The Dodgers signed third baseman Ron Coomer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training Thursday, giving the team insurance in case starter Adrian Beltre is injured and, if Coomer makes the team, a veteran right-handed bat off the bench.
Coomer, a former Dodger minor league standout, hit .264 with three home runs and 17 runs batted in as a New York Yankee reserve last season after spending 5 1/2 seasons with the Minnesota Twins. Coomer, 35, will make $650,000 if he makes the big league team.
The Dodgers also announced they have hired former Milwaukee Brewer manager Jerry Royster, who was fired last year, to be their system's infield coordinator and former Angel batting instructor George Hendrick, a veteran of 18 major league seasons, as their triple-A hitting coach under new Manager John Shoemaker.
In addition, Scott Little, who guided Class-A South Georgia to a 75-63 record last season, will manage Class-A Vero Beach this season, Dann Bilardello will move from Great Falls to manage South Georgia, and Travis Barbary, who served as the Dodgers' bullpen catcher for four seasons (1998-2001), will make his managerial debut with the Class-A Ogden Raptors, who replace Great Falls as the Dodgers' Pioneer League affiliate.