Thursday, February 23, 2012

Familiar Faces in New Places - Barajas, Broxton, Carroll, Blake & Kuroda

Rod Barajas signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the off season.  Barajas is due to make $4 million dollars in 2012 and $3.5 million in 2013 if the Pirates pick up the option.

Jonathan Broxton signed a 1-year $4 million dollar contract with the Kansas City Royals for 2012.  Broxton finished his seven season Dodger career with a 25-20 record with a 3.19 ERA and 84 saves. He made the NL All Star roster in 2009 and 2010.  However, in 2011 he made only 14 appearances and Javy Guerra became the Dodger closer.

Hiroki Kuroda signed a 1-year $10 million dollar contract to join the New York Yankees.  Kuroda finished his 4-year stint with the Dodgers with a record of 41-46 and a 3.45 ERA in 114 starts.

Jamey Carroll took his talents to the Twin Cities and signed a 2-year $6.5 million dollar deal with the Twins.  Carroll was a scrappy player for the Dodgers and hit .290 in his two seasons with the club.  He'll be missed in the clubhouse and became a fan favorite last year for his hustle and hard play.

Casey Blake shown above with Troy Tulowitzki signed a 1-year $2 million dollar deal with the Rockies.  He can earn another $1 million in incentives.  Blake was a fan favorite in his 3 1/2 years with the Dodgers and helped lead the team to the playoffs in 2008 after they acquired him from the Indians on July 26, 2008.  The 38-year old Blake was on the disabled list three times in 2011 and it remains to be seen whether he can bounce back from neck surgery.  Unfortunately, if he does bounce back it will be with the Colorado Rockies.
I think the Dodgers will miss Kuroda the most of these 5 players.  Coming off surgery, combined with his on the field struggles, I think it was a no brainer for the club to with Broxton luck in his future endeavors.  It's debatable whether the Dodgers should have tried harder to resign Barajas.  While his offensive numbers weren't great, he was a good clubhouse guy and handled the staff well. However, the Dodgers didn't do much to upgrade the position in the off season.  They head into Spring Training with A.J. Ellis as the starter and veteran Matt Treanor as the back-up. 

Carroll and Blake were good influences in the clubhouse but with the Dodgers ownership in turmoil, the team is going with cheaper options.  Kuroda was a work horse for the Dodgers and even refused to waive his no-trade clause late last season because he wanted to fulfill his contract with the Dodgers.  When the Dodgers did not pursue him aggressively over the winter, he took $10 million to join the Yankees rotation.  At 37-years old, Kuroda may not have more than 1 or 2 seasons left in his arm, so it was a pretty smart move to sign with a team that is in the World Series hunt year after year.

Which former Dodger will you miss the most?

True to the Blue! 

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