12:23pm: Maholm is likely to sign a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick tweets. That Maholm would receive a minor-league deal is somewhat surprising, given his relative youth and history of reasonably strong performances.
10:08am: Judging from events in the Dodgers' clubhouse today, the team appears likely to sign starting pitcher Paul Maholm. Maholm currently has a locker, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times notes (via Twitter). Hernandez also tweets that Maholm is in the clubhouse, apparently to take a physical. The Dodgers were reportedly a candidate to sign Bronson Arroyo, so Arroyo's recent decision to sign with the Diamondbacks may have led the Dodgers to pursue Maholm as an alternative.
Maholm, 31, posted a 4.41 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 153 innings with the Braves last season. He made $6.5MM after the Braves picked up an option on the one-year deal he originally signed with the Cubs prior to the 2012 season. The lefty is one of many starting pitchers remaining on the free-agent market, joining names like Chris Capuano and Suk-Min Yoon in a tier below top options A.J. Burnett, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes projected that Maholm would get a one-year, $7MM deal this offseason.
I like this signing! Maholm is a pitcher, not a thrower, and will be a nice contrast to the other pitchers in that rotation. With Beckett and Billingsley being question marks at least until mid season, I see plenty of work for Maholm.
If they truly end up with a starting pitcher surplus, they should be able to work any number of trades.
I did not want the Arroyo deal due to his solid but unspectacular nature.
I guess they DID go after Arroyo seriously and simply could not keep up the bid, which suggests the Dodgers resources are a lot under rumors.
No, it doesn’t. It just means that they didn’t want 37-year-old Arroyo for 2 years + an option. Neither would I.
I would not sign him in a vacuum where better pitchers are around or there was a choice of Arroyo or prospects, but if the choice is a straight up 2 way of Maholm or Arroyo I would take Arroyo every time if there was not a big budget consideration involved, especially since we could trade him.
There may be a trend here considering the team desperately required a utility man and never challenged the A’s Punto offer, let Ellis leave, and would not let a risk of arbitration to Belisario.
Well, let’s look at those decisions in a vacuum then. Ellis and Punto are getting older. We have in-house options that the Dodgers feel are very similar, along with the signings of Turner and the rest. Belisario, I honestly don’t think the Dodgers felt they needed him, especially with all the wear and tear.
I think we need to keep in mind that the Dodgers may have the ability to sign 60 players, but that’s just not feasible. You still have to make sound decisions. Could the Dodgers afford Arroyo? Of course! But look down the line and realize that perhaps Arroyo pitching at age 39 is not a great option when you can have 31-year-old Maholm as your #5 for one year and then have that spot open again next season for a youngster who identifies themselves this season.
I think it’s smart baseball.
But if you take the option on a starting player to see him sign on a team you should consider your top competition and he receives a raise, I suspect shenanigans.
If there was not a budget issue Ellis was underestimated.
I don’t think it about a budget or if they like mark Ellis it about what can he bring to the team and if he was going to be a bench player 5 mill too much for really a one position player. Since I doubt mark can play anything other then 2nd and maybe LF
You kind of contradict yourself here. It wasn’t about the money, but it was about the money. I think it was about where he’d play if they kept him. I suspect they liked Ellis enough to not force him into a utility role.
Ok maybe I did but I dont thnk it was about forcing him to be utility role. I think they don’t think he can be one. It because one he getting older and 2’who know if he can play any spots other than 2nd. Since.they had all the chance in the world to maybe bring him back but his positions weakness hurt him
Agreed. I’d add that Ellis was not only aging, but that with the hiring of Guerrero the Dodgers would have exercised his option with the purpose of converting him to a utility infield role. Whether Ellis was willing to do that or not we don’t know, but it still would’ve been a conversion effort for a lifelong second baseman. Punto I would have liked to see stay, but management obviously had other plans.
