Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig high five after Game 4 of the National League Division Series in October. (Getty Images)
In an interview today with St. Louis sports broadcaster Frank Cusumano, retired baseball player and coach Andy Van Slyke shared a revealing anecdote about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
What made it particularly revealing: It came from inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“When the best player, highest-paid player on the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the GM and … is asked what is the number-one need … of the Los Angeles Dodgers club, this particular highest-paid player said, ‘the first thing you need to do is get rid of Puig’,” Van Slyke said.
When Cusumano noted that pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ highest-paid player, Van Slyke replied, “I didn’t say his name.”
A two-word text message was all it took Thursday for a high-ranking Dodgers official to shoot down rumors that Gabe Kapler has been offered the manager’s job.
If Kapler does get the job, it will come as little surprise. The first-year director of player development been viewed for some time now as the top internal candidate to replace Don Mattingly, even before Mattingly and the Dodgers agreed to part ways last month. Kapler did not respond to a text message seeking comment.
Amid reports that Bud Black is joining the Angels’ front office, Kapler and Dave Roberts are the two remaining managerial candidates. Roberts reportedly interviewed well — so well that he got a second interview this week. The Padres’ bench coach last season, Roberts has never managed at the major-league level. Neither has Kapler.
Barring a late surprise, one of the two men will be introduced before the Winter Meetings, which begin Dec. 6. It’s believed that won’t happen until Monday at the earliest.
Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez (left) will interview for the Dodgers’ managerial vacancy at the GM meetings in Boca Raton, Fla (Getty Images)
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is in Boca Raton, Florida for baseball’s annual GM meetings. So is Dave Martinez, who’s there to interview for the Dodgers’ managerial vacancy, per a source.
Friedman didn’t say anything specific about the search process in a conference call with reporters Monday, other than to say it’s ongoing and should be done by the Winter Meetings.
If the market is slow to develop, the Dodgers’ roster might still have an incomplete look by then. Currently there are 36 players on the 40-man roster.
“We’ll be looking for a manager who can adapt to different personnel,” Friedman said, “and someone who can appreciate the strengths of the guys on our roster at any given time and put them in the best position to succeed.”
The Winter Meetings will be held Dec. 7-10 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez (left) worked with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman (right) in Tampa Bay from 2008-14. (Getty Images)
We mentioned Dave Martinez‘s candidacy here yesterday because it hadn’t been mentioned in a while.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported tonight that Martinez will interview with the Dodgers next week.
As we cautioned yesterday, don’t take Martinez’s late interview as a sign that he is in the back of the pack. Though Gabe Kapler is still seen as the front-runner, and Dave Roberts reportedly left a strong impression this week, Martinez’s last-minute interview might only have been held up by something as simple as a scheduling conflict.
Martinez’s familiarity with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman — the two worked together in Tampa Bay from 2008-14 — might even give have a leg up in the race to replace Don Mattingly.
Chris Heisey, Justin Turner and Joc Pederson are silhouetted in a tunnel leading to Camelback Ranch during spring training. (Associated Press photo)
Outfielder Chris Heisey
elected free agency on Friday.
Heisey, 30, shuffled back-and-forth to Triple-A Oklahama City often during his only season as a Dodger. In 33 major league games, Heisey batted .182 with two home runs and nine RBIs. He saw time at all three outfield positions.
Assuming the Dodgers don’t exercise the contract options of second baseman Chase Utley and pitcher Joel Peralta (they aren’t expected to), there will be 33 players listed on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, in addition to five pitchers (Bronson Arroyo, Lisalverto Bonilla, Brandon McCarthy, Josh Ravin and Hyun-Jin Ryu) on the 60-day disabled list.