I know these are just rumors, and I know that in any other year I’d see them for the low-risk/low-reward inquiries they truly are. Hell, with the track record the Dodgers have with guys like this, it should almost be seen as a good thing. But the timing here is horrible because of the arbitration decisions and the McCourt “crying poor” report, and as we all know, the scary part about this year is that the Noah Lowrys and Kameron Loes of the world might actually be the biggest presents under the Christmas tree. It doesn’t get any better today, because now we’re hearing about Dodger interest in three more members of the walking dead. Let’s start off with another failed pitcher:
Luis Ayala was DFA’d or released three times in 2009, don’t forget. Yet somehow, that’s still an upgrade over Lowry or Loe. From Dylan Hernandez’ Twitter:
Source: Dodgers in discussions with right-hander Luis Ayala about a minor-league deal.
Fine, fine. A minor league deal is actually a smart move, so fine. Still, Ayala’s been on four teams in the last two years, with a history of personal problems that make Vicente Padilla look like a boy scout. I mean, the litany here is amazing.
In 2008, after getting put on waivers by the Nats (!!!) with a 5.77 ERA, Ayala was traded to the Mets for a player to be named. Why?
Ayala requested the trade weeks ago because he wanted a change of scenery. He said that he lost focus because of personal problems off the field, which included having a divorce and getting shot in his left arm this past offseason. He said that those were the reasons why he was testy toward the local media during the first half of the season.
Ayala was lousy for the Mets (5.50 ERA) and signed with the Twins for 2009. After being mediocre with them (4.18 ERA), he was DFA’d in June, with manager Ron Gardenhire having this to say:
“He wanted an eighth-inning role; that’s why he signed over here. He wasn’t pitching well enough to be an eighth-inning guy. So there you have it.
“His thoughts were if we gave him the ball in that eighth inning, he’d be able to do the job. My thoughts are if you’re not getting them out, you’re not going to pitch in the eighth inning. We’re trying to win. So there’s your difference.
“When you walk into my office and tell me you don’t like your role, and he talked about his contract for next year — you lose me right there. I don’t deal with that. We’re talking about winning now. That’s why he’s out the door and another guy’s in there to pitch. And it’s not because he’s a bad guy. His theories are a little different.”
Sounds like a winner to me! But wait, it gets better. He was picked up by Florida, putting up a horrendous 11.74 ERA in 10 appearances. When they DFA’d him as well, whose fault was it? Not Ayala’s:
“It was terrible what they did,” Ayala said. “I don’t know why they called me up if they were going to do this. I think it’s a lack of respect. I know it’s a business, but for me, it’s something they’ve handled poorly.”
Again, it’s a minor-league deal, so: fine. But good lord, this guy seems like kryptonite to me. Do not want.
Brad Ausmus is not worth fighting over. From MLBTR:
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report that the Dodgers and Giants are among the teams pursuing free agent catcher Brad Ausmus. Peter Mrowka, Ausmus’ agent, said it’s “possible” but “not likely” that his client will play for a team not based on the West Coast next year.
I don’t mind Ausmus, really. I think you could do better pretty easily than a guy who will be 41 next year and has been an awful hitter his entire life, but he’s not really going to make or break anyone’s season. Still, when you’re pinching pennies the way the Dodgers are, I do have to question the value of giving $1m or more to a backup catcher who will produce less than a minor leaguer could for the minimum.
Why do the Dodgers love Jamey Carroll so much? We’ve been hearing his name floated in Dodger rumors since back in 2008, when the idea of a trade for C.C. Sabathia, Casey Blake, and Carroll came up. Well, it’s happening again…
There’s no shortage of interest in Jamey Carroll this year. Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports that the Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, A’s, Rangers, Pirates, Reds and Indians all have interest in the 35-year-old utility man. We know the Marlins are interested, too.
Carroll hit .276/.355/.340 with the Indians last year, spending most of his time at second and third, and playing some outfield as well. UZR/150 suggests Carroll has been an above-average defender at second base over the course of the last five years.
Look at the other teams involved, though. All have their second base positions totally settled, meaning they’d want Carroll to do what he’s supposed to be doing – being a nice utility glove who can get on base. With the Dodgers, he’s likely the new starting 2B, which is scary indeed.