Around The Web: League Contract Reaction, Engle/Guerrero On Staff, Injury/Transaction Updates

Baseball America: Dodgers have hired Patrick Guerrero as their Latin American Coordinator.

Guerrero, who lives in the Dominican Republic, will run the organization’s scouting throughout Latin America. The Mariners had fired Guerrero as their Latin American coordinator earlier this month at the same time they announced that Bob Engle, their vice president of international scouting, had decided to leave the organization. Seattle’s decision to fire Guerrero, according to Baseball America’s sources, was made above Engle, an unusual move for a Latin American scout. Both Guerrero and Engle had been with the Mariners since 2000.

Baseball America: Bob Engle has been added to the Dodgers staff as the Vice President Of International Scouting.

The Dodgers have made more changes to their international scouting department, most notably with today’s hiring of Bob Engle as their vice president of international scouting.

Bob Elliot reported last night on Twitter that the Dodgers were going to hire Engle, whose contract with the Mariners as their vice president of international scouting ended yesterday.

Word in the industry is that there could be more major changes coming to the team’s front office, but the team has already confirmed that Engle will bring aboard several of his former lieutenants with the Mariners to work for the Dodgers.

He’ll bring on scouts that have worked with him with the Mariners.

Three other scouts who had worked for Engle in Seattle will join his staff with the Dodgers. Pat Kelly is coming in as the team’s Pacific Rim coordinator after holding the same title in Seattle. Jamie Storvick, who resides in Taiwan, will also be heavily involved in the team’s Pacific Rim work. Gene Grimaldi will help lead the team’s efforts in Europe. The Dodgers are also bringing in Mike Tosar, who had been out of baseball but also previously worked with Engle in Seattle, as a special assignment scout.

Dodgers continue to add quality staff, which can only be seen as a positive.

—– Todd Coffey, Juan Rivera, and Matt Treanor had their options declined by the team.

The Dodgers declined the 2013 contract options for pitcher Todd Coffey, outfielder Juan Rivera and catcher Matt Treanor on Monday.

Coffey, who missed the second half of the season after undergoing his second Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, was bought out of a $2.5 million salary for $300,000.

Rivera, who shuttled between left field and first base until the trades for Shane Victorino and Adrian Gonzalez, was bought out of a $4 million salary for $500,000.

Treanor, who saw only sporadic action backing up A.J. Ellis, was bought out of a $950,000 salary for $150,000.

No shockers here. We’re all just glad they’re gone, I figure.

Los Angeles Times: Chad Billingsley seems to be on track to pitch in 2013.

“It looks like he’s going to be ready for the 2013 season,” said Dave Stewart, Billingsley’s agent.

Billingsley touched 94 mph with his fastball and threw an assortment of pitches, including his four-seamer, two-seamer, curveball and changeup. Billingsley threw 35 to 40 pitches.

One still has to wonder how long this will last though. I haven’t heard of too many success stories in regards to rehabbing torn elbow ligaments. Kenley Jansen is on the road to recovery after heart surgery.

“I feel so much better now than I did at the end of the season,” said Jansen, who has recovered enough from last week’s heart surgery to take part in a Halloween candy giveaway on Monday at the Home Depot Center soccer stadium.

“I was dragging all day long at the end,” he said. “I can tell I’ve got so much more energy. Now I look at this soccer field and just want to get out there and start playing. I’m feeling so good.”

Jansen underwent a successful three-hour ablation surgery performed by Dr. Koonwalee Nademanee at White Memorial Hospital on Oct. 23. During the procedure, the abnormal tissue in his heart was identified and then cauterized to stop the erratic electrical signals sent from the area.

Jansen said his heart went into an irregular beat when the surgery started, helping doctors quickly pinpoint the areas needing attention. He said he still has some stiffness in his groin area, where two small incisions were made, but otherwise feels better than he had.

“It wasn’t scary at all,” said the 25-year-old. “I just wanted to get it over with. I feel it’s a relief and it will be good for me for the rest of my life. I just wanted to get it done, and I know this doctor is one of the great experts and I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Baseball aside, I just hope this ends his heart issues once and for all.


FanGraphs: Jeff Sullivan thinks that Brandon League‘s contract is an example of inefficiency by the team.

Yet I might just be skipping around the major point. Brandon League has closer-type stuff, and the Dodgers want League to close, but the Dodgers already had an effective closer in Kenley Jansen. Granted, Jansen just underwent heart surgery, but his outlook is very good and he intends to be at full strength come spring training. Last year Jansen had 99 strikeouts in 65 appearances. He’s dominant when he’s pitching, and on top of that, he’s cheap. So the Dodgers aren’t paying League to fill a gaping void. That makes this move seem more unnecessary.

And League has supposedly figured it out before, only to lose it again within weeks or months. The fact that he had to re-discover the feel for his splitter says that, previously, he has lost the feel for his splitter after having had it. League, at his absolute best, is a very good reliever worth millions of dollars, but he’s seldom at his absolute best and he’s hardly been the model of consistency. The Dodgers didn’t just make a godawful move. They made a move that’s easier to criticize than defend. Individual inefficiencies aren’t a big deal, but individual inefficiencies do add up, and the Dodgers seem to be adding them up.

Baseball Prospectus: R.J. Anderson doesn’t think history will view the deal favorably.

Handing out a three-year deal to any non-elite reliever is asking for a lousy return on investment—ditto the $7.5 million average annual value. Why then are the Dodgers marching into the land of poor ROI? It might be that Colletti suspects the rest of the league, flush with cash, will hit the market with similar ferocity; causing an apparent overpay to blend in with the norm in the coming weeks. The chicken-or-the-egg scenario here is whether Colletti’s attempt to beat the market inadvertently set the market, but that’s a topic for another day. In a market with so many right-handed relief options available, it seems fair to ask if the endowment effect fooled the Dodgers into liking League more than they should.

In all likelihood, no one, save League and his agency, will stamp this move with a gold star in three years. You can make sense of it from the Dodgers’ point of view if you want to, however.

Sounds familiar, so I guess I’m not the only one thinking along those lines.


FanGraphs: Does throwing a lot of strikes indicate a pitcher who is at less risk for injury? A case study by Jeff Zimmerman seems to suggest that.

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