DodgersDigest.com is ranking the top 100 prospects in the organization. Here’s their first installment, with prospects 100-76. The list:
100. Ibandel Isabel
99. Romer Cuadrado
98. Hector Rodriguez
97. Trevor Oaks
96. Samuel Ortiz
95. Max Gooding
94. Matt Jones
93. Harlan Richter
92. Carson Baranik
91. Matt Shelton
90. James Baldwin
89. Hendrik Clementina
88. Brock Stewart
87. Dennis Santana
86. Michael Ahmed
85. Kevin Guzman
84. Aaron Miller
83. Jon Garcia
82. J.D. Underwood
81. Theo Alexander
80. Carlos Aquino
79. Osiris Ramirez
78. Lenix Osuna
77. Moises Perez
76. Tyler Ogle
Day 3 of the Dodgers’ 3-day winter development camp is today.
Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ new director of player development, discussed his goals for the program in some detail Monday. Kapler was outspoken about making a break from the past — not doing things the same way as a year ago “because they’re the way they’ve always been done,” as he put it.
The plan is to implement a clock at the Triple-A and Double-A levels in 2015. Every club at those levels received a memo from Major League Baseball detailing how the clocks will work, according to a source who has seen the memo.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Dodgers’ 2015 payroll projects to be an MLB-high $262.6 million. That includes players who are unsigned and eligible for salary arbitration, and players with 0-3 years’ service time who have not yet reached agreement on a 2015 contract.
The $262.6 million an estimate. So is the $275.2 million we estimated recently using a different methodology ($10 million combined for all 0-3 players, rather than $500,000 per player). As with all estimates, take each of those numbers with a grain of salt. Gather enough grains together, and you get a sense for the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is that the Dodgers are still baseball’s biggest spenders. From the Yahoo! piece:
Nearly two-thirds of the teams in baseball could start the season with $100 million-plus payrolls, with the Dodgers, Yankees ($210.9 million) and Red Sox ($180.5 million) all certain to exceed the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. Rounding out the top five payrolls are Detroit ($168.8 million) and World Series champion San Francisco ($160.7 million).
The biggest salary jump comes in Seattle, where the Mariners’ offensive additions bumped their payroll to an estimated $122.5 million, more than $30 million ahead of 2014. The Dodgers are second at $27.3 million, though in reality they’ll actually be spending less on players in their uniform this year: they’re paying a combined $37.5 million to cover the salaries of the released Brian Wilson and the traded Matt Kemp and Dan Haren.
Mattingly addressed a number of topics after my video recorder ran out of memory, or unfit for print. One was the catcher position.
Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the Dodgers will “definitely be a player” for free agent Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, confirming earlier reports. You can hear that full interview here.
Moncada, 19, has drawn throngs of scouts to his workouts. He could command up to a $50 million signing bonus. Since he is less than 23 years old, Moncada’s bonus would count against a team’s international spending allocation. By extension, the team that signs Moncada faces a heavy tax from MLB, a situation that favors the big-market clubs with money to spend. The Red Sox and Yankees were initially reported as the heavy favorites to sign Moncada.
Since Moncada’s major-league debut is likely years away, it’s too soon to know whether or not to believe the hype. He hasn’t even been cleared to sign with an MLB team by the federal government, which always comes with an unpredictable timetable. That said, there’s been a lot of hype about his baseball talent. How he left Cuba legally, with the government’s blessing, is another story without fully-fleshed details. We’ll pass along more as the story develops.
One more reason to click on the link to the interview: At the end, Zaidi comments on GM Dave Stewart’s assertion that the Arizona Diamondbacks are a “true baseball team” because their decisions are not driven by analytics.
The Dodgers and catcher A.J. Ellis have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth a reported $4.25 million.
Ellis, 33, made $3.55 million in 2014, when he batted .191/.323/.254 in 93 games. The new contract would make Ellis the 12th-highest paid catcher in baseball, not bad for a player who has yet to hit free agency.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Ellis to earn $3.8 million in arbitration.
The Dodgers acquired switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal from the San Diego Padres in December with the intention of dividing playing time between Grandal and Ellis in 2015.
Five other Dodgers remain eligible for arbitration: pitchers Kenley Jansen and Juan Nicasio, infielder Justin Turner and outfielder Chris Heisey. The Dodgers avoided arbitration with infielder Darwin Barney in December by agreeing to a $2.5 million contract.