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Mark Loretta

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The Los Angeles Dodgers began the rebuilding of their infield depth Monday night by agreeing to terms with utilityman Mark Loretta on a one-year contract, according to agent Bob Garber. Loretta must pass a physical exam Tuesday for the deal to be official.

Club officials declined comment when asked to confirm the agreement.

Loretta, 37, hit .280 in 261 at-bats for the Astros 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 considering retirement because of health issues.

Loretta is a 13-year veteran and two-time All-Star. He earned $2.75 million last year and will receive around $1.4 million in 2009.

The Dodgers also are believed close to re-signing free-agent third baseman Casey Blake.


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