Let the free agent officially begin! At exactly 9pm PST, 12am EST, teams can begin to freely negotiate with free agents. Instead of being able to negotiate solely with the team that they were with, the free agent now has the power to go where he pleases.
The Dodgers, this year, have an abundance of free agents. Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers prized left fielder who took the Dodgers to the playoffs, is now open to be bid up by everyone. He is represented by Scott Boras. Boras balked at the Dodgers offer for a rumored two years guaranteed, with a rumored third year for a whooping total of 60 million dollars.
I'm all for resigning Manny but if the man does not want to play here, then that's his decision, not the fans' decision, nor the owner or general manager's decision. So even if we do we resign Manny does that really help us? It still does not solve the outfield logjam of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Andruw Jones and Juan Pierre. If you add Manny in the mix that's five guys for three starting spots.
Now if Andruw Jones somehow is traded (who will we trade him for and we'll be playing him 22.5 million to play somewhere else if we eat his contract), then Manny would make sense. The money freed up would be easy to use for Ramirez and his new contract.
How about our infield? We have holes essentially at second base, third base and shortstop. DeWitt did a great job last year filling in at both second and third base. However he did not look comfortable at all at second base.
Second base will no longer be manned by Jeff Kent, who is contemplating on retiring. Rafael Furcal who is injury prone would be a great addition to our defense and offense as long as he can stay healthy. Casey Blake might end up back with the Indians again.
We need to sign someone who can plug the holes in our infield. It has been rumored that we are looking into Orlando Cabrera. He mimics Furcal with his offensive stats but his defense is not as great as Furcal's. Every Dodger fan will be watching to see how our infield shapes up during this off-season.
The Dodgers also need to fill in their starting rotation, where we have lost Brad Penny and Derek Lowe. Penny was angry that we did not offer him another contract even though we held his option. Lowe simply just does not want to play here any longer. He is an East coast guy so expect him to be picked up by the Yankees or Red Sox.
In today's Los Angeles Times, it is rumored that Randy Johnson is on our radar. He is almost 45 but this guy is a beast. He will be a great pickup to mentor our staff. Could you imagine if we had Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux as pitching coaches? That would be insane! The Dodgers would have the hurler and the professor to refine all of our pitching!
The Dodgers, like the rest of the MLB, will be active during the free agent signing period. Hopefully we do not make any unwise choices in how we sign people.