Colletti leaving GM Meetings with much to consider
Dodgers GM to convene entire baseball operations staff to discuss potential moves
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- General manager Ned Colletti left one meeting Friday and headed for another, as the General Managers Meetings ended in the desert and the Dodgers' organizational meetings start next week in Los Angeles.
For Colletti, it will be the first time in four years that the Dodgers bring together their entire baseball operations staff, a turnout he estimates at 135-150 that will include new aides Bob Engel and Pat Corrales.
"We're bringing everybody in," he said. "We're going to mix disciplines, have one group like scouts meeting with another group, maybe the Minor League staff. It should allow for an exchange of thoughts and bringing the organization closer."
Colletti will be armed with an understanding of what trades are available after meeting with his GM colleagues in the desert. He's been pursuing a frontline starting pitcher, a fourth outfielder with center-field skills, a left-handed reliever and right-handed hitter to back up at first base.
"We've got some things to think about," he said.
Among the rumors flying around are: 1) Colletti is willing to trade outfielder Andre Ethier, who signed a five-year, $85 million extension in June, and 2) Colletti is pursuing free agent outfielder Torii Hunter. Colletti said this week he hasn't discussed dealing Ethier, and he hasn't specifically addressed a Hunter pursuit.
This winter, Colletti has seemingly unlimited financial resources thanks to the new ownership, as well as a roster that's already loaded with stars.
"We're in a better spot than a year ago, by far," he said. "We did a lot of our winter work in July and August, essentially. We're not looking for a first baseman, not looking for an outfielder, not looking for a third baseman/shortstop."
Those spots are now filled by All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez. Colletti also added starting pitcher Josh Beckett, but he wouldn't mind landing a James Shields-caliber arm to slot in behind Clayton Kershaw, even if it takes a third club to pull it off.
Otherwise, Colletti could make a run at Zack Greinke, but the Dodgers don't seem convinced that's the best route. That's why the names of Ryan Dempster and Hiroki Kuroda keep coming up. Medical reports on Chad Billingsley (elbow ligament) and Ted Lilly (shoulder surgery) have been positive, but Colletti said their uncertain future is a factor in his search for another starter.
He's more comfortable with the soundness of Kershaw, who missed a September start with a hip impingement but finished up healthy and throwing well. Colletti said "we'll probably sit and talk" about a Kershaw contract extension in Spring Training. Kershaw is signed for 2013, is eligible for arbitration in '14 and free agency in '15.
After quickly re-signing closer Brandon League, Colletti said he's had "some conversations" with Randy Choate to return, but a re-signing doesn't sound imminent. There are similar left-handed relievers on the free-agent market, like Jeremy Affeldt.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.