Yesterday, left-hander Paul Maholm signed a one-year deal to battle for the last spot in the starting rotation. Maholm spent last season with the Atlanta Braves and now joins the team that defeated his team in the postseason. The 31-year-old took the time to express his excitement for the deal on his official Twitter account:
Can’t wait to get started with the @Dodgers and look forward to a great opportunity.
— paul maholm (@paul_maholm) February 9, 2014
Maholm joins a spring competition with Josh Beckett, Zach Lee, Stephen Fife, Matt Magill and Ross Stripling for the last spot, although he joins Beckett as the only other name that’s on a major-league deal.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, the left-hander is willing to do what the team needs him to do:
Mattingly: Maholm OK with pitching in relief if no place for him in rotation.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 9, 2014
Although he’s started all but one game in his career, Maholm could give the Dodgers a long reliever if he fails to take the starting spot. His stuff is better suited for a long-relief role, rather than a late-inning shutdown reliever. The Dodgers bullpen is already one of the strongest and deepest in the league, but would be bolstered by a long reliever that would push Jamey Wright to the middle innings.
As a starter last season, Maholm went 10-11 with a 4.76 ERA in 26 starts for the Braves. He’ll be the favorite to take the starting job, especially if Beckett isn’t fully recovered from surgery. After a season in which they went through double-digit starting pitchers, the Dodgers now have plenty of pitchers available for the upcoming season.
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