Another Ramon Martinez (and Ainsworth) Signed

The Dodgers continue to add players to the mix with the signing of Ramon Martinez - no, not that one - and Kurt Ainsworth to minor league contracts accompanied by invitations to work with the big club in spring training.

This Martinez is an infielder who was formerly with the Giants and who played last season with the Tigers and Phillies while Ainsworth is a righthanded pitcher who was a former top Giant prospect but who is attempting a comeback after two major arm surgeries.

The 33-year-old Martinez, who's a Puerto Rican not a Dominican like his namesake of the famed pitching Martinez brothers, can play every infield position including first base, will be trying for a utility role with the Dodgers and has a good chance of achieving that goal. Last season he hit .286 for the Phillies after being traded to them by the Tigers. He hit .268 for Detroit.

He's played eight years in the big leagues, having come up to San Francisco in 1998. He was with the Giants through 2002, then signed with the Cubs for whom he played two years before joining Detroit as a free agent last year. They sent him to the Phillies along with Ugueth Urbina for Placido Polanco last June. Along the way he hit .302 in 88 games for the Giants in 2000 and .283 while playing in 108 games for the Cubs in 2003.

The 27-year-old Ainsworth has had both elbow and rotator cuff surgery in the past three years, didn't pitch at all in 2005, and was considering retirement for awhile before deciding to make this comeback attempt. He pitched for Louisiana State before becoming the Giants first-round draft choice in 1999. He made his big league debut with the Giants in 2001 but has had periodic arm problems and was traded to Baltimore in 2003 as part of the deal in which San Francisco obtained Sidney Ponson.

At this time the Dodgers consider him a long-range project in which he'll have to build up his arm strength so it is expected he'll be assigned somewhere where he can pitch on a regular basis.