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Figgins, Turner thrilled to join Dodgers

SYDNEY -- Probably the two proudest Dodgers on the flight to Australia were new utility men Chone Figgins and Justin Turner, non-roster invitees whose contracts were purchased.

Figgins made the team after sitting out the 2013 season. Turner won a job after being released by the New York Mets in December.

"It's almost more gratifying than being called up to the big leagues," said Figgins, released twice in the last two years. "The last four years have been hard. I wouldn't say it was life changing, but it makes me appreciate the hard work. I was with my wife when I got the call from my agent, and it was emotional. She's seen me come home the last four or five years, watching video and not playing. Now she sees me smile again."

Figgins said one of the more gratifying messages came from Dodgers vice president Vance Lovelace, who scouted Figgins at what he called "a high school tryout" early this year and was instrumental in his signing.

"I also had a good conversation with [general manager] Ned Colletti," Figgins said. "He said congratulations and I said thank you, but the goal is not finished. I want to win a championship here."

Turner said he was equally proud of making the club, although he noted he's been in the "same position the last three or four years."

"This time my family is excited because I get to stay at home," said Turner, who went to Cal State Fullerton.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
Read More: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chone Figgins, Justin Turner