Dodgers Kill Big Deal, Reportedly Sign Drew

Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta pulled out of the proposed blockbuster trade wit the Yankes and Diamondbacks. It is rumored that health and attitude of right-hander Javier Vazquez, who apparently was reluctant to take a physical, was the deal-breaker.

At the same time, a New Jersey paper is reporting that the Dodgers have agreed in principle on a five-year, $55 million deal with free-agent right fielder J.D. Drew.

If true, ithat would put Shawn Green back at first base for the Dodgers in 2005 if he isn't traded.

Yankees president Randy Levine said "The Dodgers reneged on the deal that was agreed upon, unequivocally and with no contingencies except for a window for contract extensions and physicals," Levine told the Associated Press. "For some reason, the Dodgers over the weekend started to backpedal. Why they would break their word is only something they can answer. It sure is disappointing, and we'll have to think long and hard before ever doing business with the Dodgers again."

Vazquez struggled in the second half last season with rumored whispers of arm problems. He also made it clear he did not want to play in Los Angeles.

Because he is in the middle of a multiyear contract (three years, $34.5 million), Vazquez could have demanded a trade at the end of next season. If the trade request was not granted or withdrawn, he would have been eligible for free agency.

New York Newsday reported on its Web site that Vazquez refused to go to Los Angeles for a physical after his agent said the trade was completed. Vazquez was cleared of any arm problems during a season-ending physical with the Yankees.

DePodesta refused to name Vazquez's reluctance as the reason the Dodgers withdrew but said he was worried about the health of one of the players the club was expected to get in the deal.

Baseball sources said that the Dodgers figure to intensify negotiations with free agent right-handers Derek Lowe and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. Lowe pitched for the Red Sox last season. Hernandez was in his second tour with the Yankees.

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