Sometimes the Best Deals are Ones Not Made

ARod and Steve Boras are staying in New York. Good luck. Mike Lowell is staying in Boston. And, if one gives credence to recent reports, the Dodgers and Marlins are far, far apart from any deal on Miguel Cabrera. That's great news.

We are Florida based and have seen lots and lots of Cabrera. We have seen the 24 year old eating his way out of everyday third base play. The pudgy player looks like a cross between Olmedo Saenz and Venezuela's loudmouth dictator-in-the-making Hugo Chavez.

If the Dodgers don't succumb to he temptation to give away their young players just now -- after investing so much in their nurturing and development -- so much for the better.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones not made.

As longtime big league scout Tim Zimmer (son of Don) often told us 'when you get somebody else's player, what you're getting is somebody else's problem'.

If Jeff Kent didn't like Matt Kemp's cavalier attitude, he surely wouldn't like Cabrera's penchant for the night life.

Watching the Marlin lots, and as our enthusiasm for Miggy Cabrera wane as his waistline grew, our eyes often turned more and more to 2B and former Rule 5 pickup Dan Uggla.

Uggla waited so long to get to the big leagues, he plays hard, he plays everyday, he has big league pop, and even though he has been moved around in the batting order, he still manages to hit between 25-30 homers and 80-90 rbi. 

Uggla is a better player than Jeff Kent right now, plays defense as well as offense. Uggla could be moved to third in LA until Kent retires. Miami' heavy air has created a ballpark that is similar to the pitching friendly confines of Dodgers Stadium.

Matt Kemp's legs are 8 or more years younger than any of the name available expensive center field options. In baseball 8 years younger is a lifetime. Sign one of the older option to big money an what the Dodgers will wind up with down the road is a past-his-prime player not worth his money.

Let Kemp man center everyday in the regular lineup. Let Rowand and Hunter go elsewhere. And we will wager Kemp matches them homer for homer.

Why do so many other teams want a young and cheap Andy LaRoche to play third for them? The answer is scouts see the talent ready to erupt. Joe Torre and the Dodgers would and could do well to stand still and do nothing.

Where the Dodgers could help themselves is upgrading the quality of their bench and pitching staff.

There are three available bench players who stand out to us -- each of whom would be an upgrade to the team. First is just-jettisoned Josh Phelps, the former catcher turned sometimes first baseman and pinchhitter. Phelps is Mark Sweeney with power.

Second there is Rob Mackowiak, who played everyplace very well for the Pirates before moving on to the White Sox and Padres.

He has been a plucky producer, one of those improbable guys who plays and producers better than you expect. He'd even be an upgrade defensively for the stationary Jeff Kent in the late innings.

Third, there is the tandem of ex-Red Sox players Eric Hinske and Bobby Kielty. Their price tags are reasonable, both have learned to play off the bench.

Signing one or two of these lower tier guys would really help the Dodgers in the short and long run.

And, has been said in baseball since Abner Doubleday, you can never, never have enough pitching. The trouble is, the available quality of pitching among the free agents is mostly made up of the old, the feeble and the blind, coupled with agents driving up prices because they know everybody but everybody is pitching short.

The list is so deplorable that compared to what is out there the return of Jeff Weaver looks more palatable each time you scan the list. With free agent pitching what it is, all teams, not just the Dodgers will, if they haven't already done so, switched to he old fashioned trade route.

That takes you to teams looking to cap payroll like Florida or Oakland looking to retool and get younger or Pittsburgh which is desperate to roll the dice and somehow move up in the won-loss standings.

This is a route that Dodgers GM  Ned Colletti, now entering his third year, has yet to get his first extra base hit,  i.e., trading for YOUNG, quality, affordable pitching, as in Dan Haren or Joe Blanton.

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