By Eric Notti - AngelsWin.com Contributor
In the LA Times this morning this little tidbit prompted me thinking about an interesting scenario where the Angels could take advantage of the Dodgers dilemma.
Colletti said Thursday, "We're going to have some conversations, and we'll see if we can't do something," with agents for some of the young Dodgers. While Colletti wouldn't reveal the names, they are believed to be Loney, Broxton, Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Unable to afford Randy Wolf if he were to accept arbitration, the Dodgers gave up the chance at a first round draft pick when he departed. This leads me to believe Colletti is unable to extend payroll this year for any proven veterans to bolster the Dodgers pitching staff and are also under the gun to get all of their club control guys signed after arbitration.
The Dodgers have 9 players eligible for arbitration. George Sherril is in his 3rd year, Martin, Ethier, Repko, Broxton all in their 2nd year and Kemp, Loney, Billingsley and Kou all in their 1st year. They only have 5 players under contract for 2010 and their payroll is sitting at about $65.3 million. They are still saddled with 5 more years of paying for Andrew Jones $3.5 million a year for the time he spent with them. With the divorce and club ownership questions hanging over their heads, just how many of these young guys can they afford and still field a competitive team?
This is where the Angels come in to play. The Dodgers really need pitching in a bad way. The Angels have a couple of arms they can spare that are cheap. No, I'm not talking about Saunders or Weaver but of Palmer and Loux, both shown to be serviceable pitchers in the very hitter rich AL. So get out your trade calculators and think in terms of payroll relief for the Dodgers and outfield upgrades for the Angels.
Either would be a prime target in that he is a 2nd year arbitration candidate that put up a big year for the Dodgers and will be looking at a sizeable raise. He may be considered untouchable but then again he may be considered a payroll liability when you hear Colletti talking about having to try and make a deal with their agents. Plus side is he is a left handed power bat that can move into right field and shifts Abreu to the DH role, two problems solved.
The next target is Matt Kemp, a right handed hitter that can slide over and be the left fielder for the Angels. Nice power, very durable, young and a better glove than Rivera with more range. This moves Rivera to right field and Abreu to DH, again solving a couple issues.
Now the question is what package does the Dodgers the most good considering they are tied to both Juan Pierre and Manny Ramirez and lost their 2nd baseman to free agency. I would say a sign and trade of both Palmer and Izturis (returning a name to the Dodgers organization that fans may have missed) and possibly a low prospect for either Either or Kemp with salary relief, the Angels paying part of Palmer and Izturis' one year contracts.
Would it be possible? Considering the Dodgers are pitching poor, need a second baseman and are financially in bad shape, the Angels could present a package that sends the Angels a player, as good as or better than Bay that they could lock up with a multiyear contract without stripping their club of critical players. It also avoids being tied to another outfielder on the other side of 30. In return the Dodgers get an arm better than their farm system can produce a quality second baseman that they need badly and it actually gives them two leadoff type hitters in Izturis and Pierre to use next year.
Can the Angels even talk to Colletti about a deal being cross-town rivals? I'd sure like to see if they could. This would free up plenty of payroll room to re-sign John Lackey and it keeps the core of the rotation in place and doesn't sacrifice any more of the left side of the infield.