Shortly after arriving in Las Vegas for the MLB Winter Meetings, Los Angeles Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti went to work. His team had a bunch of holes to fill and a lot of questions to answer.
Who was going to shore up the left side of the infield? Who was going to fill the void from the departures of Derek Lowe and Brad Penny? How about Manny? Is Andruw Jones going to come back and have a contract year?
In response, the Dodgers signed Casey Blake to a three-year deal, worth $17 million.
Contrary to what some people think, this was an absolute steal. Third base has always been a black hole for the Dodgers, where it has been a never ending revolving door of players.
If Blake had not resigned with us, Blake DeWitt would probably have taken over. However, DeWitt pretty much passed up triple-A, and last year was his first season as a major league player. He still needs to develop a little more in order to be the every day second baseman, much less make the transition to third.
The Dodgers also signed super- utility man, Mark Loretta. This is a great signing as he takes Nomar Garciaparra's place as the right-handed pinch hitter. This is a huge upgrade from Mark Sweeney and Delwyn Young. Loretta killed lefties last year and he can play around the infield. He also came cheap with a one-year deal.
Los Angeles still has holes at pitching, shortstop, and left field.
Rafael Furcal turned down the A's offer, so hopefully he'll come back to the Dodgers. They lost out on CC Sabathia, even though they didn't seriously court him to come to the Dodgers. However, his price tag would've been way too much for the Dodgers to handle.
It is ironic that he said he wanted to play for the Dodgers and the next day the Yankees throw in another $21 million.
Lowe doesn't want to come back to the Dodgers because he said they didn't offer him anything. However, throughout the year, he didn't seem like he wanted to pitch for LA. Hopefully they pick up somebody to shore up the starting rotation.
There do not seem to be a lot of suitors for Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers have been the only ones who have offered him a contract and that was turned down.
Who is going to offer him six years? Even the Yankees are not that easily fooled. It also has been rumored that Manny might retire if he can't get his contract. This guy is good, but seriously, how much more money could he ask for? I'm all for Manny signing with the Dodgers, but to get this greedy is insane.
Hopefully the Dodgers make some more announcements before the season starts.
By spring training we will know the outlook of our team for 2009.