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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Dodgers GM open to adding another star pitcher

By Mark Saxon

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Wednesday his team could be in the market for a top-flight starting pitcher between now and spring training.

In an appearance on 710 ESPNLA, Colletti was asked about the possibility of making a play for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, who said earlier this week he would like to come to the United States, or Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price, who is rumored to be available on the trade market.

“I think there’s some chance to that. There are a lot of dynamics that we’re not aware of yet,” Colletti said. “You kind of pointed to a couple of them there and that’s accurate. We’ll see. Any time we see a player that we think can help our club, we make an inroad to find out what the rest of the dynamics are.”

The Dodgers have three healthy returning starters in Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu and they signed Dan Haren to a $10 million, one-year deal last month. Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are coming off surgery.

Colletti said the Dodgers owners have kept an open mind about making a big move this off-season. So far, the Dodgers’ biggest expenditure has been a four-year, $28 million deal with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero.

“Thankfully, [the owners] give us the opportunity to think big things and to do some things that are bold here and there,” Colletti said. “That’s a great thing, not a good thing.”

-- Colletti wouldn’t categorically dismiss the possibility of trading Matt Kemp, whose agent, Dave Stewart, told reporters last week Kemp was off the trade bloc.

“I can’t necessarily answer that, because I don’t know when the phone’s going to ring with something that changes that,” Colletti said. “Our intent is to keep our outfielders, our intent is to get them healthy and get them productive. We wouldn’t be doing our job if the phone rang and we wouldn’t take the call. People have asked us about our outfielders, just in general. I say, ‘Hey, you know what? If you’ve got an interest, tell me who it’s in and what type of interest it is.’ So, that’s kind of where it is.”

-- Colletti made it sound as if a decision about Kershaw's long-term future is in the pitcher's hands, which makes sense considering ESPN’s Buster Olney reported earlier this winter that the Dodgers offered Kershaw what amounted to a lifetime contract (valued at about $300 million) last season. Kershaw is eligible for arbitration next season and would be a free agent starting next November unless he signs an extension.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep him and, hopefully, he likes L.A. enough and the Dodgers enough and his situation here enough to want to be a part of it, but admittedly guys like him don’t come around very often,” Colletti said.