To take a break from the debating the merits and likelihood of the Dodgers interest in various free agents, from the expected Justin Turner return to possible pursuits of Trevor Bauer and/or Marcus Semien, here are some other tidbits from the last few days.
All moves the Dodgers have made so far this offseason have been in the bullpen, trading for Corey Knebel and Garrett Cleavinger while signing free agents Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle, with Kahnle likely to miss most if not all of 2020 after Tommy John surgery in August.
The Dodgers acquired Knebel, the former Brewers closer, in December, hoping for a bounce-back now further removed from his Tommy John surgery. Knebel explained his struggles with command in 2020 to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, saying, “The velocity wasn’t there. The control wasn’t there. I was trying to throw it as hard as I could, and everything just went to crap.”
An uptick in velocity in the last few weeks of the season was appealing to the Dodgers. More DiGiovanna, this time from Dave Roberts:
“I think the uptick in velo speaks to arm strength, which allows you to spin the baseball even better,” Roberts said. “So if the arm speed rebounds, then you can bet the curveball will be what it was as well.”
The Dodgers last week avoided salary arbitration with Knebel, who will be a free agent at season’s end. The 29 year old will make $5.25 million in 2021.
- Another pitcher added to the 40-man roster this offseason is right-hander Gerardo Carrillo, who was signed as an amateur out of Mexico in 2016. The 22-year-old was at the Dodgers’ rookie development program last week, and talked to Juan Toribio of MLB.com about how adding muscle the last few years has helped him advance, and stay healthy.
- Tyler Kepner’s obituary of Don Sutton at the New York Times includes this quote from Sutton: “It was an easy job, made easier because my dad taught me how to work. ... It wasn’t like for the first time in my life I had to do some work. I just transferred that to baseball.”
- Venezuelan catcher Jesus Galiz, one of 22 international free agents signed by the Dodgers last Friday, was profiled by Jorge Castillo of the LA Times, who included the only mention I’ve seen so far on bonuses the Dodgers have spent in this period: “The team offered [Galiz] $812,500, the remainder of the $5.3 million they were allowed to spend.” The Dodgers’ signing bonus pool for the 2021 international signing period is $5,348,100.
- Among the solutions offered by J.P. Hoornstra at the Orange County Register to improve MLB was, instead of using service time, to tie free agency to the year a player was originally drafted or signed as an amateur.
- Hall of Fame broadcaster Jamie Jarrín is getting his COVID-19 vaccine at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday:
Next Tuesday I will be visiting Dodger Stadium for the first time this year. No baseball. I have an appointment to get the Covid-19 vaccine. What about you.— Jaime Jarrín (@JaimeJarrin) January 21, 2021