Dodgers Sign Belliard to One-Year Deal

The Dodgers signed infielder Ronnie Belliard to a one-year contract. "Ronnie was a tremendous asset to us at the end of last year in both a starting role and off the bench," said General Manager Ned Colletti. "He can play three different positions in the infield, has postseason experience, and adds to the versatility of our club."

  The 34-year-old was acquired by the Dodgers from the Washington Nationals on Aug. 30 last season and went on to hit .351 (27-for-77) with seven doubles, five homers and 17 RBI in 24 games with Los Angeles.

Belliard started 19 games, including 10 at second base and nine at third base. In 2009, Belliard led the Dodgers during the months of September/October in average (.356), on-base percentage (.405), and slugging percentage (.616).

  Belliard then started all eight postseason games at second base, hitting .300 (9-for-30) overall and .316 (6-for-19) in the NLCS against the Phillies. On Aug. 31, Belliard became the fourth Dodger to homer in his first plate appearance with the club and the first since Garey Ingram in 1994.

  Belliard also cracked a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning on Oct. 3 vs. Colorado that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead and proved to be the game-winning RBI in the club's 5-0 victory that clinched the National League West Division championship.  

Overall, the Bronx, NY native hit .277 with 10 home runs and 39 RBI in a combined 110 games for the Dodgers and Nationals. In addition to catching fire with the Dodgers, Belliard finished 2009 batting .335 with eight homers and 31 RBI after the All-Star break.  

In 12 Major League seasons, Belliard has a .275 average with 1,342 hits, 112 homers and 582 RBI with the Brewers (1998-2002), Rockies (2003), Indians (2004-06), Cardinals (2006), Nationals (2007-09) and Dodgers (2009). He was originally drafted in the eighth round of the 1994 amateur draft by Milwaukee and has since played in 1,402 big league games.

  In 2006, Belliard was obtained by the Cardinals on July 30 and went on to help St. Louis win the World Series that year. During the 2006 NLDS vs. San Diego, Belliard hit .462 (6-for-13) with two RBI in four games. That postseason, Belliard played in 14 of 15 games for the Cardinals and hit .240 (12-for-50) with four RBI.

  Belliard was named to the American League All-Star team in 2004 and had his best season in 2005 when he established career bests with 17 homers and 78 RBI to go along with a .284 average in 145 games for the Indians. In 2004, his career-high 48 doubles ranked second in the American League.  

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