Update: Ernie Banks passed away today. The Hall of Famer and former Cub was 83 years old.
Baseball America has a recap of the Dodgers’ offseason moves, with some attention paid to the minor leaguers.
Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in baseball. Corey Seager, a shortstop for now who likely moves to third base, is one of the most talented hitters in the minors. Center fielder Joc Pederson is a 2015 Rookie of the Year frontrunner, while teenage lefthander Julio Urias has the makings of a future ace, combining plus stuff with feel for pitching beyond his years.
After the vaunted trio, the Dodgers farm system is in a better place than it was a year ago because of the emergence of depth beyond them. Their top 2014 draft picks—first-round righthander Grant Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo — both had strong debuts and look like potential impact talents.
We’re less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting. They do that on Feb. 19 and have their first workout Feb. 20. Position players report Feb. 24 and have their first workout Feb. 25.
Jay Jaffe pens a nice appreciation of Hiroki Kuroda’s MLB career.
Four guys are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. One of the electees is a minor surprise to my mind (Smoltz, earlier than I expected), while a couple of the unelected are a disappointment to me (Piazza and Bagwell).
In case the comments close on the previous post, here’s a new one. Also, if you’re wondering what the college football bowl schedule looks like for the next three weeks, I posted ESPN’s list at my other place.
Update: The Kemp trade is on hold for the moment because a physical showed Matt’s got arthritis in each hip. As Mark Saxon explains, this could blow up “two other trades and three other teams.” That’s because some of the secondary players were being sent on to other teams for yet more players by both the Padres and the Dodgers.
Update: Kemp is gone to the Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects. Fedex also goes to the Padres, along with about $30M to defray part of the cost of Kemp’s contract.
Wow! In very short order today the Dodgers
Got 36-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies to fill the gap left behind when Hanley Ramirez went the free agent route
Traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins in exchange for pitcher Andrew Heaney, backup catcher Austin Barnes, minor leaguers Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher
Flipped Heaney to the Angels for second-baseman Howie Kendrick
May be close to signing free-agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy
and have discussed adding pitcher Cole Hamels and second-baseman Chase Utley to the Jimmy Rollins deal with the Phillies
And there’s still tomorrow to find deals which send Ethier, Crawford or Kemp to somebody for a starting pitcher or prospects!
Now that they’ve gotten Kendrick, I can’t see why they’d want Utley except as more bait to trade off, as they did with Heaney (hey, kid, I’d have liked to see you pitch!). Do the Phillies need an outfielder?
Update: changed the post title to day 3, which is accurate. I lost a day somewhere.
Throw ‘em into the fire now or give ‘em another year? It’s a question more and more teams are facing. With the Dodgers, it’s 20-year-old Cory Seager at shortstop. The cons, as determined by Richard Justice:
He’s 20 years old.
He’s played only 38 games above Class A.
He’s scary good.
He’s passed every test so far
The Mets, Twins and Giants are facing similar decisions.
Obviously it’s a gamble. Sometimes it pays off, as when the Orioles brought up a 20-year-old named Cal Ripken in August of 1981. Probably more often than not it fails, or at least the kid has to go back down to the minors for more seasoning. Given the dearth of big league players looking for short-term deals (because the Dodgers don’t want to block Seager for years), they may decide they don’t have much choice.
Update: Vinnie turns 86 tomorrow. A couple of years ago ESPN celebrated his 84th birthday with a sequence of what it picked as his top five calls:
Here’s a nice story about Dodgertown in Vero Beach. It has had a checkered history since the Dodgers left in 2008. Minor League Baseball tried to run it for a while as a multi-use facility to accompany its already-obvious baseball uses, but that closed down in 2012. Then a miracle occurred!
O’Malley and his sister, Terry, feared that if the facility shuttered again it may never reopen. So the O’Malley family became owners again, with [Chan Ho] Park and Hideo Nomo, as founding partners, and re-branded the place as Historic Dodgertown. It was named a Florida landmark on Monday.
Those are some good Dodgers names, huh?
Young Mr. Puig had a good day yesterday in the Japan-MLB Series in the Tokyo Dome: he went 3 for 4 and made a diving catch in right field as well.
A few days ago Clayton Kershaw was awarded three Players’ Choice awards: MLB Player of the Year, National League Outstanding Pitcher and Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. He’s the first player ever to win three Players Choice awards in one season. It’s the third time he’s won the Outstanding Pitcher award.
Today he was awarded the 2014 Warren Spahn Award for best left-handed pitcher in the major leagues. It’s the third time he’s won the Spahn award, given by the Oklahoma Sports Council in Spahn’s home state.