Dodgers Still Playing the Waiting Game

The Dodgers' peculiar offseason is even turning conventional wisdom on its ear. Apparently, no news can be bad news. The Dodgers have operated in a cone of silence ever since the season ended, with the biggest news coming from divorce proceedings between owners Frank and Jamie McCourt.

That pending divorce seems to have drastically limited team spending, although the Dodgers claim the economy has more to do with it. In any event, the biggest announcement regarding the team has been the signing of infielder Jamey Carroll, who will have to compete with Blake DeWitt for the second base job.

The Dodgers still have time to make a significant move, though. It wasn't until Feb. 5 of last year that Randy Wolf signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Dodgers. On Feb. 20, they pulled Orlando Hudson off the free agent pile, and he became an All-Star.

The Dodgers are expected to make a similar move in the coming weeks for a starting pitcher who can fit in the middle to the bottom portion of the rotation.

Among the free agent pitchers the Dodgers could be targeting: Joel Pineiro, Vicente Padilla, Todd Wellemeyer, Braden Looper, Doug Davis or Chien-Ming Wang. It's not an exciting group, which fits in well with the kind of offseason the Dodgers are having.

--The Dodgers have agreed to terms with outfielder Jason Repko on a one-year deal worth $500,000, thus avoiding arbitration, according to a report citing multiple sources. Repko, who will compete in Spring Training for a spot on the Opening Day roster as a fourth outfielder, appeared in just 10 games with the Dodgers last season, going hitless in five at-bats. In 110 games at Triple-A Albuquerque, the 29-year-old right-handed hitter batted .277 with 16 home runs, 47 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. Repko was selected 37th overall in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, and his professional career has been stalled by ankle and hamstring injuries. Since making his big league debut with Los Angeles in 2004, Repko has combined to hit .226 with 11 homers, 47 RBIs and 11 steals in 230 games.

--The Dodgers signed free-agent pitcher Russ Ortiz and outfielder Michael Restovich to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training.

The 35-year-old Ortiz, once a 21-game winner, has since been released by Arizona from a $33 million contract and missed the 2008 season with Tommy John elbow reconstruction. He pitched for three organizations last year, going 3-6 with a 5.57 ERA in the Major Leagues with Houston.

The 31-year-old Restovich has spent parts of six seasons in the Majors, most recently 2007 with Washington. He spent last year with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate.

--LF Manny Ramirez is currently the oldest player on the Dodgers' roster at 37. He will turn 38 on May 30. Casey Blake is the next oldest at 36, and Jamey Carroll doesn't turn 36 until Feb. 18. As of now, the Dodgers' expected opening-day roster will have six players over 30 (Ramirez, Blake, Carroll, SS Rafael Furcal, LHP George Sherrill and RHP Hiroki Kuroda).

--CF Matt Kemp is getting tons of national attention, it isn't only about his recent Silver Slugger or Gold Glove awards. People Magazine, among others, is reporting that Kemp is dating music sensation Rihanna. One of the top five things People wants everybody to "know about Rihanna's new beau:" Pearly whites impress him.

--CF Matt Kemp's play is improving so rapidly that his agent, former pitcher Dave Stewart, reportedly is in no rush to get a multiyear deal for his client. According to, the Dodgers would like to lock in Kemp, who is in his first arbitration-eligible season. Stewart isn't in a hurry since another solid season could lead to an even bigger deal.

"A lot of times the club is looking for a discount, and if that's what they're looking to do, Matt is on an upward climb; he has no health history. Everything looks like his career is heading upward. When the time comes, we'll sit and talk seriously about it." -- said Stewart, a former Dodgers pitcher himself.

--SS Rafael Furcal figures to be a key to the Dodgers' season because if he falters or gets injured, there isn't much on hand to replace him. Chin-lung Hu is expected to be the Dodgers' backup shortstop, but he is a .200 hitter in 82 career games. Jamey Carroll hasn't played at short since 2007, and he played just 11 games there that season. Blake DeWitt has just two games of experience at the position.

--3B Casey Blake knows how to guard the third base line, keeping the workload off the less-than-stellar glove work of LF Manny Ramirez. Blake's .976 fielding percentage is first among Dodgers third baseman with at least 175 games played with the team. The Dodgers' 83 errors in 2009 were second lowest in franchise history, trailing only the 73 committed by the 2004 team.

BY THE NUMBERS: 34 -- Games the Dodgers will have played in the upcoming season before they face the division-rival Padres for the first time. The Dodgers will have already completed their season series against the Pirates by then.