I strongly feel that the Dodgers asked Mark Ellis if he would like to be a bench player, and he said he felt he could land a starting job elsewhere. Done and done.
Yup, that’s my assumption too.
So how many starters do the Dodgers have if this signing does go through? Can never have to much pitching… Paul can either be extremely fun to watch or it’s like driving nails into your eyes. He is super effective or it’s 2 innings of futility. It’s a good depth signing for LA though.
You can never have enough starters, and the Dodgers proved that last year. Remember they had 8 starters in the beginning of the season, and ended up needing guys like Magill.
You nailed it on the head. Its a depth signing going into Spring Training, which starters for Dodgers’ pitcher and catchers today.
It will be interesting to see what the terms are. Have to think its just 1 yr.
Also the Dodgers will have 7 starters, with the potential for more. Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Haren, Mahalom, Billingsley and Beckett. Billingsley won’t be back until mid-season though and Beckett is always an injury concern, so they could also break camp with fife or lee
“Extremely fun to watch”? Even Mrs. Maholm thinks you’re giving him way too much credit.
When he was completely dominating the Nationals early on in the season just by change of speeds, it was fun to watch. A guy doesnt have to throw 100 for him to be fun to watch, for me anyways, when he is clicking and making people look silly on 67 MPH curves its entertaining.
Yes, that first month he was playing outside of himself. Then he came back down to earth. Hard to think he’ll continue that in LA with that defense, but stranger things have happened. And you’re talking to a fellow Braves fan, I too am entertained by great location and changing speeds, but Maholm was so inconsistent that it was hard to count on him doing either of those things last season.
I didn’t say it was always entertaining. By June I was ready to cut the guy haha. It was more nails in the eyes than it was good, it was that early summer series against Detroit where he got smacked and he was never the same. Wish him luck in LA, but I dont see many fans being patient with the guy in their win now mode.
Why do the Dodgers need to worry about defense? It’s not like anyone is going to tee off on Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Haren and company. This rotation is sick, and the bullpen is hands down, the best in baseball. Add in a healthy Kemp, Ramirez, Ethier and the rest of the bash crew, and this team will likely win the west by 15 games.
Confidence is a good thing, but saying that they have the best bullpen in baseball hands down is laughable.
Tell me another bullpen with 2 lock down closers for the 8th and 9th, along with 3 other guys with a ton of saves and experience? The answer is not one other team. This bullpen is so good, they may not have a spot for Chris Withrow, who would be an 8th inning guy for just about any other team, including yours. 2.60 ERA, 0.95 whip, 98 mph fastball and just plain nasty.
So by adding Chris Perez the Dodgers bullpen has become the greatest assembled in the league, the same guy that lost his job last season?
I never said that they were not a very talented group of players, but to say that their isn’t a comparable pen out there is not true. Atlanta’s pen is so comparable with Kimbrel, Walden and Venters who all have closer experience. You have Avilan and Carpenter who throw in the mid 90’s. Alex wood could be a part of our pen as well.
Chris Perez will be the 7th inning guy, and he comes to a very pitcher friendly league and ball park. The year before he lost his job, he was almost unhittable. Wilson in the 8th, you know, the guy your team couldn’t even get a good foul ball on last year in the playoffs, and Jansen in the 9th has got an unreal ceiling. Nearly every single baseball analyst on MLB.com has rated the Dodgers bullpen as the best in baseball this year, and as you are aware, most of those guys either played, managed or were GM’s in this great sport.
A lot of former GM’s also said that the Nationals were a sure fire bet for the World Series. I have no problem with your belief of your team, and I realize how good that pen could be. Lets just agree to disagree on this matter, You believe in your teams bullpen, and I believe in mine.
We can agree to that. Best of luck to your team this year.
Who are the 2 lock down starters? Jansen and who? Wilson? If he were lock down, wouldn’t he still be in SF? Or closing? Same question regarding League and Perez, but with SEA and CLE.
