Russell Martin, who turned down the Dodgers' offer to talk about a long-term contract last winter, said he would like to explore such a deal this winter. "I'm always interested in a long-term deal," Martin told the Los Angeles Times. "Who wouldn't be?"
Martin officially recently filed for salary arbitration -- as did Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier and Jason Repko -- and General Manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers are "concentrating on a one-year [contract] at the moment."
But Martin, who has changed agents this winter, said he hoped to discuss a long-term extension as well. "I just want to get treated fairly," he said. "I'm not trying to steal the bank."
Glendale is in the final stages of construction on the more than $100 million ballpark at Camelback Road and 107th Avenue called Camelback Ranch Glendale.
The stadium seats 10,000 in the main bowl -- all seats with backs, no benches -- and 3,000 more on a lawn behind the outfield fence. There is room to build 2,000 more seats down the baselines.
Frank McCourt shared his hopes of creating a "baseball paradise."
He also confirmed that he wants to build a hotel and conference center on the site, much like the team had at Dodgertown, its 60-year Florida home.
The hotel would be used by minor-league players as well as the public. McCourt said he had no timeline for such a project. For now, he said his focus is to open the ballpark. Opening day on March 1 will feature a game between the Dodgers and Sox.
Martin was in awe. "It's everything I thought it would be -- times 1 million," he said. "It's beautiful."
The White Sox players will have the option to use a tunnel between the clubhouse and practice fields. The Dodgers players will not, preserving the interaction with fans that was a hallmark of the old Dodgertown site.
"You won't see barriers between our fans and our players," McCourt said. "It's a tradition."
Said Martin: "Who wants to build barriers? That's why they tore down the Berlin Wall."
Still Talking with Manny's Agent
The Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez who powered the Dodgers into the playoffs but remains a free agent.
Colletti continues to talk with Ramirez's agent and realized the San Francisco Giants also are in discussions with Ramirez, but neither team is believed to be interested in providing the four-year contract requested by agent Scott Boras.
The Dodgers are also pursuing starting pitchers Jon Garland, Braden Looper and Randy Wolf -- and to a lesser extent Andy Pettitte -- and relievers Luis Ayala and Dennys Reyes. They no longer appear to be interested in reliever Juan Cruz, whose signing would have cost them a first-round draft pick.
Wolf, according to multiple sources, declined to accept a three-year, $28.5 million offer to return to the Astros — an offer that was rescinded early in the offseason. The veteran lefty could end up with the Dodgers if the Mets sign Perez, but he is unlikely to command an average salary of $9.5 million from any team.
Supplemental Pick for Lowe-- Even though Lowe is a Type A free agent, the Dodgers will not get the Braves' first-round pick (#7) in the 2009 amateur draft as compensation. Because the first 15 selections are protected, the Dodgers figure to receive the Braves' second-round choice and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds.