Vicente Padilla Rumors

The Dodgers’ Fifth Rotation Spot

The front of the Dodgers' rotation is pretty well set, with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Vicente Padilla set to occupy the first four spots. There's no shortage of candidates for that fifth spot, but as Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times notes, most of the contenders have unfavorable contract situations. 

Eric Stults and Charlie Haeger are both out of options, Carlos Monasterios is a Rule 5 pick, and both Ramon and Russ Ortiz are believed to have out clauses in their contracts. The one rotation candidate that doesn't have any strings attached is James McDonald, but it doesn't help that he has a 20.25 ERA and a 3.56 WHIP in just over five innings this spring. Regardless of who LA picks for that last spot, there's a chance they'll lose some depth as the other guys succumb to roster limitations.

Let's open this one up for discussion. Who do you think the Dodgers should put in their last rotation spot, and what should they do with the other players? Essentially your choices are a) put them in the bullpen, or b) risk losing them to waivers/out clause/Rule 5 rules. Here are the Spring Training stats, not that they mean anything. 

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Felix, Phillies, Reds

Seven years ago today, Ivan Rodriguez signed a one-year deal with the Marlins worth $10MM, ending a 12-year stint with the Texas Rangers. Pudge hit .297/.369/.474 with 16 homers in his lone season with Florida, leading the franchise to its second World Championship. He signed a little earlier this offseason, landing a two-year deal with the Nationals in early December.

Here's a look at what fans around the web are saying….

  • Lookout Landing re-lives five of Felix Hernandez's career-defining starts in honor of his new deal.
  • TAUNTR thinks the Phillies did well by locking up Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino, even if they didn't receive tremendous discounts.
  • Blue Sox Baseball previews the Reds' starting rotation heading into 2010.
  • Goat Riders of the Apocalypse looks at what's left for the Cubs this offseason.
  • TYU wonders why the Yankees used the top pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Jamie Hoffmann instead of John Raynor.
  • Capitol Avenue Club projects the Braves' depth chart.
  • The Ghost of Moonlight Graham examines the rotations in the NL East.
  • TurnTwo has some suggestions for how the Mariners could use the last $10MM left in their budget.
  • Dodgers Rumors considers the Vicente Padilla signing a big win for Los Angeles.
  • reacts harshly to the Bengie Molina deal.
  • River Ave. Blues wonders how the Yanks might be able to extract some value from Kei Igawa.

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.

Dodgers Notes: Padilla, Garland, Sheets

Let's check out a couple of Dodgers-related tidbits..

  • Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets that even though the Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla at a bargain price, GM Ned Colletti says that the club probably could not afford another starting pitcher.  It sounds as though Jon Garland and Braden Looper just lost a suitor.
  • Unsurprisingly, Buster Olney of ESPN (via Twitter) hears that the Dodgers, as well as the Rangers, may not have the money needed to sign Ben Sheets.  Olney also tweets that the Mets and the A's might be in the best position to be aggressive, based on the agents' perception of which teams are still spending.

Dodgers Re-Sign Vicente Padilla

Vicente Padilla officially signed a one-year, $5.025MM deal with the Dodgers today.  He can earn another $1MM in innings incentives.'s Ken Gurnick first reported the agreement earlier today, with his colleague Jesse Sanchez as well as Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweeting the contract details.

Padilla, 32, posted a 5.9 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, and 4.46 ERA in 147.3 innings for the Rangers and Dodgers last year.  The Dodgers added him as a free agent in August after the Rangers released him, and he tossed 56.6 solid innings for L.A. between the regular season and playoffs.  Padilla's '09 injury ledger included forearm tightness, a strained shoulder, a bruised palm, swine flu, and a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Gurnick had previously named Joel Pineiro, Jon Garland, and Braden Looper as other Dodgers targets.  Pineiro is off the board, while Garland and Looper will presumably have to look elsewhere.

Olney On Lee, Pineiro, Orioles

A look at the latest blog post from ESPN's Buster Olney

  • Olney believes the Phillies could have and should have kept Cliff Lee.  He points out that they could've traded Joe Blanton and taken draft picks for Lee after the season, resulting in a similar prospect package to the one they received from the Mariners.  It's not the exact same, partly since Blanton could yet net draft picks for the Phils, but I agree with Olney's point.  The Phillies' decision to move Lee in tandem with the Roy Halladay trade just seems weird.
  • Consequences of the Angels' Joel Pineiro deal: the Mets could sign Jon Garland or Ben Sheets, and the Dodgers could bring Vicente Padilla back.  Newsday's Ken Davidoff gets the sense the Mets "have prioritized Sheets over Garland." 
  • Olney says the Orioles "are very comfortable letting the field of free-agent corner guys come to them, at their price."  On a related note, O's second baseman Brian Roberts said to MASN's Roch Kubatko that he'd love to have Miguel Tejada back in Baltimore.

Dodgers Focused On Pineiro, Padilla

WEDNESDAY, 11:22pm: Dylan Hernandez tweets that in addition to Pineiro and Padilla, the Dodgers have recently contacted the agents for Braden Looper and Garland.

