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DODGERS FYI

Talks turn to Maddux

July 31, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

On the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers and San Diego Padres were in discussions about a potential deal involving pitcher Greg Maddux, according to baseball sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks. The deadline is 1 p.m. today.

The Dodgers acquired the veteran right-hander Maddux at the trade deadline from the Chicago Cubs in 2006 and went on to reach the playoffs. He signed with the Padres as a free agent the next winter.

Maddux, 42, is 4-8 this season with a 4.29 earned-run average. He has 351 career victories. He has a full no-trade clause in his contract and has said he would accept a move only to a contending team on the West Coast, essentially narrowing the pool of potential suitors to the Dodgers.

Money could be an obstacle, as the Padres want the Dodgers to pay the remaining portion of Maddux's one-year, $10-million contract, according to the sources.

Manager Joe Torre refused to discuss any potential trade in particular, citing tampering rules, but said he "wouldn't be surprised" if General Manager Ned Colletti made a deal by the deadline.

Asked about his personal wish list, Torre said, "You can never have enough pitching."

Colletti, who traded for Maddux in 2006, said on Wednesday afternoon that no deal was imminent.

"We're still working through a few ideas here," Colletti said. "At this point, nothing is real hot, but through the next day, sometimes new ideas and different concepts can suddenly work."

Park concerned

Chan Ho Park hasn't had to pitch on consecutive days since being moved from the rotation to a setup role. But the pitcher with an extensive history of arm problems is certain he will be forced to do so in the near future.

"That's one of the things I don't like about it," Park said. "Injury-wise, I'm a little bit worried about it."

Park admitted that he would prefer starting, which allows him to have a set schedule. But he also says he likes the mental demands of his new role.

"You have to prepare for every game," he said.

Setting up has one other perk.

"I can eat well before the game," Park said, noting he wasn't able to do so as a starter or long reliever because he had to pitch earlier in games.

New role for Kuroda?

The idea that Hiroki Kuroda could be moved to the bullpen wasn't completely dismissed by Torre. Kuroda is 0-2 with a 13.11 ERA since the All-Star break.

"If we have to fix something, we'll fix it," Torre said. "We certainly don't want to think that way at this point in time. We know the ability is there, we've seen it. But he's going to have to be comfortable."

Torre said that Kuroda has to regain the feel for his breaking pitches.

Kuroda said he was thinking of that Wednesday, but added, "It's not something that gets better in one day."

Short hops

A decision on whether to put Nomar Garciaparra on the disabled list has to be made in "the next couple of days," Torre said. Garciaparra, who has a mildly sprained knee ligament, was available to pinch-hit Tuesday and Wednesday but remains unable to play shortstop. . . . Juan Pierre stole his 100th base as a Dodger on Tuesday night, becoming only the fourth player in history to steal 100 bases with three teams. Pierre, who also had 100 or more steals with Colorado and Florida, joined Brett Butler, Tommy Harper and Otis Nixon. . . . Right-hander Scott Proctor is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game today.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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