Grading the Los Angeles Dodgers' Moves so Far This Offseason
Amid an active market that has seen a lot of the big available names sign already, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been surprisingly quiet. They have yet to move any of their outfielders, and they have stayed out of much of the more expensive bidding.
In fact, they have made just three moves of any note thus far, and all have been free-agent signings: SP Dan Haren, RP Brian Wilson and 3B Juan Uribe.
None of these actions are for particularly big money, but they will all have an impact on the upcoming season.
SP Dan Haren—B+
Terms of the deal: 1 year, $10 million
It’s hard to be too critical of a move that, if presented as a blind resume test, looks like a no-brainer: a one-year, $10 million deal for a pitcher with a career ERA- of 90 (which means he’s been 10 percent better than league-average) who is just two years removed from what was arguably his best season.
However, it’s not a slam dunk. Haren has been below average the last two years, and his only two DL stints (per his Baseball Prospectus injury history, which requires a subscription) have been in that time period. And at Haren’s age—33—it’s no guarantee that he will recover from shoulder and back problems that have been known to end careers.
Even given all of that, the deal is only for one year, which means that it’s as low-risk as is imaginable. It’s entirely possible that Haren returns to the form he has shown for most of his career, and the Dodgers aren’t counting on him to be anything more than a fourth or fifth starter.
RP Brian Wilson—B
Terms of the deal: 1 year, $10 million, with a player option for 2015
While this is an overpay when you take into account that relievers can be found for cheap—the Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen makes only $500,000—it’s not a huge investment for a team with a 2014 payroll already at $217 million.
In a short stint with the Dodgers last season, Wilson was fantastic—to the tune of a 0.66 ERA. The problem, of course, is that it was in just 13.2 innings. Since the start of 2011, Wilson has thrown only 70.2 innings, which is less than he threw in individual seasons in 2009 and 2010.
Earlier this month, Joe Sheehan mentioned on Twitter that Wilson might be the worst signing of the offseason. I find it difficult to get that worked up about such a small deal. In fact, given the small commitment, I don’t have a problem with it. In general, the idea is that you don’t want to spend that much money on a reliever. But this is a cheap attempt to fix a weakness last season.
3B Juan Uribe—A+
Terms of the deal: 2 years, $15 million
That’s not even a concern, though—Uribe is undoubtedly the best option on the third base market. The alternatives are uninspiring at best and season-killing at worst.
Other potential additions are better, but no signing was or will be as important as this one. Uribe was someone the Dodgers had to have, and GM Ned Colletti sealed the deal.