Gagne might skip Classic

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Scott Boras, Gagne’s Los Angeles-based agent, didn’t return a phone message left at his office by the Daily News. Gagne’s name appeared last month on a list released by Major League Baseball of players willing to participate in the WBC, which is set for March 3-20. But the Dodgers have a considerable financial stake – they owe him at least $10.1 million in the upcoming final season of his contract – in convincing Gagne not to take chances at a time when he won’t have pitched competitively in almost nine months. Minor matter: Although the Dodgers still haven’t announced their minor-league coaching staff, one man known to be on it is Jon Debus, the club’s major-league bullpen coach last season. Debus, a member of the organization for all but two years since he was drafted in the 21st round in 1980, will return to his former position of roving catching instructor after one year on the big-league staff. The full minor-league staff is expected to be released sometime this week. Debus is the only member of last year’s big-league staff who remains with the organization. Big fall: Although it went virtually unnoticed amid Saturday’s four-player trade with Tampa Bay, Dodgers pitching prospect Joel Hanrahan was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for one of the two relievers the club acquired from the Devil Rays. Last spring, five years after the Dodgers took him in the second round of the 2000 draft, Hanrahan was sent to Single-A Vero Beach after spending the entire previous season at Triple-A Las Vegas. This after a series of MRIs on his right shoulder failed to provide any explanation for why his velocity had steadily dropped over the years. Hanrahan will remain with the organization if no other club claims him. But the thought he could actually clear waivers is another indication of just how far he has fallen since beginning the 2003 season by going 10-4 with a 2.43 ERA at Double-A Jacksonville. “He just didn’t have that same looseness or fluidity in his motion that he had in the past,” Dodgers scouting director Logan White said. “It got better last year. He might have gotten back up to 92 (mph), but it looked forced, like more effort was going into it.” Hanrahan did post respectable numbers after being promoted to Jacksonville early last season, going 9-8 with a 4.92 ERA. Tony Jackson,(818) 713-3675 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Colletti declined to comment on the matter Tuesday. “You will have to check with Gagne,” he said. “I can’t get in the middle of that.” center_img While Dodgers outfielder Ricky Ledee’s name popped up on Puerto Rico’s preliminary, 60-man roster on Tuesday for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, there were indications Dodgers closer Eric Gagne has decided not to play for his native Canada in the inaugural event. Gagne, who as recently as two seasons ago was considered the top closer in the majors, is coming off season-ending surgery last June 24 to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Although Gagne is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti implied during a recent media conference call that club officials would discourage Gagne from participating in the WBC because of the injury. last_img