If you go on the Los Angeles Dodgers Web site and look up Ned Colletti’s profile you will read all the wonderful moves Colletti has done in his first four years as General Manager (GM). That profile only says a small portion of what he has really done for the Dodgers.
On Tuesday Colletti signed a multiyear contract extension, a day after the game four collapse against the Phillies. The Dodger’s front office and Colletti didn’t say specifically how many years the contract was signed for but both parties are saying he will remain the Dodgers GM for a long time.
Despite getting eliminated by the Phillies for the second consecutive year, that wasn’t the worst thing that happened for Dodger fans last week. It was Colletti’s new contract extension. The man has made so many horrible moves for the Dodgers since he got hired for the job in 2005. He hasn’t drafted a good crop of young players and has done some of the worst free agent signings in Dodger history. Colletti is decent at making trades to help his ball club in the short term but that’s probably his only strong point as GM.
We should all thank Ned Colletti for drafting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and (???). Well, that’s it. Colletti and his scouts have been doing a terrible job looking for young talent. Colletti was handed a team that already had a great farm system. He didn’t draft any of the following players Jonathan Broxton, James Loney, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley, Blake Dewitt, Cory Wade, just to name a few. You’re probably thinking “at least he didn’t trade them away.” That’s a good argument, but if Colletti would have pulled the trigger on some of the trades he got offered for the young players, we would be talking about how the Dodgers eliminated the Phillies for the second consecutive year.
Colletti should get a ton of credit for getting Manny Ramirez for next to nothing last season, but was it his idea to go after Ramirez. We all know how fascinated Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is in getting former Red Sox players (Bill Mueller, Derek Lowe, Nomar Garciaparra), so was it him breathing down Colletti’s neck to get Man Ram? Early this season, Colletti had a chance in bringing in ace pitcher Roy Halladay for Billingsley and power hitter Adrian Gonzalez for Loney. Colletti has been on record of saying he is not one to look into the future. So why didn’t he pull the trigger on those moves? Halladay and Gonzalez most likely would have brought the Dodgers their first World Series title since 1988.
Colletti did trade the troubled Milton Bradley for Andre Ethier, but he can’t expect Ethier to carry the team when Ramirez is gone. He needs to get a great power hitter behind him, but don’t expect Colletti to bring that power through free agency.
Colletti signed Jason Schmidt knowing that he had a torn rotator cuff for three years at $47 million. He only won three games for the Dodgers averaging S15.6 million per win. Colletti also signed the biggest bust in Andruw Jones for two years guaranteeing him $36.2 million. Colletti should have known Jones was in the down part of his career when he batted .222 the year before the signing. Jones only managed to bat a dismal .158 for the Dodgers.
Until the day McCourt realizes that Colletti isn’t the right man to assemble a championship team, Dodger fans should expect to feel blue for many seasons to come.