Friday, October 23, 2009
Dodgers GM doesn't expect cutbacks
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said Friday it's been business as usual running the team despite owner Frank McCourt firing his wife as CEO of the club.
Colletti said he doesn't anticipate any cutbacks in resources as he tries to mold the team for the 2010 season.
"I have no inclination that anything will change from how the Los Angeles Dodgers do business," he said two days after the team was eliminated in five games for the second consecutive year by Philadelphia in the National League championship series.
"There hasn't been any change in how we do business in the last few weeks or months."
The Dodgers have the most potential players eligible for free agency with 16, including Manny Ramirez, who must decide if he will exercise his $20 million option for next season and return.
Colletti met Friday with Frank McCourt, manager Joe Torre, and the coaching and baseball operations staff to discuss the recently concluded season and look ahead to next year.
Frank McCourt fired his estranged wife Jamie as chief executive, and recently gave Colletti a long-term contract extension as GM.
"I signed it because I believe in the organization, I believe in the progress we've made as a group, I believe in the whole situation," he said.
The McCourts confirmed their separation last week after 30 years of marriage. Both have retained attorneys, although no divorce litigation has been filed.
"It's certainly going to be uncomfortable I would guess with what seems to be happening," Torre said. "We'll just have to wait and see."
He said he didn't think the McCourts' problems would affect the possibility of him being offered a contract extension. His three-year deal to manage the team expires after next season.
"I keep saying I'm not going to do it beyond my contract, but I've waffled many times before," he said.
Torre said he believes there will be money to address the team's most pressing offseason needs: pitching and a second baseman.
"As unsettled as it seems to be right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last couple of years have been a presence," he said. "I'd certainly like to believe it's not going to change."
The Dodgers won 95 games in the regular season and earned their second straight NL West title, but they failed to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1988.
Colletti said he's gotten no indication from Ramirez, whose season was interrupted by a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy, or his agent Scott Boras on what the slugger intends to do.
"I'd like to see Manny get started in spring training and stay with us all year. I think not enough was made of the fact that he missed the 50 games," Torre said. "There was a lot of pressure when he came back and as nonchalant as he appears to be, he's very proud and I think it affected him. Hopefully, he gets a chance to start from scratch."
The Dodgers lacked an ace on their pitching staff, with youngsters Clayton Kershaw and All-Star Chad Billingsley showing fleeting stretches of wanting to claim that title.
"Clayton Kershaw has not been lobbying for it, but just the way he's pitched, he's certainly the favorite," Torre said. "Billingsley, even though he had a rough second half, he certainly showed us the personality and the ability to be a No. 1-type guy."
Veteran Randy Wolf proved to be the most dependable and durable starter, although the left-hander is a free agent.
Colletti said the Dodgers are considering adding one or two more starters and perhaps a couple of relievers to the bullpen, which he expects to remain mostly intact.
"You'd like to find an ace, but you got one hanging around?" he said. "It's not like you have a choice of five or six (free agents) that you can pick from."