Sign Tatis to Minor League Contract

In 1999 Fernando Tatis had a breakout season, slugging 34 home runs, 31 doubles, knocking 107 scoring 103 and stealing 21 bases for the Cardinals. He clubbed Chan Ho Park for two (2) grand slam home runs in the third inning of a Dodger Stadium game on April 23 to kick off his big year. The Dodgers recently added Tatis to their list of non-roster players invited to Major League training camp.

But since that one grand season, the now 32-year-old has played in 100 games on only one occasion; has hit duble figures in home runs twice (18 and 15) and has knocked in only 145 runs over the ensuing five seasons.

After signing a four-year, $14.5 million contract in 2000, he ran into a string of injuries that completely derailed what seemed to be a sweet ride to the Hall of Fame.

He had a pulled groin muscle in 2000 and a sore shoulder and after being traded to Montreal in 2001 had knee surgery. The knee continuing to hamper him in 2002 and he missed the last 3 1/2 months of the 2003 season with inflammation of his chest wall.

Tampa Bay gave up on him in spring training in 2004 and did not play 2004-05. He hit .299 for Ottawa over 90 games in 2006 and appeared in 28 games at five different defensive positions with Baltimore, hitting.250 with two homers and eight RBIs in 28 games with the Orioles.

Tatis, still looking for the brass ring, will probably will spend part or all the season at Triple-A Las Vegas as an insurance policy in case something happens to Dodgers third baseman Wilson Betemit or Andy LaRoche.

Beimel Neotiations-- Assistant general manager Kim Ng said that while there has been little movement in negotiations with reliever Joe Beimel, the Dodgers' only remaining arbitration-eligible player, she remains hopeful of avoiding what would be the club's first arbitration hearing since Eric Gagne's three winters ago.

"We absolutely have not had any progress," Ng told the Los Angeles Daily News. "... But I'm sure I'll probably reach out to them this week just to see where this is. I don't think anybody really wants to go to a hearing."

Beimel, who got $425,000 last season, is seeking $1.25 million through arbitration. The Dodgers filed at $912,500.

Beimel, a left-hander, was a key piece of the Dodgers' bullpen last season but he cut his hand on a glass while drinking in a bar two nights before the playoff opener and missed the entire playoff series with the Mets.

If the case goes to a hearing - in which a three-person panel must choose one of the above figures, with no leeway to choose a figure in between - the club can use that incident in making its case against him.

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