Although they still have not answered one of their most pertinent questions – Who will play second base? – the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office was hard at work in their quest to solidify the end of the pitching rotation. With a late-day announcement on Saturday, the Boys in Blue finalized their deal with free agent pitcher Paul Maholm in what will likely prove to be a wise choice.
Maholm is a 6-2 lefty from Mississippi who has been a MLB starter for the past nine seasons. With a record of 76-95, a 4.28 ERA, a 1.397 WHIP, and a 1.97 strikeout to walk ratio in his career, Maholm fits in well at the end of the Dodgers’ already stacked deck of starting pitchers.
Dodgers fans may be tempted to complain about Maholm’s numbers as being mediocre, but they need to think logically and remember that no team has five aces in its back pocket. With Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke leading the rotation as dual aces and Dan Haren following Hyun-Jin Ryu, the addition of Maholm is a reliable fifth option.
The best part of this deal is the terms to which general manager Ned Colletti got Maholm to agree. After earning $4.75 million in 2012 and $6.5 million in 2013 while with the Atlanta Braves, Colletti managed to ink Maholm to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Although the deal does include incentives that could pay Maholm as much as he earned last season, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, this is a fantastic contract for the organization.
If Maholm performs well, then the Dodgers get an even better pitcher than they expected and pay the man gladly. If he is mediocre, they pay Maholm an equally pedestrian salary and use the lefty to buy time until either Chad Billingsley and/or Josh Beckett are healthy and ready to go again.
Maholm comes to the Dodgers with veteran experience, a solid contract and hope that the starting rotation could be even better than expected. Colletti and the Dodgers’ front office made another good deal on Saturday and look to continue to give the team all of the pieces it needs to make a run at the 2014 World Series.