Following the Dodgers and Exploring The Team’s Past
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…..The rotation would look something like this:
Schmidt (if fully recovered; likely before or by the end of Spring Training)
fifth starter: Shawn Estes or Eric Stults
The Dodgers are reportedly in the run for Jon Garland and Randy Wolf to add to the starting rotation. Garland declined a salary arbitration from the Angels, opting for free agency in hopes of a multi-year deal. Lefty Randy Wolf might be more in the Dodgers’ budget, and he may be willing to leave the Astros to return to LA with the Dodgers who he pitched for in 2007.
Kris Benson has also been of interest of the Dodgers, with Benson having a throwing outing this past weekend for the Dodgers and eight other teams, though he hasn’t tossed a major league game since 2006.
After Jonathan Broxton and Russell Martin avoided arbitration and agreed to one-year deals, the Dodgers will receive a backup catcher to Martin. The Dodgers signed free agent catcher Brad Ausmus to a one-year, $1 million deal. The 39-year-old 16-year veteran batted .218 in 81 games with the Astros in 2008.
In a few short hours, Jeff Kent will announce his retirement at Dodger Stadium after 17 seasons in the big leagues. Kent spent his last four seasons with the Dodgers, and leaves the league as the all-time homerun leader for second basemen.
Also, two Dodgers may be playing at Dodger Stadium before the season officially gets underway. Russell Martin is on the provisional roster for Canada and Jonathan Broxton for USA for the World Baseball Classic. The rosters get cut down to 28 on February 24, and Canada and USA meet in Toronto on March 7-11, with the final round in LA on March 21-23.
A passed physical this week will mean the signing of free agent reliever Guillermo Moto, who was a Dodger from 2002-2004.
The right-hander was the set-up man for closer Eric Gange in his stint with the Dodgers a few years ago. If signed, he will likely be the go-to guy in the seventh with Kuo and Wade in the eighth before Broxton’s ninth. Since being traded from the Dodgers in ’04, Moto’s ERA has risen by over two, and he has also had a 50-day suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.
The Braves also offered free agent Derek Lowe a four-year $60-million dollar contract, which is $24 million more than Lowe got in his past four years with the Dodgers.
A day after signing 15 players to Minor League contracts, the Dodgers also added lefty veteran Shawn Estes. Estes has pitched for 7 teams in his 13-year career, including the Padres last season, where he went 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA in eight starts.
Estes has a decent shot at making the rotation as a starter, especially since the signing of Brad Penny to the Red Sox was just made official. Also signing with the Sox is Takashi Saito, which, along with the loss of Trevor Hoffman, likely means that Jonathan Broxton will be the Dodgers closer in ’09.
Just one day after the Dodgers offered Trevor Hoffman a one-year deal, the all-time saves leader opted to sign with the Brewers in a one-year, at least $6 million deal.
The Dodgers have also signed 15 players to Minor League contracts, with all 15 being invited to Spring Training.
The 15 include:
veteran infielder Juan Castro
returning reliever Yhency Brazoban
utility man Luis Maza
infielder Hector Luna
first basemen/outfielders Mitch Jones and Val Pascucci
left-handed pitchers: Carmen Cali, Brian Mazone, Jacobo Meque, Stephen Randolph and Erick Threets
right-handed pitchers: Travis Chick, Nick DeBarr, Edgar Martinez and Scott Strickland
With Takashi Saito given free agency and Broxton likely being used for a set-up man, the Dodgers made a step to get a full-time closer, offering veteran Trevor Hoffman a one-year deal.
Hoffman came on the market in November when the Padres withdrew their $4 million dollar deal, and sources say that the Dodgers have offered Hoffman more plus an option for 2010.
Hoffman made 30 saves in 34 opportunities last season with the Padres, and the all-time saves leader earned 552 of his 554 saves with the Padres. The Milwaukee Brewers have also reportedly offered Hoffman a similar one-year deal. Hoffman should reach a decision by the end of this week, and with similar deals it seems like the Dodgers would be the likely pick for the closer in order to be closer to his San Diego home.
Outfielder Andruw Jones and the Dodgers have reached a deal that will ensure his release or trade by the latest of Spring Training or the earliest of this month.
Also…free agent reliever Scott Proctor, who went 2-0 with a 6.05 ERA in 41 games for the Dodgers in ’08, was picked up by the Marlins in a one-year deal.
The Dodgers may lose Derek Lowe to the Mets, who offered him a $36 million, three-year deal. The Dodgers picked up free agent Claudio Vargas, a right-handed starter who made four starts with the Mets in ’08 before going back to the Minors in late June. Vargas went 3-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 37 innings with the Mets before joining the Mets’ Triple-A team to finish the season.
With nothing new on the status of Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers are exploring the options of Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu to fill the left field gap should Manny sign elsewhere.
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