According to the team website, the Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to veterans Vicente Padilla, Rod Barajas and Scott Podsednik, making them unrestricted free agents.
However, declining to offer a player arbitration is not a signal that the team is ready to move on. Multiple media outlets have reported the Dodgers remain in talks with all three players. General Manager Ned Colletti has mentioned several times that he is still very interested in resigning Padilla to fill out the remainder of the rotation.
Tops on the Dodgers' agenda is finding a consistent backup for Russell Martin, should the young, workhorse catcher need additional breaks in the upcoming season.
Another area of concern is the outfield, and it seems Podsednik may not be the answer in Los Angeles. It is possible that the team and the speedy outfielder are on different pages concerning length of contract and yearly salary.
The Dodgers believed the $2 million was a decent figure to offer, but Podsednik may see this off-season as a chance to find a contending team. The outfielder is no stranger to the free agent market, and has played for six teams in his ten-year Major League career.
Rumors from the Hot Stove says Padilla is seeking a multi-year deal in the range of $5-7M a season. That estimated figure is slightly higher than the Dodgers' estimated price range. Typically, during the free agent period looks similar to a pawn shop in several ways: Both sides are offering amounts higher than they expect to get, the media attempts to ballpark the information for the public.
When both sides exchange numbers, both sides typically attempt to meet in the middle if common interest remains in the venture. As negotiations continue, Padilla will test the market to see if another team has more to offer before deciding where to play next season.
Padilla still has a decent chance of playing in Dodger Blue next season, as he is not viewed as a Type A free agent. Due to nagging injuries, Padilla may be seen as a risk to other teams.
For Barajas, a late-season spark of offense may be attractive to other teams, and he most likely fares a slightly better chance on the free agent market. He will likely find a back-up role in the National League, and talks will certainly heat up between the Dodgers and the veteran.
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