It’s been a busy days for Dodgers news, with no item bigger than the report that the club is on the verge of hiring Dave Roberts as its next manager. Here’s the latest from Los Angeles…
- Roberts was the right choice over director of player development Gabe Kapler, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal opines. Kapler might’ve had to combat “that players would perceive him as a puppet of the front office due to his close relationship with Andrew Friedman,” while Roberts comes from more of a traditional coaching background and has more dugout experience. Kapler may end up being a very good manager in the future, Rosenthal writes, but Roberts was the better option if the Dodgers were going to pick a first-time skipper.
- When the Dodgers reached the final stage of their manager search, several Dodger veterans informed upper management that Roberts was their choice, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link).
- Cuban second baseman Omar Estevez agreed to a $6MM bonus with the Dodgers earlier today, and Baseball America’s Ben Badler passes on a scouting report on the relatively unknown 17-year-old. Estevez is 5’11, 185 pounds and a right-handed hitter who seems to be lacking in both plus tools and athleticism, according to both Badler and a scout. What Estevez does have, however, is maturity beyond his years at the plate. “Estevez was kind of under the radar tools-wise, but he can hit,” said the scout. “It’s playable defense and he’s not the most agile guy to be in the middle of the diamond, but he has a polished bat. It’s not an athletic body, it’s not what you get excited about, but the way he recognizes pitches, his approach—you don’t see a lot of kids his age doing that.”
- Estevez and Yusniel Diaz are just the latest players to sign with Los Angeles during this international signing period, as the Dodgers have far exceeded their bonus pool to stock up on young talent. Badler (via Twitter) says that this spending spree is one reason why several other teams have shied away from similarly exceeding their bonus pools during the 2015-16 signing period, as they’re simply worried about getting into bidding wars with the well-heeled Dodgers. Exceeding your bonus pool by more than 15% results in a penalty of not being able to sign international players for more than $300K during the next two signing periods, so it makes sense that teams won’t splurge unless they’re sure they can land the particular player or players they want. The Giants, Cubs and Royals are the only other teams to incur the two-year penalty during this signing period, while the Blue Jays only face a one-year ban for 2016-17 as they stayed under the 15% threshold.