MLB Trade Rumors » » Los Angeles Dodgers 2017-09-22T13:11:16Z Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Corey Seager Still Able To Play Through Elbow Injury]]> 2017-09-19T19:40:47Z 2017-09-19T15:59:35Z
  • The Dodgers are continuing to monitor the balky elbow of star shortstop Corey Seager, as skipper Dave Roberts told reporters including’s Ken Gurnick (Twitter links). While it still seems some sort of offseason procedure may be required, the joint is in “playable” condition. Dealing with the pain and preventing any compensation-related problems are surely some of the factors at play here; an injection, though, isn’t considered an option, Roberts notes.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Chase Utley Discusses Future]]> 2017-09-18T04:36:11Z 2017-09-18T04:36:11Z
  • Chase Utley still enjoys playing but is realistic about the fact that his career is approaching its end, the veteran tells Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.  Utley said he has been approaching his career on a year-to-year basis, and acknowledging that while he still has the desire to play, “I know the market nowadays isn’t that friendly to older players.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  But I feel personally there’s still plenty of ways I can contribute.”  Utley turns 39 in December, and he entered the day with a .234/.324/.406 slash line in 328 PA for the Dodgers, which includes an .806 OPS in 162 PA at Dodger Stadium.  While his days as an everyday player are over, Utley has been regarded as a major behind-the-scenes contributor, with teammates and coaches praising his clubhouse leadership.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Brandon McCarthy Set To Return From DL]]> 2017-09-16T21:41:21Z 2017-09-16T21:41:21Z
  • Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says righty Brandon McCarthy will rejoin the club next weekend,’s Ken Gurnick writes. McCarthy has been out since late July with a blister issue. There won’t be space for McCarthy in the Dodgers’ crowded rotation (although Roberts isn’t ruling out the possibility McCarthy could start at some point), but there will in its crowded clubhouse — McCarthy will likely become the 40th active player on the Dodgers’ roster, and will pitch in relief. McCarthy has struggled to stay healthy this season, but has generally been effective when available, posting a 3.84 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 86 2/3 innings spanning 16 starts.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Dodgers' Depth Could Ease Pressure On Starting Pitchers In Playoffs]]> 2017-09-16T20:57:43Z 2017-09-16T20:53:41Z
  • The Dodgers’ outstanding depth could allow them to use lefty starter Alex Wood and righty Kenta Maeda as multi-inning relievers in the playoffs, Rosenthal notes. That means the Dodgers would be able to use quick hooks on any starter having a bad outing.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Bob Geren Could Be Favorite Should Mets Managerial Job Open]]> 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z 2017-09-16T18:03:51Z
  • Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren could be a favorite to take over the Mets managerial job in the likely event that the Mets part ways with Terry Collins. Geren was previously the Mets’ bench coach and is a favorite of Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2018 Vesting Options Update]]> 2017-09-14T17:10:09Z 2017-09-14T17:10:09Z We previously checked in on the vesting option scenarios playing out around the game. In the interim, though, we learned of a previously unreported clause and also gathered quite a bit more information about which options will and will not vest.

    Here’s where things stand with just two weeks to go:

    Already Vested

    • Greg Holland: It didn’t take long for the Rockies closer to finish thirty games, which triggered a clause that turned his $10MM mutual option into a $15MM player option. All indications are that Holland will spurn that payday (and the qualifying offer that will surely follow in close succession) to test the open market, but it affords him injury protection the rest of the way. Holland has already earned $9MM in bonus money. With six more games finished over the final two weeks of the season, he’d tack on another $2MM.
    • Gio Gonzalez: After topping 180 frames in his most recent start, Gonzalez is now under contract for 2018 at $12MM. While he has hit a bit of a wall of late, that still looks like quite an appealing price for a pitcher that has worked to a 2.68 ERA on the year.

    Open Questions

    • Ian Kinsler: It was learned recently that Kinsler’s 2018 option actually has a somewhat convoluted vesting provision. He’s guaranteed to earn $11MM upon reaching 600 plate appearances. And if he takes home another Gold Glove award, he’ll earn another $1MM in 2018. The option is going to be picked up regardless, but the 35-year-old can make things official if he strides to the plate 49 more times between now and the end of the season. He’ll likely get there if he plays more or less every day over the next two weeks.

    Will Not Vest

    • Ricky Nolasco: It’s still theoretically possible that Nolasco can reach the 202 1/3 innings he needs to transform a $13MM club option into a player option, but with over forty to go that’s just not happening as a practical matter. Instead, he’ll likely receive a $1MM buyout on the option.
    • Matt Cain: Cain is even more certain to receive a buyout; he’ll get a cool $7.5MM when the Giants say no to the alternative of paying $14MM more to keep him for another season. The veteran has compiled 119 1/3 innings of 5.66 ERA ball to this point, far shy of the volume or quality needed for that option to come into play. (It would have vested at 200 frames.)
    • Hisashi Iwakuma: Though he needed only 125 innings for his $15MM vesting provision to be triggered, Iwakuma has managed just 31 to date and is still on the DL. Instead, the M’s will likely pay him a $1MM buyout rather than picking up his option at $10MM.
    • Andre Ethier: Though he made it back from the DL, it was far too late for Ethier to lay claim to a $17.5MM salary for 2017. Since it’s impossible for him to make it to 550 plate appearances, he’ll instead receive a $2.5MM buyout when the Dodgers all but certainly decline the club option.
    • Matt Garza: Garza will be controllable via a $5MM club option. He was not able to reach 110 total starts from 2014-17, so his option did not vest at $13MM. But he also did not miss 130 or more days of action on the DL this year, so he avoided a provision that would’ve left the Brewers with a $1MM option for 2018.
    • J.J. Hardy: Also now back from the DL, Hardy returned far too late to reach the 600 plate appearances he’d have needed for a $14MM club option to become guaranteed. Instead, he’s destined to receive a $2MM buyout from the O’s this fall.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Adam Liberatore, Franklin Gutierrez Done For Season]]> 2017-09-09T15:10:56Z 2017-09-09T15:08:22Z
  • The Dodgers have shut down reliever Adam Liberatore and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez for the season, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets.  A left elbow strain limited Liberatore to just four innings this year and has kept him from taking a major league mound since May 30. Gutierrez, meanwhile, has been on the shelf since June 25 with arthritis in his spine. He was on the disabled list earlier in the year with a hamstring strain, making this another injury-marred campaign for someone who hasn’t played 100 games in a season since 2010. After reviving his career in Seattle from 2015-16, the Dodgers inked Gutierrez to a $2.6MM contract over the winter, but the 34-year-old hit just .232/.317/.389 in 63 PAs this season.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Urias' Surgery Reportedly Went Better Than Expected]]> 2017-09-08T14:10:10Z 2017-09-08T14:10:10Z
  • Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias underwent shoulder surgery to repair his left anterior capsule earlier this season, and FanRag’s Jon Heyman writes in his weekly NL Notes roundup that the procedure actually went better than expected. Per Heyman, Dr. Neal ElAttrache anticipates a full recovery for the highly touted 21-year-old, although Urias still appears to be facing a significant layoff. Dodgers president of baseball ops Andrew Friedman said at the time of the surgery (in late June) that a rehab period of 12 months was expected for Urias.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Designate Fabio Castillo]]> 2017-09-06T23:49:41Z 2017-09-06T23:19:33Z The Dodgers have designated righty Fabio Castillo for assignment, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. A 40-man roster spot was needed for the team’s activation of top pitching prospect Walker Buehler.

