Andre Ethier (left ankle) is still a few days away from returning to the lineup, according to Don Mattingly, who says he has every reason to believe Ethier WILL return before the start of the regular season. Carl Crawford (back) is still day-to-day.
One of you asked earlier in a comment why Nick Buss is starting instead of Scott Van Slyke. Well, the injuries just keep piling up. Turns out SVS is battling some kind of cramping in his side, but it doesn’t sound like anything serious. He is available off the bench. And, as Donnie said, Buss has been impressive since his callup, which only happened as an emergency measure after all the other injuries.
Finally, you probably read somewhere today that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero, who had been widely reported to be closing in on a $32 million contract with the Dodgers, had signed on with the Scott Boras Corporation and was now open to fielding offers from all 30 clubs. The story was first reported here by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the same reporter who also first reported that an agreement with the Dodgers was close to being completed. That deal apparently was never finalized. Can the Dodgers still sign Guerrero? Sure, if they’re willing to pony up what it takes. But Boras’ involvement almost certainly means the price will increase, and the Dodgers haven’t always gotten the best results in recent years when dealing with high-profile Boras clients.
There was pitcher Luke Hochevar, the Dodgers’ 2005 first-round draft pick out of the University of Tennessee, who initially was being advised by Boras, dumped Boras for another agent and promptly agreed to terms on a $2.98 million signing bonus, then before signing the deal abruptly went back to Boras and never came close to signing with the Dodgers again before re-entering the draft the following summer. There was outfielder J.D. Drew, who told the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett near the end of the 2006 season that he had absolutely no intention of exercising the two-year escape clause that winter on his five-year, $55 million contract, only to do an about-face, exercise the escape clause and bolt for Boston. There was outfielder Andruw Jones, and do we even need to revisit that calamity?
Anyway, you get the picture. You can bet this is going to be a hardcore negotiation from here on out. The Dodgers have a lot of throwaway money now, something they didn’t have back when the Hochevar, Drew and Jones episodes were going on. So we’ll just have to wait and see how this ends up.