Vicente Padilla Rumors

Dodgers Make No Arb Offers To Free Agents

The Dodgers aren't offering arbitration to any of their free agents, team spokesman Josh Rawitch told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  They've got Type As with Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf, and Type Bs with Guillermo Mota, Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard, Vicente Padilla, and Will Ohman.

Wolf in particular seemed a lock to receive an offer.  It's difficult to understand why the Dodgers chose not to; Jon Weisman of Dodgers Thoughts is depressed.  Oddly enough, Wolf has avoided an arb offer for two years running despite being worthy both times.  Surely he's not complaining; he's now more attractive to other teams.  Ditto for Hudson.


Discussion: Jon Garland

Earlier this week, the Dodgers, as expected, declined to pick up their side of a $10MM mutual option for Jon Garland.  However, one has to think that Ned Colletti & Co. would like to hang on to the 6'6 righty after surrendering Tony Abreu for him.

In 2009, Garland turned in an ERA of 4.01 in 200+ IP.  The 30-year-old shined in his limited time in Dodger Blue, recording a 2.72 ERA with a 2.89 SO/BB ratio in six regular season games.  While he would be a fairly attractive option in any free agent class, this winter's weak crop of starting pitchers may make Garland an even hotter commodity.  

With Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla also entering free agency, should the Dodgers look to hang on to Garland?  What kind of an offer would you extend to him?


Rogers On Yankees, Cubs, Mauer, Padilla

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has written a pair of new articles. One focuses on the New York Yankees, while the other explores news from around the majors. Here are some of his points:

  • Pitching depth is the Yankees' main priority this offseason. Having Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes all healthy and effective would be ideal, but Rogers doesn't think GM Brian Cashman will be able to resist looking hard at free agent veteran starting pitching.
  • Rogers thinks the Cubs will attempt to bolster their bullpen through trades.
  • He also mentions that the Cubs could be looking to fill a couple vacancies in their Opening Day rotation, with Rich Harden expected to leave and Ted Lilly's health in question.
  • Rogers expects the Minnesota Twins to "get busy" working on an extension for Joe Mauer, and wonders what the starting point will be (his guess: five years and $95MM).
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers would like to re-sign Vicente Padilla based on his on-field performance. However, his off-field actions, including last week's shooting in Nicaragua, make the decision more problematic.


Dodgers Interested In Re-Signing Vicente Padilla

The Dodgers signed righty Vicente Padilla to a minor league contract on August 19th; he'd been designated for assignment by the Rangers.  Padilla pitched well in 39.3 regular season innings and in two out of three postseason starts.  According to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti recently expressed interest in re-signing Padilla.  The interest appears mutual.

Padilla's agent Adam Katz downplayed a recent "hunting accident" wherein the pitcher grazed himself in the thigh with a bullet.  Padilla reportedly spent less than an hour being treated in a Nicaraguan hospital.  Colletti told Hernandez he didn't know enough about the matter to determine whether it would affect his interest in re-signing Padilla.  More troubling is Padilla's lengthy history of alcohol problems, but most MLB teams tend to ignore DUIs.

Padilla certainly won't be signing another three-year, $33.75MM deal.  He might be able to get one year and $5-8MM.  Aside from the Dodgers, the Brewers, Mets, and Diamondbacks are three clubs known to be hunting for starting pitching.


Odds & Ends: Padilla, Acta, Gillick, Bradley

More links from around the majors as we await the continuation of the NLCS…


Discussion: Vicente Padilla

Vicente Padilla's stock has risen dramatically since he signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in August.  He posted a 3.20 ERA in 39.3 innings, and was brilliant finishing off the Cardinals in Game 3 of the NLDS.  He received hugs from Joe Torre and Ned Colletti and kind words from his new teammates.

Padilla will be a free agent this winter.  His checkered history will likely limit him to one-year offers.  Through the years Padilla missed significant time with triceps, shoulder, and elbow injuries.  He was suspended twice for throwing at hitters, and led all of baseball in HBPs (98) from 2002 to 2009.  His Rangers teammates complained about him and applauded his exit.  He battled a drinking problem that resulted in a July 2006 DWI (the Rangers signed him to a $33MM deal that winter anyway).  By this summer the Rangers were fed up, designating Padilla for assignment and eating over $5MM of his contract.

Where do you see Padilla landing, and what type of contract will he receive?  Given all the good vibes, I expect the Dodgers to look into re-signing him to a one-year deal, worth perhaps $4MM plus incentives.  Back when Padilla was a free agent in December of '06, Mets GM Omar Minaya was among those interested.  Will Minaya renew his interest three years later?  The Nationals, Diamondbacks, and Brewers figure to be in the market for free agent starting pitching as well. 


Odds & Ends: Bradley, Lackey, Padilla

Bonus afternoon links:

  • Yahoo's Tim Brown reports via Twitter that Tampa Bay "will only consider acquiring [Milton] Bradley if Cubs eat so much [of his] salary [that the] Rays could release him at any time without financial hit."
  • John Harper of the New York Daily News wants the Mets to pursue John Lackey as "people around the Angels" view his return as unlikely.
  • Vicente Padilla is grateful for the opportunity he has been given with the Dodgers, writes MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.  The Dodgers picked up the righty for the prorated portion of the minimum salary after he was released by the Rangers in August.
  • Newsday's Ken Davidoff brings us a strong quote from Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Carl Pavano: "He took a lot of crap, and so did I…Do I blame him for it?  No, I don't.  I don't think he laid down on us."

