Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot: Four more ex-Dodgers for your consideration.

Baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot was announced yesterday, and there were a few more Dodger connections among the first-time candidates. We’re guessing that none of these guys will make it in, but not to be overlooked …

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Poll: Who should be in the Hall?

Today, the 2013 ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame will be revealed. It should be an interesting ballot.

Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, all fantastic players in their primes and suspected PED users, should be on for the first time. Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza is also newly eligible. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is on the ballot for the 13th time, hitting coach Mark McGwire for the seventh. Former MLBPA head Marvin Miller isn’t on the ballot, but quite a debate ensued over his Hall-worthiness when he died yesterday.

It’ll renew the great, uncomfortable, annual debate over whether known and suspected PED users belong in the Hall of Fame. (Jeff Bagwell … what was he on? Anything?)

There are about as many opinions as there are candidates. Here’s your chance to chime in before official results are announced on Jan. 9:

Some food for thought on Fox’s big pitch.

Fox Sports WestWhile you were putting the finishing touches on Thanksgiving leftovers over the weekend, Deadline.com reported the particulars of Fox’s latest proposal to retain the Dodgers’ television rights: Between $6 and $7 billion over 25 years.

That seems like a strong pitch, indicative of the Dodgers’ place in Fox’s local programming slate with no Lakers, no NFL (and for the moment, no NHL either). For the Dodgers, it represents a significant increase over the reported $39 million Fox will pay for TV rights in 2013, the final year of the current contract. Yet it may not be enough to sway Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly, whom Deadline reports is the lone negotiator for Guggenheim Baseball Management. The Dodgers could elect to start their own regional network, á la the Yankees or the Red Sox, but to do so means Guggenheim must turn down a profit margin of $4 billion-plus on the $2 billion it paid for the club earlier this year.

The exclusive negotiating window between Fox and the Dodgers closes in four days.

A few observations:

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Alfredo Silverio, six others sign minor-league deals.

The Dodgers re-signed Alfredo Silverio among seven minor-league free agents who were also invited to spring training.Alfredo Silverio

Silverio, 25, missed all of last season after suffering a concussion among numerous injuries in an off-season car crash. Prior to the crash Silverio was among the Dodgers’ top prospects, batting .306/.340/.542 with 11 stolen bases and 16 homers in his first full Double-A season at Chattanooga in 2011.

Next spring he’ll be joined by infielders Ozzie Martinez and Nick Evans, right-handed pitchers Juan Abreu and Gregory Infante, left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz and catcher Wilkin Castillo.

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Dodgers promote Steven Ames, Matt Magill.

The Dodgers promoted Steven Ames and Matt Magill to the 40-man roster Tuesday, as teams line up to protect players from the Rule 5 draft to be held in December.

Ames, 24, pitched for Double-A Chattanooga of the Southern League and was 3-3 with 18 saves and a 1.56 ERA in 54 games. The reliever struck out 72 batters in 63.1 innings of work and held right-handed hitters to a .177 average (25-for-141). Ames was selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2007 draft.

Magill, a product of Royal High School in Simi Valley, was drafted in the 31st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old started 26 games for Chattanooga in 2012, posting an 11-8 record with a 3.75 ERA. The right-hander fanned 168 batters in his 146.1 innings, including four games with 10 or more strikeouts.

The Dodgers currently have 38 players on their major-league roster. Teams have until 8:59 (PST) tonight to add any Rule 5 draft-eligible players to their roster — players who were 18 or younger when signed and have accrued five years of minor-league service time, and players who were 19 when they signed and have at least four years of service in the minors.

Reports: Hiroki Kuroda re-signs with Yankees.

The Dodgers can cross one name off the list available free-agent starting pitchers.

Hiroki KurodaRight-hander Hiroki Kuroda agreed to terms with the New York Yankees on a one-year contract Tuesday, according to multiple reports. The former Dodgers pitcher is the first big-name starter to leave the market, and his $15 million price tag (plus incentives) is significant.

It should come as very good news for free agents Anibal Sanchez and Zack Greinke, both of whom fit the profile of the second or third starter that the Dodgers are seeking. The 37-year-old Kuroda was looking for a short-term deal, but that’s not believed to be the case with the 29-year-old Greinke and the 28-year-old Sanchez. Both pitchers can probably command a better average annual value than Kuroda on the open market.

But that could also be good news for the Dodgers, baseball’s new big spenders, who may have the financial edge in any bidding war for Greinke and Sanchez this winter.

The hot stove is heating up.

Dodgers announce 2013 Spring Training schedule.

Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 85 days. Commence Camelback Ranch logocountdown.

For those who have made a Glendale pilgrimage their rite of spring, mark down the following dates, announced today: Pitchers and catchers report on February 12. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 16. The first game is February 23 against the Chicago White Sox, who share the Camelback Ranch facility with the Dodgers.

There will be at least one home game during each of the five Cactus League weekends. The complete schedule:
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Poll: Which Dodger got jobbed the most?

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw finished second in National League Cy Young Award voting despite a litany of league-leading stats: ERA (2.53), WHIP (1.023), hits allowed per nine innings (6.72), pitching WAR (6.2, according to Baseball-Reference.com), starts (33, a 12-way tie). He also finished second in strikeouts and innings pitched to the winner, R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets.

Today’s poll question: Is this the biggest robbery job ever against a Los Angeles Dodgers player in postseason awards voting? (Full disclosure: I’m a BBWAA member but did not vote for this award.)

Consider the following contenders, in reverse chronological order:

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R.A. Dickey wins National League Cy Young Award.

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey denied Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw’s quest for a second straight Cy Young Award on Wednesday, winning the award given to the league’s best pitcher for the first time at age 37.

The veteran knuckleballer went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA for a moribund Mets club, equaling his win total from the last three seasons combined.

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw led the National League in ERA (2.53) and fell one short of Dickey for the strikeout title, with 229 in 227 2/3 innings. Dickey also led the league in starts (33), complete games (5) and shutouts (3).

Kershaw led the NL in wins (21-5), strikeouts (248) and ERA (2.28) while winning the award last year.

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Poll: Who should play third base?

Luis Cruz doesn’t plan on playing third base the when he suits up for the Culiacan Tomateros of the Mexican Winter League. “Probably,” he said Monday at Dodger Stadium, “second base, outfield.”

Luis  CruzIs this a sign that Dodgers are trying to turn their emerging everyday third baseman into a utility player? Hardly.

“I try to play the position I didn’t play in the States,” Cruz said. “It’s better for me so I can play more positions. … In winter ball I like to play one game at third, one game at second base, then if they ask me to go play the outfield in the middle of the game, I go to the outfield.”

It’s a nice plan if it works in Cruz’s favor, which it did last year. The Dodgers used him mostly in the outfield in spring training, Cruz did well, and when he got off to a hot start for Triple-A Albuquerque, he got called up and became a fixture at third — the Dodgers’ greatest position of need, not Cruz’s primary position in Albuquerque.

This season, it’s a different story. Continue reading