Dodgers (still) want to sign Pineiro

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The Los Angeles Dodgers want everyone to know they’re trying really, really hard. Honestly, folks.

According to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown, the Dodgers are trying to figure out away to sign free agent pitcher Joel Pineiro, who is coming off perhaps his finest season.

The Dodgers have reportedly been on the Pineiro hunt for awhile, but since it keeps coming up we’ll mention it again.

Following two straight trips to the NLCS, and proving to be no match for the Phillies in both instances, the Dodgers are taking an odd (meaning cheap) approach to this offseason. It’s an approach no doubt connected — no matter what the honchos tell you — to the ongoing divorce proceedings between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt.

The Dodgers have already let Randy Wolf walk and made little to no effort to bring back Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla and/or Jeff Weaver. Jason Schmidt is also gone, but his presence was little more than a rumor anyway, kind of like Sasquatch.

That leaves them with Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda and a host of other possibilities, including Hong-Chih Kuo, Eric Stults, James McDonald and Russ Ortiz. Russ Ortiz? What, Dave Burba wasn’t available?

Anyway, the whole thing is rather ridiculous considering the Dodgers said they couldn’t afford Wolf, who signed for three years and $29.75 million with the Brewers. Guess how much Pineiro wants? Three years, $30 million!

Who’s running that team, the body guard?

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.