Thursday, December 16, 2004

Bye Bye, Belly

Looks like, though I was right about several important things, I was wrong in the end. Would you believe I blame it on the Blue Jays going after Koskie?

In any event, this leaves the Dodgers with several options. Here are the broad strokes I see:

1. Jeff Kent can move to third. Sure, he can. However, both Baseball Prospectus and UZR gave him very high marks last season at second, while UZR had Cora below average. Given Kent's age, I'd say that edge comes more from experience, not athleticism. That means I'd like the second option better.

2. Alex Cora/Antonio Perez platoon at third. They have the athletic skills to do it, and with all of spring training should be able to do it. Alternately, Perez can still be dealt and Olmedo Saenz can be the platoon caddy, leaving Hee Seop Choi to start against LHP. I don't think Mike Edwards belongs in this discussion. Another alternative would be to sign minor league free agent Luis Garcia (or someone like him) to be Choi's platoon buddy.

3. Brian Myrow/right-handed platoon caddy. Should be above average offensively, below average with the glove, and plays for the minimum.

4. Joe Randa. Ol' Joe can work the leather and be within spitting distance of average with the bat. His defense makes him average or better, so he could be better than Myrow, but in any event would be more costly.

5. Kevin Youkilis. The Red Sox have no use for Cora/Izturis with Renteria signed, so my earlier conditional speculation is gone. Still, Youkilis' base on balls skills should make him above average, and his glove is around average, and he shouldn't cost all that much with the Sox already having re-upped Bill Mueller.

6. Sign Carlos Delgado. I don't know what he's asking, but at least Seattle's not bidding anymore, and there is the Shawn Green connection. With Delgado on board, Choi could be flipped for something good. I don't much care for this option, but I can conceive of circumstances where it makes sense.

7. Brian Myrow at first base, Choi used to get Youkilis (or his equivalent) and something else good. Again, not a stellar option, but I can see its utility.

8. Keith Ginter. Yesterday I suggested Alex Cora might be dealt to be Ginter's platoon partner; today I'm suggesting they may be swapped for each other. Ginter's glove inspires the phrase "no great shakes" like no other, but the damage is minimized at third base (and he might improve there if he plays the whole season there). A Cora/Ellis or Cora/Scutaro platoon would probably be more productive for the A's than Ginter, so this one makes some sense. Myrow could spell Ginter against northpaws.

9. Sign J.D. Drew or, heck, Carlos Beltran. Not likely, but the premise would involve spinning one of the current outfielders for something. Can't envision any such scenarios at the moment, but maybe it will come to me later.

Obviously, I wouldn't be too pleased if Beltre's absence isn't coupled with a major upgrade in the rotation.

By the way, put me down for Beltre hitting .310/.365/.590 in Seattle next season.

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