Cafardo On Dodgers, Hamilton, Brewers, Otani

For most of his eight-year tenure with the Dodgers, General Manager Ned Colletti had to mindful of the budget and the bottom line.  Now, Colletti has the financial freedom to make bold moves, such as the trade with the Red Sox which brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, and Carl Crawford aboard.  Colletti has no doubt that Crawford is ready to regain his old form.  "He’s still a dynamic player," Colletti said. "A couple of years ago, he was one of the most sought-after free agents in the game for good reason. People in Tampa saw it a lot. People in the AL East saw it a lot — a combination of abilities not many players have. In this league, the ability to hit and steal, doubles and triples — this is a tough park for home runs sometimes — his ability to create things offensively with speed and ability to hit."  Here's more from today's column..

  • There’s mounting evidence that the Brewers could be one of the teams that emerges in the market for Josh Hamilton.  Milwaukee is at least looking into the possibility, though their top priorities are still finding a starting pitcher and revamping their bullpen.
  • The Cubs appear to be players for 18-year-old pitcher Shohei Otani, but Theo Epstein recently expressed trepidation about plunging back into the Japanese market.  Otani was recently taken with the first-overall pick in the NPB draft and the Nippon Ham Fighters have until March to try and sign him.  A major league club can still sign him at any time, but it would likely irritate Japanese baseball officials.
  • Bobby Valentine declined to say whether he'd like to be considered for the managerial openings with the Rockies, Marlins, and Blue Jays.  The manager also clarified some of his recent remarks on the Red Sox and noted that his line about leaving a note for incoming manager John Farrell was merely an old-time baseball joke.
  • After removing himself from the interview process with the Astros and declining to meet with the Marlins, it's possible that Brad Ausmus only had his eye on the Red Sox job.  However, teams will still try to lure the former catcher who quickly found himself in high demand.
  • Terry Francona did speak with the Marlins earlier this year, but he wanted to be with the Indians all along.

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