Mota deal isn’t done

He will NOT undergo a physical exam today, and it isn’t clear when he will, although I would bet it’s going to be tomorrow. So don’t expect a formal announcement of the signing today. Once he passes, the Dodgers will undoubtedly make an announcement fairly quickly, because the deal is done pending a physical. As previously reported, it’s a one-year contract.

Derek Lowe agrees to terms with Atlanta

It’s reportedly a four-year, $60 million deal, which vastly exceeds the four-year, $36 million he just completed with the Dodgers. He’ll undergo a physical exam on Wednesday, with the contract becoming official if he passes. Here’s the story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2009/01/13/braves_lowe.html

Dodgers agree to terms with Guillermo Mota

This according to several media reports. It is, as expected, a one-year deal, and it is pending a physical exam. He’ll fit primarily into a seventh-inning role, which is a step down from setting up for Eric Gagne as he so capably did for the Dodgers a few years ago. As of right now, the pecking order is Broxton in the ninth, Kuo and sometimes Wade in the eighth and Mota in the seventh. But that’s just a rough template that could change on a nightly basis depending on the situation.

Tim Wallach, Franklin Stubbs return to Dodgers

No, not for an old-timers game. They are the latest additions to the minor-league coaching staff. Wallach will manage at Triple-A Alburquerque, a post that was vacated when Lorenzo Bundy accepted a position with the D-backs as big-league first-base job. Stubbs, who was a minor-league coach or manager with the Braves for the past 12 years, will be the hitting coach for high Single-A Inland Empire. … Check tomorrow’s paper for a story on the new spring-training facility and how it’s shaping up. I took a tour of the place today and even took some pictures (no, the newspaper business hasn’t gotten so lean that beat writers have to shoot their own photos, I VOLUNTEERED to do it), so I believe someone is posting those on the web site, as well. By the way, single-game tickets for spring training go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. California time, and they aren’t all $90. In fact, you can’t even GET the $90 seats (those are only sold on a full season plan). You CAN, however, get an $8 ticket if you want to sit on the outfield berm, and you can even get a SEAT to a game for as little as $18 (baseline reserved). You can buy them through Ticketmaster, which you can link to through dodgers.com.

Takashi Saito to Red Sox

He signed a one-year, major-league contract, which foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports will carry a base salary of somewhere between $1.5 million and $2.5 million and could end up paying him more than $7 million if he maxes out on his incentives. Dodgers were open to re-signing him after they non-tendered him last month to avoid going to arbitration, but given that there were serious questions about the health of his right elbow, they weren’t about to give him anything close to this much money.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9058832/Red-Sox-sign-free-agent-reliever-Saito-

Dodgers sign Shawn Estes to minor-league deal

This is from the Times web site. This guy was a frontline starting pitcher a decade or so ago, when he was with the Giants. Has fallen on hard times in recent years, but he won 15 games for Colorado as recently as 2004. Spent the past two seasons with the Padres. He’ll have a decent shot of making the club.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2009/01/dodgers-sign-es.html

The countdown starts at 35 days

OK, so after a nice, 18-day vacation to celebrate the holidays, I’m officially back at the grindstone today, exactly 35 days before Dodgers pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training on Feb. 13. Based on the number of stories generated by countless media outlets over the past couple of weeks, the Dodgers seemed pretty busy. But as crazy as it must have been in the front office, it didn’t yield much in the way or results, at least no so far. The Dodgers signed Claudio Vargas to a one-year deal and a bunch of other guys, including Juan Castro, to minor-league contracts. Other than that, the Dodgers:

– didn’t sign Trevor Hoffman, to whom they made an offer but who wound up in Milwaukee
– didn’t sign Manny Ramirez, although it is beginning to seem inevitable that they will
– didn’t sign or acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter

In light of all that inactivity, it’s fair to predict that these final five weeks before camp will be busy ones for Ned Colletti and crew — and for those of us responsible for chronicling it.