Ned Colletti Rumors

NL West Notes: Ethier, Giants, Suppan, Saito

Jim Tracy's indefinite contract extension with the Rockies is the big headline out of the NL West today, but let's see what else is happening around the division.

  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said he would like to sign Andre Ethier to an extension and said he's had a few conversation with the outfielder about the topic, including a visit to Ethier's home over the offseason.  Colletti's remarks came during an interview with FOX Sports West during a Los Angeles Kings hockey game (video embedded by Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times).
  • With Ryan Vogelsong battling a back injury, Andrew Baggarly of speculates that the Giants could be "scanning the free-agent ranks to find a last-minute arm or two."  In the meantime, Eric Surkamp and new acquisitions Brian Burres and Ramon Ortiz are being stretched out.
  • Jeff Suppan talks to's Corey Brock about why the 37-year-old veteran is still trying to get back to the Major Leagues as a Padres non-roster invitee.
  • The Diamondbacks didn't have Takashi Saito take a physical before signing the reliever since the team thought he would fail it, GM Kevin Towers told reporters (including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic).  "Mark Weidemaier, our advanced scout, was with him in L.A. and I think that they said four or five years ago that one pitch and his arm could go," Towers said.  “We thought that the skill-set and what he could bring to the club far outweighed the risk.”  Manager Kirk Gibson said Saito is being on a separate Spring Training schedule in order to help keep him healthy.
  • Gibson said he hasn't spoken to Gerardo Parra about the Diamondbacks' signing of Jason Kubel earlier this winter as the team's new everyday left fielder.  Piecoro thinks Parra "has a right to be unhappy" about losing his starting job despite winning a Gold Glove and a solid year at the plate in 2011, but as I wrote last month, Parra is still a key part of Arizona's future plans.

Cubs Interested In Friedman, Colletti, Cashman

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has been gathering information about Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cubs, who are on the hunt for a new general manager, also appear to have interest in Rick Hahn of the White Sox and Josh Byrnes of the Padres.

The Cubs are drawn to Colletti, a Chicago native and former Cubs employee, since they believe he could bring Hall of Fame second baseman turned minor league manager Ryne Sandberg back as the team’s Major League skipper. Sandberg has said he’d return to the Cubs now that former GM Jim Hendry has been fired, according to Wittenmyer.

Ricketts has also discussed the possibility of trying to lure Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Chicago along with New York manager Joe Girardi. Cashman’s contract expires after the season, but Girardi, a Peoria, Illinois native, is under contract with the Yankees through 2013.

Wittenmyer hears from associates of Friedman that the Rays executive isn’t likely to leave Tampa Bay for Chicago.

NL West Notes: Dodgers, Colletti, Stewart, Padres

On this date last year, the Rockies scored nine runs in the ninth inning to overcome a six-run deficit and beat the Cardinals 12-9. Seth Smith's walk-off homer against Ryan Franklin sealed the win for Colorado. Here’s the latest from the NL West, one year after the Rockies’ amazing comeback…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports hears from a source that the Dodgers might not trade Hiroki Kuroda and Jamey Carroll despite plenty of interest in both.
  • Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times passes along a note from Bill Plaschke (on Twitter), who reports that next season is the final guaranteed year on Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's contract.
  • A few teams are having internal discussions about Ian Stewart of the Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
  • The Padres are on a 10-3 run and have just defeated Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, so they can’t justify selling now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out (on Twitter).
  • A rival executive tells’s Buster Olney that the Dodgers waited too long to sign Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to extensions. The outfielders hit free agency after 2012, so Los Angeles may have to overpay to keep the duo in place long-term.

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Colletti, Hendry, Royals

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in…

  • Ned Colletti is under contract as Dodgers GM through 2012, but he has an out-clause after that. MLB is unlikely to stand in the way if another team asks to interview him before then though.
  • The consensus is that the Cubs need to show some progress if GM Jim Hendry is going to keep his job beyond this season. The team's 14-17 start already has some in the game speculating about possible successors, which might include Colletti, former Diamondbacks GM and current Padres executive Josh Byrnes, and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn. If the ChiSox are worried about losing Hahn, Rosenthal says they could promote him to GM and promote Kenny Williams to club president.
  • Most expect the White Sox to "snap out of it," but if not, they could be a team to watch as the trade deadline approaches. One GM said Williams is not the type to "sit there in no man's land," so expect some rumblings about free agents to be Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson. Some believe Buehrle would only accept a trade to the Cardinals though.
  • Their most intriguing chips are John Danks and Carlos Quentin, who are under team control as arbitration-eligible players in 2012. Danks could bring a significant return.
  • The Royals could be quite busy if they remain in contention. The Zack Greinke trade and Gil Meche's retirement freed up significant cash, and the team could be both buyers and sellers. Wilson Betemit is expendable because of top prospect Mike Moustakas, possibly to the Marlins, and they could look to deal either Jeff Francoeur or Melky Cabrera. One thing they will need in return: bullpen reinforcements. The Kansas City bullpen is throwing a ton of innings.

GM Initiation: Ned Colletti

Ned Colletti was hired as general manager of the Dodgers on November 16th, 2005.  His first deal, struck about a month later with the Athletics' Billy Beane, was a huge success.  Colletti shipped Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez to Oakland for young outfielder Andre Ethier, who had just been named MVP of the Double A Texas League. 

Colletti kindly answered a few questions for MLBTR about his first trade.

MLB Trade Rumors: It was rumored that the Cubs, Yankees, and Blue Jays were also in on Bradley, with the Cubs even sending Dusty Baker to the player's home.  Were any of the other possible trades close, or was Oakland always the frontrunner?

