Los Angeles Dodgers Rumors

Los Angeles Dodgers trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Free Agent Notes: Hanrahan, Carbonell, Penny, Braddock

Free agent reliever Joel Hanrahan has fielded “a few” offers from clubs, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. He is not close to signing, however, adds Cotillo. Hanrahan reportedly drew a large showing to his recent showcase, and looked good as he works to return from Tommy John surgery. Since then we’ve heard that multiple teams are already discussing a contract with him, but the Mets have yet to decide whether they’ll make an offer.

Here are a few more notes on some free agents from around the league…

  • Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell has been declared a free agent, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (Twitter links). There is very little public information floating around on the 23-year-old outfielder, though ObstructedView.net rounds up some information suggesting that speed is his calling card. Last October, El Diario De Cuba reported that Carbonell and fellow Serie Nacional  player Orlando Perez had defected from the island. Carbonell has enough experience to be considered a professional and therefore wouldn’t count against a team’s international bonus pool as long as he signs by July 2 of this year.
  • Brad Penny‘s agents at Millennium tell Cotillo that Penny will throw for multiple clubs in Kansas City this week (Twitter link). Penny requested his release from the Royals early in Spring Training after the club told him that he wasn’t likely to make the team. Penny, 35, last appeared in the Majors in 2012 with the Giants and has a 4.26 ERA in 1899 career innings at the big league level.
  • Cotillo also reports (via Twitter) that former Brewers left-hander Zach Braddock worked out for the Dodgers yesterday. Baseball America ranked the control-challenged strikeout artist 13th or higher on Milwaukee’s list of Top 30 prospects each year from 2007-09. Braddock has a career 3.80 ERA in the minors and has averaged a whopping 12 strikeouts per nine innings, but he’s also averaged nearly five walks per nine frames. That same profile has held true in the Majors, where he has a 4.41 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 5.3 BB/9 in 51 innings. Braddock underwent shoulder surgery to repair his left labrum midway through the 2012 season.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


Minor Moves: Buckner, Martinez, Edlefsen, Carter, Ramirez, Hauser, Scammell

The Padres have sold the contract of Triple-A right-hander Anthony Carter to the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports (via Twitter). The 28-year-old Carter appeared in just three games for Triple-A El Paso this season, allowing a pair of runs in three innings of work. The former 26th-round draft pick (White Sox) has punched out more than a batter per inning in his minor league career and owns a 4.93 ERA with a 2.51 K/BB ratio in 680 1/3 innings. In addition to the Sox and Padres, he spent the 2013 season — arguably his best year — with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate. In Pawtucket, he posted a 3.47 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings. Here are the rest of today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Padres have inked righty Billy Buckner to a minor league deal, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Buckner, 30, has tossed 155 2/3 MLB innings in parts of five MLB seasons, splitting his appearances about evenly between starting and relieving. His lifetime ERA stands at 6.07, and he has averaged 6.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 with a 44.7% ground-ball rate.
  • Two former big leaguers decided to hang up their spikes rather than continue on at the Triple-A level, according to the PCL transactions page. Joe Martinez of the Angels and Steve Edlefsen of the Dodgers both retired today. The right-handed relievers had both seen relatively minimal MLB action over their professional careers, and were off to rough starts in the season’s early going.
  • The Reds have signed right-hander Elvin Ramirez, per Cincinnati’s official transactions page. The 26-year-old struggled in 61 innings with the Angels’ minor league affiliates last season but had a strong 2.13 ERA in 55 innings with the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates for the Mets in 2012. In 422 2/3 career innings in the minors, the Dominican native has a 4.02 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.
  • Right-hander Matt Hauser has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles, according to the team’s transactions page. A former seventh-round pick of the Twins (2010), Hauser enjoyed strong minor league numbers until posting a 5.09 ERA between Double-A and Class-A Advanced last year. The 25-year-old has a career 2.95 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • The Royals have inked outfielder Cory Scammell to a minor league contract (also via the club’s transactions page). The 20-year-old Canadian was a 35th-round pick of the Mariners in the 2011 draft and spent two seasons with the team’s Rookie-level affiliate, slashing a solid .274/.349/.355 in 358 plate appearances.

