Free agent starting pitcher Paul Maholm agreed to a one-year contract with the Dodgers, the team announced on Saturday. The deal is worth $1.5 million, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, plus potentially $5 million more in bonuses.
The Dodgers had been looking to sign a free agent starter on a short-term deal to help round out the team's pitching staff. Los Angeles reportedly had an interest in Bronson Arroyo before he signed with the Diamondbacks.
Maholm was a solid starter from 2011-12 while playing with three different teams. He had a 3.66 ERA over 26 starts with the Pirates in 2011, then parlayed that into a two-year contract with the Cubs. He made 21 appearances with Chicago before being traded mid-season to the Braves. Overall, he had a 3.67 ERA between the two squads in 2012.
Last season, Maholm took a bit of a downturn with Atlanta, making 26 starts with a 4.41 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. While he has not been a big strikeout pitcher or shown overwhelming control, the left-hander has been a decent back-of-the-rotation option.
To make room for Maholm on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers placed pitcher Scott Elbert, recovering from Tommy John surgery last June, on the 60-day disabled list.
Despite losing out on Masahiro Tanaka and Bronson Arroyo, the Dodgers' have one of the top pitching staffs in the league led by Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Their fourth and fifth starters currently appear to be Dan Haren and Josh Beckett, with Chad Billingsley being thrown into the mix when he returns from Tommy John surgery. That leaves the team with little depth and a risky back-end of the rotation. Maholm should help in that regard as an under-the-radar signing that should not require big dollars.
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