Even Torre, no longer with the luxury of the game's highest payroll, is singing from the same songbook as he talks about the joys of managing an energetic young lineup while warning of unintended consequences from multiple-player trades that trigger high replacement costs."You have to make sure if you plug one hole," said Torre, "you don't create another one." Colletti also doesn't seem inclined to veer off his course just to respond to aggressive recent moves by the Angels. "You have to be wise," said Colletti. "You can't do a deal just to do a deal. The long-term stability of the franchise is more important that the quick hit. You juggle that if you can make a move that helps the club for a while, then you have to consider doing it." For Colletti, "a while" seems to be two years. That's how long he would have Cabrera under control in a trade, although he doesn't seem to have the stomach for Florida's demand of three top players. Santana has a no-trade clause, so even if Colletti satisfied Minnesota's player demands, a big-money contract extension would need to be negotiated, making that player even less likely to join the Dodgers. Other more likely paths the Dodgers could take would be the international market, where Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is the prime target, and second-tier trades, where a player such as former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre makes sense if Seattle would deal him for a lesser package than Cabrera would require. While looking for starting pitching depth and middle-of-the-order hitting in the Music City, Colletti also has specific needs on the bench. Through free agency, he has lost his primary pinch-hitters, utility infielders and backup catcher. He also needs a durable arm to replace reliever Rudy Seanez.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.