There is little chance that the Los Angeles Dodgers will be serious contenders in 2012. The fact that they have refused to offer arbitration to their seven free agents bodes well for the future. It’s addition by subtraction.
The Dodgers, like their friends in New York and other rebuilding teams, must improve from within their own system and make judicious additions.
Hiroki Kuroda will be 37 years old in Feb. 2012. The Dodgers would be willing to sign him, but not for $12 million, which was his salary last season. He is too old to build around.
Mike MacDougal is no more than a journeyman who has pitched for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals in addition to the Dodgers. At the age of 34, he has little value.
Los Angeles signed free-agent right-hander Vicente Padilla in 2009, again in 2010 and a third time in 2011. As Padilla knows, three strikes and you’re out. In his three seasons with the Dodgers, Padilla won 10 games with a 102 ERA+.
Jonathon Broxton has been an enigma. In seven seasons with the Dodgers, he had 84 saves and a 3.19 ERA with 502 strikeouts in 392 innings, but he failed when it counted the most. He is now Kansas City’s problem.
Jon Garland might have been the most overrated pitcher in baseball a few seasons ago. Many thought of him as an ace, when in reality he was merely a decent pitcher.
Garland has never won more than 13 games in a season, has a 4.32 ERA, a 104 ERA+ and a 1.380 WHIP. You don’t even round out a pitching staff with Jon Garland.
Casey Blake has seen his best days. The Dodgers don’t need a 37-year-old utility player. Blake might be able to help a contender, but he doesn’t fit in with the Dodgers.
Finally, Aaron Miles is 34 years old. He has been with as many teams as MacDougal. Miles hits for a respectable average (.281), but his on-base average (320) and slugging average (.352) leave much to be desired.
The Dodgers must build on youth. They must give their youngsters a chance to develop and then join the big club.
Right-handers Zach Lee, Nathan Eovaldi and Allen Webster are among the top minor league pitchers, while Alfredo Silverio and Joc Pederson rank high among the batters.
They must be a start to the next world championship.