Farm Raid

The scuttlebutt:

(For Miguel Cabrera), the Dodgers would have to give up four players from a group that includes pitcher Chad Billingsley, pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw, third baseman Andy LaLoche, first baseman James Loney and outfielder Matt Kemp. The Dodgers probably would balk at giving both Billingsley and Kershaw in the same deal because it would hurt the organization's pitching depth.

Pro: A trade like that would murder the Dodgers' vaunted young offensive core, and that's before you even get to the pitching prospect.

Con: Miguel Cabrera isn't fool's gold. This isn't a high-mileage Bartolo Colon. If there were ever a player to raid the farm for, Cabrera's it.

Pro: Even if he's one of the best players of his generation, he's only under contract during a stretch in which the Giants aren't likely to compete. After a couple of years, he'll be a free agent, leave, and write a poem about being led by Ozzie Virgil through Dodger Stadium.

Con: Or the Dodgers could sign him to a ten-year extension, and, 550 home runs later, he'll go into the Hall with a blue cap.

Pro: Juan Pierre, uncontested starting center fielder. For, like, eternity. No Kemp to squeeze in? No problem. Luis Gonzalez back on a one-year deal, Juan Pierre, and...wait, Andre Ethier shouldn't be there, he's way too young...Geoff Jenkins. Gonzalez, Pierre, and Jenkins. No Loney? No problem. Nomar. Encase him in bubble wrap. If that were to happen, I'd half-expect to see Colletti and Sabean give an Andy Kaufman/Jimmy Hart-style wrestling hug during the winter meetings next offseason. Agent Colletti, you magnificent bastard.

Con: There are no guarantees that Loney, Kemp, LaRoche, and Billingsley/Kershaw will pan out. If they all fail to be impact players, the Dodgers have pulled a once-in-a-generation heist. We'll look back with a mixture of disgust and wonder at how anyone could have thought it was a good deal for the Marlins. Eric Plunk and Tim Birtsas were pretty hot prospects back in 1985.

Dunno. Miguel Cabrera in a Dodgers uniform would make me sick. Loney, Kemp, LaRoche, and Kershaw all in another uniform would make me titter and squeal with delight.

Verdict: Do the deal, Neddie. C'mon. Go for it. And in 2011, when Angel Villalona, Nick Noonan, and Other are breaking out, maybe Cabrera will look as if he's swallowed David Wells. A fella can hope.

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