Ned Colletti: There were a couple of teams who showed a passing interest. But the calls lacked substance. Oakland had a sincere interest. The calls were of a far more serious nature.

MLBTR: At the time of the deal you called the situation with Bradley and the Dodgers "irreconcilable."  Why did you feel that way?

Colletti: I had watched from a distance what had occurred so I had some read on the situation. When I went to the Dodgers I asked a few people who were in the midst of the situation. I asked them for facts and not opinions. I also talked to players, some who were friends with Milton. Finally, at the winter meetings in Dallas I met with one of his agents. He confirmed that giving Milton a fresh start would be best for everyone.

MLBTR: Before the '06 season Baseball America suggested Ethier might not have enough power to be a corner outfield regular.  What did you see that made you feel differently?

Colletti: From the outset his swing path was excellent. A young player can develop power later. Once he started to pull the ball more and learned his body and his swing, we felt the home runs would follow. I watched much the same occur earlier in my career, most notably with Ryne Sandberg and the Cubs when then-manager Jim Frey encouraged Sandberg to use his power to pull. Ryno went from hitting 9-12 home runs to hitting 25-40 home runs shortly thereafter.

MLBTR: When your front office puts together a trade, about how many people are involved?

Colletti: It depends on the trade. Anyone who has knowledge of the players involved – both coming and going – are asked to voice their option. It can be amateur scouts, the scouting director, major league staff and an occasional major league player, player development staff and leaders and of course our professional scouts. No one makes these decisions solo or in a vacuum. The more information you can gather from the truest evaluators the better chance you have of making the right decision.

Thanks to Ned Colletti for contributing.  Neal Huntington, Jon Daniels, and Josh Byrnes have also participated in the GM Initiation series.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Chapman, Capps, Choo

Links for Thursday, as Kelly Johnson and Paul Konerko jockey for the MLB home run lead…

GM Trade Histories: NL West

Today Brendan Bianowicz updates the GM Trade History series for the NL West.  You can download the info-packed Excel spreadsheets below.

Odds & Ends: Lackey, Rangers, Mets

With about an hour to go before the start of Game Two, here are some items from around the majors….

  • During an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show today, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said his club will be focused on finding second base help and starting pitching in the offseason, though Colletti played dumb when asked about the possibility of the Dodgers making a play for free agent starter John Lackey.
  • With the number of open managerial jobs quickly dwindling, some of the rumored candidates for the filled positions are looking at other options.  Former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle (who was up for the Cleveland manager's job that went to Manny Acta) is one of four finalists to be the Rangers' next hitting coach, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
  • Along those same lines, Bob Melvin may go from being a candidate to be the next Astros manager to being considered for the Mets bench coaching job, says Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.  Rubin also reports that the Mets will name Chip Hale as their new third base coach after the World Series is over.
  • According to a team press release, the Pirates have claimed pitcher Justin Thomas off waivers from Seattle.
  • In a chat with MASN's Byron Kerr, Adam Dunn said he feels Washington is an attractive destination for free agents in part because Nationals Park is "a really fair ballpark."

Ned Colletti Comments

Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times has the latest from Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who recently signed a multiyear extension.

  • Colletti and the Dodgers agreed to keep the length of the new contract a secret, to avoid future distractions.
  • Colletti's explanation of his bad moves: "In an effort to turn that around as soon as possible, we made some moves that in hindsight you wouldn't do twice.  But in the last year or so, our deliberation and our thought process were keener, were more fine-tuned, were less impatient."
  • Possible long-term deals for arbitration-eligible players will be considered on a "case-by-case basis."  Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, George Sherrill, Jonathan Broxton, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, and James Loney are among Colletti's arbitration cases this winter.  Which would you lock up?

Odds & Ends: Sano, Towers, D’Backs, Fehr

Links for Wednesday…

  • Kevin Towers has a standing offer from the Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  For now, Towers plans on taking a few months off.  In contrast, a week ago ESPN's Buster Olney wrote that "there would appear to be excellent odds that Towers will land with the Yankees as a special assistant sometime in the months ahead." 
  • The Cubs' contract with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is official.
  • Miguel Angel Sano received his U.S. work visa, according to SI's Melissa Segura.
  • The new Rays hitting coach is Derek Shelton, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic crafts an offseason plan for the Diamondbacks, who have a decent amount of money to work with.  We did our Offseason Outlook for the team back in September.
  • J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics says tendering a contract to arbitration-eligible right fielder Jeff Francoeur is probably worthwhile for the Mets.  I don't sense that non-tendering him is a serious consideration.
  • Donald Fehr will receive an $11MM parting gift when he steps down from his MLBPA position, says ESPN's Amy K. Nelson.  The players were mostly in favor of the decision, according to Curtis Granderson.
  • The Rangers met with Jim Crane's group Tuesday, according to's T.R. Sullivan.  Two more potential investing groups are scheduled.
  • Backup catcher Mike Redmond told's Kelly Thesier he plans on playing next year, whether or not it's with the Twins.
  • 41-year-old righty Keiichi Yabu also hopes to play in 2010, says NPB Tracker's Ryo Shinkawa.
  • Reliever George Sherrill has no hard feelings about the Orioles trading him to the Dodgers, says Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
  •'s Dick Kaegel talked to Zack Greinke, who was characteristically blunt.
  • In a Saturday post, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts said he'd like to see how GM Ned Colletti handles the decreased payroll flexibility once his young players reach arbitration.  Weisman is even-handed in his assessment of Colletti, but here's a funny quote: "I don't laud him for retaining the young core of the team: Kershaw, Kemp, Billingsley, Broxton, Martin, et al. Knowing not to dump those guys is like knowing not to show up to work in your underwear."