On July 10th the Dodgers looked like one of the worst teams in LA Dodger history, a full ten games below .500 even though they had only played 92 games. With 80 games left most fans felt this team had a better chance to end with a top five draft pick then win over 80 games. Not sure how other fans felt but when I heard suggestions that we should bring back the same team, my immediate reaction was WHY would you bring back such a group of riff and raff. Muppets are cute and all but do we really need them playing baseball? I guess the answer is because you play 162 games not 92. In the second half the worm turned and it was one hell of a big worm.
Split W L RS RA WP First Half 41 51 340 373 .446 Second Half 40 27 291 227 .597
In one of the more dramatic turnarounds in LA Dodger history, the Two Superior and the Lugnuts managed to turn a dismal season into one of the more enjoyable seasons a non post-season team will ever have.
Rosterbation is the manipulation of a teams roster until you reach a climatic result. Sometimes the results are not what you were hoping for. In this scenario I'm going to try to build a roster that uses all of the key components of the 2nd half drive while maintaining the exact Payroll expenditure in 2011 using Eric Stephen's Payroll Worksheet as my guideline.
Remember, this is an exercise simply to see what it would take to bring back the exact same team.
Constraints are a plenty.
1. 22,000,000 in deferred payments for 2012
2. Lilly's salary goes up to 12,000,000 in 2012
3. Juan Uribe's salary goes up to 8,000,000 in 2012
4. Matt Guerrier's salary goes up to 4,750,000 in 2012
5. Matt Kemp, James Loney, Andre, Kershaw will all get huge bumps in arbitration
So even with Furcal and Broxton dropping off, it will not be an easy task to simply maintain the status quo of $114,646,132.
Can it be done?
Many of the numbers you see are from Eric's best estimates for 2012 who has done yeoman's work in making sure that TBLA has the latest payroll information. Many of you may not even be aware of this prodigious worksheet but rest assured that if you see a discrepancy between the goto payroll site Cot's and Eric's, count on Eric's being right. In every case where they disagree he has had his numbers confirmed by the Dodger brass or from the Bankruptcy filings. Below his worksheet Eric has extensive payroll notes on each player.
So let us take a look at the projected roster and salary as we try to match $114,500,000.
C - I offer Rod 2,000,000 and if he does not take it then I move on. He had a good year but he is a 36 year old catcher heading into 2012 and he likes playing in LA. AJ Ellis is the backup.
1st - shockingly I'm all for bringing James back for an encore. Eric thinks it will cost $6,000,000, I tend to agree.
2nd - The Muppet show becomes a Tag / Team for Carroll and Miles both accepting 1,500,000 deals.
SS - Dee Gordon returns to give us thrills and chills.
3rd -Juan Uribe needs to bounce back to his norm which is barely acceptable. Paying him $8,000,000 kills me.
RF - Andre comes back, I'm offering him $11,000,000 in arbitration a two million dollar raise coming off a season in which his power disappeared and he ended up with season ending knee surgery.
CF - Eric thinks Matt can be had for $13,000,000 in 2012.
LF - Jerry Sands should get first crack at this
OF - Juan Rivera at $2,500,000 may not take it but that is what I offer him. If he does not I simply using the saving and bring back Casey Blake.
OF - Tony Gwynn, Eric thinks $1,000,000 gets him done. I want him on the team.
SP - Clayton hits $6,000,000 in his first foray into the world of arbitration
SP - Chad Billingsley is already pictured in at $9,000,000. He best bounce back
SP - Ted Lilly is a budget killer at $12,000,000 but at least he's productive
SP - Hiroki Kuroda is coming back in this scenario and he's going to do it for $7,000,000 in 2012 and a deferred payment of $2,000,000 in 2013. He is also getting $1,500,000 in 2012 from his 2011 contract so he's sitting pretty good.
SP - What can you do? With Rubby out the options are hard. Granted Padilla did nothing to help the team in 2011 but I'm forced to roll the dice with him one more time, giving him a base of $1,000,000 with boatload of incentives.
SP - Dan Eveland has done enough that I don't want to lose him but I don't want him as my 5th starter. I give him a guaranteed 500,000 deal and stash him in the minors as my first call up when injuries hit. You won't see Nathan Eovaldi on this list, I'm simply not ready to hand him a spot in the rotation. While Webster, Withrow, and Eovaldi are all possible future rotation work in 2012 I don't want any of them in April.
RP - Kuo is the only pitcher with a question mark here. Will he take an offer of $1,500,00 after such a tough year. I'd non tender and make the offer. He could say no and see what else he will get. Under no circumstances do I tender him for arbitration. If it was up to me I'd tell Kuo he's in a the battle as a fifth starter and to come into spring expecting to start and give him plenty of incentives.
RP - The rest of the staff is bound to the team so they get what they get.
|Position||Name||Salary - 2012|
|1st Base||James Loney||$6,000,000|
|2nd Base||Jamey Carroll||$1,500,000|
|3rd Base||Juan Uribe||$8,000,000|
|Left Field||Jerry Sands||$420,000|
|Right Field||Andre Ethier||$11,000,000|
|Outfield||Tony Gwynn Junior||$1,000,000|
|Cy Young/ Ace||Clayton Kershaw||$6,000,000|
|Better Than Nothing||Chad Billingsley||$9,000,000|
|One More Time||Hiroki Kuroda||$7,000,000|
|Jamie Moyer Spot||Ted Lilly||$12,000,000|
|Gotta be someone||V Padilla||$1,000,000|
|K/9 Boss||Kenley Jansen||$435,000|
|Emerging Setup Man||Josh Lindblom||$420,000|
|Hot Sister Spot||Blake Hawksworth||$435,000|
|Who the hell knows spot||Kong-Chih Kuo||$1,500,000|
|Wasted Money Spot||Matt Guerrier||$4,750,000|
|Wild Ass Lefty ReBorn Slot||Scott Elbert||$420,000|
|Minors Depth||Dana Eveland||$500,000|
|Sitting on the Dock of the Bay||Manny Ramirez||8,087.432|
|Ned Folly Spot||Juan Pierre||3,050,000|
|Paying through the nose forever||Andruw Jones||$3,375,000|
|Deferred From Previous Contract||Hiroki Kuroda||$1,500,000|
|What could go wrong||Jon Garland||$1,500,000|
|Fragile Egg Deferred||Rafy Furcal||3,000,000|
|Beard Bonus||Casey Blake||$1,500,000|
There you have it. It does not contain the big banger that Ned says they will bring in for 2012. It does have Andre who might earn his $11,000,000. It does have Juan Uribe who might bounce back to norm which would turn out to be a big bounce. It does have either a full year of Jerry Sands or Juan Rivera. It does count on James Loney being at the least James Loney career guy not James Loney awful 1st half 2011 guy.
Most of all it has Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw.