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The Grass is Greener in Arizona
As a Jewish baseball fan in Southern California, I've always been a big Shawn Green fan. So it is in many ways unfortunate that the Dodgers are about to ship Green off to Arizona. This trade may work out, but there are some questions and large variables which go into evaluating it.First off, it is curious that the Dodgers have been so eager to get rid of Green's contract. Yes, he's getting paid $16 million. But it's only for this one last season. Normally, rich teams just write off that loss. The Dodgers though seeem desperate to unload Green NOW. Never mind that Darren Dreifort's and Jeff Weaver's outrageous salaries also expire after this season. With most every major free agent except Carlos Beltran signed, LAist is very curious to see how the Dodgers use this freed up money. They could pursue a trade for a starting pitcher, but what team will give one up now that there are few free agent replacements to sign? Does this trade mean the eratic Derek Lowe will be a Dodger?
The next obvious question is about Hee Seop Choi. Is he for real? Choi has had the prospect label slapped on him for a while. He can definitely hit for power (a factor negated in Dodger Stadium), but he disappears at times. We'll find out this year if he's for real.
When it comes to prospects, it's probably best to trust Paul DePodesta. Dioneer Navarro is supposed to be pretty good, even if his offense is a bit suspect. But he's not ready for majors for at least a year. Does this mean LA will really get by with David Ross at catcher? We shudder at the thought.
Finally, there are the questions about Shawn Green's shoulder. It is supposed to bother him for the rest of his career, and was certainly a major factor in his 2003 decline, and his horrible first-half of 2004. Green did have a good second-half last season, but is it hopeful to expect that modest performance level for another year?
Personally, I will miss Shawn Green's horrifically slow starts to seasons. And I will miss his pseudo selfless attitude which was on display when he agreed to switch to first base, and actually played the position well.