'Rumors, Rumors Everywhere...

"Rumor is a pipe blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures..." Will Shakespeare nailed it in King Henry IV. and the two most recent rumors say the Dodgers will trade one (or more) of their arbitration eligible players this off-season and the other suggests that Kansas City could trade second baseman Alberto Callaspo for the Dodgers A.J. Ellis.

Olney predicts that Los Angeles will move at least one of its many arbitration-eligible players via trade. He feels that perhaps will match Roay Halladay with what the Dodgers have to offer -- Canada native Russell Martin plus others. However Martin's OPS (on-base plus slugging) has slipped 162 points over the past two season and he is moving up the arbitration ladder; his salary might climb from $3.9 million last season to $6 million next season.

?A glance at the list of arbitration eligible players the Dodgers have this off-season would include: Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, James Loney, Jonathan Broxton and Hong-chih Kuo.

One would think that Kemp, Ethier, Sherrill and Kuo are on the untouchable list. Kemp and Ethier have just come into their own, and Sherrill and Kuo are very scarce commodities: outstanding left-handed relievers.

That leaves Broxton, Martin and Loney. Martin's effectiveness has declined for two seasons in a row but they have no catching prospect to move into his spot and, as with Billingsley, he is still young.

Broxton self-destructed for the second season in a row in the post-season but 2009 was his first full season as a closer and, again, he is young and we have no one to fill his shoes.

Many feel that Loney lacks the power to be a premier first baseman but he his been very consistent over the past two years, is improving on an already solid fielding base and can still break into the 30-home run department in a season or so.

SBNation suggests that LA trade Russell Martin and Loney, sign catcher Bengie Molina, move Casey Blake to first base and sign former Dodger Adrian Beltré.

But here is where the messy McCourt vs. McCourt comes in. It don't appear that either party can cough up enough money to buy out the other and the club might be sold as a result. With that in mind, there will probably be precious little money spent on free agents.

Remember, we got Ramirez free from the Red Sox. Casey Blake cost us catching prospect Carlos Santana and Orlando Hudson came with Tony Abreu as the price tag.

Even when times were good, we were not spending much and with a pitching staff that needs to be rebuilt, what ever money is available will probably go into that department.

Dodgers fans must keep one eye on the Los Angeles court system and the other on General Manager Ned Colletti, who will have to come up with some slight of hand to keep the Dodgers in the 2010 pennant race.

Ellis For K.C.'s Callaspo?
The Kansas City Star reports that the Royals are looking for a catcher and may be interested in a deal sending second baseman Alberto Callaspo to the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher A.J. Ellis, a 28-year-old rookie who currently projects as a backup to Russell Martin following the anticipated free-agent departure of veteran Brad Ausmus.

The Royals say rookie Brayan Peña, 27, made significant defensive strides last season, but they aren't ready to anoint him as their starter. That places an emphasis on swinging a trade before the Dec. 12 deadline for tendering contracts.

Ellis is regarded as a strong defensive receiver with improving offensive potential. While he lacks pop — just 17 homers in 464 games over seven minor-league seasons — he batted .318 with a .437 on-base percentage in 174 games over the last two years in Class AAA.

He led the Dodgers minor league teams in on-base percentage for the second year in a row.

Callaspo, 26, became expendable Friday when the Royals acquired second baseman Chris Getz from the Chicago White Sox along with third baseman Josh Fields in a trade for third baseman Mark Teahen and $1 million.

Callaspo batted .300 last season with 11 homers and 73 RBIs in 155 games, but his lack of speed and range make him less appealing if the Royals follow through with a new emphasis on defense.

The Dodgers are seeking a second baseman because veterans Ronnie Belliard and Orlando Hudson are free agents. Callaspo would be an affordable alternative, especially if he fails to qualify, as expected, for free agency under the super-2 provision.

Money is an increasing factor for the Dodgers, whose owner, Frank McCourt, appears headed for a messy divorce.

Ellis has just 13 plate appearances in 12 major-league games over the last two years and isn't likely to be eligible for arbitration, at the earliest, until after the 2011 season. He is a right-handed hitter who is 6 feet 3 and 230 pounds.

Lo Duca Behind a Mike?
The LA Daily News reports that Paul Lo Duca, the former Dodgers All-Star catcher, who missed all of this past baseball season with injuries, has been spotted around the stables at Santa Anita, collecting information to use as a wagering analyst on the TVG channel's extensive Breeders' Cup coverage.