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Former Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo signs with Seattle Mariners

February 6, 2012 |  9:41 am

If Hong-Chih Kuo recaptures the magic that made him baseball’s most dominant reliever in 2010, he won’t do it with the Dodgers.

The former All-Star left-hander has signed a one-year major league contract with the Seattle Mariners, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been officially announced.

The Dodgers didn’t tender a contract offer this winter to Kuo, who earned $2.725 million last season and was due for a raise in the salary arbitration process. They maintained contact with him, but sounded reluctant to offer him a major league contract because of his medical history.

Kuo underwent his fifth elbow operation in October. He was also sidelined more than a month last season because of anxiety disorder.

He finished the season with a career-worst 9.00 earned-run average.

The season before had been the best of his career. He made the National League All-Star team and his 1.20 ERA in 56 appearances established a new Dodgers record.

Kuo was known to prepare for games by showing up at the training room at 1 p.m. to receive treatment on his elbow. Because of that, he was the player most respected by members of the Dodgers’ medical staff, who affectionately called him “The Cockroach” and used to stand on the top step of the dugout whenever he pitched.

-- Dylan Hernandez

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