The Los Angeles Dodgers opened spring training Saturday morning and with it came the unannounced arrival of former Atlanta Braves starter Paul Maholm. By the afternoon, Dylan Hernandez confirmed the Dodgers signed Maholm to a major league contract.
The acquisition of Maholm came one day after Bronson Arroyo was taken off the market by the Arizona Diamondbacks, signing the veteran to a two-year, $23.5 million contract, complete with an $11 million option for a third season.
Arroyo’s free agency didn’t quite go as he planned. The 36-year-old was believed to be interested in a three-year deal that never came and according to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, the Dodgers extended a one-year offer to Arroyo:
Maholm’s signing came after passing a physical exam one day after Dodgers target Bronson Arroyo singed a two-year deal with the rival D-backs. The Dodgers were hoping Arroyo would accept their one-year offer.
The Dodgers then turned to Maholm, who signed for a much more manageable one-year, $1.5 million contract. The deal does include incentives, which could earn the lefty as much as $6.5 million. Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu earn a significant amount of combined salary and the Dodgers have done an excellent job in signing two additional starters to feasible contracts. The process first began with the signing of Monterey Park, Calif. native Dan Haren, who agreed to terms on a one-year, $10 million deal.
Moreover, by signing Maholm as opposed to Arroyo, the Dodgers have not only saved money, they’ve also gained some flexibility as Maholm is willing to accept a role in the bullpen. However, given that the Dodgers’ options for a fifth starter — Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett — are both coming off of injury, Maholm figures to stand a reasonable chance to fulfill the role. Should Maholm falter, he could serve as a viable long-reliever option for manager Don Mattingly.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Justin Turner agreed to a minor league contract