Coming down to the wire

With Dodgers pitcher and catchers slated for physicals on Friday and the first workout planned for Saturday, the new complex still looks, at least from Camelback Road, like a construction site. There was a bulldozer parked just inside the fence over there today (not sure it was actually a bulldozer, I don’t really know one piece of construction equipment from another). But there’s no turning back now. This move to the Cactus League is about to become official. … By the way, remember about 10 years ago when the Dodgers talked about building a new complex on the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation before they ended up signing that 20-year lease with Vero Beach that they are now buying out of? I drove out there a couple of weeks ago, as I had some family in town and they wanted to check out the casino out there. Talk about a haul. Good thing the Dodgers didn’t build out there, because that place is WAY out there, about 20 miles west of Scottsdale.

On another note, Ramona Shelburne forwarded me some leftover quotes from the Randy Wolf media session today. He addresses the fact that it took him almost the entire offseason to get signed:

“This offseason started with a lot of optimism and kind of went south, and that’s kind of where the country was. You get to a certain point where you don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know if you’re going to find a job. … I feel very fortunate that the Dodgers came on board and were aggressive at the end in trying to get me back.”

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  • redeyewriter

    So glad Baseball is almost here. With Abreu and Dunn, done (couldn’t help myself), don’t the Dodgers have to sign Manny now? I can’t wait to root for Weaver and Milton… blech

  • karmabad

    It’s almost comedic how funny this Manny saga has become. Look the guy is a winner. Every team he has been on has always won, it’s not coincidental. If we get him, we win, if SF gets him, they win. Yet this seems to be the biggest decision in the Dodgers organization. We pull the trigger and please the fans AND team and sign him, or we let SF do it so they can stomp our asses and take the division. It’s borderline retarded on how “difficult” this is for McCourt to do. This is LOS ANGELES not Kansas City. We’re in a major market with another major market team (The Lakers)and one of the biggest athletes ever (Kobe). Why can’t we do this for our baseball team as well?

  • Buddy

    Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article today on ESPN discussing the precarious state of the Dodgers’ rotation. (Unfortunately, you have to me a member of ESPN Insider to read it). Nevertheless, he measures each potential starter’s stability from blue, yellow and red scale. Blue being less risky and red being very risky. Of course, none of the Dodgers’ starters are in Blue. I completely agree with him. Billingsley is coming off a leg injury (red) and everyone else is precarious also.

    While I agree that signing Manny is important offensively, the Dodgers must address their shaky starting pitching situation by the trade deadline. I think they need an ace to anchor this rotation despite Billingley’s health. The Dodgers are right to develop Jason McDonald and Clayton Kershaw slowly. Kershaw shouldn’t be allowed to pitch more than 160 innings this year to keep his development moving. We’ve all seen how managers like Dusty Baker have blown out some excellent arms.

  • Marcel

    Why should Kershaw only pitch 160 innings this year when he threw 170+ last year? (combined majors and minors).

    I would have no problem with him throwing 200. He’s ready.

  • karmabad

    As for pitching (starting pitchers), I believe that ship has sailed…we should have signed Garland I think. Schmidt…I guess. Wolfe, OK. Weaver, please stay in AAA after spring training. McDonald, don’t Kershaw rush him (stay in the pen in 09).

    Spring Training Break thru

    I won’t miss Penny, but definitely will miss Lowe. Can Manny pitch too?

  • CubanDodger

    Am I missing something or are the Dodgers simply saving the big bucks. By my count we took off about $60.0 million in payroll from ast year. So far we have spent maybe $20-25. Is the team simply trying to save money?

  • Marcel

    The projected 2009 payroll (without Manny) is $83M. This is down only $37M from last year.

  • snuffy02

    Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times just reported that Manny has cancelled some promotional appearances as he could be signing a contract at any time now. Doesn’t say if McCheap will be spending any of that “only $37M” on ManRam or keeping it for his mortgage payments & Mrs. McCheap’s Valentine’s Day present.

  • Buddy

    …so that Kershaw’s elbow and shoulder remain attached to his body. Trust me, you can’t fool around with young arms. Earl Weaver figured that out ages ago.