    Castillo, 28, earned his first trip to the majors this year, though he made only two appearances over the weekend. He has spent most of the season pitching in the upper minors, working to a 4.04 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 over 91 1/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 9/4/17]]> 2017-09-05T04:02:30Z 2017-09-05T04:02:30Z Here are the day’s minor moves:

    • The Dodgers have selected the contract of infielder Charlie Culberson, per a club announcement and as J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group first reported on Twitter. Veteran righty Brandon McCarthy was placed on the 60-day DL to create roster space, though he’s still progressing through a rehab assignment and could also rejoin the active roster later this month. Culberson, 28, hasn’t seen the majors yet this year but has appeared in 182 total MLB games over parts of four seasons, including a brief stint with the Dodgers last year. (Indeed, Culberson made the roster for the NLDS.) At Triple-A, he carries a .250/.299/.336 slash over 414 plate appearances. Los Angeles is in need of some shortstop depth while the team lets Corey Seager rest his balky elbow.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers To Promote Walker Buehler]]> 2017-09-04T23:11:49Z 2017-09-04T23:11:49Z The Dodgers will promote top pitching prospect Walker Buehler for his first taste of the majors on Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told reporters including J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Los Angeles will need to open a 40-man spot to make the addition.

    Buehler, 23, starred at Vanderbilt before the Dodgers took him with the 24th overall pick of the 2015 draft. He underwent Tommy John surgery just after becoming a professional, but has steadily raised his stock since finally taking the hill late last year.

    Prospect analysts were already excited by Buehler before the 2017 season, as he entered some top-100 lists despite a track record that went just five innings deep. Buehler has rewarded that and then some so far in his first full campaign as a pro.

    Buehler opened the year at the High-A level, but quickly earned a promotion after overwhelming the competition there. He then turned in 11 quality starts at Double-A, recording a 3.49 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

    By the time Buehler was nearing a move to the highest level of the minors, he was streaking up the mid-season prospect charts. Baseball America listed him 17th among all prospects leaguewide, with’s Keith Law tabbing him the 11th-best pre-MLB player.

    Los Angeles has slowed things down a bit as Buehler nears one hundred frames on the season. He has moved to a relief role at Oklahoma City — where he hasn’t been quite as dominant — and will remain in the pen upon reaching the majors.

    Whether or not this stint will be more than an opportunity for Buehler to dip his toes in the water remains to be seen, though it’s perhaps not inconceivable that the talented youngster could force his way into postseason roster consideration. Regardless, now that he’s taking up residence on the 40-man roster, it’s clear that he’ll factor into the team’s pitching plans for 2018 (and well beyond). Since he’ll only pick up about 25 days of service, Los Angeles will still be able to manage his accumulation of service time moving forward to the extent that the club wishes to delay his entry into arbitration and free agency.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers To Recall Joc Pederson Soon]]> 2017-09-03T21:58:08Z 2017-09-03T21:58:08Z
  • The Dodgers plan to recall outfielder Joc Pederson sometime this season, manager Dave Roberts told reporters, including Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, on Sunday (Twitter link). “I would expect Joc back. Nothing is set in stone,” Roberts said of Pederson, whom the Dodgers optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Aug. 19. The 25-year-old has batted a shockingly poor .158/.222/.281 in 63 minor league plate appearances, continuing a disappointing sseason that has seen him hit .215/.329/.418 in 295 PAs with the Dodgers. P ederson’s major league line this year has been average, not bad, but it still represents a clear drop-off from his production during the prior two seasons.
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    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Dodgers Designate Jordan Jankowski For Assignment]]> 2017-09-02T17:04:09Z 2017-09-02T17:04:09Z The Dodgers have announced that they’ve designated righty Jordan Jankowski for assignment. The move clears space on the 40-man roster for righty Wilmer Font, whose contract the team selected today. The Dodgers also promoted Font and righty Brock Stewart to the big leagues.

    The Dodgers added Jankowski on a waiver claim from the Astros less than two weeks ago. The 28-year-old has a 5.61 ERA, 11.4 K/9 and 5.8 BB/9 in 43 1/3 innings of relief at the Triple-A level this season. He also debuted with the Astros earlier this year, giving up six runs in 4 1/3 innings.

    The 27-year-old Font, meanwhile, was named the PCL Pitcher of the Year after a remarkable season for Triple-A Oklahoma City in which he posted a 3.42 ERA, 11.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 over 134 1/3 innings. The former Rangers farmhand signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays after a stint in independent ball last season, then headed to the Dodgers on another minor-league pact last winter.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Designate Brett Eibner, Luis Ysla]]> 2017-09-01T21:56:46Z 2017-09-01T21:56:46Z The Dodgers have designated outfielder (and partially converted pitcher) Brett Eibner and lefty Luis Ysla for assignment, per a club announcement. With Grant Dayton heading to the 60-day DL after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the club cleared the way for several September promotions.

    As expected, top prospect Alex Verdugo and veteran Andre Ethier will both make their way onto the active roster. The former will be joined by first baseman/outfielder O’Koyea Dickson in appearing in the majors for the first time. Ethier is headed back to the bigs for the first time this season after an extended DL stint.

    Meanwhile, Los Angeles also announced that Clayton Kershaw has been activated from the 10-day DL. Outfielder/first baseman Rob Segedin — like Dickson, a potential righty bench bat — has also been recalled from optional assignment.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers To Promote Alex Verdugo]]> 2017-08-31T17:40:57Z 2017-08-31T17:28:31Z The Dodgers will promote top outfield prospect Alex Verdugo to make his Major League debut, tweets J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. The 21-year-old will need to be added to the 40-man roster, though the Dodgers could create space for that move simply by moving lefty Grant Dayton to the 60-day DL. (Dayton had Tommy John surgery recently.)

    Alex Verdugo | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsNotably, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets that Joc Pederson will not immediately be called up when rosters expand tomorrow. Pederson, unlike Verdugo, will remain in Triple-A for the time being — likely until the minor league season comes to a close, according to Plunkett.

    Verdugo is batting .314/.389/.436 with six homers and nine steals through 495 plate appearances in Triple-A Oklahoma City this season. He’s currently ranked as the game’s No. 22 prospect, per Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs. Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of rated him 28th on their summer top 100, while Baseball America pegged him 35th.

    The free report from Callis and Mayo praises the former second-round pick as an “extremely advanced hitter for his age,” noting that contact comes so easily for Verdugo that some wonder if it will cut into his walk rate. Verdugo uses the opposite field well and has average speed with the instincts to handle center field, the duo adds.

    Verdugo’s name has been oft-mentioned in trade rumors over the past year, though never in the sense that the Dodgers were shopping him or even willing to move him. To the contrary, teams such as the Twins, Tigers, Rangers and Orioles have all reportedly eyed Verdugo when marketing established veterans to the Dodgers, but president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and his staff have steadfastly refused to make Verdugo available in talks.

    Given the timing of his promotion, the earliest that Verdugo could qualify for arbitration would be upon completion of the 2020 season. He’s controllable through at least the 2023 season for the Dodgers, though those timelines could both be delayed if the team ultimately decides that Verdugo requires further minor league refinement and gives him some more work at Triple-A in 2018.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Wright, Cueto, Kershaw, Wood, Ethier, Sano, Ramirez, Bailey]]> 2017-08-30T13:50:24Z 2017-08-30T13:50:24Z Though he is now dealing with yet another setback and has not appeared in the majors since May of last year, Mets third baseman David Wright is not considering retiring, a source tells Mike Puma of the New York Post. A lingering shoulder injury is the most immediate problem limiting Wright, though he has also dealt with significant neck and back issues that he’ll continue to battle in the future. With three years and $47MM left on his contract, Wright will evidently keep trying to make it back to the majors, though at present it is unclear what course he’ll take in trying to overcome his maladies.

