Dodgers have tons of holes to fill and little money to fill them

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Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts put together an interesting piece breaking down the Dodgers’ projected payroll for next season, concluding that they will have spent about $90 million “before they make a single offseason move.”
Obviously the Dodgers have plenty of holes to fill and because of the ugly ownership situation it’s unclear if they’ll even have much payroll space above that $90 million. Part of the problem is that they’ll be paying around $17 million next season to Jason Schmidt, Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones, and Juan Pierre, none of whom are actually still on the team.
Weisman does the math and speculates that the Dodgers “almost certainly will trade or non-tender” at least one of Jonathan Broxton, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney, or Russell Martin. Even setting aside the payroll issues Broxton and Kemp seem pretty likely to be shopped hard by general manager Ned Colletti, and they’re slated to make a combined $14 million or so in 2011.

Report: A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.