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Dodgers open their wallets for OF Ethier

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers signed OF Andre Ethier to an $85 million, five-year deal through 2017 Tuesday, keeping him and Matt Kemp together in the middle of the lineup.

It's the team's first major move under a new ownership group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson.

Ethier avoided arbitration last winter, agreeing to a $10.95 million contract for this season. He could have tested free agency at season's end.

"I knew there were options at the end of the day, but why look at them when the best option is here?" he said.

"A friend of mine said a couple weeks ago, 'You were meant to play here and you wouldn't play good anywhere else.' That kind of rang true and let me think what's the purpose of holding out a few more months?"

ROBERTS RETURNS: 2B Brian Roberts returned to the Orioles after being out for 13 months with a concussion and sometimes wondering if he'd ever be able to live a normal life again. "There were times throughout the process that the future looked so bleak," he said.

GUERRERO RELEASED: The Blue Jays granted OF/DH Vladimir Guerrero's request to be released from his minor-league contract. Guerrero, 37, a nine-time All-Star and former AL MVP, didn't indicate why he asked for his release.

RIVERA SURGERY: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said the surgery on his injured right knee "went perfectly" and he is looking forward to beginning his rehabilitation.

SWEAT, NOT SPIT: Tigers closer Jose Valverde said he wasn't throwing a spitball in the ninth inning Sunday night but rather was wiping sweat from his face with his glove. An Internet video showed Valverde putting his glove to his mouth with the ball in it before delivering a pitch to Reds C Devin Mesoraco.

CLEMENS SAGA: A jury of eight women and four men began deliberations after a day of closing arguments in the ninth week of the federal perjury trial of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.

OBITUARY: Former RHP Dave Boswell, who won 20 games for the Twins in 1969, was hospitalized that August after a fight with manager Billy Martin outside a Detroit bar and retired two years later at the age of 26, died from a heart attack Monday evening at his home near Baltimore. He was 67.

ANGELS: RHP Jered Weaver, on the disabled list with a lower back strain, said he felt good after a 30-pitch bullpen session Monday and could be cleared for a simulated game late this week.

A'S: RHP Brandon McCarthy was scratched from his scheduled start today because of lingering soreness in his pitching shoulder.

BRAVES: RHP Tim Hudson, who missed his scheduled start Sunday because of bone chips in his ankle, is expected to pitch tonight against the Yankees.

CUBS: Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo was fired and replaced on an interim basis by James Rowson, the organization's minor-league hitting coordinator.

METS: 1-800-Flowers founder Jim McCann has purchased a minority stake. The team has been selling limited partner shares for $20 million each.

RANGERS: RHP Alexi Ogando went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin and is expected to be out four to six weeks.

REDS: RHP Nick Travieso, the 14th overall pick in the draft, agreed to a $2 million bonus. The product of Archbishop McCarthy High in Southwest Ranches was a Miami commit. … Rookie SS Zack Cozart was out of the lineup with an illness.

TIGERS: RH reliever Octavio Dotel went on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his pitching elbow.

Dodgers open their wallets for OF Ethier 06/12/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:34pm]

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