    Here’s more on some other injury situations from around the game:

    • Giants righty Johnny Cueto said he feels ready to return to the majors, as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area writes. He has taken two rehab starts in his bid to return from a flexor strain that has kept him out of action since mid-July. That injury seemingly makes it quite likely that Cueto will elect not to opt out of the remaining four years and $84MM of his contract this fall. Cueto seemingly acknowledged that, saying that his “whole mentality has been for me to stay here,” though he also noted that’ll be a decision that’s made in consultation with his agent at season’s end.
    • The Dodgers are set to welcome back a pair of key southpaws later this week, as Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter links). Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch Friday, with Alex Wood taking the ball on Sunday. Kershaw has been out since late July, making for the second-straight year in which he has missed significant time due to back issues. Wood’s DL stint has been of a shorter duration, with the belief being that his SC joint inflammation is something that can be managed rather than a symptom of a more significant problem. Needless to say, both are critical to the team’s ever-rising postseason expectations. The Dodgers are also awaiting a return from yet another starter, righty Brandon McCarthy, who has been out with a finger blister. As Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets, the right-hander’s scheduled rehab start this week has been bumped, so his status is unclear at the moment.
    • Also nearing his return to the Dodgers is veteran outfielder Andre Ethier, as Plunkett further reports on Twitter. The club will make a move after rosters expand at the start of September. The 35-year-old faces an uncertain playing-time situation, to be sure. Los Angeles just added a left-handed-hitting veteran outfielder in Curtis Granderson and now features Adrian Gonzalez as a southpaw-swinging bench bat. Ethier has missed the entire season to date with a herniated disc in his back. He’ll almost certainly hit the open market after this year, receiving a $2.5MM buyout if (likely, when) the team declines a $17.5MM club option. Despite his many recent medical problems, there ought to be some market if Ethier can show he’s healthy in September; after all, as recently as 2015 he was a productive hitter (.294/.366/.486 over 445 plate appearances).
    • While the Twins are currently pacing the pack for the second American League Wild Card spot, the team has gone without key slugger Miguel Sano. While he does seem to be improving from what has been called a “stress reaction” to his left shin, writes’s Rhett Bollinger, Sano still hasn’t begun running or fielding. Manager Paul Molitor says things are “moving rather slowly” for the third baseman. Sano, 24, has turned in 475 plate appearances of .267/.356/.514 hitting with 28 home runs on the year, meaning the team is going without a middle-of-the-order bat that isn’t really replaceable. Given the nature of his injury, though, there’s likely not much that can be done but hope that he responds to treatment.
    • The Angels are awaiting news from a re-examination of right-hander J.C. Ramirez after he underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow, Pedro Moura  of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Ramirez, 29, had settled into a starting role for the club, providing 147 1/3 innings of 4.15 ERA ball to a rotation that badly needed it. That sets him up fairly well as a possible Super Two candidate; it remains to be seen whether Ramirez will qualify for arbitration after entering the year with 1.139 years of service. Given that he only just underwent that injection, though, it seems optimistic to expect that he’ll make it back to the mound in 2017.
    • Meanwhile, fellow Angels righty Andrew Bailey is giving up any attempts to return in the present season, Moura further reports on Twitter. He will, however, attempt to get his shoulder back to health in order to return in 2018. Bailey had shown well for the Halos in a late-season stint last year and re-signed with the club for $1MM over the winter, but has managed only four major-league frames on the year. He’s set to return to the open market at the end of the season.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Notes: Darvish, Kershaw]]> 2017-08-27T19:32:33Z 2017-08-27T19:32:33Z The Dodgers brought Yu Darvish off the disabled list Sunday to start against the Brewers and placed reliever Josh Fields on the 10-day DL with a lower back strain in a corresponding move. Darvish missed the minimum amount of time after going on the DL retroactive to Aug. 17 with lower back tightness. Before that, the trade deadline acquisition from Texas made three starts with his new club and allowed just five earned runs over 18 innings, with 22 strikeouts against four walks. He and ace Clayton Kershaw should form an elite tandem into the fall. Kershaw has been out since late July with a more severe back injury than the one Darvish dealt with, but the left-hander will start for the Dodgers next weekend, manager Dave Roberts announced Sunday (Twitter links via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times). The team could use a six-man rotation with Darvish and Kershaw back in the fold, Roberts suggested.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Notes: Buehler, Bellinger, McCarthy]]> 2017-08-26T22:06:13Z 2017-08-26T22:06:13Z
  • Walker Buehler’s last six appearances for Triple-A Oklahoma City have come as a relief pitcher, adding to the widely-held speculation that the top Dodgers prospect will make his big league debut in September to help the team’s bullpen down the stretch (and perhaps in the postseason).  Manager Dave Roberts, however, tells Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times and other reporters that the team that Walker’s future has yet to be determined.  “He’s transitioning to this new role.  We’re very sensitive to having guys here who fit a certain role and have a purpose, and we haven’t made that decision with Walker,” Roberts said.
  • From that same DiGiovanna piece, Cody Bellinger reported “no pain” in his sprained right ankle after going through workouts and batting practice.  The star rookie’s injury was thought to be mild when he hit the DL on last Tuesday (with a back-dated placement to August 20), and Bellinger indeed looks on pace to return when first eligible on Wednesday.  In other Dodgers injury news, Brandon McCarthy made his first rehab start on Friday as he looks to return from a month-long DL stint due to a blister problem.  According to Roberts, McCarthy is still “multiple rehab starts” away from returning to the Dodgers rotation.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Grant Dayton To Undergo Tommy John Surgery]]> 2017-08-25T23:40:36Z 2017-08-25T22:56:48Z Dodgers lefty Grant Dayton is set to undergo Tommy John surgery, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter link). That will obviously bring his season to a close and will likely keep him out for most or all of the 2018 campaign as well.

    Dayton emerged late last year as a force in the Dodgers pen. After years of toiling in relative anonymity, he posted preposterous numbers in the upper minors and then continued to shove at the game’s highest level. Over his first 26 1/3 MLB innings, Dayton worked to a 2.05 ERA with 13.3 K/9 (on a  15.0% swinging-strike rate) and 2.1 BB/9.

    That remarkable showing — driven by Dayton’s powerful spin rate and excellent command — seemingly made the southpaw one of the game’s most intriguing relief assets. While he turned 29 not long after his sparkling rookie campaign, Dayton was controllable through at least 2022 and had shown signs of sustainable dominance.

    Things simply haven’t gone that way in 2017, however, as Dayton has gone backward in basically every regard. Though he was never a pure velocity guy, Dayton has lost nearly 1.5 mph on his average heater. His vaunted four-seamer spin rate has fallen off. The results followed: Dayton’s swinging-strike rate dropped below ten percent and he posted a 4.94 ERA with a very pedestrian 7.6 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 over 23 2/3 MLB innings.

    Neck issues and an intercostal strain had limited Dayton and could help explain some of his struggles. The elbow trouble, though, apparently cropped up only recently, as Dayton was warming up for a rehab appearance. Because he was on the 10-day DL when the injury occurred, he will continue to accrue MLB service time for the duration of the recovery period for the upcoming procedure.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Place Bellinger, Wood On Disabled List]]> 2017-08-22T23:01:03Z 2017-08-22T22:54:30Z The Dodgers have placed both Alex Wood and Cody Bellinger on the DL, the team announced Tuesday. Wood is once again dealing with inflammation in his SC (sternoclavicular) joint, though the breakout southpaw is targeting a return for the first weekend of September against the Padres. As for Bellinger, he’s been slowed recently by a right ankle sprain that has been called mild in nature, but he’s already been out of the lineup for two games, allowing the Dodgers to backdate the move by two days. That’d put Bellinger on track to be eligible to return from the DL as soon as next Wednesday. Manager Dave Roberts told reporters today that top prospect Walker Buehler and rehabbing ace Clayton Kershaw are not candidates to start for the Dodgers in place of Wood this weekend (all Twitter links via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register). Rather, a bullpen game started by Ross Stripling seems the likeliest course. In corresponding roster moves for Wood and Bellinger, the Dodgers have recalled righties Brock Stewart and Josh Ravin.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Alex Wood Likely Headed To DL]]> 2017-08-23T13:49:20Z 2017-08-22T16:45:42Z
  • It’s likely that Dodgers lefty Alex Wood will skip at least one start, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times was among those to report (Twitter links). Wood showed a downtick in velocity and coughed up three home runs in his outing yesterday, though he was able to complete six innings. After the game, manager Dave Roberts said that Wood had experienced a recurrence of inflammation in his SC joint. Given the Dodgers’ place in the standings, there’s little reason to take a risk.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Clayton Kershaw To Begin Rehab Assignment Saturday]]> 2017-08-21T20:33:42Z 2017-08-21T20:33:42Z Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated game today as he continues to work toward a return from his back injury, and Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets that the Dodgers’ ace is now scheduled for a minor league rehab start this coming Saturday. McCullough cites Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt in reporting that Kershaw is slated to throw four innings and 60 pitches in what will be his first live game action since landing on the disabled list last month. It’s encouraging news for the Dodgers, as that timetable should line Kershaw up for a return in early or mid-September, giving him at least two to three weeks before the postseason begins.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Andrew Friedman & Co. Watch Shohei Otani]]> 2017-08-20T21:37:48Z 2017-08-20T21:37:48Z Eight members of the Dodgers organization, including president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, were in Japan on Sunday to watch Nippon Ham Fighters star Shohei Otani, according to a report from Sponichi (translation courtesy of Kazuto Yamazaki of Beyond the Box Score, on Twitter). The two-way standout threw a 58-pitch bullpen session before the game and then reached base in all four plate appearances during the contest, going 3 for 3 with a walk. Otani, 23, figures to be the most sought-after free agent available if he decides to immigrate to the majors in the offseason. The Dodgers seem likely to pursue him, but the international spending limits in the new collective bargaining agreement will prevent the big-spending franchise from steamrolling the competition with a massive offer. In fact, the Dodgers aren’t allowed to give out a bonus exceeding $300K to an international prospect in the 2017-18 signing period.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Clayton Kershaw Likely To Return Sept. 1]]> 2017-08-20T20:29:40Z 2017-08-20T20:29:40Z
  • Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is likely to rejoin their rotation Sept. 1, relays Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Kershaw, who’s rehabbing from a late-July back injury, will throw a three-inning sim game in Pittsburgh on Monday, manager Dave Roberts announced. If all goes well, he’ll make a rehab start at either the Double-A or Triple-A level next weekend (Twitter link via Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times).
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Jordan Jankowski From Astros]]> 2017-08-20T18:18:45Z 2017-08-20T18:07:23Z The Dodgers have claimed right-hander Jordan Jankowski off waivers from the Astros, per an announcement from Los Angeles. The hurler had been in limbo since the Astros designated him for assignment this past Monday.

