Cliffs Notes on Dodger Roster Moves

An overview of Hurricane Colletti's moves: *Signed manager Grady Little. *Traded OF Milton Bradley. *Signed SS Rafael Furcal. *Signed 3B Bill Mueller. *Signed C Sandy Alomar. *Signed 1B/OF Nomar Garciaparra. *Signed CF Kenny Lofton. *Passed on OF Reggie Sanders. *Signed 1B Hee-Seop Choi. *Did not offer contracts to C Jason Phillips, OF Mike Edwards and OF Brian Myrow.

And all without spending anyone named Billingsley, Guzman, LaRoche, DeWitt, Abreu, Kemp, Miller, Orenduff, Loney or Martin.

Even as free-agent infielder Nomar Garciaparra was being introduced Monday afternoon, the club was waiting on a physical examination on free-agent outfielder Kenny Lofton, with whom they have agreed in principle on a one-year deal.

The announcement of the signing of Lofton, 38, to a one-year, $3.85million contract that also includes $150,000 in incentives tied to playing time became official today.

Garciaparra will be the Dodgers' everyday first baseman, a position he never has played in the big leagues, with Olmedo Saenz and perhaps Hee-Seop Choi as his backups.

Garciaparra didn't seem to concerned about moving to a new position.

"Breaking in a new glove might be the biggest challenge. You might see a first baseman out there with a shortstop's glove. It's obviously a new challenge, but that's exciting to me. I'm probably going to start working on it prior to spring training," Garciaparra said.

Lofton will be the club's center fielder "maybe two-thirds" of the time, Colletti said, with Jose Cruz Jr. and Jason Repko also expected to get a handful of starts there.

Free-agent outfielder Reggie Sanders was asking for a three-year guarantee in the $15 million-$18 million range, but Colletti isn't handing out contracts like that to 38-year-old players with the minor league depth he has on the horizon.

That means Cruz, Repko and Jayson Werth will battle for the position.

Colletti also pointed out that Garciaparra's signing means that second baseman Jeff Kent will not become first baseman Jeff Kent, even when injured Cesar Izturis returns in mid-season.

Colletti had talked to Kent about a possible move to first base but Kent was not enthusiastic about the proposal. Colletti said "barring anything unforeseen," Garciaparra will play first and Kent second all year.

And what will become of Izturis when he returns?

The former Gold Glove shortstop and his .260 career batting average might not be able to crack the Dodgers' new lineup.

"I can't predict what's going to happen between now and July," Colletti said. "Usually, a lot of different things happen every week during a baseball season. We'll see."

Colletti will now set his sights on acquiring another starting pitcher, most likely through a trade.

Free-agent right-hander Jeff Weaver turned down the Dodgers' offer of salary arbitration at Monday's deadline. However, the Dodgers can continue to negotiate with Weaver until January 8. Plus, the Dodgers will now receive draft pick compensation from any team that signs Weaver.

They signed first basemen Hee-Seop Choi to a one-year, $725,000 contract but didn't offer contracts to catcher Jason Phillips, and outfielders Mike Edwards and Brian Myrow.

The Dodgers received Phillips from the Mets during spring training for Kaz Ishii. The Mets recently released the left-hander and he and Phillips are both free agents now.

Choi, who made $351,500 last season, finished second on the club with 133 games played and tied for second with 15 home runs, while batting .253 with 42 RBIs.

The 29-year-old Phillips struggled throwing out runners and lost the job to rookie Dioner Navarro. The Dodgers recently signed veteran Sandy Alomar Jr. to back up Navarro.

Phillips hit .238 with 10 home runs and was third on the club with 55 RBIs in 121 games in 2005.

The 29-year-old Edwards hit .247 with three homers and 15 RBIs in 88 games as a rookie utilityman last year. He possibly be re-signed to a Minor League contract.

The 29-year-old Myrow appeared in 19 games in 2005 and hit .200 in a September callup. He may play will play in Japan or Korea.

In addition to the $6 million base salary, Garciaparra will receive a $500,000 bonus if he reaches 400 plate appearances, then another $500,000 for every 25 plate appearances thereafter up to 575, meaning he could make as much as $10 million.

Lofton's deal carries bonuses of $50,000 for each of 350, 400 and 450 plate appearances, meaning he can earn as much as $4 million.

The Dodgers now have $84.01 million committed to 15 players for next season. If Colletti can trade for another starting pitcher, that likely would be the last high-priced addition, and the roster then could be filled out with less-experienced and less-expensive players.

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