UPDATE: Since this rumor initially surfaced, it has been shot down by Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports, and most importantly, by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. And Colletti should know, because if this was a legitimate offer, he would have taken it in a heartbeat.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears that the Brewers approached the Dodgers about their interest in Fielder, but there’s nothing to suggest that talks advanced from there. And that’s that. Fun while it lasted, eh?
5:21 PM: Well, this is a juicy one.
According to Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com “the Dodgers are actively involved in discussions on a possible three-player deal with the Brewers” that would send James Loney and Jonathan Broxton to Milwaukee to Prince Fielder.
Jackson notes “multiple sources” gave him the information, so this might have some legs.
Milwaukee is obviously open to trading Fielder and Los Angeles is said to be shopping Loney pretty heavily at the winter meetings, and Broxton’s status with the Dodgers can be summed up by Jackson calling him “embattled closer.”
On the other hand, I’m just not sure why the Brewers would do that deal. Loney could step in for Fielder at first base, but he’s hardly a long-term building block and they could just as easily sign a better-hitting replacement to a reasonable one-year deal.
Picking up Broxton when his value is perhaps at an all-time low makes some sense, but do they really want the centerpiece of a trade for Fielder to be a 27-year-old reliever who’ll earn $7 million in 2011 and is just one season from free agency himself?
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.