While it may seem like the Dodgers’ offseason has been a quiet one, the team has actually made many changes to both their big league roster and farm system. With Ned Colletti back at the helm as General Manager, he’s done the best he could in light of the financial predicament caused by the McCourts’ divorce. Many players have left, some new ones have arrived, but the Dodgers’ core of young talent remains intact.
Acquired or Returning
Manny Ramirez (picked up 2010 option, $20 million): Now in the last year of his contract, Ramirez will try to replicate the success he had when he first joined the team.
Justin Miller (minor league contract): The reliever will make a base salary of $850,000 if he makes the Dodgers’ roster.
Josh Towers (minor league contract): The starter, who spent most of his career with the Blue Jays, can make $700,000 for time spent in the majors and $90,000 in the minors.
John Ely (minor league contract): One of the prospects received for Juan Pierre, Ely projects to be a fifth starter somewhere down the line.
Jon Link (contract purchased, minors): Also from the Pierre trade, Link has a chance of pitching in the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Luis Ayala (minor league contract): The right-hander can earn $750,000 if he makes the Dodgers’ roster. He can then earn $100,000 based on appearances.
Jamey Carroll (two years, $3.85 million): The veteran infielder can also earn up to $525,000 in performance-based incentives for both years.
Michael Restovich (minor league contract): Restovich hit 21 home runs last year with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.
Jason Repko (one year, $500,000): Repko and Xavier Paul, both outfielders, won’t see too much time now that the team has Reed Johnson.
Jay Gibbons (minor league contract): The outfielder/first baseman had some success with the Orioles, but hasn’t played in the majors in two years.
Scott Dohmann (minor league contract): The right-handed reliever was released by Hiroshima Carp in June and later landed in the Diamondbacks organization.
Argenis Reyes (minor league contract): The second baseman had previously played in the Mets organization.
Nick Green (minor league contract): Green will earn a base salary of $550,000 if he makes the big league roster. Green had back surgery in November and was later released by the Red Sox. The shortstop is projected to serve as Rafael Furcal’s backup.
Doug Mientkiewicz (minor league contract): If the 35-year-old finds himself on the opening day roster, he will be awarded with a $550,000 base salary. He can also earn an additional $200,000 in plate appearances
Russ Ortiz (minor league contract): Another 35-year-old, Ortiz will compete for a spot in the rotation where he would make a base salary of $650,000. The contract includes an additional $1.05 million in incentives based on number of games started and $150,000 based on relief appearances in the majors.
Angel Berroa (minor league contract): Berroa is back with the Dodgers organization after bouncing around both of the New York teams. He probably won’t make the opening day roster, but will receive $600,000 if called up during the season.
Chad Billingsley (one year, $3.85 million): The Dodgers and Billingsley avoided arbitration with this deal. After starting out hot in 2009, Billingsley struggled in the second half. He will try to reclaim his status as team ace.
Matt Kemp (two years, $10.95 million): The All-Star centerfielder will make $4 million next year and $6.95 million in 2011. The contract includes incentives based on plate appearances.
J.D. Closser (minor league contract): Closser hasn’t played in the majors since 2006 and probably won’t make it this year either.
Hong Chih-Kuo (one year, $950,000): This was Kuo’s first time being eligible for arbitration. The Dodgers are getting a great deal.
James Loney (one year, $3.1 million): This was a nice payout for Loney, who was also arbitration-eligible for the first time.
George Sherrill (one year, $4.5 million): Sherrill can earn an additional $150,000 based on appearances. He will once again set up Jonathan Broxton.
Russell Martin (one year, $5.05 million): The Dodgers avoided arbitration with Martin to lock down their starting catcher for another year.
Andre Ethier (two years, $15.25 million): Ethier will make $6 million in 2010 and can earn an additional $500,000 based on plate appearances. The right fielder can expect $9.25 million in 2011. This seems the like right amount for the fan favorite.
Jonathan Broxton (two years, $11 million): The Dodgers intimidating closer will make $4 million in 2010 and $7 million in 2011. Depending on his finish in the Rolaids Relief Man Award standings, Broxton can earn an additional $500,000.
Vicente Padilla (one year, $5.025 million): As with many of these contracts, this one includes incentives. Padilla can grab an additional $1 million next year based on innings pitched.
Brad Ausmus (one year, $1 million): Ausmus will once again back up Russell Martin at catcher. The deal guarantees Ausmus $850,000 in 2010 and includes $25,000 worth of incentives. There is also a $1 million mutual option for 2011 with a $150,000 buyout.