    [Updated Dodgers Depth Chart]

    A 34th-round pick of the Astros in 2012, Jankowski made his major league debut earlier this year and fared poorly across 4 1/3 innings, surrendering six earned runs on seven hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Jankowski hasn’t produced great results in 40 1/3 Triple-A frames this season, either, with a 5.13 ERA, 5.13 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate. The 28-year-old has averaged nearly 12 strikeouts per nine at that level this season, however, adding to his impressive bat-missing history in the minors. In 174 1/3 lifetime Triple-A innings, Jankowski has fanned exactly 12 hitters per nine, against 4.5 BB/9, and posted a 3.87 ERA.

    Jankowski, who has three minor league options remaining, will report to the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mets Acquire Jacob Rhame From Dodgers As PTBNL In Curtis Granderson Trade]]> 2017-08-20T18:32:01Z 2017-08-20T18:05:31Z The Mets and Dodgers have completed their Curtis Granderson trade from Friday. New York announced that it has acquired minor league right-hander Jacob Rhame as the player to be named later in the swap. Rhame will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.

    [Updated Mets Depth Chart]

    The 24-year-old Rhame had been with LA since 2013, when it selected him in the sixth round of the draft. The reliever ascended to the Triple-A level for the first time last season and logged a 3.29 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 63 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Rhame has tossed 48 more PCL frames this year and posted a worse ERA (4.31) and a similar K/9 (10.31), to go with a low-30s ground-ball percentage, but his walk rate has trended in the right direction (1.88 BB/9).

    Rhame ranked as the Dodgers’ 28th-best prospect prior to the trade, according to, which notes that he possesses a 94 mph to 98 mph heater that can occasionally hit triple digits. However, the outlet cautions that Rhame’s limited repertoire and extreme fly ball ways could make it difficult for him to carve out a big league future.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Dodgers Place Yu Darvish On 10-Day DL]]> 2017-08-19T20:08:56Z 2017-08-19T20:08:56Z The Dodgers have formally announced that they’ve placed righty Yu Darvish on the 10-day DL with lower back tightness. They also officially activated outfielder Curtis Granderson, optioned outfielder Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and recalled lefty Edward Paredes from Oklahoma City.

    Darvish’s injury is not expected to be serious, as GM Farhan Zaidi tells the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett (all Twitter links). “He could potentially go out there and he certainly feels he could. But in our situation, it’s important for us to feel that he’s 100 percent. To err on the side of caution with an injury that’s relatively minor still makes sense,” says Zaidi. As Plunkett explains, the Dodgers’ enormous 19-game lead on the NL West (and, really, their huge lead in wins on every team in baseball at this point) gives them the luxury of not taking risks on August games that ultimately won’t matter much.

    Darvish left his start on Wednesday due to his back trouble. He’s allowed five runs while striking out 22 and walking four in 18 innings since the Dodgers acquired him at last month’s non-waiver deadline.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson]]> 2017-08-26T03:41:57Z 2017-08-19T19:28:54Z SATURDAY: The Dodgers have agreed to take on some of the salary on what’s left of Granderson’s contract, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The Mets will pay “more than half” of the $3.5MM or so remaining, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. Some of that cash could flow back to the Mets if the two sides can’t agree on a player to be named later, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets. [Note: the sides eventually did agree on a PTBNL.]

    FRIDAY: The Dodgers have officially struck a deal to land outfielder Curtis Granderson from the Mets for cash or a player to be named later. Granderson took the second spot on MLBTR’s list of the top 25 August trade candidates earlier this evening; now, he’s headed out west in search of a ring.


    While the Dodgers are more likely to break the all-time single-season record for wins (116) than they are to lose the NL West lead, the club has not stopped adding talent. Granderson joins recent acquisitions Yu Darvish, Tony Watson, and Tony Cingrani in bolstering an already-loaded roster.

    Granderson, 36, gives the Dodgers yet another interesting piece to work with. The timing of his addition is particularly notable given that Los Angeles just welcomed veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez back from the DL, which seemingly left breakout young star Cody Bellinger slated for at least some additional time in the outfield. Then again, it may turn out that Gonzalez will function mostly as a bench bat.

    Both Gonzalez and Bellinger hit from the left side, as do Granderson and the struggling Joc Pederson. It remains to be seen how things will be sorted, but this move could push Pederson out of his semi-regular role in center. Regardless, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts will have options. The club has three right-handed hitters capable of playing the outfield in Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernandez — the latter two are also infield options — so there are loads of different ways the team can line up depending upon the situation.

    Despite his age and early-season struggles, Granderson is a significant addition. he has destroyed opposing pitching to the tune of a .273/.395/.596 slash in his last 250 trips to the plate. It doesn’t hurt that he’s still capable of manning center field, giving an alternative to Pederson. It’s worth noting that, like Pederson, the new addition has been far more effective this year (and over his career) when hitting with the platoon advantage. The Dodgers will surely continue to mix and match heavily.

    It’s not yet clear how the teams have sorted out the remainder of Granderson’s $15MM salary — just under $4MM of which remains to be paid. He had previously cleared revocable waivers. It’s worth noting, too, that the move seemingly makes it unlikely that the Dodgers will end up assigning a significant role to veteran Andre Ethier when he finally returns later in the year. Los Angeles also announced that it designated righty Dylan Floro for assignment to open a 40-man spot for the addition of Granderson.

    For the Mets, the swap brings an end to a productive four-year tenure for Granderson. He joined the team on a four-year, $60MM pact and largely performed to expectations after a middling first year. All told, he produced a .239/.341/.444 slash with 95 long balls over his time with the Mets — while also serving as a respected clubhouse member through occasionally tumultuous times.

    This move is the latest in a string of transactions that the Mets have undertaken to clear the decks on a losing campaign. Prior swaps have seen Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, and Addison Reed depart — bringing quite a bit of cost savings and some lower-level prospects in return. All of those players, of course, were pending free agents, so it made little sense to hold onto them with no hope of reaching the postseason. It is still possible the Mets could make another move or two, with catcher Rene Rivera reportedly a candidate to move in the near term and infielder Asdrubal Cabrera taking the top spot on our aforementioned list of possible trade candidates.

