Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
give you all the news on the boys in blue

Category: Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw update and other Dodgers notes

Clayton Kershaw
Some early-morning notes from the Dodgers’ camp:

• Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring Friday. The session was originally scheduled for Wednesday but pushed back because of mild back stiffness Kershaw was experiencing. Kershaw is expected to start his first exhibition game March 9.

• Mike MacDougal’s bullpen session Thursday was pushed back. MacDougal felt something in his back when fielding a groundball Wednesday during a drill.

• Right-hander Jose Ascanio failed a physical and left the Dodgers’ camp.

RELATED:

Dodgers play it safe with Clayton Kershaw

I'll always forget my first time: Dodger Ronald Belisario

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are early to rise with Dodgers

-- Dylan Hernandez in Phoenix

Photo: Clayton Kershaw throws during a spring training baseball workout Wednesday in Phoenix. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Dodgers play it safe with Clayton Kershaw's back stiffness

Clayton3
Clayton Kershaw pushed back his first bullpen session of the spring Wednesday as a precaution because of  mild stiffness in his back.

The reigning National League Cy Young winner first felt discomfort a few days earlier, but isn't expected to undergo any exams.

Kershaw's first start in the exhibition is scheduled for March 9.

RELATED:

Falling into a spring training rhythm

I'll always forget my first time: Dodger Ronald Belisario

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are early to rise with Dodgers

-- Dylan Hernandez in Phoenix

Photo: Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws at spring training on Wednesday. Credit: Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Clayton Kershaw quickly named Dodgers opening-day starter

Clayton3
Say this about Don Mattingly, when he knows what he wants, he gets to it. Either that or he’s wise enough to get the obvious out of the way in a hurry.

Players had barely completed their first-day greetings at Camelback Ranch spring training camp on Tuesday morning when Mattingly announced Clayton Kershaw would be the Dodgers opening-day starter April 5 in San Diego.

In other developments, Dodgers’ caps will continue to be blue.

When you have the reigning National League Cy Young winner returning, figuring he’s your starter on opening day is the manager’s easiest call of the season. Got that one done.

But because the Dodgers open the season with four games in San Diego, followed by an off-day before heading to Los Angeles, Kershaw could also start the home opener on April 10 against the Pirates.

Kershaw, 23, won the pitcher’s National League triple crown last season, with 21 wins (tying with Arizona’s Ian Kennedy), a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts.

Unlike in recent seasons, the Dodgers have an undisputed ace in the left-handed Kershaw. Mattingly helped start him down that road a year ago, when he also named Kershaw the opening day starter on the first day of spring.

RELATED:

Count on the Dodgers for these early rites of spring

Frank McCourt to Bud Selig: I can never thank you enough

For the Dodgers, change is in the wind, but not on the field

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starter Clayon Kershaw. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Count on the Dodgers for these early rites of spring

Dodgers pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring-training camp Tuesday morning, and I am positively certain each one of these things will transpire:

-- Ronald Belisario will not only be there on time, he’ll proudly be wearing a lanyard around his neck holding his visa.

-- Catcher Ted Federowicz will arrive without sporting that 1970s-style mustache. Actually, I have no idea if this is true, I just hope it is.

-- The hearts of every hitter in the National League will skip a beat when Clayton Kershaw announces he has been working with Fernando Valenzuela to develop a screwball.

-- Manager Don Mattingly will have to take 267 razzings for good-naturedly wearing a dress for a charity performance of the "Nutcracker." In the first two hours.

-- Rubby De La Rosa will announce he’s at least two months ahead of schedule in his return from Tommy John surgery.

-- Catcher A.J. Ellis will tweet that Chad Billingsley already looks like he’s in midseason form.

-- Ted Lilly’s fastball will appear another 2 mph slower, and he will somehow manage to use it to his advantage.

-- John Grabow will go around the locker room and shake hands with every player, coach and media member, just to remind them he’s left-handed.

-- Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will explain to some first-time camper how he was actually the only pitcher to beat the Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.

-- In his first time on the mound, Kenley Jansen will throw absolute smoke.

-- Mike MacDougal will again claim to be 185 pounds.

-- Mattingly will say he’s crazy about his rotation and in love with his bullpen. Heartbreak arrives with the hitters Feb. 27.

RELATED:

Frank McCourt to Bud Selig: I can never thank you enough

For the Dodgers, change is in the wind, but not on the field

Profit at Dodgers' spring home drops 65% in two years

-- Steve Dilbeck

Frank McCourt to Bud Selig: I can never thank you enough

Selig-mccourt_600

I don’t know what the world record is for emerging from bankruptcy with the greatest amount of wealth, but you have to think our good buddy Frank McCourt is a serious contender.

