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Blake, Dodgers finalize three-year deal

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1Blake, Dodgers finalize three-year deal Empty Blake, Dodgers finalize three-year deal on Tue 09 Dec 2008, 10:58 pm

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LAS VEGAS -- The Dodgers moved to clarify their infield Tuesday by officially announcing the re-signing of free-agent third baseman Casey Blake to a three-year contract worth an estimated $17 million.
The 35-year-old Blake, acquired from Cleveland July 26, was a stabilizer during the club's second-half surge, slugging 10 homers with 23 RBIs and a .258 average in 58 Dodgers games after hitting .289 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs for the Indians.
Blake, Dodgers finalize three-year deal ZWS9iAl2
Blake played most of the month of September with a badly bruised biceps muscle that hampered his hitting and throwing. He was acquired for reliever Jon Meloan and Minor League catcher Carlos Santana and earned $6.1 million in 2008.
The Dodgers liked his grittiness and overall solid play. General manager Ned Colletti said earlier Monday at MLB's Winter Meetings that a return of Blake would allow Blake DeWitt to remain at second base, a position he took over after Jeff Kent was injured. Kent is a free agent and is considering retirement.
With James Loney at first base, Colletti's next priority is to resolve shortstop. He met Monday with the agent for Rafael Furcal, but there was no indication of any progress in those talks. Furcal, who played one month because of back surgery, seeks a four-year contract. The Dodgers are proposing a two-year deal with incentives because of concerns about his health.
Without Furcal at shortstop, the Dodgers could go internally (Angel Berroa, Chin-lung Hu, Ivan DeJesus Jr. or Tony Abreu) to fill the spot and reserve resources to acquire a pitcher or outfielder.


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