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Another 48 Hours for Green

He and Arizona will try again to work out a deal. If they do, Dodgers will trade him, sign Lowe.

January 08, 2005|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

Call it a do-over. Shawn Green and the Arizona Diamondbacks will begin a second 48-hour negotiating period today, attempting to come to terms on a contract extension that is expected to complete a long-awaited trade and free enough payroll for the Dodgers to sign free-agent pitcher Derek Lowe.

The Dodgers approved a revised deal with the Diamondbacks on Friday and also agreed to a four-year, $36-million contract with Lowe, sources said, contingent on Green's going to Arizona. Sources close to Green and the Diamondbacks were optimistic an agreement could be finalized over the weekend.

Green, who has one year at $16 million remaining on his current contract, is expected to sign a two-year extension for approximately $17 million, giving him three years with the Diamondbacks for about $33 million.

In the revised trade, sources said the Dodgers will increase the money going to the Diamondbacks from $8 million to $10 million, and the Dodgers will get two minor league pitchers in addition to highly regarded minor league catcher Dioner Navarro and double-A pitcher William Juarez.

The initial 48-hour negotiating window closed Thursday when Green would not accept the Diamondback offer, raising the potentially awkward possibility that he would remain with the Dodgers despite their clear intent to trade him.

All that is left now is for the popular slugger to work out contract details with the Diamondbacks that sources said are nonmonetary in nature.

"Shawn was very impressed with the Diamondback organization and impressed with their level of interest in him," said Greg Genske, Green's agent. "It's a very difficult decision to waive his no-trade clause, leave Southern California and end his Dodger career."

The Diamondbacks are confident that, this time, negotiations will result in Green's playing right field in Bank One Ballpark this season.

"We hope we are able to come to terms with Shawn," Diamondback managing partner Ken Kendrick said. "We were relatively close on certain things and never really had a chance to get to other things.

"I'm an optimist by nature. We wouldn't enter into these discussions if we weren't optimistic we could get it done."

The next move for the Dodgers would be signing Lowe, which would increase the projected payroll to slightly less than $100 million, second only to the New York Mets in the National League.

However, the Dodgers expect the payroll to be trimmed by at least $8 million because they will file an insurance claim to recoup a large portion of the $13 million owed injured pitcher Darren Dreifort, who had surgeries on a knee ligament and hip this fall. Dreifort is not expected to pitch until August at the earliest, and the insurance is expected to cover 80% of his salary during the time he is sidelined.

The Dodgers reluctantly agreed to increase the money going to the Diamondbacks because they believed it was crucial to trade Green and free up money to sign a pitcher. Lowe has been their first choice for several weeks, but because he had drawn interest from several other teams, Dodger General Manager Paul DePodesta also was negotiating with free agent Esteban Loaiza.

The Detroit Tigers are believed to have offered Lowe more money, and the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles also had talks with the right-hander.

But when the Dodgers recently increased their offer from three years to four, Lowe made his decision.

"They won their division last year," Lowe said. "Any time you can go to a team that has won, or has a chance to win, it definitely would be a good situation."

Although the average annual value is $9 million, a source said the deal is probably back-loaded so that Lowe, 31, would make less this season.

Lowe was 14-12 with a 5.42 earned-run average in 33 starts with the Boston Red Sox last season and blossomed in the playoffs, going 3-0 in four games. He won the final game of all three postseason series, including Game 4 of the World Series.

Lowe, who made $4.5 million last season, is 72-59 in his eight-year career. He was the Red Sox closer from 1999-2001, notching 81 saves. He is a sinkerball pitcher who should benefit from the fielding prowess of Dodger Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis.

The acquisition of Lowe, coupled with the re-signing of left-hander Odalis Perez -- who passed his physical Friday -- would ease concerns about a starting rotation that was rife with question marks. Lowe and Perez would join Jeff Weaver, Brad Penny and, perhaps, Kazuhisa Ishii. Edwin Jackson, Elmer Dessens and Wilson Alvarez are other candidates for the No. 5 spot.

The Dodgers are expected to make one more roster move soon to fill a void at catcher. They must make an offer to veteran Brent Mayne by 9 p.m. today or lose negotiating rights until May 1.

Mayne, 36, has indicated he probably would retire if the Dodgers do not re-sign him.

A byproduct of the frenzy of activity is that the Dodgers have assembled the roster DePodesta wanted without having to trade top prospects from their well-stocked farm system. In fact, they have added prospects, most significantly Navarro, who they believe will develop into a top major league catcher.


Staff writer Tim Brown and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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