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Gonzalez, Dodgers Finalize Deal

December 8, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Five-time All-Star Luis Gonzalez finalized his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, a one-year deal worth about $7.35 million.

``Luis is a proven offensive threat who will solidify the middle of the order,″ Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. ``He’s a champion on and off the field, and his veteran leadership is a huge part of what he brings to the table.″

The 39-year-old Gonzalez played in 153 games for Arizona last season, the ninth time in the past 10 years that he has appeared in 145 games or more. He committed only one error in 150 games in left field and hit .271, with 15 homers and 73 RBIs.

Gonzalez, who hits left-handed, is a .284 career average with 331 homers, 1,324 RBIs and a .368 on-base percentage in 17 seasons with Houston, the Chicago Cubs, Detroit and Arizona. He was an NL All-Star in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005.

Gonzalez has averaged 27 home runs and 94 RBIs a year over the past nine seasons, and his 20 homers at Dodger Stadium rank second only to Barry Bonds among active players who have not played for Los Angeles.

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