Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Agree To Terms

Kershaw was 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 2011.

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Jamey Wright Signs Minor-League Contract With Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers added to their spring training pitching staff on Tuesday, signing Jamey Wright to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The 37-year old right-hander has an out clause in his contract in late March, per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA, meaning if Wright isn't added to the active roster by a specified date he has the right to become a free agent and pursue other opportunities.

Wright was 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 60 games in relief in 2011 for the Seattle Mariners, his sixth team in the last seven years. Wright has pitched exclusively in relief during the last four seasons, as his last major league start came on August 25, 2007 while with the Texas Rangers.

The odds of Wright making the opening day roster for the Dodgers are long, as the club has essentially six of the seven spots in the bullpen locked up: closer Javy Guerra, strikeout artist Kenley Jansen, southpaw Scott Elbert, and veterans Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, and Todd Coffey.

The signing of Wright puts the total number of bodies scheduled to begin in big league camp for the Dodgers at 61, including relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is currently on the restricted list but has already reported to Arizona. Belisario will have to serve a 25-game suspension for violating MLB's drug policy before he can pitch again in the majors.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers Agree To Two Year, $19 Million Deal

More: Fan reaction to Kershaw deal

Big news for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their NL Cy Young winner is sticking around another two years. Clayton Kershaw agreed to terms with the Dodgers today, and while the contract seems a little shorter than it should be, the actual value of the deal is commensurate with his talents. Dylan Hernandez had most of the contract reports in place.

Kershaw will receive a $500,000 signing bonus, $7.5 million in 2012, and $11 million in 2013, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. Kershaw submitted a salary of $10 million in arbitration while the Dodgers countered at $6.5 million. The $8 million Kershaw receives this year is slightly less than the midpoint, but also the second highest salary ever for a pitcher in his first year of arbitration eligibility, trailing only Tim Lincecum.

Kershaw posted a record of 47-28 and a 2.88 ERA with 745 strikeouts through his first four seasons, and last year was the golden gem, posting 21 wins, 248 strikeouts and a 2.28 ERA.

Kershaw is only 23 years old, and he'll be in great shape to continue to lead the team into the next age. But it appears as if the team isn't going to commit to a long-term deal quite yet and the Dodgers are content enough to negotiate salary arbitration. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA has more.

To discuss Kershaw and the Dodgers, head on over to True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Hong-Chih Kuo Signs With Seattle Mariners, Per Report

Left-handed relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who spent nearly 13 years in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, has moved on. Kuo reportedly signed a one-year contract on Monday with the Seattle Mariners, per Peter Wang of ETTV.

Kuo will earn $500,000 in base salary, plus potentially another $2.25 million in bonuses. He gets an extra $1 million if he makes the 25-man roster.

Kuo, 30, had a miserable campaign in 2011 after having one of the best relief seasons in Dodgers franchise history in 2010. Kuo had a 9.00 ERA in 40 games for the Dodgers in 2011, with 23 walks and 36 strikeouts in 27 innings. He had two stints on the disabled list last season, one with a bad back and one with the yips, as Kuo lost the ability to find the strike zone and missed six weeks with what was termed by the team as an anxiety disorder.

Kuo had arthroscopic elbow surgery in late October, the fifth time his left arm has been operated on in his career, including a pair of Tommy John surgeries. The Dodgers signed Kuo in 1999 out of high school in Taiwan, and he was the longest-tenured player in the Dodgers organization before the club non-tendered the southpaw in December.

In 2010, Kuo set a Dodgers franchise record with a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings, and struck out 73 batters against just 18 walks, making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. In parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers, Kuo was 13-17 with a 3.73 ERA and 13 saves, with 345 strikeouts in 292 innings.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Todd Coffey Signs With Los Angeles Dodgers For One-Year, $1.3 Million

The Los Angeles Dodgers rounded out their bullpen on Friday, signing veteran right-handed relief pitcher Todd Coffey to a one-year deal plus a club option for 2013, worth a guaranteed $1.3 million. Coffey will be paid $1 million in 2012, and his 2013 option is worth $2.5 million with a buyout of $300,000.

Coffey, 31, was 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 69 games with the Washington Nationals in 2011, with 20 walks and 46 strikeouts in 60 innings. He has also pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds in his seven-year major league career.

With the addition of Coffey, the Dodgers bullpen appears to be almost set with six locks for the opening day roster, with Coffey joining Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, and Scott Elbert. MacDougal, like Coffey has a high option amount for 2013 (also $2.5 million), essentially making their buyout a deferred payment as the options are unlikely to be exercised.

With the Coffey signing, the Dodgers have 17 players under contract for 2012 for a total of $79.975 million.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 Spring Training: Los Angeles Dodgers Non-Roster Invitees To Camelback Ranch

The Los Angeles Dodgers have invited a group of 19 non-roster players to spring training, which opens in February at Camelback Ranch - Glendale in Phoenix, Arizona. The group includes two Dodgers minor league catchers, Gorman Erickson and Matt Wallach, and 17 others signed to minor-league pacts this winter.

Josh Bard is the other non-roster catcher invited to camp, a 34-year old switch-hitting catcher who hit .210/.256/.333 in 86 plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners last season. Former highly-touted White Sox prospect Josh Fields highlights the infielders signed to minor league deals, and he will be joined by Luis Cruz, Jeff Baisley, and Lance Zawadzki. Former Colorado Rockies outfielder Cory Sullivan was also invited to Dodgers' camp.

There are 11 pitchers invited to Dodgers big league camp, with the left-handers the most likely to earn a spot in the bullpen. Scott Elbert is currently the only left-handed pitcher on the 40-man roster with a secure spot in the bullpen, and if Ned Colletti, Don Mattingly and the staff decide to go with a second southpaw it will likely come from this batch of non-roster invitees. The left-handed pitchers signed to minor league deals include Matt Chico, Alberto Castillo, John Grabow, Wil Ledezma, and Scott Rice.

Right-handed pitchers signed to minor league deals are Jose Ascanio, Angel Guzman, Shane Lindsay, Fernando Nieve, Will Savage, and Ryan Tucker.

That brings the total number of Dodgers to open spring training in big league camp to 59, and that doesn't include relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is currently on the restricted list but is expected to report to camp.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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With Clayton Kershaw Arbitration Looming, A Look At 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers Payroll

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday signed outfielder Andre Ethier and first baseman James Loney to one-year contracts, avoiding salary arbitration. They did not reach agreement with ace Clayton Kershaw, fresh off his National League Cy Young Award, and the two sides exchanged figures. Kershaw asked for $10 million, which would be a record for a pitcher in his first year of arbitration eligibility, while the Dodgers counted at $6.5 million.

With 16 players signed for 2012, not including Kershaw, here is a look at the Dodgers' payroll commitments for this season:

Dodgers 2012 Payroll Commitments
Pos Player Salary
SP Ted Lilly $12,000,000
OF Andre Ethier $10,950,000
OF Matt Kemp $10,000,000
SP Chad Billingsley $9,000,000
IF Juan Uribe $8,000,000
1B James Loney $6,375,000
RP Matt Guerrier $4,750,000
OF Juan Rivera $4,000,000
SP Chris Capuano $3,000,000
SP Aaron Harang $3,000,000
2B Mark Ellis $2,500,000
IF Jerry Hairston Jr. $2,250,000
OF Tony Gwynn Jr. $850,000
C Matt Treanor $850,000
IF Adam Kennedy $800,000
RP Mike MacDougal $650,000
Totals $78,975,000

In addition, the Dodgers have just over $22.2 million in dead money paid to players no longer on the team, like Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones, to name a few. Add in Kershaw at the midpoint of $8.25 million and the remaining eight roster spots with near-minimum salaries, and the Dodgers have roughly $114 million committed in 2012.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers Exchange Salary Arbitration Figures

The Los Angeles Dodgers came to terms on Tuesday with two of their remaining three players who were eligible for salary arbitration, but could not yet come to terms with ace Clayton Kershaw on a contract. The two sides exchanged salary arbitration figures, with Kershaw seeking a salary of $10 million and the Dodgers offering $6.5 million, per John Heyman of CBS Sports.

