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Antonio Alfonseca.


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FLORIDA SPORTS BUZZ

Experts: Dolphins need upgradesBY BARRY JACKSON

[email protected]

So what can the new Dolphins coach expect? For perspective on how far Miami must go to be a playoff team, we elicited views from three longtime former NFL front-office power brokers.

 

Former Houston Texans GM Charley Casserly, now with CBS, asserts Miami becomes playoff-caliber simply by Daunte Culpepper returning to past form. Ex-Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, with nfl.com, says Miami isn't ''that far away,'' noting the Jets went from four wins to 10. But former Falcons GM Ken Herock, who prepares players for the NFL combine, indicates Miami has major problems.

 

''It's more than just a couple players they need,'' Herock said. ``You've got too many decisions on what to draft. You like having a lot of older players if you're shooting for a finale. That team doesn't have enough good players to go to any finale.

 

``And that defense is old -- they're not going to hold up. I don't know if there's a lot there offensively. Ronnie Brown hasn't risen to second-pick level, and I don't know if he will. It's worse with Nick Saban leaving because you're changing systems.''

 

More of their assessment:

 

? Offensively: Aside from QB, all three said Miami doesn't have enough at receiver. '' Chris Chambers is nothing special,'' Herock said. And Casserly said the Dolphins have no receiver with the speed that forces teams to adjust their game plan. Though Wes Welker led Miami in catches, Brandt insists ``you need a better No. 3 receiver.''

 

Herock said Miami should draft a left tackle, but Wisconsin's Joe Thomas ''won't be there'' by the ninth pick. Said Brandt: '' Damion McIntosh isn't the answer.'' Casserly said, ``if you put [Miami's O-linemen] on the street, you probably wouldn't get a lot of interest.''

 

? Defensively: Besides the age issue, Herock is unimpressed with Miami's linebackers, excluding Zach Thomas: '' Channing Crowder is decent, nothing great. You have to upgrade over Donnie Spragan.'' And Brandt said Miami must improve at cornerback.

 

CHATTER

 

? Though UM prefers to stay at the Orange Bowl beyond its lease (2009), the thought of moving to Dolphin Stadium is no longer being dismissed internally. The reason: Major OB renovations are expected to cost more than double the $84 million available. The $84 million would cover only basic structural repairs -- not adding suites, etc. The parties are searching for additional revenue sources. UM doesn't want to share Dolphin Stadium with the Marlins, though.

 

? Agent Mark Bartelstein said Antoine Walker and James Posey are ''very frustrated'' about being deactivated because their body fat is above Heat limits, but won't request a trade or file a grievance. Bartelstein spoke Monday with Pat Riley ``and I expressed to Pat I feel we're in dangerous territory. This is a tough measurement to draw a line in the sand on.''

 

Bartelstein said Walker and Posey ``feel they're in the best shape of their careers. They're being held to a measurement that no one else in the league is being held to.''

 

? The Marlins, desperate for bullpen help, went to see ex-Marlin Antonio Alfonseca in a Dominican winter league game this week. . . . Admin Coker, who rejected Louisiana Tech overtures last month, is being mentioned as a candidate for the head job at Tulsa, where he was once an assistant. . . . Draftniks project UF's Chris Leak as a midround pick. . . . Sightings: Culpepper and Joey Harrington spending more than $4,000 on dinner for their O-linemen at Prime 112.

 

 

 

SOURCE

 

 

ANY THOUGHTS?

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I bet we could sign Alfonseca to nothing more than a minor-league contract, and I bet it'll be well worth it.

He would def be a minor-league contract, and probably not a high guaranteed salary and mostly appearance incentives ala Borowski.

 

And that's a can't-miss with a guy like Alfonseca, who has nasty stuff and supposedly lost upwards of 25-pounds to get back in shape. I wouldn't like to see him in the closer role, though. I think he could succeed more in a set-up role. We already have better in-house options at closer already.

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I bet we could sign Alfonseca to nothing more than a minor-league contract, and I bet it'll be well worth it.

He would def be a minor-league contract, and probably not a high guaranteed salary and mostly appearance incentives ala Borowski.

 

And that's a can't-miss with a guy like Alfonseca, who has nasty stuff and supposedly lost upwards of 25-pounds to get back in shape. I wouldn't like to see him in the closer role, though. I think he could succeed more in a set-up role. We already have better in-house options at closer already.

But the question is, are they going to make Nolasco closer and let the Mitre/J. Garcia/Petit triumvirate rock the 5th? Cause Nolasco is the in house option, not one of the other guys. I really don't want Tank closing. I like him a lot, but the combination of being the top lefty and still having whip/bb issues scares me. Don't want to hand it to someone even more unproven like pinto or owens.

 

I want to see them sign Hermanson or Park to close (not exhaustive candidate list, just the only two I am aware of that's available and like), let Nolasco, Tank, and Gregg set up, and then have a huge camp battle for the last 3 spots between - the losers of Mitre/J.Garcia/Petit, Pinto, Owens, Messenger, Field, Koplove, Serrano, other Alfonseca level free agents, etc. That could be a pretty good pen with a little depth in case of injuries/under performance.

 

I don't think shoving Alfonseca by himself into the pen is the answer. He's depth if anything.

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Well if we sign Park, you can bet your ass Nolasco will not be setting up. He'll be closing or starting, black and white with no grey area.

 

And honestly, if Nolasco does end up closing, I would much rather see Pinto win the fifth starter role than Petite or Mitre. I see big things for him down the line.

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I don't speak spanish so I suffer through free translations via websites and google to get what's happened but it appears he finished up 2006 very well (1.93 ERA, .176 BaA) although checking the linescores of the jan 2007 playoff games (he's on the Toros) I can't find him listed as pitched (weirdly though I did translate a portion of a game summary that said he pitched the ninth inning on Jan 5 as the closer).

 

Anyone who can clear up some of this, heres some links:

 

http://www.lidom.com/azucareros_stats.htm

 

http://www.lostorosdeleste.com/estadisticas.html

 

http://www.lostorosdeleste.com/

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i say take a chance on A.A low risk high reward and even if he was the bloated pitcher of 05 he still is better than 2/3 of our pen , additionally if i were the marlins i would resign matt herges as much as it pains me to admit herges was a solid contributor for most of last year

 

 

No Herges, PLEASE!

 

 

honestly that was my response at the start of last year but you have to admit he turned out to be a usefull pitcher last year , given our current bullpen configuration i think he would help, at the very least herges is the type of pitcher who would allow us to hang around in games when our starting pitchers dont go deep into games by giving us a solid inning or two of work without having to use our 7th , 8th , and 9th inning pitchers

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i say take a chance on A.A low risk high reward and even if he was the bloated pitcher of 05 he still is better than 2/3 of our pen , additionally if i were the marlins i would resign matt herges as much as it pains me to admit herges was a solid contributor for most of last year

 

 

No Herges, PLEASE!

 

 

honestly that was my response at the start of last year but you have to admit he turned out to be a usefull pitcher last year , given our current bullpen configuration i think he would help, at the very least herges is the type of pitcher who would allow us to hang around in games when our starting pitchers dont go deep into games by giving us a solid inning or two of work without having to use our 7th , 8th , and 9th inning pitchers

 

 

I am not opposed to signing him, but it'll have to be for a minor league deal, he is certainly not the guy the Giants once had, and the spot starter you once died for when you played yahoo fantasy leagues..let's just basically invite him with no promises, I want to see us work with the young guys and have them on the rise from within.

 

SIDE NOTE: Alfonseca signs one year deal with Phillies at around 1.1 mill ..

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