Hanley Ramirez headlines list of Dodgers’ free agents.

Pablo Sandoval

San Francisco Giants third baseman holds up three fingers: World Series rings, or contract years he’ll seek in free agency? (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)


The World Series is over, meaning a total of 121 players became major-league free agents today.

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who seemed destined for a contract extension a year ago, now seems destined to receive a $15.3 million qualifying offer. He headlines the Dodgers’ group of seven free agents, and is the only one with a chance of receiving a qualifying offer. Josh Beckett, Kevin Correia, Roberto Hernandez, Paul Maholm, Chris Perez and Jamey Wright are the others.

Some of the bigger free-agent names you’ll hear discussed this winter: Starting pitchers Max Scherzer, Ervin Santana, James Shields, Jake Peavy, Justin Masterson and Jon Lester, relievers Sergio Romo, Andrew Miller and Jason Grilli, catcher Russell Martin, first baseman Kendrys Morales, third basemen Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley, outfielders Ichiro Suzuki, Norichika Aoki and Michael Morse.
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Dodgers 9, Giants 1: It’s OK to celebrate now.

Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw joins a group hug after beating the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, 9-1. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)

Clayton Kershaw delivered an MVP-caliber performance in the Dodgers’ National League West-clinching victory. His line: 8 innings pitched, 8 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts. The full box score is here.

Not to be a downer (part 1) but: Colleague Vincent Bonsignore writes that the Dodgers should have their sights set on bigger celebrations.

Not to be a downer (part 2) but: Chad Billingsley accepts that he might never pitch for the Dodgers again.

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Reports: Dave Stewart will be the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart is reportedly in line to become the next general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. (Getty Images)

Former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart, the agent to current Dodgers Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley, will soon be named the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Jon Heyman of CBSsports.com was first with the news this morning, followed by a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the two parties still needed to iron out the terms. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Stewart expected to hear a formal decision from the Diamondbacks’ top executives by the end of today. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson, who also interviewed for the job, “could also join the club to work with Stewart.”

That last nugget should be of interest to Dodgers fans. Even if Watson remains with the Dodgers, here are some things to consider:

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Chad Billingsley’s season is in jeopardy after MRI reveals torn flexor tendon in right elbow.

Chad Billingsley

Chad Billingsley made two rehab starts for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga this season and didn’t make it out of the second inning in either appearance. (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Twitter)

Chad Billingsley‘s season is in jeopardy after an MRI scan Thursday revealed a partial tear of the flexor tendon in his right elbow.

Though surgery is commonly performed, Billingsley is planning to discuss his options with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache in the coming days before deciding on a course of action.

The prognosis for recovery from torn flexor tendon surgery varies greatly.
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Chad Billingsley tentatively scheduled to re-launch minor league rehab Saturday.

Chad BillingsleyDodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley called it a case of “déjà vu.”

If all goes well in his simulated game Tuesday, Billingsley said he will start a minor-league rehabilitation game on Saturday. The right-hander threw a 30-pitch simulated game Thursday and a bullpen outing Saturday. He got through both sessions without pain, which left him optimistic about making his first rehab start since April 6 on schedule.

“We’ll see once we get past Tuesday,” he said.

The options for Billingsley: Triple-A Albuquerque has a road game in Tacoma, Washington; Double-A Chattanooga has a road game in Pearl, Mississippi; Single-A Rancho Cucamonga has a home game against Bakersfield. The Dodgers have a road game in Colorado.

Billingsley thinks he’ll need five rehab starts before he’s cleared to pitch a major-league game.

“I’m just anxious to get back out there,” he said. “Through this whole process, I’ve had patience. Keep working. It can be very frustrating at times. It’s all part of the process.”
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