Los Angeles Dodgers Rumors

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

Padres Links: Black, Corner Infield, Kemp

Now that the Winter Meetings have come to a close, the Padres are once again the only team dominating the headlines in San Diego.  Here’s the latest from the Friars…

  • Bud Black told reporters (including MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom) that he hasn’t spoken to A.J. Preller about a contract extension, but the manager isn’t worried about heading into the last year of his current deal.  “I’m comfortable with this. I’m comfortable managing,” Black said.  “I think those of us in this game realize at certain points contracts will be worked out if they’re going to get worked out. I think we’ve seen over the years a lot of managers go into the last year, head coaches go into the last year of a contract and everything is fine.”
  • The Padres’ next step towards improving their lineup is to acquire a corner infield bat, MLB.com’s Corey Brock writes.  The Padres talked to several other teams about potential 1B/3B targets, so Brock figures San Diego will probably go the trade route to find its corner infielder.
  • Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron isn’t a fan of the Padres’ trade for Matt Kemp, arguing that it was an overly risky move for the team given Kemp’s large salary and limited defensive value.  Cameron sees some similarities between this deal and the Angels’ ill-fated 2011 trade with the Blue Jays for Vernon Wells.
  • From earlier today, the Padres didn’t reach an agreement with Korean lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim by the 4pm CT deadline.

NL West Notes: Kemp, Kim, Giants, Arruebarrena

Before dealing Matt Kemp to one division rival, they were in deep talks with another about a deal, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). The Diamondbacks rejected L.A.’s request for center fielder A.J. Pollock but was willing to ship top pitching prospect Archie Bradley to add Kemp. Of course, we do not know the details of those discussions, including especially the amount of Kemp’s salary that would have been covered.

Here’s the latest from the National League West:

  • The Padres are unlikely as things stand to reach agreement with Kwang-hyun Kim before today’s deadline, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets. With a 2pm PST expiration, we could learn more on that situation soon.
  • The Giants intend to add a starter sooner rather than later and do not intend to participate in a drawn-out bidding process, AGM Bobby Evans told reporters including John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • In addition to checking in with Asdrubal Cabrera, the Giants have inquired with Jed Lowrie about his interest in spending time at second or third, also per Evans. (Via Shea, on Twitter.) Lowrie apparently indicated that would be a possibility. The team could theoretically add a player at second and move Joe Panik to third, Evans also told the scribes, per MLB.com’s Chris Haft (via Twitter).
  • The Dodgers will be open to moving shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena after the Jimmy Rollins deal is finalized, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The 24-year-old is owed $16MM over the next four years.

Latest On Asdrubal Cabrera

3:34pm: Giants GM Bobby Evans threw some cold water on the idea of Cabrera playing the hot corner in San Francisco in a session with reporters. He said that Cabrera prefers to play up the middle — whether at second or short — and that there is not a fit right now, though the door remains open. (Via Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News, on Twitter.)

1:27pm: The Giants are weighing the addition of Asdrubal Cabrera to play third base, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. He has received plenty of interest, per Heyman, though mostly at second or third rather than shortstop.

MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently noted on Twitter that the Royals have interest in Cabrera, in the event that Omar Infante is dealt. The Yankees and Dodgers also had some interest in Cabrera, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets, though it would appear that those teams’ recent moves probably reduce the likelihood of a match.

Cabrera has seen a decent bit of action at second in his career, though he has only appeared at third in one big league game. He brings a roughly league average bat, though teams can perhaps hope for a return to his ceiling as he is still only 29 years of age.



