Ending speculation that today might be his last day in a Los Angeles uniform, the Dodgers have signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year contract rather than non-tender him.
The 29-year-old Gwynn will earn a modest $850,000 in 2012 and $1.15 million in 2013. Gwynn will be a late-inning defensive replacement, spot-start and back up center field in case of a Matt Kemp calamity. You can look back on Gwynn’s 2011 season here.
Assuming James Loney isn’t cast off by tonight’s 9 p.m. deadline to offer arbitration-eligible players contracts, here’s how the Dodgers would presumably fill their 14 position-player spots on the roster if the season started today:
C – A.J. Ellis
1B – James Loney
2B – Mark Ellis
SS – Dee Gordon
3B – Juan Uribe
LF – Juan Rivera
CF – Matt Kemp
RF – Andre Ethier
Bench C – Matt Treanor (R)
Bench IF – Adam Kennedy (L)
Bench IF – Jerry Hairston, Jr. (R)
Bench OF – Tony Gwynn, Jr. (L)
Bench OF – Jerry Sands (R)
Bench – Trent Oeltjen (L) or Justin Sellers (R)
I’m still in doubt about Sands starting the season in the majors, because you’d like him to play every day, but Ned Colletti has definitely made some noise this offseason that he’s not satisfied with how Ethier and Loney hit against lefties.
Elsewhere, Takashi Saito is headed to Arizona. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweeted that the Dodgers had been considering bringing the beloved Saito back to Los Angeles as an alternative to Mike MacDougal, a move I would have enjoyed for the right price.