At the beginning of this season, we asked if putting Joe Torre and Ned Colletti together in the same organization was going to mutually exacerbate both of their well-known predilictions for big-name “experienced veterans.”
Clearly, the answer is a resounding “YES.”
Dangling well-known veteran players in front of Colletti and Torre must be like dangling porn videos in front of Hideki Matsui, because over the past two weeks the Dodgers have gone on a wild spree of acquiring big-name veterans, trading at least 4 prospects and putting down at least $7.5 million dollars combined to acquire Vicente Padilla, Ronnie Belliard, Jon Garland, and Jim Thome.
None of this makes any sense, no matter which way you slice it.
First of all, the Dodgers still have the best record in the entire National League. Yes, that’s right, best record in the whole league. They are a mortal lock for the playoffs, because even if the some how lose the division, they will end up with the wild card. So acquiring these guys for the “stretch run” makes no sense.
But at the same time, it’s not like you really need these guys for the playoffs either, when you cut about five guys from your pitching staff. At least, the Dodgers better not be stashing these guys for the playoffs. Because if you are a Dodgers fan you gotta be pretty frightened if Colletti and Torre are planning to make Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland a big part of their playoff plans.
Because the more important point here is, none of these guys are all that good. Ron Belliard has a career OPS of .753, and he’s already on the downside of that. He’s basically Tony Abreu, only 10 years older at 3 times the price. Oh wait, I forgot, he’s an “experienced veteran.”
As for Padilla and Garland, I’m not sure what to say, other than that these guys are scraping the bottom of the replacement level barrel. Padilla struggles to even achieve replacement level, and Garland has hovered just a smidgen above it for most of his career. Are these guys really going to give the Dodgers anything that they couldn’t get from guys they already have, like Charlie Haeger, Eric Stults, and Scott Elbert?
And as useless as the first three guys are, I consider Jim Thome the most useless acquisition of them all. Oh sure, Thome is a probable hall of famer and all, but he hasn’t played an inning in the field in more than two years, and now here he is on a National League team as a glorified pinch hitter. Thome even spoke with Ned Colletti on the phone and explicitly told him that he could only be asked to play first base in an absolute emergency. What use is that on an NL team? You can’t even double switch with him. Is 40 days of that that really worth a whopping 2.5 million dollars PLUS a minor leaguer?
Maybe Matsui has it right. I’m pretty sure you’d get a better return on your investment investing in porno tapes.