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Dodgers cut loose Werth, Hall

Dodgers cut loose Werth, Hall

LOS ANGELES -- On the day Eric Gagne became a former Dodger, so did outfielder Jayson Werth, catcher Toby Hall and reliever Franquelis Osoria.

With four players eligible for salary arbitration, the Dodgers tendered contracts to pitchers Mark Hendrickson and Joe Beimel, but not to Werth or Hall, who became free agents.

Osoria was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates, where former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy and pitching coach Jim Colborn now work.

Werth, 27, missed the entire 2006 season with a wrist that underwent a second operation after the season. He was originally injured when struck by an A.J. Burnett fastball in the Spring Training opener of 2005. One of former general manager Paul DePodesta's first acquisitions, Werth hit 16 home runs playing part-time in 2004, but there are few people in current management or staff that have much familiarity with him.

Hall, 31, was acquired with Hendrickson from Tampa Bay on June 27 in exchange for catcher Dioner Navarro and Minor League outfielder Justin Ruggiano. Hall hit .368 (21-for-57) as the unhappy backup to Russell Martin. The Dodgers tried to trade him, but interested clubs apparently were convinced the Dodgers would non-tender Hall and they could get him without giving up a player. The signing of Mike Lieberthal as backup catcher made Hall expendable, as did a likely raise from his $2.25 million salary if he went through the arbitration process.

Osoria, 25, made the Opening Day roster, but went 0-2 with a 7.13 ERA, was demoted to Triple-A on May 19 and never returned to the Major Leagues. He was placed on waivers in an attempt to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, although there are no indications the club is close to acquiring a player.

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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