CC Sabathia Says He Wants to Be a Dodger

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and #1 Pitching Free Agent CC Sabathia met in the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and CC told him he wants to be a Dodger, Colletti said on Monday, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com..

Colletti didn't reveal any more of the conversation, but he said there's "a possibility" that the Dodgers could enter the mix for the native Californian, who hasn't accepted a three-week-old offer from the Yankees of six years and $140 million.

Because even a shorter-term commitment to Sabathia would "change the dynamic of the club," Colletti said he must "be wary if you believe something is not going to happen so you build the club accordingly because something can happen."

Because even a shorter-term commitment to Sabathia would "change the dynamic of the club," Colletti said he must "be wary if you believe something is not going to happen so you build the club accordingly because something can happen."

The three Dodgers offer arbitration, Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Casey Blake, have (not surprisingly) declined arbitration. However the Dodgers can continue to negotiate with all three. If they sign elsewhere, the Dodgers will get compensatory draft picks, two each (one first-round, one sandwich) for Ramirez and Lowe and one (sandwich) for Blake.

When GM Ned Colletti was asked what are the chances that Ramirez will be a Dodger next season, he said "If he shows up in spring training, we'll find him a hat, we'll find him a shirt and we'll play him in the field and figure it out then,'' Colletti said. "But I can't wait until the day he shows up to go after a third baseman or a shortstop or another reliever.''

At the Winter meetings the first order of business was the announcement of the veterans' committee ballot for the Hall of Fame.

One Veterans Committee, this one consisting of the 64 living Hall of Famers, again defended their turf tenaciously and did not elect a member to the Hall of Fame -- again. During elections in 2003, '05 and '07, no one was elected, prompting the formation last year of four committees to give the process "more openness for discussion without sacrificing the 75-percent level of votes for election," said Brad Horn, a spokesman for the Hall. This is the fourth consecutive time that a committee made up predominantly of the living Hall of Famers did not elect a player.

It took 75 percent for election and no one came close—Santo got 61 percent, followed by Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges and Torre. Hodges received 28 votes (43.8 percent), Torre 19 votes (29.7 percent), Maury Wills 15 votes (23.4 percent).

A second 12-man committee, picked to examine possible Hall of Fame players who debuted before 1943, gave former Yankee and Indian second baseman Gordon got 10 votes—one more than needed—and joined a host of past teammates in the Hall. He began his career with Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey and other stars on the 1938 Yankees team that won the World Series, and finished with Bob Feller and more Cleveland luminaries in 1950. Pitcher Allie Reynolds, traded from Cleveland to the Yankees for Gordon after the 1946, fell one vote short of election.

Players whose careers began before 1943 will be up for vote every five years, while those who played from '43 on will be nominated every other year. The latter thus will happen again in 2010.

Blake Set to Sign?
Diamond Leung of the Riverside Press Journal reports that the Dodgers have offered Casey Blake a contract, and GM Ned Colletti said he would do what it takes in terms of the length of the contract to get the deal done if possible. He said bringing back Blake was a priority because of of Blake has character, is team-oriented and a grinder.

Colletti also said the Dodgers might go after CC Sabati. "It's a possibility. It's an interesting dynamic with anyone that's long-term with a salary higher than most."

He also said "We would have loved to have Boston's Jason Varitek." He indicated he had been interested in signing him as a mentor Russell Martin, but it would have cost too much.

Dodgers Blue Notes-- Baseball is set to announced that former Dodgers manager Davey Johnson, the last man to lead the Mets to a world championship (in 1986), will manage Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic .

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