Ken Gurnick from MLB.com writes that the Dodgers signed veteran utility player Pablo Ozuna today. The White Sox designated Ozuna for assignment on July 8 to make room for Paul Konerko when he returned from the DL. He elected to become a free agent after clearing waivers. Ozuna had posted a mediocre line of .281/.313/.328 in 69 plate appearances for the White Sox this year.
Luis Maza was designated for assignment to make room for Ozuna, Gurnick writes. Maza was called up as a quick shortstop fix earlier in the year, but had posted an abysmal .228/.278/.282 line through 79 ABs with the Dodgers.
Manager Joe Torre refers to Ozuna as a "safety net" at three positions, and also expects the Dodgers to continue to be active over the next 10 days:
"I know Ned [Colletti, general manager] is on the phone, trying to make our club better," Torre said. "Chances are, we’ll be active. Having said that, we’re trying."
Gurnick mentions that the Dodgers are hesitating to bring pinch-hitting specialist Mark Sweeney off the DL, perhaps signaling that an additional move is near on the horizon. General Manager Ned Coletti said that with shortstop options limited in Rafael Furcal’s absence, his desire to acquire a run-producing third baseman would intensify.
Personal speculation: Adrian Beltre is available, and the Twins look to have thrown in the towel on their attempt to acquire him, but the asking price there is quite high. Minnesota could still offer competition to the Dodgers in an attempt to acquire a third baseman. Here’s a look at the third base market.
Casey Blake’s name has been tossed around with the Dodgers. Hank Blalock could be another option, if he can remain healthy and return to his old self. His great run from 2003-2005 seems like a long time ago at this point, but a turnaround would be a tremendous boost to the Dodgers’ lineup.