Earlier Tuesday the Dodgers agreed to one-year deals with both James Loney and Andre Ethier, avoiding salary arbitration. Both Kershaw and the Dodgers will continue to negotiate, but if they can't come to an agreement there will be a hearing sometime in February, in which each side will try to convince a three-person arbitration panel to pick their salary, with no in between.

Kershaw had one of the finest pitching seasons in Dodgers history in 2011, going 21-5 with a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. He led the National League in wins (tied with Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks), ERA, and strikeouts to capture the pitching triple crown, and was voted the National League Cy Young Award winner, the first Dodgers starting pitcher to win the award since Orel Hershiser in 1988.

Kershaw made $500,000 in 2011, and his $10 million salary interest would be a record for pitchers in their first year of salary arbitration eligibility. Tim Lincecum, who made $9 million in 2010 (including a pro-rated signing bonus) as part of a two-year, $22 million contract he signed after winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.

Just last week I guessed on True Blue LA that Kershaw would make $8.5 million in 2012.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Sign James Loney, Avoid Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Doders on Tuesday avoided arbitration with first baseman James Loney, signing him to a one-year deal. The contract is worth $6.375 million plus performance bonuses, per Loney's agency, CAA.

Loney can earn up to $125,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA. Loney will earn $25,000 for 585 plate appearances, and $50,000 for each of 625 and 650 PA.

Loney hit .288/.339/.416 with 30 doubles and 12 home runs in 158 games in 2011, but his was really a tale of two seasons. In the first two months of the season, Loney was nearing historically low levels of production for a first baseman, and was hitting just .268/.311/.342 with four home runs and 31 RBI in 91 games at the All-Star break. However, Loney turned things around after the break, hitting .320/.380/.534 with 18 doubles and eight home runs in 67 games.

Loney, who will turn 28 in May, made $4.875 million last season. Just last week at True Blue LA, I guessed that Loney would earn $7.25 million in 2012 based on his performance and comparable players. Loney will be eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.

The Dodgers have $78.975 million committed to 16 players in 2012.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Andre Ethier To One-Year Contract, Avoid Salary Arbitration

Outfielder Andre Ethier agreed to a one-year, $10.95 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration, according to a tweet from Ethier's agency. Ethier also has a chance to earn up to $50,000 in performance bonuses, per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA: $25,000 for each of 600 and 625 plate appearances.

Ethier, who will turn 30 on April 10, hit .292/.368/.421 with 11 home runs in 135 games. He became the second Dodger ever with a 30-game hitting streak in 2011, falling one game shy of the club record, set by Willie Davis in 1969. Ethier had his season hampered by a knee injury that not only sapped most of his power but also ended his season in earlier September, when Ethier and the club jointly decided to have surgery and end his season.

Despite having his season cut short, Ethier did hit 30 doubles in 2011, his fifth consecutive season with at least 30 two-baggers, joining Jackie Robinson as the only Dodgers in history to accomplish that feat. Ethier also made his second consecutive All-Star team and captured his first Gold Glove award in 2011.

Ethier made $9.25 million in 2011 in the second season of a two-year, $15.25 million contract signed after the 2009 campaign. Last week on True Blue LA, I surmised that Ethier would earn $13 million in 2012 based on performance and comparable players.

The Dodgers have $72.6 million committed to 15 players in 2012, plus a little over $22.2 million in dead money, paid to players no longer on the roster.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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MLB Free Agents 2012: Vicente Padilla Signs Minor League Deal With Boston Red Sox

Former Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla has decided to move back to the American League. Padilla has signed a one-year minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox with an invitation to spring training. Padilla will make $1.5 million if he makes the major league team, per the Boston Herald.

Padilla had an injury-plagued season in 2011, missing 142 of the Dodgers' 161 games while on the disabled list. He signed a one-year deal with a $2 million base salary and potentially $9 million more in incentives for both starting and relieving. He pitched in nine games for the Dodgers, put up a 4.15 ERA and recorded three saves, but did not qualify for any of his potential bonuses.

Padilla, 34, began the season on the disabled list after having right forearm surgery on February 24. He was activated from the disabled list on April 22 and within a week took over as closer after Jonathan Broxton struggled. Padilla last pitched on May 13 before going on the disabled list with a right radial nerve irritation that kept him out the rest of the season.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Hiroki Kuroda Signs With New York Yankees, Ending His Tenure With The Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda spent the last four years pitching with the Los Angeles Dodgers, although his time in L.A. appears to be over, if multiple reports are correct. According to various media outlets in New York, the Yankees have signed the soon-to-be 37-year old starting pitcher to a one-year deal.

It was unlikely that the Dodgers would be able to re-sign Kuroda given his price tag, but some were still holding out hope with the veteran pitcher yet to sign. In his four seasons with Los Angeles, Kuroda compiled an unlucky record of 41-46 with an ERA of 3.45. He featured a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.21 and was worth 12.2 WAR, which measures how valuable a player truly is. Kuroda seemingly never got much run support while on the mound and was subject of many trade rumors over the past year.

For more on the Dodgers, be sure to head on over to True Blue LA.

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2012 Spring Training: Los Angeles Dodgers Pitchers & Catchers Report To Camp February 21

In the dead of winter - well as much of a winter as we can have in Southern California - there might not be four better words than "pitchers and catchers report." The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday announced the reporting dates of spring training, at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona.

Pitchers and catchers report to camp on Tuesday, February 21, which could mean an on-time Ronald Belisario sighting for the first time in his four years in the Dodgers organization. Belisario, who has been on the restricted list since the beginning of last year for failing to report, has reportedly received a work visa that will allow the Venezuelan relief pitcher to report to camp on time. Belisario also reported late to spring training in 2009 and 2010.

The first workout for pitchers and catchers is February 22. The rest of the squad reports on Monday, February 27, with the first full team workout on February 28. The Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule on Monday, March 5 with a game against the Chicago White Sox, their co-tenants at Camelback Ranch.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Blake Hawksworth To Undergo Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Blake Hawksworth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday, the team announced on Tuesday night. The Dodgers estimated the recovery time for Hawksworth to be four to six weeks, per ESPN Los Angeles, which shouldn't affect his timetable too greatly for the spring.

Hawksworth was 2-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 49 games in relief for the Dodgers in 2011, his first season with the team. Hawksworth was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals last offseason for second baseman Ryan Theriot. Hawksworth, who turns 29 on March 1, is out of options. In other words, while he isn't a lock for a bullpen spot Hawksworth will get every opportunity to earn a spot on the roster during the spring.

The Dodgers said they would have a better idea of the timetable for recovery for Hawksworth once the surgery is completed.

For more news on Blake Hawksworth and the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Hold Winter Development Program For Minor League Prospects

The Los Angeles Dodgers will hold their fifth annual Winter Development Program beginning this weekend, a week-long event designed to help minor league players get ready for major league life. Manager Don Mattingly, third base coach Tim Wallach, and hitting coach Dave Hansen will be joined by several roving minor league instructors and members of the player development department to provide instruction.

Scott Van Slyke, who was named the 2011 Dodgers minor league player of the year, will take part in the program, as will 2011 minor league pitcher of the year Shawn Tolleson. Those two will be joined by 13 others: Alex Castellanos, Griff Erickson, Tim Federowicz, Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio, Matt Wallach, and pitchers Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, Allen Webster, Chris Withrow, and Rubby De La Rosa, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery.

In addition to on-field instruction at Dodger Stadium, the players will take part in seminars with Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, and Dodgers staffers on media relations, diet, and major league travel. The group will also make their way around Los Angeles, with a trip to A Place Called Home, a youth center in Los Angeles, and a Los Angeles Clippers game among the events on their agenda.

