Reportedly Sign Pinch-Hitter Mark Sweeney

Mark Sweeney, second on the all-time pinch-hit list, has finalized his one-year, $600,000 contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a major-league source. Sweeney, a left-handed hitter, also can earn a $125,000 roster bonus if he makes the Opening Day roster, and the deal includes performance-based incentives that can push his total earnings to $900,000.

The Atlanta Braves also were a finalist for Sweeney, but he believed that he stood a better chance of sticking with the Dodgers, the source said.

Sweeney, a 13-year veteran, began last season with the Giants before getting traded to the Dodgers. In 141 total plate appearances, he batted . 260 with a .350 on-base percentage and .382 slugging percentage.

He led the Majors with 24 pinch-hits last season. He had 23 hits, including eight doubles and two homers, in 90 at-bats and drove in 10 runs for the San Francisco Giants, and went 9-for-33 with three RBIs after being traded to the Dodgers on Aug. 9.

Sweeney will see most of his action as a pinch-hitter, but can also backup at first base and in the corners of the outfield.

Mark Sweeney, whose 163 pinch-hits are the second most in big league history behind Lenny Harris, is nearing an agreement on a one-year contract to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sweeney, a 38-year-old left-handed hitter, can play first base and the outfield, has a .260 career batting average while playing 13 seasons with St. Louis, San Diego, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Colorado, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Sweeney's talks with the Dodgers were first reported by ESPN.com.

Axelrod said a key component was getting a Major League contract, and not a Minor League deal.

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