Dodgers decline to offer arbitration to Wolf, Hudson

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Either they’re having big money problems or they’re being run by idiots.
The Dodgers on Tuesday announced that neither Randy Wolf nor Orlando Hudson would receive an arbitration offer.
The same went for Type B free agents Vicente Padilla, Jon Garland, Ronnie Belliard, Guillermo Mota and Will Ohman, though there were no big surprises there.
Both Wolf and Hudson are Type A free agents, so the Dodgers had the opportunity to pick up two draft picks for each.
The news means the Dodgers won’t get any extra draft picks in a year in which they’d lose their top pick if they sign any big free agents.
But that the Dodgers were unwilling to risk Wolf accepting a one-year deal suggests that they won’t be paying the price for any Type A free agents. There was hardly a chance that Wolf would have accepted the offer, but the money situation might be so dire that the team didn’t want to pay signing bonuses to draft picks next summer.
Wolf and Hudson suddenly become a lot more attractive with the news. Wolf and John Lackey were supposed to be the only free agent starters set to require compensation this winter. Now that the signing team is off the hook, Wolf could suddenly be even more attractive to the Mariners, Brewers and the like.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.