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Dodgers decide to keep Hendrickson, Beimel

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Dodgers retained left-handed pitchers Mark Hendrickson and Joe Beimel by offering them arbitration by Tuesday night’s deadline, and cut ties with injured outfielder Jayson Werth and reserve catcher Toby Hall by declining to make offers.

Also, right-handed reliever Franquelis Osoria was claimed off the waiver wire by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Dodgers tried to slip Osoria, who was 0-4 with a 5.13 earned-run average in 36 appearances the last two seasons, through waivers to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

The Dodgers tried to negotiate a contract with Werth, who missed the 2006 season because of a wrist injury he sustained during spring training of 2005. Werth played in 102 games that year, batting .234 with seven home runs, but never completely recovered. His most significant contribution came during the second half of 2004, when he took over in left field and helped the Dodgers to the postseason by hitting 16 home runs in 290 at-bats.

“We tried to negotiate a contract with him before the [deadline], something we could live with,” General Manager Ned Colletti said. “We couldn’t come to an agreement. We can still talk to him, and if an agreement can be made down the road, so be it.”

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The Dodgers would prefer to avoid arbitration with Hendrickson and Beimel and will make a strong effort to sign them beforehand. Hendrickson could command close to $4 million and Beimel might get $1 million.

Hall, who was acquired at the trading deadline, made $2.25 million last season and was made expendable when the Dodgers signed free agent Mike Lieberthal. Colletti tried to trade Hall but found no takers.

-- Steve Henson

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The Angels decided to retain reliever Brendan Donnelly by tendering a 2007 contract to the veteran right-hander, but they did not tender a contract to triple-A reliever Jason Bulger, thus making him a free agent.

The Angels considered cutting ties with Donnelly because of his diminished role and a salary that could rise to $2 million in arbitration this winter, but when several teams expressed interest in trading for Donnelly at the winter meetings last week, that helped increase Donnelly’s value to the Angels.

Though the Angels could still trade Donnelly, they also believe a bullpen consisting of closer Francisco Rodriguez, setup men Scot Shields and Justin Speier, middle-relievers Donnelly and Hector Carrasco, and long man Darren Oliver could be one of the best in baseball.

To make room for Oliver, a veteran left-hander, on the 40-man roster, the Angels cut ties with Bulger, a hard-throwing but oft-injured 28-year-old right-hander who was acquired from Arizona last spring for infielder Alberto Callaspo.

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-- Mike DiGiovanna

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The Houston Astros are getting Jason Jennings instead of Jon Garland to replace Andy Pettitte in their starting rotation.

Five days after a potential trade with the Chicago White Sox came apart, Houston acquired Jennings and pitcher Miguel Asencio from the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Willy Taveras and pitchers Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh -- who all would have been sent to the White Sox.

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“This gives us a solid No. 2 starter and some depth in the bullpen,” Astros General Manager Tim Purpura said.

Jennings was 9-13 with a 3.78 ERA last season. He will make $5.5 million in 2007 and is eligible to become a free agent after next season.

Taveras hit .278 with one home run and 30 runs batted in last season. He had a 30-game hitting streak that ended Aug. 29.

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The San Diego Padres agreed to a $650,000, one-year contract with outfielder Jose Cruz Jr., who played in 86 games for the Dodgers last season.... The St. Louis Cardinals and infielder Aaron Miles avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1-million, one-year contract.... The New York Mets agreed to a $1.25-million, one-year contract with pitcher Dave Williams.... The Atlanta Braves cut ties to Marcus Giles, deciding they could no longer afford the second baseman under their ever-tightening budget.... Reliever David Weathers agreed to a $5-million, two-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds, who designated left-handed starter Brandon Claussen for assignment.... Boston Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler retired after nine major league seasons to start a managerial career with the team’s Class-A farm team in Greenville, S.C. ... Outfielder Matt Stairs and infielder Jason Smith agreed to contracts with the Toronto Blue Jays.... Infielder Jeff Cirillo and the Minnesota Twins reached preliminary agreement on a $1.5-million, one-year contract.


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