Dodgers likely done with offseason moves

Dodgers likely done with offseason moves

Dodgers likely done with offseason moves
LOS ANGELES -- There is plenty of chatter that soon-to-be former owner Frank McCourt will sign free agent Prince Fielder as a going-away gift to Dodgers fans, if the first baseman accepts a short-term deal.

If it's true, neither general manager Ned Colletti nor manager Don Mattingly knows it, or will reveal it, because both indicated on Monday that the payroll is spent and the roster is essentially set.

"I don't see it. Not at the moment," Colletti said when asked about a big bat, without mentioning by name the biggest bat still on the market. "Our payroll is what it is."

"We haven't had any talk about Prince," said Mattingly.

From what Colletti and Mattingly said, there isn't even a lot of competition for roles, unless the role is owner, where there seems to be plenty.

"We really need the players we have to play to their potential," said Colletti. "We're in a decent spot to be competitive and make more decisions in July."

"When we talk about the club, it's a lot like last year," said Mattingly. "We have to stay healthy and have the guys doing what they're capable of doing. If they do, we're going to look like a pretty good offensive club."

While most of the players at Monday's Dodger Stadium workout are Minor Leaguers invited to the Winter Development Camp, there were a few familiar faces.

Most notable was right-handed pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, whose meteoric arrival came undone last year when he blew out his elbow and required Tommy John surgery. De La Rosa is healing on schedule, throwing free and easy on flat ground from 60 feet and is optimistic for a late July return to game action.

"Right now I feel more power than I did before, a lot stronger," he said, rolling back his sleeve to reveal a six-inch scar. "Beautiful, huh?"

De La Rosa and Mattingly rejected the suggestion that his injury was the result of being rushed to the big leagues. The pitcher said he picked the brain of teammate and Tommy John veteran Javy Guerra, so he knows the importance of patience during the recovery and said he expects to remain a starting pitcher, even though Colletti said the pitcher could return to action sooner as a reliever.

Also rehabbing is infielder Justin Sellers, who suffered a serious groin pull while playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Sellers said he's still not 100 percent, but he was turning double plays with expected starting shortstop Dee Gordon on Monday.

Working in the infield was Alex Castellanos, a natural power-hitting outfielder acquired from the Cardinals in the Rafael Furcal trade. Castellanos is still primarily an outfielder, but the Dodgers are trying him at second base, which they had to fill with the signing of free agent Mark Ellis because they weren't willing to turn the position over to Sellers or Ivan DeJesus Jr.

Also at the camp is catcher Tim Federowicz, who was a September callup, but Colletti said he's likely to open the season in the Minor Leagues as the Dodgers plan to start the season with A.J. Ellis starting and Matt Treanor backing up. Federowicz was the key player acquired in the Trayvon Robinson trade.

Colletti said he met in the Dominican with third baseman Juan Uribe. Colletti said Uribe knows he underperformed last year and understands the expectations for this year. Utilityman Jerry Hairston might share time at the position. Hairston also could see time in the outfield, especially when the Dodgers face left-handed pitching. When that happens, James Loney might be replaced at first base by left fielder Juan Rivera and Andre Ethier might give way to Jerry Sands. Mattingly said he wouldn't call it a platoon, but one of the winter priorities was to add right-handed bats to give him more options against left-handed pitching.

As for new ownership, Mattingly tried to sidestep the possibility of working for former manager Joe Torre, who brought Mattingly to L.A. four years ago and is part of a group bidding to buy the club.

"I don't think I should be rooting for anybody," Mattingly said. "We've talked. From my standpoint, above you you want somebody you can trust, who has integrity, who goes about it the right way, who knows the organization. From my standpoint, I'd love to work with Joe."

The list of players at the camp: Pitchers (8) -- Steven Ames, Michael Antonini, De La Rosa, Stephen Fife, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, Allen Webster and Chris Withrow.

Position Players (7) -- Castellanos, Griff Erickson, Federowicz, Tyler Henson, Alfredo Silverio, Scott Van Slyke and Matt Wallach.

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