Winter Meetings Rumors: Giants, Santana, Marlins, Morneau, Dodgers, Angels

Needless to say, it was a frenetic end to the Winter Meetings. Over the course of the morning, several forward-looking reports emerged. We’ll round those up here:

  • The Giants are focused on free agent starter James Shields, according to Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News (via Twitter). San Francisco is alive on both Shields and Ervin Santana, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle adds on Twitter. The club met with Shields in San Diego, as Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported yesterday (Twitter link).
  • The Twins are still trying to land Santana, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, who adds that the GiantsRoyals, and Yankees have also expressed interest in the free agent righty.
  • The Marlins are still looking hard at the free agent and trade market for a first baseman, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports on Twitter. A deal could come at any time, Spencer adds.
  • Attempts by the Marlins to deal for Justin Morneau of the Rockies have fallen apart, tweets MLB.com’s Tom Singer. He hears that Miami could rekindle talks with the Pirates regarding a Pedro Alvarez-for-Nathan Eovaldi swap.
  • Communications between the Marlins and Rockies regarding Morneau will continue, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports on Twitter, though Harding’s source says he is not sure if the potential match “has legs.”
  • The Dodgers did not make their moves as a prelude to dealing away Zack Greinke or dealing for Cole Hamels, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. Los Angeles has already done its heavy lifting with yesterday’s series of moves, says Sherman.
  • After trading away second baseman Howie Kendrick, the Angels are “open to opportunities” for additions at the position, GM Jerry Dipoto tells Mike DiGiovanna of MLB.com (Twitter link). The Halos are not interested in free agents Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew, per Dipoto. Of course, the team just added Josh Rutledge to join in-house option Grant Green in the current mix.

Padres, Dodgers Nearing Matt Kemp Trade

The Padres are nearing a trade that would land them Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes. The two teams are “exchanging final information” before completing the deal, Heyman says. Friedman said in this evening’s press conference that it was “definitely possible” a trade involving an outfielder could happen soon, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register on Twitter.

The Dodgers have asked for catcher Yasmani Grandal and pitchers Joe Ross and Zach Eflin, although it’s unclear if that’s what they’ve actually received. Friedman said (via the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin on Twitter) that the team was still looking for a catcher to join A.J. Ellis, so Grandal would make sense as a trade acquisition. A deal would help clear a logjam in the Dodgers’ outfield, which also includes Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke.

Meanwhile, Kemp would give the Padres a big offensive boost. As Heyman notes, the Padres tried to sign Pablo Sandoval and Yasmany Tomas this offseason, and Kemp provides them with a backup plan. The outfielder is owed $107MM over the next five seasons.

If the deal is completed tonight, it would cap a wild day for the Dodgers that also included a seven-player deal that sent Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins, a trade for Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, a not-yet-official trade for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and a rumored four-year pact with Brandon McCarthy.


Dodgers Designate Ryan Lavarnway For Assignment

The Dodgers have designated C/1B Ryan Lavarnway for assignment, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The Dodgers claimed Lavarnway from the Red Sox last week.

The 27-year-old Lavarnway .283/.389/.370 in 257 plate appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2014. He has a strong minor league track record as a hitter, with a .375 career minor league on-base percentage, and could potentially help a team in need of a right-handed bat for its bench.


Dodgers Acquire Howie Kendrick

The Dodgers have announced that they’ve acquired second baseman Howie Kendrick from the Angels, for southpaw Andrew Heaney, who was just acquired by the Dodgers from the Marlins earlier today. No money is changing hands in the deal, so the Dodgers will pay all of the $9.5MM Kendrick is owed in 2015.

Kendrick replaces Dee Gordon at second base, as Gordon was part of the package that went to Miami for Heaney as part of this incredible day of transactions for the Dodgers.  Kendrick represents both an offensive and defensive upgrade over Gordon, and the 31-year-old hit .293/.347/.397 over 674 PA last season.MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

Kendrick has been a subject of trade rumors for much of the offseason, with teams such as the Orioles, Yankees and Blue Jays all connected to the veteran second baseman at various times.  In the end, however, Kendrick will move down the highway to Los Angeles’ other team.  This isn’t the first time that Kendrick has been pursued by the Dodgers, as the two L.A. clubs discussed a trade in the summer of 2013.

Payroll was primarily the reason why the Halos were willing to move Kendrick or David Freese this offseason.  Kendrick will earn $9.5MM in the last year of his contract, and getting that salary off the books will give the Angels some flexibility for further moves.  The Angels have been aggressively looking for utility infielders, and presumably whomever they acquire will now be in line for some regular playing time alongside Grant Green at second base.

