Los Angeles Dodgers – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:19:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Justin Turner Diagnosed With Broken Wrist https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/justin-turner-diagnosed-with-broken-wrist.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/justin-turner-diagnosed-with-broken-wrist.html#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:42:53 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117457 TODAY: Turner will not require surgery to repair the fracture, he tells MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (Twitter link). In fact, he’ll be able to begin working on regaining his range of motion after spending a few days in a brace. That seems like generally promising news, though clearly Turner will still be out to open the season.

YESTERDAY: Star Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has been diagnosed with a broken left wrist after being hit by a pitch in tonight’s spring game, manager Dave Roberts said after the contest. (H/t Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, via Twitter). The unfortunate news strikes a blow to the defending National League champs less than two weeks before the start of the 2018 season.

Turner says it’s a “small, non-displaced fracture,” as Pedro Moura of The Athletic tweets, though we’ll need to await further information before it’s clear how long he’ll be out. Precise details of the injury, as well as its course of treatment and how the veteran proceeds through rehab, will obviously dictate the timeline. It seems clear, based upon generally similar past injuries, that Turner won’t be available for Opening Day and will be out for at least six weeks or so.

The 33-year-old Turner has been among the game’s more productive players in recent seasons. While he has dealt with some injuries, only once appearing in over 130 games since breaking out in Los Angeles, Turner has racked up 18.8 rWAR and 18.2 fWAR over the past four campaigns. He was never better at the plate than in 2017, when he posted an outstanding .322/.415/.530 slash with 21 home runs and more walks (59) than strikeouts (56) over 543 plate appearances.

Replacing that production isn’t reasonably possible, though the Dodgers are about as well-equipped as any team to do so. The club can bump Logan Forsythe to the hot corner while utilizing any number of players at second base. Veteran Chase Utley will no doubt see plenty off time against right-handers, as had already been expected, while versatile right-handed hitters Austin Barnes and Enrique Hernandez will surely also factor into the infield mix.

The injury to Turner will open an opportunity for another player to join the roster to open the season. It’s possible the club could carry an infielder such as Jake Peter or Donovan Solano, neither of whom is on the 40-man, though perhaps the likelier scenario is to keep another outfielder while utilizing Hernandez more on the dirt. Los Angeles is facing tough decisions on players such as Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, and the out-of-options Trayce Thompson, so the injury to Turner could allow the club to keep one more of those names. Alternatively, the Dodgers could break camp with Kyle Farmer as a reserve catcher while giving Barnes more time at second base. Needless to say, there are plenty of possibilities.

Yasmani Grandal Expected To Receive Bulk Of Time At Catcher https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-notes-grandal-mets-leiter-straily.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-notes-grandal-mets-leiter-straily.html#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:02:56 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117474 While it seemed at one point he profiled as a trade candidate, Yasmani Grandal will enter the season expected to receive the bulk of the playing time behind the dish for the Dodgers, skipper Dave Roberts tells reporters including Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). Grandal, 29, had been bypassed late last year by Austin Barnes, who turned in a breakout campaign in his first season of significant MLB action. Grandal still put up a quality overall season with the bat and has raked this spring, while Barnes has struggled at the plate in Cactus League action. Regardless, the organization seems to have an excellent tandem to work with.

Dodgers Notes: Thompson, Starting Pitching https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-greinke-thompson-dodgers-shaw.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-greinke-thompson-dodgers-shaw.html#comments Mon, 19 Mar 2018 02:12:27 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117358
  • With several outfielders seemingly ahead of Trayce Thompson on the Dodgers depth chart, the club is expected to explore trading the out-of-options Thompson, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times writes.  Thompson has shown some promise over three MLB seasons but he hasn’t been the same since suffering back injuries midway through the 2016 season.  Thompson appeared in just 27 games for the Dodgers last season, contributing a meager .483 OPS in 55 plate appearances.  Yasiel Puig and Chris Taylor are slated for starting duty in right and center field, respectively, with Thompson, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Toles, and top prospect Alex Verdugo all competing for left field or backup duty.  If a trade partner can’t be found, the Dodgers will risk losing Thompson for nothing, as he would have to pass through waivers before the Dodgers could send him to the minors.
  • Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed his rotation to reporters (including Bill Shaikin) today, with Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, and Hyun-jin Ryu lined up as the Los Angeles starting five.  Beyond those five, however, are some question marks, as Roberts admitted “We don’t have the starting pitching depth that we’ve had in past years.”  That depth allowed the Dodgers to reach the World Series despite DL stints for every member of their pitching staff, and now since Yu Darvish and Brandon McCarthy have both moved on to other teams, L.A. now has Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart, and Walker Buehler as the top depth options.  Tom Koehler was signed over the offseason to bring a veteran arm into the mix, though Koehler is sidelined indefinitely due to a mild AC strain.
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    Latest On Dodgers' Left Field Competition https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/west-notes-dodgers-kemp-rangers-colon-rockies.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/west-notes-dodgers-kemp-rangers-colon-rockies.html#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2018 01:31:21 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117216 There continues to be in-house “conversation and debate” about what the Dodgers will do in regards to their left field competition, according to Dave Roberts, but the manager seems bullish on veteran Matt Kemp (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). “When you make the trade and you look at the seasons guys had last year who we have coming back, we were already a very good team without Matt,” said Roberts. “But to have a former All-Star in as good a shape as he’s been in years and add him to the mix, it only increases the level of competition to play for everyone around him. That’s a good thing. That’s a good thing for all of us.” The 33-year-old Kemp has gone 12 of 36 with four home runs this spring as he attempts to grab a job as part of a mix that also features Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Andrew Toles, Alex Verdugo and Trayce Thompson. Plunkett examines each of those players’ cases and suggests that Kemp may well open 2018 as the Dodgers’ primary option in left. Kemp, a former star with the Dodgers, rejoined the team over the winter in a luxury tax-geared trade with the Braves. He’s in the penultimate year of a huge contract, which he signed during his original run with the Dodgers, and set to make $21.5MM this year.

    Gomes On New Role As Director Of Player Development https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-pollock-padres-mcmahon-dodgers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-pollock-padres-mcmahon-dodgers.html#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2018 02:14:16 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116962
  • The Dodgers lost director of player development Gabe Kapler to the Phillies this season and also saw assistant director Jeremy Zoll take a promotion to join the Twins. Kapler’s replacement, former Rays reliever Brandon Gomes, isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in Los Angeles and shares some philosophies with his predecessor, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Hoornstra chats with Gomes about the point in his career at which he became interested in analytics and player development, as well as the transition from his playing days to more of an executive role. Beyond that, he takes a look at Gomes’ unique background and the 33-year-old’s ability to connect with the players he’s now working with on a daily basis.
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    NL East Notes: Phillies, Conforto, AGon, Robles https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-east-notes-phillies-conforto-agon-robles.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-east-notes-phillies-conforto-agon-robles.html#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2018 16:16:24 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116920 As the Phillies introduce Jake Arrieta today, the organization is now much more clearly in a competitive posture than it was at the outset of the winter. But the pedal won’t be fully pressed down, it seems, despite the presence of a few other notable free agents who’d improve the near-term outlook in Philadelphia. GM Matt Klentak says that he does not anticipate any further additions before the start of the season, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki tweets.

    More from the NL East:

    • The Mets continue to have cause for optimism on outfielder Michael Conforto, whose scary shoulder injury made for quite an offseason concern. He’s now nearing game readiness, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets, and anticipates getting into a spring game next week. That doesn’t mean that Conforto will be on the Opening Day roster, but certainly suggests he’s on track to return relatively early in the season. In other injury news, via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links), the Mets say that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has a sore wrist. Though there’s no indication at present that it’s a worrying injury, he has undergone an x-ray and is waiting for the results. Meanwhile, veteran third baseman David Wright is no closer to a return; rather, he’ll hold off on baseball activities for at least eight weeks after being examined recently.
    • New Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez discussed his fresh start and unusual offseason with Mike Puma of the New York Post. Notably, Gonzalez says he was initially resistant to the Dodgers’ request that he waive his no-trade protection to go to the Braves in a contract-swapping move that ultimately left him landing in New York. But Los Angeles “sweetened the deal every single time” he met with the team, says the veteran, who acknowledged there was compensation involved.
    • Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com examines the Nationals’ decision-making process with top prospect Victor Robles, who is impressing in camp despite a middling stat line in Grapefruit League action. The 20-year-old is ready for the majors, by all accounts, though the organization certainly has plenty of good reasons not to carry him out of camp. First and foremost, the organization has a solid center field combo already lined up in Michael Taylor and the out-of-options Brian Goodwin; in that sense, then, promoting Robles would mean parting with depth. Service-time considerations are also a factor; since Robles picked up 25 days of service last year, he’s just 147 days away from a full year of service. If the Nats wish to delay Robles’s eventual entry onto the open market, they’ll need to keep him down until early May; keeping him from potential Super Two status would likely mean waiting to bring him back up until the middle of the summer.
    Dodgers Release Mark Lowe https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/dodgers-release-mark-lowe-2.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/dodgers-release-mark-lowe-2.html#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2018 18:51:07 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116855 The Dodgers have released veteran right-hander Mark Lowe from his minor league contract, tweets ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Lowe had been in camp on a minor league pact, and despite some considerable struggles over the past two seasons, he still hopes to continue his pitching career and land with another organization, per Crasnick.

    Lowe, 34, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since tossing 49 1/3 innings out of the Tigers’ bullpen. Detroit inked him to a two-year, $11MM contract in the 2015-16 offseason but received a negative return on that investment when Lowe limped to a 7.11 ERA a dozen homers allowed in those 49 1/3 frames. Notably, his fastball velocity was down from an average of 95.5 mph in 2015 to 92.4 mph in 2016. He was released by Detroit at the end of Spring Training in 2017.

    After being cut loose in Detroit, Lowe latched on with the Mariners and reported to their Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma. While he enjoyed a career renaissance after signing a minor league deal with Seattle prior to the 2015 season, Lowe didn’t find the same change in fortune this time around. He struggled to a 6.23 ERA through 39 innings in Tacoma and didn’t fare any better after being flipped to the White Sox in a minor swap.

