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

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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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Reports: Dodgers, Padres still in discussions about Matt Kemp.

It is no secret among baseball folks that the Padres are looking to make a big splash at the Winter Meetings, with the event in their backyard for the first time since 1985. Their focus appears to be on Kemp, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning.

From CBSsports.com:

San Diego has become the most likely landing spot if LA does indeed to deal Kemp. One deal being discussed would send veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal and young pitcher Zach Eflin to Los Angeles for Kemp, sources said.

Friedman said he has no qualms trading within his own division.

“There’s 29 other trade outlets,” Friedman said. “To cut off four of them makes our job more difficult.”

One other wrinkle to this: While it would be hard to replace Kemp’s offense, if not impossible, that isn’t necessarily Friedman’s focus.

“Generally speaking our ability to score runs is so intertwined with our ability to prevent them, there’s a connection there that I’d be OK if we scored 200 runs next year if we allowed 100, just going to a crazy example. I’d be OK allowing 900 runs if we scored 1300. So there’s a connection between it that it’s about us trying to construct the best 25-man roster we can.”

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Andrew Friedman on Ryan Lavarnway and multi-position threats.

After day one of the Winter Meetings, the Dodgers’ last transaction remains the non-blockbuster Ryan Lavarnway signing.

Lavarnway came up as a catcher but bounced around last season. All of his 24 major-league innings last season came at first base. He’ll be bouncing again in 2015, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday: “He’ll catch some, play some at first, and right handed bat (off the bench).”
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Maury Wills, Gil Hodges fall short of Hall of Fame induction. (Video)


SAN DIEGO — No bronze plaques will be joining the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Maury Wills, Gil Hodges and eight other players on the Hall of Fame’s “Golden Era” ballot were shut out by a 16-member voting committee Monday. Dick Allen and Tony Oliva received the most votes — 11, one short of the 12 votes necessary for induction. Wills received nine votes from the committee and Hodges received three or fewer.
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Dodgers scout Mike Brito to be honored at Winter Meetings.

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, left, has been chosen as the International Scout of the Year for 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, left, has been chosen as the International Scout of the Year for 2014. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)

SAN DIEGO — Veteran scout Mike Brito, who helped the Dodgers identify and sign Fernando Valenzuela, Yasiel Puig and prospect Julio Urias, will be honored Wednesday as the International Scout of the Year at the Winter Meetings.

The award is not given annually. In fact, Brito is believed to be only the fourth person ever to win the award, joining Ralph Avila (2006), Epy Guerrero (2008) and Fred Ferreira (2012).

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Dodgers add Nick Francona to their player development department.

The Dodgers have added another name to their player development department: Nick Francona. The son of Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, Nick previously worked in the Angels’ advance scouting department. He was also in charge of reviewing video replays for challenges last season, his first in professional baseball as either a player or executive.

Francona, 29, has an interesting background that includes three and a half years in the Marine Corps.

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