The GM Meetings came to a conclusion on Thursday, and there was no exciting news coming out of the Dodger camp thereafter. The Dodgers, who have already said that this winter won’t be action packed as far as trades and big signings, look to lock up Clayton Kershaw to a long-term contract while still filling in the holes of the roster for 2014. That of course doesn’t necessarily mean that their won’t be any trades which could happen at any time.
Other than signing potential Opening Day second baseman Alexander Guerrero, and the rumblings of interest in Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, the Dodgers have only signed some minor league players so far. They traded away Alex Castellanos for Jeremy Hazelbaker last month, and in November the Dodgers signed catcher J.C. Boscan to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Adding to the Dodgers catching stock in the minors is a needed move this winter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign an additional catcher or two before Spring Training. Usually extra catchers are needed in Spring Training to handle all the pitchers. Boscan is a career minor leaguer, and after 17 seasons in the minors he has only played in 17 Major League games ironically. Yet his 17-season minor league career is far from illustrious as the backstop has only mustered a cumulative .223 batting average. He most likely will be a AAA catcher backing up Drew Butera if he isn’t claimed off waivers and ends up playing in Albuquerque for 2014.
The Dodgers also signed Jamie Romak who can opt-out July 1st. He played for the Triple-A team of St. Louis last year where he hit an unimpressive .242 yet did manage to hit 22 homeruns for Memphis. He played mostly in the outfield last season with some games at third base and first base.
Justin Souza, a reliever born in Stockton, California, was also signed and looks to be minor league filler as well. Juan Gonzalez, another reliever, is coming from the Detroit minor league system and with Oakland prior to that. The 28-year old right hander was demoted back to the AA level after allowing 16 runs in 14 innings pitched at the AAA level.
Fabio Martinez was signed earlier this offseason, and the 24-year old right hander has pitched in the Angels and Indians minor league systems. His last two seasons have been somewhat disastrous, and Fabio has posted ERAs upwards of 10.00 in 2012 and 2013.
One interesting and amusing rumor which came out of the GM Meetings was the apparent interest
coming from multiple teams surrounding right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Supposedly Ricky has multiple three-year and four-year offers with the Twins at the forefront. Hopefully the Dodgers do not pursue Nolasco on a long-term deal which is sure to be inflated and overvalued. Although Nolasco would make a fine fourth or fifth starter, overpaying for Nolasco wouldn’t make sense. I’d much rather the Dodgers post a bid on Tanaka and then sift out an internal option for the fifth spot among Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Matt Magill, Stephen Fife, or even Zach Lee.
While the doldrums of the offseason will continue until February when pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch, the Hot Stove should pick up next month at the Winter Meetings which run from December 9-12th in Orlando, Florida.