File photo of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt speaking at a news conference about increased security at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

Great moments in chutzpah: The Dodgers call MLB irresponsible in connection with stadium security

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The Dodgers have gone months and months without having a head of security in place. No one is quite sure why. They just fired the last one and still haven’t gotten around to hiring a replacement. No biggie, though. I mean, it’s not like a fan was friggin’ beat almost to death in the Dodger Stadium parking lot during the interim.

Now, a day after Major League Baseball announced that it was taking over the Dodgers, Frank McCourt’s media attack dog Steve Soboroff has the nerve to say that the takeover is irresponsible because it hinders the Dodgers’ ability to hire a security chief:

The Dodgers tried to make their point on Thursday by telling Selig’s office they were prepared to hire a full-time head of security, a position McCourt has left vacant for four months. If McCourt had his usual authority, he could have made a job offer on Thursday. Instead, the Dodgers had to submit the name of the unidentified candidate and wait for league approval.

“Where is the responsibility now? That’s not good management, from this perspective,” Soboroff said. “In four days, they’ll send somebody out to see if they want to hire our security guy?”

How effing convenient, Mr. Soboroff, that you found a security head the day after baseball took over the team. I’m sure the timing was a complete and utter coincidence, in no way connected with Frank McCourt’s need to demonstrate, as soon as possible, that he actually deserves to run the team he’s spent the past several years destroying. And yes, those four days far outweigh the four months your boss has sat on his butt on the subject, spurred to action only because Bryan Stow was almost killed.

I think the only thing he could say that would be more gobsmacking is that baseball’s receivership of the Dodgers is causing them to have to borrow money and that such a thing is a crying shame.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.