By Steve Henson, Times Staff Writer
May 3, 2006
PHOENIX — As honors go, this one is bittersweet for Aaron Sele.
The 13-year veteran was named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week after allowing no runs in 12 2/3 innings while striking out 12 and walking two for Las Vegas.
But the Dodgers have no plans to promote him and could be obligated to grant him his release any day.
"I think there are going to be some opportunities out there, and I just hope they are sooner than later," Sele said after a recent start. "I'm real anxious. I'm not accomplishing anything in triple-A. I've got nothing to prove."
After a strong showing in spring training, Sele agreed to go to Las Vegas for a month, hoping a need would arise with the Dodgers.
However, a front-office source said that there is only a 20% chance of him coming up despite his 3-0 record and 2.43 earned-run average.
The Dodgers aren't ready to give up on any of their starters, and the first triple-A starter they would promote probably would be top prospect Chad Billingsley, who is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
That leaves Sele with a decision. The Dodgers had a gentleman's agreement with him to grant his release if he wasn't called up by May 1. After he pitched five scoreless innings April 30, he said goodbye to his Las Vegas teammates.
General Manager Ned Colletti has tried to trade him, but Sele's $900,000 major league salary has made a deal prohibitive.
Teams interested in him believe they can wait until the Dodgers release him, then sign him for less.
"Sele's got the experience that could benefit a lot of teams," Las Vegas Coach Steve Yeager said. "He's been super around these young guys here and he's helped out quite a few of them, and that's a big leaguer."