Posted at 1:16 a.m., Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Baseball: L.A. could pull coup if A-Rod follows Torre
By Phil Rogers
That's probably not the answer to the problems that contributed to them losing 10 of 11 in late September to fall far behind Arizona, Colorado and San Diego in the highly competitive National League West, but it makes a lot more sense than bringing Tommy Lasorda out of mothballs. The guy the Dodgers probably need though is Alex Rodriguez.
If A-Rod is following Torre to Dodger Stadium, then Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti might be on to something.
Of all the teams mentioned so far in the Rodriguez speculation San Francisco, the Chicago Cubs, Boston and the Los Angeles Angels the Dodgers make the most sense. They have the makings of a perennial contender, even in the deep NL West, but are dying from a lack of power.
They don't really have an opening on the left side of the infield, but could deal shortstop Rafael Furcal to let Rodriguez play there, alongside Nomar Garciaparra, in 2008 before moving to third base in `09, when Chin-Lung Hu should be ready to take over at short. Center fielder Juan Pierre would become the leadoff man with Furcal gone (he could become trade bait to add some power in left field).
It's admirable that the 67-year-old Torre still wants to manage. He got a raw deal with the Yankees, who aren't likely to make up the gap on Boston by adding Joe Girardi while losing Torre and Rodriguez. Girardi did great work on the field with Florida in 2006 but is diving into the deep waters by taking the Yankees' offer of a three-year contract.
As for Rodriguez to the Cubs, yes, you can make a case. He and Lou Piniella have a good relationship. He could hit a jillion home runs at Wrigley Field. He probably would be at least as good in the field at shortstop as Ryan Theriot. But the reality is that paying any one player $30 million a year never really makes baseball sense. He's a temptation that is better passed on.
Somebody will bite, however. The suckers always do.