Andy LaRoche Rumors
Dodgers manager Joe Torre pledged to play young third baseman Andy LaRoche in all three games of the current series against the Rockies. Tony Jackson of the L.A. Daily News wonders whether the Dodgers are showcasing him. Or, the Dodgers may just want to see if he can win the starting gig.
LaRoche, 24, began the season on the DL with a torn thumb ligament. He then hit .277/.444/.420 in 38 Triple A games. In the minors and in his brief Major League career, LaRoche has drawn a ton of walks. He's yet to flash much power in the bigs, but it's a small sample.
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is said to be targeting third base and/or shortstop help. Possible veterans on the radar: Jack Wilson, Casey Blake, and Adrian Beltre.
As America collectively recovers from yesterday's festivities, here are some odds and ends from the world of baseball.
- The Rangers signed 33 year-old reliever Kiko Calero to a minor league deal. Calero is currently pitching with a torn rotator cuff.
- The Dodgers' Andy LaRoche commented to XM Radio on the idea of a C.C. Sabathia acquisition. He doesn't seem to acknowledge that he could be part of such a deal.
- Larry King chatted with Barry Bonds a couple of weeks ago. His impression is that Bonds would like to play but doesn't expect an offer. King also mentions an interesting unsubstantiated Boston rumor.
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com thinks newly-DFA'ed Joe Borowski could be an option for the Marlins.
- The D-Backs DFA'd Jeff Salazar. The 27 year-old outfielder hit .202/.319/.333 in 117 plate appearances this year.
- With his salary due to more than double next year, Bronson Arroyo knows that this is "the prime year for me to be traded."
The Dodgers' Andy LaRoche suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb when he was hit by a pickoff throw in Friday's spring game. In the same game, Nomar Garciaparra was hit by a pitch on his right wrist. LaRoche will undergo surgery and will miss eight to 10 weeks. Garciaparra suffered no break but is in pain and will be evaluated today.
If Garciaparra joins LaRoche in sick bay, the recent Brandon Inge-to-the-Dodgers rumor that was declared dead this week may be resurrected. If both LaRoche and Nomar miss significant parts fo the season, the Dodgers' already shallow infield will need a warm body or two.
By Big Mike Glab
The Dodgers' rotation stands at Brad Penny, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Jason Schmidt, and Esteban Loaiza - six deep on the surface. But Kuroda has never pitched in the Majors, Schmidt is a question mark, and Loaiza may not have much left. More and more, it's looking like Ned Colletti wants to add one more veteran starter.
Troy E. Renck believes the Dodgers are after Joe Blanton, with the A's asking for Andre Ethier, Andy LaRoche, and a prospect. I could see this happening. Ethier is fairly expendable, and the Dodgers have not seemed keen on LaRoche recently. Maybe L.A. would move separately to acquire Joe Crede or even try to get Eric Chavez along with Blanton. Renck thinks the Dodgers may be interested in Livan Hernandez as an alternative to Blanton.
He also says the Reds are "pushing hard" for Blanton, which jives with the previous info. The Reds are still kind of shaky behind Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, the Dodgers asked the Brewers about Bill Hall. Hall, who turns 28 soon, is owed $4.8MM in '08, $6.8MM in '09, and $8.4MM in '10. He could play third base for the Dodgers.
You may also recall that the Dodgers called the Brewers about Ben Sheets recently. We also know that the Brewers have discussed trading for Andy LaRoche. Can Ned Colletti and Doug Melvin find a match?
Hernandez's article also mentions that Troy Glaus could be an option for the Dodgers, but that may just be speculation.
What, you thought the Brewers were dead set on Scott Rolen? Not so, according to Tom Haudricourt. They're considering the following options at third base, mostly because the left field options are worse.
- Joe Crede - I can see this one happening, Doug Melvin and Kenny Williams get along. And Kenny really has nowhere to play Crede.
- Hank Blalock - Trading Blalock now is generally seen as selling low, so this seems unlikely.
- Pedro Feliz - I'm going to disagree with Haudricourt that Feliz is intriguing.
- Andy LaRoche - Now this one is intriguing, hitting the Dodgers up for LaRoche. I imagine Colletti may want to include LaRoche in other, bigger deals though.
- Miguel Tejada - He's been discussed, but all the well-known warts make this unlikely.
UPDATE, 11-15-07: MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says the Angels are in the lead now, and trade talk for Cabrera is picking up with A-Rod on the verge of signing. Frisaro says a deal could be done by Thanksgiving, in contrast to Joe Capozzi's suggestion that this would happen at the Winter Meetings. The L.A. Times explained several Dodgers/Angels scenarios on Wednesday; that's also worth a read.
Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post says the Dodgers and Angels are leading the pack in the Miguel Cabrera derby. Four other clubs are said to be in the mix. The Marlins will continue to field offers and hope to trade Cabrera at the Winter Meetings in a few weeks.
Both the Dodgers and Angels are also in the mix for Alex Rodriguez. Scott Boras must love Cabrera messing up his market. A friend of Tommy Lasorda's told me today that Lasorda puts the Dodgers' chances of signing A-Rod around 25%.
From the Angels, the Marlins want Howie Kendrick, Nick Adenhart, another pitcher, and an outfielder. Now that's a tall order! Ervin Santana or Joe Saunders could be in the mix. Maybe the Marlins like Terry Evans, Nathan Haynes, or Reggie Willits as well.
The Dodgers are being asked to pony up four of Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, Andy LaRoche, James Loney, and Matt Kemp. Capozzi suggests the Dodgers would probably only include one of the pitchers. Even so, a Kershaw/LaRoche/Loney/Kemp package is insane for one player. That has to be well over $100MM of value - a bit less than 20 team-controlled seasons. Three of the five would still make for a sweet bounty. The team acquiring Cabrera would probably be compelled to lock him in past 2009.
An educated guess at the other four teams in the mix for Cabrera: White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, and Giants. I'll guess that the Indians have bowed out.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox sent Allard Baird to scout the Dodgers' Triple A affiliate when they were in Tacoma earlier this week. The 51s are back in Vegas now.
Cafardo says the Red Sox like third baseman Andy LaRoche, and that the Dodgers are looking for relief help. Hard to picture how the Red Sox would fill that need though. Some other interesting names on the 51s' roster: Tony Abreu, Chin-Lung Hu, and Jonathan Meloan.
How do these two teams match up? The Dodgers don't have much need for Wily Mo Pena. And why would the Dodgers trade LaRoche to Boston for prospects? Maybe it's a prospect-for-prospect scenario.