Diaz, Gonzalez Among Minor League Free Agents

There are 18 Dodgers among the minor leaguers who hav declared for free agency, most of the one-year rental types who came in via that route and who may well now depart the same way. Not all, though for there are a few who have been around the system quite awhile but whose time with it seems over.

Righthander Jose" Jumbo" Diaz, noted for his almost amazing girth and equally impressive fast ball, is on the list. So are a twosome who have been mainstays of the Jacksonville staff for the past couple of seasons- righthander Alvis Ojeda and lefthander Luis Gonzalez.

Diaz, whose weight hovered between 280 and 300 pounds depending upon his lunch that day, could bring a ball plateward at 100 mph upon occasion. That ability got him to the 40-man roster before numerous elbow injuires and susequent operations dropped his velocity into the low 90's and made him vulnerable.

He was just as often a candidate for Jennie Craig as he was for the disabled list with his enomous appetitte so he spent most of the early part of 2007 sweating off the poundage, only to reinjure his elbow and spend the latter part rehabbing that.

Also on the list is catcher Chad Moeller, obtained as a September backup from the Reds. He first had accepted a minor league assignment but now is going this route as is Ken Huckaby, who returned to the organization, hoping to get a callup sometime only to see that role ultimately go to Moeller.

Besides Moeller, outfielder Wilkin Ruan is the only other player listed who got in big league time with the Dodgers and then from 2001 through 2003.

The complete list:

PITCHERS-- Rick Bauer, Eric Cyr, Diaz, Chris Fussell, Luis Gonzalez, William Juarez, Spike Lundberg, Ojeda, Matt Riley, Raul Rivas.

CATCHERS- Alberto Concepcion, Huckaby, Octavio Martinez, Moeller.

INFIELDERS- Luis Maza, Marshall McDougall.

OUTFIELDERS- Choo Freeman, Ruan