    Craig Minervini of FOX Sports Florida (via Twitter) had suggested Granderson was close to changing hands.’s Anthony DiComo first reported the swap (Twitter links). 

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Dodgers To Option Joc Pederson]]> 2017-08-19T18:34:32Z 2017-08-19T18:25:23Z In the wake of yesterday’s acquisition of Curtis Granderson, the Dodgers appear set to demote fellow outfielder Joc Pederson. There hasn’t been any official confirmation of the move, but various beat writers noted earlier today that Pederson’s locker was empty, and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has seemingly confirmed the decision, telling reporters (including the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett on Twitter) that a stint in the minors will give Pederson an opportunity to “reset” while he works on changes to his swing.

    As our own Jeff Todd noted yesterday, the Dodgers’ acquisition of Granderson gave them a wealth of outfield options, also including Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor, Enrique Hernandez and Cody Bellinger. Bellinger in particular bats lefty, as Pederson does, and figures to take some playing time in the outfield with Adrian Gonzalez returning from the DL.

    The 25-year-old Pederson has been a fixture in the Dodgers’ outfield for the past three seasons and looked to be emerging as a core player after a strong 2016, but he has struggled badly of late, hitting a mere .127/.250/.309 in the past month and batting just 2-for-25 over the last two weeks. He’s also dealt with concussion issues and a groin injury this season. He has not played in the minors, other than in rehab assignments, since the Dodgers selected his contract in 2014. Notably, Pederson entered the season with two years and 28 days of service time, so there’s some chance his demotion could result in the Dodgers being awarded an extra year of control before he reaches free agency. It seems likely, however, that they’ll recall him when rosters expand in September, which would keep Pederson on track to become eligible for free agency following the 2020 season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Chris Hatcher]]> 2017-08-15T23:59:24Z 2017-08-15T22:33:59Z The Athletics announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Chris Hatcher from the Dodgers in exchange for $500K in international bonus money. Hatcher’s roster spot will go to infielder/outfielder Rob Segedin, who has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the Dodgers announced.

    Chris Hatcher | Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsThe 32-year-old Hatcher has struggled in each of the past two seasons with the Dodgers. However, the converted catcher had success in 2014-15 and also comes with some peripheral stats that are more promising than the 5.12 ERA he’s posted since Opening Day 2016.

    Since last season began, Hatcher has averaged 10.1 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 with a fastball that has averaged 95.2 miles per hour. That velocity is down in 2017, as is his ground-ball rate, but Hatcher has also improved his control after an uncharacteristic 4.7 BB/9 rate in 2016.

    Hatcher won’t cost the Athletics much, as Oakland is one of several teams that is prohibited from spending more than $300K on any single international amateur after drastically exceeding its pool last year (or the year prior). He’ll give the A’s a reliever with a fair bit of late-inning experience that can be controlled cheaply through the 2019 season. Hatcher avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25MM contract and will be eligible for arbitration once again in each of the next two offseasons before reaching free agency in 2019-20.

    The Dodgers likely deemed Hatcher expendable not only due to his struggles but also due to the manner in which right-hander Brandon Morrow has stepped up and enjoyed a rebound campaign in Los Angeles (2.70 ERA, 11.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 in 26 2/3 innings). The Dodgers also deepened their bullpen at the trade deadline by acquiring lefties Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani — further crowding a bullpen mix in which Hatcher proved to be the odd man out.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[NL Notes: Bettis, Granderson, Familia, Baker, Roberts, Davis]]> 2017-08-15T03:47:08Z 2017-08-15T03:47:08Z Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis made his return to the major league hill tonight after a long road back following treatment for testicular cancer. To call it a success would be an understatement: Bettis, 28, scattered six hits over seven scoreless frames. MLBTR congratulates him on an inspiring return to the game’s highest level of competition.

    Here’s more from the National League:

    • While there has been at least some chatter surrounding the idea that the Nationals could have interest in Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, that’s not the case, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post (via Twitter). While the Nats’ original starting outfield trio is shelved on the DL, it seems the organization feels good enough about the health outlook to forego pursuit of a player such as Granderson. The hope remains that both Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth will be able to return in time to gear up for the postseason, with a variety of other players — including Brian Goodwin, Michael Taylor, and just-acquired veteran Howie Kendrick — slated to cover for the longstanding absence of Adam Eaton, who is not expected to play again this year.
    • Mets closer Jeurys Familia is set to begin a rehab assignment tomorrow, as James Wagner of the New York Times reports on Twitter. Familia will open in the Gulf Coast League as he begins to move back toward the majors following surgery for a blood clot in his shoulder. It’s obviously too late for his return to impact the Mets’ long-lost hopes of contending, but the 27-year-old will still presumably be aiming to get some work in late this year to set the stage for a rebound in 2018. The coming campaign will be his final year of arbitration control; with only 9 1/3 innings on his ledger to date in 2017, Familia will likely only be able to earn a relatively modest raise on his $7.425MM salary.
    • While the Nationals and Dodgers hold the two best records in the National League, each team’s manager — Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts, respectively — currently lack long-term job security. In Baker’s case, per Janes, it seems unlikely that his future will be addressed until after the season (when his contract will expire), though it seems the general expectation in the organization remains that something will be worked out. There’s a similar tone with regard to Roberts, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. Roberts says he’s not thinking about a new deal in the middle of the year, but did say he hopes to continue his “dream job” beyond his current term (the three-year deal runs through 2018 and includes a club option for one more season).
    • Shaikin also takes a look in at the interesting transition to the mound currently being attempted by Ike Davis and the Dodgers. The former Mets first baseman — and one-time Arizona State closer — has already earned plaudits for his outstanding attitude in heading down to Rookie ball, and there are some reasons to think he could have a new future in the game at thirty years of age. “The early reviews have been really good,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Clayton Kershaw Could Return This Month]]> 2017-08-14T01:22:24Z 2017-08-14T01:22:24Z
  • The inimitable Clayton Kershaw could return to the Dodgers’ rotation by month’s end, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Kershaw, out since July 23 with lower back tightness, completed a second bullpen session Sunday and will pitch a simulated game Wednesday. Amazingly, the Dodgers have gone 15-3 without Kershaw, whose injury has prevented him from being part of the same rotation as ballyhooed trade deadline acquisition Yu Darvish. Those two figure to line up for Games 1 and 2 of the Dodgers’ NLDS matchup in October.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Claim Luke Farrell, Designate Scott Van Slyke]]> 2017-08-09T18:48:17Z 2017-08-09T18:48:17Z The Reds announced on Wednesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Luke Farrell off waivers from the Dodgers and designated former Dodger Scott Van Slyke for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Farrell has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville, per the Reds’ announcement.

    The 26-year-old Farrell is the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell and made his MLB debut with the Royals earlier this year. He was knocked around for five runs on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings, and that outing still represents his long MLB appearance.

    Though his debut was rough, Farrell has produced solid Triple-A results in 2016-17, working to a combined 3.83 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and roughly a 36 percent ground-ball rate in 199 2/3 innings. He has a pair of minor league options remaining beyond this season, which also figures to have some appeal to the Reds.

    Van Slyke was acquired alongside catching prospect Hendrik Clementina minutes before the non-waiver trade deadline in the trade that sent Tony Cingrani to the Dodgers. While some may wonder why the Reds didn’t simply acquire Farrell in place of Van Slyke in that trade, it’s likely due to the fact that the Reds took on the remainder of Van Slyke’s salary, thus offsetting some of the financial cost of Cingrani for Los Angeles.