Seven players from the 2011 program reached the major leagues last year, and 30 players have reached the majors since the program's inception in 2008.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Mike MacDougal To One-Year Deal With Club Option For 2013

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday re-signed relief pitcher Mike MacDougal to a one-year contract with a guaranteed $1 million. MacDougal will be paid $650,000 in 2012 with a $2.35 million club option for 2013 or a $350,000 buyout, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

MacDougal, who will turn 35 in March, signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last January, and made the club out of spring training. The right-hander quickly earned the trust of manager Don Mattingly, who called on MacDougal for a career-high 69 games, which was second in the club.


Read True Blue LA for Dodgers' fan reaction to the MacDougal signing.


MacDougal had a 2.05 ERA in 57 innings, but also walked 29 batters against just 41 strikeouts. Opposing batters had a .352 on-base percentage against MacDougal in 2011. He was Mattingly's go-to reliever with runners on base, facing 51 inherited runners in 2011, the sixth-most in the National League. MacDougal allowed 17 of those 51 runners to score, a 33.3% rate slightly worse than the NL average of 29.6%.

The Dodgers have a full 40-man roster, and that doesn't include relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is currently on the restricted list but has reportedly secured a work visa and plans to actually show up to spring training this year, unlike 2011. Belisario has to serve a 25-game suspension before he can pitch for the Dodgers.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Hire Doug Mientkiewicz As Minor League Hitting Coach

The Los Angeles Dodgers last week announced their minor league coaching staffs for 2012, and for the most part they look very similar to those of 2011. The biggest coaching news is the hire of Doug Mientkiewicz, who will make his coaching debut as the hitting coach of the rookie league Ogden Raptors in the Pioneer League. Mientkiewicz played for the Dodgers in 2009.

Matt Herges, who pitched for the Dodgers as well as every other team in the National League West, will be coaching for his second year in 2012. He was promoted from pitching coach of the Arizona Rookie League Dodgers in 2011 to pitching coach of the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes next year.

The Dodgers' staffs at Triple A and Double A remained the same as 2011. Here are the 2012 coaching assignments for the Dodgers:

Field Coordinator: Bruce Hines
Senior Advisor, Player Development: P.J. Carey, Gene Clines, Charlie Hough
Senior Advisor, Latin America: Ramon Martinez
Hitting Coordinator: Eric Owens
Pitching Coordinator: Rafael Chaves
Outfield/Baserunning Coordinator: Damon Mashore
Infield Coordinator: Jody Reed
Catching Coordinator: Travis Barbary
Coordination of Arizona Instruction: Matt Martin
Campo Las Palmas Coordinator: Henry Cruz
Field Coordinator, Campo Las Palmas: Antonio Bautista

Triple-A Albuquerque:
Manager: Lorenzo Bundy
Hitting Coach: John Valentin
Pitching Coach: Glenn Dishman

Double-A Chattanooga:
Manager: Carlos Subero
Hitting Coach: Franklin Stubbs
Pitching Coach: Chuck Crim

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga:
Manager: Juan Bustabad
Hitting Coach: Michael Boughton
Pitching Coach: Matt Herges

Single-A Great Lakes:
Manager: John Shoemaker
Hitting Coach: Razor Shines
Pitching Coach: Hector Berrios

Rookie-advanced Ogden:
Manager: Damon Berryhill
Hitting Coach: Doug Mientkiewicz
Pitching Coach: Bill Simas

Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers:
Manager/Coordinator of Arizona Instruction: Matt Martin
Hitting Coach: Leo Garcia
Pitching Coach: Kremlin Martinez

Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Dodgers:
Manager: Pedro Mega
Hitting Coach: Keyter Collado
Pitching Coach: Alejandro Peña
Catching Coach: Jose D. Hernandez
Assistant Coach: Rafael Ozuna

Camelback Ranch – Glendale:
Pitching/Rehab Coach: Jim Slaton
Coach: Johnny Washington
Coach: Esteban Lopez

For more Dodgers offseason news and analysis, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agency: Casey Blake Signs With Colorado Rockies

Casey Blake, who served as the Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman for the last three and a half seasons, has moved on but has stayed within the division. Blake on Tuesday agreed to terms with the Colorado Rockies on a one-year deal, pending a physical, the team announced.

The contract is worth a non-guaranteed $2 million in base salary plus up to an additional $1 million in performance bonuses, per Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

Blake, 38, suffered through in injury-plagued season in 2011, limited to just 63 games. He had three separate stints on the disabled list, including a back injury, a left elbow infection, and a cervical strain. Blake underwent season-ending neck surgery on September 6.

The 38-year old Blake hit .252/.342/.371 with four home runs in 2011, while making $5.25 million in the final season of a three-year contract. The Dodgers declined their $6 million club option for 2012 for Blake on October 4, opting instead to pay the third baseman a $1.25 million buyout.

For more Dodgers offseason news and analysis, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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MLB Free Agency: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign John Grabow To Minor League Deal, Per Report

According to reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed left-handed reliever John Grabow to a minor league deal. The transaction was first tweeted by John Scanlan on Saturday and was verified by MLB Trade Rumors.

The 33-year-old Grabow struggled after he was acquired by the Chicago Cubs from the Pittsburgh Pirates in July 2009. Grabow posted a 5.52 ERA in 88 innings while knee and shoulder injuries caused him to miss games. It was a disappointing tenure especially after Grabow signed a two-year, $7.5 million extension four months into his time with the Cubs.

In 506 games over a nine-year career, Grabow is 24-19 with a 4.31 ERA in 476.1 innings pitched. He started his MLB career in 2003 with the Pirates after being selected in the 3rd round of the 1997 amateur draft.

For more on the Dodgers and their minor league deals, and more, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Josh Bard, 14 Others To Minor League Deals With Spring Training Invitations

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday announced the 15 players that to date they have signed to minor league contracts with an invitation to spring training. The biggest name on the list is likely catcher Josh Bard, a 10-year veteran who will be 34 next season.

In each of the last two seasons, the Dodgers have had four non-roster invitees make the team out of spring training. However, barring injury the Dodgers will likely only have one bench spot and between one and three bullpen spots, at most, up for grabs entering spring training.

Bard, a switch hitter, hit .210/.256/.333 in 2011 in 86 plate appearances with the Seattle Mariners, but spent the bulk of the year in Triple A Tacoma, hitting .301/.359/.507 with 18 doubles. Other position players to sign minor league deals with the Dodgers were corner infielder Jeff Baisley, middle infielders Luis Cruz and Lance Zawadzki, and outfielder Cory Sullivan.

Left-handed pitcher Wil Ledezma is one of 10 pitchers to sign with the Dodgers. Ledezma struck out 64 strikeouts in 48 innings with Triple A Las Vegas in 2011. Joining Ledezma at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona are fellow southpaws Alberto Castillo, Matt Chico, and Scott Rice. In addition, right-handed pitchers Jose Ascanio, Angel Guzman, Shane Lindsay, Fernando Nieve, Will Savage, and Ryan Tucker.

For more on the Dodgers and their minor league deals, and more, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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MLB Salary Arbitration 2012: Los Angeles Dodgers Non-Tender Hong-Chih Kuo

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night non-tendered relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, making the dean of the Dodgers a free agent. On the deadline day to tender 2012 contracts to all unsigned players, the Dodgers did tender contracts to outfielder Andre Ethier, starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and first baseman James Loney.

Kuo had a trying year in 2011, battling control problems that caused him to miss over a month on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder. One year after setting a Dodgers franchise record with a 1.20 ERA in 60 innings, Kuo put up a 9.00 ERA in 27 innings in 2011. Then, he ended the season by having arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on October 28, the fifth surgery on his left elbow in his career.

