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Ned Colletti Rumors
Hector Olivera‘s newly-reported free agency could make for an interesting weekend. While we await further word on his market, let’s have a look at a few stray links to round out the evening:
- The Giants do not appear to have interest in pursuing a trade for Red Sox first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig to fill in for the injured Hunter Pence, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. While that could change if the asking price is “oddly low,” per Heyman, San Francisco is not inclined to make a move of that magnitude with Pence expected to return around the first of May. While a prior report had suggested the possibility of a Craig acquisition, the team would have no apparent role for him upon Pence’s return.
- Alex Speier of the Boston Globe takes a close look at the evolving ownership and leadership situation with the Red Sox — and, in particular, Fenway Sports Group part-owner and president Michael Gordon. Though some speculated that Gordon was attempting to build his influence over the ballclub as he gained control of the second-largest stake of the FSG umbrella entity, Speier explains that the notion of a power struggle in Boston is just not true.
- Displaced Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is enjoying his “respite” from the decisionmaking seat, as Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times writes in a fascinating look at the former top baseball man in Los Angeles. Now working as a senior advisor to club president Stan Kasten — who actually extended his contract through 2016 — Colletti says that he is enjoying a more grass-roots role than he could ever have hoped to play in the GM position. At the same time, he indicated that he does not intend to slowly ease out of the game. “The song isn’t over,” says Colletti. “It is just a pause.”
- Addressing the facially odd decision of lefty Phil Coke to take a minor league deal with the Cubs rather than a reported MLB deal elsewhere, CJ Nitkowski of FOX Sports says it is all about opportunity. Nitkowski says that he, too, made the decision to take a better opportunity on a non-guaranteed deal, though in his case it did not work out as hoped.
7:44pm: Andy Martino of the New York Daily News spoke to multiple Dodgers insiders, with one source telling him, “I’m already hearing all kinds of rumblings” regarding Colletti and, to a much lesser extent, Mattingly. Other sources to which Martino spoke praised Mattingly’s people skills and ability to manage the superstar egos involved in the Dodgers’ four-headed outfield monster. In particular, a source tells Martino, Mattingly was instrumental in getting Ethier to buy into a reduced role.
7:14pm: Following the Dodgers’ postseason loss at the hands of the Cardinals, sources within the organization tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that GM Ned Colletti could be on the hot seat (Twitter links). Ownership is said to have more of a soft spot for manager Don Mattingly, says Rosenthal. He continues, however, by noting that if the Dodgers do replace Colletti, the new GM may very well want to name his own manager. Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears similar things, noting that Mattingly’s job appears to be safe, but the outlook for others in the organization is less certain (Twitter link).
This season marked the second straight disappointing exit from the playoffs for the Dodgers, who were considered a favorite by many going into postseason play due to their elite group of starting pitchers. Colletti famously swung perhaps the most talked-about blockbuster in recent history when he acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox in exchange for Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, James Loney, Jerry Sands and Ivan De Jesus back in August 2012. However, despite solid performances from Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett this season, the Dodgers will again watch the World Series from home.
Additionally, the Crawford acquisition combined with extensions of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to create an expensive logjam of outfielders for the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig‘s emergence as the team’s best hitter has made it impossible for all four to get regular at-bats, and top prospect Joc Pederson has no clear path to everyday at-bats with the Dodgers in the near future, either. Bullpen expenditures Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, Brandon League and Paul Maholm haven’t panned out (though League did recover from a disastrous 2013 with a strong 2014), and trade acquisitions Kevin Correia and Roberto Hernandez yielded sub-par results. Moreover, the team spent a combined $53MM on Cuban infielders Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero, yet neither contributed in 2014 and it’s unclear if both will fit into the long-term picture following the emergence of Dee Gordon.
