Tag:Ned Colletti
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:01 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:23 am

Latest on Jurrjens and Prado, and other notes

DALLAS -- More baseball talk from the first full day at the winter meetings:

-- The Braves' duo of Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado continue to be as sought after as any players on the slow-developing trade market. Sources say that 8-10 teams have shown real interest in Jurrjens, while "half the teams in baseball" have talked to the Braves about Prado, most with the idea of playing him at second base. The Braves continue to say that they don't need to move either player, and will only do so if the return helps make them more competitive in 2012 (as opposed to dealing for long-term prospects). The Braves have assured teams that Jurrjens is fully healthy, and that his velocity returned to the mid 90s when he resumed throwing in instructional league.

-- Royals executive J.J. Picollo became the latest to interview with the Astros for their vacant general manager position. The Astros' interest in Picollo and in the Rockies' Bill Geivett would seem to indicate that they want to hire someone with a strong background in scouting and player development. Picollo is Kansas City's assistant GM for scouting and player development, and he previously ran the Braves' minor-league system.

-- The Angels spent Monday night talking to Bob Garber, who represents free-agent pitcher C.J. Wilson. The Angels' interest in Wilson is serious, and has been since last month's general managers meetings in Milwaukee.

-- The Dodgers were considered to have a good day Monday, signing infielder Jerry Hairston and starter Aaron Harang to two-year deals. Rival executives suggest that Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti needs to do whatever he can to try to give his chance a team to play well early in 2012, in hopes of convincing whoever the new owner is that he should keep his job.

-- The A's continue to explore trading closer Andrew Bailey, and are expected to talk to the Red Sox on Tuesday. The Red Sox have not yet been aggressive in pursuit of Bailey.

-- The Tigers are not believed to have shown any significant interest in any of the big names on the free-agent market, and seem content to make smaller improvements to a team that won 95 games in 2011. If the Tigers make a big-money signing this winter, it seems a lot more likely to be Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes than Mark Buehrle, Aramis Ramirez, Coco Crisp or other big names that have been speculated about. It's still not clear how soon Cespedes will be declared a free agent, because of delays in paperwork needed to establish residency in the Dominican Republic. One possibility is that Cespedes could try to establish residency in Mexico, instead.

-- While the White Sox are open to listening to trade proposals for any of John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham, some club officials insist that they are not "rebuilding," even though general manager Ken Williams used that exact word last month. The Sox insist that they while they are trying to get younger, they would only trade their valuable chips if they get players who are ready to contribute at the big-league level immediately.

-- The Pirates continue to show no interest in trading center fielder Andrew McCutchen, even though early talks on a possible long-term contract showed that the two sides were "not even in the same ballpark," according to sources. McCutchen isn't eligible for free agency for another four years, so the Pirates aren't yet under time pressure to sign him or trade him.

-- The Giants have talked to the representatives for Tim Lincecum, but there doesn't appear to be much progress towards getting Lincecum signed to a long-term contract. Lincecum has two years to go before free agency.

-- A day after some Brewers people expressed a slight hint of optimism at their chances of retaining free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, others insisted the chances remain very bleak. The Brewers do have real interest in Aramis Ramirez, and have been in contact with every free-agent shortstop.

-- The Rays are open to trading Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis in their quest to improve their offense, but have told teams that they would only listen to overwhelming offers for James Shields. The Rays would also like to trade Reid Brignac, would still like to upgrade their catching, and are once again willing to talk about dealing B.J. Upton.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: August 19, 2011 1:37 pm

It's about winning it all, and Hendry didn't

We joke about the Cubs and the World Series.

Jim Hendry knew it was no joke. He knew that his job was to end the drought, just as it was Dusty Baker's job, and Lou Piniella's job, and Sammy Sosa's job.

At times, he'd even admit that if his Cubs didn't end the drought soon, ownership would have every right to find someone else to do it.

The drought continues, and now the Cubs will find someone else.

Friday's announcement that the Cubs have fired Hendry as general manager should come as no surprise, despite a few suggestions this summer that the Ricketts family liked Hendry. It shouldn't surprise us, and it can't surprise Hendry.

He had nine years to end a 103-year drought, and he couldn't do it.

In his first full season, the Cubs came within a game of getting to the World Series. In 2007, they won the National League Central. In 2008, they won 97 games and entered the playoffs as one of the World Series favorites.

They went through an ownership change that paralyzed the organization, but that's not enough of an excuse. He had plenty of money to spend, and in too many cases, he spent it poorly.

As he said Friday, "I got more than my fair chance."

It's time for someone else to try.

Who will that be?

The Cubs announced that Randy Bush, Hendry's assistant, will fill in as the interim GM. But theyre expected to hire someone else for the full-time job.

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said that he will begin the search immediately, and said he wants to find someone who is strong in player development, has an analytical background and comes from a winning culture.

There has been speculation in baseball that Pat Gillick could be headed to Chicago, but Gillick's friends say he wouldn't want to be a general manager again. Gillick apparently would be open to a job as club president, but Ricketts said Friday: "The new general manager will report directly to me."

Other names that are sure to come up are White Sox assistant Rick Hahn, who interviewed last year for the Mets job; Dodgers GM Ned Colletti, who grew up in the Chicago area and got his start in baseball many years ago with the Cubs; Yankees GM Brian Cashman, whose contract runs out at the end of the year (but is considered unlikely to leave); possibly Rays general manager Andrew Friedman, who has been more prominently mentioned in Houston; former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, working as an advisor with the Rays (and could also be a possibility in Houston); Rangers assistant Thad Levine; Blue Jays assistant Tony LaCava; and A's assistant David Forst.

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, a Chicago native, could well have been on the list, except that he just signed a four-year extension to remain in Detroit.

