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Dodgers Predicted to Watch at Winter Meetings

How frustrating is it to know that Ned Colletti is going to the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis this week to basically be a bench guy. That he is going to the meetings to basically watch the action from the dugout and never even step on the field. That's just wrong and Dodger fans deserve better.

The Dodgers need pitching! They could use some power at First Base but the demand for it is not as compelling as their need is for Pitching. But with an owner that is more concerned about his personal quagmire in divorce court than his baseball business - its hard to imagine Colletti being given any instruction from him to make some deals other than deals that won't affect the bottom line. He may need the cash to settle.

The Dodgers we're told want to reduce payroll and instead of the $60 million dollars they would have if payroll were to stay the same, it's being said that Colletti is working with $40 million and $20 of it is being accounted for by the first and second year arbitration elligible players; namely Kemp, Loney, Ethier, Martin, Repko, Broxton and Billingsley. They can afford to lose Repko though it's quite a shame that his injury prone career did not allow him to reach his full potential but that's baseball and it won't hurt to let him go.

What I don't understand is why there is this opinion that giving up Billingsley for Halladay is not going to make the starting pitching staff better. Look at what Billingsley has done the past two years for us and compare it to what Halladay has done and can do if he were a Dodger. Billingsley has clearly not done the job that's needed for the Dodgers to get into the World Series and last year he really wasn't even available let alone a factor going down the stretch. I think Billingsley - if he's going to be counted on as our ace, needs to lose about 25 pounds of his baby fat and then maybe his legs would sustain the wear and tear of a long season. But if you look at what Billingsley has done in the post season the past two years, in my opinion he's not the untouchable so many are saying that he is. Why wouldn't we take Roy Halladay for Billingsley?

If I were Colletti - I'd do it without any further thought. So how about Billingsley, Jason Repko and James McDonald for a trade to get Roy Halladay? Besides having that key starting pitcher that you know will go out there each time he's given the start and almost ensure a win, not to mention - he will be that key pitcher to take you to the World Series and quite possibly a World Championship. We already know that Billingsley isn't that guy so why not give him up for the guy who know will. The Dodgers have the money and I think if nothing else - we owe it to Vin Scully to make his last year with the Dodgers - a Championship Season.

Okay, so the Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Cardinals, or possibly even the Yankees are going to beat us to the punch and Halladay is snatched up before Colletti can convince his boss to let him go after him. What about John Lackey? You know he wants to stay in Southern California and he's a better pitcher than Billingsley has been too. We wouldn't have to give up anything for him - just the money that these other teams don't seem to have any problem giving. The only other hole we have and its a small one is that we can use a second baseman. We do have one in DeWitt so why not spend the money for Lackey and let DeWitt sink or swim already? He's shown to be a pretty good player in the past. Imagine a rotation with Billingsley, Lackey, Kershaw, Kuroda and either McDonald or Elbert. That might do it.

If the Dodgers can't get one of them then their pitching is definitely suspect going into the season. If they are going to lose Randy Wolf and it seems that they are, the only other viable Free Agents that are out there even worth any consideration are Rich Harden, Noah Lowry and Jason Marquis; and oh yeah, Vicente Padilla. Not exactly a World Series Pitching staff does it make, unless Billingsley has a great year, Kershaw reaches his potential and Kuroda stays healthy.

So if Colletti chooses to sit and watch while other teams improve and Billingsley, Kuroda and either McDonald or Elbert don't markedly improve, then we shouldn't expect too much next year.

There is one other rumor swirling around out there on the way to Indianapolis that might be worth mentioning. It only further points out that you never know what might happen at these meetings, is talk about a trade with the Detroit Tigers. The Dodgers getting Edwin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera for Juan Pierre, James Loney, Raphael Furcal and James McDonald. You might wonder why we would give up Furcal but apparently there is Dee Gordon who is ready to step in at short and it would mean a deal that would be a blockbuster bringing the Dodgers pitching and a power hitter that could play third or first base.

It's going to be interesting to see if anything comes out of Indianapolis or if Colletti is truly in a wait and see mode until the Dodgers figure out who their owner is going to be.