Los Angeles Dodgers 2009 Team Preview
I am so sick and tired of hearing the words "CC Sabathia and LA Dodgers" in the same sentence. This team does NOT need MORE pitching. If anything, they need a capable hitter who can get the RISP in successfully. The 2008 Dodgers ranked second in NL in overall team ERA, and second in team ERA for NL bullpens. They need to shorten up the holes on the offensive side. Here is what I think the LA Dodgers should do in the offseason.
1) Juan Pierre and Ethan Martin (great power fastball and pinpoint location) for Justin Duscherer.
2) Andruw Jones for Austin Kearns (neither player is flashy, but this would be a bad contract swap for a bad contract swap, plus AJ wants to play back in the NL East.)
3) Brian Roberts for Blake DeWitt, Scott Elbert, and Tony Abreu.
Free Agent Signings
1) LF Emil Brown, who gives them a power lefty off the bench; two years for six million.
2) First baseman Richie Sexson, which is nothing flashy here, but they need a right handed 1B for Loney's days off; one year for five million.
3) Chad Cordero, who is coming off injury, is only 26 years old but LA needs a backup in case Saito doesn't do well; give him a one year deal with four million and a club option for 2010 for six million.
4) Joe Crede; two years for 20 million (2009: one year for eight million, club option in 2010, and a $3 million buyout.)
5) Cintron; one year for 800,000. He is simply for INF backup/depth.
2009 LA Dodgers Starting Lineup
Bench: 1B Sexson, LF Brown, C Ardoin, RF Young, and INF Cintron
SP McDonald/Schmidt (if he is healthy)
You cannot rely on Saito being healthy and ready for the start of the 2009 season at age 39. Cordero is a cheap and effective closer, while I believe Broxton doesn't have the mental strength for being a closer just yet.
Offensively, you see a very deep and powerful bench from both sides of the plate. Also, you see a capable lead off hitter who can get on and cause havoc for the opposing team's infield and catcher. You trust that your young "Boys in Blue" can handle the spotlight after reaching the 2008 NLCS, and put Ethier for 600 at bats per season. Let him and Kemp start in CF and LF.
Overall, this is a deeper Dodgers ball club than previous years, where if someone went down for a good two to three months, no one would be ready to fill in. If they ALL stay healthy and raise their game up for the following season, I see them winning at least 105 games. 21 years and counting is too long for a franchise that was seemingly in almost every World Series from 1977-1988.
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