Dodgers near agreement with Blake

Tim Brown
Yahoo! Sports

LAS VEGAS – The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement with third baseman Casey Blake after raising their offer Monday to three years and slightly more than $17 million. The deal also includes a club option for 2012.

Blake batted .274 with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs, splitting the season between the Cleveland Indians and the Dodgers. Blake rejected an offer from the Minnesota Twins a few days ago because they wouldn't agree to a third year.

"It keeps Blake DeWitt at second base and gives us a solid third baseman who has character, is team-oriented and is a grinder," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "We love to have players like that."

Staying on the theme of reuniting the left side of their infield, the Dodgers were to meet later Monday with Rafael Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer. It would appear the market has softened for Furcal, who is fending off suspicions his surgically repaired back could be an ongoing issue.

Furcal turned down a four-year offer of $35 million to $40 million from the Oakland Athletics last week and might be having trouble finding anything better. He said immediately after the season that he wanted to return to the Dodgers, where he played the last three years, but the significant early interest in him on the free-agent market caused him to explore his options. Those options may be dwindling fast, although the Blue Jays have expressed interest to Kinzer and could make an offer soon. The Royals also have spoken to Kinzer.

Meanwhile, the A's continue to mull options at shortstop in the wake of Furcal's rejection. They could go with Bobby Crosby again. They could cover themselves for a season with a David Eckstein or a Cesar Izturis, or they could go big with a Miguel Tejada homecoming.

Also, one team official pointed out, they could still sign Furcal. Their offer still stands, and he might not get a better one.

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