The Angels were said to be targeting young pitching for much of the offseason, and they’ve now landed one of the game’s top prospects in Heaney.  The lefty was named both the Marlins’ top prospect and the #30 prospect in the sport by Baseball America in their 2014 preseason rankings.  He has a 2.77 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and 3.85 K/BB rate over 259 2/3 minor league innings, and he threw 29 1/3 innings for Miami this season in his first taste of the bigs.

Heaney is 23 years and controllable through the 2020 season, and presumably he’ll get every opportunity to win a job in the Angels’ rotation.  Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Matt Shoemaker are the only starters guaranteed for jobs on Opening Day, as Garrett Richards may start the season on the DL.  Heaney joins Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano, Hector Santiago and Cory Rasmus in battling it out for rotation jobs in Spring Training.

MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick initially reported that the Dodgers would acquire Kendrick (on Twitter). FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Angels would receive Heaney in return. The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin tweeted that the Dodgers would take on Kendrick’s entire salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Dodgers, Marlins Make Seven-Player Trade

The Dodgers and Marlins have announced a blockbuster deal that sends middle infielder Dee Gordon, veteran right-hander Dan Haren, infielder Miguel Rojas and a player to be named later or cash to Miami in exchange for left-hander Andrew Heaney, second baseman Enrique Hernandez, righty reliever Chris Hatcher and catching prospect Austin Barnes.  (Heaney has since been traded to the Angels for Howie Kendrick.)

USATSI_8130033_154513410_lowresWith the Dodgers reportedly open to dealing Gordon and the Marlins open to trading from their surplus of young arms, the two made sense as trade partners, especially with Miami rather thin in the middle infield.  Gordon is an upgrade over the Marlins’ current second base options (Donovan Solano and Derek Dietrich), though Gordon could also return to his original shortstop position and supplant Adeiny Hechavarria, who has been a negative fWAR player over the last two seasons.

Gordon broke out with an All-Star campaign in 2014, hitting .289/.326/.378 over 650 plate appearances while leading the league in both steals (64) and triples (12).  He is controlled through the 2018 season, though he’ll start getting expensive this winter as he is arbitration-eligible for the first of four times (as a Super Two player).  MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects Gordon to earn $2.5MM in 2015.

Haren said last month that he could retire if he was pitching anywhere other than with the Dodgers or Angels.  The righty exercised his $10MM player option for the 2015 season, so now the question seems to be whether Haren will have a change of heart about playing outside of southern California, or if he’ll indeed hang up his glove and walk away from that $10MM.  Haren posted a 4.02 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and a 4.03 K/BB rate over 186 innings last season, so he’d fit the Marlins’ desire for a veteran arm if he did continue to pitch.  ESPN’s Buster Olney did hear that a third team could be involved in the trade talks, which could be a precursor to another Marlins trade that could send Haren to a more preferred destination. The Marlins’ Michael Hill says (via the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin on Twitter) that the Marlins will not receive additional compensation depending on what happens with Haren.

Whether or not Haren retires, the Dodgers will still send $10MM to Miami as part of the trade, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter links).  L.A. will also cover the projected $2.5MM that Gordon will earn in arbitration.  The Marlins plan to use the money from the Dodgers on a first baseman or a starting pitcher.

Rojas, 25, made his Major League debut in 2014, posting a .464 OPS over 162 PA and mostly playing shortstop.  Rojas also received some significant playing time at second and third during his nine-year minor league career, which saw him post a .238/.305/.297 line over 2639 plate appearances in the Dodgers, Reds and Rays farm systems.

