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Shimmy And Shake

Lots of roster moves yesterday. First, the Pirates claimed Franquelis Osoria off waivers. Osoria's most interesting attribute is his 2.56 ground ball to fly ball ratio in 47 big league innings. Combine this with this almost mediocre strikeout rate, and you have a guy that might have a couple decent years as a middle reliever. I would have rather seen Tim Hamulack or Wilson  Valdez go, but I'm not going to cry about losing Osoria.

Last night was the deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration eligible players. Joe Beimel and Mark Hendrickson are in, Toby Hall and Jayson Werth are out, and Wilson Betemit wasn't arbitration eligible in the first place, despite what I've been saying.

Hall was an easy non-tender candidate. He had no place on the Dodgers with the Lieberthal signing, and he would get three million dollars plus through arbitration, far too much for a guy with a career .300 on base percentage and mediocre defense.  If Ned got anyone for Hall, I would have gladly tipped my cap to him.

In my world of lowered expectations, retaining Hendrickson is sort of a good idea. While he may not be very good, his strikeout rate is almost high enough for him to be a decent middle reliever, and if four or five guys get hurt, he's a better option to start than Danny Muegge. I guess this is worth the three or four million that Hendrickson would get in arbitration.

However, If you are going to retain Hendrickson, why would you keep Beimel? You already have one near useless soft tossing lefty, why do you need another one? Sure Beimel had a decent year last year, but that was almost certainly luck.  His 3.85 K/9 ratio and 1.42 K/BB and .9 HR/9 don't give me much hope for his future success. Lance Carter had a better strikeout rate in 2006 than Beimel. If you want to take a chance on a guy like Beimel and sign him to a minor league contract, sure, why not, Beimel showed us that even the worst pitchers could have a decent season in middle relief. However, once you start paying a guy like Beimel actual money, he becomes a drain on the system. Retaining Beimel also creates a roster crunch, because the Dodgers kept Beimel, either Loney, Kuo or Repko need to start the year in AAA. While the solution here is easy to me, send Repko away and we never speak of him again, I doubt that's the decision that will be made. It's far more likely that Loney will go from the guy that should have been the first baseman to missing the 25 man roster in the span of two months. If Beimel is still on the Dodgers at the end of 2007, I'll be shocked.

Finally, there's Jayson Werth. A few weeks ago, I would have seen this as one of the worst moves Ned has made, but my opinion on Werth has shifted a little. One of the posts I never got a chance to make thanks to my avalanche of work was that Werth might have been a guy that got injured at the right time, his minor league numbers give no indication that the power he showed in 2004 was sustainable, so maybe he wasn't the .260/.360/.500 guy I hoped he would become. However, this is still amazingly short sighted. Even if you assume that Werth's power isn't real, he's still a huge asset. He's shown patience, the ability to play all three outfield positions, good base running skills, and if you're into that sort of thing, he had several big hits as a Dodger. Even if Werth only hit something like .234/.338/.374 like he did in 2005, he's still better than Juan Pierre plus he has the upside of that .260/.360/.500 season I was talking about. Isn't that worth risking a million dollars or so? When the best power hitter on the team is a guy sitting on the bench, should the Dodgers be desperately trying to retain anyone with even the potential for power? Colletti's willingness to get rid of cheap players with upside is rather disturbing.