Dodgers nearing reunion with Mota
Reliever was valuable setup man before 2004 trade
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have agreed to terms with free-agent reliever Guillermo Mota, pending a physical on Tuesday, according to a baseball source.
The signing of Mota would bolster an otherwise youthful bullpen after the losses of veterans Takashi Saito, Joe Beimel, Chan Ho Park and Scott Proctor. The current bullpen consists of closer Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Cory Wade, James McDonald, Ramon Troncoso, Eric Stults and possibly Claudio Vargas.
Mota was acquired by the Dodgers from Montreal during Spring Training of 2002 and traded away with Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion to Florida for Brad Penny and Hee-Seop Choi on July 30, 2004. While with the Dodgers, Mota emerged as the ideal setup man during Eric Gagne's remarkable run as the top closer in the game.
The right-hander hasn't been the same pitcher since being traded away. He had a 2.60 ERA while with the Dodgers, a 4.79 ERA since. He's also served a 50-day suspension for violating MLB's drug policy and bounced from the Marlins to the Indians to the Mets and spent 2008 pitching for Milwaukee.
He was 5-6 for the Brewers, pitching in 58 games with a 4.11 ERA, his lowest ERA since he left the Dodgers. He earned $3.2 million last year.
The Dodgers also reportedly continued talks Monday with the agent for free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez and are still hoping to land one of three free-agent pitchers -- Jon Garland, Randy Wolf or Braden Looper. Chad Billingsley, who broke his left leg in a fall in November, has begun tossing and the club expects him to be healthy for the season.
They also have targeted veteran Brad Ausmus as a possible backup to catcher Russell Martin.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.