NL West Links: Rockies, League, Lincecum, Giants

Earlier tonight, Jeff Todd recapped and analyzed the Padres' winter moves in the latest entry of the MLBTR Offseason In Review series.  Jeff has also covered the Giants and Diamondbacks thus far in the OIR series.  Here's some more from around the NL West…

  • "There has been buzz" that the Phillies and Tigers are interested in the Rockies' extra outfielders, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes.  Even if Colorado uses a center field platoon of one of Corey Dickerson or Charlie Blackmon (both left-handed hitters) and one of Drew Stubbs or Brandon Barnes (both righty batters), that still leaves a surplus.  Detroit could use a left-handed hitting outfielder to replace the injured Andy Dirks, though the Tigers aren't yet sure if they'll look outside the organization to make such a move.
  • Could the Dodgers cut Brandon LeagueSteve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times doesn't quite think the club is ready to take that step given the $17MM remaining on League's contract through 2015.  That deal looks worse and worse for L.A. given how League struggled in 2013 and during this year's Spring Training, while the Dodgers have a number of impressive young bullpen arms who might be relegated to Triple-A.
  • Tim Lincecum dicusses his pitching evolution with Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, noting that though he has lost a few miles off his fastball, he is working to become a better overall pitcher as he ages.
  • Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com discusses the Giants' roster and other topics during a Giants-centric chat with readers.


NL West Notes: Jobe, Maybin, Headley, Betancourt

Dr. Frank Jobe, the man who performed the first — or, perhaps more accurately, the – Tommy John surgery, has passed away at the age of 88. As MLB.com's Ken Gurnick writes, the longtime Dodgers medical director was instrumental in pioneering that now-commonplace, immensely impactful procedure: "it was Jobe who invented it, performed it, refined it and taught it to hundreds of training orthopedic surgeons." Needless to say, Jobe's contributions to the game will continue to have impact for generations to come, and MLBTR joins the rest of the baseball world in saluting him in passing. If you're interested in learning more about his remarkable life, see this excellent bio piece from MLB.com's Doug Miller. 

More from the NL West:

  • Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin suffered an arm issue of his own, rupturing his left biceps tendon, but will not need surgery at this point, MLB.com's Corey Brock reports. GM Josh Byrnes said he feared the worst — a season-ending injury — but that after consulting the medical staff "the strong consensus was no surgery." Though a timeline has not yet been set, Maybin could return within four to six weeks. San Diego should have plenty of depth to cover in Maybin's absence, though the club will certainly hope for a positive resolution of this latest setback for the 26-year-old, who signed a five-year, $25MM deal before the 2012 season.
  • Meanwhile, the Padres have let third baseman Chase Headley know that they fully intend to make him a qualifying offer at the end of the year, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com via Twitter. While this does not come as a surprise, it indicates that San Diego — like the Indians with Justin Masterson — views the QO as a card to be played in extension talks.
  • Former Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt will work out with the club for a ten-day stretch as he seeks another shot at a MLB job, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The club previously declined to exercise its half of a mutual option on the 38-year-old after he underwent — you guessed it — Tommy John surgery late last year. It is surely worth it for Colorado to take a look, as Betancourt has largely been an outstanding reliever since breaking into the bigs at the late age of 28 back in 2003.

Out Of Options Players: NL West

The following 40-man roster players have less than five years service time and are out of minor league options.  That means they must clear waivers before being sent to the minors, so the team would be at risk of losing them in attempting to do so.  I've included players on multiyear deals.  This list was compiled through MLBTR's sources.  Next, we'll take a look at the NL West.

Diamondbacks: Randall Delgado, Matt Tuiasosopo, Marcos Mateo (Rule 5)

With the Diamondbacks beginning their season on March 22nd in Australia against the Dodgers, both teams will deal with a unique set of roster rules, as outlined by MLB.com's Steve Gilbert last month.

Delgado seems slated for Arizona's bullpen, unless perhaps Bronson Arroyo's bulging disk lands him on the DL.  Regarding Tuiasosopo, D'Backs manager Kirk Gibson told Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic yesterday, "He definitely could be a guy that comes into play for us because of his versatility."  

The D'Backs took Mateo from the Cubs in December's Rule 5 draft, but with Brad Ziegler, J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Addison Reed, Josh Collmenter, and Joe Thatcher seemingly locked in, there won't be room for Mateo if Delgado joins the pen.  A trade or injury could create a spot.  A trade with the Cubs to retain Mateo's rights wouldn't make much sense, as the D'Backs would still have to pass him through waivers to get him to Triple-A.

Dodgers: Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra, Drew Butera

Elbert is on the 60-day DL currently, so he won't be occupying a roster spot.  Guerra is "up against it" in trying to make a Dodgers bullpen stacked with veterans, as explained by MLB.com's Ken Gurnick last month.  Tim Federowicz is set to back up A.J. Ellis behind the plate, so the Dodgers will probably have to try to pass Butera through waivers.