    Lowe hasn’t found success on the mound since working to a pristine 1.96 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 55 innings between the Mariners and Blue Jays back in 2015. He’s a veteran of 11 big league seasons with a lifetime 4.22 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9 and a 39.8 percent ground-ball rate in 385 2/3 innings.

    Kershaw, Turner On Pursuit Of Ohtani https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-dickerson-dodgers-ohtani-d-backs.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-dickerson-dodgers-ohtani-d-backs.html#comments Thu, 08 Mar 2018 03:48:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116488
  • Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times takes an excellent look at the Dodgers’ failed pursuit of Shohei Ohtani. The team had Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor fly into L.A. to help sell Ohtani on the Dodgers in their in-person meeting, but it proved to be a somewhat frustrating experience. Both Turner and Kershaw candidly stated that the process felt like a “waste of time,” indicating that Ohtani already seemed set on signing with an AL club where he could serve as a part-time DH. Kershaw didn’t express any ill feelings toward Ohtani himself, though he voiced some frustration toward CAA, Ohtani’s agency, over the matter. “I’m kind of mad at his agent for making us waste all that time and effort,” said Kershaw. “Fifteen teams should have been out of it, from the beginning.” Ohtani’s agent with CAA, Nez Balelo, issued a rebuttal to McCullough in which he calls any assertion that Ohtani would meet with a team for which he had no interest in playing “unfounded and an insult to [Ohtani’s] personal ethics.” Balelo also points out that Ohtani met with more NL clubs (four) than AL clubs (three). It’s a fascinating column that is filled with quotes from Kershaw, Turner, Balelo, Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman.
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    Dodgers Owner Wants Clayton Kershaw To Be "Dodger For Life" https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/west-notes-kershaw-hamels-d-backs-padres.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/west-notes-kershaw-hamels-d-backs-padres.html#comments Sun, 04 Mar 2018 00:25:06 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116167 There continues to be hope that the top pitcher in the game, left-hander Clayton Kershaw, will remain with the Dodgers beyond the upcoming season. Kershaw, who could opt out of the final two years and $65MM on his contract next winter, said last week that he and Dodgers management are “on the same page.” Then, on Saturday, Dodgers owner Mark Walter told Jon Heyman of FanRag that “[Kershaw] should be a Dodger for life.” While it doesn’t seem as if a new deal is imminent – both Walter and Kershaw suggested to Heyman that the hurler wants to wait until the end of the year to sort out his future – the three-time Cy Young winner gushed over his long tenure with the franchise. “I love it here. It’s great,” said Kershaw, who’s entering his age-30 season. “I’ve had an amazing run here. And I don’t take that for granted. Not many guys can say they get to go to the playoffs (almost) every year, or even that they have a chance to go to the playoffs every year.”

    More from the majors’ West divisions…

    • The Rangers could elect to use a six-man rotation this year, but their best starter, Cole Hamels, isn’t on board (via Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News). The 34-year-old southpaw opined Saturday that a six-man starting staff isn’t “appropriate for where I am at this stage.” Hamels also took a shot at the idea in general, saying: “It’s not part of baseball. I know that’s the new, analytical side, trying to re-invent the wheel. … that’s just not what MLB is to me. That’s not how I learned from my mentors. That’s not the way I’m geared to pitch.” Unfortunately for Hamels, manager Jeff Banister favors the six-man alignment and seems more likely than ever to try it this season, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Regardless of how Texas’ rotation plans shake out, it’ll probably need a bounce-back year from Hamels to have any chance at a playoff spot. The longtime front-end starter endured arguably the worst season of his career in 2017, when he logged a 4.20 ERA/4.62 FIP with 6.39 K/9 and 3.22 BB/9 across 148 innings.
    • The Diamondbacks are still determining their starting middle infield for 2018, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com writes. Either Ketel Marte or Chris Owings could start at second base or shortstop, while Nick Ahmed is also in contention – but only at short. “I’d say on that front, we value Nick as a shortstop,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I haven’t had a conversation with him beyond playing shortstop at this point.” With the exception of an 11-inning stint at the keystone in 2014, his first taste of major league action, Ahmed has spent his entire career at short. He has dazzled defensively, evidenced by his 37 DRS and 19.6 UZR, but has only managed a .226/.273/.345 batting line in 1,020 plate appearances.
    • The Padres have temporarily halted right-hander Colin Rea’s throwing program after he experienced soreness in his pitching shoulder Friday, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Rea, who’s working back from 2016 Tommy John surgery, is now unlikely to be ready for the start of the year, Cassavell suggests. Consequently, it appears he’s out of the running for a spot in the Padres’ season-opening rotation, though Cassavell notes that they still have seven other candidates for their starting five.
    NL West Notes: Reynolds, Valaika, O’Malley, Dodgers https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-reynolds-valaika-omalley-dodgers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/nl-west-notes-reynolds-valaika-omalley-dodgers.html#comments Sat, 03 Mar 2018 20:44:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116151 The Rockies “remain in contact” with free agent first baseman Mark Reynolds, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets. Reynolds, who hit 30 homers for Colorado in 2017, is the best free-agent first baseman available on the market, and a reunion between the two has long seemed like a solid fit in theory. However, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently contacted Reynolds’ agent, Jeff Boris, who tells him that the Rockies haven’t made any type of offer to Reynolds this winter.  The 34-year-old carries a .274/.354/.471 slash line across two seasons with Colorado, but graded poorly among first baseman in quality of contact statistics like hard contact rate, average exit velocity and barrels per plate appearance last season.

    Other small news items out of the NL West…

    • In other Rockies news, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes that the team is in a bit of a bind following news of injuries to utilitymen Pat Valaika and Shawn O’Malley. Valaika is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with an oblique strain, while O’Malley is expected to be out 4-6 weeks due to a broken right hand that will require surgery, according to Groke. He also notes that Desmond is capable of playing multiple infield positions, while top prospect Ryan McMahon has experience at second and third base. Beyond that, Colorado’s best options are minor-leaguers Daniel Castro, Garrett Hampson and Brian Mundell, and none of those players are on the club’s 40-man roster.
    • The Dodgers aren’t in a rush to add a pitcher following the news that right-hander Tom Koehler could miss “extended time” with an anterior capsule strain. Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register quotes president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who says that the team is “no more likely” to add a pitcher through trade or free agency in the wake of Koehler’s injury. “I don’t think it necessarily changes the thought process in terms of deals that made sense 3 days ago will still make sense,” says Friedman. “And I don’t think the opposite is true. I don’t think something is going to make more sense right now than it did 3 days ago.” The Dodgers reportedly like their in-house options and the depth they have in spring training camp.
    Tom Koehler Diagnosed With Anterior Capsule Strain https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/tom-koehler-diagnosed-with-anterior-capsule-strain.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/tom-koehler-diagnosed-with-anterior-capsule-strain.html#comments Sat, 03 Mar 2018 16:32:32 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116143 An MRI showed that Dodgers reliever Tom Koehler has a mild anterior capsule strain. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Koehler was seen in a sling, later noting that the righty will be out for “an extended time”, which could be weeks or months. Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register adds that no surgery has been planned at the moment, and quotes Koehler as saying it’s “not the way I’d like my tenure as a Dodger to start two weeks in.” He’d left Friday’s spring training game early after retiring just one of the four hitters he faced.

    Koehler struggled to a 7.92 ERA in 12 starts with the Marlins last season, but he excelled in a relief role after being acquired by the Blue Jays in August. From that day on, the right-hander posted a 2.65 ERA while striking out 9.53 batters per nine across 17 innings with Toronto. Though team elected to non-tender him following the 2017 season, the Dodgers snatched him up on $2MM contract with some added incentives. If Koehler misses a significant portion of the season, it would prove a blow to his ability to earn additional bonuses through accumulation of total starts and relief appearances.

    From the team’s perspective, the loss of Koehler for any length of time would not only thin the Dodgers’ bullpen a bit, but also detract from the team’s rotation depth. Though he struggled in a starter capacity last season, he has an extended track record pitching above-replacement in that capacity. Koehler has made 131 starts in his career while pitching to a 4.44 ERA. Though he was always unlikely to make many starts for Los Angeles, the team’s injury prone starting group would benefit from as much depth as possible.

    Dodgers Notes: Kershaw, Outfield, Kemp https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/clayton-kersaw-opt-out-rumors-contract-dodgers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/clayton-kersaw-opt-out-rumors-contract-dodgers.html#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2018 04:43:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116032 Over at Fangraphs, Jay Jaffe takes an analytic approach to forecasting a new contract for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, assuming the three-time Cy Young winner opts out of the remaining two years and $65MM on his current deal after the season. Jaffe notes that, historically speaking, seven-year deals are the norm for elite arms inking both extensions and free-agent pacts, adding that it seems reasonable for Kershaw and his reps at Excel Sports Management to strive for a record-setting average annual value that’d top the current highwater mark set by former teammate Zack Greinke ($34.417MM). That’d set the baseline at something in the vicinity of $241MM over a seven-year term, which seems staggering for a pitcher’s age-31 through age-37 seasons, though Jaffe utilizes multiple projection models and aging curves to demonstrate that Kershaw could actually be, statistically speaking, a strong candidate to nonetheless provide surplus value (or something close to it).

    Jaffe also notes that the Dodgers probably wouldn’t risk a new extension beginning with the 2018 season for luxury tax purposes, though a contract announced after Opening Day and beginning with the 2019 season would not count against their current luxury tax ledger. It’s an interesting look at one of the most interesting contractual situations in all of baseball and is well worth a full look.

    Rangers Favored To Sign Tim Lincecum https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/tim-lincecum-nearing-decision.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/tim-lincecum-nearing-decision.html#comments Tue, 27 Feb 2018 19:40:22 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115896 2:33pm: Lincecum is “deep in talks” with Texas, with an expectation that the sides will finalize a deal, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Passan speculates that Lincecum could move to the pen and perhaps even compete for the still-open closer’s job.

    That general plan would appear to fit the Rangers’ desire for multi-inning relievers.

    10:54am: Free-agent righty Tim Lincecum is nearing a decision on where he’ll attempt his comeback, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. The Dodgers and Rangers are two of the final organizations being considered by Lincecum, who is said to be weighing major-league offers from those and other clubs.

