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Dodgers continue to spread new international wings

November 12, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • The Dodgers are bolstering their international scouting department.
The Dodgers are bolstering their international scouting department. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

They want Los Angeles, they want all of the major leagues, they want the whole Earth!

Not that it’s a bad thing.

Say this for the Dodgers’ new owners, they have not been bashful. Certainly not with their money, whether dropping a quarter of a billion in a late-season blockbuster trade, making international signings or adding front office personnel.

On Monday they moved to bolster their international scouting department, adding six veteran scouts. They will report to the new vice president of international scouting, Bob Engle, who was hired Nov. 1.

The new scouts will have specific regions to cover: Pedro Avila (Venezuela), Gene Grimaldi (Europe), Patrick Guerrero (Latin America), Pat Kelly (Pacific Rim), Jamey Storvick (assignment scout Pacific Rim) and Mike Tosar (Cuba and Mexico).

Cuba’s not even open, but if it does make its players available in the future, the new, proactive Dodgers want to be ready. All six previously worked with Engle with the Seattle Mariners.

International scouting, once a signature of the Dodgers franchise, had fallen into a veritable afterthought under the ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt. The Guggenheim Baseball Group quickly identified it as an area that needed to be upgraded.

A cap went into place this year, so teams could be on more equal footing, but the Dodgers are making efforts to assure that their information is as good or better than any other franchise.

And that doesn’t count their ability to sign players from Japanese and Korean professional leagues (they recently won a $25.7 million posting bid on Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin) or Cuban defectors (Yasiel Puig was signed for $42 million in June).

The Dodgers also added three other scouts Monday. Willie Fraser, Scott Groot and Bill Mueller will serve as professional scouts. Mueller was previously a special assistant of player personnel to General Manager Ned Colletti, a role the Dodgers announced Monday will be taken on by Josh Bard.

Bard spent 10 years in the major leagues as a catcher and last season played for triple-A Albuquerque.

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