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Pitches for Greinke aren't strikes

BASEBALL'S WINTER MEETINGS END

Dodgers don't get their top target, but Colletti has identified other pitchers he thinks could be starters

December 07, 2012|Dylan Hernandez
  • Angels starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the Boston Red Sox during a game on Aug. 30, 2012.
Angels starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the Boston Red Sox during… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

NASHVILLE — The Dodgers left baseball's winter meetings Thursday without their top free-agent target.

The upside: No other team signed pitcher Zack Greinke, either. And the field of suitors seems to have thinned.

The Texas Rangers are the only other identified remaining bidder for the Cy Young Award-winning right-hander.

The Angels and Washington Nationals were also interested in Greinke, but they turned to considerably less costly alternatives.

The Dodgers may end up looking elsewhere too. While Greinke remains the Dodgers' top choice, General Manager Ned Colletti said his team wouldn't be left paralyzed waiting for him to make a decision.

The Dodgers have identified "two or three" other pitchers they think could be the No. 2 or 3 starter they want, Colletti said. The list is thought to include Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, whom the New York Mets are shopping, and Anibal Sanchez, a free agent.

In addition to an established front-line major league starter, the Dodgers are still hoping to sign South Korean league All-Star Ryu Hyun-jin.

The Dodgers bid $25.7 million to win the exclusive right to negotiate with the left-hander in a window that closes at 2 p.m. PST on Sunday. The two sides are far apart on compensation.

Though the Dodgers didn't land the pitcher they wanted at the winter meetings, Colletti pointed out that they had a short shopping list. By trading for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, shortstop Hanley Ramirez and left fielder Carl Crawford over the summer, the Dodgers solidified their lineup.

"We haven't looked at an every-day position player all winter," Colletti said.

The Dodgers had also already locked up a closer by trading for and then re-signing Brandon League.

Under new deep-pocketed ownership, the Dodgers found themselves in a new position at these meetings. Asked whether rival general managers treated him any differently, Colletti joked, "They try to buy me more drinks at night."

Kidding aside, he said he was approached more than usual by teams wanting to shed payroll.

With a payroll of more than $200 million, the Dodgers are expected to field baseball's most expensive team next season. But Colletti described the franchise as one in transition.

"We're still building this team," he said. "It's not like we just started to build a team from scratch. We're adding to a team that was built under different dynamics."

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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