Gagné Gets Shot at Dodgers Bullpen

Eric Gagné, who won the Cy Young as the Dodgers' closer in 2003 when he was 55 for 55 in save opportunities and had a 1.20 ERA, and ran off a streak of 84 consecutive save chances, has been signed to a minor league contract. Gagné will earn $500,000 if he makes the Dodgers' major league roster and can make an additional $500,000 in incentives.

For three seasons he was the best stopper in Major League Baseball, recording 52, 55 and 45 saves from 2003 to 2005 before suffering arm troubles. He had surgery in both 2005 and 2006.

His final appearance was on June 6, 2006 when he nailed down a win over the Mets. He reported stiffness in his arm before the game but afterward he was shutdown for treatment. He never came back.

Traded to Texas in 2007 he pitched well and was traded to Boston where the wheels fell off in 2008. In 2009 he was pitching in a Canadian Independent League.

He worked out for both the Dodgers and Colorado and the Rockies offered him a contract before he signed with Los Angeles.

He has been rebuilding his shoulder muscles with martial arts-based workings in Arizona along with pitchers Shawn Estes, Jeff Fassero and Dodgers catcher Russell Martin.

Gagné, who will be 34 this season, reported is he is in better condition and his arm is "the best it's felt in three or four years, easy."

Dodgers assistant GM Logan White watched Gagne during a recent throwing session near the pitcher's Arizona home before he signed.

Gagné's name appeared in the December 2007 Mitchell report, which offered evidence that he had used human growth hormone. Although Gagne apologized to his Brewers teammates the following spring for "a distraction that shouldn't be taking place," he has not talked specifically about the allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.

"I'm not denying it," Gagne told The Los Angeles Times in July. "I'm not saying I did. I just can't talk about it. It's a touchy subject. It doesn't just involve me."

Even if Gagné makes the Dodgers opening day roster, a long-shot at best, he will not replace Jonathan Broxton. Gagné would probably operate as a middle man in the bullpen.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Marlins CF Cody Ross, formerly with the Dodgers, won his arbitration case and will make $4.45 million, instead of the $4.2 million he was offered. ...GM Ned Colletti listed at least eight candidates for the fifth spot in the Dodgers rotation -- Scott Elbert, Charlie Haeger, James McDonald, Carlos Monasterios, Eric Stults, Ramon Ortiz, Russ Ortiz and Josh Towers -- but concedes he might have missed a few, including Josh Lindblom and Jeff Weaver. ...Jamie McCourt wants nearly $1 million per month in temporary support from her estranged husband, up from her original request for $488,000. If you want to read the rest of the story, check out Bill Shakin's report in the Los Angeles Times.