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It’s Goodbye Goodwin, Trombley

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Dodger careers of outfielder Tom Goodwin and relief pitcher Mike Trombley came to an end Saturday as the club designated both veterans for assignment--moves that could force the club to eat as much as $6 million in guaranteed contracts. The Dodgers announced the moves after a 6-2 exhibition victory over the Cleveland Indians that was played before an announced crowd of 18,112 at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers also optioned pitcher Guillermo Mota to triple-A Las Vegas as they prepared to submit their 25-man roster to major league baseball by Saturday’s 9 p.m. deadline. General Manager Dan Evans, however, said the roster will be altered before the Dodgers play the San Francisco Giants in the season opener Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“We’re following the rules to a T, but once we submit that note we can amend it any time,” Evans said. “It doesn’t mean it’s our 25 two days from now.”

Goodwin is owed $3.75 million. His contract calls for him to make $3.25 million this season with a $500,000 buyout of next season’s $3.5-million option. Trombley is owed $2.25 million. He will earn $2 million for this season and it will cost $250,000 to buy out his $3-million option for next season.

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Goodwin was selected by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1989 draft and was reacquired in a trade with Colorado on July 31, 2000. He batted .231 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 105 games last season, but had 58 strikeouts and drew only 23 walks in 286 at-bats. Goodwin was eight for 37 (.216) with eight strikeouts, three walks and two stolen bases this spring.

Trombley was acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles last July 31. He was 0-4 with a 6.56 earned-run average in 231/3 innings for the Dodgers last season. He gave up four earned runs and 13 hits in 11 innings this spring.

Evans is hoping to work out trades for Goodwin and Trombley, but that scenario is unlikely because other teams can sign the players without picking up their contracts or giving up prospects if the Dodgers are forced to release them in 10 days.

Goodwin strongly intimated that he would refuse a minor league assignment if he was put on waivers and went unclaimed by other teams. Trombley said he wouldn’t accept a minor league assignment.

“I’d rather be released and go where I want to go,” Trombley said. “I think at this point it would be hard for somebody to trade for me. Why buy it when you can get it for free in a couple days?”

Earlier this week, Dodger Manager Jim Tracy named Dave Roberts the starting center fielder and Marquis Grissom the primary back-up, making Goodwin expendable.

“What’s done is done,” Goodwin said. “They know how I feel. I told them and they are the only ones that needed to know. We’re just going to move on from there.”

Outfielder McKay Christensen, 26, is not sure where he will end up. He is on the Dodger roster for now, but he described himself as “insurance” that the club will use for the next few days as it explores trades and delays putting him on waivers. In the unlikely event Christensen went unclaimed, he could be sent to triple-A.

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As non-roster players, reliever Jesse Orosco and utility man Mike Kinkade were not immediately affected by Saturday’s moves. But they and others could be before Tuesday’s opener.

“We don’t have as much flexibility and maneuverability as some other organizations have so we have to create it,” Evans said. “In a way, we’ve created some additional time here.”

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Andy Ashby was impressive in his final exhibition start, giving up one run and five hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out three. Ashby, who is coming off surgery on his right elbow, surrendered a third-inning solo home run to Brady Anderson. He will start Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

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Japanese left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii, who has appeared jittery on the mound this spring, will start today against Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

“I just want him to go out and compete,” Tracy said. “Our intent is to give him an opportunity to see what the environment is like in a major league stadium. The added bonus is the place is going to be full.”

Ishii said he has faced Mariner outfielder Ichiro Suzuki five times during their careers in Japan. Ishii said he has given up one hit and twice walked the 2001 American League MVP.

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