Rafael Furcal reportedly agrees to terms with … Atlanta

That’s according to Foxsports.com, where Rosenthal is reporting the deal, three years with a vesting option for 2012, will be announced later today. What this means for the Dodgers is that they’ll either pursue Orlando Cabrera or trade for a SS. It remains unclear whether the Dodgers ever offered to guarantee a third year, but my guess is they did. Braves simply added an option year, and Atlanta is obviously a comfortable fit for him.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8947764/Source:-Furcal-to-sign-with-Braves

Furcal’s decision could be at hand

Tim Brown of yahoo.com is reporting that a decision will be made tomorrow and that it isn’t necessarily Oakland. I just talked to Ned Colletti, who said he had conversations “all weekend” with Furcal’s representatives, but he wouldn’t get into details about them.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=At5K9CwFcOHRqrIIIaweg1MRvLYF?slug=ti-furcal121508&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Dodgers acquire Dice-K, assign him to minors

OK, so it’s a different Dice-K. But I got your attention, didn’t I? Here is yet another release in which the Dodgers claim the name Camelback Ranch as their own, even though it existed long before they decided to move there.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they have hired Daisuke “Duke” Yamashita as infield coach at Camelback Ranch-Glendale for the 2009 season. Yamashita, a native of Shizuoka, Japan, will specialize in infield instruction, specifically fielding, and brings more than 15 years of coaching experience to Camelback Ranch-Glendale.
“We’ve been searching for an additional infield coach to try different methods to stimulate our system and Yamashita was highly recommended by Acey Kohrogi, Dodger Director of Asian Operations. We are always open to new teaching styles, technology and creative ways of developing players,” said Dodger Assistant General Manager, Player Development De Jon Watson. “Yamashita brings his vast coaching and playing experience to the Dodger organization.”
Yamashita has extensive coaching experience in Japan. Recently, the infield coach served as a coach for the Rakuten Eagles (2005). Prior to that, Yamashita managed (2003-2004) and coached (1998-2000) the Yokohama BayStars, winning the 1998 Japan Series Championship.
“I am honored to become part of the Dodgers’ coaching staff. In 1973 when I was a senior at Keio University, I visited Los Angeles as a member of the Japan-US collegiate baseball championship and played at Dodger Stadium,” said Yamashita. “Ike Ikuhara of the Dodgers helped me a lot during that visit and the whole experience was an asset to my career. Thiry-five years later, I am connected with the Dodgers again. Now it’s my turn to help the young players to achieve their American dream.”
Yamashita had a successful playing career in Japan as well, playing for the Taiyo Whales of Japan’s Central League for 14 years. He was the Whales’ number one draft pick in 1974 and was a four-time All-Star during his tenure there (1974, 1975, 1978, 1981). Yamashita also set records for the most consecutive chances without making an error at shortstop in both the Central League (205, 1976-7) and the Nippon Baseball League (322, 1977-8). He was awarded Golden Glove awards for eight consecutive seasons (1976-83) as well as the Best Nine award (1981). Yamashita also boasted a fielding average of .988 in 1976.

Vin Scully to be inducted into Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame

Below are the first three paragraphs of the Dodgers’ release. The amazing thing to me is that he wasn’t already in, but apparently this thing wasn’t even founded until a year ago. They seem to have Halls of Fame for just about everything these days. And if you look at the other names from this year’s class and last year’s inaugural class, it’s (not surprisingly) all pretty New York-centric

LOS ANGELES – Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be among the distinguished list of broadcasting professionals inducted into the 2008 class of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in New York City tomorrow night. The ceremony, hosted by CBS’ Jim Nantz, will be held tomorrow night in Manhattan at the New York Hilton and is the culmination of a selection process by more than 80 industry leaders from national broadcast networks, cable sports networks, leagues, teams, and related organizations.
Going into the HOF alongside Scully will be Marvin Bader (ABC Olympics), Chet Forte (ABC Sports), Curt Gowdy (ABC, CBS, and NBC), Teddy Nathanson (director, NBC Sports), Don Ohlmeyer (ABC and NBC), Val Pinchbeck (NFL), Bob Seiderman (CBS and Fox Sports), and Charlie Steinberg (Ampex and Sony). The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, formed in 2007 to honor sports TV industry innovators and leaders, announced its inaugural class last year, which included broadcasting legends such as Roone Arledge, Howard Cosell, Jim McKay, and Ed Sabol.
Scully is expected to accept the award via videotape due to the lengthy travel required to be in attendance.

Oakland increases four-year offer to Furcal

He rejected the A’s earlier offer, so whether he accepts this one probably depends on his reason for rejecting the first one. Was it because it wasn’t for enough money? Or was it that Raffy simply didn’t want to play in Oakland? If it’s the latter, that works in the Dodgers’ favor, especially given that we know the Dodgers are his first choice. If it’s the former, he is probably on the verge of being gone.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081215&content_id=3717525&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

Also, Chan Ho Park has agreed to terms with the Phillies on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, with incentives that could double his salary. It is contingent on his passing a physical.

I forgot Jason Repko

He is also eligible for arbitration. That makes four guys — Ethier, Martin, Broxton and Repko — that the Dodgers will go through the process with. Just a primer, the way it works is that the club will try to reach agreement with each of the four in advance of arbitration — that is what is known as “avoiding arbitration.” If a player doesn’t reach an agreement, he will exchange salary figures with the club, then go to a hearing in early February in Phoenix, where a three-person panel will choose either the club’s figure or the player’s figure, with no wiggle room in between. There is also a period between the exchanging of figures and the actual hearing when the two sides still can reach an agreement and avoid a hearing.

Mario Alvarez was NOT arbitration-eligible …

… but he DID have an arm injury that was going to keep him out for all of 2009, and given that he was on the 40-man roster, he would have had to be on the big-league DL all year accruing big-league service time. This also clears a 40-man spot. Also, I just spoke with Ned, and he reiterated that the Dodgers are open to re-signing Saito and Berroa. If Saito ISN’T re-signed, the closer’s role could go to Broxton, Kuo, someone else in the organization or someone outside the organization. Even if Saito IS re-signed, he won’t necessarily be the closer.

Dodgers non-tender five, including Takashi Saito

The others were Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban, Angel Berroa and a guy I had no idea was arbitration-eligible, Mario Alvarez. Anyway, the important thing to note is that all of these guys can still be re-signed. All this does is take them out of the arbitration loop, leaving only Martin, Ethier and Broxton. Haven’t spoken with anyone about this yet, so I should have more information when I do.