Sunday, October 25, 2009

Can the Dodgers Find an Ace?

As the Dodgers enter free agency, it's apparent that they have a glaring need for a top flight starting pitcher. However, it looks as though GM Ned Colletti is setting the bar low for himself:
The Dodgers lacked an ace on their pitching staff, with youngsters Clayton Kershaw and All-Star Chad Billingsley showing fleeting stretches of wanting to claim that title.

"Clayton Kershaw has not been lobbying for it, but just the way he's pitched, he's certainly the favorite," Torre said. "Billingsley, even though he had a rough second half, he certainly showed us the personality and the ability to be a No. 1-type guy."

Veteran Randy Wolf proved to be the most dependable and durable starter, although the left-hander is a free agent.

Colletti said the Dodgers are considering adding one or two more starters and perhaps a couple of relievers to the bullpen, which he expects to remain mostly intact.

"You'd like to find an ace, but you got one hanging around?" he said. "It's not like you have a choice of five or six (free agents) that you can pick from."

That statement does have some level of truth to it. On the free agent market, the only true "ace" out there is John Lackey, but he is going to require a handsome long term contract and a hefty annual salary.

But make no mistake about it, there is potential for Colletti to find his ace on the open market. I'd suggest taking the Red Sox approach and taking a flier on a "low risk, high reward" starting pitcher, who could turn into the ace the Dodgers crave...if he stays healthy. In addition, this strategy would fit nicely with what Ned Colletti has done in years past with the Dodgers, namely sign veteran free agents to short term contracts. Here are some suggestions for Colletti:

-Erik Bedard:
The good:left handed, potential ace, only 30 years old, one year deal?
The bad: injured in each of the past two seasons, 30 starts total in 2008 and 2009

-Justin Duchscherer:
The good: right handed, potential top of the rotation starter, one year deal?
The bad: depression issues, missed all of 2009, never started more than 22 games in a season

-Brett Myers
The good: only 29 years old, has potential to be a solid starting pitcher, one year deal?
The bad: is he a starter? Are his best years behind him? (has not put together solid season in starting rotation since 2006)

Other options: Kelvim Escobar, Rich Harden (sort of)

If you were Ned Colletti, would you go after any of these "low risk/high reward" options? If so, which one?


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1 comment:

Dustin said...

Kershaw is a budding ace. Why overpay for one?