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Dodgers raise ticket prices

AROUND THE MAJORS

December 14, 2006|Bill Shaikin | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

After a season that featured a playoff appearance and record ticket sales, the Dodgers have significantly raised the price of most of their season tickets.

Although the Dodgers froze prices in five of 21 categories, they hiked the cost of other seats from $1 to $15 per ticket, translating to increases of 14% to 40%.

Prices for season packages range from $4 to $150 per game, excluding dugout club seats. The Dodgers charge more for tickets to individual games, but those prices are not yet available, spokeswoman Camille Johnston said Wednesday.

The Dodgers sold a record 3.76 million tickets last season.

In season packages, baseline seats range from $60 to $150 (compared to $50 to $150 last season), field level seats from $30 to $70 (up from $22 to $60), loge seats from $20 to $55 (up from $16 to $45) and reserved seats from $8 to $20 (up from $8 to $16).

Pavilion seats remain $6. Top-deck seats rose from $3 to $4.

"Our goal is to always keep Dodger Stadium affordable for all of our fans," chief operating officer Marty Greenspun said in a statement. "While some of our ticket prices have gone up, we are the only major sports franchise in Southern California to still have a $4 season ticket package."

-- Bill Shaikin

The Boston Red Sox reached a preliminary agreement with Daisuke Matsuzaka on a $52-million, six-year contract.

The Red Sox planned a news conference today to announce the deal, a person familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Matsuzaka gets a $2-million signing bonus, $6 million next year, $8 million in each of the following three seasons and $10 million in each of the final two years.

The Red Sox won the bidding for Matsuzaka's rights last month, promising to pay the Seibu Lions $51.1 million if they let him leave for the major leagues. But they had only 30 days -- until 9 p.m. PST tonight -- to negotiate a contract or the right-hander would return to Japan and Boston would keep its money.

Matsuzaka has a 108-60 record in Japan with a 2.95 earned-run average and 1,355 strikeouts in 204 games. He was the most valuable player of the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March, won by Japan.

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The Toronto Blue Jays have offered All-Star center fielder Vernon Wells a contract extension worth more than $120 million.

"We like him a lot and we're going to try to keep him," General Manager J.P. Ricciardi said.

Ricciardi declined to give specifics. Wells told the Toronto Globe and Mail that it would be worth between $126 million and $136 million and extend for seven or eight years.

Wells hit .303 with 32 home runs and 106 runs batted in last season and is due $5.6 million next season.

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Greg Maddux finalized his $10-million, one-year contract with the San Diego Padres, making a quick trip from his off-season home in Las Vegas to take his physical -- which he passed -- and then be introduced at a news conference.

"Last year I felt as good as I've ever felt," said Maddux, who pulled on a No. 37 jersey. "I'm not ready to give it up."

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St. Louis failed to offer pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel a contract by the deadline, making him a free agent. St. Louis said it intends to continue negotiations with Ankiel and reliever Jorge Sosa, who also wasn't offered a contract.

The 27-year-old Ankiel sat out last season after injuring his left knee in spring training.

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Second baseman Jose Vidro would be sent to the Seattle Mariners by the Washington Nationals for two prospects in a tentative trade that is pending physicals, a person with knowledge of the deal said.

It is believed the Nationals would receive outfielder Chris Snelling and right-hander Emiliano Fruto.

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Outfielder Damon Hollins became a free agent when Tampa Bay declined to offer him a contract for next season....Right-hander Mike Wood became a free agent when Texas didn't offer him a contract....Reliever Dave Borkowski and Houston agreed to a $575,000, one-year contract.

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