Rumor Mill: Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Lucas Tirado


With the emergence of Yasiel Puig — and, to a far less extent, Scott Van Slyke — the rumors surrounding Andre Ethier being dealt have understandably cropped up once again.

A couple of teams have called the Dodgers, and apparently he is available, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.

Teams are internally starting to discuss Ethier’s availability, while a couple have already called the Dodgers. The answer would appear to be yes, he is available. There’s no doubt the Red Sox have mulled it, but with Daniel Nava hitting well, Shane Victorino about to return, and Jonny Gomes starting to heat up, there doesn’t appear to be a need. Ethier is a good friend of Dustin Pedroia, and there’s a good chance Pedroia could motivate him and get him out of his malaise. But it’s not a chance the Red Sox want to take at this juncture.

The fact that he’s available shouldn’t be shocking, as they tried to deal him in the off-season.

Specifically, though, who wants him? Cafardo talked the Red Sox out of it, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports talks the Mets into it.

The Mets would make sense as a destination for Andre Ethier of the Dodgers, Rosenthal says. With Johan Santana, Jason Bay and Frank Francisco coming off the books, the Mets could have the financial flexibility to deal for Ethier and a chunk of the four years and $71.5MM that will be left on his contract by the time this offseason rolls around.

The Mets seem to be at the forefront of the speculation, but there doesn’t actually seem to be an effort from the Mets brass themselves.

In order to trade Ethier, the Dodgers would likely have to eat a ton of money, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Is the contract even movable?

“Significant dollars would have to come back,” one rival general manager said.

“It would have to be a bad contract for a bad contract,” another GM said.

Just how much? And how bad?

“No one’s untradeable if the team eats enough of the money,” a third rival GM said. “I bet they’d have to eat half.”

Considering they were willing to eat significant dollars to trade him in the off-season, I can’t see why that wouldn’t be the case now.

Ethier has been a great player for the Dodgers since he was acquired, but he’s on the wrong side of 30, and with everybody healthy, the Dodgers have Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Puig, and Ethier who need full-time status. Then there’s Scott Van Slyke and Alex Castellanos, who are worthy of a platoon shot, so the urgency to deal him is understandable.

That said, I do think people are getting ahead of themselves, particularly because four out of those six outfielders mentioned have been on the DL this year, and all six have missed games with injuries.


The Dodgers do not want to lose Clayton Kershaw (no kidding?), and they will not let it happen, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

“I don’t think they can lose this guy,” said one AL executive, speaking for, well, the rest of the human race.

The scuttlebutt out there is that Kershaw is looking for the first 10-year contract landed by any pitcher since the legendary Wayne Garland got 10 years, $2.3 million (total) from the Indians, back in 1977. Just at, um, slightly higher rates.

“He’s not leaving L.A.,” said one exec. “That’s not going to happen. There’s literally a one-half of one-percent chance he walks away. I could see him getting seven years, $200-210 million, something like that. And the only reason I could ever see him taking less is, he’s a pitcher. I’m sure he’s already got $200 million on the table. I don’t know how he can go out to the mound and throw a ball with $200 million on the table. If I were his agent, I’d say, ‘Let’s wrap this up in the next two weeks,’ just because anytime a pitcher throws a pitch, you never know what might happen.”

I think fans would just rather have this done sooner than later.


The Dodgers are showing interest in right-handed pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, according to Dylan Hernandez.

The Dodgers are among the clubs interested in 26-year-old right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, according to people familiar with the situation who spoke under the condition of anonymity.

At least one major league scout believes Gonzalez can pitch in the major leagues this year. He is said to be 6-foot-3 with a fastball in the 90s, a changeup, forkball and curveball.

Whereas Puig rarely played outside of Cuba before signing with the Dodgers, Gonzalez has pitched in several high-profile international tournaments, meaning teams have fairly detailed scouting reports on him. Gonzalez pitched in the World Cup of Baseball in 2009 and 2011.

Because Gonzalez is 23 years or older and played in Cuba’s top league for three or more seasons, whatever a team spends to sign him won’t count against its limit for international signings.

Of course, the Dodgers aren’t the only team interested, as there will be six other competitors.

Seven teams — including the Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers and Red Sox — have expressed serious interest in Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and have been watching him throw bullpen sessions in Mexico since April, according to an industry source.

Gonzalez, 26, fled Cuba earlier this year, landed in El Salvador and worked out for a month in Mexico City before making his way to Tijuana, where he currently resides. He has been throwing full bullpen sessions in front of scouts twice each week for the past two months and expects to face hitters this week.

Representatives for the 6-foot-3 Gonzalez submitted paperwork to the United States Department of Treasury for the purposes of unblocking the player in February and began petitioning MLB for free agency a month later. Gonzalez filed a copy of his residency card from Mexico — the final step to becoming a free agent — to the Commissioner’s Office last week, but does not expect to hear back until after the conclusion of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Gonzalez still has to be cleared by the U.S. government before he can enter into an agreement with a Major League club. The unblocking process could be resolved immediately, or last several months.

A full-fledged showcase is expected once he becomes eligible to sign with a Major League club.

A pitcher with the ability to join the starting rotation in 2013 that doesn’t count against the international bonus cap or cost a draft pick? If the Dodgers like him, it’s hard to imagine that they don’t come out on top.


In news related to prospects who are beholden to the international signing cap, the Dodgers are interested in Lucas Tirado, a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic.

The 16-year-old, who trains with Jaime Ramos, is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and has a simple lefty swing, although the rest of his tool set is modest. Some scouts who liked his swing also had concerns about his bat speed, while his below-average foot speed will likely lead him to another position.

About Chad Moriyama