December 17, 2014

2B Orlando Hudson Inks 1-year, $3.4M Deal with Dodgers

dodgerfans, there is another free agent on the roster for the Dodgers – second baseman Orlando Hudson.

According to MLB, Hudson signed a one-year deal worth $3.4 million with some nice incentives built in that could kick him over $4.5 mil for the year. Hudson replaces the aging Jeff Kent who decided to retire at the end of last season.

This is a relative bargain if Hudson plays to his capability as he was earning over $6 million last year and was hoping for a multi-year deal for over $10 million per year but the falling free agent market took care of those dreams.

Hudson was batting .305 last season before an injury cut his season short. Let’s hope we get him back at his forrner level of glory and not another Andruw Jones :)

Dodgertown Becomes Forgotten Ghost Town as Spring Training Begins

As the Dodgers ramp up Spring Training meetings and the focus for all things Dodgers shifts to Glendale, Arizona (home of the new $80 million facility that the Dodgers and White Sox share), some members of the Dodger organization were reminiscing about Dodgertown and Vero Beach.

In particular, Billy DeLury admitted to the Los Angeles Times that he missed the team’s old Florida home. “You’ve got to,” he said. “I spent 45 years in Vero Beach but it’s over with now. You have to turn the page.”

Torre was more forward-focused as he cited the short distance betweeen the facilities in the Cactus League and the opportunity to spend less time travelling and more time on the field.

Cheers to The Canadian Press for doing a story on the forgotten Dodgertown – a piece that was really sobering particularly given the tough economic climate in this country.

Not only did 100 people lose their jobs when the Dodgers switched locations, but a small town that had relied on baseball tourism as a revenue source is feeling the pinch. There’s no revenue coming in from baseball-related activities and the county estimates it is paying $102,000 per month to keep up the facility. “Keeping up” is a relative term, however, as the description by the Canadian Press so vividly shows:

The heart-shaped lake, which late owner Walter O’Malley had constructed so he could “see his heart” when he flew over, is filled with algae. The Dodgertown golf course, originally constructed in part for black players who were barred from playing in town, has been closed for years. Its grass is brown and patchy. The 11 mph speed limit now means nothing, because no cars drive through the padlocked fences.

The town is so intertwined with Dodger baseball that the local elementary school is named Dodgertown. Johnathan Broxton was on the cover of the phone book in Vero Beach last year. More startling, the county and city are saddled with paying off the majority of a $17 million bond that was approved in 2001 to upgrade facilities and ensure the Dodgers stayed in Vero Beach. In a cruel twist of fate, roughly 1/2 of the bond is designed to be paid off with tourist and sales taxes – two sources that have dried up considerably once the Dodgers left town.

I’m all for supporting Camelback Ranch and the future of the Dodgers (I live in Scottsdale and will get to see lots of spring training games now) but turning a blind eye to the history (and questions about the future) of Dodgertown just doesn’t feel right to me. Here’s hoping Vero Beach and Dodgertown get a new life and a new name soon.

Yahoo Sports: Torre Expects Manny Ramirez to Re-Sign with Dodgers

Rumor alert – Joe Torre has publicly stated that he expects Manny to re-sign with the Dodgers,according to a Yahoo Sports article

“I definitely would be very surprised if he’s not a Dodger,” Torre said.

Of course, Torre says he has no inside information on the topic – could he be a pawn in the current contract negotiations here or is he just mouthing off?

Ramirez is seeking a contract of at least four years. Torre said Ramirez reiterated his desire for a long-term contract in a phone conversation with him Tuesday.

Anduw Jones Contract Update

Tony Jackson had an interesting update on Andruw Jones’ contract with the Rangers.  Apparently the Dodgers get half of whatever Jones makes with the Rangers.  So if Andruw earns the full value of the contract (bases plus incentives) and earns the full $1.5 million, $750,000 is then deducted from what LA owes Jones.  Every little bit helps, I guess!

The Return of the Wolf

Finally!  Yup, it’s done.  Ken Gurnick is reporting that lefty Randy Wolf is back with the Dodgers for 2009 after signing a one-year deal for $5 million.

In previous posts we’ve rationalized the myriad of reasons that this signing is great for the Dodgers, but allow me to summarize:

– Another lefty for the starting rotation

– A mentor for the young pitching staff

–  A guy with the potential to eat up a lot of innings (in 2008 he had 33 starts and  190+ innings)

Personally I hope Ned goes out and signs another starter (ala Pedro), but I think that’s just wishful thinking given the handful of tomato cans he’s signed to minor league deals over the past few weeks.

Time to focus on the relief pitching…