    It has seemed for a while that Lincecum would earn a 40-man spot after putting on an impressive showcase. Certainly, though, it’s notable that multiple organizations are angling to land him after he sat out for all of 2017. Heyman notes that the 33-year-old received “some interest” from most of the teams that watched him throw.

    Lincecum’s days as an ace are a distant memory at this point; since the start of 2012, he owns a 4.94 ERA in 654 innings in the majors. He already scuffled in one comeback effort following hip surgery, with a mediocre showing with the Angles in 2016. Indeed, it really was not even clear whether Lincecum would play again until recently.

    Clearly, then, interested organizations are basing their assessment less on Lincecum’s past — glorious though it was — than they are on observing his current ability levels. What’ll be most interesting, perhaps, is to see whether Lincecum is able to command not only a meaningful guarantee but also a real shot at earning a rotation spot. It is not known what the veteran hurler is looking for in choosing his next team, but he seems to have enough leverage to make the potential role a real factor.

    Dodgers To Sign Rocky Gale To Minors Contract https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-to-sign-rocky-gale-to-minors-contract.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-to-sign-rocky-gale-to-minors-contract.html#comments Mon, 26 Feb 2018 04:06:38 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115785 The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league deal with catcher Rocky Gale, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter link).  The contract includes an invitation to the Dodgers’ big league Spring Training camp.  Gale was released by the Padres earlier this week after being designated for assignment to create roster space for the newly-signed Eric Hosmer.

    A 24th-round pick for San Diego in the 2010 draft, Gale spent his entire pro career in the Padres organization, hitting .259/.306/.324 over 2198 minor league plate appearances.  He made brief appearances at the MLB level in both 2015 and 2017, appearing in a total of 14 Major League games.

    Los Angeles already has Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal handling duties behind the plate on the 25-man roster, so Gale will join Shawn Zarraga and Kyle Farmer as the Dodgers’ top depth options at the minor league level.  There was some trade speculation surrounding Grandal since the veteran catcher is just a year away from free agency and Barnes emerged as a legitimate starter in 2017, though nothing seemed to develop in the way of legitimate buzz about a possible move.  It seems much more plausible that L.A. will deploy both Grandal and Barnes this season and any other catching signings are pure depth moves.

    Kershaw Is "On The Same Page" As Dodgers Management https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-west-notes-towers-kershaw-tribe-shaw-young-mitchell.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-west-notes-towers-kershaw-tribe-shaw-young-mitchell.html#comments Mon, 26 Feb 2018 01:42:52 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115761
  • Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi stated earlier this week that the team is keeping an “open dialogue” with Clayton Kershaw about a potential contract extension.  The ace southpaw seemingly agreed with that statement today, telling reporters (including MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick) that Zaidi’s description of the relationship is “a good way to put it.”  Kershaw also said that he is “on the same page” with Dodgers management.  Kershaw is signed through the 2020 season, though he can walk away from the final two seasons (and $55MM) on his contract if he exercises an opt-out clause after the coming season.  He turns 30 in March and injuries have limited Kershaw to only 324 innings over the last two seasons, though he has still performed to his usual elite level when healthy.  An extension would remove Kershaw from the 2018-19 free agent class, a group that is heavy on big names overall but potentially rather slim on the pitching side should Kershaw remain in Los Angeles.
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    Trayce Thompson Facing Make-Or-Break Spring https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/west-notes-mariners-dodgers-rangers-as.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/west-notes-mariners-dodgers-rangers-as.html#comments Sun, 25 Feb 2018 02:19:33 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115655
  • Although Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson endured an unproductive, injury-shortened 2017, the team’s front office regards him as someone capable of being an everyday player, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. However, because Thompson’s out of options and battling several other outfielders for a spot, it’s possible he’ll find himself on another team soon, as Plunkett notes. The biggest roadblock for Thompson may be fellow right-handed hitter Matt Kemp, whom the Dodgers haven’t been able to trade. If Kemp sticks around, it could help push Thompson out. Despite that, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Thompson has a high opinion of Kemp. “Matt is a guy I’ve always looked up to since I moved to California,” Thompson said. “It’s a privilege to have him here and kind of pick his brain. At one point, he was the best player in the game. He still can really hit and do a lot of things.”
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    Austin Barnes Limited By Elbow Issue https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-west-notes-barnes-tomas-giants.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-west-notes-barnes-tomas-giants.html#comments Sat, 24 Feb 2018 04:43:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115617 When Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi isn’t working to get an edge on rival teams, he’s trying to out-maneuver those within the organization in fantasy football, as Andy McCullough writes in a fun piece for the Los Angeles Times. Dodgers players are regretting their decision to allow the executive into the team’s league, it seems, as he has run off three-straight championships. Among the many choice quotes are several from L.A. ace Clayton Kershaw, who calls Zaidi a “big loophole guy.” Opportunistic claims and creative roster-building tactics evidently play as well in fantasy football as they do in compiling a winning ballclub.

    • Elbow health is a topic of attention in Dodgers camp, McCullough further reports, though perhaps fortunately the issue is to this point mostly centered on the position-player group. Star shortstop Corey Seager is being treated with care in camp, but there’s also a new concern with catcher/second baseman Austin Barnes. The 28-year-old, who turned in a breakout 2017 season, is working out but won’t be allowed to throw in a game for the first week of action after some elbow inflammation arose over the offseason. Barnes says he “probably threw too much” over the winter in an effort to improve at cutting down baserunners, but also insists he is capable of going at full speed. The Los Angeles organization has an admirable group of catchers and seems mostly to be acting out of caution, so for now this is just a situation to keep an eye on.
    Dodgers Claim J.T. Chargois From Twins https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-claim-jt-chargois-waivers-twins.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-claim-jt-chargois-waivers-twins.html#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:35:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115571 The Dodgers announced that they’ve claimed right-handed reliever J.T. Chargois off waivers from the Twins. Left-hander Julio Urias has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday that Chargois had hit the waiver wire. Urias underwent shoulder surgery late last June and could miss the entire 2018 season.

    The 27-year-old Chargois was Minnesota’s second-round pick out of Rice back in 2012 but has seen his development slowed by multiple injuries throughout his career, including Tommy John surgery and a stress reaction in his elbow this past season. When healthy, Chargois features a mid-90s fastball that can scrape triple digits. He’s dominated throughout his minor league tenure when healthy, working to a career 1.91 ERA with 10.5 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9, but his injuries have limited him to just 113 1/3 innings in the minors and another 23 in the Majors, where he owns a 4.70 ERA and a 17-to-12 K/BB ratio.

    For the Twins, they now have an open 40-man roster spot to work with. There’s been no corresponding roster move announced to go along with Chargois’ placement on waivers, though the Twins have been linked to various pitchers, both in free agency and trade, even after acquiring Jake Odorizzi from the Rays. They’ll now have an open spot to accommodate the acquisition of another arm or a right-handed bat — another asset they’re rumored to covet — though there’s no indication that any such move is looming in the immediate future.

    Heyman’s Latest: LoMo, Braves, Moustakas, White Sox, CarGo, Lynn, Arrieta https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/heymans-latest-lomo-braves-moustakas-white-sox-cargo-lynn-arrieta.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/heymans-latest-lomo-braves-moustakas-white-sox-cargo-lynn-arrieta.html#comments Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:34:16 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115551 There’s enough talent left on the free-agent market — including seven of the top twenty players on MLBTR’s list of the top 50 free agents — that the overall assessment of spending could yet be swayed by contracts that have yet to be reached. (As always, you can review the action to this point in our 2017-18 MLB Free Agent Tracker.) As we wait for the final data points to be registered, it’s worth considering this recent piece from The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh regarding the debate over player spending in comparison to revenue (as well as this earlier AP examination of spending and revenue from the spring of 2016). Calculating the players’ slice of the pie — and the size of the pie itself — is certainly a nuanced undertaking, and one for which complete public data is lacking.

    The markedly sluggish timing of this year’s market, of course, is something that has already been established quite clearly. With an unprecedented number of top players still awaiting new deals as Spring Training opens, let’s take a look at a few of the most notable bits of information from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (from his latest notes column, unless otherwise noted):

    • At least as of a few days back, says Heyman, first baseman Logan Morrison was not sitting on any open offers. While LoMo’s representatives surely have an idea of what might be available, it’s rather notable that no organizations seem to be making a concerted effort to draw him. MLBTR’s Connor Byrne recently argued in favor of Morrison as a worthy free-agent target, but it certainly isn’t doing him any favors that the market still holds a few other quality slugger types. Still, Morrison’s excellent recent work at the plate would unquestionably hold out the promise of real improvement for a variety of organizations.
    • There’s still no evidence that the Braves are particularly likely to agree to terms with third baseman Mike Moustakas, but Heyman says there has been some amount of engagement — even if “there’s no common ground” to this point. The Atlanta organization, which Heyman says even considered Lorenzo Cain at one point, may have reduced 2018 flexibility after a salary swapping deal with the Dodgers moved some obligations forward. But it seems the team is still at least hunting around for interesting possibilities. As for Moustakas, Heyman notes he has “plenty of one-year opportunities,” but it’s not clear at this point whether a significant multi-year deal will be forthcoming. That’s surely disappointing after he turned in a strong 2017 season, though it is not atypical for some quality players to run into problematic market circumstances.
    • The White Sox have been linked, albeit loosely, to Moustakas, and it still seems as if the Chicago organization could have some tricks up its sleeves. While the focus, no doubt, remains on the future, the club is going to have some solid veterans and high-end young talents on the roster for the coming season. With just over $70MM on the books for 2018, perhaps the organization could yet pursue some one-year or multi-year deals that would hold out the promise of delivering excess value. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is a “possibility” for the South Siders, per Heyman. It stands to reason that the Sox might hold added appeal to players such as Gonzalez if they are willing to offer more playing time than might be available elsewhere.
    • With several starters locking in solid rates of pay of late, and the bullpen market heating up earlier in the offseason, pitchers seem generally to have had an easier go of things on this winter’s wacky market. Heyman writes that veteran righty Lance Lynn has not been forced to significantly drop his asking price. Indications are that the Twins, per the report, “seem to prefer” Lynn to other still-available starters. Heyman further reports that Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, still seems to believe that Arrieta compares more reasonably with pitchers who have landed mega-deals than he does with the recently inked Yu Darvish, who received a $126MM guarantee. Of course, we’re still waiting to see how those and a few other top open-market pitchers will end up doing when all is said and done.
    Dodgers Sign Tyler Colvin https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21918.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21918.html#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 04:11:16 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115214
  • The Dodgers have inked former Cubs/Rockies outfielder Tyler Colvin to a minor league deal, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Now 32 years old, Colvin hasn’t been in the Majors since 2014 and hasn’t been affiliated with a big league organization since a 2015 stint with the White Sox’ Triple-A club. He spent the 2016 season with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League and struggled to a .218/.264/.339 slash through 277 plate appearances, and he didn’t play professionally in 2017. Colvin had success in the Majors back in 2010 (113 OPS+) and 2012 (114 OPS+), but his overall .239/.287/.446 slash through 1309 MLB PAs is reflective of the fact that he’s had more struggles than success in the big leagues.
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    Dodgers Sign Justin De Fratus To Minors Deal https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21718.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21718.html#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:33:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=115064
  • The Dodgers have inked right-hander Justin De Fratus to a minors deal, with the pitcher revealing the signing himself via his Instagram page.  De Fratus is looking to make it back to the majors for the first time since 2015, when he posted a 5.51 ERA over 80 relief innings for the Phillies.  The advanced metrics (4.28 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, 4.03 SIERA, .335 BABIP) paint a more forgiving portrait of that performance, and De Fratus has been a very solid reliever in his previous 114 innings out of the Phils’ bullpen dating back to 2011.
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    Dodgers Re-Sign Chase Utley https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-in-serious-talks-with-chase-utley.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/dodgers-in-serious-talks-with-chase-utley.html#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:14:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114609 SATURDAY: The Dodgers have announced the signing.