Bankruptcy is designed to make sure creditors are paid, and you have to wonder at this point if there was ever any danger of that not happening. But McCourt chose bankruptcy, the courts accepted and it has led to a historic auction, the likes of which Sotheby’s has never imagined.

Hall of Fame baseball writer Ross Newhan finds it incomprehensible that after leaving the Dodgers the laughingstock of baseball and dragging them into bankruptcy, McCourt could not only get the record $1.5 billion he was looking for, but possibly $2 billion and still own the parking lots.

The Times’ Bill Shaikin reports that, aside from TV rights, team revenue and the parking lots, whether the sale price is ultimately closer to $1.5 or $2 billion could largely depend on how much renovation Dodger Stadium is deemed to need.

McCourt now claims it doesn’t need significant renovation, which sort of goes against his grand 2008 plan for a transformation that was estimated then to cost $500 million. And, oh yeah, was supposed to be completed before the start of the 2012 season.

In a stunning development, McCourt found financing a tad difficult to come by.

Yet despite everything, despite the embarrassment of bankruptcy, an ugly public divorce that exposed his and wife Jamie's horrendous greed and perhaps the worst year in team history, McCourt is about to exit richer than anyone –- no doubt including him -- ever dreamed.

The McCourts purchased the Dodgers for $430 million in 2004 without spending a dime of their own money, using equity in a Boston parking lot. Now even after paying Jamie a settlement of $131 million once the team sells, paying off $573 million in debt and possibly more than $200 million in sales taxes, McCourt could walk away with around $1 billion?

Wonder if Jamie would like to rework that settlement.

No one has any real clue which of the 11 surviving bidders will get the team, though if it does become more of a vanity purchase than a practical one, the deep pockets of Steve Cohen and Magic Johnson’s group are impressive. Newhan said the Joe Torre-Rick Caruso group has picked up the backing of a member of the David Thomson family, the wealthiest in Canada. Groups could yet merge, and still floating out there are local billionaires Ron Burkle and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

No one knows this better than Frank McCourt. His feud with Commissioner Bud Selig is looking like the best thing that ever happened to him.

__ __ __

Newhan also had this interesting mention in his blog post:

“… sources also revealed that none of the investors are particularly happy with the Dodgers' eight year, $160 million, back loaded signing of Matt Kemp, and the two year, $19 million contract to Clayton Kershaw.”

Jon Weisman at Dodgers Thoughts found this particularly unsettling, arguing the Dodgers were simply giving competitive salaries to their two best players.

Which is true, of course, but if you’re about to be the new owner, no doubt you would like to be the one negotiating the salaries. It is your future debt, and neither contract had to be done now.

Kemp’s salary, compared to subsequent deals signed by Albert Pujols ($240 million) and Prince Fielder ($214 million), could prove a relative bargain if he continues to produce anywhere near his 2011 level.

Of course, the difference is Pujols and Fielder have performed at the highest level for several years. Kemp reached true elite status only last year, and the Dodgers are counting on the 2011 version and not the 2010 one.

Kershaw’s deal is another matter. Two is an unusual number of years to give a player in the first year of arbitration. The Dodgers guaranteed him $6 million this season, meaning he gets $13 million next year. For that, they essentially got nothing in return, save for avoiding a year of arbitration.

So the Dodgers have taken an expensive gamble that Kershaw doesn’t blow out his elbow. Normally if a team does make that kind of commitment, the contract is extended to at least buy out a year or two of free agency.

RELATED:

Profit at Dodgers' spring home drops 65% in two years

What is the Dodgers' backup plan if Dee Gordon falters?

Fan loyalty to Dodgers took a tumble in 2011, survey says

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Commissioner Bud Selig with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt during a ceremony in 2006. Credit: Ric Francis / Associated Press

Dodgers web musings: Clayton Kershaw is looking serious

Clayton-kershaw_600

Good news: Clayton Kershaw is apparently feeling challenged by his own success.

In a video, Buster Olney takes a look at Clayton Kershaw’s off-season regimen for the “Baseball Tonight” crew.

The reigning National League Cy Young winner told Olney:

“I feel like I have to go more over the top than ever because people are having these expectations that I’m going to come in and not be ready to go, so more so than ever I’m motivated to be ready to go.”

Also on the web:

-- Dodgers.com’s Ken Gurnick previews the Dodgers heading into spring, saying they “look to improve upon last year's 82-79 record by loading up on pitching, improved defense and hope.”

-- Jon Garland lives. He’s signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians.

-- Kevin Goldstein has his annual list of the top 101 prospects for Baseball Prospectus. Sadly, only one Dodger makes the list: Zach Lee at No. 70.

