It’s now time for Dodgers to make decisions on their 10 free agents
Missing baseball already?
Fear not, seam head, the hot stove league is now officially underway. One day they wrap up the World Series, the next they start anew. And because I know you were wondering, Bovada has listed the Dodgers as 7-1 favorites to win it all in 2014. Never too early to apply the pressure.
Teams have a five-day window to deal exclusively with their own free agents before it’s game on with all of baseball. The Dodgers have 10 free agents, plus two players with options.
Mark Ellis: I wouldn’t be quick to assume the Dodgers won’t pick up his $5.74-million option just because they signed Cuban Alexander Guerrero. The future may be with Guerrero, but he’s hardly a known entity right now. The Dodgers have a $1-million buyout on Ellis, so for another $4.75 million they get insurance.
Chris Capuano: His option is for $8 million, so he looks gone. Dodgers have only three locks in their rotation, but that’s still a lot of resources for someone who’s 35 and having trouble staying healthy.
The free agents:
J.P. Howell: Will want him back. Left-handed reliever had a 2.03 ERA in 62 innings, with left-handed hitters batting .164. Earned $3.55 million overall last season.
Nick Punto: Proved versatile infield backup and great clubhouse guy. Earned $1.5 million and lives in Orange County, so still seems a good fit despite his turning 36 next month.
Ricky Nolasco: Despite his fade, would still be strong back-of-the-rotation pitcher. Another local product, but he may be looking at more years and dollars than interest the Dodgers. Made $11.5 million last season.
Brian Wilson: Best no-risk gamble of the year. Coming off Tommy John surgery, he allowed one run in 18 appearances and became lights-out set-up man. It’s presumed he wants to sign elsewhere to again be a closer, but he certainly seemed to enjoy being a Dodger.
Michael Young: This late pickup batted .314 for the Dodgers. He turned 37 last week and earned $16 million. Would not seem in their plans unless he’s interested in a utility role at a tremendously reduced price.
Carlos Marmol: The reclamation project actually pitched pretty well (2.53 ERA), but still walked 19 in 21 1/3 innings. The former Cubs closer turned 31 this month.
Skip Schumaker: Unscored upon in two relief appearances! He was the ultimate utility player and made just $1.5 million. Turns 34 in February, but General Manager Ned Colletti loves the versatile types.
Jerry Hairston Jr.: Is likely done as a Dodger. Another utility player, he turns 38 in May, hit just .211 last season and was left off the team’s playoff rosters. Future baseball commentator.
Edinson Volquez: Pitched OK after being released by the Padres and picked up by Dodgers for rotation depth. Still, hard to see him returning with a guaranteed deal.
Juan Uribe: What to do? Finally came through for the Dodgers on the last year of his $21-million contract. Fielded exceptionally well and hit like expected. He turns 35 in March, but somebody has to play third.
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