Author: Bob Harkins

ethier getty wide

Andre Ethier not putting deadline on contract talks with Dodgers


During the midst of the Frank McCourt mess, there were rumblings that Andre Ethier would look to join his friend Dustin Pedroia in Boston when he became a free agent after this season.

A lot has changed with the first-place Dodgers (who won their sixth straight game on Tuesday night) since then, and Ethier apparently isn’t in any hurry to go anywhere. My how things change.

Ethier told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that he was not going to set a deadline on contract talks with the Dodgers, even as the season progresses and free agency draws near.

“We’ll take a look at whatever they bring to us,” Ethier said. “I don’t look at it any other way. I’m not going to sit here and play what-ifs and what-nots.”

Ethier said the team has yet to make a formal offer, but Shaikin reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has already discussed the idea of re-signing Ethier with team president Stan Kasten.

Ethier is hitting .314 with nine home runs and a .950 OPS so far this season. The right fielder is a two-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove in 2012.

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Rockies owner says Tracy, O’Dowd not fall guys

Jim Tracy

Remember when the Colorado Rockies went to the World Series? That was only five years ago, but it seems like 500 the way the Rockies play these days.

Only the Chicago Cubs (15-28) have a worse record than Colorado (15-27), which lost its sixth straight game on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, club owner Dick Monfort isn’t preparing to make any big changes, and expressed his full support for both manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd in an interview with Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post .

“I have had people get in my face and say, ‘You’ve got to do this and do that.’ And believe me, I understand the fans’ frustration,” Monfort told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “I know everybody wants a fall guy and everybody wants blood. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to do.”

Monfort went on to say that if there is anyone to blame, it’s him, and it’s possible he became too in love with his own players, though “I don’t believe that’s the case.”

The Rockies are a franchise that prides itself in fostering a culture of strong character. But maybe this franchise is simply too nice from the top down, when it could use some tough decisions both with management and with player personnel.

Then again, the Rockies are 4-16 this month. Maybe this is the dreaded vote of confidence.

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C.J. Wilson ready for boos in showdown with Yu Darvish

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

C.J. Wilson didn’t leave the Texas Rangers on the best of terms last winter.

The then-free agent left-hander was perturbed about the lack of interest from the Rangers, left to sign with their AL West rival Los Angeles Angels, then watched his former team dump $107 million on highly-touted Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish.

Then Wilson stoked the fire by getting into a Twitter tiff with former teammate Mike Napoli during spring training. In response to Napoli saying he wanted to hit a home run off Wilson, the pitcher tweeted Napoli’s phone number to his 100,000-plus followers.

So naturally, it will be Wilson and Darvish on the mound tonight when the Rangers and Angels face each other in Arlington for the first time this season. Talk about a juicy matchup. It would be tough to plan it any better.

Of course Wilson is doing his best to downplay the matchup, stressing to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he’s not facing Darvish, he’s facing the Rangers lineup, and “it’s not emotional for me – it’s baseball, it’s a sport, it’s my job.”

He’s also smart enough to realize he’s probably not going to receive a pleasant welcome from the Rangers faithful.

“We’ll be playing in front of a huge crowd in a stadium that’s relatively hostile to our team, and I’m sure it will be fairly hostile to me,” Wilson said. “I think a lot of people will boo me. Hey, some of them booed me while I was there when I was a reliever.”

As for Napoli, he’s also taking a low-key, off-field-stuff-doesn’t-matter approach, with one small exception: “But I will try to hit a home run off him.”

Should be fun.

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Angels, Nationals reportedly discussing Peter Bourjos trade

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

We detailed earlier today that Peter Bourjos seems to have gone missing. Now tonight we find that multiple teams are looking for him.

The Los Angeles Angels center fielder hasn’t played much since the Angels called up uber-prospect Mike Trout from the minors, losing ground in a crowded outfield race that also includes Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and an occasional dose of Mark Trumbo.

Bourjos has hurt himself with his struggles at the plate this season, turning himself from a passable-bat, supreme speed/defense guy into merely a supreme speed/defense guy. But he’s still only 25 and his positives and potential make him quite valuable.

Thus, it’s not surprising that some teams are beginning to sniff around. As Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports reports:

The Nationals and Angels have had preliminary discussions about a trade that would send center fielder Peter Bourjos to Washington, major-league sources told

The Royals, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays also have checked on the availability of Bourjos, sources say.

Morosi reports that it’s unclear how far along talks are, but that the Angels are surely looking for bullpen help and perhaps a catcher now that Chris Iannetta is facing an extended absence.

Hunter’s contract is up after this season, so that could potentially clear up room in the outfield. But the Angels are likely stuck with Wells through 2014. So in that respect, it sort of makes sense to deal Bourjos. But it could be painful nonetheless for Angels fans down the line if Bourjos ever figures things out at the plate.

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