UPDATE: The Los Angeles Dodgers have made their signing of left-hander Paul Maholm official, bringing the veteran to Chavez Ravine on a one-year, $1.5 million deal, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
While Maholm's base deal is worth pennies on the dollar, he can up his salary to as much as $6.5 million through performance incentives, as Hernandez reported. Even with the incentives, the dollar amount seems rather low for a guy who, according to Fangraphs, has been worth an average of 1.5 WAR in each of the last four seasons.
Maholm's base salary is the lowest of any full-time starting pitcher to sign a big-league contract this winter -- including Tommy John guys like Gavin Floyd and Felipe Paulino -- which leads one to believe there may be some unreported health concern involved. The 31-year-old did miss a month-plus late last season with wrist and elbow issues, but no other injury news has surfaced in the five months since, so the reason for the extreme discount is anyone's guess.
The Dodgers moved Scott Elbert to the 60-day DL in order to make room on the roster for Maholm.
ORIGINAL: Free-agent left-hander Paul Maholm appears headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to reports from Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Hernandez notes that Maholm has a nameplate in the Dodgers' clubhouse at their spring training site in Glendale, and that the 31-year old was at the facility to take a physical this morning.
Locker for "Maholm" in #Dodgers clubhouse.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 8, 2014
Paul Maholm went in and out of the #Dodgers clubhouse. Evidently, he's taking a physical right now.— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 8, 2014
Neither the Dodgers nor Maholm's camp would confirm that a deal is in place, but MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports that Maholm is likely to receive a minor league deal from the team.
If Maholm's deal with the Dodgers gets done, he will join Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley as options for the team's fifth starter spot behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren, who was signed to a one-year deal earlier this offseason. The Dodgers were seriously interested in both Masahiro Tanaka and Bronson Arroyo before they signed elsewhere, so the signing of a starter at this point seems logical.
In 26 starts with the Braves last season, Maholm posted a 10-11 record and 4.41 ERA in 153 innings of work. The southpaw was also linked to the Cubs, Rangers, Twins and Mets this offseason, but instead appears to be heading to Los Angeles for his tenth major league season.
In nine major league seasons with the Pirates (2005-2011), Cubs (2012) and Braves (2012-2013), Maholm has a lifetime 76-95 record and 4.28 ERA in 243 appearances (242 starts).