Friday, August 10, 2012

Looking Ahead To The 2013 Dodgers Lineup

ESPN.com had a "Crystal Ball" column (link insider only) in which they predicted what the NL West starting lineups would look like. Here's the Dodgers' 2013 preview:

With the July 31 trade deadline now comfortably in our rearview mirror, we can now begin looking ahead to 2013.

[W]e will take a look at each team's projected 2013 Opening Day lineup, with a breakdown of strengths, weaknesses and potential holes to fill. And before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind.

For starters, we did not attempt to place free agents, as that is almost impossible to predict. Thefore, if a player is set to be a free agent, we replaced him in the lineup with the best internal solution. In some case, that "solution" will almost certainly not be the Opening Day starter at that position, but that's the point, as it will further illustrate the biggest areas of concern for each club.

We included 2013 salaries in our projected lineups, and for players who are not eligible for free agency we took our best guess based on service time and the recent history of arbitration awards given to similar players.

When it comes to contract options, we took our best guess. If it's a good player with a reasonable club option, we kept them in the lineup for 2013. If it's a good player with a modest player option, we assumed they opt for free agency. [...]

Los Angeles Dodgers

From the sound of things, money is no object when it comes to the Dodgers and their 2013 payroll. You can expect them to be in the running for many of the top free agent position players after the season, and don't be surprised if they bid on top free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke, despite already having committed $47 million to five starting pitchers.

Shane Victorino, acquired from the Phillies at the trade deadline, says would like to re-sign with the team when he becomes a free agent this winter. Victorino was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1999, but the 31-year-old might have to wait on the Dodgers, who could have their eye on a bigger prize in free agency -- perhaps Josh Hamilton -- to fill their left-field void.

Victorino would give the team a better leadoff option than shortstop Dee Gordon, who has a .280 OBP in 78 games. If Gordon doesn't progress and the club decides it wants to keep the newly acquired Hanley Ramirez at third, then shortstop is another position of need.

After trading away their most reliable setup man, Josh Lindblom, in the Victorino deal, the Dodgers went out and acquired Brandon League to fill the void. If they believe that Matt Guerrier can come back strong after missing most of this season with elbow tendinitis, they probably won't worry about replacing League, who is likely to depart as a free agent in search of a closer's job.

The other major area of need is at first base. James Loney has never developed any power, and is headed for free agency. The Dodgers can do better at that spot.

Holes on the horizon: 1. 1B/Corner OF; 2. SP; 3. RP

Offseason priority: While the new ownership arrived too late to bid on Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols last winter, they could still do well in their first offseason by adding Josh Hamilton, Melky Cabrera, or Adam LaRoche to a lineup that already includes Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez. No matter what happens, expect every big-name free agent to be linked to the Dodgers at some point this winter.

Projected 2013 Opening Day lineup

POS, PLAYER, SALARY

  • LF, Jerry Hairston Jr., $3.75M
  • 2B, Mark Ellis, $5.25M
  • CF, Matt Kemp, $20M
  • RF, Andre Ethier, $13.5M
  • 3B, Hanley Ramirez, $15.5M
  • 1B, Jerry Sands, $495K*
  • C, A.J. Ellis, $520K*
  • SS, Dee Gordon, $500K*

Projected 2013 rotation/bullpen

POS, PLAYER, SALARY

  • No. 1, Clayton Kershaw, $11M
  • No. 2, Chad Billingsley, $11M
  • No. 3, Chris Capuano, $6M
  • No. 4, Aaron Harang, $7M
  • No. 5, Ted Lilly, $12M
  • SU, Ronald Belisario, $1.3M*
  • CL, Kenley Jansen, $550K*

Salaries from Cot's Baseball Contracts and are for 2013 season; * Estimated; ** Club option

I have a bad feeling about Melky given he's a former Giant, which means there's a high risk we'll sign him for a ton of cash following a banner year that he won't ever come close to replicating on our staff.

4 comments:

Franklin Stubbs said...

I'm in favor of playing "drive the price up for the Giants" on Melky, but I don't really want to take a risk on his newfound offensive prowess.

Alex said...

Guggenheim Baseball Management,

Buss Family says it's your move.

Franklin Stubbs said...

That's no lie, Alex.

Wicks said...

There is a 0% chance that will be our 2013 Line-up.