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Dodgers, DeRosa, Cubs, Managers, General Managers

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive right on in…

  • Southpaws Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw are likely to start the first two games of the playoffs for the Dodgers, but Kershaw must recover from his dislocated non-throwing shoulder first. The back-to-back lefties would be a big advantage if LA played the lefthanded hitter heavy Phillies. Rosenthal also mentions that the Cardinals, despite being so righty heavy, have the second lowest team OPS (.675) against lefthanded pitchers in the National League.
  • Hiroki Kuroda would likely start game three for the Dodgers, followed by either Vicente Padilla or Jon Garland. Chad Billinglsey will likely be left out of the rotation.
  • The Cards have put their contract extension talks with Mark DeRosa on hold until the offseason, making it more likely that he'll become a free agent. The deal St. Louis originally proposed was less than the three-year, $17.5MM contract Casey Blake received as a free agent last offseason. DeRosa is a year younger now than Blake was then, but the offseason wrist surgery he is scheduled to have makes the situation cloudy.
  • The Cubs will be open to "anything and everything" this offseason, including trading Milton Bradley and/or Carlos Zambrano. Anything to improve the club, basically. However, perhaps the only way the Cubs could unload Bradley would be to take on another underachieving, overpaid player in return.
  • Zambrano has a full no-trade clause and is owed $54MM over the next three years, but he's still only 28-years-old and still incredibly talented. The free agent market for starting pitching is thin, which may work in Chicago's favor. Big Z might be appealing at the right price.
  • Ken Macha will likely remain with the Brewers, but at least four other managers are in danger of being fired. The list starts with Cecil Cooper of the Astros, and also includes Jim Riggleman of the Nationals, Dave Trembley of the Orioles, and Eric Wedge of the Indians.
  • Among general managers, Ned Colletti of the Dodgers, Brian Sabean of the Giants, and Dan O'Dowd of the Rockies are all without contracts for next year, and two of them are going to the postseason. The only GM that appears to be in jeopardy of losing his job is J.P. Ricciardi of the Blue Jays.

Stark On Free Agent Pitchers

"I don't think there's one pitcher in this entire group I'd invest a lot of money in. Not one," said one general manager to ESPN's Jayson Stark. This year's collection of free agent pitchers doesn't have the star power that last year's CC Sabathia highlighted crop had, or that next year's group led by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee will have, but there will still be plenty of money thrown around.

As Stark explains, club officials seem to be down on available starters this year, describing them as "risky," "weak," "terrible," and "mediocre" among other things. One AL executive said that "There are some guys in this group who are dependable. Except they're dependable to give you 5.00 ERAs and 180 innings. And that's not what you want to build a staff around."

Regardless, Stark ranks the top ten starting pitching options in this year's free agent class. Here's a roundup of his list, with quotes from various sources…

  1. John Lackey: "He's the best name on the list," one exec said. "But if Anaheim shies away from this guy or doesn't make a serious attempt to sign him, I'd have concerns. They know him better than everyone else. So that would send out some serious red flags for me."
  2. Randy Wolf: He's "durable, dependable and left-handed," one GM said. And he's also "two 190-plus-inning seasons removed from any health issues."
  3. Joel Piniero: One GM said "I'd have interest in Pineiro, but I'd never invest multi-years in that guy. Just too inconsistent a track record."
  4. Jason Marquis: "He's having a great year," said an official of one team. "But I'm just not sure how to look at it. Was this a turning point in his career? Or do you look at it as somebody who turned it up and figured it out when he had the most to gain? I really don't know."
  5. Rich Harden: "I'd be scared to death to commit years to this guy," one AL exec said. "He's been used kind of like Pedro [Martinez] was used in the past, where they're always trying to build in an extra day's rest. And he's just a five-inning guy, in the National League. He might strike out 10, but he'll only go five innings, so he still kills your 'pen. He'll get some money. I just don't see anybody giving him more than a year."
  6. Andy Pettitte: One exec described his situation as "will probably either stay in New York or shut it down."
  7. Jarrod Washburn: One GM said, "he's 35 years old, and [before this year] his last winning season was [2004]."
  8. Jon Garland: "He doesn't have the stuff the other guys on this list have, but he's proven he's durable, and durability counts," said an official of one team. "It's like they say in golf: Most putts that you hit short don't go in. Well, most pitchers that don't make a start don't win. This guy at least makes his starts."
  9. Doug Davis: "Made for the NL West."
  10. Brad Penny: An executive said "He's the kind of guy who, if you give him a multiyear deal, he'll crush your franchise. Is somebody going to sign him for four years and expect 120 starts? Good luck."

Stark also names several players he calls "X-Factors," which are guys who could enter the market with major question marks. Included in this group are Brandon Webb, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Brett Myers, and Vicente Padilla. We could even add Chien-Ming Wang's name to that list.


Odds And Ends: Mets, Padilla, Cardinals

Derek Jeter could become the all-time Yankees hit leader today, but in the meantime, here are some links:

  • Jim Bastian of The Journal reports that the Dodgers re-signed Jamie Hoffman just two days after designating him for assignment in a procedural move.
  • As Ben Shpigel of the New York Times notes, Daniel Murphy could start at first base for the Mets next year. This could allow the team to spend on an outfielder, perhaps even Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
  • MLB.com's David Ely says Vicente Padilla has been more than serviceable since the Dodgers picked him up to bolster their rotation in late August.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan says the Cardinals are the champions of the trade deadline. Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa, Julio Lugo and John Smoltz have turned the Cards into a force. 
  • ESPN.com's Rob Neyer expects Jose Tabata to spend the next six years making the Yankees look foolish. The Pirates acquired Tabata in the Xavier Nady trade last summer.
  • Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post gives Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd credit for the team's strong play.