Monday, January 10th, 2005
9:55 pm - How Green Was my Valet? The Answer is Lowing in the Wind.  
At long last Shawn Green is on his way to the desert. Adios, Shawn, vaya con dios. The Dodgers are also paying $10M of Green's $16M salary for Arizona to take him. In return LA gets four very young minor leaguers - Dioner Navarro, the 21 year-old catcher that DePo coveted most of all, and three pitchers of varying alleged potential. None of these guys is above AA level yet, although Navarro had a cup of coffee with the Yanks in September. That means it's unlikely any benefits from the trade will be seen for years to come.

DePo took the remaining $6M of Green's salary that LA didn't have to fork over to Arizona, and used it as a down payment of Derek Lowe of all people. Ya know, GMs like John Schuerholz get pitchers like Tim Hudson, who won't be making nearly the money Lowe will, for a few prospects. We get guys like Lowe and Penny, and it's still uncertain whether or not Penny'll be ready to go opening day. The conventional wisdom is that Lowe does better with a decent defense behind him. In practice, his performance last season was scarily like what the Dodgers got from Kaz Ishii (who is projected to be the fifth starter), sometimes dominating, more often a wild ride, regardless of who was on the field. Still, the Dodger defense should be miles better than what he had behind him most of the year in Boston. The conventional wisdom is also that moving from a good hitter's park in Fenway to a great pitcher's park in Dodger Stadium can't hurt. In practice, it turns out Lowe had far better numbers at home than he did on the road.

On a cheerier note, Lowe saved his worst games for astroturf (maybe because because he had the no rangers behind him), and now that the Nats, nee Expos, won't be playing in Olympic Stadium, there are no turf fields left in the National League anymore. The Dodgers will play every single game on grass this year for the first time since the mid-sixties. It's like the day the Berlin Wall fell. I never thought I'd live to see it.

Meanwhile, I discovered that I'm the last to find out that DePo refused to tender an offer to Alex Cora, cutting him loose entirely rather than taking the chance he'd win in arbitration. The maximum he could've won was, like, only $1.3M, chicken feed in this day and age. Jeff Kent is clearly a better all around second baseman, but Cora was a better hitter than Choi. DePo apparently thinks Choi will blossom. I'd rather have Kent at first. Instead, DePo took Cora's salary, and invested it in Jose Valentin, a good glove man who will work a walk, mostly because it's the only way he seems to be able to reach base on his own. He certainly can't hit the ball (.216 avg). I do feel better about the infield defense than I did even just yesterday. Kent is still a pretty good second baseman, and although Valentin isn't as good as Beltre was this year, he can catch the ball.

And on top of everything else, the Dodgers still don't have a catcher who can hit his frelling weight. In fact, DePo let both Wilson and Mayne go, so there's not even a backup for Ross at this point. Sheesh. The only good thing I can see coming of it is that since there's no backup, if Ross, God willing, breaks his leg in spring training, DePo will be forced to make a deal for somebody.
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Current Mood: disappointed