<
>

Dodgers trade infielders

SAN DIEGO -- With third baseman Scott Spiezio unavailable for the start of the season, the Seattle Mariners acquired infielder Jolbert Cabrera from the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander Aaron Looper and left-hander Ryan Ketchner.

Cabrera, who can play a variety of positions, will give manager
Bob Melvin flexibility off the bench. Willie Bloomquist will start
at third in Seattle's season opener against Anaheim on Tuesday.

The Dodgers also sent infielder-outfielder Jason Romano to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for shortstop Antonio Perez.

Cabrera hit .282 in 128 games with the Dodgers last year, with
six homers and 37 RBIs. He played all four infield spots and all
three outfield positions.

Spiezio is expected to be placed on the disabled list,
retroactive to March 28, with back spasms.

The 24-year-old Romano has appeared in 84 major league games in
the last two seasons with Texas, Colorado and the Dodgers. He has
played second base, third base, shortstop and the outfield.

He was competing with first baseman-third baseman Olmedo Saenz,
utility man Jose Hernandez and second baseman Joe Thurston for the
final two spots on the Dodgers' 25-man roster.

Romano hit .379 this spring with five home runs, 14 RBIs and
five steals.

Perez, 24, was with the Devil Rays, Triple-A Durham and Double-A
Orlando last season. He played in 48 major league games, batting
.248 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.