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Hollandsworth Asks for Trade

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Dodger outfielder Todd Hollandsworth, who has struggled since winning the 1996 National League rookie-of-the-year award, has informed team officials he wants to be traded, his agent said Monday.

Jeff Moorad, attending the winter meetings, said his client wants to be an everyday player, which doesn’t appear likely next season. Moreover, Moorad said, Hollandsworth no longer trusts club officials because of commitments that haven’t been fulfilled.

“Todd’s preference is to move on to a new organization because it doesn’t make much sense for him to be a part-time player at this stage of his career,” said Moorad, who recently became Hollandsworth’s representative. “The Dodgers view Todd to have a role on the team, but it’s not the type of role that Todd envisions for himself.”

Moorad has spoken with Dodger General Manager Kevin Malone about trading Hollandsworth, who missed the Dodgers’ final 103 games after undergoing left shoulder surgery in June. Hollandsworth, 25, began last spring training as the starting left fielder, but was removed from the full-time role because of ineffectiveness before he suffering the injury.

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In 55 games, Hollandsworth batted .269 with three home runs and 20 runs batted in. He started 43 games.

Hollandsworth is eligible for arbitration but won’t be eligible for free agency until after next season. Some players can force trades because of their service time, but Hollandsworth is not in that category.

“We have expressed Todd’s point of view to Kevin and we will continue to,” Moorad said. “But we understand the Dodgers have the final say.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks inquired about acquiring Hollandsworth during the meetings, but Malone said he is reluctant to move the left-handed batter.

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“I don’t look at this as being a ‘situation,’ ” Malone said of Hollandsworth’s request. “I understand Todd’s feelings, but I think Todd is going to be a big part of this ballclub, and I think Todd is going to help us win next season.”

Shortly before the Dodgers signed free-agent Devon White to play center in 1999, a club official told Hollandsworth he would be the starting center fielder next season, team sources said.

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Joe DiMaggio felt good enough Monday to sit up in bed at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., and talk football with his lawyer, another step in his remarkable recovery from a coma that had left him near death.

“Joe looked great this morning,” attorney Morris Engelberg said. “I was shaking his hand, talking about the [New York Jets-Miami Dolphins] game last night.”

The Jets defeated the Dolphins, 21-16, on Sunday night, and because the television is often on in DiMaggio’s room, Engelberg said the 84-year-old baseball Hall of Famer probably watched some of the game.

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The Angels will leave the winter meetings today without Roger Clemens or a front-line starting pitcher. The best they could do was acquire right-hander Mark Petkovsek from the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named. Petkovsek, 33, was 7-4 with a 4.77 earned-run average in 10 starts and 38 relief appearances. . . . Toronto is now unlikely to move Clemens before the weekend. Only the Texas Rangers negotiated seriously with the Blue Jays on Monday, but couldn’t agree on a package that might include Rick Helling, the Rangers’ 20-game winner. There is a possibility the Houston Astros might re-enter the picture, although the issue has splintered upper management. General Manager Gerry Hunsicker, heatedly reacting to what he termed an outrageous contract proposal from Clemens’ agents, Alan and Randy Hendricks, had announced Sunday that the Astros were out of it. But owner Drayton McLane, a friend of the Houston-based Hendricks brothers, called them to apologize for Hunsicker’s comments and reportedly believes that the Astros should make one more attempt to land the hometown pitcher. . . . The Pittsburgh Pirates traded pitcher Jon Lieber (8-14, 4.11) to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Brant Brown (.291, 14 homers). . . . The New York Mets traded Butch Huskey (.252) to the Seattle Mariners for 20-year-old pitching prospect Lesli Brea. . . . Texas running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was taken by the Montreal Expos off the Philadelphia Phillies’ roster in a draft of players not on a 40-man roster. The Expos, however, are expected to trade Williams to the Texas Rangers.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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