About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

Reports: Dodgers, Padres still in discussions about Matt Kemp.

It is no secret among baseball folks that the Padres are looking to make a big splash at the Winter Meetings, with the event in their backyard for the first time since 1985. Their focus appears to be on Kemp, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning.

From CBSsports.com:

San Diego has become the most likely landing spot if LA does indeed to deal Kemp. One deal being discussed would send veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal and young pitcher Zach Eflin to Los Angeles for Kemp, sources said.

Friedman said he has no qualms trading within his own division.

“There’s 29 other trade outlets,” Friedman said. “To cut off four of them makes our job more difficult.”

One other wrinkle to this: While it would be hard to replace Kemp’s offense, if not impossible, that isn’t necessarily Friedman’s focus.

“Generally speaking our ability to score runs is so intertwined with our ability to prevent them, there’s a connection there that I’d be OK if we scored 200 runs next year if we allowed 100, just going to a crazy example. I’d be OK allowing 900 runs if we scored 1300. So there’s a connection between it that it’s about us trying to construct the best 25-man roster we can.”

Andrew Friedman on Ryan Lavarnway and multi-position threats.

After day one of the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers’ last transaction remains the non-blockbuster Ryan Lavarnway signing.

Lavarnway came up as a catcher but bounced around last season. All of his 24 major-league innings last season came at first base. He’ll be bouncing again in 2015, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday: “He’ll catch some, play some at first, and right handed bat (off the bench).”
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Maury Wills, Gil Hodges fall short of Hall of Fame induction. (Video)

SAN DIEGO — No bronze plaques will be joining the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Maury Wills, Gil Hodges and eight other players on the Hall of Fame’s “Golden Era” ballot were shut out by a 16-member voting committee Monday. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva received the most votes — 11, one short of the 12 votes necessary for induction. Wills received nine votes from the committee and Hodges received three or fewer.
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Dodgers scout Mike Brito to be honored at Winter Meetings.

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, left, has been chosen as the International Scout of the Year for 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, left, has been chosen as the International Scout of the Year for 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

SAN DIEGO — Veteran scout Mike Brito, who helped the Dodgers identify and sign Fernando Valenzuela, Yasiel Puig and prospect Julio Urias, will be honored Wednesday as the International Scout of the Year at the Winter Meetings.

The award is not given annually. In fact, Brito is believed to be only the fourth person ever to win the award, joining Ralph Avila (2006), Epy Guerrero (2008) and Fred Ferreira (2012).

Dodgers add Nick Francona to their player development department.

The Dodgers have added another name to their player development department: Nick Francona. The son of Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, Nick previously worked in the Angels’ advance scouting department. He was also in charge of reviewing video replays for challenges last season, his first in professional baseball as either a player or executive.

Francona, 29, has an interesting background that includes three and a half years in the Marine Corps.

Report: Andrew Miller didn’t want to sign with a West Coast team.

Andrew Miller, the top left-handed relief pitcher on the free agent market, signed a four-year contract with the Yankees today worth a reported $36 million.

Miller has been linked to the Dodgers a couple times — once at the last trade deadline, before he was ultimately traded to Baltimore, and again during the free agency period.

However, Miller reportedly never wanted to sign with a West Coast team, apparently leaving more money on the table to stay on the East Coast. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, Miller signed with the Yankees for reasons beyond the money:

In the total package, there were things that the Yankees could offer me that no one else could. I live in Tampa (where the Yankees train). That’s two months at home that I don’t have otherwise.

In hindsight, the Dodgers’ best chance to land Miller would have been via trade. Even then, he might have been impossible to re-sign and the Dodgers might have sacrificed a top prospect for a rental pitcher in the playoffs.

Given how the Dodgers’ bullpen struggled in the NLDS against St. Louis, would that have been a bad thing?

Dodgers sign catcher Ryan Lavarnway, designate Drew Butera for assignment.

Drew Butera

Drew Butera as he most accurately can be remembered in a Dodgers uniform, watching a game from the dugout. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers claimed Ryan Lavarnway off waivers Friday, 10 days after the Boston Red Sox designated him for assignment to make room for Hanley Ramirez.

To make room for Lavarnway on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated catcher Drew Butera for assignment.

Lavarnway, 27, was a solid hitter at the Triple-A level the last four seasons. He owns a career .284/.377/.448 slash line for Pawtucket of the International League. In 97 major league games, all with Boston, Lavarnway has batted .201/.249/.315 with five home runs and 34 runs batted in.
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Report: Padres would likely include Yasmani Grandal in a Matt Kemp trade package.

Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal was suspended 50 games for testosterone use prior to the 2013 season. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers are discussing the framework for trading Matt Kemp to San Diego. That was the instant takeaway — and isn’t that the only takeaway that interests anyone these days? — from the following two tweets from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Thursday afternoon:

But that’s the lazy takeaway, and it shouldn’t be the only takeaway.
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Jon Lester and the Dodgers: 10 things you need to know.

Jon Lester

Jon Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s. (Getty Images)

Jon Lester is arguably the best left-handed pitcher on the free agent market. Wednesday, it was revealed that the Dodgers might enter an escalating bidding war for his services (according to reports here, here, here, here and here).

Here’s what you need to know as of Thursday morning:

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