Vin Scully is coming back.

Vin Scully is returning for his 64th season in 2013, the Dodgers announced. The 84-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster will keep the same schedule he kept this year, calling all home and road games in California and Arizona.

“The new ownership of the Dodgers has revitalized the city, the team, the fans and myself,” Scully said in a statement. “I am so convinced of their great purpose and leadership that I eagerly look forward to joining them in pursuit of the next Dodgers championship.”

Scully traveled with the Dodgers to broadcast games in Colorado last year, but cut that trip from his schedule this season. If all goes as planned next year — remember that Scully nearly missed the Dodgers’ entire first homestand of 2012 with a bad cold — he won’t be cutting back at all.

A press conference with Scully is scheduled for later this morning.

Stan Kasten wants you to know the Dodgers aren’t trying to buy a championship.

Here’s one quote that did not make any of the 10 blog posts or two stories I filed from Dodger Stadium yesterday. It’s from Stan Kasten.

“I want to stress … we continue to believe in the importance of building a foundation through scouting and player development,” Kasten said. “We won’t be what we want to be until we build the system of players.”

“The great advantage of this ownership is, we can do both at the same time.”

Sounds a little utopian, right? Let’s take a look at the hit the Dodgers’ farm system just absorbed.

In acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Carl Crawford, Joe Blanton, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, Randy Choate and Brandon League,here’s what the Dodgers sacrificed from their system:
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Around the minors: De Jesus, Sands, Gordon, Puig.

Saturday was an interesting day for the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate lost Ivan De Jesus Jr., who had started 49 games at second base, in the blockbuster nine-player trade with the Boston Red Sox. De Jesus is not on the Pawtucket Red Sox’s roster as of yet and there may be room for him in Boston. Could be a good opportunity for De Jesus, the 25-year-old former prospect who batted a respectable .273 in 23 major-league games this season.

Jerry Sands wasn’t packing his bags for Pawtucket, likely because he was claimed on the waiver wire by a rival team and could not be immediately included in the trade. One of two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa is the other), Sands hit his 25th home run of the season in the Albuquerque Isotopes’ 4-2 win in Memphis.

“It’s been crazy,” Sands told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s part of the business. It’s exciting that people are interested in me. I’m valuable to some people. I’m here for the time being, so I’m just trying to help this ballclub win some games.”
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James Loney’s interesting time as a Dodger is up.

During his daily pregame press briefing, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked for his best James Loney story.

“Oh God,” he sighed. Sounded like there were a few to choose from.

Mattingly picked one from a couple years back, when Larry Bowa was the Dodgers’ third-base coach, and James did “something on the field” that prompted Bowa to pull Loney aside in a tunnel leading into the Dodgers’ clubhouse.

“I know I’ve told you a hundred times…” Bowa said, in Mattingly’s words.

Loney’s response: “Well, I guess one-hundred and one.”

It was an appropriate anecdote for a player whose sense of humor was at times his best asset this season. Like on Friday, when Loney was asked why he was scratched from the lineup, as trade rumors swirled and Adrian Gonzalez was being scratched from the lineup in Boston.

“I don’t have good numbers against (Nate) Eovaldi,” Loney said. “I’m 0-for-0.”

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Colletti: Dodgers targeted Gonzalez since April.

When Adrian Gonzalez hit the second pitch he saw in a Dodger uniform for a three-run home run Saturday, it culminated general manager Ned Colletti’s season-long pursuit of the Boston Red Sox first baseman.

“I talked to [Red Sox general manager] Ben Cherington back in April about Adrian,” Colletti said. “As the talks went on, they were sporadic. We talked about other players. At the [July 31 non-waiver trade] deadline, they weren’t prepared to do anything. The more scouts talk, you get a feel for where the match may be – you get a feel for what players in your system they would like. … You don’t get the crystal clear picture of it, but you get an idea where their interest lies. We just kept turning, kept turning. I stayed in touch with Ben through the month of August. He all of a sudden knew that we were in the market to pick up star players. We were also looking to add as much pitching as we could add.”

Colletti said that Gonzalez was a topic of daily discussion, internally and externally, every day for the last week.

The home run was nice, but the Dodgers will need to get a lot more out of Gonzalez if today’s trade is to pay off. He’s under contract through 2018 for a total of $128 million after this season. Gonzalez turns 36 during the final year of his contract.

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Billingsley to DL as Dodgers maneuver roster to add new players.

Chad Billingsley‘s inflamed right elbow has landed the right-hander on the disabled list for the second time in the past two months.

If he misses the minimum 15 days, Billingsley will miss two starts and face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 11. Billingsley had won six straight decisions before re-aggravating the injury Friday night against the Miami Marlins. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings before coming out of the game.

It’s not how the Dodgers drew it up, but the move helps make room for newcomer Josh Beckett on the active roster. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Beckett, who was scheduled to start today for the Red Sox, will make his Dodger debut Monday in Colorado.

The Dodgers also optioned Alex Castellanos to Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday, thereby clearing room for new first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and infielder Nick Punto on the active roster. James Loney was the only player on the active roster who was traded to Boston.

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Walter: Dodgers’ spending ceiling is ‘somewhere, I suppose.’

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter blew away the other bidders when his Guggenheim Baseball Management submitted a billion-dollar bid to buy the team out of bankruptcy in March.

From his seat in the owners’ box at Dodger Stadium, where he is among the team’s most vociferous cheerleaders most nights, Walter continues to blow everyone away with cash. The latest strike: The most expensive trade in the history of Major League Baseball, which brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers on Saturday.

As Jon Paul Morosi of wrote today: “The Dodgers are trying to money-slap the opposition en route to the World Series.”

Asked if there’s a ceiling to how much the Dodgers can spend, Walter replied, smiling: “Somewhere, I suppose.”

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Are the Dodgers done dealing?

Maybe not.

“If there’s somebody out there in the next week or so, we’ll take a shot at it, as always,” general manager Ned Colletti told reporters at a press conference announcing today’s trade for Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.

Perhaps the biggest x-factor is injuries.

Colletti said that he was motivated to acquire Punto after Jerry Hairston Jr. was sidelined for the rest of the season due to a hip labrum injury that will require surgery. Chad Billingsley‘s second bout with elbow inflammation underscored the need to acquire another starting pitcher in Beckett. Dee Gordon, Matt Guerrier and Ted Lilly are all currently out on rehab assignments, but there’s no guarantee that any of them will be back healthy before the end of the season.

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Biggest MLB trade ever?

I asked Dodgers president Stan Kasten if he could recall making a bigger trade in his 21 years as a baseball executive than the one the Dodgers pulled off today.

He could not. “I’m so old,” he joked.

Seriously, is it the biggest trade ever? Nine players were involved. The Dodgers took on about $261.8 million in payroll. Three of the nine players –Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett –are under contract beyond next season while the other major-leaguers involved, James Loney and Nick Punto, can be accurately classified as “rentals.” Fireballing right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (one of the players to be named later) is a future top-of-the-rotation-type pitcher. All of the prospects going to Boston are 25 or younger.

In 2005, the website published an article ranking the largest trades of all time. Here were the top four:

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