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Dodgers offer arbitration to Lugo

Dodgers offer arbitration to Lugo

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The Dodgers offered arbitration to only one of their free agents at Friday night's deadline to do so, and it was infielder Julio Lugo, not veteran right-hander Greg Maddux.

The Dodgers offered to Lugo with the expectation he will reject the offer and seek a multiyear deal elsewhere.

Meanwhile, declining arbitration to Maddux doesn't mean the team won't bring him back. In a change from previous years under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, the Dodgers and Maddux can continue to negotiate after the club declined to offer arbitration. Had they offered, he would have been on a deadline of Dec. 7 to decide whether to accept it and negotiate exclusively with the Dodgers from that point forward.

Lugo has until that date to inform the Dodgers whether he accepts or declines their arbitration offer. If he signs with another club as expected, the Dodgers receive compensation in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft; if Maddux winds up signing with another club, they do not get that compensation because they did not offer him arbitration.

As expected, the club also decided not to offer arbitration to closer Eric Gagne, outfielder Kenny Lofton, pitcher Aaron Sele or catcher Einar Diaz.

The Dodgers also are expected to sign catcher Mike Lieberthal, who was not offered arbitration by the Phillies on Friday.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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