    The 31-year-old Van Slyke is earning $1.325MM and has appeared in just 29 games this season (all with the Dodgers), hitting .122/.250/.293 in 48 plate appearances. Van Slyke, of course, has had his share of success in the Majors but hasn’t been especially productive since 2014. He’s also carrying a disappointing .714 OPS in Triple-A this season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Release Layne, Outright O'Brien]]> 2017-08-07T16:54:33Z 2017-08-07T16:47:03Z
  • In a pair of moves from the Dodgers, left-hander Tommy Layne has been released, while outfielder Peter O’Brien has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to Eddy. Layne spent less than a month in the Dodgers’ system after signing a minors pact in mid-July. He threw 5 2/3 frames with their Triple-A club but walked more batters (six) than he struck out (three). He does have a nice track record in the Majors (3.23 ERA in 136 1/3 innings from 2012-16) but was hit hard with the Yankees in 2017. As for O’Brien, he’s bounced around on the waiver wire this season but finally went unclaimed and will return to the Dodgers’ minor league ranks while no longer occupying a 40-man roster spot. O’Brien’s power generated plenty of intrigue a few years ago, but there have long been questions about his defense and plate discipline. He’s also posted a .666 OPS in the minors this season.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Claim Dylan Floro]]> 2017-08-04T21:50:33Z 2017-08-04T21:47:21Z The Dodgers have claimed righty Dylan Floro off waivers from the Cubs, the Los Angeles organization has announced. A 40-man spot was opened by moving Franklin Gutierrez to the 60-day DL.

    Floro, 26, was knocked around in 9 2/3 innings (over three relief appearances) earlier this year with the Cubs. And he has managed just 4.8 K/9 in his 48 2/3 Triple-A frames on the season.

    Still, teams obviously remain interested in Floro’s ability to draw grounders. He has induced worm burners on 61.6% of the balls put in play against him this year at Iowa, where he owns a 3.88 ERA.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Deadline Retrospective: How Astros Lost Britton; Why Padres Held Hand]]> 2017-08-04T03:10:03Z 2017-08-04T02:42:02Z The Astros’ lone move this past Monday was the acquisition of Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays, but multiple reports indicate a significant reason for their lack of activity is due to the fact that an agreed-upon deal for Zach Britton fell through at the eleventh hour. Roch Kubatko of (here and here), MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, and FanRag’s Jon Heyman each reported key aspects of the story. You’ll certainly want to read those links in full for all the interesting details, but we’ll cover some highlights here.

    Astros owner Jim Crane said in a radio interview with ESPN 97.5 in Houston that his team had multiple trades that were “agreed to in principle” before medical issues led to those deals getting “vetoed at the top.” The Orioles are known to have the most stringent medical standards of any team in the league, though it’s also interesting that Rosenthal reports that Houston also had a deal lined up for an unidentified “high-end” reliever that would have “surprised the industry” upon being traded.

    Per Kubatko and Rosenthal, the Britton deal broke down when the Orioles raised medical concerns over two of the players in the deal — believing one to have a “legitimate medical problem” and deeming another to be somewhat questionable. The identity of the prospects in question isn’t known, though Kubatko says the pair were both pitchers and Rosenthal hears that as many as six to seven Astros prospects were deemed off-limits in trade talks for Britton. Ultimately, the Orioles “went dark” on both the Astros and the Dodgers, who were also in the mix for Britton, for several hours before simply telling L.A. that Britton was off the table about an hour prior to the deadline, Rosenthal continues. Baltimore made a last-minute offer to Houston, but the Astros deemed it too steep.

    Heyman writes that while many will place the blame on Baltimore owner Peter Angelos, Orioles officials insisted to him that the medical reports on the players the O’s would have received of great enough concern that no deal was ever even presented to Angelos. Heyman spoke to multiple execs from other teams that suggested Houston is too stingy when it comes to surrendering its top prospects in a deal, and that penchant for hanging onto prized young talent ultimately led to a quiet deadline for GM Jeff Luhnow and his staff.

    Of course, the Astros had plenty of reason to be cautious when it comes to Britton. The once-elite reliever has missed most of the 2017 season due to a pair of DL stints tied to a forearm injury and at the time of the deadline had only worked back-to-back days once since being activated off the DL (and once during a minor league rehab stint). He posted an 8-to-4 K/BB ratio in 10 July innings before the non-waiver deadline, though it’s perhaps worth noting that he did work on a third consecutive evening the night of the deadline.

    Houston did, of course, have other irons in the fire — including the intriguing mystery reliever noted by Rosenthal as well as Yu Darvish. Indeed, it seems the former only fell through at the ownership level from the other team. And Houston’s front office felt it made a stronger offer for Darvish than did the Dodgers, says Rosenthal, who notes the Rangers simply didn’t see it that way (the front office had authority to deal the righty within the state).

    Brad Hand of the Padres, though, seemingly represented the most obvious alternative to Britton — at least, after the Cubs grabbed Justin Wilson, in part owing to a wariness of dealing with the O’s on deadline day. But Houston and San Diego just never saw eye to eye on the southpaw’s value, per Rosenthal and Heyman.

    Sources from the Pads indicate the club ultimately backed away from seeking top-100-type talent, though not all rival executives seem to have viewed it that way. It seems that San Diego did at least check down from the top-tier prospects it initially sought, though obviously there was still a gap that was never bridged. Details remain scant, though Rosenthal notes the Astros held the same six prospects off-limits for Hand that they did for Britton; per Heyman, the Nationals were no more willing to discuss Carter Kieboom than their top outfielder prospects and the Dodgers preferred cheaper options even though the Padres would’ve taken a package of multiple prospects outside of the Dodgers’ five best.

    Ultimately, the fact that both Britton and Hand stayed with their respective organizations leaves some potentially un-done work for all involved. The Astros obviously had intended to do more at the deadline, and could look to find alternatives this August. There’s also an impact on their plans for 2018 and beyond. That’s all the more true for the Orioles and Padres, who’ll likely shop their lefties this winter.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Notes: Eibner, International Spending]]> 2017-08-02T03:40:40Z 2017-08-02T03:40:40Z
  • The Dodgers had been experimenting with outfielder Brett Eibner as a pitcher, but his season will come to an end due to Tommy John surgery, tweets J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Eibner hadn’t actually gotten into a game in the minors, as he’s been dealing with soreness in his arm for awhile now. The Dodgers’ reported plan for Eibner wasn’t to convert him to a pitcher on a full-time basis but to use him as an outfielder and occasional reliever. Eibner pitched and played in the outfield in his college days but had been exclusively a position player since turning pro.
  • While the Dodgers have drawn headlines for their enormous Major League payrolls, their commitment to international spending has played a huge role in their success as well, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. As Shaikin notes, the Dodgers shipped out three prospects signed as international amateurs yesterday to acquire Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani, and their willingness to spend on that market has persistently left them with ammunition for trades. “The kind of scouting and player development infrastructure you have can pay off in terms of guys rising to the big leagues and impacting your team, or sometimes being able to make trades like this,” said GM Farhan Zaidi. “It’s certainly a credit to our scouting and player development staffs for giving us the players and prospect capital we needed to pull off these deals today.” The new hard cap on international spending will make that strategy more difficult, though the Dodgers have a history of finding creative ways to build up their farm by leveraging financial muscle.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Deadline Notes: Darvish, Britton]]> 2017-08-01T18:28:52Z 2017-08-01T16:29:31Z
  • The Dodgers’ acquisition of Yu Darvish came together quite late, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports explains in fascinating detail. It became apparent the Dodgers wouldn’t get Zach Britton from the Orioles within a half hour of the deadline, but the team had already “abandoned hope” of landing Darvish. The Rangers, meanwhile, had run through their alternative trade partners for the ace righty and found none availing. The paths of the two organizations converged just twenty minutes before the deadline. You’ll certainly want to give the story a full read; Texas fans will also want to check out this piece from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on the team’s unannounced but still-evident rebuilding path.
  • In the end, there just wasn’t that much demand in the marketplace for Darvish, Rosenthal also notes — so much so that the Dodgers were nearly in position to land both Darvish from the Rangers and lefty Zach Britton from the Orioles. That said, there was “some overlap” between the prospects in both potential deals, and it obviously would’ve required a steep overall price to get both arms. Instead, Los Angeles added two different lefties, Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani.
  • As regards Britton, Rosenthal had some stern words for how things played out. The Orioles spurned not only the Dodgers but likely also the Astros. For Baltimore, the deadline approach “was disturbingly short-sighted,” by Rosenthal’s reckoning. And when Houston wasn’t able to find another top-end arm, says Rosenthal, its body of deadline work became a “lost opportunity.” It does seem worth bearing in mind, particularly regarding the Astros, that the August trade period appears to be full of opportunities for making further moves if the need is there.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Grading The Yu Darvish Trade]]> 2017-08-01T14:53:26Z 2017-08-01T14:53:26Z Yesterday’s last-minute Yu Darvish swap represented perhaps the most dramatic move of deadline day for a host of reasons. It not only broke after the deadline itself, but represented a major shift for the Rangers and left the Dodgers with another ace on a loaded pitching staff. While the trade doesn’t really impact the picture in the NL West — the Dodgers were seemingly running away with things without him — it could well change the complexion of the postseason.

