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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Poll: How did the Dodgers fare at the Winter Meetings?

The Dodgers aren’t done dealing, as I explained in my last post, but they were plenty busy at the Winter Meetings.

Gone are Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon, Tim Federowicz, Miguel Rojas and reportedly prospect Tom Windle. In are Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Brandon McCarthy, Chris Hatcher, Yasmani Grandal and others.

Knowing that there’s more to come, looking just at the past four days, how did the Dodgers do? Feel free to drop a comment in.

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Taking stock of the new-look Dodgers.

San Diego status update: classy. #WinterMeetings

A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on


It’s 11 a.m. Thursday and the Winter Meetings are slowly disintegrating but the Dodgers are not done dealing. In case you missed it, here’s what happened yesterday.

At the moment:

• The Dodgers didn’t select anyone in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.

• Among Wednesday’s major deals, only the trade for Howie Kendrick is official.

• The trades for Jimmy Rollins and Yasmani Grandal are not official. Neither is the reported Brandon McCarthy contract. Here’s what I wrote about the pending megatrade with the Padres.

Zach Eflin and Tom Windle are reportedly the two pitchers going to Philadelphia to complete the Rollins trade.

So there’s a lot still up in the air. Just for fun, let’s assume the pending deals go through. Here’s what the Dodgers’ 25-man roster might look like if the season started in five minutes (because if the season started tomorrow, there would be more trades to account for):

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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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It’s (almost) official: Dodgers trade Matt Kemp to San Diego.

The Dodgers continued a furious Winter Meetings trade spree Thursday morning by dealing Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres. Kemp, a star outfielder and the Dodgers’ longest tenured player, has been informed of the trade, which has not been announced by either team because it is still pending approval from the league.

Soon, Kemp will be heading south along with catcher Tim Federowicz in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and pitcher Zach Eflin, according to multiple reports.

The full story is here.

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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.

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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.

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Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson compares Madison Bumgarner to Larry Bird.

Magic Johnson

Getty Images

Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was presented The Legacy Award on Tuesday evening at the annual Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year event in New York.

During his acceptance speech, he compared San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner to former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird:

“There’s only one person that I hate, love and respect and that’s Larry Bird. I hated him. I loved him. And I respected him so much that I knew if I made a mistake, he would get me the next year. Well, I now have the second person right in front of me – Madison Bumgarner. I hate him because he plays for the Giants and beats us. I love him because he’s so good. And I respect him because he’s such a competitor and his will to win is off the charts.”

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The Dodgers are out on Jon Lester, but that is not the story here.

Jon Lester

Jon Lester went 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s. (Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO — From the beginning, the Dodgers’ reported pursuit of free agent left-hander Jon Lester did not read like an earnest attempt to upgrade their starting rotation.

As somebody smart said to me when the week began: “Why would the Dodgers bring in Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi if their off-season plan centered around signing Jon Lester? Ned Colletti could have done that.” It’s a great point. Signing Lester, who is reportedly in line to make more than $150 million over the next six or seven years, simply doesn’t fit the M.O. of a sabermetrically inclined front office trying to create a more nimble roster.

Also, the beginning and the ending of this pursuit were separated by roughly a week, if not a few days. When it surfaced Tuesday that Lester had narrowed his decision to the Red Sox and Cubs, few were surprised.

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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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