Maddux Wins Fans Approval for Return

Fans voting on have demonstrated that on just over a 4-1 basis they would like to see Greg Maddux return in Dodger Blue next season. We received an exceptionally large number of responses and would have like to use every one of them but were unable to due to space limitations.

Almost to a voter they believe he has another solid season in his right arm and one, Harold Clifton, points out that he is probably worth the money just sitting on the bench.

"Check rookie Chad Billingsley's record before Maddux and after he arrived," Clifton wrote. "You can see the extremely talented kid turned the corner after spending time with Maddux and listening to his advice."

Even the few that thought he would not fit the 2007 team, pointed out that his efforts were instrumental in winning the 2006 co-division title. They, for the most part, reluctantly felt the $8-10 needed to sign him would benefit the team if used in another way.

We checked each of the responses received and settled on the five listed below. We thank everyone who participated and hope even more of you will share your thoughts in our next opinion pole about re-signing Nomar Garciaparra.

Here are the selected answers:

I feel Maddux should be re-signed as a number 5 starter. He no longer goes deep into games so using him as a prime starter is out of the question. Having him on the staff is like having an extra pitching coach. If the Dodgers are committed to using Billingsley and Kuo, what better mentor could they find in Maddux. His preparation for games and knowledge of the science of pitching go deeper than the average pitching coach. There isn't a better pitcher for the young players to learn from than Maddux. Hopefully, he will sign for a reasonable price and give the back end of the rotation a boost. --Dave Szatmary

Yes, I think he will be of great use for the other young starting pitchers despite the fact of his ERA. Every pitcher can have his bad days and so does he.
With his not overpowering stuff he still manages to stay in the game and give the team a chance to win.
Where ever he pitches in the rotation doesn't matter. He's a reliable pitcher that you can count on EVERY 5th day no matter what.
For me there will be no other who can replace him. --Betty Tjoen.

Do you resign Maddux…Yes.
I am sure that Maddux will want decent money ($8-10 million) for a starting pitcher who can only give you about 85-90 pitches before he becomes a human tee-ball. Here is why you do it anyway:
* The guy does not get hurt.
* You don't necessarily need him for the post season, just to win 12-18 games in the regular season.
* I would slot him as a #3/4 starter behind Lowe, Penny, and maybe Billingsley.
* We win the West next year with 90-92 wins. We would have gotten there this year if any combination of Seo/Hendrickson/Sele/Billingsley/Stults could have come up with about 20-25 wins combined; they didn't.
* Our locker room has been barren of leaders in the past couple of years save for Gagne. Until Russell Martin is ready for that sort of thing, Maddux naturally fits into that role.
* The guy saves somewhere between 20-30 runs each year just based on his defense.
* Give me one guy you would rather have out there for an important game in September as a #3 starter that is available on the market: Lily? Mulder? Weaver? Ohka?
--Jonathan Morse

I would re-sign him. I believe he is a very good pitcher and a clutch preformer. He does better when he has to win one game. Yes, he isn't a good playoff pitcher by records, but it sure seems like every team he is on knows how to win. Look at the salary figures compared to statistics. On a team revenue for Los Angeles, they should be free spenders. They are not that far away. And the current salary is disposed of in free agency. Lets examine players wiht big contracts and leaving: Garciapara, Gagne, Lofton, Hendrickson, Hall, Lugo, Maddux, and Perez.
That is an awfully lot to fill up by free agency. Most of those guys were replacements anyways. We are at a pivotol point in the franchise. We have enough rookies and established veterans like Saenz, to give a lot of money out. Its just so that many of this years' class are at positions where the Dodgers need help. I think Lofton can walk because we have Repko (who I believe plays well in a starting role) for a cheaper and guaranteed contract. Lugo was a utility guy kinda like Delwyn Young. They aren't too valuable. Our backup catcher shouldn't be paid that much.
But many players do deserve some money by the Dodgers.
My point is that the Dodgers lose hefty contracts and have a lot of money to go in any direction they want to. They can spend a lot of money any returninig guys, decide to go with rookies, and sign new free agents from other teams. Grege Maddux is important and good enough for the Dodgers to re-sign. --Mitchell Beck.

And writing the minority brief:
Although Greg Maddux was a very good pickup for the stretch drive, I do not feel they should re-sign him due to his age and pitch count limitations. The Dodgers should give two rotation spots to Billingsley and Kuo and if Lowe and Penny are kept then that only leaves one spot.
The Dodgers need to sign a top of the rotation pitcher who can log substantial innings, especially since Penny only averaged 5 & 1/3 innings per start. If however the Dodgers addressed this by trading Penny and a prospect for an upgraded pitcher, then I might consider Maddux for one year depending on the other free agent options.
The one benefit of having Maddux end his career as a Dodger is that it may give us the inside track at retaining him as the pitching coach. --John in Irvine, CA

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