Orlando Hudson. Ron Belliard. Vicente Padilla. Brad Asmus. Juan Pierre. Jim Tome. Juan Castro. Mark Loretta. Jamie Hoffmann. Randy Wolf. Jon Garland. Doug Mientkiewicz. Tony Abreu.
All gone from last year’s roster.
Not one addition to the pitching staff, and overall only reserve infielder Jamey Carroll has been added.
Spring training is in five weeks, isn’t it?
The McCort divorce was seen as a major roadblock to improvement over last year, but letting all of these players go with no replacements is somehing that was not foreseen. Granted, this week Chad Billingsley and Matt Kemp were signed to big raises, but if this were a year earlier, maybe both would have gotten longer-term contracts.
The Giants and Arizona will both be greatly improved over last season, and San Diego may also be even better than what they showed the last few weeks of the year. Colorado, as good as they were last season, has yet to put together two goods years in a row, and they have lost a couple of key guys, most importantly, Jason Marquis.
Nevertheless, the NL West overall will be substantially improved throughout, with one glowing exception as of now: the Dodgers.
Unless some major work is done pretty soon, the Dodger roster figues to be filled out with a host of minor leaguers and guys who have spent their careers on the Albuquerque-LA shuttle, like Eric Stults, AJ Ellis, Chin-lung Hu, Scott Elbert, and of course the talented but always injured Jason Repko.
Aren’t there a few bucks in the coffer to bring back a Vicente Padilla, or even Orlando Hudson (though he probably would not consider it, with what the team did to him the end of last season), or how about a Jarrod Washburn or Erik Bedard? Wouldn’t Eric Byrnes or Endy Chavez make a great fourth outfielder on this team, and how about a Jose Molina for the back-up catcher?
Come on Frank, let Ned do something!