It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson blew four of five save opportunities in 2014. The Dodgesr will pay him $9.5 million next season to pitch for another team. (Getty Images)
The Dodgers released right-handed pitcher Brian Wilson, who was designated for assignment Tuesday. That means the Dodgers will be responsible for paying the vast majority of Wilson’s $9.5 million salary for next season — probably all but the major-league minimum ($507,500), which will be paid by whatever team claims him.
At that price, Wilson isn’t likely to remain a free agent for long. Only 11 active major league pitchers have saved more games than Wilson (172).
After signing a one-year contract with the Dodgers for 2014, Wilson went 2-4 with a 4.66 earned run average in 61 games. He blew five saves in six opportunities and couldn’t hold the eighth-inning job that was his when the season began. Of greater concern, his velocity decreased as the 2014 season went along. It was Wilson’s first full season since undergoing a second Tommy John surgery in 2012.
Wilson exercised a player option in his contract for 2015 at $9.5 million. The Dodgers could not find a team willing to take Wilson in a trade. He was designated for assignment Tuesday in order to clear a roster spot for Brandon McCarthy.
The Dodgers made two minor trades Thursday morning, none involving Matt Kemp.
They sent Matt Long to the Angels to complete the trade for catcher Drew Butera. Then they traded Long and pitcher Jarrett Martin for minor-league catcher Shawn Zarraga. None of the players involved are on the 40-man roster.
Zarraga, who turns 26 in January, was born in Aruba. He reached Triple-A in 2014, his seventh pro season, and batted .213/.304/.255 in 17 games. Zarraga has spent his entire career in the Milwaukee organization and batted .283/.376/.371.
Defensively, Zarraga was charged with two passed balls in 67 games last season and threw out 16 of 47 attempted base-stealers.
Zarraga was a 44th-round draft pick by the Brewers in the 2007 draft.
Matt Kemp has been placed on the disabled list seven times in his career, but never for a hip injury. (Associated Press photo)
Matt Kemp was reportedly scheduled to take his physical with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Two days later — seven days since the framework of the trade was agreed to by both teams — Kemp is still a Dodger.
So what’s the holdup?
The holdup in Matt Kemp trade is because the physical revealed arthritis in both hips. The #Padres continue to consult medical experts.
For a 30-year-old player who has had serious shoulder and ankle issues the last two years, this diagnosis poses another serious blow. The arthritis might not be Kemp’s most serious problem at the moment. Continue reading →
Once Kemp’s physical is complete, the Padres can send prospect Zach Eflin to the Dodgers, who can then send Eflin to Philadelphia to complete the Jimmy Rollins trade — barring any other hold-ups. Because the Phillies are sending cash to the Dodgers for Rollins (and the Dodgers are sending cash to the Padres for Kemp), the commissioner’s office needs to approve both trades.
It could be that the cash is the only thing keeping the Dodgers’ four-year, $48 million contract with pitcher Brandon McCarthy from becoming official. Judging by his new Twitter avatar, McCarthy sees no need to wait to change teams.
Did the Dodgers improve their team at the Winter Meetings? You thought so.
Las Vegas thinks it’s a wash.
According to online oddsmaker Bovada, the Dodgers are still the favorites to win the 2015 World Series, at 15-to-2. That hasn’t changed since October 30. Now, however, the Washington Nationals are also 15-to-2 favorites. See for yourself: