Hanley Ramirez hit 13 home runs and stole 14 bases in an injury-plagued 2014 season. (Associated Press photo)
As expected, the Dodgers have extended a qualifying offer to free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has until 2 p.m. next Monday to accept the offer, which amounts to a one-year contract worth $15.3 million.
If Ramirez rejects the offer and signs with another team, the Dodgers would receive a compensatory draft pick in June 2015.
Ramirez, 30, slashed .283/.369/.448 in the final year of a six-year, $70 million contract that he signed as a member of the Miami Marlins. Though he was a steadying force on offense (132 OPS-plus), he struggled mightily on defense. His .963 fielding percentage matched Washington’s Ian Desmond for the lowest among regular National League shortstops and his -10.3 UZR was the lowest among all NL shortstops.
The Dodgers cannot move Ramirez to third base without displacing Juan Uribe, or to first base without displacing Adrian Gonzalez. If that doesn’t make a return to Los Angeles unlikely, Ramirez would be taking a voluntary pay cut from the $16 million he made last year if he accepts the qualifying offer.
In the last two years, 22 free agents have received qualifying offers and none have accepted.
Though Ramirez’s nagging injuries were a constant source of concern last season, there should be a sizable market for a player with a career batting average of .300, plus power and the ability to steal a base. Ramirez could prolong his peak years by moving to the American League, where he can be a designated hitter.
Dan Haren matched Zack Greinke for the team lead with 32 starts in 2014. (Associated Press photo)
Dan Haren has exercised his $10 million player option to pitch for the Dodgers in 2015. The decision comes as no surprise, and ensures that the Dodgers’ top four starters will return barring any trades.
A source has confirmed that Logan White, the Dodgers’ veteran draft director who selected Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager, is leaving Los Angeles for a front-office job with the San Diego Padres. CBSsports.com was the first to report the story Monday morning.
Update (4 p.m.): The Padres have announced White as their new senior advisor to the general manager/pro scouting director. In his role with the Padres, White will be responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s professional scouting efforts and player acquisition at the Major and minor league level, as well as advising the general manager.
“Logan has a tremendous track record in the game,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. “The knowledge and experience he brings to our organization strengthens our entire baseball operations staff.”
Corey Seager is the Dodgers’ lone representative on the Arizona Fall League’s “Fall Stars” roster. Seager, who’s slashing .255/.345/.412 for the Glendale Desert Dogs, will represent the West team.
The game will be played this Saturday (Nov. 1) at 5 p.m. PT at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. MLB Network will televise the game, which will also be streamed online at MLB.com.
Scouting and farm directors from every Major League organization, in consultation with Arizona Fall League Director Steve Cobb and his baseball personnel staff, selected the players for the annual showcase that pits top prospects from the Fall League’s East Division and West Division clubs.
Each Major League organization is offered the opportunity to be represented by at least one player.
Several Dodgers prospects are playing in the Arizona Fall League this month for the Glendale Desert Dogs. So it’s no surprise that team president and CEO Stan Kasten would be in Arizona this week.
What might raise an eyebrow — we’re qualifying this as news with about 45 minutes left before the World Series begins — is that Kasten is reportedly hanging out with former Diamondbacks and Padres general manager Josh Byrnes:
Byrnes has been mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Ned Colletti as the Dodgers’ general manager. The team hasn’t made an official announcement since Andrew Friedman announced Friday that he intended to hire someone to fill the position.
Ned Colletti will remain with the Dodgers as a senior advisor to Stan Kasten. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers hired longtime Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations Tuesday, while retaining former general manager Ned Colletti as a Senior Advisor to Stan Kasten.
Friedman, 37, is expected to hold a press conference at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. He had been the Rays’ general manager since 2005 and built four playoff teams since 2008 with a payroll that ranked no higher than 27th in baseball.
“Andrew Friedman is one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today and we are very fortunate to have him join our organization,” Kasten said in a statement released by the team. “The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible.”
The front-office shakeup leaves the Dodgers without a general manager for the moment, which is likely to change soon. Kasten’s title could also change. He had been the Dodgers’ President and CEO since joining the front office in 2012.
“Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years and I’m thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me,” Kasten said in a statement. “Ned’s knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player development system.”
Here’s more on Friedman from the Rays’ media guide:
Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 45-pitch simulated game Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)
Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 45-pitch simulated game Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
According to a team spokesperson,
Ryu was at his normal velocity and used all of his pitches with no problems before, during or after with his shoulder. He will be re-examined tomorrow to determine how the shoulder responded. Ryu faced several Dodger hitters, including Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Dee Gordon and Scott Van Slyke.
No word on how the batters fared, but how the pitcher’s shoulder feels tomorrow is probably more important. Ryu is a potential Game 3 starter in the National League Division Series if he’s healthy. If he isn’t, expect Dan Haren to take the assignment.
The Dodgers and iHeartMedia announced a multi-year agreement Tuesday renewing KLAC’s (570-AM) rights to Dodgers regular season games, select spring training games and potential postseason games.
In addition, the new partnership will include an equity position in the station for the Dodgers owners as well as the opportunity for collaborative programming.
“We are looking forward to expanding KLAC’s content in this new partnership for our passionate and loyal fan base,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement released by the team. “We will be teaming up with the fantastic creative team at iHeartMedia on a number of projects and initiatives, to enhance our fans engagement. And what better team to tell the story than from broadcast talent of Vin (Scully), Rick (Monday) and Charley (Steiner).”
The agreement is subject to Major League Baseball approval.
Here’s more from the Dodgers’ press release:
MLB has announced the start times for the first two games of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
Game 1 will be at 3:37 p.m. Friday, televised on Fox Sports 1. Game 2 will be at 6:37 p.m. Saturday, televised on MLB Network.
Neither game will be blacked out in SportsNet LA markets.
The start times for Games 3, 4 and 5 have yet to be announced.
Update (3:27 p.m.) The Dodgers announced that Vin Scully will call the first three and last three innings of each playoff game, home and away. Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will call the middle three innings on radio, the same arrangement as the 2013 postseason.
Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal are on the call for Game 2.
Jonathan Broxton allowed a three-run home run to Russell Martin in the eighth inning, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 3-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
The Pirates’ victory means the Dodgers can finish no worse than in a tie with the Milwaukee Brewers for the final wild-card position.
Coincidentally, it was two former Dodgers who combined to get their former team into the playoffs.
The current Dodgers had no interest in celebrating Friday night.
“We want the NL West,” outfielder Matt Kemp said. “I wouldn’t mind having the best record in the National League.”