Call Sherlock Holmes: The Search Continues

Owner Frank McCourt continues to look for a GM and there are indications he might continue the search into next week. John Hart hasn't been brought in for a formal interview and told the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram that he hasn't consented to a face-to-face interview. McCourt and Hart have spoken twice by telephone, and baseball sources claim Hart has been to Los Angeles and met with McCourt, though Hart denies it.

That might seem to be an indication Hart is leaning against pursuing the Dodgers job, and the search for a replacement for Paul DePodesta - who was fired 12 days ago - isn't close to being over.

The list of potential interviewees continues to grow and there is no indication that it will slacken any time soon.

Apparently the Dodgers intend to interview Ned Colletti, vice president and assistant general manager of the San Francisco Giants, for their general manager opening.

Colletti, 50, has been affiliated with the Giants for 11 years, the last nine as General Manager Brian Sabean's assistant, and is well thought of in baseball circles, particularly as a negotiator.

McCourt has spoken to Colletti by phone, and it is unknown when Colletti will interview. McCourt, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.

Dodger owner Frank McCourt fired general manager Paul DePodesta on Oct. 29. He has since spoken or considered a hatfull of potential candidates, including Pat Gillick, Gerry Hunsicker, John Hart, Theo Epstein, Dennis Gilbert, Kim Ng and Colletti, and interviewed Gillick and Ng. Gilbert, a Chicago White Sox executive, also is expected to interview.

Now Ng is believed to have drawn the curiosity of the Red Sox, who on Wednesday interviewed Washington General Manager Jim Bowden, Atlanta director of player personnel Dayton Moore and Minnesota assistant general manager Wayne Krivsky. The Red Sox have not as yet asked permission to contact Ng.

As Ng waited to learn whether she will become the first female general manager in major-league history -- a wait that now looks like it will drag into next week -- the Dodgers assistant GM focused on business during the third day of the annual GMs meetings in Indian Wells on Wednesday.

"Right now, we're looking for a run-producing bat," Ng said.

To that end, Ng and Roy Smith, also an acting general manager, spoke to Craig Landis, who represents free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko.

The Dodgers are apparently at a disadvantage because they have no general manager or manager, and McCourt has not divulged a timetable for the hires.

Landis said Ng and Smith addressed the issue of the vacuum at the top of the organization with him during their meeting, asking whether the uncertainty at general manager and manager would discourage Konerko from considering the Dodgers.

"He'll care about both," Landis said. "Paul's astute on how you put a team together. He certainly wouldn't sign on anywhere without knowing who the manager is."

If free agency moves fast, Landis pointed out, the Dodgers might not be in a position to compete for Konerko. If this sounds like a familiar scenario, remember the Dodgers lost Vlad Guerrero -- and imagine how history would have played out had that taken place -- when they were reluctant to pull the trigger on a deal.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that one executive, assessing the Dodgers' major-league roster, said, "If they spend $20 million, it still won't be enough." In the anonymous executive's opinion, the Dodgers require upgrades at first base, third, left field and center, and shortstop Cesar Izturis could be out until the All-Star break after undergoing elbow-ligament transplant surgery. The rotation also is full of questions, and closer Eric Gagne is coming off elbow surgery.

While the Dodgers seem weeks -- or months -- away from sigingin a manager, Bobby Valentine probably won't be returning soon to manage in the major leagues, saying Thursday that he's close to signing a new contract with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Valentine, mentioned as a candidate to fill managerial openings with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, just completed his second season with the Marines. Last month, he guided the team to its first Japan Series championship in 31 years. Club owner Akio Shigemitsu said the team was close to reaching an agreement with Valentine on a three-year contract.

Rumors are that the Dodgers will speak to Arn Tellem, the agent for Nomar Garciaparra, but planned to before the end of the meetings. Garciaparra is willing to play third base for the Dodgers. (USA Today said, "Nomar Garciaparra no longer appears to be an adequate defensive shortstop, and he likely can't play anywhere else in the infield. But if he can stay healthy, there's no reason why he can't provide home run power rare in a utility player.")

In the "Everybody Wants to be a General Manager" department, Tom Gatto of The Sportng News suggested this trade: "2B Alfonso Soriano and RHP Jonathan Broxton to the Red Sox; CF Torii Hunter to the Dodgers; Kendrick, 1B Adrian Gonzalez and 3B Kevin Youkilis to the Twins and RHPs Bronson Arroyo and Cla Meredith and LHP Derek Thompson to the Rangers. Soriano would replace Ramirez as the righthanded thunder in the Sox's lineup and bring 30-30 speed. Broxton could provide bullpen help. Publicly, Hunter is staying put, but Minnesota ought to be trying right now to receive some value for its $10 million man; the Twins would get a new infield here. The Rangers would add needed pitching. The Dodgers would get a premier (albeit expensive) center fielder to replace Milton Bradley."

The Dodgers have been offering Milton Bradley and have found resistance because of his history. In potential trades that the Dodgers are asked for a starting pitcher, they have offered Odalis Perez.