Welcome back, everyone, and I hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend. I did, despite my alma mater's embattled coach inexplicably calling a quarterback draw in his own end zone* which resulted in a loss to our most hated rival. But hey, on the plus side, it was a gift-wrapped present to the Athletics Director. Time for a new direction, Lew.
*Yes, even the link to the game story includes "miserable ending." Yikes.
In Dodger Divorce land, there's some fallout from Frank's filing (Monday is alliteration day at DD) in which he claimed to be pretty cash-poor. First, via Shaikin, Jamie's attorney, Bert Fields, expresses some serious doubt as to the viability of the Dodgers under Frank:
"If it were true that he really doesn't have the resources to pay anything, then you'd have serious concern about his ability to run a baseball team," Fields said.
"If Mr. McCourt meant what he said, how is he going to pay all these guys?"
I know I probably don't need to tell you what's wrong with that statement. Suffice it to say that Chad Billingsley isn't being paid out of Frank's checking account. That quote reminds me of Selig's message to Dodger fans a couple weeks ago that the Los Angeles Dodgers are just fine; they're not leaving L.A., so things must be in great shape. Fields and Selig, both attorneys, are very smart people. Do they not expect the public to see right through this kind of stuff?
Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts would like you to know that a possible failure to offer Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf arbitration should not be seen as indicative of the club's financial strength. After all, Weisman notes, the club has a history of rather interesting arb offer decisions (Jon says "surprising"). If Hudson and Wolf are offered arbitration and decline, of course, the Dodgers stand to net draft picks if the two sign elsewhere. I'd imagine that clause in Orlando Cabrera's last contract prohibiting the team from offering him arbitration will be a popular stocking stuffer this winter.
In hot stove developments via DiGiovanna and Hernandez, it looks like Ned Colletti
landed on "NO" on the
Ouija board made the right
decision and will not include Billingsley or Kershaw in a deal for Halladay. Thank goodness. I wonder
if the Jays would be content with a package built around Carlos Santana.
Free agent shortstop Marco Scutaro "prefers" the Dodgers and Red Sox. If he meets with McCourt, will he even know which club is pitching for his services? Seriously though, I don't really understand where Scutaro fits in. He has one of the odder career arcs in recent memory, turning in a 4.5 win season (!) at age 33. He was very good the year before, too, his first season in Toronto. Previously, he'd posted six largely nondescript seasons with the Mets and Athletics. Something to do with exchange rates, perhaps. He says the Dodgers would want him to play second.
I'm a big believer in the "at the right price" model of general managing. Yes, Matt Kemp is available. But you'd better have Zack Greinke or Hanley Ramirez on the other end. So I'm not automatically opposed to adding Scutaro, but is the price (money, draft picks, blocking the position with a multi-year deal) worth the production? Scutaro's fielding numbers have been all over the map, but then again, so has he. Since 2002, he's logged over 500 innings at shortstop, third, and second. He's also played first, left, right, and the ominously ambiguous "OF." In 2007, he butchered third and second while playing a passable short and hitting like a catcher. In 2008, he dazzled at short and hit like...well...a catcher. In 2009, he was mediocre again at short, but hit like a second baseman.
Confused? I am. Jason Rosenberg, too. Rob Neyer thinks he knows. An odd duck, this Scutaro. Lastly, Diamond Leung notes that Chien-Ming Wang is "open" to pitching for the Dodgers. Of course, so am I.
Now that we're only a couple weeks away from our much-discussed December 15 hearings, I expect divorce news to pick up. I know the holiday was last weekend, but thanks for being along for the ride.