Of course, there’s plenty to like about some of Colletti’s moves. The decision to re-sign Juan Uribe looks outstanding, and the team’s mere $1MM investment in Justin Turner was perhaps one of the biggest steals of the offseason. That move will continue to pay dividends, as Turner is controllable through the 2016 season. J.P. Howell has produced tremendous results at a reasonable rate over the past two seasons. Also, Arruebarrena and Guerrero had strong performances in the minors, so either could generate trade interest.
If Colletti is replaced, that would incredibly mean that four of the five teams in the National League West would have changed GMs in roughly a five-month span. Padres GM Josh Byrnes was fired in June, while the D’Backs dismissed Kevin Towers in September and the Rockies just announced today that senior director of player development Jeff Bridich would take over as GM, with Bill Geivett and Dan O’Dowd resigning from their posts.
After going through a number of difficult times with MLB, Rob Manfred is more than ready to take over as commissioner, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer. Manfred started working for MLB as an outside counsel in 1994, so he definitely knows what a crisis situation is all about. More from around baseball..
- In a radio interview last week, Matt Harvey reiterated that he is eager to get back to action for the Mets and said he is throwing in the mid-90s in his sessions. Later, manager Terry Collins got in touch with the star hurler. “And I explained to him, I understand that,” Collins said of Harvey’s desire to get back to pitching, according to Newsday’s Marc Carig. “But the process is right now, you’ve got to understand it’s the big picture, and the big picture is 2015. So back off.”
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post explores why the Mets and Cubs, who seem perfectly suited to swing a trade (pitching for a shortstop), have yet to take the leap. A NL executive tells Sherman the Mets “don’t make a lot of trades and that is because they really don’t like to give up what they perceive as their big talent, unless they can convince you to give them $2 for their 35 cents.“
- White Sox manager Robin Ventura told reporters, including MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, he will consider promoting Carlos Rodon (the third overall selection in this year’s draft) when the rosters expand in September. “If he’s doing well enough to come up here, yeah,” Ventura said. “If he’s available and he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go. I would like to see it but he’s got to be ready to go.” Rodon, who is not on the White Sox’s 40-man roster, was promoted to Triple-A yesterday.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) if the club can “find a reliever that can help us late in the games we will consider it.”
- The Astros have decisions to make on a pair of injured right-handed relievers, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Matt Albers (out since April with shoulder tendinitis) has a 2015 club option and Jesse Crain (who has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for biceps tendinitis last October) signed a one-year deal in January and Astros GM Jeff Luhnow would like to see them pitch this season before deciding their fates. “It would be nice to have those two guys in the bullpen in September to help us win some games.” said Luhnow. “I’m sure they want to do that as well so they can establish something going into next year.”
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
The Dodgers made the final August trade of the season late last night acquiring Michael Young and cash from the Phillies for minor-league left-hander Rob Rasmussen. Here's the reaction and analysis from around baseball:
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says Juan Uribe is still the team's starting third baseman and Young will see time at both corner infield positions, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told reporters, including ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon, Young is willing to accept a lesser role, and the resulting diminished number of at-bats, because he wants another crack at a World Series ring.
- The Phillies would have been better served accepting the Yankees' offer of Double-A right-hander Tommy Kahnle and paying the remainder of Young's salary that was made prior to the July 31st Trade Deadline, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. disagreed with Heyman's assessment telling reporters, including CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury, "We like this guy (Rasmussen) more. The guys that we talked about with other teams had other issues. At the Trade Deadline we were not out of it completely. We were still trying to win games. Different circumstances. Now we’re out of it, basically."
- The Dodgers paid too high of a price for a sub-replacement level player of no discernable value to a playoff team, opines Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated.
- Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times has the opposite opinion writing there is no drawback, no downside when you add to a club's bench a veteran like Young, who is universally perceived as a great teammate.
- MLB.com's Lyle Spencer agrees with Dilbeck tweeting Young is a great addition for the Dodgers on so many levels: clutch, tough, versatile, smart, and a winner.
