Colletti Ain't Done Yet, Folks

Nomar Garciapara's agent said he is willing to consider playing any position other than pitcher or catcher and since the Dodgers are now interested in building outfield strength, they will meet in the near future to explore options. Boston leadoff man Johnny Damion has also drawn GM Ned Colletti's interest.

Garciapara's agent Arn Tellem said that the Dodgers are one of four teams that Nomar is considering. They are in the process of reviewing the options and hope to make a decision in the near future.

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he'd made an offer to Garciaparra. After being asked about the possibility of Garciaparra playing the outfield, he said, "I'd like to talk to him before I comment on that. He has been an infielder most of his career. That doesn't mean he couldn't make the switch to left field.''

Off two injury-shortened seasons where he still hit .308 and .288 with 18 homers in 143 games, Garciaparra, a five-time All-Star shortstop, could play first base or left field for the Dodgers.

But he has reportedly turned down a one-year, $6-million offer from the Atlanta Braves, Garciaparra also has had offers from the Yankees to play first base, the Houston Astros to play left field and the Cleveland Indians to play right field.

Johnny Damon (.316/.366/.439), perhaps the top name in free-agent outfielders, and who has turned down a four-year, $40-million offer from the Red Sox, was rumored to be coming to Los Angeles to meet with Colletti.

Colletti said it would be "premature" to sit down with Damon, but granted they were in negotiations.

Outfielders Kenny Lofton, who hit .335 and was 22-3 in stolen base for the Phillies in 110 games, and Reggie Sanders, who hit .271 with 21 homers and was 14-1 in stolen bases, are also in the Dodgers radar. The veterans, who are both 38, would fit Colletti's plan to compete while preserving the farm system.

Rumors have it that Lofton, who has drawn interest from Arizona and Baltimore, would require a one-year contract, and Sanders no more than two.

Colletti also remains in serious talks with agent Scott Boras regarding free agent Jeff Weaver, who pitched the last two seasons for the Dodgers.

Two-year deal for Mueller-- Former AL batting champion Bill Mueller (pronounced 'Miller') and Dodgers agreed Wednesday to a two-year contract worth $9.75 million.

Mueller fills a position played by seven Dodgers last season. Mueller, an opposite-field hitter from the left side and a pull hitter from the right who thrived at Fenway Park, probably will bat second, behind Furcal, or sixth, Colletti said.

Current 40-Man Roster
(as of December 16)

Starting Pitchers
$9,000,000 Derek Lowe
$7,500,000 Brad Penny
$7,250,000 Odalis Perez
*$335,000 D.J. Houlton
*$325,000 Edwin Jackson

Bullpen
$10,000,000 Eric Gagne
$375,000 Duaner Sanchez
$340,000 Yhency Brazoban
$325,000 Steve Schmoll
$325,000 Franquelis Osoria
$320,000 Jonathan Broxton
$320,000 Hong-Chih Kuo

Others on Roster Joel Hanrahan
Jose Diaz
Greg Miller>

Starting Lineup
$11,000,000 J.D. Drew
$9,000,000 Rafael Furcal
$9,000,000 Jeff Kent
$2,910,000 Jose Cruz, Jr.
$4,875,000 Bill Mueller
$1,500,000 Ricky Ledee
$500,000 Hee Seop Choi*
$325,000 Dioner Navarro

Bench
$1,000,000 Olmedo Saenz
$650,000 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
$340,000 Oscar Robles
$325,000 Willy Aybar
$325,000 Delwyn Young

Disabled List
$3,100,000 Cesar Izturis
$360,000 Jayson Werth

Others on Roster
Jason Phillips *
Andre Ethier
Russell Martin
Jason Repko
Mike Edwards
Cody Ross
James Loney
Joel Guzman
Andy LaRoche
Brian Myrow
(*arbitration eligible)

Dodger Blue Notes-- In their search for production at first base, Colletti has considered free agent J.T. Snow, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Snow, who spent nine seasons with San Francisco, will turn 38 in spring training, Snow and his six Gold Gloves still represent a major upgrade both offensively and defensively over Hee-Seop Choi. However, Choi hit 11 more home runs in 47 less at bats. He posted a slightly lesser OBP (.343-.336) but slugged 90 points higher than Snow. Replacing a 26-year-old power hitter with a 38 year-old defensive wizard is probably not the way to go. …Here is something you rarely see -- a ballplayer being sold. Seattle purchased lefthander Luis Gonzalez from the Rockies. Colorado had selected Gonzalez in the Rule V draft from the Dodgers earlier in the month.

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