Hilarious. If only LAD’s rotation was unhittable, as you seem to think. Love Kershaw, but Greinke will go through his phases and the league now has seen Ryu, and Haren is a reclamation project. And then there’s Paul Maholm when there’s not Josh Beckett – both contact pitchers. And best bullpen “hands down”? They were 13th in bullpen ERA in 2013 and middle of the pack in blown saves. They have some good pieces, but counting on League and Wilson to return to their former glory is a tall task, and even then, are they better than Kimbrel and Co. ATL can churn out quality setup men from the scrap heap like none other.
Expecting them to? Umm, news flash,. Wilson was UNHITTABLE in his return from surgery. After a full off season of strengthening, he will be as good if not better this year. Look at the bullpen stats after Jansen became the closer. They were top 3 in all of baseball. Now that Donnie baseball will not be juggling the line ups, rotation and bullpen, and now that Capuano and Bellisorio is gone, the addition of Perez in a pitcher friendly park and league makes a difference of an average of 1 run per game. We are not counting on Brandon League, but he did have corrective eye surgery in the off season. If he can return to his 2012 form, it’s that much better.
Kershaw is the best pitcher in the game, and it’s not even close. Greinke was top 10, and there is no reason to expect a drop off, as he is one of the best prepared pitchers in the game. Ryu already went through the league on multiple occasions, and he also can expect to make adjustments as well. Pitchers at this level always have the upper hand. You seem to discount how much of an advantage pitching in Dodger stadium gives this staff. Haren’s numbers after the all star break were awesome, and he’s pitching for his next contract. Stacked is an under statement.
Please say “pitcher friendly park” again. You’re basing a lot on that. Lights out in 13.2 IP for Wilson – yeah, small sample size just got miniaturized. Judging from that, he’s going to be incredible. Ryu really does benefit from the home-field advantage, but again, he’s only had 1 season. Haren’s numbers Post AS were 3.52 ERA/1.02 WHIP. Great WHIP, as always, but bad ERA. He’ll definitely need to be unhittable to keep that ERA down – knowing the LAD def (ranked 25 of 30 in MLB, before Guerrero at 2B…). And I love how you don’t even mention a 5th starter. Maholm/Beckett/Bueller…anyone…?
Dodgers have 5. Bills is coming off tommy and won’t be back till maybe June and there no answer to Beckett health and there no reason to trust him at this point. So this is a great sign
Beckett’s hurt? I thought that was just Billingsley. I think Beckett’s gone by end of ST. Maybe to Mariners?
Beckett is coming off of surgery. He’s supposed to be healthy by now, but no real updated news on him, as of yet.
Did not know that. In that case, this makes a ton of sense.
The lack of any actual updates on his situation tells me that he’s not anywhere close to ready. We know more about Billingsley’s rehab from TJ, and he’s months away from playing.
I see nothing wrong with this it better then what we have in the minors fife always get hurt and magill can’t throw a strike to save his life. Also with Beckett health a question and bill not ready till like June dodgers needed a 5th pitcher. Plus maybe one of the best pitching coach in the game can help him
Christopher A. Otto
Assuming Cruz to Seattle, this is my take on the 10 “best” free agents remaining:
I’m stunned that this may be a minor-league deal. That can’t be correct.
I’ll be very glad if it is. It’ll be a steal of a deal. He could fill Capuano’s role and do even better, and as a minor league deal that is definitely a steal.
Paul Maholm on a minor league deal would be an incredible sign for the Dodgers!
Can’t believe he’d really do that.
Me neither. Either he’s always wanted to live in LA (in which case, where are the Angels?) or the Dodgers just got very very lucky.
On a minor league deal too. That’s pretty lucky indeed. Good signing.
WOW minor league?
Great signing by dodgers if they can fix him. I got the feeling when a call didn’t go his way it derailed him. Check his home vs away splits: 6-3 2.37 era/ 4-8 5.91 era.
