MLB notes: Baseball in Australia a croc?

A general view of batting practice before the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los...

A general view of batting practice before the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. These two clubs could be facing off in Australia to open the 2014 season. (AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:37 PM ET

Just call 'em the Down Under Dodgers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are investigating the possibility of opening the 2014 season in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday.

The project has been in the works for "several years, but the identity of teams has been a heavily guarded secret," the paper said.

If the plans work out, the teams would play a three-game series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

MLB previously has played regular-season games in Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico, but suggested Wednesday that talks with Australian officials were premature.

A-ROD WILL START: GIRARDI

Despite his struggles during the playoffs, Alex Rodriguez will be back at third base for the New York Yankees next season.

"I expect Alex to be our everyday third baseman," manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday at his end-of-the-year news conference.

"What is he going to have to show me? That he is healthy and ready to go. That's the bottom line -- that he has no concerns and we have no concerns about putting him out there every day."

Rodriguez was benched for three of nine playoff games and was 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers.

He hit .272 during the season with 18 homers and 57 RBI in 122 games.

The Yanks wouldn't have many takers should they want to trade the 37-year-old as he has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

MARLINS EYE JAYS' REDMOND

Mike Redmond, a manager in the Toronto Blue Jays chain, is a front-runner to replace the fired Ozzie Guillen with the Miami Marlins.

"I think it will be Redmond," a source told the Sun-Sentinel on Wednesday.

Redmond, a Marlins catcher from 1998 through 2004, has managed Dunedin in the Florida State League the past couple of seasons.

While the 41-year-old has limited experience, he is drawing raves for his approach.

"He is going to be really good," one major-league executive said. "He's a former catcher who was paying attention."

San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus also is a top candidate, the source said.

Guillen was fired Tuesday after one season with the Marlins.

SO LONG, LOHSE

Cardinals ace Kyle Lohse likely won't be back in St. Louis next season.

The 34-year-old right-hander said that while St. Louis "has been a great place for me," there are other places he would prefer to be, FoxSportsMidwest.com reported.

As a pending free agent, Lohse cannot accept any offers until after the World Series but he said he doesn't plan to sign quickly, anyway.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks are considered possible destinations. Lohse, who lives in Arizona during the off-season, had a 16-3 record in 2012 with a 2.86 earned-run average.

BRIEFLY

The Minnesota Twins have declined a $6-million option on reliever Matt Capps. The 29-year-old right-hander had 14 saves to go with a 1-4 record and a 3.68 ERA in 2012 but was on the disabled list twice with right shoulder inflammation ... The Seattle Mariners have declined catcher Miguel Olivo's $3-million option and released shortstop Munenori Kawasaki. Olivo, 34, hit .222 with 12 homers and 29 RBI in 87 games. Kawasaki, 31, hit .192 as a backup infielder.


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