These Major League Baseball winter meetings coincided with the National Finals Rodeo, which is held here in Las Vegas every December. There are cowboys everywhere, but it isn’t quite the culture clash you might think it to be. This morning, I saw two of them walking down the hall just outside the media work room, and these were REAL cowboys from head to toe: boots, Wranglers, long-sleeved Western-cut shirts, cowboy hats and full salt-and-pepper beards. As they walked, one of them was intently thumbing through the latest issue of a certain publication, copies of which had been stacked on a table outside one of the ballrooms. The publication? Baseball America, of course.
The Dodgers didn’t select or lose anyone in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft today. They did lose three players — SS Francisco Lizarraga (Cincinnati), RFAndrew Locke (Houston) and SS Shane Justis (Milwaukee) in the minor-league portion, which works differently from the major-league part. Those players are gone for good, the Dodgers getting $12,000 each for them from the teams who drafted them. The Dodgers did add one player in the minor-league phase, an infielder from the Toronto chain named Anthony Hatch.