Dallas McPherson: Back to Albuquerque.

The Dodgers signed free agent Dallas McPherson to a minor-league contract Friday.

McPherson last surfaced in the majors in 2011, when he made 15 plate appearances with the White Sox. Once a top prospect in the Angels’ system, the 32-year-old flamed out due to injuries after losing the starting third base job in Anaheim to Chone Figgins in 2006. He sat out all of the 2007 season after having back surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his lower back before resurfacing in 2008 with the Albuquerque Isotopes, then a Florida Marlins affiliate.

With the Dodgers, McPherson appears headed for Albuquerque again. The Isotopes’ third baseman last season, Josh Fields, recently signed a minor-league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. McPherson has spent the majority of his career at the hot corner, but also saw time at first, center field, right field and designated hitter in 2012, when he split the year between the White Sox and Pirates’ organizations.

McPherson batted .265/.344/.490 in 2012 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs. The Dodgers will be his sixth organization in the last seven years.

Mike Piazza, Hall of Famer?

Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year. Voting began last month and concludes in January. Earlier, we asked you who you thought belonged in the Hall, and a lot of you liked Piazza.

I could probably link to at least a dozen written pro/con Piazza arguments, but I’ll single out the one Jay Jaffe wrote for SI.com today for its even-handedness between numbers and anecdotes, and its fair treatment of the PED question. (Piazza wasn’t ever connected to steroids on the record, though he did admit to using androstenedione early in his career.)

My two cents: Piazza is a first ballot HOFer, and I’d like to believe that voters will agree.

Dodgers DFA Scott Van Slyke to make room for Skip Schumaker.

Skip Schumaker passed his physical and was officially added to the Dodgers’ roster today.Scott Van Slyke Scott Van Slyke was designated for assignment to make room for Schumaker on the 40-man roster, likely ending his brief time as a Dodger.

Van Slyke, the son of former major-leaguer Andy, actually spent eight years in the Dodger organization. He didn’t reach the majors until Year 8, however, when he appeared in 27 games between May 9 and July 8 of this year. The highlight came in a May 20 game against the St. Louis Cardinals, when Van Slyke hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning, the game-winning hit in a 6-5 Dodgers win. (Coincidentally, Schumaker started that game in center field and hit a two-run triple off Chad Billingsley.)

Unfortunately for Van Slyke, he didn’t do enough after that to stick in the majors. By the time Matt Kemp‘s hamstring eventually came around, Van Slyke had been passed on the outfield depth chart by Elian Herrera. He finished with a .167 average (9-for-54) and two home runs.

Van Slyke was named the Branch Rickey Organizational Player of the Year in 2011, when he batted .348 with 20 home runs and 92 RBIs for Double-A Chattanooga. In eight minor league seasons, Van Slyke has a .290 batting average.

In today’s rich-getting-richer news: The Dodgers are getting $11.7 million over the next three seasons from the Boston Red Sox, according to CBS Boston.

Dodgers to acquire Skip Schumaker, pending physical.

The Dodgers acquired the left-handed hitting reserve they were seeking late Tuesday, agreeing to acquire Torrance native Skip Schumaker from the St. Louis Cardinals, pending a physical.

Skip SchumakerAccording to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Schumaker’s physical is scheduled for Wednesday.

Though the exact package was not known, the Dodgers are expected to send minor league infielder Jake Lemmerman to St. Louis in the trade. Lemmerman, also a Southern California native (Corona Del Mar), batted .233 for Double-A Chattanooga last season and played for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic qualifier. The Dodgers took Lemmerman in the fifth round of the 2010 draft out of Duke University.

He’s been retweeting various welcome-to-St.-Louis tweets tonight.

Schumaker, 32, is a career .288 hitter who can play second base and all three outfield positions. Though he was used as a utility player most of the last two seasons, Schumaker has reached at least 300 plate appearances every season since 2008.

He’s a career .305/.359/.403 hitter against right-handed pitchers and .205/.276/.245 against left-handers, so his role off the Dodgers’ bench seems pretty clear.

