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Dodgers still looking as shortstops land elsewhere

December 4, 2008 | 11:35 am

Rafael Furcal tags out Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

Two shortstops are gone, and maybe a third. The Giants have signed Edgar Renteria, the Cardinals acquired Khalil Greene from the Padres, and the Tigers reportedly are pushing hard to acquire Jack Wilson from the Pirates*.

The Dodgers still don't have a shortstop, with management unconvinced that Chin-lung Hu can hit major league pitching, at least not now. They say they're still interested in bringing back Rafael Furcal, but their decision not to offer him arbitration says they weren't interested in him accepting a one-year contract if it might cost them in the range of $13 million, which is the same as his 2008 salary.

It is unlikely that Furcal could have gotten much of a raise in arbitration, given that he was limited to 36 games last season because of a back injury and subsequent surgery.

Other than Furcal, who visited last week with the Oakland A's, the top remaining free-agent shortstop is Orlando Cabrera. The White Sox offered him arbitration, so the Dodgers would have to surrender their first-round draft choice to sign him, and they would prefer to explore other options. But it's a steep drop from Furcal and Cabrera to the likes of Alex Cora, Cesar Izturis and David Eckstein, so the Dodgers will be talking trade at next week's winter meetings.

The Angels are satisfied with Erick Aybar, who had an eventful week in winter ball, and are not looking for a shortstop.

-- Bill Shaikin

* Corrected Wilson's team from Padres to the Pirates.

Photo: Rafael Furcal tags out Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley to end the first inning of Game Three of the NLCS on Oct. 12. Credit: 26) to Gary A. Vasquez / US PRESSWIRE

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