    TUESDAY, 7:45pm: Utley’s deal will be for two years and $2MM when it becomes official, tweets Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times.

    3:43pm: Utley has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Dodgers, Heyman now tweets. Certainly, the multi-year deal comes as a bit of a surprise, given his age, though it seems likely to come at a relatively modest annual rate.

    10:22am: There’s a deal in place, per Heyman (via Twitter).

    10:14am: The Dodgers appear to be closing in on a deal to bring back infielder Chase Utley for another run with the organization. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reported last night that the sides were engaged in serious talks, while MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets that Utley appears to have a locker set up at the team’s spring facility, lacking only a nameplate.

    All indications of late have been that the 39-year-old would repeat his turn as a platoon piece. At this point, it seems only a matter of time before things are formalized.

    If the sides do indeed wrap up a deal, Utley will presumably spend most of his time spelling the right-handed-hitting Logan Forsythe at second base. Long a high-end everyday player, Utley’s productivity had understandably waned with age. He was effective in a surprisingly robust 2016 season, over which he took 565 plate appearances, but slid into a part-time role last year.

    Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts was exceedingly careful both to limit the wear and tear and to deploy Utley against right-handed pitching last year. Utley saw time in 127 games but tallied only 353 plate appearances, as the Dodgers sought to utilize him in advantageous situations. He batted .236/.324/.405 with eight homers on the season as a whole, though he strode to the plate against lefties on just 28 occasions.

    In each of the past two years, Utley has delivered just-below-average overall offensive output, with successive 96 wRC+ efforts. He still grades as a quality baserunner and average defender even as he closes in on his fortieth birthday. Clearly, part of the math here for the Dodgers is Utley’s oft-lauded, hard-nosed veteran presence.

    Minor MLB Transactions: 2/16/18 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21618.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/minor-mlb-transactions-21618.html#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:13:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114975 We’ll use this post to cover the day’s minor moves:

    • The Dodgers have added lefty Cesar Ramos on a minors deal, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The 33-year-old won’t receive a MLB camp invite. Ramos worked to a 4.00 ERA in 92 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level last year with the Phillies organization. That represented the first season in which he hadn’t cracked the majors since he first reached the bigs in 2009. Ramos  carries a lifetime 4.02 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 346 2/3  MLB innings, most of them coming as a reliever. He has typically been fairly stingy against opposing lefty hitters, who carry a .245/.314/.339 overall batting line against him.
    Dodgers Will Reportedly Attend Lincecum Showcase https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/yankees-rumors-mike-moustakas-tim-lincecum-showcase.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/yankees-rumors-mike-moustakas-tim-lincecum-showcase.html#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 04:55:29 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114668
  • More than 10 teams are set to attend Tim Lincecum’s showcase on Thursday, it seems. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com respectively report that the Tigers, Twins and Orioles will have scouts in attendance (all Twitter links). Heyman adds another handful of clubs, listing the Rangers, Phillies, Dodgers, YankeesRed Sox, Brewers, Padres and Braves as attendees (links to Twitter for the last three), in addition to the previously reported Giants. If anything, it’s perhaps more notable which clubs have elected not to attend the showcase, as there’s no real downside to at least taking a look and the showcase is shaping up to be reasonably well-attended. To that end, the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan wrote over the weekend that the Mets aren’t planning to have a scout in attendance.
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    Details On Dodgers' Offer To Yu Darvish https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/west-notes-dodgers-yu-rangers-gomez-giants.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/west-notes-dodgers-yu-rangers-gomez-giants.html#comments Sun, 11 Feb 2018 03:54:40 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114426 Before Yu Darvish agreed to join the Cubs on a six-year, $126MM contract Saturday, the Dodgers joined them with a willingness to offer six years, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag (Twitter link). However, the value of Los Angeles’ proposal was worth less (closer to $100MM) and contingent on the team jettisoning money via trade, Heyman adds. Unsurprisingly, LA couldn’t find a taker for at least a portion of its worst contract – outfielder Matt Kemp’s two years and $43.5MM – which helped lead to Darvish’s exit in free agency.

    Dodgers Seeking SP Help After Losing Out On Yu Darvish https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/reactions-to-and-effects-of-the-yu-darvish-deal.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/reactions-to-and-effects-of-the-yu-darvish-deal.html#comments Sun, 11 Feb 2018 01:21:19 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114418
  • The Dodgers, Darvish’s other ex-team, made him an offer, but it fell short of the Cubs’, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times report. Contrarily, Jon Heyman of FanRag tweets that LA was “said to have offered in the same ballpark” as Chicago. Although, signing Darvish would have made it difficult for the Dodgers to achieve their goal of staying under the $197MM luxury tax threshold in 2018.
  • In addition to the previously listed Twins and Brewers, the Dodgers and the Phillies are still targeting starters in the wake of the Darvish deal, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. Philadelphia is aggressively pursuing a short-term addition, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman, Jaime Garcia and Jason Vargas are all possibilities, Feinsand adds.
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    Wasserman Agency Terminates Relationship With Yasiel Puig https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/wasserman-agency-terminates-relationship-with-yasiel-puig.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/wasserman-agency-terminates-relationship-with-yasiel-puig.html#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:41:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114227 The Wasserman agency announced Wednesday that it has “terminated” its relationship with Yasiel Puig. The news, obviously, comes as a surprise given that Puig is a fairly high-profile client that stands to receive a raise on his $7.5MM salary next winter, via arbitration, before reaching free agency as a 28-year-old upon conclusion of the 2019 season. J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets that, at present, it does not seem that Puig has an agent representing him.

    It’s not clear what exactly prompted the decision to cut ties with Puig, though SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets that the issue related to Puig’s behavior. He further adds that it’s unlikely the Dodgers will take any sort of action. Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times tweets a similar sentiment.

    Puig, 27, turned in a strong bounceback effort in 2017 after a lackluster 2016 season. In 570 plate appearances for the NL Champion Dodgers, Puig slashed .263/.346/.487 with a career-high 28 homers and 15 stolen bases. Defensive Runs Saved (+18) and Ultimate Zone Rating (+12.1) pegged him as one of the game’s best defenders in right field as well.

    For all the promise he shows on the field, Puig’s off-field behavior has been a constant topic throughout his big league career. Since coming to the Majors in 2013, there have been stories about his clubhouse clashes with teammates, a bar fight in Miami back in 2015, and Snapchat videos of Puig partying with Triple-A teammates just days after being optioned to the minors in 2016 (videos that Puig himself posted) — among other issues.

    Of course, it should be noted that Puig drew praise throughout his strong rebound campaign in 2017 not only for his play on the field but for his improved maturity off the field and in the clubhouse. Veterans Chase Utley and Kenley Jansen were among the teammates to join manager Dave Roberts in publicly praising Puig’s improved attitude and clubhouse demeanor (via Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register).

    As it stands, Puig figures to once again be the team’s primary right fielder in 2018. Trade talk surrounding Puig died down in 2017 after his rebound season, though the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier did report earlier this offseason that the Red Sox declined a proposal that would’ve sent Puig to Boston in exchange for Jackie Bradley.

    Darvish Still Hoping Dodgers, Yankees Will Enter His Market https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nightengales-latest-martinez-encarnacion-darvish-arrieta.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nightengales-latest-martinez-encarnacion-darvish-arrieta.html#comments Wed, 07 Feb 2018 19:08:32 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=114209
  • Top free agent starter Yu Darvish is sitting on multiple five-year offers, per Nightengale. At the moment, he’s still hoping an organization will decide to give him an extra year — or, in a longer-shot scenario, that the Dodgers or Yankees will find a way to move other contracts to open the door to a Darvish signing. For the most part, this seems to represent a continuation of the status quo, as is the case for the other top starters.
  • ]]>
    Could Dodgers Have To "Sell" A Prospect To Trade Kemp? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-notes-dodgers-kemp-giants-bumgarner-braves-marlins.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/nl-notes-dodgers-kemp-giants-bumgarner-braves-marlins.html#comments Fri, 02 Feb 2018 04:41:32 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113852 The Dodgers’ best chance of moving Matt Kemp may be to package the veteran outfielder (and the $43MM remaining on his contract) along with some good minor league talent to a team with payroll space that is willing to “buy a prospect,” Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes.  Such moves are becoming increasingly common around baseball, such as the Padres’ acquisition of Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell from the Yankees earlier this offseason.  The Dodgers have a deep enough farm system that they might not necessarily have to offer one of their top-tier prospects to unload Kemp; Sullivan cites righty Wilmer Font as the type of MLB-ready minor leaguer that could step right into the rotation of a rebuilding team.  Some creativity may be required to work out a Kemp trade, though the five-player, luxury tax-bending deal with the Braves that brought Kemp back to L.A. was itself pretty unique.  If it costs the Dodgers a star prospect to get Kemp off the books, it might be worth it in the long run if the trade frees up enough money for the Dodgers to re-sign Yu Darvish.

