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Berroa's option declined by Dodgers

Dodgers decline Berroa's option

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers declined the $5.5 million option for 2009 on infielder Angel Berroa. His previous club, the Kansas City Royals, is responsible for paying a $500,000 buyout.

Berroa, technically, remains under Dodgers control because he has less than six years service time and is not eligible for free agency.

Berroa was playing under a four-year, $11 million contract from the Kansas City Royals signed during his second season that paid him $4.75 million in 2008. The collective bargaining agreement prevents players other than free agents from receiving a pay cut of more than 40 percent. That would mean for the Dodgers to keep Berroa, he would earn a minimum of $2.85 million, more than a utility infielder could command.

He is eligible for salary arbitration but is most likely to be non-tendered a contract in December.He could re-sign with the Dodgers after that.

The Dodgers still have option decisions to make on Brad Penny and Gary Bennett. Penny has a $9.25 million salary or $2 million buyout. Bennett has a $900,000 option or $50,000 buyout and is expected to be bought out. Penny's option must be exercised within seven days after the end of the World Series, Bennett 10 days after the World Series.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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