- Jerome Williams, who provided a late-season boost in six starts for the Angels, is continuing to make a strong case for his spot the 2012 rotation with a dominant winter in Venezuela. In six starts for the Magallanes Navegantes, Williams is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA, reports Luis Gonzales at El Universal. After four offseasons without a Major League deal, Williams is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter at age 29.
- Oliver Perez is technically a free agent, but the 30-year-old lefty told Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Beisbol, "I would say that I still belong to Washington, though anything could happen." Perez spent 2011 at the Nationals' Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg and will spend the winter pitching for the Culiacán Tomateros in the Mexican Pacific League. Fellow MLB free agents Vicente Padilla and Rodrigo Lopez also recently reported to the MPL looking for an offseason showcase, reports Ballesteros.
- In the same piece, Ballesteros notes that 41-year-old reliever Elmer Dessens doesn't want to go undergo another surgery on his pitching arm, and that "it is only a question of time before he officially says goodbye to the diamond." Dessens was reported to have signed a minor league contract with the Giants last February, positioning him to become the first Mexican pitcher to play in the majors into his forties, but the deal fell through and he sat out the season.
- Also in the piece, Ballesteros adds that the Pirates recently offered 200K to 15-year-old Mexican pitching prospect Julio Cesar Urias, but Urias’ parents rejected the offer. According to Ballesteros, the young lefty is currently being wooed by several MLB teams, the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican league, and the Gonzalez Sports Academy, which is co-owned by Adrian Gonzalez and his brothers Edgar and David.
The Dodgers sit at 31-37, in fourth place and seven games back in the NL West with 58% of their season remaining. They're 11th in the league with 3.93 runs scored per game. The Dodgers' starters rank eighth with a 3.82 ERA, while their relievers are dead last at 4.77. The latest links:
- Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is expected to meet payroll tomorrow, reports Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, but he has almost no chance to make payroll on June 30th without a cash infusion. About $30MM is owed on the 30th. In theory, MLB could complete their investigation of McCourt's finances this month and Bud Selig could approve the Fox deal, saving the team for McCourt. Otherwise, Shaikin says Selig could seize the team and put it up for sale. Meanwhile, McCourt is involved in divorce settlement talks with his ex-wife Jamie.
- Righty Vicente Padilla could be out of the season due to neck surgery, Shaikin's colleague Jim Peltz learned from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Padilla signed for a $2MM base salary in December. He was anointed the team's closer for a brief period of time. Instead they'll continue to piece things together until perhaps Jonathan Broxton returns this month.
- How about a positive story? Yesterday Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports named Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll one of his unlikely All-Stars. The 37-year-old is hitting .319/.383/.389 in 255 plate appearances and appears to be in line for another multiyear deal after the season.
- Recently signed righty Ian Snell joined the Dodgers' Triple-A team, writes Kirby Arnold of The Everett Herald.
Here are some Dodgers tidbits, including items on their Tinseltown drama..
- Tom Schieffer said he spoke to McCourt by phone today and expects to meet with him at Dodger Stadium tomorrow, tweets Bill Shaikin of the LA Times.
- A prominent Dodgers executive told David Vassegh of 570 KLAC that former owner Peter O'Malley has two big time investors to buy the Dodgers. The plan would be for O'Malley to run the organization again.
- Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has been on a speaking binge in New York City after spending the last year saying very little to Dodgers fans in Los Angeles, opines T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times.
- Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets that Tom Schieffer on his way to Dodger Stadium for first time since he was appointed as the Dodgers trustee on Monday.
- Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton believes that he can regain his All-Star form, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The club doesn't neccessarily have to go out-of-house if they choose to go in another direction with the closer role. The Dodgers called on Vicente Padilla to close out a 5-4 win over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday.
Here are some items of note from clubs out on the West Coast …
- The Dodgers don't yet have a plan for right-hander Vicente Padilla, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Padilla, last year's Opening Day starter, could (again) start, close or be a long-reliever, depending on injuries. Padilla's base salary reflects that, Hernandez writes. His base salary is for $2MM, but he can earn an additional $8MM in incentives for starting or $6.8MM for relieving.
- The Rangers once again are well-stocked with catchers, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, but this year, as opposed to previous years, they have a clear-cut starter in Yorvit Torrealba. Still, they have three other useful backstops in Matt Treanor, Mike Napoli and Taylor Teagarden, but because Treanor has a Major League deal and Napoli is a strong hitter and versatile defender, Teagarden, who still has minor league options, appears to be the odd man out.
- The Diamondbacks are experimenting with finding some more at-bats this spring for roster hopeful Micah Owings, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Owings, a right-handed pitcher, is in camp on a minor league deal and is vying for the long-relief job out of the bullpen, but he could improve his chances of breaking camp with the club because he can be used as a pinch-hitter and perhaps even as a first baseman, on occasion.
- Padres right-hander Dustin Moseley, who signed a Major League deal with San Diego in December, will pitch out of the bullpen if he doesn't crack the starting rotation, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. Generally regarded as a swing man, Moseley chose the Friars over a handful of other suitors for the chance to win a starting job.
This year's Oscar nominations were announced today, so it's only fitting that we check out the latest baseball news from Hollywood. The envelope please…
- Mike Trout holds the #1 spot on MLB.com's 2011 Top 50 Prospects list. Trout is the only Angel on the list, while Dee Gordon (#44) is the only Dodger.
