Green going to camp with shot at L.A.'s roster

Nick Green will be going to spring training with his sixth different major league team in as many years.

The former Duluth standout signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and will get a chance to win a job as the team's utility infielder.

"It looks like a good place for me," Green said.

"At least I hope it is."

Juan Castro, who was the Dodgers' backup at shortstop for Rafael Furcal last season, is gone and Los Angeles is also without infielders Orlando Hudson, Ronnie Belliard and Mark Loretta from a year ago.

"I think it's a good fit," Green said. "I played for Joe Torre in New York and I wanted to get back to the National League."

Green won a spot with Boston as a spring invitee last year and became the Red Sox's regular shortstop. But he was sidelined by a nerve problem in his back late in the year and decided to become a free agent after being dropped from the roster following the season.

Green, who lives in Lawrenceville, had surgery in early November to shave a disc in his back to relieve pressure on a nerve. The nerve problem was affecting his leg.

"I'm not 100 percent yet, but I'm on target," Green said. "I'm nine weeks out (after surgery) and I should be ready to go by the start of spring training. I went out to Los Angeles (for a physical) and now I'm on a program the Dodgers set up.

"I hope to be able to start hitting soon."

Green, 32, has played with Tampa Bay, the Yankees, Seattle and Boston since coming up with the Atlanta in 2004. He played in 103 games with the Red Sox last season, batting .236 with six homers and 35 RBIs.

Able to play second base and third base as well as shortstop, Green's best batting average was .273 in 95 games as a rookie with the Braves. He played a career-best 111 games after being traded to Tampa Bay at the end of the spring training the next year, but hit .239.

Green isn't the only player with Atlanta connections to recently join the Dodgers. Los Angeles also signed outfielder Brian Barton, who played for the Braves and Gwinnett last year, and former Braves pitcher Russ Ortiz to minor league deals.

Barton played in the Gwinnett outfield with Reid Gorecki, who finished the year with Atlanta. Gorecki signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.