Dodgers looking at Rowand
The free-agent center fielder, who grew up in Southern California, hit .309 with 27 home runs and 89 runs batted in for the Phillies last season.
Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Rowand, left, and Jimmy Rollins watch the last out in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals. (AP)
Colletti described his pursuits of the three players as being in their initial stages.
"We're curious to know what their interest level is in playing here and what it's going to take to get them here," Colletti said. "They're all accomplished in their own way. They all bring something to the table."
Colletti talked about the free-agent and trade markets in a conference call introducing the latest coaches to be signed to Manager Joe Torre's staff: bench coach Bob Schaefer, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, first base coach Mariano Duncan and bullpen coach Ken Howell. The four coaches round out a staff that already included hitting coach Don Mattingly and third base coach Larry Bowa.
Colletti mentioned in the call that he has inquired about potential trades for a middle-of-the-order bat, but that he has been asked for too much in return. The Dodgers and Angels were mentioned earlier this week by a source as the teams most likely to acquire All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins.
Signing a free agent, Colletti said, could make a player already on the roster expendable, thus improving their chances of making a trade.
The free-agent center fielder who most wants to play at Dodger Stadium next season might be Rowand, who grew up in Southern California. Rowand graduated from Glendora High in 1995 and played at Cal State Fullerton from 1996 to '98.
"The Dodgers would be one of the teams Aaron would be most interested in playing for," said Rowand's agent, Craig Landis.
Rowand, 30, hit .309 with 27 home runs and 89 runs batted in for the Philadelphia Phillies last season. He played in the All-Star game and won a Gold Glove.
Landis said that he has been contacted by 10 or so teams about Rowand.
Hunter, 32, who won his seventh consecutive Gold Glove with the Minnesota Twins last season, also appears to be open to playing for the Dodgers next season.
"If we were not interested in a club, we would not look forward to having discussions with them," said Hunter's agent, Larry Reynolds. "We would entertain any discussions with the Dodgers."
Jones, 30, slumped offensively last season, hitting only .222 for the Atlanta Braves, but he drove in 94 runs and won his 10th Gold Glove. Jones is represented by Scott Boras.
The addition of Jones, Hunter or Rowand probably would result in weak-armed Juan Pierre's being moved from center field to left and a surplus of outfielders that would give the Dodgers increased flexibility to make a deal.
Colletti did not discuss Cabrera or any other individual potential trade target, but said conversations about trading for an offensive reinforcement have so far been "limited."
"Any player that you would consider to have that type of ability -- middle-of-the-order bat, run producer -- as predicted, the cost of our prospects, at least in our minds, far exceeds the value of the one player," he said. "We're talking about not one prospect or two prospects, but in some cases, three or four prospects.
"Our prospects aren't necessarily sitting in double A or triple A. Our prospects are really no longer prospects. They're big league players. Those are the players that continually get asked about."
That group includes first baseman James Loney, outfielder Matt Kemp, starting pitcher Chad Billingsley and top pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw.
"Right now, trade-wise, it's a lot of bait-and-switch," Colletti said. "We thought we had a deal with someone the other day, but they got cold feet at the end. It's that time of year."