Giants: David Huff, Joaquin Arias, Gregor Blanco, Yusmeiro Petit, Jean Machi, Ehire Adrianza, Tony Abreu

Yesterday, Matt Kawahara of The Sacramento Bee suggested there are two openings in the Giants' bullpen, assuming Petit makes the group as a long man.  Machi will probably take one, but it could be tough for Huff to make the team in a similar role to Petit.  Heath Hembree, Derek Law, and Jose De Paula are just a few of the other names in the mix.

There won't be room for both Adrianza and Abreu, as explained by Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles.  It seems likely one of them will be traded.

Padres: Cameron Maybin, Eric Stults, Dale Thayer, Yonder Alonso, Rene Rivera, Alex Torres

Unless the Padres decide to carry three catchers, Rivera's shot at making the team depends on Yasmani Grandal's recovery from July knee surgery.

Rockies: Jordan Pacheco, Tyler Chatwood

Pacheco is slated to serve as the backup catcher behind Wilin Rosario, though he had an issue with his shoulder earlier this week.  Michael McKenry is in camp to provide some competition for Pacheco.


Yasiel Puig Switches Representation

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has changed agents, hiring Adam Katz and Andy Mota of Wasserman Media Group, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). As shown in MLBTR's Agency Database, Puig had been represented by Jaime Torres.

As Rosenthal notes, Wasserman represents a host of high-profile players, including fellow Dodgers Hanley Ramirez and Kenley Jansen. The deal that Puig signed out of Cuba carries him through 2018 (his age-27 season), so there is little pressure to begin considering a new deal. Puig does have the ability to trade out his guaranteed salary for arbitration earnings once he's racked up enough service time to qualify. As Puig has only 119 days of service at present, that will likely not occur until the 2017 season.


Quick Hits: Samardzija, Santana, Lester, Dodgers

While Jeff Samardzija has been a chief subject of trade rumors this offseason, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio on SiriuxXM (via Bowden's Twitter feed) that his preference would be to sign the right-hander to a long-term extension.  Samardzija said the same during an appearance on the broadcast (audio link here), as "I've always stated this is where I wanna be…this organization stuck by me and has given me the opportunity to be a starter."  Despite the rumors, there has "obviously been a mutual interest between the two parties, for sure…[which] kinda makes everything else just talking, which is what you want it to be."

Here's some more news from around the game…

  • Johan Santana never considered retirement in the wake of his latest shoulder surgery, as the veteran southpaw told reporters (including MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli) that he didn't want to let his health dictate the end of his career.  "I don't want to go out in the game like that. I want to go out of the game on my own terms, knowing this is going to be my last game, knowing this is going to be my last year," Santana said.  The two-time Cy Young Award winner said he has "nothing to lose, [and] a lot to gain" from his incentive-heavy minor league deal with the Orioles.
  • Jon Lester's cancer diagnosis in 2006 played a big part in his acceptance of his original multiyear deal with the Red Sox, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports.  That contract will expire this offseason, and while Lester has no new news on the status of extension talks, he is hopeful a new deal will be settled soon.
  • The Dodgers' surplus of pitching could force the team to make a tough cut in the form of right-hander Seth Rosin, ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon writes.  Rosin has pitched well thus far in Spring Training but L.A. might not have space for him on the roster, a situation that Saxon says could backfire like the team's cut of Kevin Gregg last spring.  Rosin was selected off the Phillies' roster by the Mets in last December's Rule 5 draft and was then traded to the Dodgers, who now must keep Rosin on their Major League roster all season or else offer him back to Philadelphia for $25K.
  • In a subscription-only piece for Baseball America, Matt Eddy and J.J. Cooper look at some of the offseason's key minor league free agent signings and some of the overall trends of this winter's minor league deals.
  • Jim Leyland is happy in his position as special assistant to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and has no interest in returning to the Pirates organization, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.  “I really don't want to come back to the organization,” Leyland said. “Not because I don't love it, but (because) they've set their tempo now and they have their own people in place. They don't need somebody like me hanging around and, really, I don't need to do that….I'll retire a Tiger.”

