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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS: DODGERS VS. CHICAGO

Hey, big spender

Ned Colletti has taken heat for pricey free agents who went bust, but his low-cost midseason moves saved the Dodgers' season. The question is, will that save the general manager's job?

October 01, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

When Kent had knee surgery with less than a month remaining in the season, he was replaced at second base by DeWitt, the rookie who was the Dodgers' opening-day third baseman. When the Dodgers optioned DeWitt to triple-A Las Vegas in July, they had him work out at second base in case something like this happened.

Colletti not only managed to make his moves without costing the Dodgers money, but he also did it without mortgaging their future. The only notable prospect he parted with was third baseman Andy LaRoche, who went to Pittsburgh in the three-way trade that brought Ramirez from Boston.

For Blake, Colletti gave up triple-A reliever Jonathan Meloan and Class-A catcher Carlos Santana. For Maddux, he traded two prospects who weren't on the 40-man roster.

Third base coach Larry Bowa said there were times this season when Torre asked Colletti if he could receive any reinforcements from the minors, only to be told that they couldn't burn the option years of certain players.

"As a manager or a coach, you might want something, but you have to think about the future," Bowa said. "Ned did a good job of that."

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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