January 2008 - Los Angeles Dodgers Wiretap
Dodgers, Ramon Martinez Agree To Minor-League Deal
Free-agent Ramon Martinez signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers on Tuesday and was invited to spring training as a non-roster player, as reported by the Associated Press.
Dodgers' Lieberthal Decides To Retire
Veteran catcher Mike Lieberthal told the Los Angeles Daily News on Saturday that he has decided to retire from Major League Baseball. "I'm done," Lieberthal said. "I decided a couple of weeks after the season ended. If (the Dodgers) had picked up my option, I probably would have played one more year. But I didn't want to go anywhere else."
Jose Vizcaino Joins Dodgers As Special Assistant
According to a Associated Press report, Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti has hired longtime infielder Jose Vizcaino as a special assistant to the club. In a statement on Thursday, Collletti said that, "Jose brings a wealth of experience and knowledge with him that will be a great asset to the Dodgers."
Mattingly Steps Down As Hitting Coach
Don Mattingly stepped down as the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, according to MLB.com. He will remain in the organization as a special adviser but is no longer tabbed as Joe Torre's successor with the team. He cited family reasons for his decision. "I'm very grateful that the Dodgers have allowed me to take care of these family matters, and I hope that everyone can respect our privacy during this time," Mattingly said in a Dodgers' press release. "I truly appreciate the support of all Dodger fans since joining the organization, and I look forward to helping the team win in 2008 and beyond."
Dodgers, Proctor Reach One-Year Deal
Reliever Scott Proctor agreed to terms on a one-year contract for $1.115 million on Sunday, leaving the Dodgers with Joe Beimel as their only remaining arbitration-eligible player. Proctor, 30, had been asking for $1.3 million, with the Dodgers offering $930,000. He earned $445,923 last year when he appeared in 52 games for the Yankees and 31 games after being acquired by the Dodgers. Beimel is seeking $2.125 million, and the Dodgers are offering $1.7 million. Last year, Beimel was the only Dodgers' player to reach a hearing. He lost and was awarded $912,500 instead of the $1.25 million he sought.
Dodgers Will Play Two Games In Beijing This March
Dodgers' Manager Joe Torre will be in Beijing on Thursday to announce that his team will face the San Diego Padres in a two-game exhibition series March 15 and 16 that will mark Major League Baseball's first games in China, a team spokesman said Friday. Also attending the reception will be Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, a former Padres' outfielder. Because of the Dodgers' obligation to play at least 10 games at their spring training home in Vero Beach, Fla., and the impracticality of taking every player in camp to China, the trip will split the team for a week. The part of the team that will go to China is scheduled to leave Florida on March 11. They will play the Padres at Wukesong Stadium in Beijing which will be used for the Olympic baseball competition in August.
Torre: Didn't Suspect PED Use By Clemens, Pettitte
Joe Torre had no suspicions about Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte using performance-enhancing drugs when they were playing for him with the New York Yankees. "I didn't see anything that made me suspicious," Torre said Thursday. "But I don't investigate players. I get to know them. If they want to talk, then you're available for them and stuff like that." Clemens and Pettitte were among the players implicated in last month's Mitchell Report on doping in baseball. Their former trainer Brian McNamee told investigator George Mitchell that he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998, 2000, and 2001. Clemens has denied the accusation, and he filed a defamation lawsuit against McNamee. Pettitte acknowledged McNamee injected him twice with HGH as the pitcher was trying to recover from a sore elbow in 2002.
Dodgers, Brazoban Agree To One-Year Deal
Relief pitcher Yhency Brazoban and the Dodgers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $540,000, one-year contract Tuesday. The 27-year-old right-hander appeared in four games for the Dodgers last season before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery on June 22. He spent April and most of May recovering from reconstructive surgery that had been performed in April 2006 on his pitching elbow .
Dodgers Sell Valdez To Kia Tigers
The sale of infielder Wilson Valdez to the Kia Tigers of the Korean League was announced by the Dodgers on Saturday. Valdez, 29, made last year's Opening Day roster after leading the club in average during Spring Training. He played 41 games for the Dodgers during the 2007 season and hit .216 before being designated for assignment on May 15. He finished the year at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he hit .343.
Kent Advocates Blood Tests
Dodgers' second baseman Jeff Kent told The Los Angeles Times on Thursday that Major League Baseball players should undergo blood testing to detect whether they are using banned substances, particularly human growth hormone. "I'd like to see every player take a blood test and have the samples frozen," Kent told The Times. "Not everyone in the game is using HGH, but I would bet it still is being abused."