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Friday, January 7, 2005
Dodgers waiting for Green trade

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LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers closed in on a contract Friday with postseason hero Derek Lowe worth about $36 million over four years, and finalized their deal to keep left-hander Odalis Perez.

Derek Lowe
Starting Pitcher
Boston Red Sox
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L Sv K ERA
33 14 12 0 105 5.42

"I can't comment yet -- saying yes or saying no," Lowe said from his home in Fort Myers, Fla., when asked about a possible future with the Dodgers.

Los Angeles was holding off finalizing a contract with Lowe, wanting to first complete a deal that would send Shawn Green to Arizona, a lawyer involved in those talks said on condition of anonymity.

Green, who is due to earn $16 million this season, did not reach an agreement with the Diamondbacks on a contract extension before Thursday's deadline, but Arizona and the Dodgers requested a new window Friday night. Green and the Diamondbacks were given until Monday to agree to an extension that would allow the teams to finalize a revised trade.

The revised trade would send Green to Arizona for catching prospect Dioner Navarro, Diamondbacks general partner Ken Kendrick said.

At least one other Arizona player would go to the Dodgers, but Kendrick could not give any names. The earlier trade would have sent minor league pitcher William Juarez with Navarro to Los Angeles, and the Dodgers would have given the Diamondbacks $8 million.

The new trade may call for the Dodgers to send the Diamondbacks more money to help Arizona strike a new agreement with Green, but Kendrick would not comment on that.

"It's a slightly different deal," Kendrick said. "We hope we are able to come to terms with Shawn. We were relatively close on certain things and never really had a chance to get to other things.''

One of the non-money issues that could be a stumbling block is whether Arizona is willing to include a no-trade clause in Green's extension.

If the Green talks fail, Kendrick said the Diamondbacks have other plans to find a right fielder. The team also expects to acquire a center fielder soon.

"I think that one is going to surprise people," Kendrick said without elaborating.

Green's agent, Greg Genske, said Friday night that his client was willing to the Diamondbacks.

"If in fact the Dodgers and Diamondbacks agreed to a new trade proposal and they would like to reopen the negotiating window, we're happy to engage in that process," he said.

Kept waiting in the wings is Lowe, who was 14-12 with a 5.42 ERA in 33 starts with Boston last season. He was 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in four games during the postseason, three of them starts. He was the winner in the final game of all three postseason series -- against the Angels, Yankees and Cardinals -- as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

About the possibility of pitching for the Dodgers, Lowe said: "They won their division last year. Any time you can go to a team that has won, or has a chance to win, it definitely would be a good situation."

Lowe said he was disappointed the Red Sox never made him an offer to return, but added: "I knew it was heading down that path late in the season. You realize that it's a business. It was definitely an enjoyable place to play. I have nothing but good things and positive things to say about playing there. They gave me my first chance in the big leagues."

Lowe said he didn't consider the future during the postseason, even though he realized his time with the Red Sox was about to be over.

"You kind of put all that aside," he said. "We had such a talented team, there's no sense worrying about next year when we knew we had a chance to do something pretty special."

And Lowe did just that by wrapping up every series.

"It was a good way to finish the year, no doubt about that," he said.

A 31-year-old right-hander, Lowe has a 72-59 career record with 85 saves. He has pitched for Boston since being traded to the Red Sox by Seattle along with catcher Jason Varitek for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb in 1997.

Perez, who agreed to his $24 million, three-year deal earlier in the week, passed a physical Friday. The Dodgers have a club option for 2008 with the 27-year-old left-hander.

Odalis Perez
Starting Pitcher
Los Angeles Dodgers
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L Sv K ERA
31 7 6 0 128 3.25

He was 7-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 31 starts last season, helping Los Angeles reach the playoffs for the first time since 1996. He led the majors with 18 no-decisions and had the worst run support among NL starters at 3.30 runs per nine innings.

Perez ranked sixth in the NL, allowing just 10.27 walks and hits per nine innings. He was third among left-handers, behind Randy Johnson and David Wells. Perez allowed three earned runs or less in 26 of his 31 starts.

Perez struggled in two starts in the Dodgers' NL division series against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing five hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings of St. Louis' 8-3 victory in Game 1 and three hits, five walks and two runs in 2 1/3 of the Cardinals' 6-2 win in Game 4.

The Dodgers acquired Perez from the Atlanta Braves three years ago. He was 15-10 with a 3.00 ERA in 2002, when he made the NL All-Star team, and 12-12 with a 4.52 ERA in 2003.

In 145 career big-league games, all but 19 of them starts, Perez is 45-43 with a 4.00 ERA.

"Odalis is one of the top young left-handers in the game and we're very pleased that he'll continue to be a staple in our rotation for years to come," Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said in a statement issued by the team.

Keeping Perez gives the Dodgers a reliable starter in a rotation filled with uncertainty. He joins right-handers Jeff Weaver, Brad Penny and Edwin Jackson and possibly Lowe, along with left-hander Kaz Ishii as potential starters.

Among free agent pitchers who have signed multiyear deals this offseason, only Pedro Martinez (2.71) and Orlando Hernandez (3.96) have a lower career ERA than Perez.

Perez has pitched 185 or more innings in each of his three seasons with the Dodgers including a career-high 222 1/3 innings in 2002.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.