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Dodgers Have an Interest in Radke

November 05, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

As the Dodgers focus on improving their starting pitching, they have expressed interest in free agent Brad Radke, the longtime workhorse of the Minnesota Twins.

Radke, 32, went 11-8 last season and ranked fourth in the American League with a 3.48 earned-run average. He has pitched at least 200 innings in nine of the last 10 seasons.

The Twins reportedly have offered Radke a two-year, $14-million contract. Ron Simon, the agent for Radke, confirmed the Dodgers' interest and said a bid of "two or three years" would be required. The Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Philadelphia Phillies also are interested, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"He'll look at everything," Simon said.

Simon also said the Angels had not been in touch, despite their interest in adding a starter and Radke's success in Anaheim -- 7-3 with a 2.47 ERA.

Dodger General Manager Paul DePodesta said he had contacted the agents for "between 10 and 15" free-agent pitchers. Free agents can negotiate with teams other than their current one starting next Friday.

In addition to starting pitching, DePodesta reiterated that catcher and third base are priorities. He has expressed interest in third baseman Troy Glaus, abandoned by the Angels in free agency, as an option should Adrian Beltre not return. With Beltre and agent Scott Boras planning to solicit offers from other teams, DePodesta has yet to make one of his own.

"They're unable to create any definition for the marketplace yet in terms of dollars," DePodesta said. "It's going to take weeks, for sure."

DePodesta also said he has not ruled out bringing back any of the Dodgers' other free agents. That list includes outfielder Steve Finley, infielder Jose Hernandez, catcher Brent Mayne and pitchers Wilson Alvarez, Jose Lima, Odalis Perez, Hideo Nomo and Paul Shuey.

In addition, DePodesta said outfielder Milton Bradley has begun the anger management counseling he promised to seek in September, after an incident in which he threw a plastic bottle into the stands in the section from which the bottle had been thrown toward him.

"I don't think he's completed it," DePodesta said. "We feel comfortable with the steps he's been taking." DePodesta declined to elaborate.


Manager Jim Tracy said he anticipated reaching agreement on a new contract with the Dodgers within a few days.

"We're heading in the right direction," Tracy said. "I'm very hopeful we can get something done early next week."

Tracy confirmed a report in the New York Post that he had rejected an initial two-year offer but said "there's flexibility" in negotiations in length of contract and salary.

"Right now, we have a little bit of a hangup in that area," Tracy said, "but there's nothing there that's a complete or major hangup."

DePodesta said he has not pursued options should negotiations stall.

"I haven't spoken with anybody else," DePodesta said. "I'm still working under the assumption this is where he wants to be. I think that would be premature at this point."


As expected, the New York Mets introduced Willie Randolph as their new manager. The former Yankee and Met player becomes their 18th manager.

Taking over a team coming off its third straight losing season, Randolph was given a three-year contract worth about $1.8 million and the chance to earn additional annual bonuses depending on how the Mets finish.

A six-time All-Star second baseman, he becomes the first black major league manager in New York.

Also as expected, Charlie Manuel was introduced by the Philadelphia Phillies to replace Larry Bowa as manager, taking over a talented but underachieving club that hasn't reached the playoffs since 1993.


St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Woody Williams filed for free agency after the team said it would decline his $8-million option and pay a $900,000 buyout.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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