Dodgers sign Ramon Troncoso to a minor-league contract.

The Dodgers are bringing a familiar name into their minor-league camp this season: Pitcher Ramon Troncoso.

Troncoso, who was released by the Kansas City Royals July 10 after a subpar season at Triple-A, did not receive an invitation to the Dodgers’ major-league camp.

The right-hander, who turns 32 on February 16, went 1-6 with a 4.30 earned-run average last season for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate. He last appeared in the majors with the Chicago White Sox in 2013, going 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 29 appearances.

Troncoso had one outstanding season and three bad ones for the Dodgers from 2008-11. He pitched in 73 games in 2009, going 5-4 with a 2.72 ERA. Since then he has a 4.89 ERA in 99 games for the Dodgers and White Sox, including 16 home runs allowed.

The Dodgers originally signed Troncoso as a teenager in the Dominican Republic in 2002.

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Report: Former Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly pleads no contest to insurance fraud.

Ted LillyFormer Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly will reportedly avoid jail time after entering a no contest plea in San Luis Obispo County court to charges of insurance fraud.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported that Lilly, 39, must pay a $2,500 fine, serve two years of informal probation and perform 250 hours of local community service, which he must complete within 12 months.

The details of the crime as described in the report are remarkably pedestrian. From the Tribune‘s report:

Lilly had faced three felony charges of filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim.

The [California Department of Insurance] investigation showed Lilly damaged the (recreational) vehicle in a collision and sought an estimate from a body shop on March 19, Kincaid said. That estimate was $4,600. Lilly then bought insurance from Progressive Insurance Corp. on March 24 and claimed the damage to Progressive on March 28, Kincaid said.

The arrest came as part of a Department of Insurance sweep, in which warrants were served in 22 counties and which has resulted in prosecutors filing some 200 felony counts.

Lilly was forced to retire after a series of injuries cut short his 2013 season with the Dodgers after five major-league starts. He went 24-21 with a 3.83 ERA over parts of four seasons in Los Angeles.

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Corey Seager tops list of top 10 Dodgers prospects (DodgersDigest.com).

We’ve read enough prospect-ranking lists lately to declare late January/early February its own “season.”

Prospect ranking season.

This might be the end of prospect ranking season. At the very least, we’re close.

DodgersDigest.com released its list of the organization’s top 10 prospects. Click on over for the details; here’s the list of 10:

10. Darnell Sweeney
9. Scott Schebler
8. Zach Lee
7. Alex Verdugo
6. Jose De Leon
5. Chris Anderson
4. Grant Holmes
3. Joc Pederson
2. Julio Urias
1. Corey Seager

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Report: Dodgers scouting Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera.

The Dodgers were among several teams scouting second baseman Hector Olivera at a showcase in the Dominican Republic, according to BaseballAmerica.com.

Olivera, 29, hasn’t been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. He reportedly defected from Cuba last September. In 10 seasons in Cuba’s top league, Olivera was a career .323/.407/.505 hitter who walked more often than he struck out. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds by BA, his power translated well in Friday’s showcase. And the Dodgers were watching. Writes Ben Badler:

Of all the teams at the showcase today, the Dodgers had the most notable presence. Dodgers vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, VP of amateur and international scouting David Finley and director of player personnel Galen Carr were all there.

The report also lists the Diamondbacks, Giants, Mariners, Padres and Braves as interested parties.

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Dodgers sign infielder/outfielder Albert Cartwright, who comes with a catch.

Albert Cartwright hasn’t caught since high school. The 27-year-old has spent the last six-plus seasons in the Astros and Phillies organizations shuffling between second base, center field and left field.

However, the Dodgers have signed Cartwright to a minor-league contract with the opportunity of becoming a catcher again, either full-time or part-time. Cartwright’s contract does not include an invitation to major-league spring training.

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Chris Perez signs minor-league deal with Milwaukee Brewers.

Chris Perez, who did little to distinguish himself in his only season in a Dodgers uniform, signed a minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that includes an invitation to spring training.

Perez went 1-3 with a 4.27 earned run average in 49 relief appearances, struggling especially in high-leverage situations. The Dodgers didn’t re-sign the 29-year-old right-hander after the season.

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Dodgers pitcher Joel Peralta had a customs nightmare at Miami International Airport.

Joel Peralta

New Dodgers pitcher Joel Peralta didn’t get the royal treatment at Miami International Airport. (Getty Images)

Have you ever run into a mean customs official at the airport? So did new Dodgers pitcher Joel Peralta.

According to Peralta’s agent, Mark Gilling, the pitcher was detained past midnight at Miami International Airport last Friday, preventing him from attending the Dodgers’ annual FanFest on Saturday.

“It was a complete disaster,” Gilling said.

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Brandon McCarthy is in the right place at the right time to be a soccer fan.


Listening to Brandon McCarthy talk, you’re tempted to think that Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi signed the pitcher just so they could talk Champions League minutiae between games.

McCarthy, who grew up in Pasadena, only played a little soccer in his youth before turning his attention to baseball full-time. He became a hardcore Liverpool F.C. fan as an adult.

“It started with a Steven Gerrard goal in 2004 that I happened to see,” he said, referring to the goal against Olympiakos above. “It was a humongous goal that got them through in a competition. He runs over and celebrates with the fans, you see the fans losing their minds. You’re kind of like ‘there’s something here. I get it.’

“I started following that team the rest of the season and they ended up wining the Champions League, which is soccer’s Super Bowl more or less, in one of the most dramatic games of all-time. I was hooked from that point on. that’s become my biggest passion outside of baseball. With Gerard coming here, it’s a natural fit that I’ve got a team here to follow.”

Gerard plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy now, but McCarthy will have to wait to see his favorite player in person. The Galaxy’s first home game is March 6, in the middle of spring training.

“The nice thing about each year is I get a little more veteran status, so I get a little bit closer to have my own TV and turn that (on),” McCarthy said. “Spring training, the early morning games, I’ll turn a TV in the weight room on and I have to bunker myself in a corner and watch Liverpool until we head out to the field.”

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