Hot Stove League #5, 2022-2023

No major player moves to report. The Dodgers signed RHP Tyler Cyr to a minor league contract. The Phillies had let him go this past season and the As picked him up.

Cyr was released by the A’s on January 13 to make roster room for new signee Shintaro Fujinami. After clearing waivers, Cyr was released on Tuesday.

The right-hander made his major league debut last August with the Phillies, but after one game was claimed off waivers by Oakland. Cyr, who was born in Freemont, pitched in 11 games for his hometown team. In all, he had a 2.70 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks in 13⅓ innings in his first year in the majors.

In 39 games in Triple-A for Lehigh Valley and Las Vegas in 2022, Cyr had a 2.85 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 23 walks in 41 innings.

The Dodgers also added Chris Woodward to their front office as a special assistant. He was their third-base coach from the 2016 through 2018 seasons before the Texas Rangers hired him as manager. They fired him midway through the 2023 season as the team was struggling to a 51-63 record.

26 thoughts on “Hot Stove League #5, 2022-2023

  1. World Baseball Classic news from The Athletic:

    Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Will Smith and third-base coach Dino Ebel will represent the United States. Freddie Freeman will once again represent team Canada — “Went 0-3 last time,” Freeman said of the country’s 2017 result, “so we’ll try a little switcheroo here.”

    Julio Urías and Austin Barnes will be part of Mexico’s roster, with Brusdar Graterol joining Rojas among players who will likely represent Venezuela. Trayce Thompson will represent Great Britain in the event, as well.

    “It’ll be really fun to see (all the stars) participate,” Urías said in Spanish. “It’ll be big for the tournament, and I’ll be proud to face off against all of these household names. Being their enemies (for the tournament) will be fun.”

  2. Mookie Betts finished 98th in a field of 108 at the Pro Bowling Association’s 2023 US Open. He averaged 185.83. For context, the winner averaged 217.53.

    My best average was around 160 back when I was bowling 24 games a day (at $0.25 per game at the US Naval Hospital Guam lanes in 1969).

  3. More minor league deals signed: RHP reliever Matt Andriese, RHP starter Jordan Yamamoto, RHP Dylan Covey (from the Taiwan leagues), RHP reliever Wander Suero.

    A death to report:

    Longtime Dodgers scout Ralph Avila died Monday at 92. Avila led the organization’s efforts to develop players in Latin America, particularly in the Dominican Republic, during his tenure from 1970-99.

    Among the major leaguers Avila had a hand in discovering and developing are Ramón Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Raúl Mondesí, Mariano Duncan, José Vizcaíno, Adrián Beltré, Alejandro Pena and Rick Rhoden.

  4. Lucky seven in the MLB Power rankings this morning. I’m okay with it. Time to lower expectations and be slight underdogs, I say!

  5. The Athletic looks at the offseason, coaching changes, and Gonsolin’s deal, among other things:

    The statement is tongue-in-cheek, and rather obvious.

    “I think it’s always safe to assume that you’re going to take a step back from 111 wins,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said while speaking with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, his first public comments since the Dodgers were largely shut out of the freewheeling and dealing at the annual Winter Meetings in December.

    No team has lost more quality big-league talent via free agency from a year ago than the Dodgers.

    It goes beyond All-Star Trea Turner, who became the second Dodgers shortstop in as many winters to land at least $300 million elsewhere. There’s 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who the Dodgers non-tendered just three years after he won the award but was still more than capable of solidifying center field defensively. Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ longest-tenured position player who helped power nine of the 10 consecutive postseason appearances, is gone after publicly stating his desire to stay.

    “Who else?” Friedman would later deadpan Wednesday.

    Well, at least among those who got a big-league guarantee of at least $10 million elsewhere, it’s Tyler Anderson, the surprise All-Star who turned down the qualifying offer in favor of a three-year, $39 million deal from the Angels. Andrew Heaney got $25 million guaranteed from the Rangers a year after he was designated for assignment — that’s how well the Dodgers did with him. Reliever Chris Martin parlayed a strong finish after the deadline into a multi-year deal from Boston. Tommy Kahnle had just 12 2/3 healthy regular-season innings as a Dodger and showed enough to get $11.5 million from the Yankees. Joey Gallo didn’t log a postseason at-bat after the Dodgers traded for him at the deadline, but the two-time All-Star got $11 million from Minnesota. Even Craig Kimbrel, who lost the closer’s role in September, got $10 million from the Phillies.

