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Dodgers not spending for bats

12/13/2010

Craig pointed out this bit of exciting Southland news from Robothal:

    The Dodgers are in discussions with free agent Bill Hall, who would be their primary left fielder. Hall, who hit 18 home runs in 344 at-bats for the Red Sox last season, likely would be the Dodgers' last significant addition; the team is nearing its budgetary limit.

Hey, he's better than Tony Gwynn.

Still, this reminded me of something T.J. Simers wrote a few days ago (and you have to give Simers credit for saying almost anything to almost anybody). Simers:

    GM Ned Colletti has repeatedly told us his hands are not tied because of the McCourt mess.

    This makes Colletti a liar.

    Or, the worst judge of talent in baseball history.

    Or, a former Giants executive still doing what he can to help the Bay Area team by mucking up the Dodgers.

    Read the list out loud of off-season acquisitions as I did to Colletti the other day: Jay Gibbons, Ted Lilly, Jon Garland; Tony Gwynn Jr., Juan Uribe, Vicente Padilla, Rod Barajas, Dioner Navarro and Hiroki Kuroda.

    "Which one of these is not a stiff?" I wanted to know.

Even at (almost) 36, Hiroki Kuroda's not a stiff. Lilly, Garland, Padilla ... all of those guys are decent enough (though I wonder if I'm missing something -- doesn't that make six starters, all those guys plus Billingsley and Kershaw?).

I think it's fair to say the Dodgers haven't done anything exciting. The problem is that there weren't many exciting hitters available this winter, not on the free market anyway. And apparently the Dodgers don't have the financial wherewithal to grab one of them.

Should the Dodgers have outspent the Nationals for Jayson Werth, or the Red Sox for Carl Crawford? Crawford in particular would have been a good fit, but it's pretty clear that the Dodgers simply don't have that kind of money. Maybe they should have that kind of money, considering their market and their ballpark. But the McCourts were running the franchise on something of a shoestring before the divorce, and now every significant outlay is going to be just another bone of contention.

Colletti's track record isn't real good. But given his financial limitations and the paucity of impact hitters on the market this winter, there's something to be said for focusing on run prevention and hoping for the best.