Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Writing The Next Chapter of Martin's L.A. Story

Kevin Baxter had a nice piece in today's LAT detailing both sides of the difficult Russell Martin debate. This one, like all of them, comes down to money; however with as much of a clubhouse presence as Martin has been the last three years, it also comes down to heart vs. mind.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has a lot of decisions to make over the next couple of weeks, but few figure to be as difficult or time consuming as the one regarding catcher Russell Martin.

The team has until Dec. 2 to offer Martin a contract or allow him to become a free agent. Martin made $5 million last year when a hip injury limited him to a career-low 97 games, and he could make more next season in salary arbitration if the Dodgers keep him.

"Russell's the one that we're going to spend the most time debating," Colletti said Tuesday during a break at Major League Baseball's annual general managers' meetings. "He's coming off a different kind of injury — and a serious injury. So he's somebody we've spent a lot of different conversations [on] trying to figure out what would be best."

Beyond the injury, what concerns the Dodgers is that Martin's production has dropped dramatically since he made All-Star appearances in 2007 and 2008. He has hit only .249 since then — 23 points below his career average — and with fewer home runs than he hit in 2008 alone.

Still, the Dodgers haven't given up on the 27-year-old, and they may try to bring him back for less. It's an option that may appeal to Martin since it would allow him to avoid a free-agent market already crowded with catchers.

The other nuggets buried deep in this article indicate that James Loney may be staying after all, despite his continued lack of power numbers, at a traditional power position, made worse by being on an offensively challenged team. And, Baxter says we won't enter the fray for Adam Dunn or Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Colletti also said he is "not done shopping for arms," perhaps learning from the Giants' fluky run this postseason, and/or considering that pitching might be a better thing to stockpile while free agent bats are in limited supply (driving overmarket values).

15 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

I prefer My Blue Heaven, even though it's based in San Diego

You know, it's dangerous for you to be here in the frozen food section.

Why is that?

Because you could melt all this stuff.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Wonderful. Let's worry about the one thing this team had absolutely no trouble with during the second half of the season.

rbnlaw said...

I want the Nishioka kid at 2nd in the worst way possible.

Not sure just what that is at the moment.

Spanky said...

Shaldeen

Spanky said...

HATE YOU BRAD ASSMOSS!

Josh S. said...

Blow a season-long division lead and fail to make the playoffs, win NL Manager of the Year!

Mr. Customer said...

That's effing ridiculous.

Mr. Customer said...

I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about the bullpen, frankly. We would have probably won ten games more were it not for late-inning incompetence.

Josh S. said...

I guess the early-inning and nine-inning incompetence stuck out more.

Mr. Customer said...

So much incompetence, so little time.

Steve Sax said...

Did someone say incompetence?

(I know there's a lot of gems on this site, but this one made me laugh.)

Mr. Customer said...

Today, we learned about inertia!

Dusty Baker said...

Our bullpen was what the French call "Les incompetents."

#HomeAlone

rbnlaw said...

Not bidding on Nishioka? Kid has the chance to be another Japanese superstar, and the Dodgers pass?

Guess they'll rely on Hiro to boost the overseas marketing.

rbnlaw said...

And I thought the Dodger bullpen, circa 2010, was called, "The Fire Brigade."