Jan 162013

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed former Nationals back-up catcher Jesus Flores to a minor league deal that also includes an invitation to spring training at Camelback Ranch.

Adding Flores to the club gives the Dodgers more catching depth behind starting backstop A.J. Ellis and rookie catcher Tim Federowicz.  He played  with the Washington Nationals for the past five seasons, adding a veteran presence to help, with A.J. Ellis, mentor and guide the young Federowicz.

Flores, 28, has a lifelong batting average of .241 and an on-base percentage of .289 for his career. He struggled at the plate last season with just a .213 batting average and an On-base Plus Slugging of .663 in 296 plate appearances.

At Camelback Ranch, Flores will compete with non-roster invitees Elier Alfonzo, Wilkin Castillo and Ramon Castro.

 01/16/2013  Posted by at 11:53 am Dodgers News No Responses »
Jan 162013

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ new Vice President of International Scouting, Bob Engle, hasn’t wasted any time in his new role and has just signed four seventeen year old players out of the Dominican Republic.

This move further illustrates the Dodgers’ renewed focus on developing international prospects.

The newly acquired players are Deivy Castillo from Santo Domingo, Ravel Hernandez from Monte Plata, Ariel Sandoval from also from Monte Plata and Miguel Urena from Santiago.

Castillo and Sandoval are both outfielders while Hernandez is a shortstop and Urena is a right-handed pitcher.

Of the four, Sandoval is considered the best prospect, evidenced by the team’s willingness to pay him a $150,000 signing bonus.

 01/16/2013  Posted by at 11:38 am Dodgers News, Transactions No Responses »
Jan 122013

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully will be honored Saturday night when baseball scouts honor him with the Bud Selig Executive Leadership Award at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza where the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation is hosting their annual Spirit of the Game gala.

Because we have seen a steady increase of statistical analysis and sabermetrics, some scouting positions throughout baseball have been eliminated in recent years. This gala is held to raise money for those baseball scouts who are now retired or lost their positions in the scouting world and need assistance in this tough economy.

The charity was founded former super agent and current White Sox executive, Dennis Gilbert, who serves as the foundation’s chairman.

“It absolutely cost scouts jobs,” said Dennis Gilbert, who has helped raise nearly $4 million to date for the charity.

Unlike other team personnel, scouts aren’t paid very well. According to Dodgers president Stan Kasten, “They aren’t paid nearly what other front-office people are paid, but the work they do is invaluable, and the work that this foundation does in helping those scouts who have had difficulty is very important.”

Some baseball officials hope this trend will stop now that Major League Baseball and the Players’ Union have passed a new collective-bargaining agreement last year that limits how much money teams can spend in the draft as well as on international players. These new restrictions even the playing field and take the monetary advantage the large market clubs had in drafting and signing players.  The hope is with those new restrictions, teams will want to go back to old school scouting and development and will be willing to pay better wages to their scouting staff.

The Dodgers seem to be leading the charge. So far, since new ownership has taken control of the team, the Dodgers have already added nine additional scouts to its baseball operations.

Kasten, who has a track record of building successful farm systems, has emphasized he wants to bring the Dodgers’ minor leagues and international development back to the glory it once was.

“The only advantage you’ll be able to get is in the quality of your people, the quality of your scouts.”

The gala itself has become a bigger event in recent years and is one of the most anticipated event each year. Some have even begun to refer to it as major league baseball’s version of the Academy Awards.

The award itself has gained so much steam, that Commissioner Selig will  present it to Mr. Scully himself.

The event itself is often filled with nostalgia of years past where old baseball stories are shared. Mr. Scully, the greatest story teller of all in baseball, should fit right in in the relaxed atmosphere.

Other presenters for the event include another legendary baseball man, Tommy Lasorda, catcher Rick Dempsey and Hollywood star Harrison Ford.  Ford is one of the stars in upcoming Hollywood movie, “42″, a biography commemorating the life of Dodgers great Jackie Robinson. Ford will be playing former Dodgers executive Branch Rickey in the movie.

Other people that are scheduled to be honored at the gala are Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Jim Palmer, Red Soc Chairman Tom Werner, scouts Terry Ryan, Larry Doughty, Mike Arbuckle, Wayne Britton, Doug Gassaway, Larry Himes, Gary Johnson and the Hairston family – Sam, Jerry Sr., John, Jerry Jr., and Scott, who were all major league ballplayers at one point or another. Jerry Hairston, Jr. is currently on the Dodgers and Scott Hairston is a free agent.

On behalf of Dodgers Rumors, I would like to officially congratulate all of the award winners. Especially the legendary Vin Scully.

 01/12/2013  Posted by at 1:25 am Dodgers News No Responses »
Jan 082013

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers have been pretty quiet since the back-to-back blockbuster signings of Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu last month, the Dodgers continue to bolster their minor league system with international free agent signings.

A week after signing Mexican prospect Alfredo Amezaga, the Dodgers dipped into international waters once again, signing 17-year-old prospect Ariel Sandoval from the Dominican Republic.

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Sandoval’s signing includes a $150,000 bonus.

“Sandoval is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and impressed the Dodgers with his potential to hit for both average and power from the right side of the plate,” Badler wrote. “He’s an above-average runner who should begin his career in center field, though he has the arm strength to play right field if he outgrows the position.”

 01/08/2013  Posted by at 4:16 pm Dodgers News, Prospects, Transactions 3 Responses »
Jan 052013

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed utilityman Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training at Camelback Ranch.

Amazaga, 34, hasn’t played int he majors since 2011 when he played for the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins. He struggled that season and only received 87 plate appearances.  He couldn’t get his numbers above the Mendoza line, batting just .187 in his short time in the majors.  He had an on-base percentage of just .247 and an abysmal slugging percentage of just .195.

However, Amezaga won the Mexican League batting title this winter, giving hope that he can continue to progress. In the Mexican League he had a solid batting average of .344 with an on-base percentage of .384 and a slugging percentage of .480 in 227 official at-bats.

Amezaga has the ability to play several positions.  In 2011 he played second base, third base, short stop, left field and right field.  In the seasons before, the majority of his playing time came at center field.

If his bat has indeed finally come around, he could prove to be a viable utility infielder off the bench that the Dodgers have been looking for.

Drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft out of St. Petersburg College in Florida, he has also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the Angels.

 01/05/2013  Posted by at 11:50 am Dodgers News, Transactions 1 Response »