Winter Meetings: Big deals aren't the only thing cooking

Jeff Gross

On the eve of general manager Ned Colletti's eighth winter meetings with the Dodgers, a look back at the moves of winter meetings past.

The winter meetings will officially begin on Monday morning, but all the important parties are already in Nashville. While the Dodgers will undoubtedly garner a lot of attention and Zack Greinke will be the biggest target on the radar, the half week at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel will likely feature several smaller moves as well.

While we wait to see just what Ned Colletti, Stan Kasten and company will do in Nashville, here is a look back at the moves made by the Dodgers in winter meetings past.

Dec. 8, 2011 (Dallas): Traded pitcher Dana Eveland to the Orioles for outfielder Tyler Henson and pitcher Jarrett Martin

Eveland was a Pacific Coast League All-Star who got a September call-up, and did well in five starts with the Dodgers. But he was eligible for arbitration and was a prime candidate to get non-tendered. But just four days prior to the non-tender deadline the Dodgers were able to flip him to Baltimore for a pair of players.

2010 (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.): Signed outfielder Trent Oeltjen to a minor league contract (Dec. 6); signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a one-year deal (Dec. 7); signed pitcher Vicente Padilla to a one-year contract (Dec. 9).

Oeltjen was non-tendered on Dec. 2 but brought back on a minor league deal four days later. Gwynn was non-tendered by the Padres, but came north on Interstate 5 as a reserve outfielder. Gwynn's contract wasn't official until, after the winter meetings, but the deal happened dour days earlier. Padilla's contract contained a base salary of just $2 million but a boatload of incentives based on both relieving and starting, none of which were reached.

Dec. 10, 2009 (Indianapolis): lost outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to the Yankees (via the Nationals) in the Rule 5 Draft; selected pitcher Carlos Monasterios in the Rule 5 Draft and paid cash to the Rays for their Rule 5 pick, pitcher Armando Zerpa.

In spring training 2010, the Dodgers returned Zerpa to the Red Sox and the Yankees returned Hoffmann to the Dodgers, but it was Monasterios who lasted all year in Los Angeles and pitched 88⅓ innings.

2008 (Las Vegas): signed Mark Loretta to a one-year deal (Dec. 8); signed Casey Blake to a three-year contract with an option for 2012 (Dec. 9).

Loretta had a mostly forgettable final big league season, but had one great final moment in the sun with a walk-off single to win Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cardinals. Blake was very good in the first year of his contract but injuries and ineffectiveness marred the final two years of the pact.

Dec. 6, 2007 (Nashville): signed Andruw Jones to a two-year deal that they are still paying off; lost Wesley Wright to the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, and selected Victor Garate from the Astros in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

The last time the winter meetings were in Nashville the Dodgers ended up signing an extremely regrettable contract.

Dec. 6, 2006 (Lake Beuna Vista, Fla.): signed Jason Schmidt to a three-year, $47 million contract; signed Mike Lieberthal to a one-year deal.

Okay, this is starting to get ugly.

Dec. 7, 2005 (Dallas): signed Olmedo Saenz to a two-year, $2 million contract, avoiding arbitration.

Saenz was great in part-time duty in 2006, hitting .296/.363/.564 with 11 home runs in 204 plate appearances, but in his age 36 season in 2007 he was done, hitting .191/.295/.345. Saenz had 132 plate appearances in 92 games, one of just 12 seasons by a Los Angeles Dodger with at least 100 PA but less than 1.5 PA per game.

But remember, just because a deal doesn't happen during the winter meetings doesn't mean the four days wasn't productive. After all, within a week of the 2006 winter meetings, Colletti's first as Dodgers general manager, he traded for Andre Ethier.

Will the Dodgers make a big move over the next four days?

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