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DODGERS : Martinez Signs, but He Wants to Talk Before Reporting

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ramon Martinez finally signed a contract Saturday, but he is still not in training camp and still not happy. Martinez has demanded and received a meeting with Dodger officials to discuss his grievances before he reports to Dodgertown.

Martinez, the club’s top returning pitcher, signed a one-year deal worth $485,000 three hours before the club was prepared to unilaterally renew his contract at about $450,000.

But because of issues involving his treatment by the club, Martinez will not report to camp until he has met with Dodger Vice President Fred Claire and lawyer Sam Fernandez Monday night in Orlando. The Dodgers hope he will begin workouts Tuesday, 12 days late.

“I know these negotiations were very hard,” Martinez said in a conference call Saturday. “I decided to take an aggressive position because I wanted to be compensated for my production.

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“I am happy with the Dodgers, but I want to make sure everything is fine. I want to talk to them and clear everything up.”

The Dodgers say Martinez can be ready by April 9 and is expected to be the opening-day starter in Atlanta. Martinez said he had been throwing and running in the Dominican Republic.

“How many games did Ramon win last year? And when did he report then?” asked Manager Tom Lasorda, fully aware that Martinez went 20-6 and reported in late March because of the owners’ lockout.

Said Orel Hershiser: “If he is in shape, there is enough time left where he can overcome this. But I don’t think the team is that worried about him. He is young pitcher who can get in shape pretty easily.”

Dodger Notes

Jose Offerman, another client of Jim Bronner, also signed a one-year contract before a possible renewal Saturday. Offerman, scheduled to be the club’s starting shortstop, signed for about $110,000. The 40-man roster is signed.


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