By this winter, there will likely be other GM openings, as well. Andy MacPhail is thought to be on his way out with the Orioles (either by his choice, ownership's or both), and it's expected that incoming Astros owner Jim Crane will replace Ed Wade. It's also possible that there could be a change in Seattle, where Jack Zduriencik's team is having another disappointing season.

Pirates GM Neal Huntington is also in the final year of his contract, and while he is expected to stay, the team's recent slump has caused some people to wonder what will happen.

Posted on: April 28, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2010 9:06 pm

The Dodger problems -- and a Kemp problem

NEW YORK -- The Dodgers have problems.

That's easy to see.

How much of their problem is a Matt Kemp problem? That's a lot harder to say.

The statistics say that the 25-year-old center fielder can't be held responsible for the Dodgers' less-than-impressive 8-13 start (including today's 7-3 loss to the Mets). As of this morning, he was tied for the National League lead with seven home runs, and also tied for the lead with 20 RBI.

And yet, as Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti rightly said today, "I know that I don't see the same player I saw at the end of last year."

In a radio interview Tuesday, and again in a session with reporters at Citi Field today, Colletti said similar things about the Dodgers' team as a whole. He said that he didn't mean to single out Kemp, and said he only talked about Kemp on Tuesday because he was asked directly about him.

But Colletti didn't mention any other players by name, either in the interview with the Dodgers' flagship station, KABC radio, or today. Also, in responding to a question about Kemp, Colletti himself raised the possibility that Kemp's lapses on the bases and in the field could be traced back to the two-year, $10.95 million contract Kemp signed over the winter.

Kemp, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time last winter, saw his salary rise from $467,000 last year to $4 million this season.

Colletti obviously did feel a need to mend fences with Kemp. He met with the outfielder in the Dodger clubhouse after today's game, and later told Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles that Kemp "has a chance to be the best Dodger in the history of the franchise. He has the ability to do that."

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times earlier today, Kemp said the contract was not an issue, and also referred to how early he gets to the ballpark and how much work he does.

That's fine, but a Dodger coach said Kemp does work hard -- at hitting. Left unsaid was that the Dodgers believe Kemp doesn't put enough effort into the other parts of his game.

And when manager Joe Torre was asked about Kemp today, he said, "He is here early. He gets a lot of work. That's the physical stuff. A big part of this game is mental."

Kemp was a Gold Glove outfielder in 2009, but one scout who watched him regularly said, "He won the Gold Glove because he hit .300."

His defense this year has been so bad that it has caught the attention of scouts who follow the Dodgers. His defense and baserunning lapses in the Dodgers' doubleheader loss to the Mets Tuesday were severe enough that Keith Hernandez took him to task on the Mets telecast.

In the radio interview, which aired before the doubleheader, Colletti said of Kemp, "The baserunning's below average. The defense is below average." He also said, "Some guys, I guess, think that they're better than they are. They think the opposition's just going to roll over and get beat by them."

So is the Dodgers' problem a Matt Kemp problem?

Not totally.

As Colletti pointed out today, the Dodgers were among the top three teams in the National League last year in runs, ERA and fielding percentage. Through 20 games this year, they were tied for second in runs scored, but 12th in ERA and dead-last in fielding percentage.

"And if they had a category for execution, we'd be at the bottom in that, too," Colletti said.

Another issue: In the first six games after putting Manny Ramirez on the disabled list, the Dodgers have scored just 13 runs (with Kemp going 5 for 26 (.192) with no RBI, and Andre Ethier going 4 for 20 (.200) with 1 RBI).

That continues a trend that has been evident ever since Ramirez joined the Dodgers. Over the last two years -- not even counting how good Ramirez was after the Dodgers acquired him in July 2008 -- the Dodgers are 64-46 with Ramirez in the lineup, averaging 5.3 runs a game. They're 39-34 in games he hasn't started, and they've averaged 4.2 runs a game.

As one scout said, "When Manny plays, it's a heck of a lineup."

The Dodgers had hoped that by playing the way they did when Ramirez was suspended for 50 games last year, their young players would realize they can do it without him. They hoped that all their young players would be maturing and improving, from Kemp and Ethier to catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Chad Billingsley.

It's not all Kemp.

"When you have the best statistics, you're going to get the most attention," Torre said. "Matty has been like a lot of young kids have been. They're still finding their way. I think he's still learning. I don't think this problem is terminal."

And yet, Matt Kemp is a problem -- just one of the Dodger problems.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 21, 2009 7:21 pm

Bruce, Ned and the Spectrum

PHILADELPHIA -- So far, it hasn't been a great trip to Philadelphia for the Dodgers.

But it sure was a great off-day for Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.

Colletti, Dodger manager Joe Torre and hitting coach Don Mattingly were at Bruce Springsteen's last-ever show at the Spectrum, an incredible show that featured Springsteen dancing on-stage with his mother during Dancing in the Dark , and his first live performance of The Price You Pay since 1981.

But this show meant even more to Colletti, who once worked at the Spectrum, covering the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers for the now-defunct Philadelphia Journal.

"The place smelled the same," Colletti said. "And I don't mean that in a bad way."

Torre and Springsteen are friendly, because Springsteen has performed at benefits for his Safe at Home Foundation. So the Dodger contingent went backstage to see Springsteen before the show.

"That brought back memories, because when we were waiting for him, we were in what used to be the coaches room," Colletti said. "And then when we went in to see him, I'm pretty sure he was in what was the old Flyers dressing room."

Seemingly half the crowd at the Spectrum showed up in Phillies gear, and when Torre, Mattingly and Colletti walked in, they were serenaded with "Beat L.A."

"They were yelling, 'Hey Joe, you suck -- can I get a picture with you?' " Colletti said.
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