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Was that a last chance to bid adieu to half the Dodgers?

September 23, 2011 |  6:38 am

So did you wave goodbye? Blow a few kisses, you know, just in case.

Bid a fond farewell to the nine Dodgers who can become free agents at the end of the season? The five Dodgers who are arbitration eligible and could be non-tendered? The two whom the Dodgers hold options on that they’re not expected to pick up?

That’s almost half of the 38 Dodgers currently in uniform or on the disabled list. Some will be back; some won’t. But which, and in what roles?

The free agent list: Aaron Miles, Jamey Carroll, Rod Barajas, Juan Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda, Vicente Padilla, Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and Mike MacDougal.

The arbitration five: James Loney, Tony Gwynn Jr., Eugenio Velez, Blake Hawksworth and Dana Eveland.

The options not expected to be picked up: Casey Blake and Jon Garland.

That’s a lot of moving parts. For sure, several appeared on the field at Dodger Stadium for the last time Thursday in the Dodgers’ final home game of the season.

And they’re all wondering whether they’ll be back. Almost all of them want to return, which given the bankruptcy and uncertain ownership situation, says plenty about the way Don Mattingly has conducted his clubhouse.

Only there certainly isn’t room for all of them to return, not with the way some of the young players have emerged. General Manager Ned Colletti can’t start figuring out how all the pieces might fit together until he gets a 2012 payroll budget from owner Frank McCourt and finds out whether he has a shot at signing a significant bat.

If he does, dominoes start to fall. Some players will wait, some will not.

Questions abound. Who's the catcher, the first baseman, the second baseman, the left fielder, the fifth starter?

Even if the team makes no major off-season additions and returns next season with familiar faces, with all the injured returning, that still means a host of players will not return.

Did you wave goodbye?


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Photo: Dodgers infeilder Jamey Carroll. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times