- Toronto sent $5MM to the Angels as part of the Vernon Wells trade, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Ilustrated. The cash transaction wasn't officially reported since the clubs "apparently just didn't want to" do so.
- News of the $5MM payment might have changed Fangraphs' Matt Klaassen's analysis of the Wells trade against the Giants' signing of Barry Zito in a "which move was worse?" breakdown.
- If Jonathan Broxton loses the closer's job and Hong-Chih Kuo can't stay healthy, Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests Vicente Padilla as an outside-the-box closing candidate.
- Billionaire Alec Gores may have an interest in buying the Dodgers, but his equally-rich brother Tom won't be joining the bid, reports Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News. Tom Gores is reportedly focusing his attention on buying the NBA's Detroit Pistons.
- ESPN NFL Insider Chris Sprow finds "it hard to fathom" that Jake Locker would consider leaving the NFL behind to refocus on his baseball career. Locker was a 10th round pick of the Angels in the 2009 draft, but is projected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in this spring's NFL draft. ESPN.com's Jason A. Churchill opined that Locker could look to baseball as a fallback option if the NFL's labor troubles threaten the 2011-12 season.
Lest we forget, there are still eight million more native Spanish-speakers in the world than English-speakers…
- Dayan Viciedo is "well-viewed" within the White Sox organization and will fight it out with Brent Morel for the starting third base job this spring, a source from Chicago told Luis Rangel at Miami-based El Nuevo Herald. The source said Viciedo is working daily with third base coach Joey Cora to improve his mobility and fielding at the hot corner, though his appeal to the organization remains primarily through offense, as evidenced by a .308/.321/.519 line in 106 PAs last summer. Kenny Williams indicated in August that the 21-year-old Cuban prospect was untouchable, though rumors of his availability have revived recently.
- The Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to do a little of everything, but if he becomes a full-time starter, the deal he signed last week could end up looking a lot different. Gerald Hernandez at the Nicaraguan paper La Prensa detailed Padilla's contract, which stipulates that if he matches his career high of 33 starts, his $2MM salary will jump to $8MM. Against Padilla's favor: Each of the Dodgers' front five started at least 30 games in 2010.
- Reliever Elmer Dessens hasn't received an offer to re-sign with the Mets, a source close to the pitcher told Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican blog Puro Beisbol. The source added that Dessens, who will turn 40 in early January, is currently in negotiations with one team from each league. He posted a 2.30 ERA for the Mets in 47 innings last season while both walking and striking out 3.06 per nine, and he has said he is only interested in a guaranteed major league deal.
The Dodgers signed Vicente Padilla to a one-year deal, the team announced today. The right-hander, who was nearing a $2MM deal with the Dodgers earlier in the week, has passed his physical. WMG represents Padilla.
The Dodgers already have Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland, so Padilla figures to be a swingman for manager Don Mattingly. That versatility appealed to Dodgers GM Ned Colletti.
“Vicente’s flexibility and willingness to be in whatever role we may need him in was very important to us,” Colletti said in a statement. “We believe he is capable of filling practically any role on our staff and we are very glad to have him back.”
The 33-year-old missed time with forearm and neck injuries in 2010, but still managed a respectable season. Padilla posted a 4.07 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 95 innings.
The Dodgers moved close to a one-year, $2MM agreement with righty Vicente Padilla, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The deal is contingent on Padilla passing a Thursday physical. Padilla would serve as a swingman, Gurnick writes. The Dodgers already filled out their rotation by signing Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, and Jon Garland, but you can never have too much depth.
Padilla, 33, pitched well when healthy in 2010. He posted a 4.07 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.3 HR/9, and 39.8% groundball rate in 95 innings this year. He missed time with forearm and neck injuries.
10:50pm: The Dodgers are in talks to re-sign Padilla, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
4:00pm: The Dodgers are willing to listen to offers for Broxton, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.
11:42am: The Dodgers hope to add two relievers, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark, with Vicente Padilla one of them. He says some teams wonder if they'd be willing to move Jonathan Broxton if they add the right arms. The Dodgers have previously been linked to Jesse Crain, Jason Frasor, and Matt Guerrier.
Diaz, 33 in March, could serve as a platoon partner for Jay Gibbons in left field. The Phillies, Astros, and Yankees are other potential suitors for him. Accardo, meanwhile, hasn't pitched extensively in the Majors since '07.
A grab bag of overnight links, as we look forward to updates out of Orlando….
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier hears from a source that Adrian Gonzalez has wanted to play for the Red Sox for a "really long time." There is no set deal for an extension in place, but rather an understanding of what it will take, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- In a separate piece, Speier notes that the Nationals' signing of Jayson Werth significantly increases Boston's chances of receiving a first round pick from the Tigers as compensation for Victor Martinez.
- Though Speier suggests the Red Sox didn't ultimately make a formal offer to Werth, MLB.com's Peter Gammons says Boston's interest affected the Nationals' negotiations.
- In a preview of the winter meetings from the Dodgers' perspective, Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times explain how Vicente Padilla could still fit into the team's plans.
- Daniel Bard tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald that he'd like to see the Red Sox add some veteran bullpen help.
- Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic identifies some potential free agent targets for the Diamondbacks.