    Dodgers Notes: Darvish, Utley, Kemp https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/heymans-latest-darvish-utley-hosmer-moustakas-stanton-marlins-melky-dyson-garcia-chisox.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/02/heymans-latest-darvish-utley-hosmer-moustakas-stanton-marlins-melky-dyson-garcia-chisox.html#comments Thu, 01 Feb 2018 23:02:56 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113819
  • Yu Darvish is still on the radar for both the Cubs and Dodgers, though with some caveats.  Chicago “seem to be hoping that Darvish will choose them for reasons that are not economic,” which implies that Darvish would drop his asking price to play for a World Series contender.  In the Dodgers’ case, there is “some ambivalence by at least some” at the ownership level about bringing Darvish back in the wake of his well-publicized struggles during the World Series.
  • The overwhelming belief is that Chase Utley will be back” with the Dodgers for another season.  Utley, who turned 39 last month, hit .236/.324/.405 in 353 PA in 2017, with most of those plate appearances coming against right-handed pitching.  Beyond his lefty bat and backup capability at first and second base, Utley is also regarded as a strong leader within the Los Angeles clubhouse.
  • The White Sox are looking for DH help, but they don’t appear to be looking at the DodgersMatt Kemp as a trade possibility.

  • ]]>
    Dodgers Sign Mark Lowe To Minors Pact https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-sign-mark-lowe-to-minors-pact.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-sign-mark-lowe-to-minors-pact.html#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 21:53:57 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113638 The Dodgers have invited 22 non-roster players to spring training, including veteran reliever Mark Lowe, whom they signed to a minor league deal (names here via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, on Twitter). Left-hander Manny Banuelos, who was in serious talks with the Dodgers back in November, is also among those on the list.

    The right-handed Lowe failed to crack the majors a year ago, instead dividing the season between the Triple-A affiliates of the Mariners and White Sox. The 34-year-old struggled across 48 2/3 innings at the minors’ highest level, with a 6.66 ERA and 8.0 K/9 against 4.3 BB/9. It was the second straight rough year for Lowe, whom the Tigers released last March after a 2016 campaign in which his velocity dropped and he recorded a 7.11 ERA, 8.94 K/9, 3.83 BB/9 and a 36.6 percent groundball rate over 49 1/3 frames. Even though they cut Lowe, the Tigers still had to pay his $5.5MM salary to close out the two-year, $11MM pact they awarded him in December 2015.

    Lowe was excellent as recently as ’15 with Seattle and Toronto, which led to his sizable payday during the ensuing offseason, as he combined for career bests in ERA (1.96) and K/9 (9.98) across 55 innings. Lowe hasn’t been particularly consistent since debuting in the majors in 2006, however, as he has posted subpar production in several campaigns. All told, though, Lowe’s output has been passable – despite a below-average grounder rate (39.8 percent), he has registered a 4.22 ERA, 8.21 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 385 2/3 innings with six MLB teams.

    Dodgers Notes: Jansen, Darvish, Kemp https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/kenley-jansen-mlb-rumors-strike.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/kenley-jansen-mlb-rumors-strike.html#comments Mon, 29 Jan 2018 19:42:31 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113521 In the latest example of player frustration over the stagnant free-agent market, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen illustrated that it’s not only unsigned players that are unhappy with how the offseason has played out. “Maybe we have to go on strike, to be honest with you,” Jansen told reporters at the team’s Fan Fest over the weekend (link via Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times). “…That is something we might have to address, so you don’t have a lot of Miami Marlins doing this. Maybe it’s an adjustment for us, as the players’ union.” Certainly, Jansen’s comments don’t speak for all players, but it’s nonetheless notable that the unrest has reached the point where such a prominent name is even suggesting it as a hypothetical. Jansen adds that he plans to speak with the union about his concerns. It’s likely, too, that he’ll have others who share his sentiment against the backdrop of the slowest free-agent market in MLB history. Of course, the current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021, decreasing the chances of any near-term action being taken.

    More out of Los Angeles…

    • In his latest Dodgers mailbag, Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times writes that Yu Darvish has “made it clear” that he’d like to return to the Dodgers, which is part of the reason that his market hasn’t moved forward. Darvish, according to McCullough, has been waiting to see if the Dodgers will be able to shed any money; McCullough notes that they’ve explored dealing from positions of depth by gauging interest in well-compensated veterans such as Yasmani Grandal, Logan Forsythe and Hyun-Jin Ryu, though clearly nothing much has come of those endeavors to date. The fact that he’s waited this long suggests some degree of mutual interest, though the Cubs, Twins and Brewers have been most prominently linked to Darvish in recent weeks.
    • McCullough also reports that the chances of Matt Kemp actually making the Dodgers’ roster out of Spring Training are “remote.” While Kemp is in better physical condition than he was in 2017 and will get some at-bats in the left field mix (where he’ll also get a chance to showcase himself for AL clubs), a team official tells McCullough that the reason Kemp wasn’t invited to the Dodgers’ Fan Fest was to avoid putting him in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions about his future with the team. The Dodgers have Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Verdugo all on the depth chart as well.
    • MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick also has quotes from GM Farhan Zaidi, manager Dave Roberts and Jansen about Kemp’s return. Zaidi notes that the Dodgers made the trade for Kemp knowing that they may not be able to find another taker and are prepared to hang onto him if he proves he can be an asset in Spring Training. “It’s our responsibility to keep our options open, to let it play out,” said Zaidi. “And if he can help us on the field, that’s what everybody wants.” Roberts, meanwhile, downplayed the previously rocky relationship between Kemp and Puig. “That was three years ago,” said the manager, noting that both players want to win. Both Roberts and Jansen suggested that is a welcome addition back to the clubhouse/roster.
    Dodgers Notes: Darvish, Kershaw, Utley, Kemp https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-notes-darvish-kershaw-utley-kemp.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-notes-darvish-kershaw-utley-kemp.html#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 04:36:01 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113426 On the possibility of re-signing free agent right-hander Yu Darvish, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi admitted Saturday that “there would be some hurdles for us to add any significant contracts at this point” (via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, on Twitter). Zaidi didn’t specifically cite LA’s goal to stay under the $197MM luxury tax threshold, but Plunkett notes that the club doesn’t want to get any closer to the mark than it currently is. The Dodgers already have approximately $186MM committed to their 2018 roster. With Darvish seemingly poised to sign a contract worth in the neighborhood of $25MM per year sometime during this glacial offseason, a return to the reigning NL champs obviously looks unrealistic.

    Here’s more on the Dodgers, courtesy of Plunkett unless otherwise noted:

    • Darvish’s presence on the open market puts his future in question, and left-hander Clayton Kershaw could find himself in a similar position next winter if he opts out of his contract after the season. When discussing the option Friday, Kershaw said he’s focused on staying healthy in 2018, his age-30 season, and “everything will take care of itself from there.” While Kershaw is the game’s top pitcher when he’s available, back injuries limited him in both 2016 and ’17 – thus destroying his Cy Young chances in each campaign. Still, barring a disastrous 2018, it seems likely he’ll exit the final two years and $65MM of his contract in favor of securing a richer deal. Regardless of whether he hits the market in a year, Kershaw expects far more action in free agency than we’ve seen this winter – in part because teams intent on avoiding the tax (including the Dodgers) won’t have that same motivation.
    • There’s mutual interest in a reunion between the Dodgers and free agent infielder Chase Utley, as Zaidi revealed that the two sides continue to “have conversations.” As a free agent last winter, Utley stayed on the market until late February before returning to the Dodgers for $2MM. He went on to provide solid bang for LA’s buck in his age-38 campaign, during which he hit .236/.324/.405 in 353 plate appearances.
    • In an ideal world, the Dodgers would be able to dump outfielder Matt Kemp and his two-year, $43MM commitment on another club. Of course, they’ve had no luck in that department since acquiring the 33-year-old in an unusual, tax-geared trade with the Braves in December. Unless something changes by spring training, the Dodgers expect Kemp to be part of their left field competition, Zaidi informed reporters, including Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo and Trayce Thompson will join Kemp in vying for roles, Gurnick writes. Kemp has gotten into “great shape” this offseason, per Zaidi, who contends that “a motivated Matt Kemp can help a lot of teams in baseball, including us.” Kemp hasn’t been all that helpful to any club since 2014, when he slashed .287/.346/.506 in 599 PAs to conclude his first tenure with the Dodgers. Even then, though, Kemp’s well-known defensive limitations somewhat offset his contributions at the plate.
    Dodgers Targeting "Three Or Four" Teams For Kemp Trade https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/heymans-latest-corbin-darvish-cobb-kemp-nationals-cargo-k-rod.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/heymans-latest-corbin-darvish-cobb-kemp-nationals-cargo-k-rod.html#comments Sat, 27 Jan 2018 23:30:43 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113391
  • The Dodgers have “three or four” potential trade partners in mind for Matt Kemp, according to a source, though Heyman hears from another source that the Rangers are “probably not” a candidate for the veteran outfielder.  It seems like not much has changed since Heyman last checked in on Kemp’s trade market in December, and L.A. may have to attach some minor league talent to get anyone to bite on Kemp’s $43MM in remaining salary owed through the 2019 season.

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    Latest On Slow-Moving Free Agent Market https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/latest-on-slow-moving-free-agent-market.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/latest-on-slow-moving-free-agent-market.html#comments Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:43:19 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113289 In his latest exploration of the stagnant free-agent market, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that free agents have begun to discuss the possible organization of a training camp that would “mimic their typical spring work.” Pitchers and catchers are set to begin reporting for Spring Training in just three weeks, of course, and there are well over 100 unsigned players still seeking employment for the upcoming season.

