NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Baseball's winter meetings this year are taking place at the largest non-casino resort in the United States.
It's called the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, and it's filled with kitschy features like fake ponds and waterfalls; plastic jungle plants; and a massive Christmas tree display on the front lawn with enough lights to illuminate a pro football stadium.
And there's one other prop here for the next few days: the Los Angeles Dodgers' front office.
While the Dodgers do have legitimate business to conduct here -- including signing a front-line starting pitcher, they hope -- rumors of their involvement for some players have been greatly exaggerated. Since everyone in baseball knows the Dodgers' owners are flush and about to get flusher, agents have helped fan the perception that the Dodgers are among the teams pursuing their players.
"We're in on so many players, we may need two or three teams," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti joked with reporters. "We've gone from convincing players to come here to being the ones everyone is trying to convince."
Colletti confirmed to reporters that the Dodgers have yet to make any offers on starting pitchers, which ESPNLosAngeles.com first reported last week. That could change in the next few days, of course, and probably will.
One of the reasons the Dodgers made the costliest trade in baseball history last August, acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto and virtually all of their salaries, was because they viewed this class of free agents as relatively weak. So, they probably will make noise this week, but some of the things you hear will be agents banging pots and pans together.
Colletti said the pace of negotiations to sign Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin has not been conducive to getting a deal done by Sunday's deadline (after which Ryu would return to pitch in Korea). But don't read too much into that. It's common for agent Scott Boras to take negotiations into the final hours. When Jered Weaver came out of Long Beach State, he held out an entire year, on Boras' advice, before signing a couple of hours before the deadline.
If the Dodgers do not sign Ryu, it could affect the rest of their offseason plans, forcing them to look at acquiring two healthy starting pitchers. Ted Lilly (shoulder) and Chad Billingsley (elbow) are questionable for next season.
Day 1 progress: Little, apparently
Wish list: Starting pitcher, left-handed reliever, reserve outfielder