Second Base Rumors: Guerrero, Espinosa, Royals

A number of notable clubs entered Spring Training looking for clear answers at second base, and other teams could face looming questions at the position.  Here's a roundup of items about the keystone…

  • Multiple talent evaluators tell ESPN's Jim Bowden that Alexander Guerrero needs a lot of time at Triple-A in order to both learn second base and simply to regain his form after not playing last season.  In the Insider-only piece, Bowden looks at internal and external second base answers the Dodgers could explore to solidify themselves at the position.
  • Early word on Guerrero hasn't been too positive, as one evaluator tells ESPN's Buster Olney (another Insider-only piece) that the Dodgers "could get him through outright waivers right now if they need a roster spot."  Olney speculates that the Nationals could generate some interest in Danny Espinosa given the number of teams (including the Dodgers and Yankees) looking for second base help, though Washington wouldn't want to accept a sell-low offer for Espinosa given his poor 2013 season.
  • The Royals are lacking in middle infield depth behind Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar, as Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star notes may not have the 25-man roster space for a backup infielder.  Since Ned Yost plans to carry 12 pitchers, that leaves only four bench spots for Justin Maxwell, Jarrod Dyson, Danny Valencia and the backup catcher.  Christian Colon, Pedro Ciriaco and Johnny Giavotella are currently fighting for a roster spot in camp and the team will have Valencia and Mike Moustakas work out at second in case they need to be emergency options.  “It’s not ideal not to have a backup middle infielder on the team,” GM Dayton Moore said. “However, I do anticipate Infante and Escobar in the lineup most days.”
  • Marco Scutaro is only beginning to take grounders and has yet to swing a bat, CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly reports.  The veteran infielder is purposely taking a slow start to Spring Training in order to keep himself healthy and free of hip problems, and Giants GM Brian Sabean admits that the team probably should've shut Scutaro down last year when he was battling multiple nagging injuries.  Despite Scutaro's issues, Sabean is confident he'll be ready for Opening Day though he only said "we'll see" when asked if he was comfortable with the team's second base depth.

Indians Acquire Justin Sellers, Designate David Cooper

The Indians have acquired infielder Justin Sellers from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, the club announced.  In a corresponding move to create a 40-man roster spot for Sellers, the Tribe has designated first baseman David Cooper for assignment.

Sellers was himself designated for assignment by L.A. last week and the move to Cleveland frees him from DFA Limbo.  Sellers was originally a sixth-round draft pick for the Athletics in 2005 and he has 266 Major League PA under his belt as a Dodger from 2011-13.  The 28-year-old has a career .199/.278/.301 slash line in the bigs, though he has much more impressive numbers over his last four minor league seasons.

Sellers has experience at second and third but has primarily been a shortstop for much of his professional career.  He gives the Tribe more middle infield depth, as he'll be in the mix with Mike Aviles and Elliot Johnson as the primary infield backup to Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cleveland signed Cooper to a Major League deal in December, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports (via Twitter) that the Tribe will keep Cooper as a non-roster player in camp if he clears waivers.  Cooper last played in the Majors in 2012 as a member of the Blue Jays as he struggled with a possible career-ending back injury before undergoing surgery and recovering enough to play 13 minor league games for the Indians last season.  The left-handed hitting first baseman was Toronto's first round pick (17th overall) in 2008 and he has a .301/.376/.470 line over 2298 career PA in the minors, plus a .750 OPS in 226 Major League PA.


NL Notes: Padres, Minicozzi, Dodgers, Hannahan

MLB.com's Corey Brock brought readers into the dugout for some game action in an interesting read today. Receiving permission to camp out with the Padres during their game Thursday, Brock observed a number of inside snippets. For instance, infielder Stephen Carmon, who came over from minor league camp as depth and did not play, enjoyed a peaceful afternoon chatting with some veterans and sampling the wide variety of sunflower seed flavors made available. 

Here are a few notes from around baseball:

  • In another great story out of the NL West, Alex Pavloic of the San Jose Mercury News tells how 31-year-old Mark Minicozzi took an improbable path — around the world, through multiple injuries, and over multiple years — to rejoining the Giants. He left the organization after 2007, only to come back in 2012. Last year, he homered in his first Spring Training at-bat with the big club after coming over from the minor-league side for a road trip. This year, he earned his first non-roster invitation, and had his first ever start today. In his first trip to the plate, he swatted another long ball. Though Minicozzi still has many obstacles to overcome to reach a regular-season MLB game, his tale is testament to the power of perseverance and positive thinking.
  • The second base position for the Dodgers is now a "full-blown tryout camp," reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Major offseason acquisition Alex Guerrero continues to try to learn second while adapting to the pace of the big league game, and Gurnick says it seems as if he'll start off in Triple-A. Though Dee Gordon is the other player that the team would like to see emerge, he too has not separated himself from a pack that includes Brendan Harris, Chone Figgins, Justin Turner, and Miguel Rojas.
  • Infielder Jack Hannahan has not yet appeared in full spring action for the Reds because he underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Hannahan struggled mightily last year, but was apparently playing through the injury the entire time. The 33-year-old is in the final guaranteed year of a two-year, $4MM deal that comes with a $4MM club option for next season.