West Notes: Dodgers, Ludwick, Mariners

On this day in 1957, Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley announced that his team could play as many as 10 exhibition games in California in 1958.  It ended up being a bit of a lengthier stay, as the Dodgers left Brooklyn for Los Angeles following the 1957 season.  Just like O'Malley, we're looking to the west coast (or at least the western divisions) for these news items…

  • If the Dodgers aren't satisifed with their Jay Gibbons/Tony Gwynn Jr./Marcus Thames platoon in left field, ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill lists some of the left fielders that could be available in a trade.  Of the five players on Churchill's list, only Carlos Quentin would seem to be an everyday option, but if he's playing well enough to attract the Dodgers' attention, it's unlikely the White Sox would want to move him anyway.
  • Ryan Ludwick tells Dan Hayes of the North County Times that the two months that followed his trade to the Padres last season were the "worst two months of my big league career."  Ludwick hit just .211/.301/.330 in 239 plate appearances in San Diego last year and admitted he struggled with the pressure of trying to take the Padres to the postseason.
  • The Mariners are likely to keep Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda in the minors until at least June, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.  Both players "have areas of their games that could use further AAA development," but Baker also figures the Mariners want to avoid having either of their prospects qualify for Super Two status.
  • Angels right-hander Rich Thompson seemed to turn a corner last season, but since the Australian is out of options, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon says the Halos could lose Thompson unless he makes the team.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has acquired six players (Henry Blanco, Geoff Blum, Russell Branyan, Sean Burroughs, Xavier Nady and Brian Sweeney) this offseason that played for the Padres when Towers was that club's general manager, writes Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com.  "These are character guys, veterans that I knew would have a strong presence in our clubhouse," Towers said. "I knew what their intangibles are, which I thought was important….When you have history with individuals, you know what they're about as well." 
  • The Rangers have invited Yhency Brazoban to their Major League Spring Training camp, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.  Brazoban signed a minor league deal with Texas in December that didn't include an invite to the team's big league camp.

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