Kuo was signed by the Dodgers out of high school in Taiwan in June 1999, making him the dean of the Dodgers. He made $2.725 million in 2011 and while he is now a free agent, general manager Ned Colletti has expressed interest in re-signing Kuo, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Kershaw is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and is arbitration eligible for the first time. He made $500,000 in 2011, but is expected to make at least $8 million in 2012. The 23-year old is a prime candidate for a long-term extension at some point this winter, though that may have to wait until the sale of the team is completed, a process that is expected to last until April.

Ethier made $9.25 million in 2011 in the final year of a two-year deal signed before the 2010 season. He hit .292/.368/.421 in 2011, but suffered a power outage with just 11 home runs in 551 plate appearances. Ethier battled a knee injury that ultimately required surgery in September and caused him to miss most of the final month of the season.

Loney was a clear candidate to be non-tendered in the first part of the season, hitting just .268/.311/.342 with four home runs in 91 games before the All-Star break. But a second half surge by Loney - .320/.380/.534 with 18 doubles and eight home runs in 67 games after the break - assured Loney of a job in 2012. He made $4.875 million last season.

The Dodgers have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

For more on Kuo and the other Dodgers tendered contract on Monday, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Tony Gwynn Jr. Signs Two-Year Contract With Los Angeles Dodgers, Avoiding Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday afternoon signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. Gwynn will be paid $850,000 in 2012 and $1.15 million in 2013, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. He made $675,000 in 2011 after getting non-tendered at this time last year by the San Diego Padres.

The 29-year old outfielder hit .256/.308/.353 with 22 stolen bases in 136 games for the Dodgers in 2011. He played mostly left field, making 60 of his 63 starts there, but was also used often as a late-inning defensive replacement and as a pinch hitter or pinch runner.

The Dodgers have four more players eligible for arbitration: outfielder Andre Ethier, starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, first baseman James Loney, and relief pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo. Of those four, all but Kuo are expected to be tendered a contract. The deadline to tender contracts for all unsigned players on the 40-man roster is 9 p.m. Monday night.

For more on the Gwynn signing with the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Dana Eveland To Baltimore Orioles For Two Minor Leaguers

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday traded left-handed starting pitcher Dana Eveland to the Baltimore Orioles for a pair of minor leaguers, lefty pitcher Jarret Martin and outfielder Tyler Henson. Moving Eveland freed up a spot on the 40-man roster for Aaron Harang, whom the Dodgers signed to a two-year contract on Thursday morning.

Harang, 28, was a likely candidate to be non-tendered next week anyway, and that was before the Dodgers signed Harang and Chris Capuano, giving them five starting pitchers signed through 2013. Harang was 3-2 with a 3.03 in five starts in September for the Dodgers after making the Triple A All-Star team with the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Martin, 22, was 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA in 31 games, including 18 starts for Class A Delmarva in the South Atlantic League in 2011. He was an 18th round selection in the 2009 draft by Baltimore. Henson, who turns 24 on December 15, hit .247/.313/.321 in Triple A in 2011.

For more Dodgers offseason news and analysis, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Aaron Harang To Two-Year, $12 Million Contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their veteran shopping spree on Tuesday, finalizing their two-year contract with Aaron Harang. The deal is worth a total of $12 million guaranteed, and includes a vesting option for 2014.

“Aaron gives us added depth and another veteran arm to add to our starting rotation,” said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. “He had a solid year with the Padres last season and his addition gives us an experienced one through five heading into Spring Training.”

Harang will make $3 million in 2012, $7 million in 2013, and has a vesting option in 2014, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. If the option doesn't vest, the Dodgers can buyout the option for $2 million. Harang's option can be worth between $7-8 million depending on innings pitched:

  • $8 million if Harang pitches 400 innings combined in 2012-2013
  • $7.5 million if Harang pitches 380 innings in 2012-2013, including 180 innings in 2013
  • $7 million if Harang pitches 360 innings in 2012-2013, including 175 innings in 2013

Harang was 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA in 28 starts with the San Diego Padres in 2011, though away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park he had a 4.70 ERA in 11 starts and batters hit .317/.374/.504 against him. The Padres declined their half of his $5 million mutual option for 2012, opting instead to pay Harang a $500,000 buyout.

The Dodgers now have five starting pitchers under contract for at least the next two seasons with Harang rounding out a staff with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, and Chris Capuano.

For more Dodgers offseason news and analysis, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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MLB Winter Meetings 2011: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Jerry Hairston For Two Years, $6 Million

Ned Colletti and the Los Angeles Dodgers are on a veteran shopping spree this winter, and that continued Monday on the first day of baseball's winter meetings in Dallas, Texas. The Dodgers signed utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. to a two-year, $6 million contract on Monday, and are also reportedly close to a deal with starting pitcher Aaron Harang.

Hairston, who turns 36 in May, hit .270/.344/.383 in 120 games with the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers. He is a versatile player who in the last three seasons has started 86 games at third base, 81 games at shortstop, 72 games at second base, 32 starts in left field, 14 starts in center field, and five games in right field.

Hairston will earn $2.25 million in 2012 and $3.75 million in 2013, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Hairston told SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson that he was "very happy" with the deal and that said that he chose Los Angeles because he would be "close to home and with the second half the Dodgers had, and with our additions, we have we'll be a very deep team."

As for Harang, the Dodgers are reportedly close to a deal reportedly in the two-year, $12 million range per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. But the deal is not done yet. It would continue the Dodgers' trend so far this winter of back-loaded two-year deals for veterans, with spotty performance in 2011:

  • Harang turns 34 in May, about to sign for roughly 2 years, $12 million
  • Chris Capuano, 33, signed for two years, $10 million
  • Mark Ellis, 35 in June, signed for two years, $9.25 million
  • Hairston, 36 in May, signed for two years, $6 million

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann on outright waivers, and he was claimed by the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers have a full 40 players on their 40-man roster, and will have to make a corresponding move once the Harang deal becomes official.

For more Dodgers offseason news and analysis, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Finalize Contract With Chris Capuano

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday signed the veteran starter to fill an open slot in their rotation, finalizing their two-year contract with left-hander Chris Capuano. The contract is worth $10 million guaranteed, and includes a mutual option for 2014.

Carpenter was 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 2011 for the New York Mets, pitching 186 innings in 33 games, including 31 starts. It was his first full season since 2007, as he has missed significant time with various injuries. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in October 2007, then Tommy John surgery, his second, on his left elbow in May 2008, missing nearly two and a half seasons at the major league level.

"Chris is an established Major League starting pitcher who adds to our staff," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti in a statement. "He made more than 30 starts last season was a reliable part of the Mets rotation."

The 33-year old Capuano will earn $3 million in 2012 and $6 million in 2013, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Capuano has an $8 million mutual option for 2014, which if not exercised will pay him a $1 million buyout. In addition, Capuano can earn up to $1 million in performance bonuses based on innings pitched.

What this means for the Dodgers is that they can likely no longer afford Hiroki Kuroda, who has been deciding on whether or not to return to Japan to play for his old team, the Hiroshima Carp. The Dodgers' payroll for 2012 is estimated at $110 million, and they are likely to add a few more ancillary parts like a veteran middle infielder and possibly a veteran relief pitcher.

For more news on Chris Capuano and the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Dodgers Sign Chris Capuano To 2 Year, $10 Million

The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly signed left-handed starting pitcher Chris Capuano to a two-year, $10 million contract, according to multiple reports. 

Per ESPN's Jim Bowden, who broke the story first: 

Dodgers and Capuano closing on 2-year 10m dollar deal that could signal the end to Kuroda's days in LA
Dec 02 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Per Jon Heyman on Twitter: 

Capuano gets $10M for 2 yrs. #dodgers
Dec 02 via Mobile WebFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Capuano, 33, spent 2011 with the New York Mets, sporting an 11-12 record with a 4.55 ERA in 31 starts. He struck out 168 batters and walked only 53. The seven-year veteran spent five years with the Milwaukee Brewers, and has a 57-64 career record and a 4.39 career ERA.