    While the five-year deal for Lorenzo Cain established a new high-water mark for free agents this winter both in terms of contract length and guaranteed money, Passan suggests that other top free agents aren’t necessarily expected to follow. Despite a recent report that Yu Darvish is expected to reach an agreement in the next few days, Passan hears differently, writing that teams throughout the league don’t think that any of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer or J.D. Martinez is close to signing. (Certainly, that can change in a hurry with an improved offer from even one potential suitor.)

    More broadly, Passan again explores the lack of spending throughout the league in an offseason environment that has been increasingly governed by some teams’ strict adherence to avoiding luxury tax penalization. Prior to the latest wave of collective bargaining negotiations, Passan adds, the league was prepared for the luxury tax line to jump as high as $215MM and considered it a major victory when the bar was raised to $195MM last year and $197MM in 2018. (The tax threshold will increase to $206MM in 2019, $208MM in 2020 and $210MM in 2021.)

    While the luxury tax only serves as a direct deterrent for Major League Baseball’s top spenders and thus cannot be viewed as some form of panacea to explain the woefully slow winter, it’s unquestionably slowed things at the top end of the market. Officials from both the Yankees and Dodgers acknowledged to Passan that they’d have spent more this offseason had the tax barrier been higher. And the Giants, of course, have openly stated on multiple occasions that they, too, are looking to reset their penalty level by narrowly staying under the tax line. It stands to reason that they could’ve been more involved in the outfield market with some extra breathing room in that regard.

    Exactly how the remainder of the offseason plays out obviously can’t be known, but Passan indicates that players are continuing to encourage one another to hold firm and not cave into lesser deals in a sense of panic as Spring Training approaches.

    At some point, it seems fair to wonder, too, if that sense of panic will hit teams that view themselves as hopeful contenders but have multiple glaring holes on the roster. The Orioles, for instance, have been seeking three starting pitchers as well as a left-handed-hitting outfielder but have yet to address any of those needs in a meaningful way. The Nationals still could use a fifth starter and an upgrade behind the plate. The Twins have made a trio of bullpen upgrades but still have clear rotation needs. Eventually, there will have to be a landslide of agreements, though that’s been the common refrain for weeks and there’s still little in the way of actual results.

    Latest On Pursuit Of Yu Darvish https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/yu-darvish-has-reportedly-received-five-year-offer.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/yu-darvish-has-reportedly-received-five-year-offer.html#comments Wed, 24 Jan 2018 03:01:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113067 Jan. 23: The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney writes that there’s “a sense” that Darvish’s talks with interested parties have gained momentum recently. Moreover, Mooney writes that Darvish’s options are “not limited to the teams identified publicly” — meaning the Cubs, Twins, Rangers, Brewers, Dodgers and Yankees. Darvish remains a focus for the Cubs, according to Mooney, who adds that a reunion with Arrieta “appears to be a long shot.”

    Meanwhile, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that a rival exec who has recently been in contact with the Twins expressed some doubt about Minnesota’s willingness to sign Darvish if it means pushing  into the $150MM territory.

    Jan. 22, 10:45pm: The Cubs are “having active talks” with Darvish, according to a report from the Associated Press. That said, it’s also clear from the report that there is no agreement in place.

    Speculation surrounding the connection between Darvish and the Cubs already increased earlier tonight, as it emerged that the club has a deal in place with catcher Chris Gimenez — who once forged a strong bond with Darvish when the two played with the Rangers.

    2:01pm: Free agent righty Yu Darvish has received “at least” one five-year offer, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Crasnick does not specify if the five-year offer is the one which he’s reportedly received from the Brewers, though Milwaukee is indeed one of the teams in the mix for Darvish, per the report. The Twins, Rangers, Cubs and Dodgers are also in play at the moment, he adds.

    Earlier this month, Darvish was reportedly choosing among six teams — the Twins, Rangers, Cubs, Yankees and Astros, with one mystery team added to the bunch by Darvish himself (on Twitter). The Dodgers were later reported to remain in the mix for Darvish, and it now appears that the Brewers have joined the pursuit while the Astros are out of the picture after their acquisition of Gerrit Cole.

    There’s no mention of the dollars in Crasnick’s report, and the lack of context makes it difficult to assess the situation. Much has been made this offseason of teams preferring to sign free agents to shorter-term deals at a higher annual value, and if that’s the case with Darvish’s five-year offer, then perhaps the overall value of the deal isn’t that far from early offseason expectations. (Many pundits, MLBTR included, projected six years for Darvish at the beginning of the offseason.) If the AAV is on the low end of the spectrum, however, then it perhaps isn’t difficult to see why Darvish and his reps at Wasserman have yet to jump on the contract.

    With just about three weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, there are still well over 100 free agents that need to find homes, so at some point one would have to imagine that either agents or clubs will begin to blink, setting the stage for a flurry of activity. There’s no evidence that Darvish and his agents are close to doing so at this juncture, though it stands to reason that his signing could have a trickle-down effect of sorts. Many of the same teams vying for his services have been linked to Alex Cobb and Jake Arrieta, and once those pieces fall into place, the remaining free-agent starters on the market could conceivably begin to come off the board.

    Minor MLB Transactions: 1/21/18 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/minor-mlb-transactions-12118.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/minor-mlb-transactions-12118.html#comments Sun, 21 Jan 2018 23:57:51 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=113018 Here are the latest minor league moves from around baseball, with the newest transactions at the top of the post…

    • The Dodgers have agreed to a deal with right-hander Andrew Robinson, as announced by Robinson himself via Twitter.  The contract is presumably a minor league pact for the former Georgia Tech hurler, who turns 30 in February.  Robinson has a 3.88 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 3.35 K/BB rate over 531 career minor league innings, with only eight of those frames coming at the Triple-A level.  He spent 2017 with the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate, and Robinson’s previous seven pro seasons included stints in the Houston, Atlanta, and Baltimore farm systems.
    Dodgers Agree To Minors Deal With Donovan Solano https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/minor-mlb-transactions-11918.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/minor-mlb-transactions-11918.html#comments Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:33:34 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112903
  • The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Donovan Solano, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The 30-year-old has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors, appearing semi-regularly with the Marlins from 2012-15 and much more briefly with the Yankees in 2016. Solano is a career .257/.306/.331 hitter in the Majors and has spent the vast majority of his time at second base, though he’s also played a handful of games at shortstop, at third base and in left field. He spent the 2017 season with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate and slashed a respectable .282/.329/.391 in 405 plate appearances over the course of 99 games.
  • ]]>
    Agent: Yelich’s Relationship With Marlins “Broken” https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/christian-yelich-agent-trade-request-rumor-marlins.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/christian-yelich-agent-trade-request-rumor-marlins.html#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:55:12 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112771 In the latest dose of Marlins-related drama, agent Joe Longo of Paragon Sports International, who represents Christian Yelich, tells ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that a trade of his client in the next month would be in the best interest of both team and player.

    Longo states that he respects the Marlins’ long-term plan for a return to contention, but states that the “…plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career.” Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins has been “irretrievably broken” and has “soured,” according to Longo, who goes on to speak about the disappointment that Yelich has felt in watching the Marlins’ new ownership group gut the roster in trades that have sent Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna elsewhere.

    “The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and [Yelich] needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win,” Longo tells Crasnick. The agent goes on to explain that Yelich signed his seven-year, $49.57MM contract extension with the Marlins in a “completely different climate” — that is, one where the organization looked to be making a clear push to win in the short term. Yelich’s deal (which Longo and Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill discussed at length with MLBTR’s Zach Links back in 2015) was agreed upon in the same offseason that saw the Fish sign Stanton to a record-setting $325MM contract. New ownership, however, clearly has no intent of pushing for a division title in 2017 as payroll has been slashed by roughly $50MM.

    Longo’s comments, of course, don’t ensure that a trade of Yelich will transpire before or during Spring Training. Such decisions are up to president of baseball operations Michael Hill and his staff, who needn’t feel pressure to move Yelich in the same manner as they did with regard to Stanton, Gordon and Ozuna. The Marlins’ payroll projection is inching closer to its reported target of roughly $90MM, and Yelich’s $7MM salary for the coming season isn’t especially burdensome. Moreover, the fact that Yelich can be controlled for another five years at a total of $58.25MM is a clear indicator that he’ll be an asset with considerable surplus value at virtually any point the Marlins decide to make him available.

    Yelich is hardly the only player that is less than enthused about the notion of suiting up for a Miami club that looks destined for the NL East cellar. Catcher J.T. Realmuto’s agents have reportedly informed the Marlins that their client would prefer to be traded, and infielder Starlin Castro (acquired as a financial component in the trade that sent Stanton to the Yankees) is reportedly hoping to be dealt elsewhere before so much as playing a single game for the Marlins.

    Per Crasnick, the Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, D-backs and Phillies are “among” the teams that have reached out to the Marlins to gauge the asking price for Yelich in a trade, though there are assuredly more team that have expressed interest. Toronto GM Ross Atkins recently suggested that virtually every team in the league would have interest in a Yelich trade, and reports have suggested that more than 15 teams have at least kicked the tires on the former Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner.

    Yelich, just 26 years of age, is a career .290/.369/.432 hitter. He’s averaged 20 homers and a dozen steals over the past two seasons and has proven to be a capable center fielder or an elite defender in left field. Crasnick notes that Yelich himself may speak publicly in the coming days, and the column is stuffed with additional quotes from Longo. It’s well worth a full read-through, both for those that have been diligently tracking the Marlins’ offseason roller coaster and those who haven’t been monitoring the situation as closely.

    Players Avoiding Arbitration: National League https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/players-avoiding-arbitration-11218.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/players-avoiding-arbitration-11218.html#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:10:22 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112260 The deadline for MLB teams to exchange salary arbitration figures with their arbitration-eligible players is today at 1pm ET. As such, there will be a veritable flood of arb agreements piling up in the next few hours — especially in light of a more universal approach to the “file and trial” method for teams. (That is to say, those teams will no longer negotiate one-year deals after arb figures are exchanged and will instead head to a hearing with those players, barring an agreemenr on a multi-year deal.)

