Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted on: October 9, 2011 1:36 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:53 pm
 
By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Los Angeles Dodgers
Record: 82-79, third place in NL West, 11.5 games back
Manager: Don Mattingly
Best hitter: Matt Kemp -- .324/.399/.586, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 115 R, 40 SB
Best pitcher: Clayton Kershaw -- 21-5, 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 248 K, 233 1/3 IP

2011 SEASON RECAP

The Dodgers were mediocre at best and pretty bad at times for most of the 2011 season, but all of a sudden, something seemed to click. After an August 21 loss, the Dodgers sat 57-69. The rest of the way, they went 25-10. Simply: For the last five weeks of the season, the Dodgers were one of the best teams in baseball. It's just that it was too late and not many noticed -- including Joe Buck, who said "a bad Dodgers team" during the ALCS telecast Saturday night.

On the field, this Dodgers season will be remembered for two reasons. More specifically, two players. Matt Kemp would have the NL MVP in the bag had his teammates played better all season. He may lose out to Ryan Braun, though, due to many voters believing the winner of the individual award has to come from a team that was in contention. Clayton Kershaw won the pitching triple crown (led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts -- note: He tied Ian Kennedy in wins, but that still counts). He's the likely Cy Young Award winner in the NL.

Off the field, this Dodgers season has been completely and utterly marred by owner Frank McCourt. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, he's still the owner. At least as of this writing.

2012 AUDIT

R.I.P. series
Despite the strong close, the Dodgers are still in a state of limbo. There are several holes and the ownership mess makes it unknown as to how they can proceed. Fortunately, the nucleus is young and rather strong. Kenley Jansen and Javy Guerra make a strong back-end duo in the bullpen. Kershaw is an elite ace. Kemp is one of the best all-around players in baseball. Chad Billingsley is fickle, but he's still only 27. The youth movement showed promise for the future, too, with Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa (who had Tommy John surgery in August) showing they can be part of the solution in L.A. On the other hand, decisions need to be made with James Loney, Andre Ethier, catcher, second base and third base.

The franchise is not set up to be a slam-dunk contender, nor is it set up for futility in the near future. If the ownership situation would get settled very soon and the Dodgers could be a major player in free agency, they'd have a great shot at winning the NL West in 2012. It's just that we don't know how long the ownership situation will linger. Even if McCourt lost the team today, however, the approval process wouldn't be complete until it was too late to make several major plays at the likes of Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes and C.J. Wilson.

FREE AGENTS

Rod Barajas, C
Jamey Carroll, 2B
Aaron Miles, 2B
Casey Blake, 3B (option declined)
Juan Rivera, OF
Jon Garland, SP (option declined)
Hiroki Kuroda, SP
Jonathan Broxton, RP
Mike MacDougal, RP
Vicente Padilla, RP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they can't act like a large-market team as long as the McCourt financial stuff continues. And that won't be resolved this offseason. Still, there is significant payroll coming off the books. The general direction of the franchise should be to try and compete with the younger players while letting the aging veterans walk, but a few exceptions can be made -- because it's very realistic that the Dodgers can compete in the NL West in 2012.
  • They can probably make a run at Jose Reyes. His zealous personality would fit perfectly in Hollywood, just as his bat would atop the order. Gordon could be moved to second base and hit second. So the lineup would start: Reyes, Gordon, Kemp, Ethier (well, maybe, we'll get to that ... ).
  • Play Juan Uribe full time at third base. He's not too old to bounce back from an injury-plagued campaign.
  • Dangle Ethier as a trade candidate. Even when he's at his best, he's not an elite player -- yet many seem to view him as one. He's a free agent at the end of 2012 and has had several episodes of complaining about the team and then backing off the comments. I wouldn't necessarily come out and say he's gone, but instead quietly shop him. If he can be dealt for prospects, Sands and Tony Gwynn Jr. are enough to fill out the outfield for the time being, while L.A. just treads water waiting for the ownership situation to be sorted out.
  • Give Loney one last chance. The 27 year old was one of the best hitters in the league in the last five weeks. If it was a fluke, the Dodgers can address first base next season. If the McCourt situation was different, a run at Fielder or Albert Pujols while selling high Loney would make a lot of sense, but I just don't think they could pull that off financially at this point.
  • Bring Kuroda back for one more year. He wants to stay in L.A. anyway, and with De La Rosa on the shelf recovering from surgery, there's a need for a stop-gap in the rotation. 
  • If there's any possible way to do so financially, Kemp needs a huge contract extension. He's only 27 and can anchor the franchise for a long time. He's also wildly popular, so this would at least send a message to the fans that the Dodgers are still very relevant.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Comments
peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 8:36 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:56 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

Without doubt, many thanks for that blogging place.Fairly searching frontward to truly see the alot more. Wonderful.



Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 2:06 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

I'd love to see Kuroda come back but if I had to make sure of one thing the Dodgers should do, IS LET BROXTON GO, if the Dodgers could honestly get Jose Reyes that would be amazing but I don't really see them going for Fielder or Pujols, if they could get C.J. Wilson that'd be awesome but I think they won't be able to support him, but hey need to try and bring in some bats, and not someone who's on the decline of their career...



Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 11:00 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

This publish was fairly properly made, and also, it carries a lot of useful specifics. I appreciated your professed means that of providing this publish.



Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:14 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

get rid of contracts of Furcal,Blake,Garland,Uribe is a good starting point..
if they think they'd contend bringing back Kuroda is a smart move(8-10 mil..)..Either lose appeal!!..
the farm is good on pitching but below-average on positional players



Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 6:54 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

I would bring back Miles, Carroll, Rivera, Kuroda, and possibly Barajas they should all be reasonably priced.  Barajas didn't do great but he didn't do horrible either.  Vincent Padilla was injured the whole season but he did toe the line his time with the Dodgers and if the doctors think he's a go for next season I think he's worth a shot.  The one who most needs to go is McCourt!!!




Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:58 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

The problem with the Dodgers is ownership. $hit travels downhill! As for Joe Buck, eff him, he's a Cardinal fan and a Dodgers hater. This is the first story I've read where the writer actually says trade Etheir and I can't agree more. I've been saying it for 2 years. Average outfielder who can't hit lefties. Trade him while you can.  As for the rest of the team, they a few glaring holes but I don't think they're too far off. It really doesn't matter though unless they fix the ownership issues.


harwich82
Since: Apr 28, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:47 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:50 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers are a far cry from winning a world series.  Here is a short list on what to do for 2012.<br /><br />Matt Kemp is an MVP.  Triple crown may not happen however, he hits with good power and can run.  39 home runs next year most likely won't happen.  Expect a line .312/34/104 and top it off with 33 SB.  It isn't that he's getting older it's pitcher won't pitch to him.  He will be frustrated and strike out more while also taking base on balls more.  Package Either, Loney for trade.  No reason the can't go after a third basemen with power.  McCourt needs to step down.  Sell this team to FOX.  Hell, I don't even have a clue to what i'm talking about.  This is a true fans frustration/meltdown.  <br /><br />




Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: October 10, 2011 9:32 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers

They can probably make a run at Jose Reyes.
What makes you think so?  I.e., why would you think they can afford him while the team is in bankruptcy?  How likely is it that the parties to the bankruptcy case and the judge would approve the enormous (and multi-year) commitment necessary to get Reyes--especially since that might hinder finding a buyer for the team?  And they certainly won't be able to afford him if they give Kemp the contract extension you suggest later in the article.  (And they may not be able to manage that, either.)

While they may be dropping some salary from the players you mention, they will have to sign some new ones who will use up some of that same money; they can't do it all with minor leaguers.  (And some other people may be due raises, I assume, either from arbitration or from the terms of their existing contracts.)  That won't leave enough to sign Reyes.

Once new ownership is in, they probably could do these things.  But probably not until then.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com