The Dodgers announced three international signings Wednesday: 16-year-olds Frank Sanchez (Juan Uribe’s nephew), Edwin Reyes and Jerson Dometilia.
Sanchez, a 16-year-old shortstop from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, was signed by scouts Patrick Guerrero, Franklin Taveras, Bob Engle.
Reyes, a 16-year-old shortstop from Azua, D.R., was signed by scout Franklin Taveras.
Dometilia, a 16-year-old catcher/infielder from Willemstad, Curacao, was signed by scouts Rolando Chirino and Patrick Guerrero. He reportedly has some power, having won the home run derby at the end of the 2013 Junior League World Series.
The Dodgers announced that they will play two exhibition games against the Texas Rangers in San Antonio, Texas, March 20 and 21, 2015.
This is the third year for the event, dubbed the “Big League Weekend,” a two-game Major League Baseball exhibition hosted at the Alamodome in Downtown San Antonio. The games will be played on Friday, March 20 (5 p.m. PST) and Saturday, March 21 (11 a.m.). Tickets go on sale Friday, November 14.
The Dodgers are also scheduled to play split-squad games against the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies in Arizona March 20 and 21, respectively.
According to event organizers, more than 75,000 fans packed the Alamodome when the Rangers hosted the San Diego Padres in the inaugural Big League Weekend in 2013. It was the first baseball event in the building’s 20-year-history. Last year, the Rangers hosted the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers were the Major League affiliate of the Double-A San Antonio Missions from 1977-2000.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig went 0 for 2 early Wednesday morning in Japan as a team of MLB All-Stars lost 2-0 to a team of Japanese All-Stars.
Puig struck out and walked in his only two plate appearances against Japanese right-hander Kenta Maeda. Maeda, who has been reportedly interested in coming to MLB in 2015, threw five shutout innings. Puig grounded out against reliever Kazuhisa Makita in his only other plate appearance.
The MLB All-Stars got only three hits in the game against Maeda, Makita, Yuji Nishino and Shohei Otani — the 20-year-old with a 99-mph fastball who is expected to start next Tuesday.
According to MLB.com, the schedule for the exhibition games is as follows:
The Dodgers’ full Cactus League schedule was announced today. Their first game is March 4 at Camelback Ranch against the Chicago White Sox.
Game times are listed in Mountain Time. Note that Daylight Saving Time begins March 8, so you’ll have to subtract an hour to convert each game time to Pacific Time prior to March 8.
We knew that free agent catcher Russell Martin would carry a high price tag. According to Sportsnet.ca, here’s how high: $75-80 million over five years.
If true, the $75-80 million might not scare off the Dodgers as much as the five years. Martin turns 32 in February. A five-year contract would take him through his age-36 season. He is coming off a season in which he missed 21 games due to a hamstring injury, only the second disabled list stint of his career.
Martin’s most highly touted value as a catcher is his ability to frame pitches. He excels at other aspects of the position; Martin only committed three passed balls last year in 940 innings behind the plate, on par with Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina (who caught nine fewer innings). His catcher’s ERA of 3.31 was second to Molina among NL catchers who appeared in at least 100 games. He threw out 38.5 percent of attempted base stealers in 2014 and 40 percent in 2013, both among the top 10 in the National League.
But if the Dodgers are afraid that Martin’s offense will fall off, history justifies their hesitation. Here are two pieces (via FanGraphs.com and TribLive.com) that used history to guide the question of how well catchers perform on offense as they age.
No doubt the Dodgers have studied those numbers, and probably a few more too, while pondering a reunion (with a catcher who’s never played for Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi or Josh Byrnes). They have reportedly lined up a meeting with Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran.
The Dodgers added a pair of executives, both from the Boston Red Sox’s front office, according to this tweet Monday:
Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda tends to speak his mind with a microphone in his face.
Tommy Lasorda doesn’t have an MVP vote. If he did, the former Dodgers manager — and former pitcher — wouldn’t vote for Clayton Kershaw
Considering his effervescent love for all things Dodgers, it was a surprising sentiment from the 87-year-old Hall of Famer.
The question arose Monday when Todd Hollandsworth — who won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1996, when he played for Lasorda — was interviewing Lasorda for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.
“We know how obviously talented [Kershaw] is but there’s a debate that still exists,” Hollandsworth said. “Do you think a pitcher like Clayton Kershaw, of his ability, should win the MVP Award? Should he be considered for the MVP or just the Cy Young?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Lasorda replied. “I don’t think pitchers should win the MVP Award. I think pitchers should win the pitching award, the Cy Young Award, but not the MVP because he only goes out there every four or five games. The other guys go out there every day and that makes a big difference in that award. I think it should be set that pitchers should not get the Most Valuable Player.”
The MVP award winners from both leagues will be announced Thursday.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Friday that “we are trying to solve for talent and be as creative as we can to put the best team on the field as we can.”
How creative can Friedman and his colleagues be? We’ll find out soon enough.
One obvious trading partner for the Dodgers’ glut of outfielders all but eliminated itself from consideration Monday, when the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year contract. The Mets’ outfield is full now with Cuddyer, right fielder Curtis Granderson and center fielder Juan Lagares.
Hanley Ramirez batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs in 2014. (Getty Images)
did not accept the Dodgers’ qualifying offer by the Monday afternoon deadline, making him a free agent.
Ramirez was not expected to take the qualifying offer, a one-year $15.3 million contract for 2015, which would have amounted to a pay cut from his 2014 salary. No player has accepted his team’s qualifying offer in the three years since it became an option.
Though he played exclusively at shortstop in 2014, Ramirez’s future is seen at either as a corner infielder, corner outfielder, or designated hitter in the American League. Since the Dodgers are set at those positions for next season (and don’t have the option of using a designated hitter), they are not expected to try to entice Ramirez with a multiyear contract.
According to various reports, and even his own Twitter bio, Ramirez is open to changing positions. That could make him a very desirable player in a free-agent market lacking right handed power hitters.
Is Hanley Ramirez willing to switch positions for his next team?
This isn’t the Dodgers’ most pressing concern at the moment, but it was interesting to see that Ramirez changed his Twitter bio Monday morning from “MLB shortstop” to “MLB player.”
We promise not to make this a daily update … unless Hanley changes his mind again.