One story that hasn’t gotten a huge amount of attention this winter is the Dodgers’ complete lack of interest in re-signing pitchers Brad Penny and Joe Beimel. Joe Torre, who made his first appearance at the winter meetings earlier today, was asked about both of those players, and while he wasn’t completely transparent in his answers, he left little doubt that he didn’t want either one of them back.
On Beimel: “You make a decision as to what you want to do. We just felt Joe was inconsistent. He took the ball, whether good or bad, and went out there on a regular basis. I love Joe, but he wasn’t as good against left-handed hitters as he had been in the past.”
On Penny: “I thought it was best that he go out there on his own. He was uncomfortable, and I know he had some physical issues. We tried to use him out of the bullpen, but I think he was a little hesitant about doing that. Maybe the fact he was becoming a free agent had something to do with that.”
On a separate note, we now know why the Dodgers are so hesitant to talk about their deals with free agents Mark Loretta and Casey Blake. Turns out that when a deal is in place pending that player passing a physical — something we know is true in the case of Loretta and that we suspect is the case with Blake — if that information gets out in the open, there is a concern that if the player fails the physical and the deal never gets consummated, then it becomes obvious to other clubs that the player failed the physical and in theory hinders that player’s ability to get a deal with another club. That player can then file a grievance or perhaps even a lawsuit against the first club for allowing the information to get out. In other words, a player can sue one team for hindering his ability to deceive another team about his physical condition. What a world we live in.
By the way, this means nothing other than an interesting vignette, but Joe Torre and Joe Girardi are currently conversing on the other side of the media work room.