Gammons Notes: Dodgers’ offseason, the ongoing Castro-Mets saga and Rusney Castillo

matt kemp hanley ramirez dodgers


As the Dodgers wait to see how Zack Greinke’s elbow feels after Saturday’s start and how Hyun-jin Ryu’s glute progresses as he shoots to return next weekend, they realize that once the season ends they have some major decisions. They will carefully watch shortstops Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena; it now seems highly unlikely that they will re-sign Hanley Ramirez, either to play shortstop or third base, so they then have to look for another third baseman.

Then there is the Matt Kemp issue. People close to him say he still wants to be traded, which will be pushed again after the post-season. A couple of the American League teams who have been following him closely feel strongly that he is close to regaining his swing after serious shoulder and ankle injuries, and that while he may not be able to play center field, he is a huge righthanded power bat that is a lineup-changer.

Cubs, Mets

The ongoing Castro-Mets saga seems an unending melody, which is almost certainly going to drift off across Lake Michigan. Officials from both teams agree that they do not match up. The Mets most value on-base percentage, the Cubs have reservations about dealing top young middle infielders for pitchers who haven’t approached 200 innings. The Mets don’t particularly like Starlin Castro, and prefer Addison Russell, which isn’t going to happen.

They are convinced that Kyle Hendricks’ pitchability will play in the middle of the rotation behind Jake Arrieta because of his tireless preparation, C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson are coming fast in double-A. And because this may be the final year their draft pick is unprotected, they could make a run at James Shields or Jon Lester, who carry no compensation, this winter, but are more likely to wait to hit the pitching free market next year, when David Price and Jeff Samardzija are available.

Rusney Castillo 

There were a few skeptics about Rusney Castillo, his performance in Cuba, his workouts with a couple of teams. But his workout with the Red Sox and seven months of work following him convinced them to give the 27-year-old a seven year, $72.5M deal that begins this season.

The 5-foot-8 Castillo is likened to “a Ron Gant who can play center and can fly.”

Teams are already preparing for the next Cuban slugging phenom, 23-year-old Yasmani Tomas. He’s 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and described as being close to Jose Abreu in terms of power. As one general manager said Thursday, power is so rare that Tomas could be one of the big stories of the off-season. He’s currently in The Dominican, but not working out for teams, and since it took Castillo seven months to get cleared and signed, it could be close to spring training by the time Tomas can get signed.


  1. this is likely the last draft (June 2015) the Cubs pick will be PROTECTED. Shields could still be made a qualifying offer..Lester cannot. Lester makes far more sense to add this off-season because of his age, his numbers are trending up and his relationship with the Cubs front office. Adding Lester now with Arrietta, Hendricks and Wood will give the Cubs a season to see what the rotation really needs for 16 with an eye at contention based on how Wood performs after a solid 13 and a shaky 14, how Hendricks does after his first full season and if Arrietta is for real.

    It will also allow Edwards and Johnson another full development season in the minors so they can assess their progress and whether or not they have two rotation ready pieces headed into ’16