"The Dodgers' charter jet is parked right over there." - J. Meric
The Dodgers are interested in [insert every player here], per reports.
We knew going into the winter that the Dodgers would be quite active this offseason, as the new ownership group has shown a willingness to spend, spend, and spend some more since they took over. But its quickly becoming hard to keep up with all the rumors.
It was announced on Friday that an unknown team won the bid on 25-year old Korean left-handed pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was posted for an eye-popping $25,737,737.33. The identity of the winning team hasn't yet been identified, and though it was rumored to be the Chicago Cubs that was refuted by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Mike Petriello at Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness wrote a very thorough profile of Ryu earlier Friday, then later on Friday tweeted that a source told him the Dodgers won the bid for the left-hander.
Whether Ryu, if he is a Dodger, ends the team's pursuit of a starting pitcher this offseason remains to be seen.
But that wasn't the only news from the final day of the MLB general manager meetings in Indian Wells, as the Dodgers are also reportedly interested in Kevin Youkilis as well. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has more:
Youkilis, 33, would fit the Dodgers only under certain circumstances: If Hanley Ramirez ends up at shortstop and not third, if third baseman Luis Cruz becomes more of a super-utilityman, or if the Dodgers are resigned to sending Dee Gordon back to Triple A, perhaps for an entire season.
Rosenthal notes simply that the Dodgers are "thinkin about it," which is far from concrete, but given the level of spending by the new ownership group nothing would really be a surprise at this point, right?
The Dodgers will have organizational meetings next week in Los Angeles in hopes of formulating a plan that provides room for (Torii) Hunter, while also acquiring a frontline starting pitcher. They have talked to the agents for free-agent starter Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, and according to one club executive, no longer are involved in Ryan Dempster negotiations.
"We've got some things to think about," Colletti said. "We're in a better spot than a year ago, by far.''
Hunter, 37, hit .313/.365/.531 with 24 doubles and 16 home runs in 140 games for the Angels last year. The Dodgers, you may remember, have three outfielders signed through at least 2017, and Hunter doesn't seem like the type to sign as a fourth outfielder, no matter how much of a friend he is to Matt Kemp. So if Hunter is in fact on the Dodgers' radar that likely means an outfielder is on the trading block, and the most likely of the three is Andre Ethier, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract extension in May.
Ethier's contract was part of the over $400 million in salary commitments the Dodgers have added under the new ownership group, along with Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett.
That lavish spending makes the Dodgers an easy mark for agents to use, floating the idea that the Dodgers are interested in their client in order to drive up the price. In other words, get used to the Dodgers mentioned in nearly every rumor this winter.
Welcome to the new world order.