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Montas Trade Adds To Dodgers’ Depth

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Francellis Montas (Photo by Bill Mitchell). Frankie Montas (Photo by Bill Mitchell).[/caption] LOS ANGELES—Righthander Frankie Montas was playing dominoes with his father back in December when he got some unexpected news—he had been traded by the White Sox to the Dodgers. "Rick (Hahn, White Sox general manager) called me to let me know I was traded. I was just, ‘Okay,’” Montas said, laughing. "I mean, when you’re not expecting to be traded it felt kind of like—I don’t know how to explain that feeling. The boss here (Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman) called me and everybody was giving me the welcome so that just felt great.”
The dominoes have been falling in the Dodgers’ rotation ever since Zack Greinke left via free agency. The signings of Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir rebuilt the rotation at the major league level. Montas’ arrival set up the potential for an ultra-talented Triple-A rotation featuring fellow top prospects Julio Urias and Jose De Leon as well as rising talent Jharel Cotton and Ross Stripling, re-establishing his credentials after returning last season from Tommy John surgery. That will be delayed now. Montas, 22, underwent rib resection surgery on Feb. 12. The first rib on his right side was removed in order to treat a stress reaction. Rehab from the surgery is expected to last from two to four months, possibly putting Montas on the sidelines until June. Friedman had acknowledged that the Dodgers’ glut of young starting prospects could spill over into the bullpen at the major league level at some point this season. Montas, in particular, could be ready for a relief role at the majors in much shorter order than as a starter. Montas, originally signed by the Red Sox in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, said he would do whatever the Dodgers ask of him. But he admitted, "I love being a starter”—so much so that he would be willing to postpone his big league arrival if it meant he could make it there as a starter. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL • The Dodgers signed former big league infielder Brandon Hicks to a minor league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training. Hicks, 30, has a .153 average in parts of four seasons with the Giants, Braves and A’s. • The Dodgers re-signed righthander Chin-Hui Tsao

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to a minor league contract. Tsao, 34, made a comeback last year, pitching in the big leagues eight years after his last MLB appearance. During that time away, Tsao was involved in a game-fixing scandal in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

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