As the Winter meetings play out this week, the Dodgers hot stove continues to heat up. Some more news coming in today from around the blogosphere:
First off Dodgers minor league outfielder Jamie Hoffman has been put on waivers and claimed by Colorado. The 27-year old outfielder only played in a few games for the Dodgers. Hoffman last year batted .297 with 22 home runs in Albuquerque. This is likely to make roster room for Starting pitcher Aaron Harang, who according to sources is very close to signing a deal with the Dodgers. Hey, I won’t shed a tear for Hoffman. He’s just another failed prospect getting waiver released. Anyone remember Chin-lung Hu? Nah, I didn’t think so. Don’t worry, Hoffman will have company very soon when Ivan Dejesus Jr., (prospect failure extraordinaire) follows his same fate.
As for Aaron Harang, as soon as the deal is announced we will have more analysis. Obviously this is a move to put Harang as the number five starter and have Nathan Eovaldi start in the minors. Once again the prevailing Dodger front office culture is devaluing young players and allowing more over-the-hill useless vets to waste roster spots. Apparently, according to sources, it looks like the deal will be a two-year deal. We don’t know what the dollars will be just yet.
The Dodgers also signed a flurry of journeymen players to minor league deals with invites to spring training. We already know about the signing of Wil Ledezma. Apparently, the Dodgers have also signed Alberto Castillo. The 35-year old Cuban lefty, pitched in 17 games for Arizona last year and had shoulder tendinitis last August. Jose Ascanio a 26-year old right hander who pitched in eight games for the Bucs last year has also signed. Shane Lindsey, a 26- year old righty, is Australian and pitched in four games for the White Sox. Last but not least, Jeff Baisley, a 29-year old infielder, who was once in the Oakland organization, and hit 20 homers for the Angels AAA team last year, will also get a spring training invite.
Not signing Hiroki Kuroda is stupid, and these useless veterans will ensure another 82-80 season for the Dodgers. I’m not as upset by all this as I thought I would be. Every team has about 10-20 non-roster invitees each year, so that’s no big deal. The NRI guys are just more insurance, and you never know if one could be the next Mike MacDougal. (uhhh did I just write that?!) With how bad the team was during the first half of last season, the predictable mediocrity is almost a welcoming sign. I would rather have mediocrity than last place.
The Dodgers have also released their spring training schedule for 2012, and I will post it up for you guys in a future post. We will keep an eye on the winter meetings and the hot stove. If any news breaks, you guys will be the first to know. Go Blue