The Dodgers finally made a big splash at the Winter Meetings by signing Andruw Jones to a 2-year deal with a full no-trade clause. After passing up trade after trade after trade, for now at least, the kids are safe, and the big bat to fill the middle of the order has hopped on the train.
It's a very big signing for 3 reasons:
1) Like I said before, the Dodgers DESPERATELY needed a power hitter in the middle of the order. Sorry, but Jeff Kent's team-leading 20 homers just wasn't going to cut it again. Not since Adrian Beltre's 48 homer season in 2004 (he's a rich man now thanks to that) have they had a true threat in the cleanup spot. Hopefully Jones can right some of his hitting holes and get back to his old self. It's a chance definitely worth taking.
2) Juan-for-five Pierre (got that one from dodgerblues.com, love that site) and his chicken arm will finally be out of centerfield. Not only does his arm suck, but he took some mind-bogglingly awful routes to catch simple fly balls last year. Teams just ran at will on him, and now that will stop. He can go to left and be fine there.
3) Ned Colletti did not have to unload every prospect to try and get a big name (Bedard, Santana, Cabrera...). Granted, he still has plenty of time to make a deal, and I have no problem trading a couple prospects to get something (like Bedard). But, it's nice to see the Dodgers sign someone in his prime, rather than over-the-hill players like Luis Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra.
As of now, here's how I see the lineup:
1. Furcal - SS
2. Pierre - LF
3. Loney - 1B
4. Jones - CF
5. Kent - 2B
6. Kemp - RF
7. Martin - C
8. LaRoche - 3B
Assuming Kemp will still be a Dodger (you know what assuming does), that's not a bad lineup now that I look at it. If Loney and Kemp build on their success they had from the end of last season, there's good bats up and down the lineup.