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DODGERS FYI

Is he a West Coast kind of guy?

August 24, 2008|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers might be more likely to sign CC Sabathia than Casey Blake this winter.

That, at least, is the way Blake sees it. The two men played together for five seasons in Cleveland, before the Indians traded Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers and Blake to the Dodgers last month.

The left-hander is expected to command at least $100 million as the top starting pitcher in free agency, and Blake said Sabathia has shared no inside information about his preferred destinations. Sabathia hails from the Bay Area and has said he is shopping for a home in Southern California.

"I think he wants to be close to home," Blake said. "I think it would be in his best interest to stay in the National League."

Why?

"Just because he rakes," Blake said.

Indeed, Sabathia hit a 440-foot home run at Dodger Stadium this season. Of the three NL clubs in California, the San Diego Padres are expected to slash their payroll, and the San Francisco Giants might shy away from a large contract for a pitcher after their $126-million experience with Barry Zito.

Blake, who turned 35 Saturday, has stabilized third base for the Dodgers and said he had not ruled out returning to Los Angeles. When the Indians traded him, he said, they told him they hoped to offer him a contract this winter, to return to what was the only major league club he had known.

"They'll be the front-runners, probably," he said.

Looking fore-ward

The Phillies' Kyle Kendrick, 23, credited his victory over Greg Maddux and the Dodgers on Friday to a conversation he had with Maddux in San Diego, two days before the Padres traded Maddux to the Dodgers last week.

Maddux's older brother, Mike, is the highly regarded pitching coach of the Milwaukee Brewers. Greg Maddux, 42, said he has not decided how much longer he might want to play or whether he might follow his big brother into coaching.

After his retirement, Maddux said, he will take a year off, to consider what he might want to do, and to golf. He has played his entire career in the National League, so for the first time he could play a summer round in American League cities.

"I was thinking more like Scotland and Ireland," he said.

September story

When rosters expand in September, the Dodgers will activate more players from the disabled list than they will call up from the minor leagues. They are expected to promote A.J. Ellis from triple-A Las Vegas as a third catcher, and perhaps top pitching prospect James McDonald, who worked out of the Las Vegas bullpen for the first time Friday.

For every player the Dodgers activate from the 60-day disabled list, they have to cut someone from the 40-man roster, so they might not activate all of those injured players. The Dodgers' 60-day DL includes shortstop Rafael Furcal and pitchers Scott Proctor, Jason Schmidt and Yhency Brazoban.

The Dodgers do not have to adjust their roster to activate players on the 15-day disabled list, including outfielders Andruw Jones and Delwyn Young and pitchers Brad Penny, Takashi Saito and Cory Wade.

Infielders Blake DeWitt and Chin-lung Hu could be recalled, and so could pitcher Eric Stults and outfielder Jason Repko.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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