Let me play the role of Dodgers GM for a minute since the real GM is too busy signing great players like Claudio Vargas and Guillermo Mota. (Wow, just typing those names gives me a ugly vision for this season.)
First, let's talk about offense (pitching will come at another article.)
The Dodgers really only have two holes to fill—second base and left field.
In my first official act as GM, I would call Scott Boras (I think he prefers texting) and give him a two week deadline for negotiations over Manny Ramirez. Left field problem solved.
I would offer him a four year contract. I know it's not the six year deal he is looking for, but reality is that no one will give him a five or six year deal, so why not offer him a four year contract and force him to sign it?
The money will surprise you. I'm willing to give him a $ 90 million contract. That's $22 million per year, which should keep Ramirez happy. Don't worry, my boss Frank McCourt, will not lose money. I will ask the marketing department to make a whole Man-Ram line of t-shirts, wigs, and other souvenirs that fans will buy. The money will come. Fans are willing to buy it.
It will be bigger than Fernando-Mania or Nomo-Mania. It will be Manny-Mania.
Fans will come to the games. Jamie McCourt wants four million fans to come. If we sign Ramirez, four million fans will come.
If he rejects the deal, then I would move on without Ramirez and concentrate on other options. Remember that Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier will be starters in the outfield no matter what happens and I still have Juan Pierre.
Let's be realistic. I won't be able to trade him unless there is a GM that likes him. I'm keeping Pierre on the bench and let him count his money in the dugout while McCourt cries. Of course, I'm betting that Ramirez would accept my deal.
But let's say he doesn't.
Then, I would sign Bobby Abreu. His power has been on the decline for years, but it's a better option than Pierre. I'm predicting Kemp will have a break-out year and he will be the power hitter we have been looking for. Give Abreu a two year deal and hope that he accepts it.
Onto second base.
I would call Joe Torre and ask him to play Blake DeWitt often in Spring Training. If he plays solid ball, make him the Opening Day starter once again. I will tell him that he will be playing every day, and to just relax. Give him a three month chance to prove that he belongs. If he struggles, I will look for options from the bench, or a trade.
On the bench, I would not sign Nomar Garciaparra. Thanks for the carne asada memories, but I'm saying bye. The Mark Loretta signing was a good one. I like that he can play most of the infield positions and will bring a better bat than Mark Sweeney.
Those are my ideas for the offense.
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