    Note that you can keep an eye on all of today’s deals using MLBTR’s 2018 Arbitration Tracker, which can be filtered to show only the results of the team you follow and is also sortable by service time and dollar value of the agreement. All projections that are referenced come from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s annual compilation of projected arbitration salaries.

    Onto today’s landslide of deals…

    National League West

    • The Rockies have agreed to a $2MM salary with righty Chad Bettis, MLBTR has learned (Twitter link). That’s a fair sight more than his $1.5MM projection. Bettis surely would have had an opportunity to set a bigger platform for himself, but had to battle through testicular cancer before returning to the hill in 2017. Meanwhile, second baseman DJ LeMahieu has settled for a $8.5MM payday in his final year of arbitration, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. That’s just a hair short of the $8.8MM he was pegged for in MLBTR’s projections.
    • Giants second baseman Joe Panik is slated to earn $3.45MM in his first season of arb eligibility, Devan Fink of SB Nation was first to tweet. That’s just a hair shy of the $3.5MM that MLBTR projected. Lefty Will Smith has settled at $2.5MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). The club has also announced deals with its remaining arb-eligible players, right-handed relievers Sam Dyson ($4.6MM projection), Hunter Strickland ($1.7MM projection), and Cory Gearrin ($1.6MM projection). (H/t John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, on Twitter). Strickland earns $1.55MM, Nightengale tweets.
    • The Padres and Freddy Galvis agreed to a $6.825MM deal for his lone season of team control in San Diego, tweets Robert Murray of FanRag Sports. Galvis, who spent the first several seasons of his career in Philadelphia before being traded this winter, had been projected to make $7.4MM. Infielder Cory Spangenberg settled at $1.7MM, Heyman tweets, falling below a $2.0MM projection. San Diego has also reached agreements with righty Kirby Yates and outfielder Matt Szczur, the team announced. Yates will earn $1,062,500, Heyman tweets, which is just shy of his $1.1MM projection. Szczur, meanwhile, will get $950K, a healthy boost over his $800K projection, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
    • The Diamondbacks agreed to a $7.75MM deal with center fielder A.J. Pollock, Murray tweets. Pollock was projected to earn $8.4MM in his final year of eligibility before free agency. Murray also notes that Brad Boxberger is set to earn $1.85MM next year (Twitter link). Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic adds that lefty Andrew Chafin ($1.2MM projection) and the D-backs have a $1.195MM deal in place. Third baseman Jake Lamb, meanwhile, agreed to a $4.275MM deal with the Diamondbacks, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link). Lamb, eligible for arbitration for the first time, was projected to earn $4.7MM. He’s controllable through 2020. And ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that Chris Herrmann ($1.4MM projection) landed a $1.3MM deal. Righty Taijuan Walker has settled for $4.825MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter), which is within range but shy of the $5.0MM he projected for. Lefty Robbie Ray has settled at $3.95MM, per Nightengale (Twitter link), which falls short of his $4.2MM projection. Infielder Nick Ahmed will $1.275MM, per Heyman (via Twitter), which tops the projected figure of $1.1MM. Arizona has also announced that Chris Owings and David Peralta have agreed to terms.
    • The Dodgers are in agreement on a $6MM deal with lefty Alex Wood, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). He had projected at $6.4MM. Meanwhile, righty Josh Fields agreed to a $2.2MM deal, tweets Murray. Heyman tweets that Enrique Hernandez will earn $1.6MM. Fields’ projection of $2.2MM was on the money, whereas Hernandez topped his mark by $300K. Fields is controlled through 2019, while Hernandez is controllable through 2020. Southpaw Tony Cingrani gets $2.3MM, Murray tweets, which is just a shade over his $2.2MM projection. Outfielder Joc Pederson has also settled, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter), with Beth Harris of the Associated Press reporting a $2.6MM salary that rather handily tops the $2.0MM that MLBTR projected.

    National League Central

    • All three remaining Cardinals arb-eligibles have agreed to deals, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch tweetsMarcell Ozuna will earn $9MM after drawin a much larger $10.9MM projection, Heyman tweets. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had explained that Ozuna likely wouldn’t quite reach the amount the algorithm suggested, though the actual salary still comes in a bit shy of expectations. Lefty Tyler Lyons ($1.3MM projection) receives $1.2MM, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). The Cards have also reached agreement with Michael Wacha for $5.3MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter); he was projected to earn $5.9MM.
    • The Reds agreed to a $860K salary with Anthony DeSclafani, tweets Murray. DeSclafani missed the 2017 season due to arm troubles and had been projected to earn $1.1MM. He’ll remain under Reds control through 2020. Billy Hamilton and the Reds have settled on a one-year deal worth $4.6MM, tweets Murray. A popular trade candidate this offseason, Hamilton was projected to earn $5MM and comes with another two seasons of team control. Murray also conveys that Michael Lorenzen agreed to a $1.3125MM deal, which lines up fairly well with his $1.4MM projection.
    • The Cubs have struck a deal with lefty Justin Wilson, agreeing to a one-year, $4.25MM pact, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link). Wilson, who had been projected at $4.3MM, will be a free agent next winter. The Cubs alsoagreed to a $950K salary with infielder Tommy La Stella, tweets MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. La Stella was projected to make $1MM in his first offseason of arbitration eligiblity and can be controlled through 2020. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs have agreed to a $4.175MM salary, per Nightengale (on Twitter). That sum comes in a fair bit shy of his projected $4.9MM projection as a first-time eligible player. The Cubs control Hendricks through the 2020 season. Chicago also agreed with Addison Russell, per Wittenmyer (Twitter link). The shortstop will receive $3.2MM for the coming season.
    • Nightengale reports (on Twitter) that the Brewers and breakout closer Corey Knebel settled at $3.65MM. As a Super Two player, Knebel can be controlled through the 2021 season and will be arb-eligible thrice more. He was projected at $4.1MM. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers and right-hander Jimmy Nelson settled at $3.7MM, which falls $1MM shy of his $4.7MM projection (though some of that discrepancy may be due to Nelson’s shoulder injury). Milwaukee also announced a deal for infielders Jonathan Villar (projected at $3MM) and Hernan Perez (projected at $2.2MM). McCalvy reports that Villar will earn $2.55MM, while terms of Perez’s deal are not yet available.
    • The Pirates have avoided arbitration with shortstop Jordy Mercer by settling on a $6.75MM salary for 2018, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Mercer, who’d been projected to earn $6.5MM, is entering his final year of team control and will be a free agent next winter. Biertempfel also reports that Gerrit Cole will earn that same $6.75MM salary in 2018 — a $3MM raise over last year (Twitter link). He has two years of control remaining and had been projected to earn $7.4MM. Righty George Kontos has also agreed to terms, per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (via Twitter). He had projected for $2.7MM and will receive a smidge more, at $2,725,000, per Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link).

    National League East

    • The Braves reached a $3.4MM deal with righty Arodys Vizcaino, per Jon Heyman of FanRag (Twitter link). He’d been projected at $3.7MM. The Braves and righty Dan Winkler agreed to a $610K salary for the upcoming season, tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Winkler tossed just 14 1/3 innings in the Majors this year as he made his way back from elbow surgery. He’d projected at $800K.
    • The Marlins and Miguel Rojas agreed to a $1.18MM deal for 2018, Heyman tweets, placing him north of his $1.1MM projection. Rojas should see additional playing time following the Marlins’ wave of trades this offseason. He’s controlled through 2020. Miami also has a deal in place with infielder Derek Dietrich for $2.9MM, Heyman tweets, after projecting at $3.2MM.
    • The Mets were able to settle perhaps their most notable arb case, agreeing to a $7.4MM deal with righty Jacob deGrom, per James Wagner of the New York Times (via Twitter). That’s well shy of his $9.2MM projection, though MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had explained the formula likely overestimated deGrom’s earning power by quite a wide margin. Fellow top righty Noah Syndergaard gets $2.975MM, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter), which goes a fair sight past the $1.9MM projection for the outstanding young starter, whose 2017 season was limited by injury. And reliever AJ Ramos will take home $9.225MM, according to Wagner (via Twitter). That’s just barely past the $9.2MM projection.  Wilmer Flores has also avoided arbitration with the Mets, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports (on Twitter). He’ll receive a $3.4MM salary, which falls within $300K of his projected rate. The Mets control Flores through the 2019 campaign. The Mets and right-hander Matt Harvey agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.625MM, tweets Nightengale. Harvey, who is a free agent next winter, had been projected to earn $5.9MM. Meanwhile, Marc Carig of Newsday tweets that Jeurys Familia will earn $7.925MM for the upcoming year, while Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that catcher Travis d’Arnaud will earn $3.475MM in 2018 (Twitter link). Familia, a free agent next winter, was projected at $7.4MM. The Mets control d’Arnaud through 2019, and his projection was $3.4MM. Righty Hansel Robles gets $900K, Heyman tweets.
    • Also via Nightengale (Twitter link), the Nationals agreed to a $6.475MM salary for 2018 with right-hander Tanner Roark. That falls about $1MM shy of his $7.5MM projection but still represents a noted raise of $4.315MM for Roark, whom the Nats control through 2019. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that Michael Taylor will earn $2.525MM next year. Taylor is controlled through 2020 and was projected at $2.3MM.
    • The Phillies and Maikel Franco settled on a $2.95MM salary for the 2018 season, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link). Franco, a Super Two player who’d been projected at $3.6MM, remains under club control with the Phils through the 2021 season. Second bagger Cesar Hernandez will earn at a $5.1MM rate in 2018, per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki (via Twitter). That beats his $4.7MM projection and wraps up this year’s arb business for the Phillies.
    Dodgers Avoid Arbitration With Yasmani Grandal, Pedro Baez https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/players-avoiding-arbitration-11118.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/players-avoiding-arbitration-11118.html#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:12:47 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112191
  • The Dodgers and catcher Yasmani Grandal have settled on a one-year, $7.9MM contract for the 2018 season, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The switch-hitting Grandal, long rated as one of the game’s top pitch framers, will be a free agent next winter. He’d been projected at $7.7MM. Nightengale also tweets that righty Pedro Baez will land a $1.5MM salary for the upcoming season, matching his projected salary on the dot.
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    Yu Darvish Choosing Among Six Teams https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/yu-darvish-five-teams-yankees-rangers-cubs-twins-astros-mystery-team.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/yu-darvish-five-teams-yankees-rangers-cubs-twins-astros-mystery-team.html#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:34:03 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=112159 Yu Darvish is widely considered to be the top starting pitcher available in free agency, and while his market — like the market of nearly every other top free agent this winter — has been slow to progress, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Darvish has whittled the decision down to a handful of teams: the Rangers, Cubs, Astros, Twins and Yankees. Darvish himself has hardly been shy about stirring the pot on social media this winter, though, and he created an additional layer of intrigue tonight when he responded to the report by tweeting: “I know one more team is in.” The Dodgers may very well be the sixth team to which Darvish alluded, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweeted tonight that Los Angeles “remains in the mix” to bring Darvish back to L.A.

