Tot's Thoughts: Hu Could Replace Castro

With trades and free agent signing still in the offing, the following items of interest are offered for your examination in no special order.

The Phillies are apparently about to sign infielder Juan Castro and there is some speculation that the Dodgers will use Chin-Lung Hu as their backup infielder.

Hu, who will be 26 in February, has had a major league glove for some time but has struggled with the bat, both in brief trials with the Dodgers and in the minor leagues.

Hu, who was the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year in 2007, would probably be capable of replicating Castro's 2009 season in the field and at bat but does not have Castro's 15 years of experience and it seems as if both Ned Colletti and Joe Torre prefer a veteran at that slot in the lineup.

The White Sox have signed Andruw Jones to a one year contract for $500,000 and he will train at Camelback Ranch but out of the Chicago clubhouse.

Jones, 33 and a five-time All-Star, spent the 2009 season with Texas after being released by the Dodgers in January in the second year of a $36 million contract.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti declined to comment specifically on the Dodgers interest in Roy Halladay, but made it clear that the mounting speculation the Dodgers might send right-hander Chad Billingsley to Toronto as part of a package for Halladay is just that, speculation.

"We would like to improve our pitching, especially the starting pitching," Colletti said. "I don't believe we can subtract from it in order to improve it."

Brandon Weeden, who played in the Dodgers minor league system for Columbus in 2004 and 2005, quarterbacked Oklahoma State to come-from-behind victory against Colorado.

Weeden was 7-9, 5.39 in 2004 and 2-9, 5.60 in 2005 for Columbus.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have raised the price of some mini-plans by up to $3 per ticket. The increases cover the top deck, reserved level and outfield pavilions. They have not raised mini-plan prices on other levels and have frozen season tickets for a second consecutive season.

The Dodgers froze single-game prices before last season but have not announced single-game prices for next season. Spokesman Josh Rawitch said revenue from ticket price increases will help offset rising business expenses beyond the player payroll.

The Dodgers' average ticket cost $29.66 last season, ranking behind the two New York teams, the two Chicago teams, the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, according to Team Marketing Report.

Former Dodgers Scout Honored
John Barr, who for 10 years was the Dodgers as East Coast scouting supervisor, will be inducted into the Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey Hall of Fame.

Barr began his professional baseball career in 1984, as an administrative assistant to the minor leagues and scouting for the New York Mets. He became the Minnesota Twins' East Coast scouting director in 1988, and was the Baltimore Orioles' scouting director in 1989 and 1990.

Barr was the Mets' scouting director from 1994 to '97, spent three years as the assistant general manager of the San Diego Padres and then joined the Dodgers. In October 2007, he was given charge of all domestic and international scouting for the Giants. Now living in New Jersey, Barr estimates he is on the road 200 nights a year.

Barr already has been inducted into the Mid-Atlantic Scouts Hall of Fame and the Professional Scouting Hall of Fame.