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Nats Agree to Terms With King, Orr for Spring Training

Wilbur Ray Todd Jr., the current owner of the Michael Vick house in Virginia closes the gates after an unsuccessful attempt to auction the property.
Wilbur Ray Todd Jr., the current owner of the Michael Vick house in Virginia closes the gates after an unsuccessful attempt to auction the property. (By Gary C. Knapp -- Associated Press)

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Washington Nationals, continuing a slew of moves to fill out their roster, yesterday announced they had agreed to terms with veteran left-hander Ray King and infielder Pete Orr. The moves create depth in both the bullpen and the infield two months before spring training begins. Neither deal is guaranteed, and thus neither player has been added to the 40-man roster.

King, who will turn 34 next month, went 1-1 with a 4.54 ERA in 55 appearances for the Nationals in 2007 before a September trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. In 67 total appearances, the nine-year veteran held left-handed hitters to a .187 batting average and .284 on-base percentage. For now, he is the only lefty in the Nationals' bullpen. Should he make the team, he will earn $850,000.

Orr, 28, played three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, who released him last month. Primarily a second baseman, he has also spent time at third and has appeared once at shortstop and four times in the outfield. After hitting .300 in 112 games as a rookie in 2005, Orr hit .200 with only one extra-base hit in 57 games for the Braves last season. . . .

Jim Edmonds is returning to Southern California, this time as a member of the San Diego Padres.

The Padres obtained Edmonds, 37, and cash from the St. Louis Cardinals for a minor leaguer. The deal needed approval of the commissioner's office because the Cardinals are sending approximately $1 million to the Padres to help offset Edmonds's 2008 salary. . . .

Fulfilling one of their major offseason goals, the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to terms with Japanese free agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on a three-year, $35.2 million contract. Kuroda, who turns 33 in February, passed a physical examination and will be introduced today.

"Kuroda was arguably the best starting pitcher on the free agent market and will be a great addition to our staff," Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said.

PRO FOOTBALL: Something kept Michael Vick's former dogfighting headquarters in Surry County, Va., from selling at auction. It was disappointing to a real estate developer who has about $500,000 tied up in the place.

"I didn't see the people in the crowd I thought we needed," Wilbur Ray Todd Jr. said after rejecting the only serious bid -- $747,000, the property's assessed value for real estate tax purposes.

Todd said he thought the 15-acre country estate was worth at least $1 million.

He plans to list the house for a more conventional sale. Vick is serving a 23-month sentence for a dogfighting conspiracy.

Facing financial ruin, Vick sold the property to Todd for the bargain price of $450,000. Todd spent about $50,000 sprucing up the property after it had been trashed by burglars and looters. A container for donations to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was placed at the front of the driveway, and a small concession stand offered burgers, hot dogs and drinks, with proceeds going to the SPCA.


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