As I watch the gloomy clouds outside while I write this, there are a handful of Dodgers who are awaiting arbitration decisions today before the 6pm deadline. Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, and James Loney will most likely be tendered contracts, but we may be saying goodbye to Tony Gywnn Jr. and long time Dodger Hong-Chih Kuo before dinner time tonight.
Hong-Chih Kuo struggled last season after having a spectacular 2010. He succumbed to his 5th elbow surgery and battled an anxiety disorder which caused a case of the yips. If the Dodgers choose to non-tender him they could resign him with a pay cut from the $2.75 million he made last season.
Quality defender Tony Gywnn Jr.’s fate seems like it might go down to the wire. The Dodgers did resign Juan Rivera and also picked up Jerry Hairston Jr. who can both play modestly in the outfield, but Gwynn would be a superior back-up for Matt Kemp in center field and is very useful in late innings of close games. After Gwynn was non-tendered by San Diego last year, the Dodgers picked him up for $675,000, and Gwynn now would like a raise after putting in a solid year as the fourth outfielder. The Dodgers who are currently in bankruptcy court are penny pinching, and the negotiations with Gwynn are deadlocked. Gwynn played in 135 games, had a .256 batting average, 22 stolen bases, and had a few key pinch hits and game saving catches. I’d like to see Gwynn return.
We will keep you updated with all the arbitration results and decisions, so keep checking back throughout the day.