For more on the Dodgers, check out True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Adam Kennedy To One-Year Contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made official their one-year pact with infielder Adam Kennedy, the club announced on Wednesday. Kennedy, who turns 36 in January, will earn $800,000 plus a potential $150,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

“Adam gives us infield depth and an experienced left-handed bat,” said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. “He provides us with infield versatility at second and third base and can play first as well.”

Kennedy hit just .234/.277/.355 in 2011 with the Seattle Mariners, and the left-handed batting Kennedy played all over the infield. He started 34 games at second base, his natural position, 24 games at third base, and 23 more at first base in Seattle. The Dodgers will be Kennedy's fifth team in five seasons.

The Dodgers' bench now includes Kennedy and fellow newcomer Matt Treanor at catcher, and figures to include the arbitration-eligible Tony Gwynn Jr. with two spots up for grabs, with outfielder / first baseman Jerry Sands and infielder Justin Sellers in the mix.

The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

For more discussion and analysis of Adam Kennedy to the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Dodgers Ink Adam Kennedy To One Year Deal, According to Report

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown, the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed infielder Adam Kennedy to a one-year deal.

The deal is reportedly worth around $800,000 once Kennedy passes his physical, who is coming over from Seattle after a decent season in the great Northwest, and should provide some much needed help and plugging some holes in the infield next season.

Kennedy, 35, played every infield position aside from shortstop last year for the Mariners, finishing at a .234/.277/.355 clip along with 23 doubles in his 409 plate appearances. Kennedy had previously signed similar one-year deals in each of the last two winters, though the Mariners signed him to a minor league deal worth around $750,000 plus incentives last offseason. Kennedy will be entering his 14th major league season in 2012.

For more in depth discussion and analysis of the Los Angeles Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA to get in on the action.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Jonathan Broxton Signs One-Year Contract With Kansas City Royals

Jonathan Broxton spent the first seven years of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now the relief pitcher will spend next season with a team whose uniform kind of looks like the Dodgers. The burly former closer has signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals on a one-year deal, the club announced today.

The deal is worth a guaranteed $4 million plus up to an additional $1 million in incentives, per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Broxton made $7 million in 2011 in the final season of a two-year deal signed before the 2010 campaign. On Monday, Broxton's agent BB Abbott said the reliever would not be returning to the Dodgers, and now we now why.

"We are delighted to add someone as talented as Jonathan to our bullpen," Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a statement.  "He will be used in a set up role to closer Joakim Soria and will help solidify what we feel is a young and talented bullpen."

Broxton was limited to 14 games last season for the Dodgers, shelved by an elbow injury that eventually required surgery. He did not pitch after May 3. In 386 games for the Dodgers, Broxton was 25-20 with a 3.19 ERA, 84 saves, and 503 strikeouts in 392 innings.

For more on Jonathan Broxton and/or the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Jonathan Broxton Not Coming Back To Dodgers

According to a Los Angeles Times blog by Dylan Hernandez, pitcher Jonathan Broxton's agent BB Abbott has ruled out the possibility of his client re-signing with the club.

Broxton was previously open to re-signing but the talks didn't go anywhere.

A fatigued Broxton struggled in the last half of the 2010 season, but entered 2011 as the Dodgers closer. He saved seven games in eight chances, but it wasn't pretty, as Broxton had a 5.68 ERA in 14 games. Broxton was placed on the disabled list on May 3 with a bone spur in his right elbow, and he didn't throw another pitch all season.

Broxton underwent arthroscopic surgery, performed by Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, to remove the bone spur and loose bodies in his elbow on September 19. Broxton is expected to be ready for spring training in 2012.

Broxton made $7 million in 2011 in the final season of a two-year contract that covered his final two years of arbitration eligibility. In his seven-year career, Broxton has a 3.19 ERA, 84 saves, and a 3.19 ERA in 392 innings. At 11.55 strikeouts per nine innings, Broxton has the highest strikeout rate in Dodgers history among pitchers with at least 200 innings.

According to a tweet by NY Post columnist Joel Sherman, Broxton could be headed to the south near his Georgia home.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Shane Lindsay Signs Minor League Deal With Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly signed right-handed relief pitcher Shane Lindsay to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The Australian-born pitcher, who turns 27 in January, saw six innings of action for the Chicago White Sox in September, his first taste of major league action.

"I am looking forward to getting back over there and hopefully getting back in the majors," Lindsay said, per the Australian Baseball League.

Lindsay has spent parts of seven seasons in the minor leagues with the White Sox and Colorado Rockies. The good news is that he has a career minor league strikeout rate of 12.2 per nine innings, but the bad news is that he has averaged 6.8 walks per nine innings as well.

Lindsay has 109 walks in 110 2/3 innings between Double A and Triple A combined in 2010 and 2011.

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Dodgers Close To Minor League Contract With Wil Ledezma

The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly close to a minor league contract with Venezuelan pitcher Wil Ledezma, though the deal is not yet complete. The Venezuelan newspaper El Universal first reported the deal, which includes an invitation to spring training according to Ledezma's agent, Wilfredo Polidor.

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports confirmed the transaction in a tweet, though Morosi also noted a contract wasn't yet signed, just that it was in the works and that Ledezma "has told people he plans to join the Dodgers."

The left-handed Ledezma has pitched for seven teams in his nine-year career, most recently with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. He pitched only five games in relief for the Blue Jays, putting up a 15.00 ERA in six innings. Ledezma spent most of his season in Triple A Las Vegas, where he put up a 4.50 ERA in 36 games in relief in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, including 64 strikeouts in 48 innings.

Ledezma, who turns 31 on January 21, was designated for assignment by Toronto on August 28.

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Add Five To 40-Man Roster Before Rule 5 Draft

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday added five players to their 40-man roster in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft, to be held on December 8 at the Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas. Pitchers Michael Antonini, Stephen Fife, Josh Wall, and Chris Withrow, and outfielder Alex Castellanos were added to the Dodgers 40-man roster.

Pitchers John Ely and Carlos Monasterios were both outrighted to Triple A, removing them from the roster.

Withrow was a first-round pick in 2007 out of high school in Midland, Texas, and has had an inconsistent minor league career. At age 22 in 2011, he was 6-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 25 starts in his second full year in Double A Chattanooga.

Three of the five players were acquired in trades within the last year. The Dodgers got Antonini from the New York Mets for Chin-Lung Hu last winter. They acquired Castellanos from the St. Louis Cardinals on July 31 for shortstop Rafael Furcal, and they got Fife and two others from the Boston Red Sox for Trayvon Robinson, also on July 31.

On November 2, the Dodgers added Double A outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Alfredo Silverio to their 40-man roster to avoid losing them to minor league free agency. The club now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

For a detailed look at the players added to the 40-man roster by the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Matt Kemp Contract: Reaction From Dodger Stadium

On a day Matt Kemp signed the richest contract in the history of the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was a positive vibe at Dodger Stadium. Even with Frank McCourt present at the festivities, though by the end of the press conference announcing Kemp's eight-year, $160 million deal McCourt was long gone.

"I’ve watched Matt grow up and I’m proud of him," said McCourt on Friday. "If he continues to grow, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the player this franchise and this community needs. I wish him a tremendous next eight years and also beyond that. Teams need players that stay with one franchise their whole career and I’m very happy for him."

General manager Ned Colletti, who has repaired his relationship with Kemp after making some unflattering comments about his center fielder in a radio interview in April 2010, was also ecstatic for Kemp. Matt has become one of the best players in the game," said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. "At his age, with his talent and passion to be great, we felt Matt was worthy of a deal of this magnitude and are excited about keeping him in the Dodger family for a long time to come."

