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DePodesta Alters Look of the Bench

Times Staff Writer

Concerned about bench production, General Manager Paul DePodesta completed his second trade in as many days Tuesday, acquiring outfielder Jayson Werth from the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Jason Frasor.

DePodesta turned to a friend again in an attempt to improve the team, working with Toronto General Manager J.P. Ricciardi, who along with DePodesta contributed to the success of the small-market Oakland Athletics, after acquiring Jason Grabowski on Monday from the A’s to fill another reserve role.

“We think there’s still a lot of upside left in Jayson Werth,” DePodesta said. “He’s a former first-round pick originally taken as a catcher, and he’s another guy who offers us flexibility as a bat.

“Similar to Jason Grabowski, he has both patience and power. He’s not a finished product yet, but we do think he’s going to help us.”

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Werth, 24, plays every outfield position. He has played in 701 minor league games for Toronto and Baltimore, batting .265 with 137 doubles, 71 home runs and 364 runs batted in.

In parts of two seasons in the majors with Toronto, the 6-foot-5 right-handed batter hit .234 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 41 games. The arrival of Werth might bump utilityman Jason Romano off the opening-day roster.

Romano has played well, batting .358 with five homers and 12 RBIs, but Werth and Grabowski are expected to make the club out of spring training. The Dodgers might lose Romano because he is out of options and would have to clear waivers to go to triple-A Las Vegas.

Frasor, 26, had one save and a 2.08 earned-run average in four exhibition games. He went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA and 23 saves last season while splitting time between Class A and double A.

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The Atlanta Braves defeated the Dodgers, 6-5, at Lake Buena Vista. Kazuhisa Ishii pitched 5 2/3 innings in his final exhibition start, giving up six hits and three earned runs. Jose Lima gave up four hits and two runs in one-plus inning to take the loss. Bubba Trammell, fighting for a roster spot, hit a three-run homer. The Dodgers dropped to 11-18.


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