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Shane Victorino isn't ruling out a return to Dodgers

Outfielder Shane Victorino, a free agent this fall, says he'd like to re-sign, but not as a backup behind recently acquired Carl Crawford, who is signed long-term.

August 28, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

DENVER — Shane Victorino says he would like to re-sign with the Dodgers but has no intention of doing so to be a bench player who would sit behind Carl Crawford.

"Are you crazy?" Victorino said. "I'm not even thinking about stepping back. Why would I? I'm 31 years old. . . . I'm going to be an everyday play, whether it be here, whether it be Philly, whether it be any uniform."

When Victorino was acquired by the Dodgers last month from the Philadelphia Phillies, the free-agent-to-be was told he figured into their long-term plans. Victorino said he would like to be back.

But the Dodgers' plans might have been altered last week, when they added Crawford as part of their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox.

Crawford, a four-time All-Star, is a left fielder and top-of-the-order hitter like Victorino. Crawford underwent reconstructive elbow surgery last week and is expected to be back sometime from March to June next year.

But Victorino hasn't ruled out a return to the Dodgers.

"Nothing's changed," he said. "Anything can happen, you know what I mean?

"If you had told me after the trade deadline that we would get Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto in a trade, I would have said there was no chance of that happening. But obviously, it happened. Anything can happen is what I'm saying."

Crawford is under contract for $102.5 million over the next five seasons.

"I understand the situation with Crawford coming in," Victorino said. "He has five years left on his contract. You plan with him as the left fielder of the future. That's the way you have to look at it. But you never know."

Victorino said he doesn't think he was misled by the Dodgers.

"Not at all," he said. "I look at it as a business. That's always how I try to look at it. At the end of the day, I understand the decision. It's a business decision."

Victorino said he wants to return to the Dodgers because he likes where the free-spending team appears to be headed. He also lives in Las Vegas, making it possible for him to visit his family on days off, as he did last week.

He also has history with the club. He broke into professional baseball with the Dodgers, as their sixth-round draft pick in 1999. He was let go by them twice, both times in Rule 5 drafts, and never played for their major league team until this month.

Victorino is batting .248 in 24 games with the Dodgers, and .258 for the season. Manager Don Mattingly moved Victorino from leadoff to the No. 2 spot, where he primarily hit in Philadelphia.

One more deal?

The Dodgers are looking to add another pitcher before Friday, the deadline by which players must be in an organization to be part of its playoff roster.

They have inquired about the Texas Rangers' Roy Oswalt, who is reported to have cleared waivers and can be traded to any team.

Other pitchers who have been put on waivers include Shaun Marcum of the Milwaukee Brewers, Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood of the Seattle Mariners and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox, according to various reports.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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