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Monday, December 10, 2012
GMs already checking in on Dodgers pitching

By Mark Saxon

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was asked how he would handle this sudden glut in starting pitching, when he remarked, “We’ll have some juggling to do if we keep it where it’s at.”

But he may not have to keep all that many balls in the air much longer. Colletti acknowledged he has already had a couple of conversations with rival GMs about the possibility of dealing one or more of the eight veteran starting pitchers the Dodgers could take with them to spring training.

The team signed Korean left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu to a six-year, $36 million contract Sunday and is expected to finalize a six-year, $147 deal with former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke soon.

That means the Dodgers' rotation could look something like this: Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett and Ryu. Depending on how Billingsley and Ted Lilly come back from arm injuries, the team will have at least one -- and maybe three -- starting pitchers to trade between now and Opening Day.

Lilly might prove difficult to trade because he only pitched eight games last year before a shoulder injury shut him down. Capuano and Harang should draw some interest because they're both coming off solid seasons, are in the final years of their contracts and make reasonable salaries.

The Dodgers spent the first two-and-a-half months this off-season on the wrong side of a seller's market. Now, they could be in position to address their needs -- bench help, another left-handed reliever and a catcher -- via trade. They could also elect to replenish a farm system thinned by trades and financial constraints in recent years.

Having too much starting pitching is literally the best problem a major-league baseball team can have.

"You'd always rather have more than less," Colletti said.