holliday or Bay or getting Adrian Gonzalez in a trade, which won’t happen.

“I don’t think they totally revamped their offense like they hoped to. But maybe it doesn’t really matter to them, because pitching is the way they’re going to compete. In the Giants’ defense, maybe they’re thinking, ‘The division is coming back down to us.’”

And it is. At least, the Dodgers are. So wasn’t that all the more reason to overhaul the offense now, with your biggest rival mothballing its roster after consecutive NLCS appearances?

That's a swipe at you, Ned Colletti and Frank McCourt. But Morosi goes on to profile the rest of the NL West contenders (i.e., sans San Diego):

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, have made the best upgrades of any team in the division. Adam LaRoche, who agreed to a one-year deal this week, will lengthen their lineup and improve the infield defense. They have added Brandon Webb (back from injury) and Edwin Jackson (trade with Detroit) to the rotation.

At the moment, the Rockies probably have the best all-around roster in the division. They were better than the Giants last season, and nothing has happened since that would change my mind. San Francisco has Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, but Colorado has balance – not to mention the expected return of Jeff Francis, after he missed all of 2009.

The Dodgers will probably add another starting pitcher soon, but I doubt that they will be as good in 2010 as they were in 2009. As a result, the Giants have pulled even with their rival -- something that would have been a great achievement one year ago. But at the end of an off-season that started with such optimism, it qualifies as a letdown.

If one of our rivals had picked up Holliday or Bay, I admit, I would have been a lot more worried than I am now. It concerns me that we're floating along here on auto-pilot, and I'm hoping that the moves to solidify our youth movement will help catalyze some other smart moves by the Dodgers' front office. All it takes is one big signing, by any of those three teams, for the scales to tip way against the NL West Champs.


Steve Sax said...

Oh my God, why don't you start a Giants blog and report their news on that blog.

Orel said...

Way to stick it to yourself, Sax!

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

What weirds me out is how Morosi says that the Giants have pulled even. Let's look at this a little more closely:

Dodgers: - Orlando Hudson, Randy Wolf

Giants: + Mark DeRosa, Aubrey Huff

Oh yeah, they really did pull even. Big disparity overcome there.

Nostradamus said...

Kouzmanoff was apparently dealt to Oakland for Hairston and Cunningham. Perhaps I can should start a Padres blog and report this news there!

StolenMonkey86 said...

The rumors that Lincecum might get $20 million in arbitration are really exciting. It would be like they had to pay Barry Zito again.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Except Alyssa Milano has never been in Timmah's pants...yet.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

I thought this was a Giants blog. Are you pulling my leg? ;-)

Kyle Baker said...

If anyone else used the word, "Giants" again in this thread without accompanying it with appropriate derisive, if not downright profane comments, consider your ass kicked. We have standards here.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Oh my God, why don't you start a Giants Suck blog and report their news on that blog.

Hey, wait a minute...that could work! It's my idea, nobody gets it but me!