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 »
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.

Sep 092013

The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing a five-year, $32MM contract with top Cuban infield prospect Alexander Guerrero, according to the latest update from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The official announcement should come within the next day or so.

The Dodgers have long been the favorites to sign him, dating back to July 23, when news broke that the Dodgers had signed Guerrero to a seven-year $32MM deal. That news was obviously a bit premature as the 26-year-old Cuban defector, has been in contact with the Dodgers for several months but an agreement couldn’t be finalized until he secured an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Guerrero is widely projected as a power hitting second baseman and could hit the majors sooner rather than later. He lacks range and that critical first-step quickness to be a solid shortstop defender. Guerrero is certainly an offense first kinda player, however, he isn’t considered a premium talent, but his raw right-handed power has been too impressive to ignore.

In his final season in Cuba, Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances for Las Tunas. For the last five seasons, Guerrero has posted solid offensive numbers, though the Cuban league is known for over inflated offensive numbers. I could envision Guerrero’s journey to the Dodgers being very similar to Yasiel Puig. Assuming he does well in the minors it’s not out of the question to think Guerrero could be in the running to make the club next spring.

It remains to be seen what impact, if any, the signing will have on the Dodgers’ pursuit of a second baseman this winter. Strictly referring to one, Robinson Cano who is likely to be heavily targeted by the Los Angeles Dodgers this winter. Of course, stealing away one of the best players in the game is no easy task, especially when he plays for the New York Yankees. The good news is Scott Boras was told by Cano to go kick rocks after he jumped ship to Roc Nation Sports, owned by the prominent Jay-Z.

 09/09/2013  Posted by at 8:19 pm Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Prospects No Responses »
Jun 252013

With half of your team of potential All-Stars playing like half the team the Bad News Bears, it is easy us Angelenos to get antsy in the trade department.

Greg Zawkin who heads the “Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle,” blog, took an opinion on trading recently. Mr. Zawkin feels that trading away your top hitting prospect Joc Pederson will help shore up some of the teams instabilities either pitching or infield, which the Dodgers do need; but Greg Zawkin is dead wrong. A team that is sitting last place does not trade away a top hitting prospect to get themselves out of last place, that is not how it works. The Dodgers problems are several-fold and cannot be addressed with a 1 for 1 swap.

Let us look at the Dodgers and what we can expect pretty soon before we start trading top prospects.

First: Look at the standings. Dodgers are sitting in last place,la-sp-dn-dodgers-yasiel-puig-matt-kemp-andre-e-001 yes, but are only 8 games out of first place, with the All-Star break still a couple weeks away. They are riding a 3 game win streak, all which have come against teams in their division. This division is still up for grabs for any team.

Second: Look at the DL. Matt Kemp is close to returning, maybe even in a week or so, plus Scott Van Slyke isn’t terribly far behind either. Chris Capuano just came off DL, and had two impressive starts yielding zero runs. Why don’t we try Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig in the lineup before we complain about a power surge. That is coming soon.

Third: Don Mattingly is still the manager. I like Don Mattingly, but he should not be managing this club at THIS present time. So even if you throw more great pitchers in the bullpen or batters in the lineup it doesn’t mean he will utilize them correctly. A more stable manager would.

Fourth: You have someone who can get you more. You actually have a couple players that can get you more. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford or a number of other prospects waiting in the wings. Conversing with a fellow Dodger fan, I brought up Andre Ethier potentially being traded and I said “$15 million, that’s a lot of payroll to eat.” His reply was “$2 billion.” Well that is true. The Dodgers can eat contracts for breakfast if they wanted to. Management wants to win, the team wants to win. A prospect is a prospect, they are not proven. We know Ethier is a better hitter than he has been, even though he is acting like a James Loney (while he was on the Dodgers at least). He is also very durable and can play right field and center. Crawford is injury prone, but has had a nice season until getting hurt. Many teams can call for their services for the right amount of contract subsidiary.

Finally: Do not repeat the past. Trading away prospects for veterans or position stabilizers has not worked out with the Dodgers. I mean, it works out for the prospects they trade away though. Just ask Carlos Santana.

The gist is we need to allow this team to play as close to full strength as possible before we throw away a prospect. As much as the Dodgers can afford take a large portion of Ethier’s salary, they can also afford to keep it and him right where it is. The trade deadline is still a ways away, towards the end there will be a lot more time to assess how the team is doing.

The Dodgers need bullpen help. The Dodgers need Don Mattingly to manage like he’s been doing it for 10+ years. The Dodgers need to play consistently.

The Dodgers are still in it.


 06/25/2013  Posted by at 12:03 am Dodgers News, Dodgers Rumors, Prospects No Responses »
Mar 122013

The Dodgers cut three pitchers on Monday sending them to Minor League camp. Matt Magill and Steven Ames were optioned while non-roster invitee Matt Palmer was reassigned.

You may recall it was just five days ago I said Matt Palmer’s outlook was not looking so good.

Outlook: More walks than strikes, more losses than wins, nine runs allowed, and even though only two of those were earned, Palmer is a liability on the mound. The Dodgers have too much right-handed talent to put up with these shenanigans much longer.

Those shenanigans lasted a whole whopping five extra days. Palmer,34, is scheduled to have knee surgery on Tuesday after he injured his left knee on Saturday playing catch. Palmer has had knee surgery before back in 2010, but it was on his right knee at that time. Palmer said this problem with his left knee came “out of nowhere,” and he had never had a problem with that knee in the past. No biggie, not like he was going to make the club pitching the way he was. He finishes his spring with a 0-1 record, 3.60 ERA, 2 strikeouts, and 5 walks in 5 innings of work. Lackluster numbers and bad knees, don’t count on seeing him again anytime soon.

Matt Magill also pitched in 3 games for the Dodgers this spring, and he has produced some fairly impressive numbers with 3 hits allowed, 8 strikeouts, and 1 walk in 4 innings of work with no runs allowed. Magill, one of the many top young arms in the Dodgers farm system didn’t project to make the club out of Spring Training. However, Magill was able to capitalize on the opportunity and he’s definitely a name to watch in 2013. Magill will head to Minor League Camp where he looks to prepare to for the Albuquerque starting rotation this season.

Steve Ames, 24, another right-hander, has a 6.75 ERA in 3 games this Spring. He has struck out 2 batters and walked none through 2 2/3 innings. With the abundance of pitching floating around, the Dodgers were able to eliminate Ames from the equation rather easily. Ames has pitched for the AA-Lookouts over the last two seasons and posted an ERA of 1.88, a K/9 of 10.6, a BB/9 of 2.2, and 23 saves (18 in 2012) over 82 games. Ames struggles in his first real look at Major League talent, so heading back to Double-A makes sense. It will be interesting to see if Ames continues to progress, if he does, you can expect a call-up at some point for the Dodgers to get another look.

Ames, Magill, and Palmer join the already departed Dallas McPherson, Gregory Infante, Nick Evans, Ozzie Martinez, Kelvin De La Cruz, and Wander Beras. That brings the total number of Dodgers down to 51 players in Major League camp after this second round of cuts. Round three coming up within the next several days…

 03/12/2013  Posted by at 10:08 am Dodgers News, Prospects No Responses »