Tim Brown

  • Brian Wilson the latest target in Dodgers’ offseason overhaul

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 22 hrs ago

    LOS ANGELES – Brian Wilson was designated for assignment Tuesday, which probably won’t bother him.

    Maybe, by what turned out to be the end of Wilson’s time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, that was part of the problem.

    In 10 days or so, Wilson will be traded or released. Either way, he’ll get his $9.5 million. He’ll pitch for somebody, and it’ll surely be on the Dodgers’ dime.

    Andrew Friedman seems to have little patience for waiting out a contract, which is why he’s committed about $54 million to players who’ll spend next season in, say, Miami or San Diego or wherever Wilson pitches next. There’s an expectation an Andre Ethier trade will add to that number, which is gaining on some of the highest payrolls Friedman ever fielded in Tampa. Think of that: The equivalent of an entire season of Rays baseball is little more than a write-off for the Dodgers.

    You may read this as a necessary cultural change in L.A., a show of confidence in Don Mattingly, a general distaste for the egos and entitlement borne of a $240 million payroll, a play for roster flexibility, Friedman’s desire to create his own 94-win team or all of those.

    Maybe it was just Brian Wilson’s turn to go.

  • Yankees, Chase Headley nearing four-year agreement

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    The New York Yankees and third baseman Chase Headley were nearing a four-year contract agreement Monday morning, so it appears the Yankees were serious when they suggested Alex Rodriguez pack a first baseman’s mitt for spring training.

    Headley, 30, batted .262 with a .371 on-base percentage in 58 games with the Yankees last season. The San Francisco Giants, who need to replace Pablo Sandoval at third base, were believed to have engaged with Headley, as well.

    Several reports, first by CBSSports.com, said Headley would receive about $52 million over four years from the Yankees.

    Rodriguez, 39, has been preparing this winter as though he will play third base. The Headley signing likely means Rodriguez would be the club’s regular designated hitter, however, and spell Mark Teixeira at first base.

    Coming off a yearlong suspension for violations of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, Rodriguez has played 44 games since the end of 2012. Along with two hip surgeries in the past five years and Rodriguez’s age, the inactivity appears to have the Yankees hedging against a productive return, which accounts for the Headley signing.

     

  • After dealing Matt Kemp, the Dodgers’ next goal is to make it all work

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – Until Andrew Friedman showed up, nobody had any idea how terrible the Dodgers were.

    By Thursday morning, following 24 hours that could be described as pretty spirited, the Dodgers as you knew them had been stripped down, wiped clean, repackaged and shipped out. Even the notion of the Dodgers as serial over-payers had been reconceived, which is to say they now overpay other teams’ players (as well as some of their own).

    Yes, it was dramatic. Yes, it was breathtaking. Maybe, it was necessary. Friedman has acted boldly and coldly,most recently by agreeing to send the ever-popular outfielder, Matt Kemp (and backup catcher Tim Federowicz), to the San Diego Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and two capable young pitchers. The Padres will, for their troubles, receive about $32 million to go toward Kemp’s contract, which has five years and $107 million remaining.

    Some of the transactions are official and some aren’t, but this is how it all looks Thursday morning:

    Maybe, it was necessary. It certainly was breathtaking.

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  • Dodgers wasting little time forging a new identity

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – The Los Angeles Dodgers had themselves a day, their new management beginning to turn Ned Colletti’s version of a 94-win team into Andrew Friedman’s vision of a, well, 94-or-so-win team.

    Over a long Wednesday, Friedman and Co. revealed the scope of their intended changes would not be limited to loosening the outfield bottleneck, though that’s still part of it, too.

    Amid speculation Matt Kemp could be the odd man dealt (reports early Thursday say a deal with the Padres was reached), perhaps because the Dodgers are finding he is the odd outfielder (beyond Yasiel Puig) with any real value, Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, fashioned his first significant – and somewhat complicated – trades, assuming they become official.

    Friedman means to make large – if not sweeping – changes to a roster that pulled a $230 million payroll, that struggled under the burden of a fractured clubhouse, that washed out in the division series before its time. And yet won 94 games.

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  • Sources: Dodgers close to acquiring shortstop Jimmy Rollins

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – The Los Angeles Dodgers were nearing a trade on Wednesday afternoon for shortstop Jimmy Rollins, sources told Yahoo Sports, marking the beginning of the reconstruction of the Dodgers and, perhaps, the deconstruction of the Philadelphia Phillies.

    The Dodgers sought a replacement for Hanley Ramirez, who left by free agency for the Boston Red Sox. And the Phillies, non-competitive for most of the past three seasons, sought a way out from under one of the contracts that limited their rebuilding designs. Starting pitcher Cole Hamels, owed $96 million over the next four seasons; first baseman Ryan Howard, owed $60 million over the next two; and closer Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million in ’15, vesting option for $13 million in ’16) could also be had.

    The Dodgers are believed to have interest in Hamels, as well.

    As a player with 10 years in the big leagues and the last five with the same team, Rollins could have blocked the trade. The Phillies drafted Rollins in the second round in 1996, and they are the only franchise for which he has played.

