The Dodgers made a multi-year offer to Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, but it was rejected. If Ryu doesn’t reach a contract agreement with the Dodgers by Sunday, he would revert back to his club in Korea and the Dodgers would be refunded a $25.7 million posting fee. The Dodgers are still hoping to add Ryu and top free-agent Zack Greinke to their starting rotation, but also are talking to the Mets about an R.A. Dickey trade. — Ken Gurnick
After selecting two infielders on Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers used the 82nd pick of the 2012 draft to select Steven Rodriguez, a left-handed reliever from the University of Florida.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Miami native projects at the very least as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. After Toronto first round pick Marcus Stroman, MLB.com draft expert Jonathan Mayo views Rodriguez as the next most likely candidate from this year’s draft class to first appear in the big leagues.
He went as far as saying Rodriguez could be seen as early as September when rosters are expanded, calling the young pitcher deceptive with good stuff.
In 32 appearances with the Gators this season, Rodriguez went 3-2 with a 2.08 ERA. He struck out 79 in 60 2/3 innings pitched and picked up four saves.
Rodriguez doesn’t project as a closer, but as a setup man who could come in to get the Dodgers out of a jam and stay in the game.
The Dodgers took another left-handed pitcher in the third round, selecting Cuban defector Onelki Garcia, who has been working out locally in Los Angeles.
Garcia was declared eligible for the 2011 Draft after leaving Cuba in January 2011, but he was removed right before. He was made eligible for this year’s draft, but there are concerns about his signability and a potentially large price tag.
The 6-foor-2 lefty has a low 90s fastball and a hard curve, and he was considered a possible first round draft pick in 2011 before his eligibility was reversed.
Following a pair of lefty pitchers, the Dodgers went with first baseman Justin Chigbogu, a strong left-handed hitter from Raytown South High School in Missouri, in the fourth round. Chigbogu, who played defensive end on the football team, is described as very raw and a high risk, high reward sort of prospect with big time power.
With the 176th pick in the draft, the Dodgers took righty Ross Stripling, a senior starter from Texas A&M. Stripling was tops in college baseball with 14 wins in 2011 and he finished with 10 victories in 2012.
The righty, who was a three-sport athlete in high school before breaking his leg, threw a no-hitter this past May.
Mayo said he shouldn’t be a tough sign for the Dodgers.
Incoming and outgoing owners Magic Johnson and Frank McCourt were part of a sold-out Opening Day crowd at PETCO Park. Johnson, the face of a group buying the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium for $2.15 billion, made a quick pre-game pass through the clubhouse and said hello to manager Don Mattingly. Johnson also leaned into the dugout from his box seats to congratulate Matt Kemp after his eighth-inning home run. – Ken Gurnick
General manager Ned Colletti told pitcher Hiroki Kuroda he would inform him if trade talks for the right-hander took place, according to the Los Angeles Times. Kuroda has not decided if he will waive his no-trade clause.
Kim Ng, Dodgers vice president and assistant general manager, is leaving the franchise to become senior vice president of baseball operations with MLB, according to a baseball source. The Dodgers could not confirm the report. Before joining the Dodgers 10 years ago, Ng was vice president and assistant general manager of the Yankees, where she worked with former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who recently was hired by MLB as executive vice president of baseball operations. – Ken Gurnick
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is having an MRI on his left knee after experiencing stiffness following Friday night’s game, manager Don Mattingly said Saturday. Loney first felt discomfort Thursday while stretching, Mattingly said, but added that the injury is believed “minor because he “has no pain.” “It seems minor, he played last night and had no pain,” Mattingly said. “He knows his body. It’s precautionary, so he knows how to deal with it. Once you know what it is, you can strengthen other areas.” Loney had knee issues in high school, but nothing to impact playing time since the Dodgers drafted him in the first round of 2002. – Ken Gurnick
Opening Day starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract for 2011. Kershaw earned $440,000 last year and will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after this season, when his salary figures to multiply. However, with his current service time of two years and 105 days, he had no leverage in negotiations. He received $404,000 in 2009. The Dodgers payroll this year will be approximately $115 million, up from $95 million last year. – Ken Gurnick
Vicente Padilla, who underwent surgery Thursday on his throwing arm, returned to Camelback Ranch-Glendale Saturday to begin his rehab and said he hopes to be pitching for the Dodgers by May 1. Padilla had surgery to release a radial nerve entrapped in a muscle in his forearm, a very rare injury for a pitcher. He had a bandage covering a three-inch scar from the bottom of his elbow down and across his forearm, covered in a gauze sleeve, with a removable sling.
“I’m relieved, because I’m sure I can come back 100 percent,” said Padilla, who added that he’s had discomfort for three years. “It feels better.” – Ken Gurnick
Non-roster pitcher Tim Redding, sick on Friday, is still expected to make the start Saturday against the Giants in Scottsdale. – Ken Gurnick