Analysis: After a bad week for clarity, the road map is clear for Don Mattingly and the Dodgers.

Don Mattingly contract

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, foreground, appeared pensive throughout an end-of-season press conference Monday that focused mostly on his contract status. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

At Dodgers headquarters, this was not a good week for clarity in the information age.

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Dodgers, Don Mattingly have a contract for 2014, but questions remain.

What could have been a routine press conference to recap the end of the Dodgers’ season got interesting in a hurry Monday.

After sharing their thoughts about the 2013 campaign, which ended with a six-game National League Championship Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti were asked about Mattingly’s status for 2014.

“My option vested once we beat Atlanta,” Mattingly said. “That doesn’t mean I’ll be back.”

With that, the floodgates opened.
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Report: Dodgers offered Clayton Kershaw contract close to $300 million.

Clayton  Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is expected to sign the richest contract by a pitcher in major-league history. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers offered Clayton Kershaw a contract in the range of $300 million earlier this season, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.

That’s the highest dollar amount associated with the contract in any report this season. USA Today suggested earlier this month that Kershaw, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, could be in line to make more than $220 million over the life of the deal.

Olney reported that Kershaw balked at the scope of the contract and might seek a deal “perhaps more conservative in length.” Even if the actual amount of dollars and years are slightly less — 10 years would match Alex Rodriguez‘s contract, which Olney used as a comparison — it would make a prophet of Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, who said earlier this month: “This young man is going to get paid.”
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Alexander Guerrero switches agents, can sign with all 30 major-league teams.

Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero has switched agents, leaving Rudy Santin for Scott Boras, and is no longer close to signing that widely reported 7-year contract with the Dodgers.

Guerrero remains a free agent, able to sign with all 30 teams. The Dodgers have been the frontrunners to sign the 26-year-old, but no one in the organization has commented on Guerrero since he reportedly defected from Cuba.

As we wrote last week, things have changed since it was first reported in July that Guerrero and the Dodgers had a contract in place. Maybe things have changed enough that Guerrero will now land outside Los Angeles.

Dodgers expected to announce signing of Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero.

The Dodgers are expected to announce the signing of Alexander Guerrero following multiple reports Monday that the Cuban infielder has been cleared by the United States government to sign with an MLB team.

ESPN Deportes reported that Guerrero’s contract was for seven years and $32 million, while MLB.com reported that the deal could be between five and seven years. The Dodgers have yet to confirm the signing, and it’s not clear where Guerrero will debut.
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Padres unite Ian Kennedy, Carlos Quentin in trade with Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers haven’t completed any trades this morning, and don’t appear to be close on any either. They have had some interest in making trades within their division, but that’s a difficult proposition. Especially when you’re in first place, the rest of the division trying to knock you off your perch.

That didn’t stop the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres from pulling off a rare intradivision swap Wednesday morning. The Padres receive starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, while the Diamondbacks receive relief pitcher Joe Thatcher, minor-leaguer Matt Stites and a draft pick.

The trade unites Kennedy and outfielder Carlos Quentin in San Diego, the two players responsible for inciting benches-clearing brawls with the Dodgers this season.

Report: Dodgers scouting three Milwakee Brewers relievers.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that are scouting Milwaukee Brewers relievers John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez and Mike Gonzalez, according to CBSsports.com.

The three relievers are expected to be made available in trades before the upcoming deadlines – July 31 is the non-waiver trade deadline and August 31 is the waiver deadline.

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New Dodgers catcher Ramon Hernandez is happy for a change of scenery.

Ramon Hernandez

Ramon Hernandez caught the pitcher he was traded for Saturday, Aaron Harang, in Cincinnati and in Oakland. (Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post)

New Dodgers catcher Ramon Hernandez was a happy man as he took in his new surroundings Sunday morning.

“This is one of the best teams in my whole career,” he said. “Maybe the A’s when I was young.”
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Dodgers’ starting rotation watch drags into final week.

The Dodgers still have eight starters in camp, and all eight remain on a starter’s plan. Even Ted Lilly.

“We’ve had some conversations with guys, but at this point everyone is working as starters,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters in Glendale this afternoon. “Anything could happen. Until Opening Day we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve talked about the possibilities of it with guys just so psychologically guys could know where it sits. We’ve tried to prepare for that as much as possible.”

That the Dodgers are in no rush to get a look at Lilly, Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang as relievers is a strong indication that a trade or two (or three) will come soon.

Chris Capuano: Starter or reliever?

ChrisxCapuano

Chris Capuano said Tuesday that he’d rather start than pitch out of the bullpen, but that might not be a possibility with the Dodgers. With eight starting pitchers in camp, jobs are scarce – essentially two spots for five pitchers.

Would he rather pitch out of the bullpen here, or start somewhere else?

“That’s a great question,” he said. “I want to be part of this organization and what’s going on here,” he said. “Most importantly I want to win. At this point of my career, I want to be part of something special. I would certainly have to think about it if the time came for that conversation.”
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