Mailbag: Compensation for Drew?

Mailbag: Will there be compensation for Drew?

Do the Dodgers get draft-choice compensation for J.D. Drew if he signs with another team?
-- Bruce, L., Vancouver, Wash.

That depends on several factors. If he signs with another club by Dec. 1, the Dodgers would receive that club's first-round pick and a sandwich pick. If he is still unsigned by Dec. 1, the Dodgers must offer him salary arbitration to be eligible to receive compensation. But if they offer arbitration, Drew could accept it by Dec. 7 and revert back to the Dodgers at a salary to be determined by arbitrators. If the Dodgers have already replaced him in the lineup and on the payroll, they probably would not take the chance of offering him arbitration and would not be eligible to receive compensation. If arbitration is offered and Drew rejects it, the Dodgers would receive compensation from the club that signs him.

What is the prognosis for Jayson Werth's recovery and availability to play the outfield for the Dodgers in '07?
-- Donald G., Temple City, Calif.

We'll let an e-mail from Werth answer that: "I'm doing awesome. I'm pain-free and training hard. I'm ready to resume my career. I have started swinging on the beginning level, but so far my recovery is doing great and I'm excited about being a Dodger."

Werth is recovering from his second wrist operation and, although the Dodgers are not counting on his return, the departure of J.D. Drew could provide an opening if Werth can regain his 2004 form.

How does Takashi Saito not have negotiating leverage for 2007, considering the way he pitched in 2006?
-- Brad W., Oswego, N.Y.

He has the ultimate leverage. He can go home to Japan and not pitch for anybody and leave the Dodgers without a proven healthy closer. As for contractual leverage, however, he has none. He has one year of Major League service, when he earned $500,000. According to the collective bargaining agreement, the club can unilaterally renew his contract at any amount above $400,000. He cannot be a free agent and is not eligible for salary arbitration. That said, negotiations are ongoing.

Is it a smart move for the Dodgers' Spring Training to be in Arizona?
-- Andrew M., Moreno Valley, Calif.

Have a question about the Dodgers?
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Is it smart for the Dodgers to have their Spring Training on the other side of the country, as they have since they moved from Brooklyn? The current owners apparently believe the current setup is logistically illogical for the ballclub, as well as the majority of its fans. And if the city of Glendale is building the complex with no cost to the Dodgers, it's hard to argue with the wisdom of those economics.

Will the Dodgers have their names on the back of their jerseys for the 2007 season?
-- Mal M., Denver, Col.

This is one of the most frequently asked questions of the mailbag, even though management very publicly announced last Spring Training that, YES, they will. Please e-mail this answer to your friends.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.