Dodgers, unable to make trade, release Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson

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.

Dodgers acquire catcher Shawn Zarraga to complete Drew Butera trade.

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.

Report: Matt Kemp has arthritis in both hips.

Matt Kemp

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?

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

Dodgers sign Brett Anderson to one-year contract.

Brett Anderson

The Dodgers have agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson on a contract for 2015. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers have agreed to terms with free agent left-hander Brett Anderson on a one-year contract. The deal is worth $10 million plus $4 million in incentives, according to multiple reports Monday.

The contract is unofficial because it is pending a physical. The Dodgers have not confirmed the signing.
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Your daily Matt Kemp roundup.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp could officially become a San Diego Padre tomorrow. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported today that Matt Kemp will take his physical with the Padres tomorrow, which is one of the first hurdles to finalizing the chain of events that will formally transform the Dodgers’ roster this week.

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.

One more link to pass along: Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com offers an analytical breakdown of the Kemp trade, which might be needed if you’re a fan ready to jump off the ledge (and a wholly unnecessary read if you’ve already jumped off).

Cole Hamels and the Dodgers: 10 things you need to know.

Cole Hamels

Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels has been linked to the Dodgers in trade rumors. (Getty Images)

A lot of people are wondering about Cole Hamels and the Dodgers today.

A lot of people were wondering about Jon Lester and the Dodgers a week ago, so I wrote this. In hindsight, there was probably more smoke than fire around that rumor. That appears to be the case again with Hamels. Here are some reasons why, and some other things to know about the 30-year-old lefty:

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You might as well laugh: Day 3 of the Winter Meetings, for anyone who missed it.

True story: My wife and I share a birthday. Same exact date, three hours apart to the minute.

Wednesday was our birthday. We didn’t get to spend the day together last year. This year, a simple dinner would do. So I told my editor months ago that I was booking a three-night stay at the Winter Meetings hotel, then taking off Wednesday night. Play it by ear Thursday.

I pulled out of San Diego with the Jimmy Rollins trade still simmering, not looking like it would be resolved Wednesday, and Dee Gordon and Dan Haren firmly about to become Marlins. Checked with sources, felt good about the story, filed it at a Starbucks in Temecula, barely caught wind of the Brandon McCarthy signing before I turned off my iPhone. Because no good husband would constantly check his iPhone looking at sports news or doing work stuff during the birthday dinner.

Heh.

In case you missed it, this is how possibly the greatest one-day roster makeover in the history of the Dodgers franchise unfolded:
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Reports: Dodgers, Brandon McCarthy closing in on 4-year deal.

The Dodgers and free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy have agreed to terms on a four-year contract, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The 31-year-old is 52-65 in nine major-league seasons with the White Sox, Rangers, A’s, Diamondbacks, and Yankees.

While not a star, McCarthy would boost a starting rotation that was down to three after the Dodgers traded Dan Haren to Miami on Wednesday. That trade is not official yet, but signing McCarthy is a strong indication that the Dodgers are seeking immediate help.

Reports: Dodgers to acquire Jimmy Rollins from Philadelphia Phillies.

Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins has more hits than any player in Philadelphia Phillies history (2,306). (Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers have acquired shortstop Jimmy Rollins, from the Philadelphia Phillies, a baseball source confirmed. Buster Olney of ESPN.com wasfirst with the news.

The Dodgers had been pursuing multiple deals to acquire a shortstop who would not be bound to a long-term contract. Rollins, 36, whose contract expires after the 2015 season, certainly fits that bill. Although he had the right to veto any trade because of his service time in Philadelphia, he apparently had no problem coming to Los Angeles.

It is unknown at this time who the Dodgers would be giving up to acquire Rollins, or if a third or fourth team is involved.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said Tuesday that 20-year-old prospect Corey Seager is expected to be in the team’s major league camp during spring training. But his chances of being the Dodgers’ Opening Day shortstop were slim.

“When you have a guy like Corey (Seager) — we’re not going into the season expecting him to contribute,” Zaidi said. “If he works his way into the lineup, great. We’re not expecting him to contribute. The guys that we’re looking at are all in the kind of timeframe where we’re comfortable if they’re a good fit this year.

“We value positional versatility too. So guys that aren’t only shortstops can move around the infield and accommodate Seager a year from now or whatever, I think guys like that will be of value to us as well.”

Rollins has played 18,080 innings at shortstop in a 15-year career and one-third of an inning at second base. He has 2,306 career hits — most in Phillies history — including 216 home runs and 453 stolen bases. In 2014, playing at the hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, Rollins batted .243 with 17 home runs and 28 stolen bases.

The trade would be the Dodgers’ first major deal under new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who previously acquired veteran reliever Joel Peralta from the Tampa Bay Rays in November.

On Corey Seager and the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop.

Corey Seager

Corey Seager is expected to be in the Dodgers’ major-league camp when spring training begins. (Staff photo)


SAN DIEGO — I touched on the Dodgers’ pursuit of a shortstop in today’s Winter Meetings notebook, but general manager Farhan Zaidi offered more to say than I had room in print.

So, about Hanley Ramirez’s replacement …
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