Winter Meetings checklist

Winter Meetings checklist

At least the front office won't be distracted trying to hire a manager, as was the case during last year's Winter Meetings.

General manager Ned Colletti, however, has plenty of work to do. The primary goal seems to be signing free agent starting pitcher Jason Schmidt. That would provide a surplus of starting pitching which, combined with the talented farm system, could put Colletti in position to trade for a power hitter.

2006 finish: 88-74, first-place tie, National League West, Wild Card (lost to Mets in NL Division Series)

Deals so far: Re-signed INF Ramon Martinez; re-signed INF Nomar Garciaparra; signed OF Juan Pierre; signed LHP Randy Wolf

Players eligible for arbitration: LHP Joe Beimel; C Toby Hall; LHP Mark Hendrickson; OF Jayson Werth

Free agents: C Einar Diaz; OF J.D. Drew; RHP Eric Gagne; OF Kenny Lofton; INF Julio Lugo; RHP Greg Maddux; RHP Aaron Sele

Needs: After spending more than $70 million this winter, the Dodgers still have the same needs as when the season ended -- a power bat and front-line starting pitcher. The closer situation remains unresolved, although there is a lot of time to re-sign Takashi Saito and no other clubs with which to contend. Bullpen depth is another issue that could depend in large part on whether free agent Eric Gagne and/or Yhency Brazoban return from injuries. Whatever position the acquired hitter plays could determine what the Dodgers will do at third base.

Dealing strengths: The Dodgers' strategy is to gather pitching (which explains the signing of Randy Wolf) and use the surplus to deal for a hitter like Vernon Wells or Adrian Beltre or, as fans would prefer, Manny Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez. The Dodgers also have one of the deeper farm systems, although it's not quite as deep as it was before the curious unloading of Joel Guzman. Trade candidates include Hendrickson, Toby Hall, Andy LaRoche and James Loney.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.