The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a couple of early offseason moves.
Last week, they signed former San Diego Padre Jon Garland to a one year deal worth $5 million. The contract also has performance incentives worth up to $3M, plus a $8M team option that automatically vests with 190 innings pitched. Curiously, Garland turned down his part of a $6.75M mutual option with the Padres this offseason to become a free agent, only to take a slight pay cut on the open market.
After considering the $.3M buyout Garland received, plus the potential to earn both $8M this year and $8M in 2012, you could argue that he didn’t really take much of a pay cut at all. That said, he certainly didn’t cash in on his fine – at least, superficially – 2010 season with the Padres. It’s tough to get inside his head, obviously, but it appears that he either misread the market and/or his value on it or preferred to pitch in a destination other than San Diego.
As for the move, it’s a decent one, at best, for the Dodgers. Garland had a nice enough season last year, and he’s been a consistent performer in the past, but he’s certainly not the type of guy you’d project highly going forward. He’ll be leaving pitcher-friendly Petco for the more neutral Dodger Stadium, likely pitching with a worse defense behind him, and he’ll be a year older. Still, he’s a solid enough back-end starter and should fill out a pretty good rotation that includes Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly, and Hiroki Kuroda.
Today, the Dodgers apparently reached an agreement with Juan Uribe, a deal good for three years and $21 million. I’ve seen quite a few negative reactions to the deal, but I really don’t see it as all that bad of a contract. Uribe’s been worth upwards of 5 WAR over the past two seasons, averaging Baseball Reference’s and FanGraphs’ figures. It’s unlikely that he’ll be quite that good going forward, but his ability to play all over the infield certainly helps his value. Not a steal, by any means, but three years at $7M per doesn’t seem unreasonable.