Worrell Signs New Dodger Contract : Baseball: Reliever gets $4 million for ’96. Regan signed to manage Albuquerque.


The Dodgers, who a year ago asked Todd Worrell whether he wanted to be traded, Thursday signed the all-star closer for the 1996 season.

Worrell signed a one-year contract for $4 million with an option for 1997 for $3.75 million or a $400,000 buyout.

“We wanted to make sure that Todd stayed with us,” said Fred Claire, executive vice president. “He’s certainly on top of his game.”

Worrell, 36, saved a franchise-record 32 games in 36 opportunities and had a 4-1 record and a 2.02 earned-run average.


In other news, the Dodgers uncovered a leading candidate to eventually replace Manager Tom Lasorda with the hiring of Phil Regan, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

Regan, 58, who still is owed about $350,000 by the Orioles after being fired two weeks ago, was hired as manager of the triple-A Albuquerque Dukes. He replaces Rick Dempsey, who was offered several other jobs in the organization but said he will look elsewhere for a job.

“If Tommy is going to retire next season, I’m sure Phil Regan will be one of the main candidates to replace him,” Dempsey said.

“Phil is very close to Fred Claire, and Fred has a lot of respect for him. . . . They know I want to manage at the major league level, but maybe I fell short of Dodger expectations.”

Said Claire: “Phil’s a very capable guy . . . but we have never, ever made a commitment or given any indication to anybody that they’re on top of the order. When the time comes and we do make a change, we do not want any obligation other than to select the best man we can select.”

Under Dempsey, the Dukes won the Pacific Coast League title in 1994, then missed the playoffs this season with a 75-69 record.

The Dodgers also announced that Lasorda’s coaching staff has agreed to 1996 contracts.