Dodgers coaches Davey Lopes, Rick Honeycutt, Tim Wallach, Mark McGwire will return in 2014.

Don Mattingly

The Dodgers declined the 2014 contract option on bench coach Trey Hillman (left), but will bring back pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (right). Manager Don Mattingly, center, remains in limbo after publicly doubting his future Monday. (Getty Images)

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, first base coach Davey Lopes and third base coach Tim Wallach will return to the Dodgers’ coaching staff next year, as the Dodgers renewed the 2014 options on each of their contracts Tuesday. Hitting coach Mark McGwire, already under contract for next season, is also returning.

The Dodgers are still hoping to retain bullpen coach Chuck Crim, assistant pitching coach Ken Howell, and assistant hitting coach John Valentin, but none have a contract option for 2014.

That leaves bench coach Trey Hillman as the only member of the Dodgers’ 2013 coaching staff who might not return. Earlier in the day, the Dodgers declined the option on Hillman’s contract but invited him to remain in the organization.

That scarcely adds up to an overhaul of a staff that manager Don Mattingly was hoping to keep intact. The larger question, of course, is whether Mattingly himself will return.
Continue reading

San Francisco Giants re-sign Tim Lincecum to two-year contract.

The Dodgers were believed to be so interested in impending free-agent pitcher Tim Lincecum, a reporter asked general manager Ned Colletti on Monday whether he was interested in signing Lincecum.

Impending is the operative word, and Colletti declined comment on the grounds that Lincecum was still employed by the San Francisco Giants.

Colletti and 28 other general managers crossed Lincecum off their winter wish list Tuesday, when the San Francisco Giants re-signed the right-hander to a two-year contract worth $35 million. The contract is still pending a physical, and includes a full no-trade clause.

Lincecum, 29, is 9-6 with a 2.92 earned-run average in 23 career appearances (22 starts) against the Dodgers.

The $17.5 million average annual value on Lincecum’s contract might come as good news to Dodgers pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Ricky Nolasco, who are seeking pay raises. No word on that front Tuesday.

Dodgers fire bench coach Trey Hillman. Update.

Trey Hillman

Trey Hillman was the Dodgers’ bench coach from 2011-2013. (Getty Images)

Trey Hillman, the Dodgers’ bench coach since 2011, will not return in 2014.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti delivered the news Tuesday morning. According to multiple reports, Hillman could return to the Dodgers in some capacity.

As bench coach, Hillman was manager Don Mattingly‘s right-hand man for decisions before, during and after games.

Before coming to the Dodgers, Hillman managed the Kansas City Royals from 2008-10 and the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan’s top league from 2003-07. He is a longtime ally of Mattingly, going back 23 years to their days in the Yankees organization.

Both reports indicate that another Mattingly ally, advance scout Wade Taylor, won’t be coming back. Taylor was a teammate of Mattingly’s with the New York Yankees in 1991 and was hired by the Dodgers in 2010. The 48-year-old also served as an advance scout for the Yankees under Joe Torre while Mattingly was a Yankees coach.

Update (4 p.m.): Hillman told host Kevin Kennedy, on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, that his parting with the Dodgers was amicable if not fully complete:

“Ned (Colletti) was very gracious. I want to make that point. Ned was exceptionally professional to me this morning. And it was a painful process for Ned to let me go. He did tell me that there was definitely a possibility of me having a job within the organization if I so chose. And I told him that things were kind of coming and crashing down on me pretty quick so I asked for some time to think about that. But I told him that it was definitely something that I would consider and I would definitely not write it off as something that I didn’t even want to discuss. At the appropriate time I think we’ll discuss. I’ve been blessed with couple of teams calling me already and I’ve listened to what they had to say. My first objective is to try to get a Major League coaching position and do what I love doing and that’s teaching at the highest level. So we’ll see if that happens. And if the Dodgers are gracious enough to give me an opportunity to do something with them if that doesn’t work out, I appreciate that.”

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp undergoes surgery on his left ankle.

Matt KempDodgers center fielder Matt Kemp underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Monday, performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the team, the procedure involved removing several spurs, a loose body and doing a microfracture on the talus bone. Kemp will be in a splint for two weeks and a non-weight bearing boot for an additional two weeks. He is expected to be competitive in time for the regular season.
Continue reading

Sue Falsone will not return as the Dodgers’ head athletic trainer in 2014.

