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Dodgers make an offer, but have to wait

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On Tuesday afternoon, Magic Johnson tweeted the following: "I hope my Dodgers will be able to acquire some pitchers at the winter meetings."

Sorry, Magic. Things aren't exactly sailing along in that regard.

General manager Ned Colletti described Tuesday as "very quiet," and even admitted it was a bit dreary in the Dodgers' executive suite. The only tangible progress, if you can call it that, was that the Dodgers made a formal offer to agent Scott Boras for Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin. Colletti exchanged a couple of text messages with the agent for Zack Greinke.

In both cases, Colletti said the two sides are far apart.

"It appears that everybody we have some interest in is going to take a methodical path," Colletti said.

Typically, Asian players sign for somewhere in the neighborhood of the posting fee the team pays to negotiate with them. The latest example was Yu Darvish, who signed for $56 million with the Texas Rangers after the club posted $51 million to negotiate with him. Boras, however, appears to view Ryu's value on par with No. 3-caliber major league starters, who have been signing for far more than the $25 million the Dodgers bid for Ryu.

Of the initial offer, Colletti said, "Predictably, it fell a tad short."

The belief by many baseball people in the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel on Tuesday was that, once Greinke's agent has fielded other teams' offers, the Dodgers will come in with the highest bid. Colletti didn't sound in any particular hurry, saying, "We're patient."

If it doesn't happen, the Dodgers appear to have more fallback options than they did a few weeks ago. In addition to the glacial progress with Ryu, they learned that Chad Billingsley has begun his normal winter throwing program, raising hope that he could avoid Tommy John surgery.

"Him being able to begin a throwing program is a great sign," Colletti said. "Is it the sign that says, 'Hey, we can go home on Wednesday?' No."

The Dodgers have also had trade talks with other teams here, including some that involve multiple teams. The latest name to surface in trade rumors is the Mets' R.A. Dickey, the reigning Cy Young winner, but the Dodgers have also been linked to Tampa Bay's James Shields and Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan.

The Dodgers also would like to add a fourth outfielder and a left-handed reliever, but those aren't exactly at the top of their agenda at the moment.

"I think those will be slower," Colletti said. "Not that this is going at a rapid pace."

Other notes

The Dodgers, who have a roster filled with players from far-flung locales, could lose several players for a big chunk of spring training as they compete in the World Baseball Classic. But the name that would cause the most consternation in the team's offices if he pitches for Team USA is pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who missed a couple of starts late last year with a hip ailment.

Colletti said he wouldn't stand in Kershaw's way if he wants to pitch in the WBC.

“It depends on how he feels, both about doing it and how he feels physically," Colletti said.

Day 2 progress: Minimal.

Wish list: Starting pitcher or two, left-handed reliever, fourth outfielder.