Dodger Insider - November 16

It's safe to assume that voters in Sarasota, Fla., weren't thinking of the Dodgers when they voted to turn down a bond measure that would have funded improvements to the Reds' spring training facility. But their no vote could conceivably help the Dodgers find a roommate once they move to Glendale, Ariz.

The Dodgers are scheduled to break ground on Nov. 19 for their new spring training facility in Arizona. The plan is for the Dodgers to share their $76.8 million facility with the White Sox, but the problem with that is that the White Sox can't move to Glendale until they find a replacement team to move into their current facility in Tucson.

Though unlikely, the Reds could be that team.

Reds officials weren't keen on the idea of moving from Florida to Arizona, but that was before voters in Sarasota went to the ballot box. Now they could be reconsidering.

Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall is hoping that the Reds are having second thoughts, and he was scheduled to meet with officials from that team. The Diamondbacks share their spring training home with the White Sox and would like to have someone move in the day after the White Sox move out.

"They have said they are going to consider Arizona," Hall said of the Reds. "When I hear 'consider Arizona,' I hope it means 'consider Tucson.'"

The Reds could try to move into Glendale and leave Tucson the way it is, but the White Sox entered into a memorandum of understanding with the city of Glendale more than a year ago. Glendale is not about to go back on its word and risk a legal battle that could only cause problems.

Unlike the White Sox, the Dodgers don't have to find a replacement team to take over their Vero Beach facility. Their only concern at this point is that the facility will be ready for them by spring 2009.

Construction workers will have 15 months to build the 15,000-seat facility and 12 adjacent baseball fields.

Notes and Quotes
--3B Andy LaRoche has been hitting well for the U.S. team in the World Cup tournament in Taiwan. Heading into the quarterfinals, LaRoche was batting .389.

--OF Delwyn Young had two hits, scored twice and had two RBIs in Team USA's 10-7 victory over Chinese Taipei in an exhibition game on Nov. 14.

--RHP Chin-hui Tsao refused an outright assignment to Class AAA Las Vegas and became a free agent. Tsao appeared in a career-high 21 games in 2007 but didn't pitch again after going on the disabled list on July 15 with a strained right shoulder. Tsao was 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 2007.

--C Russell Martin has to clear some space on his mantel. The 24-year-old catcher, who previously won a Gold Glove, won a Silver Slugger Award, emblematic of the best offensive player at his position in the league. He led all major league catchers with 145 games played and led all National League catchers in hits (157), homers (19), runs (87), stolen bases (21), batting average (.297), on-base percentage (.380) and slugging percentage (.477).

--LHP Greg Miller went 0-3 with a 12.79 ERA in six Arizona Fall League starts. Miller began the 2007 season at the Class AAA level but was demoted to Class AA after having control problems. In 12 2/3 innings during AFL action, Miller walked 16. Once lauded as the Dodgers' top left-handed pitching prospect, Miller walked six batters in two innings in his final AFL start, on Nov. 12.

By the Numb3rs-- The number of exhibition games the Dodgers will host against the Red Sox in March. The games will be played after the Red Sox return from their season-opening series in Japan. One of the three games will be played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Dodgers Interested In Rowand?-- Buster Olney of ESPN must have the best sources in baseball. His latest rumor has the Dodgers making a concentrated effort to sign Sources told ESPN's Buster Olney that the Dodgers have decided to make a heavy play for free-agent center fielder Aaron Rowand.

The Dodgers know that, Rowand, 30, hit .309 with 27 homers and 89 RBIs for the Phillies, while playing in 161 games, but they also know he has great character.

"The interest is definitely mutual," Rowand's agent, Craig Landis, told the Riverside Press Enterprise. "He definitely would be interested in hearing what the Dodgers have to say as time goes on." Rowand is seeking a long-term contract with no-trade protection that could range up to $15 million per year.

"The interest appears to depend on a lot of things," Landis said. "The Dodgers are apparently focusing on a veteran club and various ways to spend money. Aaron is a candidate, and so are other people via trade and free agency. It's still in the early process."

Schmidt to Start Throwing-- Jason Schmidt, the highest paid Dodger player who pitched only three games last season, was cleared to begin a throwing program to test his surgically repaired shoulder next week in Arizona where he resides. It will be another step in Schmidt's rehabilitation three months after an exploratory procedure revealed a torn labrum, scarred tissue in the bursa and a frayed biceps tendon.

Boston Series-- The Dodgers will conclude spring training with a three-game exhibition series against the World Series champion Boston Red Sox March 28-30. The middle game, on March 29, will be played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as a nostalgic nod to the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' move from Brooklyn, after which they played four seasons at the Coliseum before Dodger Stadium was completed.

"We will be making an announcement about the Coliseum in the coming weeks, but we expect it to be a big part of our 50th-anniversary celebration," said Camille Johnston, the Dodgers' senior vice president for communications.

The series will start two days after the Red Sox conclude a season-opening, two-game set with Oakland in Tokyo.

The visit by the Red Sox will replace the Dodgers' traditional Freeway Series with the Angels, which will be reduced to a single game March 27 at Angel Stadium. The Dodgers will begin the regular season March 31 at home against San Francisco, something Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is believed to have specifically requested of the league office. The Giants and Dodgers moved to the West Coast from New York together in 1958.

The Dodgers haven't formally agreed to send a split squad to Beijing for a two-game exhibition series with San Diego March 14-15, but if it does work out, the entire team - not just the half that goes to China - would then finish the spring at Oakland's spring-training facility in Phoenix.

The A's will leave early for Tokyo, where they are slated to play exhibitions against Japanese clubs March 22-23. The Dodgers then would simply replace the A's, leaving the Grapefruit League with an even number.

That would leave Vero Beach with a half-spring training season in the Dodgers final year in their long-time training base.

-- A report earlier this week claimed that Florida is seeking any four from a pool of five Dodgers players in a possible trade for Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera. But a source close to the situation told Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News that the price isn't that high.

The Marlins do want players from a pool that includes Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley, infielders James Loney and Andy LaRoche, outfielder Matt Kemp and top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw. But the source said the Marlins would settle for fewer than four of those names to unload Cabrera, who is projected to receive between $10 million and $11 million next season through arbitration.

Jackson things the asking price is too high for the Dodgers. And that the club has no problem making Andy LaRoche its everyday third baseman next season. LaRoche hasn't hurt his cause during the Baseball World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan, where he drove in 11 runs in the final three games of pool play to help Team USA reach the quarterfinals.

Ron Guidry Bypassed-- Joe Torre said that Ron Guidry, expected to be replaced as Yankees pitching coach, isn't coming along. He said he talked to Guidry and "told him that I really wanted to stay closer to the Dodger organization since they had a lot of young pitchers. I thought it was the best thing to do."

Torre wasn't sure whether Guidry would join the Yankees in spring training as a special instructor.

Torre also said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti is exploring ways to upgrade. "You've got to help your offense some way, but we're looking to help our club in a few different areas, whether it be through free agency or trade. I think that's what we're discussing right now."

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