Sue Falsone

The Dodgers are not bringing back head athletic trainer Sue Falsone, center, in 2014. (Getty Images)


The Dodgers will not be bringing back head athletic trainer Sue Falsone in 2014.


Continue reading

Dodgers, Don Mattingly have a contract for 2014, but questions remain.

What could have been a routine press conference to recap the end of the Dodgers’ season got interesting in a hurry Monday.

After sharing their thoughts about the 2013 campaign, which ended with a six-game National League Championship Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti were asked about Mattingly’s status for 2014.

“My option vested once we beat Atlanta,” Mattingly said. “That doesn’t mean I’ll be back.”

With that, the floodgates opened.
Continue reading

Dodgers, Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero agree on 4-year, $28 million deal.

Ending months of speculation, the Dodgers have agreed to sign Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero to a 4-year, $28 million contract.

The contract includes a $10 million signing bonus and is expected to be announced by the Dodgers as soon as this afternoon.

Guerrero, 26, gained a reputation as a power hitter in Cuba despite his small frame (listed at 5-10, 200 pounds). He batted .302 in eight national tournaments for Cuba. In his final full season in Cuba (2011-12), he hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs for Las Tunas in Serie Nacional, Cuba’s top league. The following postseason, Guerrero hit .240/.296/.480 with one home run and five RBIs.

It’s unclear how those numbers would translate to Major League Baseball, and some observers have questioned whether he is ready for a full-time major league job. He projects as a second baseman, which doesn’t bode well for Mark Ellis if Guerrero is ready to take over at the position.

The Dodgers hold an option for 2014 on Ellis for $5.75 million. By signing Guerrero, the Dodgers appear more likely to exercise the $1 million buyout in Ellis’ contract.

The 36-year-old Ellis is a lifetime .265/.330/.390 hitter who has carved out an 11-year major-league career with his glove. His .9907 fielding percentage as a second baseman is fifth all-time.
Continue reading

Report: Dodgers offered Clayton Kershaw contract close to $300 million.

Clayton  Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is expected to sign the richest contract by a pitcher in major-league history. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers offered Clayton Kershaw a contract in the range of $300 million earlier this season, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.

That’s the highest dollar amount associated with the contract in any report this season. USA Today suggested earlier this month that Kershaw, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, could be in line to make more than $220 million over the life of the deal.

Olney reported that Kershaw balked at the scope of the contract and might seek a deal “perhaps more conservative in length.” Even if the actual amount of dollars and years are slightly less — 10 years would match Alex Rodriguez‘s contract, which Olney used as a comparison — it would make a prophet of Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, who said earlier this month: “This young man is going to get paid.”
Continue reading

Hanley Ramirez a late entry in Dodgers’ lineup.

Hanley Ramirez did not take part in the Dodgers’ batting practice or warmup drills Friday, but found himself in the starting lineup a few minutes later.

Playing with a hairline fracture in in his 8th rib, Ramirez will bat cleanup in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. After the announcement, made less than 20 minutes before the first pitch, Ramirez briefly played catch on the outfield grass at Busch Stadium.

Prior to the game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Ramirez’s condition had worsened.

“I told some of the radio guys before I had come in, if something would change before game time, we’d switch up,” Mattingly said. “All of a sudden he’s trying to do things and he could get loose, he may be in there. But I don’t anticipate that.”

Here is the Dodgers’ new lineup:

Carl Crawford LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Yasiel Puig RF
Andre Ethier CF
Juan Uribe 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Clayton Kershaw P

Hanley Ramirez scratched from Dodgers’ lineup for Game 6 of the NLCS.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his 8th rib after Game 1 of the NLCS. (Associated Press photo)


Hanley Ramirez is not in the Dodgers’ starting lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Friday in St. Louis.

Ramirez has been attempting to play with a hairline fracture in his left ribcage since he was hit by a pitch there in the first inning of Game 1 of the series. Nick Punto will play shortstop and bat eighth, with Yasiel Puig moving from sixth to fourth in the Dodgers’ lineup.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is expected to update Ramirez’s condition shortly.

For the Cardinals, Shane Robinson is taking Jon Jay’s place in center field. Robinson bats right-handed, which Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said was the critical difference against a left-handed pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.

“The thought process is to try to get more offense if we can,” Matheny said. “There’s no secret how Kershaw has done against left-handers. I know (Jay) would have done well today.

“Especially Shane, going off some confidence against a big pinch hit, and we know he plays good defense.”

Here are both teams’ lineups for the 5:30 p.m. game:
Continue reading