I would bet heavily that this “minor league deal” is actually a deal with a solid base salary that guarantees that he’s added to the big league roster by the first date that people are allowed to be added to the DL. That’s when Billingsley can go on the 60 day and the 40-man spot will open up.
Not sure that’s CBA-kosher. But yeah, I’m sure this isn’t a garden variety minor league deal. It probably has a significant salary attached “if” he makes the ML roster, and he has a handshake understanding that that is very likely. It’s only a minor league deal to keep it non-guaranteed on the odd chance either Beckett is healthy or they sign someone else.
Yeah, the obvious advantage of the deal being a minor league one is it means the Dodgers don’t have to DFA anyone, since the 40 man roster is full.
This allows the Dodgers to bring Maholm in and compete for a spot on the roster OR (more likely) allows the Dodgers to eventually put Billingsley on the 60-day DL and give Maholm his spot.
Agree that a handshake agreement is very likely here.
Still surprised Maholm would agree to any stipulations when its highly likely he can get a guaranteed contract elsewhere.
Billingsley will start the season on the DL of course, and it looks like better than even money that Beckett will also.
I’m guessing that to be the case as well.
Depending on Beckett’s health, they will likely start him on the 15-day DL and make him take the longest time allowed to go on a rehab assignment so he can get his arm strength and location back as much as possible.
Or if he’s really injured, then they’ll also put him on the 60 day DL.
I don’t see Maholm signing a minor league contract without knowing that he has a really good chance of making the club. It could be one of those contracts that releases him if he doesn’t, but I’m taking this (and the earlier pursuit of Arroyo) as an indication that Beckett is either not ready, or all washed up.
It’s not a huge risk for Maholm, really. If somehow the Dodgers don’t take him North, he’ll just become a FA and someone will snap him up quickly.
Assuming the contact includes a release.
He and his agent probably figure that if he can spend a year pitching half his games in Dodger Stadium, with that team around him, he can go 15-9 with an ERA in the low threes, and some team that doesn’t understand park effects will throw a bunch of money at him a year from now.
Jonny Boy Clutch
I cant help but feel deja vu as the dodgers had starting pitching depth like this at the start of spring training last year and still wound up resorting to minor leaguers that no ones ever heard of
Dodger fans had heard of them, we just didn’t want them starting a lot of games.
Jonny Boy Clutch
I wouldn’t say they had the same depth as last season. Since 2 of the 7 are hurt
Nameplate is a giveaway.
He could easily fill the role that Chris Capuano played. Think about it, a left he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but has pretty good command, can start, or be a long-relief lefty. And if he is coming at a minor league deal, you can’t beat that. A very nice depth signing for the Dodgers. I mean in 2011 and 2012 he had respective ERA’s of 3.66 and 3.67 – granted his FIPs were at 4.00 and 3.78. But still, effective lefty I can see doing exactly what Capuano was doing this last year which isn’t bad at all.
As of right now he most likely only a starter. When either Beckett show he healthily or when bill come back then maybe he see pen time
I can’t believe he’s not getting a big league deal
That’s a very odd minor league deal. There has to be some sweeteners there.
If this is truly a minor league deal, it may end up being the best “buy-low” signing in years. Maholm is a steady workhorse who can easily win 13-15 games and post solid numbers in Dodger Stadium. He’s also a fantastic clubhouse and community guy. I hope he does well and finds a long-term home in LA.
Man, was hoping the Rangers could have signed him to replace Holland, then keep Ogando out of the rotation for the back end of the season.
Can he grow awesome hair like Arroyo?
I am flabbergasted that Maholm could be had for a minor-league contract. I think a number of teams would have taken Maholm over Arroyo for the same money. Maholm is no ace, but he is a good, solid part of any team’s rotation. If this is a minor-league pact, this might be the best value of the entire free agency season.
Has to be a procedural move so they don’t need to DFA anyone. I’d be shocked if he gets anything less than $5MM if he makes the big league roster (which he will).