Jan 202014

Scrooge McDuck and the Los Angeles Dodgers have much in common, less a giant safe filled with gold. Although they may be stashing their money in something a bit more modern, the Dodgers have every bit of a fortune and are still looking to spend if they please.hanley-ramirez

The rumor mill swirled a bit more as Masahiro Tanaka, the phenom out of Japan is looking to command a $17 million dollar contract, with no report of years to go along with it. The Dodgers are not balking at the steep price tag, even after signing a massive contract to Clayton Kershaw worth $215 million, $10 million to #4 or #5 starter Dan Haren, $10 million to set up man Brian Wilson, and other smaller signing like Juan Uribe and J.P. Howell. The thing is, although the Dodgers have a massive payroll that is going to get larger, they have not grabbed a lot of players this off-season. If fact, they let a lot of them walk in free agency.

Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, Ronald Belisario, Mark Ellis to name a few.

The next move is to lock up oft injured Hanley Ramirez, who could see time at 3rd base in the future, depending on Juan Uribe and rare prospect Corey Seager a few years away from the bigs. Hanley’s deal will not be the blockbuster of a Troy Tulowitski or Josh Hamilton, even though the young short stop was an MVP candidate last year. The reason behind the lack of a massive contract is the same reason why he wasn’t MVP, he gets injured too often. This doesn’t mean the Dodgers won’t try to lock him up for 3-5 years in the $16-18 million range, but $20 million plus would be surprising.

Yahoo’s Tim Brown stated, “With Kershaw behind Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez negotiations remain in early stages and ongoing.”

He is still only 30 years old, with at least a few years of supreme batting remaining; depending on which side of Hanley we see.

 01/20/2014  Posted by at 6:31 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Prospects No Responses »
Jan 152014

The Kershaw speculation appears to be over as the Dodgers avoided salary arbitration and signed Clayton Kershaw to a monster 7 Year, $215,000,000. I needed to put in the zeros so you can comprehend that monster contract.Clayton Kershaw

The 2 time Cy Young award winner was speculated to have wanted to test free agency, look into a 3 year deal, even hit a 10 year deal worth $300 million, but the contract was settled on a bank busting 7 year deal.

The contract includes an opt-out clause in the 5th year, which is good for Clayton, since the Dodgers expect a World Series berth in that time, perhaps to push for an extension if it was worth it. The contract also make it the highest contract for a pitcher in Major League History with an average of over $30 million per year.

Dodgers are still in on Masahiro Tanaka, and obviously aren’t phased by any price tag. Scary.

 01/15/2014  Posted by at 1:35 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors No Responses »
Dec 142013

Clubhouse favorite and recent fan favorite Juan Uribe has agreed to a 2-Year $15 million dollar contract with the Dodgers. uribe_juan

The pudgy, lovable Uribe was solid defensively in 2013 at the hot corner after two years of injury riddled seasons. This is a great signing for the Dodgers as they didn’t have to dip into their nearly depleted farm system in a trade, kept a low risk, short term contract and added little payroll to their bottomless pit of cash.

This move isn’t just about Uribe, as it is about top prospect Corey Seager, the brother of INF Kyle Seager of Seattle. The infielder is still a couple seasons away from being big league ready, but when September call-ups or injury come up Uribe should be a fine mentor to Seager. By that time, Uribe would likely be at the very end of his career, making it a perfect transition to hand over the position.

Michael Young was also rumored to be an option at third, but that seemed to be a bit of a ploy to encourage Juan to make the move to the Dodgers, where he is very well liked. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Dodgers are post-season favorites, as opposed to the Marlins or White Sox, who were also interested in the soon to be 35 year old.

With the starting infield position locked, the Dodgers will now focus on their bench. After seeing Skip Schumaker fly to the Reds and Nick Punto to the A’s, the Dodgers are still working with Mark Ellis, perhaps Michael Young, the latter of the two has experience at third base.

The debate of Hanley Ramirez who is looking at an extension this year, to be moved to third base is now over. Dee Gordon offers some good trade bait and has proven he is all but ready to take even a backup short stop position given his poor fielding ability. To me, Mark Ellis seems like a logical signing. Veteran player, great clubhouse guy and can really handle both middle infield positions. Hanley is injury prone, so someone familiar with the position needs to be available, it should only be a matter of time before terms are made.

Dec 032013

The eccentric wild haired hurler Brian Wilson may be back in Dodger Blue. Talks broke down between Wilson and the Tigers, so he turned back to his former club where he sported a sub 1.00 ERA and shows signs of his former dominant closer self throughout his tenure.

He's not creepy.

He’s not creepy.

The Dodgers don’t need any more “closers” in the bullpen, as their current one is pretty awesome, in Kenley Jansen. Brandon League, the former closer, is making closer money, but has been almost completely banished from any competitive games. Keeping Brian Wilson in the 8th makes the 8-9th inning punch one of the best in baseball. It also doesn’t hurt to have a quality closer as a backup in case of injury or rest.

Filling in the other remaining relief innings will no longer be done by Ronald Belisario, as he was not tenured like fellow pitchers Jansen and Clayton Kershaw. Getting over the loss of Belly won’t take much time; not only was his terribly inconsistent the last season, he never makes spring training on time, which is annoying. The last two years Ronald would show up weeks late to spring training for visa issues, then start the season behind schedule and out of shape. A near 4.00 ERA last season is something the Dodgers don’t need, especially with other other young, more reliable hard throwers in the bullpen in Onelki Garcia, Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez, who’s fastballs ring the bell of the latest Hunger Games movie by “catching fire.”

Dropping Belly, not grabbing Johnson from the Orioles make plenty of room for Wilson to return. Let’s hope the Dodgers bundle League and someone else to grab another piece of the puzzle.

 12/03/2013  Posted by at 12:11 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Transactions 1 Response »
Nov 252013

The Dodgers are following the advice of Adrian Gonzalez and focusing on home field advantage. How are they doing that? Shore up the 4th and eventually 5th spot in the rotation. Dodgers add RHP Dan Haren on a 1-year contract worth $10 million. The southern California native, can also earn up to additional $3 million in performance bonuses.dh

Although last season wasn’t anything to brag about, Haren adds a lot of depth to the rotation, since Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are question marks.

Prone to the long ball, Dodger stadium certainly won’t hurt them (just ask Dodger hitters), he should work just fine. Keep in mind, along with an experience arm, he will be partnered up with a great game calling catcher in AJ Ellis and a superb pitching coach in Rick Honeycutt who will certainly study and fine tune Haren’s mechanics so help avoid injury.

Haren will hold down the 4th spot for now as the Dodgers are still in pursuit of spoken for Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka. That won’t move an inch until Japanese and MLB executives work out a deal to break the pile up of players as they need to work out a new posting system.

By the way, in 31 games, Haren finished with a 10-14 record, 4.67 ERA and a whopping 28 home runs given. Yikes.