Rumored Dodgers Targets: Wilson, Hairston, Kuroda, Harang, Capuano, Francis

Jack Wilson: His OPS is on a four year decline, checking in with a .559 OPS in 2011. For that matter, both his AVG and OBP are on a four year decline as well, and his SLG is on a two year tumble. Needless to say, he isn’t a light hitter in the same way Jamey Carroll (solid but no power) is. No, Jack Wilson is just a terrible hitter.

His redeeming quality is supposed to be his defense, but even that has fallen off. It has gone from 27 runs in 2009 to 8 runs in 2010 to 6 runs in 2011, according to DRS. His UZR mimics that fall, showing 15.1 runs, -0.5 runs, and 1.4 runs, with FRAA painting the same picture at 2.8, 4.4, and 0.5. Even within those numbers, most of his positive defensive value is now at second base, not shortstop.

Either way, there’s not enough defense anymore to make up for his cringe worthy bat. I’m not sure what the point would be of even making him a utility guy, given that he might not be better than replacement level.

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Jerry Hairston: Probably not going to impress anybody with OPS numbers of .710, .652, and .727 over the last three seasons, but he does at least have about a league average walk rate, so there’s hope for usefulness.

His value though is in his versatility, posting average defense at 2B/3B/SS/CF while being above average in LF. You could do a ton worse than him as a utility guy and I think he’s actually an ideal piece to a well rounded bench.

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Hiroki Kuroda: Everybody knows that he has been well worth the money and that’s he’s a solid #2/#3 type of pitcher, so I’m not even going to waste my breath on that.

However, despite what is commonly bandied about, his status with the Dodgers is no longer just about his willingness to play another season in America. With Ned Colletti claiming that the 2012 payroll will be lower than the 2011 number, there simply might not be enough budget for Hiroki Kuroda to come back unless he takes a pay cut from what was already a hometown discount.

I’m not sure he’s willing to do that, and I certainly don’t blame him, as he’s coming off arguably his best year in 2011 and the Dodgers will need him to take a significant reduction in salary to get a deal done. I guess we’re about to see how much he loves Los Angeles.

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Aaron Harang: The 3.64 ERA and 4.17 FIP in 2011 with the Padres is generally misleading because of the park he was pitching in, as even his comeback year was decidedly mediocre with an ERA- of 105 and an FIP- of 119. I suppose it would be worth taking a flier on him as a fifth starter, but I wouldn’t just assume he’s back and ready to be a sub-4.00 ERA innings eater.

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Chris Capuano: His 4.55 2011 ERA isn’t pretty, but his 21.0 K% and 6.6 BB% show he has underlying skills. Not surprisingly, he has posted four consecutive seasons of xFIP- better than league average and hovers around average in FIP-. Furthermore, both his SIERA and tERA are on two year declines, perhaps showing that the contact he’s inducing is of better quality as well.

As a fly ball pitcher (~40%), he should find Dodger Stadium to his welcoming, and if the Dodgers can get a reasonable price for him, he’s certainly worth pursuing.

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Jeff Francis: Despite poor ERA numbers, he has always had a solid skill set that was masked by his pitching environment at Coors Field. Assuming he’s healthy again, he could be a potential bargain for somebody.

While his 4.82 ERA last year was ugly, he had a 4.10 FIP and 4.29 xFIP, so there’s about a league average pitcher in there already. Better yet, there’s upside here in the sense that if he can find his strikeout ways again (~15% to ~11%), there’s considerable promise for a middle of the rotation type pitcher for back of the rotation money.

About Chad Moriyama

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