The Dodgers want to reassemble the 2002 Braves

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Bringing in Mark DeRosa and John Smoltz six or seven years ago: a bold move that instantly makes you a favorite.  Bringing them in for 2010: Yawn.  According to Smoltz’s and DeRosa’s agent Keith Grunewald, however, the Dodgers are showing interest in both.

L.A. definitely needs a starter or two, but given his health, his age and his less-than-stellar 2009, a team challenging for the division can’t be in the business of counting on John Smoltz to hold down a rotation slot.  He will almost certainly break down at some point, and even if he doesn’t, he will almost certainly have stretches of ineffectiveness.  And don’t give me that “he looked good down the stretch for the Cardinals” business.  His two good starts after his release from Boston came against the anemic Nats and Padres. He was profoundly ordinary — and hit fairly hard — the rest of the way.

DeRosa remains a useful player, but according to the article, no less than twelve teams want him.  He wants a multi-year deal. L.A. has Casey Blake under contract at third, Rafael Furcal at short, and a loaded outfield.  Maybe De Rosa could play second, but he doesn’t really profile as a starter there anymore. The guy is either a full-time corner player — which the Dodgers don’t need — or a utility player — which the Dodgers don’t need to be giving multi-year contracts.    

The upshot: either of those players would be OK if they fell into the Dodgers’ lap late in the offseason for low dollars, but unless they really think that Rafael Furcal is homesick for his Atlanta days, there’s no reason for L.A. to be out in front of the market on either of them.

Tommy Hunter undergoes surgery to repair flexor tendon

Hunter Martin/Getty Images
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Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Phillies reliever Tommy Hunter underwent surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm. There was no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.

Hunter, 33, is in the final year of his two-year, $18 million contract with the Phillies. He was solid last year, posting a 3.80 ERA over 64 innings, but he was only able to pitch 5 1/3 innings this season, though they were all scoreless innings.

Hunter has been one of a litany of Phillies relievers to succumb to the injury bug this season. Seranthony Domínguez, Pat Neshek, and David Robertson are currently on the 60-day injured list while Vìctor Arano and Edubray Ramos are on the 10-day IL.