Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:39 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 7:41 am
By Matt Snyder
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
Do the Dodgers do well in drafts and international signings? The answer is a resounding yes. What they do with those players could certainly be questioned, but as far as building a foundation, few have been better in recent years. See below.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Matt Kemp, LF
4. Paul Konerko, 1B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Carlos Santana, C
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Miguel Cairo, 2B
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Edwin Jackson
3. Ted Lilly
4. Hiroki Kuroda
5. Chad Billingsley
If you don't like us using Kuroda -- some commenters have disagreed with including guys who were professional players in Japan in this series -- you can slide in James McDonald or the youngster Rubby De La Rosa.
Closer - Joakim Soria
Set up - Javy Guerra, Joel Hanrahan, Kenley Jansen, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Pedro Feliciano, Cory Wade
Long - McDonald
Notable Bench Players
Russell Martin, Henry Blanco, James Loney, Blake DeWitt, Trayvon Robinson, Jerry Sands, Alex Cora
Spoiler Alert: This section is going to be much longer than "what's not." How about starting with the offensive firepower Victorino, Kemp, Konerko, Beltre and Santana bring in the 2-6 spots of the order? That is sick. Gordon has good potential and Gutierrez was a decent hitter before his stomach issues derailed him a few years ago. The starting rotation is good, deep, has a good lefty-righty mix and a true ace sitting at the top. The bullpen is so deep it's unimaginable. It's not as great as the Yankees' bullpen (Clippard-Robertson-Axford-Rivera) in this exercise, but this is definitely an elite unit. The bench is pretty damn good, too. Best of all, though, how about the defensive range? Gutierrez was widely considered the best center fielder in baseball before his stomach woes. Victorino is a three-time Gold Glover while he lost out to Kemp this season. I decided to shift Kemp to left because Victorino has a cannon that is an asset in right. Not that Kemp can't throw. This would be one insane defensive outfield. Beltre is the best defensive third baseman in baseball, too. That's a lot of help for an already-good pitching staff.
Anything would be a nitpick. Maybe that Dee Gordon might not yet be ready to lead off for this team? If that was the case, you could move up Victorino and then the bottom of the order becomes a bit weak. But, again, that's a nitpick.
Comparison to real 2011
I kind of chuckled during all the MVP arguments when people would say that Kemp played for a team that "sucks." The Dodgers finished 82-79. Yes, they were out of contention for pretty much all of the season, but they finished above .500, so they definitely don't suck. Of course, those real-life Dodgers couldn't hold a candle to this group. This is a World Series-caliber club, but the funny thing is, did you see Arizona's team? The D-Backs lineup is much better, but the Dodgers have the better defense and pitching. We'd have a nice battle for the NL West title and maybe even see a rematch in the NLCS. If only ...
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Tags: Adrian Beltre, Alex Cora, Blake DeWitt, Carlos Santana, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Cory Wade, Dee Gordon, Dodgers, Edwin Jackson, Franklin Gutierrez, Henry Blanco, Hiroki Kuroda, Homegrown, James Loney, James McDonald, Javy Guerra, Jerry Sands, Joakim Soria, Joel Hanrahan, Jonathan Broxton, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Matt Snyder, Miguel Cairo, NL West, Paul Konerko, Pedro Feliciano, Russell Martin, Shane Victorino, Takashi Saito, Ted Lilly, Trayvon Robinson
Posted on: November 3, 2011 9:22 pm
By Matt Snyder
Thursday was the first day free agents could talk to other organizations, but it was quiet overall. It makes sense, given it was just the first day they could even discuss anything and there's got to be a time to negotiate. Still, we did see two signings. The first was Juan Rivera re-signing with the Dodgers. The other? None other than backup catcher Henry Blanco, who re-signs with Arizona.
The D-Backs announced the move Thursday night, reporting they've given Blanco a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2013. Blanco had previously declined his end of a mutual option for 2012. Blanco's new deal will pay him $1.2 million in '12 (Jon Heyman via Twitter).
Blanco, 40, hit .250/.330/.540 with eight home runs in 112 plate appearances in 2011, but he's not on the team for offense. He works really well with pitchers and teamed with Miguel Montero to lead the majors in throwing out 37.1 percent of opposing base-stealers.
So, yeah, it's been quite the heart-stopping day in free agency, no? Don't hold your breath waiting for a more exciting day Friday, but you never know.
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Posted on: October 31, 2011 10:43 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 10:58 pm
By Evan Brunell
As baseball readies for free agency, numerous decisions on options are being made. Those either free up players to hit the market or tie them to their 2011 club for one more season. Sunday's list is right here. Let's take a look at what happened Monday...
