Wheat and Chaff From The Winter Meetings

Ae member of the media described the Winter Meetings as a bunch of old guys standing around talking to each other. That statement could have come from Marge Schott (one-time Cincinnati owner) who said, "Why do we have scouts? All they do is drive around and watch ball games." Things are being decided that may bear fruit, so it's worth watching and hoping your club will make a good move.

Today (Monday) is the deadline for players to accept or reject arbitration from their old club. Despite the thought of a pair of extra first-round draft picks, Los Angeles did not offer arbitration to their two Type-A free agents, Randy Wolf and Orlando Hudson, fearing they would accept and be very costly. The Dodgers feel they could get the pitcher they need for what either of them would be asking.

The newest Dodgers rumor is they are inquiring about Marlins outfielder Alfredo Amezaga. The 31-year-old hit .217/.267/.261 in 2009 with no homers and five RBI in 69 at-bats.

Some free agents are already coming to roost with their new teams. Former Dodgers [a} Takashi Saito signed with the Braves, [b] infielder Ramon Martinez signed with the Rays and [c] catcher Henry Blanco signed with the Mets.

Former Red Sox pitcher Aaron Sele is at the meetings with the Dodgers. He's currently working under Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti, evaluating the Dodgers' farm system. "Ned just wanted me here to take a look at the way things work at the winter meetings," said Sele. Sele would eventually like to get into baseball in a front office capacity. He also works closely with former Sox third baseman Bill Mueller, also on Colletti's staff.

Juan Pierre pumped up his value when he filled in so dramatically for Manny Ramirez, who was nailed for drug use. One thing is certain, the Dodgers will not eat any part of his salary. He may be involved in a three-way swap that brings Los Angeles a pitcher with the same sort of overpriced salary Pierre is carrying, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times and Steve Henson of Yahoo, who report three or four teams are seemingly interested.

A number of clubs looking for a stopper could do worse than George Sherrill, who seems to have lost mojo in the eyes of the Dodgers after his post season troubles. He's on the market and the Dodgers will keep him if the offer made isn't enough, although they would like to shuck his high salary.

The name Aaron Harang is the name being bandied about while talking of Pierre and/or Sherrill.

Former Dodgers outfielder Dave Roberts will reportedly be assistant GM, player operations for the Padres next year.

The rumor that the Dodgers are waiting for the Yankees to non-tender Chin-Meng Wang and then get interested in him. Apparently he has both Joe Torre and Larry Bowa in his corner.

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports that "Barring a reversal, the Padres are not expected to tender Kevin Correia. "Perhaps a club such as the Dodgers, who declined to offer arbitration to Randy Wolf and don't appear to be planning on spending big money this winter, would be a fit for Correia," he noted.

Many think the Dodgers will sell Eric Stults to a Japanese team. He's had numerous shots at the Dodgers staff and while he has pitched pretty well, he apparently isn't what they are looking for.

Everyone is trying to slip Josh Lindblom in their briefcase when GM Ned Colletti isn't watching but this isn't his first rodeo. Lindblom may be the sleeper in the Dodgers starting staff next season.

Former Los Angeles Daily News beat writer Tony Jackson is one of three being interviewed for the new ESPN-LA network. The other two are as well known: Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times and Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com. All three are quality people.

In closing, one website, LAdodgertalk (note: NOT LADodgers.com) asked the question: What is the difference between the Dodgers and a catfish?

Their answer: One is a bottom-feeder and the other is a fish. This alludes to the fact they will not attempt to sign a high-priced free agent, waiting rather to snap up a free agent that had outpriced himself in the market and would settle for one year at a lower price plus incentives. Think Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson  

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