Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Former Astro Mark Loretta signs with Dodgers

Former Astro Mark Loretta, 37, signed a free agent deal with what is appearing to be a freewheeling Hot Stove League Dodger team. Loretta hit .280 in 261 at-bats last season but batted .330 against left-handers. He played 46 games at second base, 17 at third base, five at shortstop and two at first base. He presumably would take the place of Nomar Garciaparra, who appeared at three infield positions this season but is apparently considering retirement because of health issues. Loretta is a 13-year veteran and two-time All-Star that earned $2.75 million last year and will receive around $1.4 million in 2009.

Loretta is one of those great utility players and has some of the best patience at the plate I've ever seen from a reserve player. He doesn't have the pop in the bat to be a likely every day player, but he is great off the bench and a decent fielder. The Astros were only not interested due to salary concerns.

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