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LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) The Los Angeles Dodgers said Friday they did not tender closer Takashi Saito a contract for next season by Friday night’s deadline, making him a free agent.

Saito, coming off an elbow injury that sidelined him for two months, would have been eligible for salary arbitration and a raise from $2 million if he was tendered a contract.

The Dodgers only wanted to take as much risk as a $2.5 million contract plus performance bonuses for one year.

“Right now there’s just a difference of opinion on his contract,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to come to an agreement with him down the road.”

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