1/8/2014 6:05 P.M. ET
Kemp among injured Dodgers on the mend
By Austin Laymance / Special to MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers continue to receive favorable medical reports on outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and starting pitcher Josh Beckett. General manager Ned Colletti said on Wednesday he expects each player to be ready for Spring Training.
Kemp, who is starting to hit after undergoing offseason surgery on his left ankle and left shoulder, has been out of a walking boot for at least three weeks, Colletti said. The Dodgers won't rush Kemp back to action before he's ready, though.
"We're going to take it as deliberately as possible and as cautious as possible," Colletti said. "We expect him to be playing by the time we're in the midst of Spring Training, and he should have a chance to play a lot."
Colletti said both Ethier and Ramirez have not had any setbacks this winter. Ethier was limited in the postseason by a microfracture in his lower left leg, but the outfielder has resumed running. Ramirez battled through a fractured rib during the National League Championship Series.
Beckett is expected to be ready for Spring Training after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery last July. Fellow pitchers Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert are both recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Colletti said he expects them to be ready as early as June.
LA discussing Kershaw, Hanley deals; Tanaka on radar
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he continues to have discussions with representatives for Clayton Kershaw and Hanley Ramirez regarding contract extensions, while also checking in on coveted Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
Kershaw is eligible for salary arbitration for the final time. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner reportedly balked at a $300 million lifetime contract that had strings attached, but Colletti said he has no indication that Kershaw doesn't want to remain with the Dodgers.
"We've had conversations for a while, and we'll see where they lead," Colletti said on Wednesday. "It's our desire to sign him here for a very long time."
Ramirez is under contract through 2014. Colletti said he's talked in general terms with Ramirez's agent, Adam Katz.
As for Tanaka, Colletti said he's had a couple of conversations with the pitcher's agent, Casey Close. Major League clubs have until Jan. 24 to sign Tanaka.
"They're in a feeling-out process," Colletti said. "They're trying to learn a lot about different cities, different markets, different teams, how teams are constructed, how teams are going forward. It's a big decision for the player, too. So we've had those types of conversations, and we'll continue and see how it goes."
The Dodgers are also in the market for an infielder. Colletti said he's looking for someone who can play second base and "give us versatility and a little more presence, somebody that can contribute sometimes on an everyday basis and sometimes off the bench."
Puig's offseason a tale of two extremes
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has had an eventful offseason, and general manager Ned Colletti has seen both the good and the bad.
One afternoon in November, Colletti looked out of his office window at Dodger Stadium to see Puig throwing batting practice to 50 Little Leaguers. Then a little over a month later, Colletti got notice that Puig had been arrested in Florida on a charge of reckless driving.
"It's a very interesting dynamic," Colletti said on Wednesday. "I see a lot of different sides of it. I don't condone what he's done. I don't know if it's ironic, but it's interesting to me that since the offseason began he spent a lot of time in L.A. and he really spent a lot of time with kids, playing baseball with kids. So he's setting this great example and doing stuff that I haven't really seen many big league players ever do.
"I can't remember the last time I looked out my window and saw 50 Little Leaguers out there and a player as the ringleader of the group. At the same time, there are boundaries that you've got to stay in. It's part of growing up and being responsible. That's a key thing for us, and a key thing for him."
Puig, 23, was also arrested in April in Tennessee and charged with reckless driving and speeding. Those charges were dropped in November.
Austin Laymance is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.