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Around the Division: The Offseason of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Brian Sabean: What you need in this business, kid, is a bunch of guys.

Ned Colletti: /scribbles notes

Sabean: You need to get guys that you've heard of. If you've heard of them, they're probably pretty good. That's why you've heard of them.

Colletti: /scribbles notes

Sabean: Sometimes it gets tricky because you might have heard about a player who is in the minor leagues. Watch out for that, and make sure you can tell the difference. You don't want those guys getting in your lineup.

Colletti: /scribbles notes

It can be frustrating to follow a team that's had the same GM for 15 years. You know his quirks, his tendencies. It's easier to get annoyed by what you think are his faults than it is to appreciate his good points. There just aren't a lot of surprises.

But if I'm ever frustrated with Brian Sabean, there's an easy way to feel better: Remember that he somehow ctrl-c/ctrl-v'd his brain into another human being, and he sent that fellow on his merry way to build the roster of a divisional rival. The moves the Dodgers made this offseason:

Mark Ellis
Adam Kennedy
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Aaron Harang
Chris Capuano
Todd Coffey

Rod Barajas
Casey Blake
Jamey Carroll
Aaron Miles

Juan Rivera
Tony Gwynn, Jr.

It would have been awesome if the Dodgers had re-signed Carroll and Miles just because. Colletti should have signed them all and done the Joker thing, where he breaks a pool cue in half and leaves the room. Whoever makes it out alive is the new head-utility infielder, and he gets to boss around the vice-utility infielder and deputy-utility infielder.

That is a very, very Sabean offseason, right down to the two-year deal for a fourth outfielder. And while it's true that Sabean had a very Sabean offseason by definition, it warms the cockles of me heart to think that we're not alone, that our GM's gift was shared with our friends in Southern California.

I don't hate any of the moves in isolation, really. Ellis can still play defense; Kennedy is an okay 25th-man; Hairston can play short and provide a touch of OBP and speed; Coffey's been okay; Harang should fit well in Dodger Stadium; Capuano is a pretty decent innings-muncher. But none of those guys are offensive -- pun hilariously intended! -- because it's the Sabean Method: Get a bunch of guys who look okay in isolation, but who add up to a big ol' pile of whatsit. Here's a guess at the Dodgers lineup for next year:

Dee Gordon - SS
Mark Ellis - 2B
Matt Kemp - CF
Andre Ethier - RF
James Loney - 1B
Juan Rivera - LF
Juan Uribe/Jerry Hairston - 3B
A.J. Ellis - C

Look, I'm a Giants fan. This blog started right as the Giants became the worst-hitting team in the National League and stayed there for what's going on seven seasons. I have no right to make fun of another team because of how they hit, or how I think they'll hit. No right. But I still look at that Dodgers lineup and think, "Holy crap." I mean, holy crap. Pick the third-best hitter in that lineup after you account for position. Is it Loney? Rivera? Gordon? Uribe? I mean, holy crap.

Don't look at the Giants' projected lineup, people. I know what that's like. Focus.

I don't want to make fun of the Dodgers too much because something like a reverse-'97 could certainly happen, and I don't want the karma baggage. But I have no idea what Colletti went into this offseason to do. I have no idea if he accomplished it. The Dodgers had a really, really active and bizarre offseason. Aaron Miles hasn't signed with anyone yet, Ned!

They still have Kershaw, who's so good, he's might be hard to hate, like Koufax or Scully. The bullpen should be a plus. There isn't an obviously weak spot in the rotation. It's not a hopeless team at all. It's just a Ned Colletti team, only more so. Remember that the next time you're grumbling about Sabean.