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With major league teams and arbitration-eligible players set to officially file salary figures on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers still haven't reached agreement with any of their affected players -- pitcher Chad Billingsley, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo and first baseman James Loney -- but based on recent history, it appears highly unlikely that the club will end up going to a hearing with any of those players in early February.
In the decade that assistant general manager Kim Ng has been handling all the team's arbitration cases, only two players have taken the Dodgers to a hearing. The club won both of those cases against pitchers Eric Gagne in 2004 and Joe Beimel in 2007, the victory over Gagne coming the winter after he won the National League Cy Young Award.
For now, Ng isn't making any predictions.
"We will have a much better idea in the next 24 hours [after numbers are filed on Tuesday]," Ng said. "It's moving. We're progressing, but nothing is final yet."
Ng did confirm that the club isn't discussing a multiyear contract with either Billingsley, Kuo or Loney. All three are "four-plus" players, meaning they have between four and five years of major league service time, are arbitration-eligible for the second time and -- barring a multiyear deal -- will be arbitration-eligible again next winter. ...
As far back as any of his baseball coaches can remember, people noticed Trayvon Robinson. He had the skills, but not the polish; the raw tools, but not the savvy.
Anyone with a little vision could see what kind of player he could become. The question was whether that potential would develop and bloom one day.
Andre Green had coached baseball at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles long enough to recognize a talent such as Robinson's early on. He'd also been around long enough to know all the things that could keep Robinson from developing into what he's since become: one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' top prospects.
Like many of Crenshaw's top athletes in recent years, Robinson also played football before high school.
"He wanted to play football, and I just told him 'No,'" Green said. "I said, 'You're a baseball man and you're going to put Crenshaw on the map.'" ...