Dec 08

Christmas is a little early, if. . .

If, that is, the stories in the press (USA Today earlier and Sports Illustrated now) are accurate, and the Dodgers have indeed come to an agreement with Zack Greinke on a six-year, $147M deal.

It is the highest average annual value for a pitcher ($24.5 million) and the highest total value for any right-handed pitcher ($147 million). The Dodgers become the first National League club to exceed a $200 million player payroll ($210 million and counting for active players next year, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts)

I wonder what value they’re going to put on Clayton Kershaw when he comes up for a new contract. His deal calls for an $11M salary this year, after which he’s arbitration-eligible in 2014 and a free agent in 2015. Kershaw might say to himself (or to management) “Hey, I’m the ace of this staff and I’m only making half what the new guy’s getting. That’s not right.”

These extraordinarily deep pockets have to run dry at some point, don’t they?

Update: There appears to be some interest on the part of some teams in the American League in acquiring Andre Ethier. According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox,

the talks about Ethier originated from inquiries by two American League clubs, and that the Dodgers are not actively pursuing a deal.

The official adds that the renewed interest in Ethier stems from the shrinking pool of available hitters on both the free-agent and trade markets

The Dodgers have “zero intention” of trading Ethier, the official said, but will listen to offers. The discussions, to this point, have failed to progress.

Huh. Can’t see it, not after extending his contract for five years earlier this year.

Update: Elymania is no more. The young (26) pitcher has been traded to the Astros for left-handed Minor League pitcher Rob Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, 23, a native of Arcadia, Calif., and a former standout at UCLA, was the Marlins’ second-round pick in 2010. The Astros acquired him on July 4, 2012, as part of the deal that sent Carlos Lee to Miami. Rasmussen went 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012, and is 20-21 with a 3.88 ERA in 60 career games, including 53 starts.

It could be called a case of the Dodgers finally getting their man. Los Angeles selected Rasmussen out of Polytechnic High School in Pasadena, Calif., in the 27th round of the 2007 Draft, but he opted to go to UCLA.

Nov 22

Happy Thanksgiving, Dodgers fans!

I hope you’re all enjoying your turkey/ham/prime rib dinner and giving appropriate thanks for the blessings of the year just past, not least of which was the sale of our favorite team to owners far more committed to winning championships than the previous group was.

Update: Here’s MSTI on the prospective TV deal Fox may be about to offer the Dodgers. Suffice to say (and you should read the whole thing) it could pay off the purchase price of the team several times over. Here’s Mike:

In six months, the Guggenheim group would have turned a $2.15 billion investment into a cash cow which pays three times that over the next twenty years – without selling a single ticket, parking spot, beer, or replica jersey.

That is startling, at least to me. We all knew the potential for that deal was big, given the size of the Southern California market and its value to a TV network, but still. “Between $6 billion and $7 billion over 25 years?” Wowsers.

Update: The Dodgers announced several front office personnel moves, mostly promotions from within. Here’s the paragraph that struck me, though:

Josh Bard, previously announced as a new special assistant for player development, joins Aaron Sele, Jose Vizcaino and Juan Castro in that role.

Do you supppose that position is now the entry-level front office position for newly-retired major leaguers who earned reputations as good guys during long careers?

Nov 10

Open thread #1

Update:Kuroda resigns with Yankees.

Update: R.A. Dickey wins NL Cy Young Award, Kershaw finishes second, 113 points back.

Let’s start a new thread for personnel speculation and anything else which gets our attention.

From the comments in the last thread we learn that the Dodgers have spoken to Torii Hunter about a two-year deal, or so says Mark Saxon at ESPN LA, citing an unnamed source.

Well, maybe. I can’t see a need for him. The Dodgers have Ethier in right, Kemp in center, and Crawford in left, with Hairston and possibly Tony Gwynn as backups. Why would they need a relatively expensive 37-year old, even one who just had an excellent year?

Saxon also reports that the Dodgers have paid $25.7M for the right to offer a contract to a 25-year-old Korean pitcher named Ryu Hyun-jin.

Who? Well . . .

Ryu was 98-52 with a 2.80 career ERA during seven seasons in South Korea. He pitched for his country on teams that won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and reached the championship game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

The $25.7 million fee will be paid to the Eagles only if Ryu signs with the major league team.

The Dodgers have 30 days to get a deal done with the young man and his agent, who happens to be Scott Boras.

Oct 30

Nice catch

Via Jon W. on Facebook, we learn that AJ Ellis’s wife gave birth to their third child on the way to the hospital.

Yikes.

Update: The Dodgers signed Brandon League to a three-year deal. Even though League can both close and come in in the seventh or eighth, I’m not sure a three-year contract is a great idea.

Update: The Dodgers’ clubhouse in the bowels of Dodger Stadium undergoes major renovations starting next week, and Lasorda, Yeager, Cey and Lou Johnson reminisced about it before its rehab.

Update: In slightly older news, the Dodgers declined club options on Juan Rivera, Todd Coffey and Matt Treanor. I wonder if that means they plan to bring FedEx up as a backup catcher next year, or perhaps even to have him compete with AJ for the starting job.

Update: Via Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy comes this rather startling news: Mark McGwire may take the hitting coach job with the Dodgers.

Mark McGwire, who has served as Cardinals hitting coach for three seasons under two managers, has informed the club that he intends to accept a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources familiar with the situation told the Post-Dispatch this afternoon.

