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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A couple words from Jamey Wright on the Dodgers’ season.

Jamey WrightI spoke to Jamey Wright, the Dodgers pitcher and former Tampa Bay Ray, for a piece about Andrew Friedman that you’ll read soon. We were talking about Friedman, and the team he would be inheriting, when Wright volunteered a couple thoughts on this Dodgers team and the 2014 season.

These didn’t really fit with the rest of the Friedman story, so here they are:

“It’s a frustrating team to watch, a blessing and a curse, to have so many former all-stars,” Wright said. “We lose a couple and play awful, then when we won a game the atmosphere was ‘we’re the best team in baseball’ — thinking we had talent and teams were going to roll over and let us beat them.

“I’m still trying to figure out why I’m at home right now and not in San Francisco.”

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Dodgers announce NLDS roster; Paco Rodriguez, Joc Pederson, Darwin Barney cut.

The Dodgers will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster for the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Among the final cuts were left-hander Paco Rodriguez, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Darwin Barney.

The Dodgers will carry four starting pitchers and eight relievers, including two left-handers: Scott Elbert and J.P. Howell.

Here is the complete roster:
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Carlos Frias could force Dodgers to re-think middle innings in October.

Carlos Frias

Carlos Frias shut out the Washington Nationals for six innings in his first major-league start Wednesday. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)


Call it rational thought, but when Carlos Frias arrived in the Dodgers’ clubhouse in August, the tendency was to force the rookie pitcher into a limited array of roles.

Emergency spot starter.

Long reliever, preferably during an inconsequential blowout.

That’s what happens to 24-year-old rookies who had never pitched above Double-A baseball prior to the current year, who had an ERA in the fives during his first Triple-A season, right?
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Daily Distractions: Is Brandon League’s ‘whipping boy’ status deserved?

Brandon League

Brandon League has not allowed a run in five of seven appearances this season, including his last three straight. (Associated Press photo)

When Brandon League‘s name was announced over the Dodger Stadium public-address system in the sixth inning Monday, the reaction was best described as a mixture of boos and cheers and indifference.

When League’s name was brought up in Don Mattingly‘s postgame press conference, the reaction was different: “We feel like he’s been pretty good.”

It’s time to call BS on someone here.

A quick look at League’s 2014 resume:

That’s not terribly difficult to defend as “pretty good.” By comparison, this poor chap faced nine more batters and got two more outs, and doesn’t get booed by his fans:

The second gamelog belongs to Jamey Wright, in case you were wondering. We’re dealing with small sample sizes, but here goes: Wright has the superior ERA (3.38 compared to League’s 3.60). League has the better FIP (2.84 compared to 4.35), but FIP doesn’t show up on the Dodger Stadium display boards. Maybe that explains the boos?

Here’s Mattingly, continued: “I know he got the loss in that game in San Francisco. He’s been throwing the ball pretty good. It’s been negative since last year because he has a little bit of a rough spring. It’s been negative but he’s thrown the ball well. We want to stay realistic. He’s thrown the ball good. He’s given us some good innings. He’s kept games where they should be, given us chances, so he’s doing his job.”

What Mattingly didn’t mention is that League’s $22.5 million, three-year contract makes League the Dodgers’ best-paid relief pitcher. That’s closer money for a sixth-inning reliever. League is certainly paid better than Wright’s $1.8 million deal, which is why Wright (or a young pitcher with contract options like Chris Withrow, Jose Dominguez or Paco Rodriguez) will hardly ever get booed. Their contracts are more readily expendable. League’s contract, a seagull bordering on an albatross, is not. For fans, that comes with certain expectations.

Ever since League lost the closer’s job and finished the 2013 season with a 5.30 ERA, it seems like there’s been no turning back. He is the whipping boy. Juan Uribe was in a similar position in 2011 and 2012, but was able to turn it around.

Maybe League can turn his reputation around too. Apparently it’ll take more than seven “pretty good” appearances.

Speaking of which, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area had a pretty good take on the Giants’ “whipping boys.” Does race have something to do with it?

Some bullet points for an Earth Day:
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