    You get all that?

    Now, the additions: bringing back Clayton Kershaw for a relative bargain at $20 million, signing Noah Syndergaard for $13 million with hopes of sparking something in his powerful right arm, adding J.D. Martinez for $10 million to balance the lineup, trading for Miguel Rojas to play a utility role and signing Shelby Miller for $1.5 million hoping he’s the latest bullpen success story.

    This is the time of year when front offices preach optimism, which, rewinding back to the rest of Friedman’s original comment, is still there.

    “I think we’re going to be a really good team that has very, very legitimate championship odds,” Friedman continued.

  6. No arbitration for Gonsolin after all; the team and the player reached an agreement.

    On Tuesday, the team announced it had agreed to terms with pitcher Tony Gonsolin on a two-year contract worth $6.65 million plus significant escalators, thus avoiding an arbitration hearing.

    Of the Dodgers’ 10 arbitration-eligible players this winter, Gonsolin was the only one who failed to settle with the team on a salary for 2023 ahead of a mid-January deadline. Instead, Gonsolin filed at $3.4 million while the Dodgers filed at $3 million.

  7. I’m not a Padres fan at all, obviously, but I look forward to seeing Fernando Tatis back in the game.

    • I typically only root against the Yankees. That’s a childhood holdover starting with the 55 and 56 WS.

      I hope Tatis has a good year. I don’t think I was ever into old baseball etiquette as I have always enjoyed anybody having a good time. I am okay with tossing a bat after a homerun but after that, start running.

  8. First game February 25th versus the Brewers. Less than a month to go. Game 2 is on Feb 26th against the Cubs and Bellinger.

  9. Here’s a little more info about Stephen Nelson (he spells his first name properly, I’m glad to see), the guy the Dodgers just hired to essentially be Joe Davis’s primary TV backup when Joe’s off doing Fox things.

    Nelson, a 33-year-old Southern California native with experience calling both MLB and NHL games in addition to other sports TV work, will essentially back up lead play-by-play voice Joe Davis on the club’s SportsNet LA broadcast package.


    A graduate of Marina High in Huntington Beach and Chapman University in Orange, Nelson was a college intern for KTLA and Fox Sports West before beginning his TV career at a local station in Oregon.

    He was hired by Bleacher Report in 2014, where he covered various sports as a host and broadcaster.

    In 2018, Nelson went to work at the jointly-operated MLB and NHL Networks, where he called games for both leagues while also taking over as co-host of MLB Network’s long-running “Intentional Talk” show alongside Kevin Millar.

    Nelson has also done work for NBC Sports, YouTube and Apple TV+, serving as a play-by-play voice for the latter’s nationwide MLB package last season.

  10. The Angels’ Arte Moreno has decided to keep the team, but boy has he got a laundry list of things he should do to improve it, according to Dylan Hernández at the LA Times.
    1. Tell the public what’s going on. You last spoke publicly about the team two years ago.
    2. Spend more money on players, including pitchers.
    3. Let baseball operations run baseball operations. Stop meddling.
    4. Find a qualified outsider to run the team.
    5. Solve the stadium problem. Fans need a better experience and so do players. Some local HS weight rooms are better than those at Angels Stadium.
    6. Fix facilities throughout the farm system. AA and AAA teams are moving into new facilities; do the same for the spring training complex and the two A teams.
    7. Hire more farm system coaches and scouts.
    8. Anaheim is roughly half Latino and neighboring Santa Ana is approximately three-quarters Latino, yet you don’t have a full-time Spanish-language broadcasting team. The Angels are the only one of the three Southern California teams without that.
    9. Re-sign Ohtani.

  11. Thanks, Steve.
    In answer to a non-baseball inquiry regarding the recent heavy rainfall in Monterey County, California, specifically in Carmel Valley, where we live, although we live less than a quarter-mile from what was a raging and rising Carmel River, we are fine because we are high above it. There was some flooding and many evacuations, but we were spared. However, more rain is expected next week, so the situation may worsen for others. This is the largest amount of rain locally since 1995 and 1998. In the first of those two years a bridge over the troubled waters that we need to cross to get to our home was washed out; it was subsequently replaced by a larger bridge that is higher above the Carmel River. After talking today with my insurance agent, we agreed that we still don’t need flood insurance. I hope all of you are well.

    • I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
      I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
      I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
      But I always thought that I’d see you again