Gonzalez, Flores, Among Dodger Free Agents

Two players who were briefly Dodgers and some who were at one time considered prospects are among the dozen from the Los Angeles organization who have been declared minor league free agents.

Infielder Jose Flores and pitcher Mike Venafro, both up with Los Angeles at the end of the 2004 season, are on the list as are catcher Edwin Bellorin and pitchers Alfredo Gonzalez and Dimas Reina, who had previously been considered prospects. Gonzalez actually had been with the Dodgers in July 2003 but didn't get into a game.

Others who are now free to sign with any team are pitchers T. J. Nall, Mike Neu, Beltran Perez, and Ryan Rupe and outfielders Todd Donovan and Nick Theodoreau. Donovan was the leading base stealer in the minor leagues this past season with 65. Perez was obtained from the Diamondbacks in the trade that sent Shawn Green to Arizona.

Nall, who pitched for Las Vegas in 2005, is a Dodger system veteran while Rupe and Neu, also with Vegas, were free agent pickups this past season. Bellorin hit .273-3-33 for Vero Beach while Theodoreau, another vet of six seasons in the Dodger system, played for Greece in the 2004 Olympics.

Also on the list is pitcher Jason Olson, who was actually released this past season.

Of those who have obtained such free agency from other organizations who previously had Dodger connections, the most noteworthy are pitchers Hideo Nomo and Andy Ashby, onetime mainstays of the L.A. staff. Nomo had been picked up by the Yankees after being released by Tampa Bay but was never brought up. Ashby was dropped by the Padres.

The Yankees also didn't keep second baseman Joe Thurston, whom they obtained in a trade from the Dodgers early this past season.

Other former Dodgers who are now minor league free agents:
Pitchers-- Greg Bauer, Phil Devey, Robert Ellis, Brain Falkenborg, Steve Colyer, Ruddy Lugo, Augustin Montero, Cameron Smith, Eddie Oropesa, Jim Bullinger, Lance Caraccioli, Brad Clontz, Eric Junge, T. J. Mathews, Fernando Rijo, Shane Nance.

Infielders-- Jesse Hoorelbeke, Tony Schrager, Ricky Bell, Brennan King, Gookie Dawkins.

Outfielders-- Chris Prieto, Trenidad Hubbard, Jesus Feliciano, John Barnes, Peter Bergeron, Mike Kinkade, Larry Barnes, Luke Allen, Curtis Pride, Wilkin Ruan.

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