LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With only the passing of a physical exam remaining before Vicente Padilla officially rejoins the Dodgers as a swingman and having kicked the tires on Zack Greinke, general manager Ned Colletti turned his attention toward left field, agreeing to terms with Tony Gwynn, according to a baseball source.
Colletti wouldn't confirm that the son of the Hall of Famer, non-tendered by the Padres last week, had moved to the top of the list of candidates that had included Scott Podsednik and Matt Diaz. But he said he had made significant progress in talks Tuesday with an unnamed outfielder who would add speed and defense to the lineup.
Gwynn, 28, should do just that. His batting average fell from .270 in 2009 to .204 this year, when he played in 117 games and stole a career-high 17 bases. Defensively, he has outstanding range and can play any of the three outfield positions.
"He's not a big-time bat that would shock the world," said Colletti, "but he's somebody I think we really need."
Colletti said he still would like to add another relief pitcher, a backup catcher to go with Rod Barajas and A.J. Ellis and possibly an outfielder to platoon with his unnamed target signing, although Xavier Paul is expected to get a chance to make the club in Spring Training because he, like infielder Chin-lung Hu, is out of options.
Colletti said he still has not had a conversation with the agent for Russell Martin since non-tendering the catcher last Thursday.
As for Padilla, he agreed to a one-year contract for a guaranteed $2 million with as much as $8 million in incentives if he makes 33 starts or as much as $6 million in incentives based on relief workload.
The Dodgers see the 34-year-old Padilla -- who missed considerable time this year with injuries to a forearm nerve and his neck -- as an ideal swingman who could spot-start, pitch multiple innings of middle relief or fill in as a closer if Jonathan Broxton can't take the ball or get the job done.
Padilla, however, probably believes he can beat out Jon Garland for the fifth starting spot, presenting manager Don Mattingly with potentially his first dilemma as the new manager. He already has rotation spots locked up by Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda.
Colletti, however, has seen the effects of attrition on a staff, so he's loading up on pitchers.
"I'm trying to find out when we have too many," he said half-joking. "I haven't had too many yet."
Besides, Colletti conceded, there's always concern about the health of a pitcher, including Garland, who has grinded out 200-plus innings a season for a decade, and Padilla, who made only 16 starts this year.
The Dodgers also announced the hiring of former Yankee Wade Taylor as an advance scout and Bill Latham as a professional scout. Taylor was the advance scout for the Yankees when his former teammate Mattingly was bench coach.
As for Greinke, the Dodgers are one of many clubs that have spoken with the Royals about their ace, but there was no indication that the Dodgers had what Kansas City was looking for in return because the Dodgers are short on Major League-ready young players.
Colletti also briefly addressed the court ruling on the divorce of owner Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt. Asked if he felt it would impact the operation of the club from his perspective, he said:
"I don't believe it will. I think it's business as usual. I'm operating on the premise that it's the same as yesterday and six months ago and five years ago. I have a very strong assumption of that because nobody has instructed me to change my thought process at all. They know we're on the verge of signing one guy and perhaps another after that and another after that. Our budget has always had flexibility depending on how the team plays."
Asked if he could work for Jamie McCourt should that come to pass, Colletti said:
"I work for the Dodgers. I'm honored to do so."