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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS / AMERICAN LEAGUE | BASEBALL NOTES

Dodgers Manage Final Terms

October 06, 2000|JASON REID

Dodger Chairman Bob Daly and President Bob Graziano conducted a conference call Thursday night with Manager Davey Johnson to finalize the terms of Johnson's dismissal, and a news conference has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today at Dodger Stadium.

Derrick Hall, senior vice president, declined comment about the club's plans, but acknowledged that Daly and Graziano spoke with Johnson about his situation.

Last week Daly and Graziano informed Johnson, under contract through 2001 at $1.5 million, that he would not return for the final year of his three-year contract.

It was still unclear as of late Thursday whether Johnson would attend the news conference. Johnson is scheduled to return tonight to his off-season home in Winter Park, Fla. Johnson did not return phone calls to his home.

General Manager Kevin Malone is expected to attend today's gathering after being retained for at least another season. Malone had come under scrutiny recently, but Daly is satisfied with the direction of baseball operations under Malone and is reluctant to remove him after only two seasons.

The Dodgers (86-76) finished second in the National League West and had nine more victories than last season. However, Daly hoped for more after increasing the payroll to $98 million in his first season.

Beginning Monday, Graziano and Malone will lead the club's second managerial search since the end of the 1998 season.

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Dodger catcher Chad Kreuter, considered instrumental in pitcher Chan Ho Park's breakthrough season, was rewarded Thursday with a two-year, $2.3-million contract extension.

Kreuter, a backup who made the club as a nonroster player, agreed to a $200,000 signing bonus and $800,000 salary for next season. The 10-year veteran will make $1 million in 2002, and the club holds a $1.2-million option, or $300,000 buyout, in 2003.

Kreuter made $425,000 plus performance incentives this season. In 80 games, Kreuter, 36, batted .264 with 13 doubles, six home runs and 28 runs batted in. The switch-hitter also had a .416 on-base percentage. Kreuter made his biggest contribution behind the plate, throwing out 15 of 34 baserunners while working primarily with Park.

With the signing of Kreuter, the Dodgers have $76.2 million committed to only 15 players for 2001.

Boras declined comment about the status of contract negotiations for free-agent pitcher Darren Dreifort.

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