Though a deal between the Dodgers and McGwire is not considered final, McGwire has told the Cardinals that he does not anticipate accepting their offer of a contract extension.

Apparently McGwire’s family lives in Orange County and he’d prefer to work closer to home. He’s been on the Cardinals’ staff for three years; the conventional wisdom seems to be that he’s done a good job while there.

Update: Oh fer . . . now Guerra has had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder ” to clean up bursitis and the acromioclavicular joint, where the top of the scapula meets the collarbone.” The team expects him to be “competitive” by the time Spring Training rolls around.

Update: Jay Jaffe suggests free agent David Ross is the Practically Perfect Backup Catcher. If the Dodgers conclude that FedEx needs another year of seasoning in the minors, maybe Ross would be a sensible acquisition.

Oct 29

2013 Free agents, pitchers

And here’s CBS Sports’ list of free agents-to-be among pitchers.

Again, top fifteen listed.

Rank Player Last Team Pos Age IP W-L S ERA K Status

1 Zack Greinke Angels SP 29 212.1 15-5 0 3.48 200 Unrestricted

2 R.A. Dickey Mets SP 38 233.2 20-6 0 2.73 230 $5M Club Option

3 Kyle Lohse Cardinals SP 34 211 16-3 S 2.86 143 Unrestricted

4 James Shields Rays SP 30 227.2 15-10 0 3.52 223 $9M Club Option

5 Jake Peavy White Sox SP 31 219 11-12 0 3.37 194 $22M Club Option

6 Edwin Jackson Nationals SP 29 189.2 10-11 0 4.03 168 Unrestricted

7 Hiroki Kuroda Yankees SP 37 219.2 16-11 0 3.32 167 Unrestricted

8 Brandon McCarthy Athletics SP 29 111 8-6 0 3.24 73 Unrestricted

9 Rafael Soriano Yankees RP 32 67.2 2-1 42 2.26 69 $1.5M Opt-out clause

10 Fernando Rodney Rays RP 35 74.2 2-2 48 0.60 76 Unrestricted

11 Anibal Sanchez Tigers SP 28 195.2 9-13 0 3.86 167 Unrestricted

12 Tim Hudson Braves SP 37 179 16-7 0 3.62 102 $9M Club Option

13 Gavin Floyd White Sox SP 29 168 12-11 0 4.29 144 $9.5M Club Option

14 Ryan Dempster Rangers SP 35 173 12-8 0 3.38 153 Unrestricted

15 Shaun Marcum Brewers SP 30 124 7-4 0 3.70 109 Unrestricted

Greinke, Lohse and Peavy might appeal to the Dodgers, I think. What say you?

Oct 29

2013 Free agents position players

Via CBS Sports. This is just position players; they’ll have the list of pitchers later.

I’m not sure what the basis of the ranking is, but here are the top fifteen. Only one is a Dodger: Victorino

Rank Player Last Team Pos Age AB HR AVG RBI Status

1 Robinson Cano Yankees 2B 30 627 33 .313 94 Signed by Yankees; 1 year, $15M club option

2 Josh Hamilton Rangers OF 31 562 43 .285 128 Unrestricted

3 David Wright Mets 3B 31 581 21 .306 93 $16M Club Option

4 Michael Bourn Braves OF 29 624 9 .274 57 Unrestricted

5 Brian McCann Braves C 28 439 20 .230 67 Unrestricted

6 B.J. Upton Rays OF 28 573 28 .246 78 Unrestricted

7 Nick Swisher Yankees OF 31 537 24 .276 93 Unrestricted

8 Curtis Ganderson Yankees OF 31 596 43 .232 106 Signed by Yankees; 1 year, $15M club option

9 Mike Napoli Rangers C 30 352 24 .227 56 Unrestricted

10 Carlos Ruiz Phillies C 33 372 16 .325 68 Signed by Phillies; 1 year, $5M club option

11 David Ortiz Red Sox DH 36 324 23 .318 65 Unrestricted

12 Angel Pagan Giants OF 31 605 8 .288 56 Unrestricted

13 Adam LaRoche Nationals 1B 33 571 33 .271 100 $10M Mutual Option

14 Shane Victorino Dodgers OF 31 595 11 .255 55 Unrestricted

15 Melky Cabrera Giants OF 28 459 11 .346 60 Unrestricted

Anybody see anyone there the Dodgers might be desirous of acquiring?

Oct 28

World Series, Game Four

There is no joy in Motown; the mighty Tigers have so far been pawing at the Giants’ pitches as though they were shot from cannon rather than thrown by mortal beings. They’re 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position for the Series, which is bad enough; what’s worse is that they’ve played three games and only had 11 runners in scoring position.

They face elimination today. It’s Max Scherzer v. Matt Cain in Comerica Park at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox.

Oct 27

World Series, Game Three

Vogelsong v. Sanchez, Comerica Park, 8:00PM Eastern, Fox. Sanchez has pitched against the Giants before; his entire career until the trading deadline this year was spent in the NL. This will be Vogelsong’s first time seeing the Tigers.

The Tigers have to get their bats untracked. They only got two hits in Game Two, and unless you’ve got Koufax or Gibson pitching for you that’s probably not going to be enough offense to win.

Oct 26

Mid-Series Dodger news

Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy has some news and photos of a press conference the Dodgers held today to introduce Carl Crawford as the team’s new left fielder.

New news items will be added here until the next WS travel day, if one’s necessary.

Update: Eric Stephen of True Blue LA updated his payroll worksheet to include all the trades which occurred in August of 2012.