Magic Johnson has joined a group bidding to buy the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers, hoping to restore the luster of a once-glamorous franchise that has been sullied during owner Frank McCourt's messy tenure.

Johnson, the longtime Los Angeles Lakers superstar and former part-owner of the NBA club, is partnering with former Atlanta Braves executive Stan Kasten and wealthy investor Mark Walter in the upcoming auction for the Dodgers, who filed for bankruptcy protection in June. McCourt finally agreed last month to auction the team.

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to be part of the Dodgers legacy & bring a World Series championship back to L.A.," Johnson tweeted Friday.

Johnson has joined a heavyweight group in what's expected to be a tough competition for the Dodgers: Kasten is a former president of the Braves and Washington Nationals, and Walter is CEO of a global financial services firm managing more than $125 billion in assets. Their organization will be called Guggenheim Baseball Management.

Omar back?

Former Mets general manager Omar Minaya will be hired as a vice president of the San Diego Padres, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. His salary will be offset by the almost $1.4 million the Mets owe him next year. Capuano, Dodgers agree

Lefthander Chris Capuano and the Dodgers agreed to a two-year, $10-million contract. Capuano will get $3 million next year and $6 million in 2013 . . . Closer Heath Bell has agreed to a three-year, $27-million contract with the Miami Marlins, a person familiar with the negotiations said. -- AP

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