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Courtesy of Mike Worozbyt below is what he thinks our salary structure will be after arbitration with Martin/Ethier and normal raises for the non arbitration eligible kids.
Lots of room has been cleared with Lowe, Penny, Blake, Kent, and Nomar's contracts coming off the books. With normal arbitration raises we look to be sitting at a tad below 80 million.
So what are the Dodgers going to do with money?
Baseball is reporting that the Dodgers have offered Manny a 2 year deal worth around 45 million with an option for a 3rd year. They have also reported that we made a generous 3 year offer to Furcal worth over 40 Million. It is a curious thing that the Dodgers have decided to make these offers public. The offers sound good but you and I know that Manny is not going to sign for 2 years with an option year unless we are the only players in the game. Maybe we will be, but if we are, will Manny be happy playing for what he would consider a discount?
After being injured for most of his 3 year contract it would seem ludicrous for Furcal to think he should get a four year deal. But he will, and I'm glad it won't be us. I'd have been thrilled to bring him back on a one year deal for him to jack up his value while playing for his next big contract. However it looks like teams don't care about his health history and that he will hit the contract jackpot this year so expect to say good bye to Rafy unless the Dodgers budge off their initial offer.
For this discussion it has been reported the Dodgers will not go further then 3 years so that leaves them out of the loop on many free agents.
As the roster below shows we have holes at either 2nd or 3rd depending on where they play DeWitt, SS, LF, and two rotational sports. 2nd could be filled by Abreu or DeWitt as DeJesus is not ready yet. Abreu has to prove he can even stay healthy so I doubt that is an option the Dodgers are considering. DeWitt proved in Sept he could handle 2nd but the Dodgers sound more inclined to stick him at 3rd. Hudson is the best 2nd base FA available but he will want a four year deal so I think he's out of the discussion. Players like Durham/Grundy might be short term year solutions while they see how DeJesus and Abreu handle the 2009 season.
SS just might be handed to Hu who could easily handle the defensive part of the equation. I don't think the Dodgers think he can handle the offensive side but on the other hand they kept Berroa around all year. They might even bring him back on a reduced salary.
I'm going with the assumption that DeWitt is at 3rd base and that they will find options for 2nd/SS.
So the big hole in the offense is LF. I'm on record as saying we won't sign Manny, Dunn, or Burrell leaving us with our current options of Jones and Pierre. I don't think the Dodgers will live with those options so I expect some movement but who and where I have no idea.
With Penny and Lowe gone the rotation is down to three. McDonald is expected to be number four. Number five could be Schmidt but no one is counting on that. They have to sign at least one starting pitcher or trade for one (Peavy). Someone has suggested that we could move Pierre for Arroyo.
The Dodgers would have around 40 Million to spend to match last years level. Will they? and if they do, on who? Some think we will make a big play for CC and for what it is worth I think that would be the best thing to do. With 33 more million coming off the books at the end of 2009 they certainly have the room to go after CC and a big hitter.
The million dollar question is if the McCourts really have the money to keep the budget at 2008 levels? I'm not very confident they do but it is based on gut not on anything tangible.
We will find out in a few months as the roster takes shape.
|2008 Dodger Salary Overview|
|Chin Lung Hu||6||25||$-||$390,000||$400,000|