Ned Colletti Rumors
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."
The Dodgers have opened talks with general manager Ned Colletti on a long-term contract extension, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Dodgers chairman Mark Walter confirmed that the team had extended an offer to Colletti, though the GM and team president Stan Kasten didn't comment. Colletti is in the last guaranteed year of an extension signed after the 2009 season, though Colletti could have returned in 2013 under a mutual option.
Colletti was hired as the Dodgers' GM after the 2005 season and has led the team to no fewer than 80 wins in each of his six full seasons in Los Angeles, good for a 584-525 overall record. The Dodgers have made three playoff appearances (two NL West titles and a wild card) under Colletti, advancing as far as the NLCS in both 2008 and 2009.
Despite Colletti's contract status and a new ownership group taking over, there has been relatively little speculation that Walter, Kasten and Magic Johnson would hire a new general manager, probably due to the Dodgers' surprising success this year. Walter commented that he was impressed with how Colletti negotiated and completed the blockbuster trade with the Red Sox that saw the Dodgers take on roughly $260MM in salary in the form of Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto.
NBA legend Magic Johnson and longtime MLB executive Stan Kasten lead the group that agreed yesterday to purchase the Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt for $2.15 billion. The sale price of the Dodgers shatters the previous MLB record of $845MM and bodes well for the 29 other owners. Here’s some of the reaction to last night’s news:
- The new Dodgers owners are buying the team with cash rather than financing, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (Twitter links). MLB’s review of the sale is expected to be a formality, since no debt is being added.
- Kasten told Shaikin he doesn't plan to make changes to the Dodgers' front office. "I go in assuming everyone is doing their job properly," he said.
- Estimates for the total value of the Dodgers’ upcoming TV deal are as high as $4 billion, David Wharton of the Times writes.
- Peter Gammons of MLB Network points out that prospective free agents such as Andre Ethier, David Wright, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels and Mike Napoli benefit from the sale of the Dodgers (Twitter link). The presence of another potentially aggressive bidder should help top free agents.
- Hamels’ intentions are clear, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (Twitter link). The Phillies can offer market value and extend him now, or he’ll wait until after the season when someone else will spend big on him.
- Though MLB owners have only officially approved the Johnson-Kasten bid at $1.6 billion, it’s extremely difficult to see owners objecting to the $2.15 billion sale price at this point, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com points out (Twitter link).
- Johnson invested way more than a million in the bid, Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports (all Twitter links). “He has significant money," one insider told Brown.
- The fates of GM Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly haven’t been discussed, but immediate changes seem unlikely, Brown writes. Kasten and Colletti have a good relationship and have spoken often in recent weeks.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports will understand if Dodgers fans are rejoicing in response to the news.
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 CSNBayArea.com 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 MLB.com'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 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.
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 ESPN.com’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.