Colletti clarifies club's status with Torre

Colletti clarifies club's status with Torre

LOS ANGELES -- General manager Ned Colletti said on Wednesday that he is talking to Joe Torre about the Dodgers' managerial opening, but he again denied widespread media reports that a deal is in place.

"As of [noon PT Wednesday], I'm telling you, we do not have an agreement," said Colletti. "In the last 72 hours, I can't believe what I've been watching. I've seen more inaccuracies than I can ever remember. We do not have an agreement."

Colletti would not provide a timetable for an announcement. He said that he first spoke to Torre "in the last two or three days" and called the conversations "informational gathering to get his thoughts and to give him our thoughts and see if there's interest on either side."

Colletti said that financial terms had been discussed only "to get a feel for where people are at."

He conceded that Torre is at the top of the club's list, but he said there is a list, even if "it may be a short list."

"Certainly, when you look at [Torre's] resume and what he's done and the market he's done it in, certainly, you have to start there," Colletti said.

"Other people are under consideration and are being discussed internally," he added. "We are in the process of compiling a list and seeing if they have interest and seeing if they're under contract and getting permission to talk."

He indicated that the widespread reporting of Torre as a done deal "is certainly a factor" in whether other potential candidates would believe they have a legitimate shot at the job and even be willing to interview.

The Dodgers' process will be accelerated by an exemption granted by Commissioner Bud Selig from the requirement that minority candidate be interviewed for all club vacancies. In waiving that mandate, the Commissioner took into account the Dodgers' exemplary history of minority hirings.

"The Dodgers have a great record on minority hiring throughout the organization," baseball spokesman Rich Levin said.

Colletti also said that he and Torre have already discussed a coaching staff "widely, but not in a full-fledged fashion." He said he believes that both the manager and general manager need to be comfortable with each member of a coaching staff.

The media reports to which Colletti referred claim that the Dodgers and Torre have in place a three-year deal, with estimates of the package ranging from $12 million to $14.5 million.

In addition, a source told MLB.com that the club and Torre are also discussing Torre having a say in player personnel, which he did not have in his final years with the Yankees.

If Torre is the new skipper for the Dodgers, that would be just fine with right-hander Brad Penny.

"I'm kind of excited about it," said Penny. "I don't think they would get him and I don't think he would come unless they were going to go out and get players. He's going to want to win. He's been in an organization where he's won for so long, he knows a lot about winning."

Although the Dodgers initially thought they had Joe Girardi lined up to replace Little, who resigned on Tuesday, Girardi instead took Torre's old job in the Bronx. Penny said that Torre is a pretty nice second choice.

"People say he wasn't a winner in the National League," said Penny. "But he didn't have real good teams, either."

There are indications that Don Mattingly would follow Torre as bench coach, and Larry Bowa also might come from the Yankees as third-base coach. Little's coaching staff was signed through the end of the 2007 season.

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