Dave Dombrowski held court today in what was deemed an informal availability session and broached a number of topics. Jason Beck was first to the web with the bullet points. Definitely click through to Beck’s reporting, but I’ll weigh in on the bullets as well.
No decision yet on Pudge and Dombrowski indicated the team might use their full allotment of time (10 days after the World Series) to make a decision. I just documented my thoughts on the situation and believe Pudge needs to be back next year. Whether that means picking up the option, or buying him out and inking him to a 2 year deal that pays him $7-8 million per – I’d be okay with both.
They’ve expressed their interest in bringing Todd Jones back for next year, but while he would come back as a closer to start the year, they wouldn’t commit to keeping him there as the season went on.
I like the plan, and don’t want to see Jones blocking Zumaya. At the same time, if Jones is back, and can’t hold down the closer role that probably isn’t a good sign. Also, Jones is looking to see if Atlanta would be interested so he could be closer to home. I’ll be taking a deeper dive look at Jones coming up soon.
Three spots are set and allocated to Verlander/Bonderman/Robertson. One spot will go to a veteran – like Kenny Rogers if he chooses to come back or another acquisition if he doesn’t- and the other spot will go to a kid to be determined. While trading Robertson would bring back some value, it also leaves a hole in the rotation and going into the season counting on more than one of Jurrjens/Miller/Bazardo to hold down a roster spot for a full year is a risky proposition. The thought of the three of them holding down one spot and then being available for injuries/tired arms is pretty appealing. Plus a one year deal for Rogers means the whole veteran presence without commiting to someone who might block a youngster when they are ready.
Will look to get a left handed bat for the outfield that could be a starter, or a platoon partner for Marcus Thames. The ability to get a starter will probably be directly impacted on the cost of a shortstop, and whether or not they need to fill Kenny’s spot with a longer term contract that would consume more resources.
Jurrjens and Sheffield
Jurrjens will be spending the offseason with Gary Sheffield and working with Sheff’s trainer so that Jurrjens gains strength. I can only wonder how this came about. Did the club initiate it? Did Jurrjens initiate it? Was it Sheffield’s idea? For some reason this just strikes me as a fascinating conversation and a very interesting dynamic. A veteran slugging outfielder near the end of his career teaming up with a 21 year old rookie pitcher from Curacao to build strength. Good times.