Ronnie Belliard (one year, $825,000): The contract is not guaranteed – in an amusing way. Belliard will only make his money if he drops down to 209 pounds during spring training. If he does, he can also earn $125,000 in incentives based on plate appearances.
Hyang-Nam Choi (minor league contract): The Korean right-hander could close for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes. At 39 years old, he might never pitch in the big leagues.
Gabriel Gutierrez (minor league contract): The catcher could land with the Isotopes.
John Koranka (minor league contract): The 29-year-old pitcher spent most of 2009 in Triple-A, but played two games with the Marlins. His other experience includes time with the Rangers and Cubs.
Timo Perez (minor league contract): Perez, 34, split last season between the Can-Am League’s New Jersey Jackals and Veracruz of the Mexican League. The outfielder has played in the majors with the Mets, White Sox, Cardinals and Detroit, and also in Japan.
Justin Knoedler (minor league contract): The Dodgers now have plenty of catchers in their organization – a luxury other teams wish they had. The 29-year-old has previously played in the majors with the Giants.
Reed Johnson (one year, $800,000): Johnson will serve as the team’s fourth outfielder while he tries to earn $250,000 worth of incentives. He can play all three outfield positions and will probably spell Ramirez more than Kemp or Ethier.
Jeff Weaver (minor league contract, $800,000): The deal includes $100,000 in incentives – not bad for a pitcher many teams have ignored. All things considered, Weaver pitched well for the Dodgers last season, notching a 3.65 ERA in 79 innings. While he won’t become the team’s permanent fifth starter, he can come up to the bigs and serve as a long reliever.
Ramon Ortiz (minor league contract): The veteran right-hander spent 2009 with the Giants’ Triple-A club. Ortiz’s career includes stops with the Angels, Reds, Nationals, Twins, Rockies, and Orix Buffaloes.
Alfredo Amezaga (minor league contract): If called up, the utility man will make $650,000 and could earn an additional $800,000 in incentives. He was sidelined last season with a left knee injury.
Brian Giles (minor league contract): The 39-year-old is going to have a tough time trying to land the fifth outfielder role as Jason Repko and Xavier Paul are hungry to earn their keep in the majors. Giles will have all of spring training to impress, and he can expect a $500,000 base salary and another $200,000 in performance bonuses if the Dodgers add him to the team. In him prime, Giles was a key power hitter, but has since been dogged by injuries and troubles with the law.
Seth Etherton (minor league contract): The right-handed starter hasn’t pitched in the majors since he played with the Royals in 2006.
Corey Smith (minor league contract): Smith also spent time in the Royals system.
Eric Gagne (minor league contract): The former shutdown closer who won the Cy Young Award in 2003 is returning to the Dodgers. He will make $500,000 if he makes the big league team and can earn another $500,000 based on games played and games finished. Obviously, with Broxton there, Gagne won’t be closing games, but could instead provide some middle relief.
Giancarlo Alvarado: The former Triple-A right-hander has signed with Japanese team Hiroshima Carp.
Jean Eusebio: The pitcher had played in the Dominican Summer League.
Filed for Free Agency
Will Ohman: The Dodgers bought out Ohman’s $2.2 million option for $200,000. The Orioles have since signed him to a minor league contract.
Jason Schmidt: After dealing with multiple injuries, the pitcher is expected to retire instead of struggling to find a team.
Juan Castro: Castro has signed with the Phillies and will make less than $1 million.
Randy Wolf: After the Dodgers non-tendered Wolf – who had a surprising 2009 campaign – the Brewers signed him for three years and $29.75 million.
Jim Thome: The veteran slugger reached a one-year deal with the Twins worth $1.5 million.
Jon Garland: The Dodgers decided not to pick up their side of Garland’s $10 million mutual option. The Santa Clarita native has found a home with the Padres and will earn $4.7 million in 2010.
Juan Pierre (White Sox): Pierre was traded to the White Sox in exchange for minor leaguers John Ely and Jon Link. The Dodgers will pick up $10.5 million remaining on Pierre’s $18.5 million deal. The White Sox will pay Pierre $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011.
Mark Loretta: After a 15-year career playing for the Brewers, Astros, Padres, Red Sox, and Dodgers, Loretta has decided to retire. Loretta primarily played second base and finishes with an impressive .295 batting average. Dodger fans will remember Loretta’s game-winning hit in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals. Loretta has since taken a front office position with the Padres.
By Christopher Glotfelty