Report: Yoan Moncada has a clear path to signing before the 2015 season begins.

Nineteen year-old infield prospect Yoan Moncada, whom the Dodgers have been hotly pursuing since he legally left Cuba, could be cleared to sign with a major-league team soon.

According to a report on Yahoo! Sports, Moncada is clear to receive a license to sign with any major-league team because of a recent foreign policy change by the United States government. Writes Jeff Passan:

Any person who meets the requirements for a general unblocking license no longer will be issued a specific unblocking license, a Treasury Department official told Yahoo Sports, putting the onus on MLB to verify Moncada’s residency [in Guatemala] and allow teams to begin negotiating contracts with him. Moncada had been waiting for a specific license from OFAC since late September, sources said, the only hold-up in an expected bidding war for his services.

MLB was drafting a letter to OFAC on Tuesday asking for a meeting in the near future to clarify the new regulations and potentially change league policy, which requires a specific unblocking license. Should a meeting take place soon, one league official estimated Moncada could be free to negotiate with teams within two weeks.

Moncada has already reportedly worked out privately with the Dodgers, among a number of teams.

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Dodgers sign left-hander Jeremy Horst to minor-league contract.

Jeremy Horst

The Dodgers signed left-hander Jeremy Horst to a minor league contract. (Getty Images)

If the Dodgers end up extending a spring training invitation to another left-handed pitcher from their minor-league ranks (now that Robert Carson‘s invitation has been withdrawn), here’s a name to pay attention to: Jeremy Horst.

The Dodgers signed Horst, 29, to a minor-league contract. Currently he does not have an invitation to the major-league camp. The Wyoming native has appeared in 72 major-league games over parts of three seasons with the Reds and Phillies from 2011-13.

In 2014, Horst appeared in 45 games (three starts) for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, and posted a 4-2 record and a 3.98 earned-run average. When the Phillies outrighted Horst for the second time, he elected free agency.

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Two Dodgers minor-leaguers suspended for positive drug tests. Update.

Robert Carson

Dodgers minor-league pitcher Robert Carson was suspended 50 games Tuesday for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. (Getty Images)

Dodgers minor-league pitcher Robert Carson and outfielder Theo Alexander were suspended 50 games on Tuesday for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Carson, a 26-year-old left-hander, was one of seven minor-league pitchers whom the Dodgers invited to spring training. He has pitched in 31 major-league games in his career, all with the New York Mets from 2012-13. Carson finished last season with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, pitching in 18 games out of the bullpen with a 5.40 ERA.

Alexander, a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, was listed on the roster of Rookie-level Ogden. He batted .217 in 43 games with the Raptors last year.

Both suspensions are effective at the beginning of the regular season. Under the Joint Drug Agreement between MLB and the Players’ Association, all minor-league players are subject to random out-of-season testing.

Update (2:20 p.m.): Carson’s spring training invite has been rescinded. The Dodgers currently are inviting 16 players to spring training as non-roster invitees. The new list:

Pitchers (6): Chris Anderson, Ryan Buchter, David HuffJosh RavinSergio Santos, Julio Urias

Position players (10): Erisbel Arruebarrena, Buck BrittonMatt Carson, O’Koyea Dickson, Kyle Jensen, Chris O’Brien, Corey Seager, Ali SolisDarnell Sweeney,Shawn Zarraga

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Dodgers reveal new player uniform numbers.

The Dodgers revealed uniform numbers for a number of their new acquisitions on Tuesday. The suspense probably wasn’t killing you for Jimmy Rollins or Howie Kendrick, who already had jersey-unveiling ceremonies at Dodger Stadium. Here are the rest:

Yasmani Grandal 9
Jimmy Rollins 11
Juan Nicasio 12
Kiké Hernandez 14
Chris Heisey 28
Joc Pederson 31
Brett Anderson 35
Adam Liberatore 36
Brandon McCarthy 38
Chris Hatcher 41
Joe Wieland 45
Mike Bolsinger 46
Howie Kendrick 47
Zach Lee 51
Joel Peralta 62
Austin Barnes 65
Chris Reed 67
Scott Schebler 83

A couple notes on these:
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Watch: Larry King interviews Matt Kemp.

San Diego Padres outfielder Matt Kemp — it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue yet, does it? — recently did a sit-down interview for “Larry King Now.” The full episode is available on Ora.tv and Hulu.com.

Here is the full interview, covering topics such as Kemp’s relationship with Don Mattingly and the chemistry in the Dodgers clubhouse: Continue reading

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With an assist from Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw receives his Cy Young and MVP awards (video).

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax presented Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw with his annual 2014 Cy Young and MVP awards on Saturday in New York. The ceremony, hosted by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, was also the last event attended Bud Selig attended as an active commissioner. Here’s the video of the presentation, courtesy of MLB.com:

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Report: Ted Lilly is facing three counts of insurance fraud.

Ted Lilly

Ted Lilly last pitched in the major leagues with the Dodgers in 2013. (Associated Press photo)

According to a report on KSBY.com, former Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly has been charged with three separate counts of insurance fraud, each a felony.

Writes Alexandra Pierce:

Lilly, who lives in Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo County, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three separate charges filed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

All involve vehicle insurance fraud.

 

According to the California Department of Insurance, Lilly damaged his RV worth around $200,000 but did not file a claim until after he purchased insurance on the vehicle. The amount of the claim is not known at this time.

 

Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham alleges the crimes happened in March of last year.

 

“I can tell you that he’s charged with three different felony counts. The first is filing a false insurance claim. The second one is a false statement in support of a claim and the third one has to do with failing to disclose a material fact in connection with an insurance claim,” Cunningham said.

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Dodgers 2015 FanFest details revealed.

The Dodgers announced all the major details for their annual FanFest on Thursday. The free event will be held Saturday, January 31 at Dodger Stadium from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature appearances and autograph availability from Dodger players, coaches and alumni.

Parking gates A, C and E open at 9:30 a.m. and fans may enter the stadium through the left or right field plaza gates at 10 a.m.

Here are the scheduled autograph times and locations:

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