-- Mike Petriello at Mike Scoioscia's Tragic Illness thinks the rest of the National League’s first basemen may have dumbed down to James Loney territory.

-- Roberto Baly at Vin Scully Is My Homeboy looks at how the Dodgers roster was built.

-- Scott Andes at Lasorda’s Lair is worried what new ownership might mean for Dodger Stadium.

-- Eric Stephen, this time at SB Nation Los Angeles, on Tommy Lasorda being honored with a statue in the Dominican Republic.

-- In a video, Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Weisman reveals his own strigent off-season conditioning regimen.

-- The Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker looks at the comeback attempt of Hong-Chin Kuo, who says: "It has to come from inside me.''

-- Tip to Weisman: Alex Bleth at Bronx Bomber takes a long look at new Yankee right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.

-- Bryan Painter at The Oklahoman profiles new Dodgers assistant trainer Greg Harrel (includes video interview).

RELATED:

Why I owe Vin Scully cookies, and you owe me

Frank McCourt: A few words in praise of Dodgers owner

For Matt Kemp, the season doesn't start on Opening Day

-- By Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch against the Angels during an interleague game at Anaheim Stadium last season. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / July 2, 2011

Dodgers Web musings: Clayton Kershaw and the long term [Videos]

Plenty to get to today, leading off with … so the Dodgers have signed Clayton Kershaw to a two-year, $19-million deal. Exactly right for the moment or does more have to be done?

Buster Olney argues in this ESPN video that the new owner’s first order of business should be to sign Kershaw to a long-term deal. He argues Kershaw would be only 26 in his first year of free agency and free-spending teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies would be circling.

Olney estimates a five-year deal for Kershaw would cost between $100 to $120 million.

Meanwhile, Robert Timm at Dodger Dugout argues there is risk in signing any pitcher to a long-term deal and the Dodgers were smart to settle for a two-year agreement.

Also on the Web:

--The Left Field Pavilion has organized a charity softball tournament of teams representing several Dodgers blogs on Saturday at the Big League Dreams fields in West Covina.

Play starts at 8 a.m. Admission is only $3 and includes a drink. Fans are asked to bring a box or bag of food for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

--It never ends: USA Today thinks the Dodgers could be in line for a $5-billion TV rights deal. Guess that $3 billion Frank McCourt wanted to sign up for with Fox might have been just a tad low.

--Eric Stephen at True Blue LA has his Dodgers preview. He doesn’t think Jerry Sands makes the 25-man roster, but Josh Fields does.

--FanGraphs’ David Laurila has a lengthy and detailed Q&A with Dodgers scouting director Logan White, while Dodgers Thoughts’ Jon Weisman interviews farm director De Jon Watson.

--MLB.com’s Spencer Fordin looks at the Dodgers' top 20 prospects, while ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider status required) rates their system 12th overall in the majors.

--The Times’ Dylan Hernandez talks to James Loney about his bizarre freeway accident. Loney blames it on a blow to his head.

--The Times’ Bill Shaikin adds an 11th and, really, possibly final Dodgers bidder in Michael Heisley, the 75-year-old owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. He could bring Jerry West into the deal.

--ESPN’s Baseball Tonight crew looks at what could be next for Matt Kemp.

--Reuters’ Sue Zeidler writes that the second round of bids on the Dodgers is due around Feb. 23.

--NBC Sports’ Tony DeMarco thinks that with the right owner the Dodgers could be a power fairly quickly.

--Fox Sports' Mike Martinez checks in with shortstop Dee Gordon. Gordon on how many bases he’s capable of stealing: “a hundred.”

--Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth is auctioning off a Kershaw-autographed copy of his new book, “Arise,” on EBay to raise funds for a Watts literacy center.

--Daily Breeze columnist Mike Waldner looks at the Dodgers auction situation: “McCourt's first, last and always goal has been to line his pockets.”

--Oh, goody: Russell Martin tells the New York Daily News he’s all giddy the Yankees have added Hiroki Kuroda.

--And finally, Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy has found a video of a vintage TV commercial, this one from 1981. Warning: Hope you like looking at a shirtless Bill Russell.

 

-- Steve Dilbeck

 

Frank McCourt: A few words in praise of Dodgers owner

Frank3
Hey, I didn’t say they were my words.

It must be understood that despite racking up almost a billion dollars in debt and taking the Dodgers into bankruptcy, Frank McCourt still has supporters. They mostly point to the team’s four playoff appearances in his eight years of ownership.

And then there is General Manager Ned Colletti, who during Tuesday's announcement of Clayton Kershaw’s two-year, $19-million contracttook the time to commend McCourt for trying to leave the team in good condition.

