Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Dodger Outlook Part 2

The other day I ran down what I'd do with the position players in 2012.  Now it's time to take a look at the pitching staff.

Up first,

Kershaw is the only Dodger starter who is not under contract for next season (technically, he's not under contract for this year either.  He and the Dodgers have submitted figures to arbitration.  The $8.125 million listed above is the midpoint of those two figures) .  He's also far and away the best Dodger starter.  It would behoove the team to sign him to a long-term deal.  5 years and $85 million?  Something in that range?

Billingsley and Kershaw were supposed to be Drysdale and Koufax.  Kershaw is coming a lot closer to holding up his end of the bargain that Billingsley is.  Chad has been a productive pitcher for LA, but he's been too inconsistent, and hasn't been able to take that next step.  Still, a pitcher like Chad on the free market would command a higher salary than what Chad is due.

Lilly had a pretty Ted Lilly year in 2011.  It looked a bit ugly through July, but he turned it on in the second half.  Hopefully, he can start off 2012 as hot as he ended 2011.  Lilly is signed for another season after this and he's got to be at the end of his useful life.  A hot start and maybe some team will get desperate and trade for him.

I put Capuano and Harang together because Nedo signed them both to two year deals this off season.  This seems...ill advised.

Capuano signed for 2 year and $10 million with an $8 million team option in 2014.
Capuano is coming off this season with the New York Mets:
31 starts, 186 innings, 4.55 ERA, 1.6 WAR

Jeff Francis just signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.  Francis did this last year:
31 starts, 183 innings, 4.82 ERA, 2.6 WAR

3 different projections systems project Capuano for the following:
9-9 record, 167 innings, 4.37 ERA

Those 3 projection systems project Francis for the following:
8-9 record, 157 innings, 4.49 ERA

Nearly identical pitchers.  One, signed by Ned, signs for $10 million.  The other, not signed by Ned, signs a minor league deal.

Harang is similar.  Compare his projected numbers
8 - 9 134 innings, 4.31 ERA to these 4 pitchers

Aaron Cook: 4 - 5 88 innings 4.69 ERA.  Signed to a minor league deal
Paul Maholm: 8 - 9 159 innings, 4.23 ERA.  Signed for 1 year $4.5 million
Jason Marquis: 8 - 8 129 innings, 4.33 ERA.  Signed for 1 year $3 million
Joel Pineiro: 8 - 9 141 innings, 4.29 ERA.  Signed to a minor league deal

How are these guys significantly different than Harang?  

The worst part of of the signings of Capuano and Harang is that they are for two years.  The Dodgers have a number of young starters getting close to the big leagues.  With 5 starters locked into contracts, there's won't be much room for them.

Nathan Eovaldi looks just as good as Harang at a fraction of the cost.

I need some good news.

That looks pretty good.  Almost an entire fully functioning bullpen all being paid the minor league minimum for both this year and next.  Especially since it is lead by Kenley Jansen who is absolutely nasty.  There's not much to do here besides sit back and let these guys develop...and let Javy Guerra rack up saves.  Javy is a good pitchers.  Not a great a great pitcher.  Not a really good pitcher.  Just a good pitcher.  But...if he can spend a year or two as a closer, he'll have value beyond his talent. If Guerra has 15-20 saves at the break, and a team comes calling, let him go.  

Moving on the the less happiness inducing part of the bullpen.  These guys are making actual money while not actually being any better than the cheap guys.  Guerrier is useful, but infinitely replaceable.  No real reason to give him any money.  MacDougal really isn't useful.  Any number of AAA relievers could replace his innings.  Blake Hawksworth is on the edge of usefulness.  But, his sister is hot.  

Not much to do here.  Only one long contract on the books, a bunch of major league minimum guys after that.  Trade Guerra if the opportunity presents itself.  We're not likely to compete so there's no real reason to add anyone.  We could have taken a chance on Brad Lidge who signed with the Nationals for $1.  Half a season of that and a trade would have worked out.  Similarly, we could sign Hong-Chih Kuo.

So there you have it.  Not a lot of room for making moves with Colletti doubling down on every mediocre free agent available.  

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