Lofton Set to Sign with Texas

Former outfielder Kenny Lofton, who recorded a .301 average and stole 32 bases while being caught only five times is rumored to be close to signing a contract with Texas.

Despite turning 40 on May 31, still has young legs and hopes to enter his 17th season with his 11th major league team.

With the Dodgers he recorded the 10th best stolen base percentage in Dodger franchise history with an .865 percentage.

The six-time All-Star has played with Houston, Cleveland, Atlanta, the Chicago White Sox, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, the Chicago Cubs, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia and the Dodgers.

Texas lost center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. who received a $50 million, five year contract from the Angeles after posting a career .302/19/79 season last year and Lofton is the heir apparent for the middle outfield job.

Dodgers No. 1-- Baseball America made the Dodger organization with an "A" at the top of the class of 2006 after the franchise finished second in 2005 and 2004. The rest of the National League West finished in this order: Arizona "B+"; San Diego "B-"; Colorado and San Francisco were awarded a "C". It's all in the December 18-January 14 issue on the stands now.

Dodger Blue Notes-- With the frantic pace of the winter meetings only a memory, things have slowed on the baseball front. A few signings can be reported:

Cubs signed 1B Daryle Ward
Mets signed OF Jose Cruz
Minnesota signed LHP Mike Venefro
Texas signed LHP Matt Merricks

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