LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers withdrew their final offer to Paul Bako on Wednesday night because they decided instead to sign Sandy Alomar Jr. as their backup catcher.
Alomar, 39 and a 16-year veteran, agreed Saturday to a one-year contract for $650,000. Alomar, six years older than Bako, is nearing the end of a career that includes six All-Star appearances, but he has tailed off in recent years, in part because of numerous injuries. He has had 12 stints on the disabled list and seven knee operations, five on the left and two on the right.
He is the brother of standout second baseman Robbie Alomar. Their father, Sandy Sr., was a longtime player and Major League coach and currently is on Mets manager Willie Randolph's coaching staff.
Alomar Jr. played 46 games for the Rangers this year, and the Dodgers are hoping he doesn't play more than that for them. He is being signed more as a mentor to young catchers Dioner Navarro and Russell Martin than anything. Alomar hit .273 without a home run in 46 games this year, and he did not throw out any of 17 opposing base stealers.
He won the Rookie of the Year Award and Gold Glove in 1990, and he appeared in the postseason six times, including two trips to the World Series with the Indians. He has five home runs in 10 postseason series. His best offensive year was 1997, when he hit .324 with 21 homers and 83 RBIs.
Bako, 34 and coming off knee surgery, could have handled the mentor role as well, but his negotiations broke down Wednesday night when the Dodgers would not match the $700,000 offer he had from the Royals and withdrew the $650,000 offer that had been on the table. Bako played only 13 games backing up Jason Phillips before blowing out his knee.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.