Kemp, who signed through the 2019 season, expressed a desire to finish his career in Los Angeles. "I have truly been embraced by the L.A. fans," said Kemp. "They’ve made Los Angeles home for me. It’s a great feeling to know I’m going to be here for the next eight years, but my goal is to be a Dodger for life – this is where I aim to be until I retire."

Kemp will find out on Tuesday, November 22 whether or not he won the National League MVP award.

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers, Matt Kemp Finalize Eight-Year, $160 Million Contract Extension

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday made official their eight-year, $160 million contract extension with center fielder Matt Kemp. The 27-year old signed the largest deal in club history, and the largest contract in National League history.

Kemp had one more year of arbitration eligibility left before hitting free agency, and was due to more than double his 2011 salary of $7.1 million in 2012. Under his new contract, Kemp will make $10 million in 2012, with the following breakdown from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

  • $2 million signing bonus
  • 2012: $10 million (of which $2 million is deferred without interest)
  • 2013: $20 million
  • 2014: $21 million
  • 2015: $21 million
  • 2016: $21.5 million
  • 2017: $21.5 million
  • 2018: $21.5 million
  • 2019: $21.5 million

The Dodgers currently have seven players signed for 2012 for a total of $50.25 million. Including expected arbitration raises and deferred salary, the Dodgers' 2012 payroll is estimated to be roughly $106.5 million.

Kemp had an MVP-caliber season in 2011, hitting .324/.399/.586 and leading the league in home runs (39), runs batted in (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), and adjusted OPS+ (171). Kemp also stole 40 bases, tied for second in the league, making him the first player to finish in the top two in the league in both home runs and stolen bases since Hank Aaron in 1963.

The National League MVP will be announced on Tuesday, November 22.

"Matt is a very good player right now, but very, very close to that line of great player," Kemp's agent Dave Stewart told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. "I think that the Dodgers have the same vision that I do for Matt."

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Matt Kemp Contract Extension: Tied For Seventh Largest Deal In MLB History

The Los Angeles Dodgers have scheduled a press conference for Friday morning at Dodger Stadium to announce a long-term contract extension for Matt Kemp. The contract is reportedly worth $160 million over eight years, which is the largest deal in National League history and tied for the seventh largest in baseball history.

The great Cot's Baseball Contracts has a list of the largest contracts in baseball history by total value, and looking at each one perhaps we can get an idea of how Kemp will perform in 2012. For purposes of this, I am using the Baseball-Reference version of Wins Above Replacement (WAR):

1) Alex Rodriguez: 10 years, $275 million (2008-2017)

Rodriguez opted out of his previous record contract to set a new record by re-signing with the New York Yankees through his age 64 season (roughly). He was coming off his third MVP in five years.

2007: .314/.422/.645, 54 home runs, 156 RBI, 143 runs, 9.9 WAR

2008: .302/.392/.573, 35 home runs, 103 RBI, 104 runs (his 11th straight year with 30-100-100), 5.4 WAR

2) Alex Rodriguez: 10 years, $252 million (2001-2010)

Perhaps the most sought-after free agent in history, the 25-year old shortstop hit the market at the perfect time to shatter baseball's salary record.

2000: .316/.420/.606, 41 home runs, 132 RBI, 134 runs, 11.0 WAR with Seattle

2001: .318/.399/.622, 52 home runs, 135 RBI, 133 runs, 8.0 WAR with Texas

3) Derek Jeter: 10 years, $189 million (2001-2010)

The captain re-upped with the New York Yankees after the Yankees won their third straight World Series and fourth title in five years.

2000: .339/.416/.481, 119 runs scored, 4.4 WAR

2001: .311/.377/.480, 110 runs scored, 4.3 WAR

4) Joe Mauer: 8 years, $184 million (2011-2018)

Signed in March 2010 after winning the MVP in 2009, the only American League catcher ever to win a batting title, something he has done three times. Mauer suffered through injuries in the first year of his new deal.

2010:.327/.402/.469, 5.9 WAR

2011: .287/.360/.368 in 82 games, 1.7 WAR

5) Mark Teixeira: 8 years, $180 million (2009-2016)

The first baseman split time in Atlanta and Anaheim in 2008, then moved the the Yankees in 2009, helping them win the World Series

2008: .308/.410/.552, 33 home runs, 121 RBI, 7.3 WAR

2009: .292/.382/.565, 39 home runs, 122 RBI, 5.5 WAR

6) CC Sabathia: 7 years, $161 million (2009-2015)

Sabathia joined Teixeira in New York in an expensive winter for the Yankees,

2008: 17-10, 2.70 ERA, 253 innings, 7.1 WAR

2009: 19-8, 3.37 ERA, 230 innings, 4.2 WAR

7) Manny Ramirez: 8 years, $160 million (2001-2008)

Ramirez moved from a potent lineup in Cleveland to a potent lineup in Boston.

2000: .351/.457/.697, 38 home runs, 122 RBI in 118 games, 4.4 WAR

2001: .306/.405/.609, 41 home runs, 125 RBI in 142 games, 4.8 WAR

For more on the Dodgers and Matt Kemp, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Matt Treanor Signs One-Year, $1 Million Contract With Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been busy this week. While still working out the details of an eight-year, $160 million extension for their MVP candidate Matt Kemp, the Dodgers signed a pair of players on Tuesday. In addition to second baseman Mark Ellis, the Dodgers signed catcher Matt Treanor to a one-year deal with a club option for 2013, worth a guaranteed $1 million.

Treanor will earn $850,000 in 2012, and has a club option in 2013 that will pay him a $950,000 salary if exercised or a buyout of $150,000, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Treanor, who turns 36 in March, has been a backup catcher most of his career, and split time with the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers in 2011, hitting .214/.338/.291 in 72 games. He figures to split time behind the plate with A.J. Ellis, with Tim Federowicz waiting in the wings in Triple A Albuquerque.

Treanor is a graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, and is a native of Garden Grove. He is married to two-time Olympic gold medalist beach volleyballer Misty May-Treanor.

The Dodgers now have 35 players on the 40-man roster.

For more reaction to the Matt Treanor signing and Dodgers offseason news, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Sign Mark Ellis To Two-Year Contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday finalized their two-year contract with second baseman Mark Ellis, worth a reported $8.75 million in total. The deal includes a club option for the 2014 season.

"Mark brings a veteran presence to our lineup and he knows how to handle the bat," said general manager Ned Colletti. "On defense, he’s been one of the most dependable second basemen in baseball over the course of his career."

Known more for his defensive prowess than his bit, Ellis struggled offensively in 2011, hitting just .248/.288/.346 in 132 games. Ellis has missed time over the last two seasons with hamstring problems, and missed nearly two months in 2009 with a calf injury. Over the last four seasons, Ellis has averaged just 120 games.

Ellis was in Oakland from 2002 though June 2011, when he was traded to the Colorado Rockies in midseason. Ellis in 2005 and 2007 won the Catfish Hunter Award, "given annually to an A’s player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the A’s late Hall of Fame pitcher."

The Dodgers' infield now appears set, barring any other significant free agent signings or trades which seem unlikely at this point. James Loney will be at first base, Ellis at second, Dee Gordon at shortstop, and Juan Uribe at third base.

The Dodgers have 34 players on their 40-man roster.

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Close To Signing Rockies Second Baseman Mark Ellis

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Colorado Rockies second baseman Mark Ellis is on the verge of a two-year deal with the Dodgers worth a little less than $4.5 million per year over two years.

Ellis spent the majority of his nine years in the league with the Oakland A's before being traded to the Rockies in July. A career .266 hitter, he fits what the Dodgers have looked for this offseason in second basemen and catchers.

The 34-year-old played in 132 games this season with Oakland and Colorado with seven homeruns and 41 RBI.

He found some pop in his bat in Colorado, where his numbers were drastically better than they were in Oakland. But we are talking about thin-aired Colorado, so take that information for what it is.

