Garciaparra to stay with Dodgers
By CHRISTOPHER WEBER, Associated Press Writer
November 20, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nomar Garciaparra is staying with the Los Angeles Dodgers, agreeing to a two-year contract.
The deal with the All-Star first baseman will be formally announced Monday, Dodgers spokesman Joe Jareck said Sunday night.
The 33-year-old Garciaparra won the NL comeback player of the year award last season, shifting to first base with the Dodgers.
Garciaparra, a two-time AL batting champion and six-time All-Star, hit .303 with 93 RBIs and 20 home runs for the Dodgers last season, matching J.D. Drew in homers for the team lead.
Last season, he earned $8.5 million, including $2.5 million in incentives. He signed a 1-year deal with the Dodgers last winter. Injuries limited him to a total of 82 games in the previous two years. He was slowed late in the season by quadriceps and oblique muscle injuries.
Garciaparra -- who grew up in nearby Whittier and graduated from St. John Bosco High in suburban Bellflower-- had said he was interested in staying with the Dodgers.
"I've loved every minute of it," he said last month.
Garciaparra became all the more attractive to the Dodgers after Drew opted out of the final three years of his contract earlier this month, making him eligible to become a free agent.
Drew, who turns 31 this month, hit .283 with 20 homers and a team-leading 100 RBIs last season -- his second with the Dodgers. He signed a five-year, $55 million contract on Dec. 23, 2004, and had been guaranteed $33 million over the next three years with Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was swept by the New York Mets in the first round of the playoffs and is 1-12 in the postseason since winning the 1988 World Series.
Garciaparra was AL Rookie of the Year in 1997 and won his first batting title in 1999. He was considered one of baseball's best shortstops for several years while playing with the Boston Red Sox.
Garciaparra hit .283 with nine homers and 30 RBIs for the Chicago Cubs two seasons ago, when he earned $8.25 million. With the Cubs, he tore his left groin running out of the batter's box in St. Louis in 2005 and was out for several months.
He missed 81 games in 2004 with three injuries -- to his Achilles' tendon, left wrist and right groin. And in 2001 with the Red Sox, he underwent surgery on his right wrist.