    The rights to employ Darvish over the next few months — but, mostly, to have him for the NLDS (and, the Dodgers hope, beyond) — came at a cost. Just how much that’ll sting is debatable and perhaps also largely remains to be seen. While the Dodgers held onto the prospects they evidently cherish most (Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler), they gave up an intriguing, near-majors hitter in Willie Calhoun while also sacrificing two high-upside youngsters in A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis.

    It doesn’t make much sense to approach a deal like this by contemplating which side “won;” after all, they were both in very different positions. The Rangers essentially decided they did not need Darvish through the end of his contract, since a postseason run was unlikely. And the Dodgers took quite the opposite position, with a willingness to sacrifice pre-MLB talent to add the established hurler.

    Instead, given the organizations’ varied approaches, it seems worth polling the MLBTR readership for grades on the deal from the perspective of each side. First, the Rangers: do you think the return will prove significant enough to justify the lessened possibility of a Wild Card, any (perhaps minimal) reduction in the potential to re-sign Darvish, and the draft compensation (a choice at the end of the second round) that would have accrued had Darvish declined a qualifying offer and signed elsewhere? (Link for app users.)

    And for the Dodgers … was it worth giving up Calhoun and more for a starter on a team loaded with them? Ought these or other players have been used to acquire a better left-handed relievers than those (Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani) that were acquired? Etc. (Link for app users.)

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dodgers Sign Tommy Layne To Minors Deal]]> 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z
  • Earlier this month, the Dodgers signed left-hander Tommy Layne to a minor league deal, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets.  Layne posted good numbers out of the Red Sox and Yankees bullpens in 2015-16, though his career-long struggles with control plagued him this year, as Layne posted a 7.62 ERA over 13 IP for New York, with eight walks against just nine strikeouts.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Yu Darvish]]> 2017-07-31T22:21:17Z 2017-07-31T20:36:44Z The Dodgers and Rangers have pulled off a last-minute stunner, striking a deal that sends star righty Yu Darvish to Los Angeles. Second baseman/outfielder Willie Calhoun is the headliner of the return, with righty A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis rounding out the package going to Texas. To clear a 40-man spot, the Dodgers designated infielder/outfielder Mike Freeman for assignment.

    Heading into the deadline, it wasn’t even clear whether Darvish would be available. And as the deadline approached, it seemed perhaps he’d stay with the Rangers — with a high asking price perhaps getting in the way of a swap. But even as the Dodgers added two lefties to the bullpen, they swooped in and added the high-powered righty.


    Darvish, 30, was clearly the most impactful pitching rental on the market. While he has only managed a 4.01 ERA on the year — much of that due to an awful recent start — he’s still rolling with 9.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. Of greater importance, perhaps, he has managed to provided 137 innings over 22 starts — putting him on pace to approach or top 200 innings for the first time since 2013.

    Never a big groundball pitcher, Darvish has been hurt by the flies this year. He has allowed 1.31 homers per nine on a 15.0% HR/FB rate. But he’s still managing a typical 11.9% swinging-strike rate, working in the zone more than ever, and generally pitching like himself for the most part.

    Darvish, when pitching to his ability, is one of the game’s top starters. Since he broke into the majors in 2012, Darvish has been one of the twenty most valuable hurlers by measure of fWAR — despite logging far fewer innings than any other pitchers in his company because he missed significant time after Tommy John surgery.

    The long-term elbow question is one the Dodgers won’t really need to worry about, as Darvish will be a pure rental. He is slated to hit the open market at season’s end, when he’ll finish the six-year, $56MM pact he signed when he came over from his native Japan. (Texas also paid over $50MM in posting fees.) Darvish is earning $11MM this year and stands to take home quite a bit more thereafter; he’ll now enter free agency free and clear of any qualifying offer-related draft compensation.

    Los Angeles surely didn’t need this addition to win the NL West, which it currently paces in a runaway and will almost certainly take for the fifth straight season. Acquiring Darvish is designed with one goal in mind: driving the club to a World Series win for the first time since 1988. The righty will presumably slot among a group of talented lefties, led by Clayton Kershaw (when healthy) and also including Alex Wood and Rich Hill. Los Angeles can also give innings to Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu and others, with the precise alignment still to be determined. (It’s worth remembering, too, that Julio Urias was expected to be a major part of the staff; had he not suffered a season-ending injury, this swap may never have taken place.)

    Adding Darvish came at a cost, of course, though it did not require the team to part with its most prized prospects. Once the Rangers decided to move the righty — with an eye still to trying to re-sign him in the winter, perhaps — the club surely knew its return would be limited by market forces. While Texas won’t land an elite prospect in the swap, it does add some real talent.

    Calhoun is generally the highest-rated prospect in this deal. The 22-year-old is a left-handed hitter who shows big promise at the plate. He cracked top-100 prospect lists entering the season and has responded with an outstanding .298/.357/.574 batting line — with 23 home runs and just 49 strikeouts against 36 walks — over his first 414 plate appearances at Triple-A. The expectation is that he’ll ultimately end up in the grass, where he could combine with Nomar Mazara to make quite a corner outfield pairing for years to come.

    The other players in the deal are talented as well. Alexy is a 19-year-old hurler who was taken in the 11th round of the 2016 draft. He has advanced to the Class A level, where he carries a 3.67 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 through 73 2/3 innings. He’s seen as having some projection left in his wiry frame, but is obviously already throwing well at an early stage. Davis, who just turned 20, was a fifth-round selection in 2015. He’s seen as a raw and athletic talent who has a lot of development left, though there are signs of real progress this year. Davis recently earned a promotion to High-A after slashing .245/.357/.403 with eight long balls — with 107 strikeouts but also 47 walks — through 367 plate appearances at Class A Great Lakes.

    Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network reported the trade (Twitter links).’s Buster Olney (via Twitter) said three prospects would go in return, with’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link) and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via  Twitter) providing the names.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Tony Watson From Pirates]]> 2017-07-31T21:40:15Z 2017-07-31T20:33:36Z The Pirates have announced that they’ve traded former closer Tony Watson to the Dodgers for infielder Oneil Cruz and righty Angel German. The Dodgers were reportedly interested in the Orioles’ Zach Britton, but appear to have settled on Watson as a backup option — though he’s certainly a talented pitcher in his own right. To clear space for him on their 40-man roster, they’ve announced that they’ve designated journeyman slugger Peter O’Brien for assignment.

    Apr 26, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Tony Watson (44) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the eighth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    The 32-year-old Watson has a 3.66 ERA, 6.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 46 2/3 innings this season. He was booted from the Pirates’ closer role in June but has had modest success since then, with a 2.79 ERA, 15 strikeouts and six walks in 19 1/3 innings since June 9.

    Watson carries a 2.68 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 over parts of seven seasons with the Pirates. The hard-throwing lefty gives the Dodgers another potential late-inning option to complement closer Kenley Jansen and another lefty to pair with Luis Avilan, although there’s no official word yet on what Watson’s role will be. He’s struggled against righties this season, allowing a .294/.360/.525 line against, but he’s had success against them in the past. He makes $5.6MM this season and is eligible for free agency in the fall.

    Cruz, 18, was batting .240/.293/.342 with 110 strikeouts and 28 walks while playing shortstop and third base for Class A Great Lakes. He received a $950K bonus when the Dodgers signed him out of the Dominican Republic two summers ago. ranked him the Dodgers’ 17th-best prospect, noting that his left-handed swing could eventually produce good power and that his size — he’s 6’6″ — makes him likely to make a permanent move to third base at some point.

