Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dodgers Eke Out A B+ Grade Early On, Will Likely Need Midterm Help

In his divisional review of the NL West teams' offseason transactions, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark gave the Dodgers a B+ grade, the best of any NL West team:

Los Angeles Dodgers

BIGGEST ADDITIONS: Jon Garland, Juan Uribe, Matt Guerrier, Marcus Thames, Gabe Kapler, Tony Gwynn Jr., Blake Hawksworth, Ron Mahay, manager Don Mattingly.

BIGGEST SUBTRACTIONS: Russell Martin, Scott Podsednik, Reed Johnson, Brad Ausmus, George Sherrill, Jeff Weaver, Ryan Theriot, manager Joe Torre.

So whaddaya know. Thanks to a much-needed advance on their TV money, the Dodgers weren't paralyzed by their ownership debacle after all. So once he was freed from captivity, GM Ned Colletti burned up the old Transactions column all winter -- signing 11 free agents to big league deals and another 15 to minor league deals.

Best thing they did: Moved ultra-aggressively to bring back free agents Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla, while signing Garland for a mere one year, $5 million guarantee. So rotation depth -- a big issue last summer -- is now one of this team's biggest strengths all of a sudden.

Most debatable thing they did: guaranteeing three years and $21 million to Uribe. Lovable and clutch as he may have been for the Giants last year, he's never had an on-base percentage as high as .330 in ANY of his 10 big league seasons. And it's tough to identify his ideal position anymore. But the Giants weren't happy to lose him, if that means anything.

What remains to be seen: How the left-field jumble of Thames, Gabe Kapler and Tony Gwynn Jr. works out -- and, even more importantly, how Mattingly's managerial debut works out. This is a tough clubhouse. And this division leads the league in pitchers' duels, where running the game matters. So as astute and well-liked as Mattingly may be, he's in for the biggest challenge of his lifetime.

Grade: B+

The Giants and Diamondbacks got the worst grades, each with a C-. The Padres got a C, and the Rockies got a B.

7 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

I was willing to settle for a gentleman's C.

Dusty Baker said...

This is a job for SoSG readers:

http://tinyurl.com/49zhwhn

Orel said...

Relief pitchers playing Assassins' Circle? Link included in Saturday Notes, coming soon.

Spank said...

It's gotta be whose buying booze that night. Gotta be.

Dusty Baker said...

Why do they abbreviate Broxton but spell out Belisario?

Josh S. said...

Troncoso, too. I mean, "Tron" is right there!

Dusty Baker said...

Maybe these were cleverly disguised weed order that Weaver was keeping up with.