Schumaker has one year and $1.5 million left on his contract. He’s reunited in Los Angeles with former Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire. Schumaker still lives in Laguna Niguel.

The Dodgers currently have 40 players on their 40-man roster, so a corresponding roster move would have to be announced before Schumaker can be officially added.

Poll: How would you grade the Dodgers at the Winter Meetings?

Baseball’s Winter Meetings are over, and the Dodgers have been busy … watching their own free agents sign with other teams, while keeping trade talks active with perhaps a dozen other GMs and talking to multiple free-agent targets (exactly how many isn’t clear).

Yet they will leave Nashville without signing or trading for a single player. Maybe “incomplete” is a fair assessment.

Before we get to today’s poll, keep in mind something Ned Colletti said Tuesday: ” you leave Nashville on a Thursday afternoon, that doesn’t mean you don’t talk to someone on a Thursday night, Friday, Saturday.”

Just to recap who the Dodgers lost in Nashville:

• Randy Choate signed a 3-year, $7.5 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals
• Joe Blanton signed a 2-year, $15 million deal with the Angels
• Shane Victorino signed a 3-year, $39 million deal with the Boston Red Sox
• Former prospect Alfredo Silverio, who was removed from the 40-man roster, was snapped up in the Rule 5 draft by the Miami Marlins.

This is dwarfed in magnitude by what didn’t happen. Ryu Hyun-Jin remains unsigned (though there were unconfirmed reports circulating Thursday that he’s already scheduled a physical, for whatever that’s worth). So do Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Josh Hamilton and Brian Wilson, among others. R.A. Dickey remains a Met. In fact, there haven’t been any major trades since the Blue Jays-Marlins blockbuster involving Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, let alone any involving the Dodgers.

Other than Choate, who wanted a longer term (and possibly more money) than the Dodgers were willing to offer, they haven’t lost out on any players they wanted. Yet the Dodgers haven’t signed or traded for anyone they wanted, either. Onto the poll:

Dodgers lose one, gain two, in Rule 5 Draft.

Who knows how Alfredo Silverio‘s season might have played out if his car hadn’t veered off a road in the Dominican Republic in January. By all accounts the outfielder, who began the season ranked as the Dodgers’ fourth-best prospect by Baseball America, was lucky to merely escape with a concussion in addition to back, shoulder, elbow and neck injuries.

The Dodgers removed Silverio from the 40-man roster and on Thursday he was chosen by the Miami Marlins with the sixth pick in the Rule 5 Draft. The Marlins must add Silverio to their major-league roster per MLB rules, a chance the Dodgers weren’t willing to take with the 24-year-old.

The Dodgers did not make a selection in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, but selected two players in the Triple-A phase: infielder Elevys Gonzalez from the Pirates’ Double-A roster and RHP Hector Nelo from Washington’s Double-A roster.

Gonzalez, 23, is a switch-hitter and batted a combined .206 with six homers and 35 RBIs with Single-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona in 2012. Nelo, 26, posted a 2.73 ERA in 47 relief appearances for Double-A Harrisburg last year.

Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, Fernando Valenzuela confirmed for WBC.

Luis CruzAdrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz have been planning on playing in the 2013 World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico. The Dodgers made the official announcement Monday. Gonzalez played for Mexico in 2006 and 2009, Cruz joined him in 2006, and Dodgers broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela will reprise his role as a coach.

Adrian GonzalezCruz recently said he expects to play third base and hit third, with Gonzalez hitting cleanup, when the Mexican team begins training in Arizona in March.

Twelve Major League All-Stars are among the initial 32 players confirming early to represent their country in March: Triple Crown winner and AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval (both for Venezuela); second baseman Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and 2011 N.L. Batting Champion Jose Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays (Dominican Republic); third baseman David Wright of the New York Mets and 2009 A.L. MVP Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins (United States); St. Louis Cardinals teammates Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico); 2006 A.L. MVP Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (Canada); free agent outfielder Andruw Jones (Netherlands); and former Dodgers pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo (Taiwan).

The WBC announced its full schedule Monday:

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