Team signs Lima, Hernandez

Updated: January 28, 2004, 9:06 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgerssecond baseman Alex Cora broke his right arm playing in the Puerto Rican winter league and was expected to be sidelined four to six weeks.

The Dodgers also announced they had signed pitcher Jose Lima and infielder Jose Hernandez to minor league contracts.

 Alex Cora

Cora was injured sliding into second base trying to break up a double play Sunday while playing for Caguas, Los Angeles spokesman John Olguin said Tuesday.

"We hope he'll be ready to go by early March," Olguin said.

The Dodgers report to spring training Feb. 18 in Vero Beach, Fla.

The 28-year-old Cora played in a career-high 148 games last season, hitting .249 with four homers and a career-high 34 RBIs. He played in 115 games in 2002, hitting a career-best .291 with five homers and 28 RBIs.

Cora has a .241 average in 546 big league games, all with the Dodgers.

Lima and Hernandez were invited to spring training. Lima would gets a $900,000, one-year contract if added to the roster and the chance to earn $600,000 more in performance bonuses. Hernandez would get an $850,000, one-year deal.

Lima, 31, was 8-3 in 14 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season, winning his first seven decisions and earning AL pitcher of the month honors for July when he was 5-0 with a 1.44 ERA in five starts.

The right-hander began the season pitching for the independent Newark Bears, where he was 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA. He signed a minor league contract with the Royals on June 11.

Lima has a 71-77 record with a 5.13 ERA while pitching in 276 games for Detroit, Houstonand Kansas City. His best year was in 1999 when he went 21-10 for the Astros.

Hernandez, 34, played in 150 games for Colorado, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburghlast season, hitting .225 with 13 homers and 57 RBIs.

Hernandez has played with seven different teams in 12 big-league seasons and hit 146 career homers. He was an NL All-Star in 2002, hitting .288 with 24 homers and 73 RBIs in 152 games for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press