Last-minute housecleaning before Tony takes a vacation

The Dodgers added pitchers Brent Leach, Jesus Castillo, Travis Schlichting and Victor Garate and outfielder Jamie Hoffmann to the 40-man roster tonight, which was the deadline for protecting Rule 5 draft-eligible players from being taken in the Rule 5 draft, which is scheduled for Dec. 11. They could have added more, but they needed to leave a couple of spots open for possible free-agent signings between now and the Rule 5. Forty-man is now at 38. And some of these guys could be removed if the Dodgers end up signing more than two FAs before Dec. 11. … I believe I have gotten to the bottom of this Camelback Ranch thing. Turns out, this whole area of Glendale/Phoenix is known as Camelback Ranch. I live at the Villas at Camelback Ranch, which is adjacent to the Townes at Camelback Ranch. Thus, that thing going up across the street should technically be called the Spring Training Complex at Camelback Ranch. For whatever reason, the Dodgers and White Sox seem to want to take credit for coming up with the name, which apparently was in place long before they ever even thought about building a spring-training complex here and even before KB Home started their development here. Talk about chutzpah. … I’m starting a well-deserved vacation tomorrow. Doug Padilla will be covering for me while I’m gone. See you on Dec. 2, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Will the REAL Camelback Ranch please stand up?

The Dodgers just sent out a release stating that their new spring-training home, which will be shared with the Chicago White Sox, will be called Camelback Ranch. That’s funny, because the subdivision across the street, where your favorite blog host now owns a home, is ALSO called Camelback Ranch. Now, I am completely unaware of ANY affiliation between the two entities — although the sales office DOES have an artist’s rendering of the baseball complex prominently displayed on an easel. I’m trying to figure out if there is some connection between the two. The subdivision is a KB Home project.

Spring-training facility update

They put up the lights at the main stadium today, something I noticed as I was on my way to the gym tonight (yes, some of us scribes at least ATTEMPT to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle). Light towers were erected at a couple of the back fields several weeks ago, but the fact they are now up at the main stadium is a real sign of progress. Interestingly, the stadium lights have airplane warning lights on top, which the backfield lights don’t. They’re of roughly equal height, and there is an airport (Glendale Municipal) adjacent to the facility, as well as an Air Force Base (Luke) about five miles to the West. But I digress. Anyway, I’ll try to post regular updates whenever some significant, obvious development takes place over there. It’s amazing that it has only been eight months since I got my first glimpse of the place, when it was nothing but a big, flat patch of dirt. Now, it’s beginning to look like a spring-training complex.

A good move for a good man

The Colorado Rockies are expected to announce tomorrow that our old friend Jim Tracy is their new bench coach. He has been out of the game for the past year while still being paid by the Pirates, who fired him as their manager after 2007. In all my years of covering ball, Trace is still one of my favorite people that I have met in the game, and it’ll be great having him back in the N.L. West and to be able to see him frequently and catch up.

Dodgers-Giants rivalry heading for another showdown?

OK, this isn’t something anyone has told me, and it isn’t something that is being reported. It’s just a logical inference I am making based on the information that I have. But it APPEARS that the CC Sabathia sweepstakes could come down to two final teams: the Dodgers and the Giants. This is based on one very big assumption, which is this: the fact Sabathia still hasn’t accepted the Yankees’ offer of six years, $140 million, which was made almost a week ago, seems to suggest that maybe he just doesn’t want to pitch for the Yankees. I’m not stating that as a fact. I’m only saying that is what it seems to suggest. Anyway, we know CC wants to pitch for an N.L. club because he likes to hit. We know he just purchased a home in SoCal. And we know he wants to stay close to home. That pretty much leaves the Dodgers and Giants. Padres are dumping payroll to the point that they’re shopping Jake Peavy, so they’re out. Diamondbacks aren’t adding payroll, and besides, they have Brandon Webb and Dan Haren. So it LOOKS like that is where this whole thing is headed, provided the Dodgers don’t re-sign Manny Ramirez anytime soon. This much is clear: they WON’T sign both Manny and CC.

OK, here is the deal on CC Sabathia

Just found out that the Dodgers have NOT made an offer and that they aren’t ABOUT to make an offer. This does not mean, however, that they WON’T make an offer at some point. The Dodgers ARE interested in CC Sabathia, and if you believe what you read just about everywhere these days, he is at least somewhat interested in them. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, especially given that the Yankees have offered what they reportedly have offered. … Also just found out that the Dodgers AREN’T talking to the Jays about Halladay. Oh, and there is apparently another report out there (I haven’t seen it, was just told about it) that they are in hot pursuit of Raul Ibanez, which would make no sense given that the last thing the Dodgers need is another outfielder (at least not another outfielder NOT named Manny Ramirez). There is no truth to that report, either.

Have Dodgers switched focus from Manny to CC?

The Times blog says they’re about to make an offer to CC Sabathia. The Newark Star-Ledger says it’s six years and between $110 million and $120 million, which is well short of the six years and $140 million the Yankees have offered, but CC is said to want to pitch in Southern California, where he reportedly recently purchased a home. I’m still trying to nail this down. The Star-Ledger also says the Dodgers might be involved in trade talks with Toronto for Roy Halladay, a deal that presumably would negate the need to go after Sabathia and might allow the Dodgers to continue to pursue Manny Ramirez, something signing Sabathia probably wouldn’t allow.

The White Sox are coming, the White Sox are coming

It became official about an hour ago. Here is the link to a story that was just posted on the web site of the Chicago Tribune, by my buddy Mark Gonzales, who covers the Sox. They WILL be joining the Dodgers in Glendale next spring, after all, so the Dodgers won’t have the place to themselves for the first year. The main point to take from this development, of course, is that now Tony only has to make TWO trips to Tucson next spring (when the Dodgers play the D-backs and Rockies) instead of FOUR (the White Sox will be the home team in two of their three meetings with the Dodgers, all three of which are now set for Glendale, not Tucson).

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports_hardball/2008/11/white-soxs-move.html

White Sox/Glendale issue to be decided on Tuesday

Here’s the link to a Chicago Tribune story. OK, it’s actually an AP story on the Chicago Tribune web site. But the Dodgers should know by Tuesday whether the White Sox will be able to join them at the new Glendale facility next spring or whether they won’t arrive until 2010.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-081114-chicago-white-sox-training-camp,0,6393835.story