The Dodgers’ first official workout in major league camp in spring training will be Monday, March 14, with players reporting to Camelback Ranch in Arizona by Monday.
Roberts said Friday he doesn’t expect any visa issues for players coming from out of the United States, despite the quick turnaround from the MLB lockout just getting lifted on Thursday evening. He said most physicals will be completed on Sunday or Monday, but that only is for players currently on the roster.
There’s still an offseason to complete. Clayton Kershaw is back on a one-year deal, with the Dodgers icon confirming his return on Instagram on Friday. His deal hasn’t yet been officially announced by the team, and there will be other additions in the coming weeks. It’s a challenge with opening day less than four weeks away.
“Every ball club is going to be in that situation, every player’s going to be in that situation. I do think there’s some incentive for players to sign and get with the club to get assimilated. But whatever happens, I just don’t think it’s going to be an issue,” Roberts said Friday. “We vet guys, and if we feel they’re good enough to be on our ball club, I don’t think it will be a problem assimilating.”
The Dodgers had a full 40-man roster before Friday, when Trevor Bauer was placed back on administrative leave, with his MLB investigation still ongoing. That open spot could be taken by Kershaw whenever his contract becomes official. There’s also the matter of 21 non-roster invitees in big league camp.
With such a short time to prepare for the regular season, and so few games — the Dodgers have 18 exhibition games on their spring schedule, beginning next Friday — it could be hard for folks further down the depth chart to get playing time in the Cactus League. But the Dodgers don’t plan to overwork the regulars.
“It’s kind of threading the needle, on ramping them up but not trying to put them in harm’s way,” Roberts said.
- MLB hasn’t yet announced the rescheduling of the two previously-canceled series from the original first week of the season. But Jayson Stark at The Athletic has some details, including that in most cases the first series — originally March 31-April 3 — will be moved to the three extra days at the end of the schedule, October 3-5. The Dodgers were slated to originally open at home against the Rockies, and end at home against the Rockies. So there’s a possibility the Dodgers will end their regular season playing seven games in six days at home against Colorado.
- Among the insights on the CBA from Michael Baumann at The Ringer: “It’s not a good deal for the players, but it might be the best they could have done without tearing the entire system down.”
- Marc Normandin at Baseball Prospectus looked at gains made by the MLBPA in the latest CBA.