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Dodgers Unload Three Veterans : Baseball: Gott, McDowell, Snyder turned loose to clear way for four triple-A players.

October 04, 1994|MARYANN HUDSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In three moves that were not unexpected, the Dodgers put Jim Gott, Roger McDowell and Cory Snyder on a designated-for-assignment list, signaling the end of their careers with the team.

Fred Claire, executive vice president, said he made the moves to clear space on the 40-man roster for four players from triple-A Albuquerque whom he believes deserve a chance to make the team. They are left-handed reliever Al Osuna, catcher Tom Prince and outfielders Jerry Brooks and Reggie Williams.

The Dodgers put all three veteran players on outright waivers when they designated them for assignment. But it is almost certain that none of them will accept an assignment to the minors, which is not the Dodgers' intention anyway. The players will be able to declare free agency when the waivers clear on Thursday, enabling the Dodgers to renegotiate with them if the club so chooses. Had the club released the players, it would not have been allowed to re-sign them until May 15.

But it seems clear that the Dodgers are more interested in younger players from the farm system, especially pitchers. The club is high on triple-A relievers Greg Hansell, Antonio Osuna and Todd Williams, and has a renewed interest in Al Osuna, who pitched well after being sent down last season.

For Gott, 35, McDowell, 33, and Snyder, 31, their final season with the Dodgers was fraught with frustration. Gott, who saved 25 games for the team in 1993, struggled through '94, even undergoing a mid-season appendectomy. With Todd Worrell back as the closer, Gott returned to the setup role, but could not get near the form he'd had. He ended the strike-shortened season with a 5-3 record, two saves and a 5.94 earned-run average.

McDowell, who was with the team 2 1/2 seasons, was used sparingly by Manager Tom Lasorda. He pitched 41 1/3 innings in 32 games, by far the fewest innings he had pitched in 10 seasons, and he had his worst season. He ended with an 0-3 record and a 5.23 ERA. His option for 1995 of $1.5 million was bought out by the Dodgers for $300,000.

Snyder, 31, got off to a poor start because of injuries all spring, and never quite equaled his success of his first season of 1993, when he took over for Darryl Strawberry in right field and played in 143 games. He was platooned with Henry Rodriguez in left field, starting against left-handers, and played in only 73 games. He finished the season with a .235 batting average, six home runs, six doubles and 18 runs batted in.

Snyder was valuable to the team because he could play virtually any position, but the emergence of minor league left fielder Billy Ashley appears to have made Snyder expendable.

The Dodgers also have seven potential free agents to deal with, among them Orel Hershiser and Kevin Gross.

*

In another development, major league scout Art Howe received permission from Fred Claire to interview for the Colorado Rockies' job as hitting instructor.

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