GM Farhan Zaidi outlined where the Dodgers stand in their pursuit of pitching and middle infield depth in the post Erisbel Arruebarrena era Tuesday:
The fact that Brett Anderson passed his physical and signed a contract with the Dodgers on Tuesday is noteworthy. When I asked Andrew Friedman before Christmas if Anderson’s physical would delay his contract longer than Matt Kemp’s, he laughed. Friedman might have been nervous. Anderson, after all, has had enough injuries during his career to qualify for an NFL pension, from a car accident in the minors to a bulging disk in his back last season.
That said, the biggest news of the day is that Erisbel Arruebarrena has been designated for assignment.
The Dodgers could afford to cut a middle infielder with Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Darwin Barney, Justin Turner and Arruebarrena all in the picture. If Corey Seager is able to enter the picture in 2015, one of the five would certainly have to leave. This clears the way for that to happen soon — possibly in spring training.
The Dodgers are still responsible for Arruebarrena’s contract, which runs through 2018. He will collect his full $25 million somewhere, whether it’s in the minor leagues, on another team, or in Los Angeles.
If they cannot trade Arruebarrena, the Dodgers will likely send him to Triple-A, where he can earn his way back on to the major-league roster. For now, he’s off the roster and Anderson is in.
In case you noticed, teams don’t usually cut players with four years left on their contract. But Friedman has demonstrated over the last month that he is not afraid to thwart conventional thinking to mold a roster however he wants. Brian Wilson, Matt Kemp, Dan Haren and possibly others will collect paychecks from the Dodgers next year and never play a game for them.
That won’t matter a great deal to fans if the Dodgers win a World Series. It will be the first thing they point out if the Dodgers fall short.
The Dodgers have agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Sergio Santos, according to multiple reports Tuesday. Santos, 31, went 0-3 with an 8.57 earned-run average in 26 appearances for Toronto in 2014, a season cut short by injuries.
Santos missed 33 games with a forearm strain in 2014 and was placed on the 60-day DL in 2013 because of a triceps strain. In 2012, his first year with the Blue Jays, he underwent surgery in his right shoulder to repair a frayed shoulder labrum.
Santos, from Hacienda Heights, prepped his freshman year at Los Altos High and then transferred to Mater Dei.
As promised, Jimmy Rollins bought a full-page advertisement in Saturday’s Philadelphia Inquirer thanking the fans who followed him for 15 years with the Phillies.
Rollins was traded to the Dodgers on Thursday. On a conference call with reporters on Friday, he mentioned the ad would be coming out. He also said that he doesn’t feel he has to re-prove himself in a new city.
“It’s a new start at a new place where people don’t know who I am as a person,” Rollins said. “All I have to do is go out there and be a leader on that squad and win. When you win — it’s a cliche in sports, it takes care of everything — but it does.”
Anyway, here’s the ad:
It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
The Dodgers released right-handed pitcher Brian Wilson, who was designated for assignment Tuesday. That means the Dodgers will be responsible for paying the vast majority of Wilson’s $9.5 million salary for next season — probably all but the major-league minimum ($507,500), which will be paid by whatever team claims him.
At that price, Wilson isn’t likely to remain a free agent for long. Only 11 active major league pitchers have saved more games than Wilson (172).
After signing a one-year contract with the Dodgers for 2014, Wilson went 2-4 with a 4.66 earned run average in 61 games. He blew five saves in six opportunities and couldn’t hold the eighth-inning job that was his when the season began. Of greater concern, his velocity decreased as the 2014 season went along. It was Wilson’s first full season since undergoing a second Tommy John surgery in 2012.
Wilson exercised a player option in his contract for 2015 at $9.5 million. The Dodgers could not find a team willing to take Wilson in a trade. He was designated for assignment Tuesday in order to clear a roster spot for Brandon McCarthy.
It took a while, but we can report the final terms of the trade sending Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres.
RF Matt Kemp
C Tim Federowicz
It’s probably not fair to judge this move in a vacuum, but that’s how Matt Kemp has been judged for the last eight seasons. So judge away: