Dodgers Notes: Ethier, Wada, Mattingly, Payroll

2011 may have been the most tumultuous season in Dodger history, but it was still a winning one as the club finished with an 82-79 record.  Here's the latest from Chavez Ravine….

  • "Andre Ethier's quirky personality has begun to wear thin on teammates and staff alike," several sources have told ESPN Los Angeles' Tony Jackson.  While Ethier would bring back a solid return on the trade market, Jackson doesn't think a move is likely to happen since Ned Colletti said the club needs Ethier's bat.
  • Also from Tony Jackson, a source close to the Dodgers says assistant GM Logan White was recently in Japan scouting left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.  Wada will be a free agent this winter and is known to be looking at a move to Major League Baseball.  NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman compared Wada to Dallas Braden, pitching-wise.
  • Don Mattingly's first season may be "more of a managerial audition than a chance for Mattingly to establish himself as a Los Angeles fixture in the dugout," writes T.J. Simers for the Los Angeles Times.  Simers suspects a new owner will want to "fumigate the place" of past Frank McCourt decisions, including hiring a new manager.
  • Alex Tabin has been hired as the Dodgers' new Director of Baseball Contracts, Research and Operations, according to a club press release.  As Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times explains, Tabin will fill many of the duties handled by former assistant GM Kim Ng.
  • The Dodgers will have roughly $105MM committed to their 2012 payroll, projects Jon Weisman for ESPN Los Angeles.  This could mean L.A. will have little to spend this winter, especially if any extra money goes into multiyear extensions for Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, and/or Matt Kemp.

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