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01/23/09 9:50 AM EST
Dodgers, Wolf closing in on deal
Left-hander pitched for Los Angeles previously in 2007
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
The deep freeze that's been the Major League free-agent market this winter has shown indications a thaw is coming -- at least for starting pitchers.
On the heels of the Mets reaching an apparent agreement on a Minor League deal with right-hander Freddy Garcia, it looks like the Dodgers have taken the inside track in the competition for lefty starter Randy Wolf's services.
According to sources for FoxSports.com, Wolf could most likely be signed to a one or two-year deal. Wolf previously pitched for Los Angeles in 2007 and was 12-12 with a 4.30 ERA in a combined 33 starts last season for the Padres and Astros.
FoxSports.com said Wolf would get less than the three-year, $28 million offer the pitcher turned down from Houston earlier this winter.
If Wolf were to sign with Los Angeles, that would take a lefty starter option off the table for the Mets -- who are trying to re-sign Type A free agent Oliver Perez. The Mets could also be looking at right-handers like Ben Sheets, Jon Garland and Pedro Martinez.
Originally considered an upper echelon part of the starting pitcher market, Sheets remains in play. The former Brewer spent Thursday in Arlington, Tex., visiting with the Rangers and met executives while accompanied by agent Casey Close.
The Brewers left the door slightly open for a return, but general manager Doug Melvin said during an MLB.com live chat on Thursday that there are no ongoing negotiations with Sheets' agent.
The Brewers, who lost CC Sabathia and Sheets from their rotation this winter, don't appear to be an option for any other available starters. The club told reporters on Thursday it would stand pat with what it already have in-house.
No movement has been seen for another marquee name, Andy Pettitte, but the Bergen Record newspaper reported there continues to be dialogue. The paper says the Yankees are not convinced that Pettitte will accept a one-year, $10.5 million offer. Pettitte is believed to be New York's top preference over what is left on the market.