Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers beat writer for MLB.com, posted an article today addressing outfielder Juan Pierre's request for a trade:
Juan Pierre wants to play.
And if the Dodgers won't play him, he wants them to find a team that will.
With Pierre's second season in Los Angeles complete, the displaced outfielder's agent said he's hopeful the complex offseason maneuverings the club faces include addressing Pierre's awkward situation.
Well, the LA Dodgers off-season has certainly gotten off on the right foot. With their season ending last night in the NLCS, Dodger fans are already talking about who the Dodgers will sign in the offseason. But this request by Pierre could certainly sweeten their offseason plans should they find a trade partner for his services.
I remember reading recently, and last offseason, that the White Sox had a need for a speedy outfielder...do you hear that Ned? The White Sox GM is no stranger to offseason deals, so I hope he has Ned's number on speed-dial on his Blackberry. Other teams needing a leadoff hitter include the Diamondbacks, Braves, Cubs, St. Louis and Cincinnatti.
Colletti will have a very busy offseason as he has several holes to fill-a frontline starter pitcher, a 3bman, a SS, and a leftfielder. Should Ned be able to pull off a deal to trade Pierre, that frees up another 9.5 million, or thereabouts, in salary. Add that to the approximately $60 million in salary coming off the Dodgers roster with Penny, Lowe, Furcal, Nomar and Kent leaving for free agency or retirement, Ned has some money to throw around come the GM and Winter meetings.
LA has a good chance at re-signing Furcal, as he has stated already that he wants to return, and LA wants him back, so I expect him to be re-signed in short order. Many Dodger fans want Ned to sign Manny Ramirez in the offseason, and who could blame them. Manny saved Ned's job, and turned out to be probably the best trade deadline deal ever. But Joe Torre had this to say about the Dodgers offseason plans in another Gurnick article today:
But before meeting Thursday with general manager Ned Colletti, manager Joe Torre dropped some interesting hints about his view of winter priorities.
"I still think pitching is something you have to pay attention to," said Torre, whose club could lose pitchers Derek Lowe, Brad Penny (the club holds an option), Joe Beimel and Chan Ho Park. And that doesn't count the uncertain future of closer Takashi Saito, who will be 39 and coming off an elbow injury.
"We all get caught up in the offensive part, but pitching should be front and center as far as being addressed."
Based on that statement, I can see Ned going hard after CC Sabathia, a California native, or Jake Peavy. CC will command the top free agent contract this offseason as far as years and dollars. Ned's history says he may be willing to give CC more money over a shorter contract. But Ned is also no stranger to trading prospects for a missing Peavy....I mean piece. Peavy would cost LA some prospects, but would come cheaper than CC in salary terms as he has 3 yrs/$39mm left on the 4 year deal he signed with the Padres last offseason.
Should LA trade for Peavy, that would leave Ned with about $57mm to spend on Furcal, a LFer, and a 2bman. According to the same Gurnick article, Torre is quoted as saying that he sees Blake Dewitt as a 3bman next year. WHAT? I guess he sees more in Dewitt than I do. Could Torre be telegraphing a trade for Robinson Cano to play 2b?? Maybe the Kemp-Cano rumor does have legs. Or will he be included in a possible Peavy deal?
To close out his Pierre article, Gurnick had this doozy:
Teammates say Jones wants no part of a return to Los Angeles, where he was a target of angry fans for his poor performance.
Jones.....that's Andruw Jones in case anyone forgot he is still on the team. He had this to say during the Dodgers playoff run to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
"I'm an everyday guy or I need to move out,"
Not sure if Ned, or Dodger fans, necessarily agree with him. Like I said, it should be a VERY interesting offseason in LA.