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southerndodgerf
07-09-2008, 05:40 PM
I wrote in another thread that the Dodgers new motto should be "We use FA to fill the holes that are farm is unable to fill."

I am been examining other teams lately. I was trying to find a common thread among the contenders. I think I have found one. A Farm. I know this is not news to most of you. Some of you have been extolling the advantages of a farm for years. However, it goes a bit further than just having a farm. It is having a good farm, knowing when to trade for better farm players, and knowing when to trade members of the farm for much needed help.

The Brewers and believe it or not the Rays are proving to be great examples of this. Both teams began stockpiling their farms years ago. Both teams traded away great players when it was obvious that they were not making the playoffs. Atlanta began doing this recently as well. Renteria's departure has helped the Braves exponentially. Not only did it give them much needed young pitching, it also opened the door for a younger person to take over at SS.

People, we are at a turning point. It is a VERY frustrating time. Some of our kids seem to be taking their time in maturing. Others have taken the job and not looked back. If they were our kids, I think we would call this growing pains. But consider this, with 80 million dollars worth of "veteran" presence on the DL, some of them began to step up.

Bad decisions have been made. The FO has screwed the pooch on more than one glaring occasion. Yet, they have also put us in an interesting spot. We now have a core of the following:

Ethier
Martin
Broxton
Billingsly
Kemp
Loney
Dewitt

and possibly even Meloan, Wade, Kershaw, Hu, and Abreu.

That is a TON of kids that are ready to take the reigns.

Here is the issue. We have got to be more selective in the FA market. We have got to choose one or two per year and work strictly on them. Next year, CC and Tex are the two predominant FA's (not to take anything away from K-rod). The Dodgers MUST become a destination for those premier FAs.

We need to keep our kids coming. We need a consistant lineup for the eight years. When we have a hole, we do not go looking for a stop-gap. We go and get the BEST FA available. Make players want to come here. Winning makes for believers. For the last few years, we have been using dynamite to fish. Sure, we get some hits but for the most part, the product is not prime.

Let me break it down. Our rotation is currently: Penny/Lowe/Bills/Kuroda/Stults (with some Park to spare). Next year, if we can acquire CC, it becomes: CC/Bills/Kuroda/Penny/Kershaw. Every year we have a pitcher go down and we seem to find a nugget in ST. This works out well. However, much like we are aware that Lowe will be gone after this year, I am pretty sure that Penny will walk next year as well. Why can we not shop Penny next year and get some kids knowing that we have those other four to hold down the first four spots and a retread/rookie for the 5th one. If we do this every year, we could amass a huge collection of GREAT young talent.

Look at the Marlines. They have two WS wins and a payroll below 18 million. Who is their best player? One would have to go with Ramirez everytime. How did they acquire him? By selling off Josh Beckett after his gutsy pitching performance the year before. Everyone assumed that Boston was the clear winner in this deal (and it has worked out well for them). However, Ramirez is a player you can build a team around. Beckett can only win you 21-25 games (tops) a year. Ramirez can win you 40 to 50 on his bat alone.

Perhaps, this diatribe is going on too long but I am trying to make a point. We have got to be consistant. Make players want to come here. Players should be disappointed when we do not call them during FA. We need to take control. The only way to do this is by stacking our team with good young kids and making LA a destination.

I know it is not popular but I am all for trading Lowe in the next two weeks. There are a few teams out there who desperately need starting pitching and his value could not be higher. He and a few of your lesser prospects could net us one of those prospects that we drool over on other teams. The sellers ALWAYS have the advantage (unless you are trying to unload Sexson or Pierre). Look at some of the prospects that have been moved in the last 8 months. These were guys who were untouchable until their parent team got desperate.

We have a chance to build a dynasty here. If we can get on pace, we could pretty write a ticket to the series for at least 3 years in a row.

GHGHCP
07-09-2008, 06:26 PM
Same thing that happened last year has happened this year. Crummy vets and bad contracts take time from the kids. Add in the fact we have a GM no one respects and it has gotten so bad that the owner has to step in to nix the deals (thank goodness). Did you guys see the Indians deal? That had Bartolowned written all over it. What about Ned's other trades of Aybar, Jackson and Navarro? I know we didn't need some on them and Jackson was overworked and deemed useless but come on, we got peanuts in that deal when we could have got something.

I think once Logan White is in charge we can start using all the tools (farm, FA and trades) to our advantage.

bestlakersfan
07-09-2008, 06:29 PM
Great post buddy. I agree with a bunch of what you are saying. The hard part is knowing who to deal and when. Sell high and buy cheap is easy to say, but hard to get. I do think that we should sell this year, specifically Kent and Lowe. We could get some great pieces for those guys. Throw in DY, Paul and others that really have no room on the roster and we can get some great pieces back.

But then again, like they say, it is very hard to have "rebuilding" type years in big markets such as LA. Hey, the Kings are doing it in hockey, and to be honest, I think we are MAX 1 year away from being a great team for years to come. This may even happen the second half as everything/everyone is starting to mesh.

Ohh, and please try and not quote the post above mine (original post) because it just wastes space. Thanks!

tide4life
07-09-2008, 06:37 PM
I am all for trading Lowe for prospects. Your point using the Rays is right on the money. Milwaukee is another good example. If they lose Sabathia (which they will), then they will get supplemental picks for him and Sheets both. Prospects and draft picks keep the farm stocked.

Shawh
07-09-2008, 06:42 PM
Great writeup SDF, I completely agree. The problem is if the FO will actually consider trading these pieces. I'm all for trading Lowe, since he won't be with us next year, why not pick up some players for him? He's pitched fairly well the entire year, so I can imagine he'd go for some solid talent. If NedCo leaves, and I think he should at the end of the year, White should take over. He's always done what's best for the team, so we may be seeing more of a trend this way.

Tymathee
07-09-2008, 06:54 PM
Agreed. Even though I already made a post about this :P

dodgerphreak
07-09-2008, 07:03 PM
SDF for Dodgers beat reporter?

LOL, in all seriousness, great write up. We need to decide whether we are trying to win this year or in years later. If we are thinking of next year and beyond, then by all means, trade Lowe and Penny to the Yanks or Sox. But if we are trying to win this year, we need to be more careful with what we do. Frank needs to ax Ned NOW and get White in there for the deadline so that we can restock the farm with more young guns.

GHGHCP
07-09-2008, 07:10 PM
Would rather trade Lowe to the Phillies as they have a nice 2B prospect that is getting blocked by Utley.

dodgerphreak
07-09-2008, 07:12 PM
I don't care who we trade them to, just as long as we get something good in return.

bestlakersfan
07-09-2008, 07:36 PM
Would rather trade Lowe to the Phillies as they have a nice 2B prospect that is getting blocked by Utley.

Who would that be? I checked and the only good infield talent they have down to High Class A is Andy Tracy in AAA, but he is a 1B.

Tymathee
07-09-2008, 07:41 PM
Really? Ok let's see...2B prospect? Ok

AAA Casey Smith? No he's 29..., can't be talking about Oscar Robles right?

AA Maybe you're talking about Brad Harman? He's 22 and looks pretty good...
not star material though.
http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=6236

A+ Adrian Cardenas?
http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=32072

He's the only one i can think that you'd be talkign about.