GLENDALE, Ariz. — Camelback Ranch, spring training home of the Dodgers and White Sox, is a seriously beautiful facility.
The only drawback to it is that it faces south-southeast, so the crowd just bakes in the sun. Not sure why that is. I have to assume there was some reason for it, but sheesh, it’s brutal here. Especially if you’re a pasty mother like I am. The press box is no good place to watch a game, but it’s sort of necessary for me here.
Yasiel Puig and Erisbel Arruebarrena. As Tommy Lasorda famously said, Muy dificil.
Just before Don Mattingly came out for his daily meet-the-press, the assembled Los Angeles press was talking about how there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot to ask him. This Dodgers camp is pretty quiet. The Andre Ethier situation is a bit up in the air, but there are no real position battles. No injuries of note since Jansen. We’ve entered the daily grind portion of spring training. The excitement of the new is over but we’re still weeks away from hard decisions (if any) and games with any significance. There’s a lot of talk of golf and restaurants and stuff.
A couple of legends just hanging around and talking shop. Tommy Lasorda has become something of a mascot. In public there’s a lot of Dodgers cheerleading and smiling and waving and stuff. But — not that I was eavesdropping or anything — he is still quite capable of delivering a blue streak of colorful language when telling a baseball story from, like, 40 years ago, and I’m happy about that.
Of course, he can also be pretty horrifying in just the right setting. OMG, that’s nightmare fuel.
It was first reported that Brett Anderson was signing with the Dodgers on December 15. I don’t know what everyone’s been doing for the past 16 days — my guess: working on Anderson’s road trip rider, which specifies which bottled waters and hand lotions he demands — but they have finally gotten around to finalizing the deal:
Arruebarrena played 22 games at short for the Dodgers as well as at four different minor league levels in 2014. That’s some moving around. Unfortunately, he didn’t play well at any of those five levels and now he’s on the way out. This after they signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract out of Cuba. The guy who signed him — Ned Colletti — still works in the Dodgers front office. That’s gotta be awkward for him. I feel like Andrew Friedman has had a few conversations with The Bobs about “fixing the glitch” with Colletti’s salary. Maybe moving his office and taking his stapler too.
As for Anderson, it’s a $10 million deal plus $4 million in potential incentives. He [presses the keys which store the “Brett Anderson Macro”] has long been one of the most promising lefties in the game and has pitched well when he’s pitched but has struggled to keep healthy. If he is healthy in 2015, the Dodgers will have a front-end quality starter at the back end of their rotation, which is a nice little trick.
UPDATE: According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said this evening that Gordon is not being shopped.
6:23 p.m. ET: Interesting note here from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who writes that the Dodgers are telling teams that second baseman Dee Gordon is available.
Gordon is coming off a solid season in which he batted .289/.326/.378 over 148 games while leading the majors with 64 stolen bases. However, he had a miserable 47/4 K/BB ratio during the second half. It doesn’t sound like the Dodgers are desperately trying to move him — remember, they also have a shortstop vacancy to fill now that Hanley Ramirez is in Boston — but it’s possible that the new front office believes that this would be a good time to sell high on him. He’s under team control through 2018.
As Sherman notes, the Dodgers have Alex Guerrero and Erisbel Arruebarrena as in-house alternates if they end up moving Gordon. Justin Turner and Darwin Barney are also in place.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks got into a few scuffles last season, and now their Triple-A affiliates are taking the feistiness to another level. Check out this brawl from Saturday evening in Reno …
And here’s some bonus footage from the screen behind home plate, where things got really nasty …
This all stemmed from Dodgers infield prospect Erisbel Arruebarrena pimping a home run on Friday night with a 35-second trip around the bases. Aces starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger threw a ball high-and-tight to Arruebarrena on Saturday before striking him out. After the strikeout, Arruebarrena shoved catcher Blake Lalli.