March 29, 2014 |
Hanley Ramirez has entered his walk year. Ramirez and Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter each expressed interest in completing a contract extension eight months ago, but the two sides have not reached a deal, and Ramirez can file for free agency after the season. Ramirez could be the premier position player available in free agency, if he gets there, when contract values for star players are escalating rapidly. The other top position players eligible to hit the market appear to be fellow infielders Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres and Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants.
March 26, 2014 |
For Chone Figgins, his reunion with the Angels in the Freeway Series will mark a triumph. Games against his former team used to a be painful reminder of what he left behind. Over the next three days, when the Dodgers and Angels face each other in their annual exhibition series, they will be a testament to his perseverance. Figgins is on the Dodgers' major league roster, a minor miracle considering how he has spent the last several years. He went into spring training on a minor league contract.
March 9, 2014 |
PHOENIX - There's a massive painting hanging in a hallway of Dan Haren's home in Irvine that shows the pitcher, mid-windup, in the uniforms of the first four major league teams for which he played. It was meant to be a memento of an All-Star career. But it was outdated shortly after the paint dried. "Little did I know," said Haren, who has pitched for two more teams since hanging the artwork in his home two seasons ago. This spring he's wearing the blue script of the Dodgers, who signed him to a one-year, $10-million free-agent contract in November.
March 4, 2014 |
Here's a free tip to that legion of relievers making plans to be in the Dodgers' bullpen this season: Better be on your game early and often. General Manager Ned Colletti has assembled a relief corps of pitchers who are used to being in at the end of games, including former closers Brian Wilson, Brandon League and Chris Perez. Perez is the former Indians closer signed during the off-season, and his early spring results are all of the encouraging variety. Tuesday was a relievers game anyway, seven different members of the bullpen filling in for starter Zack Greinke, who remains out with a calf strain.
February 25, 2014 |
PHOENIX - With a long-awaited conflict again coming into view, Dodgers outfielders have taken a variety of approaches to what could be an uncomfortable situation. Matt Kemp was brazen, declaring he wouldn't be a fourth outfielder. Carl Crawford was understanding. Yasiel Puig was diplomatic, saying he would respect any decision made by Manager Don Mattingly. Then there is Andre Ethier, who, when asked about playing time and potential trades, smiled, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.
February 22, 2014 |
PHOENIX - Told the Dodgers signed free-agent shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25-million contract, Yasiel Puig was flooded with memories of his childhood in Cuba. Puig and Arruebarrena met as 9-year-olds in Cienfuegos. They played together on various youth teams. Eventually, they became standouts on the Elefantes, their hometown club in Cuba's top baseball league. "He was a good friend of mine," Puig said Saturday. "We were always together. " They were frequently at each other's houses.