Commentary

Opening up the Dodgers' mailbag

Readers want to know about catching -- and more Manny

Updated: March 10, 2010, 3:46 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Readers ask Dodgers writer Tony Jackson about the catching situation, and more Manny.

Q: Is it possible that Lucas May might get a look at catcher now that Martin's out for some time? Or is A.J. Ellis a lock? -- Scott, Chattanooga, Tenn.

TJ: May isn't going to get any consideration for the opening day roster. He and Ellis have flip-flopped in recent years. May used to be considered the Dodgers' catcher of the future, while Ellis was always projected as a big league backup. But as Ellis has developed into a good, smart hitter, albeit one with little pop, May regressed offensively. He had a breakout year last year at Double-A, hitting .306 with a .390 OBP despite missing two months with a broken wrist, and he also had a great Arizona Fall League season, but by then Ellis had already passed him and was the primary catcher at Triple-A. What this does is give May a chance to at least start the season at ABQ, because he was going to go back to Double-A if Ellis was at Triple-A because both of them need to catch every day.

If Manny retires or goes to the AL next season and the Rays don't re-sign Carl Crawford, do you think the Dodgers would be interested in signing him? He would be a nice fit. -- Raymon, Santa Ana

TJ: You're absolutely right, he would be a GREAT fit, and the Dodgers don't have anybody in house who could step into that role as soon as next season (unless Andrew Lambo has a monster year). It could happen, but Crawford is going to be one of the marquee (read: most expensive) free agents on next winter's market if he gets that far. Keep in mind, the Dodgers are still going to be paying Manny a lot of money even after he's gone. That could have an impact on how much money is available for free agents next winter, and the winter after that, and the winter after that.

With some good free agents still available, do you know if it's possible the Dodgers may still make a move or two? Like Felipe Lopez and/or Jarrod Washburn for example? -- Chris, Granada Hills

TJ: Felipe Lopez is actually off the market; he signed with the Cardinals a few weeks ago. As for Washburn, my guess is no. The guy the Dodgers still have their eye on is Braden Looper, whose price almost has to come down at some point. I would put the Dodgers' chances of eventually getting him at about 50-50, but if he stays out there much longer, he'll probably have to start the season in Triple-A for whichever team signs him just to get himself ready for the season.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter or send him a question for his next mailbag.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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