The season is nearing and teams are starting to nail down their final moves for the 2014 season. We continue to take a look at free agents that would be a possible fit for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Today, we take a look at a left-handed starting pitcher that could slot in the back of the rotation:
Maholm is a 31-year-old left-hander that spent last season with the Atlanta Braves. In his career, he is 76-95 with a 4.28 ERA over nine seasons.
The left-hander started 26 games for the Braves last season, finishing 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA. He threw 153 innings and struck out 105 batters.
Maholm has made at least 26 starts the past eight seasons and is very durable. He would provide the Dodgers with a consistent arm in the back of their rotation, in case Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley don’t rebound well from their injuries. The left-hander would provide some stability, much like Chris Capuano did last season and is the type of pitcher that can give the team a chance to win every fifth day.
The 31-year-old has become a serviceable starter the past few seasons and had ERAs of 3.66 and 3.66 in 2011 and 2012. Last season, he struggled a bit but still managed to win 10 games for the NL East champions. The soft-tosser would fit in well at Dodger Stadium, although he’s 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts. In a bigger sample, those numbers would drop especially with the Dodger offense behind him.
The Dodgers have Beckett and Billingsley should be ready by June, meaning that the Dodgers may not need another starter. Even though the team struggled with injuries last season, they may not be looking for extra veteran starters. The signing of Jamey Wright also took out any need for a long reliever, which is what Maholm would be with the Dodgers if he couldn’t crack the rotation. The Dodgers may not have a need for a mediocre starter.
Maholm struggled last season and it could be a sign of what’s ahead. The left-hander relies on mixing up pitches and changing speeds and he may have given all he has. He’s still young but may be better suited for a job with a rebuilding team, rather than a title contender. The Dodgers already have two lefties in their rotation and may not want another one if he is not an ace-type pitcher.
The left-hander made $6.5 million last season and with the starting pitching market the way it is, he could see himself make around that much again. Coming off a down year, Maholm could be looking at a one or two-year deal in the range of $6-8 million a year.
Chances Dodgers Sign Him: 5%
The Dodgers haven’t been linked to Maholm and have said they aren’t necessarily in the market for another starting pitcher; however, if the team thinks that Beckett will not be ready then they may decide to go after a pitcher. Also, if they plan to pursue Masahiro Tanaka aggressively, there’s no real need to add the soft-tossing lefty.
Maholm will likely sign with a middle-of-the-pack team and become a durable starter for that team.
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