This comes on the same day that the Dodgers are negotiating an 8-year, 160 million dollar contract with Matt Kemp, who is coming off a season where he led the NL in home runs, RBI, runs scored, total bases and adjusted OPS+.

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Matt Kemp, Dodgers Reportedly Close To 8-Year, $160 Million Contract Extension

Matt Kemp had an amazing season in 2011, one that has him as a leading contender for National League MVP. It appears he may remain with the Los Angeles Dodgers for quite some time. Multiple reports have Kemp on the verge of signing an eight-year contract extension worth approximately $160 million.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported Monday that Kemp and the Dodgers were in serious discussions on a deal, and that was later confirmed by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports and Buster Olney of ESPN. Bill Shaikin on the Los Angeles Times even went so far as to speculate that a deal could be announced Monday afternoon, as both Kemp and owner Frank McCourt will be in attendance at the dedication of a Dodgers dream field in Compton.

In 2011, Kemp led the National League in home runs (39), RBI (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), and adjusted OPS+ (171). He had one more year of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency, and was a lock to more than double the $7.1 million he earned in 2011. Factor in his 2012 salary, and the remaining seven years is basically similar to the contract Carl Crawford signed with he Boston Red Sox last winter.

For more reaction to the potential Kemp signing, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Ryan Doumit Reportedly Turns Down Dodgers Deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers are active in the free agent market for catchers this offseason, but we can cross one player off the list. Ryan Doumit turned down the Dodgers' offer a one-year deal worth "just under $3 million" according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

Doumit is known for his bat than his defense behind the plate, and he hit .303/.353/.477 with eight home runs in 77 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011. Doumit, who turns 31 in April, was limited by injuries this season, playing just 60 games at catcher. He did not play another position in 2011, but in his career has also started 54 games in right field and 32 games at first base.

The switch-hitting Doumit has hit better from the left side in his career, hitting .275/.336/.461 against right-handed pitching in his career, compared to .262/.329/.388 against left-handers.

The Dodgers lost starting catcher Rod Barajas last week to the Pirates, as he signed a one-year deal plus an option for 2013 on Wednesday. It is unknown whether Doumit's camp submitted a counter offer or if he simply turned down the deal flatly. The Los Angeles Angels have also been linked to Doumit, who could benefit from the occasional start at designated hitter.

A.J. Ellis is out of options and figures to be the backup catcher in 2012, splitting time with whomever the Dodgers sign or acquire, with Tim Federowicz waiting in the wings at Triple A.

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Jamey Carroll Reportedly Close To New Deal With Mystery Team

Los Angeles Dodgers veteran infielder Jamey Carroll has seemingly started to age in reverse as of late, as he is reportedly very close to signing a new multi-year deal in the process. The rub? No one knows just what team he is close to signing with yet. 

Per Jerry Crasnick on Twitter:

The ageless Jamey Carroll is close to signing a multi-year deal in next few days, I'm hearing. He hit .290 in 452 ABs w /#Dodgers
Nov 11 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

The speculation isn't seeming to pop up any leading candidates yet, as Jon Morosi tweeted that it isn't the Blue Jays, Troy Renck tweeted that it isn't the Rockies, while Dylan Hernandez tweeted that it isn't the Dodgers either.  Sure there are a lot of other possible landing spots for the 37 year old veteran, but some of the logical places he may have gone seem to be out of the question as of now. 

Carroll signed a two-year, $3.85 million deal with the Dodgers before the 2010 season, and was expected to be used as a utility infielder. He started 207 games in the last two seasons with L.A. and qualified for the batting title in 2011 for just the second time ever in his nine year professional carrer. 

In 146 games for the Dodgers in 2011, Carroll hit a very respectable .290 along with a .359 on-base percentage. He started 118 games at shortstop, 76 games at second base, eight games at third base, and five more in left field for the Dodgers in 2010-2011, undoubtedly highlighting his versatility to the rest of the league. 

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA. 

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Juan Rivera's New Deal Could Earn Him $9 Million Over Two Years

When the news originally broke that the Los Angeles Dodgers had re-signed outfielder Juan Rivera, his new two-year deal was reportedly worth somewhere in the range of $4.5 million for one year. In actuality with team options and incentives the deal could be worth around $9 million, according to the L.A. Times' Dylan Hernandez. 

The Dodgers have a $4 million team option for 2013, which they could buyout for $500,000 if they don't feel like picking it up. Rivera could also earn himself an additional $500,000 in performance-based incentives over the couse of the next two seasons as well. 

Over the course of the next two seasons, Rivera's 400th, 425th, 450th, 475th, 500th, 525th and 550th plate appearances would garner him $50,000 each time, while his 575th and 600th plate appearances would each be worth $75,000 apiece. 

For more discussion and analysis of the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA to get in on the action. 

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Pirates Sign Catcher Rod Barajas With One Year Deal

Well the Los Angeles Dodgers have already lost a free agent player from their 2011 squad as the Pittsburgh Pirates nabbed catcher Rod Barajas from the Boys in Blue for a reported one year deal with an option for a second. 

According to Tim Brown vis Twitter, the deal is worth $4 million in 2012, with a $3.5 million option for 2013. Barajas played in only 98 games last season for the Dodgers, batting .230 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI, as well as a .287 OBP. The Pirates mark the seventh different team that the 12 year veteran has played for, who are hoping that he can be a veteran voice in the locker room for a team filled with young guns. 

The Dodgers will also receive a compensatory pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds of the 2012 due to the fact that Barajas was a type B free agent, which is better than nothing for Los Angeles. 

For more on the Dodgers, head over to True Blue LA.

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Matt Kemp's Agent Thinks Contract Extension With Dodgers Can Be Signed, But Doubts Remain

After an MVP-caliber season, Matt Kemp is going to get paid this offseason. The only question is how much. The center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers has one more year remaining before hitting free agency, and is a prime candidate for signing a contract extension at some point this offseason. Kemp's agent, former major league pitcher Dave Stewart is optimistic a deal can get done.

"I don't think that it's going to be difficult, I really don't," Stewart told Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles. "I think we should be able to come to something. I have talked with Ned on a few occasions. We have covered some ground, and hopefully, we will be able to put this thing to bed soon."

Kemp made $7.1 million this season and stands to more than double that salary through arbitration in 2012. Kemp led the National League in home runs (39), RBI (126), runs scored (115), total bases (353), and adjusted OPS+ (171).

The fly in the ointment for the Dodgers is the pending sale of the team. Owner Frank McCourt is on his way out, and any kind of big ticket transaction like extending Kemp for six or seven years or signing a top free agent could potentially complicate the sale process, without knowing whom the new owner will be.

In fact, the Dodgers may be in limbo, as ESPN also reported the club "will not be able to bid on free agents such as Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols until the team is sold," and that the sale process could take four to six months.

Where this leaves the Dodgers on lesser-tier free agents remains to be seen, but I'm sure they will have the capability to sign some players. Just last Thursday the Dodgers re-signed free agent Juan Rivera to a one-year contract plus an option worth $4.5 million guaranteed.

Even with the unknown status of the Dodgers ownership, Stewart remains optimistic his client could sign an extension this winter. He told Jackson, "I have said it from the start and I will repeat it again, I don't think Ned would be approaching us about doing something if he wasn't capable of finishing this thing off."

Meanwhile, Dodgers fans wait, and hope.

For other Dodgers offseason news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 Free Agents: Hiroki Kuroda Gets Offer From Hiroshima Carp

Hiroki Kuroda is a free agent this hot stove season, but by most accounts his choices are down to two teams. The right-handed pitcher will likely either come back to the Los Angeles Doders, with whom he has spent the last four seasons, or return to Japan to rejoin the Hiroshima Carp, with whom he pitched for 11 seasons from 1997-2007.

