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Add this to list of things new owners are willing to do: Eat contracts

August 07, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • With infielder Adam Kennedy coming off the disabled list, struggling third baseman Juan Uribe could be cut loose like Tony Gwynn Jr.
With infielder Adam Kennedy coming off the disabled list, struggling third… (Michael Robinson Chaves…)

Players watch moves made by the front office, get excited when there's a big deal, raise an eyebrow when a player is released.

On Monday, the Dodgers designated Tony Gwynn Jr. for assignment. Gwynn was well-liked and respected, and he worked hard and was a good teammate. He was an excellent defender and very good on the bases.

Given his father, ironically the one element to his game that was uncertain, Manager Don Mattingly said, was "is he going to hit enough?"

So, with the addition of Shane Victorino as the everyday left-fielder, Gwynn -- like Bobby Abreu before him -- simply did not figure to get enough playing time.

So the Dodgers called up right-handed outfielder/first baseman Jerry Sands, who himself may only be here for the three games against Colorado; the Rockies are starting two left-handers.

Mattingly said Sands does not currently figure in the James Loney/Juan Rivera platoon at first base, but team officials would know more when infielder Adam Kennedy is activated. Kennedy, on the disabled list with a groin strain, is scheduled to play the next two days for triple-A Albuquerque and then join the Dodgers when they open a three-game series Friday in Miami.

So if they're going to keep Kennedy and activate him Friday, somebody has to make room on the 25-man roster. Sands would be easy to send down, unless you believe the team is ready to cut ties with struggling Juan Uribe (batting .193).

That still seems unlikely, though the Dodgers did eat the $1.15 million Gwynn is owed next year. And if that's still a long way from the $7 million they'll owe Uribe next season, Gwynn's release no doubt caught the attention of Uribe and the rest of the clubhouse.

Moves by the team's new owners have made it clear that they are ready to win now. Even if that means taking on a huge Cliff Lee contract, and even if that means eating some contracts.


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