    The 21-year-old German had a 1.91 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 while pitching 33 innings of relief at Great Lakes. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a low-level reliever, he does not rank among’s top 30 Dodgers prospects. Various online reports indicate that he throws in the mid-90s, however.

    FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the two sides had struck a deal. Jon Heyman of FanRag tweeted a deal was close, with Rosenthal originally tweeting the two sides were discussing a trade. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted the Pirates would receive two minor leaguers. 

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Tony Cingrani]]> 2017-07-31T22:20:53Z 2017-07-31T20:21:39Z The Dodgers have added another lefty, picking up Tony Cingrani from the Reds. In return, Cincinnati has acquired outfielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrik Clementina.

    Jul 26, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Tony Cingrani (52) pitches against the New York Yankees during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

    Cingrani joins Tony Watson as southpaw bullpen additions for Los Angeles, which came into the deadline looking to bolster that facet of the relief corps. The 28-year-old Cingrani has posted a mediocre 5.40 ERA on the year, but he’s carrying 9.3 K/9 with 2.3 BB/9 to go with it. The real issue thus far has been a monumental home run problem: Cingrani is allowing 3.47 per nine, with 29% of the fly balls he permits leaving the yard.

    Oddly, Cingrani has struggled badly against same-handed hitters, allowing six long balls from just 43 lefties he has squared off against. That figures to balance back out somewhat, though, as he has limited lefty hitters to a .218/.305/.407 slash over his career (including this year’s ugly results).

    Assuming those issues can be brought under control, Cingrani will add a power arm to the L.A. pen. He carries a 12.4% swinging-strike rate and is averaging a healthy 94.6 mph with his fastball. Cingrani represents an affordable option with some future value, too. He is earning just $1.825MM this year and can be offered arbitration over the next two seasons.

    Van Slyke, 31, is another powerful corner outfield option that the Reds have added from the NL West. It’s not immediately clear whether he’ll have much function on the roster, though, and he’ll mostly offset Cingrani’s remaining salary obligations. The real motivation for Cincinnati was surely to add the twenty-year-old Clementina. He’s a Curacaoan backstop who has turned it up at the plate this year in Rookie ball, slashing .370/.439/.554 in a limited 108 plate appearance sample.

    Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Cingrani was on the move (via Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (Twitter link) connected him to the Dodgers, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted the return.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Yu Darvish Trade Rumors: Deadline Day]]> 2017-07-31T19:33:26Z 2017-07-31T19:33:38Z It’s quite possible that today is Yu Darvish’s last day as a member of the Rangers organization. The Texas ace has drawn interest from several teams, with the Dodgers the most prominently linked club. However, Darvish has also been tied to the Yankees and the Indians to varying extents. The Astros are also said to have checked in, though the intra-division roadblock makes that notion a bit tougher. We’ll track all of the latest Darvish chatter in this post between now and the 4pm ET non-waiver trade deadline…

    • At this point, it seems that Darvish will either go to the Dodgers or stay put, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Given other indications that Los Angeles is focused elsewhere, it could be that the righty won’t end up changing hands today.
    • Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter) that it’s “getting increasingly harder” to envision Darvish landing with the Dodgers, as the two sides “simply aren’t matching up.”

    Earlier Updates

    • Bowden suggests that the Dodgers could look to pry lefty Alex Claudio away from the Rangers in a package deal alongside Darvish (Twitter link). Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News suggests the same, though he notes that it’d still require the Dodgers changing their stance on the inclusion of Verdugo or Buehler. Claudio, though, is just 25 years old and is controlled through 2021, so he’d be a nice long-term piece for L.A. He’s held lefties to a laughable .131/.169/.197 slash this year and has a masterful 70.5 percent ground-ball rate overall in 2017. However, he doesn’t miss many bats.
    • Yahoo’s Tim Brown tweets that the Indians “are not in on Darvish” at this time. Notably, Cleveland was reported by Hoynes to be in pursuit of Orioles closer Zach Britton.
    • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, however, hears that the Indians and Astros are both “hanging around” in the Darvish picture, but the Dodgers are Texas’ preferred trading partner (Twitter link). The Yankees’ interest in Darvish is dependent on the outcome of their talks for Sonny Gray, Crasnick adds.
    • Bowden tweets that the Astros, Indians and Dodgers are the three teams that are still in the mix for Darvish, and he again mentions Mejia’s name in connection to talks. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that the Indians are interested in Darvish only if the price tag drops.
    • While the Dodgers have generally regarded as the favorites for Darvish, their talks with the Rangers have essentially reached an impasse, tweets FanRag’s Jon Heyman. Los Angeles has reportedly been unwilling to part with the likes of top-ranked prospects Alex Verdugo, Walker Buehler and Yadier Alvarez for a half-season rental of Darvish, and it would seem that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has yet to budge in that regard.
    • The Rangers and Indians have spoken about a “Yu Darvish for Francisco Mejia type” of deal, tweets Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. Including Mejia, the consensus top catching prospect in baseball, would be a steep price for Cleveland to pay for a rental, though the wording of the report leaves some wiggle room for other pieces to potentially be involved. The 21-year-old Mejia is hitting .317/.367/.520 with 10 homers through his first 279 plate appearances in Double-A and ranked as baseball’s sixth-best prospect on Keith Law’s midseason list. pegged him 16th overall, while Baseball America had him 18th. Cleveland is on Darvish’s no-trade list, though it remains possible that he could waive that right for a clearer shot at the postseason.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Zach Britton Trade Rumors: Deadline Day]]> 2017-07-31T19:09:05Z 2017-07-31T18:55:38Z 2:08pm: Offers are still “lacking” from the O’s perspective, Heyman tweets.

    12:33pm: Indeed, an executive with one team even thinks Houston could be close to landing Britton as the team engages in “serious” pursuit of the star lefty, Rosenthal tweets.

    Meanwhile, despite some indications to the contrary, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag hears the Orioles would still consider dealing Britton to the Nationals. (Twitter link.) That said, Baltimore is looking for an impact prospect from Washington or any other team.

    And the Dodgers also are still not out of the running on Britton, Rosenthal tweets, leaving the field largely wide open.

    12:28pm: Despite evidently finding a deal for Francisco Liriano, the Astros are still engaged on Britton, per Rosenthal (via Twitter). But teams aren’t sure even at this hour just how inclined Baltimore is to make a deal.

    12:23pm: The Indians are now considered to be a “long shot” to acquire Britton, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

    11:46am: FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that the O’s remain “adamant” about not moving Britton without getting an elite prospect in return. ESPN’s Buster Olney, though, spoke to one evaluator who feels that the O’s have been steadily moving toward a trade of the lefty (Twitter link).

    9:46am: MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Astros also remain in the mix for Britton (Twitter links). One executive from an interested team tells Rosenthal that it’s “still unclear” if the Orioles will actually part ways with their closer.

    9:42am: The Indians are “pushing hard” in a bid to acquire left-hander Zach Britton from the Orioles, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Cleveland was tied to righty Addison Reed earlier this morning, but the Mets’ closer now looks to be off the board as he’s reportedly headed to the Red Sox.

    Britton, 29, entered the season on the short list of baseball’s very best relievers, but he’s missed significant time with a forearm injury in 2017 and has seen his K/BB numbers trend in the wrong direction when healthy. He’s also pitched on back-to-back days just once since being activated from the disabled list and is earning a steep $11.4MM this year.

    That said, Britton is controllable via arbitration this offseason, and if he does indeed round back into top form, he’d give Cleveland an unparalleled combination of bullpen weapons, pairing with fellow lefty Andrew Miller and right-hander Cody Allen. When at his best, Britton uses a mid-90s sinker to generate grounders at a historic rate and boasts elite strikeout and walk rates. It’s been debated for a few weeks now whether the Orioles would ultimately be open to parting with Britton and whether any team would risk parting with the elite prospects necessary to acquire him in light of this season’s red flags.