The Giants have lost left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt for four-to-six weeks after a MRI revealed a moderate strain of muscle and tendon in his left groin, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Jose Mijares will absorb most of Affeldt's innings, but CSNBayArea.com's Andrew Baggarly writes the Giants could, if history is any guide, look to acquire another lefty reliever. Baggarly notes it was nearly three years ago to the day Affeldt injured his oblique and GM Brian Sabean acquired Javier Lopez, an under-the-radar move which paid dividends as the Giants won the World Series. In other news and notes from MLB's West divisions:
- While Affeldt's injury may change the calculus slightly, Baggarly, within that same article, sees the Giants continuing their quest for starting pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy loves Jake Peavy, but the two teams have not discussed a deal and the Giants don’t have the quantity or quality of trade chips to get a seat at the table, according to Baggarly.
- Ex-Giants closer Brian Wilson is expected to begin showcasing his arm for teams within the next few weeks and the Giants have asked Wilson's representative to include them in the process, reports Schulman. Wilson underwent his second Tommy John surgery 15 month ago.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti doesn't expect to make any franchise-altering deals prior to the Trade Deadline, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "I don't know that that player is out there," Colletti said. "When I call around teams, there's not a lot of names of position players being discussed. I'm not sure if there's a market out there on the sell side."
- Earlier today, we learned the Dodgers are prepared to offer Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez something in the neighborhood of $50MM over five years. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, however, tweets sources have told him the Dodgers' interest in the Cuban right-hander is not as fervent as has been portrayed.
- Manager Eric Wedge doesn't think the fourth-place Mariners, winners of six straight, will be active at the Trade Deadline, writes MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Unless it's something that raises the bar, I don't think we're going to do anything," said Wedge. "We're not going to move somebody just to move somebody." The Mariners have several veterans on one-year deals, who could be appealing to contenders, including left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, left-handed starter Joe Saunders, outfielder Raul Ibanez, first baseman Kendrys Morales, and shortstop Brendan Ryan.
- Two years ago, the Dodgers had agreed to deals with both the Tigers and Red Sox for Hiroki Kuroda, but the right-hander invoked his no-trade clause to veto each trade. Through his interpreter, Kuroda provided FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal his rationale for refusing to join a team in the playoff hunt: if you only play for a team in August and September, it is not as meaningful as being with a club from Spring Training until the end of the season.
The Dodgers' situation has changed radically in the past year, with new ownership and a much larger payroll, and the magnitude of those changes isn't lost on GM Ned Colletti, Mike Bauman of MLB.com reports.
- Colletti says the team's much-larger payroll wouldn't be considered a "big deal" if the team's previous payrolls weren't so small. Colletti says that the team's opening day payroll of approximately $90MM in 2012 was low compared to those of the Red Sox and Phillies, and if the Dodgers had had a high payroll in 2012, their enormous 2013 payroll would not have been such a big story. "If that's where we were, if that's where we should have been, is [an increase to over $200 million] a big deal? No, it's not a big deal," Colletti says. "The big deal to me is not that we're at $200 [million] it's that we were at $90 [million]."
- Colletti adds that the Dodgers' change in ownership forced him to build "two teams at one time," with one team that was created under the Dodgers' earlier, smaller payroll, and another that was created under the team's new ownership. "So you're going to have a little bit of combinations that you have to work through," says Colletti. "And we also have $55 million coming off next year. So we'll be in a different spot where we'll be able to smooth this out a little."
- Colletti doesn't mind the fact that the Dodgers currently have three more starting pitchers than rotation spots. "'We've got some situations that are a little bit unorthodox, having, quote, 'eight starting pitchers in camp,'" Colletti says. "I like that far better than when we had three starting pitchers in camp, or two starting pitchers in camp."
Let's catch up on the latest stories and happenings taking place in front offices from around the league…
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington spoke to Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio about the status of free agent Mike Napoli and where the slugger stands with the team. Cherington told Bowden (via Twitter) that Boston is still looking to add offense to the first base position as the club still considers Napoli to be a free agent. He added that the Red Sox will continue to work through the issues of signing Napoli but admits there is no deal at this point (on Twitter).