The Carp have made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda, reported Nikkan Sports (and translated by NPB Tracker):

Kuroda commented: "I’m happy that they would evaluate my contributions like that. Naturally, I’m happy. A feeling that they really want to win came across. (Hiroshima’s competitiveness this season) has come to a frustrating place, to a place where they are one step away… I’m very happy I got an offer from the Carp."

The Dodgers had a chance to trade Kuroda in July as they were out of the race, but Kuroda exercised his no-trade clause, calling it a very tough decision and one based out of loyalty to the team he signed with in December 2007. He signed a one-year deal last season for $12 million, and earned another $500,000 in performance bonuses.

Kuroda turns 37 in February, but is still one of the best options on the free agent market. He went 13-16 with a career-best 3.07 ERA in a career-high 202 innings in 2011. The Dodgers' starting rotation now consists of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, and Ted Lilly, with folks like Nathan Eovaldi and Dana Eveland possibly filling out the back end. If the Dodgers can't convince Kuroda to return to Los Angeles, they will almost certainly pursue other options, either via free agency or trade.

For other Dodgers offseason news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Rockies Interested In Jamey Carroll

Jamey Carroll two years ago signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers as an unheralded utility man, and ended up one of their best hitters and most versatile player. Carroll, now a free agent, has drawn interest from the Colorado Rockies, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post:

[Carroll] was a pillar on the 2007 playoff team, and would help with the attitude adjustment that general manager Dan O'Dowd seeks. Carroll is a winning player, unselfish and would fit snugly in the No. 2 spot in the order. The question is, can the Rockies afford a hitter with no power?

Renck speculates Carroll could command a contract similar to the two-year, $8 million deal signed by Omar Infante with the Florida Marlins last year, and at that price could be too rich for Colorado. Carroll made $3.85 million in base salary in 2010 and 2011 combined with the Dodgers plus another $600,000 in contract bonuses.

Carroll hit .290/.359/.347 in 146 games in 2011 with the Dodgers while playing both second base and shortstop. He turns 38 in February. Carroll is one of 10 Dodgers free agents this offseason. The club re-signed outfielder and first baseman Juan Rivera on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $4.5 million.

For other Dodgers offseason news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Eugenio Velez Among 23 Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League Free Agents

Major League Baseball is firmly entrenched in the hot stove season, now that the World Series is over. Major league players filed for free agency on October 29, and a few days later 537 minor league players did, too. Matt Eddy at Baseball America broke down the entire list, which includes 23 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Infielder Eugenio Velez, one of the 23 Dodgers free agents, made MLB history this season by going hitless in 37 at-bats, the most ever by a position player without a hit in one season. In addition, Velez is hitless in his last 46 major league at-bats, the longest streak of futility ever by a non-pitcher. But the 29-year old did hit .339/.371/.463 in 55 games in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. That seems like a destination in the future for Velez, who was outrighted by the Dodgers on October 4, removing him from the 40-man roster.

Other Dodgers minor league free agents who saw time in the majors with the club in the last few seasons are pitchers Jon Link and Travis Schlichting, and first baseman John Lindsey.

For other Dodgers offseason news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Juan Rivera Re-Signs With Dodgers For One Year, $4.5 Million

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed outfielder and first baseman Juan Rivera to a one-year contract that includes an option for 2013, worth a guaranteed $4.5 million.

"Juan proved to be a valuable addition to our lineup last season both in terms of his versatility and run production," general manger Colletti Ned Colletti said in announcing the deal. "He is capable of playing three positions and his production against left-handed pitchers gives the club added balance."

Rivera will make $4 million in 2012, with an option for the same salary in 2013 or a $500,000 buyout, per Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. Rivera also has up to $500,000 in contract incentives for each year of the deal.

The Dodgers acquired Rivera from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash at the All-Star break, with Toronto paying all of his remaining salary save for a pro-rated portion of the league minimum salary. The Dodgers paid a tad over $178,000 for Rivera's services in 2011 and he hit .274/.333/.406 with 46 RBI in 62 games. On the season Rivera hit just .258/.319/.382.

The Dodgers now have 33 players on their 40-man roster.

For an examination of Juan Rivera, and other Dodgers news, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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2012 MLB Free Agents: Juan Rivera Reportedly Close To Return To Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers had a busy night on Tuesday, with owner Frank McCourt agreeing to sell the team and the club having three players win Gold Gloves for the first time in franchise history. Lost in the shuffle was outfielder and first baseman Juan Rivera nearing an agreement to return to the Dodgers.

The deal for Rivera, which will likely be finalized this week, is a one-year contract plus an option for 2013, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported the deal was worth "approximately $4 million" guaranteed. That could translate into something like a $3.5 million salary in 2012 and a 2013 option for similar money with a buyout of $500,000.

Rivera hit .258/.319/.374 with 11 home runs and 74 RBI in 132 games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Dodgers in 2011. He was designated for assignment by Toronto on July 4, and traded to the Dodgers eight days later for a player to be named later or cash.

With the Dodgers, Rivera hit .274/.333/.406 with 12 doubles and five home runs in 62 games. However, Rivera excelled in run-scoring opportunities in Los Angeles, hitting .344/.405/.484 with runners in scoring position. His 46 RBI with the Dodgers were ninth-most in the National League after the All-Star break. Rivera started 32 games in left field, 13 games in right field, and 13 games at first base for the Dodgers.

Rivera, 33, made $5.25 million in 2011 in the final season of a three-year contract he signed with the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2009 season.

Be sure to read True Blue LA for all the latest news on the Dodgers during the hot stove season.

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2012 MLB Free Agents List: Dodgers' Rod Barajas, Hiroki Kuroda Type B Free Agents

The free agency period for Major League Baseball began on Saturday night at 9 p.m. PDT, with 148 players filing on Saturday night. Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors has obtained the official Elias rankings, used to determine compensation for top tier free agents. The Dodgers have a pair of Type B free agents in Rod Barajas and Hiroki Kuroda.

If a Type A or Type B free agent is offered arbitration by their former club, and signs elsewhere, the former club is entitled to compensation in the form of 2012 draft picks. Losing a Type A free agent will yield a first round pick from the signing team (unless the signing team picks in the top 15, then it becomes a second round pick) plus a supplemental pick in between the first and second rounds. A Type B free agent yields only a supplemental pick, with no cost to the signing team.

In the case of Kuroda, his contract states that the Dodgers cannot offer him arbitration, so the Dodgers won't be receiving any compensation should he sign elsewhere. But this is a moot point anyway since his choices essentially boil down to either returning to the Dodgers or going back to Japan.

Barajas made $3.25 million in 2011 at age 35, the highest salary of his career. He is a candidate to return to the Dodgers, though it remains to be seen whether or not the club will offer him arbitration.

Be sure to read True Blue LA for all the latest news on the Dodgers during the hot stove season.

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2012 MLB Free Agents List: Hiroki Kuroda Among 10 Los Angeles Dodgers To File For Free Agency

On Saturday at 9 p.m. PDT, the Major League Baseball free agency period began. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, this means a lot of paperwork, as they have 10 free agents. The Dodgers have more free agents than any other team in baseball. No other team has more than eight free agents. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York has the full list of MLB free agents.

Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is the headliner among the 10 Dodgers to file for free agency. The Dodgers would love to have Kuroda back for another season, but the right-hander, who turns 37 in February, hasn't yet decided whether he wants to come back to Los Angeles or return to his native Japan. Kuroda signed a one-year, $12 million contract last winter, and was 13-16 with a career-best 3.07 ERA in a career-high 202 innings in 2011.

The other nine Dodger free agents are catcher Rod Barajas, pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Jon Garland, Mike MacDougal and Vicente Padilla; and infielders Casey Blake, Jamey Carroll, Aaron Miles, and Juan Rivera.

The Dodgers have 30 players on their 40-man roster, not including relief pitcher Ronald Belisario, who is on the restricted list.

Be sure to read True Blue LA for all the latest news on the Dodgers during the hot stove season.

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