WEDNESDAY, 7:06pm: The Dodgers are open to bringing back Padilla if they are unable to land Pineiro, a major league source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

9:55am: It's been a quiet offseason for the Dodgers, as they've unloaded Juan Pierre while adding Jamey Carroll and a cast of minor league signings.  With Randy Wolf joining the Brewers, there's still a strong need to add a veteran starting pitcher.

The Dodgers' search is focused on Joel Pineiro and Vicente Padilla, reports's Ken Gurnick.  Gurnick indicates they've backed off on Jon Garland.  The Dodgers are aiming for a one-year deal, which might put Pineiro out of reach.  Still, ESPN's Buster Olney wrote today that the Dodgers "are going through the process of getting approval for the funds necessary to make a Pineiro deal."  Ed Price of AOL FanHouse tweeted Monday that the Mets were talking to Pineiro about a two-year deal in the $15MM range, so it's probably a two-horse race. 

A reunion with Padilla seems likely, especially if his price starts to plummet.  Early in the offseason, interest was mutual.  The Dodgers' main competition appears to be the Cardinals, who are trying to stretch $6-7MM across several needs.

Nationals Interested In Vicente Padilla

The Nationals have interest in free agent pitcher Vicente Padilla, writes Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post.  The Dodgers appear to have some interest in re-signing Padilla to a one-year deal, but we haven't heard much otherwise.

Padilla, 32, was released by the Rangers in August.  He signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers and pitched well in nine starts (two of which were in the postseason).  The Nationals have also been connected to starters Jon Garland and John Smoltz in previous reports.

Dodgers Want One-Year Deals For Pitchers?

6:08pm: Dodgers GM Ned Colletti tells Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times that no one has instructed him not to offer multi-year deals. Still, this doesn't mean the team will consider them.

2:46pm: The Dodgers have talked to the agents for Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, and Joel Pineiro, according to's Ken Gurnick, but the team won't discuss multiyear deals.  Wolf and Pineiro will almost certainly get multiyear contracts this winter, Padilla maybe not.  The Dodgers already passed up one chance to get Wolf on a one-year deal (or at least two draft picks) when they decided not to offer him arbitration.

Gurnick says the Dodgers intend to wait out the market and find pitchers who will sign one-year deals later in the offseason.  It worked with Wolf last time around.

On a related note, ESPN's Buster Olney says the Dodgers are "essentially in lockdown financially."    

Cardinals Notes: Boras Meeting, Holliday Alternatives

Joe Strauss from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch discusses the Cardinals and their current situation with free agent Matt Holliday. Let's dive in:

  • The Cardinals are pushing for a meeting with Scott Boras at the Winter Meetings to discuss whether or not they have a legitimate chance to bring Holliday back to St. Louis.
  • If they were to retain Holliday, the club would be content to give David Freese his shot at third base and spend its leftover money on the rotation rather than infield help.
  • Re-signing Mark DeRosa is one alternative to Holliday in left, although the Cardinals understandably aren't fans of DeRosa's current asking price of three years and roughly $24MM.
  • The Cards had interest in bringing Chone Figgins aboard, prior to his agreement with the Mariners.
  • St. Louis continues to say that they don't have leverage to make trades after parting with a number of top prospects, but Strauss mentions that some teams looking to shed salary could make sense. He names Dan Uggla, Kevin Millwood, and (if he's made available) Brandon Inge as some candidates, though the Marlins are asking a lot in return for Uggla.
  • Strauss also mentions Adam Dunn, who's owed $12MM this season as a good fit, though the Nationals aren't intent on moving him. According to Strauss, several within the Cardinal organization were pushing for Dunn over Holliday last season before the deadline.
  • If the Cards are able to sign Holliday, backloading the contract as they typically do with large deals won't be beneficial as the expensive years will coincide with those of Albert Pujols, if and when he, too, gets a new contract.
  • Strauss names Vicente Padilla and Ben Sheets as possible free agent arms to target.
  • Interesting note on the Cardinals from Strauss; they haven't made a trade at the Winter Meetings since 2003 when they acquired Adam Wainwright, Jason Marquis, and Ray King.

Whatever comes of Holliday, team president Bill DeWitt plans to be active this offseason. Strauss quotes him, "If we don't spend on Holliday, we will spend on other players."

Cubs And Cards Lead Chase For Padilla?

6:52pm: Matthew Leach of says not to read too much into word of the Cardinals considering Padilla, although he is likely of "some interest" to them (via Twitter).

5:25pm: The Cubs and Cardinals are in the lead to sign free-agent hurler Vicente Padilla, according to a report from La Prensa passed along by Diamond Notes.

La Prensa's source for the report is Cesar Batista, who is linked to the agency that represents the 32-year-old.  Batista says that formal negotiations will not begin until after the winter meetings.  The White Sox, Orioles, Nationals, Braves, Mets, Red Sox, and Dodgers have also expressed interest in the righty.