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Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Aaron Cook, Aaron Harang, Aaron Hill, AL Central, AL East, AL West, Blue Jays, Brad Hawpe, Brandon Phillips, Braves, Chad Qualls, Chris Snyder, Colby Lewis, Cubs, Dan Wheeler, David Aardsma, Diamondbacks, Edwin Encarnacion, Eric Hinske, Evan Brunell, Fausto Carmona, free agency, free agent tracker, Grady Sizemore, Henry Blanco, Indians, Jason Frasor, Jason Giambi, Jeff Samardzija, Joakim Soria, Jon Rauch, Mariners, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, Nate McLouth, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Padres, Paul Maholm, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Ronny Cedeno, Royals, Ryan Doumit, Scott Atchinson, White Sox, Willie Bloomquist, Yoshinori Tateyama, Zach Duke
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:05 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 5:22 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 94-68, 1st place NL West. Lost to Brewers 3 games to 2 in NLDS
Manager: Kirk Gibson
Best hitter: Justin Upton -- ..289/.369/.529 with 31 HR, 88 RBI, 21 SB
Best pitcher: Ian Kennedy -- 21-4, 222 IP, 33 GS, 2.88 ERA, 1.086 WHIP, 198 SO, 55 BB
2011 SEASON RECAP
Nobody expected much from the Diamondbacks and even when they did surprise by leading the National League West, nobody thought they could hold off the Giants. Not only did they hold off the defending champs, they left them in the dust. The Diamondbacks were ruthless in making decisions early in the season, demoting or just flat-out getting rid of players that didn't produce, like Armando Galarraga, Barry Enright, Wade Miley and Russell Branyan. The Diamondbacks won 16 of 18 in late August and early September, while Ian Kennedy became a legitimate Cy Young candidate. The team also discovered it has the makings of a stout rotation with Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders and Josh Collmenter. They even survived the season-ending injury to Stephen Drew, winning despite his absence.
The Diamondbacks are in a pretty good situation. So it seems they have some good, young talent that's not going to cost too much -- something that's very important to the Diamondbacks' front office. The team that they have should only get better and develop. There are small spots to fill, but nothing huge. And with Stephen Drew coming back, the team should be even better than they were in the playoffs.
FREE AGENTSRHP Jason Marquis
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Aaron Hill ($8 team option)
LHP Zach Duke ($5.5 team option)
OF Xavier Nady
SS John McDonald
C Henry Blanco ($1.5 mutual option)UTIL Willie Boomquist ($1.1 mutual option)
Tags: 2011 playoffs, Aaron Heilman, Aaron Hill, Armando Galarraga, Barry Enright, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Quentin, Daniel Hudson, Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra, Henry Blanco, Ian Kennedy, Jason Marquis, Joe Saunders, John McDonald, Josh Collmenter, Josh Willingham, Justin Upton, Kelly Johnson, Kirk Gibson, Lyle Overbay, NL West, NLDS, R.I.P., Russell Branyan, Stephen Drew, Wade Miley, Xavier Nady, Zach Duke
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 4:21 pm
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports via Twitter that the Diamondbacks have agreed on a $1.05 million deal with utility man Willie Bloomquist or 2011 with a mutual option for 2012.
Bloomquist, 33, was traded from the Royals to the Reds in September and put up a combined 2010 line of .267/.299/.380. He's the ultimate utility player, having played every position on the field other than pitcher and catcher each of the past three years. He's not a big hitter (just 13 career homers in more than 2,000 plate appearances), but is a versatile defender and a speedy pinch-runner.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic notes that Arizona's bench is now likely to include catcher Henry Blanco, outfielder Gerardo Parra and primary infielders Bloomquist and Geoff Blum, with the final spot coming down to a battle between Tony Abreu, Cole Gillespie, Ryan Roberts, Brandon Allen, Wily Mo Pena and Collin Cowgill.
-- David Andriesen
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:31 pm
The Diamondbacks are on the verge of adding Henry Blanco as backup catcher as well as Xavier Nady as a platoon player, as John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR reports.
The Blanco signing is not a surprise, as there has been interest between the two parties. Blanco hit .215/.271/.300 in 144 plate appearances for the Mets in 2010. He can't hit much anymore but is still a strong defender and leader at age 39.
Meanwhile, Nady (pictured) will be platooning with Juan Miranda at first base and Gerardo Parra in left. Nady hit just .256/.306/.353 in 347 plate appearances after missing a year thanks to Tommy John surgery. However, in 2008, Nady bashed 25 home runs and hit .305/.357/.510 between the Pirates and Yankees.
While the Diamondbacks hope to contend, it seems abundantly clear that GM Kevin Towers is just plugging the gap with average veterans as he attempts to rebuild the team in his image and wait for minor-league prospects to hit the show.
-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:48 am
Edited on: December 15, 2010 10:22 am
Arizona is close to signing 39-year-old Henry Blanco to be its backup catcher, according to MLB.com.
Blanco, who batted .215 in 50 games with the Mets last season, will get around $1 million and could get a mutual option for 2012. He'll back up Miguel Montero.
-- David Andriesen