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Will the Dodgers acquire an ace?

Oct 24, 2009, 9:53 AM EDT

Dodgers starters had a 5.30 ERA over
eight starts during the playoffs, and were ousted from the NLCS after a
miserable performance by late-season acquisition Vicente Padilla in
Game 5. Relying on pitchers like Padilla and a rusty Hiroki Kuroda only
underscored their need for a legitimate ace pitcher this winter. But
just because general manager Ned Colletti is aware of it, don’t expect it to happen.

“There’s not a long list of guys where you would say, this guy would
make a dramatic difference,” Colletti said of the upcoming crop of
free-agent starters. “It’s a thin market. There are pitchers who would
make us better. But tremendously better?

“Every club needs an ace and we’re not unlike any club. We
might have one or two in the making [referring to Clayton Kershaw and
Chad Billingsley]. But the likelihood of an ace becoming available by
trade is very slim. And this [free-agent] class doesn’t have that type
of allure to it.

Pssst, Ned, let me introduce you to
this guy named Roy Halladay. I know he’s from Canada and all, but he
did start the All-Star game for the American League this year. Rest
assured, Colletti is using his best poker face here, as he should at
this juncture, but he has all the necessary pieces to get a deal done
tomorrow. Whether he has the sense of urgency remains to be seen.
Consecutive losses in the NLCS should be enough.

  1. rnmwater - Oct 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    I agree 100% Halladay or Lackey would make a world of difference and cure what ale’s them. But thats not going to happen sure Schmidt’s contract is up plus a trade of Pierre free’s up a lot of cash but all the young talent is due for major raises and the impending divorse of the McCourts will have a major afffect in what is spent this off season. All you do is have look to the south and see what happened to the Pad’s to now how divorse can rip apart a team. The only chance is for Manny to opt out but that money would best be fit to be thrown at Holiday because with out that big bat in the middle of the line up getting an ace would be a mute point.

  2. Cru11 - Oct 24, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    I don’t wanna hear the Dodgers sob story. They could’ve gotten Doc if they wanted to. Piss or get off the pot.

  3. Andrew - Oct 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    With the financial questions surrounding the team, I think it’s highly unlikely that they bring in Lackey. Even if they did, I’d have an even more difficult time viewing him as the ace of the staff, as I think both Kershaw and Billingsley are already at least as good as Lackey already.
    And what exactly would the Dodgers give up for Halladay???
    They’ve got a lot of nice young SSs in Hu, De Jesus, and Gordon, but I can’t imagine any of them being a centerpiece for Halladay, even if his price goes down with Ricciardi out of town. Hu is fine defensively, but is a very light hitter. De Jesus is coming off a lost season. And Gordon is a 21-year old coming out of A ball. Nice prospects, to be sure, but hardly ammo for Halladay.
    Their other young position players/prospects….. Xavier Paul who’s injured? Andrew Lambo who had an unimpressive year?
    Could you see the Blue Jays giving up Halladay with James Mcdonald or Ethan Martin as the centerpiece in return? Martin is probably the jewel of the Dodgers’ system at this point, but he’s simply not enough to build a Halladay package around.
    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I do not see Colletti having “all the necessary pieces to get a deal done tomorrow.”
    If anyone can put together a package of players in the organization that you think the Blue Jays would part with Halladay for… I’d like to hear it.

  4. rnmwater - Oct 25, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    a trade for Halladay would involve Billingsley or Loney(if not both) as the center piece and possible Peirre as a salary dump with some prospects sprinkeled in. As for Lackey sure he would put up similar #’s as the rest of the Dodgers pitchers but he has that big game experience they all lacked and your forgetting how top pitchers from the Al come and dominate the NL. As for the guy saying they could of had Halladay your full of it the Jay’s were asking for Bills, Kemp and prospects no way that trade ever goes down, unless Colletti whats the Jay’s GM job.

  5. Andrew - Oct 25, 2009 at 4:34 AM

    I hardly think Loney would be a suitable centerpiece for Halladay (1.4 WAR players aren’t too hard to find), and I believe Billingsley has 3 years left of arbitration. Perhaps Colletti will change his mind (he wasn’t willing to put Billingsley on the table at the deadline), but I wouldn’t trade 3 years of a relatively cheap Billingsley for 1 year of Halladay unless I was sure he was the difference between winning and losing the world series.
    Pierre barely has value to any team, let alone one like the Blue Jays that has its own history of albatross contracts and is in the midst of rebuilding. Why would the Blue Jays accept Pierre (with 2 years 18.5 mill left on his contract) in a trade, let alone view him as an asset with any sort of value?
    Regarding Lackey, I think you’re conflating my statement that Lackey would not be the Dodgers’ ace with the idea that he would not be an asset. There isn’t a team out there that wouldn’t view Lackey as an asset, but with Kershaw around, he definitely wouldn’t be the team ace. That was all I was saying in my previous post.
    Facing pitchers in the weak-hitting NL West would help Lackey, as would a move to Dodger stadium, but he’d also be facing a downgrade in team defense. He would not be the ace, and at best, I’d consider him a game 2 starter. For the record, I expect Billingsley to provide more value in 2010 than Lackey.
    I’d also like to address Lackey’s “big-game experience.”
    Even if we accept the premise that Lackey’s experience in the playoffs will help him in the future (as well as all the underlying assumptions of that premise), I’d be hard-pressed to believe that this sort of experience would make up for the difference in talent between Kershaw and Lackey. If you were to somehow quantify this advantage (eg Fangraphs’ Clutch score), I still doubt it would make up for the overall superiority of Kershaw as a pitcher.
    Furthermore, if such big-game experience is truly an advantage, wouldn’t you rather have Kershaw or Billingsley gain that experience sooner rather than later? After all, the Dodgers probably plan to have Kershaw and Billingsley around for a longer time than they would if they sign Lackey. You might lose out a small advantage in the short-term, but that added big-game experience would be an advantage for the youngsters in the future, and over a larger period of time.
    Of course signing Lackey would help the Dodgers. It is a mistake, however, to say that he’d somehow step in and be their ace. I’d also be curious how one would prove that a pitcher is more clutch in the playoffs, given what would be a tiny sample size.

  6. bh0673 - Oct 25, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    Let’s not forget the price of pitching was driven up by the Dodgers when they over paid Kevin Brown. That contract forever raised the bar for quality pitching so if they want to cry about money they can blame themselves.

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