    In his column, Wilson once again cautions that the Rangers aren’t a prime suitor for Darvish. The right-hander, according to Wilson, would prefer to return to Arlington were all things equal, but the Rangers aren’t expected to pursue top-tier free agents, as has reportedly been the case for the entire winter. Wilson reported three months ago that Texas was aiming to trim payroll by about $10MM for the coming season, which would leave them around $155MM overall. A backloaded contract for Darvish could technically still make that goal possible, but Wilson strongly suggests that the Rangers won’t be making any moves of the “all-in” variety this winter. The Rangers’ payroll projects to check in around $144MM as things presently stand.

    Both the Yankees and Astros have been prominently linked to another high-end rotation candidate recently, as both have been said in recent weeks to be in talks for Pittsburgh righty Gerrit Cole. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow earlier today shot down a report that his team had struck an agreement to acquire Cole, but both New York and Houston appear to have some level of interest more cost-effective trade candidates.

    The Yankees, of course, have been hard at work trying to bolster their 2018 roster while simultaneously remaining south of the luxury tax barrier (to great success thus far), while Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported just yesterday (subscription required and recommended) that Houston prefers to trade for a pitcher like Cole rather than shell out a massive contract to Darvish or another free-agent starter. If the Yankees can find a way to shed a significant portion of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract (which seems unlikely) or if the Astros ultimately deem all of their trade targets too expensive in terms of prospects, then perhaps on of those clubs will take a more serious look at Darvish.

    Minnesota, meanwhile, has long been reported to be one of the more aggressive teams on Darvish, who knows Twins GM Thad Levine quite well from the pair’s time with the Rangers. Of all the teams in the mix, the Twins’ payroll outlook is by far the most open (zero dollars on the books beyond the 2019 season). As for the Cubs, they’ve been tied to Darvish, Jake Arrieta and fellow righty Alex Cobb as they seek to round out their rotation and remain atop a competitive NL Central division.

    The Dodgers, like the Yankees, are facing some self-imposed financial restrictions. Both clubs are trying to reset their luxury tax penalty level, and the Dodgers look to have done so in the Adrian Gonzalez/Scott Kazmir/Brandon McCarthy/Matt Kemp trade. Bringing Darvish back into the fold would once again push them north of the tax line, L.A. is also looking for ways in which to shed Kemp’s contract. As is the case with the Yankees and Ellsbury, finding a taker for a notable portion of that deal could create additional flexibility.

    Dodgers, Zach Neal Agree To Minor League Deal https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-zach-neal-agree-to-minor-league-deal.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-zach-neal-agree-to-minor-league-deal.html#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 00:50:53 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111877 The Dodgers have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Zach Neal, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). As Rosenthal notes, there’s familiarity between Neal and Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi stemming from their time together in the A’s organization from 2013-14. Neal receives an invitation to MLB camp.

    Neal debuted in the majors with Oakland in 2016, when he amassed 70 innings of 4.24 ERA pitching in 24 appearances (six starts). While Neal only managed a paltry 3.47 strikeouts per nine innings, he did his best to offset that with a sterling walk rate (0.77 BB/9) and a high groundball percentage (53.0). The 29-year-old struggled with the A’s last season, though, as he tossed just 14 2/3 frames and yielded 13 earned runs on 19 hits (five homers). Neal also wasn’t particularly effective in 21 Triple-A appearances and 16 starts, with a 3.91 K/9 and a 4.82 ERA.

    To his credit, Neal walked a mere 11 batters in 113 2/3 innings between the majors and minors in 2017, and he recorded a lofty 23.9 percent infield fly rate at the Triple-A level. Neal has a history of limiting walks, generating grounders and inducing infield pop-ups, which perhaps gives the Dodgers hope that he could turn into a quality major leaguer.

    Dodgers Approached Red Sox About Puig/Bradley Swap https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/red-sox-trade-rumors-jackie-bradley-dodgers-yasiel-puig.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/red-sox-trade-rumors-jackie-bradley-dodgers-yasiel-puig.html#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 18:33:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111754 The Dodgers approached the Red Sox earlier this offseason about a trade that would’ve sent Yasiel Puig to Boston in exchange for Jackie Bradley Jr., reports Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The Sox, valuing Bradley’s elite glove and extra year of control (three years to Puig’s two), “quickly” declined the offer, and talks between the two sides never went beyond that stage. As Speier points out, however, the scenario is instructive when gauging the Red Sox’ valuation of Bradley, who is coming off a relatively disappointing season at the plate. Puig’s .263/.346/.487 slash and 28 homers dwarfed Bradley’s .245/.323/.402 output and 17 homers, but the Sox (who’ve been searching all offseason for an offensive upgrade), seemingly gave little consideration to the notion. Bradley’s name has been oft-speculated upon in various trade scenarios by fans and pundits alike, but it doesn’t seem as though the Boston brass views him in that light; president of baseball ops Dave Dombrowski has said at multiple points this winter that he’s in no rush to deal Bradley, Speier adds.

    Dodgers Acquire Scott Alexander In 3-Team Swap With Royals, White Sox https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-nearing-acquisition-of-scott-alexander-in-3-team-swap-with-royals-white-sox.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/dodgers-nearing-acquisition-of-scott-alexander-in-3-team-swap-with-royals-white-sox.html#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 00:03:02 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=111710 Three teams have announced a swap that will send lefty Scott Alexander from the Royals to the Dodgers. Infielder Jake Peter will also end up in Los Angeles, by way of the White Sox.

    Meanwhile, Kansas City will pick up righty Trevor Oaks and infielder Erick Mejia in the deal. The White Sox will end up with veteran relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan, the former from the Royals and the latter from the Dodgers.  Kansas City is sending $1MM to the White Sox, the Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd tweets. Chicago will also receive $2MM from the Dodgers, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    For the Dodgers, the move is all about bolstering a relief unit that lost Grant Dayton to injury (and a subsequent waiver claim) and midseason acquisition Tony Watson to free agency. While Tony Cingrani remains on hand, Los Angeles was obviously interested in adding another southpaw to the pen.

    [RELATED: Updated Dodgers Depth Chart]

    Feb 20, 2017; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Scott Alexander (54) poses for a photo during spring training photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    Alexander, 28, has accrued just over one year of MLB service, so he’s not even slated to reach arbitration eligibility until 2020. While he’s hardly a household name, he did turn in 69 innings of 2.48 ERA ball in 2017, his first full season at the game’s highest level.

    While he recorded just 7.7 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 on the year, Alexander generated an eye-popping 73.8% groundball rate (and an above-average 12.8% swinging-strike rate, too). Despite relying almost exclusively on his power sinker — he utilized a breaking ball less than ten percent of the time — Alexander generated excellent results against hitters on both sides of the plate. In fact, he spent most of his time dominating righties, who strode to the plate against him 202 times and managed only a .240/.313/.317 batting line.

    The move also delivers a young, upper-level infielder to the Dodgers system. The 25-year-old Peter split time at the two highest levels of the minors over the past two years. He thrived in particular upon earning his way back to Triple-A in 2017, slashing .292/.351/.506 over 194 plate appearances.

    For the Royals, meanwhile, this is mostly about shedding salary obligations. The club will move all of Soria’s $9MM salary for 2018, while covering the $1MM buyout on a 2019 mutual option. While doing so will entail parting with a quality, affordable young reliever, the team will at least pick up some prospect assets as well.

    [RELATED: Updated Royals Depth Chart]

    Oaks is the highest-rated young asset in the deal; he could even compete for a rotation spot in camp. Last year, he worked to a 3.64 ERA in 84 Triple-A frames, carrying 7.7 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 along with a 50.8% groundball rate. (Typically, the sinkerballer has induced even more worm burners than that.) Oaks will head onto the K.C. 40-man roster; he had been added by the Dodgers in November to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

    The switch-hitting Mejia, 23, slashed a useful .289/.357/.413 in his 403 Double-A plate appearances in 2017. He also contributed seven home runs and 25 stolen bases on the year while spending time at short, second, and third. Mejia originally signed with the Mariners organization out of his native Dominican Republic; he landed with the Dodgers by way of a 2016 trade that sent righty Joe Wieland to Seattle.

    The involvement of the White Sox is geared mostly toward securing some veteran relief pieces at reasonable prices. Avilan projects to earn $2.3MM in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility, but most of that will be covered by the Dodgers. (Of course, that characterization depends upon perspective; L.A. essentially passed through Soria’s contract in the deal, so part of the money could be considered as allocated to his 2018 guarantee.)

    [RELATED: Updated White Sox Depth Chart]

    Having dealt and acquired a whole host of relievers in 2017, the White Sox will now secure two experienced hurlers to bolster an unproven unit and perhaps also provide the organization with some new trade chips. The right-handed Soria rang up 10.3 K/9 and allowed only a single home run in his 56 innings in 2017, ending the year with a 3.70 ERA. He could now be the favorite to step into the White Sox’ closer role. As for Avilan, a 28-year-old southpaw, he managed a 2.93 ERA in his 46 frames while carrying 10.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and a 53.8% groundball rate.

    Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported (Twitter links) that Alexander was going to the Dodgers and Soria to the White Sox. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) and ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (in a tweet) had other components of the deal.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.