    The players returning to the Phillies were not immediately known. They are believed to be seeking young pitching.

  • With Jon Lester gone, the Red Sox must figure out their next move

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – The Boston Red Sox are at the moment less inclined to pursue Max Scherzer the way they did Jon Lester, which is to say Scherzer is less likely to open his front door one evening and find John Henry on the porch, and now the Red Sox’s worst-to-first-to-worst-and-back-again script is in rewrite.

    As the Lester outcome was being unraveled on the lobby floor Tuesday night, and as new Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s attempt to span that lobby turned into a creeping press conference (“We won the baseball lottery so far this year,” he said. “But now it’s up to us to put it into effect. It’s all theory right now. We’ve got to make it real, but you need pieces like this to make it real.”), Red Sox folks were upstairs, sorting out tomorrow.

    If they really, really had wanted Lester for 2015 and beyond, they’d oddly taken two risks over the previous nine months:

    Until they weren’t.

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  • Chicago, for now, is the center of the baseball universe

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – At least it’s a fair race.

    Chicago’s two ball clubs – the one in the north and the one in the south – wobbled home most recently with identical records and matching division deficits, the usual blends of hope and disillusionment, and one championship between them since World War I.

    Yeah, Cubs fans may eye the latest prospect rankings, this sudden scurry toward 2015 and get a load of this new dude Joe Maddon, cross their arms and rightfully wonder if there’s a bucket of water resting atop the door to their hearts.

    And, yeah, White Sox loyalists may take a long look at their beefy Cuban and their stringy lefty and this sudden commitment to 2015, and rightfully suspect the other foot will drop square into their bowl of Froot Loops.

    So, in a week in which the last-place Cubs are thick in the bidding for Jon Lester, seemed about to acquire catcher Miguel Montero, and could run with the big boys through a promising winter …

    In a week in which the nearly last-place White Sox signed first baseman Adam LaRoche and closer David Robertson, and seemed about to acquire Jeff Samardzija, and had their own vice president of baseball ops feted by another franchise …

  • Kevin Cash embraces challenge of following Joe Maddon as Rays manager

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – Kevin Cash turned 37 a couple days ago. He was chosen to succeed Joe Maddon as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays a day or two before that. And on Monday afternoon he sat shoulder to shoulder with the team president, a thin layer of sweat rising on his upper lip. He'll get used to the lights, the questions, and the job that to this point has amounted to, according to his new boss, "managing in his mind for a long time."

    Down their iconic manager and whip-smart general manager, who together forged the only winning seasons in franchise history, the Rays will push a business-as-usual agenda. The business hasn't changed. They, however, have. Matt Silverman, the president who assumed general manager duties, remains, as do Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander and a good portion of the guts of an eminently resourceful franchise.

    It can be done. Silverman was never far from the baseball decisions that turned the Rays into a relevant ballclub, and there is broad agreement that Cash is too bright, too personable, too humble and too competitive to fail.

    On the very bright side, the Rays just passed the first week of December. So there's time to sort it all out.

  • Cubs have much at stake at Winter Meetings

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    SAN DIEGO – Joe Maddon came through the lobby Sunday night looking for a restaurant that was either out those doors, or those, or those.

    His hair was white and thrown in every direction, matching his temporary disorientation. He wore a camouflage T-shirt. He looked leaner than he had just a month ago, despite just having opened a restaurant in Tampa called “Ava,” an Italian joint he swore serves the best ribeye you’ve ever had. Furthering his point, he put his thumb and forefinger together, closed his eyes and tilted his head back.

    “You’re gonna be in Tampa for spring training, right? You gotta have the ribeye.”

    I promised.

    We laughed about his press conference, the one that ended with him shouting for the barkeep – nobody says “barkeep” anymore, but should – to pour beers and shots for the house, on the new Cubs manager. He said he was disappointed so few took him up on it. It’s a new day. Reporters don’t drink on the job. Certainly not in front of cameras.

    “I get it,” he said. “They were working.”

    We’ll all find out together.

    “Gotta meet Theo,” he said. “Team stuff.”

    Now all they have to do is choose the right door.

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  • Yankees bolster their bullpen with Andrew Miller

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    The New York Yankees, second in the AL East by 12 games and starting to string together carefree Octobers, on Friday signed left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to a four-year, $36 million contract.

    It would be the largest contract ever given to a set-up man, unless Miller overtakes Dellin Betances and becomes the closer, at which point that’s still a lot of years and a lot of money, to which the Yankees are prone.

    Still, many viewed Miller as the best reliever on the market. Those who disagree, coincidentally, cite David Robertson, the apparently outgoing Yankees closer who saved 39 games in his first – and likely only – season as Mariano Rivera’s replacement.

    A failed starter who was non-tendered by the Boston Red Sox just four years ago, Miller, 29, found his groove as a reliever. He posted his best season in his lead-up to free agency, last year posting a 2.02 ERA and 0.802 WHIP (along with 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings) in 73 appearances with the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. He was about as effective – which is to say, very – against right-handed hitters as he was against left.

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