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo faces the task of improving a 98-win team this offseason and recently took a break from the action to chat with MLB.com's Bill Ladson on the state of Nationals baseball. Rizzo points to the young, talented players on his roster taking the proverbial "next step" as one of the factors for the team's continued success in 2013.
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's major concern for his roster isn't about adding more pieces but rather making sure players are fully recovered from various injuries before Spring Training starts, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "We're fine right now if we come into camp, we're in a good spot," Colletti said.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti confirmed that he and manager Don Mattingly will return in 2013, Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com reports. The GM also reflected on the eventful 2012 season in an extended interview with Bloom. Here are some highlights…
- Colletti explained that the team’s midseason trades should help the team in 2013 and beyond, regardless of whether the Dodgers make the playoffs this year. “When we made these trades, we thought that these players were going to be with us for a while,” Colletti said.
- The GM said he'll be pleased if Gonzalez can continue producing at this clip for the remainder of his Dodgers career. Gonzalez has a .276/.328/.431 batting line with 21 RBI in 134 plate appearances.
- There’s a chance Carl Crawford will open the 2013 season with the Dodgers, Colletti said. The left fielder’s throwing arm should be at full strength by May, but he could open the season with the club if he’s progressing well.
- Colletti said it’s been a great experience working with the Dodgers’ new ownership group, including veteran MLB executive Stan Kasten. “He's someone who understands baseball very well,” Colletti said. “He's been in the game for three decades.”
- Manager Don Mattingly succeeds for a variety of reasons, Colletti said. “He continues to learn every day. He's open-minded. He's ultra-competitive. And a very hard worker.”
The Dodgers and GM Ned Colletti have agreed to a contract extension, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The two sides have been discussing an extension lately and his current deal included mutual options beyond 2012. The new agreement is a multiyear deal, perhaps as many as three years according to Heyman.
Colletti has been at the Dodgers' helm since November 2005. The team has gone 586-530 under his watch, thrice winning the NL West and never winning fewer than 80 games in a season. They advanced to the NLCS in both 2008 and 2009. He survived the Frank McCourt ownership fallout, and the new Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson led ownership group showed no indications that they were considering a switch at GM.
Our Transaction Tracker shows all of Colletti's moves as Dodgers GM, the second of which is acquiring Andre Ethier from the Athletics. Other notable moves including hiring manager Joe Torre, acquiring Greg Maddux, signing Hiroki Kuroda, extending Matt Kemp, and acquiring Adrian Gonzalez. Clayton Kershaw was also drafted under Colletti's watch.
The Dodgers sit 4.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West but still have six games left to play against their long-time rivals. The two teams face off in the last series of the year and in a three-game set starting on Friday at AT&T Park. Here are some news and notes out of Los Angeles…
- With the Dodgers pursuing an extension with GM Ned Colletti, Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times recaps some of Colletti's best and worst moves and argues that Colletti is deserving of the new contract.
- Chad Billingsley may miss the entire 2013 season due to a slightly torn UCL in his right elbow, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Billingsley will try to rehab the injury without Tommy John surgery, but if he needs to go under the knife, it will cost him all of 2013 no matter if he undergoes the procedure now or in the spring. Since signing a three-year, $35MM extension in March 2011 that covers the 2012-14 seasons, Billingsley has posted a 3.92 ERA, 2.17 K/BB ratio and 7.5 K/9 in 57 starts.
- The Dodgers' recent major player acquisitions served as "a statement of purpose" for Dodger fans, team president Stan Kasten said during a speech at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit (as reported by MLB.com's Matthew Leach). "Players like Adrian Gonzalez, players like Hanley Ramirez, they're not available. You can't get them in the free agent market," Kasten said. "This was a way to improve the team right away, while at the same time maintaining our core belief in also building the scouting and player-development system. That was always part of our model."