LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have signed free-agent infielder Aaron Miles and asked for unconditional release waivers on right-handed reliever Mike MacDougal, who was designated for assignment last Thursday when Ronald Belisario was activated.
Miles, who had one of his best years last season for the Dodgers after making the club on a Minor League contract, apparently priced himself out of the free-agent market over the winter and went unsigned. The Dodgers instead turned to utility man Jerry Hairston, who went on the disabled list on Friday.
The 35-year-old Miles reported to the club's Arizona training base at Camelback Ranch-Glendale for extended spring training.
MacDougal will be granted his release on Sunday if he is not claimed off waivers. MacDougal rejected a Minor League assignment.
MacDougal, 35, was signed to a one-year deal for $1 million, with a 2013 option, after being one of the most pleasant $500,000 surprises last year.
After battling through injuries and a Minor League demotion by the Cardinals in 2010, the former closer with Kansas City and Washington filled a key middle-relief role for the Dodgers, with 69 appearances and a 2.05 ERA (1.78 against division opponents). He had two 11-game scoreless streaks and limited hitters to a .157 average with runners in scoring position.
But he struggled this spring, giving up eight walks and posting a 7.88 ERA in eight innings. He was bothered at times by a finger problem, and had a 7.94 ERA this season with six walks in 5 2/3 innings. After being stricken with the flu in April and losing weight, he temporarily lost velocity.
Kasten holds first team meeting
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten on Friday held his first team meeting since taking charge and assured players what he announced at the May 2 introductory press conference: New ownership is committed to "building a first-class organization."
When players returned from the recent trip to Denver and Chicago, they found that the wives and family room had been renovated. When players showed up in the clubhouse on Friday, they found a pair of autographed Magic Johnson Lakers jerseys in their lockers.
Kasten told players that ownership will make acquisitions to improve the club and is considering a renovation of the clubhouse along with other updates to Dodger Stadium.
"And I told them that what I needed from them was to reach out to the fans and community," said Kasten.
"We're going to ask more of them in personal appearances and philanthropy. I told them, 'You know how excited you are to get Magic's jersey? That's how everyone feels when you give them your autograph.' I think they're all-in. I hope so."
Kasten said the upgraded family room was something he could do in a week. Other changes will take time, but he believes he made a statement.
"They all loved it," he said. "We'll look at everything -- the clubhouse, all the facilities. We'll always do what we can to bring in the best players, but that's sensitive, because it means some guys are going to leave."
Rivera has a ruptured hamstring tendon
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Juan Rivera has a ruptured left hamstring tendon and could be out as long as two months, trainer Sue Falsone said on Friday.
Rivera -- who had been hobbled by hamstring problems for weeks but felt a pop sliding into third base on Tuesday night and was placed on the disabled list on Wednesday -- has a rupture where the tendon inserts into the knee. Falsone said it is an unusual baseball injury and there's a medical debate whether surgery is appropriate.
She said the tendon is sometimes harvested by surgeons performing Tommy John surgery, who use the tendon as a replacement elbow ligament because another tendon also holds the hamstring muscle in place.
"People function without the tendon," Falsone said.
If surgery is performed, she said, it is not to re-attach the tendon but to debride the area. The injury that forced Kirk Gibson to hobble around the bases on his legendary World Series walk-off homer was a similar tear of the tendon where it inserts into the knee.
"We will re-evaluate after two weeks and see where we're at," Falsone said. "[Rivera] did some exercises today and was pain-free. The best case is that he's ready to return in 15 days, but I don't think that's what we're looking at. The worst case is six to eight weeks. He will play this season, for sure."
Dodgers get Lakers jerseys from Magic
LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers reported to the clubhouse on Friday, each player and uniformed staff member found a pair of No. 32 Lakers jerseys signed by new part-owner Magic Johnson.
One was personalized for each Dodger, the other autographed so each could be donated to the charity of the player's choice.
It was such a generous gesture that Indiana native and manager Don Mattingly finally made the conversion complete from being a Larry Bird fan.
"This puts him over the top," said Mattingly, who said he has green Bird sneakers, but had to buy them at a charity auction.
"It's a great gift," said Jerry Hairston, a big fan of Michael Jordan who sidestepped the question of which Basketball Hall of Famer was better.
"Magic was the greatest point guard," said Hairston. "Jordan was the greatest shooting guard."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.