2009 Draft Review Starts Tomorrow

We will begin our check of the 2009 draftees tomorrow, beginning with the last five selections, from 26-31. That will include catcher Steve Cilladi, RHP Justin Dignelli, second baseman David Iden, RHP Kevin Childs and RHP Chris Handke.

We will continue, four players at a time, until we include the entire class of 2009.

You Don't Always Get What You Pay For
American League managers, general managers and owners crowing about the superiority of their league, it should be pointed out that the top-spending National League team, the Mets, wrote almost $641 million less in checks than the Yankees did.

It was the first "decade" in history in which any teams spent more than $1 billion in payroll, including the Yankees ($1.7 billion) the Red Sox ($1.21 billion), Mets ($1.12 billion) and Dodgers ($1.06 billion).

The top three in each league:

American League
•	Yankees 	$1,763,790,271
•	Red Sox 	$1,214,766,100
•	Angels 		$  914,460,823

National League
•	Mets 		$1,122,846,118
•	Dodgers 	$1,058,792,332
•	Cubs 		$  945,706,754
What's With the Switch-Hitters?
Phil Gurnee of TrueBlueLA.com points out that general manager Ned Colletti has a tendency to trade highly rated switch hitting prospects.

"In twelve months Ned will have dealt Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, and now Tony Abreu. The skill level drops a bit with each player but it is clear that Ned has little interest in switch hitting prospects. Trayvon Robinson, watch your back," Gurnee wrote.

He is also critical of Colletti's trading record. "Greg Maddux was not worth Michael Watt last summer, Casey Blake was not worth Carlos Santana, Manny was definitely worth Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris. This year Belliard is probably worth John Garcia, and Jim Thome is the steal of the waiver wire deal, but I find it doubtful that Garland will be worth Abreu, he points out.

Mattingly Wants Dodger Job
The New York Daily News reports that Don Mattingly might end up replacing Torre after all when Torre is done managing in sunny Los Angeles.

Mattingly, who is the hitting coach for Torre's Dodgers, says he has been "having discussions with the Dodgers and I really like where that's going. I really think it's the place for me. I really like where that organization's going and their thoughts on the future. I want to end up there, to be honest with you."

While Mattingly wouldn't admit that, essentially, he was the "manager in waiting" in L.A.", his talks with team brass were enticing enough to get him to back out of consideration for the Washington job earlier this autumn. "It was discussions about the future of the organization and where I fit into that," Mattingly said.

Amid Dodger ownership turmoil with Frank and Jamie McCourt engaged in a bitter divorce, Torre says he has spoken to Dodger GM Ned Colletti about "possibly extending another year, but that is still in discussion." Torre told Colletti on Friday that he wanted a few weeks more to think about it. L.A. is "getting more comfortable," Torre said and added that the progress the Dodgers have made keeps the job exciting.

But Torre believes that Mattingly will one day "make a very good manager. He doesn't expect anything for nothing, he's got a feel and he's got communication skills with these players. He's a lot closer to their age than I am."

Gagné Willing to Sign Minor League Contract
Speaking at a fundraiser event, former Dodgers closer Eric Gagné told Canadian reporters that he will attempt a comeback to the majors and that he wouldn't rule out signing with the Dodgers.

Gagné, who holds the Dodgers single season (55) and career (161) records for saves, is reportedly is willing to sign a minor-league contract and and pitch in Triple-A or Double A. He spent 2009 pitching for the Quebec Capitales, going 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA as a starter. In 17 starts, he pitched two complete games and threw 102.2 innings.

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