From the Dodgers’ perspective, they’ve overhauled their middle infield in a matter of hours between this deal, the Kendrick swap and the seemingly impending Jimmy Rollins trade. Heaney is already gone, but USA Bob Nightengale points out that L.A. could also use some of these youngsters as trade bait to acquire a top starter such as Cole Hamels.  It’s also possible that some of these players could be going to the Phils to complete the Rollins deal, as per Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Heaney is the biggest name of the four, the ninth overall pick of the 2012 draft and tabbed as both the Marlins’ top prospect and the #30 prospect in the sport by Baseball America in their 2014 preseason rankings.  Heaney has a 2.77 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and 3.85 K/BB rate over 259 2/3 minor league innings, and he threw 29 1/3 innings for Miami this season in his first taste of the bigs.

This is Hernandez’s second trade in less than five months, as he came to the Marlins from the Astros in July as part of the Jarred Cosart deal.  Hernandez also made his MLB debut in 2014, posting a .248/.321/.421 slash line and a 110 wRC+ over 134 PA with Houston and Miami.  He played mostly as a second baseman in the minors and will join Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney and Justin Turner in battling for a backup role in Los Angeles.  Hernandez also has experience at third, short and all three outfield positions, so he could be a valuable bench piece.

Hatcher enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, posting a 3.38 ERA, 9.6 K/9 and a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk rate over 56 innings last season.  He’s a solid addition to a Dodgers bullpen that was looking to upgrade at a low cost, given the large salaries already committed to the likes of Brandon League, Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, not to mention Kenley Jansen‘s projected $8.2MM arbitration salary.

Baseball America ranked Barnes as the Marlins’ 20th-best prospect prior to the season.  The 24-year-old catcher has shown some impressive skill at the plate, with .298/.390/.431 slash line over 1855 minor league PA.  Barnes posted a .913 OPS in 348 PA at the Double-A level last season.

Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported the deal had been agreed upon, pending some paperwork.  ESPN’s Buster Olney (Twitter links) was the first to report that the two sides were having “serious talks” about a Gordon/Heaney trade and Haren’s possible involvement, and Olney described the deal as being “close to done.”  Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) added that Hernandez, Barnes and Hatcher were included in the deal. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted that Rojas was involved.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Dodgers Notes: Haren, Shields, Santana, Peavy

There has been much speculation about Dan Haren‘s role in the impending six-player trade between the Dodgers and Marlins, as Haren has openly said that he’d rather retire than pitch anywhere but for one of the two Los Angeles teams.  Angels GM Jerry Dipoto shot down speculation that the Marlins could flip Haren to his team, telling reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register) that his team wasn’t trading for Haren.

As we wait for either of today’s two blockbuster Dodgers trades to be finalized, here’s some more news from Chavez Ravine…

  • There are rumors around the Winter Meetings that the Dodgers are making these big moves to position themselves to sign James Shields, ESPN Los Angeles’ Mark Saxon reports (Twitter link).
  • The rumored Andre Ethier-for-Miguel Montero swap with the Diamondbacks fell apart because of how much money the Dodgers would have had to pay, Saxon reports (via Twitter).  Arizona ended up dealing Montero to the Cubs yesterday.
  • Also from Saxon, the Dodgers haven’t made any inquiries about Ervin Santana.
  • The Dodgers have been talking to other free agent pitchers, however, including Jake Peavy, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets.
  • Rumors of a Matt Kemp deal to the Padres “has legs,” a source tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  The two sides have made some progress but nothing is official yet.  Yasmani Grandal would be the main piece coming back from San Diego and Heyman hears the Dodgers have also asked for pitchers Joe Ross and Zach Eflin (though Heyman isn’t sure if both would be included if the deal happened.)

Dodgers, Phillies Discussed Chase Utley

While negotiating the Jimmy Rollins trade, the Dodgers and Phillies also discussed Chase Utley, Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports (Twitter link).  As Brown notes, L.A. could now have a more pressing need for a second baseman with Dee Gordon on his way to the Marlins.

Utley has full trade protection as a 10-and-5 veteran (like Rollins) and he has been steadfast in saying that he wants to finish his career in Philadelphia.  That said, it’s fair to speculate if Utley would be interested in playing alongside his longtime double-play partner Rollins for a contending team.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told reporters (including MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki) today that he had received “a lot” of interest in both Utley and Rollins and that he hasn’t talked to Utley today.