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Tough duty: Dodgers hire new director of contract negotiations

September 29, 2011 |  4:35 pm

Fulldodgerslogo I love titles.Particularly in the business world. They get so wound up in themselves, so discombobulated, it’s hard to even guess what the person actually does. For example, take my official title here: Greatest Blogger in the History of Mankind, All Nine Planets and the Rest of the Solar System Who Covers the Dodgers for The Los Angeles Times.

For convenience sake, we shortened it to Dodgers Blogger.

I know, rolls right off the tongue.

The Dodgers made a new hire Thursday, and if his title is a doozy, wait until you hear the actual job description. Meet Alex Tamin, the Dodgers new director of baseball contracts, research and operations.

Said General Manager Ned Colletti in a statement: “Alex will be a tremendous asset to the baseball operations staff. His background has given him a wealth of experience in contract negotiation and arbitration cases and we think he adds an important element to our team.”

If that job description sounds familiar, it fell under the domain of Kim Ng, one of Colletti’s former assistant general managers who jumped Ship McCourt back in the spring to become a vice president of operations for Major League Baseball.

Tamin gets many of the same duties as Ng, without the assistant GM title, though Colletti still has two of those (De Jon Watson, Logan White), four special assistants to the GM (Ken Bracey, Toney Howell, Vance Lovelace, Rick Ragazzo) and then just four special assistants (Bill Mueller, Aaron Sele, Mark Sweeney, Jose Vizcaino).

Apparently, none of whom have any expertise in arbitration and contract negotiations.

So now Tamin is on board, and guess what his first order of business for the bankrupt team is likely to be -- the arbitration cases and contracts of Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. And welcome to the Dodgers.

Talk about fun. Kershaw made just $500,000 last season, making him one of the greatest bargains in sports history. Of course, a team needs a few of those to make up for the Andruw Joneses of the world (two years, $36.2 million).

This is the first year Kershaw will be eligible for arbitration, and he’s the favorite to win the Cy Young after going 21-5. Tim Lincecum, in almost the same point in his career, asked only for $13 million in arbitration before signing a two-year, $23-million deal.

Kemp made $7.1 million last season, and likely would like to double that. Then there’s Ethier, who made $9.5 million and is coming off an up-and-down year, not to mention minor knee surgery.

Welcome to the team, Tamin. Now go to work.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

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