Colletti based this on McCourt’s off-season signing of Kershaw and Matt Kemp (eight years, $160 million), and his efforts to sign Prince Fielder.

“When you think about how we were able to complete a deal with Matt for eight years, get the go-ahead to go after Prince and sign Clayton for a couple of years, you have to give Frank credit,” Colletti said.

“These are things he didn’t have to do. We could have not pursued Prince and let the next owner deal with Matt and Clayton. To his credit, he’s trying to leave the organization in the best place possible.”

Just makes you see ol' Frankie in a completely different light, no?

Continue reading »

Dodgers sign Clayton Kershaw to two-year, $19-million deal

Fabforum

That may not have been the truly long-term contract some of the faithful were hoping for, but the Dodgers did avoid arbitration with Clayton Kershaw this year and the next by signing him Tuesday to a two-year, $19-million contract.

The Times’ Dylan Hernandez reports Kershaw will earn a $500,000 signing bonus, $7.5 million this season and $11 million in 2013.

The club had previously exchanged arbitration figures with National League’s Cy Young winner, submitting $6.5 million to Kershaw’s $10-million bid.

His contract is in keeping with the Dodgers signing players at a comparatively low salary for next season, then raising it significantly the next. Matt Kemp, who signed an eight-year, $160-million contract in November, will earn just $10 million next season, $2 million of it deferred.

The Dodgers’ 2012 active payroll now figures to come in about $93.5 million.

It seems a fair contract for both the Dodgers and the 23-year-old Kershaw, thought particularly for the Dodgers. After his third season, and second consecutive Cy Young win, the Giants Tim Lincecum signed a two-year, $23-million deal in 2010.

RELATED:

Jared Kushner a prospective Dodgers owner

Dodgers sign right-hander Jamey Wright as a nonroster invitee

Dodgers announce 2012 spring training broadcast schedule [Updated]

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers Web musings: 2012 team is not wowing followers

Kershaw-kemp_600

It seems Ned Colletti’s off-season maneuverings aren’t exactly converting the skeptics. Guess a $90-million payroll just doesn’t buy what it once did.

So the team that returns the National League Cy Young Award winner and MVP runner-up is not exactly getting a lot of off-season media love. Of course, they did have Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp last season and all it netted them was an 82-79 record.

Know those power rankings that are still the rage in professional sports? In the early results, the Dodgers are not faring well. Not even as good as last year’s squad.

Sports Illustrated’s Joe Lemire ranks the Dodgers’ baseball’s 18th-best team. That’s actually down four spots from where he had them finish last year. Arizona is listed at No. 11 and San Francisco at No. 15.

Earlier, Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown ranked the Dodgers 19th.

I don’t put much stake in these rankings, particularly at this time of the year, but it does indicate how the Dodgers are being perceived nationally.

Also on the Web:

--Bloomberg Businessweek’s Roben Farzad has a lengthy overview of the Dodgers’ sale.

“It’s a sports-business circus here,” said David Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at USC.

Farzad claims the three current favorites in the bidding are the Rick Caruso-Joe Torre group, the Magic Johnson-Stan Kasten group and Steven Cohen.

--Hall of Fame baseball writer Ross Newhan doesn’t think South Korean conglomerate E-Land's financial backing of Peter O’Malley should negatively affect his bid.

Wrote Newhan: “No one has the ability to put the organization back together faster than the former owner.”

--Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall said he was staying with the team despite overtures from potential owners wanting him to run the Dodgers should their bids succeed. But, really, what else is he going to say?

--Dodgers.com’s Ken Gurnick said the Dodgers were thrilled with the results of their "young guns" mini-camp in Arizona. Also joining the prospects were Chris Capuano, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen and Scott Elbert.

--The Dodgers and White Sox have scheduled a spring game March 23 in Tucson to benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Foundation.

--Jamey Carroll tells MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger he’s ready to be the Twins’ everyday shortstop.

--The Red Sox are hoping right-hander Vicente Padilla arrives to camp on time after a report in Nicaragua he may not be able to leave that country over a failure to pay child support.

--The Dodgers have released a copy of the Dodger Stadium 50th anniversary logo, sponsored by State Farm. The Times’ Dylan Hernandez wonders if it includes a discount on fire insurance.

RELATED:

Dodgers' Frank McCourt: MLB owners' new inspiration

If Stan Kroenke gets the Dodgers, doesn't L.A. get the Rams?

Potential Dodgers owners already reaching out to Derrick Hall

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw and slugging center fielder Matt Kemp celebrate after Kershaw's shutout against the Detroit Tigers last summer at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images / June 20, 2011

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

About the Blogger

Recent Posts

Categories


Archives
 


Bleacher Report | Dodgers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Dodgers on Bleacher Report »




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: