VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The Dodgers resolved two roster issues Tuesday, trading expendable reliever Elmer Dessens to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Brady Clark and cash considerations. The right-handed Dessens, acquired from Kansas City in the Odalis Perez trade last season, was about to lose his bullpen spot to non-roster invitee Rudy Seanez or Chin-hui Tsao. Clark, 34 next month, replaces the injured Jason Repko as the fourth outfielder and takes away a spot that might have gone to left-handed hitters James Loney or Larry Bigbie, although each still could make the Opening Day roster.
"What this does is gives us a very capable player to replace Jason Repko," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "He's a right-handed outfielder who plays all three spots. He's a baseball player. Repko's injury left us very left-handed in the outfield and less versatile." The right-handed-hitting Clark played 138 games last year and batted .263 with four homers and 29 RBIs. His best season was 2005 when he batted .306 for Milwaukee, the 10th-best mark in the National League, while scoring 94 runs with 183 hits. Dessens was to earn $1.7 million this year, while Clark earns $3.8 million. The cash considerations are $2.1 million, equalizing the disparity in the two salaries. "I know the Dodgers have a lot of pitchers, so this is good for me," said the 36-year-old Dessens. "I'm excited, a new team and fresh start. I want to say thank you to the Dodgers for the opportunity." Clark helps balance an outfield corps -- including starters Luis Gonzalez, Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier -- decidedly left-handed. Marlon Anderson is listed as an outfielder, although he hasn't played an inning of outfield this spring as he rests a surgically repaired elbow. Dodgers third-base coach Rich Donnelly, who coached Clark in Milwaukee, said the outfielder is such a hard worker he will challenge Pierre for first-to-the-park honors. Clark will join the Dodgers on Thursday for the Freeway Series with the Angels.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.