Dodgers are the belles of the ball

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
6:00
PM PT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Baseball's winter meetings this year are taking place at the largest non-casino resort in the United States.

It's called the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, and it's filled with kitschy features like fake ponds and waterfalls; plastic jungle plants; and a massive Christmas tree display on the front lawn with enough lights to illuminate a pro football stadium.

And there's one other prop here for the next few days: the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office.

While the Dodgers do have legitimate business to conduct here -- including signing a front-line starting pitcher, they hope -- rumors of their involvement for some players have been greatly exaggerated. Since everyone in baseball knows the Dodgers' owners are flush and about to get flusher, agents have helped fan the perception that the Dodgers are among the teams pursuing their players.

"We're in on so many players, we may need two or three teams," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti joked with reporters. "We've gone from convincing players to come here to being the ones everyone is trying to convince."

Colletti confirmed to reporters that the Dodgers have yet to make any offers on starting pitchers, which ESPNLosAngeles.com first reported last week. That could change in the next few days, of course, and probably will.

One of the reasons the Dodgers made the costliest trade in baseball history last August, acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto and virtually all of their salaries, was because they viewed this class of free agents as relatively weak. So, they probably will make noise this week, but some of the things you hear will be agents banging pots and pans together.

Other notes

Colletti said the pace of negotiations to sign Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin has not been conducive to getting a deal done by Sunday's deadline (after which Ryu would return to pitch in Korea). But don't read too much into that. It's common for agent Scott Boras to take negotiations into the final hours. When Jered Weaver came out of Long Beach State, he held out an entire year, on Boras' advice, before signing a couple of hours before the deadline.

If the Dodgers do not sign Ryu, it could affect the rest of their offseason plans, forcing them to look at acquiring two healthy starting pitchers. Ted Lilly (shoulder) and Chad Billingsley (elbow) are questionable for next season.

Day 1 progress: Little, apparently

Wish list: Starting pitcher, left-handed reliever, reserve outfielder

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Zack Greinke
WINS ERA SO IP
11 2.90 130 124
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .308
HRA. Gonzalez 15
RBIA. Gonzalez 65
RD. Gordon 54
OPSY. Puig .916
ERAC. Kershaw 1.92
SOC. Kershaw 134