The latest from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports…
- The Dodgers' payroll will be well under $100MM in 2012, sources tell the FOX writers. If James Loney and Hiroki Kuroda return, there will be little left to spend. On the plus side, the Dodgers were able to reduce Matt Kemp's '12 salary to slightly more than $10MM as part of his new multiyear deal, in a year where as much as $16MM seemed possible through arbitration. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Dodgers would want to buy out at least two free agent years in a long-term deal for Clayton Kershaw, who may take home the NL Cy Young award tomorrow. With Kershaw under team control for three more years, the Dodgers don't have the same urgency to lock him up as they did Kemp. In MLBTR's exclusive arbitration salary projections, Kershaw was pegged at $8.4MM, easily a first-time record for a pitcher.
- The Astros "probably will acquire a shortstop and add low-cost relief pitching" this offseason, write Rosenthal and Morosi. GM Ed Wade told the FOX writers he plans to stick with Mark Melancon at closer. The GM explained his team's corner outfield situation: "From the standpoint of corner outfield, there are going to be guys out there, looking for opportunities. We’re pretty much the land of opportunity right now."
- Chipper Jones still enjoys playing, says Braves GM Frank Wren. The 39-year-old third baseman is signed through 2012 with a '13 vesting option. Rosenthal and Morosi say Martin Prado is available in the right deal, but the Braves value his versatility, including his ability to back up Jones.
- Yoenis Cespesdes could petition baseball to declare him a free agent fairly quickly, after he establishes temporary residence in the Dominican Republic. The residency part is expected to happen within 10 to 14 days.
- The Blue Jays have expressed interest in trading for Rockies reliever Huston Street. Street has one year and $8MM remaining on his contract. Rosenthal and Morosi say the Rockies remain interested in a deal for Prado, which would require Seth Smith and another piece.