Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Ned Colletti still wants reliever
By Tony Jackson
DALLAS -- A reliever for the bullpen may be the last major item on Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti's wish list.
The list of free-agent relievers in whom the Dodgers have interest is fairly short, and it is clear the name at the top of that list is Mike MacDougal, the veteran right-hander and former All-Star closer who spent 2011 with the Dodgers and became an integral part of their bullpen, posting a 2.05 ERA in 69 appearances.
Colletti met with MacDougal's agent, Alan Hendricks, on Tuesday night, but no agreement is imminent, which is why the Dodgers remain open to other possibilities.
"(The meeting) went all right," said Colletti, adding that he has yet to make a formal offer to MacDougal. "We are going to continue to stay in touch. We talked in and around some parameters. We have talked to some other guys. We're a little bit farther down the road with Mac because we know him, but we're really not far along with any of them."
Without offering any specifics, Colletti said he might be close to a trade, but cautioned that it wouldn't be anything that would generate major headlines. He also said he would like to add another left-hander to the bullpen -- another hint that the Dodgers probably will decline to offer a contract to longtime reliever Hong-Chih Kuo before Monday's deadline for extending such offers to arbitration-eligible players.
Tuesday, Colletti said he was pursuing a trade that would potentially improve the team's offense, but he said those talks have broken off.
Colletti said if the Dodgers do add a lefty, it likely will come from in-house or possibly from one of a couple of free-agent pitchers the club is considering signing to minor league contracts and inviting to big league spring training to compete for a spot. One candidate he mentioned was Michael Antonini, whom the Dodgers acquired last December in a minor league trade with the New York Mets and whom they added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from Thursday's Rule 5 draft.
Antonini, 26, went 10-9 with a 4.01 ERA as a starter this season at Double-A Chattanooga. He presently is pitching for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where he is 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts and two relief appearances. The pitching coach for Mayaguez is Dodgers minor league pitching coordinator Rafael Chaves.
Colletti said the Dodgers won't select any players for themselves in this year's Rule 5 draft, but that they might "sell" a pick to a club with a lower pick, a common practice of drafting a player that club wants and then trading that player to that team for cash. The price of a Rule 5 pick is $50,000, so the "sale" price the two teams agree upon before the selection is made -- say, $10,000 -- would be added to the amount that club must reimburse the Dodgers for the pick.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.