Put me in, coach -- I’m ready to play today.
Look at me, I can be, center field.
And now for what is shaping up as the Dodgers’ most interesting decision, one still looming, that could be decided any day now or still hanging in early May:
Who is going to be their starting 2015 center fielder?
The Dodgers moved Matt Kemp, which is one less candidate in name only, but certainly one less outfielder. President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman made it clear a month ago he wanted to trade an outfielder, though it was generally presumed it would be Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford.
“I think it was really important coming into the off-season to trade one,” Friedman said. “Now it’s just that we’re open-minded to different scenarios that make us a better team, whether it’s an outfielder or somewhere else. Now we’re kind of in a mode of being opportunistic and continuing to target guys that we like and feel that they fit us. What that means and how that plays out, I don’t know right now.”
Jimmy Rollins might be a newcomer to the Dodgers, but he envisions himself becoming a leader on the team.
“Most definitely,” said Rollins, whose trade from the Phillies was finalized Friday.
Rollins is 36. He has a World Series ring and was the National League’s most valuable player in 2007. He’s also a shortstop.
“The position shortstop itself, if you accept everything that comes along with it, you’re kind of already grown into that position of being a leader,” Rollins said.
Rollins said he has already spoken to Manager Don Mattingly about the dynamics in the Dodgers clubhouse.
Rollins said he isn’t concerned about proving his worth to a new fan base.
“When you win, it takes care of everything,” he said. “It really does.”
Rollins spent his previous 15 major league seasons with the Phillies.
He said the move wasn’t difficult.
“Not at all,” he said. It’s business.”
That’s something Rollins said he learned in 2006, when Bobby Abreu was traded from the Phillies to the New York Yankees....Read more
Seems like dysfunction is getting an odd amount of play with the Dodgers these days. A disproportionate amount.
There are stories all over the place bemoaning what a dysfunctional team the Dodgers were last season, which is curious if nothing else. Makes you wonder how they won 94 games.
Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations, indirectly fed this quasi-revisionist history during a conference call with reporters Friday, twice using the term “highly functional” to describe the results of his off-season trades.
“This just gets back to us doing everything we could to mold our roster into the most highly functioning baseball team, as opposed to a collection of talent,” Friedman said.
Which implies they were highly dysfunctional last season. Now if he’s referring to clubhouse chemistry, certainly there were some issues. Every clubhouse in baseball has its issues. Somebody doesn’t like someone else because of personality or perceived work habits or locker room politics...Read more
As the San Diego Padres were preparing to introduce Matt Kemp as their new star attraction Friday, Andrew Friedman explained the Dodgers' polarizing decision to trade the two-time All-Star.
The Dodgers' president of baseball operations laughed when told on a conference call that he would be hated by fans if his recent trades don't work out.
"Not any more than we'll hate ourselves," Friedman said.
Asked if he had any reservations about trading a player as popular as Kemp, Friedman replied, "Sure. He was a really popular player because of how gifted he is offensively. We get it. I have a lot of respect for what he can do in the batter's box. You have to give up talent to get talent and we felt this put us in a position to be a better baseball team."
In exchange for Kemp and backup catcher Tim Federowicz, the Dodgers received catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-hander Joe Wieland and pitching prospect Zach Eflin. They sent Eflin to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday to complete their trade...Read more
Having any trouble with this one?
The Dodgers traded a bright pitching prospect, a former ninth overall pick, to the Angels for one year of 31-year-old second baseman Howie Kendrick.
Andrew Heaney, a 23-year-old left-hander, could become a mainstay in the Angels rotation, if not next season, soon. While Kendrick is in the final year of his contract and could be gone by the end of 2015.
How does this jive with President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman’s normal mantra of playing and developing young talent? The only way this could makes sense is if Kendrick is signed to an extension.
And maybe that happens one day, maybe not. Kendrick said the Dodgers have yet to broach the subject with him.
“We haven’t even talked anything about that,” Kendrick said. “I don’t know if that will or won’t happen. But my main focus is to play the game. That stuff will work itself out, whether it does or doesn’t happen.”
Friedman talks as if a Kendrick extension is not a real focus for him right now,...Read more
It’s official. Well, almost.
The trade that will send Matt Kemp from the Dodgers to the San Diego Padres is “basically” complete, people familiar with the situation said Thursday night.
The teams previously set a soft Thursday-night deadline to complete the five-player deal, which was agreed upon a week earlier at baseball’s winter meetings. As the deadline approached, there was speculation the trade could fall apart, as USA Today reported earlier in the day that Kemp’s physical examination revealed “severe” arthritis in the two-time All-Star’s hips.
In exchange for Kemp and backup catcher Tim Federowicz, the Dodgers received catcher Yasmani Grandal, right-hander Joe Wieland and pitching prospect Zach Eflin.
The Dodgers are also sending the Padres $32 million to cover part of the $107 million Kemp is guaranteed over the next five seasons.
Eflin will be sent to the Philadelphia Phillies to complete the trade for shortstop Jimmy Rollins.Read more