Colletti to Tender Nine Contracts

General manager Ned Colletti told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he will tender contracts to all nine of the club's arbitration-eligible players by Saturday's deadline. Included are Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Hong-Chih Kuo, James Loney, Russell Martin, Jason Repko and George Sherrill. All but Repko spent 2009 in the minors, and each is in line for a salary increase.

The Dodgers have $49.2 million in salary to be paid in 2010 to six players, including only $5 million to Manny Ramirez (with $15 million deferred) and $3.6 million to Andruw Jones (deferred from last year). The other five under contract are Hiroki Kuroda ($15.1 million), Juan Pierre ($10 million), Rafael Furcal ($9.5 million) and Casey Blake ($6 million).

They have roughly $42 million coming off the payroll for 15 free agents, but roughly half of that is earmarked for raises for the arbitration eligibles and the rest to replace the 15 free agents.

Colletti Wants a Starter for Pierre
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told SIRIUS XM that he'd want a starting pitcher in return for a trade of outfielder Juan Pierre. "I think we owe it to Juan as well (to find a fit). You won't find better people than Juan Pierre. We happened to run into each other the day after we got back from Philly in the parking lot at Dodger Stadium.

"I said, ‘J.P, what would you want me to do?.' He said, ‘Well, if you can find me a place to play a lot more, I'm open to it.  But you know what? If I'm here, I understand the situation. I hope to play every day. I want to play as much as I can. But whatever you decide to do is cool with me.'

"If we can find the right fit for him, we'll do it. We need pitching. If we can figure out a way to move him for a starting pitcher - even a back-of-the-rotation guy - we'll be open-minded to doing that."

In a different interview on SIRIUS XM, Colletti said that he has spoken to All-Star pitcher Chad Billingsley numerous times this winter about his late-season struggles. Colletti is not inclined to trade the young right-hander.

"... I'm confident in Chad that he can come back," he said. "I've talked to him a handful of times this winter ... A lot of people were down on Matt Kemp a couple of years ago. It takes time. You have to be patient. I think the toughest thing for a lot of us to do is to fight off the urge to be impatient."

The Untold Tale of the Winter Meetings
Jim Caple of ESPN, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, had this to add as the Winter Meetings closed:

?"The Dodgers are rumored to be working on a complicated trade in which the part of outfielder Andre Ethier under contract to Frank McCourt would go to Cleveland for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, while the part of Ethier under contract to Jamie McCourt would go to Baltimore for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. In other McCourt divorce news, Jamie insists that Manny Ramirez's production belongs to her, and his $23 million contract belongs to Frank."

Random Bits Left Over in Indianapolis
The Twins' ticket sales for 2010 are off the charts writes Kevin Duchschere. The Twins have sold 16,000 to 17,000 season ticket packages and there's a chance of reaching 20,000, which would place the team among the Major League leaders. ...The Braves finished the Soriano trade, and David O'Brien writes that they've also started telling other teams that they'd be willing to kick back some dollars in order to move Derek Lowe. ...Boston's trade of Mike Lowell clears the way for the Red Sox to pursue former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltré. ...Randy Wolf signed a three year contract with Milwaukee that will pay about $30 million after the Dodgers turned down his offer so sign with them for two years at $28-30 million. "I had a great experience out there," Wolf said. "Guys on the team were great. I got to win with those guys and battle with those guys. But I don't live in a cave. I've read plenty of things how there are plenty of issues going on with the team right now. It's not my job to speculate on these things. But if these things are hurting the club, it's unfortunate because it's a historic ballclub." ...The Dodgers have said they are looking for a veteran second baseman to pair with Blake DeWitt. DeWitt hit .204 in 31 major league games, but that could be attributed to an inability to develop a rhythm because he was called up to the big leagues six times. ...The New York Mets have inquired about Ronald Belisario and Cory Wade, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. ...The Dodgers could sign Jay Gibbons to a minor-league deal. He will be 33 in March and retired from baseball in 2009 while playing for the Newark Bears, and Independent League team and last played in big leagues for 2007 Orioles but was cut during spring training in 2008. ...And in one last (sad) note :-) Barry Bonds still has yet to formally retire from baseball. But the career of the major leagues' reigning home run king is over, his agent says. Bonds has insisted he won't retire, leaving open the possibility that he might yet catch on with another team. But that hasn't happened, and his agent doubts that it ever will, according to the report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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